Science.gov

Sample records for forest-dwelling flying reptile

  1. Discovery of a rare arboreal forest-dwelling flying reptile (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaolin; Kellner, Alexander W A; Zhou, Zhonghe; Campos, Diogenes de Almeida

    2008-02-12

    A previously undescribed toothless flying reptile from northeastern China, Nemicolopterus crypticus gen. et sp. nov., was discovered in the lacustrine sediments of the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation, western Liaoning, China. The specimen consists of an almost complete articulated skeleton (IVPP V14377) and, despite representing an immature individual, based on the ossification of the skeleton, it is not a hatchling or newborn, making it one of the smallest pterosaurs known so far (wing span approximately 250 mm). It can be distinguished from all other pterosaurs by the presence of a short medial nasal process, an inverted "knife-shaped" deltopectoral crest of the humerus, and the presence of a well developed posterior process on the femur above the articulation with the tibia. It further shows the penultimate phalanges of the foot curved in a degree not reported in any pterosaur before, strongly indicating that it had an arboreal lifestyle, more than any other pterodactyloid pterosaur known so far. It is the sister-group of the Ornithocheiroidea and indicates that derived pterosaurs, including some gigantic forms of the Late Cretaceous with wingspans of >6 m, are closely related to small arboreal toothless creatures that likely were living in the canopies of the ancient forests feeding on insects.

  2. Discovery of a rare arboreal forest-dwelling flying reptile (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaolin; Kellner, Alexander W A; Zhou, Zhonghe; Campos, Diogenes de Almeida

    2008-02-12

    A previously undescribed toothless flying reptile from northeastern China, Nemicolopterus crypticus gen. et sp. nov., was discovered in the lacustrine sediments of the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation, western Liaoning, China. The specimen consists of an almost complete articulated skeleton (IVPP V14377) and, despite representing an immature individual, based on the ossification of the skeleton, it is not a hatchling or newborn, making it one of the smallest pterosaurs known so far (wing span approximately 250 mm). It can be distinguished from all other pterosaurs by the presence of a short medial nasal process, an inverted "knife-shaped" deltopectoral crest of the humerus, and the presence of a well developed posterior process on the femur above the articulation with the tibia. It further shows the penultimate phalanges of the foot curved in a degree not reported in any pterosaur before, strongly indicating that it had an arboreal lifestyle, more than any other pterodactyloid pterosaur known so far. It is the sister-group of the Ornithocheiroidea and indicates that derived pterosaurs, including some gigantic forms of the Late Cretaceous with wingspans of >6 m, are closely related to small arboreal toothless creatures that likely were living in the canopies of the ancient forests feeding on insects. PMID:18268340

  3. Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Shine, Richard

    2013-03-18

    Most small children can tell you that 'reptiles' are the snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles (perhaps with the dinosaurs thrown in) - suggesting that it's easy to tell the difference between reptiles and other animals. Unfortunately, evolutionary biologists struggle with the same task, because phylogenetic analysis tells us loud and clear that these different types of what we loosely call 'reptiles' are not particularly closely related to each other (Figure 1). On the evolutionary tree, some of them (dinosaurs, crocodiles) are much more closely related to birds than to the other animals that we call reptiles. Other reptiles are the descendants of very ancient lineages; for example, turtles separated from the other reptiles, including the now-dominant Squamata (lizards and snakes), at least 200 million years ago. And another 200-million-year-old lineage has left just a single survivor, a lizard-like creature (the tuatara), on a few islands in New Zealand.

  4. Reptiles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Describes some of the characteristics of various reptiles. Contains teaching activities including making reptile number books and identification keys, flip-ups about cobras, puzzles involving graphing, and group presentations. Includes reproducible handouts to be used with some of the activities. (TW)

  5. Competition and constraint drove Cope's rule in the evolution of giant flying reptiles.

    PubMed

    Benson, Roger B J; Frigot, Rachel A; Goswami, Anjali; Andres, Brian; Butler, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    The pterosaurs, Mesozoic flying reptiles, attained wingspans of more than 10 m that greatly exceed the largest birds and challenge our understanding of size limits in flying animals. Pterosaurs have been used to illustrate Cope's rule, the influential generalization that evolutionary lineages trend to increasingly large body sizes. However, unambiguous examples of Cope's rule operating on extended timescales in large clades remain elusive, and the phylogenetic pattern and possible drivers of pterosaur gigantism are uncertain. Here we show 70 million years of highly constrained early evolution, followed by almost 80 million years of sustained, multi-lineage body size increases in pterosaurs. These results are supported by maximum-likelihood modelling of a comprehensive new pterosaur data set. The transition between these macroevolutionary regimes is coincident with the Early Cretaceous adaptive radiation of birds, supporting controversial hypotheses of bird-pterosaur competition, and suggesting that evolutionary competition can act as a macroevolutionary driver on extended geological timescales. PMID:24694584

  6. Competition and constraint drove Cope's rule in the evolution of giant flying reptiles.

    PubMed

    Benson, Roger B J; Frigot, Rachel A; Goswami, Anjali; Andres, Brian; Butler, Richard J

    2014-04-02

    The pterosaurs, Mesozoic flying reptiles, attained wingspans of more than 10 m that greatly exceed the largest birds and challenge our understanding of size limits in flying animals. Pterosaurs have been used to illustrate Cope's rule, the influential generalization that evolutionary lineages trend to increasingly large body sizes. However, unambiguous examples of Cope's rule operating on extended timescales in large clades remain elusive, and the phylogenetic pattern and possible drivers of pterosaur gigantism are uncertain. Here we show 70 million years of highly constrained early evolution, followed by almost 80 million years of sustained, multi-lineage body size increases in pterosaurs. These results are supported by maximum-likelihood modelling of a comprehensive new pterosaur data set. The transition between these macroevolutionary regimes is coincident with the Early Cretaceous adaptive radiation of birds, supporting controversial hypotheses of bird-pterosaur competition, and suggesting that evolutionary competition can act as a macroevolutionary driver on extended geological timescales.

  7. Competition and constraint drove Cope's rule in the evolution of giant flying reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Benson, Roger B. J.; Frigot, Rachel A.; Goswami, Anjali; Andres, Brian; Butler, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    The pterosaurs, Mesozoic flying reptiles, attained wingspans of more than 10 m that greatly exceed the largest birds and challenge our understanding of size limits in flying animals. Pterosaurs have been used to illustrate Cope’s rule, the influential generalization that evolutionary lineages trend to increasingly large body sizes. However, unambiguous examples of Cope’s rule operating on extended timescales in large clades remain elusive, and the phylogenetic pattern and possible drivers of pterosaur gigantism are uncertain. Here we show 70 million years of highly constrained early evolution, followed by almost 80 million years of sustained, multi-lineage body size increases in pterosaurs. These results are supported by maximum-likelihood modelling of a comprehensive new pterosaur data set. The transition between these macroevolutionary regimes is coincident with the Early Cretaceous adaptive radiation of birds, supporting controversial hypotheses of bird–pterosaur competition, and suggesting that evolutionary competition can act as a macroevolutionary driver on extended geological timescales. PMID:24694584

  8. Transpiration from forest dwelling and woodland Mygalomorphae (Araneae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloudsley-Thompson, J. L.; Constantinou, C.

    1983-03-01

    Rates of water loss in dry air at room temperature (21±2°C) have been measured from seven species of forest-dwelling mygalomorph spiders. They range from 0.260% body wt h-1 in the tube-dwelling trapdoor spider Dyarcyops sp. (from the humid coastal regions of eastern Australia) to 0.030% wt h-1 in Brachypelma smithi (from drier environments in Mexico). There is a tendency for rates of transpiration to be related to the humidities of the spiders' normal environments and micro-habitats.

  9. Forest clearing and sex ratio in forest-dwelling wood ant Formica aquilonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorvari, Jouni; Hakkarainen, Harri

    2007-05-01

    Sex ratios of ants have been shown to vary with food resource levels in several studies, but it is not known whether forest clear-cutting has any effect on sex ratio of aphid-tending forest-dwelling ants. We investigated whether the offspring sex ratio of the forest dwelling ant Formica aquilonia varied as a response to clear-cutting. We found that the proportion of males was smaller in clear-cuts than in adjacent forests. Our results are among the first showing that anthropogenic changes in forest structures may have a potential to modify sex ratios of social insects and other forest-dwelling animals.

  10. Discovery of a Rare Pterosaur Bone Bed in a Cretaceous Desert with Insights on Ontogeny and Behavior of Flying Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Manzig, Paulo C.; Kellner, Alexander W. A.; Weinschütz, Luiz C.; Fragoso, Carlos E.; Vega, Cristina S.; Guimarães, Gilson B.; Godoy, Luiz C.; Liccardo, Antonio; Ricetti, João H. Z.; de Moura, Camila C.

    2014-01-01

    A pterosaur bone bed with at least 47 individuals (wing spans: 0.65–2.35 m) of a new species is reported from southern Brazil from an interdunal lake deposit of a Cretaceous desert, shedding new light on several biological aspects of those flying reptiles. The material represents a new pterosaur, Caiuajara dobruskii gen. et sp. nov., that is the southermost occurrence of the edentulous clade Tapejaridae (Tapejarinae, Pterodactyloidea) recovered so far. Caiuajara dobruskii differs from all other members of this clade in several cranial features, including the presence of a ventral sagittal bony expansion projected inside the nasoantorbital fenestra, which is formed by the premaxillae; and features of the lower jaw, like a marked rounded depression in the occlusal concavity of the dentary. Ontogenetic variation of Caiuajara dobruskii is mainly reflected in the size and inclination of the premaxillary crest, changing from small and inclined (∼115°) in juveniles to large and steep (∼90°) in adults. No particular ontogenetic features are observed in postcranial elements. The available information suggests that this species was gregarious, living in colonies, and most likely precocial, being able to fly at a very young age, which might have been a general trend for at least derived pterosaurs. PMID:25118592

  11. Discovery of a rare pterosaur bone bed in a cretaceous desert with insights on ontogeny and behavior of flying reptiles.

    PubMed

    Manzig, Paulo C; Kellner, Alexander W A; Weinschütz, Luiz C; Fragoso, Carlos E; Vega, Cristina S; Guimarães, Gilson B; Godoy, Luiz C; Liccardo, Antonio; Ricetti, João H Z; de Moura, Camila C

    2014-01-01

    A pterosaur bone bed with at least 47 individuals (wing spans: 0.65-2.35 m) of a new species is reported from southern Brazil from an interdunal lake deposit of a Cretaceous desert, shedding new light on several biological aspects of those flying reptiles. The material represents a new pterosaur, Caiuajara dobruskii gen. et sp. nov., that is the southermost occurrence of the edentulous clade Tapejaridae (Tapejarinae, Pterodactyloidea) recovered so far. Caiuajara dobruskii differs from all other members of this clade in several cranial features, including the presence of a ventral sagittal bony expansion projected inside the nasoantorbital fenestra, which is formed by the premaxillae; and features of the lower jaw, like a marked rounded depression in the occlusal concavity of the dentary. Ontogenetic variation of Caiuajara dobruskii is mainly reflected in the size and inclination of the premaxillary crest, changing from small and inclined (∼ 115°) in juveniles to large and steep (∼ 90°) in adults. No particular ontogenetic features are observed in postcranial elements. The available information suggests that this species was gregarious, living in colonies, and most likely precocial, being able to fly at a very young age, which might have been a general trend for at least derived pterosaurs.

  12. Reptile Facts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinheimer, Margaret

    1993-01-01

    Describes an award-winning bulletin board for introducing a unit on reptiles. This interactive bulletin board contains fun facts and counters common misconceptions about reptiles. Twelve true-false statements are hidden behind pull-up flaps. Four pictures ask students to identify the difference between often-confused animals. (PR)

  13. Project Reptile!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diffily, Deborah

    2001-01-01

    Integrating curriculum is important in helping children make connections within and among areas. Presents a class project for kindergarten children which came out of the students' interests and desire to build a reptile exhibit. (ASK)

  14. Reptile geriatrics.

    PubMed

    Paré, Jean A; Lentini, Andrew M

    2010-01-01

    Although basic notions, such as life expectancy, and thus what constitutes old age, remain to be determined in the vast majority of reptile species, there is a tendency at least for captive reptiles to live longer now than in the past. Clinicians are expected to recognize signs of senescence or old age in reptile patients, to acquire a heightened index of suspicion for diseases likely to affect older individuals of a given species or taxon, and to provide sound advice on geriatric care of such patients. Reptiles are stoic and show few signs of aging, but subtle changes in behavior, mobility, reproduction, weight, or appetite may all signal the onset of senescence to the vigilant caregiver. Serial, for example, yearly or biannual physical examination, blood sampling, and imaging initiated at maturity or earlier are probably the most powerful tools in diagnosing, monitoring, and managing geriatric issues.

  15. Zoogeography of South American Forest-Dwelling Bats: Disjunct Distributions or Sampling Deficiencies?

    PubMed Central

    da Rocha, Patrício Adriano; Ferrari, Stephen Francis; Feijó, Anderson; Gouveia, Sidney Feitosa

    2015-01-01

    Many forest-dwelling bats are purported to be widespread in South America, although records are scant from the vast diagonal belt of dry ecosystems that straddles the continent, implying possible sampling deficiencies. Here, we investigate this possibility in the case of four species of bat (Centronycteris maximiliani, Lampronycteris brachyotis, Peropteryx kappleri and Trinycteris nicefori), evaluating whether their disjunct present-day distributions reflect their true zoogeographic characteristics or the subsampling of intermediate zones. We use environmental niche modelling (ENM) in an ensemble approach, combining four different modeling techniques, and using niche descriptors based on climatic and remote sensing data, to estimate the potential distribution of the four species. The models indicate that all four species have disjunct distributions in the Amazon and Atlantic forest biomes. The one possible exception is P. kappleri, which the models indicated might potentially occur in humid forest enclaves in western Brazil and eastern Bolivia. The present-day distribution of the species may date back to the Plio-Pleistocene, when the forested biomes of South America were more extensive and connected. Further studies of different chiropteran lineages may provide additional insights into the historic processes of faunal interchange between the Amazon and Atlantic forest biomes. PMID:26186587

  16. Habitat Effects on the Breeding Performance of Three Forest-Dwelling Hawks

    PubMed Central

    Björklund, Heidi; Valkama, Jari; Tomppo, Erkki; Laaksonen, Toni

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss causes population declines, but the mechanisms are rarely known. In the European Boreal Zone, loss of old forest due to intensive forestry is suspected to cause declines in forest-dwelling raptors by reducing their breeding performance. We studied the boreal breeding habitat and habitat-associated breeding performance of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). We combined long-term Finnish bird-of-prey data with multi-source national forest inventory data at various distances (100–4000 m) around the hawk nests. We found that breeding success of the goshawk was best explained by the habitat within a 2000-m radius around the nests; breeding was more successful with increasing proportions of old spruce forest and water, and decreasing proportions of young thinning forest. None of the habitat variables affected significantly the breeding success of the common buzzard or the honey buzzard, or the brood size of any of the species. The amount of old spruce forest decreased both around goshawk and common buzzard nests and throughout southern Finland in 1992–2010. In contrast, the area of young forest increased in southern Finland but not around hawk nests. We emphasize the importance of studying habitats at several spatial and temporal scales to determine the relevant species-specific scale and to detect environmental changes. Further effort is needed to reconcile the socioeconomic and ecological functions of forests and habitat requirements of old forest specialists. PMID:26422684

  17. Habitat Effects on the Breeding Performance of Three Forest-Dwelling Hawks.

    PubMed

    Björklund, Heidi; Valkama, Jari; Tomppo, Erkki; Laaksonen, Toni

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss causes population declines, but the mechanisms are rarely known. In the European Boreal Zone, loss of old forest due to intensive forestry is suspected to cause declines in forest-dwelling raptors by reducing their breeding performance. We studied the boreal breeding habitat and habitat-associated breeding performance of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). We combined long-term Finnish bird-of-prey data with multi-source national forest inventory data at various distances (100-4000 m) around the hawk nests. We found that breeding success of the goshawk was best explained by the habitat within a 2000-m radius around the nests; breeding was more successful with increasing proportions of old spruce forest and water, and decreasing proportions of young thinning forest. None of the habitat variables affected significantly the breeding success of the common buzzard or the honey buzzard, or the brood size of any of the species. The amount of old spruce forest decreased both around goshawk and common buzzard nests and throughout southern Finland in 1992-2010. In contrast, the area of young forest increased in southern Finland but not around hawk nests. We emphasize the importance of studying habitats at several spatial and temporal scales to determine the relevant species-specific scale and to detect environmental changes. Further effort is needed to reconcile the socioeconomic and ecological functions of forests and habitat requirements of old forest specialists.

  18. Lifetime reproduction of a forest-dwelling owl increases with age and area of forests.

    PubMed

    Laaksonen, Toni; Hakkarainen, Harri; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2004-12-01

    Loss and alteration of habitats by human actions are the largest worldwide hazard to biodiversity and viability of populations. In boreal forests of Eurasia and North America the natural habitat is changing, mainly because of forestry practices and agriculture. Although there is evidence that the diversity and abundance of animal species are lower in intensively managed than in natural forests, very little is known about how the changes in habitat composition affect reproduction and survival. The best available measure of individual performance in the wild is lifetime reproductive success (LRS), the number of offspring produced during a lifetime, because it combines both survival and reproductive success to a single measure. We show that the LRS of forest-dwelling Tengmalm's owls (Aegolius funereus) increases with the proportion of old forest in the territory because of a higher number of breeding attempts, whereas it decreases with the proportion of agricultural land because of declining fledging success in years when prey populations crashed during owl breeding. These unique results provide an interesting insight into how human influence on the landscape can affect life-history traits of animals through various pathways.

  19. Lifetime reproduction of a forest-dwelling owl increases with age and area of forests.

    PubMed

    Laaksonen, Toni; Hakkarainen, Harri; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2004-12-01

    Loss and alteration of habitats by human actions are the largest worldwide hazard to biodiversity and viability of populations. In boreal forests of Eurasia and North America the natural habitat is changing, mainly because of forestry practices and agriculture. Although there is evidence that the diversity and abundance of animal species are lower in intensively managed than in natural forests, very little is known about how the changes in habitat composition affect reproduction and survival. The best available measure of individual performance in the wild is lifetime reproductive success (LRS), the number of offspring produced during a lifetime, because it combines both survival and reproductive success to a single measure. We show that the LRS of forest-dwelling Tengmalm's owls (Aegolius funereus) increases with the proportion of old forest in the territory because of a higher number of breeding attempts, whereas it decreases with the proportion of agricultural land because of declining fledging success in years when prey populations crashed during owl breeding. These unique results provide an interesting insight into how human influence on the landscape can affect life-history traits of animals through various pathways. PMID:15801604

  20. Reptile hematology.

    PubMed

    Sykes, John M; Klaphake, Eric

    2015-01-01

    The basic principles of hematology used in mammalian medicine can be applied to reptiles. The appearances of the blood cells are significantly different from those seen in most mammals, and vary with taxa and staining method used. Many causes for abnormalities of the reptilian hemogram are similar to those for mammals, although additional factors such as venipuncture site, season, hibernation status, captivity status, and environmental factors can also affect values, making interpretation of hematologic results challenging. Values in an individual should be compared with reference ranges specific to that species, gender, and environmental conditions when available.

  1. Reptile Hematology.

    PubMed

    Sykes, John M; Klaphake, Eric

    2015-09-01

    The basic principles of hematology used in mammalian medicine can be applied to reptiles. The appearances of the blood cells are significantly different from those seen in most mammals, and vary with taxa and staining method used. Many causes for abnormalities of the reptilian hemogram are similar to those for mammals, although additional factors such as venipuncture site, season, hibernation status, captivity status, and environmental factors can also affect values, making interpretation of hematologic results challenging. Values in an individual should be compared with reference ranges specific to that species, gender, and environmental conditions when available.

  2. Viruses infecting reptiles.

    PubMed

    Marschang, Rachel E

    2011-11-01

    A large number of viruses have been described in many different reptiles. These viruses include arboviruses that primarily infect mammals or birds as well as viruses that are specific for reptiles. Interest in arboviruses infecting reptiles has mainly focused on the role reptiles may play in the epidemiology of these viruses, especially over winter. Interest in reptile specific viruses has concentrated on both their importance for reptile medicine as well as virus taxonomy and evolution. The impact of many viral infections on reptile health is not known. Koch's postulates have only been fulfilled for a limited number of reptilian viruses. As diagnostic testing becomes more sensitive, multiple infections with various viruses and other infectious agents are also being detected. In most cases the interactions between these different agents are not known. This review provides an update on viruses described in reptiles, the animal species in which they have been detected, and what is known about their taxonomic positions.

  3. Reptiles in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gantert, Robert L.

    1972-01-01

    Discusses the advantages of using reptiles in biology and elementary school classes, describes demonstration techniques used by the author, and suggests some student activities using reptiles, especially snakes and lizards. (AL)

  4. Viruses Infecting Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Marschang, Rachel E.

    2011-01-01

    A large number of viruses have been described in many different reptiles. These viruses include arboviruses that primarily infect mammals or birds as well as viruses that are specific for reptiles. Interest in arboviruses infecting reptiles has mainly focused on the role reptiles may play in the epidemiology of these viruses, especially over winter. Interest in reptile specific viruses has concentrated on both their importance for reptile medicine as well as virus taxonomy and evolution. The impact of many viral infections on reptile health is not known. Koch’s postulates have only been fulfilled for a limited number of reptilian viruses. As diagnostic testing becomes more sensitive, multiple infections with various viruses and other infectious agents are also being detected. In most cases the interactions between these different agents are not known. This review provides an update on viruses described in reptiles, the animal species in which they have been detected, and what is known about their taxonomic positions. PMID:22163336

  5. Reptile Soft Tissue Surgery.

    PubMed

    Di Girolamo, Nicola; Mans, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    The surgical approach to reptiles can be challenging. Reptiles have unique physiologic, anatomic, and pathologic differences. This may result in frustrating surgical experiences. However, recent investigations provided novel, less invasive, surgical techniques. The purpose of this review was to describe the technical aspects behind soft tissue surgical techniques that have been used in reptiles, so as to provide a general guideline for veterinarians working with reptiles.

  6. Isolation by distance, resistance and/or clusters? Lessons learned from a forest-dwelling carnivore inhabiting a heterogeneous landscape.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Gonzalez, Aritz; Cushman, Samuel A; Madeira, María José; Randi, Ettore; Gómez-Moliner, Benjamín J

    2015-10-01

    Landscape genetics provides a valuable framework to understand how landscape features influence gene flow and to disentangle the factors that lead to discrete and/or clinal population structure. Here, we attempt to differentiate between these processes in a forest-dwelling small carnivore [European pine marten (Martes martes)]. Specifically, we used complementary analytical approaches to quantify the spatially explicit genetic structure and diversity and analyse patterns of gene flow for 140 individuals genotyped at 15 microsatellite loci. We first used spatially explicit and nonspatial Bayesian clustering algorithms to partition the sample into discrete clusters and evaluate hypotheses of 'isolation by barriers' (IBB). We further characterized the relationships between genetic distance and geographical ('isolation by distance', IBD) and ecological distances ('isolation by resistance', IBR) obtained from optimized landscape models. Using a reciprocal causal modelling approach, we competed the IBD, IBR and IBB hypotheses with each other to unravel factors driving population genetic structure. Additionally, we further assessed spatially explicit indices of genetic diversity using sGD across potentially overlapping genetic neighbourhoods that matched the inferred population structure. Our results revealed a complex spatial genetic cline that appears to be driven jointly by IBD and partial barriers to gene flow (IBB) associated with poor habitat and interspecific competition. Habitat loss and fragmentation, in synergy with past overharvesting and possible interspecific competition with sympatric stone marten (Martes foina), are likely the main factors responsible for the spatial genetic structure we observed. These results emphasize the need for a more thorough evaluation of discrete and clinal hypotheses governing gene flow in landscape genetic studies, and the potential influence of different limiting factors affecting genetic structure at different spatial scales

  7. Long-term colonization ecology of forest-dwelling species in a fragmented rural landscape - dispersal versus establishment.

    PubMed

    Lõhmus, Kertu; Paal, Taavi; Liira, Jaan

    2014-08-01

    Species colonization in a new habitat patch is an efficiency indicator of biodiversity conservation. Colonization is a two-step process of dispersal and establishment, characterized by the compatibility of plant traits with landscape structure and habitat conditions. Therefore, ecological trait profiling of specialist species is initially required to estimate the relative importance of colonization filters. Old planted parks best satisfy the criteria of a newly created and structurally matured habitat for forest-dwelling plant species. We sampled species in 230 ancient deciduous forests (source habitat), 74 closed-canopy manor parks (target habitats), 151 linear wooded habitats (landscape corridors), and 97 open habitats (isolating matrix) in Estonia. We defined two species groups of interest: forest (107 species) and corridor specialists (53 species). An extra group of open habitat specialists was extracted for trait scaling. Differing from expectations, forest specialists have high plasticity in reproduction mechanisms: smaller seeds, larger dispersules, complementary selfing ability, and diversity of dispersal vectors. Forest specialists are shorter, less nutrient-demanding and mycorrhizal-dependent, stress-tolerant disturbance-sensitive competitors, while corridor specialists are large-seeded disturbance-tolerant competitors. About 40% of species from local species pools have immigrated into parks. The historic forest area, establishment-related traits, and stand quality enhance the colonization of forest specialists. The openness of landscape and mowing in the park facilitate corridor specialists. Species traits in parks vary between a forest and corridor specialist, except for earlier flowering and larger propagules. Forest species are not dispersal limited, but they continue to be limited by habitat properties even in the long term. Therefore, the shady parts of historic parks should be appreciated as important forest biodiversity-enhancing landscape

  8. Isolation by distance, resistance and/or clusters? Lessons learned from a forest-dwelling carnivore inhabiting a heterogeneous landscape.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Gonzalez, Aritz; Cushman, Samuel A; Madeira, María José; Randi, Ettore; Gómez-Moliner, Benjamín J

    2015-10-01

    Landscape genetics provides a valuable framework to understand how landscape features influence gene flow and to disentangle the factors that lead to discrete and/or clinal population structure. Here, we attempt to differentiate between these processes in a forest-dwelling small carnivore [European pine marten (Martes martes)]. Specifically, we used complementary analytical approaches to quantify the spatially explicit genetic structure and diversity and analyse patterns of gene flow for 140 individuals genotyped at 15 microsatellite loci. We first used spatially explicit and nonspatial Bayesian clustering algorithms to partition the sample into discrete clusters and evaluate hypotheses of 'isolation by barriers' (IBB). We further characterized the relationships between genetic distance and geographical ('isolation by distance', IBD) and ecological distances ('isolation by resistance', IBR) obtained from optimized landscape models. Using a reciprocal causal modelling approach, we competed the IBD, IBR and IBB hypotheses with each other to unravel factors driving population genetic structure. Additionally, we further assessed spatially explicit indices of genetic diversity using sGD across potentially overlapping genetic neighbourhoods that matched the inferred population structure. Our results revealed a complex spatial genetic cline that appears to be driven jointly by IBD and partial barriers to gene flow (IBB) associated with poor habitat and interspecific competition. Habitat loss and fragmentation, in synergy with past overharvesting and possible interspecific competition with sympatric stone marten (Martes foina), are likely the main factors responsible for the spatial genetic structure we observed. These results emphasize the need for a more thorough evaluation of discrete and clinal hypotheses governing gene flow in landscape genetic studies, and the potential influence of different limiting factors affecting genetic structure at different spatial scales.

  9. Long-term colonization ecology of forest-dwelling species in a fragmented rural landscape – dispersal versus establishment

    PubMed Central

    Lõhmus, Kertu; Paal, Taavi; Liira, Jaan

    2014-01-01

    Species colonization in a new habitat patch is an efficiency indicator of biodiversity conservation. Colonization is a two-step process of dispersal and establishment, characterized by the compatibility of plant traits with landscape structure and habitat conditions. Therefore, ecological trait profiling of specialist species is initially required to estimate the relative importance of colonization filters. Old planted parks best satisfy the criteria of a newly created and structurally matured habitat for forest-dwelling plant species. We sampled species in 230 ancient deciduous forests (source habitat), 74 closed-canopy manor parks (target habitats), 151 linear wooded habitats (landscape corridors), and 97 open habitats (isolating matrix) in Estonia. We defined two species groups of interest: forest (107 species) and corridor specialists (53 species). An extra group of open habitat specialists was extracted for trait scaling. Differing from expectations, forest specialists have high plasticity in reproduction mechanisms: smaller seeds, larger dispersules, complementary selfing ability, and diversity of dispersal vectors. Forest specialists are shorter, less nutrient-demanding and mycorrhizal-dependent, stress-tolerant disturbance-sensitive competitors, while corridor specialists are large-seeded disturbance-tolerant competitors. About 40% of species from local species pools have immigrated into parks. The historic forest area, establishment-related traits, and stand quality enhance the colonization of forest specialists. The openness of landscape and mowing in the park facilitate corridor specialists. Species traits in parks vary between a forest and corridor specialist, except for earlier flowering and larger propagules. Forest species are not dispersal limited, but they continue to be limited by habitat properties even in the long term. Therefore, the shady parts of historic parks should be appreciated as important forest biodiversity-enhancing landscape

  10. Long-term colonization ecology of forest-dwelling species in a fragmented rural landscape - dispersal versus establishment.

    PubMed

    Lõhmus, Kertu; Paal, Taavi; Liira, Jaan

    2014-08-01

    Species colonization in a new habitat patch is an efficiency indicator of biodiversity conservation. Colonization is a two-step process of dispersal and establishment, characterized by the compatibility of plant traits with landscape structure and habitat conditions. Therefore, ecological trait profiling of specialist species is initially required to estimate the relative importance of colonization filters. Old planted parks best satisfy the criteria of a newly created and structurally matured habitat for forest-dwelling plant species. We sampled species in 230 ancient deciduous forests (source habitat), 74 closed-canopy manor parks (target habitats), 151 linear wooded habitats (landscape corridors), and 97 open habitats (isolating matrix) in Estonia. We defined two species groups of interest: forest (107 species) and corridor specialists (53 species). An extra group of open habitat specialists was extracted for trait scaling. Differing from expectations, forest specialists have high plasticity in reproduction mechanisms: smaller seeds, larger dispersules, complementary selfing ability, and diversity of dispersal vectors. Forest specialists are shorter, less nutrient-demanding and mycorrhizal-dependent, stress-tolerant disturbance-sensitive competitors, while corridor specialists are large-seeded disturbance-tolerant competitors. About 40% of species from local species pools have immigrated into parks. The historic forest area, establishment-related traits, and stand quality enhance the colonization of forest specialists. The openness of landscape and mowing in the park facilitate corridor specialists. Species traits in parks vary between a forest and corridor specialist, except for earlier flowering and larger propagules. Forest species are not dispersal limited, but they continue to be limited by habitat properties even in the long term. Therefore, the shady parts of historic parks should be appreciated as important forest biodiversity-enhancing landscape

  11. The largest flying reptile from Gondwana: a new specimen of Tropeognathus cf. T. mesembrinus Wellnhofer, 1987 (Pterodactyloidea, Anhangueridae) and other large pterosaurs from the Romualdo Formation, Lower Cretaceous, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Kellner, Alexander W A; Campos, Diogenes A; Sayão, Juliana M; Saraiva, Antônio A F; Rodrigues, Taissa; Oliveira, Gustavo; Cruz, Lilian A; Costa, Fabiana R; Silva, Helder P; Ferreira, Jennyfer S

    2013-03-01

    A very large pterosaur (MN 6594-V) from the Romualdo Formation (Aptian/Albian), Santana Group, Araripe Basin, is described. The specimen is referred to Tropeognathus cf. T. mesembrinus mainly due to the presence of a low and blunt frontoparietal crest, the comparatively low number of teeth and the inclined dorsal part of the occipital region. Two distinct wingspan measurements for pterosaurs are introduced: the maximized wingspan (maxws), which essentially consists of doubling the addition of all wing elements and the length of the scapula or the coracoid (the smaller of the two), and the normal wingspan (nws), which applies a reducing factor (rfc) to the maximized wingspan to account for the natural flexures of the wing. The rfc suggested for pteranodontoids is 5%. In the case of MN 6594-V, the maxws and nws are 8.70 m and 8.26 m, respectively, making it the largest pterosaur recovered from Gondwana so far. The distal end of a larger humerus (MCT 1838-R) and a partial wing (MPSC R 1395) are also described showing that large to giant flying reptiles formed a significant part of the pterosaur fauna from the Romualdo Formation. Lastly, some comments on the nomenclatural stability of the Santana deposits are presented.

  12. Diagnostic hematology of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Stacy, Nicole I; Alleman, A Rick; Sayler, Katherine A

    2011-03-01

    The hematologic evaluation of reptiles is an indispensable diagnostic tool in exotic veterinary practice. The diversity of reptile species, their characteristic physiologic features, and effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors present unique challenges for accurate interpretation of the hemogram. Combining the clinical presentation with hematologic findings provides valuable information in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease and helps guide the clinician toward therapy and further diagnostic testing. This article outlines the normal and pathologic morphology of blood cells of reptile species. The specific comparative aspects of reptiles are emphasized, and structural and functional abnormalities in the reptilian hemogram are described.

  13. Reptile wellness management.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Stacey Leonatti

    2015-05-01

    Proper care and husbandry are the most important factors in keeping captive reptiles healthy. Improper nutrition, supplementation, caging, lighting, substrate, temperature, and humidity can all lead to stress and development of disease. Presented here are current recommendations for keeping captive reptiles. Care has moved away from sterile, spartan enclosures to larger, more naturalistic habitats. These habitats provide more space and choices for the reptile, leading to higher activity levels, reduced stress, and more opportunities to exhibit natural behaviors. Reptiles benefit from enrichment and are amenable to training in order to reduce stress and allow easier handling and veterinary care.

  14. Internal parasites of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Raś-Noryńska, Małgorzata; Sokół, Rajmund

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays a growing number of exotic reptiles are kept as pets. The aim of this study was to determine the species of parasites found in reptile patients of veterinary practices in Poland. Fecal samples obtained from 76 lizards, 15 turtles and 10 snakes were examined by flotation method and direct smear stained with Lugol's iodine. In 63 samples (62.4%) the presence of parasite eggs and oocysts was revealed. Oocysts of Isospora spp. (from 33% to 100% of the samples, depending on the reptilian species) and Oxyurids eggs (10% to 75%) were predominant. In addition, isolated Eimeria spp. oocysts and Giardia intestinalis cysts were found, as well as Strongylus spp. and Hymenolepis spp. eggs. Pet reptiles are often infected with parasites, some of which are potentially dangerous to humans. A routine parasitological examination should be done in such animals.

  15. Internal parasites of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Raś-Noryńska, Małgorzata; Sokół, Rajmund

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays a growing number of exotic reptiles are kept as pets. The aim of this study was to determine the species of parasites found in reptile patients of veterinary practices in Poland. Fecal samples obtained from 76 lizards, 15 turtles and 10 snakes were examined by flotation method and direct smear stained with Lugol's iodine. In 63 samples (62.4%) the presence of parasite eggs and oocysts was revealed. Oocysts of Isospora spp. (from 33% to 100% of the samples, depending on the reptilian species) and Oxyurids eggs (10% to 75%) were predominant. In addition, isolated Eimeria spp. oocysts and Giardia intestinalis cysts were found, as well as Strongylus spp. and Hymenolepis spp. eggs. Pet reptiles are often infected with parasites, some of which are potentially dangerous to humans. A routine parasitological examination should be done in such animals. PMID:26342508

  16. Invasive reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P

    2010-08-01

    Although they are frequently lumped together, reptiles and amphibians belong to two very different zoological groups. Nevertheless, one fact is clear: while numerous reptile and amphibian species on Earth are in decline, others have taken advantage of trade or human movements to become established in new lands, adopting different, and sometimes unusual, strategies. The authors have taken a few examples from these two zoological groups that illustrate the majority of cases. A brief analysis of the causes and effects of their introductions into new areas reveals connections with economic interests, trade in companion animals, medical research and public health.

  17. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

    Rainforest reptiles and amphibians are a vibrantly colored, multimedia art experience. To complete the entire project one may need to dedicate many class periods to production, yet in each aspect of the project a new and important skill, concept, or element is being taught or reinforced. This project incorporates the study of warm and cool color…

  18. Antimicrobial Peptides in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    van Hoek, Monique L.

    2014-01-01

    Reptiles are among the oldest known amniotes and are highly diverse in their morphology and ecological niches. These animals have an evolutionarily ancient innate-immune system that is of great interest to scientists trying to identify new and useful antimicrobial peptides. Significant work in the last decade in the fields of biochemistry, proteomics and genomics has begun to reveal the complexity of reptilian antimicrobial peptides. Here, the current knowledge about antimicrobial peptides in reptiles is reviewed, with specific examples in each of the four orders: Testudines (turtles and tortosises), Sphenodontia (tuataras), Squamata (snakes and lizards), and Crocodilia (crocodilans). Examples are presented of the major classes of antimicrobial peptides expressed by reptiles including defensins, cathelicidins, liver-expressed peptides (hepcidin and LEAP-2), lysozyme, crotamine, and others. Some of these peptides have been identified and tested for their antibacterial or antiviral activity; others are only predicted as possible genes from genomic sequencing. Bioinformatic analysis of the reptile genomes is presented, revealing many predicted candidate antimicrobial peptides genes across this diverse class. The study of how these ancient creatures use antimicrobial peptides within their innate immune systems may reveal new understandings of our mammalian innate immune system and may also provide new and powerful antimicrobial peptides as scaffolds for potential therapeutic development. PMID:24918867

  19. Parasites in pet reptiles

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Exotic reptiles originating from the wild can be carriers of many different pathogens and some of them can infect humans. Reptiles imported into Slovenia from 2000 to 2005, specimens of native species taken from the wild and captive bred species were investigated. A total of 949 reptiles (55 snakes, 331 lizards and 563 turtles), belonging to 68 different species, were examined for the presence of endoparasites and ectoparasites. Twelve different groups (Nematoda (5), Trematoda (1), Acanthocephala (1), Pentastomida (1) and Protozoa (4)) of endoparasites were determined in 26 (47.3%) of 55 examined snakes. In snakes two different species of ectoparasites were also found. Among the tested lizards eighteen different groups (Nematoda (8), Cestoda (1), Trematoda (1), Acanthocephala (1), Pentastomida (1) and Protozoa (6)) of endoparasites in 252 (76.1%) of 331 examined animals were found. One Trombiculid ectoparasite was determined. In 563 of examined turtles eight different groups (Nematoda (4), Cestoda (1), Trematoda (1) and Protozoa (2)) of endoparasites were determined in 498 (88.5%) animals. In examined turtles three different species of ectoparasites were seen. The established prevalence of various parasites in reptiles used as pet animals indicates the need for examination on specific pathogens prior to introduction to owners. PMID:21624124

  20. Viruses in reptiles

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The etiology of reptilian viral diseases can be attributed to a wide range of viruses occurring across different genera and families. Thirty to forty years ago, studies of viruses in reptiles focused mainly on the zoonotic potential of arboviruses in reptiles and much effort went into surveys and challenge trials of a range of reptiles with eastern and western equine encephalitis as well as Japanese encephalitis viruses. In the past decade, outbreaks of infection with West Nile virus in human populations and in farmed alligators in the USA has seen the research emphasis placed on the issue of reptiles, particularly crocodiles and alligators, being susceptible to, and reservoirs for, this serious zoonotic disease. Although there are many recognised reptilian viruses, the evidence for those being primary pathogens is relatively limited. Transmission studies establishing pathogenicity and cofactors are likewise scarce, possibly due to the relatively low commercial importance of reptiles, difficulties with the availability of animals and permits for statistically sound experiments, difficulties with housing of reptiles in an experimental setting or the inability to propagate some viruses in cell culture to sufficient titres for transmission studies. Viruses as causes of direct loss of threatened species, such as the chelonid fibropapilloma associated herpesvirus and ranaviruses in farmed and wild tortoises and turtles, have re-focused attention back to the characterisation of the viruses as well as diagnosis and pathogenesis in the host itself. 1. Introduction 2. Methods for working with reptilian viruses 3. Reptilian viruses described by virus families 3.1. Herpesviridae 3.2. Iridoviridae 3.2.1 Ranavirus 3.2.2 Erythrocytic virus 3.2.3 Iridovirus 3.3. Poxviridae 3.4. Adenoviridae 3.5. Papillomaviridae 3.6. Parvoviridae 3.7. Reoviridae 3.8. Retroviridae and inclusion body disease of Boid snakes 3.9. Arboviruses 3.9.1. Flaviviridae 3.9.2. Togaviridae 3.10. Caliciviridae

  1. Approach to Reptile Emergency Medicine.

    PubMed

    Long, Simon Y

    2016-05-01

    This article summarizes the physiology and anatomy of reptiles, highlighting points relevant for emergency room veterinarians. Other systems, such as the endocrine and immune systems, have not been covered. The many other aspects of reptile species variation are too numerous to be covered. This article provides an overview but encourages clinicians to seek additional species-specific information to better medically diagnose and treat their reptile patients.

  2. Nutritional support of reptile patients.

    PubMed

    De Voe, Ryan S

    2014-05-01

    Providing nutritional support to reptile patients is a challenging and often misunderstood task. Ill reptiles are frequently anorexic and can benefit greatly from appropriate nutrition delivered via a variety of assist-feeding techniques. Neonatal reptiles can also be very challenging patients because many fail to thrive without significant efforts to establish normal feeding behaviors. This article presents ideas supporting the benefit of timely nutritional support as well as specific recommendations for implementation of assist feeding. Also discussed are a few nutritional issues that affect captive reptile species.

  3. Common procedures with venomous reptiles.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Thomas H

    2006-05-01

    Venomous reptiles should be handled in a safe and consistent man-ner, even after death. Owners and staff should be warned not to handle the venomous reptile, and one should have emergency protocols in place before the properly bagged and encased reptile is presented. It is important to know what one is treating as well as one's limitations. After being carefully removed from the bag, the venomous reptile may be transferred to a handling container, tubed, or squeezed with the appropriate equipment. The author usually induces injectable or gas anesthesia at this point. Veterinarians who are inexperienced with venomous reptiles should learn how to handle them through a reputable seminar or class before electing to see them in their practice.

  4. Clinical aspects of reptile behavior.

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Divers, S J

    2001-09-01

    At first glance, the abstract world of reptile ethology may seem remote to clinicians dealing with the health and disease of captive animals. By delving a little deeper, however, veterinarians can learn to appreciate the reasons for certain behaviors and actually use these behaviors as indicators of various biologic states. Close scrutiny of subtle changes in behavior can further help assess reptile well-being and judge captive welfare. In the future, it is hoped that improved ethologic understanding will result in behavioral enrichment for reptiles, as is already promoted for many nondomestic mammals and birds.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Sex Determination in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Rhen, T.; Schroeder, A.

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques. PMID:20145384

  6. Molecular mechanisms of sex determination in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Rhen, T; Schroeder, A

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques.

  7. DNA barcoding amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Vences, Miguel; Nagy, Zoltán T; Sonet, Gontran; Verheyen, Erik

    2012-01-01

    Only a few major research programs are currently targeting COI barcoding of amphibians and reptiles (including chelonians and crocodiles), two major groups of tetrapods. Amphibian and reptile species are typically old, strongly divergent, and contain deep conspecific lineages which might lead to problems in species assignment with incomplete reference databases. As far as known, there is no single pair of COI primers that will guarantee a sufficient rate of success across all amphibian and reptile taxa, or within major subclades of amphibians and reptiles, which means that the PCR amplification strategy needs to be adjusted depending on the specific research question. In general, many more amphibian and reptile taxa have been sequenced for 16S rDNA, which for some purposes may be a suitable complementary marker, at least until a more comprehensive COI reference database becomes available. DNA barcoding has successfully been used to identify amphibian larval stages (tadpoles) in species-rich tropical assemblages. Tissue sampling, DNA extraction, and amplification of COI is straightforward in amphibians and reptiles. Single primer pairs are likely to have a failure rate between 5 and 50% if taxa of a wide taxonomic range are targeted; in such cases the use of primer cocktails or subsequent hierarchical usage of different primer pairs is necessary. If the target group is taxonomically limited, many studies have followed a strategy of designing specific primers which then allow an easy and reliable amplification of all samples.

  8. Preserving reptiles for research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gotte, Steve W.; Jacobs, Jeremy F.; Zug, George R.; Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2016-01-01

    What are voucher specimens and why do we collect them? Voucher specimens are animals and/or their parts that are deposited in a research museum to document the occurrence of a taxon at a specific location in space and time (Pleijel et al., 2008; Reynolds and McDiarmid, 2012). For field biologists, vouchers are the repeatable element of a field study as they allow other biologists, now and in the future, to confirm the identity of species that were studied. The scientific importance of a voucher specimen or series of specimens is that other people are afforded the opportunity to examine the entire animal and confirm or correct identifications. A photographic record is somewhat useful for recording the occurrence of a species, but such records can be insufficient for reliable confirmation of specific identity. Even if a photo shows diagnostic characters of currently recognized taxa, it may not show characters that separate taxa that may be described in the future. Substantial cryptic biodiversity is being found in even relatively well-known herpetofaunas (Crawford et al., 2010), and specimens allow researchers to retroactively evaluate the true diversity in a study as understanding of taxonomy evolves. They enable biologists to study the systematic relationships of populations by quantifying variation in different traits. Specimens are also a source of biological data such as behaviour, ecology, epidemiology, and reproduction through examination of their anatomy, reproductive and digestive tracts, and parasites (Suarez and Tsutsui, 2004). Preserving reptiles as vouchers is not difficult, although doing it properly requires care, effort, and time. Poorly preserved vouchers can invalidate the results and conclusions of your study because of the inability to confirm the identity of your study animals. Good science requires repeatability of observations, and the absence of vouchers or poorly preserved ones prevents such confirmation. Due to space restrictions, we are

  9. Paramyxoviruses in reptiles: a review.

    PubMed

    Hyndman, Timothy H; Shilton, Cathy M; Marschang, Rachel E

    2013-08-30

    In 1972, an outbreak of neurorespiratory disease in a Swiss serpentarium formed the basis for the first description of a paramyxovirus isolated from a reptile. In the forty years since this outbreak, there have been over 50 published reports about reptilian paramyxoviruses from all over the world. The majority of these investigations have concerned themselves with ferlaviruses (sometimes previously referred to as ophidian paramyxoviruses, or OPMV). The biology of these viruses is reviewed and this is followed by a review of the clinical findings that are associated with ferlaviral infection and the various diagnostic tests that are used to identify infected reptiles. Recently, a second, and highly divergent, reptilian paramyxovirus, Sunshine virus, was described in Australian pythons, so it is an opportune time to reflect on the paramyxoviruses that infect reptiles.

  10. Covering the Plane with Rep-Tiles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fosnaugh, Linda S.; Harrell, Marvin E.

    1996-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students use geometric figures, rep-tiles, to design a tile floor. Rep-tiles are geometric figures of which copies can fit together to form a larger similar figure. Includes reproducible student worksheet. (MKR)

  11. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2000-01-01

    For many years, ecological research on amphibians and reptiles has lagged behind that of other vertebrates such as fishes, birds, and mammals, despite the known importance of these animals in their environments. The lack of study has been particularly acute in the he area of ecotoxicology where the number of published scientific papers is a fraction of that found for the other vertebrate classes. Recently, scientists have become aware of severe crises among amphibian populations, including unexplained and sudden extinctions, worldwide declines, and hideous malformations. In many of these instances, contaminants have been listed as probable contributors. Data on the effects of contaminants on reptiles are so depauperate that even the most elementary interpretations are difficult. This state-of-the-science review and synthesis of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicology demonstrates the inter-relationships among distribution, ecology, physiology, and contaminant exposure, and interprets these topics as they pertain to comparative toxicity, population declines, malformations, and risk assessment . In this way, the book identifies and serves as a basis for the most pressing research needs in the coming years. The editors have invited 27 other internationally respected experts to examine the state of existing data in specific areas, interpret it in light of current problems, and identify research gaps and needs. Through its emphasis on recent research, extensive reviews and synthesis, Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles will remain a definitive reference work well into the new century.

  12. Future directions in reptile medical education.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Elliott; Heard, Darryl; Isaza, Ramiro

    2006-01-01

    Reptile medicine has emerged as a specialty area within the broader field of zoological medicine. It encompasses the medical needs of approximately 7,500 vertebrate species. This vertebrate class is highly diversified, having biological and medical peculiarities that differ both between and within major groups. Historically, veterinarians who have become recognized specialists with reptiles have had limited formal training in their medical management. The pet reptile trade is a multi-million-dollar business, and the popularity of reptiles as pets has resulted in a need for more veterinarians with training in their medical management. While few private practices have high volumes of reptile cases, many small-animal practices will have the opportunity to see a significant number of reptiles on an annual basis. Most practitioners with reptile medical expertise have merged their experiences as reptile pet owners with the principles of veterinary medicine taught in veterinary college. Several North American veterinary colleges have reptile medicine courses, and most have didactic and clinical courses in exotic and zoo animal medicine that include lectures and practical experience. Most accredited zoological medicine residency training programs include training in reptile medicine. The case load and interest in reptile medicine will probably never be sufficient to lead the average veterinary college to develop much more than what is currently offered. Consequently, those few colleges having more extensive course offerings, both didactic and clinical, will serve as educational centers for this discipline. Future Web-based teaching programs in reptile medicine will allow students nationally and internationally to have access to instructional material that can be continually updated.

  13. Update on common nutritional disorders of captive reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mans, Christoph; Braun, Jana

    2014-09-01

    Nutritional disorders of captive reptiles remain very common despite the increasing knowledge about reptile husbandry and nutrition. Many nutritional disorders are diagnosed late in the disease process; often secondary complications, such as pathologic fractures in reptiles suffering from nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism have occurred. Therefore, every attempt should be made to educate reptile owners and keepers about the proper care and dietary needs of reptiles under their care because all nutritional disorders seen in captive reptiles are preventable.

  14. Melanophoromas and iridophoromas in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Heckers, K O; Aupperle, H; Schmidt, V; Pees, M

    2012-01-01

    Chromatophoromas are tumours of pigment-producing cells of the skin and are rarely reported in reptiles. These tumours are subclassified on the basis of the type of pigment. The present study characterizes chromatophoromas arising in 26 reptiles, including six snakes, 19 lizards and a tortoise. These include the first reports of melanophoromas in a yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), pigmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus spp.), southern water snake (Nerodia fasciata), veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) and leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius); the first reports of benign iridophoromas in a savannah monitor (Varanus exanthematicus), veiled chameleon and bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps); and the first description of a malignant iridophoroma in a bearded dragon. Additionally, in three bearded dragons a 'mucinous' type of melanophoroma is described for the first time. Chromatophoromas generally arose from the skin of the body and head and ranged in size from 0.2 to 2.0cm in diameter. In six cases the animals were humanely destroyed immediately after diagnosis. Three further animals were humanely destroyed following recurrence of their tumour. Six of these nine reptiles had visceral metastases. Grossly, melanophoromas (n=20) were grey or black, while iridophoromas (n=6) were white in colour. Microscopically, most of the tumours were composed of spindle cells with varying pigmentation and 0-2 mitoses per 10 high power fields. Six of the 20 melanophoromas were classified as malignant due to the presence of intravascular tumour cells, visceral metastases, high pleomorphism and/or mitotic figures. Five of the six iridophoromas were classified as benign and the one malignant tumour was defined by the presence of intravascular tumour cells and visceral metastases. Immunohistochemically, melan A and S100 were coexpressed by all of the chromatophoromas. PMID:21864845

  15. Vesicular, ulcerative, and necrotic dermatitis of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Maas, Adolf K

    2013-09-01

    Vesicular, ulcerative, and necrotic dermatologic conditions are common in captive reptiles. Although these conditions have distinct differences histologically, they are commonly sequelae to each other. This article examines the anatomy and physiology of reptile skin; discusses reported causes of vesicular, ulcerative, and necrotic dermatologic conditions; and reviews various management options.

  16. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    PubMed

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

    Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole.

  17. Laboratory Reptile Surgery: Principles and Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Alworth, Leanne C; Hernandez, Sonia M; Divers, Stephen J

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles used for research and instruction may require surgical procedures, including biopsy, coelomic device implantation, ovariectomy, orchidectomy, and esophogostomy tube placement, to accomplish research goals. Providing veterinary care for unanticipated clinical problems may require surgical techniques such as amputation, bone or shell fracture repair, and coeliotomy. Although many principles of surgery are common between mammals and reptiles, important differences in anatomy and physiology exist. Veterinarians who provide care for these species should be aware of these differences. Most reptiles undergoing surgery are small and require specific instrumentation and positioning. In addition, because of the wide variety of unique physiologic and anatomic characteristics among snakes, chelonians, and lizards, different techniques may be necessary for different reptiles. This overview describes many common reptile surgery techniques and their application for research purposes or to provide medical care to research subjects. PMID:21333158

  18. Laboratory reptile surgery: principles and techniques.

    PubMed

    Alworth, Leanne C; Hernandez, Sonia M; Divers, Stephen J

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles used for research and instruction may require surgical procedures, including biopsy, coelomic device implantation, ovariectomy, orchidectomy, and esophogostomy tube placement, to accomplish research goals. Providing veterinary care for unanticipated clinical problems may require surgical techniques such as amputation, bone or shell fracture repair, and coeliotomy. Although many principles of surgery are common between mammals and reptiles, important differences in anatomy and physiology exist. Veterinarians who provide care for these species should be aware of these differences. Most reptiles undergoing surgery are small and require specific instrumentation and positioning. In addition, because of the wide variety of unique physiologic and anatomic characteristics among snakes, chelonians, and lizards, different techniques may be necessary for different reptiles. This overview describes many common reptile surgery techniques and their application for research purposes or to provide medical care to research subjects.

  19. Ticks imported to Europe with exotic reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2015-09-30

    It is known that traded exotic animals carry with them an immense number of associated symbionts, including parasites. Reptiles are no exception. Most of the imported reptiles originate from tropical countries and their possibility to carry potentially dangerous pathogens is high. According to CITES, Europe is currently the main reptile importer in the world. Despite this, there is no review or analysis available for the risk related to the importation of tick-borne diseases with traded reptile to the EU. The main aim of the manuscript is to provide a review on the available literature on ticks introduced to and exchanged between European countries via the live reptile trade. So far, the published reports of ticks imported on reptiles are limited to few European countries: Italy, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Slovenia and UK. The following species have been reported: Hyalomma aegyptium, Amblyomma dissimile, Amblyomma exornatum, Amblyomma flavomaculatum, Amblyomma fuscolineatum, Amblyomma latum, Amblyomma quadricavum, Amblyomma marmoreum, Amblyomma nuttalli, Amblyomma sparsum, Amblyomma sphenodonti, Amblyomma transversale and Amblyomma varanense. The majority of species are of African origin, followed by American and Asian species. All groups of reptiles (chelonians, snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tuataras) were involved. However, it seems that certain groups (i.e. tortoises of genus Testudo, monitor lizards of genus Varanus, snakes of genus Python) are more important as host for imported ticks, but this may be related to higher levels of international trade. Even fewer are the reports of tick-borne pathogens associated with imported reptile ticks. Despite the diversity of tick species reported on imported reptiles, the situations of truly invasive species are atypical and are limited in natural environments to maximum two cases where H. aegyptium was involved. Otherwise, the risk associated with reptile trade for introduction of invasive tick to Europe is low

  20. Ticks imported to Europe with exotic reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2015-09-30

    It is known that traded exotic animals carry with them an immense number of associated symbionts, including parasites. Reptiles are no exception. Most of the imported reptiles originate from tropical countries and their possibility to carry potentially dangerous pathogens is high. According to CITES, Europe is currently the main reptile importer in the world. Despite this, there is no review or analysis available for the risk related to the importation of tick-borne diseases with traded reptile to the EU. The main aim of the manuscript is to provide a review on the available literature on ticks introduced to and exchanged between European countries via the live reptile trade. So far, the published reports of ticks imported on reptiles are limited to few European countries: Italy, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Slovenia and UK. The following species have been reported: Hyalomma aegyptium, Amblyomma dissimile, Amblyomma exornatum, Amblyomma flavomaculatum, Amblyomma fuscolineatum, Amblyomma latum, Amblyomma quadricavum, Amblyomma marmoreum, Amblyomma nuttalli, Amblyomma sparsum, Amblyomma sphenodonti, Amblyomma transversale and Amblyomma varanense. The majority of species are of African origin, followed by American and Asian species. All groups of reptiles (chelonians, snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tuataras) were involved. However, it seems that certain groups (i.e. tortoises of genus Testudo, monitor lizards of genus Varanus, snakes of genus Python) are more important as host for imported ticks, but this may be related to higher levels of international trade. Even fewer are the reports of tick-borne pathogens associated with imported reptile ticks. Despite the diversity of tick species reported on imported reptiles, the situations of truly invasive species are atypical and are limited in natural environments to maximum two cases where H. aegyptium was involved. Otherwise, the risk associated with reptile trade for introduction of invasive tick to Europe is low

  1. Environmentally cued hatching in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Doody, J S

    2011-07-01

    Evidence is accumulating for the widespread occurrence of environmentally cued hatching (ECH) in animals, but its diversity and distribution across taxa are unknown. Herein I review three types of ECH in reptiles: early hatching, delayed hatching, and synchronous hatching. ECH is currently known from 43 species, including turtles, crocodilians, lizards, snakes, tuatara, and possibly worm lizards. Early hatching caused by physical disturbance (e.g., vibrations) is the most commonly reported ECH across all groups; although it apparently serves an antipredator function in some species, its adaptive value is unknown in most. Delayed hatching, characterized by metabolic depression or embryonic aestivation, and sometimes followed by a hypoxic cue (flooding), occurs in some turtles and possibly in monitor lizards and crocodilians; in some of these species delayed hatching serves to defer hatching from the dry season until the more favorable conditions of the wet season. Synchronous hatching, whereby sibling eggs hatch synchronously despite vertical thermal gradients in the nest, occurs in some turtles and crocodilians. Although vibrations and vocalizations in hatching-competent embryos can stimulate synchronous hatching, cues promoting developmentally less advanced embryos to catch up with more advanced embryos have not been confirmed. Synchronous hatching may serve to dilute predation risk by promoting synchronous emergence or reduce the period in which smells associated with hatching can attract predators to unhatched eggs. Within species, advancing our understanding of ECH requires three types of studies: (1) experiments identifying hatching cues and the plastic hatching period, (2) experiments disentangling hypotheses about multiple hatching cues, and (3) investigations into the environmental context in which ECH might evolve in different species (major predators or abiotic influences on the egg, embryo, and hatchling). Among species and groups, surveys for ECH are

  2. Global taxonomic diversity of living reptiles.

    PubMed

    Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel; Bauer, Aaron M; Meiri, Shai; Uetz, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Reptiles are one of the most ecologically and evolutionarily remarkable groups of living organisms, having successfully colonized most of the planet, including the oceans and some of the harshest and more environmentally unstable ecosystems on earth. Here, based on a complete dataset of all the world's diversity of living reptiles, we analyse lineage taxonomic richness both within and among clades, at different levels of the phylogenetic hierarchy. We also analyse the historical tendencies in the descriptions of new reptile species from Linnaeus to March 2012. Although (non-avian) reptiles are the second most species-rich group of amniotes after birds, most of their diversity (96.3%) is concentrated in squamates (59% lizards, 35% snakes, and 2% amphisbaenians). In strong contrast, turtles (3.4%), crocodilians (0.3%), and tuataras (0.01%) are far less diverse. In terms of species discoveries, most turtles and crocodilians were described early, while descriptions of lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians are multimodal with respect to time. Lizard descriptions, in particular, have reached unprecedented levels during the last decade. Finally, despite such remarkably asymmetric distributions of reptile taxonomic diversity among groups, we found that the distributions of lineage richness are consistently right-skewed, with most clades (monophyletic families and genera) containing few lineages (monophyletic genera and species, respectively), while only a few have radiated greatly (notably the families Colubridae and Scincidae, and the lizard genera Anolis and Liolaemus). Therefore, such consistency in the frequency distribution of richness among clades and among phylogenetic levels suggests that the nature of reptile biodiversity is fundamentally fractal (i.e., it is scale invariant). We then compared current reptile diversity with the global reptile diversity and taxonomy known in 1980. Despite substantial differences in the taxonomies (relative to 2012), the patterns of

  3. Global Taxonomic Diversity of Living Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel; Bauer, Aaron M.; Meiri, Shai; Uetz, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Reptiles are one of the most ecologically and evolutionarily remarkable groups of living organisms, having successfully colonized most of the planet, including the oceans and some of the harshest and more environmentally unstable ecosystems on earth. Here, based on a complete dataset of all the world’s diversity of living reptiles, we analyse lineage taxonomic richness both within and among clades, at different levels of the phylogenetic hierarchy. We also analyse the historical tendencies in the descriptions of new reptile species from Linnaeus to March 2012. Although (non-avian) reptiles are the second most species-rich group of amniotes after birds, most of their diversity (96.3%) is concentrated in squamates (59% lizards, 35% snakes, and 2% amphisbaenians). In strong contrast, turtles (3.4%), crocodilians (0.3%), and tuataras (0.01%) are far less diverse. In terms of species discoveries, most turtles and crocodilians were described early, while descriptions of lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians are multimodal with respect to time. Lizard descriptions, in particular, have reached unprecedented levels during the last decade. Finally, despite such remarkably asymmetric distributions of reptile taxonomic diversity among groups, we found that the distributions of lineage richness are consistently right-skewed, with most clades (monophyletic families and genera) containing few lineages (monophyletic genera and species, respectively), while only a few have radiated greatly (notably the families Colubridae and Scincidae, and the lizard genera Anolis and Liolaemus). Therefore, such consistency in the frequency distribution of richness among clades and among phylogenetic levels suggests that the nature of reptile biodiversity is fundamentally fractal (i.e., it is scale invariant). We then compared current reptile diversity with the global reptile diversity and taxonomy known in 1980. Despite substantial differences in the taxonomies (relative to 2012), the patterns of

  4. Reptile Critical Care and Common Emergencies.

    PubMed

    Music, Meera Kumar; Strunk, Anneliese

    2016-05-01

    Reptile emergencies are an important part of exotic animal critical care, both true emergencies and those perceived as emergencies by owners. The most common presentations for reptile emergencies are addressed here, with information on differential diagnoses, helpful diagnostics, and approach to treatment. In many cases, reptile emergencies are actually acute presentations originating from a chronic problem, and the treatment plan must include both clinical treatment and addressing husbandry and dietary deficiencies at home. Accurate owner expectations must be set in order to have owner compliance to long-term treatment plans. PMID:27131163

  5. Reptile Critical Care and Common Emergencies.

    PubMed

    Music, Meera Kumar; Strunk, Anneliese

    2016-05-01

    Reptile emergencies are an important part of exotic animal critical care, both true emergencies and those perceived as emergencies by owners. The most common presentations for reptile emergencies are addressed here, with information on differential diagnoses, helpful diagnostics, and approach to treatment. In many cases, reptile emergencies are actually acute presentations originating from a chronic problem, and the treatment plan must include both clinical treatment and addressing husbandry and dietary deficiencies at home. Accurate owner expectations must be set in order to have owner compliance to long-term treatment plans.

  6. Feeding behavior and nutrient intake in spiny forest-dwelling ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods: compensating in a harsh environment.

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Power, Michael L; Ellwanger, Nicholas; Rambeloarivony, Hajamanitra

    2011-07-01

    Strong resource seasonality in Madagascar has led to the evolution of female feeding priority and weaning synchrony in most lemur species. For these taxa, pregnancy/early lactation periods coincide with low food availability, and weaning of infants is timed with increased resources at the onset of the rainy season. Reproductive females experience high metabolic requirements, which they must accommodate, particularly when food resources are scarce. Female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) residing in spiny forest habitat must deal with resource scarcity, high temperatures (∼36-40°C) and little shade in early to mid-lactation periods. Considered "income breeders," these females must use resources obtained from the environment instead of relying on fat stores; thus, we expected they would differ from same-sized males in time spent on feeding and in the intake of food and nutrients. We investigated these variables in two groups (N = 11 and 12) of Lemur catta residing in spiny forest habitat during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods. Focal animal data and food plant samples were collected, and plants were analyzed for protein, kcal, and fiber. We found no sex differences for any feeding or nutrient intake variable for the top five food species consumed. Females in early gestation spent more time feeding compared with early/mid-lactation. Physiological compensation for spiny forest-dwelling females may be tied to greater time spent resting compared with gallery forest conspecifics, consuming foods high in protein, calories, and water, reduced home range defense in a sparsely populated habitat, and for Lemur catta females in general, production of relatively dilute milk compared with many strepsirrhines.

  7. Feeding behavior and nutrient intake in spiny forest-dwelling ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods: compensating in a harsh environment.

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Power, Michael L; Ellwanger, Nicholas; Rambeloarivony, Hajamanitra

    2011-07-01

    Strong resource seasonality in Madagascar has led to the evolution of female feeding priority and weaning synchrony in most lemur species. For these taxa, pregnancy/early lactation periods coincide with low food availability, and weaning of infants is timed with increased resources at the onset of the rainy season. Reproductive females experience high metabolic requirements, which they must accommodate, particularly when food resources are scarce. Female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) residing in spiny forest habitat must deal with resource scarcity, high temperatures (∼36-40°C) and little shade in early to mid-lactation periods. Considered "income breeders," these females must use resources obtained from the environment instead of relying on fat stores; thus, we expected they would differ from same-sized males in time spent on feeding and in the intake of food and nutrients. We investigated these variables in two groups (N = 11 and 12) of Lemur catta residing in spiny forest habitat during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods. Focal animal data and food plant samples were collected, and plants were analyzed for protein, kcal, and fiber. We found no sex differences for any feeding or nutrient intake variable for the top five food species consumed. Females in early gestation spent more time feeding compared with early/mid-lactation. Physiological compensation for spiny forest-dwelling females may be tied to greater time spent resting compared with gallery forest conspecifics, consuming foods high in protein, calories, and water, reduced home range defense in a sparsely populated habitat, and for Lemur catta females in general, production of relatively dilute milk compared with many strepsirrhines. PMID:21541932

  8. New country records of reptiles from Laos

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Four species of reptiles, of which one is represented by one of its subspecies, are recorded for the first time from Laos: Cyrtodactylus phongnhakebangensis, Lycodon futsingensis, and Lycodon ruhstrati, as Lycodon ruhstrati abditus, from limestone forests in Khammouane Province and Cyrtodactylus pseudoquadrivirgatus from hill evergreen forest in Salavan Province. These discoveries of lizards and snakes bring the total species number of reptiles to 189 in Laos. PMID:24723754

  9. Amphibians and Reptiles of Los Alamos County

    SciTech Connect

    Teralene S. Foxx; Timothy K. Haarmann; David C. Keller

    1999-10-01

    Recent studies have shown that amphibians and reptiles are good indicators of environmental health. They live in terrestrial and aquatic environments and are often the first animals to be affected by environmental change. This publication provides baseline information about amphibians and reptiles that are present on the Pajarito Plateau. Ten years of data collection and observations by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and hobbyists are represented.

  10. Blood parasites in reptiles imported to Germany.

    PubMed

    Halla, Ursula; Ursula, Halla; Korbel, Rüdiger; Rüdiger, Korbel; Mutschmann, Frank; Frank, Mutschmann; Rinder, Monika; Monika, Rinder

    2014-12-01

    Though international trade is increasing, the significance of imported reptiles as carriers of pathogens with relevance to animal and human health is largely unknown. Reptiles imported to Germany were therefore investigated for blood parasites using light microscopy, and the detected parasites were morphologically characterized. Four hundred ten reptiles belonging to 17 species originating from 11 Asian, South American and African countries were included. Parasites were detected in 117 (29%) of individual reptiles and in 12 species. Haemococcidea (Haemogregarina, Hepatozoon, Schellackia) were found in 84% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus), 20% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Kinyongia fischeri, Gekko gecko) and 50% of turtles (Pelusios castaneus). Infections with Hematozoea (Plasmodium, Sauroplasma) were detected in 14% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Furcifer pardalis, Xenagama batillifera, Acanthosaura capra, Physignathus cocincinus), while those with Kinetoplastea (Trypanosoma) were found in 9% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus) and 25 % of lizards (K. fischeri, Acanthosaura capra, G. gecko). Nematoda including filarial larvae parasitized in 10% of lizards (Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Fu. pardalis, Physignathus cocincinus). Light microscopy mostly allowed diagnosis of the parasites' genus, while species identification was not possible because of limited morphological characteristics available for parasitic developmental stages. The investigation revealed a high percentage of imported reptiles being carriers of parasites while possible vectors and pathogenicity are largely unknown so far. The spreading of haemoparasites thus represents an incalculable risk for pet reptiles, native herpetofauna and even human beings.

  11. Renal flagellate infections in reptiles: 29 cases.

    PubMed

    Juan-Sallés, Caries; Garner, Michael M; Nordhausen, Robert W; Valls, Xavier; Gallego, Miguel; Soto, Sara

    2014-03-01

    Renal infection with flagellated protozoa was retrospectively evaluated in 29 reptiles, including 12 turtles, 7 tortoises, and 6 chameleons; overall, 20 species of reptiles were represented. Most cases presented with nonspecific clinical signs or a combination of several concurrent diseases. Nineteen of 29 reptiles had tubulointerstitial nephritis associated with flagellates, and this lesion was considered contributory to death in 15 cases, although concurrent diseases were frequent. Infection was invasive into the renal interstitium in three reptiles due to tubular rupture and in one chameleon also spread to adjacent tissues, coelomic cavity, and blood vessels due to renal rupture. Cytologic or ultrastructural evaluation of trophozoites in two cases was consistent with diplomonad flagellates. Renal disease was often complicated with soft-tissue mineralization and/or gout. Gastrointestinal and cloacal infection with flagellates and inflammation were frequent in reptiles in which the digestive tract was available for histopathologic examination, and this supports the possibility of infections ascending the urinary tract from the cloaca. Renal disease associated with flagellate protozoa is rare in vertebrates but appears to be relevant in reptiles, particularly chelonians and chameleons.

  12. Blood parasites in reptiles imported to Germany.

    PubMed

    Halla, Ursula; Ursula, Halla; Korbel, Rüdiger; Rüdiger, Korbel; Mutschmann, Frank; Frank, Mutschmann; Rinder, Monika; Monika, Rinder

    2014-12-01

    Though international trade is increasing, the significance of imported reptiles as carriers of pathogens with relevance to animal and human health is largely unknown. Reptiles imported to Germany were therefore investigated for blood parasites using light microscopy, and the detected parasites were morphologically characterized. Four hundred ten reptiles belonging to 17 species originating from 11 Asian, South American and African countries were included. Parasites were detected in 117 (29%) of individual reptiles and in 12 species. Haemococcidea (Haemogregarina, Hepatozoon, Schellackia) were found in 84% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus), 20% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Kinyongia fischeri, Gekko gecko) and 50% of turtles (Pelusios castaneus). Infections with Hematozoea (Plasmodium, Sauroplasma) were detected in 14% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Furcifer pardalis, Xenagama batillifera, Acanthosaura capra, Physignathus cocincinus), while those with Kinetoplastea (Trypanosoma) were found in 9% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus) and 25 % of lizards (K. fischeri, Acanthosaura capra, G. gecko). Nematoda including filarial larvae parasitized in 10% of lizards (Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Fu. pardalis, Physignathus cocincinus). Light microscopy mostly allowed diagnosis of the parasites' genus, while species identification was not possible because of limited morphological characteristics available for parasitic developmental stages. The investigation revealed a high percentage of imported reptiles being carriers of parasites while possible vectors and pathogenicity are largely unknown so far. The spreading of haemoparasites thus represents an incalculable risk for pet reptiles, native herpetofauna and even human beings. PMID:25324132

  13. Flying wings / flying fuselages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Richard M.; Bauer, Steven X. S.

    2001-01-01

    The present paper has documented the historical relationships between various classes of all lifting vehicles, which includes the flying wing, all wing, tailless, lifting body, and lifting fuselage. The diversity in vehicle focus was to ensure that all vehicle types that map have contributed to or been influenced by the development of the classical flying wing concept was investigated. The paper has provided context and perspective for present and future aircraft design studies that may employ the all lifting vehicle concept. The paper also demonstrated the benefit of developing an understanding of the past in order to obtain the required knowledge to create future concepts with significantly improved aerodynamic performance.

  14. Insights into reptile dermal contaminant exposure: Reptile skin permeability to pesticides.

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2016-07-01

    There is growing interest in improving ecological risk assessment exposure estimation, specifically by incorporating dermal exposure. At the same time, there is a growing interest in amphibians and reptiles as receptors in ecological risk assessment, despite generally receiving less research than more traditional receptors. Previous research has suggested that dermal exposure may be more important than previously considered for reptiles. We measured reptile skin permeability to four pesticides (thiamethoxam, malathion, tebuthiuron, trifluralin) using ventral skin samples. All four pesticides penetrated the skin but generally had low permeability. There was no apparent relationship between physicochemical properties and permeability coefficients. Malathion had a significantly greater permeability rate at all time points compared to the other pesticides. Tebuthiuron had a greater permeability than thiamethoxam. Reptiles and mammals appear to have similar skin permeability suggesting that dermal exposure estimates for mammals may be representative of reptiles.

  15. Insights into reptile dermal contaminant exposure: Reptile skin permeability to pesticides.

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2016-07-01

    There is growing interest in improving ecological risk assessment exposure estimation, specifically by incorporating dermal exposure. At the same time, there is a growing interest in amphibians and reptiles as receptors in ecological risk assessment, despite generally receiving less research than more traditional receptors. Previous research has suggested that dermal exposure may be more important than previously considered for reptiles. We measured reptile skin permeability to four pesticides (thiamethoxam, malathion, tebuthiuron, trifluralin) using ventral skin samples. All four pesticides penetrated the skin but generally had low permeability. There was no apparent relationship between physicochemical properties and permeability coefficients. Malathion had a significantly greater permeability rate at all time points compared to the other pesticides. Tebuthiuron had a greater permeability than thiamethoxam. Reptiles and mammals appear to have similar skin permeability suggesting that dermal exposure estimates for mammals may be representative of reptiles. PMID:27037770

  16. Pterosaur from the latest cretaceous of west Texas: discovery of the largest flying creature.

    PubMed

    Lawson, D A

    1975-03-14

    Three partial skeletons of a large pterosaur have been found in the latest Cretaceous nonmarine rock of West Texas. This flying reptile had thin, elongate, perhaps toothless jaws and a long neck similar to Pterodaustro and Pterodactylus. With an estimated wingspan of 15.5 meters, it is undoutbtedly the largest flying creature presently known.

  17. Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Mendenhall, Chase D; Frishkoff, Luke O; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesús; Mesfun, Eyobed; Mendoza Quijano, Fernando; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Pringle, Robert M

    2014-04-01

    The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services depends largely on the capacity of human-dominated ecosystems to support them, yet this capacity remains largely unknown. Using the framework of countryside biogeography, and working in the Las Cruces system of Coto Brus, Costa Rica, we assessed reptile and amphibian assemblages within four habitats that typify much of the Neotropics: sun coffee plantations (12 sites), pasture (12 sites), remnant forest elements (12 sites), and a larger, contiguous protected forest (3 sites in one forest). Through analysis of 1678 captures of 67 species, we draw four primary conclusions. First, we found that the majority of reptile (60%) and amphibian (70%) species in this study used an array of habitat types, including coffee plantations and actively grazed pastures. Second, we found that coffee plantations and pastures hosted rich, albeit different and less dense, reptile and amphibian biodiversity relative to the 326-ha Las Cruces Forest Reserve and neighboring forest elements. Third, we found that the small ribbons of "countryside forest elements" weaving through farmland collectively increased the effective size of a 326-ha local forest reserve 16-fold for reptiles and 14-fold for amphibians within our 236-km2 study area. Therefore, countryside forest elements, often too small for most remote sensing techniques to identify, are contributing -95% of the available habitat for forest-dependent reptiles and amphibians in our largely human-dominated study region. Fourth, we found large and pond-reproducing amphibians to prefer human-made habitats, whereas small, stream-reproducing, and directly developing species are more dependent on forest elements. Our investigation demonstrates that tropical farming landscapes can support substantial reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Our approach provides a framework for estimating the conservation value of the complex working landscapes that constitute roughly half of the global land surface

  18. Science: What Reptiles Are and Aren't

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Axelrod, Gerry S.

    1978-01-01

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

  19. Campylobacter iguaniorum sp. nov., isolated from reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During samplings of reptiles for Epsilonproteobacteria, Campylobacter strains were isolated from lizards and chelonians not belonging to any of the established taxa. Initial AFLP, PCR, and 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that these strains were most closely related to Campylobacter fetus and Campy...

  20. CONTAMINANT-ASSOCIATED ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION IN REPTILES.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The data presented suggest that contaminants can alter the endocrine and reproductive system of reptiles by mimicking hormones and by various mechanisms other than direct hormonal mimicry. However, these data indicate, as do many other studies using various vertebrates, that a fo...

  1. Reptile-associated salmonellosis in Minnesota, 1996-2011.

    PubMed

    Whitten, T; Bender, J B; Smith, K; Leano, F; Scheftel, J

    2015-05-01

    Reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) occurs when Salmonella is transmitted from a reptile to a human. This study describes the epidemiology of RAS in Minnesota during 1996-2011. All Minnesotans with confirmed Salmonella infections are reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Case patients are interviewed about illness characteristics and risk factors, including foods eaten, drinking and recreational water exposures, contact with ill people, and animal contact. Willing RAS case patients can submit stool from the reptile for culture. Serotype and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) subtype of Salmonella isolates from reptiles and case patients are compared. Of 8389 sporadic (not associated with an outbreak) non-typhoidal salmonellosis case patients in Minnesotans during 1996-2011, 290 (3.5%) reported reptile exposure. The median age of case patients with reptile exposure was 11 years, 31% were under the age of 5 years and 67% were under the age of 20 years; 50% were female. The median illness duration was 8 days; 23% required hospitalization. The most commonly reported reptile exposures were lizard (47%), snake (20%), turtle (19%) and a combination of reptile types (14%). Eighty-four per cent of isolates from case patients who reported reptile exposure were Salmonella enterica subspecies I. The three most common serotypes were Typhimurium (15%), Enteritidis (7%) and subspecies IV serotypes (7%). Of 60 reptiles testing positive for Salmonella, 36 (60%) yielded the same Salmonella serotype as the human isolate. Twenty-six of 27 reptile isolates that were subtyped by PFGE were indistinguishable from the human isolate. Of these, 88% were subspecies I; the most common serotypes were Enteritidis (12%), Typhimurium (8%), and Bareilly (8%). RAS accounts for approximately 3.5% of salmonellosis cases in Minnesota, primarily affecting children. The majority of isolates from case patients and reptiles belonged to Salmonella subspecies I, suggesting that

  2. Responses of riparian reptile communities to damming and urbanization

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunt, Stephanie D.; Guzy, Jacquelyn C.; Price, Steven J.; Halstead, Brian J.; Eskew, Evan A.; Dorcas, Michael E.

    2013-01-01

    Various anthropogenic pressures, including habitat loss, threaten reptile populations worldwide. Riparian zones are critical habitat for many reptile species, but these habitats are also frequently modified by anthropogenic activities. Our study investigated the effects of two riparian habitat modifications-damming and urbanization-on overall and species-specific reptile occupancy patterns. We used time-constrained search techniques to compile encounter histories for 28 reptile species at 21 different sites along the Broad and Pacolet Rivers of South Carolina. Using a hierarchical Bayesian analysis, we modeled reptile occupancy responses to a site's distance upstream from dam, distance downstream from dam, and percent urban land use. The mean occupancy response by the reptile community indicated that reptile occupancy and species richness were maximized when sites were farther upstream from dams. Species-specific occupancy estimates showed a similar trend of lower occupancy immediately upstream from dams. Although the mean occupancy response of the reptile community was positively related to distance downstream from dams, the occupancy response to distance downstream varied among species. Percent urban land use had little effect on the occupancy response of the reptile community or individual species. Our results indicate that the conditions of impoundments and subsequent degradation of the riparian zones upstream from dams may not provide suitable habitat for a number of reptile species.

  3. Diversity and distribution of reptiles in Romania

    PubMed Central

    Cogălniceanu, Dan; Rozylowicz, Laurentiu; Székely, Paul; Samoilă, Ciprian; Stănescu, Florina; Tudor, Marian; Székely, Diana; Iosif, Ruben

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The reptile fauna of Romania comprises 23 species, out of which 12 species reach here the limit of their geographic range. We compiled and updated a national database of the reptile species occurrences from a variety of sources including our own field surveys, personal communication from specialists, museum collections and the scientific literature. The occurrence records were georeferenced and stored in a geodatabase for additional analysis of their spatial patterns. The spatial analysis revealed a biased sampling effort concentrated in various protected areas, and deficient in the vast agricultural areas of the southern part of Romania. The patterns of species richness showed a higher number of species in the warmer and drier regions, and a relatively low number of species in the rest of the country. Our database provides a starting point for further analyses, and represents a reliable tool for drafting conservation plans. PMID:24146598

  4. Ticks parasitizing reptiles in the Bahamas.

    PubMed

    Durden, L A; Knapp, C R

    2005-09-01

    Two species of reptile ticks, Amblyomma dissimile Koch and Amblyomma torrei Pérez Vigueras (Acari: Ixodidae), are reported from the Bahama Islands for the first time. The widespread neotropical (including the Caribbean and southern Florida) A. dissimile was recovered on Andros Island from three species of reptiles all for the first time: the Andros iguana Cyclura cychlura cychlura Cuvier, the Andros curly tail lizard Leiocephalus carinatus coryi Schmidt, and the Andros boa Epicrates striatus fowleri Sheplan and Schwartz. The iguana tick A. torrei, previously known only from Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands, was recovered in the Exuma Islands from the Exuma iguana Cyclura cychlura figginsi Barbour. Mean numbers of ticks per host were as high as 36.6 on Mangrove Cay, Andros Island, and 25.8 on Pasture Cay in the Exuma Islands.

  5. Bent's Old Fort: Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.

    2008-01-01

    Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site sits along the Arkansas River in the semi-desert prairie of southeastern Colorado. The USGS provided assistance in designing surveys to assess the variety of herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) resident at this site. This brochure is the results of those efforts and provides visitors with information on what frogs, toads, snakes and salamanders might be seen and heard at Bent's Old Fort.

  6. Coprological survey in pet reptiles in Italy.

    PubMed

    Papini, R; Manetti, C; Mancianti, F

    2011-08-20

    Faecal samples were collected from 324 pet reptiles showing no clinical signs, including 28 saurian species (n=192), three ophidian species (n=74) and three chelonian species (n=58). Samples were examined for the presence of intestinal parasites by direct smear and faecal flotation, while direct immunofluorescence assays were used to reveal the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts. Overall, 57.4 per cent of the reptiles were harbouring intestinal parasites. These included oxyurids (16 per cent), coccidia (12.3 per cent), flagellates (9.3 per cent), strongyles (6.8 per cent), coccidia plus oxyurids (4.9 per cent), coccidia plus flagellates (1.8 per cent), coccidia plus strongyles (1.8 per cent), oxyurids plus strongyles (1.2 per cent), oxyurids plus flagellates (1.2 per cent), Cryptosporidium species (1.2 per cent) and strongyles plus flagellates (0.6 per cent). Intestinal parasites were more prevalent in saurians than in ophidians and chelonians, in insectivores than in carnivores, omnivores and herbivores, and in wild-caught than in captive-born reptiles. A highly significant difference was observed for saurians versus chelonians (odds ratio [OR]=2.20, 95 per cent confidence interval [CI] 1.21 to 3.99), insectivores versus herbivores (OR=2.38, 95 per cent CI 1.26 to 4.49) and in wild-caught versus captive-born pet reptiles (OR=2.36, 95 per cent CI 1.27 to 4.40).

  7. Molecular evidence of Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection in reptiles in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Frutos, María C; Monetti, Marina S; Ré, Viviana E; Cuffini, Cecilia G

    2014-01-01

    In the central area of Argentina, the epidemiological and molecular characteristics of Chlamydophila pneumoniae infections in reptiles are still unknown. A nested polymerase chain reaction of the rpoB gene was used to detect C. pneumoniae in cloacal swab samples from 19 reptiles at a recreational area. Eleven (57.89%) reptiles were positive; the sequencing and phylogenetic analysis confirmed the presence of this bacterium. Neither C. pneumoniae DNA in the caregivers pharynges nor IgM antibodies anti-C. pneumoniae in their serum samples were detected; however, caregivers presented very high titers of IgG anti-C. pneumoniae. The detection of C. pneumoniae DNA in reptiles demonstrated the circulation of this agent in the recreational area and could be responsible for the exacerbated immune response of the personnel handling the reptiles, which suggests a potential zoonotic cycle. This is the first report of the detection of C. pneumoniae in reptiles in Argentina.

  8. Salmonella infection and carriage in reptiles in a zoological collection.

    PubMed

    Clancy, Meredith M; Davis, Meghan; Valitutto, Marc T; Nelson, Kenrad; Sykes, John M

    2016-05-01

    OBJECTIVE To identify important subspecies and serovars of Salmonella enterica in a captive reptile population and clinically relevant risk factors for and signs of illness in Salmonella-positive reptiles. DESIGN Retrospective cross-sectional study. ANIMALS 11 crocodilians (4 samples), 78 snakes (91 samples), 59 lizards (57 samples), and 34 chelonians (23 samples) at the Bronx Zoo from 2000 through 2012. PROCEDURES Data pertaining to various types of biological samples obtained from reptiles with positive Salmonella culture results and the reptiles themselves were analyzed to determine period prevalence of and risk factors for various Salmonella-related outcomes. RESULTS Serovar distribution differences were identified for sample type, reptile phylogenetic family, and reptile origin and health. Salmonella enterica subsp enterica was the most common subspecies in Salmonella cultures (78/175 [45%]), identified across all reptilian taxa. Salmonella enterica subsp diarizonae was also common (42/175 [24%]) and was recovered almost exclusively from snakes (n = 33), many of which had been clinically ill (17). Clinically ill reptiles provided 37% (64) of Salmonella cultures. Factors associated with an increased risk of illness in reptiles with a positive culture result were carnivorous diet and prior confiscation. Snakes had a higher risk of illness than other reptile groups, whereas lizards had a lower risk. Bony changes, dermatitis, and anorexia were the most common clinical signs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE This study provided new information on Salmonella infection or carriage and associated clinical disease in reptiles. Associations identified between serovars or subspecies and reptile groups or clinical disease can guide management of Salmonella-positive captive reptiles.

  9. Flying Cars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crow, Steven

    1996-01-01

    Flying cars have nearly mythical appeal to nonpilots, a group that includes almost the whole human race. The appeal resides in the perceived utility of flying cars, vehicles that offer portal-to-portal transportation, yet break the bonds of road and traffic and travel freely through the sky at the drivers will. Part of the appeal is an assumption that flying cars can be as easy to fly as to drive. Flying cars have been part of the dream of aviation since the dawn of powered flight. Glenn Curtiss built, displayed, and maybe even flew a flying car in 1917, the Curtiss Autoplane. Many roadable airplanes were built in the 1930's, like the Waterman Arrowbile and the Fulton Airphibian. Two flying cars came close to production in the early 1950's. Ted Hall built a series of flying cars culminating in the Convaircar, sponsored by Consolidated Vultee, General Motors, and Hertz. Molt Taylor built and certified his Aerocar, and Ford came close to producing them. Three Aerocars are still flyable, two in museums in Seattle and Oshkosh, and the third owned and flown by Ed Sweeny. Flying cars do have problems, which so far have prevented commercial success. An obvious problem is complexity of the vehicle, the infrastructure, or both. Another is the difficulty of matching low power for normal driving with high power in flight. An automobile uses only about 20 hp at traffic speeds, while a personal airplane needs about 160 hp at speeds typical of flight. Many automobile engines can deliver 160 hp, but not for very long. A more subtle issue involves the drag of automobiles and airplanes. A good personal airplane can fly 30 miles per gallon of fuel at 200 mph. A good sports car would need 660 hp at the same speed and would travel only 3 miles per gallon. The difference is drag area, about 4.5 sq ft for the automobile and 1.4 sq ft for the airplane. A flying car better have the drag area of the airplane, not the car!

  10. All about Reptiles. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    Dinosaurs may be extinct, but reptiles are distant cousins to the beasts that once walked the earth. From snakes and lizards to iguanas and tuataras, children learn what factors make them different from other animals. In this videotape, students explore the mysterious, often misunderstood, world of reptiles and learn about their characteristics…

  11. Amphibians and Reptiles from Paramakatoi and Kato, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    We report the herpetofauna of two neighboring upland locations in west-central Guyana. Twenty amphibian and 24 reptile species were collected. Only 40% of amphibians and 12.5% of reptiles were collected in both locations. This is one of the few collections made at upland (750–800 m) locations in the Guiana Shield.

  12. Seven new species of helminths for reptiles from Armenia.

    PubMed

    Nelli, Sargsyan; Felix, Danielyan; Marine, Arakelyan

    2014-09-01

    Helminthic infections of reptiles habiting in the territory of Armenia are examined. Seven species of helminths new for reptiles from Armenia are registered: Parapharyngodon skrjabini, Oswaldocruzia goezei, Neoxysomatium sp., Telorchis assula, Nematotaenia tarentolae, Mesocestoides lineatus and Spirometra erinacei europea. Descriptions and pictures of them are given.

  13. A review on human attitudes towards reptiles in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; Vieira, Kleber Silva; Santana, Gindomar Gomes; Vieira, Washington Luiz Silva; Almeida, Waltécio Oliveira; Souto, Wedson Medeiros Silva; Montenegro, Paulo Fernando Guedes Pereira; Pezzuti, Juarez Carlos Brito

    2012-11-01

    For many millennia humans and reptiles have interacted, but the attitude of humans towards these animals has depended on culture, environment, and personal experience. At least 719 reptile species are known to occur in Brazil and about 11% of this fauna has been exploited for many different purposes, including bushmeat, leather, ornamental and magic/religious uses, and as folk medicines. Brazil can therefore serve as an interesting case study for better understanding reptile use by human societies, and the present paper catalogues some of the reptile species being used in Brazil and discusses implications for their conservation. A literature review indicated that 81 reptile species are culturally important in this country, with 47 (58%) species having multiple uses, 54 being used for medicinal purposes, 38 as food, 28 for ornamental or decorative purposes, 20 used in magic/religious practices, 18 as pets, and 40 are commonly killed when they come into contact with humans. Regarding their conservation status, 30 (37.5%) are included on State's Red List, Brazilian Red List or the IUCN Red List. There are many forms of interaction between reptiles and humans in Brazil-although most of them are quite negative in terms of wildlife conservation-which reinforces the importance of understanding such uses and interactions in the context of protecting reptiles in Brazil. A better understanding of the cultural, social, and traditional roles of these reptiles is fundamental to establishing management plans for their sustainable use.

  14. Congenital ocular and adnexal disorders in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Sabater, Mikel; Pérez, Marisa

    2013-01-01

    Ocular and adnexal congenital disorders are those that manifest at birth and could involve single or multiple tissues. Several abnormalities have been reported in literature affecting reptilian ocular and/or adnexal tissues. The objectives of this review are: (i) review those disorders previously reported in reptile literature; (ii) present new cases; (iii) provide a basic classification of them according to the moment of occurrence and (iv) indirectly, encourage the clinician dealing with these cases to go further in their diagnosis. The authors consider that categorizing ocular and adnexal congenital disorders could help the clinician to deal with them. The categorization of these disorders required an intense review of cases previously reported in literature and allows the authors suspect that some of them could not have been accurately diagnosed according to the definitions of the anomalies and/or not accurately described. The authors consider that ocular and adnexal congenital disorders could have been underestimated in reptiles and further studies could be helpful to promote the description of new disorders and to expand the knowledge about those previously reported. The review will first describe abnormalities reported during organogenesis (describing possible etiopathogenesis, cases reported, an approach to their diagnosis and recommended therapeutic options).Then a mention of the ocular disorders occurring after organogenesis is made. These disorders are divided when possible in those affecting all or most part of the globe and those affecting only specific tissues (surface ectoderm, neurocrest and mesenchyma and neuroectoderm).

  15. Campylobacter iguaniorum sp. nov., isolated from reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Kik, Marja; Miller, William G; Duim, Birgitta; Wagenaar, Jaap A

    2015-03-01

    During sampling of reptiles for members of the class Epsilonproteobacteria, strains representing a member of the genus Campylobacter not belonging to any of the established taxa were isolated from lizards and chelonians. Initial amplified fragment length polymorphism, PCR and 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that these strains were most closely related to Campylobacter fetus and Campylobacter hyointestinalis. A polyphasic study was undertaken to determine the taxonomic position of five strains. The strains were characterized by 16S rRNA and atpA sequence analysis, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and conventional phenotypic testing. Whole-genome sequences were determined for strains 1485E(T) and 2463D, and the average nucleotide and amino acid identities were determined for these strains. The strains formed a robust phylogenetic clade, divergent from all other species of the genus Campylobacter. In contrast to most currently known members of the genus Campylobacter, the strains showed growth at ambient temperatures, which might be an adaptation to their reptilian hosts. The results of this study clearly show that these strains isolated from reptiles represent a novel species within the genus Campylobacter, for which the name Campylobacter iguaniorum sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is 1485E(T) ( = LMG 28143(T) = CCUG 66346(T)).

  16. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conrad, Paulette M.; Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2014-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effect from overexploitation; these animals are also challenged by the perception that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural an cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation of these animals has never been more important.

  17. Salmonella prevalence among reptiles in a zoo education setting.

    PubMed

    Hydeskov, H B; Guardabassi, L; Aalbaek, B; Olsen, K E P; Nielsen, S S; Bertelsen, M F

    2013-06-01

    Clinically healthy reptiles may shed Salmonella and therefore act as a potential zoonotic threat. Most people in Northern European countries are rarely exposed to reptiles, but many zoos have education departments where children have direct contact with this group of animals. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence and serotype distribution of Salmonella among reptiles in the Education Department (n = 55) at Copenhagen Zoo and compare it to the Zoo's main reptile collection (n = 145) to evaluate the zoonotic risk. Salmonella was isolated from cloacal swabs by selective enrichment, and a single isolate from each positive sample was further identified by biochemical tests and serotyped. The overall prevalence was 35% (69/200) with significant difference between the Education Department (64%, 35/55) and the main reptile collection (23%, 34/145). A total of 28 serotypes were detected. Ten serotypes were isolated from more than one specimen and four from more than one species. Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Eastbourne was the predominant serotype (32%, 22/69) and was also the serotype isolated from most reptile species (n = 7). Transmission of serotypes from one department to another was very limited indicated by the serotype distribution. Despite the relative high prevalence observed among the reptiles in the Zoo's Education Department compared to the reptiles in the Zoo's main reptile collection, no Salmonella cases have been linked to the Zoo, and Salmonella ser. Eastbourne is very rarely isolated from humans in Denmark. Simple hygienic procedures such as hand washing which is consistently carried out following handling of reptiles at the Education Department may reduce the risk and therefore contribute to this low prevalence.

  18. Pentastomiasis and other parasitic zoonoses from reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Pantchev, Nikola; Tappe, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles are growing in popularity as pets.The colonization of reptiles and amphibians by parasites and the resulting disease conditions are the most common problems seen in captive animals.This review focuses on pentastomiasis and sparganosis, important parasitic zoonoses of reptiles and amphibians, respectively, and free living-amoebae. Humans are suitable accidental hosts for some pentastomid species (particularly Armillifer and Porocephalus). In geographical areas with special ethnics, such as in West and Central Africa, and East Asia, 8-45% of the human population can be affected. Usually the larvae are coincidentally found during abdominal surgeries. However, fatalities have been described. Extreme caution is necessary when handling infected reptiles. Ocular or cerebral sparganosis is not uncommonly found in humans in East Asia. This disease is caused by spargana, tapeworm larvae (plerocercoids) of Spirometra sp. The infection occurs when uncooked meat from reptiles or amphibians is applied to wounds or eyes and the parasites migrate directly to human tissue, or by consumption of contaminated food or water. As a consequence of the reptile's predatory behaviour, the full spectrum of endo- and ectoparasites from potential prey animals can be found as transiting parasites in the intestinal tract, e. g. Hymenolepis nana, Cryptosporidium (C.) muris, C parvum or Capillaria hepatica. Occasionally, free-living amoebae are also found in reptile faeces (Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Hartmanella, Vahlkampfia or Echinamoeba sp.).

  19. Caution: Reptile pets shuttle grasshopper allergy and asthma into homes.

    PubMed

    Jensen-Jarolim, Erika; Pali-Schöll, Isabella; Jensen, Sebastian A F; Robibaro, Bruno; Kinaciyan, Tamar

    2015-01-01

    The numbers of reptiles in homes has at least doubled in the last decade in Europe and the USA. Reptile purchases are increasingly triggered by the attempt to avoid potentially allergenic fur pets like dogs and cats. Consequently, reptiles are today regarded as surrogate pets initiating a closer relationship with the owner than ever previously observed. Reptile pets are mostly fed with insects, especially grasshoppers and/or locusts, which are sources for aggressive airborne allergens, best known from occupational insect breeder allergies. Exposure in homes thus introduces a new form of domestic allergy to grasshoppers and related insects. Accordingly, an 8-year old boy developed severe bronchial hypersensitivity and asthma within 4 months after purchase of a bearded dragon. The reptile was held in the living room and regularly fed with living grasshoppers. In the absence of a serological allergy diagnosis test, an IgE immunoblot on grasshopper extract and prick-to-prick test confirmed specific sensitization to grasshoppers. After 4 years of allergen avoidance, a single respiratory exposure was sufficient to trigger a severe asthma attack again in the patient. Based on literature review and the clinical example we conclude that reptile keeping is associated with introducing potent insect allergens into home environments. Patient interviews during diagnostic procedure should therefore by default include the question about reptile pets in homes. PMID:26322151

  20. Caution: Reptile pets shuttle grasshopper allergy and asthma into homes.

    PubMed

    Jensen-Jarolim, Erika; Pali-Schöll, Isabella; Jensen, Sebastian A F; Robibaro, Bruno; Kinaciyan, Tamar

    2015-01-01

    The numbers of reptiles in homes has at least doubled in the last decade in Europe and the USA. Reptile purchases are increasingly triggered by the attempt to avoid potentially allergenic fur pets like dogs and cats. Consequently, reptiles are today regarded as surrogate pets initiating a closer relationship with the owner than ever previously observed. Reptile pets are mostly fed with insects, especially grasshoppers and/or locusts, which are sources for aggressive airborne allergens, best known from occupational insect breeder allergies. Exposure in homes thus introduces a new form of domestic allergy to grasshoppers and related insects. Accordingly, an 8-year old boy developed severe bronchial hypersensitivity and asthma within 4 months after purchase of a bearded dragon. The reptile was held in the living room and regularly fed with living grasshoppers. In the absence of a serological allergy diagnosis test, an IgE immunoblot on grasshopper extract and prick-to-prick test confirmed specific sensitization to grasshoppers. After 4 years of allergen avoidance, a single respiratory exposure was sufficient to trigger a severe asthma attack again in the patient. Based on literature review and the clinical example we conclude that reptile keeping is associated with introducing potent insect allergens into home environments. Patient interviews during diagnostic procedure should therefore by default include the question about reptile pets in homes.

  1. [Strategies for Conservation of Endangered Amphibian and Reptile Species].

    PubMed

    Anan'eva, N B; Uteshev, V K; Orlova, N L; Gakhova, E N

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for conservation of endangered amphibian and reptile species are discussed. One-fifth of all vertebrates belongs to the category of "endangered species," and amphibians are first on the list (41%). Every fifth reptile species is in danger of extinction, and insufficient information is characteristic of every other fifth. As has been demonstrated, efficient development of a network of nature conservation areas, cryopreservation, and methods for laboratory breeding and reintroduction play.the key roles in adequate strategies for preservation of amphibians and reptiles. PMID:26638239

  2. Zoonotic diseases associated with reptiles and amphibians: an update.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2011-09-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are popular as pets. There are increased concerns among public health officials because of the zoonotic potential associated with these animals. Encounters with reptiles and amphibians are also on the rise in the laboratory setting and with wild animals; in both of these practices, there is also an increased likelihood for exposure to zoonotic pathogens. It is important that veterinarians remain current with the literature as it relates to emerging and reemerging zoonotic diseases attributed to reptiles and amphibians so that they can protect themselves, their staff, and their clients from potential problems.

  3. Integrating developmental biology and the fossil record of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

    Numerous new discoveries and new research techniques have influenced our understanding of reptile development from a palaeontological perspective. They suggest for example that transition from mineralized to leathery eggshells and from oviparity to viviparity appeared much more often in the evolution of reptiles than was previously thought. Most marine reptiles evolved from viviparous terrestrial ancestors and had probably genetic sex determination. Fossil forms often display developmental traits absent or rare among modern ones such as polydactyly, hyperphalangy, the presence of ribcage armour, reduction of head ornamentation during ontogeny, extreme modifications of vertebral count or a wide range of feather-like structures. Thus, they provide an empirical background for many morphogenetic considerations.

  4. [Helminthofauna of reptiles in the Republic of Belarus].

    PubMed

    Shimalov, V V

    2010-01-01

    Analysis of original long-term investigation (1980-2006) and literary data on the helminthofauna of reptiles in the Republic of Belarus is carried out. Seven species of reptiles were examined on Southern Belarus, 32 species of helminthes were found with total infestation 72.7%. It is established that the helminthofauna of reptiles in the Republic of Belarus includes 33 species (18 trematodes, two cestodes, 12 nematodes, and one acanthocephalan). The largest number of helminth species (26) was recorded in the common water snake Natrix natrix, and the least number of species (four) was recorded in the turtle Emys orbicularis and snake Coronella austriaca.

  5. [Strategies for Conservation of Endangered Amphibian and Reptile Species].

    PubMed

    Anan'eva, N B; Uteshev, V K; Orlova, N L; Gakhova, E N

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for conservation of endangered amphibian and reptile species are discussed. One-fifth of all vertebrates belongs to the category of "endangered species," and amphibians are first on the list (41%). Every fifth reptile species is in danger of extinction, and insufficient information is characteristic of every other fifth. As has been demonstrated, efficient development of a network of nature conservation areas, cryopreservation, and methods for laboratory breeding and reintroduction play.the key roles in adequate strategies for preservation of amphibians and reptiles.

  6. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.; Mader, Douglas R.; Divers, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    Why is there a section on introduced amphibians and reptiles in this volume, and why should veterinarians care about this issue? Globally, invasive species are a major threat to the stability of native ecosystems,1,2 and amphibians and reptiles are attracting increased attention as potential invaders. Some introduced amphibians and reptiles have had a major impact (e.g., Brown Tree Snakes [Boiga irregularis] wiping out the native birds of Guam3 or Cane Toads [Rhinella marina] poisoning native Australian predators).4 For the vast majority of species, however, the ecological, economic, and sociopolitical effects of introduced amphibians and reptiles are generally poorly quantified, largely because of a lack of focused research effort rather than because such effects are nonexistent. This trend is alarming given that rates of introduction have increased exponentially in recent decades.

  7. 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.

  8. The current status of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Bishop, C.A.; Linder, G.; Sparling, Donald W.; Linder, Greg L.; Bishop, Christine A.

    2000-01-01

    The extent of research conducted on the effects of contaminants on reptiles and amphibians has been scant compared to that of other vertebrate classes including fishes, birds and mammals. In a review of literature from 1972 until 1998 we found that only about 2.7% of the papers published on ecotoxicology in vertebrates concerned amphibians and 1.4% for reptiles. Most studies on amphibian ecotoxicology were on metals, pesticides, and acid deposition. For reptiles the greatest frequency of papers included metals, organochlorines, and others. In proportion to the taxonomic importance, far more papers were written on turtles than on other reptile orders. Most of the papers dealt with residues and very few dealt with effects of contaminant exposure.

  9. FLOTAC can detect parasitic and pseudoparasitic elements in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Rinaldi, L; Mihalca, A D; Cirillo, R; Maurelli, M P; Montesano, M; Capasso, M; Cringoli, G

    2012-03-01

    Reptiles have increased in popularity worldwide; snakes and lizards are frequently used as pets. As a consequence of their popularity, the interest of the scientific community in these animals has increased. In order to acquire epidemiological data on the parasitic infections affecting reptiles in Italy a survey was carried out in 125 snakes and 25 lizards bred in the Campania region of southern Italy. Individual fecal samples were collected and FLOTAC was used for copromicroscopic diagnosis. Eimeriidae, oxyurids, strongylids, other gastro-intestinal nematodes and pulmonary nematodes were the most representative parasites found. Eggs of pseudoparasites (mites, oxyurids and trichurids affecting rodents) were also found. The use of FLOTAC for diagnosis of parasitic infections in reptiles has demonstrated to be a rapid and sensitive test to improve diagnosis and acquire new information on the parasitological fauna of reptiles. PMID:22306152

  10. Reptile scale paradigm: Evo-Devo, pattern formation and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Chang, Cheng; Wu, Ping; Baker, Ruth E; Maini, Philip K; Alibardi, Lorenzo; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this perspective is to highlight the merit of the reptile integument as an experimental model. Reptiles represent the first amniotes. From stem reptiles, extant reptiles, birds and mammals have evolved. Mammal hairs and feathers evolved from Therapsid and Sauropsid reptiles, respectively. The early reptilian integument had to adapt to the challenges of terrestrial life, developing a multi-layered stratum corneum capable of barrier function and ultraviolet protection. For better mechanical protection, diverse reptilian scale types have evolved. The evolution of endothermy has driven the convergent evolution of hair and feather follicles: both form multiple localized growth units with stem cells and transient amplifying cells protected in the proximal follicle. This topological arrangement allows them to elongate, molt and regenerate without structural constraints. Another unique feature of reptile skin is the exquisite arrangement of scales and pigment patterns, making them testable models for mechanisms of pattern formation. Since they face the constant threat of damage on land, different strategies were developed to accommodate skin homeostasis and regeneration. Temporally, they can be under continuous renewal or sloughing cycles. Spatially, they can be diffuse or form discrete localized growth units (follicles). To understand how gene regulatory networks evolved to produce increasingly complex ectodermal organs, we have to study how prototypic scale-forming pathways in reptiles are modulated to produce appendage novelties. Despite the fact that there are numerous studies of reptile scales, molecular analyses have lagged behind. Here, we underscore how further development of this novel experimental model will be valuable in filling the gaps of our understanding of the Evo-Devo of amniote integuments.

  11. The conservation status of the world’s reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Böhm, Monika; Reynolds, Robert P.; ,

    2013-01-01

    Effective and targeted conservation action requires detailed information about species, their distribution, systematics and ecology as well as the distribution of threat processes which affect them. Knowledge of reptilian diversity remains surprisingly disparate, and innovative means of gaining rapid insight into the status of reptiles are needed in order to highlight urgent conservation cases and inform environmental policy with appropriate biodiversity information in a timely manner. We present the first ever global analysis of extinction risk in reptiles, based on a random representative sample of 1500 species (16% of all currently known species). To our knowledge, our results provide the first analysis of the global conservation status and distribution patterns of reptiles and the threats affecting them, highlighting conservation priorities and knowledge gaps which need to be addressed urgently to ensure the continued survival of the world’s reptiles. Nearly one in five reptilian species are threatened with extinction, with another one in five species classed as Data Deficient. The proportion of threatened reptile species is highest in freshwater environments, tropical regions and on oceanic islands, while data deficiency was highest in tropical areas, such as Central Africa and Southeast Asia, and among fossorial reptiles. Our results emphasise the need for research attention to be focussed on tropical areas which are experiencing the most dramatic rates of habitat loss, on fossorial reptiles for which there is a chronic lack of data, and on certain taxa such as snakes for which extinction risk may currently be underestimated due to lack of population information. Conservation actions specifically need to mitigate the effects of human-induced habitat loss and harvesting, which are the predominant threats to reptiles.

  12. Extinction Risks and the Conservation of Madagascar's Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Richard K. B.; Tognelli, Marcelo F.; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L.; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R.; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D.; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F.; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H.; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A.; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J. Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H.; Randrianirina, Jasmin E.; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P.; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M.; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P.; Yoder, Anne D.; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Background An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Methodology/Principal Findings Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. Conclusions/Significance With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and

  13. Reptile scale paradigm: Evo-Devo, pattern formation and regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Cheng; Wu, Ping; Baker, Ruth E.; Maini, Philip K.; Alibardi, Lorenzo; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this perspective is to highlight the merit of the reptile integument as an experimental model. Reptiles represent the first amniotes. From stem reptiles, extant reptiles, birds and mammals have evolved. Mammal hairs and feathers evolved from Therapsid and Sauropsid reptiles, respectively. The early reptilian integument had to adapt to the challenges of terrestrial life, developing a multi-layered stratum corneum capable of barrier function and ultraviolet protection. For better mechanical protection, diverse reptilian scale types have evolved. The evolution of endothermy has driven the convergent evolution of hair and feather follicles: both form multiple localized growth units with stem cells and transient amplifying cells protected in the proximal follicle. This topological arrangement allows them to elongate, molt and regenerate without structural constraints. Another unique feature of reptile skin is the exquisite arrangement of scales and pigment patterns, making them testable models for mechanisms of pattern formation. Since they face the constant threat of damage on land, different strategies were developed to accommodate skin homeostasis and regeneration. Temporally, they can be under continuous renewal or sloughing cycles. Spatially, they can be diffuse or form discrete localized growth units (follicles). To understand how gene regulatory networks evolved to produce increasingly complex ectodermal organs, we have to study how prototypic scale-forming pathways in reptiles are modulated to produce appendage novelties. Despite the fact that there are numerous studies of reptile scales, molecular analyses have lagged behind. Here, we underscore how further development of this novel experimental model will be valuable in filling the gaps of our understanding of the Evo-Devo of amniote integuments. PMID:19557687

  14. Stable isotopes may provide evidence for starvation in reptiles.

    PubMed

    McCue, Marshall D; Pollock, Erik D

    2008-08-01

    Previous studies have attempted to correlate stable isotope signatures of tissues with the nutritional condition of birds, mammals, fishes, and invertebrates. Unfortunately, very little is known about the relationship between food limitation and the isotopic composition of reptiles. We examined the effects that starvation has on delta13C and delta15N signatures in the tissues (excreta, carcass, scales, and claws) of six, distantly related squamate reptiles (gaboon vipers, Bitis gabonica; ball pythons, Python regius; ratsnakes, Elaphe obsoleta; boa constrictors, Boa constrictor; western diamondback rattlesnakes, Crotalus atrox, and savannah monitor lizards, Varanus exanthematicus). Analyses revealed that the isotopic composition of reptile carcasses did not change significantly in response to bouts of starvation lasting up to 168 days. In contrast, the isotopic signatures of reptile excreta became significantly enriched in 15N and depleted in 13C during starvation. The isotopic signatures of reptile scales and lizard claws were less indicative of starvation time than those of excreta. We discuss the physiological mechanisms that might be responsible for the starvation-induced changes in 13C and 15N signatures in the excreta, and present a mixing model to describe the shift in excreted nitrogen source pools (i.e. from a labile source pool to a nonlabile source pool) that apparently occurs during starvation in these animals. The results of this study suggest that naturally occurring stable isotopes might ultimately have some utility for characterizing nitrogen and carbon stress among free-living reptiles.

  15. PREVALENCE OF SALMONELLA IN CAPTIVE REPTILES FROM CROATIA.

    PubMed

    Lukac, Maja; Pedersen, Karl; Prukner-Radovcic, Estella

    2015-06-01

    Salmonellosis transmitted by pet reptiles is an increasing public health issue worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Salmonella strains from captive reptiles in Croatia. From November 2009 to November 2011 a total of 292 skin, pharyngeal, cloacal, and fecal samples from 200 apparently healthy reptiles were tested for Salmonella excretions by bacteriologic culture and serotyping. These 200 individual reptiles included 31 lizards, 79 chelonians, and 90 snakes belonging to private owners or housed at the Zagreb Zoo, Croatia. Salmonella was detected in a total of 13% of the animals, among them 48.4% lizards, 8.9% snakes, and 3.8% turtles. Representatives of five of the six Salmonella enterica subspecies were identified with the following proportions in the total number of isolates: Salmonella enterica enterica 34.6%, Salmonella enterica houtenae 23.1%, Salmonella enterica arizonae 23.1%, Salmonella enterica diarizonae 15.4%, and Salmonella enterica salamae 3.8%. The 14 different serovars isolated included several rarely occurring serovars such as Salmonella Apapa, Salmonella Halle, Salmonella Kisarawe, and Salmonella Potengi. These findings confirm that the prevalence of Salmonella is considerable in captive reptiles in Croatia, indicating that these animals may harbor serovars not commonly seen in veterinary or human microbiologic practice. This should be addressed in the prevention and diagnostics of human reptile-transmitted infections.

  16. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats.

  17. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  18. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Alroy, John

    2015-01-01

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  19. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jason L; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800-1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount of

  20. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jason L.; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R.; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800–1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount

  1. Annual Report: 2014: Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, P.; Apodaca, J. J.; Williams, J.

    2015-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effects from overexploitation; these animals are also burdened by humans attitudes – that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural and cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation to ensure healthy populations of these animals has never been more important. As you will see herein, PARC’s 15th anniversary has been marked with major accomplishments and an ever-increasing momentum. With your help, PARC can continue to build on its successes and protect these vital species.

  2. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; McKenzie, D J; Wang, T

    2010-05-01

    Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG) located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  3. [Reptile-associated salmonellosis as an important epidemiological problem].

    PubMed

    Pawlak, Aleksandra

    2014-11-17

    of food poisoning. One of the reservoirs of Salmonella are reptiles, which are increasingly kept as pets. Most reptiles are asymptomatic carriers of Salmonella. These strains, isolated from reptiles, can cause serious infections, especially in infants, young children and people with immunodeficiencies. The disease called reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) may manifest with bloody diarrhea, meningitis, and arthritis, and consequently can cause bacteremia and sepsis. Among the strains described in the literature, Salmonella strains possessing the O48 antigen are an important group. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Salmonella O48 contains sialic acid (NeuAc) in an O-specific-chain. LPS containing NeuAc exhibits antigenic similarity to antigens found in the human body, including blood serum, and therefore is correlated with the occurrence of the dangerous phenomenon of molecular mimicry. Bacteria containing NeuAc in their outer structures can evade the immunological response of the host, which significantly increases their virulence. Most data about RAS come from the USA, but in recent years cases from European countries are more frequent in the literature. Unfortunately, the occurrence of RAS in Poland has not been monitored so far. There is also no campaign to inform the public about the health risks connected with contact of people with reptiles.

  4. Use of tricaine methanesulfonate (MS222) for euthanasia of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Conroy, C J; Papenfuss, T; Parker, J; Hahn, N E

    2009-01-01

    Tricaine methanesulfonate (MS222) injected into the intracoelomic cavity of reptiles was evaluated as a chemical euthanasia method. Three western fence lizards, 2 desert iguanas, 4 garter snakes, and 6 geckos were euthanized by intracoelomic injection of 250 to 500 mg/kg of 0.7% to 1% sodium-bicarbonate-buffered MS222 solution followed by intracoelomic injection of 0.1 to 1.0 ml unbuffered 50% (v/v) MS222 solution. A simple 2-stage protocol for euthanasia of reptiles by using MS222 is outlined. In addition, the conditions for safe use of MS222 are discussed. MS222 offers an alternative to sodium pentobarbital for euthanasia of reptiles. PMID:19245747

  5. Effects of environmental contaminants on reptiles: A review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.

    1980-01-01

    The literature relating to the effects of environmental contaminants on reptiles is reviewed and certain generalizations based on studies of other kinds of vertebrates are presented. Reports of reptilian mortality from pesticide applications are numerous enough to establish the sensitivity of reptiles to these materials. Reports of residue analyses demonstrate the ability of reptiles to accumulate various contaminants. but the significance of the residues to reptilian populations is unknown. A few authors have reported the distribution of residues in reptilian tissues; others have investigated uptake or loss rates. Physiological studies have shown that organochlorines may inhibit enzymes involved in active transport and have correlated the activity of potential detoxifying enzymes with residue levels. There is some suggestion that pesticide residues may interfere with reproduction in oviparous snakes. Needs for future research are discussed.

  6. Reptiles: a new model for brain evo-devo research.

    PubMed

    Nomura, Tadashi; Kawaguchi, Masahumi; Ono, Katsuhiko; Murakami, Yasunori

    2013-03-01

    Vertebrate brains exhibit vast amounts of anatomical diversity. In particular, the elaborate and complex nervous system of amniotes is correlated with the size of their behavioral repertoire. However, the evolutionary mechanisms underlying species-specific brain morphogenesis remain elusive. In this review we introduce reptiles as a new model organism for understanding brain evolution. These animal groups inherited ancestral traits of brain architectures. We will describe several unique aspects of the reptilian nervous system with a special focus on the telencephalon, and discuss the genetic mechanisms underlying reptile-specific brain morphology. The establishment of experimental evo-devo approaches to studying reptiles will help to shed light on the origin of the amniote brains.

  7. Risk factors for invasive reptile-associated salmonellosis in children.

    PubMed

    Meyer Sauteur, Patrick M; Relly, Christa; Hug, Martina; Wittenbrink, Max M; Berger, Christoph

    2013-06-01

    Reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) in children has been reported primarily due to direct contact with turtles, but recently also due to indirect contact with more exotic reptiles, causing disease in infants. To evaluate risk factors for RAS, we reviewed the RAS cases published in the literature since 1965. A case was defined as a child ≤18 years of age with an epidemiological link by identification of Salmonella enterica in cultures from both the affected child and the exposed reptile. We identified a total of 177 otherwise healthy children (median age 1.0 years, range 2 days to 17.0 years). RAS manifested mainly with gastrointestinal disease, but 15% presented with invasive RAS, including septicemia, meningitis, and bone and joint infection. The children with invasive RAS were significantly younger than children with noninvasive disease (median age 0.17 and 2.0 years, p<0.0001). RAS is most frequently seen after exposure to turtles (42%). However, children with invasive RAS had been exposed more often (p≤0.001) to reptiles other than turtles, including iguanas, bearded dragons, snakes, chameleons, and geckos. Children exposed to those latter reptiles usually kept indoors were younger than children exposed to turtles mostly kept outdoors (p<0.0001). RAS in children is significantly associated with invasive disease at young age, in particular infants <6 months of age. Exposure to reptiles, other than turtles, kept indoors is associated with RAS at younger age and more invasive disease. This finding is helpful for recognizing or even preventing invasive RAS in young infants that are at highest risk.

  8. Removing forest canopy cover restores a reptile assemblage.

    PubMed

    Pike, David A; Webb, Jonathan K; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Humans are rapidly altering natural systems, leading to changes in the distribution and abundance of species. However, so many changes are occurring simultaneously (e.g., climate change, habitat fragmentation) that it is difficult to determine the cause of population fluctuations from correlational studies. We used a manipulative field experiment to determine whether forest canopy cover directly influences reptile assemblages on rock outcrops in southeastern Australia. Our experimental design consisted of three types of rock outcrops: (1) shady sites in which overgrown vegetation was manually removed (n = 25); (2) overgrown controls (n = 30); and (3) sun-exposed controls (n = 20). Following canopy removal, we monitored reptile responses over 30 months. Canopy removal increased reptile species richness, the proportion of shelter sites used by reptiles, and relative abundances of five species that prefer sun-exposed habitats. Our manipulation also decreased the abundances of two shade-tolerant species. Canopy cover thus directly influences this reptile assemblage, with the effects of canopy removal being dependent on each species' habitat preferences (i.e., selection or avoidance of sun-exposed habitat). Our study suggests that increases in canopy cover can cause declines of open-habitat specialists, as previously suggested by correlative studies from a wide range of taxa. Given that reptile colonization of manipulated outcrops occurred rapidly, artificially opening the canopy in ecologically informed ways could help to conserve imperiled species with patchy distributions and low vagility that are threatened by vegetation overgrowth. One such species is Australia's most endangered snake, the broadheaded snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides).

  9. Temperature sex reversal implies sex gene dosage in a reptile.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Alexander E; Georges, Arthur; Sarre, Stephen D; Guarino, Fiorenzo; Ezaz, Tariq; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall

    2007-04-20

    Sex in reptiles is determined by genes on sex chromosomes or by incubation temperature. Previously these two modes were thought to be distinct, yet we show that high incubation temperatures reverse genotypic males (ZZ) to phenotypic females in a lizard with ZZ and ZW sex chromosomes. Thus, the W chromosome is not necessary for female differentiation. Sex determination is probably via a dosage-sensitive male-determining gene on the Z chromosome that is inactivated by extreme temperatures. Our data invite a novel hypothesis for the evolution of temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and suggest that sex chromosomes may exist in many TSD reptiles.

  10. Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Oliveira-Filho, Edmilson F; Soares, Fábio Angelo M; Souza, Bruno O F; Valença, Raul Baltazar P; Sá, Fabrício B

    2008-01-01

    Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in the State of Pernambuco are reviewed, based on the current literature and new collections recently carried out by the authors. To date, three tick species have been found on amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco. Amblyomma fuscum appears to be exclusively associated with Boa constrictor, its type host. Amblyomma rotundatum has a relatively low host-specificity, being found on toads, snakes, and iguana. Amblyomma dissimile has been found on a lizard and also small mammals (i.e., rodents and marsupials). New tick-host associations and locality records are given.

  11. Biological risks associated with consumption of reptile products.

    PubMed

    Magnino, Simone; Colin, Pierre; Dei-Cas, Eduardo; Madsen, Mogens; McLauchlin, Jim; Nöckler, Karsten; Maradona, Miguel Prieto; Tsigarida, Eirini; Vanopdenbosch, Emmanuel; Van Peteghem, Carlos

    2009-09-15

    The consumption of a wide variety of species of reptiles caught from the wild has been an important source of protein for humans world-wide for millennia. Terrapins, snakes, lizards, crocodiles and iguanas are now farmed and the consumption and trade of their meat and other edible products have recently increased in some areas of the world. Biological risks associated with the consumption of products from both farmed and wild reptile meat and eggs include infections caused by bacteria (Salmonella spp., Vibrio spp.), parasites (Spirometra, Trichinella, Gnathostoma, pentastomids), as well as intoxications by biotoxins. For crocodiles, Salmonella spp. constitute a significant public health risk due to the high intestinal carrier rate which is reflected in an equally high contamination rate in their fresh and frozen meat. There is a lack of information about the presence of Salmonella spp. in meat from other edible reptilians, though captive reptiles used as pets (lizards or turtles) are frequently carriers of these bacteria in Europe. Parasitic protozoa in reptiles represent a negligible risk for public health compared to parasitic metazoans, of which trichinellosis, pentastomiasis, gnathostomiasis and sparganosis can be acquired through consumption of contaminated crocodile, monitor lizard, turtle and snake meat, respectively. Other reptiles, although found to harbour the above parasites, have not been implicated with their transmission to humans. Freezing treatment inactivates Spirometra and Trichinella in crocodile meat, while the effectiveness of freezing of other reptilian meat is unknown. Biotoxins that accumulate in the flesh of sea turtles may cause chelonitoxism, a type of food poisoning with a high mortality rate in humans. Infections by fungi, including yeasts, and viruses widely occur in reptiles but have not been linked to a human health risk through the contamination of their meat. Currently there are no indications that natural transmissible spongiform

  12. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition of any live specimen..., all other species of live reptiles or their eggs may be imported, transported, and possessed...

  13. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition is prohibited of any... of live reptiles or their eggs may be imported, transported, and possessed in captivity, without...

  14. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition of any live specimen..., all other species of live reptiles or their eggs may be imported, transported, and possessed...

  15. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition of any live specimen..., all other species of live reptiles or their eggs may be imported, transported, and possessed...

  16. Using Amphibians and Reptiles To Learn the Process of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Janice Schnake; Greene, Brian D.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses using amphibians and reptiles as an excellent resource for students to observe and gain an understanding of the process of science. These animals are easy to maintain in the classroom and play important roles in ecosystems as the prey for many birds and mammals and as the predators of various organisms. (SAH)

  17. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.

    2008-01-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are a diverse and interesting group of organisms. The four activities described in this article take students' curiosity into the realm of scientific understanding. The activities involve the concepts of species identification; animal adaptations, communication, and habitat; and conservation. (Contains 1 table and 2…

  18. Are reptiles predisposed to temperature-dependent sex determination?

    PubMed

    Georges, A; Ezaz, T; Quinn, A E; Sarre, S D

    2010-01-01

    Vertebrates show an astonishing array of sex determining mechanisms, including male and female heterogamety, multiple sex chromosome systems, environmental sex determination, parthenogenesis and hermaphroditism. Sex determination in mammals and birds is extraordinarily conservative compared to that of reptiles, amphibians and fish. In this paper, we explore possible explanations for the diversity of sex determining modes in reptiles, and in particular, address the prevalence of reptilian temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and its almost haphazard distribution across the reptile phylogeny. We suggest that reptiles are predisposed to evolving TSD from genotypic sex determination (GSD) by virtue of the uniquely variable thermal environment experienced by their embryos during the critical period in which sex is determined. Explicit mechanisms for canalization of sexual phenotype in the face of high thermal variation during development provide a context for thermolability in sex determination at extremes and the raw material for natural selection to move this thermolability into the developmental mainstream when there is a selective advantage to do so. Release of cryptic variation when canalization is challenged and fails at extremes may accelerate evolutionary transitions between GSD and TSD.

  19. Multiple factors in the reptile extinctions of the Cretaceous period.

    PubMed

    Cloudsley-Thompson, J

    2001-08-01

    The selective extinction of the dinosaurs and other giant reptiles has long been a topic of speculation and controversy. Everyone is familiar with the theory of the giant bollide colliding with Earth. But, would it not be more likely that that multiple factors acted over a relatively long period of time to produce this mass extinction?

  20. Preliminary checklist of amphibians and reptiles from Baramita, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, R.P.; MacCulloch, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    We provide an initial checklist of the herpetofauna of Baramita, a lowland rainforest site in the Northwest Region of Guyana. Twenty-five amphibian and 28 reptile species were collected during two separate dry-season visits. New country records for two species of snakes are documented, contributing to the knowledge on the incompletely known herpetofauna of Guyana.

  1. Neuroanatomy of flying reptiles and implications for flight, posture and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Witmer, Lawrence M; Chatterjee, Sankar; Franzosa, Jonathan; Rowe, Timothy

    2003-10-30

    Comparison of birds and pterosaurs, the two archosaurian flyers, sheds light on adaptation to an aerial lifestyle. The neurological basis of control holds particular interest in that flight demands on sensory integration, equilibrium, and muscular coordination are acute. Here we compare the brain and vestibular apparatus in two pterosaurs based on high-resolution computed tomographic (CT) scans from which we constructed digital endocasts. Although general neural organization resembles birds, pterosaurs had smaller brains relative to body mass than do birds. This difference probably has more to do with phylogeny than flight, in that birds evolved from nonavian theropods that had already established trends for greater encephalization. Orientation of the osseous labyrinth relative to the long axis of the skull was different in these two pterosaur species, suggesting very different head postures and reflecting differing behaviours. Their enlarged semicircular canals reflect a highly refined organ of equilibrium, which is concordant with pterosaurs being visually based, aerial predators. Their enormous cerebellar floccular lobes may suggest neural integration of extensive sensory information from the wing, further enhancing eye- and neck-based reflex mechanisms for stabilizing gaze.

  2. Mitigating reptile road mortality: fence failures compromise ecopassage effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Baxter-Gilbert, James H; Riley, Julia L; Lesbarrères, David; Litzgus, Jacqueline D

    2015-01-01

    Roadways pose serious threats to animal populations. The installation of roadway mitigation measures is becoming increasingly common, yet studies that rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of these conservation tools remain rare. A highway expansion project in Ontario, Canada included exclusion fencing and ecopassages as mitigation measures designed to offset detrimental effects to one of the most imperial groups of vertebrates, reptiles. Taking a multispecies approach, we used a Before-After-Control-Impact study design to compare reptile abundance on the highway before and after mitigation at an Impact site and a Control site from 1 May to 31 August in 2012 and 2013. During this time, radio telemetry, wildlife cameras, and an automated PIT-tag reading system were used to monitor reptile movements and use of ecopassages. Additionally, a willingness to utilize experiment was conducted to quantify turtle behavioral responses to ecopassages. We found no difference in abundance of turtles on the road between the un-mitigated and mitigated highways, and an increase in the percentage of both snakes and turtles detected dead on the road post-mitigation, suggesting that the fencing was not effective. Although ecopassages were used by reptiles, the number of crossings through ecopassages was lower than road-surface crossings. Furthermore, turtle willingness to use ecopassages was lower than that reported in previous arena studies, suggesting that effectiveness of ecopassages may be compromised when alternative crossing options are available (e.g., through holes in exclusion structures). Our rigorous evaluation of reptile roadway mitigation demonstrated that when exclusion structures fail, the effectiveness of population connectivity structures is compromised. Our project emphasizes the need to design mitigation measures with the biology and behavior of the target species in mind, to implement mitigation designs in a rigorous fashion, and quantitatively evaluate road

  3. Mitigating Reptile Road Mortality: Fence Failures Compromise Ecopassage Effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Baxter-Gilbert, James H.; Riley, Julia L.; Lesbarrères, David; Litzgus, Jacqueline D.

    2015-01-01

    Roadways pose serious threats to animal populations. The installation of roadway mitigation measures is becoming increasingly common, yet studies that rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of these conservation tools remain rare. A highway expansion project in Ontario, Canada included exclusion fencing and ecopassages as mitigation measures designed to offset detrimental effects to one of the most imperial groups of vertebrates, reptiles. Taking a multispecies approach, we used a Before-After-Control-Impact study design to compare reptile abundance on the highway before and after mitigation at an Impact site and a Control site from 1 May to 31 August in 2012 and 2013. During this time, radio telemetry, wildlife cameras, and an automated PIT-tag reading system were used to monitor reptile movements and use of ecopassages. Additionally, a willingness to utilize experiment was conducted to quantify turtle behavioral responses to ecopassages. We found no difference in abundance of turtles on the road between the un-mitigated and mitigated highways, and an increase in the percentage of both snakes and turtles detected dead on the road post-mitigation, suggesting that the fencing was not effective. Although ecopassages were used by reptiles, the number of crossings through ecopassages was lower than road-surface crossings. Furthermore, turtle willingness to use ecopassages was lower than that reported in previous arena studies, suggesting that effectiveness of ecopassages may be compromised when alternative crossing options are available (e.g., through holes in exclusion structures). Our rigorous evaluation of reptile roadway mitigation demonstrated that when exclusion structures fail, the effectiveness of population connectivity structures is compromised. Our project emphasizes the need to design mitigation measures with the biology and behavior of the target species in mind, to implement mitigation designs in a rigorous fashion, and quantitatively evaluate road

  4. Mitigating reptile road mortality: fence failures compromise ecopassage effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Baxter-Gilbert, James H; Riley, Julia L; Lesbarrères, David; Litzgus, Jacqueline D

    2015-01-01

    Roadways pose serious threats to animal populations. The installation of roadway mitigation measures is becoming increasingly common, yet studies that rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of these conservation tools remain rare. A highway expansion project in Ontario, Canada included exclusion fencing and ecopassages as mitigation measures designed to offset detrimental effects to one of the most imperial groups of vertebrates, reptiles. Taking a multispecies approach, we used a Before-After-Control-Impact study design to compare reptile abundance on the highway before and after mitigation at an Impact site and a Control site from 1 May to 31 August in 2012 and 2013. During this time, radio telemetry, wildlife cameras, and an automated PIT-tag reading system were used to monitor reptile movements and use of ecopassages. Additionally, a willingness to utilize experiment was conducted to quantify turtle behavioral responses to ecopassages. We found no difference in abundance of turtles on the road between the un-mitigated and mitigated highways, and an increase in the percentage of both snakes and turtles detected dead on the road post-mitigation, suggesting that the fencing was not effective. Although ecopassages were used by reptiles, the number of crossings through ecopassages was lower than road-surface crossings. Furthermore, turtle willingness to use ecopassages was lower than that reported in previous arena studies, suggesting that effectiveness of ecopassages may be compromised when alternative crossing options are available (e.g., through holes in exclusion structures). Our rigorous evaluation of reptile roadway mitigation demonstrated that when exclusion structures fail, the effectiveness of population connectivity structures is compromised. Our project emphasizes the need to design mitigation measures with the biology and behavior of the target species in mind, to implement mitigation designs in a rigorous fashion, and quantitatively evaluate road

  5. Inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2006-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in the Mojave Network, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park in 2002-04. Objectives for this inventory were to: 1) Inventory and document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species occurring at DEVA, primarily within priority sampling areas, with the goal of documenting at least 90% of the species present; 2) document (through collection or museum specimen and literature review) one voucher specimen for each species identified; 3) provide a GIS-referenced list of sensitive species that are federally or state listed, rare, or worthy of special consideration that occur within priority sampling locations; 4) describe park-wide distribution of federally- or state-listed, rare, or special concern species; 5) enter all species data into the National Park Service NPSpecies database; and 6) provide all deliverables as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Methods included daytime and nighttime visual encounter surveys, road driving, and pitfall trapping. Survey effort was concentrated in predetermined priority sampling areas, as well as in areas with a high potential for detecting undocumented species. We recorded 37 species during our surveys, including two species new to the park. During literature review and museum specimen database searches, we recorded three additional species from DEVA, elevating the documented species list to 40 (four amphibians and 36 reptiles). Based on our surveys, as well as literature and museum specimen review, we estimate an overall inventory completeness of 92% for Death Valley and an inventory completeness of 73% for amphibians and 95% for reptiles. Key Words: Amphibians, reptiles, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, San Bernardino County, Esmeralda County, Nye County, California, Nevada, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, inventory, NPSpecies.

  6. Estimating Orientation of Flying Fruit Flies.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xi En; Wang, Shuo Hong; Qian, Zhi-Ming; Chen, Yan Qiu

    2015-01-01

    The recently growing interest in studying flight behaviours of fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, has highlighted the need for developing tools that acquire quantitative motion data. Despite recent advance of video tracking systems, acquiring a flying fly's orientation remains a challenge for these tools. In this paper, we present a novel method for estimating individual flying fly's orientation using image cues. Thanks to the line reconstruction algorithm in computer vision field, this work can thereby focus on the practical detail of implementation and evaluation of the orientation estimation algorithm. The orientation estimation algorithm can be incorporated into tracking algorithms. We rigorously evaluated the effectiveness and accuracy of the proposed algorithm by running experiments both on simulation data and on real-world data. This work complements methods for studying the fruit fly's flight behaviours in a three-dimensional environment.

  7. Ecological risk of anthropogenic pollutants to reptiles: Evaluating assumptions of sensitivity and exposure.

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Suski, Jamie G; Salice, Christopher J

    2010-12-01

    A large data gap for reptile ecotoxicology still persists; therefore, ecological risk assessments of reptiles usually incorporate the use of surrogate species. This necessitates that (1) the surrogate is at least as sensitive as the target taxon and/or (2) exposures to the surrogate are greater than that of the target taxon. We evaluated these assumptions for the use of birds as surrogates for reptiles. Based on a survey of the literature, birds were more sensitive than reptiles in less than 1/4 of the chemicals investigated. Dietary and dermal exposure modeling indicated that exposure to reptiles was relatively high, particularly when the dermal route was considered. We conclude that caution is warranted in the use of avian receptors as surrogates for reptiles in ecological risk assessment and emphasize the need to better understand the magnitude and mechanism of contaminant exposure in reptiles to improve exposure and risk estimation.

  8. Northward shifts of the distributions of Spanish reptiles in association with climate change.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio; Pleguezuelos, Juan M; Pizarro, Manuel; Montori, Albert

    2012-04-01

    It is predicted that climate change will drive extinctions of some reptiles and that the number of these extinctions will depend on whether reptiles are able to change their distribution. Whether the latitudinal distribution of reptiles may change in response to increases in temperature is unknown. We used data on reptile distributions collected during the 20th century to analyze whether changes in the distributions of reptiles in Spain are associated with increases in temperature. We controlled for biases in sampling effort and found a mean, statistically significant, northward shift of the northern extent of reptile distributions of about 15.2 km from 1940-1975 to 1991-2005. The southern extent of the distributions did not change significantly. Thus, our results suggest that the latitudinal distributions of reptiles may be changing in response to climate change.

  9. Conservation genetics and genomics of amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Shaffer, H Bradley; Gidiş, Müge; McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Neal, Kevin M; Oyamaguchi, Hilton M; Tellez, Marisa; Toffelmier, Erin M

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles as a group are often secretive, reach their greatest diversity often in remote tropical regions, and contain some of the most endangered groups of organisms on earth. Particularly in the past decade, genetics and genomics have been instrumental in the conservation biology of these cryptic vertebrates, enabling work ranging from the identification of populations subject to trade and exploitation, to the identification of cryptic lineages harboring critical genetic variation, to the analysis of genes controlling key life history traits. In this review, we highlight some of the most important ways that genetic analyses have brought new insights to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles. Although genomics has only recently emerged as part of this conservation tool kit, several large-scale data sources, including full genomes, expressed sequence tags, and transcriptomes, are providing new opportunities to identify key genes, quantify landscape effects, and manage captive breeding stocks of at-risk species.

  10. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus.

    PubMed

    Chun, Li; Rieppel, Olivier; Long, Cheng; Fraser, Nicholas C

    2016-05-01

    Newly discovered fossils of the Middle Triassic reptile Atopodentatus unicus call for a radical reassessment of its feeding behavior. The skull displays a pronounced hammerhead shape that was hitherto unknown. The long, straight anterior edges of both upper and lower jaws were lined with batteries of chisel-shaped teeth, whereas the remaining parts of the jaw rami supported densely packed needle-shaped teeth forming a mesh. The evidence indicates a novel feeding mechanism wherein the chisel-shaped teeth were used to scrape algae off the substrate, and the plant matter that was loosened was filtered from the water column through the more posteriorly positioned tooth mesh. This is the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles.

  11. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus

    PubMed Central

    Chun, Li; Rieppel, Olivier; Long, Cheng; Fraser, Nicholas C.

    2016-01-01

    Newly discovered fossils of the Middle Triassic reptile Atopodentatus unicus call for a radical reassessment of its feeding behavior. The skull displays a pronounced hammerhead shape that was hitherto unknown. The long, straight anterior edges of both upper and lower jaws were lined with batteries of chisel-shaped teeth, whereas the remaining parts of the jaw rami supported densely packed needle-shaped teeth forming a mesh. The evidence indicates a novel feeding mechanism wherein the chisel-shaped teeth were used to scrape algae off the substrate, and the plant matter that was loosened was filtered from the water column through the more posteriorly positioned tooth mesh. This is the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles. PMID:27386529

  12. Evolution of viviparous reproduction in Paleozoic and Mesozoic reptiles.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Daniel G; Sidor, Christian A

    2014-01-01

    Although viviparity (live-bearing reproduction) is widely distributed among lizards and snakes, it is entirely absent from other extant Reptilia and many extinct forms. However, paleontological evidence reveals that viviparity was present in at least nine nominal groups of pre-Cenozoic reptiles, representing a minimum of six separate evolutionary origins of this reproductive mode. Two viviparous clades (sauropterygians and ichthyopterygians) lasted more than 155 million years, a figure that rivals the duration of mammalian viviparity. Circumstantial evidence indicates that extinct viviparous reptiles had internal fertilization, amniotic fetal membranes, and placentas that sustained developing embryos via provision of respiratory gases, water, calcium, and possibly organic nutrients. Production of offspring via viviparity facilitated the invasion of marine habitats in at least five reptilian lineages. Thus, this pattern of embryonic development and reproduction was central to the ecology and evolution of these ancient animals, much as it is to numerous extant species of vertebrates.

  13. On the helminth fauna of some Iraqi reptiles.

    PubMed

    Al-Barwari, Shlemon E; Saeed, Isam

    2007-01-01

    A study on the parasitofauna of 7 species of Iraqi reptiles revealed the presence of at least 8 adult helminth species and some tentatively identified larvae. The reptiles were Hemidactylus flaviviridis, H. persicus, Asaccus elisae, Spalerosophis d. cliffordi, Testudo g. terrestris, Mauremys c. caspica and Trionyx euphraticus. The helminths found comprised 1 species of digenetic trematodes (Telorchis stunkardi), cysticercoids of Diplopylidium nolleri and 7 nematode species (Thelandros sp., Microtetrameres sp., Angusticaecum holopterum, Atractis dactyluris, Tachygonetria nicolleri, Camallanus microcephalus, and Falcaustra japonensis). Information about the locality of collection, infection site and rate and parasite burden is provided. Although similar cysticercoid larvae and adults of Thelandros sp. and Microtetrameres sp. were previously recorded from Iraq, the scope of the relevant data is considerably extended. In the researchers' judgment, the rest of the parasite species represents a new addition to the Iraq list.

  14. Investigating kleptothermy: a reptile-seabird association with thermal benefits.

    PubMed

    Corkery, Ilse; Bell, Ben D; Nelson, Nicola J

    2014-01-01

    Studies on interspecific interactions between vertebrates based on thermal benefits are poorly represented in the literature. Ecologists know little about a category of thermoregulation termed kleptothermy. We provide evidence that a close association between a medium-sized reptile (tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus) and a small seabird (fairy prion, Pachyptila turtur) enables the reptile to maintain higher-than-average body temperatures. This is the first multiyear data set to reveal that the presence of an endotherm within a burrow has direct, transferable thermal benefits to an ectotherm. It is possible that such positive interspecific interactions may alleviate thermal stress across the range of a single species. Currently, we know little about the evolutionary consequences of such interactions, and future work should focus on whether these thermal benefits increase fitness through increased growth rates or reproductive output.

  15. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus.

    PubMed

    Chun, Li; Rieppel, Olivier; Long, Cheng; Fraser, Nicholas C

    2016-05-01

    Newly discovered fossils of the Middle Triassic reptile Atopodentatus unicus call for a radical reassessment of its feeding behavior. The skull displays a pronounced hammerhead shape that was hitherto unknown. The long, straight anterior edges of both upper and lower jaws were lined with batteries of chisel-shaped teeth, whereas the remaining parts of the jaw rami supported densely packed needle-shaped teeth forming a mesh. The evidence indicates a novel feeding mechanism wherein the chisel-shaped teeth were used to scrape algae off the substrate, and the plant matter that was loosened was filtered from the water column through the more posteriorly positioned tooth mesh. This is the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles. PMID:27386529

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

    PubMed

    Elf, P K

    2003-07-01

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

  17. Heterospecific alarm call recognition in a non-vocal reptile.

    PubMed

    Vitousek, Maren N; Adelman, James S; Gregory, Nathan C; Clair, James J H St

    2007-12-22

    The ability to recognize and respond to the alarm calls of heterospecifics has previously been described only in species with vocal communication. Here we provide evidence that a non-vocal reptile, the Galápagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), can eavesdrop on the alarm call of the Galápagos mockingbird (Nesomimus parvulus) and respond with anti-predator behaviour. Eavesdropping on complex heterospecific communications demonstrates a remarkable degree of auditory discrimination in a non-vocal species.

  18. Molecular characterisation of Cryptosporidium isolates from pet reptiles.

    PubMed

    Pedraza-Díaz, Susana; Ortega-Mora, Luis M; Carrión, Beatriz A; Navarro, Vanesa; Gómez-Bautista, Mercedes

    2009-03-23

    In this study, we investigated the presence of Cryptosporidium in 171 faecal samples from reptiles commonly used as pet animals. These include lizards belonging to the genera Eublepharis, Pogona, Chlamydosaurus, Hemiteconyx, Teratoscincus, Tiliqua, Iguana, and Chamaeleo, snakes of the genera Lampropeltis, Elaphe, Python, Boa and Corallus, and tortoises belonging to the genera Testudo and Kinixys. Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected by immunofluorescence using a commercially available kit and cryptosporidial DNA by amplification of a polymorphic fragment of the 18S rDNA and the HSP70 locus. Cryptosporidium was detected in 38.6% and 25.1% of the samples analysed by immunofluorescence and PCR, respectively. Molecular characterisation of the isolates confirmed that C. serpentis and C. varanii (syn. C. saurophilum) are the main species involved in infection in pet reptiles but also showed the presence of C. parvum and C. muris, as well as other species or genotypes of this parasite including the Cryptosporidium mouse genotype and Cryptosporidium tortoise genotype previously described in reptiles. In addition, a Cryptosporidium sp. was isolated from a chameleon and a python.

  19. Cretaceous choristoderan reptiles gave birth to live young

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Qiang; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Cheng, Yen-Nien

    2010-04-01

    Viviparity (giving birth to live young) in fossil reptiles has been known only in a few marine groups: ichthyosaurs, pachypleurosaurs, and mosasaurs. Here, we report a pregnant specimen of the Early Cretaceous Hyphalosaurus baitaigouensis, a species of Choristodera, a diapsid group known from unequivocal fossil remains from the Middle Jurassic to the early Miocene (about 165 to 20 million years ago). This specimen provides the first evidence of viviparity in choristoderan reptiles and is also the sole record of viviparity in fossil reptiles which lived in freshwater ecosystems. This exquisitely preserved specimen contains up to 18 embryos arranged in pairs. Size comparison with small free-living individuals and the straight posture of the posterior-most pair suggest that those embryos were at term and had probably reached parturition. The posterior-most embryo on the left side has the head positioned toward the rear, contrary to normal position, suggesting a complication that may have contributed to the mother’s death. Viviparity would certainly have freed species of Hyphalosaurus from the need to return to land to deposit eggs; taking this advantage, they would have avoided intense competition with contemporaneous terrestrial carnivores such as dinosaurs.

  20. Genomic V exons from whole genome shotgun data in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Olivieri, D N; von Haeften, B; Sánchez-Espinel, C; Faro, J; Gambón-Deza, F

    2014-08-01

    Reptiles and mammals diverged over 300 million years ago, creating two parallel evolutionary lineages amongst terrestrial vertebrates. In reptiles, two main evolutionary lines emerged: one gave rise to Squamata, while the other gave rise to Testudines, Crocodylia, and Aves. In this study, we determined the genomic variable (V) exons from whole genome shotgun sequencing (WGS) data in reptiles corresponding to the three main immunoglobulin (IG) loci and the four main T cell receptor (TR) loci. We show that Squamata lack the TRG and TRD genes, and snakes lack the IGKV genes. In representative species of Testudines and Crocodylia, the seven major IG and TR loci are maintained. As in mammals, genes of the IG loci can be grouped into well-defined IMGT clans through a multi-species phylogenetic analysis. We show that the reptilian IGHV and IGLV genes are distributed amongst the established mammalian clans, while their IGKV genes are found within a single clan, nearly exclusive from the mammalian sequences. The reptilian and mammalian TRAV genes cluster into six common evolutionary clades (since IMGT clans have not been defined for TR). In contrast, the reptilian TRBV genes cluster into three clades, which have few mammalian members. In this locus, the V exon sequences from mammals appear to have undergone different evolutionary diversification processes that occurred outside these shared reptilian clans. These sequences can be obtained in a freely available public repository (http://vgenerepertoire.org).

  1. Analysis of the reptile CD1 genes: evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhi; Wang, Chunyan; Wang, Tao; Bai, Jianhui; Zhao, Yu; Liu, Xuhan; Ma, Qingwei; Wu, Xiaobing; Guo, Ying; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2015-06-01

    CD1, as the third family of antigen-presenting molecules, is previously only found in mammals and chickens, which suggests that the chicken and mammalian CD1 shared a common ancestral gene emerging at least 310 million years ago. Here, we describe CD1 genes in the green anole lizard and Crocodylia, demonstrating that CD1 is ubiquitous in mammals, birds, and reptiles. Although the reptilian CD1 protein structures are predicted to be similar to human CD1d and chicken CD1.1, CD1 isotypes are not found to be orthologous between mammals, birds, and reptiles according to phylogenetic analyses, suggesting an independent diversification of CD1 isotypes during the speciation of mammals, birds, and reptiles. In the green anole lizard, although the single CD1 locus and MHC I gene are located on the same chromosome, there is an approximately 10-Mb-long sequence in between, and interestingly, several genes flanking the CD1 locus belong to the MHC paralogous region on human chromosome 19. The CD1 genes in Crocodylia are located in two loci, respectively linked to the MHC region and MHC paralogous region (corresponding to the MHC paralogous region on chromosome 19). These results provide new insights for studying the origin and evolution of CD1.

  2. Red List of amphibians and reptiles of the Wadden Sea area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fog, K.; Podloucky, R.; Dierking, U.; Stumpel, A. H. P.

    1996-10-01

    In the Wadden Sea, in total, 8 species of amphibians and 4 species of reptiles are threatened in at least one subregion. Of these, 7 species of amphibians and all 4 species of reptiles are threatened in the entire area and are therefore placed on the trilateral Red List. 1 species of the listed reptiles is (probably) extinct in the entire Wadden Sea area. The status of 1 species of amphibians is endangered, the status of (probably) 4 species of amphibians and 3 species of reptiles are vulnerable and of 2 species of amphibians susceptible.

  3. Using operant conditioning and desensitization to facilitate veterinary care with captive reptiles.

    PubMed

    Hellmuth, Heidi; Augustine, Lauren; Watkins, Barbara; Hope, Katharine

    2012-09-01

    In addition to being a large component of most zoological collections, reptile species are becoming more popular as family pets. Reptiles have the cognitive ability to be trained to facilitate daily husbandry and veterinary care. Desensitization and operant conditioning can alleviate some of the behavioral and physiological challenges of treating these species. A survey of reptile training programs at zoos in the United States and worldwide reveals that there are many successful training programs to facilitate veterinary care and minimize stress to the animal. Many of the techniques being used to train reptiles in zoological settings are transferable to the exotic pet clinician.

  4. A zoological catalogue of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nóbrega Alves, Rômulo Romeu; Pereira Filho, Gentil Alves; Silva Vieira, Kleber; Silva Souto, Wedson Medeiros; Mendonça, Lívia Emanuelle Tavares; Montenegro, Paulofernandoguedespereira; Almeida, Waltécio de Oliveira; Silva Vieira, Washington Luiz

    2012-07-30

    The variety of interactions between human cultures and herpetofauna is the subject matter of Ethnoherpetology, a subdivision of Ethnozoology. In the semi-arid region of Brazil, many reptiles interact with human communities because of their utility or because of the risks they represent. These interactions have obvious implications for the conservation of reptiles from this region. In this context, ethnoherpetology studies are crucial because they serve as subsidies for guiding strategies for the handling and conservation of reptiles. This paper presents ethnozoological and taxonomic informations of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil and analyse the implications on conservation that are related to the interactions between people and reptiles in this region. Taxonomic keys to identifying recorded reptiles are provided. Records of humans interacting with 38 reptile species that belong to 31 genuses and 16 families have been found. The groups with the largest numbers of recorded species were snakes (18 species), and this group was followed in number by lizards (13), chelonians (4), and crocodilians (3). The reptiles that were recorded may be used for the following purposes: medicinal purposes (24 species), food (13 species), ornamental or decorative purposes (11 species), in magical/religious practices (10 species), and as pets (10 species). Some species (n = 16) may have multiple uses. Furthermore, more than half of the species (n = 19) are commonly killed because they are considered potentially dangerous. Strategies for conserving the reptiles of the Brazilian semi-arid region must reconcile and integrate human and conservation needs.

  5. Using operant conditioning and desensitization to facilitate veterinary care with captive reptiles.

    PubMed

    Hellmuth, Heidi; Augustine, Lauren; Watkins, Barbara; Hope, Katharine

    2012-09-01

    In addition to being a large component of most zoological collections, reptile species are becoming more popular as family pets. Reptiles have the cognitive ability to be trained to facilitate daily husbandry and veterinary care. Desensitization and operant conditioning can alleviate some of the behavioral and physiological challenges of treating these species. A survey of reptile training programs at zoos in the United States and worldwide reveals that there are many successful training programs to facilitate veterinary care and minimize stress to the animal. Many of the techniques being used to train reptiles in zoological settings are transferable to the exotic pet clinician. PMID:22998960

  6. Fly ash carbon passivation

    DOEpatents

    La Count, Robert B; Baltrus, John P; Kern, Douglas G

    2013-05-14

    A thermal method to passivate the carbon and/or other components in fly ash significantly decreases adsorption. The passivated carbon remains in the fly ash. Heating the fly ash to about 500 and 800 degrees C. under inert gas conditions sharply decreases the amount of surfactant adsorbed by the fly ash recovered after thermal treatment despite the fact that the carbon content remains in the fly ash. Using oxygen and inert gas mixtures, the present invention shows that a thermal treatment to about 500 degrees C. also sharply decreases the surfactant adsorption of the recovered fly ash even though most of the carbon remains intact. Also, thermal treatment to about 800 degrees C. under these same oxidative conditions shows a sharp decrease in surfactant adsorption of the recovered fly ash due to the fact that the carbon has been removed. This experiment simulates the various "carbon burnout" methods and is not a claim in this method. The present invention provides a thermal method of deactivating high carbon fly ash toward adsorption of AEAs while retaining the fly ash carbon. The fly ash can be used, for example, as a partial Portland cement replacement in air-entrained concrete, in conductive and other concretes, and for other applications.

  7. Mycobacterium marinum infection following contact with reptiles: vivarium granuloma.

    PubMed

    Bouricha, Mehdi; Castan, Bernard; Duchene-Parisi, Elisabeth; Drancourt, Michel

    2014-04-01

    A 19-year-old man presented with a 1.5-cm nodule on the first dorsal metacarpal ray. The patient denied having contact with fish tanks or fish, but recalled handling many reptiles without gloves in the vivarium where he worked. A culture of a skin biopsy specimen yielded Mycobacterium marinum. The clinical outcome was favourable after a 2-week course of intramuscular gentamicin (180 mg daily) combined with a 6-week course of oral clarithromycin (500 mg twice a day). Doctors should be aware that vivariums, in addition to fish tanks, can be sources of M. marinum exposure. PMID:24530276

  8. Baseline Inventory of amphibians and reptiles of Kurupukari, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2013-01-01

    The habitat in the vicinity of Kurupukari, on the Essequibo River in central Guyana, is tall evergreen lowland forest. The area has suffered some human disturbance from agriculture, road construction and ferry activity. The area was sampled for 10 days in 1990 and 12 days in 1997; seven days in rainy season and 15 in dry season. During this sampling 23 anuran and 17 reptile species were collected. Some differences exist between species collected on either side of the river. Comparisons are made with collections from other locations in Guyana.

  9. Mycobacterium marinum infection following contact with reptiles: vivarium granuloma.

    PubMed

    Bouricha, Mehdi; Castan, Bernard; Duchene-Parisi, Elisabeth; Drancourt, Michel

    2014-04-01

    A 19-year-old man presented with a 1.5-cm nodule on the first dorsal metacarpal ray. The patient denied having contact with fish tanks or fish, but recalled handling many reptiles without gloves in the vivarium where he worked. A culture of a skin biopsy specimen yielded Mycobacterium marinum. The clinical outcome was favourable after a 2-week course of intramuscular gentamicin (180 mg daily) combined with a 6-week course of oral clarithromycin (500 mg twice a day). Doctors should be aware that vivariums, in addition to fish tanks, can be sources of M. marinum exposure.

  10. Sound radiation around a flying fly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sueur, Jérôme; Tuck, Elizabeth J.; Robert, Daniel

    2005-07-01

    Many insects produce sounds during flight. These acoustic emissions result from the oscillation of the wings in air. To date, most studies have measured the frequency characteristics of flight sounds, leaving other acoustic characteristics-and their possible biological functions-unexplored. Here, using close-range acoustic recording, we describe both the directional radiation pattern and the detailed frequency composition of the sound produced by a tethered flying (Lucilia sericata). The flapping wings produce a sound wave consisting of a series of harmonics, the first harmonic occurring around 190 Hz. In the horizontal plane of the fly, the first harmonic shows a dipolelike amplitude distribution whereas the second harmonic shows a monopolelike radiation pattern. The first frequency component is dominant in front of the fly while the second harmonic is dominant at the sides. Sound with a broad frequency content, typical of that produced by wind, is also recorded at the back of the fly. This sound qualifies as pseudo-sound and results from the vortices generated during wing kinematics. Frequency and amplitude features may be used by flies in different behavioral contexts such as sexual communication, competitive communication, or navigation within the environment.

  11. What's Slithering around on Your School Grounds? Transforming Student Awareness of Reptile & Amphibian Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomasek, Terry M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hall, Jeff

    2005-01-01

    The protocols used in a research project on amphibian and reptile diversity at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center near New Bern, North Carolina is described. An increasing or stable number of amphibians and reptiles would indicate that the forest has a balance of invertebrates, leaf litter, moisture, pH, debris, burrows and habitat…

  12. Prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility of salmonellae isolates from reptiles in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Yu; Chen, Wan-Ching; Chin, Shih-Chien; Lai, Yen-Hsueh; Tung, Kwong-Chung; Chiou, Chien-Shun; Hsu, Yuan-Man; Chang, Chao-Chin

    2010-01-01

    Pets, including reptiles, have been shown to be a source of Salmonella infection in humans. Due to increasing popularity and variety of exotic reptiles as pets in recent years, more human clinical cases of reptile-associated Salmonella infection have been identified. However, limited information is available with regard to serotypes in different reptiles (turtles, snakes, and lizards) and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella in pet reptiles. The current study was thus conducted to determine the prevalence of Salmonella colonization in pet reptiles. Salmonella organisms were isolated from 30.9% of 476 reptiles investigated. The isolation prevalences were 69.7% (23/33), 62.8% (27/43), and 24.3% (97/400) in snakes, lizards, and turtles, respectively. A total of 44 different Salmonella serovars were identified. Compared with S. Heron, Bredeney, Treforest, and 4,[5],12:i:-, S. Typhimurium isolates were resistant to many antimicrobials tested, and notably 61.1% of the isolates were resistant to cephalothin. The results indicated that raising reptiles as pets could be a possible source of Salmonella infection in humans, particularly zoonotic Salmonella serovars such as S. Typhimurium that may be resistant to antimicrobials.

  13. Estimating Orientation of Flying Fruit Flies

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Xi En; Wang, Shuo Hong; Qian, Zhi-Ming; Chen, Yan Qiu

    2015-01-01

    The recently growing interest in studying flight behaviours of fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, has highlighted the need for developing tools that acquire quantitative motion data. Despite recent advance of video tracking systems, acquiring a flying fly’s orientation remains a challenge for these tools. In this paper, we present a novel method for estimating individual flying fly’s orientation using image cues. Thanks to the line reconstruction algorithm in computer vision field, this work can thereby focus on the practical detail of implementation and evaluation of the orientation estimation algorithm. The orientation estimation algorithm can be incorporated into tracking algorithms. We rigorously evaluated the effectiveness and accuracy of the proposed algorithm by running experiments both on simulation data and on real-world data. This work complements methods for studying the fruit fly’s flight behaviours in a three-dimensional environment. PMID:26173128

  14. A Flying Summer Camp

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mercurio, Frank X.

    1975-01-01

    Describes a five-day summer camp which provided 12 children, ages 9-14, with a complete flying experience. The training consisted of ground school and one hour actual flying time, including the basics of aircraft control and a flight prepared and executed by the students. (MLH)

  15. Activation of fly ash

    DOEpatents

    Corbin, D.R.; Velenyi, L.J.; Pepera, M.A.; Dolhyj, S.R.

    1986-08-19

    Fly ash is activated by heating a screened magnetic fraction of the ash in a steam atmosphere and then reducing, oxidizing and again reducing the hydrothermally treated fraction. The activated fly ash can be used as a carbon monoxide disproportionating catalyst useful in the production of hydrogen and methane.

  16. Activation of fly ash

    DOEpatents

    Corbin, David R.; Velenyi, Louis J.; Pepera, Marc A.; Dolhyj, Serge R.

    1986-01-01

    Fly ash is activated by heating a screened magnetic fraction of the ash in a steam atmosphere and then reducing, oxidizing and again reducing the hydrothermally treated fraction. The activated fly ash can be used as a carbon monoxide disproportionating catalyst useful in the production of hydrogen and methane.

  17. Ever Fly a Tetrahedron?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Kenneth

    2004-01-01

    Few things capture the spirit of spring like flying a kite. Watching a kite dance and sail across a cloud spotted sky is not only a visually appealing experience it also provides a foundation for studies in science and mathematics. Put simply, a kite is an airfoil surface that flies when the forces of lift and thrust are greater than the forces of…

  18. Response of a reptile guild to forest harvesting.

    PubMed

    Todd, Brian D; Andrews, Kimberly M

    2008-06-01

    Despite the growing concern over reptile population declines, the effects of modern industrial silviculture on reptiles have been understudied, particularly for diminutive and often overlooked species such as small-bodied snakes. We created 4 replicated forest-management landscapes to determine the response of small snakes to forest harvesting in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States. We divided the replicated landscapes into 4 treatments that represented a range of disturbed habitats: clearcut with coarse woody debris removed; clearcut with coarse woody debris retained; thinned pine stand; and control (unharvested second-growth planted pines). Canopy cover and ground litter were significantly reduced in clearcuts, intermediate in thinned forests, and highest in unharvested controls. Bare soil, maximum air temperatures, and understory vegetation all increased with increasing habitat disturbance. Concomitantly, we observed significantly reduced relative abundance of all 6 study species (scarletsnake[Cemophora coccinea], ring-neck snake[Diadophis punctatus], scarlet kingsnake[Lampropeltis triangulum], red-bellied snake[Storeria occipitomaculata], southeastern crowned snake[Tantilla coronata], and smooth earthsnake[Virginia valeriae]) in clearcuts compared with unharvested or thinned pine stands. In contrast, the greatest relative snake abundance occurred in thinned forest stands. Our results demonstrate that at least one form of forest harvesting is compatible with maintaining snake populations. Our results also highlight the importance of open-canopy structure and ground litter to small snakes in southeastern forests and the negative consequences of forest clearcutting for small snakes.

  19. Autonomic control of cardiorespiratory interactions in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; Skovgaard, N

    2010-07-01

    Control of the heart rate and cardiorespiratory interactions (CRI) is predominantly parasympathetic in all jawed vertebrates, with the sympathetic nervous system having some influence in tetrapods. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) has been described as a solely mammalian phenomenon but respiration-related beat-to-beat control of the heart has been described in fish and reptiles. Though they are both important, the relative roles of feed-forward central control and peripheral reflexes in generating CRI vary between groups of fishes and probably between other vertebrates. CRI may relate to two locations for the vagal preganglionic neurons (VPN) and in particular cardiac VPN in the brainstem. This has been described in representatives from all vertebrate groups, though the proportion in each location is variable. Air-breathing fishes, amphibians and reptiles breathe discontinuously and the onset of a bout of breathing is characteristically accompanied by an immediate increase in heart rate plus, in the latter two groups, a left-right shunting of blood through the pulmonary circuit. Both the increase in heart rate and opening of a sphincter on the pulmonary artery are due to withdrawal of vagal tone. An increase in heart rate following a meal in snakes is related to withdrawal of vagal tone plus a non-adrenergic-non-cholinergic effect that may be due to humoral factors released by the gut. Histamine is one candidate for this role.

  20. The oldest parareptile and the early diversification of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Modesto, Sean P; Scott, Diane M; MacDougall, Mark J; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Evans, David C; Reisz, Robert R

    2015-02-22

    Amniotes, tetrapods that evolved the cleidoic egg and thus independence from aquatic larval stages, appeared ca 314 Ma during the Coal Age. The rapid diversification of amniotes and other tetrapods over the course of the Late Carboniferous period was recently attributed to the fragmentation of coal-swamp rainforests ca 307 Ma. However, the amniote fossil record during the Carboniferous is relatively sparse, with ca 33% of the diversity represented by single specimens for each species. We describe here a new species of reptilian amniote that was collected from uppermost Carboniferous rocks of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Erpetonyx arsenaultorum gen. et sp. nov. is a new parareptile distinguished by 29 presacral vertebrae and autapomorphies of the carpus. Phylogenetic analyses of parareptiles reveal E. arsenaultorum as the closest relative of bolosaurids. Stratigraphic calibration of our results indicates that parareptiles began their evolutionary radiation before the close of the Carboniferous Period, and that the diversity of end-Carboniferous reptiles is 80% greater than suggested by previous work. Latest Carboniferous reptiles were still half as diverse as synapsid amniotes, a disparity that may be attributable to preservational biases, to collecting biases, to the origin of herbivory in tetrapods or any combination of these factors.

  1. The oldest parareptile and the early diversification of reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Modesto, Sean P.; Scott, Diane M.; MacDougall, Mark J.; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Evans, David C.; Reisz, Robert R.

    2015-01-01

    Amniotes, tetrapods that evolved the cleidoic egg and thus independence from aquatic larval stages, appeared ca 314 Ma during the Coal Age. The rapid diversification of amniotes and other tetrapods over the course of the Late Carboniferous period was recently attributed to the fragmentation of coal-swamp rainforests ca 307 Ma. However, the amniote fossil record during the Carboniferous is relatively sparse, with ca 33% of the diversity represented by single specimens for each species. We describe here a new species of reptilian amniote that was collected from uppermost Carboniferous rocks of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Erpetonyx arsenaultorum gen. et sp. nov. is a new parareptile distinguished by 29 presacral vertebrae and autapomorphies of the carpus. Phylogenetic analyses of parareptiles reveal E. arsenaultorum as the closest relative of bolosaurids. Stratigraphic calibration of our results indicates that parareptiles began their evolutionary radiation before the close of the Carboniferous Period, and that the diversity of end-Carboniferous reptiles is 80% greater than suggested by previous work. Latest Carboniferous reptiles were still half as diverse as synapsid amniotes, a disparity that may be attributable to preservational biases, to collecting biases, to the origin of herbivory in tetrapods or any combination of these factors. PMID:25589601

  2. Triassic marine reptiles gave birth to live young.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Yen-Nien; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Ji, Qiang

    2004-11-18

    Sauropterygians form the largest and most diverse group of ancient marine reptiles that lived throughout nearly the entire Mesozoic era (from 250 to 65 million years ago). Although thousands of specimens of this group have been collected around the world since the description of the first plesiosaur in 1821 (ref. 3), no direct evidence has been found to determine whether any sauropterygians came on shore to lay eggs (oviparity) like sea turtles, or gave birth in the water to live young (viviparity) as ichthyosaurs and mosasauroids (marine lizards) did. Viviparity has been proposed for plesiosaur, pachypleurosaur and nothosaur sauropterygians, but until now no concrete evidence has been advanced. Here we report two gravid specimens of Keichousaurus hui Young from the Middle Triassic of China. These exquisitely preserved specimens not only provide the first unequivocal evidence of reproductive mode and sexual dimorphism in sauropterygians, but also indicate that viviparity could have been expedited by the evolution of a movable pelvis in pachypleurosaurs. By extension, this has implications for the reproductive pattern of other sauropterygians and Mesozoic marine reptiles that possessed a movable pelvis.

  3. Shedding subspecies: The influence of genetics on reptile subspecies taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Torstrom, Shannon M; Pangle, Kevin L; Swanson, Bradley J

    2014-07-01

    The subspecies concept influences multiple aspects of biology and management. The 'molecular revolution' altered traditional methods (morphological traits) of subspecies classification by applying genetic analyses resulting in alternative or contradictory classifications. We evaluated recent reptile literature for bias in the recommendations regarding subspecies status when genetic data were included. Reviewing characteristics of the study, genetic variables, genetic distance values and noting the species concepts, we found that subspecies were more likely elevated to species when using genetic analysis. However, there was no predictive relationship between variables used and taxonomic recommendation. There was a significant difference between the median genetic distance values when researchers elevated or collapsed a subspecies. Our review found nine different concepts of species used when recommending taxonomic change, and studies incorporating multiple species concepts were more likely to recommend a taxonomic change. Since using genetic techniques significantly alter reptile taxonomy there is a need to establish a standard method to determine the species-subspecies boundary in order to effectively use the subspecies classification for research and conservation purposes.

  4. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states.

    PubMed

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna.

  5. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states

    PubMed Central

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna. PMID:27408554

  6. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states.

    PubMed

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna. PMID:27408554

  7. Energetics of free-ranging mammals, reptiles, and birds.

    PubMed

    Nagy, K A; Girard, I A; Brown, T K

    1999-01-01

    We summarize the recent information on field metabolic rates (FMR) of wild terrestrial vertebrates as determined by the doubly labeled water technique. Allometric (scaling) relationships are calculated for mammals (79 species), reptiles (55 species), and birds (95 species) and for various taxonomic, dietary, and habitat groups within these categories. Exponential equations based on body mass are offered for predicting rates of daily energy expenditure and daily food requirements of free-ranging mammals, reptiles, and birds. Significant scaling differences between various taxa, dietary, and habitat groups (detected by analysis of covariance with P < or = 0.05) include the following: (a) The allometric slope for reptiles (0.889) is greater than that for mammals (0.734), which is greater than that for birds (0.681); (b) the slope for eutherian mammals (0.772) is greater than that for marsupial mammals (0.590); (c) among families of birds, slopes do not differ but elevations (intercepts) do, with passerine and procellariid birds having relatively high FMRs and gallinaceous birds having low FMRs; (d) Scleroglossan lizards have a higher slope (0.949) than do Iguanian lizards (0.793); (e) desert mammals have a higher slope (0.785) than do nondesert mammals; (f) marine birds have relatively high FMRs and desert birds have low FMRs; and (g) carnivorous mammals have a relatively high slope and carnivorous, insectivorous, and nectarivorous birds have relatively higher FMRs than do omnivores and granivores. The difference detected between passerine and nonpasserine birds reported in earlier reviews is not evident in the larger data set analyzed here. When the results are adjusted for phylogenetic effects using independent contrasts analysis, the difference between allometric slopes for marsupials and eutherians is no longer significant and the slope difference between Scleroglossan and Iguanian lizards disappears as well, but other taxonomic differences remain significant

  8. [The dream of flying].

    PubMed

    Goddemeier, Christof

    2005-01-01

    More than a 100 years ago the Wright brothers succeeded in performing the first motor flight in the history of mankind. But irrespective of its technical realisation man has always dealt with flying. So myths, rites and fairy-tales as well reflect the different ideas of flying as these conceptions come to light again and again in dreams and visions. Whether ascension, expression of desire and yearning or sexual metaphor -- the idea of flying seems to be a universal magic figure of thinking.

  9. Novel Insights into Chromosome Evolution in Birds, Archosaurs, and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Farré, Marta; Narayan, Jitendra; Slavov, Gancho T.; Damas, Joana; Auvil, Loretta; Li, Cai; Jarvis, Erich D.; Burt, David W.; Griffin, Darren K.; Larkin, Denis M.

    2016-01-01

    Homologous synteny blocks (HSBs) and evolutionary breakpoint regions (EBRs) in mammalian chromosomes are enriched for distinct DNA features, contributing to distinct phenotypes. To reveal HSB and EBR roles in avian evolution, we performed a sequence-based comparison of 21 avian and 5 outgroup species using recently sequenced genomes across the avian family tree and a newly-developed algorithm. We identified EBRs and HSBs in ancestral bird, archosaurian (bird, crocodile, and dinosaur), and reptile chromosomes. Genes involved in the regulation of gene expression and biosynthetic processes were preferably located in HSBs, including for example, avian-specific HSBs enriched for genes involved in limb development. Within birds, some lineage-specific EBRs rearranged genes were related to distinct phenotypes, such as forebrain development in parrots. Our findings provide novel evolutionary insights into genome evolution in birds, particularly on how chromosome rearrangements likely contributed to the formation of novel phenotypes. PMID:27401172

  10. Novel Insights into Chromosome Evolution in Birds, Archosaurs, and Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Farré, Marta; Narayan, Jitendra; Slavov, Gancho T; Damas, Joana; Auvil, Loretta; Li, Cai; Jarvis, Erich D; Burt, David W; Griffin, Darren K; Larkin, Denis M

    2016-01-01

    Homologous synteny blocks (HSBs) and evolutionary breakpoint regions (EBRs) in mammalian chromosomes are enriched for distinct DNA features, contributing to distinct phenotypes. To reveal HSB and EBR roles in avian evolution, we performed a sequence-based comparison of 21 avian and 5 outgroup species using recently sequenced genomes across the avian family tree and a newly-developed algorithm. We identified EBRs and HSBs in ancestral bird, archosaurian (bird, crocodile, and dinosaur), and reptile chromosomes. Genes involved in the regulation of gene expression and biosynthetic processes were preferably located in HSBs, including for example, avian-specific HSBs enriched for genes involved in limb development. Within birds, some lineage-specific EBRs rearranged genes were related to distinct phenotypes, such as forebrain development in parrots. Our findings provide novel evolutionary insights into genome evolution in birds, particularly on how chromosome rearrangements likely contributed to the formation of novel phenotypes. PMID:27401172

  11. High incubation temperatures enhance mitochondrial energy metabolism in reptile embryos

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Bao-Jun; Li, Teng; Gao, Jing; Ma, Liang; Du, Wei-Guo

    2015-01-01

    Developmental rate increases exponentially with increasing temperature in ectothermic animals, but the biochemical basis underlying this thermal dependence is largely unexplored. We measured mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities of turtle embryos (Pelodiscus sinensis) incubated at different temperatures to identify the metabolic basis of the rapid development occurring at high temperatures in reptile embryos. Developmental rate increased with increasing incubation temperatures in the embryos of P. sinensis. Correspondingly, in addition to the thermal dependence of mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities, high-temperature incubation further enhanced mitochondrial respiration and COX activities in the embryos. This suggests that embryos may adjust mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities in response to developmental temperature to achieve high developmental rates at high temperatures. Our study highlights the importance of biochemical investigations in understanding the proximate mechanisms by which temperature affects embryonic development. PMID:25749301

  12. A zoological catalogue of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The variety of interactions between human cultures and herpetofauna is the subject matter of Ethnoherpetology, a subdivision of Ethnozoology. In the semi-arid region of Brazil, many reptiles interact with human communities because of their utility or because of the risks they represent. These interactions have obvious implications for the conservation of reptiles from this region.In this context, ethnoherpetology studies are crucial because they serve as subsidies for guiding strategies for the handling and conservation of reptiles. This paper presents ethnozoological and taxonomic informations of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil and analyse the implications on conservation that are related to the interactions between people and reptiles in this region. Taxonomic keys to identifying recorded reptiles are provided. Records of humans interacting with 38 reptile species that belong to 31 genuses and 16 families have been found. The groups with the largest numbers of recorded species were snakes (18 species), and this group was followed in number by lizards (13), chelonians (4), and crocodilians (3). The reptiles that were recorded may be used for the following purposes: medicinal purposes (24 species), food (13 species), ornamental or decorative purposes (11 species), in magical/religious practices (10 species), and as pets (10 species). Some species (n = 16) may have multiple uses. Furthermore, more than half of the species (n = 19) are commonly killed because they are considered potentially dangerous. Strategies for conserving the reptiles of the Brazilian semi-arid region must reconcile and integrate human and conservation needs. PMID:22846258

  13. Transient Receptor Potential Ion Channels Control Thermoregulatory Behaviour in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Seebacher, Frank; Murray, Shauna A.

    2007-01-01

    Biological functions are governed by thermodynamics, and animals regulate their body temperature to optimise cellular performance and to avoid harmful extremes. The capacity to sense environmental and internal temperatures is a prerequisite for the evolution of thermoregulation. However, the mechanisms that enable ectothermic vertebrates to sense heat remain unknown. The recently discovered thermal characteristics of transient receptor potential ion channels (TRP) render these proteins suitable to act as temperature sensors. Here we test the hypothesis that TRPs are present in reptiles and function to control thermoregulatory behaviour. We show that the hot-sensing TRPV1 is expressed in a crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), an agamid (Amphibolurus muricatus) and a scincid (Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii) lizard, as well as in the quail and zebrafinch (Coturnix chinensis and Poephila guttata). The TRPV1 genes from all reptiles form a unique clade that is delineated from the mammalian and the ancestral Xenopus sequences by an insertion of two amino acids. TRPV1 and the cool-sensing TRPM8 are expressed in liver, muscle (transversospinalis complex), and heart tissues of the crocodile, and have the potential to act as internal thermometer and as external temperatures sensors. Inhibition of TRPV1 and TRPM8 in C. porosus abolishes the typically reptilian shuttling behaviour between cooling and heating environments, and leads to significantly altered body temperature patterns. Our results provide the proximate mechanism of thermal selection in terrestrial ectotherms, which heralds a fundamental change in interpretation, because TRPs provide the mechanism for a tissue-specific input into the animals' thermoregulatory response. PMID:17356692

  14. Genetics and evolution of colour patterns in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Mats; Stuart-Fox, Devi; Ballen, Cissy

    2013-01-01

    The study of coloration in the polyphyletic reptilians has flourished in the last two decades, in particular with respect to the underlying genetics of colour traits, the function of colours in social interactions, and ongoing selection on these traits in the wild. The taxonomic bias, however, is profound: at this level of resolution almost all available information is for diurnal lizards. Therefore, we focus on case studies, for which there are as complete causal sequences of colour evolution as possible, from phenotypic expression of variation in colour, to ongoing selection in the wild. For work prior to 1992 and for a broader coverage of reptilian coloration we refer the readers to Cooper and Greenburg's (Biology of the Reptilia, 1992) review. There are seven major conclusions we would like to emphasise: (a) visual systems in diurnal lizards are broadly conserved but among the wider range of reptiles in general, there is functionally important variation in the number and type of photoreceptors, spectral tuning of photopigments and optical properties of the eye; (b) coloration in reptiles is a function of complex interactions between structural and pigmentary components, with implications for both proximate control and condition dependence of colour expression; (c) studies of colour-variable species have enabled estimates of heritability of colour and colour patterns, which often show a simple Mendelian pattern of inheritance; (d) colour-polymorphic lizard species sometimes, but not always, show striking differences in genetically encoded reproductive tactics and provide useful models for studying the evolution and maintenance of polymorphism; (e) both male and female colours are sometimes, but not always, a significant component of socio-sexual signalling, often based on multiple traits; (f) evidence for effects of hormones and condition on colour expression, and trade-offs with immunocompetence and parasite load, is variable; (g) lizards show fading of colours

  15. Autonomous Martian flying rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    A remotely programmable, autonomous flying rover is proposed to extensively survey the Martian surface environment. A Mach .3, solar powered, modified flying wing could cover roughly a 2000 mile range during Martian daylight hours. Multiple craft launched from an orbiting mother ship could provide near-global coverage. Each craft is envisioned to fly at about 1 km above the surface and measure atmospheric composition, pressure and temperature, map surface topography, and remotely penetrate the near subsurface looking for water (ice) and perhaps evidence of life. Data collected are relayed to Earth via the orbiting mother ship. Near surface guidance and control capability is an adaptation of current cruise missile technology. A solar powered aircraft designed to fly in the low temperature, low density, carbon dioxide Martian atmosphere near the surface appears feasible.

  16. Rickettsial infections in ticks from reptiles, birds and humans in Honduras.

    PubMed

    Novakova, Marketa; Literak, Ivan; Chevez, Luis; Martins, Thiago F; Ogrzewalska, Maria; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2015-09-01

    Ticks were collected from captive reptiles, wild birds, and incidentally from humans at two locations in Honduras and part of these were tested for the presence of Rickettsia using polymerase chain reaction. The following species of ticks were found: Amblyomma dissimile on Iguanidae reptiles, Amblyomma longirostre and Amblyomma nodosum on birds, and Amblyomma mixtum (Amblyomma cajennense complex) on humans. A. dissimile was infected with Rickettsia sp. strain Colombianensi. Both A. longirostre and A. mixtum were infected with Candidatus 'Rickettsia amblyommii'. This study provides the first report of rickettsial infections in ticks from reptiles, birds and humans in Honduras. New host - Amblyomma tick associations are documented.

  17. Understanding tsetse flies.

    PubMed

    Langley, P A

    1994-12-01

    The discovery that tsetse flies are the vectors of African trypanosomosis, causing sleeping sickness in man and nagana in cattle, occurred at the start of a rapidly expanding colonialism in sub-Saharan Africa. Hence, the first research on the fly was largely taxonomic, coupled with a painstaking ecological approach to determine the identities and distribution limits of the different species. This was followed by closer attention to the physiology of the fly, both from the academic standpoint as related to its survival and reproduction in the field, and from the standpoint of its vectorial capacity. There are still conflicting hypotheses concerning the maturation of trypanosomes within the fly. Increasing concern for the environment led to a ban in the developed nations on the use of DDT as an insecticide which had been used successfully for tsetse control in Africa. This was followed by a ban on the use of organochlorine insecticides in general, and no doubt the next restrictions will be on the use of organophosphates and upon synthetic pyrethroids which have already been banned in the UK for the control of houseflies. Fortunately, research on the role of olfactory and visual stimuli of the tsetse, in the location of potential hosts, led to an improvement in methods for monitoring fly populations by means of traps and targets upon which the flies alight. So successful are such devices that, when treated with an insecticide, they can be used to sustain an increase in natural mortality in fly populations to such an extent that these populations decline to manageable levels.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  18. [Nested species subsets of amphibians and reptiles in Thousand Island Lake].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xi; Wang, Yan-Ping; Ding, Ping

    2012-10-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a main cause for the loss of biological diversity. Combining line-transect methods to survey the amphibians and reptiles on 23 islands on Thousand Island Lake in Zhejiang province, along with survey data on nearby plant species and habitat variables collected by GIS, we used the"BINMATNEST (binary matrix nestedness temperature calculator)" software and the Spearman rank correlation to examine whether amphibians and reptiles followed nested subsets and their influencing factors. The results showed that amphibians and reptiles were significantly nested, and that the island area and habitat type were significantly associated with their nested ranks. Therefore, to effectively protect amphibians and reptiles in the Thousand Islands Lake area we should pay prior attention to islands with larger areas and more habitat types.

  19. The ends of a continuum: genetic and temperature-dependent sex determination in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Sarre, Stephen D; Georges, Arthur; Quinn, Alex

    2004-06-01

    Two prevailing paradigms explain the diversity of sex-determining modes in reptiles. Many researchers, particularly those who study reptiles, consider genetic and environmental sex-determining mechanisms to be fundamentally different, and that one can be demonstrated experimentally to the exclusion of the other. Other researchers, principally those who take a broader taxonomic perspective, argue that no clear boundaries exist between them. Indeed, we argue that genetic and environmental sex determination in reptiles should be seen as a continuum of states represented by species whose sex is determined primarily by genotype, species where genetic and environmental mechanisms coexist and interact in lesser or greater measure to bring about sex phenotypes, and species where sex is determined primarily by environment. To do otherwise limits the scope of investigations into the transition between the two and reduces opportunities to use studies of reptiles to advance understanding of vertebrate sex determination generally.

  20. Species List of Alaskan Birds, Mammals, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Invertebrates. Alaska Region Report Number 82.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Tamra Faris

    This publication contains a detailed list of the birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates found in Alaska. Part I lists the species by geographical regions. Part II lists the species by the ecological regions of the state. (CO)

  1. Occurrence, diversity, and host association of intestinal Campylobacter, Arcobacter, and Helicobacter in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Kik, Marja; Timmerman, Arjen J; Severs, Tim T; Kusters, Johannes G; Duim, Birgitta; Wagenaar, Jaap A

    2014-01-01

    Campylobacter, Arcobacter, and Helicobacter species have been isolated from many vertebrate hosts, including birds, mammals, and reptiles. Multiple studies have focused on the prevalence of these Epsilonproteobacteria genera in avian and mammalian species. However, little focus has been given to the presence within reptiles, and their potential zoonotic and pathogenic roles. In this study, occurrence, diversity, and host association of intestinal Epsilonproteobacteria were determined for a large variety of reptiles. From 2011 to 2013, 444 cloacal swabs and fecal samples originating from 417 predominantly captive-held reptiles were screened for Epsilonproteobacteria. Campylobacter, Arcobacter, and Helicobacter genus specific PCRs were performed directly on all samples. All samples were also cultured on selective media and screened for the presence of Epsilonproteobacteria. Using a tiered approach of AFLP, atpA, and 16S rRNA sequencing, 432 Epsilonproteobacteria isolates were characterized at the species level. Based on PCR, Campylobacter, Arcobacter, and Helicobacter were detected in 69.3% of the reptiles; 82.5% of the chelonians, 63.8% of the lizards, and 58.0% of the snakes were positive for one or more of these genera. Epsilonproteobacteria were isolated from 22.1% of the reptiles and were isolated most frequently from chelonians (37.0%), followed by lizards (19.6%) and snakes (3.0%). The most commonly isolated taxa were Arcobacter butzleri, Arcobacter skirrowii, reptile-associated Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum, and a putative novel Campylobacter taxon. Furthermore, a clade of seven related putative novel Helicobacter taxa was isolated from lizards and chelonians. This study shows that reptiles carry various intestinal Epsilonproteobacteria taxa, including several putative novel taxa.

  2. Evidence for the transmission of Salmonella from reptiles to children in Germany, July 2010 to October 2011.

    PubMed

    Pees, M; Rabsch, W; Plenz, B; Fruth, A; Prager, R; Simon, S; Schmidt, V; Munch, S; Braun, Pg

    2013-11-14

    This study examines the Salmonella status in reptiles kept in households with children suffering from gastroenteritis due to an exotic Salmonella serovar, to obtain information on possible transmission paths. A number of affected households (n=79) were contacted, and almost half (34/79) comprised at least one reptile in the home. Of the households, 19 were further studied, whereby a total of 36 reptiles were investigated. Samples were taken from the reptiles including the oral cavity, the cloaca, the skin and, in the case of lizards, the stomach, and isolation of Salmonella strains was performed using repeated enrichment and typing. Where the Salmonella serovars of the infected child and the reptile were identical, typing was followed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) constituted 19 of 36 examined reptiles. Altogether 319 Salmonella isolates were investigated and 24 different serovars identified in the reptiles. In 15 of 19 households, an identical serovar to the human case was confirmed in at least one reptile (including 16 of all 19 bearded dragons examined). The results demonstrate that reptiles and especially bearded dragons shed various Salmonella serovars including those isolated from infected children in the respective households. Hygiene protocols and parents' education are therefore highly necessary to reduce the risk of transmission. From a terminological point of view, we propose to call such infections 'Reptile-Exotic-Pet-Associated-Salmonellosis' (REPAS).

  3. Assessing effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles: status and needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.; Henry, P.F.P.

    1992-01-01

    Growing concern about the decline of certain amphibian populations and for conservation of amphibians and reptiles has led to renewed awareness of problems from pesticides. Testing amphibians and reptiles as a requirement for chemical registration has been proposed but is difficult because of the phylogenetic diversity of these groups. Information from the literature and research may determine whether amphibians and reptiles are adequately protected by current tests for mammals, birds, and fish. Existing information indicates that amphibians are unpredictably more resistant to certain cholinesterase inhibitors, and more sensitive to two chemicals used in fishery applications than could have been predicted. A single study on one species of lizard suggests that reptiles may be close in sensitivity to mammals and birds. Research on effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles should compare responses to currently tested groups and should seek to delineate those taxa and chemicals for which cross-group prediction is not possible. New tests for amphibians and reptiles should rely to the greatest extent possible on existing data bases, and should be designed for maximum economy and minimum harm to test animals. A strategy for developing the needed information is proposed. Good field testing and surveillance of chemicals in use may compensate for failures of predictive evaluations and may ultimately lead to improved tests.

  4. Reptile assemblage response to restoration of fire-suppressed longleaf pine sandhills.

    PubMed

    Steen, David A; Smith, Lora L; Conner, L M; Litt, Andrea R; Provencher, Louis; Hiers, J Kevin; Pokswinski, Scott; Guyer, Craig

    2013-01-01

    Measuring the effects of ecological restoration on wildlife assemblages requires study on broad temporal and spatial scales. Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests are imperiled due to fire suppression and subsequent invasion by hardwood trees. We employed a landscape-scale, randomized-block design to identify how reptile assemblages initially responded to restoration treatments including removal of hardwood trees via mechanical methods (felling and girdling), application of herbicides, or prescribed burning alone. Then, we examined reptile assemblages after all sites experienced more than a decade of prescribed burning at two- to thee-year return intervals. Data were collected concurrently at reference sites chosen to represent target conditions for restoration. Reptile assemblages changed most rapidly in response to prescribed burning, but reptile assemblages at all sites, including reference sites, were generally indistinguishable by the end of the study. Thus, we suggest that prescribed burning in longleaf pine forests over long time periods is an effective strategy for restoring reptile assemblages to the reference condition. Application of herbicides or mechanical removal of hardwood trees provided no apparent benefit to reptiles beyond what was achieved by prescribed fire alone.

  5. To chew or not to chew: fecal particle size in herbivorous reptiles and mammals.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Julia; Hummel, Jürgen; Kienzle, Ellen; Streich, W Jürgen; Clauss, Marcus

    2010-11-01

    A major difference between reptile and mammalian herbivores is that the former do not masticate their food. Actually, food particle size reduction by chewing is usually considered one of the adaptations facilitating the higher metabolic rates of mammals. However, quantitative comparisons of ingesta particle size between the clades have, to our knowledge, not been performed so far. We measured mean fecal particle size (MPS) in 79 captive individuals of 14 reptile herbivore species (tortoises, lizards, and Corucia zebrata) by wet sieving and compared the results with a mammalian dataset. MPS increased with body mass in both clades, but at a significantly higher level in reptiles. Limited evidence in free-ranging and captive individuals of Testudo hermanni indicates that in reptiles, the ability to crop food and food particle size significantly influence fecal particle size. The opportunistic observation of a drastic particle size difference between stomach and intestinal contents corroborates findings that in reptiles, in contrast to terrestrial mammals, significant ingesta particle size reduction does occur in the gastrointestinal tract, most likely owing to microbial action during very long ingesta retention. Whether behavioral adaptations to controlling ingesta particle size, such as deliberate small bite sizes, are adaptive strategies in reptiles remains to be investigated.

  6. Phylogenomic investigation of CR1 LINE diversity in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Shedlock, Andrew M

    2006-12-01

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

  7. Autonomous Flying Controls Testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Motter, Mark A.

    2005-01-01

    The Flying Controls Testbed (FLiC) is a relatively small and inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicle developed specifically to test highly experimental flight control approaches. The most recent version of the FLiC is configured with 16 independent aileron segments, supports the implementation of C-coded experimental controllers, and is capable of fully autonomous flight from takeoff roll to landing, including flight test maneuvers. The test vehicle is basically a modified Army target drone, AN/FQM-117B, developed as part of a collaboration between the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) at Fort Eustis,Virginia and NASA Langley Research Center. Several vehicles have been constructed and collectively have flown over 600 successful test flights.

  8. Flies and the mouth.

    PubMed

    Hassona, Yazan; Scully, Crispian; Aguida, Miranda; de Almeida, Oslei Paes

    2014-05-01

    Oral infections caused by flies are rarely encountered in clinical practice, and consequently, there is a paucity of information in the medical and dental literature about these conditions. In the present article, we present a concise review on oral myiasis or fly-blown disease. A variety of fly species can infest the oral tissues and produce an exotic clinical picture. Oral myiasis is mainly encountered in the tropics and subtropics, but can also be encountered in the western part of the world due to the increase of globalization, immigration, and global warming. Commonly-reported symptoms of oral myiasis include pain, swelling, itchy sensation, and feeling of something moving in the mouth. The surgical debridement of infected tissue with the removal of maggots is the treatment of choice in most cases of oral myiasis.

  9. Complexity and Fly Swarms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cates, Grant; Murray, Joelle

    Complexity is the study of phenomena that emerge from a collection of interacting objects and arises in many systems throughout physics, biology, finance, economics and more. Certain kinds of complex systems can be described by self-organized criticality (SOC). An SOC system is one that is internally driven towards some critical state. Recent experimental work suggests scaling behavior of fly swarms-one of the hallmarks of an SOC system. Our goal is to look for SOC behavior in computational models of fly swarms.

  10. Origin of tropical American burrowing reptiles by transatlantic rafting.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Nicolas; Azvolinsky, Anna; Cruaud, Corinne; Hedges, S Blair

    2008-02-23

    Populations of terrestrial or freshwater taxa that are separated by oceans can be explained by either oceanic dispersal or fragmentation of a previously contiguous land mass. Amphisbaenians, the worm lizards (approx. 165 species), are small squamate reptiles that are uniquely adapted to a burrowing lifestyle and inhabit Africa, South America, Caribbean Islands, North America, Europe and the Middle East. All but a few species are limbless and they rarely leave their subterranean burrows. Given their peculiar habits, the distribution of amphisbaenians has been assumed to be primarily the result of two land-mass fragmentation events: the split of the supercontinent Pangaea starting 200 Myr ago, separating species on the northern land mass (Laurasia) from those on the southern land mass (Gondwana), and the split of South America from Africa 100 Myr ago. Here we show with molecular evidence that oceanic dispersal-on floating islands-played a more prominent role, and that amphisbaenians crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the Eocene (40 Myr ago) resulting in a tropical American radiation representing one-half of all known amphisbaenian species. Until now, only four or five transatlantic dispersal events were known in terrestrial vertebrates. Significantly, this is the first such dispersal event to involve a group that burrows, an unexpected lifestyle for an oceanic disperser.

  11. Body temperatures of selected amphibian and reptile species.

    PubMed

    Raske, Matthew; Lewbart, Gregory A; Dombrowski, Daniel S; Hale, Peyton; Correa, Maria; Christian, Larry S

    2012-09-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates are a diverse group of animals that rely on external sources to maintain a preferred body temperature. Amphibians and reptiles have a preferred optimal temperature zone that allows for optimal biological function. Physiologic processes in ectotherms are influenced by temperature; these animals have capabilities in which they make use of behavioral and physiologic mechanisms to thermoregulate. Core body, ambient air, body surface, and surface/water temperatures were obtained from six ectothermic species including one anuran, two snakes, two turtles, and one alligator. Clinically significant differences between core body temperature and ambient temperature were noted in the black rat snake, corn snake, and eastern box turtle. No significant differences were found between core body and ambient temperature for the American alligator, bullfrog, mata mata turtle, dead spotted turtle, or dead mole king snake. This study indicates some ectotherms are able to regulate their body temperatures independent of their environment. Body temperature of ectotherms is an important component that clinicians should consider when selecting and providing therapeutic care. Investigation of basic physiologic parameters (heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature) from a diverse population of healthy ectothermic vertebrates may provide baseline data for a systematic health care approach. PMID:23082515

  12. Y fuse? Sex chromosome fusions in fishes and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Pennell, Matthew W; Kirkpatrick, Mark; Otto, Sarah P; Vamosi, Jana C; Peichel, Catherine L; Valenzuela, Nicole; Kitano, Jun

    2015-05-01

    Chromosomal fusion plays a recurring role in the evolution of adaptations and reproductive isolation among species, yet little is known of the evolutionary drivers of chromosomal fusions. Because sex chromosomes (X and Y in male heterogametic systems, Z and W in female heterogametic systems) differ in their selective, mutational, and demographic environments, those differences provide a unique opportunity to dissect the evolutionary forces that drive chromosomal fusions. We estimate the rate at which fusions between sex chromosomes and autosomes become established across the phylogenies of both fishes and squamate reptiles. Both the incidence among extant species and the establishment rate of Y-autosome fusions is much higher than for X-autosome, Z-autosome, or W-autosome fusions. Using population genetic models, we show that this pattern cannot be reconciled with many standard explanations for the spread of fusions. In particular, direct selection acting on fusions or sexually antagonistic selection cannot, on their own, account for the predominance of Y-autosome fusions. The most plausible explanation for the observed data seems to be (a) that fusions are slightly deleterious, and (b) that the mutation rate is male-biased or the reproductive sex ratio is female-biased. We identify other combinations of evolutionary forces that might in principle account for the data although they appear less likely. Our results shed light on the processes that drive structural changes throughout the genome.

  13. Gonadal differentiation in reptiles exhibiting environmental sex determination.

    PubMed

    Kohno, Satomi; Parrott, Benjamin B; Yatsu, Ryohei; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Moore, Brandon C; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis

    2014-01-01

    As temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and homozygote or heterozygote genetic sex determination (GSD) exist in multiple reptilian taxa, they represent sex determination systems that have emerged de novo. Current investigations have revealed that the genetic mechanisms used by various reptilian species are similar to those used by other vertebrates. However, the recent completion or near completion of various reptilian genome projects suggests that new studies examining related species with and without TSD could begin to provide additional insight into the evolution of TSD and GSD in vertebrate ancestors. Major questions still remain concerning germ cell migration and specification, the differentiation of gonadal accessory cells, such as the Sertoli cells and granulosa cells of the developing testis and ovary, respectively, and the mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated during TSD events. Further, reptilian sentinels and their mechanisms of gonadogenesis will likely remain important indicator species for environmental health. Thus, ongoing and new investigations need to tie molecular information to gonadal morphogenesis and function in reptiles. Such data will not only provide important information for an understanding of the evolution of these phenomena in vertebrates, but could also provide an important understanding of the health of the environment around us.

  14. Y fuse? Sex chromosome fusions in fishes and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Pennell, Matthew W; Kirkpatrick, Mark; Otto, Sarah P; Vamosi, Jana C; Peichel, Catherine L; Valenzuela, Nicole; Kitano, Jun

    2015-05-01

    Chromosomal fusion plays a recurring role in the evolution of adaptations and reproductive isolation among species, yet little is known of the evolutionary drivers of chromosomal fusions. Because sex chromosomes (X and Y in male heterogametic systems, Z and W in female heterogametic systems) differ in their selective, mutational, and demographic environments, those differences provide a unique opportunity to dissect the evolutionary forces that drive chromosomal fusions. We estimate the rate at which fusions between sex chromosomes and autosomes become established across the phylogenies of both fishes and squamate reptiles. Both the incidence among extant species and the establishment rate of Y-autosome fusions is much higher than for X-autosome, Z-autosome, or W-autosome fusions. Using population genetic models, we show that this pattern cannot be reconciled with many standard explanations for the spread of fusions. In particular, direct selection acting on fusions or sexually antagonistic selection cannot, on their own, account for the predominance of Y-autosome fusions. The most plausible explanation for the observed data seems to be (a) that fusions are slightly deleterious, and (b) that the mutation rate is male-biased or the reproductive sex ratio is female-biased. We identify other combinations of evolutionary forces that might in principle account for the data although they appear less likely. Our results shed light on the processes that drive structural changes throughout the genome. PMID:25993542

  15. Vertebral evolution and the diversification of squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Bergmann, Philip J; Irschick, Duncan J

    2012-04-01

    Taxonomic, morphological, and functional diversity are often discordant and independent components of diversity. A fundamental and largely unanswered question in evolutionary biology is why some clades diversify primarily in some of these components and not others. Dramatic variation in trunk vertebral numbers (14 to >300) among squamate reptiles coincides with different body shapes, and snake-like body shapes have evolved numerous times. However, whether increased evolutionary rates or numbers of vertebrae underlie body shape and taxonomic diversification is unknown. Using a supertree of squamates including 1375 species, and corresponding vertebral and body shape data, we show that increased rates of evolution in vertebral numbers have coincided with increased rates and disparity in body shape evolution, but not changes in rates of taxonomic diversification. We also show that the evolution of many vertebrae has not spurred or inhibited body shape or taxonomic diversification, suggesting that increased vertebral number is not a key innovation. Our findings demonstrate that lineage attributes such as the relaxation of constraints on vertebral number can facilitate the evolution of novel body shapes, but that different factors are responsible for body shape and taxonomic diversification.

  16. Y Fuse? Sex Chromosome Fusions in Fishes and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Vamosi, Jana C.; Peichel, Catherine L.; Valenzuela, Nicole; Kitano, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Chromosomal fusion plays a recurring role in the evolution of adaptations and reproductive isolation among species, yet little is known of the evolutionary drivers of chromosomal fusions. Because sex chromosomes (X and Y in male heterogametic systems, Z and W in female heterogametic systems) differ in their selective, mutational, and demographic environments, those differences provide a unique opportunity to dissect the evolutionary forces that drive chromosomal fusions. We estimate the rate at which fusions between sex chromosomes and autosomes become established across the phylogenies of both fishes and squamate reptiles. Both the incidence among extant species and the establishment rate of Y-autosome fusions is much higher than for X-autosome, Z-autosome, or W-autosome fusions. Using population genetic models, we show that this pattern cannot be reconciled with many standard explanations for the spread of fusions. In particular, direct selection acting on fusions or sexually antagonistic selection cannot, on their own, account for the predominance of Y-autosome fusions. The most plausible explanation for the observed data seems to be (a) that fusions are slightly deleterious, and (b) that the mutation rate is male-biased or the reproductive sex ratio is female-biased. We identify other combinations of evolutionary forces that might in principle account for the data although they appear less likely. Our results shed light on the processes that drive structural changes throughout the genome. PMID:25993542

  17. Gonadal differentiation in reptiles exhibiting environmental sex determination.

    PubMed

    Kohno, Satomi; Parrott, Benjamin B; Yatsu, Ryohei; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Moore, Brandon C; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis

    2014-01-01

    As temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and homozygote or heterozygote genetic sex determination (GSD) exist in multiple reptilian taxa, they represent sex determination systems that have emerged de novo. Current investigations have revealed that the genetic mechanisms used by various reptilian species are similar to those used by other vertebrates. However, the recent completion or near completion of various reptilian genome projects suggests that new studies examining related species with and without TSD could begin to provide additional insight into the evolution of TSD and GSD in vertebrate ancestors. Major questions still remain concerning germ cell migration and specification, the differentiation of gonadal accessory cells, such as the Sertoli cells and granulosa cells of the developing testis and ovary, respectively, and the mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated during TSD events. Further, reptilian sentinels and their mechanisms of gonadogenesis will likely remain important indicator species for environmental health. Thus, ongoing and new investigations need to tie molecular information to gonadal morphogenesis and function in reptiles. Such data will not only provide important information for an understanding of the evolution of these phenomena in vertebrates, but could also provide an important understanding of the health of the environment around us. PMID:24642710

  18. Evaluating thermoregulation in reptiles: an appropriate null model.

    PubMed

    Christian, Keith A; Tracy, Christopher R; Tracy, C Richard

    2006-09-01

    Established indexes of thermoregulation in ectotherms compare body temperatures of real animals with a null distribution of operative temperatures from a physical or mathematical model with the same size, shape, and color as the actual animal but without mass. These indexes, however, do not account for thermal inertia or the effects of inertia when animals move through thermally heterogeneous environments. Some recent models have incorporated body mass, to account for thermal inertia and the physiological control of warming and cooling rates seen in most reptiles, and other models have incorporated movement through the environment, but none includes all pertinent variables explaining body temperature. We present a new technique for calculating the distribution of body temperatures available to ectotherms that have thermal inertia, random movements, and different rates of warming and cooling. The approach uses a biophysical model of heat exchange in ectotherms and a model of random interaction with thermal environments over the course of a day to create a null distribution of body temperatures that can be used with conventional thermoregulation indexes. This new technique provides an unbiased method for evaluating thermoregulation in large ectotherms that store heat while moving through complex environments, but it can also generate null models for ectotherms of all sizes.

  19. Go Fly a Kite

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klopack, Ken

    2009-01-01

    This article describes an "art kite" activity. The idea is to construct and decorate a non-flying kite that they could display for an art exhibit. Through the activity, students learn to give and take suggestions from one another, improve the quality of their work and set a wonderful atmosphere of collaboration. (Contains 1 online resource.)

  20. Flying Boat Construction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1946-01-01

    Technicians are pictured installing flaps and wiring on a flying-boat model, circa 1944 (page 47). Photograph published in Winds of Change, 75th Anniversary NASA publication, by James Schultz. Photograph also published in Engineer in Charge: A History of the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, 1917-1958 by James R. Hansen (page 209).

  1. Learning to Fly.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weil, Patricia E.

    1983-01-01

    Presents information on where to learn to fly, which aircraft is best for this purpose, and approximate costs. Includes additional information on certificates, licenses, and ratings, and a description of the two phases of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association flight training program. (JN)

  2. Fly on the Wall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berry, Dave; Korpan, Cynthia

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes the implementation of a peer observation program at the University of Victoria called the Lecture Club. The observers are not interactive during the class--they are the proverbial flies on the wall. The paper identifies the program as self-developmental, discussing the attributes of this learning-to-teach and peer-sharing…

  3. Flying High with Spring.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrington, Carolyn Lang

    2000-01-01

    Presents an art activity for first grade that uses multicolor scratch paper. Explains that students make scratch-drawings of bird nests, then, as a class, discuss types of birds and bird positions (such as sitting or flying), and finally each creates a bird to add to the nest. (CMK)

  4. An annotated checklist of the horse flies, deer flies, and yellow flies (Diptera: Tabanidae) of Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The family Tabanidae includes the horse flies, deer flies, and yellow flies and is considered a significant pest of livestock throughout the United States, including Florida. Tabanids can easily become a major pest of man, especially salt marsh species which are known to readily feed on humans and o...

  5. Reptile neoplasia at the Philadelphia Zoological Garden, 1901-2002.

    PubMed

    Sykes, John M; Trupkiewicz, John G

    2006-03-01

    A retrospective study of neoplasia in reptiles held at the Philadelphia Zoological Garden was conducted. A total of 3,684 original necropsy reports for the period 1901-2002 were reviewed and revealed 86 cases of neoplasia. Original glass slides or re-cuts from paraffin-embedded tissue blocks were examined for confirmation of the original diagnosis. At necropsy, a total of six neoplasms were identified in six of 490 chelonians (1.2%), 22 neoplasms in 19 of 736 lizards (3.0%), and 58 neoplasms in 53 of 1,835 snakes (2.9%). An additional 12 neoplasms were found in biopsies of one turtle and 10 snakes. In the chelonians, all the neoplasms were seen in turtles, four of six tumors were malignant (66%) and no organ predilection was noted. For lizards, the liver was the most commonly affected organ, with 7 of 22 primary neoplasms (31%). Multiple tumor types were identified in three lizards (15%), metastasis occurred in five cases (25%), and malignant tumors were identified in 16 cases (73%). In snakes, the liver was most frequently affected by neoplasia at necropsy, with 13 of 58 primary neoplasms (22%); multiple types of neoplasm were identified in five cases (10%) and metastasis in six (9%); and 42 tumors (80%) were diagnosed as malignant. When biopsies were included for snakes, however, the skin was the most commonly affected organ, with 17 of 69 neoplasms (24%). One of five lizards (20%) and four of six snakes (66%) with metastasis also had a second primary neoplasm. Since 1967, the incidence of lizard neoplasia has increased from 0.7% to 5.9%, and snake neoplasia has increased from 2.6% to 9.3%.

  6. Evolution of the hippocampus in reptiles and birds.

    PubMed

    Striedter, Georg F

    2016-02-15

    Although the hippocampus is structurally quite different among reptiles, birds, and mammals, its function in spatial memory is said to be highly conserved. This is surprising, given that structural differences generally reflect functional differences. Here I review this enigma in some detail, identifying several evolutionary changes in hippocampal cytoarchitecture and connectivity. I recognize a lepidosaurid pattern of hippocampal organization (in lizards, snakes, and the tuatara Sphenodon) that differs substantially from the pattern of organization observed in the turtle/archosaur lineage, which includes crocodilians and birds. Although individual subdivisions of the hippocampus are difficult to homologize between these two patterns, both lack a clear homolog of the mammalian dentate gyrus. The strictly trilaminar organization of the ancestral amniote hippocampus was gradually lost in the lineage leading to birds, and birds expanded the system of intrahippocampal axon collaterals, relative to turtles and lizards. These expanded collateral axon branches resemble the extensive collaterals in CA3 of the mammalian hippocampus but probably evolved independently of them. Additional examples of convergent evolution between birds and mammals are the loss of direct inputs to the hippocampus from the primary olfactory cortex and the general expansion of telencephalic regions that communicate reciprocally with the hippocampus. Given this structural convergence, it seems likely that some similarities in the function of the hippocampus between birds and mammals, notably its role in the ability to remember many different locations without extensive training, likewise evolved convergently. The currently available data do not allow for a strong test of this hypothesis, but the hypothesis itself suggests some promising new research directions.

  7. Telomeres, Age and Reproduction in a Long-Lived Reptile

    PubMed Central

    Plot, Virginie; Criscuolo, François; Zahn, Sandrine; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2012-01-01

    A major interest has recently emerged in understanding how telomere shortening, mechanism triggering cell senescence, is linked to organism ageing and life history traits in wild species. However, the links between telomere length and key history traits such as reproductive performances have received little attention and remain unclear to date. The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is a long-lived species showing rapid growth at early stages of life, one of the highest reproductive outputs observed in vertebrates and a dichotomised reproductive pattern related to migrations lasting 2 or 3 years, supposedly associated with different environmental conditions. Here we tested the prediction of blood telomere shortening with age in this species and investigated the relationship between blood telomere length and reproductive performances in leatherback turtles nesting in French Guiana. We found that blood telomere length did not differ between hatchlings and adults. The absence of blood telomere shortening with age may be related to an early high telomerase activity. This telomere-restoring enzyme was formerly suggested to be involved in preventing early telomere attrition in early fast-growing and long-lived species, including squamate reptiles. We found that within one nesting cycle, adult females having performed shorter migrations prior to the considered nesting season had shorter blood telomeres and lower reproductive output. We propose that shorter blood telomeres may result from higher oxidative stress in individuals breeding more frequently (i.e., higher costs of reproduction) and/or restoring more quickly their body reserves in cooler feeding areas during preceding migration (i.e., higher foraging costs). This first study on telomeres in the giant leatherback turtle suggests that blood telomere length predicts not only survival chances, but also reproductive performances. Telomeres may therefore be a promising new tool to evaluate individual reproductive

  8. Rampant Horizontal Transfer of SPIN Transposons in Squamate Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Clément; Hernandez, Sharon S.; Flores-Benabib, Jaime; Smith, Eric N.; Feschotte, Cédric

    2012-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are highly abundant in the genome and capable of mobility, two properties that make them particularly prone to transfer horizontally between organisms. Although the impact of horizontal transfer (HT) of TEs is well recognized in prokaryotes, the frequency of this phenomenon and its contribution to genome evolution in eukaryotes remain poorly appreciated. Here, we provide evidence that a DNA transposon called SPIN has colonized the genome of 17 species of reptiles representing nearly every major lineage of squamates, including 14 families of lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians. Slot blot analyses indicate that SPIN has amplified to high copy numbers in most of these species, ranging from 2,000–28,000 copies per haploid genome. In contrast, we could not detect the presence of SPIN in any of the turtles (seven species from seven families) and crocodiles (four species) examined. Genetic distances between SPIN sequences from species belonging to different squamate families are consistently very low (average = 0.1), considering the deep evolutionary divergence of the families investigated (most are >100 My diverged). Furthermore, these distances fall below interfamilial distances calculated for two genes known to have evolved under strong functional constraint in vertebrates (RAG1, average = 0.24 and C-mos, average = 0.27). These data, combined with phylogenetic analyses, indicate that the widespread distribution of SPIN among squamates is the result of at least 13 independent events of HTs. Molecular dating and paleobiogeographical data suggest that these transfers took place during the last 50 My on at least three different continents (North America, South America and, Africa). Together, these results triple the number of known SPIN transfer events among tetrapods, provide evidence for a previously hypothesized transoceanic movement of SPIN transposons during the Cenozoic, and further underscore the role of HT in the evolution of

  9. Telomeres, age and reproduction in a long-lived reptile.

    PubMed

    Plot, Virginie; Criscuolo, François; Zahn, Sandrine; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2012-01-01

    A major interest has recently emerged in understanding how telomere shortening, mechanism triggering cell senescence, is linked to organism ageing and life history traits in wild species. However, the links between telomere length and key history traits such as reproductive performances have received little attention and remain unclear to date. The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is a long-lived species showing rapid growth at early stages of life, one of the highest reproductive outputs observed in vertebrates and a dichotomised reproductive pattern related to migrations lasting 2 or 3 years, supposedly associated with different environmental conditions. Here we tested the prediction of blood telomere shortening with age in this species and investigated the relationship between blood telomere length and reproductive performances in leatherback turtles nesting in French Guiana. We found that blood telomere length did not differ between hatchlings and adults. The absence of blood telomere shortening with age may be related to an early high telomerase activity. This telomere-restoring enzyme was formerly suggested to be involved in preventing early telomere attrition in early fast-growing and long-lived species, including squamate reptiles. We found that within one nesting cycle, adult females having performed shorter migrations prior to the considered nesting season had shorter blood telomeres and lower reproductive output. We propose that shorter blood telomeres may result from higher oxidative stress in individuals breeding more frequently (i.e., higher costs of reproduction) and/or restoring more quickly their body reserves in cooler feeding areas during preceding migration (i.e., higher foraging costs). This first study on telomeres in the giant leatherback turtle suggests that blood telomere length predicts not only survival chances, but also reproductive performances. Telomeres may therefore be a promising new tool to evaluate individual reproductive

  10. The evolution of chemoreception in squamate reptiles: a phylogenetic approach.

    PubMed

    Schwenk, K

    1993-01-01

    Recent advances in the field of squamate reptile chemoreception have been paralleled by the growth and preeminence of cladistics in the field of systematics, but for the most part, workers in the former have failed to incorporate the conceptual and informational advances of the latter. In this paper, I attempt a preliminary rapprochement by combining the methods of phylogenetic systematics and current hypotheses of squamate relationships with an overview of squamate chemosensory biology. This purely phylogenetic approach leads to a number of falsifiable generalizations about the evolution of chemoreception in squamates: 1) Evolution of this system is conservative rather than plastic, reflecting to a large extent suprafamilial attributes rather than adaptation to local conditions; 2) Anguimorphs are highly chemosensory and teiids show convergence with this group; 3) Tongue-flicking, a bifurcated tongue tip, a vomeronasal (VNO) mushroom body, and a complete circular muscle system in the tongue are a correlated character complex associated with the attainment, in squamates, of a direct VNO-oral connection and the loss of a VNO-nasal connection; 4) There is little support for a visual-chemosensory dichotomy within Squamata; 5) Gekkotans are allied with Autarchoglossa, both phylogenetically and in terms of chemosensory biology; 6) Iguania are highly variable in chemosensory development; iguanids represent the primitive iguanian condition, while agamids and chamaeleonids have secondarily reduced or lost their chemosensory abilities; 7) Apparent contradictions in chemosensory behavior among iguanids probably represent intrafamilial divergence; 8) Ecological correlates within Iguanidae and other taxa might be spurious, resulting from historical factors unrelated to the adaptations in question; 9) The mechanical demands of lingual food prehension have constrained chemosensory evolution in Iguania; chemosensory evolution within Scleroglossa was permitted by the liberation of

  11. Salmonella isolated from individual reptiles and environmental samples from terraria in private households in Sweden

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background This study investigates Salmonella spp. isolated from privately kept reptiles and from environmental samples such as bedding materials or water from the floor of the enclosures (terraria). It also compares isolation of Salmonella using Modified Semisolid Rappaport-Vassiliadis (MSRV) medium or selective enrichment in Rappaport-Vassiliadis-Soya (RVS) pepton broth. Cloacal swabs or swabs from the cloacal area were collected from 63 individual reptiles belonging to 14 households. All reptiles were from different terraria and from 62 of these, environmental samples were also collected. Sampling were done by the reptile owners according to written instructions and sent by mail immediately after sampling. All but three samples were analyzed within 24 h after collection. Colonies suspected for Salmonella were tested for agglutination and serotyped using the White-Kauffmann-Le Minor scheme. The relative sensitivity (se) and specificity (sp) for MSRV compared with RVS, and the agreement coefficient kappa (κ) were calculated. Results Salmonella was isolated from 50/63 (80%) terraria, either from the reptiles (31/63; 49%) or from bedding material (39/62; 63%). The most common subspecies was Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica followed by S. enterica subspecies diarizonae. In reptiles, the most common S. enterica subspecies enterica serovars were Java (n = 4) and Fluntern (n = 4), compared with the serovars Tennessee (n = 10) and Fluntern (n = 10) in the environmental samples. The exact same set of Salmonella subspecies and serovars were not isolated from the individual reptiles and the environmental samples from any of the households. Isolation using MSRV yielded more Salmonella isolates 61/113 (54%) than enrichment in RVS 57/125 (46%). The se was 97.9% (95% Confidence Interval 93.9-100), the sp 78.5% (95% CI 68.5-88.5) and the κ 0.74, indicating substantial agreement between the tests. Conclusions Salmonella can be expected to be present in

  12. New toothed flying reptile from Asia: close similarities between early Cretaceous pterosaur faunas from China and Brazil.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaolin; Kellner, Alexander W A; Jiang, Shunxing; Cheng, Xin

    2012-04-01

    Despite the great increase in pterosaur diversity in the last decades, particularly due to discoveries made in western Liaoning (China), very little is known regarding pterosaur biogeography. Here, we present the description of a new pterosaur from the Jiufotang Formation that adds significantly to our knowledge of pterosaur distribution and enhances the diversity of cranial anatomy found in those volant creatures. Guidraco venator gen. et sp. nov. has an unusual upward-directed frontal crest and large rostral teeth, some of which surpass the margins of the skull and lower jaw when occluded. The new species is closely related to a rare taxon from the Brazilian Crato Formation, posing an interesting paleobiogeographic problem and supporting the hypothesis that at least some early Cretaceous pterosaur clades, such as the Tapejaridae and the Anhangueridae, might have originated in Asia. The association of the new specimen with coprolites and the cranial morphology suggest that G. venator preyed on fish.

  13. New toothed flying reptile from Asia: close similarities between early Cretaceous pterosaur faunas from China and Brazil.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaolin; Kellner, Alexander W A; Jiang, Shunxing; Cheng, Xin

    2012-04-01

    Despite the great increase in pterosaur diversity in the last decades, particularly due to discoveries made in western Liaoning (China), very little is known regarding pterosaur biogeography. Here, we present the description of a new pterosaur from the Jiufotang Formation that adds significantly to our knowledge of pterosaur distribution and enhances the diversity of cranial anatomy found in those volant creatures. Guidraco venator gen. et sp. nov. has an unusual upward-directed frontal crest and large rostral teeth, some of which surpass the margins of the skull and lower jaw when occluded. The new species is closely related to a rare taxon from the Brazilian Crato Formation, posing an interesting paleobiogeographic problem and supporting the hypothesis that at least some early Cretaceous pterosaur clades, such as the Tapejaridae and the Anhangueridae, might have originated in Asia. The association of the new specimen with coprolites and the cranial morphology suggest that G. venator preyed on fish. PMID:22354475

  14. New toothed flying reptile from Asia: close similarities between early Cretaceous pterosaur faunas from China and Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiaolin; Kellner, Alexander W. A.; Jiang, Shunxing; Cheng, Xin

    2012-04-01

    Despite the great increase in pterosaur diversity in the last decades, particularly due to discoveries made in western Liaoning (China), very little is known regarding pterosaur biogeography. Here, we present the description of a new pterosaur from the Jiufotang Formation that adds significantly to our knowledge of pterosaur distribution and enhances the diversity of cranial anatomy found in those volant creatures. Guidraco venator gen. et sp. nov. has an unusual upward-directed frontal crest and large rostral teeth, some of which surpass the margins of the skull and lower jaw when occluded. The new species is closely related to a rare taxon from the Brazilian Crato Formation, posing an interesting paleobiogeographic problem and supporting the hypothesis that at least some early Cretaceous pterosaur clades, such as the Tapejaridae and the Anhangueridae, might have originated in Asia. The association of the new specimen with coprolites and the cranial morphology suggest that G. venator preyed on fish.

  15. Reptile Toll-like receptor 5 unveils adaptive evolution of bacterial flagellin recognition.

    PubMed

    Voogdt, Carlos G P; Bouwman, Lieneke I; Kik, Marja J L; Wagenaar, Jaap A; van Putten, Jos P M

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are ancient innate immune receptors crucial for immune homeostasis and protection against infection. TLRs are present in mammals, birds, amphibians and fish but have not been functionally characterized in reptiles despite the central position of this animal class in vertebrate evolution. Here we report the cloning, characterization, and function of TLR5 of the reptile Anolis carolinensis (Green Anole lizard). The receptor (acTLR5) displays the typical TLR protein architecture with 22 extracellular leucine rich repeats flanked by a N- and C-terminal leucine rich repeat domain, a membrane-spanning region, and an intracellular TIR domain. The receptor is phylogenetically most similar to TLR5 of birds and most distant to fish TLR5. Transcript analysis revealed acTLR5 expression in multiple lizard tissues. Stimulation of acTLR5 with TLR ligands demonstrated unique responsiveness towards bacterial flagellin in both reptile and human cells. Comparison of acTLR5 and human TLR5 using purified flagellins revealed differential sensitivity to Pseudomonas but not Salmonella flagellin, indicating development of species-specific flagellin recognition during the divergent evolution of mammals and reptiles. Our discovery of reptile TLR5 fills the evolutionary gap regarding TLR conservation across vertebrates and provides novel insights in functional evolution of host-microbe interactions.

  16. The behavioral responses of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity on parabolic flights.

    PubMed

    Wassersug, Richard J; Roberts, Lesley; Gimian, Jenny; Hughes, Elizabeth; Saunders, Ryan; Devison, Darren; Woodbury, Jonathan; O'Reilly, James C

    2005-01-01

    In the present study, we exposed 53 animals from 23 different species of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity (mug). This nearly doubles the number of amphibians and reptiles observed so far in mug. The animals were flown on a parabolic flight, which provided 20-25s of mug, to better characterize behavioral reactions to abrupt exposure to mug. Highly fossorial limbless caecilians and amphisbaenians showed relatively limited movement in mug. Limbed quadrupedal reptiles that were non-arboreal in the genera Leiocephalus, Anolis, and Scincella showed the typical righting response and enormous amounts of body motion and tail rotation, which we interpreted as both righting responses and futile actions to grasp the substrate. Both arboreal and non-arboreal geckos in the genera Uroplatus, Palmatogecko, Stenodactylus, Tarentola, and Eublepharis instead showed a skydiving posture previously reported for highly arboreal anurans. Some snakes, in the genera Thamnophis and Elaphe, which typically thrashed and rolled in mug, managed to knot their own bodies with their tails and immediately became quiescent. This suggests that these reptiles gave stable physical contact, which would indicate that they were not falling, primacy over vestibular input that indicated that they were in freefall. The fact that they became quiet upon self-embrace further suggests a failure to distinguish self from non-self. The patterns of behavior seen in amphibians and reptiles in mug can be explained in light of their normal ecology and taxonomic relations.

  17. Pyrosequencing of prey DNA in reptile faeces: analysis of earthworm consumption by slow worms.

    PubMed

    Brown, David S; Jarman, Simon N; Symondson, William O C

    2012-03-01

    Little quantitative ecological information exists on the diets of most invertebrate feeding reptiles, particularly nocturnal or elusive species that are difficult to observe. In the UK and elsewhere, reptiles are legally required to be relocated before land development can proceed, but without knowledge of their dietary requirements, the suitability of receptor sites cannot be known. Here, we tested the ability of non-invasive DNA-based molecular diagnostics (454 pyrosequencing) to analyse reptile diets, with the specific aims of determining which earthworm species are exploited by slow worms (the legless lizard Anguis fragilis) and whether they feed on the deeper-living earthworm species that only come to the surface at night. Slow worm faecal samples from four different habitats were analysed using earthworm-specific PCR primers. We found that 86% of slow worms (N=80) had eaten earthworms. In lowland heath and marshy/acid grassland, Lumbricus rubellus, a surface-dwelling epigeic species, dominated slow worm diet. In two other habitats, riverside pasture and calciferous coarse grassland, diet was dominated by deeper-living anecic and endogeic species. We conclude that all species of earthworm are exploited by these reptiles and lack of specialization allows slow worms to thrive in a wide variety of habitats. Pyrosequencing of prey DNA in faeces showed promise as a practical, rapid and relatively inexpensive means of obtaining detailed and valuable ecological information on the diets of reptiles. PMID:22176947

  18. Sylvatic Infestation of Oklahoma Reptiles with Immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Garvin, Stephen D; Noden, Bruce H; Dillwith, Jack W; Fox, Stanley F; Payton, Mark E; Barker, Robert W

    2015-09-01

    Reptiles were collected in nine counties in Oklahoma from September 2002 to May 2004 and examined for Ixodes scapularis (Say) larvae and nymphs to determine seasonal incidence and prevalence of these ticks. In total, 209 reptile specimens consisting of nine species of lizards and seven species of snakes were collected. Plestiodon fasciatus (L.) was the most numerous species collected (55%) followed by Sceloporus undulatus (Latreille) (17%) and Scincella lateralis (Say) (11%). Less than 10 individuals were collected for all remaining reptile species. The infestation prevalence of I. scapularis on all reptile specimens collected was 14% for larvae and 25% for nymphs. Larvae were found on lizards from April until September and peaked in May, while nymphs were found from March until September and peaked in April. I. scapularis larvae (84%) and nymphs (73%) preferentially attached to the axillae/front leg of P. fasciatus. Two chigger species, Eutrombicula splendens (Ewing) and Eutrombicula cinnabaris (Ewing), were found on 2% of the reptiles collected. No ectoparasites, including ticks, were obtained from the seven species of snakes collected.

  19. Pyrosequencing of prey DNA in reptile faeces: analysis of earthworm consumption by slow worms.

    PubMed

    Brown, David S; Jarman, Simon N; Symondson, William O C

    2012-03-01

    Little quantitative ecological information exists on the diets of most invertebrate feeding reptiles, particularly nocturnal or elusive species that are difficult to observe. In the UK and elsewhere, reptiles are legally required to be relocated before land development can proceed, but without knowledge of their dietary requirements, the suitability of receptor sites cannot be known. Here, we tested the ability of non-invasive DNA-based molecular diagnostics (454 pyrosequencing) to analyse reptile diets, with the specific aims of determining which earthworm species are exploited by slow worms (the legless lizard Anguis fragilis) and whether they feed on the deeper-living earthworm species that only come to the surface at night. Slow worm faecal samples from four different habitats were analysed using earthworm-specific PCR primers. We found that 86% of slow worms (N=80) had eaten earthworms. In lowland heath and marshy/acid grassland, Lumbricus rubellus, a surface-dwelling epigeic species, dominated slow worm diet. In two other habitats, riverside pasture and calciferous coarse grassland, diet was dominated by deeper-living anecic and endogeic species. We conclude that all species of earthworm are exploited by these reptiles and lack of specialization allows slow worms to thrive in a wide variety of habitats. Pyrosequencing of prey DNA in faeces showed promise as a practical, rapid and relatively inexpensive means of obtaining detailed and valuable ecological information on the diets of reptiles.

  20. Terrestrial origin of viviparity in mesozoic marine reptiles indicated by early triassic embryonic fossils.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction.

  1. Terrestrial origin of viviparity in mesozoic marine reptiles indicated by early triassic embryonic fossils.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction. PMID:24533127

  2. The behavioral responses of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity on parabolic flights.

    PubMed

    Wassersug, Richard J; Roberts, Lesley; Gimian, Jenny; Hughes, Elizabeth; Saunders, Ryan; Devison, Darren; Woodbury, Jonathan; O'Reilly, James C

    2005-01-01

    In the present study, we exposed 53 animals from 23 different species of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity (mug). This nearly doubles the number of amphibians and reptiles observed so far in mug. The animals were flown on a parabolic flight, which provided 20-25s of mug, to better characterize behavioral reactions to abrupt exposure to mug. Highly fossorial limbless caecilians and amphisbaenians showed relatively limited movement in mug. Limbed quadrupedal reptiles that were non-arboreal in the genera Leiocephalus, Anolis, and Scincella showed the typical righting response and enormous amounts of body motion and tail rotation, which we interpreted as both righting responses and futile actions to grasp the substrate. Both arboreal and non-arboreal geckos in the genera Uroplatus, Palmatogecko, Stenodactylus, Tarentola, and Eublepharis instead showed a skydiving posture previously reported for highly arboreal anurans. Some snakes, in the genera Thamnophis and Elaphe, which typically thrashed and rolled in mug, managed to knot their own bodies with their tails and immediately became quiescent. This suggests that these reptiles gave stable physical contact, which would indicate that they were not falling, primacy over vestibular input that indicated that they were in freefall. The fact that they became quiet upon self-embrace further suggests a failure to distinguish self from non-self. The patterns of behavior seen in amphibians and reptiles in mug can be explained in light of their normal ecology and taxonomic relations. PMID:16351959

  3. Reptile Toll-like receptor 5 unveils adaptive evolution of bacterial flagellin recognition

    PubMed Central

    Voogdt, Carlos G. P.; Bouwman, Lieneke I.; Kik, Marja J. L.; Wagenaar, Jaap A.; van Putten, Jos P. M.

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are ancient innate immune receptors crucial for immune homeostasis and protection against infection. TLRs are present in mammals, birds, amphibians and fish but have not been functionally characterized in reptiles despite the central position of this animal class in vertebrate evolution. Here we report the cloning, characterization, and function of TLR5 of the reptile Anolis carolinensis (Green Anole lizard). The receptor (acTLR5) displays the typical TLR protein architecture with 22 extracellular leucine rich repeats flanked by a N- and C-terminal leucine rich repeat domain, a membrane-spanning region, and an intracellular TIR domain. The receptor is phylogenetically most similar to TLR5 of birds and most distant to fish TLR5. Transcript analysis revealed acTLR5 expression in multiple lizard tissues. Stimulation of acTLR5 with TLR ligands demonstrated unique responsiveness towards bacterial flagellin in both reptile and human cells. Comparison of acTLR5 and human TLR5 using purified flagellins revealed differential sensitivity to Pseudomonas but not Salmonella flagellin, indicating development of species-specific flagellin recognition during the divergent evolution of mammals and reptiles. Our discovery of reptile TLR5 fills the evolutionary gap regarding TLR conservation across vertebrates and provides novel insights in functional evolution of host-microbe interactions. PMID:26738735

  4. Test What You Fly?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margolies, Don

    2002-01-01

    It was the first time on any NASA project I know of that all the instruments on an observatory came off for rework or calibration after the full range of environmental tests, and then were reintegrated at the launch center without the benefit of an observatory environmental retest. Perhaps you've heard the expression, 'Test what you fly, fly what you test'? In theory, it's hard to argue with that. In this case, I was willing to take the risk of not testing what I flew. As the project manager for the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) mission, I was the one who ultimately decided what risks to take, just as it was my responsibility to get buy-in from the stakeholders.

  5. Fly-scan ptychography

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xiaojing; Lauer, Kenneth; Clark, Jesse N.; Xu, Weihe; Nazaretski, Evgeny; Harder, Ross; Robinson, Ian K.; Chu, Yong S.

    2015-01-01

    We report an experimental ptychography measurement performed in fly-scan mode. With a visible-light laser source, we demonstrate a 5-fold reduction of data acquisition time. By including multiple mutually incoherent modes into the incident illumination, high quality images were successfully reconstructed from blurry diffraction patterns. This approach significantly increases the throughput of ptychography, especially for three-dimensional applications and the visualization of dynamic systems. PMID:25766519

  6. Fly-scan ptychography

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Huang, Xiaojing; Lauer, Kenneth; Clark, Jesse N.; Xu, Weihe; Nazaretski, Evgeny; Harder, Ross; Robinson, Ian K.; Chu, Yong S.

    2015-03-13

    We report an experimental ptychography measurement performed in fly-scan mode. With a visible-light laser source, we demonstrate a 5-fold reduction of data acquisition time. By including multiple mutually incoherent modes into the incident illumination, high quality images were successfully reconstructed from blurry diffraction patterns. This approach significantly increases the throughput of ptychography, especially for three-dimensional applications and the visualization of dynamic systems.

  7. Flying Saucer? Aliens?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1961-01-01

    No, it's not a flying saucer, it is the domed top to a 70 foot long vacuum tank at the Lewis Research Center's Electric Propulsion Laboratory, Cleveland, Ohio. The three technicians shown here in protective clothing had just emerged from within the tank where they had been cleaning in the toxic mercury atmosphere, left after ion engine testing in the tank. Lewis has since been renamed the John H. Glenn Research Center.

  8. Thermoregulatory behavior is widespread in the embryos of reptiles and birds.

    PubMed

    Li, Teng; Zhao, Bo; Zhou, Yong-Kang; Hu, Rui; Du, Wei-Guo

    2014-03-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that thermoregulatory behavior occurs not only in posthatching turtles but also in turtles prior to hatching. Does thermoregulatory behavior also occur in the embryos of other reptile and bird species? Our experiments show that such behavior is widespread but not universal in reptile and bird embryos. We recorded repositioning within the egg, in response to thermal gradients, in the embryos of three species of snakes (Xenochrophis piscator, Elaphe bimaculata, and Zaocys dhumnades), two turtles (Chelydra serpentina and Ocadia sinensis), one crocodile (Alligator sinensis), and four birds (Coturnix coturnix, Gallus gallus domesticus, Columba livia domestica, and Anas platyrhynchos domestica). However, we detected no significant thermoregulation by the embryos of two lizard species (Takydromus septentrionalis and Phrynocephalus frontalis). Overall, embryonic thermoregulatory behavior is widespread in reptile as well as bird species but may be unimportant in the small eggs laid by most lizards.

  9. Challenges in evaluating the impact of the trade in amphibians and reptiles on wild populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Hoover, Craig; Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are taken from the wild and sold commercially as food, pets, and traditional medicines. The overcollecting of some species highlights the need to assess the trade and ensure that it is not contributing to declines in wild populations. Unlike most countries, the United States tracks the imports and exports of all amphibians and reptiles. Records from 1998 to 2002 reveal a US trade of several million wild-caught amphibians and reptiles each year, although many shipments are not recorded at the species level. The magnitude and content of the global commercial trade carries even greater unknowns. The absence of accurate trade and biological information for most species makes it difficult to establish whether current take levels are sustainable. The void of information also implies that population declines due to overcollecting could be going undetected. Policy changes to acquire baseline biological information and ensure a sustainable trade are urgently needed.

  10. Effects of weed-management burning on reptile assemblages in Australian tropical savannas.

    PubMed

    Valentine, Leonie E; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2009-02-01

    Fire is frequently used for land management purposes and may be crucial for effective control of invasive non-native plants. Nevertheless, fire modifies environments and may affect nontarget native biodiversity, which can cause conflicts for conservation managers. Native Australian reptiles avoid habitat invaded by the alien plant rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) and may be susceptible to the impacts of burning, a situation that provides a model system in which to examine possible conservation trade-offs between managing invasive plants and maintaining native biodiversity. We used replicated, experimental fire treatments (unburned, dry-season burned, and wet-season burned) in 2 habitats (riparian and adjacent open woodland) to examine the short- (within 12 months of fire) and longer-term (within 3 years of fire) changes of reptile assemblages in response to wet- and dry-season burning for weed management in tropical savannas of northern Australia. Within 12 months of fire, abundances of the skink Carlia munda (Scincidae) were higher in the burned sites, but overall reptile composition was structured by habitat type rather than by effects of burning. Within 3 years of a fire, the effects of fire were evident. Reptiles, especially the gecko Heteronotia binoei (Gekkonidae), were least abundant in dry-season burned sites; litter-associated species, including Carlia pectoralis (Scincidae), were rarely observed in burned habitat; and there were fewer species in the wet-season burned sites. Reptile abundance was associated with vegetation structure, which suggests that fire-induced changes detrimentally altered the availability of resources for some reptiles, particularly leaf-litter species. Invasive alien plants, such as rubber vine, have severe effects on native biodiversity, and control of such species is a fundamental land management objective. Nevertheless, fire management of invasive alien plants may adversely affect native biodiversity, creating a

  11. Captive Reptile Mortality Rates in the Home and Implications for the Wildlife Trade.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Janine E; St John, Freya A V; Griffiths, Richard A; Roberts, David L

    2015-01-01

    The trade in wildlife and keeping of exotic pets is subject to varying levels of national and international regulation and is a topic often attracting controversy. Reptiles are popular exotic pets and comprise a substantial component of the live animal trade. High mortality of traded animals raises welfare concerns, and also has implications for conservation if collection from the wild is required to meet demand. Mortality of reptiles can occur at any stage of the trade chain from collector to consumer. However, there is limited information on mortality rates of reptiles across trade chains, particularly amongst final consumers in the home. We investigated mortality rates of reptiles amongst consumers using a specialised technique for asking sensitive questions, additive Randomised Response Technique (aRRT), as well as direct questioning (DQ). Overall, 3.6% of snakes, chelonians and lizards died within one year of acquisition. Boas and pythons had the lowest reported mortality rates of 1.9% and chameleons had the highest at 28.2%. More than 97% of snakes, 87% of lizards and 69% of chelonians acquired by respondents over five years were reported to be captive bred and results suggest that mortality rates may be lowest for captive bred individuals. Estimates of mortality from aRRT and DQ did not differ significantly which is in line with our findings that respondents did not find questions about reptile mortality to be sensitive. This research suggests that captive reptile mortality in the home is rather low, and identifies those taxa where further effort could be made to reduce mortality rates.

  12. Captive Reptile Mortality Rates in the Home and Implications for the Wildlife Trade

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Janine E.; St. John, Freya A. V.; Griffiths, Richard A.; Roberts, David L.

    2015-01-01

    The trade in wildlife and keeping of exotic pets is subject to varying levels of national and international regulation and is a topic often attracting controversy. Reptiles are popular exotic pets and comprise a substantial component of the live animal trade. High mortality of traded animals raises welfare concerns, and also has implications for conservation if collection from the wild is required to meet demand. Mortality of reptiles can occur at any stage of the trade chain from collector to consumer. However, there is limited information on mortality rates of reptiles across trade chains, particularly amongst final consumers in the home. We investigated mortality rates of reptiles amongst consumers using a specialised technique for asking sensitive questions, additive Randomised Response Technique (aRRT), as well as direct questioning (DQ). Overall, 3.6% of snakes, chelonians and lizards died within one year of acquisition. Boas and pythons had the lowest reported mortality rates of 1.9% and chameleons had the highest at 28.2%. More than 97% of snakes, 87% of lizards and 69% of chelonians acquired by respondents over five years were reported to be captive bred and results suggest that mortality rates may be lowest for captive bred individuals. Estimates of mortality from aRRT and DQ did not differ significantly which is in line with our findings that respondents did not find questions about reptile mortality to be sensitive. This research suggests that captive reptile mortality in the home is rather low, and identifies those taxa where further effort could be made to reduce mortality rates. PMID:26556237

  13. Genetic lineages of Salmonella enterica serovar Kentucky spreading in pet reptiles.

    PubMed

    Zając, Magdalena; Wasyl, Dariusz; Hoszowski, Andrzej; Le Hello, Simon; Szulowski, Krzysztof

    2013-10-25

    The purpose of the study was to define genetic diversity of reptilian Salmonella enterica serovar (S.) Kentucky isolates and their epidemiological relations to the ones from poultry, food, and environmental origin in Poland. Between 2010 and 2012 twenty-four S. Kentucky isolates derived from snakes (N=8), geckos (N=7), chameleons (N=4), agamas (N=1), lizard (N=1), and environmental swabs taken from reptile exhibition (N=3) were identified. They were characterized with antimicrobial minimal inhibitory concentration testing, XbaI-PFGE and MLST typing. The profiles compared to S. Kentucky available in BioNumerics local laboratory database (N=40) showed 67.3% of relatedness among reptile isolates. Three genetic lineages were defined. The first lineage gathered 20 reptile isolates with 83.4% of similarity and wild-type MICs for all antimicrobials tested but streptomycin in single case. The remaining three reptilian and one post-exhibition environment S. Kentucky isolates were clustered (87.2%) with isolates originating from poultry, mainly turkey, food, and environment and presented variable non-wild type MICs to numerous antimicrobials. The third S. Kentucky lineage was composed of two isolates from feed (96.3%). The results suggest diverse sources and independent routes of infection. Most of the isolates belonged to reptile-associated clones spread both horizontally and vertically. Simultaneously, PFGE profiles and MLST type indistinguishable from the ones observed in poultry point out carnivore reptiles as possible vector of infection with multidrug and high-level ciprofloxacin resistant (MIC≥8 mg/L) S. Kentucky. Public awareness and education are required to prevent potential reptile-associated S. Kentucky infections in humans.

  14. Mine spoil prairies expand critical habitat for endangered and threatened amphibian and reptile species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.

  15. Chrysosporium anamorph Nannizziopsis vriesii: an emerging fungal pathogen of captive and wild reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Mark A; Walden, Michael R

    2013-09-01

    Chrysosporium anamorph Nannizziopsis vriesii is a recent pathogen associated with infections in lizards, snakes, and crocodilians. It seems to be an obligate pathogen. It has been isolated from wild reptiles in addition to captive animals. Affected animals often present with aggressive, pyogranulomatous lesions that can affect the integument and musculoskeletal systems. Diagnosis can be done using culture, histopathology, and polymerase chain reaction assay. Ancillary diagnostic tests can be useful in characterizing the health status of the affected reptile and aid in planning supportive care and therapy. Treatment using antifungals has shown mixed results.

  16. Effects of a combinations of emodepside and praziquantel on parasites of reptiles and rodents.

    PubMed

    Mehlhorn, H; Schmahl, G; Frese, M; Mevissen, I; Harder, A; Krieger, K

    2005-10-01

    A new combination of two anthelmintic compounds containing emodepside and praziquantel (Profender, Bayer AG, Levekusen, Germany) was tested in pet rodents and reptiles. Topical application of the two compounds led to the quick disappearance of nematodes and cestodes from a broad spectrum of hosts including mice, jirds, snakes, anole lizards, turtles, monitor lizards, etc. In reptiles the dosage had to be increased, since the thick outer layer of the epidermis hinders the penetration of the compounds. In animals with an extremely thick epidermis (e.g. monitor lizards, leguans) the new product was applied under the armpits. PMID:16228277

  17. From fins to limbs to fins: limb evolution in fossil marine reptiles.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, Michael W

    2002-10-15

    Limb osteology and ontogenetic patterns of limb ossification are reviewed for extinct lineages of aquatically adapted diapsid reptiles. Phylogenies including these fossil taxa show that paddle-like limbs were independently derived, and that the varied limb morphologies were produced by evolutionary modifications to different aspects of the limb skeleton. Ancient marine reptiles modify the limb by reducing the relative size of the epipodials, modifying the perichondral and periosteal surface of elements distal to the propodials, and evolving extremes of hyperphalangy and hyperdactyly. Developmental genetic models illuminate gene systems that may have controlled limb evolution in these animals. PMID:12357467

  18. Pest Control on the "Fly"

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    FlyCracker(R), a non-toxic and environmentally safe pesticide, can be used to treat and control fly problems in closed environments such as milking sheds, cattle barns and hutches, equine stables, swine pens, poultry plants, food-packing plants, and even restaurants, as well as in some outdoor animal husbandry environments. The product can be applied safely in the presence of animals and humans, and was recently permitted for use on organic farms as livestock production aids. FlyCracker's carbohydrate technology kills fly larvae within 24 hours. By killing larvae before they reach the adult stages, FlyCracker eradicates another potential breeding population. Because the process is physical-not chemical-flies and other insects never develop resistance to the treatment, giving way to unlimited use of product, while still keeping the same powerful effect.

  19. Retinal degeneration in the fly.

    PubMed

    Colley, Nansi Jo

    2012-01-01

    Many genes are functionally equivalent between flies and humans. In addition, the same, or similar, mutations cause disease in both species. In fact, nearly three-fourths of all human disease genes have related sequences in Drosophila. The fly has a relatively small genome, made up of about 13,600 genes in four pairs of chromosomes. However, despite the dramatic differences in size and apparent complexity between humans and flies--we have less than twice as many genes as a fly--our genome is estimated to be made up of only 20,000-25,000 genes contained in 23 pairs of chromosomes. Therefore, despite the fly's perceived simplicity, or our perceived complexity, our genetic makeup may not be all that different. Its versatility for genetic manipulation and convenience for unraveling fundamental biological processes continue to guarantee the fly a place in the spotlight for unraveling the basis of and therapeutic treatments for human eye diseases.

  20. Blood feeding behavior of the stable fly

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stable fly is a fly that looks similar to a house fly but both sexes are blood feeders. Blood is required for successful fertilization and development of eggs. Bites are painful but there is usually no pain after the fly stops feeding. The stable fly is a persistent feeder and will continue trying t...

  1. Ameliorative effect of fly ashes

    SciTech Connect

    Bhumbla, D.K.

    1991-01-01

    Agronomic effectiveness and environmental impact of fly ashes used to reclaim pyritic acid mine spoils were investigated in the laboratory and field. Mine spoils at two abandoned sites were amended with three rates of fly ash, three rates of rock phosphate, and seeded with alfalfa and wheat. Application of fly ash decreased bulk density and increased moisture retention capacity of spoils. Fly ash application reduced cation exchange capacity, acidity, toxic levels of Al, Fe, and Mn in soils by buffering soil pH at 6.5, and retarded pyrite oxidation. The reduction in cation exchange capacity was compensated by release of plant nutrients through diffusion and dissolution of plerospheres in fly ash. Improvement of spoil physical, chemical and microbial properties resulted in higher yield, more nitrogen fixation, and utilization of P from rock phosphate by alfalfa. Laboratory investigations demonstrated that neutralization potential and the amounts of amorphous oxides of iron were more important for classifying fly ashes than the total elemental analysis presently used in a taxonomic classification system. Contamination of the food chain through plant removal of Mo and As in fly ash treated mine spoils was observed only for Mo and only for the first year of cropping. Plant available As and Mo decreased with time. Laboratory leaching and adsorption studies and a field experiment showed that trace metals do not leach from fly ashes at near neutral pH and more oxyanions will leach from fly ashes with low neutralization potential and low amounts of amorphous oxides of iron.

  2. Flying wires at Fermilab

    SciTech Connect

    Gannon, J.; Crawford, C.; Finley, D.; Flora, R.; Groves, T.; MacPherson, M.

    1989-03-01

    Transverse beam profile measurement systems called ''Flying Wires'' have been installed and made operational in the Fermilab Main Ring and Tevatron accelerators. These devices are used routinely to measure the emittance of both protons and antiprotons throughout the fill process, and for emittance growth measurements during stores. In the Tevatron, the individual transverse profiles of six proton and six antiproton bunches are obtained simultaneously, with a single pass of the wire through the beam. Essential features of the hardware, software, and system operation are explained in the rest of the paper. 3 refs., 4 figs.

  3. Flying by Titan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelletier, Frederic J.; Antreasian, Peter G.; Ardalan, Shadan M.; Criddle, Kevin E.; Ionasescu, Rodica; Jacobson, Robert A.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Parcher, Daniel W.; Roth, Duane C.; Thompson, Paul F.; Vaughan, Andrew T.

    2008-01-01

    The Cassini spacecraft encounters the massive Titan about once every month. These encounters are essential to the mission as Titan is the only satellite of Saturn that can provide enough gravity assist to shape the orbit tour and allow outstanding science for many years. From a navigation point of view, these encounters provide many challenges, in particular those that fly close enough to the surface for the atmospheric drag to perturb the orbit. This paper discusses the dynamics models developed to successfully navigate Cassini and determine its trajectory. This includes the moon's gravity pull with its second degree zonal harmonics J2, the attitude thrust control perturbations and the acceleration of drag.

  4. Flying over decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoeller, Judith; Issler, Mena; Imamoglu, Atac

    Levy flights haven been extensively used in the past three decades to describe non-Brownian motion of particles. In this presentation I give an overview on how Levy flights have been used across several disciplines, ranging from biology to finance to physics. In our publication we describe how a single electron spin 'flies' when captured in quantum dot using the central spin model. At last I motivate the use of Levy flights for the description of anomalous diffusion in modern experiments, concretely to describe the lifetimes of quasi-particles in Josephson junctions. Finished PhD at ETH in Spring 2015.

  5. Flying in, Flying out: Offshore Teaching in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seah, Wee Tiong; Edwards, Julie

    2006-01-01

    This paper discusses the relatively new phenomenon of university education faculties offering offshore education. The analogy, "flying in, flying out" captures the intensity of such offshore experiences for visiting academics, and contrasts their professional experiences against expatriate academics. This paper reports on case studies of two…

  6. Fly ash quality and utilization

    SciTech Connect

    Barta, L.E.; Lachner, L.; Wenzel, G.B.; Beer, M.J.

    1995-12-01

    The quality of fly ash is of considerable importance to fly ash utilizers. The fly ash puzzolanic activity is one of the most important properties that determines the role of fly ash as a binding agent in the cementing process. The puzzolanic activity, however is a function of fly ash particle size and chemical composition. These parameters are closely related to the process of fly ash formation in pulverized coal fired furnaces. In turn, it is essential to understand the transformation of mineral matter during coal combustion. Due to the particle-to-particle variation of coal properties and the random coalescence of mineral particles, the properties of fly ash particles e.g. size, SiO{sub 2} content, viscosity can change considerably from particle to particle. These variations can be described by the use of the probability theory. Since the mean values of these randomly changing parameters are not sufficient to describe the behavior of individual fly ash particles during the formation of concrete, therefore it is necessary to investigate the distribution of these variables. Examples of these variations were examined by the Computer Controlled Scanning Electron Microscopy (CCSEM) for particle size and chemical composition for Texas lignite and Eagel Butte mineral matter and fly ash. The effect of combustion on the variations of these properties for both the fly ash and mineral matter were studied by using a laminar flow reactor. It is shown in our paper, that there are significant variations (about 40-50% around the mean values) of the above-listed properties for both coal samples. By comparing the particle size and chemical composition distributions of the mineral matter and fly ash, it was possible to conclude that for the Texas lignite mineral matter, the combustion did not effect significantly the distribution of these properties, however, for the Eagel Butte coal the combustion had a major impact on these mineral matter parameters.

  7. Alternative Conceptions in Animal Classification Focusing on Amphibians and Reptiles: A Cross-Age Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yen, Chiung-Fen; Yao, Tsung-Wei; Chiu, Yu-Chih

    2004-01-01

    This study examined students' alternative conceptions of reptiles and amphibians and the extent to which these conceptions remain intact through the elementary (grades 4 and 6), junior, and senior high school years. We administered multiple-choice and free-response instruments to a total of 513 students and interviewed at least 20 students at each…

  8. Fatty acid analyses may provide insight into the progression of starvation among squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    McCue, Marshall D

    2008-10-01

    Fasting-induced changes in fatty acid composition have been reported to occur within the body lipids of several types of animals; however, little is known about the changes in fatty acid profiles exhibited by reptiles subjected to prolonged fasting. This study characterizes the fatty acid profiles of six reptile species subjected to sublethal periods of fasting lasting 0, 56, 112, and 168 days. Analyses of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) conducted on the total body lipids of rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox), ratsnakes (Elaphe obsoleta), pythons (Python regius), boas (Boa constrictor), true vipers (Bitis gabonica), and monitor lizards (Varanus exanthematicus) revealed that all of the species exhibited similar characteristic changes in their fatty acid profiles during starvation stress. According to ANOVAs, the four most effective indicators of the onset of starvation were significant increases in the [1] fatty acid unsaturation index as well as ratios of [2] linoleic to palmitoleic acid, [3] oleic to palmitic, and [4] arachidonic to total fatty acid concentrations. The results of this study suggest that FAME analyses might be useful for identifying nutritional stress and/or starvation among squamate reptiles; however, forthcoming studies will be required to validate the generality of these responses. I also review the potential limitations of this approach, and suggest experiments that will be important for future applications of FAME analyses. Ultimately, it is hoped that FAME analyses can be used in conjunction with current practices as an additional tool to characterize the prevalence of starvation experienced by free-living reptiles.

  9. Rapid Recovery of an Urban Remnant Reptile Community following Summer Wildfire

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Reptiles in urban remnants are threatened with extinction by increased fire frequency, habitat fragmentation caused by urban development, and competition and predation from exotic species. Understanding how urban reptiles respond to and recover from such disturbances is key to their conservation. We monitored the recovery of an urban reptile community for five years following a summer wildfire at Kings Park in Perth, Western Australia, using pitfall trapping at five burnt and five unburnt sites. The reptile community recovered rapidly following the fire. Unburnt sites initially had higher species richness and total abundance, but burnt sites rapidly converged, recording a similar total abundance to unburnt areas within two years, and a similar richness within three years. The leaf-litter inhabiting skink Hemiergis quadrilineata was strongly associated with longer unburnt sites and may be responding to the loss of leaf litter following the fire. Six rarely-captured species were also strongly associated with unburnt areas and were rarely or never recorded at burnt sites, whereas two other rarely-captured species were associated with burnt sites. We also found that one lizard species, Ctenotus fallens, had a smaller average body length in burnt sites compared to unburnt sites for four out of the five years of monitoring. Our study indicates that fire management that homogenises large areas of habitat through frequent burning may threaten some species due to their preference for longer unburnt habitat. Careful management of fire may be needed to maximise habitat suitability within the urban landscape. PMID:25992802

  10. Reptile and arboreal marsupial response to replanted vegetation in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Ross B; Lindenmayer, David B; Crane, Mason; Michael, Damian; MacGregor, Christopher

    2007-03-01

    We report reptile and arboreal marsupial responses to vegetation planting and remnant native vegetation in agricultural landscapes in southeastern Australia. We used a hierarchical survey to select 23 landscapes that varied in the amounts of remnant native vegetation and planted native vegetation. We selected two farms within each landscape. In landscapes with plantings, we selected one farm with and one farm without plantings. We surveyed arboreal marsupials and reptiles on four sites on each farm that encompassed four vegetation types (plantings 7-20 years old, old-growth woodland, naturally occurring seedling regrowth woodland, and coppice [i.e., multistemmed] regrowth woodland). Reptiles and arboreal marsupials were less likely to occur on farms and in landscapes with comparatively large areas of plantings. Such farms and landscapes had less native vegetation, fewer paddock trees, and less woody debris within those areas of natural vegetation. The relatively large area of planting on these farms was insufficient to overcome the lack of these key structural attributes. Old-growth woodland, coppice regrowth, seedling regrowth, and planted areas had different habitat values for different reptiles and arboreal marsupials. We conclude that, although plantings may improve habitat conditions for some taxa, they may not effectively offset the negative effects of native vegetation clearing for all species, especially those reliant on old-growth woodland. Restoring suitable habitat for such species may take decades to centuries.

  11. Reptiles. Animal Life in Action[TM]. Schlessinger Science Library. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

    This 23-minute videotape for grades 5-8, presents the myriad of animal life that exists on the planet. Students can view and perform experiments and investigations that help explain animal traits and habits. The ancestors of reptiles date back to the dinosaurs. After the dinosaurs died out, it was one of the best-adapted species that survived and…

  12. Considering native and exotic terrestrial reptiles in island invasive species eradication programmes in the Tropical Pacific

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Richard N.; Veitch, C.R.; Clout, Mike N.; Towns, D. R.

    2010-01-01

    Most island restoration projects with reptiles, either as direct beneficiaries of conservation or as indicators of recovery responses, have been on temperate or xeric islands. There have been decades of research, particularly on temperate islands in New Zealand, on the responses of native reptiles to mammal eradications but very few studies in tropical insular systems. Recent increases in restoration projects involving feral mammal eradications in the tropical Pacific have led to several specific challenges related to native and invasive reptiles. This paper reviews these challenges and discusses some potential solutions to them. The first challenge is that the tropical Pacific herpetofauna is still being discovered, described and understood. There is thus incomplete knowledge of how eradication activities may affect these faunas and the potential risks facing critical populations of these species from these eradication actions. The long term benefit of the removal of invasives is beneficial, but the possible short term impacts to small populations on small islands might be significant. The second challenge is that protocols for monitoring the responses of these species are not well documented but are often different from those used in temperate or xeric habitats. Lizard monitoring techniques used in the tropical Pacific are discussed. The third challenge involves invasive reptiles already in the tropical Pacific, some of which could easily spread accidentally through eradication and monitoring operations. The species posing the greatest threats in this respect are reviewed, and recommendations for biosecurity concerning these taxa are made.

  13. Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles at Mojave National Preserve: Final Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2007-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in the Mojave Network, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Mojave National Preserve in 2004-2005. Objectives for this inventory were to use fieldwork, museum collections, and literature review to document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species occurring at MOJA. Our goals were to document at least 90% of the species present, provide one voucher specimen for each species identified, provide GIS-referenced distribution information for sensitive species, and provide all deliverables, including NPSpecies entries, as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Methods included daytime and nighttime visual encounter surveys and nighttime road driving. Survey effort was concentrated in predetermined priority sampling areas, as well as in areas with a high potential for detecting undocumented species. We recorded 31 species during our surveys. During literature review and museum specimen database searches, we found records for seven additional species from MOJA, elevating the documented species list to 38 (two amphibians and 36 reptiles). Based on our surveys, as well as literature and museum specimen review, we estimate an overall inventory completeness of 95% for Mojave National Preserve herpetofauna; 67% for amphibians and 97% for reptiles.

  14. Blood flow to long bones indicates activity metabolism in mammals, reptiles and dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Seymour, Roger S; Smith, Sarah L; White, Craig R; Henderson, Donald M; Schwarz-Wings, Daniela

    2012-02-01

    The cross-sectional area of a nutrient foramen of a long bone is related to blood flow requirements of the internal bone cells that are essential for dynamic bone remodelling. Foramen area increases with body size in parallel among living mammals and non-varanid reptiles, but is significantly larger in mammals. An index of blood flow rate through the foramina is about 10 times higher in mammals than in reptiles, and even higher if differences in blood pressure are considered. The scaling of foramen size correlates well with maximum whole-body metabolic rate during exercise in mammals and reptiles, but less well with resting metabolic rate. This relates to the role of blood flow associated with bone remodelling during and following activity. Mammals and varanid lizards have much higher aerobic metabolic rates and exercise-induced bone remodelling than non-varanid reptiles. Foramen areas of 10 species of dinosaur from five taxonomic groups are generally larger than from mammals, indicating a routinely highly active and aerobic lifestyle. The simple measurement holds possibilities offers the possibility of assessing other groups of extinct and living vertebrates in relation to body size, behaviour and habitat.

  15. A new marine reptile from the Triassic of China, with a highly specialized feeding adaptation.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Long; Chen, Xiao-Hong; Shang, Qing-Hua; Wu, Xiao-Chun

    2014-03-01

    The Luoping fauna (Anisian, Middle Triassic) is probably the oldest of Triassic faunas in Guizhou-Yunnan area, China. The reptilian assemblage is comprised of ichthyosaurs, a number of sauropterygians (pachypleurosaur-like forms), saurosphargids, protorosaurs, and archosauriforms. Here, we report on a peculiar reptile, newly found in this fauna. Its dentition is fence or comb-like and bears more than 175 pleurodont teeth in each ramus of the upper and lower jaws, tooth crown is needle-like distally and blade-shaped proximally; its rostrum strongly bends downward and the anterior end of its mandible expands both dorsally and ventrally to form a shovel-headed structure; and its ungual phalanges are hoof-shaped. The specializations of the jaws and dentition indicate that the reptile may have been adapted to a way of bottom-filter feeding in water. It is obvious that such delicate teeth are not strong enough to catch prey, but were probably used as a barrier to filter microorganisms or benthic invertebrates such as sea worms. These were collected by the specialized jaws, which may have functioned as a shovel or pushdozer (the mandible) and a grasper or scratcher (the rostrum). Our preliminary analysis suggests that the new reptile might be more closely related to the Sauropterygia than to other marine reptiles.

  16. Design and Management Criteria for Fish, Amphibian, and Reptile Communities Within Created Agricultural Wetlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Design and management criteria for created agricultural wetlands in the midwestern United States typically focus on maximizing the ability to process agricultural runoff. Ecological benefits for fish, amphibian, and reptiles are often secondary considerations. One example of this water quality focu...

  17. Description of Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum subsp. nov., isolated from humans and reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A polyphasic study was undertaken to determine the taxonomic position of 13 Campylobacter fetus-like isolates from humans (n=8) and reptiles (n=5). Phenotypic characterization, Genusgenus-specific and sap insertion-PCR initially identified all human isolates as type A Campylobacter fetus. Phylogenet...

  18. Rapid Recovery of an Urban Remnant Reptile Community following Summer Wildfire.

    PubMed

    Davis, Robert A; Doherty, Tim S

    2015-01-01

    Reptiles in urban remnants are threatened with extinction by increased fire frequency, habitat fragmentation caused by urban development, and competition and predation from exotic species. Understanding how urban reptiles respond to and recover from such disturbances is key to their conservation. We monitored the recovery of an urban reptile community for five years following a summer wildfire at Kings Park in Perth, Western Australia, using pitfall trapping at five burnt and five unburnt sites. The reptile community recovered rapidly following the fire. Unburnt sites initially had higher species richness and total abundance, but burnt sites rapidly converged, recording a similar total abundance to unburnt areas within two years, and a similar richness within three years. The leaf-litter inhabiting skink Hemiergis quadrilineata was strongly associated with longer unburnt sites and may be responding to the loss of leaf litter following the fire. Six rarely-captured species were also strongly associated with unburnt areas and were rarely or never recorded at burnt sites, whereas two other rarely-captured species were associated with burnt sites. We also found that one lizard species, Ctenotus fallens, had a smaller average body length in burnt sites compared to unburnt sites for four out of the five years of monitoring. Our study indicates that fire management that homogenises large areas of habitat through frequent burning may threaten some species due to their preference for longer unburnt habitat. Careful management of fire may be needed to maximise habitat suitability within the urban landscape.

  19. A new marine reptile from the Triassic of China, with a highly specialized feeding adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Long; Chen, Xiao-Hong; Shang, Qing-Hua; Wu, Xiao-Chun

    2014-03-01

    The Luoping fauna (Anisian, Middle Triassic) is probably the oldest of Triassic faunas in Guizhou-Yunnan area, China. The reptilian assemblage is comprised of ichthyosaurs, a number of sauropterygians (pachypleurosaur-like forms), saurosphargids, protorosaurs, and archosauriforms. Here, we report on a peculiar reptile, newly found in this fauna. Its dentition is fence or comb-like and bears more than 175 pleurodont teeth in each ramus of the upper and lower jaws, tooth crown is needle-like distally and blade-shaped proximally; its rostrum strongly bends downward and the anterior end of its mandible expands both dorsally and ventrally to form a shovel-headed structure; and its ungual phalanges are hoof-shaped. The specializations of the jaws and dentition indicate that the reptile may have been adapted to a way of bottom-filter feeding in water. It is obvious that such delicate teeth are not strong enough to catch prey, but were probably used as a barrier to filter microorganisms or benthic invertebrates such as sea worms. These were collected by the specialized jaws, which may have functioned as a shovel or pushdozer (the mandible) and a grasper or scratcher (the rostrum). Our preliminary analysis suggests that the new reptile might be more closely related to the Sauropterygia than to other marine reptiles.

  20. Reptiles from Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Maranhão, northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Miranda, Jivanildo Pinheiro; Costa, João Carlos Lopes; Rocha, Carlos Frederico D.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract We are presenting a list of the reptile species from Lençóis Maranhenses National Park (LMNP), Maranhão, Brazil, obtained during 235 days of field work. The study area is located in the contact zone between three major Neotropical ecosystems: Amazonia, Caatinga, and Cerrado. The PNLM encompasses the largest dune fields in Brazil, wide shrubby areas (restingas), lakes, mangroves, and many freshwater lagoons. We have recorded 42 species of reptiles in the area: 24 snakes, 12 lizards, two worm lizards, three turtles, and one alligator. About 81 % of the recorded species occurred only in restinga areas. Our data highlights the uniqueness of the PNLM in the context of the biomes that surround it and shows the importance of efforts to improve the conservation of reptiles living in the restinga, which currently comprise only about 20 % of the total area protected by the park, but which are the mesohabitat containing most of the reptile species in the Lençóis Maranhenses complex of habitats. PMID:23275751

  1. Lutzomyia (Helcocyrtomyia) Apache Young and Perkins (Diptera: Psychodidae) feeds on reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phlebotomine sand flies are vectors of bacteria, parasites, and viruses. In the western USA a sand fly, Lutzomyia apache Young and Perkins, was initially associated with epizootics of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), because sand flies were trapped at sites of an outbreak. Additional studies indica...

  2. Physics of flying

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vetrone, Jim

    2015-05-01

    Column editor's note: As the school year comes to a close, it is important to start thinking about next year. One area that you want to consider is field trips. Many institutions require that teachers plan for a field trip well in advance. Keeping that in mind, I asked Jim Vetrone to write an article about the fantastic field trip he takes his AP Physics students on. I had the awesome opportunity to attend a professional development day that Jim arranged at iFLY in the Chicago suburbs. The experience of "flying" in a wind tunnel was fabulous. Equally fun was watching the other physics teachers come up with experiments to have the professional "flyers" perform in the tube. I could envision my students being similarly excited about the experience and about the development of their own experiments. After I returned to school, I immediately began the process of trying to get this field trip approved for the 2015-16 school year. I suggest that you start your process as well if you hope to try a new field trip next year. The key to getting the approval, in my experience, is submitting a proposal early that includes supporting documentation from sources. Often I use NGSS or state standards as justifications for my field trips. I have also quoted College Board expectations for AP Physics 1 and 2 in my documents when requesting an unusual field trip.

  3. The Flying University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friesen, Catherine

    The Flying University is solo theater performance framed as an academic lecture about Marie Curie and her discovery of radium, delivered to a group of women who have gathered in secret to further their education. As the lecture proceeds, the professor brings in her own research based on a study of Esther Horsch (1905-1991) who lived on a farm in central Illinois. She introduces data from Esther's journals, personal memories, and dreams about Esther's life. The professor's investigation of radium plays at the intersections of magical and mundane, decay and the transformation of life, and the place of ambition in these two women's lives. The intention of this piece is to explore these themes, which are full of mystery, through the traces of the daily lives of Mme. Curie and Esther. Their words and photos are used as roots from which to imagine the things that echo beyond their familiar work; elemental and also fantastically radiant. The Flying University was written and performed by Catherine Friesen April 27-29, 2012 in the Center for Performance Experiment at Hamilton College as part of the University of South Carolina MFA Acting Class of 2013 showcase, Pieces of Eight.

  4. Diagnosis of gastrointestinal parasites in reptiles: comparison of two coprological methods

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Exotic reptiles have become increasingly common domestic pets worldwide and are well known to be carriers of different parasites including some with zoonotic potential. The need of accurate diagnosis of gastrointestinal endoparasite infections in domestic reptiles is therefore essential, not only for the well-being of captive reptiles but also for the owners. Here, two different approaches for the detection of parasite stages in reptile faeces were compared: a combination of native and iodine stained direct smears together with a flotation technique (CNF) versus the standard SAF-method. Results A total of 59 different reptile faeces (20 lizards, 22 snakes, 17 tortoises) were coprologically analyzed by the two methods for the presence of endoparasites. Analyzed reptile faecal samples contained a broad spectrum of parasites (total occurence 93.2%, n = 55) including different species of nematodes (55.9%, n = 33), trematodes (15.3%, n = 9), pentastomids (3.4%, n = 2) and protozoans (47.5%, n = 28). Associations between the performances of both methods to detect selected single parasite stages or groups of such were evaluated by Fisher's exact test and marginal homogeneity was tested by the McNemar test. In 88.1% of all examined samples (n = 52, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 77.1 - 95.1%) the two diagnostic methods rendered differing results, and the McNemar test for paired observations showed highly significant differences of the detection frequency (P < 0.0001). Conclusion The combination of direct smears/flotation proved superior in the detection of flagellates trophozoites, coccidian oocysts and nematode eggs, especially those of oxyurids. SAF-technique was superior in detecting larval stages and trematode eggs, but this advantage failed to be statistically significant (P = 0.13). Therefore, CNF is the recommended method for routine faecal examination of captive reptiles while the SAF-technique is advisable as

  5. Why flies are good vectors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It was around 1900 when house flies were implicated in disease transmission. Flies with white powder on their feet were seen landing on food in US Army chow halls. This white powder was lime that had been sprinkled over the human excrement in open latrines not too far from the eating establishments....

  6. Fire mosaics and reptile conservation in a fire-prone region.

    PubMed

    Nimmo, D G; Kelly, L T; Spence-Bailey, L M; Watson, S J; Taylor, R S; Clarke, M F; Bennett, A F

    2013-04-01

    Fire influences the distribution of fauna in terrestrial biomes throughout the world. Use of fire to achieve a mosaic of vegetation in different stages of succession after burning (i.e., patch-mosaic burning) is a dominant conservation practice in many regions. Despite this, knowledge of how the spatial attributes of vegetation mosaics created by fire affect fauna is extremely scarce, and it is unclear what kind of mosaic land managers should aim to achieve. We selected 28 landscapes (each 12.6 km(2) ) that varied in the spatial extent and diversity of vegetation succession after fire in a 104,000 km(2) area in the semiarid region of southeastern Australia. We surveyed for reptiles at 280 sites nested within the 28 landscapes. The landscape-level occurrence of 9 of the 22 species modeled was associated with the spatial extent of vegetation age classes created by fire. Biogeographic context and the extent of a vegetation type influenced 7 and 4 species, respectively. No species were associated with the diversity of vegetation ages within a landscape. Negative relations between reptile occurrence and both extent of recently burned vegetation (≤10 years postfire, n = 6) and long unburned vegetation (>35 years postfire, n = 4) suggested that a coarse-grained mosaic of areas (e.g. >1000 ha) of midsuccessional vegetation (11-35 years postfire) may support the fire-sensitive reptile species we modeled. This age class coincides with a peak in spinifex cover, a keystone structure for reptiles in semiarid and arid Australia. Maintaining over the long term a coarse-grained mosaic of large areas of midsuccessional vegetation in mallee ecosystems will need to be balanced against the short-term negative effects of large fires on many reptile species and a documented preference by species from other taxonomic groups, particularly birds, for older vegetation.

  7. Reptiles as potential vectors and hosts of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Panama.

    PubMed

    Kilburn, Vanessa L; Ibáñez, Roberto; Green, David M

    2011-12-01

    Chytridiomycosis, the disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is considered to be a disease exclusively of amphibians. However, B. dendrobatidis may also be capable of persisting in the environment, and non-amphibian vectors or hosts may contribute to disease transmission. Reptiles living in close proximity to amphibians and sharing similar ecological traits could serve as vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis, harbouring the organism on their skin without succumbing to disease. We surveyed for the presence of B. dendrobatidis DNA among 211 lizards and 8 snakes at 8 sites at varying elevations in Panama where the syntopic amphibians were at pre-epizootic, epizootic or post-epizootic stages of chytridiomycosis. Detection of B. dendrobatidis DNA was done using qPCR analysis. Evidence of the amphibian pathogen was present at varying intensities in 29 of 79 examined Anolis humilis lizards (32%) and 9 of 101 A. lionotus lizards (9%), and in one individual each of the snakes Pliocercus euryzonus, Imantodes cenchoa, and Nothopsis rugosus. In general, B. dendrobatidis DNA prevalence among reptiles was positively correlated with the infection prevalence among co-occurring anuran amphibians at any particular site (r = 0.88, p = 0.004). These reptiles, therefore, may likely be vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis and could serve as disease transmission agents. Although there is no evidence of B. dendrobatidis disease-induced declines in reptiles, cases of coincidence of reptile and amphibian declines suggest this potentiality. Our study is the first to provide evidence of non-amphibian carriers for B. dendrobatidis in a natural Neotropical environment.

  8. Climatic Inferences from Extant and Fossil Reptiles: Toward a Metabolic Paleothermometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, J. J.

    2010-12-01

    The fossil record of Cenozoic reptiles represents an underutilized dataset for estimating paleoclimate. Maximum body sizes in poikilothermic taxa are ultimately limited by a critical minimum ambient temperature below which metabolism cannot be maintained for a given mass-specific metabolic rate, and the relationship between environmental temperature and body size in extant reptiles provides a model for inferring paleotemperatures from sizes of fossil taxa. Body size changes with latitude in modern reptiles, consistent with a model that predicts proportionality of size with temperature. The model is derived to calculate past temperatures by comparing body sizes in fossil reptiles with maximum sizes in extant reptiles at a given Mean Annual Temperatures (MAT), assuming similar ecologies and appropriate mass-specific metabolic rates for both modern and fossil taxa. Phylogenetic constraint minimizes such assumptions, and multi-taxon sampling increases the robustness of estimates for a given ecology or depositional environment. This metabolic paleothermometer was used to estimate past temperatures through the Cenozoic by comparing maximum body sizes of extant turtles, crocodilians, and snakes from aquatic environments at known mass- specific metabolic rates for modern MATs with Paleogene and Neogene herpetofaunas from North American and equatorial South America. Maximum body sizes of Paleogene equatorial snakes and turtles demonstrate high Neotropical MATs, and stratigraphic histories of sizes change in North American trionychid turtles reflect MAT changes during the Paleogene Thermal Maximum. Multi-taxon temperature estimates of the Neotropics during the late Miocene indicate high MATs equivalent to Paleogene values, and suggest that hot equatorial climates persisted during the beginning of the late Neogene global cooling event.

  9. Eaten Out of House and Home: Impacts of Grazing on Ground-Dwelling Reptiles in Australian Grasslands and Grassy Woodlands

    PubMed Central

    Howland, Brett; Stojanovic, Dejan; Gordon, Iain J.; Manning, Adrian D.; Fletcher, Don; Lindenmayer, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1) density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2) grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence) across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure) significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata) were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis) was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata) did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing. PMID:25501680

  10. Eaten out of house and home: impacts of grazing on ground-dwelling reptiles in Australian grasslands and grassy woodlands.

    PubMed

    Howland, Brett; Stojanovic, Dejan; Gordon, Iain J; Manning, Adrian D; Fletcher, Don; Lindenmayer, David B

    2014-01-01

    Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1) density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2) grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence) across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure) significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata) were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis) was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata) did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing.

  11. Eaten out of house and home: impacts of grazing on ground-dwelling reptiles in Australian grasslands and grassy woodlands.

    PubMed

    Howland, Brett; Stojanovic, Dejan; Gordon, Iain J; Manning, Adrian D; Fletcher, Don; Lindenmayer, David B

    2014-01-01

    Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1) density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2) grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence) across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure) significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata) were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis) was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata) did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing. PMID:25501680

  12. Host preferences of the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis at an endemic focus of American visceral leishmaniasis in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Morrison, A C; Ferro, C; Tesh, R B

    1993-07-01

    Blood meals from 579 Lutzomyia longipalpis (Diptera:Psychodidae), collected in an endemic focus of American visceral leishmaniasis in Colombia, were identified by precipitin test. Sand fly collections were made during a 16-month period from the inside walls of two houses, a pigpen, and rock crevices in a small community (El Callejon) within the endemic area. Feeding patterns of the sand flies varied with locality and date of collection. Overall, bovine feedings predominated, but feedings were also recorded on pigs, equines, humans, dogs, opossums, birds, and reptiles. Calculation of the forage ratios for each host species indicated that cows and pigs were the preferred hosts of Lu. longipalpis in El Callejon. Results of this study suggest that Lu. longipalpis is an opportunistic feeder and is not highly anthropophilic nor strongly attracted to dogs.

  13. Sorptivity of fly ash concretes

    SciTech Connect

    Gopalan, M.K.

    1996-08-01

    A factorial experiment was designed to measure the sorptivity of cement and fly ash concretes in order to compare the durability of fly ash concrete against the cement concrete. Sorptivity measurements based on the capillary movement of water was made on three grades of cement concrete and six grades of fly ash mixes. The effect of curing was also studied by treating the samples in two curving conditions. A functional relationship of sorptivity against the strength, curing condition and fly ash content has been presented. The results were useful to analyze the factors influencing the durability of cement and fly ash concretes and to explain why some of the previously reported findings were contradictory. Curing conditions have been found to be the most important factor that affected the durability properties of fly ash concrete. When proper curing was provided, a mix with 40% fly ash was found to reduce the sorptivity by 37%. Under inadequate curing the sorptivity was found to increase by 60%. The influence of curing on cement concrete was found to be of much less importance.

  14. Identifying bird and reptile vulnerabilities to climate change in the southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatten, James R.; Giermakowski, J. Tomasz; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Nowak, Erika M.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Ironside, Kirsten E.; Van Riper, Charles, III; Peters, Michael; Truettner, Charles; Cole, Kenneth L.

    2016-01-01

    Current and future breeding ranges of 15 bird and 16 reptile species were modeled in the Southwestern United States. Rather than taking a broad-scale, vulnerability-assessment approach, we created a species distribution model (SDM) for each focal species incorporating climatic, landscape, and plant variables. Baseline climate (1940–2009) was characterized with Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) data and future climate with global-circulation-model data under an A1B emission scenario. Climatic variables included monthly and seasonal temperature and precipitation; landscape variables included terrain ruggedness, soil type, and insolation; and plant variables included trees and shrubs commonly associated with a focal species. Not all species-distribution models contained a plant, but if they did, we included a built-in annual migration rate for more accurate plant-range projections in 2039 or 2099. We conducted a group meta-analysis to (1) determine how influential each variable class was when averaged across all species distribution models (birds or reptiles), and (2) identify the correlation among contemporary (2009) habitat fragmentation and biological attributes and future range projections (2039 or 2099). Projected changes in bird and reptile ranges varied widely among species, with one-third of the ranges predicted to expand and two-thirds predicted to contract. A group meta-analysis indicated that climatic variables were the most influential variable class when averaged across all models for both groups, followed by landscape and plant variables (birds), or plant and landscape variables (reptiles), respectively. The second part of the meta-analysis indicated that numerous contemporary habitat-fragmentation (for example, patch isolation) and biological-attribute (for example, clutch size, longevity) variables were significantly correlated with the magnitude of projected range changes for birds and reptiles. Patch isolation was

  15. Identifying bird and reptile vulnerabilities to climate change in the southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatten, James R.; Giermakowski, J. Tomasz; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Nowak, Erika M.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Ironside, Kirsten E.; Van Riper, Charles; Peters, Michael; Truettner, Charles; Cole, Kenneth L.

    2016-07-06

    Current and future breeding ranges of 15 bird and 16 reptile species were modeled in the Southwestern United States. Rather than taking a broad-scale, vulnerability-assessment approach, we created a species distribution model (SDM) for each focal species incorporating climatic, landscape, and plant variables. Baseline climate (1940–2009) was characterized with Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) data and future climate with global-circulation-model data under an A1B emission scenario. Climatic variables included monthly and seasonal temperature and precipitation; landscape variables included terrain ruggedness, soil type, and insolation; and plant variables included trees and shrubs commonly associated with a focal species. Not all species-distribution models contained a plant, but if they did, we included a built-in annual migration rate for more accurate plant-range projections in 2039 or 2099. We conducted a group meta-analysis to (1) determine how influential each variable class was when averaged across all species distribution models (birds or reptiles), and (2) identify the correlation among contemporary (2009) habitat fragmentation and biological attributes and future range projections (2039 or 2099). Projected changes in bird and reptile ranges varied widely among species, with one-third of the ranges predicted to expand and two-thirds predicted to contract. A group meta-analysis indicated that climatic variables were the most influential variable class when averaged across all models for both groups, followed by landscape and plant variables (birds), or plant and landscape variables (reptiles), respectively. The second part of the meta-analysis indicated that numerous contemporary habitat-fragmentation (for example, patch isolation) and biological-attribute (for example, clutch size, longevity) variables were significantly correlated with the magnitude of projected range changes for birds and reptiles. Patch isolation was

  16. Contrasts in short- and long-term responses of Mediterranean reptile species to fire and habitat structure.

    PubMed

    Santos, Xavier; Badiane, Arnaud; Matos, Cátia

    2016-01-01

    Changes in habitat structure constitute a major factor explaining responses of reptiles to fire. However, few studies have examined habitat factors that covary with fire-history variables to explain reptile responses. We hypothesise that more complex habitats should support richer reptile communities, and that species-specific relative abundance should be related to particular habitat features. From spring 2012-2014, twenty-five transects were surveyed in the Albera Region (north-east Iberia). The vegetation structure was measured and the extent of habitat types in a 1000-m buffer around each transect calculated. Reptile-community metrics (species richness and reptile abundance) were related to fire history, vegetation structure, and habitat types, using generalized additive models. These metrics correlated with habitat-structure variables but not with fire history. The number of species increased with more complex habitats but decreased with pine-plantation abundance in the 1000-m buffer. We found contrasting responses among reptiles in terms of time since fire and those responses differed according to vegetation variables and habitat types. An unplanned fire in August 2012 provided the opportunity to compare reptile abundance values between pre-fire and the short term (1-2 years) after the fire. Most species exhibited a negative short-term response to the 2012 fire except Tarentola mauritanica, a gecko that inhabits large rocks, as opposed to other ground-dwelling species. In the reptiles studied, contrasting responses to time since fire are consistent with the habitat-accommodation model of succession. These differences are linked to specific microhabitat preferences and suggest that functional traits can be used to predict species-specific responses to fire.

  17. Contrasts in short- and long-term responses of Mediterranean reptile species to fire and habitat structure.

    PubMed

    Santos, Xavier; Badiane, Arnaud; Matos, Cátia

    2016-01-01

    Changes in habitat structure constitute a major factor explaining responses of reptiles to fire. However, few studies have examined habitat factors that covary with fire-history variables to explain reptile responses. We hypothesise that more complex habitats should support richer reptile communities, and that species-specific relative abundance should be related to particular habitat features. From spring 2012-2014, twenty-five transects were surveyed in the Albera Region (north-east Iberia). The vegetation structure was measured and the extent of habitat types in a 1000-m buffer around each transect calculated. Reptile-community metrics (species richness and reptile abundance) were related to fire history, vegetation structure, and habitat types, using generalized additive models. These metrics correlated with habitat-structure variables but not with fire history. The number of species increased with more complex habitats but decreased with pine-plantation abundance in the 1000-m buffer. We found contrasting responses among reptiles in terms of time since fire and those responses differed according to vegetation variables and habitat types. An unplanned fire in August 2012 provided the opportunity to compare reptile abundance values between pre-fire and the short term (1-2 years) after the fire. Most species exhibited a negative short-term response to the 2012 fire except Tarentola mauritanica, a gecko that inhabits large rocks, as opposed to other ground-dwelling species. In the reptiles studied, contrasting responses to time since fire are consistent with the habitat-accommodation model of succession. These differences are linked to specific microhabitat preferences and suggest that functional traits can be used to predict species-specific responses to fire. PMID:26408003

  18. Managing the Fruit Fly Experiment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeszenszky, Arleen W.

    1997-01-01

    Describes a sophisticated version of the fruit fly experiment for teaching concepts about genetics to biology students. Provides students with the opportunity to work with live animals over an extended period. (JRH)

  19. Osteomyelitis in a Paleozoic reptile: ancient evidence for bacterial infection and its evolutionary significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reisz, Robert R.; Scott, Diane M.; Pynn, Bruce R.; Modesto, Sean P.

    2011-06-01

    We report on dental and mandibular pathology in Labidosaurus hamatus, a 275 million-year-old terrestrial reptile from North America and associate it with bacterial infection in an organism that is characterized by reduced tooth replacement. Analysis of the surface and internal mandibular structure using mechanical and CT-scanning techniques permits the reconstruction of events that led to the pathology and the possible death of the individual. The infection probably occurred as a result of prolonged exposure of the dental pulp cavity to oral bacteria, and this exposure was caused by injury to the tooth in an animal that is characterized by reduced tooth replacement cycles. In these early reptiles, the reduction in tooth replacement is an evolutionary innovation associated with strong implantation and increased oral processing. The dental abscess observed in L. hamatus, the oldest known infection in a terrestrial vertebrate, provides clear evidence of the ancient association between terrestrial vertebrates and their oral bacteria.

  20. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz-Silva, W; Oliveira, R M; Gonzaga, A F N; Pinto, K C; Poli, F C; Bilce, T M; Penhacek, M; Wronski, L; Martins, J X; Junqueira, T G; Cesca, L C C; Guimarães, V Y; Pinheiro, R D

    2015-08-01

    The region of Volta Grande do Xingu River, in the state of Pará, presents several kinds of land use ranging from extensive cattle farming to agroforestry, and deforestation. Currently, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant affects the region. We present a checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region and discuss information regarding the spatial distribution of the assemblies based on results of Environmental Programmes conducted in the area. We listed 109 amphibian (Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona) and 150 reptile (Squamata, Testudines, and Crocodylia) species. The regional species richness is still considered underestimated, considering the taxonomic uncertainty, complexity and cryptic diversity of various species, as observed in other regions of the Amazon biome. Efforts for scientific collection and studies related to integrative taxonomy are needed to elucidate uncertainties and increase levels of knowledge of the local diversity.

  1. Serosurveillance of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus in Amphibians and Reptiles from Alabama, USA

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Sean P.; Hassan, Hassan K.; Chapman, Taryn; White, Gregory; Guyer, Craig; Unnasch, Thomas R.

    2012-01-01

    Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is among the most medically important arboviruses in North America, and studies suggest a role for amphibians and reptiles in its transmission cycle. Serum samples collected from 351 amphibians and reptiles (27 species) from Alabama, USA, were tested for the presence of antibodies against EEEV. Frogs, turtles, and lizards showed little or no seropositivity, and snakes had high seropositivity rates. Most seropositive species were preferred or abundant hosts of Culex spp. mosquitoes at Tuskegee National Forest, that target ectothermic hosts. The cottonmouth, the most abundant ectotherm sampled, displayed a high prevalence of seropositivity, indicating its possible role as an amplification and/or over-wintering reservoir for EEEV. PMID:22403333

  2. Cranial sutures work collectively to distribute strain throughout the reptile skull

    PubMed Central

    Curtis, Neil; Jones, M. E. H.; Evans, S. E.; O'Higgins, P.; Fagan, M. J.

    2013-01-01

    The skull is composed of many bones that come together at sutures. These sutures are important sites of growth, and as growth ceases some become fused while others remain patent. Their mechanical behaviour and how they interact with changing form and loadings to ensure balanced craniofacial development is still poorly understood. Early suture fusion often leads to disfiguring syndromes, thus is it imperative that we understand the function of sutures more clearly. By applying advanced engineering modelling techniques, we reveal for the first time that patent sutures generate a more widely distributed, high level of strain throughout the reptile skull. Without patent sutures, large regions of the skull are only subjected to infrequent low-level strains that could weaken the bone and result in abnormal development. Sutures are therefore not only sites of bone growth, but could also be essential for the modulation of strains necessary for normal growth and development in reptiles. PMID:23804444

  3. Classics revisited. History of reptile placentology: Studiati's early account of placentation in a viviparous lizard.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Daniel G; Avanzati, Anna Marie; Paulesu, Luana

    2015-11-01

    Although placental diversity in mammals received growing attention in the 1600s through the early 1800s, placentation was not documented in reptiles until the mid-19th century. In his classic 1855 study on a viviparous lizard, Cesare Studiati (University of Pisa) described a structural/functional arrangement of fetal and maternal tissues that meets contemporary criteria for recognition of placentation. Through the fortuitous selection of a highly placentotrophic species, Chalcides chalcides, Studiati recognized the functional role of placental tissues in provision of oxygen as well as nutrients. Although Studiati worked in a pre-evolutionary milieu and without the benefits of histological techniques, his findings revealed that viviparous reptiles could exhibit placental specializations that paralleled those of mammals. Accordingly, his classic paper initiated a highly productive body of research that has continued to the present and highlighted specializations of a species that has figured importantly in placental research.

  4. Classics revisited. History of reptile placentology: Studiati's early account of placentation in a viviparous lizard.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Daniel G; Avanzati, Anna Marie; Paulesu, Luana

    2015-11-01

    Although placental diversity in mammals received growing attention in the 1600s through the early 1800s, placentation was not documented in reptiles until the mid-19th century. In his classic 1855 study on a viviparous lizard, Cesare Studiati (University of Pisa) described a structural/functional arrangement of fetal and maternal tissues that meets contemporary criteria for recognition of placentation. Through the fortuitous selection of a highly placentotrophic species, Chalcides chalcides, Studiati recognized the functional role of placental tissues in provision of oxygen as well as nutrients. Although Studiati worked in a pre-evolutionary milieu and without the benefits of histological techniques, his findings revealed that viviparous reptiles could exhibit placental specializations that paralleled those of mammals. Accordingly, his classic paper initiated a highly productive body of research that has continued to the present and highlighted specializations of a species that has figured importantly in placental research. PMID:26474917

  5. Occurrence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. in mammals and reptiles at the Lisbon Zoo.

    PubMed

    Alves, Margarida; Xiao, Lihua; Lemos, Vanessa; Zhou, Ling; Cama, Vitaliano; da Cunha, Margarida Barão; Matos, Olga; Antunes, Francisco

    2005-09-01

    The presence of Cryptosporidium parasites in mammals and reptiles kept at the Lisbon Zoo was investigated. A total of 274 stool samples were collected from 100 mammals and 29 reptiles. The species and genotype of the isolates identified by light microscopy were determined by nested PCR and sequence analysis of a fragment of the small subunit rRNA gene. Cryptosporidium oocysts were found in one black wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou), one Prairie bison (Bison bison bison) and in one Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans). The PCR and sequence analysis of these three isolates showed that those excreted by the Prairie bison were Cryptosporidium mouse genotype, those from the black wildebeest were from a new Cryptosporidium genotype and those infecting the Indian star tortoise were Cryptosporidium tortoise genotype. The present work reports a new Cryptosporidium genotype in a black wildebeest and the first finding of the Cryptosporidium mouse genotype in a ruminant.

  6. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz-Silva, W; Oliveira, R M; Gonzaga, A F N; Pinto, K C; Poli, F C; Bilce, T M; Penhacek, M; Wronski, L; Martins, J X; Junqueira, T G; Cesca, L C C; Guimarães, V Y; Pinheiro, R D

    2015-08-01

    The region of Volta Grande do Xingu River, in the state of Pará, presents several kinds of land use ranging from extensive cattle farming to agroforestry, and deforestation. Currently, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant affects the region. We present a checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region and discuss information regarding the spatial distribution of the assemblies based on results of Environmental Programmes conducted in the area. We listed 109 amphibian (Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona) and 150 reptile (Squamata, Testudines, and Crocodylia) species. The regional species richness is still considered underestimated, considering the taxonomic uncertainty, complexity and cryptic diversity of various species, as observed in other regions of the Amazon biome. Efforts for scientific collection and studies related to integrative taxonomy are needed to elucidate uncertainties and increase levels of knowledge of the local diversity. PMID:26691094

  7. In situ cardiac perfusion reveals interspecific variation of intraventricular flow separation in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Joyce, William; Axelsson, Michael; Altimiras, Jordi; Wang, Tobias

    2016-07-15

    The ventricles of non-crocodilian reptiles are incompletely divided and provide an opportunity for mixing of oxygen-poor blood and oxygen-rich blood (intracardiac shunting). However, both cardiac morphology and in vivo shunting patterns exhibit considerable interspecific variation within reptiles. In the present study, we develop an in situ double-perfused heart approach to characterise the propensity and capacity for shunting in five reptile species: the turtle Trachemys scripta, the rock python Python sebae, the yellow anaconda Eunectes notaeus, the varanid lizard Varanus exanthematicus and the bearded dragon Pogona vitticeps To simulate changes in vascular bed resistance, pulmonary and systemic afterloads were independently manipulated and changes in blood flow distribution amongst the central outflow tracts were monitored. As previously demonstrated in Burmese pythons, rock pythons and varanid lizards exhibited pronounced intraventricular flow separation. As pulmonary or systemic afterload was raised, flow in the respective circulation decreased. However, flow in the other circulation, where afterload was constant, remained stable. This correlates with the convergent evolution of intraventricular pressure separation and the large intraventricular muscular ridge, which compartmentalises the ventricle, in these species. Conversely, in the three other species, the pulmonary and systemic flows were strongly mutually dependent, such that the decrease in pulmonary flow in response to elevated pulmonary afterload resulted in redistribution of perfusate to the systemic circuit (and vice versa). Thus, in these species, the muscular ridge appeared labile and blood could readily transverse the intraventricular cava. We conclude that relatively minor structural differences between non-crocodilian reptiles result in the fundamental changes in cardiac function. Further, our study emphasises that functionally similar intracardiac flow separation evolved independently in

  8. Hepatic cholesteryl ester metabolism in reptiles. A comparative study of three species of Brazilian lizards.

    PubMed

    Gillett, M P; Maia, M M

    1984-01-01

    Cholesterol esterase (CEase) and acylcoenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase (ACATase) activities were identified in liver cytoplasmatic extracts from Tropidurus torquatos (Iguanidae), Ameiva ameiva (Teiidae) and Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae). Optimum conditions were established to measure the hydrolytic activity of CEase and esterifying activities of CEase and ACATase. The activities of both enzymes were generally similar in all three species of reptiles, and did not differ greatly from values reported for a variety of mammalian species. PMID:6518764

  9. Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles at Manzanar National Historic Site, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.; Hillard, Scott

    2006-01-01

    We conducted a baseline inventory for amphibians and reptiles at Manzanar National Historic Site (MANZ), Inyo County, California, in 2002-3. Objectives for this inventory were to: 1) inventory and document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species at MANZ, with the goal of documenting at least 90% of the species present; 2) provide one voucher specimen for each species identified; 3) provide a GIS-referenced list of sensitive species that are known to be federally- or state-listed, rare, or worthy of special consideration that occur at MANZ; 4) describe park-wide distribution of federally- or state-listed, rare, or special concern species; 5) enter all species data into the National Park Service NPSpecies database; and 6) provide all deliverables as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Survey methods included time-area constrained searches, lizard line transects, general surveys, nighttime road driving, and pitfall trapping. We documented the occurrence of ten reptile species (seven lizards and three snakes), but found no amphibians. Based on our findings, as well as literature review and searches for museum specimen records, we estimate inventory completeness for Manzanar to be 50%. Although the distribution and relative abundance of common lizard species is now known well enough to begin development of a monitoring protocol for that group, additional inventory work is needed in order to establish a baseline of species occurrence of amphibians and snakes at Manzanar. Key Words: amphibians, reptiles, Manzanar National Historic Site, Inyo County, California, Owens Valley, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, inventory.

  10. In situ cardiac perfusion reveals interspecific variation of intraventricular flow separation in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Joyce, William; Axelsson, Michael; Altimiras, Jordi; Wang, Tobias

    2016-07-15

    The ventricles of non-crocodilian reptiles are incompletely divided and provide an opportunity for mixing of oxygen-poor blood and oxygen-rich blood (intracardiac shunting). However, both cardiac morphology and in vivo shunting patterns exhibit considerable interspecific variation within reptiles. In the present study, we develop an in situ double-perfused heart approach to characterise the propensity and capacity for shunting in five reptile species: the turtle Trachemys scripta, the rock python Python sebae, the yellow anaconda Eunectes notaeus, the varanid lizard Varanus exanthematicus and the bearded dragon Pogona vitticeps To simulate changes in vascular bed resistance, pulmonary and systemic afterloads were independently manipulated and changes in blood flow distribution amongst the central outflow tracts were monitored. As previously demonstrated in Burmese pythons, rock pythons and varanid lizards exhibited pronounced intraventricular flow separation. As pulmonary or systemic afterload was raised, flow in the respective circulation decreased. However, flow in the other circulation, where afterload was constant, remained stable. This correlates with the convergent evolution of intraventricular pressure separation and the large intraventricular muscular ridge, which compartmentalises the ventricle, in these species. Conversely, in the three other species, the pulmonary and systemic flows were strongly mutually dependent, such that the decrease in pulmonary flow in response to elevated pulmonary afterload resulted in redistribution of perfusate to the systemic circuit (and vice versa). Thus, in these species, the muscular ridge appeared labile and blood could readily transverse the intraventricular cava. We conclude that relatively minor structural differences between non-crocodilian reptiles result in the fundamental changes in cardiac function. Further, our study emphasises that functionally similar intracardiac flow separation evolved independently in

  11. Burning in banksia woodlands: how does the fire-free period influence reptile communities?

    PubMed

    Valentine, Leonie E; Reaveley, Alice; Johnson, Brent; Fisher, Rebecca; Wilson, Barbara A

    2012-01-01

    Fire is an important management tool for both hazard reduction burning and maintenance of biodiversity. The impact of time since last fire on fauna is an important factor to understand as land managers often aim for prescribed burning regimes with specific fire-free intervals. However, our current understanding of the impact of time since last fire on fauna is largely unknown and likely dependent on vegetation type. We examined the responses of reptiles to fire age in banksia woodlands, and the interspersed melaleuca damplands among them, north of Perth, Western Australia, where the current prescribed burning regime is targeting a fire-free period of 8-12 years. The response of reptiles to fire was dependent on vegetation type. Reptiles were generally more abundant (e.g. Lerista elegans and Ctenophorus adelaidensis) and specious in banksia sites. Several species (e.g. Menetia greyii, Cryptoblepharus buchananii) preferred long unburnt melaleuca sites (>16 years since last fire, YSLF) compared to recently burnt sites (<12 YSLF). Several of the small elapids (e.g. the WA priority listed species Neelaps calonotus) were only detected in older-aged banksia sites (>16 YSLF). The terrestrial dragon C. adelaidensis and the skink Morethia obscura displayed a strong response to fire in banksia woodlands only. Highest abundances of the dragon were detected in the recently burnt (<7 YSLF) and long unburnt (>35 YSLF) banksia woodlands, while the skink was more abundant in older sites. Habitats from a range of fire ages are required to support the reptiles we detected, especially the longer unburnt (>16 YSLF) melaleuca habitat. Current burning prescriptions are reducing the availability of these older habitats.

  12. Pathogenicity in six Australian reptile species following experimental inoculation with Bohle iridovirus.

    PubMed

    Ariel, E; Wirth, W; Burgess, G; Scott, J; Owens, L

    2015-08-20

    Ranaviruses are able to infect multiple species of fish, amphibian and reptile, and some strains are capable of interclass transmission. These numerous potential carriers and reservoir species compound efforts to control and contain infections in cultured and wild populations, and a comprehensive knowledge of susceptible species and life stage is necessary to inform such processes. Here we report on the challenge of 6 water-associated reptiles with Bohle iridovirus (BIV) to investigate its potential pathogenicity in common native reptiles of the aquatic and riparian fauna of northern Queensland, Australia. Adult tortoises Elseya latisternum and Emydura krefftii, snakes Boiga irregularis, Dendrelaphis punctulatus and Amphiesma mairii, and yearling crocodiles Crocodylus johnstoni were exposed via intracoelomic inoculation or co-habitation with infected con-specifics, but none were adversely affected by the challenge conditions applied here. Bohle iridovirus was found to be extremely virulent in hatchling tortoises E. latisternum and E. krefftii via intracoelomic challenge, as demonstrated by distinct lesions in multiple organs associated with specific immunohistochemistry staining and a lethal outcome (10/17) of the challenge. Virus was re-isolated from 2/5 E. latisternum, 4/12 E. krefftii and 1/3 brown tree snakes B. irregularis. Focal necrosis, haemorrhage and infiltration of granulocytes were frequently observed histologically in the pancreas, liver and sub-mucosa of the intestine of challenged tortoise hatchlings. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated the presence of ranavirus antigens in the necrotic lesions and in individual cells of the vascular endothelium, the connective tissue and in granulocytes associated with necrosis or present along serosal surfaces. The outcome of this study confirms hatchling tortoises are susceptible to BIV, thereby adding Australian reptiles to the host range of ranaviruses. Additionally, given that BIV was originally isolated from an

  13. Accident Flying Squad

    PubMed Central

    Snook, Roger

    1972-01-01

    This paper describes the organization, evaluation, and costing of an independently financed and operated accident flying squad. 132 accidents involving 302 casualties were attended, six deaths were prevented, medical treatment contributed to the survival of a further four, and the condition or comfort of many other casualties was improved. The calls in which survival was influenced were evenly distributed throughout the three-and-a-half-year survey and seven of the 10 so aided were over 16 and under 30 years of age, all 10 being in the working age group. The time taken to provide the service was not excessive and the expense when compared with the overall saving was very small. The scheme was seen to be equally suitable for basing on hospital or general practice or both, and working as an integrated team with the ambulance service. The use of specialized transport was found to be unnecessary. Other benefits of the scheme included use of the experience of attending accidents to ensure relevant and realistic training for emergency service personnel, and an appreciation of the effect of ambulance design on the patient. ImagesFIG. 1FIG. 4 PMID:5069642

  14. The importance of defining focal assemblages when evaluating amphibian and reptile responses to land use.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Michelle E; Nowakowski, A Justin; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2016-04-01

    Habitat loss and degradation are primary threats to amphibians and reptiles, but the relative effects of common land uses on assemblages and the mechanisms that underlie faunal responses are poorly studied. We reviewed the effects of four prevalent types of habitat alteration (urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, and silviculture) on amphibian and reptile species richness and abundance by summarizing reported responses in the literature and by estimating effect sizes across studies for species richness in each land-use type. We then used a multinomial model to classify species as natural habitat specialists, generalists, and disturbed habitat specialists and examined variation in effect sizes for each land-use type according to habitat specialization categories. There were mixed conclusions from individual studies, some reporting negative, neutral, or positive effects of land use on species richness and total abundance. A large proportion of studies reported species-specific effects of individual species abundance. However, in our analysis of effect sizes, we found a general trend of negative effects of land use on species richness. We also demonstrate that habitat associations of common species and species turnover can explain variation in the effect of land use on herpetofauna. Our review highlights the pervasive negative effects of common land uses on amphibians and reptiles, the importance of identifying groups vulnerable to land-use change (e.g., forest-associated species) in conservation studies, and the potential influence of disturbance-associated species on whole assemblage analyses.

  15. The importance of defining focal assemblages when evaluating amphibian and reptile responses to land use.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Michelle E; Nowakowski, A Justin; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2016-04-01

    Habitat loss and degradation are primary threats to amphibians and reptiles, but the relative effects of common land uses on assemblages and the mechanisms that underlie faunal responses are poorly studied. We reviewed the effects of four prevalent types of habitat alteration (urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, and silviculture) on amphibian and reptile species richness and abundance by summarizing reported responses in the literature and by estimating effect sizes across studies for species richness in each land-use type. We then used a multinomial model to classify species as natural habitat specialists, generalists, and disturbed habitat specialists and examined variation in effect sizes for each land-use type according to habitat specialization categories. There were mixed conclusions from individual studies, some reporting negative, neutral, or positive effects of land use on species richness and total abundance. A large proportion of studies reported species-specific effects of individual species abundance. However, in our analysis of effect sizes, we found a general trend of negative effects of land use on species richness. We also demonstrate that habitat associations of common species and species turnover can explain variation in the effect of land use on herpetofauna. Our review highlights the pervasive negative effects of common land uses on amphibians and reptiles, the importance of identifying groups vulnerable to land-use change (e.g., forest-associated species) in conservation studies, and the potential influence of disturbance-associated species on whole assemblage analyses. PMID:26416506

  16. Plasticity and genetic adaptation mediate amphibian and reptile responses to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L; Freidenfelds, Nicole A

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation are predicted to mitigate some of the negative biotic consequences of climate change. Here, we evaluate evidence for plastic and evolutionary responses to climate variation in amphibians and reptiles via a literature review and meta-analysis. We included studies that either document phenotypic changes through time or space. Plasticity had a clear and ubiquitous role in promoting phenotypic changes in response to climate variation. For adaptive evolution, we found no direct evidence for evolution of amphibians or reptiles in response to climate change over time. However, we found many studies that documented adaptive responses to climate along spatial gradients. Plasticity provided a mixture of adaptive and maladaptive responses to climate change, highlighting that plasticity frequently, but not always, could ameliorate climate change. Based on our review, we advocate for more experiments that survey genetic changes through time in response to climate change. Overall, plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change, but large uncertainties remain owing to limited data. PMID:24454550

  17. Reptile Embryos Lack the Opportunity to Thermoregulate by Moving within the Egg.

    PubMed

    Telemeco, Rory S; Gangloff, Eric J; Cordero, Gerardo A; Mitchell, Timothy S; Bodensteiner, Brooke L; Holden, Kaitlyn G; Mitchell, Sarah M; Polich, Rebecca L; Janzen, Fredric J

    2016-07-01

    Historically, egg-bound reptile embryos were thought to passively thermoconform to the nest environment. However, recent observations of thermal taxis by embryos of multiple reptile species have led to the widely discussed hypothesis that embryos behaviorally thermoregulate. Because temperature affects development, such thermoregulation could allow embryos to control their fate far more than historically assumed. We assessed the opportunity for embryos to behaviorally thermoregulate in nature by examining thermal gradients within natural nests and eggs of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina; which displays embryonic thermal taxis) and by simulating thermal gradients within nests across a range of nest depths, egg sizes, and soil types. We observed little spatial thermal variation within nests, and thermal gradients were poorly transferred to eggs. Furthermore, thermal gradients sufficiently large and constant for behavioral thermoregulation were not predicted to occur in our simulations. Gradients of biologically relevant magnitude have limited global occurrence and reverse direction twice daily when they do exist, which is substantially faster than embryos can shift position within the egg. Our results imply that reptile embryos will rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to behaviorally thermoregulate by moving within the egg. We suggest that embryonic thermal taxis instead represents a play behavior, which may be adaptive or selectively neutral, and results from the mechanisms for behavioral thermoregulation in free-living stages coming online prior to hatching. PMID:27322129

  18. Reptiles as Reservoirs of Bacterial Infections: Real Threat or Methodological Bias?

    PubMed

    Zancolli, Giulia; Mahsberg, Dieter; Sickel, Wiebke; Keller, Alexander

    2015-10-01

    Bacterial infections secondary to snakebites and human pathogens (e.g., Salmonella) have been linked to the oral microbiota of snakes and pet reptiles. Based on culture-dependent studies, it is speculated that snakes' oral microbiota reflects the fecal flora of their ingested preys. However, cultured-based techniques have been shown to be limited as they fail to identify unculturable microorganisms which represent the vast majority of the microbial diversity. Here, we used culture-independent high-throughput sequencing to identify reptile-associated pathogens and to characterize the oral microbial community of five snakes, one gecko, and two terrapins. Few potential human pathogens were detected at extremely low frequencies. Moreover, bacterial taxa represented in the snake's oral cavity bore little resemblance to their preys' fecal microbiota. Overall, we found distinct, highly diverse microbial communities with consistent, species-specific patterns contrary to previous culture-based studies. Our study does not support the widely held assumption that reptiles' oral cavity acts as pathogen reservoir and provides important insights for future research. PMID:25921519

  19. Sleep in amphibians and reptiles: a review and a preliminary analysis of evolutionary patterns.

    PubMed

    Libourel, Paul-Antoine; Herrel, Anthony

    2016-08-01

    Despite the ubiquitous nature of sleep, its functions remain a mystery. In an attempt to address this, many researchers have studied behavioural and electrophysiological phenomena associated with sleep in a diversity of animals. The great majority of vertebrates and invertebrates display a phase of immobility that could be considered as a sort of sleep. Terrestrial mammals and birds, both homeotherms, show two sleep states with distinct behavioural and electrophysiological features. However, whether these features have evolved independently in each clade or were inherited from a common ancestor remains unknown. Unfortunately, amphibians and reptiles, key taxa in understanding the evolution of sleep given their position at the base of the tetrapod and amniote tree, respectively, remain poorly studied in the context of sleep. This review presents an overview of what is known about sleep in amphibians and reptiles and uses the existing data to provide a preliminary analysis of the evolution of behavioural and electrophysiological features of sleep in amphibians and reptiles. We also discuss the problems associated with analysing existing data, as well as the difficulty in inferring homologies of sleep stages based on limited data in the context of an essentially mammalian-centric definition of sleep. Finally, we highlight the importance of developing comparative approaches to sleep research that may benefit from the great diversity of species with different ecologies and morphologies in order to understand the evolution and functions of sleep.

  20. Amphibians and Reptiles of the state of Nuevo León, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.; Cruz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We compiled a check list of the herpetofauna of Nuevo León. We documented 132 species (23 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 30 families (11 amphibians, 19 reptiles) and 73 genera (17 amphibians, 56 reptiles). Only two species are endemic to Nuevo León. Nuevo León contains a relatively high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Nuevo León and states it borders is fairly extensive. Of 130 native species, 102 are considered species of Least Concern in the IUCN red list, four are listed as Vulnerable, five are listed as Near Threatened, and four are listed as Endangered. According to SEMARNAT, 78 species are not of conservation concern, 25 are subject to Special Protection, 27 are Threatened, and none are listed as in Danger of Extinction. Given current threats to the herpetofauna, additional efforts to understand the ecology and status of populations in Nuevo León are needed. PMID:27408562

  1. Amphibians and Reptiles of the state of Nuevo León, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R; Cruz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a check list of the herpetofauna of Nuevo León. We documented 132 species (23 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 30 families (11 amphibians, 19 reptiles) and 73 genera (17 amphibians, 56 reptiles). Only two species are endemic to Nuevo León. Nuevo León contains a relatively high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Nuevo León and states it borders is fairly extensive. Of 130 native species, 102 are considered species of Least Concern in the IUCN red list, four are listed as Vulnerable, five are listed as Near Threatened, and four are listed as Endangered. According to SEMARNAT, 78 species are not of conservation concern, 25 are subject to Special Protection, 27 are Threatened, and none are listed as in Danger of Extinction. Given current threats to the herpetofauna, additional efforts to understand the ecology and status of populations in Nuevo León are needed. PMID:27408562

  2. Reptiles as Reservoirs of Bacterial Infections: Real Threat or Methodological Bias?

    PubMed

    Zancolli, Giulia; Mahsberg, Dieter; Sickel, Wiebke; Keller, Alexander

    2015-10-01

    Bacterial infections secondary to snakebites and human pathogens (e.g., Salmonella) have been linked to the oral microbiota of snakes and pet reptiles. Based on culture-dependent studies, it is speculated that snakes' oral microbiota reflects the fecal flora of their ingested preys. However, cultured-based techniques have been shown to be limited as they fail to identify unculturable microorganisms which represent the vast majority of the microbial diversity. Here, we used culture-independent high-throughput sequencing to identify reptile-associated pathogens and to characterize the oral microbial community of five snakes, one gecko, and two terrapins. Few potential human pathogens were detected at extremely low frequencies. Moreover, bacterial taxa represented in the snake's oral cavity bore little resemblance to their preys' fecal microbiota. Overall, we found distinct, highly diverse microbial communities with consistent, species-specific patterns contrary to previous culture-based studies. Our study does not support the widely held assumption that reptiles' oral cavity acts as pathogen reservoir and provides important insights for future research.

  3. Reptile genomes open the frontier for comparative analysis of amniote development and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Tollis, Marc; Hutchins, Elizabeth D; Kusumi, Kenro

    2014-01-01

    Developmental genetic studies of vertebrates have focused primarily on zebrafish, frog and mouse models, which have clear application to medicine and well-developed genomic resources. In contrast, reptiles represent the most diverse amniote group, but have only recently begun to gather the attention of genome sequencing efforts. Extant reptilian groups last shared a common ancestor ?280 million years ago and include lepidosaurs, turtles and crocodilians. This phylogenetic diversity is reflected in great morphological and behavioral diversity capturing the attention of biologists interested in mechanisms regulating developmental processes such as somitogenesis and spinal patterning, regeneration, the evolution of "snake-like" morphology, the formation of the unique turtle shell, and the convergent evolution of the four-chambered heart shared by mammals and archosaurs. The complete genome of the first non-avian reptile, the green anole lizard, was published in 2011 and has provided insights into the origin and evolution of amniotes. Since then, the genomes of multiple snakes, turtles, and crocodilians have also been completed. Here we will review the current diversity of available reptile genomes, with an emphasis on their evolutionary relationships, and will highlight how these genomes have and will continue to facilitate research in developmental and regenerative biology.

  4. Are reptile and amphibian species younger in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere?

    PubMed

    Dubey, Sylvain; Shine, R

    2012-01-01

    A previous analysis of molecular phylogenies suggested that intraspecific diversification had occurred more recently in temperate-zone Northern Hemisphere reptiles and amphibians than in Southern Hemisphere taxa. Here, we test potential explanations for this pattern. We examined published phylogenetic analyses, derived from genetic sequence data, to generate two estimates of the age of species: (i) the oldest intraspecific diversification event within each taxon and (ii) the inferred timing of the split between two sister species. The timing of splits between species shows the same pattern as splits within species, and thus may be due to climatically driven cladogenic and extinction events or may be an artefact of differing levels of taxonomic knowledge about the fauna. Current rates of species descriptions suggest that many more taxa remain to be described in the Southern Hemisphere than the Northern Hemisphere; for that bias to fully explain our results on species age differences, the proportion of undescribed Southern taxa would need to be ≥ 12% in reptiles and ≥ 51% in anurans. For reptiles, taxonomic ignorance plausibly explains the apparent difference in mean age of species between the Southern and Northern Hemispheres; but this explanation can apply to amphibians only if a vast number of Southern taxa remain to be described.

  5. Plasticity and genetic adaptation mediate amphibian and reptile responses to climate change.

    PubMed

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L; Freidenfelds, Nicole A

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation are predicted to mitigate some of the negative biotic consequences of climate change. Here, we evaluate evidence for plastic and evolutionary responses to climate variation in amphibians and reptiles via a literature review and meta-analysis. We included studies that either document phenotypic changes through time or space. Plasticity had a clear and ubiquitous role in promoting phenotypic changes in response to climate variation. For adaptive evolution, we found no direct evidence for evolution of amphibians or reptiles in response to climate change over time. However, we found many studies that documented adaptive responses to climate along spatial gradients. Plasticity provided a mixture of adaptive and maladaptive responses to climate change, highlighting that plasticity frequently, but not always, could ameliorate climate change. Based on our review, we advocate for more experiments that survey genetic changes through time in response to climate change. Overall, plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change, but large uncertainties remain owing to limited data.

  6. Morbidity and mortality of reptiles admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, 1991 to 2000.

    PubMed

    Brown, Justin D; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2002-10-01

    Medical records from 694 reptiles admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV; Waynesboro, Virginia, USA) from 1991 to 2000 were reviewed to determine causes of morbidity and mortality. Eighteen species were represented but the majority of cases were four species; eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) (66%), eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) (11%), common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) (10%), and rat snake (Elaphe sp.) (6%). There was a significant increase in reptile cases during the study period both in absolute number and in proportion to the total caseload. Trauma (74%) was the most frequent cause of morbidity and mortality followed by unknown or undetermined (13%), aural abscessation (7%), infectious diseases (2%), and one nutritional disorder (0.1%). In addition, 3% of the cases were healthy animals that had been removed from the wild and consequently brought to the WCV. Causes of morbidity and mortality differed between the four most numerous species. Impact with a motor vehicle was the most frequent cause of trauma for eastern box turtles, eastern painted turtles, and common snapping turtles; however, garden-equipment-related trauma was the most frequent cause for rat snakes. Aural abscessation was only seen in eastern box turtles. Eighty percent of cases occurred between May and September and 65% occurred within the five counties closest to the WCV. The majority of morbidity and mortality was the result of human activities. The expanding human population in Virginia likely will continue to have an impact on the health of wild reptiles. PMID:12528435

  7. Evolution and Function of the Insulin and Insulin-like Signaling Network in Ectothermic Reptiles: Some Answers and More Questions.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Tonia S; Bronikowski, Anne M

    2016-08-01

    The insulin and insulin-like signaling (IIS) molecular network regulates cellular growth and division, and influences organismal metabolism, growth and development, reproduction, and lifespan. As a group, reptiles have incredible diversity in the complex life history traits that have been associated with the IIS network, yet the research on the IIS network in ectothermic reptiles is sparse. Here, we review the IIS network and synthesize what is known about the function and evolution of the IIS network in ectothermic reptiles. The primary hormones of this network-the insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGFs) likely function in reproduction in ectothermic reptiles, but the precise mechanisms are unclear, and likely range from influencing mating and ovulation to maternal investment in embryonic development. In general, plasma levels of IGF1 increase with food intake in ectothermic reptiles, but the magnitude of the response to food varies across species or populations and the ages of animals. Long-term temperature treatments as well as thermal stress can alter expression of genes within the IIS network. Although relatively little work has been done on IGF2 in ectothermic reptiles, IGF2 is consistently expressed at higher levels than IGF1 in juvenile ectothermic reptiles. Furthermore, in contrast to mammals that have genetic imprinting that silences the maternal IGF2 allele, in reptiles IGF2 is bi-allelically expressed (based on findings in chickens, a snake, and a lizard). Evolutionary analyses indicate some members of the IIS network are rapidly evolving across reptile species, including IGF1, insulin (INS), and their receptors. In particular, IGF1 displays extensive nucleotide variation across lizards and snakes, which suggests that its functional role may vary across this group. In addition, genetic variation across families and populations in the response of the IIS network to environmental conditions illustrates that components of this network may be evolving in

  8. Improving reptile ecological risk assessment: oral and dermal toxicity of pesticides to a common lizard species (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Yu, Shuangying; Talent, Larry G; Maul, Jonathan D; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    Reptiles have been understudied in ecotoxicology, which limits consideration in ecological risk assessments. The goals of the present study were 3-fold: to improve oral and dermal dosing methodologies for reptiles, to generate reptile toxicity data for pesticides, and to correlate reptile and avian toxicity. The authors first assessed the toxicity of different dosing vehicles: 100 μL of water, propylene glycol, and acetone were not toxic. The authors then assessed the oral and dermal toxicity of 4 pesticides following the up-and-down procedure. Neither brodifacoum nor chlorothalonil caused mortality at doses ≤ 1750 μg/g. Under the "neat pesticide" oral exposure, endosulfan (median lethal dose [LD50] = 9.8 μg/g) was more toxic than λ-cyhalothrin (LD50 = 916.5 μg/g). Neither chemical was toxic via dermal exposure. An acetone dosing vehicle increased λ-cyhalothrin toxicity (oral LD50 = 9.8 μg/g; dermal LD50 = 17.5 μg/g), but not endosulfan. Finally, changes in dosing method and husbandry significantly increased dermal λ-cyhalothrin LD50s, which highlights the importance of standardized methods. The authors combined data from the present study with other reptile LD50s to correlate with available avian data. When only definitive LD50s were used in the analysis, a strong correlation was found between avian and reptile toxicity. The results suggest it is possible to build predictive relationships between avian and reptile LD50s. More research is needed, however, to understand trends associated with chemical classes and modes of action. PMID:25760295

  9. Improving reptile ecological risk assessment: oral and dermal toxicity of pesticides to a common lizard species (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Yu, Shuangying; Talent, Larry G; Maul, Jonathan D; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    Reptiles have been understudied in ecotoxicology, which limits consideration in ecological risk assessments. The goals of the present study were 3-fold: to improve oral and dermal dosing methodologies for reptiles, to generate reptile toxicity data for pesticides, and to correlate reptile and avian toxicity. The authors first assessed the toxicity of different dosing vehicles: 100 μL of water, propylene glycol, and acetone were not toxic. The authors then assessed the oral and dermal toxicity of 4 pesticides following the up-and-down procedure. Neither brodifacoum nor chlorothalonil caused mortality at doses ≤ 1750 μg/g. Under the "neat pesticide" oral exposure, endosulfan (median lethal dose [LD50] = 9.8 μg/g) was more toxic than λ-cyhalothrin (LD50 = 916.5 μg/g). Neither chemical was toxic via dermal exposure. An acetone dosing vehicle increased λ-cyhalothrin toxicity (oral LD50 = 9.8 μg/g; dermal LD50 = 17.5 μg/g), but not endosulfan. Finally, changes in dosing method and husbandry significantly increased dermal λ-cyhalothrin LD50s, which highlights the importance of standardized methods. The authors combined data from the present study with other reptile LD50s to correlate with available avian data. When only definitive LD50s were used in the analysis, a strong correlation was found between avian and reptile toxicity. The results suggest it is possible to build predictive relationships between avian and reptile LD50s. More research is needed, however, to understand trends associated with chemical classes and modes of action.

  10. Fly-By-Light Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, Edward V.; Snitzer, Elias

    1983-03-01

    The last decade witnessed the emergence and acceptance of Fly-by-Wire technology for advanced flight control systems. The benefits of fiber-optic technology such as low EMI susceptability, lower aircraft system weight, and lower life cycle cost may substitute Fly-by-Light technology as the accepted state-of-the-art in this decade. This paper addresses the motivation for moving toward Fly-by-Light technology and technology needs for implementation of Fly-by-Light with particular emphasis on the sensors. The paper examines the impact of increased intensity levels of man-made threats (EMI, EMP and nuclear radiation) coupled with the extensive utilization of non-conductive fuselage materials. A baseline Fly-by-Light control system highlights the key system elements of sensors, effectors, and communication which require development for fiber optics to be used. With the ongoing development of fiber-optic communication technology by the telecommunication industry, the responsibility has fallen to the controls industry to provide the generic technology development for the sensing and effector requirements. United Technologies Corporation and in particular its Hamilton Standard and Research Divisions have been developing effector and sensor technology and have applied the results of these efforts to the U.S. Navy Linear Optical Transducer and the U.S. Army Rotary Optical Transducer programs. The linear transducer is a 12-bit, 3.5-inch stroke device. The rotary is a 10-bit, 40 degrees-of-travel unit.

  11. Increase in reptile-associated human salmonellosis and shift toward adulthood in the age groups at risk, the Netherlands, 1985 to 2014.

    PubMed

    Mughini-Gras, Lapo; Heck, Max; van Pelt, Wilfrid

    2016-08-25

    While the contribution of the main food-related sources to human salmonellosis is well documented, knowledge on the contribution of reptiles is limited. We quantified and examined trends in reptile-associated salmonellosis in the Netherlands during a 30-year period, from 1985 to 2014. Using source attribution analysis, we estimated that 2% (95% confidence interval: 1.3-2.8) of all sporadic/domestic human salmonellosis cases reported in the Netherlands during the study period (n = 63,718) originated from reptiles. The estimated annual fraction of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases ranged from a minimum of 0.3% (corresponding to 11 cases) in 1988 to a maximum of 9.3% (93 cases) in 2013. There was a significant increasing trend in reptile-associated salmonellosis cases (+ 19% annually) and a shift towards adulthood in the age groups at highest risk, while the proportion of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases among those up to four years-old decreased by 4% annually and the proportion of cases aged 45 to 74 years increased by 20% annually. We hypothesise that these findings may be the effect of the increased number and variety of reptiles that are kept as pets, calling for further attention to the issue of safe reptile-human interaction and for reinforced hygiene recommendations for reptile owners.

  12. Increase in reptile-associated human salmonellosis and shift toward adulthood in the age groups at risk, the Netherlands, 1985 to 2014.

    PubMed

    Mughini-Gras, Lapo; Heck, Max; van Pelt, Wilfrid

    2016-08-25

    While the contribution of the main food-related sources to human salmonellosis is well documented, knowledge on the contribution of reptiles is limited. We quantified and examined trends in reptile-associated salmonellosis in the Netherlands during a 30-year period, from 1985 to 2014. Using source attribution analysis, we estimated that 2% (95% confidence interval: 1.3-2.8) of all sporadic/domestic human salmonellosis cases reported in the Netherlands during the study period (n = 63,718) originated from reptiles. The estimated annual fraction of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases ranged from a minimum of 0.3% (corresponding to 11 cases) in 1988 to a maximum of 9.3% (93 cases) in 2013. There was a significant increasing trend in reptile-associated salmonellosis cases (+ 19% annually) and a shift towards adulthood in the age groups at highest risk, while the proportion of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases among those up to four years-old decreased by 4% annually and the proportion of cases aged 45 to 74 years increased by 20% annually. We hypothesise that these findings may be the effect of the increased number and variety of reptiles that are kept as pets, calling for further attention to the issue of safe reptile-human interaction and for reinforced hygiene recommendations for reptile owners. PMID:27589037

  13. Respiration in High Flying

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, G. Struan

    1937-01-01

    Atmospheric pressure falls, as height increases, to about one-ninth of its sea-level value at 50,000 feet. The intake of oxygen into the blood depends on the partial pressure of oxygen in the inspired air, which is about one-fifth of the atmospheric pressure. But since the gaseous content of the lungs is saturated with water vapour at body temperature, 47 mm. Hg. of the atmospheric pressure in the lungs is due to water vapour and is therefore not available for oxygen or other gases, while the alveolar air contains also an almost constant pressure of 40 mm. CO2. Mental and physical output demand an adequate partial pressure of O2; they begin to be limited as soon as this falls, and at heights above 18,000 feet are seriously reduced. Consequently in order to fly higher than about 15,000 feet it is necessary to increase the partial pressure of oxygen in the inspired air. Up to about 44,000 feet this can be done by merely raising the percentage of oxygen, usually by allowing a regulated stream of oxygen to enter a small naso-buccal mask, but preferably by a closed system in which the negative pressure of inspiration opens a valve and allows oxygen to enter a bag from which it is inspired. Beyond 44,000 feet as a limit (and a lesser height for safety) it is necessary to create a local atmospheric pressure around the pilot higher than that of the surrounding air, by enclosing him in an airtight sit or cabin in which a relatively increased pressure with a maximum value of about 2½ lb. per square inch is maintained, while he breathes pure oxygen. This device was used in the recent British world record high flight, when a height of 50,000 feet was attained. The pressure-suit used by the pilot on this occasion and the decompression chamber recently built at Farnborough are described in detail. ImagesFig. 2Fig. 3Fig. 4Fig. 5 PMID:19991176

  14. Fly on the Wall

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulenburg, Gerald

    2003-01-01

    The email was addressed not only to me, but also to all the Project Knowledge Sharing Community at Ames Research Center. We were invited to sit in on a major project review as a new experiment in knowledge sharing. This first-of-its-kind opportunity had been conceived by Claire Smith, who leads the knowledge sharing program, as well as heading up the Center's Project Leadership Development Program and serving as coordinator of the APPL-West program at Ames. The objective was to offer Ames project practitioners the opportunity to observe project-review processes as they happen. Not that I haven't participated in my share of project reviews, but this seemed like a great way for me to get up-to-date about a new project, the Kepler mission, and to experience a review from a new perspective. Typically, when you're being reviewed, it's difficult to see what's happening objectively-the same way it is on a project. Presenters are always thinking, 'Okay, what's on my slides? How much time do I have left? What are they going to ask me?' So when Claire's email pinged on my computer, I quickly responded by asking her to save a place for me. It was to be an informational review about progress on the project: what the team had done, where they were going, and what they needed to do to get there. There were people on the project team from all over the United States, and it was the first time for them to get together from all aspects of the project. For our part, as observers, we were asked to abide by a couple of rules: Don't ask any questions. and don't talk about the specifics of what we saw or heard. The idea was that we weren't supposed to be noticed. We weren't to buzz around and bother people. Hence the name for this experinient: Fly on the Wall.

  15. Susceptibility of low-chill blueberry cultivars to Mediterranean fruit fly, oriental fruit fly, and melon fly (Diptera: Tephritidae).

    PubMed

    Follett, Peter A; Zee, Francis T; Hamasaki, Randall T; Hummer, Kim; Nakamoto, Stuart T

    2011-04-01

    No-choice tests were conducted to determine whether fruit of southern highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum L., hybrids are hosts for three invasive tephritid fruit flies in Hawaii. Fruit of various blueberry cultivars was exposed to gravid female flies of Bactrocera dorsalis Hendel (oriental fruit fly), Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Mediterranean fruit fly), or Bactrocera cucurbitae Coquillet (melon fly) in screen cages outdoors for 6 h and then held on sand in the laboratory for 2 wk for pupal development and adult emergence. Each of the 15 blueberry cultivars tested were infested by oriental fruit fly and Mediterranean fruit fly, confirming that these fruit flies will oviposit on blueberry fruit and that blueberry is a suitable host for fly development. However, there was significant cultivar variation in susceptibility to fruit fly infestation. For oriental fruit fly, 'Sapphire' fruit produced an average of 1.42 puparia per g, twice as high as that of the next most susceptible cultivar 'Emerald' (0.70 puparia per g). 'Legacy', 'Biloxi', and 'Spring High' were least susceptible to infestation, producing only 0.20-0.25 oriental fruit fly puparia per g of fruit. For Mediterranean fruit fly, 'Blue Crisp' produced 0.50 puparia per g of fruit, whereas 'Sharpblue' produced only 0.03 puparia per g of fruit. Blueberry was a marginal host for melon fly. This information will aid in development of pest management recommendations for blueberry cultivars as planting of low-chill cultivars expands to areas with subtropical and tropical fruit flies. Planting of fruit fly resistant cultivars may result in lower infestation levels and less crop loss.

  16. Combined effects of climatic gradient and domestic livestock grazing on reptile community structure in a heterogeneous agroecosystem.

    PubMed

    Rotem, Guy; Gavish, Yoni; Shacham, Boaz; Giladi, Itamar; Bouskila, Amos; Ziv, Yaron

    2016-01-01

    Grazing plays an important role in shaping ecological communities in human-related ecosystems. Although myriad studies have explored the joint effect of grazing and climate on plant communities, this interactive effect has rarely been studied in animals. We hypothesized that the effect of grazing on the reptile community varies along a climatic gradient in relation to the effect of grazing on habitat characteristics, and that grazing differentially affects reptiles of different biogeographic regions. We tested our hypotheses by collecting data on environmental characteristics and by trapping reptiles in four heterogeneous landscapes experiencing differing grazing intensities and distributed along a sharp climatic gradient. We found that while reptile diversity increased with grazing intensity at the mesic end of the gradient, it decreased with grazing intensity at the arid end. Moreover, the proportion of reptile species of differing biogeographic origins varied with the interactive effect of climate and grazing. The representation of species originating in arid biogeographic zones was highest at the arid end of the climatic gradient, and representation increased with grazing intensity within this area. Regardless of the climatic context, increased grazing pressure results in a reduction in vegetation cover and thus in changes in habitat characteristics. By reducing vegetation cover, grazing increased habitat heterogeneity in the dense mesic sites and decreased habitat heterogeneity in the arid sites. Thus, our results suggest that the same direction of habitat alteration caused by grazing may have opposite effects on biodiversity and community composition in different climatic contexts.

  17. Amphibian and reptile community response to coarse woody debris manipulations in upland loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forests.

    SciTech Connect

    Owens, Audrey, K.; Moseley, Kurtis, R.; McCay, Timothy, S.; Castleberry, Steven, B .; Kilgo, John, C.; Ford, W., Mark

    2008-07-01

    Coarse woody debris (CWD) has been identified as a key microhabitat component for groups that are moisture and temperature sensitive such as amphibians and reptiles. However, few experimental manipulations have quantitatively assessed amphibian and reptile response to varying CWD volumes within forested environments. We assessed amphibian and reptile response to large-scale, CWD manipulation within managed loblolly pine stands in the southeastern Coastal Plain of the United States from 1998 to 2005. Our study consisted of two treatment phases: Phase I treatments included downed CWD removal (removal of all downed CWD), all CWD removal (removal of all downed and standing CWD), pre-treatment snag, and control; Phase II treatments included downed CWD addition (downed CWD volume increased 5-fold), snag addition (standing CWD volume increased 10-fold), all CWD removal (all CWD removed), and control. Amphibian and anuran capture rates were greater in control than all CWD removal plots during study Phase I. In Phase II, reptile diversity and richness were greater in downed CWD addition and all CWD removal than snag addition treatments. Capture rate of Rana sphenocephala was greater in all CWD removal treatment than downed CWD addition treatment. The dominant amphibian and snake species captured are adapted to burrowing in sandy soil or taking refuge under leaf litter. Amphibian and reptile species endemic to upland southeastern Coastal Plain pine forests may not have evolved to rely on CWD because the humid climate and short fire return interval have resulted in historically low volumes of CWD.

  18. Absence of detectable Salmonella cloacal shedding in free-living reptiles on admission to the wildlife center of Virginia.

    PubMed

    Richards, Jean M; Brown, Justin D; Kelly, Terra R; Fountain, Andrea L; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2004-12-01

    Salmonellosis is an important reptile-associated zoonotic infection in the United States. Cloacal swabs were collected from reptiles admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, Virginia, cultured for Salmonella using Hektoen and xylose lysine deoxycholate agars, and inoculated in selenite broth. All three were incubated at 37 degrees C for 18-24 hr. Seventy-five animals were included in the study, representing eight species, 34 eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), 14 eastern painted turtles (Chrysemys picta picta), 14 snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), 6 black rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta), 2 redbelly turtles (Pseudemys rubriventris), 2 yellowbelly sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta), 2 eastern garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis), and 1 eastern river cooter (Pseudemys concinna concinna). All cultures were negative for Salmonella spp., which is in contrast to the high prevalence of Salmonella cloacal shedding reported in captive reptiles but similar to previous reports in free-living North American reptiles. We recommend, nonetheless, practicing proper hygiene methods when handling and housing all reptiles. PMID:15732603

  19. Projecting climate effects on birds and reptiles of the Southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Riper, Charles; Hatten, James R.; Giermakowski, J. Tomasz; Mattson, David; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Nowak, Erika M.; Ironside, Kirsten; Peters, Michael; Heinrich, Paul; Cole, K.L.; Truettner, C.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.

    2014-01-01

    We modeled the current and future breeding ranges of seven bird and five reptile species in the Southwestern United States with sets of landscape, biotic (plant), and climatic global circulation model (GCM) variables. For modeling purposes, we used PRISM data to characterize the climate of the Western United States between 1980 and 2009 (baseline for birds) and between 1940 and 2009 (baseline for reptiles). In contrast, we used a pre-selected set of GCMs that are known to be good predictors of southwestern climate (five individual and one ensemble GCM), for the A1B emission scenario, to characterize future climatic conditions in three time periods (2010–39; 2040–69; and, 2070–99). Our modeling approach relied on conceptual models for each target species to inform selection of candidate explanatory variables and to interpret the ecological meaning of developed probabilistic distribution models. We employed logistic regression and maximum entropy modeling techniques to create a set of probabilistic models for each target species. We considered climatic, landscape, and plant variables when developing and testing our probabilistic models. Climatic variables included the maximum and minimum mean monthly and seasonal temperature and precipitation for three time periods. Landscape features included terrain ruggedness and insolation. We also considered plant species distributions as candidate explanatory variables where prior ecological knowledge implicated a strong association between a plant and animal species. Projected changes in range varied widely among species, from major losses to major gains. Breeding bird ranges exhibited greater expansions and contractions than did reptile species. We project range losses for Williamson’s sapsucker and pygmy nuthatch of a magnitude that could move these two species close to extinction within the next century. Although both species currently have a relatively limited distribution, they can be locally common, and neither

  20. Fruit Flies Help Human Sleep Research

    MedlinePlus

    ... Current Issue Past Issues Fruit Flies Help Human Sleep Research Past Issues / Summer 2007 Table of Contents ... Chiara Cirelli uses experimental fruit flies to study sleep. Although it may be tough to imagine a ...

  1. Rich Rogers Flying Over Greenland Icecap

    NASA Video Gallery

    Ihis is a view from the NASA P3 aircraft cockpit as it flies 1000 feet over the Greenland icecap during Operation Icebridge mission, which flies each March-May. The end of video shows an ice camp w...

  2. Assessing DNA Barcodes for Species Identification in North American Reptiles and Amphibians in Natural History Collections

    PubMed Central

    Chambers, E. Anne; Hebert, Paul D. N.

    2016-01-01

    Background High rates of species discovery and loss have led to the urgent need for more rapid assessment of species diversity in the herpetofauna. DNA barcoding allows for the preliminary identification of species based on sequence divergence. Prior DNA barcoding work on reptiles and amphibians has revealed higher biodiversity counts than previously estimated due to cases of cryptic and undiscovered species. Past studies have provided DNA barcodes for just 14% of the North American herpetofauna, revealing the need for expanded coverage. Methodology/Principal Findings This study extends the DNA barcode reference library for North American herpetofauna, assesses the utility of this approach in aiding species delimitation, and examines the correspondence between current species boundaries and sequence clusters designated by the BIN system. Sequences were obtained from 730 specimens, representing 274 species (43%) from the North American herpetofauna. Mean intraspecific divergences were 1% and 3%, while average congeneric sequence divergences were 16% and 14% in amphibians and reptiles, respectively. BIN assignments corresponded with current species boundaries in 79% of amphibians, 100% of turtles, and 60% of squamates. Deep divergences (>2%) were noted in 35% of squamate and 16% of amphibian species, and low divergences (<2%) occurred in 12% of reptiles and 23% of amphibians, patterns reflected in BIN assignments. Sequence recovery declined with specimen age, and variation in recovery success was noted among collections. Within collections, barcodes effectively flagged seven mislabeled tissues, and barcode fragments were recovered from five formalin-fixed specimens. Conclusions/Significance This study demonstrates that DNA barcodes can effectively flag errors in museum collections, while BIN splits and merges reveal taxa belonging to deeply diverged or hybridizing lineages. This study is the first effort to compile a reference library of DNA barcodes for herpetofauna

  3. Soil ingestion may be an important route for the uptake of contaminants by some reptiles.

    PubMed

    Rich, C Nelson; Talent, Larry G

    2009-02-01

    Some species of reptiles regularly ingest soil in the wild. Therefore, we evaluated the importance of soil ingestion as a route for the uptake of contaminants in lizards. We used sand as a substitute for soil during the present study. Different groups of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) were provided with a control and five sodium selenite-spiked sand mixtures during a 28-d study. Twenty lizards were assigned to a control group and to each of five selenium-spiked sand mixtures that consisted of nominal selenium (Se) concentrations of 0.05, 0.46, 4.57, 11.41, and 22.83 mg Se/kg dry sand. Leopard geckos readily ingested the Se-spiked sand. We observed concentration-related effects in several endpoints. Overall growth in body mass was the most sensitive endpoint and was significantly (p < 0.05) lower in lizards that ingested the 4.57, 11.41, and 22.83 mg Se/kg sand mixtures compared to controls. Growth in snout-vent length, mean daily food ingestion, and food conversion efficiency were less sensitive and were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in lizards that ingested the 11.41 and 22.83 mg Se/kg sand mixtures compared to controls. Although our results are based on nominal amounts of Se ingested, leopard geckos appear to be as sensitive to sodium selenite as birds and mammals. The present study suggests that ingestion of soil could be an important potential route for the uptake of soil contaminants in some reptiles and should be evaluated in ecotoxicological studies and risk analyses of reptiles.

  4. Do mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have similar nitrogen conserving systems?

    PubMed

    Singer, Michael A

    2003-04-01

    Comparative physiological studies are a powerful tool for revealing common animal adaptations. Amino acid catabolism produces ammonia which is detoxified through the synthesis of urea (mammals, some fish), uric acid (birds), or urea and uric acid (reptiles). In mammalian herbivores and omnivores, urea nitrogen is salvaged by a series of steps involving urea transfer into the intestine, microbial mediated urea hydrolysis with synthesis of amino acids utilizing the liberated ammonia and transfer of the amino acids back to the host. A similar series of steps occur in omnivorous/granivorous and herbivorous birds, although in this case urine, containing uric acid, is refluxed directly into the intestine where microbes degrade the uric acid and utilize the liberated ammonia for amino acid synthesis. These amino acids are transferred back to the host. In reptiles and ureotelic fish not all of these steps have been experimentally confirmed. Reptiles like birds, reflux urine into the intestine where it is exposed to the microflora. However, the capacity of these microbes to breakdown the uric acid and urea and utilize ammonia for amino acid synthesis has not been documented. Ureotelic fish transfer urea into the intestine where urease (presumably of bacterial origin) hydrolyzes the urea. However, the amino acid synthesizing capacity of the intestinal microflora has not been studied. The series of steps, as outlined, would define the prevailing nitrogen conservation system for herbivores and omnivores at least. However, it would appear that some animals, in particular the fruit-eating bat and perhaps the fruit-eating bird, may have evolved alternative, as yet uncharacterized, adaptations to a very limited nitrogen intake.

  5. Relationship of horn fly to face fly infestation in beef cattle.

    PubMed

    Brown, A H; Johnson, Z B; Simpson, R B; Brown, M A; Steelman, C D; Rosenkrans, C F

    1994-09-01

    Horn fly and face fly counts (n = 394) taken on 194 beef cows representing seven breed groups were used to determine the effects of horn fly and face fly counts. Breed groups included were Angus (ANI and ANII), Chianina (CA), Charolais (CH), Hereford (HH), Polled Hereford (PH), and Red Poll (RP). The breed group designated ANI consisted of small-framed cows. Total horn fly and total face fly counts were determined weekly on each cow beginning in May and ending in late October or early November in a 3-yr (1988-90) study. Face flies were not counted on the ANI and ANII breed groups in 1988. All fly counts were taken when cows were grazing Ozark upland native grass pastures with only containment fences separating breeding groups. No insecticides were used in the study. Data for analysis were the mean annual horn fly and face fly counts (averaged across weeks), spring weight and fall weights, gain/day between spring and fall weights, and skin surface area in the spring (SSAS) and fall (SSAF) for each cow. Relationships among measurements were examined by correlation and regression procedures. Horn fly count was correlated (P < .05) with face fly count, spring weight, gain/day, and SSAS (.23, .11, -.25, and .12, respectively). Correlations of horn fly count with fall weight and SSAF were non-significant. Horn fly count, breed, and the breed x horn fly count interaction were significant (P < .05) for the face fly regression.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  6. Flying qualities from early airplanes to the Space Shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, William H.

    1988-01-01

    This paper discusses the historical development of the study of flying qualities and the evolution of flying qualities requirements. Subjects considered include the scope of flying qualities, early historical development of flying qualities, research on flying qualities requirements, human response characteristics, command control systems, gust response and its relation to flying qualities, prediction of flying qualities, discussion of the Space Shuttle and of some recent airplanes, and format of the flying qualities requirements.

  7. Reptile and amphibian responses to large-scale wildfires in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rochester, C.J.; Brehme, C.S.; Clark, D.R.; Stokes, D.C.; Hathaway, S.A.; Fisher, R.N.

    2010-01-01

    In 2003, southern California experienced several large fires that burned thousands of hectares of wildlife habitats and conserved lands. To investigate the effects of these fires on the reptile and amphibian communities, we compared the results from prefire herpetofauna and vegetation sampling to two years of postfire sampling across 38 burned and 17 unburned plots. The sampling plots were spread over four vegetation types and four open space areas within San Diego County. Our capture results indicated that burned chaparral and coastal sage scrub plots lost herpetofaunal species diversity after the fires and displayed a significant shift in overall community structure. Shrub and tree cover at the burned plots, averaged across the second and third postfire years, had decreased by 53 in chaparral and 75 in coastal sage scrub. Additionally, postfire herpetofauna community structure at burned plots was more similar to that found in unburned grasslands. In grassland and woodland/riparian vegetation plots, where shrub and tree cover was not significantly affected by fires, we found no differences in the herpetofaunal species diversity or community composition. At the individual species level, Sceloporus occidentalis was the most abundant reptile in these areas both before and after the fires. We saw increases in the net capture rates for several lizard species, including Aspidoscelis tigris, Phrynosoma coronatum, and Uta stansburiana in burned chaparral plots and Aspidoscelis hyperythra and U. stansburiana in burned coastal sage scrub plots. The toad, Bufo boreas, was detected at significantly fewer burned plots in chaparral after the fires. Additionally, we documented decreases in the number of plots occupied by lizards (Elgaria multicarinata), salamanders (Batrachoseps major), and snakes (Coluber constrictor, Lampropeltis getula, Pituophis catenifer, and Masticophis lateralis) in coastal sage scrub and chaparral after the fires. We discuss the individual species

  8. A fresh look at metabolic bone diseases in reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Klaphake, Eric

    2010-09-01

    Metabolic bone diseases (MBDs) are a common presenting complaint in reptiles and amphibians to veterinarians; however, understanding of the causes and diagnostic and treatment options is often extrapolated from human or other mammalian medicine models. Although the roles of UV-B, calcium, phosphorus, and cholecalciferol are better understood in some MBDs, there remain many X factors that are not. Likewise, quantitative diagnosis of MBDs has been difficult not only in terms of staging a disease but also regarding whether or not a condition is present. Treatment options also present challenges in corrective husbandry and diet modifications, medication/modality selection, and dosing/regimen parameters. PMID:20682425

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-04-01

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

  10. The Role of Thailand in the International Trade in CITES-Listed Live Reptiles and Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Nijman, Vincent; Shepherd, Chris R.

    2011-01-01

    Background International wildlife trade is one of the leading threats to biodiversity conservation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is the most important initiative to monitor and regulate the international trade of wildlife but its credibility is dependent on the quality of the trade data. We report on the performance of CITES reporting by focussing on the commercial trade in non-native reptiles and amphibians into Thailand as to illustrate trends, species composition and numbers of wild-caught vs. captive-bred specimens. Methodology/Principal Findings Based on data in the WCMC-CITES trade database, we establish that a total of 75,594 individuals of 169 species of reptiles and amphibians (including 27 globally threatened species) were imported into Thailand in 1990–2007. The majority of individuals (59,895, 79%) were listed as captive-bred and a smaller number (15,699, 21%) as wild-caught. In the 1990s small numbers of individuals of a few species were imported into Thailand, but in 2003 both volumes and species diversity increased rapidly. The proportion of captive-bred animals differed greatly between years (from 0 to >80%). Wild-caught individuals were mainly sourced from African countries, and captive-bred individuals from Asian countries (including from non-CITES Parties). There were significant discrepancies between exports and imports. Thailand reports the import of >10,000 individuals (51 species) originating from Kazakhstan, but Kazakhstan reports no exports of these species. Similar discrepancies, involving smaller numbers (>100 individuals of 9 species), can be seen in the import of reptiles into Thailand via Macao. Conclusion/Significance While there has been an increase in imports of amphibian and reptiles into Thailand, erratic patterns in proportions of captive-bred specimens and volumes suggests either capricious markets or errors in reporting. Large discrepancies with respect to origin

  11. [Transfer of exotic ticks (Acari: ixodida) on reptiles (Reptilia) imported to Poland].

    PubMed

    2009-01-01

    In the of period 2003-2007, a total of 382 specimens of reptiles belonging to the following genera were investigated: Testudo, Iguana, Varanus, Gongylophis, Python, Spalerosophis, Psammophis. The material for the present study was a collection of reptiles owned by the "Animals" Ltd from Swietochłowice (Upper Silesia, Poland), specialising in import of exotic animals to Poland, as well as the reptile collections of private breeders. The reptiles that turned out to be the most heavily infected with ticks were the commonly bred terrarium reptiles: Varanus exanthematicus and Python regius and they were imported to Poland from Ghana, Africa. Exotic reptiles are also imported from Southern Europe, Asia and Central America. The presently reported study helped to confirm the fact of transfer of exotic ticks on reptiles to Poland. A total of 2104 tick specimens, representing all stages of development (males, females, nymphs, larvae), were collected. They represented species of the genera Amblyomma and Hyalomma. The following species were found: Amblyomma exornatum Koch, 1844, Amblyomma flavomaculatum (Lucas, 1846), Amblyomma latum Koch, 1844, Amblyomma nuttalli Dönitz, 1909, Amblyomma quadricavum Schulze, 1941, Amblyomma transversale (Lucas, 1844), Amblyomma varanense (Supino, 1897), Amblyomma spp. Koch, 1844, Hyalomma aegyptium (Linnaeus, 1758). All the species of ticks of genus Ambylomma revealed have been discovered in Poland for the first time. The overall prevalence of infection was 77.6%. The highest prevalence value (81.2%) was observed on pythons (Python regius) and (78.7%) on monitor lizards (Varanus exanthematicus). The highest number of ticks was collected from Python regius and Varanus exanthematicus. The mean infection intensity for V. exanthematicus was 7.6 ticks per host, while for P. regius the intensity reached 4.7 ticks. The most abundant tick transferred to Poland on a host was an African tick, Amblyomma latum. Fifty eight specimens of monitor lizards

  12. Anatomy and Disorders of the Oral Cavity of Reptiles and Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Hedley, Joanna

    2016-09-01

    A wide variety of disorders may be seen affecting the reptile and amphibian oral cavity. Owners can easily miss problems until they are at an advanced stage because of the difficulty of examining the oral cavity at home. Because many problems are secondary to an inappropriate environment or diet and may be related to systemic disease, a full history and clinical examination is always required. Treatment of oral disorders also requires a holistic approach including correction of any predisposing factors in order for long-term successful resolution of the problem. PMID:27497202

  13. Reinvasion of small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects on a reclaimed coal strip-mine

    SciTech Connect

    Ireland, T.T.; Schemnitz, S.D.; Wolters, G.L.

    1990-12-31

    We conducted wildlife and vegetation sampling on sites reclaimed in 1979, 1982, and 1986, as well as unmined sites, on The Pittsburgh & Midway (P&M) Coal Mining Co.`s McKinley Mine in McKinley County, New Mexico. In June, July, and August 1988 and 1989 we samples small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Soil and vegetation sampling was conducted in July and September 1988, respectively. We found several significant differences (P < 0.05) among plant and animal data that may have suggested differences between study sites. Recent reclamation procedures conducted or proposed by P&M promise increased wildlife value of reclaimed sites.

  14. Geochemical Methods of Inference the Thermoregulatory Strategies in Middle Triassic Marine Reptiles - A Pilot Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surmik, Dawid; Pelc, Andrzej

    2012-01-01

    The oxygen stable isotopes investigation to elucidate thermoregulatory strategies in Middle Triassic basal sauropterygians is currently ongoing at University of Silesia and University of Maria Curie-Skłodowska. The results of similar studies on Late Mesozoic marine reptiles indicate that some of fully aquatic reptiles like plesiosaurs or ichthyosaurs could be warm-blooded animals. Our investigation is an important part of the aim of the research project "The Marine and Terrestrial reptiles in the Middle Triassic environmental background of Southern Poland" to solve the thermoregulation issue in basal marine reptiles and show how, and when did homoiothermy evolve in Sauropterygia.. Homeothermy and gigantothermy were important physiological adaptations which allowed sauropterygian ancestors to leave the shores and conquer the open seas and oceans. Badania nad paleofizjologią kopalnych kręgowców ostatnimi laty stały się niezwykle modne. Polegają one na kompilacji danych uzyskanych wieloma komplementarnymi metodami z zakresu fizjologii (badania współczesnych form, zgodnie z zasadą aktualizmu) i geochemii izotopowej. Szczególnie interesujące stały się kwestie gospodarki termicznej u gadów kopalnych, które silnie dyskutowane są w kręgach badaczy dinozaurów (Reid, 1997; Ruben i in., 1996). Badania na izotopach stabilnych tlenu szkliwa zębowego przeprowadzone na obligatoryjnie morskich gadach okresu jurajskiego i kredowego (Bernard i in., 2010; zob. także Motani, 2010) wskazują, że ichtiozaury i plezjozaury późniejszego mezozoiku mogły być zwierzętami stałocieplnymi. Brak obecnie jednoznacznych danych dotyczących gospodarki termicznej bazalnych przedstawicieli gadów morskich z triasu, choć przyjmuje się, że te zamieszkujące nadbrzeżne i marginalne strefy mórz zwierzęta były gadami zmiennocieplnymi (pojkilotermicznymi), podobnie jak współczesny legwan morski, czy też smok z Komodo. Czy przejście z pojkilo- do homojotermii by

  15. Utilization of fly ash in metallic composites

    SciTech Connect

    Rohatgi, P.K.; Guo, R.Q.; Golden, D.M.

    1996-10-01

    Fly ash particles have been successfully dispersed into aluminum alloy to make aluminum alloy-fly ash composites (Ashalloy) at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Additions of solid and hollow particles of fly ash reduce the cost and density of aluminum castings while increasing their performance. Ashalloy represents a candidate material for high value added use of fly ash, while reducing the disposal volumes of fly ash for the electric utility industry and making the US foundries more competitive. The fly ash particle distribution in the matrix aluminum alloy and the microstructure of aluminum-fly ash composite was determined. Selected properties of cast aluminum-fly ash composites are also presented in this paper. Mechanical properties of aluminum-fly ash composites show that the composite possesses higher hardness and higher elastic modulus compared to the matrix alloy. The flow behavior of molten aluminum-fly ash slurries along with the components cast in aluminum-fly ash composites will be presented. Fly ash containing metal components have potential applications in covers, shrouds, casings, manifolds, valve covers, garden furniture, engine blocks in automotive, small engine and electromechanical industry sector.

  16. Flies and Campylobacter Infection of Broiler Flocks

    PubMed Central

    Skovgård, Henrik; Bang, Dang Duong; Pedersen, Karl; Dybdahl, Jens; Jespersen, Jørgen B.; Madsen, Mogens

    2004-01-01

    A total of 8.2% of flies caught outside a broiler house in Denmark had the potential to transmit Campylobacter jejuni to chickens, and hundreds of flies per day passed through the ventilation system into the broiler house. Our study suggests that flies may be an important source of Campylobacter infection of broiler flocks in summer. PMID:15496257

  17. Flying Training at West Point.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cannon, M. Hamlin

    During World War Two the United States Military Academy operated a three-year program of instruction. Superimposed on this abbreviated curriculum was full-scale pilot training program. The emphasis of this study is on the problems that arose as a result. Included is a summary of responses to a questionnaire on the value of the flying training…

  18. Physics between a Fly's Ears

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Denny, Mark

    2008-01-01

    A novel method of localizing the direction of a source of sound has evolved in the auditory system of certain small parasitic flies. A mechanical model of this design has been shown to describe the system well. Here, a simplified version of this mechanical model is presented which demonstrates the key feature: direction estimates of high accuracy…

  19. Gyroscopic Instruments for Instrument Flying

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brombacher, W G; Trent, W C

    1938-01-01

    The gyroscopic instruments commonly used in instrument flying in the United States are the turn indicator, the directional gyro, the gyromagnetic compass, the gyroscopic horizon, and the automatic pilot. These instruments are described. Performance data and the method of testing in the laboratory are given for the turn indicator, the directional gyro, and the gyroscopic horizon. Apparatus for driving the instruments is discussed.

  20. The Spider and the Fly

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mellinger, Keith E.; Viglione, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    The Spider and the Fly puzzle, originally attributed to the great puzzler Henry Ernest Dudeney, and now over 100 years old, asks for the shortest path between two points on a particular square prism. We explore a generalization, find that the original solution only holds in certain cases, and suggest how this discovery might be used in the…

  1. To Fly in the Sky.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brodie, Carolyn S.

    1995-01-01

    Suggests activities for students that focus on airplanes, famous pilots, and travel. Provides a list of suggested titles with the following topics: history of flight and airplanes; airplanes and flying information; paper and model airplanes; Charles Lindbergh; Amelia Earhart; the Wright Brothers; videos; and picture books. (AEF)

  2. Bartonella spp. DNA associated with biting flies from California.

    PubMed

    Chung, Crystal Y; Kasten, Rickie W; Paff, Sandra M; Van Horn, Brian A; Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel; Boulouis, Henri-Jean; Chomel, Bruno B

    2004-07-01

    Bartonella DNA was investigated in 104 horn flies (Haematobia spp.), 60 stable flies (Stomoxys spp.), 11 deer flies (Chrysops spp.), and 11 horse flies (Tabanus spp.) collected on cattle in California. Partial sequencing indicated B. bovis DNA in the horn fly pool and B. henselae type M DNA in one stable fly. PMID:15324557

  3. Comparative Genomics of Campylobacter fetus from Reptiles and Mammals Reveals Divergent Evolution in Host-Associated Lineages

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Maarten J.; Miller, William G.; Yee, Emma; Zomer, Aldert L.; van der Graaf-van Bloois, Linda; Fitzgerald, Collette; Forbes, Ken J.; Méric, Guillaume; Sheppard, Samuel K.; Wagenaar, Jaap A.; Duim, Birgitta

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter fetus currently comprises three recognized subspecies, which display distinct host association. Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus and C. fetus subsp. venerealis are both associated with endothermic mammals, primarily ruminants, whereas C. fetus subsp. testudinum is primarily associated with ectothermic reptiles. Both C. fetus subsp. testudinum and C. fetus subsp. fetus have been associated with severe infections, often with a systemic component, in immunocompromised humans. To study the genetic factors associated with the distinct host dichotomy in C. fetus, whole-genome sequencing and comparison of mammal- and reptile-associated C. fetus was performed. The genomes of C. fetus subsp. testudinum isolated from either reptiles or humans were compared with elucidate the genetic factors associated with pathogenicity in humans. Genomic comparisons showed conservation of gene content and organization among C. fetus subspecies, but a clear distinction between mammal- and reptile-associated C. fetus was observed. Several genomic regions appeared to be subspecies specific, including a putative tricarballylate catabolism pathway, exclusively present in C. fetus subsp. testudinum strains. Within C. fetus subsp. testudinum, sapA, sapB, and sapAB type strains were observed. The recombinant locus iamABC (mlaFED) was exclusively associated with invasive C. fetus subsp. testudinum strains isolated from humans. A phylogenetic reconstruction was consistent with divergent evolution in host-associated strains and the existence of a barrier to lateral gene transfer between mammal- and reptile-associated C. fetus. Overall, this study shows that reptile-associated C. fetus subsp. testudinum is genetically divergent from mammal-associated C. fetus subspecies. PMID:27333878

  4. A predictive framework and review of the ecological impacts of exotic plant invasions on reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Martin, Leigh J; Murray, Brad R

    2011-05-01

    The invasive spread of exotic plants in native vegetation can pose serious threats to native faunal assemblages. This is of particular concern for reptiles and amphibians because they form a significant component of the world's vertebrate fauna, play a pivotal role in ecosystem functioning and are often neglected in biodiversity research. A framework to predict how exotic plant invasion will affect reptile and amphibian assemblages is imperative for conservation, management and the identification of research priorities. Here, we present a new predictive framework that integrates three mechanistic models. These models are based on exotic plant invasion altering: (1) habitat structure; (2) herbivory and predator-prey interactions; (3) the reproductive success of reptile and amphibian species and assemblages. We present a series of testable predictions from these models that arise from the interplay over time among three exotic plant traits (growth form, area of coverage, taxonomic distinctiveness) and six traits of reptiles and amphibians (body size, lifespan, home range size, habitat specialisation, diet, reproductive strategy). A literature review provided robust empirical evidence of exotic plant impacts on reptiles and amphibians from each of the three model mechanisms. Evidence relating to the role of body size and diet was less clear-cut, indicating the need for further research. The literature provided limited empirical support for many of the other model predictions. This was not, however, because findings contradicted our model predictions but because research in this area is sparse. In particular, the small number of studies specifically examining the effects of exotic plants on amphibians highlights the pressing need for quantitative research in this area. There is enormous scope for detailed empirical investigation of interactions between exotic plants and reptile and amphibian species and assemblages. The framework presented here and further testing of

  5. Comparative Genomics of Campylobacter fetus from Reptiles and Mammals Reveals Divergent Evolution in Host-Associated Lineages.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Miller, William G; Yee, Emma; Zomer, Aldert L; van der Graaf-van Bloois, Linda; Fitzgerald, Collette; Forbes, Ken J; Méric, Guillaume; Sheppard, Samuel K; Wagenaar, Jaap A; Duim, Birgitta

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter fetus currently comprises three recognized subspecies, which display distinct host association. Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus and C fetus subsp. venerealis are both associated with endothermic mammals, primarily ruminants, whereas C fetus subsp. testudinum is primarily associated with ectothermic reptiles. Both C. fetus subsp. testudinum and C. fetus subsp. fetus have been associated with severe infections, often with a systemic component, in immunocompromised humans. To study the genetic factors associated with the distinct host dichotomy in C. fetus, whole-genome sequencing and comparison of mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was performed. The genomes of C fetus subsp. testudinum isolated from either reptiles or humans were compared with elucidate the genetic factors associated with pathogenicity in humans. Genomic comparisons showed conservation of gene content and organization among C fetus subspecies, but a clear distinction between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was observed. Several genomic regions appeared to be subspecies specific, including a putative tricarballylate catabolism pathway, exclusively present in C fetus subsp. testudinum strains. Within C fetus subsp. testudinum, sapA, sapB, and sapAB type strains were observed. The recombinant locus iamABC (mlaFED) was exclusively associated with invasive C fetus subsp. testudinum strains isolated from humans. A phylogenetic reconstruction was consistent with divergent evolution in host-associated strains and the existence of a barrier to lateral gene transfer between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus Overall, this study shows that reptile-associated C fetus subsp. testudinum is genetically divergent from mammal-associated C fetus subspecies. PMID:27333878

  6. Comparative Genomics of Campylobacter fetus from Reptiles and Mammals Reveals Divergent Evolution in Host-Associated Lineages.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Miller, William G; Yee, Emma; Zomer, Aldert L; van der Graaf-van Bloois, Linda; Fitzgerald, Collette; Forbes, Ken J; Méric, Guillaume; Sheppard, Samuel K; Wagenaar, Jaap A; Duim, Birgitta

    2016-07-02

    Campylobacter fetus currently comprises three recognized subspecies, which display distinct host association. Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus and C fetus subsp. venerealis are both associated with endothermic mammals, primarily ruminants, whereas C fetus subsp. testudinum is primarily associated with ectothermic reptiles. Both C. fetus subsp. testudinum and C. fetus subsp. fetus have been associated with severe infections, often with a systemic component, in immunocompromised humans. To study the genetic factors associated with the distinct host dichotomy in C. fetus, whole-genome sequencing and comparison of mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was performed. The genomes of C fetus subsp. testudinum isolated from either reptiles or humans were compared with elucidate the genetic factors associated with pathogenicity in humans. Genomic comparisons showed conservation of gene content and organization among C fetus subspecies, but a clear distinction between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was observed. Several genomic regions appeared to be subspecies specific, including a putative tricarballylate catabolism pathway, exclusively present in C fetus subsp. testudinum strains. Within C fetus subsp. testudinum, sapA, sapB, and sapAB type strains were observed. The recombinant locus iamABC (mlaFED) was exclusively associated with invasive C fetus subsp. testudinum strains isolated from humans. A phylogenetic reconstruction was consistent with divergent evolution in host-associated strains and the existence of a barrier to lateral gene transfer between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus Overall, this study shows that reptile-associated C fetus subsp. testudinum is genetically divergent from mammal-associated C fetus subspecies.

  7. A rescued pelican flies to freedom at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near KSC.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    A white pelican named 'Fisheater' by its rescuers, beats its wings as it flies to freedom at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The pelican was found covered in crude oil from a contaminated ditch in northern Indiana in November, and was rescued by a local Police Department, treated, and flown to the Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge in Orlando, Fla. for care and rest. It is being released today to join a flock of about 30 other white pelicans that are wintering on the refuge. Before its release, however, Kat Royer, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, placed on it a leg band issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bird Banding Laboratory. White pelicans inhabit marshy lakes and along the Pacific and Texas coasts. They winter from Florida and southern California south to Panama, chiefly in coastal lagoons. They are frequently seen flying in long lines, flapping and sailing in unison, but also ride rising air currents to soar gracefully in circles. The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  8. Biodiversity and Ecology of Amphibians and Reptiles of the Kennedy Space Center: 1998 Close-Out Report to NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sigel, Richard A.

    1999-01-01

    Since 1992, there have been researchers have been studying the population ecology and conservation biology of the amphibians and reptiles of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) This research is an outgrowth of my Master's work in the late 1970's under Lew Ehrhart at UCF. The primary emphasis of our studies are (1) examination of long-term changes in the abundance of amphibians and reptile populations, (2) occurrence and effects of Upper Respiratory Tract Disease (URTD) in gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus), and (3) ecological studies of selected species.

  9. Different season, different strategies: Feeding ecology of two syntopic forest-dwelling salamanders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebastiano, Salvidio; Antonio, Romano; Fabrizio, Oneto; Dario, Ottonello; Roberta, Michelon

    2012-08-01

    Trophic niche may be the most important ecological dimension for some vertebrate groups and in particular for terrestrial amphibians, that are important predators of soil invertebrates. In general, resource partitioning occurs between syntopic species with similar ecological niches, and coexistence patterns seem to be regulated by temporal resource variability. However most of the generalization on foraging strategies of terrestrial salamanders are extrapolated from studies on New World temperate species, thus we investigated the seasonal effect of resource variation in an European forest ecosystem, in which two ecologically similar but phylogenetically distinct salamander species are found. The diet of adult and juvenile cave salamanders (Speleomantes strinati), and of adult spectacled salamander (Salamandrina perspicillata) was obtained by stomach flushing, and results showed large seasonal changes both in prey availability and in salamander realised trophic niche. Values of trophic diversity were similar and niche overlaps were large among all salamander groups in spring, during high prey availability. Conversely in autumn, when a two-fold reduction in prey biomass was observed, there was a clear niche partitioning as the smaller S. perspicillata shifted from a generalist to a specialized trophic strategy. Juvenile Speleomantes strinatii, that largely overlapped in size with S. perspicillata, did not show any change in diet, suggesting that the feeding strategies were species-specific and not size-mediated. The observed patterns of variation in feeding ecology indicate that similar predators may react differently to changing prey availability to enhance niche partitioning. We also observed an increased energy intake during autumn for S perspicillata and S. strinatii juveniles, possibly related to differences in microhabitat use and activity patterns.

  10. Genetic signatures of a demographic collapse in a large-bodied forest dwelling primate (Mandrillus leucophaeus).

    PubMed

    Ting, Nelson; Astaras, Christos; Hearn, Gail; Honarvar, Shaya; Corush, Joel; Burrell, Andrew S; Phillips, Naomi; Morgan, Bethan J; Gadsby, Elizabeth L; Raaum, Ryan; Roos, Christian

    2012-03-01

    It is difficult to predict how current climate change will affect wildlife species adapted to a tropical rainforest environment. Understanding how population dynamics fluctuated in such species throughout periods of past climatic change can provide insight into this issue. The drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) is a large-bodied rainforest adapted mammal found in West Central Africa. In the middle of this endangered monkey's geographic range is Lake Barombi Mbo, which has a well-documented palynological record of environmental change that dates to the Late Pleistocene. We used a Bayesian coalescent-based framework to analyze 2,076 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA across wild drill populations to infer past changes in female effective population size since the Late Pleistocene. Our results suggest that the drill underwent a nearly 15-fold demographic collapse in female effective population size that was most prominent during the Mid Holocene (approximately 3-5 Ka). This time period coincides with a period of increased dryness and seasonality across Africa and a dramatic reduction in forest coverage at Lake Barombi Mbo. We believe that these changes in climate and forest coverage were the driving forces behind the drill population decline. Furthermore, the warm temperatures and increased aridity of the Mid Holocene are potentially analogous to current and future conditions faced by many tropical rainforest communities. In order to prevent future declines in population size in rainforest-adapted species such as the drill, large tracts of forest should be protected to both preserve habitat and prevent forest loss through aridification.

  11. Adult sex ratio, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection in a Mesozoic reptile.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier; Xue, Yi-fan; Tintori, Andrea

    2015-09-22

    The evolutionary history of sexual selection in the geologic past is poorly documented based on quantification, largely because of difficulty in sexing fossil specimens. Even such essential ecological parameters as adult sex ratio (ASR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) are rarely quantified, despite their implications for sexual selection. To enable their estimation, we propose a method for unbiased sex identification based on sexual shape dimorphism, using size-independent principal components of phenotypic data. We applied the method to test sexual selection in Keichousaurus hui, a Middle Triassic (about 237 Ma) sauropterygian with an unusually large sample size for a fossil reptile. Keichousaurus hui exhibited SSD biased towards males, as in the majority of extant reptiles, to a minor degree (sexual dimorphism index -0.087). The ASR is about 60% females, suggesting higher mortality of males over females. Both values support sexual selection of males in this species. The method may be applied to other fossil species. We also used the Gompertz allometric equation to study the sexual shape dimorphism of K. hui and found that two sexes had largely homogeneous phenotypes at birth except in the humeral width, contrary to previous suggestions derived from the standard allometric equation.

  12. Isolation and characterization of melanopsin and pinopsin expression within photoreceptive sites of reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frigato, Elena; Vallone, Daniela; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Foulkes, Nicholas S.

    2006-08-01

    Non-mammalian vertebrates have multiple extraocular photoreceptors, mainly localised in the pineal complex and the brain, to mediate irradiance detection. In this study, we report the full-length cDNA cloning of ruin lizard melanopsin and pinopsin. The high level of identity with opsins in both the transmembrane regions, where the chromophore binding site is located, and the intracellular loops, where the G-proteins interact, suggests that both melanopsin and pinopsin should be able to generate a stable photopigment, capable of triggering a transduction cascade mediated by G-proteins. Phylogenetic analysis showed that both opsins are located on the expected branches of the corresponding sequences of ortholog proteins. Subsequently, using RT-PCR and RPA analysis, we verified the expression of ruin lizard melanopsin and pinopsin in directly photosensitive organs, such as the lateral eye, brain, pineal gland and parietal eye. Melanopsin expression was detected in the lateral eye and all major regions of the brain. However, different from the situation in Xenopus and chicken, melanopsin is not expressed in the ruin lizard pineal. Pinopsin mRNA expression was only detected in the pineal complex. As a result of their phylogenetic position and ecology, reptiles provide the circadian field with some of the most interesting models for understanding the evolution of the vertebrate circadian timing system and its response to light. This characterization of melanopsin and pinopsin expression in the ruin lizard will be important for future studies aimed at understanding the molecular basis of circadian light detection in reptiles.

  13. A Quantitative Climate-Match Score for Risk-Assessment Screening of Reptile and Amphibian Introductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wilgen, Nicola J.; Roura-Pascual, Núria; Richardson, David M.

    2009-09-01

    Assessing climatic suitability provides a good preliminary estimate of the invasive potential of a species to inform risk assessment. We examined two approaches for bioclimatic modeling for 67 reptile and amphibian species introduced to California and Florida. First, we modeled the worldwide distribution of the biomes found in the introduced range to highlight similar areas worldwide from which invaders might arise. Second, we modeled potentially suitable environments for species based on climatic factors in their native ranges, using three sources of distribution data. Performance of the three datasets and both approaches were compared for each species. Climate match was positively correlated with species establishment success (maximum predicted suitability in the introduced range was more strongly correlated with establishment success than mean suitability). Data assembled from the Global Amphibian Assessment through NatureServe provided the most accurate models for amphibians, while ecoregion data compiled by the World Wide Fund for Nature yielded models which described reptile climatic suitability better than available point-locality data. We present three methods of assigning a climate-match score for use in risk assessment using both the mean and maximum climatic suitabilities. Managers may choose to use different methods depending on the stringency of the assessment and the available data, facilitating higher resolution and accuracy for herpetofaunal risk assessment. Climate-matching has inherent limitations and other factors pertaining to ecological interactions and life-history traits must also be considered for thorough risk assessment.

  14. Patterns and biases in climate change research on amphibians and reptiles: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Climate change probably has severe impacts on animal populations, but demonstrating a causal link can be difficult because of potential influences by additional factors. Assessing global impacts of climate change effects may also be hampered by narrow taxonomic and geographical research foci. We review studies on the effects of climate change on populations of amphibians and reptiles to assess climate change effects and potential biases associated with the body of work that has been conducted within the last decade. We use data from 104 studies regarding the effect of climate on 313 species, from 464 species–study combinations. Climate change effects were reported in 65% of studies. Climate change was identified as causing population declines or range restrictions in half of the cases. The probability of identifying an effect of climate change varied among regions, taxa and research methods. Climatic effects were equally prevalent in studies exclusively investigating climate factors (more than 50% of studies) and in studies including additional factors, thus bolstering confidence in the results of studies exclusively examining effects of climate change. Our analyses reveal biases with respect to geography, taxonomy and research question, making global conclusions impossible. Additional research should focus on under-represented regions, taxa and questions. Conservation and climate policy should consider the documented harm climate change causes reptiles and amphibians. PMID:27703684

  15. Grassland Fire and Cattle Grazing Regulate Reptile and Amphibian Assembly Among Patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Danelle M.

    2014-12-01

    Fire and grazing are common management schemes of grasslands globally and are potential drivers of reptilian and amphibian (herpetofauna) metacommunity dynamics. Few studies have assessed the impacts of fire and cattle grazing on herpetofauna assemblages in grasslands. A patch-burn grazing study at Osage Prairie, MO, USA in 2011-2012 created landscape patches with treatments of grazing, fire, and such legacies. Response variables were measured before and after the application of treatments, and I used robust-design occupancy modeling to estimate patch occupancy and detection rate within patches, and recolonization and extinction (i.e., dispersal) across patches. I conducted redundancy analysis and a permuted multivariate analysis of variance to determine if patch type and the associated environmental factors explained herpetofauna assemblage. Estimates for reptiles indicate that occupancy was seasonally constant in Control patches ( ψ ~ 0.5), but declined to ψ ~ 0.15 in patches following the applications of fire and grazing. Local extinctions for reptiles were higher in patches with fire or light grazing ( ɛ ~ 0.7) compared to the controls. For the riparian herpetofaunal community, patch type and grass height were important predictors of abundance; further, the turtles, lizards, snakes, and adult amphibians used different patch types. The aquatic amphibian community was predicted by watershed and in-stream characteristics, irrespective of fire or grazing. The varying responses from taxonomic groups demonstrate habitat partitioning across multiple patch types undergoing fire, cattle grazing, and legacy effects. Prairies will need an array of patch types to accommodate multiple herpetofauna species.

  16. Adult sex ratio, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection in a Mesozoic reptile

    PubMed Central

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier; Xue, Yi-fan; Tintori, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionary history of sexual selection in the geologic past is poorly documented based on quantification, largely because of difficulty in sexing fossil specimens. Even such essential ecological parameters as adult sex ratio (ASR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) are rarely quantified, despite their implications for sexual selection. To enable their estimation, we propose a method for unbiased sex identification based on sexual shape dimorphism, using size-independent principal components of phenotypic data. We applied the method to test sexual selection in Keichousaurus hui, a Middle Triassic (about 237 Ma) sauropterygian with an unusually large sample size for a fossil reptile. Keichousaurus hui exhibited SSD biased towards males, as in the majority of extant reptiles, to a minor degree (sexual dimorphism index −0.087). The ASR is about 60% females, suggesting higher mortality of males over females. Both values support sexual selection of males in this species. The method may be applied to other fossil species. We also used the Gompertz allometric equation to study the sexual shape dimorphism of K. hui and found that two sexes had largely homogeneous phenotypes at birth except in the humeral width, contrary to previous suggestions derived from the standard allometric equation. PMID:26378218

  17. Reptile-associated ticks from Dominica and the Bahamas with notes on hyperparasitic erythraeid mites.

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Knapp, Charles R; Beati, Lorenza; Dold, Stephanie

    2015-02-01

    Ticks were collected or recorded from 522 individual reptiles on Dominica and from 658 reptiles from the Bahamas. Two species of ticks were collected on Dominica: Amblyomma antillorum and Amblyomma rotundatum. Similarly, 2 species were collected in the Bahamas: Amblyomma albopictum and Amblyomma torrei. On Dominica, A. antillorum was recorded from 517 Lesser Antillean iguanas (Iguana delicatissima), 2 boa constrictors (Boa nebulosa), 1 Antilles snake (Alsophis sibonius), and 1 Dominican ground lizard (Ameiva fuscata), whereas A. rotundatum was recorded from 1 Lesser Antillean skink (Mabuya mabouya). In the Bahamas, A. albopictum was recorded from 131 Andros iguanas (Cyclura cychlura cychlura), 271 Exuma Island iguanas (Cyclura cychlura figginsi), and 1 Andros curlytail lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus coryi), whereas A. torrei was recorded from 255 Exuma Island iguanas. In the Bahamas, A. albopictum parasitized iguanas on Andros Island and the central Exuma Islands, and A. torrei parasitized iguanas in the southern Exumas. An exception to this trend was that A. torrei was collected from iguanas on Pasture Cay in the central Exumas, an anomaly that is explained by the fact that iguanas (with attached ticks) on Pasture Cay were introduced by humans in the past from islands further south. External hyperparasitic larval erythraeid mites ( Leptus sp.) were recorded from A. torrei in the Bahamas. PMID:25274575

  18. Inner ear anatomy is a proxy for deducing auditory capability and behaviour in reptiles and birds

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Stig A.; Barrett, Paul M.; Milner, Angela C.; Manley, Geoffrey; Witmer, Lawrence M.

    2009-01-01

    Inferences of hearing capabilities and audition-related behaviours in extinct reptiles and birds have previously been based on comparing cochlear duct dimensions with those of living species. However, the relationship between inner-ear bony anatomy and hearing ability or vocalization has never been tested rigorously in extant or fossil taxa. Here, micro-computed tomographic analysis is used to investigate whether simple endosseous cochlear duct (ECD) measurements can be fitted to models of hearing sensitivity, vocalization, sociality and environmental preference in 59 extant reptile and bird species, selected based on their vocalization ability. Length, rostrocaudal/mediolateral width and volume measurements were taken from ECD virtual endocasts and scaled to basicranial length. Multiple regression of these data with measures of hearing sensitivity, vocal complexity, sociality and environmental preference recovered positive correlations between ECD length and hearing range/mean frequency, vocal complexity, the behavioural traits of pair bonding and living in large aggregations, and a negative correlation between ECD length/rostrocaudal width and aquatic environments. No other dimensions correlated with these variables. Our results suggest that ECD length can be used to predict mean hearing frequency and range in fossil taxa, and that this measure may also predict vocal complexity and large group sociality given comprehensive datasets. PMID:19141427

  19. Amphibian and reptile declines over 35 years at La Selva, Costa Rica

    PubMed Central

    Whitfield, Steven M.; Bell, Kristen E.; Philippi, Thomas; Sasa, Mahmood; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; Savage, Jay M.; Donnelly, Maureen A.

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians stand at the forefront of a global biodiversity crisis. More than one-third of amphibian species are globally threatened, and over 120 species have likely suffered global extinction since 1980. Most alarmingly, many rapid declines and extinctions are occurring in pristine sites lacking obvious adverse effects of human activities. The causes of these “enigmatic” declines remain highly contested. Still, lack of long-term data on amphibian populations severely limits our understanding of the distribution of amphibian declines, and therefore the ultimate causes of these declines. Here, we identify a systematic community-wide decline in populations of terrestrial amphibians at La Selva Biological Station, a protected old-growth lowland rainforest in lower Central America. We use data collected over 35 years to show that population density of all species of terrestrial amphibians has declined by ≈75% since 1970, and we show identical trends for all species of common reptiles. The trends we identify are neither consistent with recent emergence of chytridiomycosis nor the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis, two leading putative causes of enigmatic amphibian declines. Instead, our data suggest that declines are due to climate-driven reductions in the quantity of standing leaf litter, a critical microhabitat for amphibians and reptiles in this assemblage. Our results raise further concerns about the global persistence of amphibian populations by identifying widespread declines in species and habitats that are not currently recognized as susceptible to such risks. PMID:17449638

  20. Amphibian and reptile declines over 35 years at La Selva, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, Steven M; Bell, Kristen E; Philippi, Thomas; Sasa, Mahmood; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; Savage, Jay M; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2007-05-15

    Amphibians stand at the forefront of a global biodiversity crisis. More than one-third of amphibian species are globally threatened, and over 120 species have likely suffered global extinction since 1980. Most alarmingly, many rapid declines and extinctions are occurring in pristine sites lacking obvious adverse effects of human activities. The causes of these "enigmatic" declines remain highly contested. Still, lack of long-term data on amphibian populations severely limits our understanding of the distribution of amphibian declines, and therefore the ultimate causes of these declines. Here, we identify a systematic community-wide decline in populations of terrestrial amphibians at La Selva Biological Station, a protected old-growth lowland rainforest in lower Central America. We use data collected over 35 years to show that population density of all species of terrestrial amphibians has declined by approximately 75% since 1970, and we show identical trends for all species of common reptiles. The trends we identify are neither consistent with recent emergence of chytridiomycosis nor the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis, two leading putative causes of enigmatic amphibian declines. Instead, our data suggest that declines are due to climate-driven reductions in the quantity of standing leaf litter, a critical microhabitat for amphibians and reptiles in this assemblage. Our results raise further concerns about the global persistence of amphibian populations by identifying widespread declines in species and habitats that are not currently recognized as susceptible to such risks.

  1. A new Early Permian reptile and its significance in early diapsid evolution.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Modesto, Sean P; Scott, Diane M

    2011-12-22

    The initial stages of evolution of Diapsida (the large clade that includes not only snakes, lizards, crocodiles and birds, but also dinosaurs and numerous other extinct taxa) is clouded by an exceedingly poor Palaeozoic fossil record. Previous studies had indicated a 38 Myr gap between the first appearance of the oldest diapsid clade (Araeoscelidia), ca 304 million years ago (Ma), and that of its sister group in the Middle Permian (ca 266 Ma). Two new reptile skulls from the Richards Spur locality, Lower Permian of Oklahoma, represent a new diapsid reptile: Orovenator mayorum n. gen. et sp. A phylogenetic analysis identifies O. mayorum as the oldest and most basal member of the araeoscelidian sister group. As Richards Spur has recently been dated to 289 Ma, the new diapsid neatly spans the above gap by appearing 15 Myr after the origin of Diapsida. The presence of O. mayorum at Richards Spur, which records a diverse upland fauna, suggests that initial stages in the evolution of non-araeoscelidian diapsids may have been tied to upland environments. This hypothesis is consonant with the overall scant record for non-araeoscelidian diapsids during the Permian Period, when the well-known terrestrial vertebrate communities are preserved almost exclusively in lowland deltaic, flood plain and lacustrine sedimentary rocks.

  2. Reptiles of Chubut province, Argentina: richness, diversity, conservation status and geographic distribution maps

    PubMed Central

    Minoli, Ignacio; Morando, Mariana; Avila, Luciano Javier

    2015-01-01

    Abstract An accurate estimation of species and population geographic ranges is essential for species-focused studies and conservation and management plans. Knowledge of the geographic distributions of reptiles from Patagonian Argentina is in general limited and dispersed over manuscripts from a wide variety of topics. We completed an extensive review of reptile species of central Patagonia (Argentina) based on information from a wide variety of sources. We compiled and checked geographic distribution records from published literature and museum records, including extensive new data from the LJAMM-CNP (CENPAT-CONICET) herpetological collection. Our results show that there are 52 taxa recorded for this region and the highest species richness was seen in the families Liolaemidae and Dipsadidae with 31 and 10 species, respectively. The Patagónica was the phytogeographic province most diverse in species and Phymaturus was the genus of conservation concern most strongly associated with it. We present a detailed species list with geographical information, richness species, diversity analyses with comparisons across phytogeographical provinces, conservation status, taxonomic comments and distribution maps for all of these taxa. PMID:25931966

  3. Morbidity and mortality of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals at a major exotic companion animal wholesaler.

    PubMed

    Ashley, Shawn; Brown, Susan; Ledford, Joel; Martin, Janet; Nash, Ann-Elizabeth; Terry, Amanda; Tristan, Tim; Warwick, Clifford

    2014-01-01

    The authors formally investigated a major international wildlife wholesaler and subsequently confiscated more than 26,400 nonhuman animals of 171 species and types. Approximately 80% of the nonhuman animals were identified as grossly sick, injured, or dead, with the remaining in suspected suboptimal condition. Almost 3,500 deceased or moribund animals (12% of stock), mostly reptiles, were being discarded on a weekly basis. Mortality during the 6-week "stock turnover" period was determined to be 72%. During a 10-day period after confiscation, mortality rates (including euthanasia for humane reasons) for the various taxa were 18% for invertebrates, 44.5% for amphibians, 41.6% for reptiles, and 5.5% for mammals. Causes of morbidity and mortality included cannibalism, crushing, dehydration, emaciation, hypothermic stress, infection, parasite infestation, starvation, overcrowding, stress/injuries, euthanasia on compassionate grounds, and undetermined causes. Contributing factors for disease and injury included poor hygiene; inadequate, unreliable, or inappropriate provision of food, water, heat, and humidity; presumed high levels of stress due to inappropriate housing leading to intraspecific aggression; absent or minimal environmental enrichment; and crowding. Risks for introduction of invasive species through escapes and/or spread of pathogens to naive populations also were identified.

  4. Reptile-associated ticks from Dominica and the Bahamas with notes on hyperparasitic erythraeid mites.

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Knapp, Charles R; Beati, Lorenza; Dold, Stephanie

    2015-02-01

    Ticks were collected or recorded from 522 individual reptiles on Dominica and from 658 reptiles from the Bahamas. Two species of ticks were collected on Dominica: Amblyomma antillorum and Amblyomma rotundatum. Similarly, 2 species were collected in the Bahamas: Amblyomma albopictum and Amblyomma torrei. On Dominica, A. antillorum was recorded from 517 Lesser Antillean iguanas (Iguana delicatissima), 2 boa constrictors (Boa nebulosa), 1 Antilles snake (Alsophis sibonius), and 1 Dominican ground lizard (Ameiva fuscata), whereas A. rotundatum was recorded from 1 Lesser Antillean skink (Mabuya mabouya). In the Bahamas, A. albopictum was recorded from 131 Andros iguanas (Cyclura cychlura cychlura), 271 Exuma Island iguanas (Cyclura cychlura figginsi), and 1 Andros curlytail lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus coryi), whereas A. torrei was recorded from 255 Exuma Island iguanas. In the Bahamas, A. albopictum parasitized iguanas on Andros Island and the central Exuma Islands, and A. torrei parasitized iguanas in the southern Exumas. An exception to this trend was that A. torrei was collected from iguanas on Pasture Cay in the central Exumas, an anomaly that is explained by the fact that iguanas (with attached ticks) on Pasture Cay were introduced by humans in the past from islands further south. External hyperparasitic larval erythraeid mites ( Leptus sp.) were recorded from A. torrei in the Bahamas.

  5. A new Early Permian reptile and its significance in early diapsid evolution.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Modesto, Sean P; Scott, Diane M

    2011-12-22

    The initial stages of evolution of Diapsida (the large clade that includes not only snakes, lizards, crocodiles and birds, but also dinosaurs and numerous other extinct taxa) is clouded by an exceedingly poor Palaeozoic fossil record. Previous studies had indicated a 38 Myr gap between the first appearance of the oldest diapsid clade (Araeoscelidia), ca 304 million years ago (Ma), and that of its sister group in the Middle Permian (ca 266 Ma). Two new reptile skulls from the Richards Spur locality, Lower Permian of Oklahoma, represent a new diapsid reptile: Orovenator mayorum n. gen. et sp. A phylogenetic analysis identifies O. mayorum as the oldest and most basal member of the araeoscelidian sister group. As Richards Spur has recently been dated to 289 Ma, the new diapsid neatly spans the above gap by appearing 15 Myr after the origin of Diapsida. The presence of O. mayorum at Richards Spur, which records a diverse upland fauna, suggests that initial stages in the evolution of non-araeoscelidian diapsids may have been tied to upland environments. This hypothesis is consonant with the overall scant record for non-araeoscelidian diapsids during the Permian Period, when the well-known terrestrial vertebrate communities are preserved almost exclusively in lowland deltaic, flood plain and lacustrine sedimentary rocks. PMID:21525061

  6. The monotreme genome: a patchwork of reptile, mammal and unique features?

    PubMed

    Grützner, Frank; Deakin, Janine; Rens, Willem; El-Mogharbel, Nisrine; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A

    2003-12-01

    The first specimen of platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) that reached Britain in the late 18th century was regarded a scientific hoax. Over decades the anatomical characteristics of these unique mammals, such as egg laying and the existence of mammary glands, were hotly debated before they were accepted. Within the last 40 years, more and more details of monotreme physiology, histology, reproduction and genetics have been revealed. Some show similarities with birds or reptiles, some with therian mammals, but many are very specific to monotremes. The genome is no exception to monotreme uniqueness. An early opinion was that the karyotype, composed of a few large chromosomes and many small ones, resembled bird and reptile macro- and micro-chromosomes. However, the platypus genome also features characteristics that are not present in other mammals, such as a complex translocation system. The sex chromosome system is still not resolved. Nothing is known about dosage compensation and, unlike in therian mammals, there seems to be no genomic imprinting. In this article we will recount the mysteries of the monotreme genome and describe how we are using recently developed technology to identify chromosomes in mitosis, meiosis and sperm, to map genes to chromosomes, to unravel the sex chromosome system and the translocation chain and investigate X inactivation and genomic imprinting in monotremes. PMID:14667850

  7. Inner ear anatomy is a proxy for deducing auditory capability and behaviour in reptiles and birds.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Stig A; Barrett, Paul M; Milner, Angela C; Manley, Geoffrey; Witmer, Lawrence M

    2009-04-01

    Inferences of hearing capabilities and audition-related behaviours in extinct reptiles and birds have previously been based on comparing cochlear duct dimensions with those of living species. However, the relationship between inner-ear bony anatomy and hearing ability or vocalization has never been tested rigorously in extant or fossil taxa. Here, micro-computed tomographic analysis is used to investigate whether simple endosseous cochlear duct (ECD) measurements can be fitted to models of hearing sensitivity, vocalization, sociality and environmental preference in 59 extant reptile and bird species, selected based on their vocalization ability. Length, rostrocaudal/mediolateral width and volume measurements were taken from ECD virtual endocasts and scaled to basicranial length. Multiple regression of these data with measures of hearing sensitivity, vocal complexity, sociality and environmental preference recovered positive correlations between ECD length and hearing range/mean frequency, vocal complexity, the behavioural traits of pair bonding and living in large aggregations, and a negative correlation between ECD length/rostrocaudal width and aquatic environments. No other dimensions correlated with these variables. Our results suggest that ECD length can be used to predict mean hearing frequency and range in fossil taxa, and that this measure may also predict vocal complexity and large group sociality given comprehensive datasets.

  8. Adult sex ratio, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection in a Mesozoic reptile.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier; Xue, Yi-fan; Tintori, Andrea

    2015-09-22

    The evolutionary history of sexual selection in the geologic past is poorly documented based on quantification, largely because of difficulty in sexing fossil specimens. Even such essential ecological parameters as adult sex ratio (ASR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) are rarely quantified, despite their implications for sexual selection. To enable their estimation, we propose a method for unbiased sex identification based on sexual shape dimorphism, using size-independent principal components of phenotypic data. We applied the method to test sexual selection in Keichousaurus hui, a Middle Triassic (about 237 Ma) sauropterygian with an unusually large sample size for a fossil reptile. Keichousaurus hui exhibited SSD biased towards males, as in the majority of extant reptiles, to a minor degree (sexual dimorphism index -0.087). The ASR is about 60% females, suggesting higher mortality of males over females. Both values support sexual selection of males in this species. The method may be applied to other fossil species. We also used the Gompertz allometric equation to study the sexual shape dimorphism of K. hui and found that two sexes had largely homogeneous phenotypes at birth except in the humeral width, contrary to previous suggestions derived from the standard allometric equation. PMID:26378218

  9. Conservation of spatial memory function in the pallial forebrain of reptiles and ray-finned fishes.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Fernando; López, J Carlos; Vargas, J Pedro; Gómez, Yolanda; Broglio, Cristina; Salas, Cosme

    2002-04-01

    The hippocampus of mammals and birds is critical for spatial memory. Neuroanatomical evidence indicates that the medial cortex (MC) of reptiles and the lateral pallium (LP) of ray-finned fishes could be homologous to the hippocampus of mammals and birds. In this work, we studied the effects of lesions to the MC of turtles and to the LP of goldfish in spatial memory. Lesioned animals were trained in place, and cue maze tasks and crucial probe and transfer tests were performed. In experiment 1, MC-lesioned turtles in the place task failed to locate the goal during trials in which new start positions were used, whereas sham animals navigated directly to the goal independently of start location. In contrast, no deficit was observed in cue learning. In experiment 2, LP lesion produced a dramatic impairment in goldfish trained in the place task, whereas medial and dorsal pallium lesions did not decrease accuracy. In addition, none of these pallial lesions produced deficits in cue learning. These results indicate that lesions to the MC of turtles and to the LP of goldfish, like hippocampal lesions in mammals and birds, selectively impair map-like memory representations of the environmental space. Thus, the forebrain structures of reptiles and teleost fish neuroanatomically equivalent to the mammalian and avian hippocampus also share a central role in spatial cognition. Present results suggest that the presence of a hippocampus-dependent spatial memory system is a primitive feature of the vertebrate forebrain that has been conserved through evolution.

  10. The life cycle of the reptile-inhabiting nematode Abbreviata hastaspicula (Spirurida: Physalopteridae: Physalopterinae) in Australia.

    PubMed

    King, C; Jones, H I

    2016-12-01

    This study elucidates the life-cycle of the reptile inhabiting nematode Abbreviata hastaspicula (Spirurida: Physalopteridae: Physalopterinae) in Australia. Eight Varanus gouldii (Lacertilia: Varanidae), and two Christinus marmoratus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) lizards were captured in the wild. Two V. gouldii were used as controls and no experimental procedures were carried out on them. Another six V. gouldii (final host) and the two C. marmoratus (paratenic host) were treated with oral anthelmintics to remove all parasitic worms and were fed with infected live arthropods containing third stage larvae of Abbreviata hastaspicula. Faeces of V. gouldii were examined under the microscope weekly to determine whether the third stage larvae had developed into adults. Two months later, a total of 30 larvae and adults of A. hastaspicula were found in the stomachs of four experimentally-infected V. gouldii lizards. No cysts or larva were found in the C. marmoratus. This is the first study to demonstrate the life-cycle of this genus of nematode in their definitive reptile hosts. PMID:27668177

  11. A new captorhinid reptile, Gansurhinus qingtoushanensis, gen. et sp. nov., from the Permian of China.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Liu, Jun; Li, Jin-Ling; Müller, Johannes

    2011-05-01

    Captorhinids, a clade of Paleozoic reptiles, are represented by a rich fossil record that extends from the Late Carboniferous into the Late Permian. Representatives of this clade dispersed from the equatorial regions of Laurasia into the temperate regions of Pangea during the Middle and Late Permian. This rich fossil record shows that there was an evolutionary trend from faunivorous to omnivorous and herbivorous feeding habits within this clade. The discovery of well-preserved captorhinid materials in the Middle Permian of China allows us to determine that the new taxon, Gansurhinus qingtoushanensis, gen. et sp. nov, is a member of Moradisaurinae, a clade of captorhinids with multiple tooth rows arranged in parallel. The presence of this moradisaurine in the Middle Permian of south central Asia leads us to suggest that paleogeographic changes during the Permian, with part of what is today China becoming a large peninsula of Pangea, allowed these early reptiles as well as other terrestrial vertebrates to extend their geographic ranges to this region of the Late Paleozoic supercontinent.

  12. A longitudinal study of Escherichia coli strains isolated from captive mammals, birds, and reptiles in Trinidad.

    PubMed

    Gopee, N V; Adesiyun, A A; Caesar, K

    2000-09-01

    A longitudinal study was conducted of the prevalence and characteristics of Escherichia coli in mammals, birds, and reptiles housed at the Emperor Valley Zoo, Trinidad. During a 6-mo study period, swabs were obtained from fecal samples that were randomly collected from the enclosures of animals from these three taxonomic groups every 3 wk. With snakes, both cloacal and fecal swabs were obtained. Fecal and cloacal swabs were cultured for E. coli on eosin methylene blue agar. The production of mucoid colonies and hemolytic colonies and non-sorbitol fermenter status were identified. The occurrence of O157 strains was determined amongst E. coli isolates that were non-sorbitol fermenters, and the disc diffusion method was used to determine the antibiograms of isolates. The frequency of E. coli isolation was significantly higher in mammals compared with birds and reptiles. Overall, the frequencies of isolation of E. coli from omnivores. herbivores, and carnivores, 87.2%, 70.0%, and 57.3%, respectively, regardless of animal class, were significantly different. Most (99.6%) of the E. coli isolates tested for antibiotic sensitivity exhibited resistance to one or more of the eight antimicrobial agents used. The possession of phenotypic virulence markers by the E. coli isolates studied and the generally high resistance to antimicrobial agents may have health implications for the zoological collection.

  13. Grassland fire and cattle grazing regulate reptile and amphibian assembly among patches.

    PubMed

    Larson, Danelle M

    2014-12-01

    Fire and grazing are common management schemes of grasslands globally and are potential drivers of reptilian and amphibian (herpetofauna) metacommunity dynamics. Few studies have assessed the impacts of fire and cattle grazing on herpetofauna assemblages in grasslands. A patch-burn grazing study at Osage Prairie, MO, USA in 2011-2012 created landscape patches with treatments of grazing, fire, and such legacies. Response variables were measured before and after the application of treatments, and I used robust-design occupancy modeling to estimate patch occupancy and detection rate within patches, and recolonization and extinction (i.e., dispersal) across patches. I conducted redundancy analysis and a permuted multivariate analysis of variance to determine if patch type and the associated environmental factors explained herpetofauna assemblage. Estimates for reptiles indicate that occupancy was seasonally constant in Control patches (ψ ~ 0.5), but declined to ψ ~ 0.15 in patches following the applications of fire and grazing. Local extinctions for reptiles were higher in patches with fire or light grazing (ε ~ 0.7) compared to the controls. For the riparian herpetofaunal community, patch type and grass height were important predictors of abundance; further, the turtles, lizards, snakes, and adult amphibians used different patch types. The aquatic amphibian community was predicted by watershed and in-stream characteristics, irrespective of fire or grazing. The varying responses from taxonomic groups demonstrate habitat partitioning across multiple patch types undergoing fire, cattle grazing, and legacy effects. Prairies will need an array of patch types to accommodate multiple herpetofauna species.

  14. Tooth development in a model reptile: functional and null generation teeth in the gecko Paroedura picta.

    PubMed

    Zahradnicek, Oldrich; Horacek, Ivan; Tucker, Abigail S

    2012-09-01

    This paper describes tooth development in a basal squamate, Paroedura picta. Due to its reproductive strategy, mode of development and position within the reptiles, this gecko represents an excellent model organism for the study of reptile development. Here we document the dental pattern and development of non-functional (null generation) and functional generations of teeth during embryonic development. Tooth development is followed from initiation to cytodifferentiation and ankylosis, as the tooth germs develop from bud, through cap to bell stages. The fate of the single generation of non-functional (null generation) teeth is shown to be variable, with some teeth being expelled from the oral cavity, while others are incorporated into the functional bone and teeth, or are absorbed. Fate appears to depend on the initiation site within the oral cavity, with the first null generation teeth forming before formation of the dental lamina. We show evidence for a stratum intermedium layer in the enamel epithelium of functional teeth and show that the bicuspid shape of the teeth is created by asymmetrical deposition of enamel, and not by folding of the inner dental epithelium as observed in mammals.

  15. Morbidity and mortality of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals at a major exotic companion animal wholesaler.

    PubMed

    Ashley, Shawn; Brown, Susan; Ledford, Joel; Martin, Janet; Nash, Ann-Elizabeth; Terry, Amanda; Tristan, Tim; Warwick, Clifford

    2014-01-01

    The authors formally investigated a major international wildlife wholesaler and subsequently confiscated more than 26,400 nonhuman animals of 171 species and types. Approximately 80% of the nonhuman animals were identified as grossly sick, injured, or dead, with the remaining in suspected suboptimal condition. Almost 3,500 deceased or moribund animals (12% of stock), mostly reptiles, were being discarded on a weekly basis. Mortality during the 6-week "stock turnover" period was determined to be 72%. During a 10-day period after confiscation, mortality rates (including euthanasia for humane reasons) for the various taxa were 18% for invertebrates, 44.5% for amphibians, 41.6% for reptiles, and 5.5% for mammals. Causes of morbidity and mortality included cannibalism, crushing, dehydration, emaciation, hypothermic stress, infection, parasite infestation, starvation, overcrowding, stress/injuries, euthanasia on compassionate grounds, and undetermined causes. Contributing factors for disease and injury included poor hygiene; inadequate, unreliable, or inappropriate provision of food, water, heat, and humidity; presumed high levels of stress due to inappropriate housing leading to intraspecific aggression; absent or minimal environmental enrichment; and crowding. Risks for introduction of invasive species through escapes and/or spread of pathogens to naive populations also were identified. PMID:24875063

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

    PubMed

    Romenskiĭ, O Iu

    1978-07-01

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

  17. Binocular Interactions Underlying the Classic Optomotor Responses of Flying Flies

    PubMed Central

    Duistermars, Brian J.; Care, Rachel A.; Frye, Mark A.

    2012-01-01

    In response to imposed course deviations, the optomotor reactions of animals reduce motion blur and facilitate the maintenance of stable body posture. In flies, many anatomical and electrophysiological studies suggest that disparate motion cues stimulating the left and right eyes are not processed in isolation but rather are integrated in the brain to produce a cohesive panoramic percept. To investigate the strength of such inter-ocular interactions and their role in compensatory sensory–motor transformations, we utilize a virtual reality flight simulator to record wing and head optomotor reactions by tethered flying flies in response to imposed binocular rotation and monocular front-to-back and back-to-front motion. Within a narrow range of stimulus parameters that generates large contrast insensitive optomotor responses to binocular rotation, we find that responses to monocular front-to-back motion are larger than those to panoramic rotation, but are contrast sensitive. Conversely, responses to monocular back-to-front motion are slower than those to rotation and peak at the lowest tested contrast. Together our results suggest that optomotor responses to binocular rotation result from the influence of non-additive contralateral inhibitory as well as excitatory circuit interactions that serve to confer contrast insensitivity to flight behaviors influenced by rotatory optic flow. PMID:22375108

  18. Notes on flying and dying.

    PubMed

    Meyer, B C

    1983-07-01

    Focused on selected details in the lives and creative works of Samuel Johnson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Houdini, this paper explores a seeming antinomy between claustrophobic annihilation and aviation. At first glance the latter appears as an antidote to the threat of entrapment and death. On a deeper level the distinction fades as the impression arises that in the examples cited, flying may represent an unconscious expression of a wish for death and ultimate reunion.

  19. Motor control of fly feeding.

    PubMed

    McKellar, Claire E

    2016-06-01

    Following considerable progress on the molecular and cellular basis of taste perception in fly sensory neurons, the time is now ripe to explore how taste information, integrated with hunger and satiety, undergo a sensorimotor transformation to lead to the motor actions of feeding behavior. I examine what is known of feeding circuitry in adult flies from more than 250 years of work in larger flies and from newer work in Drosophila. I review the anatomy of the proboscis, its muscles and their functions (where known), its motor neurons, interneurons known to receive taste inputs, interneurons that diverge from taste circuitry to provide information to other circuits, interneurons from other circuits that converge on feeding circuits, proprioceptors that influence the motor control of feeding, and sites of integration of hunger and satiety on feeding circuits. In spite of the several neuron types now known, a connected pathway from taste inputs to feeding motor outputs has yet to be found. We are on the threshold of an era where these individual components will be assembled into circuits, revealing how nervous system architecture leads to the control of behavior. PMID:27309215

  20. House fly oviposition inhibition by larvae ofHermetia illucens, the black soldier fly.

    PubMed

    Bradley, S W; Sheppard, D C

    1984-06-01

    Wild populations of house flies were inhibited from ovipositing into poultry manure containing larvae of the black soldier fly,Hermetia illucens (L.). A laboratory strain of house fly responded differently, readily ovipositing into manure with lower densities of soldier fly larvae, but avoiding the higher densities tested. The amount of timeH. illucens larvae occupy the manure prior to an oviposition test influences ovipositional responses of house flies. Manure conditioned byH. illucens larvae for 4-5 days did not significantly inhibit house fly oviposition. We suggest that some type of interspecific chemical communication (allomone) is present.

  1. Identifying glass compositions in fly ash

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aughenbaugh, Katherine; Stutzman, Paul; Juenger, Maria

    2016-01-01

    In this study, four Class F fly ashes were studied with a scanning electron microscope; the glassy phases were identified and their compositions quantified using point compositional analysis with k-means clustering and multispectral image analysis. The results showed that while the bulk oxide contents of the fly ashes were different, the four fly ashes had somewhat similar glassy phase compositions. Aluminosilicate glasses (AS), calcium aluminosilicate glasses (CAS), a mixed glass, and, in one case, a high iron glass were identified in the fly ashes. Quartz and iron crystalline phases were identified in each fly ash as well. The compositions of the three main glasses identified, AS, CAS, and mixed glass, were relatively similar in each ash. The amounts of each glass were varied by fly ash, with the highest calcium fly ash containing the most of calcium-containing glass. Some of the glasses were identified as intermixed in individual particles, particularly the calcium-containing glasses. Finally, the smallest particles in the fly ashes, with the most surface area available to react in alkaline solution, such as when mixed with portland cement or in alkali-activated fly ash, were not different in composition than the large particles, with each of the glasses represented. The method used in the study may be applied to a fly ash of interest for use as a cementing material in order to understand its potential for reactivity.

  2. Testing the Toxicofera: comparative transcriptomics casts doubt on the single, early evolution of the reptile venom system.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Adam D; Swain, Martin T; Logan, Darren W; Mulley, John F

    2014-12-15

    The identification of apparently conserved gene complements in the venom and salivary glands of a diverse set of reptiles led to the development of the Toxicofera hypothesis - the single, early evolution of the venom system in reptiles. However, this hypothesis is based largely on relatively small scale EST-based studies of only venom or salivary glands and toxic effects have been assigned to only some putative Toxicoferan toxins in some species. We set out to examine the distribution of these proposed venom toxin transcripts in order to investigate to what extent conservation of gene complements may reflect a bias in previous sampling efforts. Our quantitative transcriptomic analyses of venom and salivary glands and other body tissues in five species of reptile, together with the use of available RNA-Seq datasets for additional species, shows that the majority of genes used to support the establishment and expansion of the Toxicofera are in fact expressed in multiple body tissues and most likely represent general maintenance or "housekeeping" genes. The apparent conservation of gene complements across the Toxicofera therefore reflects an artefact of incomplete tissue sampling. We therefore conclude that venom has evolved multiple times in reptiles.

  3. Effects of land-use change on community composition of tropical amphibians and reptiles in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Wanger, Thomas C; Iskandar, Djoko T; Motzke, Iris; Brook, Barry W; Sodhi, Navjot S; Clough, Yann; Tscharntke, Teja

    2010-06-01

    Little is known about the effects of anthropogenic land-use change on the amphibians and reptiles of the biodiverse tropical forests of Southeast Asia. We studied a land-use modification gradient stretching from primary forest, secondary forest, natural-shade cacao agroforest, planted-shade cacao agroforest to open areas in central Sulawesi, Indonesia. We determined species richness, abundance, turnover, and community composition in all habitat types and related these to environmental correlates, such as canopy heterogeneity and thickness of leaf litter. Amphibian species richness decreased systematically along the land-use modification gradient, but reptile richness and abundance peaked in natural-shade cacao agroforests. Species richness and abundance patterns across the disturbance gradient were best explained by canopy cover and leaf-litter thickness in amphibians and by canopy heterogeneity and cover in reptiles. Amphibians were more severely affected by forest disturbance in Sulawesi than reptiles. Heterogeneous canopy cover and thick leaf litter should be maintained in cacao plantations to facilitate the conservation value for both groups. For long-term and sustainable use of plantations, pruned shade trees should be permanently kept to allow rejuvenation of cacao and, thus, to prevent repeated forest encroachment. PMID:20151989

  4. Is naïveté forever? Alien predator and aggressor recognition by two endemic island reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gérard, A; Jourdan, H; Cugnière, C; Millon, A; Vidal, E

    2014-11-01

    The disproportionate impacts of invasive predators are often attributed to the naïveté (i.e., inefficient or non-existing anti-predator behavior) of island native species having evolved without such predators. Naïveté has long been regarded as a fixed characteristic, but a few recent studies indicate a capacity for behavioral adaptation in native species in contact with alien predators. Here, we tested whether two reptiles endemic to New Caledonia, a skink, Caledoniscincus austrocaledonicus, and a gecko, Bavayia septuiclavis, recognized and responded to the odor of six introduced species (two rodents, the feral cat, and three species of ants). We used an experimental design in which reptiles had a choice of retreat sites with or without the odor of predators or aggressors. Skinks avoided two or three of the predators, whereas geckos avoided at most one. These results suggest that diurnal skinks are more responsive than nocturnal geckos to the odor of introduced predators. Neither skinks nor geckos avoided the three species of ants. Thus, the odors of alien predators are shown to influence retreat site selection by two native island reptiles. Moreover, the study suggests that this loss of naïveté varies among native species, probably as a consequence of the intensity of the threat and of time since introduction. These findings argue for re-thinking the behavioral flexibility of ectothermic reptiles in terms of their responses to biological invasion.

  5. Evolutionary and cellular mechanisms regulating intestinal performance of amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Secor, Stephen M

    2005-04-01

    Vertebrate intestinal tracts possess an array of structural and functional adaptations to the wide diversity of food and feeding habits. In addition to well-described differences in form and function between herbivores and carnivores, the intestine exhibits adaptive plasticity to variation in digestive demand. The capacity to which intestinal performance responds to changes in digestive demands is a product of evolutionary and cellular mechanisms. In this report, I have taken an integrative approach to exploring the mechanisms responsible for the regulation of intestinal performance with feeding and fasting among amphibians and reptiles. Intestinal performance is presented as the total small intestinal capacity to absorb nutrients, quantified as a product of small intestinal mass and mass-specific rates of nutrient uptake. For sit-and-wait foraging snakes and estivating anurans, both of which naturally experience long episodes of fasting, the dramatic downregulation of intestinal morphology and function with fasting reduces energy expenditure during extended fasts. In contrast, frequently-feeding species modestly regulate intestinal performance with fasting and feeding, trading higher basal rates of metabolism during fasting for the frequent expense of upregulating the gut with feeding. Surveying the magnitude by which intestinal uptake capacity is regulated among 26 families of amphibians and reptiles has revealed potentially five lineages that have independently evolved the capacity to widely regulate intestinal performance. The extent to which intestinal performance is downregulated with fasting among amphibians and reptiles, ranging from 0 to 90%, is largely a function of the degree by which mass-specific rates of nutrient transport are depressed, given that loss of intestinal mass with fasting is a common characteristic of vertebrates. In exploring the underlying mechanisms regulating intestinal nutrient uptake, use of the Burmese python has revealed a

  6. [Amphibians and reptiles in the swamps dominated by the palm Raphia taedigera (Arecaceae) in northeastern Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Bonilla-Murillo, Fabian; Beneyto, Davinia; Sasa, Mahmood

    2013-09-01

    The herpetofauna that inhabits Caribbean Costa Rica has received considerable attention in the last two decades. This assemblage includes a total of 141 species of reptiles and 95 amphibians mostly distributed in tropical wet and moist lowland forests. While most information available came from primary and secondary forest sites, little is known about the amphibians and reptiles that inhabit more open habitats, such as wetlands and swamps. For instances, swaps dominated by the yolillo palm Raphia taedigera extend through much of the northeastern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and eastern Nicaragua, but information about the herpetological community that uses such environments remains practically unknown. This situation reflects the little research conducted in such inhospitable environments. Here, we report the results of an intensive survey conducted to assess the herpetological community that inhabit R. taedigera palm-swamps. A total of 14 species of amphibians and 17 of reptiles have been recorded from these swamps. Amphibians and reptiles that inhabit yolillo swamps have wide distributions along much of Middle America and are considered common species throughout their range. In general, yolillo swamps are poor environments for herpetofauna: richness of reptiles and amphibians is almost two times higher in the adjacent forest than in the palm dominated swamps. Furthermore, most species observed in this swamps can be considered habitat generalists that are well adapted to the extreme conditions imposed by the changes in hydroperiods, reduce understory cover, low tree diversity and simple forest architecture of these environments. Despite similarities in the herpetofauna, it is clear that not all forest species use yolillo habitat, a characteristic that is discussed in terms of physical stress driven by the prolonged hydroperiod and reduced leaflitter in the ground, as these features drive habitat structure and herpetofaunal complexity. Our list of species using

  7. Reptiles with dermatological lesions: a retrospective study of 301 cases at two university veterinary teaching hospitals (1992-2008).

    PubMed

    White, Stephen D; Bourdeau, Patrick; Bruet, Vincent; Kass, Philip H; Tell, Lisa; Hawkins, Michelle G

    2011-04-01

    This retrospective study reviews the medical records of 301 reptiles with dermatological lesions that were examined at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California at Davis (VMTH-UCD) and the Unité de Dermatologie-Parasitologie-Mycologie, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Nantes (UDPM-ENVN) from 1 January 1992 to 1 July 2008. The most common reptile groups differed between the two hospitals, with lizards being the most common at the VMTH-UCD and chelonians at the UDPM-ENVN. At the VMTH-UCD, boa constrictors (Boa constrictor), ball pythons (Python regius) and other Python species were over-represented, and box turtles (Terrapene carolina) were under-represented in the dermatological lesion caseload. When institutional data were combined, 47% of all reptiles at both institutions with confirmed or suspected cases of sepsis had petechiae, with the highest association seen in chelonians at 82%. Dependent on institution and reptile group, from 29% to 64% of the cases had underlying husbandry issues. Sixty-two per cent of all cases were alive at final status. Veterinarians treating reptiles with skin disease should be aware of the following: (i) that boa constrictors and Python species may be predisposed to dermatological lesions; (ii) that client education is important for proper husbandry; and (iii) that there is a possible association between petechiae and sepsis, especially in chelonians. The conjectural association between certain skin lesions and sepsis remains to be confirmed by systematically derived data that demonstrate a causal relationship between the two.

  8. [Amphibians and reptiles in the swamps dominated by the palm Raphia taedigera (Arecaceae) in northeastern Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Bonilla-Murillo, Fabian; Beneyto, Davinia; Sasa, Mahmood

    2013-09-01

    The herpetofauna that inhabits Caribbean Costa Rica has received considerable attention in the last two decades. This assemblage includes a total of 141 species of reptiles and 95 amphibians mostly distributed in tropical wet and moist lowland forests. While most information available came from primary and secondary forest sites, little is known about the amphibians and reptiles that inhabit more open habitats, such as wetlands and swamps. For instances, swaps dominated by the yolillo palm Raphia taedigera extend through much of the northeastern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and eastern Nicaragua, but information about the herpetological community that uses such environments remains practically unknown. This situation reflects the little research conducted in such inhospitable environments. Here, we report the results of an intensive survey conducted to assess the herpetological community that inhabit R. taedigera palm-swamps. A total of 14 species of amphibians and 17 of reptiles have been recorded from these swamps. Amphibians and reptiles that inhabit yolillo swamps have wide distributions along much of Middle America and are considered common species throughout their range. In general, yolillo swamps are poor environments for herpetofauna: richness of reptiles and amphibians is almost two times higher in the adjacent forest than in the palm dominated swamps. Furthermore, most species observed in this swamps can be considered habitat generalists that are well adapted to the extreme conditions imposed by the changes in hydroperiods, reduce understory cover, low tree diversity and simple forest architecture of these environments. Despite similarities in the herpetofauna, it is clear that not all forest species use yolillo habitat, a characteristic that is discussed in terms of physical stress driven by the prolonged hydroperiod and reduced leaflitter in the ground, as these features drive habitat structure and herpetofaunal complexity. Our list of species using

  9. Ultrasonic Vocalizations Emitted by Flying Squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Murrant, Meghan N.; Bowman, Jeff; Garroway, Colin J.; Prinzen, Brian; Mayberry, Heather; Faure, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Anecdotal reports of ultrasound use by flying squirrels have existed for decades, yet there has been little detailed analysis of their vocalizations. Here we demonstrate that two species of flying squirrel emit ultrasonic vocalizations. We recorded vocalizations from northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern (G. volans) flying squirrels calling in both the laboratory and at a field site in central Ontario, Canada. We demonstrate that flying squirrels produce ultrasonic emissions through recorded bursts of broadband noise and time-frequency structured frequency modulated (FM) vocalizations, some of which were purely ultrasonic. Squirrels emitted three types of ultrasonic calls in laboratory recordings and one type in the field. The variety of signals that were recorded suggest that flying squirrels may use ultrasonic vocalizations to transfer information. Thus, vocalizations may be an important, although still poorly understood, aspect of flying squirrel social biology. PMID:24009728

  10. Ultrasonic vocalizations emitted by flying squirrels.

    PubMed

    Murrant, Meghan N; Bowman, Jeff; Garroway, Colin J; Prinzen, Brian; Mayberry, Heather; Faure, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    Anecdotal reports of ultrasound use by flying squirrels have existed for decades, yet there has been little detailed analysis of their vocalizations. Here we demonstrate that two species of flying squirrel emit ultrasonic vocalizations. We recorded vocalizations from northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern (G. volans) flying squirrels calling in both the laboratory and at a field site in central Ontario, Canada. We demonstrate that flying squirrels produce ultrasonic emissions through recorded bursts of broadband noise and time-frequency structured frequency modulated (FM) vocalizations, some of which were purely ultrasonic. Squirrels emitted three types of ultrasonic calls in laboratory recordings and one type in the field. The variety of signals that were recorded suggest that flying squirrels may use ultrasonic vocalizations to transfer information. Thus, vocalizations may be an important, although still poorly understood, aspect of flying squirrel social biology. PMID:24009728

  11. Evolution of Fish-Shaped Reptiles (reptilia: Ichthyopterygia) in Their Physical Environments and Constraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motani, Ryosuke

    2005-01-01

    Ichthyosaurs were a group of Mesozoic marine reptiles that evolved fish-shaped body outlines. They are unique in several anatomical characters, including the possession of enormous eyeballs sometimes exceeding 25 cm and an enlarged manus with sometimes up to 20 bones in a single digit, or 10 digits per manus. They are also unique in that their biology has been studied from the perspective of physical constraints, which allowed estimation of such characteristics as optimal cruising speed, visual sensitivity, and even possible basal metabolic rate ranges. These functional inferences, although based on physical principles, obviously contain errors arising from the limitations of fossilized data, but are necessarily stronger than the commonly made inferences based on superficial correlations among quantities without mechanical or optical explanations for why such correlations exist.

  12. A necessarily complex model to explain the biogeography of the amphibians and reptiles of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jason L; Cameron, Alison; Yoder, Anne D; Vences, Miguel

    2014-10-09

    Pattern and process are inextricably linked in biogeographic analyses, though we can observe pattern, we must infer process. Inferences of process are often based on ad hoc comparisons using a single spatial predictor. Here, we present an alternative approach that uses mixed-spatial models to measure the predictive potential of combinations of hypotheses. Biodiversity patterns are estimated from 8,362 occurrence records from 745 species of Malagasy amphibians and reptiles. By incorporating 18 spatially explicit predictions of 12 major biogeographic hypotheses, we show that mixed models greatly improve our ability to explain the observed biodiversity patterns. We conclude that patterns are influenced by a combination of diversification processes rather than by a single predominant mechanism. A 'one-size-fits-all' model does not exist. By developing a novel method for examining and synthesizing spatial parameters such as species richness, endemism and community similarity, we demonstrate the potential of these analyses for understanding the diversification history of Madagascar's biota.

  13. The reptile type specimens preserved in the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC) of Madrid, Spain.

    PubMed

    García-Díez, Teresa; González-Fernández, José E

    2013-01-01

    A first complete list of the reptile type specimens preserved in the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC) of Madrid (updated until 15 July 2012) is provided. The collection houses a total of 319 type specimens representing 24 taxa belonging to 6 families and 12 genera. There are 22 taxa represented by primary types (19 holotypes, 2 neotypes and 1lectotype) and at least one paratype, and only two taxa are exclusively represented by one secondary type (paratype). The collection is specially rich in Spanish endemisms. Special attention is deserved by the type series of many subspecies of Podarcis lilfordi described by A. Salvador and V. Pdéez-Mellado. All type specimens are housed in the Herpetological collection except Blanus mariae and Psaimodroims occidentalis type series and Psammodroims hispanicus (neotype) which are preserved in the DNA/Tissues Collection.

  14. A review of ghost gear entanglement amongst marine mammals, reptiles and elasmobranchs.

    PubMed

    Stelfox, Martin; Hudgins, Jillian; Sweet, Michael

    2016-10-15

    This review focuses on the effect that ghost gear entanglement has on marine megafauna, namely mammals, reptiles and elasmobranchs. A total of 76 publications and other sources of grey literature were assessed, and these highlighted that over 5400 individuals from 40 different species were recorded as entangled in, or associated with, ghost gear. Interestingly, there appeared to be a deficit of research in the Indian, Southern, and Arctic Oceans; and so, we recommend that future studies focus efforts on these areas. Furthermore, studies assessing the effects of ghost gear on elasmobranchs, manatees, and dugongs should also be prioritised, as these groups were underrepresented in the current literature. The development of regional databases, capable of recording entanglement incidences following a minimum global set of criteria, would be a logical next step in order to analyse the effect that ghost gear has on megafauna populations worldwide. PMID:27345709

  15. [Reptiles from Cerro Colorado and its surroundings, Cumana, Sucre State, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Oliveros, O; Prieto, A; Comejo, P

    2000-01-01

    An inventory of the reptiles that inhabit in Cerro Colorado and its surroundings, was performed from March, 1994 to March, 1995. There were reported 8 species of snakes and 7 of lizards enclosed in 4 and 5 families repectively. Aspects observed were ecolology as habitat, activity, reproduction and relative abundance. The more abundant species of lizards were: Cnemidophorus femniscatus, Ameiva bifrontata, (Teiidae), Tropidurus hispidus (Tropiduridae), Gonatodes vittatus and Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae) and the ophidians: Leptodeira annulata and Mastigodryas amarali (Colubridae). It is believed that the changes occurred in the zone influenced the increase of the relative abundance of the species Leptotyphlops goudotii (Leptotyphlopidae) arid Gymnophthalmus speciosus(Gymnophthalmidae) and perhaps in the disappearance of others that have been reported at the xerophitic or semixerophitic zones of the Sucre State of Venezuela. PMID:11220219

  16. Interstitial Telomeric Motifs in Squamate Reptiles: When the Exceptions Outnumber the Rule

    PubMed Central

    Rovatsos, Michail; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Altmanová, Marie; Johnson Pokorná, Martina

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes protecting the physical ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes and therefore helping to ensure their stability and integrity. Additionally, telomeric sequences can be localized in non-terminal regions of chromosomes, forming so-called interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs). ITSs are traditionally considered to be relics of chromosomal rearrangements and thus very informative in the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of karyotype formation. We examined the distribution of the telomeric motifs (TTAGGG)n using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in 30 species, representing 17 families of squamate reptiles, and compared them with the collected data from another 38 species from literature. Out of the 68 squamate species analyzed, 35 possess ITSs in pericentromeric regions, centromeric regions and/or within chromosome arms. We conclude that the occurrence of ITSs is rather common in squamates, despite their generally conserved karyotypes, suggesting frequent and independent cryptic chromosomal rearrangements in this vertebrate group. PMID:26252002

  17. Amniote yolk sacs: diversity in reptiles and a hypothesis on their origin.

    PubMed

    Elinson, Richard P; Stewart, James R; Bonneau, Laurie J; Blackburn, Daniel G

    2014-01-01

    Oviparous amniotes produce a large yolky egg that gives rise to a free-living hatchling. Structural characteristics and functional attributes of the egg are best known for birds, which have a large mass of fluid yolk surrounded by an extraembryonic yolk sac. Yolk nutrients are delivered to the embryo via the vascular yolk sac. This developmental pattern and nutrient transport mechanism is thought to be representative of all other lineages of amniotes. Recent discovery of a snake with cellularized yolk organized around a meshwork of blood vessels reveals an additional pattern for yolk mobilization, which may also occur in other squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). This complex yolk sac raises interesting questions about developmental mechanisms and suggests a possible model for the transition between the egg of anamniotes and that of amniotes.

  18. Interstitial Telomeric Motifs in Squamate Reptiles: When the Exceptions Outnumber the Rule.

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, Michail; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Altmanová, Marie; Johnson Pokorná, Martina

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes protecting the physical ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes and therefore helping to ensure their stability and integrity. Additionally, telomeric sequences can be localized in non-terminal regions of chromosomes, forming so-called interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs). ITSs are traditionally considered to be relics of chromosomal rearrangements and thus very informative in the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of karyotype formation. We examined the distribution of the telomeric motifs (TTAGGG)n using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in 30 species, representing 17 families of squamate reptiles, and compared them with the collected data from another 38 species from literature. Out of the 68 squamate species analyzed, 35 possess ITSs in pericentromeric regions, centromeric regions and/or within chromosome arms. We conclude that the occurrence of ITSs is rather common in squamates, despite their generally conserved karyotypes, suggesting frequent and independent cryptic chromosomal rearrangements in this vertebrate group.

  19. Alfredo Dugès' type specimens of amphibians and reptiles revisited.

    PubMed

    Flores-Villela, Oscar; Ríos-Muñoz, César A; Magaña-Cota, Gloria E; Quezadas-Tapia, Néstor L

    2016-03-14

    The type specimens of amphibians and reptiles of the Museo de Historia Natural Alfredo Dugès, at the University of Guanajuato (MADUG) were reviewed following Smith & Necker's (1943) summary. Owing to this collection's eventful history and its historical importance as the oldest herpetological collection in Mexico, a review of its conservation status was needed. After many years, the collection has received proper recognition at the University of Guanajuato with a portion of the herpetological types considered "Precious Assets" of the university. We found 34 type specimens pertaining to 18 taxa; six are additional specimens to those previously reported; six herpetological types are missing, including the body of the type of Adelophis copei. All specimens are in good to reasonable condition except for the type of Rhinocheilus antonii, which has dried out completely. All specimens are illustrated to show their condition.

  20. Alfredo Dugès' type specimens of amphibians and reptiles revisited.

    PubMed

    Flores-Villela, Oscar; Ríos-Muñoz, César A; Magaña-Cota, Gloria E; Quezadas-Tapia, Néstor L

    2016-01-01

    The type specimens of amphibians and reptiles of the Museo de Historia Natural Alfredo Dugès, at the University of Guanajuato (MADUG) were reviewed following Smith & Necker's (1943) summary. Owing to this collection's eventful history and its historical importance as the oldest herpetological collection in Mexico, a review of its conservation status was needed. After many years, the collection has received proper recognition at the University of Guanajuato with a portion of the herpetological types considered "Precious Assets" of the university. We found 34 type specimens pertaining to 18 taxa; six are additional specimens to those previously reported; six herpetological types are missing, including the body of the type of Adelophis copei. All specimens are in good to reasonable condition except for the type of Rhinocheilus antonii, which has dried out completely. All specimens are illustrated to show their condition. PMID:27394365

  1. Management of riparian habitat for mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Appendix C

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Ribic, C.

    1999-01-01

    Melinda Knutson (USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center) and Christine Ribic (USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit) contributed to a recent report published by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The report summarizes a workshop held 8 December 1999 in Chicago, IL. Highlights of the report include resources and land management recommendations for riparian zones in the Midwest. The full report will soon be available at the USDA NRCS Wildlife Habitat Management Institute website: http://www.ms.nrcs.usda.gov/whmi/habitat.htm Knutson, M., and C. Ribic. 2000. Management of riparian habitat for mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Pages 22-24, Appendix C in W. Hohman, ed. NRCS Management and Restoration of Midwestern Riparian Systems Workshop Report. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Chicago, IL.

  2. Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles in Southern Colorado Plateau National Parks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2006-01-01

    In fiscal year 2000, the National Park Service (NPS) initiated a nationwide program to inventory vertebrates andvascular plants within the National Parks, and an inventory plan was developed for the 19 park units in the Southern Colorado Plateau Inventory & Monitoring Network. We surveyed 12 parks in this network for reptiles and amphibians between 2001 and 2003. The overall goals of our herpetofaunal inventories were to document 90% of the species present, identify park-specific species of special concern, and, based on the inventory results, make recommendations for the development of an effective monitoring program. We used the following standardized herpetological methods to complete the inventories: time-area constrained searches, visual encounter ('general') surveys, and nighttime road cruising. We also recorded incidental species sightings and surveyed existing literature and museum specimen databases. We found 50 amphibian and reptile species during fieldwork. These included 1 salamander, 11 anurans, 21 lizards, and 17 snakes. Literature reviews, museum specimen data records, and personal communications with NPS staff added an additional eight species, including one salamander, one turtle, one lizard, and five snakes. It was necessary to use a variety of methods to detect all species in each park. Randomly-generated 1-ha time-area constrained searches and night drives produced the fewest species and individuals of all the methods, while general surveys and randomly-generated 10-ha time-areas constrained searches produced the most. Inventory completeness was likely compromised by a severe drought across the region during our surveys. In most parks we did not come close to the goal of detecting 90% of the expected species present; however, we did document several species range extensions. Effective monitoring programs for herpetofauna on the Colorado Plateau should use a variety of methods to detect species, and focus on taxa-specific methods. Randomly

  3. Carriage of antibiotic-resistant enteric bacteria varies among sites in Galapagos reptiles.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Emily; Hong, Pei-Ying; Bedon, Lenin Cruz; Mackie, Roderick I

    2012-01-01

    Increased overlap between humans and wildlife populations has increased the risk for novel disease emergence. Detecting contacts with a high risk for transmission of pathogens requires the identification of dependable measures of microbial exchange. We evaluated antibiotic resistance as a molecular marker for the intensity of human-wildlife microbial connectivity in the Galápagos Islands. We isolated Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica from the feces of land iguanas (Conolophus sp.), marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), giant tortoises (Geochelone nigra), and seawater, and tested these bacteria with the use of the disk diffusion method for resistance to 10 antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found in reptile feces from two tourism sites (Isla Plaza Sur and La Galapaguera on Isla San Cristóbal) and from seawater close to a public use beach near Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on Isla San Cristóbal. No resistance was detected at two protected beaches on more isolated islands (El Miedo on Isla Santa Fe and Cape Douglas on Isla Fernandina) and at a coastal tourism site (La Lobería on Isla San Cristóbal). Eighteen E. coli isolates from three locations, all sites relatively proximate to a port town, were resistant to ampicillin, doxycycline, tetracycline, and trimethoprin/sulfamethoxazole. In contrast, only five S. enterica isolates showed a mild decrease in susceptibility to doxycycline and tetracycline from these same sites (i.e., an intermediate resistance phenotype), but no clinical resistance was detected in this bacterial species. These findings suggest that reptiles living in closer proximity to humans potentially have higher exposure to bacteria of human origin; however, it is not clear from this study to what extent this potential exposure translates to ongoing exchange of bacterial strains or genetic traits. Resistance patterns and bacterial exchange in this system warrant further investigation to understand better how human associations

  4. Effects of atrazine in fish, amphibians, and reptiles: an analysis based on quantitative weight of evidence.

    PubMed

    Van Der Kraak, Glen J; Hosmer, Alan J; Hanson, Mark L; Kloas, Werner; Solomon, Keith R

    2014-12-01

    A quantitative weight of evidence (WoE) approach was developed to evaluate studies used for regulatory purposes, as well as those in the open literature, that report the effects of the herbicide atrazine on fish, amphibians, and reptiles. The methodology for WoE analysis incorporated a detailed assessment of the relevance of the responses observed to apical endpoints directly related to survival, growth, development, and reproduction, as well as the strength and appropriateness of the experimental methods employed. Numerical scores were assigned for strength and relevance. The means of the scores for relevance and strength were then used to summarize and weigh the evidence for atrazine contributing to ecologically significant responses in the organisms of interest. The summary was presented graphically in a two-dimensional graph which showed the distributions of all the reports for a response. Over 1290 individual responses from studies in 31 species of fish, 32 amphibians, and 8 reptiles were evaluated. Overall, the WoE showed that atrazine might affect biomarker-type responses, such as expression of genes and/or associated proteins, concentrations of hormones, and biochemical processes (e.g. induction of detoxification responses), at concentrations sometimes found in the environment. However, these effects were not translated to adverse outcomes in terms of apical endpoints. The WoE approach provided a quantitative, transparent, reproducible, and robust framework that can be used to assist the decision-making process when assessing environmental chemicals. In addition, the process allowed easy identification of uncertainty and inconsistency in observations, and thus clearly identified areas where future investigations can be best directed.

  5. Does ecophysiology mediate reptile responses to fire regimes? Evidence from Iberian lizards

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Catarina C.; Santos, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Background. Reptiles are sensitive to habitat disturbance induced by wildfires but species frequently show opposing responses. Functional causes of such variability have been scarcely explored. In the northernmost limit of the Mediterranean bioregion, lizard species of Mediterranean affinity (Psammodromus algirus and Podarcis guadarramae) increase in abundance in burnt areas whereas Atlantic species (Lacerta schreiberi and Podarcis bocagei) decrease. Timon lepidus, the largest Mediterranean lizard in the region, shows mixed responses depending on the locality and fire history. We tested whether such interspecific differences are of a functional nature, namely, if ecophysiological traits may determine lizard response to fire. Based on the variation in habitat structure between burnt and unburnt sites, we hypothesise that Mediterranean species, which increase density in open habitats promoted by frequent fire regimes, should be more thermophile and suffer lower water losses than Atlantic species. Methods. We submitted 6–10 adult males of the five species to standard experiments for assessing preferred body temperatures (Tp) and evaporativewater loss rates (EWL), and examined the variation among species and along time by means of repeated-measures AN(C)OVAs. Results. Results only partially supported our initial expectations, since the medium-sized P. algirus clearly attained higher Tp and lower EWL. The two small wall lizards (P. bocagei and P. guadarramae) displayed low Tp and high EWL while the two large green lizards (T. lepidus and L. schreiberi) displayed intermediate values for both parameters. Discussion. The predicted differences according to the biogeographic affinities within each pair were not fully confirmed. We conclude that ecophysiology may help to understand functional reptile responses to fire but other biological traits are also to be considered. PMID:27330864

  6. Biased Gene Conversion and GC-Content Evolution in the Coding Sequences of Reptiles and Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Figuet, Emeric; Ballenghien, Marion; Romiguier, Jonathan; Galtier, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian and avian genomes are characterized by a substantial spatial heterogeneity of GC-content, which is often interpreted as reflecting the effect of local GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC), a meiotic repair bias that favors G and C over A and T alleles in high-recombining genomic regions. Surprisingly, the first fully sequenced nonavian sauropsid (i.e., reptile), the green anole Anolis carolinensis, revealed a highly homogeneous genomic GC-content landscape, suggesting the possibility that gBGC might not be at work in this lineage. Here, we analyze GC-content evolution at third-codon positions (GC3) in 44 vertebrates species, including eight newly sequenced transcriptomes, with a specific focus on nonavian sauropsids. We report that reptiles, including the green anole, have a genome-wide distribution of GC3 similar to that of mammals and birds, and we infer a strong GC3-heterogeneity to be already present in the tetrapod ancestor. We further show that the dynamic of coding sequence GC-content is largely governed by karyotypic features in vertebrates, notably in the green anole, in agreement with the gBGC hypothesis. The discrepancy between third-codon positions and noncoding DNA regarding GC-content dynamics in the green anole could not be explained by the activity of transposable elements or selection on codon usage. This analysis highlights the unique value of third-codon positions as an insertion/deletion-free marker of nucleotide substitution biases that ultimately affect the evolution of proteins. PMID:25527834

  7. Dynamics of yolk steroid hormones during development in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Elf, P K; Lang, J W; Fivizzani, A J

    2002-06-01

    Many oviparous reptiles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD); i.e., the temperature at which the egg is incubated determines the sex of the offspring. In TSD reptiles, yolk steroids not only may influence sex determination, but also may mediate hormonal effects on subsequent growth and behavior, as in some avian species. We investigated changes in the levels of estradiol (E(2)) and testosterone (T) during development in yolks of snapping turtle eggs, examined how incubation temperature affects hormone levels, and determined how hormones in turtle eggs are influenced by individual females (=clutch effects). Results indicate significant decreases in both hormones (>50% decline) by the end of the sex-determining period, when two-thirds of the development is complete. The declines in both E(2) and T were significantly affected by incubation temperature, but in different ways. Eggs incubated at female-producing temperatures maintained high levels, those incubated at male-producing temperatures had low E(2) values, and eggs incubated at pivotal temperatures had intermediate levels of E(2). At all three temperatures, T values underwent significant but approximately equal declines, except during the developmental stages just after the sex-determining period, when T levels decreased more at the male-producing temperature than at either of the other two temperatures. Initially, there were significant clutch effects in both hormones, but such differences, attributable to individual females, were maintained only for E(2) later in development. Here we report for the first time that incubation temperature significantly affects the hormonal environment of the developing embryo of a turtle with temperature-dependent sex determination. Based on this and related findings, we propose that yolk sex steroids influence sexual differentiation in these TSD species and play a role in sex determination at pivotal temperatures.

  8. Phylogenetic relationships among amphisbaenian reptiles based on complete mitochondrial genomic sequences.

    PubMed

    Macey, J Robert; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Kuehl, Jennifer V; Fourcade, H Mathew; Boore, Jeffrey L

    2004-10-01

    Complete mitochondrial genomic sequences are reported from 12 members in the four families of the reptile group Amphisbaenia. Analysis of 11,946 aligned nucleotide positions (5797 informative) produces a robust phylogenetic hypothesis. The family Rhineuridae is basal and Bipedidae is the sister taxon to the Amphisbaenidae plus Trogonophidae. Amphisbaenian reptiles are surprisingly old, predating the breakup of Pangaea 200 million years before present, because successive basal taxa (Rhineuridae and Bipedidae) are situated in tectonic regions of Laurasia and nested taxa (Amphisbaenidae and Trogonophidae) are found in Gondwanan regions. Thorough sampling within the Bipedidae shows that it is not tectonic movement of Baja California away from the Mexican mainland that is primary in isolating Bipes species, but rather that primary vicariance occurred between northern and southern groups. Amphisbaenian families show parallel reduction in number of limbs and Bipes species exhibit parallel reduction in number of digits. A measure is developed for comparing the phylogenetic information content of various genes. A synapomorphic trait defining the Bipedidae is a shift from the typical vertebrate mitochondrial gene arrangement to the derived state of trnE and nad6. In addition, a tandem duplication of trnT and trnP is observed in Bipes biporus with a pattern of pseudogene formation that varies among populations. The first case of convergent rearrangement of the mitochondrial genome among animals demonstrated by complete genomic sequences is reported. Relative to most vertebrates, the Rhineuridae has the block nad6, trnE switched in order with the block cob, trnT, trnP, as they are in birds.

  9. Grassland fire and cattle grazing regulate reptile and amphibian assembly among patches.

    PubMed

    Larson, Danelle M

    2014-12-01

    Fire and grazing are common management schemes of grasslands globally and are potential drivers of reptilian and amphibian (herpetofauna) metacommunity dynamics. Few studies have assessed the impacts of fire and cattle grazing on herpetofauna assemblages in grasslands. A patch-burn grazing study at Osage Prairie, MO, USA in 2011-2012 created landscape patches with treatments of grazing, fire, and such legacies. Response variables were measured before and after the application of treatments, and I used robust-design occupancy modeling to estimate patch occupancy and detection rate within patches, and recolonization and extinction (i.e., dispersal) across patches. I conducted redundancy analysis and a permuted multivariate analysis of variance to determine if patch type and the associated environmental factors explained herpetofauna assemblage. Estimates for reptiles indicate that occupancy was seasonally constant in Control patches (ψ ~ 0.5), but declined to ψ ~ 0.15 in patches following the applications of fire and grazing. Local extinctions for reptiles were higher in patches with fire or light grazing (ε ~ 0.7) compared to the controls. For the riparian herpetofaunal community, patch type and grass height were important predictors of abundance; further, the turtles, lizards, snakes, and adult amphibians used different patch types. The aquatic amphibian community was predicted by watershed and in-stream characteristics, irrespective of fire or grazing. The varying responses from taxonomic groups demonstrate habitat partitioning across multiple patch types undergoing fire, cattle grazing, and legacy effects. Prairies will need an array of patch types to accommodate multiple herpetofauna species. PMID:25156864

  10. Risk of pesticide exposure for reptile species in the European Union.

    PubMed

    Mingo, Valentin; Lötters, Stefan; Wagner, Norman

    2016-08-01

    Environmental pollution has an especially high impact on wildlife. This is especially the case in industrialized countries. Although, many species within the European Union benefit from protection by the Habitats Directive, no special consideration is given to possible detrimental effects of pesticides. This is in particular remarkable as negative effects, which may lead to a regional diversity loss, have already been identified in laboratory and mesocosm studies. We conducted a pesticide exposure risk evaluation for all European reptile species with sufficient literature data on the considered biological and ecological aspects and occurrence data within agricultural areas with regular pesticide applications (102 out of 141). By using three evaluation factors - (i) pesticide exposure, (ii) physiology and (iii) life history - a taxon-specific pesticide exposure risk factor (ERF) was created. The results suggest that about half of all evaluated species, and thus at least 1/3 of all European species exhibited a high exposure risk. At the same time, two of them (Mauremys leprosa and Testudo graeca) are globally classified as threatened with extinction in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Variation regarding species occurrence in exposed landscapes between pesticide admission zones within the EU is rather large. This variation is mainly caused by differing land use and species abundances between zones. At the taxonomic level, significant differences in exposure risk can be observed between threatened and non-threatened species, which can be explained by the formers remote distribution areas. Lizards display the highest sensitivity toward pesticides, although no differences in overall ERFs can be observed between taxonomic groups. By identifying species at above-average risk to pesticide exposure, species-based risk evaluations can improve conservation actions for reptiles from cultivated landscapes. PMID:27182977

  11. Short interspersed elements (SINEs) of squamate reptiles (Squam1 and Squam2): structure and phylogenetic significance.

    PubMed

    Grechko, Vernata V; Kosushkin, Sergei A; Borodulina, Olga R; Butaeva, Fatima G; Darevsky, Ilya S

    2011-05-15

    Short interspersed elements (SINEs) are important nuclear molecular markers of the evolution of many eukaryotes. However, the SINEs of squamate reptile genomes have been little studied. We first identified two families of SINEs, termed Squam1 and Squam2, in the DNA of meadow lizard Darevskia praticola (Lacertidae) by performing DNA hybridization and PCR. Later, the same families of retrotransposons were found using the same methods in members of another 25 lizard families (from Iguania, Scincomorpha, Gekkota, Varanoidea, and Diploglossa infraorders) and two snake families, but their abundances in these taxa varied greatly. Both SINEs were Squamata-specific and were absent from mammals, birds, crocodiles, turtles, amphibians, and fish. Squam1 possessed some characteristics common to tRNA-related SINEs from fish and mammals, while Squam2 belonged to the tRNA(Ala) group of SINEs and had a more unusual and divergent structure. Squam2-related sequences were found in several unannotated GenBank sequences of squamate reptiles. Squam1 abundance in the Polychrotidae, Agamidae, Leiolepididae, Chamaeleonidae, Scincidae, Lacertidae, Gekkonidae, Varanidae, Helodermatidae, and two snake families were 10(2) -10(4) times higher than those in other taxa (Corytophanidae, Iguanidae, Anguidae, Cordylidae, Gerrhosauridae, Pygopodidae, and Eublepharidae). A less dramatic degree of copy number variation was observed for Squam2 in different taxa. Several Squam1 copies from Lacertidae, Chamaeleonidae, Gekkonidae, Varanidae, and Colubridae were sequenced and found to have evident orthologous features, as well as taxa-specific autapomorphies. Squam1 from Lacertidae and Chamaeleonidae could be divided into several subgroups based on sequence differences. Possible applications of these SINEs as Squamata phylogeny markers are discussed. PMID:21462315

  12. Biased gene conversion and GC-content evolution in the coding sequences of reptiles and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Figuet, Emeric; Ballenghien, Marion; Romiguier, Jonathan; Galtier, Nicolas

    2014-12-19

    Mammalian and avian genomes are characterized by a substantial spatial heterogeneity of GC-content, which is often interpreted as reflecting the effect of local GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC), a meiotic repair bias that favors G and C over A and T alleles in high-recombining genomic regions. Surprisingly, the first fully sequenced nonavian sauropsid (i.e., reptile), the green anole Anolis carolinensis, revealed a highly homogeneous genomic GC-content landscape, suggesting the possibility that gBGC might not be at work in this lineage. Here, we analyze GC-content evolution at third-codon positions (GC3) in 44 vertebrates species, including eight newly sequenced transcriptomes, with a specific focus on nonavian sauropsids. We report that reptiles, including the green anole, have a genome-wide distribution of GC3 similar to that of mammals and birds, and we infer a strong GC3-heterogeneity to be already present in the tetrapod ancestor. We further show that the dynamic of coding sequence GC-content is largely governed by karyotypic features in vertebrates, notably in the green anole, in agreement with the gBGC hypothesis. The discrepancy between third-codon positions and noncoding DNA regarding GC-content dynamics in the green anole could not be explained by the activity of transposable elements or selection on codon usage. This analysis highlights the unique value of third-codon positions as an insertion/deletion-free marker of nucleotide substitution biases that ultimately affect the evolution of proteins.

  13. Molecular characterization of insulin from squamate reptiles reveals sequence diversity and possible adaptive evolution.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Genki; Yoshida, Ayaka; Kobayashi, Aya; Park, Min Kyun

    2016-01-01

    The Squamata are the most adaptive and prosperous group among ectothermic amniotes, reptiles, due to their species-richness and geographically wide habitat. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying their prosperity remain largely unknown, unique features have been reported from hormones that regulate energy metabolism. Insulin, a central anabolic hormone, is one such hormone, as its roles and effectiveness in regulation of blood glucose levels remain to be examined in squamates. In the present study, cDNAs coding for insulin were isolated from multiple species that represent various groups of squamates. The deduced amino acid sequences showed a high degree of divergence, with four lineages showing obviously higher number of amino acid substitutions than most of vertebrates, from teleosts to mammals. Among 18 sites presented to comprise the two receptor binding surfaces (one with 12 sites and the other with 6 sites), substitutions were observed in 13 sites. Among them was the substitution of HisB10, which results in the loss of the ability to hexamerize. Furthermore, three of these substitutions were reported to increase mitogenicity in human analogues. These substitutions were also reported from insulin of hystricomorph rodents and agnathan fishes, whose mitogenic potency have been shown to be increased. The estimated value of the non-synonymous-to-synonymous substitution ratio (ω) for the Squamata clade was larger than those of the other reptiles and aves. Even higher values were estimated for several lineages among squamates. These results, together with the regulatory mechanisms of digestion and nutrient assimilation in squamates, suggested a possible adaptive process through the molecular evolution of squamate INS. Further studies on the roles of insulin, in relation to the physiological and ecological traits of squamate species, will provide an insight into the molecular mechanisms that have led to the adaptivity and prosperity of squamates.

  14. Contrasted Evolution of the Vomeronasal Receptor Repertoires in Mammals and Squamate Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Brykczynska, Urszula; Tzika, Athanasia C.; Rodriguez, Ivan; Milinkovitch, Michel C.

    2013-01-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is an olfactory structure that detects pheromones and environmental cues. It consists of sensory neurons that express evolutionary unrelated groups of transmembrane chemoreceptors. The predominant V1R and V2R receptor repertoires are believed to detect airborne and water-soluble molecules, respectively. It has been suggested that the shift in habitat of early tetrapods from water to land is reflected by an increase in the ratio of V1R/V2R genes. Snakes, which have a very large VNO associated with a sophisticated tongue delivery system, are missing from this analysis. Here, we use RNA-seq and RNA in situ hybridization to study the diversity, evolution, and expression pattern of the corn snake vomeronasal receptor repertoires. Our analyses indicate that snakes and lizards retain an extremely limited number of V1R genes but exhibit a large number of V2R genes, including multiple lineages of reptile-specific and snake-specific expansions. We finally show that the peculiar bigenic pattern of V2R vomeronasal receptor gene transcription observed in mammals is conserved in squamate reptiles, hinting at an important but unknown functional role played by this expression strategy. Our results do not support the hypothesis that the shift to a vomeronasal receptor repertoire dominated by V1Rs in mammals reflects the evolutionary transition of early tetrapods from water to land. This study sheds light on the evolutionary dynamics of the vomeronasal receptor families in vertebrates and reveals how mammals and squamates differentially adapted the same ancestral vomeronasal repertoire to succeed in a terrestrial environment. PMID:23348039

  15. Phylogenetic relationships among amphisbaenian reptiles based on complete mitochondrial genomic sequences

    SciTech Connect

    Macey, J. Robert; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Kuehl, Jennifer V.; Fourcade, H. Matthew; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-05-19

    Complete mitochondrial genomic sequences are reported from 12 members in the four families of the reptile group Amphisbaenia. Analysis of 11,946 aligned nucleotide positions (5,797 informative) produces a robust phylogenetic hypothesis. The family Rhineuridae is basal and Bipedidae is the sister taxon to the Amphisbaenidae plus Trogonophidae. Amphisbaenian reptiles are surprisingly old, predating the breakup of Pangaea 200 million years before present, because successive basal taxa (Rhineuridae and Bipedidae) are situated in tectonic regions of Laurasia and nested taxa (Amphisbaenidae and Trogonophidae) are found in Gondwanan regions. Thorough sampling within the Bipedidae shows that it is not tectonic movement of Baja California away from the Mexican mainland that is primary in isolating Bipes species, but rather that primary vicariance occurred between northern and southern groups. Amphisbaenian families show parallel reduction in number of limbs and Bipes species exhibit parallel reduction in number of digits. A measure is developed for comparing the phylogenetic information content of various genes. A synapomorphic trait defining the Bipedidae is a shift from the typical vertebrate mitochondrial gene arrangement to the derived state of trnE and nad6. In addition, a tandem duplication of trnT and trnP is observed in B. biporus with a pattern of pseudogene formation that varies among populations. The first case of convergent rearrangement of the mitochondrial genome among animals demonstrated by complete genomic sequences is reported. Relative to most vertebrates, the Rhineuridae has the block nad6, trnE switched in order with cob, trnT, trnP, as they are in birds.

  16. Behaviour and buoyancy regulation in the deepest-diving reptile: the leatherback turtle.

    PubMed

    Fossette, Sabrina; Gleiss, Adrian C; Myers, Andy E; Garner, Steve; Liebsch, Nikolai; Whitney, Nicholas M; Hays, Graeme C; Wilson, Rory P; Lutcavage, Molly E

    2010-12-01

    In the face of the physical and physiological challenges of performing breath-hold deep dives, marine vertebrates have evolved different strategies. Although behavioural strategies in marine mammals and seabirds have been investigated in detail, little is known about the deepest-diving reptile - the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Here, we deployed tri-axial accelerometers on female leatherbacks nesting on St Croix, US Virgin Islands, to explore their diving strategy. Our results show a consistent behavioural pattern within dives among individuals, with an initial period of active swimming at relatively steep descent angles (∼-40 deg), with a stroke frequency of 0.32 Hz, followed by a gliding phase. The depth at which the gliding phase began increased with the maximum depth of the dives. In addition, descent body angles and vertical velocities were higher during deeper dives. Leatherbacks might thus regulate their inspired air-volume according to the intended dive depth, similar to hard-shelled turtles and penguins. During the ascent, turtles actively swam with a stroke frequency of 0.30 Hz but with a low vertical velocity (∼0.40 ms(-1)) and a low pitch angle (∼+26 deg). Turtles might avoid succumbing to decompression sickness ('the bends') by ascending slowly to the surface. In addition, we suggest that the low body temperature of this marine ectotherm compared with that of endotherms might help reduce the risk of bubble formation by increasing the solubility of nitrogen in the blood. This physiological advantage, coupled with several behavioural and physical adaptations, might explain the particular ecological niche the leatherback turtle occupies among marine reptiles. PMID:21075949

  17. Ca2+ cycling in cardiomyocytes from a high-performance reptile, the varanid lizard (Varanus exanthematicus)

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Daniel E.; Shiels, Holly A.

    2009-01-01

    The varanid lizard possesses one of the largest aerobic capacities among reptiles with maximum rates of oxygen consumption that are twice that of other lizards of comparable sizes at the same temperature. To support this aerobic capacity, the varanid heart possesses morphological adaptations that allow the generation of high heart rates and blood pressures. Specializations in excitation-contraction coupling may also contribute to the varanids superior cardiovascular performance. Therefore, we investigated the electrophysiological properties of the l-type Ca2+ channel and the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) and the contribution of the sarcoplasmic reticulum to the intracellular Ca2+ transient (Δ[Ca2+]i) in varanid lizard ventricular myocytes. Additionally, we used confocal microscopy to visualize myocytes and make morphological measurements. Lizard ventricular myocytes were found to be spindle-shaped, lack T-tubules, and were ∼190 μm in length and 5–7 μm in width and depth. Cardiomyocytes had a small cell volume (∼2 pL), leading to a large surface area-to-volume ratio (18.5), typical of ectothermic vertebrates. The voltage sensitivity of the l-type Ca2+ channel current (ICa), steady-state activation and inactivation curves, and the time taken for recovery from inactivation were also similar to those measured in other reptiles and teleosts. However, transsarcolemmal Ca2+ influx via reverse mode Na+/Ca2+ exchange current was fourfold higher than most other ectotherms. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of the sarcoplasmic reticulum led to a 40% reduction in the Δ[Ca2+]i amplitude, and slowed the time course of decay. In aggregate, our results suggest varanids have an enhanced capacity to transport Ca2+ through the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger, and sarcoplasmic reticulum suggesting specializations in excitation-contraction coupling may provide a means to support high cardiovascular performance. PMID:19812356

  18. Dynamics of yolk steroid hormones during development in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Elf, P K; Lang, J W; Fivizzani, A J

    2002-06-01

    Many oviparous reptiles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD); i.e., the temperature at which the egg is incubated determines the sex of the offspring. In TSD reptiles, yolk steroids not only may influence sex determination, but also may mediate hormonal effects on subsequent growth and behavior, as in some avian species. We investigated changes in the levels of estradiol (E(2)) and testosterone (T) during development in yolks of snapping turtle eggs, examined how incubation temperature affects hormone levels, and determined how hormones in turtle eggs are influenced by individual females (=clutch effects). Results indicate significant decreases in both hormones (>50% decline) by the end of the sex-determining period, when two-thirds of the development is complete. The declines in both E(2) and T were significantly affected by incubation temperature, but in different ways. Eggs incubated at female-producing temperatures maintained high levels, those incubated at male-producing temperatures had low E(2) values, and eggs incubated at pivotal temperatures had intermediate levels of E(2). At all three temperatures, T values underwent significant but approximately equal declines, except during the developmental stages just after the sex-determining period, when T levels decreased more at the male-producing temperature than at either of the other two temperatures. Initially, there were significant clutch effects in both hormones, but such differences, attributable to individual females, were maintained only for E(2) later in development. Here we report for the first time that incubation temperature significantly affects the hormonal environment of the developing embryo of a turtle with temperature-dependent sex determination. Based on this and related findings, we propose that yolk sex steroids influence sexual differentiation in these TSD species and play a role in sex determination at pivotal temperatures. PMID:12161199

  19. Use Of Fly Iarvae In Space Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katayama, Naomi; Mitsuhashi, Jun; Hachiya, Natumi; Miyashita, Sachiko; Hotta, Atuko

    The concept of space agriculture is full use of biological and ecological components ot drive materials recycle loop. In an ecological system, producers, consumers and decomposers are its member. At limited resources acailable for space agriculture, full use of members' function is required to avoid food shortage and catastrophe.Fly is categrized to a decomposer at its eating excreta and rotten materials. However, is it could be edible, certainly it is eaten in several food culture of the world, it functions as a converter of inedible biomass ot edible substance. This conversion enhances the efficiency of usage of resource that will be attributed to space agriculture. In this context, we examine the value of melon fly, Dacus cucurbitae, as a candidate fly species ofr human food. Nutrients in 100g of melon fly larvae were protein 12g, lipid 4.6g Fe 4.74mg, Ca 275mg, Zn 6.37mg, Mn 4.00mg. Amino acids compositon in 100g of larvae was glutamic acid 1.43g and aspartic acid 1.12g. Because of high contents of these amino acids taste of fly larva might be good. Life time of adult melon fly is one to two month, and lays more than 1,000 eggs in total during the life. Larvae hatch after one to two days, and metamorphose after 8 to 15 days to pupae. Srxual maturity is reached after 22 days the earliest from it egg. Sixteen generations could be succeeded in a year for melon fly at maximum. The rate of proliferation of fly is quite high compared to silkworm that can have 8.7 generations per year. The wide food habit of fly, compared to mulberry leaf for silkworm, is another advantage to choose fly for entomophage. Rearing technology of melon fly is well established, since large scaled production of sterile male fly has been conducted in order ot exterminate melon fly in the field. Feeding substance for melon fly larvae in production line is a mixture of wheat, bran, raw sugar, olara, beer yeast, tissue paper, and additive chemicals. A 1 kg of feed substance can be converted to

  20. Emittance growth due to Tevatron flying wires

    SciTech Connect

    Syphers, M; Eddy, Nathan

    2004-06-01

    During Tevatron injection, Flying Wires have been used to measure the transverse beam size after each transfer from the Main Injector in order to deduce the transverse emittances of the proton and antiproton beams. This amounts to 36 + 9 = 45 flies of each of 3 wire systems, with an individual wire passing through each beam bunch twice during a single ''fly''. below they estimate the emittance growth induced by the interaction of the wires with the particles during these measurements. Changes of emittance from Flying Wire measurements conducted during three recent stores are compared with the estimations.

  1. Flying qualities criteria and flight control design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berry, D. T.

    1981-01-01

    Despite the application of sophisticated design methodology, newly introduced aircraft continue to suffer from basic flying qualities deficiencies. Two recent meetings, the DOD/NASA Workshop on Highly Augmented Aircraft Criteria and the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center/Air Force Flight Test Center/AIAA Pilot Induced Oscillation Workshop, addressed this problem. An overview of these meetings is provided from the point of view of the relationship between flying qualities criteria and flight control system design. Among the items discussed are flying qualities criteria development, the role of simulation, and communication between flying qualities specialists and control system designers.

  2. Fly-by-Wireless Update

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Studor, George

    2010-01-01

    The presentation reviews what is meant by the term 'fly-by-wireless', common problems and motivation, provides recent examples, and examines NASA's future and basis for collaboration. The vision is to minimize cables and connectors and increase functionality across the aerospace industry by providing reliable, lower cost, modular, and higher performance alternatives to wired data connectivity to benefit the entire vehicle/program life-cycle. Focus areas are system engineering and integration methods to reduce cables and connectors, vehicle provisions for modularity and accessibility, and a 'tool box' of alternatives to wired connectivity.

  3. Formation Flying and Deformable Instruments

    SciTech Connect

    Rio, Yvon

    2009-05-11

    Astronomers have always attempted to build very stable instruments. They fight all that can cause mechanical deformation or image motion. This has led to well established technologies (autoguide, active optics, thermal control, tip/tilt correction), as well as observing methods based on the use of controlled motion (scanning, micro scanning, shift and add, chopping and nodding). Formation flying disturbs this practice. It is neither possible to reduce the relative motion to very small amplitudes, nor to control it at will. Some impacts on Simbol-X instrument design, and operation are presented.

  4. Formation Flying and Deformable Instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rio, Yvon

    2009-05-01

    Astronomers have always attempted to build very stable instruments. They fight all that can cause mechanical deformation or image motion. This has led to well established technologies (autoguide, active optics, thermal control, tip/tilt correction), as well as observing methods based on the use of controlled motion (scanning, micro scanning, shift and add, chopping and nodding). Formation flying disturbs this practice. It is neither possible to reduce the relative motion to very small amplitudes, nor to control it at will. Some impacts on Simbol-X instrument design, and operation are presented.

  5. Assembly States of FliM and FliG within the Flagellar Switch Complex

    PubMed Central

    Sircar, Ria; Borbat, Peter P.; Lynch, Michael J.; Bhatnagar, Jaya; Beyersdorf, Matthew S.; Halkides, Christopher J.; Freed, Jack H.; Crane, Brian R.

    2015-01-01

    At the base of the bacterial flagella a cytoplasmic rotor (the C-ring) generates torque and reverses rotation sense in response to stimuli. The bulk of the C-ring forms from many copies of the proteins FliG, FliM, and FliN, which together constitute the switch complex. To help resolve outstanding issues regarding C-ring architecture, interactions between FliM and FliG from Thermotoga maritima have been investigated with x-ray crystallography and pulsed dipolar electron spin resonance spectroscopy (PDS). A new crystal structure of an 11-unit FliG:FliM complex produces a large arc with a curvature consistent with the dimensions of the C-ring. Previously determined structures along with this new structure provided a basis to test switch complex assembly models. PDS combined with mutational studies and targeted cross-linking reveal that FliM and FliG interact through their middle domains to form both parallel and antiparallel arrangements in solution. Residue substitutions at predicted interfaces disrupt higher-order complexes that are primarily mediated by contacts between the C-terminal domain of FliG and the middle domain of a neighboring FliG molecule. Spin separations among multi-labeled component proteins fit to a self-consistent model that agrees well with electron microscopy images of the C-ring. An activated form of the response regulator CheY destabilizes the parallel arrangement of FliM molecules to perturb FliG alignment in a process that may reflect the onset of rotation switching. This data suggest a model of C-ring assembly in which intermolecular contacts among FliG domains provide a template for FliM assembly and cooperative transitions. PMID:25536293

  6. 14 CFR 121.549 - Flying equipment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flying equipment. 121.549 Section 121.549 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR CARRIERS..., FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATIONS Flight Operations § 121.549 Flying equipment. (a) The pilot...

  7. 14 CFR 121.549 - Flying equipment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Flying equipment. 121.549 Section 121.549 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR CARRIERS..., FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATIONS Flight Operations § 121.549 Flying equipment. (a) The pilot...

  8. Passive Baited Sequential Filth Fly Trap

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Filth fly control measures may be optimized with a better understanding of fly population dynamics measured throughout the day. We describe the modification of a commercial motorized sequential mosquito trap to accept liquid odorous bait and leverage a classic inverted cone design to passively confi...

  9. Neuroscience: Hunger Pangs in the Fly Brain.

    PubMed

    Schoofs, Andreas; Pankratz, Michael J

    2016-08-01

    Which neurons in the brain become engaged when the body is deprived of food? A new study addresses this question using the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster, examining a group of neurons in the brain that show alterations in neural activity when flies are satiated or starved. PMID:27505238

  10. [Decompression sickness after diving and following flying].

    PubMed

    Laursen, S B; Grønfeldt, W; Jacobsen, E

    1999-07-26

    A case of delayed symptoms of decompression sickness (DCS) after diving and flying is reported. The diver presented with classical signs of type 2 DCS, probably caused by air travel 16 hours after SCUBA diving. Treatment with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) in a decompression chamber was successful. Guidelines to prevent DCS for recreational divers who plan to fly after diving are presented.

  11. 14 CFR 121.549 - Flying equipment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Flying equipment. 121.549 Section 121.549 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR CARRIERS..., FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATIONS Flight Operations § 121.549 Flying equipment. (a) The pilot...

  12. 14 CFR 121.549 - Flying equipment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Flying equipment. 121.549 Section 121.549 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR CARRIERS..., FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATIONS Flight Operations § 121.549 Flying equipment. (a) The pilot...

  13. 14 CFR 121.549 - Flying equipment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Flying equipment. 121.549 Section 121.549 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR CARRIERS..., FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATIONS Flight Operations § 121.549 Flying equipment. (a) The pilot...

  14. Testing for Mutagens Using Fruit Flies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liebl, Eric C.

    1998-01-01

    Describes a laboratory employed in undergraduate teaching that uses fruit flies to test student-selected compounds for their ability to cause mutations. Requires no prior experience with fruit flies, incorporates a student design component, and employs both rigorous controls and statistical analyses. (DDR)

  15. Neoplasms identified in free-flying birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Siegfried, L.M.

    1983-01-01

    Nine neoplasms were identified in carcasses of free-flying wild birds received at the National Wildlife Health Laboratory; gross and microscopic descriptions are reported herein. The prevalence of neoplasia in captive and free-flying birds is discussed, and lesions in the present cases are compared with those previously described in mammals and birds.

  16. Origin, acquisition and diversification of heritable bacterial endosymbionts in louse flies and bat flies.

    PubMed

    Duron, Olivier; Schneppat, Ulrich E; Berthomieu, Arnaud; Goodman, Steven M; Droz, Boris; Paupy, Christophe; Nkoghe, Judicaël Obame; Rahola, Nil; Tortosa, Pablo

    2014-04-01

    The γ-proteobacterium Arsenophonus and its close relatives (Arsenophonus and like organisms, ALOs) are emerging as a novel clade of endosymbionts, which are exceptionally widespread in insects. The biology of ALOs is, however, in most cases entirely unknown, and it is unclear how these endosymbionts spread across insect populations. Here, we investigate this aspect through the examination of the presence, the diversity and the evolutionary history of ALOs in 25 related species of blood-feeding flies: tsetse flies (Glossinidae), louse flies (Hippoboscidae) and bat flies (Nycteribiidae and Streblidae). While these endosymbionts were not found in tsetse flies, we identify louse flies and bat flies as harbouring the highest diversity of ALO strains reported to date, including a novel ALO clade, as well as Arsenophonus and the recently described Candidatus Aschnera chinzeii. We further show that the origin of ALO endosymbioses extends deep into the evolutionary past of louse flies and bat flies, and that it probably played a major role in the ecological specialization of their hosts. The evolutionary history of ALOs is notably complex and was shaped by both vertical transmission and horizontal transfers with frequent host turnover and apparent symbiont replacement in host lineages. In particular, ALOs have evolved repeatedly and independently close relationships with diverse groups of louse flies and bat flies, as well as phylogenetically more distant insect families, suggesting that ALO endosymbioses are exceptionally dynamic systems.

  17. Pregnant stewardess--should she fly?

    PubMed

    Scholten, P

    1976-01-01

    There is much pressure on the airlines to allow stewardesses to fly while pregnant. Some of them want to fly in quite advanced stages of pregnancy. This paper offers a survey of the problem, the hazards that may occur and some guidelines for the physician. The author outlines the normal changes to be expected with advancing pregnancy and those factors that could have an adverse effect on a pregnant stewardess and her fetus, such as hypoxia, trauma, abortion, the hazards of travel, and flying itself. Certain legal problems of unemployment and medical disability also are discussed. Travel alone offers no real danger to the pregnant stewardess in the first trimester of pregnancy; however, because of the changing mechanics of her size, posture, and increasing unsteadiness, it would be wisest to require a pregnant stewardess to cease flying at 13 weeks, with an absolute prohibition of flying after the 20th week.

  18. Flightless Flies: Drosophila models of neuromuscular disease

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, Thomas E.; Taylor, J. Paul

    2010-01-01

    The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has a long and rich history as an important model organism for biologists. In particular, study of the fruit fly has been essential to much of our fundamental understanding of the development and function of the nervous system. In recent years, studies using fruit flies have provided important insights into the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases. Fly models of spinal muscular atrophy, spinobulbar muscular atrophy, myotonic dystrophy, dystrophinopathies and other inherited neuromuscular diseases recapitulate many of the key pathologic features of the human disease. The ability to perform genetic screens holds promise for uncovering the molecular mechanisms of disease, and indeed, for identifying novel therapeutic targets. This review will summarize recent progress in developing fly models of neuromuscular diseases and will emphasize the contribution that Drosophila has made to our understanding of these diseases. PMID:20329357

  19. Construction procedures using self hardening fly ash

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thornton, S. I.; Parker, D. G.

    1980-07-01

    Fly ash produced in Arkansas from burning Wyoming low sulfur coal is self-hardening and can be effective as a soil stabilizing agent for clays and sands. The strength of soil-self hardening fly ash develops rapidly when compacted immediately after mixing. Seven day unconfined compressive strengths up to 1800 psi were obtained from 20% fly ash and 80% sand mixtures. A time delay between mixing the fly ash with the soil and compaction of the mixture reduced the strength. With two hours delay, over a third of the strength was lost and with four hours delay, the loss was over half. Gypsum and some commercial concrete retarders were effective in reducing the detrimental effect of delayed compaction. Adequate mixing of the soil and fly ash and rapid compaction of the mixtures were found to be important parameters in field construction of stabilized bases.

  20. ACAA fly ash basics: quick reference card

    SciTech Connect

    2006-07-01

    Fly ash is a fine powdery material created when coal is burned to generate electricity. Before escaping into the environment via the utility stacks, the ash is collected and may be stored for beneficial uses or disposed of, if necessary. The use of fly ash provides environmental benefits, such as the conservation of natural resources, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and eliminating the needed for ash disposal in landfills. It is also a valuable mineral resource that is used in construction and manufacturing. Fly ash is used in the production of Portland cement, concrete, mortars and stuccos, manufactured aggregates along with various agricultural applications. As mineral filler, fly ash can be used for paints, shingles, carpet backing, plastics, metal castings and other purposes. This quick reference card is intended to provide the reader basic source, identification and composition, information specifically related to fly ash.

  1. Geotechnical characterization of some Indian fly ashes

    SciTech Connect

    Das, S.K.; Yudhbir

    2005-10-01

    This paper reports the findings of experimental studies with regard to some common engineering properties (e.g., grain size, specific gravity, compaction characteristics, and unconfined compression strength) of both low and high calcium fly ashes, to evaluate their suitability as embankment materials and reclamation fills. In addition, morphology, chemistry, and mineralogy of fly ashes are studied using scanning electron microscope, electron dispersive x-ray analyzer, x-ray diffractometer, and infrared absorption spectroscopy. In high calcium fly ash, mineralogical and chemical differences are observed for particles, {gt}75 {mu} m and the particles of {lt} 45 {mu} m size. The mode and duration of curing significantly affect the strength and stress-strain behavior of fly ashes. The geotechnical properties of fly ash are governed by factors like lime content (CaO), iron content (Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3}) and loss on ignition. The distinct difference between self-hardening and pozzolanic reactivity has been emphasized.

  2. TrackFly: virtual reality for a behavioral system analysis in free-flying fruit flies.

    PubMed

    Fry, Steven N; Rohrseitz, Nicola; Straw, Andrew D; Dickinson, Michael H

    2008-06-15

    Modern neuroscience and the interest in biomimetic control design demand increasingly sophisticated experimental techniques that can be applied in freely moving animals under realistic behavioral conditions. To explore sensorimotor flight control mechanisms in free-flying fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster), we equipped a wind tunnel with a Virtual Reality (VR) display system based on standard digital hardware and a 3D path tracking system. We demonstrate the experimental power of this approach by example of a 'one-parameter open loop' testing paradigm. It provided (1) a straightforward measure of transient responses in presence of open loop visual stimulation; (2) high data throughput and standardized measurement conditions from process automation; and (3) simplified data analysis due to well-defined testing conditions. Being based on standard hardware and software techniques, our methods provide an affordable, easy to replicate and general solution for a broad range of behavioral applications in freely moving animals. Particular relevance for advanced behavioral research tools originates from the need to perform detailed behavioral analyses in genetically modified organisms and animal models for disease research.

  3. Results of Surveys for Special Status Reptiles at the Site 300 Facilities of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Woollett, J J

    2008-09-18

    The purpose of this report is to present the results of a live-trapping and visual surveys for special status reptiles at the Site 300 Facilities of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The survey was conducted under the authority of the Federal recovery permit of Swaim Biological Consulting (PRT-815537) and a Memorandum of Understanding issued from the California Department of Fish and Game. Site 300 is located between Livermore and Tracy just north of Tesla road (Alameda County) and Corral Hollow Road (San Joaquin County) and straddles the Alameda and San Joaquin County line (Figures 1 and 2). It encompasses portions of the USGS 7.5 minute Midway and Tracy quadrangles (Figure 2). Focused surveys were conducted for four special status reptiles including the Alameda whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus), the San Joaquin Whipsnake (Masticophis Hagellum ruddock), the silvery legless lizard (Anniella pulchra pulchra), and the California horned lizard (Phrynosoma coronanum frontale).

  4. Studies of annual and seasonal variations in four species of reptiles and amphibians at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, E.I.; Haarmann, T.; Keller, D.C.; Foxx, T.

    1998-11-01

    Baseline studies of reptiles and amphibians of the Pajarito wetlands at Los Alamos National Laboratory have been conducted by the Ecology group since 1990. With the gathered data from 1990--1997 (excluding 1992), they plan to determine if patterns can be found in the annual and seasonal population changes of four species of reptiles and amphibians over the past seven years. The four species studied are the Woodhouse toad, the western chorus frog, the many-linked skink, and the plateau striped whiptail lizard. Statistical analysis results show that significant changes occurred on a seasonal basis for the western chorus frog and the many-lined skink. Results indicate a significant difference in the annual population of the Woodhouse toad.

  5. Studies of Annual and Seasonal Variations in Four Species of Reptiles and Amphibians at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, D.C.; Nelson, E.I.; Mullen, M.A.; Foxx, T.S.; Haarmann, T.K.

    1998-07-01

    Baseline studies of reptiles and amphibians of the Pajarito wetlands at Los Alamos National Laboratory have been conducted by the Ecology group since 1990. With the data gathered from 1990-1997 (excluding 1992), we examined the annual and seasonal population changes of four species of reptiles and amphibians over the past seven years. The four species studied are the Woodhouse toad (Bufo woodhousii), the western chorus frog (Pseudacris triseriata), the many-lined skink (Eunzeces nudtivirgatus), and the plateau striped whiptail lizard (Cnemidophorus velox). Statistical analyses indicate a significant change on a seasonal basis for the western chorus frog and the many-lined skink. Results indicate a significant difference in the annual population of the Woodhouse toad.

  6. A new captorhinid reptile from the Lower Permian of Oklahoma showing remarkable dental and mandibular convergence with microsaurian tetrapods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reisz, R. R.; LeBlanc, Aaron R. H.; Sidor, Christian A.; Scott, Diane; May, William

    2015-10-01

    The Lower Permian fossiliferous infills of the Dolese Brothers Limestone Quarry, near Richards Spur, Oklahoma, have preserved the most diverse assemblage of Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrates, including small-bodied reptiles and lepospondyl anamniotes. Many of these taxa were previously known only from fragmentary remains, predominantly dentigerous jaw elements and numerous isolated skeletal elements. The recent discovery of articulated skulls and skeletons of small reptiles permits the recognition that dentigerous elements, previously assigned at this locality to the anamniote lepospondyl Euryodus primus, belong to a new captorhinid eureptile, Opisthodontosaurus carrolli gen. et sp. nov. This mistaken identity points to a dramatic level of convergence in mandibular and dental anatomy in two distantly related and disparate clades of terrestrial tetrapods and sheds light on the earliest instance of durophagy in eureptiles.

  7. A new captorhinid reptile from the Lower Permian of Oklahoma showing remarkable dental and mandibular convergence with microsaurian tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Reisz, R R; LeBlanc, Aaron R H; Sidor, Christian A; Scott, Diane; May, William

    2015-10-01

    The Lower Permian fossiliferous infills of the Dolese Brothers Limestone Quarry, near Richards Spur, Oklahoma, have preserved the most diverse assemblage of Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrates, including small-bodied reptiles and lepospondyl anamniotes. Many of these taxa were previously known only from fragmentary remains, predominantly dentigerous jaw elements and numerous isolated skeletal elements. The recent discovery of articulated skulls and skeletons of small reptiles permits the recognition that dentigerous elements, previously assigned at this locality to the anamniote lepospondyl Euryodus primus, belong to a new captorhinid eureptile, Opisthodontosaurus carrolli gen. et sp. nov. This mistaken identity points to a dramatic level of convergence in mandibular and dental anatomy in two distantly related and disparate clades of terrestrial tetrapods and sheds light on the earliest instance of durophagy in eureptiles.

  8. Community- and landscape-level responses of reptiles and small mammals to feral-horse grazing in the Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik A.; Brussard, P.F.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated species- and community-level responses of squamate reptiles and granivorous small mammals to feral-horse grazing in two elevational strata across nine mountain ranges of the western Great Basin, USA. Although mammal species richness did not differ between horse-occupied and horse-removed sites, occupied sites possessed less community completeness (biotic integrity) and 1.1–7.4 times greater deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) than removed sites. In opposite fashion, horse-removed sites possessed greater reptile species richness and tended towards greater abundance for seven of nine species, yet unequal species pools across sites dictated that community completeness did not differ statistically between horse-removed and -occupied sites.

  9. The Value of Comparative Approaches to our Understanding of Puberty as Illustrated by Investigations in Birds and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Ball, Gregory F.; Wade, Juli

    2013-01-01

    Studies of birds and reptiles have provided many basic insights into the neuroendocrine control of reproductive processes. This research has elucidated mechanisms regulating both early development, including sexual differentiation, and adult neuroendocrine function and behavior. However, phenomena associated with the transition into sexual maturation (puberty) have not been a focus of investigators working on species in these taxonomic classes. Research is complicated in birds and reptiles by a variety of factors, including what can be extended times to maturation, the need to reach particular body size regardless of age, and environmental conditions that can support or inhibit endocrine responses. However, careful selection of model systems, particularly those with available genetic tools, will lead to important comparative studies that can elucidate both generalizability and diversity of mechanisms regulating the onset of reproductive maturity. PMID:23998665

  10. 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

  11. Evolutionary diversity of bile salts in reptiles and mammals, including analysis of ancient human and extinct giant ground sloth coprolites

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Bile salts are the major end-metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion and in influencing the intestinal microflora. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt diversity in both reptiles and mammals, including analysis of 8,000 year old human coprolites and coprolites from the extinct Shasta ground sloth (Nothrotherium shastense). Results While there is significant variation of bile salts across species, bile salt profiles are generally stable within families and often within orders of reptiles and mammals, and do not directly correlate with differences in diet. The variation of bile salts generally accords with current molecular phylogenies of reptiles and mammals, including more recent groupings of squamate reptiles. For mammals, the most unusual finding was that the Paenungulates (elephants, manatees, and the rock hyrax) have a very different bile salt profile from the Rufous sengi and South American aardvark, two other mammals classified with Paenungulates in the cohort Afrotheria in molecular phylogenies. Analyses of the approximately 8,000 year old human coprolites yielded a bile salt profile very similar to that found in modern human feces. Analysis of the Shasta ground sloth coprolites (approximately 12,000 years old) showed the predominant presence of glycine-conjugated bile acids, similar to analyses of bile and feces of living sloths, in addition to a complex mixture of plant sterols and stanols expected from an herbivorous diet. Conclusions The bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution, with some bile salt modifications only found within single groups such as marsupials. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt structures in different species provides a potentially rich model system for the evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates. Our results also demonstrate the stability of bile salts in coprolites preserved in arid climates

  12. Major Histocompatibility Complex Genes Map to Two Chromosomes in an Evolutionarily Ancient Reptile, the Tuatara Sphenodon punctatus

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Hilary C.; O’Meally, Denis; Ezaz, Tariq; Amemiya, Chris; Marshall-Graves, Jennifer A.; Edwards, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are a central component of the vertebrate immune system and usually exist in a single genomic region. However, considerable differences in MHC organization and size exist between different vertebrate lineages. Reptiles occupy a key evolutionary position for understanding how variation in MHC structure evolved in vertebrates, but information on the structure of the MHC region in reptiles is limited. In this study, we investigate the organization and cytogenetic location of MHC genes in the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), the sole extant representative of the early-diverging reptilian order Rhynchocephalia. Sequencing and mapping of 12 clones containing class I and II MHC genes from a bacterial artificial chromosome library indicated that the core MHC region is located on chromosome 13q. However, duplication and translocation of MHC genes outside of the core region was evident, because additional class I MHC genes were located on chromosome 4p. We found a total of seven class I sequences and 11 class II β sequences, with evidence for duplication and pseudogenization of genes within the tuatara lineage. The tuatara MHC is characterized by high repeat content and low gene density compared with other species and we found no antigen processing or MHC framework genes on the MHC gene-containing clones. Our findings indicate substantial differences in MHC organization in tuatara compared with mammalian and avian MHCs and highlight the dynamic nature of the MHC. Further sequencing and annotation of tuatara and other reptile MHCs will determine if the tuatara MHC is representative of nonavian reptiles in general. PMID:25953959

  13. Major Histocompatibility Complex Genes Map to Two Chromosomes in an Evolutionarily Ancient Reptile, the Tuatara Sphenodon punctatus.

    PubMed

    Miller, Hilary C; O'Meally, Denis; Ezaz, Tariq; Amemiya, Chris; Marshall-Graves, Jennifer A; Edwards, Scott

    2015-05-07

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are a central component of the vertebrate immune system and usually exist in a single genomic region. However, considerable differences in MHC organization and size exist between different vertebrate lineages. Reptiles occupy a key evolutionary position for understanding how variation in MHC structure evolved in vertebrates, but information on the structure of the MHC region in reptiles is limited. In this study, we investigate the organization and cytogenetic location of MHC genes in the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), the sole extant representative of the early-diverging reptilian order Rhynchocephalia. Sequencing and mapping of 12 clones containing class I and II MHC genes from a bacterial artificial chromosome library indicated that the core MHC region is located on chromosome 13q. However, duplication and translocation of MHC genes outside of the core region was evident, because additional class I MHC genes were located on chromosome 4p. We found a total of seven class I sequences and 11 class II β sequences, with evidence for duplication and pseudogenization of genes within the tuatara lineage. The tuatara MHC is characterized by high repeat content and low gene density compared with other species and we found no antigen processing or MHC framework genes on the MHC gene-containing clones. Our findings indicate substantial differences in MHC organization in tuatara compared with mammalian and avian MHCs and highlight the dynamic nature of the MHC. Further sequencing and annotation of tuatara and other reptile MHCs will determine if the tuatara MHC is representative of nonavian reptiles in general.

  14. Biology of amphibians and reptiles in old-growth forests in the Pacific northwest. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Blaustein, A.R.; Beatty, J.J.; Olson, D.H.; Storm, R.M.

    1995-03-01

    The amphibian and reptile fauna of older forest ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest includes several endemic species, species with unique behavioral and ecological characteristics, and species whose populations have been in decline in recent years. The authors review the biology of these species and include information on their distinguishing characteristics, behavior, and ecology. Herpetofaunal associations with forest characteristic and the impact of habitat loss are addressed.

  15. Moving into protected areas? Setting conservation priorities for Romanian reptiles and amphibians at risk from climate change.

    PubMed

    Popescu, Viorel D; Rozylowicz, Laurenţiu; Cogălniceanu, Dan; Niculae, Iulian Mihăiţă; Cucu, Adina Livia

    2013-01-01

    Rapid climate change represents one of the top threats to biodiversity, causing declines and extinctions of many species. Range shifts are a key response, but in many cases are incompatible with the current extent of protected areas. In this study we used ensemble species distribution models to identify range changes for 21 reptile and 16 amphibian species in Romania for the 2020s and 2050s time horizons under three emission scenarios (A1B = integrated world, rapid economic growth, A2A = divided world, rapid economic growth [realistic scenario], B2A = regional development, environmentally-friendly scenario) and no- and limited-dispersal assumptions. We then used irreplaceability analysis to test the efficacy of the Natura 2000 network to meet conservation targets. Under all scenarios and time horizons, 90% of the species suffered range contractions (greatest loses under scenarios B2A for 2020s, and A1B for 2050s), and four reptile species expanded their ranges. Two reptile and two amphibian species are predicted to completely lose climate space by 2050s. Currently, 35 species do not meet conservation targets (>40% representation in protected areas), but the target is predicted to be met for 4 - 14 species under future climate conditions, with higher representation under the limited-dispersal scenario. The Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions have the highest irreplaceability value, and act as climate refugia for many reptiles and amphibians. The Natura 2000 network performs better for achieving herpetofauna conservation goals in the future, owing to the interaction between drastic range contractions, and range shifts towards existing protected areas. Thus, conservation actions for herpetofauna in Romania need to focus on: (1) building institutional capacity of protected areas in the Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions, and (2) facilitating natural range shifts by improving the conservation status of herpetofauna outside protected areas

  16. Fly Photoreceptors Encode Phase Congruency

    PubMed Central

    Friederich, Uwe; Billings, Stephen A.; Hardie, Roger C.; Juusola, Mikko; Coca, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    More than five decades ago it was postulated that sensory neurons detect and selectively enhance behaviourally relevant features of natural signals. Although we now know that sensory neurons are tuned to efficiently encode natural stimuli, until now it was not clear what statistical features of the stimuli they encode and how. Here we reverse-engineer the neural code of Drosophila photoreceptors and show for the first time that photoreceptors exploit nonlinear dynamics to selectively enhance and encode phase-related features of temporal stimuli, such as local phase congruency, which are invariant to changes in illumination and contrast. We demonstrate that to mitigate for the inherent sensitivity to noise of the local phase congruency measure, the nonlinear coding mechanisms of the fly photoreceptors are tuned to suppress random phase signals, which explains why photoreceptor responses to naturalistic stimuli are significantly different from their responses to white noise stimuli. PMID:27336733

  17. [Psychoses and unidentified flying objects].

    PubMed

    Mavrakis, D; Bocquet, J P

    1983-04-01

    Some individuals claim to have come into contact and communicated with occupants of flying objects of extraterrestrial origin who often would have entrusted them with "missions" regarding the safeguard of humanity. The authors, who have observed six such subjects, conclude that five of them suffered from a paranoid delusional state often akin to paraphrenia; whereas other analogous cases previously reported have been diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Their beliefs, inaccessible to criticism and to reasoning, presumably help them to remain outside psychiatric reach. The present article does not take an interest in the physical existence of this phenomenon and does not wish to be reductionistic. It does not claim to express a judgment on the witnesses of such phenomena whose mental health must be evaluated through a rigorous and impartial examination, and not be evaluated in terms of the examiner's preconceptions toward the witnesses' assertions.

  18. Insects as unidentified flying objects.

    PubMed

    Callahan, P S; Mankin, R W

    1978-11-01

    Five species of insects were subjected to a large electric field. Each of the insects stimulated in this manner emitted visible glows of various colors and blacklight (uv). It is postulated that the Uintah Basin, Utah, nocturnal UFO display (1965-1968) was partially due to mass swarms of spruce budworms, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens), stimulated to emit this type of St. Elmo's fire by flying into high electric fields caused by thunderheads and high density particulate matter in the air. There was excellent time and spatial correlation between the 1965-1968 UFO nocturnal sightings and spruce budworm infestation. It is suggested that a correlation of nocturnal UFO sightings throughout the U.S. and Canada with spruce budworm infestations might give some insight into nocturnal insect flight patterns.

  19. Fly Photoreceptors Encode Phase Congruency.

    PubMed

    Friederich, Uwe; Billings, Stephen A; Hardie, Roger C; Juusola, Mikko; Coca, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    More than five decades ago it was postulated that sensory neurons detect and selectively enhance behaviourally relevant features of natural signals. Although we now know that sensory neurons are tuned to efficiently encode natural stimuli, until now it was not clear what statistical features of the stimuli they encode and how. Here we reverse-engineer the neural code of Drosophila photoreceptors and show for the first time that photoreceptors exploit nonlinear dynamics to selectively enhance and encode phase-related features of temporal stimuli, such as local phase congruency, which are invariant to changes in illumination and contrast. We demonstrate that to mitigate for the inherent sensitivity to noise of the local phase congruency measure, the nonlinear coding mechanisms of the fly photoreceptors are tuned to suppress random phase signals, which explains why photoreceptor responses to naturalistic stimuli are significantly different from their responses to white noise stimuli. PMID:27336733

  20. Fruit Flies in Biomedical Research

    PubMed Central

    Wangler, Michael F.; Yamamoto, Shinya; Bellen, Hugo J.

    2015-01-01

    Many scientists complain that the current funding situation is dire. Indeed, there has been an overall decline in support in funding for research from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Within the Drosophila field, some of us question how long this funding crunch will last as it demotivates principal investigators and perhaps more importantly affects the long-term career choice of many young scientists. Yet numerous very interesting biological processes and avenues remain to be investigated in Drosophila, and probing questions can be answered fast and efficiently in flies to reveal new biological phenomena. Moreover, Drosophila is an excellent model organism for studies that have translational impact for genetic disease and for other medical implications such as vector-borne illnesses. We would like to promote a better collaboration between Drosophila geneticists/biologists and human geneticists/bioinformaticians/clinicians, as it would benefit both fields and significantly impact the research on human diseases. PMID:25624315

  1. Trapping tsetse flies on water

    PubMed Central

    Laveissière, C.; Camara, M.; Rayaisse, J.B.; Salou, E.; Kagbadouno, M.; Solano, P.

    2011-01-01

    Riverine tsetse flies such as Glossina palpalis gambiensis and G. tachinoides are the vectors of human and animal trypanosomoses in West Africa. Despite intimate links between tsetse and water, to our knowledge there has never been any attempt to design trapping devices that would catch tsetse on water. In mangrove (Guinea) one challenging issue is the tide, because height above the ground for a trap is a key factor affecting tsetse catches. The trap was mounted on the remains of an old wooden dugout, and attached with rope to nearby branches, thereby allowing it to rise and fall with the tide. Catches showed a very high density of 93.9 flies/”water-trap”/day, which was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than all the catches from other habitats where the classical trap had been used. In savannah, on the Comoe river of South Burkina Faso, the biconical trap was mounted on a small wooden raft anchored to a stone, and catches were compared with the classical biconical trap put on the shores. G. p. gambiensis and G. tachinoides densities were not significantly different from those from the classical biconical one. The adaptations described here have allowed to efficiently catch tsetse on the water, which to our knowledge is reported here for the first time. This represents a great progress and opens new opportunities to undertake studies on the vectors of trypanosomoses in mangrove areas of Guinea, which are currently the areas showing the highest prevalences of sleeping sickness in West Africa. It also has huge potential for tsetse control using insecticide impregnated traps in savannah areas where traps become less efficient in rainy season. The Guinean National control programme has already expressed its willingness to use such modified traps in its control campaigns in Guinea, as has the national PATTEC programme in Burkina Faso during rainy season. PMID:21678789

  2. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  3. Variation in testosterone and corticosterone in amphibians and reptiles: relationships with latitude, elevation, and breeding season length.

    PubMed

    Eikenaar, Cas; Husak, Jerry; Escallón, Camilo; Moore, Ignacio T

    2012-11-01

    Latitudinal variation in life-history traits has been the focus of numerous investigations, but underlying hormonal mechanisms have received much less attention. Steroid hormones play a central role in vertebrate reproduction and may be associated with life-history trade-offs. Consequently, circulating concentrations of these hormones vary tremendously across vertebrates, yet interspecific geographic variation in male hormone concentrations has been studied in detail only in birds. We here report on such variation in amphibians and reptiles, confirming patterns observed in birds. Using phylogenetic comparative analyses, we found that in amphibians, but not in reptiles, testosterone and baseline corticosterone were positively related to latitude. Baseline corticosterone was negatively related to elevation in amphibians but not in reptiles. For both groups, testosterone concentrations were negatively related to breeding-season length. In addition, testosterone concentrations were positively correlated with baseline corticosterone in both groups. Our findings may best be explained by the hypothesis that shorter breeding seasons increase male-male competition, which may favor increased testosterone concentrations that modulate secondary sexual traits. Elevated energetic demands resulting from greater reproductive intensity may require higher baseline corticosterone. Thus, the positive relationship between testosterone and corticosterone in both groups suggests an energetic demand for testosterone-regulated behavior that is met with increased baseline glucocorticoid concentrations.

  4. Unexpectedly High Levels of Cryptic Diversity Uncovered by a Complete DNA Barcoding of Reptiles of the Socotra Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Raquel; Montero-Mendieta, Santiago; Simó-Riudalbas, Marc; Sindaco, Roberto; Santos, Xavier; Fasola, Mauro; Llorente, Gustavo; Razzetti, Edoardo; Carranza, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Few DNA barcoding studies of squamate reptiles have been conducted. Due to the significance of the Socotra Archipelago (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and a biodiversity hotspot) and the conservation interest of its reptile fauna (94% endemics), we performed the most comprehensive DNA barcoding study on an island group to date to test its applicability to specimen identification and species discovery. Reptiles constitute Socotra's most important vertebrate fauna, yet their taxonomy remains under-studied. We successfully DNA-barcoded 380 individuals of all 31 presently recognized species. The specimen identification success rate is moderate to high, and almost all species presented local barcoding gaps. The unexpected high levels of intra-specific variability found within some species suggest cryptic diversity. Species richness may be under-estimated by 13.8-54.4%. This has implications in the species' ranges and conservation status that should be considered for conservation planning. Other phylogenetic studies using mitochondrial and nuclear markers are congruent with our results. We conclude that, despite its reduced length (663 base pairs), cytochrome c oxidase 1, COI, is very useful for specimen identification and for detecting intra-specific diversity, and has a good phylogenetic signal. We recommend DNA barcoding to be applied to other biodiversity hotspots for quickly and cost-efficiently flagging species discovery, preferentially incorporated into an integrative taxonomic framework.

  5. Unexpectedly High Levels of Cryptic Diversity Uncovered by a Complete DNA Barcoding of Reptiles of the Socotra Archipelago

    PubMed Central

    Simó-Riudalbas, Marc; Sindaco, Roberto; Santos, Xavier; Fasola, Mauro; Llorente, Gustavo; Razzetti, Edoardo; Carranza, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Few DNA barcoding studies of squamate reptiles have been conducted. Due to the significance of the Socotra Archipelago (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and a biodiversity hotspot) and the conservation interest of its reptile fauna (94% endemics), we performed the most comprehensive DNA barcoding study on an island group to date to test its applicability to specimen identification and species discovery. Reptiles constitute Socotra’s most important vertebrate fauna, yet their taxonomy remains under-studied. We successfully DNA-barcoded 380 individuals of all 31 presently recognized species. The specimen identification success rate is moderate to high, and almost all species presented local barcoding gaps. The unexpected high levels of intra-specific variability found within some species suggest cryptic diversity. Species richness may be under-estimated by 13.8–54.4%. This has implications in the species’ ranges and conservation status that should be considered for conservation planning. Other phylogenetic studies using mitochondrial and nuclear markers are congruent with our results. We conclude that, despite its reduced length (663 base pairs), cytochrome c oxidase 1, COI, is very useful for specimen identification and for detecting intra-specific diversity, and has a good phylogenetic signal. We recommend DNA barcoding to be applied to other biodiversity hotspots for quickly and cost-efficiently flagging species discovery, preferentially incorporated into an integrative taxonomic framework. PMID:26930572

  6. Unexpectedly High Levels of Cryptic Diversity Uncovered by a Complete DNA Barcoding of Reptiles of the Socotra Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Raquel; Montero-Mendieta, Santiago; Simó-Riudalbas, Marc; Sindaco, Roberto; Santos, Xavier; Fasola, Mauro; Llorente, Gustavo; Razzetti, Edoardo; Carranza, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Few DNA barcoding studies of squamate reptiles have been conducted. Due to the significance of the Socotra Archipelago (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and a biodiversity hotspot) and the conservation interest of its reptile fauna (94% endemics), we performed the most comprehensive DNA barcoding study on an island group to date to test its applicability to specimen identification and species discovery. Reptiles constitute Socotra's most important vertebrate fauna, yet their taxonomy remains under-studied. We successfully DNA-barcoded 380 individuals of all 31 presently recognized species. The specimen identification success rate is moderate to high, and almost all species presented local barcoding gaps. The unexpected high levels of intra-specific variability found within some species suggest cryptic diversity. Species richness may be under-estimated by 13.8-54.4%. This has implications in the species' ranges and conservation status that should be considered for conservation planning. Other phylogenetic studies using mitochondrial and nuclear markers are congruent with our results. We conclude that, despite its reduced length (663 base pairs), cytochrome c oxidase 1, COI, is very useful for specimen identification and for detecting intra-specific diversity, and has a good phylogenetic signal. We recommend DNA barcoding to be applied to other biodiversity hotspots for quickly and cost-efficiently flagging species discovery, preferentially incorporated into an integrative taxonomic framework. PMID:26930572

  7. Human attitudes towards herpetofauna: The influence of folklore and negative values on the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Portugal

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Human values and folklore of wildlife strongly influence the effectiveness of conservation efforts. These values and folklore may also vary with certain demographic characteristics such as gender, age, or education. Reptiles and amphibians are among the least appreciated of vertebrates and are victims of many negative values and wrong ideas resulting from the direct interpretation of folklore. We try to demonstrate how these values and folklore can affect the way people relate to them and also the possible conservation impacts on these animals. Methods A questionnaire survey distributed to 514 people in the district of Évora, Portugal, was used to obtain data regarding the hypothesis that the existence of wrong ideas and negative values contributes to the phenomenon of human-associated persecution of these animals. A structural equation model was specified in order to confirm the hypothesis about the possible relationships between the presence of perceptions and negative values about amphibians and reptiles and persecution and anti-conservation attitudes. Sociodemographic variables were also added. Results The results of the model suggest that the presence of folklore and negative values clearly predicts persecution and anti-conservation attitudes towards amphibians and reptiles. Also, the existence of folklore varies sociodemographically, but negative values concerning these animals are widespread in the population. Conclusions With the use of structural equation models, this work is a contribution to the study of how certain ideas and values can directly influence human attitudes towards herpetofauna and how they can be a serious conservation issue. PMID:22316318

  8. Treatment of fly ash for use in concrete

    DOEpatents

    Boxley, Chett; Akash, Akash; Zhao, Qiang

    2013-01-08

    A process for treating fly ash to render it highly usable as a concrete additive. A quantity of fly ash is obtained that contains carbon and which is considered unusable fly ash for concrete based upon foam index testing. The fly ash is mixed with an activator solution sufficient to initiate a geopolymerization reaction and for a geopolymerized fly ash. The geopolymerized fly ash is granulated. The geopolymerized fly ash is considered usable fly ash for concrete according to foam index testing. The geopolymerized fly ash may have a foam index less than 35% of the foam index of the untreated fly ash, and in some cases less than 10% of the foam index of the untreated fly ash. The activator solution may contain an alkali metal hydroxide, carbonate, silicate, aluminate, or mixtures thereof.

  9. Treatment of fly ash for use in concrete

    DOEpatents

    Boxley, Chett

    2012-05-15

    A process for treating fly ash to render it highly usable as a concrete additive. A quantity of fly ash is obtained that contains carbon and which is considered unusable fly ash for concrete based upon foam index testing. The fly ash is mixed with a quantity of spray dryer ash (SDA) and water to initiate a geopolymerization reaction and form a geopolymerized fly ash. The geopolymerized fly ash is granulated. The geopolymerized fly ash is considered usable fly ash for concrete according to foam index testing. The geopolymerized fly ash may have a foam index less than 40%, and in some cases less than 20%, of the foam index of the untreated fly ash. An optional alkaline activator may be mixed with the fly ash and SDA to facilitate the geopolymerization reaction. The alkaline activator may contain an alkali metal hydroxide, carbonate, silicate, aluminate, or mixtures thereof.

  10. Treatment of fly ash for use in concrete

    DOEpatents

    Boxley, Chett; Akash, Akash; Zhao, Qiang

    2012-05-08

    A process for treating fly ash to render it highly usable as a concrete additive. A quantity of fly ash is obtained that contains carbon and which is considered unusable fly ash for concrete based upon foam index testing. The fly ash is mixed with an activator solution sufficient to initiate a geopolymerization reaction and for a geopolymerized fly ash. The geopolymerized fly ash is granulated. The geopolymerized fly ash is considered usable fly ash for concrete according to foam index testing. The geopolymerized fly ash may have a foam index less than 35% of the foam index of the untreated fly ash, and in some cases less than 10% of the foam index of the untreated fly ash. The activator solution may contain an alkali metal hydroxide, carbonate, silicate, aluminate, or mixtures thereof.

  11. Flying fruit flies correct for visual sideslip depending on relative speed of forward optic flow

    PubMed Central

    Cabrera, Stephanie; Theobald, Jamie C.

    2013-01-01

    As a fly flies through its environment, static objects produce moving images on its retina, and this optic flow is essential for steering and course corrections. Different types of rotation and translation produce unique flow fields, which fly brains are wired to identify. However, a feature of optic flow unique to translational motion is that adjacent images may move across the retina at different speeds, depending on their distance from the observer. Many insects take advantage of this depth cue, called motion parallax, to determine the distance to objects. We wanted to know if differential object speeds affect the corrective responses of fruit flies when they experience unplanned course deviations. We presented tethered flying flies with optic flow and measured their corrective responses to sideways perturbations of images with different relative forward speeds. We found that flying flies attend to the relative speed of dots during forward motion, and adjust their corrective responses to sideslip deviations depending on this cue. With no other distinguishing features (such as brightness or size), flies mounted a greater response to sideways deviations that were signaled by faster moving dots in the forward flow field, those that appeared radially closer by their speeds. This is consistent with the interpretation that fruit flies attend to seemingly nearer objects, and correct more strongly when they indicate a perturbation. PMID:23847482

  12. FlyBase 101--the basics of navigating FlyBase.

    PubMed

    McQuilton, Peter; St Pierre, Susan E; Thurmond, Jim

    2012-01-01

    FlyBase (http://flybase.org) is the leading database and web portal for genetic and genomic information on the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and related fly species. Whether you use the fruit fly as an experimental system or want to apply Drosophila biological knowledge to another field of study, FlyBase can help you successfully navigate the wealth of available Drosophila data. Here, we review the FlyBase web site with novice and less-experienced users of FlyBase in mind and point out recent developments stemming from the availability of genome-wide data from the modENCODE project. The first section of this paper explains the organization of the web site and describes the report pages available on FlyBase, focusing on the most popular, the Gene Report. The next section introduces some of the search tools available on FlyBase, in particular, our heavily used and recently redesigned search tool QuickSearch, found on the FlyBase homepage. The final section concerns genomic data, including recent modENCODE (http://www.modencode.org) data, available through our Genome Browser, GBrowse. PMID:22127867

  13. Erodibility of fly ash-treated minesoils

    SciTech Connect

    Gorman, J.M.; Sencindiver, J.C.; Singh, R.N.

    1997-12-31

    Fly ash, a by-product of coal-fired power plants, has been used successfully in reclaiming adverse mine sites such as abandoned mine lands by improving minesoil chemical and physical properties. But, the fine sand-silt particle size of fly ash may make it more susceptible to detachment and transport by erosive processes. Furthermore, the high content of silt-size particles in fly ash may make it more susceptable to surface crust formation resulting in reduced infiltration and increased surface runoff and erosion. In the summer of 1989, fly ash/wood waste mixtures were surface applied on two separate mine sites, one with 10% slope and the other 20% slope, in central Preston County, West Virginia. Erosion rates were measured directly using the Linear Erosion/Elevation Measuring Instrument (LEMI). Erosion measurements were taken during the first two growing seasons on both sites. Erosion values were up to five times greater on the fly ash-treated minesoil than on the minesoil without fly ash cover. Mulching with wood chips reduced fly ash erosion to about one-half the loss of the unmulched plots. Erosion was related to both the amount and type of ground cover. Increased vegetative ground cover resulted in reduced erosion. Mosses and fungi appeared to provide better erosion protection than grass-legume cover.

  14. Municipal solid-waste incinerator fly ash

    SciTech Connect

    Goh, A.T.C. ); Joohwa Tay )

    1993-05-01

    Many highly urbanized cities are faced with the problem of disposal of municipal solid waste because of the scarcity of land available for landfilling. One possible solution is the incineration of the municipal solid waste. After incineration, about 20% by weight of fly ash and other residues are produced. Investigations into the physical and engineering properties of the fly ash derived from municipal solid-waste incineration indicate that the material is a potential source of fill material, with low compacted density and high strength. The fly ash was relatively free draining, with permeability of the same order of magnitude as coarse grained materials. The use of the fly ash as an admixture in the stabilization of a soft marine clay showed improved undrained shear strengths and lower compressive properties. Leachate tests on the samples of fly ash initially indicated trace quantities of cadmium and chromium in excess of the acceptable drinking-water limits. After leaching for 28 days, the concentrations fell below the drinking-water limits. Lime and cement can be used to stabilize the fly ash. The concentrations of heavy metals in the leachates of lime and cement treated fly ash were nondetectable.

  15. Sox2 marks epithelial competence to generate teeth in mammals and reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Juuri, Emma; Jussila, Maria; Seidel, Kerstin; Holmes, Scott; Wu, Ping; Richman, Joy; Heikinheimo, Kristiina; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Arnold, Katrin; Hochedlinger, Konrad; Klein, Ophir; Michon, Frederic; Thesleff, Irma

    2013-01-01

    Tooth renewal is initiated from epithelium associated with existing teeth. The development of new teeth requires dental epithelial cells that have competence for tooth formation, but specific marker genes for these cells have not been identified. Here, we analyzed expression patterns of the transcription factor Sox2 in two different modes of successional tooth formation: tooth replacement and serial addition of primary teeth. We observed specific Sox2 expression in the dental lamina that gives rise to successional teeth in mammals with one round of tooth replacement as well as in reptiles with continuous tooth replacement. Sox2 was also expressed in the dental lamina during serial addition of mammalian molars, and genetic lineage tracing indicated that Sox2+ cells of the first molar give rise to the epithelial cell lineages of the second and third molars. Moreover, conditional deletion of Sox2 resulted in hyperplastic epithelium in the forming posterior molars. Our results indicate that the Sox2+ dental epithelium has competence for successional tooth formation and that Sox2 regulates the progenitor state of dental epithelial cells. The findings imply that the function of Sox2 has been conserved during evolution and that tooth replacement and serial addition of primary teeth represent variations of the same developmental process. The expression patterns of Sox2 support the hypothesis that dormant capacity for continuous tooth renewal exists in mammals. PMID:23462476

  16. Pilot Inventory of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, 1990-1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Semenoff-Irving, M.; Howell, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    The United States Geological Survey Golden Gate Field Station conducted a baseline inventory of terrestrial vertebrates within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, California between 1990 and 1997. We established 456 permanent study plots in 6 major park habitats, including grassland, coastal scrub, riparian woodland, coastal wetland, broad-leaved evergreen forest, and needle-leaved evergreen forest. We tested multiple inventory methods, including live traps, track plate stations, and artificial cover boards, across all years and habitats. In most years, sampling occurred in 3?4 primary sampling sessions between July and September. In 1994, additional sampling occurred in February and May in conjunction with an assessment of Hantavirus exposure in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Overall, we detected 32 mammal, 14 reptile, and 6 amphibian species during 25,222 trap-nights of effort. The deer mouse?the most abundant species detected--accounted for 67% of total captures. We detected the Federal Endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) at one coastal wetland plot in 1992. This project represents the first phase in the development of a comprehensive terrestrial vertebrate inventory and monitoring program for GGNRA. This report summarizes data on relative abundance, frequency of occurrence, distribution across habitat types, and trap success for terrestrial vertebrates detected during this 7-year effort. It includes comprehensive descriptions of the inventory methods and sampling strategies employed during this survey and is intended to help guide the park in the implementation of future longterm ecological monitoring programs.

  17. Pilot Inventory of Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, 1990-1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Semenoff-Irving, Marcia; Howell, Judd A.

    2005-01-01

    The United States Geological Survey Golden Gate Field Station conducted a baseline inventory of terrestrial vertebrates within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, California between 1990 and 1997. We established 456 permanent study plots in 6 major park habitats, including grassland, coastal scrub, riparian woodland, coastal wetland, broad-leaved evergreen forest, and needle-leaved evergreen forest. We tested multiple inventory methods, including live traps, track plate stations, and artificial cover boards, across all years and habitats. In most years, sampling occurred in 3-4 primary sampling sessions between July and September. In 1994, additional sampling occurred in February and May in conjunction with an assessment of Hantavirus exposure in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Overall, we detected 32 mammal, 14 reptile, and 6 amphibian species during 25,222 trap-nights of effort. The deer mouse-the most abundant species detected--accounted for 67% of total captures. We detected the Federal Endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) at one coastal wetland plot in 1992. This project represents the first phase in the development of a comprehensive terrestrial vertebrate inventory and monitoring program for GGNRA. This report summarizes data on relative abundance, frequency of occurrence, distribution across habitat types, and trap success for terrestrial vertebrates detected during this 7-year effort. It includes comprehensive descriptions of the inventory methods and sampling strategies employed during this survey and is intended to help guide the park in the implementation of future longterm ecological monitoring programs.

  18. Gonadal morphogenesis and gene expression in reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Merchant-Larios, H; Díaz-Hernández, V; Marmolejo-Valencia, A

    2010-01-01

    In reptiles with temperature-dependent sexual determination, the thermosensitive period (TSP) is the interval in which the sex is defined during gonadal morphogenesis. One-shift experiments in a group of eggs define the onset and the end of the TSP as all and none responses, respectively. Timing for sex-undetermined (UG) and -determined gonads (DG) differs at male- (MPT) or female-producing temperatures (FPT). During the TSP a decreasing number of embryos respond to temperature shifts indicating that in this period embryos with both UG and DG exist. Although most UG correspond to undifferentiated gonads, some embryos extend UG after the onset of histological differentiation. Thus, temperature affects gonadal cells during the process of morphogenesis, but timing of commitment depends on individual embryos. A correlation between gonadal morphogenesis, TSP, and gene expression suggests that determination of the molecular pathways modulated by temperature in epithelial cells (surface epithelium and medullary cords) holds the key for a unifying hypothesis on temperature-dependent sex determination.

  19. 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.

  20. Bone-eating Osedax worms lived on Mesozoic marine reptile deadfalls

    PubMed Central

    Danise, Silvia; Higgs, Nicholas D.

    2015-01-01

    We report fossil traces of Osedax, a genus of siboglinid annelids that consume the skeletons of sunken vertebrates on the ocean floor, from early-Late Cretaceous (approx. 100 Myr) plesiosaur and sea turtle bones. Although plesiosaurs went extinct at the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (66 Myr), chelonioids survived the event and diversified, and thus provided sustenance for Osedax in the 20 Myr gap preceding the radiation of cetaceans, their main modern food source. This finding shows that marine reptile carcasses, before whales, played a key role in the evolution and dispersal of Osedax and confirms that its generalist ability of colonizing different vertebrate substrates, like fishes and marine birds, besides whale bones, is an ancestral trait. A Cretaceous age for unequivocal Osedax trace fossils also dates back to the Mesozoic the origin of the entire siboglinid family, which includes chemosynthetic tubeworms living at hydrothermal vents and seeps, contrary to phylogenetic estimations of a Late Mesozoic–Cenozoic origin (approx. 50–100 Myr). PMID:25878047