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Sample records for lizard island great

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

    PubMed

    Murray, Anna; Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

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

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

    PubMed

    Glasby, Christopher J

    2015-09-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-18

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

  6. Bioerosion experiments at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiene, W. E.; Hutchings, P. A.

    1994-05-01

    The rates at which dead coral substrates are modified by bioerosional processes were determined by exposing recently killed corals for up to four years in a variety of reef environments at Lizard Island (northern Great Barrier Reef). Grazers were the major croding agents of these coral substrates and exhibited differences between sites that varied between sampling periods. Subtidal reef slopes and lagoon environments of water depths < 20 m were subjected to higher average rates of grazing erosion (0.30 1.96 kg/m2/y) than shallow depths less than 1 m (0.07 0.26 kg/m2/y). A deep site at 20 m experienced low average rates of grazing (0.08 0.29 kg/m2/y). Boring rates by worms (polychaetes and sipunculans), sponges and molluscs were relatively low and varied between sites, but increased with length of sampling period as larger borers succeeded the initial colonizing small polychaete worms. We hypothesize from these experiments that the extent of boring in reef substrates will be influenced by the interaction between the succession of the boring community and the rate at which the substrate is destroyed by grazing. We suggest that the level of grazing modifies the successional pattern of borers by removing the surface substrate and continually exposing bare substrate that can be colonized by early boring colonists. Thus, constant high levels of grazing may maintain the boring community at an early successional stage and prevent the development of a “mature” boring community. In order to establish large borer populations, reef substrates must be protected from extensive grazing bioerosion. This interaction of grazing and boring has important implications for the way dead coral is preserved in different reef environments.

  7. Six genetically distinct clades of Palola (Eunicidae, Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Anja

    2015-09-18

    A total of 36 lots of Palola spp. (Eunicidae, Annelida) were collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop on Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Of these, 21 specimens were sequenced for a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene. These sequences were analysed in conjunction with existing sequences of Palola spp. from other geographic regions. The samples from Lizard Island form six distinct clades, although none of them can clearly be assigned to any of the nominal species. Four of the six Lizard Island clades fall into species group A and the remaining two into species group B (which also includes the type species, Palola viridis). All sequenced specimens were characterized morphologically as far as possible and a dichotomous key was assembled. Based on this key, the remaining samples were identified as belonging to one of the clades.

  8. Syllidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Aguado, M Teresa; Murray, Anna; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    Thirty species of the family Syllidae (Annelida, Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island have been identified. Three subfamilies (Eusyllinae, Exogoninae and Syllinae) are represented, as well as the currently unassigned genera Amblyosyllis and Westheidesyllis. The genus Trypanobia (Imajima & Hartman 1964), formerly considered a subgenus of Trypanosyllis, is elevated to genus rank. Seventeen species are new reports for Queensland and two are new species. Odontosyllis robustus n. sp. is characterized by a robust body and distinct colour pattern in live specimens consisting of lateral reddish-brown pigmentation on several segments, and bidentate, short and distally broad falcigers. Trypanobia cryptica n. sp. is found in association with sponges and characterized by a distinctive bright red colouration in live specimens, and one kind of simple chaeta with a short basal spur.

  9. Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Alvestad, Tom; Budaeva, Nataliya

    2015-09-18

    Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae, is described from the intertidal zone off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. The new species is referred to the genus Neosabellides based on the shape of the prostomium, three pairs of branchiae, 14 thoracic segments with notopodia, 12 thoracic uncinigerous segments, and the first two pairs of abdominal uncinigers of thoracic type. The new species differs from all known species of Neosabellides in having 14 abdominal uncinigerous segments.

  10. Joeropsididae Nordenstam, 1933 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Asellota) from the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Niel L

    2015-01-01

    The marine isopod family Joeropsididae (Asellota) is documented for the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Fifteen species of Joeropsis are recorded, including ten new species; descriptive notes are provided for five species that lacked adequate material for description. A revised family and genus diagnosis is presented together with comments on the most useful characters for species identification and a key to Joeropsis of the Lizard Island region.

  11. Joeropsididae Nordenstam, 1933 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Asellota) from the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Niel L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The marine isopod family Joeropsididae (Asellota) is documented for the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Fifteen species of Joeropsis are recorded, including ten new species; descriptive notes are provided for five species that lacked adequate material for description. A revised family and genus diagnosis is presented together with comments on the most useful characters for species identification and a key to Joeropsis of the Lizard Island region. PMID:25878536

  12. Community calcification in Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef: A 33 year perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverman, J.; Schneider, K.; Kline, D. I.; Rivlin, T.; Rivlin, A.; Hamylton, S.; Lazar, B.; Erez, J.; Caldeira, K.

    2014-11-01

    Measurements of community calcification (Gnet) were made during September 2008 and October 2009 on a reef flat in Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, 33 years after the first measurements were made there by the LIMER expedition in 1975. In 2008 and 2009 we measured Gnet = 61 ± 12 and 54 ± 13 mmol CaCO3 m-2·day-1, respectively. These rates are 27-49% lower than those measured during the same season in 1975-76. These rates agree well with those estimated from the measured temperature and degree of aragonite saturation using a reef calcification rate equation developed from observations in a Red Sea coral reef. Community structure surveys across the Lizard Island reef flat during our study using the same methods employed in 1978 showed that live coral coverage had not changed significantly (∼8%). However, it should be noted that the uncertainty in the live coral coverage estimates in this study and in 1978 were fairly large and inherent to this methodology. Using the reef calcification rate equation while assuming that seawater above the reef was at equilibrium with atmospheric PCO2 and given that live coral cover had not changed Gnet should have declined by 30 ± 8% since the LIMER study as indeed observed. We note, however, that the error in estimated Gnet decrease relative to the 1970's could be much larger due to the uncertainties in the coral coverage measurements. Nonetheless, the similarity between the predicted and the measured decrease in Gnet suggests that ocean acidification may be the primary cause for the lower CaCO3 precipitation rate on the Lizard Island reef flat.

  13. Reproductive ecology of four scleratinian species at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harriott, V. J.

    1983-08-01

    Reproductive ecology of four scleractinian species, Lobophyllia corymbosa, Favia favus, Porties lutea and Porites australiensis was studied for two years on a patch reef near Lizard Island. Two major reproductive patterns were found: L. corymbosa and F. favus were simultaneous hermaphrodites and released gametes over several days in summer; and P. lutea, and P. australiensis were dioecious and released gametes over several weeks to several months respectively, in summer. Three of the four species spawned predominantly in the lunar period between the full and last quarter moon. In all four species, ovaries began developing several months earlier than testes. Number of ova per colony varied greatly amongst the species and was inversely related to mature egg size. The results presented here contrast with earlier assumptions of almost uniform viviparity of corals and supports the generalization that a brief annual spawning period with larvae developing externally may prove to be the dominant form of sexual reproduction in hermatypic corals.

  14. Sphaerodoridae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, including the description of two new species and reproductive notes.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Rouse, Greg W

    2015-09-18

    Sphaerodorids are scarce at Lizard Island archipelago and other localities in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Intensive collections at a variety of habitats within the Lizard Island archipelago over the last four decades have resulted in a total of just 11 specimens. Nevertheless, they represent two new species and a new record for Lizard Island. Sphaerodoropsis aurantica n. sp. is characterised by nine longitudinal rows of sessile and spherical dorsal macrotubercles, arranged in a single transverse row per segment; parapodia with around 10 spherical papillae; and compound chaetae with thin shafts and long blades. Sphaerodoropsis plurituberculata n. sp. is characterised by more than 12 more or less clearly arranged longitudinal rows of sessile spherical dorsal tubercles (variable in size), in four transverse rows per segment; parapodia lacking papillae; and semi-compound chaetae with distally enlarged shaft and short blades. Ephesiella australiensis is reported for the first time in Lizard Island. Laboratory observations of live specimens of Sphaerodoropsis plurituberculata n. sp., revealed the use of spermatophores by males. These were found attached externally to the body surface of both sexes, indicating pseudo-copulation.

  15. Telothelepodidae, Thelepodidae and Trichobranchidae (Annelida, Terebelliformia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-18

    In a survey of the polychaetes of the Lizard Island region, six species of polychaetes belonging to the families Telothelepodidae Nogueira, Fitzhugh & Hutchings, 2013, Thelepodidae Hessle, 1917 and Trichobranchidae Malmgren, 1866 were found, from material collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Taxonomic Workshop, and material collected by previous projects undertaken by the Australian Museum. This material includes one new species of Rhinothelepus Hutchings, 1974 (Telothelepodidae); one new species of each of the genera, Euthelepus McIntosh, 1885, Streblosoma Sars, 1872, and Thelepus Leuckart, 1849 (Thelepodidae); and one new species of Terebellides Sars, 1835 and another of Trichobranchus Malmgren, 1866 (Trichobranchidae). Keys for identification of these species are provided, together with full descriptions for all species, as well as comparisons with the morphologically most similar congeners.

  16. Glyceriformia Fauchald, 1977 (Annelida: "Polychaeta") from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Böggemann, Markus

    2015-09-18

    Eight species of Glyceridae (Glycera brevicirris, Glycera cf. lapidum, Glycera onomichiensis, Glycera sagittariae, Glycera tesselata, Glycera tridactyla, Glycerella magellanica, Hemipodia cf. simplex) and six species of Goniadidae (Goniada antipoda, Goniada cf. brunnea, Goniada echinulata, Goniada emerita, Goniada grahami, Goniada paucidens) have been collected during several expeditions to the vicinity of Lizard Island (Australia, Queensland). An identification key to the Glyceriformia that inhabit the region is presented. Detailed and illustrated morphological descriptions are given for all investigated species.

  17. Dynamics of an outbreak population of Acanthaster planci at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef (1995 1999)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pratchett, Morgan S.

    2005-11-01

    Despite their significant influence on coral reef ecosystems, causes of population outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish ( Acanthaster planci L.) are still poorly understood. Essentially, outbreaks of A. planci could arise from either (1) a single mass recruitment event or (2) the progressive accumulation of starfish from multiple cohorts. This study explored fine-scale variation in the size, distribution, and abundance of A. planci, during an outbreak at Lizard Island in the northern Great Barrier Reef, to assess the mechanism by which the outbreak occurred. Densities of A. planci around Lizard Island increased very gradually from October 1994 until December 1996, then remained at around 1.0 starfish per 200 m2 until June 1998. The population of A. planci comprised individuals ranging in size from 11-cm to 62-cm diameter, representing individuals from multiple (at least four) different cohorts. These data suggest that the outbreak of A. planci at Lizard Island resulted from a prolonged build-up in starfish numbers through multiple successive recruitment events. This study shows that outbreaks of A. planci may arise independently of any sudden or substantial increase in rates of recruitment, such that any factor(s) responsible for the initial onset of outbreaks are likely to be very subtle and difficult to detect.

  18. New and previously known species of Oenonidae (Polychaeta: Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Zanol, Joana; Ruta, Christine

    2015-09-18

    The family Oenonidae consists of Eunicida species with prionognath jaws. Its Australian fauna had been reported to comprise six species belonging to Arabella, Drilonereis, and Oenone. This study provides descriptions for four new species, redescriptions for three species (two previously recorded and a new record, Drilonereis cf. logani) and diagnoses for the genera recorded from Australia. Currently, eleven species of oenonids, distributed in three genera, are known for the Australian coast. On Lizard Island, this family shows low abundance (19 specimens collected) and high richness (seven species). Our results suggest that despite the increasing accumulation of information, the biodiversity of the family is still poorly estimated.

  19. Orbiniidae (Annelida: Errantia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia with notes on orbiniid phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Zhadan, Anna; Stupnikova, Alexandra; Neretina, Tatiana

    2015-09-18

    The fauna of Orbiniidae (Annelida: Errantia) from the Lizard Island has been studied. Five species were found and each was redescribed and illustrated using light microscopy and SEM. Scoloplos acutissimus Hartmann-Schröder, 1991 and Scoloplos dayi Hartmann-Schröder, 1980 collected for the first time since their original descriptions and confirmed through re-examination of their type materials. Molecular analyses were carried out using nuclear 18S rDNA and mitochondrial 16S rDNA and CO1 gene sequences with evolutionary distances and the Neighbor-Joining Method. The molecular analyses did not support the monophyly of the genera Scoloplos, Leitoscoloplos, Leodamas, and Naineris, and its results are incongruent with morphological data.

  20. Spionidae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia: the genera Aonides, Dipolydora, Polydorella, Prionospio, Pseudopolydora, Rhynchospio, and Tripolydora.

    PubMed

    Radashevsky, Vasily I

    2015-09-18

    Nineteen species in seven genera of spionid polychaetes are described and illustrated based on new material collected from the intertidal and shallow waters around the Lizard Island Group, northern Great Barrier Reef. Only one of these species had been previously reported from the Reef. Six species are described as new to science, and the taxonomy of seven species should be clarified in the future. Prionospio sensu lato is the most diverse group with 11 species identified in the present study. One species is identified in each of the genera Dipolydora, Polydorella, Rhynchospio and Tripolydora, and two species are identified in each of the genera Aonides and Pseudopolydora. The fauna of spionid polychaetes of the Great Barrier Reef seems to be more diverse than previously described and more species are expected to be found in the future. An identification key is provided to 16 genera of Spionidae reported from or likely to be found on the Great Barrier Reef.

  1. A taxonomic guide to the fanworms (Sabellidae, Annelida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, including new species and new records.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Murray, Anna

    2015-09-18

    This comprehensive taxonomic work is the result of the study of fan worms (Sabellidae, Annelida) collected over the last 40 years from around the Lizard Island Archipelago, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Some species described herein are commonly found in Lizard Island waters but had not previously been formally reported in the literature. Most species appear to be not particularly abundant, and few specimens have been collected despite the sampling effort in the area over this time period. After this study, the overall sabellid diversity of the archipelago has been greatly increased (by more than 650%). Before this revision, only four sabellid species had been recorded for Lizard Island, and in this paper we report 31 species, 13 of which belong to nominal species, six are formally described as new species (Euchone danieloi n. sp., Euchone glennoi n. sp., Jasmineira gustavoi n. sp., Megalomma jubata n. sp., Myxicola nana n. sp., and Paradialychone ambigua n. sp.), and the identity of 12 species is still unknown (those referred as cf. or sp.). Two species are newly recorded in Australia and two in Queensland. The invasive species Branchiomma bairdi is reported for the first time at Lizard Island. The genus Paradialychone is reported for Australia for the first time. Standardised descriptions, general photographs of live and/or preserved specimens and distribution data are provided for all species. New species descriptions are accompanied by detailed illustrations and exhaustive morphological information. A dichotomous key for sabellid identification is also included.

  2. New records of Pectinariidae (Polychaeta) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia and the description of two new species.

    PubMed

    Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    Five species of Pectinariidae have previously been reported from Australia. This study documents the first records of this family from the Lizard Island region: Pectinaria antipoda is recorded, in addition to its already currently wide Australian distribution; two new species, Amphictene lizardensis n. sp. and Pectinaria carnosus n. sp. were also discovered and described. A key to all Australian species of Pectinariidae is provided.

  3. Changes in coral assemblages during an outbreak of Acanthaster planci at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef (1995-1999)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pratchett, M. S.

    2010-09-01

    Population outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish ( Acanthaster planci L.) represent one of the most significant biological disturbances on tropical coral reefs and have the potential to devastate coral communities, thereby altering the biological and physical structure of reef habitats. This study reports on changes in area cover, species diversity and taxonomic composition of corals during an outbreak of A. planci at Lizard Island, in the northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Mean coral cover declined by 28.8% across ten locations studied. However, densities of A. planci, and their effects on local coral assemblages, were very patchy. Declines in coral cover were mostly due to the selective removal of certain coral taxa (mainly Acropora and Pocilloporidae corals); such that the greatest coral loss occurred at locations with highest initial cover of preferred coral prey. Most notably, coral assemblages in back-reef locations were transformed from topographically complex staghorn Acropora-dominated habitats, to relatively depauperate assemblages dominated by alcyonacean soft corals. Although coral loss was greatest among formerly dominant taxa (especially Acropora), effects were sufficiently widespread across different coral taxa, such that overall coral diversity tended to decline. Clearly, moderate outbreaks of A. planci have the potential to greatly alter community structure of coral communities even if they do not devastate live corals. Recovery in this instance is expected to be very rapid given that all coral taxa persisted, and effects were greatest among fast growing corals.

  4. Six new species of the genus Armandia Filippi, 1861 (Polychaeta, Opheliidae) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia).

    PubMed

    Parapar, Julio; Moreira, Juan

    2015-09-18

    From the study of the material collected during the Polychaete Workshop held in Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) in August 2013, six species belonging to the genus Armandia (Polychaeta, Opheliidae) are newly described. Armandia bifida n. sp. is characterised by the bifid shape of the prechaetal lobe in CH1-CH3, A. dolio n. sp. by the barrel-shaped anal (=pygidial) tube (=funnel), A. filibranchia n. sp. by the extremely long and thin branchiae, A. laminosa n. sp. by the foliose shape and large size of the prechaetal lobe in CH1-CH3, A. paraintermedia n. sp. by the squared-shaped anal tube and size and shape of anal cirri, and A. tubulata n. sp. by the tubular shape of the anal tube. All species are fully described and illustrated, and compared with similar species. Several body characters of taxonomic relevance (e.g., anal tube and parapodia shape) are studied based on SEM micrographs. A key of the Armandia species hitherto described or reported in South-East Asia and Australasia is provided based on features of the anal tube.

  5. Symbiodinium (Dinophyceae) diversity in reef-invertebrates along an offshore to inshore reef gradient near Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Tonk, Linda; Sampayo, Eugenia M; LaJeunesse, Todd C; Schrameyer, Verena; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2014-06-01

    Despite extensive work on the genetic diversity of reef invertebrate-dinoflagellate symbioses on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR; Australia), large information gaps exist from northern and inshore regions. Therefore, a broad survey was done comparing the community of inshore, mid-shelf and outer reefs at the latitude of Lizard Island. Symbiodinium (Freudenthal) diversity was characterized using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting and sequencing of the ITS2 region of the ribosomal DNA. Thirty-nine distinct Symbiodinium types were identified from four subgeneric clades (B, C, D, and G). Several Symbiodinium types originally characterized from the Indian Ocean were discovered as well as eight novel types (C1kk, C1LL, C3nn, C26b, C161a, C162, C165, C166). Multivariate analyses on the Symbiodinium species diversity data showed a strong link with host identity, consistent with previous findings. Of the four environmental variables tested, mean austral winter sea surface temperature (SST) influenced Symbiodinium distribution across shelves most significantly. A similar result was found when the analysis was performed on Symbiodinium diversity data of genera with an open symbiont transmission mode separately with chl a and PAR explaining additional variation. This study underscores the importance of SST and water quality related variables as factors driving Symbiodinium distribution on cross-shelf scales. Furthermore, this study expands our knowledge on Symbiodinium species diversity, ecological partitioning (including host-specificity) and geographic ranges across the GBR. The accelerating rate of environmental change experienced by coral reef ecosystems emphasizes the need to comprehend the full complexity of cnidarian symbioses, including the biotic and abiotic factors that shape their current distributions.

  6. Spionidae (Annelida: 'Polychaeta': Canalipalpata) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia: the genera Malacoceros, Scolelepis, Spio, Microspio, and Spiophanes.

    PubMed

    Meißner, Karin; Götting, Miriam

    2015-09-18

    Seven species belonging to the spionid genera Malacoceros, Scolelepis, Spio, Microspio, and Spiophanes were found during the polychaete workshop on Lizard Island in August 2013. One species is new to science and named Scolelepis inversa n. sp., another Scolelepis species is probably also a new species but was represented in our samples by only a single specimen and not formally described. All other species have been reported previously from Australia. Species diagnoses of all species found during the workshop and of Scolelepis balihaiensis Hartmann-Schröder, 1979, Microspio microcera (Dorsey, 1977) and M. minuta (Hartmann-Schröder, 1962) have been critically reviewed and amended based on the study of type material. The potential synonymy of Microspio minuta (Hartmann-Schröder, 1962) and M. microcera (Dorsey, 1977) is discussed. The new combination Spio jirkovi (Sikorski, 1992) proposed by Sikorski (2013) is returned to Malacoceros. We added DNA barcodes for five species collected in the Lizard Island area to public databases which will be useful in future phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies. For Microspio we provide the first sequence data for this genus.

  7. Impact Of Coral Structures On Wave Directional Spreading Across A Shallow Reef Flat - Lizard Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leon, J. X.; Baldock, T.; Callaghan, D. P.; Hoegh-guldberg, O.; Mumby, P.; Phinn, S. R.; Roelfsema, C. M.; Saunders, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    Coral reef hydrodynamics operate at several and overlapping spatial-temporal scales. Waves have the most important forcing function on shallow (< 5 m) reefs as they drive most ecological and biogeochemical processes by exerting direct physical stress, directly mixing water (temperature and nutrients) and transporting sediments, nutrients and plankton. Reef flats are very effective at dissipating wave energy and providing an important ecosystem service by protecting highly valued shorelines. The effectiveness of reef flats to dissipate wave energy is related to the extreme hydraulic roughness of the benthos and substrate composition. Hydraulic roughness is usually obtained empirically from frictional-dissipation calculations, as detailed field measurements of bottom roughness (e.g. chain-method or profile gauges) is a very labour and time-consuming task. In this study we measured the impact of coral structures on wave directional spreading. Field data was collected during October 2012 across a reef flat on Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef. Wave surface levels were measured using an array of self-logging pressure sensors. A rapid in situ close-range photogrammetric method was used to create a high-resolution (0.5 cm) image mosaic and digital elevation model. Individual coral heads were extracted from these datasets using geo-morphometric and object-based image analysis techniques. Wave propagation was modelled using a modified version of the SWAN model which includes the measured coral structures in 2m by 1m cells across the reef. The approach followed a cylinder drag approach, neglecting skin friction and inertial components. Testing against field data included bed skin friction. Our results show, for the first time, how the variability of the reef benthos structures affects wave dissipation across a shallow reef flat. This has important implications globally for coral reefs, due to the large extent of their area occupied by reef flats, particularly, as

  8. The Oweniidae (Annelida; Polychaeta) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) with the description of two new species of Owenia Delle Chiaje, 1844.

    PubMed

    Parapar, Julio; Moreira, Juan

    2015-09-18

    Study of the Oweniidae specimens (Annelida; Polychaeta) from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) stored at the Australian Museum, Sydney and newly collected in August 2013 revealed the presence of three species, namely Galathowenia quelis Capa et al., 2012 and two new species belonging to the genus Owenia Delle Chiaje, 1844. Owenia dichotoma n. sp. is characterised by a very short branchial crown of about 1/3 of thoracic length which bears short, dichotomously-branched tentacles provided with the major division close to the base of the crown. Owenia picta n. sp. is characterised by a long branchial crown of about 4/5 of thoracic length provided with no major divisions, ventral pigmentation on thorax and the presence of deep ventro-lateral groove on the first thoracic chaetiger. A key of Owenia species hitherto described or reported in South East Asia and Australasia regions is provided based on characters of the branchial crown.

  9. Quantifying water flow within aquatic ecosystems using load cell sensors: a profile of currents experienced by coral reef organisms around Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Johansen, Jacob L

    2014-01-01

    Current velocity in aquatic environments has major implications for the diversity, abundance and ecology of aquatic organisms, but quantifying these currents has proven difficult. This study utilises a simple and inexpensive instrument (<$150) to provide a detailed current velocity profile of the coral-reef system around Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) at a spatial and temporal scale relevant to the ecology of individual benthos and fish. The instrument uses load-cell sensors to provide a correlation between sensor output and ambient current velocity of 99%. Each instrument is able to continuously record current velocities to >500 cms⁻¹ and wave frequency to >100 Hz over several weeks. Sensor data are registered and processed at 16 MHz and 10 bit resolution, with a measuring precision of 0.06±0.04%, and accuracy of 0.51±0.65% (mean ±S.D.). Each instrument is also pressure rated to 120 m and shear stresses ≤20 kNm⁻² allowing deployment in harsh environments. The instrument was deployed across 27 coral reef sites covering the crest (3 m), mid-slope (6 m) and deep-slope (9 m depth) of habitats directly exposed, oblique or sheltered from prevailing winds. Measurements demonstrate that currents over the reef slope and crest varies immensely depending on depth and exposure: currents differ up to 9-fold within habitats only separated by 3 m depth and 15-fold between exposed, oblique and sheltered habitats. Comparisons to ambient weather conditions reveal that currents around Lizard Island are largely wind driven. Zero to 22.5 knot winds correspond directly to currents of 0 to >82 cms⁻¹, while tidal currents rarely exceed 5.5 cms⁻¹. Rather, current velocity increases exponentially as a function of wave height (0 to 1.6 m) and frequency (0.54 to 0.20 Hz), emphasizing the enormous effect of wind and waves on organisms in these shallow coral reef habitats.

  10. Quantifying Water Flow within Aquatic Ecosystems Using Load Cell Sensors: A Profile of Currents Experienced by Coral Reef Organisms around Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, Jacob L.

    2014-01-01

    Current velocity in aquatic environments has major implications for the diversity, abundance and ecology of aquatic organisms, but quantifying these currents has proven difficult. This study utilises a simple and inexpensive instrument (<$150) to provide a detailed current velocity profile of the coral-reef system around Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) at a spatial and temporal scale relevant to the ecology of individual benthos and fish. The instrument uses load-cell sensors to provide a correlation between sensor output and ambient current velocity of 99%. Each instrument is able to continuously record current velocities to >500 cms−1 and wave frequency to >100 Hz over several weeks. Sensor data are registered and processed at 16 MHz and 10 bit resolution, with a measuring precision of 0.06±0.04%, and accuracy of 0.51±0.65% (mean ±S.D.). Each instrument is also pressure rated to 120 m and shear stresses ≤20 kNm−2 allowing deployment in harsh environments. The instrument was deployed across 27 coral reef sites covering the crest (3 m), mid-slope (6 m) and deep-slope (9 m depth) of habitats directly exposed, oblique or sheltered from prevailing winds. Measurements demonstrate that currents over the reef slope and crest varies immensely depending on depth and exposure: Currents differ up to 9-fold within habitats only separated by 3 m depth and 15-fold between exposed, oblique and sheltered habitats. Comparisons to ambient weather conditions reveal that currents around Lizard Island are largely wind driven. Zero to 22.5 knot winds correspond directly to currents of 0 to >82 cms−1, while tidal currents rarely exceed 5.5 cms−1. Rather, current velocity increases exponentially as a function of wave height (0 to 1.6 m) and frequency (0.54 to 0.20 Hz), emphasizing the enormous effect of wind and waves on organisms in these shallow coral reef habitats. PMID:24421878

  11. New and previously described dactylogyrid species (Monogenoidea: Polyonchoinea) and a gastrocotylinean pre-adult (Heteronchoinea) from pomacentrid and caesionid (Perciformes) fishes from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Mendoza-Franco, Edgar F; Binning, Sandra A; Roche, Dominique G

    2017-09-26

    During a parasitological survey of perciform fishes from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, we found the following gill monogenoidean species (Platyhelminthes): Euryhaliotrema lizardi n. sp. on Caesio caerulaurea Lacepède, 1801 (Caesionidae) (type host) and Haliotrema weberii n. sp. on Chromis weberi Fowler and Bean, 1928 (Pomacentridae) (type host), Chromis amboinensis (Bleeker, 1871), Chromis atripectoralis Welander and Schultz, 1951 and Caesio teres Seale, 1906. Euryhaliotrema lizardi n. sp. is characterized by having anchors with an elongated straight shaft and point as well as a vaginal canal with two loops before connecting to the seminal receptacle. Ha. weberii n. sp. is distinguished from other congeners by possessing a tubular male copulatory organ (MCO), partially straight. Two previously described dactylogyrids were also found: Haliotrematoides caesionis (Yamaguti, 1953) Kritsky, Yang and Sun 2009) on Caesio cuning (Bloch, 1791) and Ca. teres (new host record) and Haliotrematoides patellacirrus (Bychowsky and Nagibina, 1971) Kritsky, Yang and Sun 2009, on Ca. cuning (new host record). Finally, we provide the first report of a gastrocotylinean pre-adult on Ca. teres. We provide descriptions and illustrations of the new species and the gastrocotylinean pre-adult and include supplemental observations of Ht. caesionis and Ht. patellacirrus. The present findings expand the known spectrum of host species of Euryhaliotrema, Haliotrema and Haliotrematoides to include new caesionid and pomacentrid fishes.

  12. Sabellariidae from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, including a new species of Lygdamis and notes on external morphology of the median organ.

    PubMed

    Capa, María; Faroni-Perez, Larisse; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    We document herein the occurrence of three species of Sabellariidae at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, including a new Lygdamis species. Sabellaria lungalla, described from Northern Territory, is reported for Queensland for the first time. The genus Gesaia, represented by a planktonic larva collected in shallow waters of the Archipelago, is a new record for Australia. Lygdamis nasutus n. sp. is characterised by one of the most conspicuous median organ described in the family (cylindrical, distally pigmented and is provided with a flattened, teardrop corona), its paleae morphology (with straight paleae, outer ones with asymmetrical pointed tips and subtle thecal sculpture and inner paleae with blunt tips and smooth surface), three lateral lobes on chaetiger 2, abdominal chaetigers with two type of neurochaetae, and notopodial uncini with 1-4 longitudinal rows of teeth. Comparison of the external morphology of the medial organ and median ridge of several species has been undertaken. Even though its function remains uncertain, the median organ morphology seems species specific and may provide relevant information about the evolutionary history and adaptations of sabellariids.

  13. Pseudobacciger cheneyae n. sp. (Digenea: Gymnophalloidea) from Weber's chromis (Chromis weberi Fowler & Bean) (Perciformes: Pomacentridae) at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Sun, Derek; Bray, Rodney A; Yong, Russell Q-Y; Cutmore, Scott C; Cribb, Thomas H

    2014-06-01

    A new species of digenean, Pseudobacciger cheneyae n. sp., is described from the intestines of Weber's chromis (Chromis weberi Fowler & Bean) from off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. This species differs from the three described species of Pseudobacciger Nahhas & Cable, 1964 [P. cablei Madhavi, 1975, P. harengulae Yamaguti, 1938 and P. manteri Nahhas & Cable, 1964] in combinations of the size of the suckers and the length of the caeca. The host of the present species is a perciform (Family Pomacentridae) which contrasts with previous records of the genus which are almost exclusively from clupeiform fishes. The genus Pseudobacciger is presently recognised within the family Faustulidae (Poche, 1926) but phylogenetic analyses of 28S and ITS2 rDNA show that the new species bears no relationship to species of four other faustulid genera (Antorchis Linton, 1911, Bacciger Nicoll, 1924, Paradiscogaster Yamaguti, 1934 and Trigonocryptus Martin, 1958) but that instead it is nested within the Gymnophalloidea (Odhner, 1905) as sister to the Tandanicolidae (Johnston, 1927). This result suggests that the Faustulidae is polyphyletic.

  14. Ocean currents mediate evolution in island lizards.

    PubMed

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Smith, Thomas B

    2003-12-04

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

  15. Seven new species of Paleanotus (Annelida: Chrysopetalidae) described from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, and coral reefs of northern Australia and the Indo-Pacific: two cryptic species pairs revealed between western Pacific Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Watson, Charlotte

    2015-09-18

    Morphological investigation into the paleate genus Paleanotus Schmarda 1861 of the family Chrysopetalidae from northern Australian coral reefs, primarily Lizard Island and outlying reefs, included a complex of very small, slender individuals (length < 5 mm). This complex resolved into 7 new species, described herein: Paleanotus inornatus n. sp., P. adornatus n. sp., P. chrysos n. sp., P. aquifolia n. sp., P. latifolia n. sp., P. silus n. sp., and P. silopsis n. sp. A key is provided to the new species and Paleanotus distinguished from Treptopale and Hyalopale, two closely related genera. Diagnostic features of the apical structure and shape of the notochaetal main paleae plus median paleae shape and raised rib pattern, differentiates each species from the other. Gametous states are described. Two cryptic species pairs (Paleanotus silopsis n. sp. and P. silus n. sp.; Paleanotus aquifolia n. sp. and P. latifolia n. sp.) were identified. In each case one species is restricted to either the NE or NW Australian coast. In each pair the most eastern point for the NW Australian species range occurs at Darwin, western Arnhemland, Northern Territory. Additional material for each species pair extends their respective ranges northwards: NW Australia to Thailand, Andaman Sea, eastern Indian Ocean or NE Australia, Great Barrier Reef to the Philippines, western Pacific Ocean. Cryptic morphology and potential genetic diversity is discussed in Paleanotus inornatus n. sp. and P. adornatus n. sp. that possess overlapping widespread distribution patterns across northern Australia and Indo-Pacific reefs. The smallest bodied taxon, Paleanotus chrysos n. sp. is the only species with a Coral Sea range encompassing Lizard Island, Heron Island and New Caledonia.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-25

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

  19. The blue lizard spandrel and the island syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Many small vertebrates on islands grow larger, mature later, lay smaller clutches/litters, and are less sexually dimorphic and aggressive than their mainland relatives. This set of observations is referred to as the 'Island Syndrome'. The syndrome is linked to high population density on islands. We predicted that when population density is low and/or fluctuating insular vertebrates may evolve correlated trait shifts running opposite to the Island Syndrome, which we collectively refer to as the 'reversed island syndrome' (RIS) hypothesis. On the proximate level, we hypothesized that RIS is caused by increased activity levels in melanocortin receptors. Melanocortins are postranslational products of the proopiomelanocortin gene, which controls pleiotropically pigmentation, aggressiveness, sexual activity, and food intake in vertebrates. Results We tested the RIS hypothesis performing a number of behavioral, genetic, and ontogenetic tests on a blue colored insular variant of the Italian Wall lizard Podarcis sicula, living on a small island off the Southern Italian coast. The population density of this blue-colored variant was generally low and highly fluctuating from one year to the next. In keeping with our predictions, insular lizards were more aggressive and sexually dimorphic than their mainland relatives. Insular males had wide, peramorphic heads. The growth rate of insular females was slower than growth rates of mainland individuals of both sexes, and of insular males. Consequently, size and shape dimorphism are higher on the Island. As predicted, melanocortin receptors were much more active in individuals of the insular population. Insular lizards have a higher food intake rate than mainland individuals, which is consistent with the increased activity of melanocortin receptors. This may be adaptive in an unpredictable environment such as Licosa Island. Insular lizards of both sexes spent less time basking than their mainland relatives. We suspect this

  20. Invasive Predators Deplete Genetic Diversity of Island Lizards

    PubMed Central

    Gasc, Amandine; Duryea, M. C.; Cox, Robert M.; Kern, Andrew; Calsbeek, Ryan

    2010-01-01

    Invasive species can dramatically impact natural populations, especially those living on islands. Though numerous examples illustrate the ecological impact of invasive predators, no study has examined the genetic consequences for native populations subject to invasion. Here we capitalize on a natural experiment in which a long-term study of the brown anole lizard (Anolis sagrei) was interrupted by rat invasion. An island population that was devastated by rats recovered numerically following rat extermination. However, population genetic analyses at six microsatellite loci suggested a possible loss of genetic diversity due to invasion when compared to an uninvaded island studied over the same time frame. Our results provide partial support for the hypothesis that invasive predators can impact the genetic diversity of resident island populations. PMID:20706576

  1. New records of Cotylea (Polycladida, Platyhelminthes) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with remarks on the distribution of the Pseudoceros Lang, 1884 and Pseudobiceros Faubel, 1984 species of the Indo-Pacific Marine Region.

    PubMed

    Marquina, Daniel; Aguado, M Teresa; Noreña, Carolina

    2015-09-18

    In the present work eleven polyclad species of Lizard Island are studied. Seven of them are new records for this locality of the Australian coral reef and one is new to science, Lurymare clavocapitata n. sp. (Family Prosthiostomidae). The remaining recorded species belong to the genera Pseudoceros (P. bimarginatus, P. jebborum, P. stimpsoni, P. zebra, P. paralaticlavus and P. prudhoei) and Pseudobiceros (Pb. hancockanus, Pb. hymanae, Pb. flowersi and Pb. uniarborensis). Regardless of the different distribution patterns, all pseudocerotid species show brilliant colours, but similar internal morphology. Furthermore, differences in the form and size of the stylet are characteristic, because it is a sclerotic structure that is not affected during fixation. In Pseudoceros, the distance between the sucker and the female pore also differs among species. These features do not vary enough to be considered as diagnostic, but they provide information that can help to disentangle similarly coloured species complexes. A key of the genera Pseudoceros and Pseudobiceros of the Indo-Pacific region is provided, in order to facilitate the identification of species from this area.

  2. An ecophysiological background for biogeographic patterns of two island lizards?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carretero, Miguel A.; Lopes, Evandro P.; Vasconcelos, Raquel

    2016-12-01

    Distributions of sedentary ectotherms are dependent on temperature and humidity due to their low homeostatic and dispersal abilities. Lizards are strongly conditioned by temperature, but hydric environment may be also important, at least in arid environments. Biotic interactions may also play a role in range patterns, but they are of minor importance in islands where native species monopolize well-delimited niche spaces. On the arid island of São Vicente (Cabo Verde), two endemic lizards display different spatial patterns. While the gecko Tarentola substituta is widely distributed across the island, the skink Chioninia stangeri is restricted to the NE, which is cooler, more humid, and vegetated. We hypothesized that this is due to differences in the fundamental niche, specifically in ecophysiology. We predict that C. stangeri should select for lower temperatures and lose more water by evaporation than T. substituta. We submitted adults of each species to standard experiments to assess preferred body temperatures (Tp) and evaporative water loss (EWL) rates, and examined the variation between species and through time using repeated-measures AN(C)OVAs. Results only partially supported our expectations. Contrary to the prediction, skinks attained higher Tp than geckos but in the long term showed a trend for higher EWL as predicted. Thus, while ecophysiology certainly contributes to functional interpretation of species distributions, it needs to be combined with other evidence such as habitat use and evolutionary history. These findings will be useful to perform mechanistic models to better understand the impact of climate change and habitat disturbance on these endemic species.

  3. Human-induced morphological shifts in an island lizard

    PubMed Central

    Marnocha, Erin; Pollinger, John; Smith, Thomas B

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the evolutionary consequences of anthropogenic change is an emerging topic in evolutionary biology. While highly sensitive species may go extinct in response to anthropogenic habitat alteration, those with broader environmental tolerances may persist and adapt to the changes. Here, we use morphological data from the brown anole (Anolis sagrei), a lizard species that lives in both natural and human-disturbed habitats, to examine the impact of anthropogenic habitat alteration. We find populations inhabiting disturbed habitats were significantly larger in snout-vent length, hindspan, and mass and provide evidence that the observed divergence in hindspan is driven by human-induced changes in habitat structure. Populations were found to be genetically distinct among islands but are not genetically differentiated between habitat types on islands. Thus, the observed pattern of intra-island morphological differences cannot be explained by separate founding populations. Rather, our results are consistent with morphological differences between habitats having arisen in situ on each island. Results underscore the significant impact anthropogenic change may have on evolutionary trajectories of populations that persist in human-altered habitats. PMID:25567980

  4. Ecology of Great Salt Pond, Block Island

    EPA Science Inventory

    Great Salt Pond is an island of estuarine water on Block Island, which sits in the middle of the Northwest Atlantic Continental Shelf. When the last continental glaciers retreated, they left a high spot on a terminal moraine. The rising sea from melting glaciers formed two island...

  5. Ecology of Great Salt Pond, Block Island

    EPA Science Inventory

    Great Salt Pond is an island of estuarine water on Block Island, which sits in the middle of the Northwest Atlantic Continental Shelf. When the last continental glaciers retreated, they left a high spot on a terminal moraine. The rising sea from melting glaciers formed two island...

  6. A new species of Rhabdias (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae) from agamid lizards on Luzon Island, Philippines.

    PubMed

    Kuzmin, Yuriy; Tkach, Vasyl V; Bush, Sarah E

    2012-06-01

    Rhabdias odilebaini n. sp. is described on the basis of specimens found in the lungs of 2 species of agamid lizards: the Philippine flying lizard Draco spilopterus and the marbled bloodsucker Bronchocela marmorata . Specimens were collected in Aurora Province, Luzon Island, Philippines. The new species of Rhabdias is characterized by presence of 4 submedian lips, inconspicuous lateral lips, rounded cross-shaped oral opening, and tail end bent dorsally. This species is morphologically distinct from other Rhabdias spp. that parasitize reptilian and amphibian hosts, including 3 other species known to parasitize lizards of the Agamidae.

  7. Watch out where you sleep: nocturnal sleeping behaviour of Bay Island lizards.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Nitya Prakash; Harikrishnan, Surendran; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan

    2016-01-01

    Sleeping exposes lizards to predation. Therefore, sleeping strategies must be directed towards avoiding predation and might vary among syntopic species. We studied sleeping site characteristics of two syntopic, congeneric lizards-the Bay Island forest lizard, Coryphophylax subcristatus and the short-tailed Bay Island lizard, C. brevicaudus and evaluated inter-specific differences. We measured structural, microclimatic and potential predator avoidance at the sleeping perches of 386 C. subcristatus and 185 C. brevicaudus. Contrary to our expectation, we found similar perch use in both species. The lizards appeared to use narrow girth perch plants and accessed perches by moving both vertically and horizontally. Most lizards slept on leaves, with their heads directed towards the potential path of a predator approaching from the plant base. There was no inter-specific competition in the choices of sleeping perches. These choices indicate an anti-predator strategy involving both tactile and visual cues. This study provides insight into a rarely studied behaviour in reptiles and its adaptive significance.

  8. Anolis lizards as biocontrol agents in mainland and island agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Monagan, Ivan V; Morris, Jonathan R; Davis Rabosky, Alison R; Perfecto, Ivette; Vandermeer, John

    2017-04-01

    Our knowledge of ecological interactions that bolster ecosystem function and productivity has broad applications to the management of agricultural systems. Studies suggest that the presence of generalist predators in agricultural landscapes leads to a decrease in the abundance of herbivorous pests, but our understanding of how these interactions vary across taxa and along gradients of management intensity and eco-geographic space remains incomplete. In this study, we assessed the functional response and biocontrol potential of a highly ubiquitous insectivore (lizards in the genus Anolis) on the world's most important coffee pest, the coffee berry borer (Hypothalemus hampei). We conducted field surveys and laboratory experiments to examine the impact of land-use intensification on species richness and abundance of anoles and the capacity of anoles to reduce berry borer infestations in mainland and island coffee systems. Our results show that anoles significantly reduce coffee infestation rates in laboratory settings (Mexico, p = .03, F = 5.13 df = 1, 35; Puerto Rico, p = .014, F = 8.82, df = 1, 10) and are capable of consuming coffee berry borers in high abundance. Additionally, diversified agroecosystems bolster anole abundance, while high-intensity practices, including the reduction of vegetation complexity and the application of agrochemicals were associated with reduced anole abundance. The results of this study provide supporting evidence of the positive impact of generalist predators on the control of crop pests in agricultural landscapes, and the role of diversified agroecosystems in sustaining both functionally diverse communities and crop production in tropical agroecosystems.

  9. Ecological explanations to island gigantism: dietary niche divergence, predation, and size in an endemic lizard.

    PubMed

    Runemark, Anna; Sagonas, Kostas; Svensson, Erik I

    2015-08-01

    Although rapid evolution of body size on islands has long been known, the ecological mechanisms behind this island phenomenon remain poorly understood. Diet is an important selective pressure for morphological divergence. Here we investigate if selection for novel diets has contributed to the multiple independent cases of island gigantism in the Skyros wall lizard (Podarcis gaigeae) and if diet, predation, or both factors best explain island gigantism. We combined data on body size, shape, bite force, and realized and available diets to address this. Several lines of evidence suggest that diet has contributed to the island gigantism. The larger islet lizards have relatively wider heads and higher bite performance in relation to mainland lizards than would be expected from size differences alone. The proportions of consumed and available hard prey are higher on islets than mainland localities, and lizard body size is significantly correlated with the proportion of hard prey. Furthermore, the main axis of divergence in head shape is significantly correlated with dietary divergence. Finally, a model with only diet and one including diet and predation regime explain body size divergence equally well. Our results suggest that diet is an important ecological factor behind insular body size divergence, but could be consistent with an additional role for predation.

  10. Watch out where you sleep: nocturnal sleeping behaviour of Bay Island lizards

    PubMed Central

    Mohanty, Nitya Prakash; Harikrishnan, Surendran

    2016-01-01

    Sleeping exposes lizards to predation. Therefore, sleeping strategies must be directed towards avoiding predation and might vary among syntopic species. We studied sleeping site characteristics of two syntopic, congeneric lizards—the Bay Island forest lizard, Coryphophylax subcristatus and the short-tailed Bay Island lizard, C. brevicaudus and evaluated inter-specific differences. We measured structural, microclimatic and potential predator avoidance at the sleeping perches of 386 C. subcristatus and 185 C. brevicaudus. Contrary to our expectation, we found similar perch use in both species. The lizards appeared to use narrow girth perch plants and accessed perches by moving both vertically and horizontally. Most lizards slept on leaves, with their heads directed towards the potential path of a predator approaching from the plant base. There was no inter-specific competition in the choices of sleeping perches. These choices indicate an anti-predator strategy involving both tactile and visual cues. This study provides insight into a rarely studied behaviour in reptiles and its adaptive significance. PMID:27168958

  11. Ecology and reproductive patterns of the agamid lizard Japalura swinhonis on an east Asian island, with comments on the small clutch sizes of island lizards.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wen-San

    2007-02-01

    I describe the habitat use, diet, and the male and female reproductive cycles of Japalura swinhonis, an oviparous agamid lizard inhabiting Orchid Island, a tropical island off the southeastern coast of Taiwan. Ninety percent of lizards (n=126) were observed on tree trunks or at the forest edge. The diet of J. swinhonis on Orchid Island consisted mostly of hymenopterans (53.33%) and orthopterans (16.67%). The mean snout-vent length (SVL) of adult males was 74.58 (n=89) and that of females was 69.31 (n=37) mm. Females exhibited a long vitellogenic period from November to February, with parturition occurring from March to October. The onset of vitellogenesis did not correlate with the mass of the female fat bodies. Females produced two to five eggs per clutch, and clutch size was not correlated with SVL. Two clutches were recorded during a single year in some individuals. Clutch size in J. swinhonis was compared with that in other Japalura species. Clutch sizes of Japalura species are larger in mainland China than on insular Taiwan. Clutch size is also mainly affected by environmental constraints, and smaller clutch sizes are probably affected by predators on Orchid Island.

  12. The quick and the dead: correlational selection on morphology, performance, and habitat use in island lizards.

    PubMed

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Irschick, Duncan J

    2007-11-01

    Natural selection is an important driver of microevolution. Yet, despite significant theoretical debate, we still have a poor understanding of how selection operates on interacting traits (i.e., morphology, performance, habitat use). Locomotor performance is often assumed to impact survival because of its key role in foraging, predator escape, and social interactions, and shows strong links with morphology and habitat use within and among species. In particular, decades of study suggest, but have not yet demonstrated, that natural selection on locomotor performance has shaped the diversification of Anolis lizards in the Greater Antilles. Here, we estimate natural selection on sprinting speed and endurance in small replicate island populations of Anolis sagrei. Consistent with past correlational studies, long-limbed lizards ran faster on broad surfaces but also had increased sprint sensitivity on narrow surfaces. Moreover, performance differences were adaptive in the wild. Selection favored long-limbed lizards that were fast on broad surfaces, and preferred broad substrates in nature, and also short-limbed lizards that were less sprint sensitive on narrow surfaces, and preferred narrow perches in nature. This finding is unique in showing that selection does not act on performance alone, but rather on unique combinations of performance, morphology, and habitat use. Our results support the long-standing hypothesis that correlated selection on locomotor performance, morphology, and habitat use drives the evolution of ecomorphological correlations within Caribbean Anolis lizards, potentially providing a microevolutionary mechanism for their remarkable adaptive radiation.

  13. Simulating reef response to sea-level rise at Lizard Island: A geospatial approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamylton, S. M.; Leon, J. X.; Saunders, M. I.; Woodroffe, C. D.

    2014-10-01

    Sea-level rise will result in changes in water depth over coral reefs, which will influence reef platform growth as a result of carbonate production and accretion. This study simulates the pattern of reef response on the reefs around Lizard Island in the northern Great Barrier Reef. Two sea-level rise scenarios are considered to capture the range of likely projections: 0.5 m and 1.2 m above 1990 levels by 2100. Reef topography has been established through extensive bathymetric profiling, together with available data, including LiDAR, single beam bathymetry, multibeam swath bathymetry, LADS and digitised chart data. The reef benthic cover around Lizard Island has been classified using a high resolution WorldView-2 satellite image, which is calibrated and validated against a ground referencing dataset of 364 underwater video records of the reef benthic character. Accretion rates are parameterised using published hydrochemical measurements taken in-situ and rules are applied using Boolean logic to incorporate geomorphological transitions associated with different depth ranges, such as recolonisation of the reef flat when it becomes inundated as sea level rises. Simulations indicate a variable platform response to the different sea-level rise scenarios. For the 0.5 m rise, the shallower reef flats are gradually colonised by corals, enabling this active geomorphological zone to keep up with the lower rate of rise while the other sand dominated areas get progressively deeper. In the 1.2 m scenario, a similar pattern is evident for the first 30 years of rise, beyond which the whole reef platform begins to slowly drown. To provide insight on reef response to sea-level rise in other areas, simulation results of four different reef settings are discussed and compared at the southeast reef flat (barrier reef), Coconut Beach (fringing reef), Watson's Bay (leeward bay with coral patches) and Mangrove Beach (sheltered lagoonal embayment). The reef sites appear to accrete upwards

  14. From tameness to wariness: chemical recognition of snake predators by lizards in a Mediterranean island

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2017-01-01

    Antipredatory defenses are maintained when benefit exceeds cost. A weak predation pressure may lead insular lizards to tameness. Podarcis lilfordi exhibits a high degree of insular tameness, which may explain its extinction from the main island of Menorca when humans introduced predators. There are three species of lizards in Menorca: the native P. lilfordi, only on the surrounding islets, and two introduced lizards in the main island, Scelarcis perspicillata and Podarcis siculus. In addition, there are three species of snakes, all introduced: one non-saurophagous (Natrix maura), one potentially non-saurophagous (Rhinechis scalaris) and one saurophagous (Macroprotodon mauritanicus). We studied the reaction to snake chemical cues in five populations: (1) P. lilfordi of Colom, (2) P. lilfordi of Aire, (3) P. lilfordi of Binicodrell, (4) S. perspicillata, and (5) P. siculus, ordered by increasing level of predation pressure. The three snakes are present in the main island, while only R. scalaris is present in Colom islet, Aire and Binicodrell being snake-free islets. We aimed to assess the relationship between predation pressure and the degree of insular tameness regarding scent recognition. We hypothesized that P. lilfordi should show the highest degree of tameness, S. perspicillata should show intermediate responses, and P. siculus should show the highest wariness. Results are clear: neither P. lilfordi nor S. perspicillata recognize any of the snakes, while P. siculus recognizes the scent of M. mauritanicus and reacts to it with typical well-defined antipredatory behaviours as tail waving and slow motion. These results rise questions about the loss of chemical recognition of predators during island tameness and its related costs and benefits for lizards of insular habitats. In addition, this highlights the necessity for strong conservation measures to avoid the introduction of alien predators. PMID:28123905

  15. From tameness to wariness: chemical recognition of snake predators by lizards in a Mediterranean island.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

    Antipredatory defenses are maintained when benefit exceeds cost. A weak predation pressure may lead insular lizards to tameness. Podarcis lilfordi exhibits a high degree of insular tameness, which may explain its extinction from the main island of Menorca when humans introduced predators. There are three species of lizards in Menorca: the native P. lilfordi, only on the surrounding islets, and two introduced lizards in the main island, Scelarcis perspicillata and Podarcis siculus. In addition, there are three species of snakes, all introduced: one non-saurophagous (Natrix maura), one potentially non-saurophagous (Rhinechis scalaris) and one saurophagous (Macroprotodon mauritanicus). We studied the reaction to snake chemical cues in five populations: (1) P. lilfordi of Colom, (2) P. lilfordi of Aire, (3) P. lilfordi of Binicodrell, (4) S. perspicillata, and (5) P. siculus, ordered by increasing level of predation pressure. The three snakes are present in the main island, while only R. scalaris is present in Colom islet, Aire and Binicodrell being snake-free islets. We aimed to assess the relationship between predation pressure and the degree of insular tameness regarding scent recognition. We hypothesized that P. lilfordi should show the highest degree of tameness, S. perspicillata should show intermediate responses, and P. siculus should show the highest wariness. Results are clear: neither P. lilfordi nor S. perspicillata recognize any of the snakes, while P. siculus recognizes the scent of M. mauritanicus and reacts to it with typical well-defined antipredatory behaviours as tail waving and slow motion. These results rise questions about the loss of chemical recognition of predators during island tameness and its related costs and benefits for lizards of insular habitats. In addition, this highlights the necessity for strong conservation measures to avoid the introduction of alien predators.

  16. A fossil Diploglossus (Squamata, Anguidae) lizard from Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre Islands (Guadeloupe, French West Indies)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bochaton, Corentin; Boistel, Renaud; Casagrande, Fabrice; Grouard, Sandrine; Bailon, Salvador

    2016-06-01

    Today, Diploglossine lizards (Anguidae) are common on the Greater Antillean Islands (West Indies), where they are represented by many endemic species. However these lizards are very rare on the Lesser Antillean Islands, where they are only represented by a single species, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati). Here, we show that diploglossine lizards were present in the past on other Lesser Antillean islands, by reporting the discovery of Anguidae fossil remains in two Amerindian archaeological deposits and in a modern deposit. These remains are compared to skeletons of extant diploglossine lizards, including D. montisserrati, using X-ray microtomography of the type specimen of this critically endangered lizard. We also conducted a histological study of the osteoderms in order to estimate the putative age of the specimen. Our results show that the fossil specimens correspond to a member of the Diploglossus genus presenting strong similarities, but also minor morphological differences with D. montisserrati, although we postulate that these differences are not sufficient to warrant the description of a new species. These specimens, identified as Diploglossus sp., provide a new comparison point for the study of fossil diploglossine lizards and reflect the historical 17th century mentions of anguid lizards, which had not been observed since.

  17. A fossil Diploglossus (Squamata, Anguidae) lizard from Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre Islands (Guadeloupe, French West Indies)

    PubMed Central

    Bochaton, Corentin; Boistel, Renaud; Casagrande, Fabrice; Grouard, Sandrine; Bailon, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Today, Diploglossine lizards (Anguidae) are common on the Greater Antillean Islands (West Indies), where they are represented by many endemic species. However these lizards are very rare on the Lesser Antillean Islands, where they are only represented by a single species, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati). Here, we show that diploglossine lizards were present in the past on other Lesser Antillean islands, by reporting the discovery of Anguidae fossil remains in two Amerindian archaeological deposits and in a modern deposit. These remains are compared to skeletons of extant diploglossine lizards, including D. montisserrati, using X-ray microtomography of the type specimen of this critically endangered lizard. We also conducted a histological study of the osteoderms in order to estimate the putative age of the specimen. Our results show that the fossil specimens correspond to a member of the Diploglossus genus presenting strong similarities, but also minor morphological differences with D. montisserrati, although we postulate that these differences are not sufficient to warrant the description of a new species. These specimens, identified as Diploglossus sp., provide a new comparison point for the study of fossil diploglossine lizards and reflect the historical 17th century mentions of anguid lizards, which had not been observed since. PMID:27354326

  18. A fossil Diploglossus (Squamata, Anguidae) lizard from Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre Islands (Guadeloupe, French West Indies).

    PubMed

    Bochaton, Corentin; Boistel, Renaud; Casagrande, Fabrice; Grouard, Sandrine; Bailon, Salvador

    2016-06-29

    Today, Diploglossine lizards (Anguidae) are common on the Greater Antillean Islands (West Indies), where they are represented by many endemic species. However these lizards are very rare on the Lesser Antillean Islands, where they are only represented by a single species, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati). Here, we show that diploglossine lizards were present in the past on other Lesser Antillean islands, by reporting the discovery of Anguidae fossil remains in two Amerindian archaeological deposits and in a modern deposit. These remains are compared to skeletons of extant diploglossine lizards, including D. montisserrati, using X-ray microtomography of the type specimen of this critically endangered lizard. We also conducted a histological study of the osteoderms in order to estimate the putative age of the specimen. Our results show that the fossil specimens correspond to a member of the Diploglossus genus presenting strong similarities, but also minor morphological differences with D. montisserrati, although we postulate that these differences are not sufficient to warrant the description of a new species. These specimens, identified as Diploglossus sp., provide a new comparison point for the study of fossil diploglossine lizards and reflect the historical 17(th) century mentions of anguid lizards, which had not been observed since.

  19. Intraspecific competition, not predation, drives lizard tail loss on islands.

    PubMed

    Itescu, Yuval; Schwarz, Rachel; Meiri, Shai; Pafilis, Panayiotis

    2017-01-01

    Tail autotomy is mainly considered an antipredator mechanism. Theory suggests that predation pressure relaxes on islands, subsequently reducing autotomy rates. Intraspecific aggression, which may also cause tail loss, probably intensifies on islands due to the higher abundance. We studied whether tail autotomy is mostly affected by predation pressure or by intraspecific competition. We further studied whether predator abundance or predator richness is more important in this context. To test our predictions, we examined multiple populations of two gecko species: Kotschy's gecko (Mediodactylus kotschyi; mainland and 41 islands) and the Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus; mainland and 17 islands), and estimated their abundance together with five indices of predation. In both species, autotomy rates are higher on islands and decline with most predation indices, in contrast with common wisdom, and increase with gecko abundance. In M. kotschyi, tail-loss rates are higher on predator and viper-free islands, but increase with viper abundance. We suggest that autotomy is not simply, or maybe even mainly, an antipredatory mechanism. Rather, such defence mechanisms are a response to complex direct and indirect biotic interactions and perhaps, in the case of tail autotomy in insular populations, chiefly to intraspecific aggression. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  20. Lizards on newly created islands independently and rapidly adapt in morphology and diet

    PubMed Central

    Eloy de Amorim, Mariana; Schoener, Thomas W.; Santoro, Guilherme Ramalho Chagas Cataldi; Lins, Anna Carolina Ramalho; Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Brandão, Reuber Albuquerque

    2017-01-01

    Rapid adaptive changes can result from the drastic alterations humans impose on ecosystems. For example, flooding large areas for hydroelectric dams converts mountaintops into islands and leaves surviving populations in a new environment. We report differences in morphology and diet of the termite-eating gecko Gymnodactylus amarali between five such newly created islands and five nearby mainland sites located in the Brazilian Cerrado, a biodiversity hotspot. Mean prey size and dietary prey-size breadth were larger on islands than mainlands, expected because four larger lizard species that also consume termites, but presumably prefer larger prey, went extinct on the islands. In addition, island populations had larger heads relative to their body length than mainland populations; larger heads are more suited to the larger prey taken, and disproportionately larger heads allow that functional advantage without an increase in energetic requirements resulting from larger body size. Parallel morphological evolution is strongly suggested, because there are indications that, before flooding, relative head size did not differ between future island and future mainland sites. Females and males showed the same trend of relatively larger heads on islands, so the difference between island and mainland sites is unlikely to be due to greater male–male competition for mates on islands. We thus discovered a very fast (at most 15 y) case of independent parallel adaptive change in response to catastrophic human disturbance. PMID:28760959

  1. Intraspecific Colour Variation among Lizards in Distinct Island Environments Enhances Local Camouflage

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Kate L. A.; Philpot, Kate E.; Damas-Moreira, Isabel; Stevens, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Within-species colour variation is widespread among animals. Understanding how this arises can elucidate evolutionary mechanisms, such as those underlying reproductive isolation and speciation. Here, we investigated whether five island populations of Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) have more effective camouflage against their own (local) island substrates than against other (non-local) island substrates to avian predators, and whether this was linked to island differences in substrate appearance. We also investigated whether degree of local substrate matching varied among island populations and between sexes. In most populations, both sexes were better matched against local backgrounds than against non-local backgrounds, particularly in terms of luminance (perceived lightness), which usually occurred when local and non-local backgrounds were different in appearance. This was found even between island populations that historically had a land connection and in populations that have been isolated relatively recently, suggesting that isolation in these distinct island environments has been sufficient to cause enhanced local background matching, sometimes on a rapid evolutionary time-scale. However, heightened local matching was poorer in populations inhabiting more variable and unstable environments with a prolonged history of volcanic activity. Overall, these results show that lizard coloration is tuned to provide camouflage in local environments, either due to genetic adaptation or changes during development. Yet, the occurrence and extent of selection for local matching may depend on specific conditions associated with local ecology and biogeographic history. These results emphasize how anti-predator adaptations to different environments can drive divergence within a species, which may contribute to reproductive isolation among populations and lead to ecological speciation. PMID:26372454

  2. Intraspecific Colour Variation among Lizards in Distinct Island Environments Enhances Local Camouflage.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Kate L A; Philpot, Kate E; Damas-Moreira, Isabel; Stevens, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Within-species colour variation is widespread among animals. Understanding how this arises can elucidate evolutionary mechanisms, such as those underlying reproductive isolation and speciation. Here, we investigated whether five island populations of Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) have more effective camouflage against their own (local) island substrates than against other (non-local) island substrates to avian predators, and whether this was linked to island differences in substrate appearance. We also investigated whether degree of local substrate matching varied among island populations and between sexes. In most populations, both sexes were better matched against local backgrounds than against non-local backgrounds, particularly in terms of luminance (perceived lightness), which usually occurred when local and non-local backgrounds were different in appearance. This was found even between island populations that historically had a land connection and in populations that have been isolated relatively recently, suggesting that isolation in these distinct island environments has been sufficient to cause enhanced local background matching, sometimes on a rapid evolutionary time-scale. However, heightened local matching was poorer in populations inhabiting more variable and unstable environments with a prolonged history of volcanic activity. Overall, these results show that lizard coloration is tuned to provide camouflage in local environments, either due to genetic adaptation or changes during development. Yet, the occurrence and extent of selection for local matching may depend on specific conditions associated with local ecology and biogeographic history. These results emphasize how anti-predator adaptations to different environments can drive divergence within a species, which may contribute to reproductive isolation among populations and lead to ecological speciation.

  3. The lizard fauna of Guam's fringing islets: Island biogeography, phylogenetic history, and conservation implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, G.; Rodda, G.H.; Fritts, T.H.; Sharp, T.R.

    1998-01-01

    We sampled the lizard fauna of twenty-two small islets fringing the Pacific island of Guam and used these data to shed light on the processes responsible for present-day diversity. Habitat diversity, measured by islet area and vegetation complexity, was significantly correlated with the number of species found on an islet. However, islet distance and elevation were not significant predictors of diversity. Distribution patterns were slightly different for the two major families in our sample, Scincidae and Gekkonidae: skinks needed larger islets to maintain a population than did geckos. Presence/absence patterns were highly and significantly nested, and population density was correlated with the number of islets on which a species was found. An area cladogram was poorly supported and showed no faunal similarity between nearby islands. These patterns indicate that extinctions on most islets were due mostly to non-catastrophic, long-acting biological causes. The presence on the islets of species extirpated on Guam and the lack of significant nestedness on islands with greater maximum elevation highlight the impact that predators (primarily brown treesnakes) can have. Our findings also show that small reserves will not suffice to protect endangered lizard faunas, and that the islets may serve as a short-term repository of such species until snake-free areas can be established on Guam.

  4. New host and distributional records for Cryptosporidium sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) from lizards (Sauria: Gekkonidae, Scincidae) from the Cook Islands and Vanuatu, South Pacific

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McAllister, Chris T.; Duszynski, Donald W.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Between 1991 and 1993, 295 lizards, comprising 21 species in 2 families (Gekkonidae, Scincidae) from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau, Takapoto, and Vanuatu in the South Pacific, were examined for Cryptosporidium oocysts. Only 6 lizards (2%) were found to be passing Cryptosporidium oocysts in their feces, including 2 of 30 (7%) Oceania geckos, Gehyra oceanica, from Rarotonga, Cook Islands, and 4 of 26 (15%) Pacific blue-tailed skinks, Emoia caeruleocauda, from Efate Island, Vanuatu. This represents the largest survey for Cryptosporidium in Pacific island lizards, and we document 2 new host and 2 new locality records for this parasite genus.

  5. Variable ecological effects of hurricanes: the importance of seasonal timing for survival of lizards on Bahamian islands.

    PubMed

    Schoener, Thomas W; Spiller, David A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2004-01-06

    Two recent hurricanes passed directly over the northern Bahamas 2 years apart, allowing a comparison of their effects on lizard populations inhabiting exactly the same islands. The hurricanes differed in two ways: one struck during the reproductive season and was relatively severe; the other struck after most reproduction had taken place and was milder. The late-season hurricane produced a significant relation between population reduction and lowness of the island that lasted at least through two seasons; the earlier hurricane produced no such relationship. The late-season hurricane wiped out populations of lizards on two islands (two of the three lowest) that the earlier hurricane failed to exterminate even though it was stronger. We relate these effects to the fact that the study lizards regenerated from the earlier hurricane only via the egg stage, whereas eggs were unavailable when the later storm struck and regeneration was via hatched lizards. We discriminate and illustrate four kinds of hurricanes, cross-classified by two contrasts: earlier vs. later and stronger vs. weaker. A later, stronger hurricane completely exterminated lizard populations at a second Bahamian site, whereas an earlier, weaker hurricane had no detectable effect at a third Bahamian site. We suggest that, in addition to severity, the timing of a hurricane as it coincides with reproductive scheduling or other phenological aspects may determine the magnitude of its effect on a variety of organisms.

  6. Variable ecological effects of hurricanes: The importance of seasonal timing for survival of lizards on Bahamian islands

    PubMed Central

    Schoener, Thomas W.; Spiller, David A.; Losos, Jonathan B.

    2004-01-01

    Two recent hurricanes passed directly over the northern Bahamas 2 years apart, allowing a comparison of their effects on lizard populations inhabiting exactly the same islands. The hurricanes differed in two ways: one struck during the reproductive season and was relatively severe; the other struck after most reproduction had taken place and was milder. The late-season hurricane produced a significant relation between population reduction and lowness of the island that lasted at least through two seasons; the earlier hurricane produced no such relationship. The late-season hurricane wiped out populations of lizards on two islands (two of the three lowest) that the earlier hurricane failed to exterminate even though it was stronger. We relate these effects to the fact that the study lizards regenerated from the earlier hurricane only via the egg stage, whereas eggs were unavailable when the later storm struck and regeneration was via hatched lizards. We discriminate and illustrate four kinds of hurricanes, cross-classified by two contrasts: earlier vs. later and stronger vs. weaker. A later, stronger hurricane completely exterminated lizard populations at a second Bahamian site, whereas an earlier, weaker hurricane had no detectable effect at a third Bahamian site. We suggest that, in addition to severity, the timing of a hurricane as it coincides with reproductive scheduling or other phenological aspects may determine the magnitude of its effect on a variety of organisms. PMID:14695897

  7. Effects of experimental seaweed deposition on lizard and ant predation in an island food web.

    PubMed

    Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2011-01-28

    The effect of environmental change on ecosystems is mediated by species interactions. Environmental change may remove or add species and shift life-history events, altering which species interact at a given time. However, environmental change may also reconfigure multispecies interactions when both species composition and phenology remain intact. In a Caribbean island system, a major manifestation of environmental change is seaweed deposition, which has been linked to eutrophication, overfishing, and hurricanes. Here, we show in a whole-island field experiment that without seaweed two predators--lizards and ants--had a substantially greater-than-additive effect on herbivory. When seaweed was added to mimic deposition by hurricanes, no interactive predator effect occurred. Thus environmental change can substantially restructure food-web interactions, complicating efforts to predict anthropogenic changes in ecosystem processes.

  8. 78 FR 7907 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Island Night Lizard From the Federal...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-04

    ...We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to remove the island night lizard (Xantusia riversiana) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This action is based on a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that the species no longer meets the definition of endangered species or threatened species under the......

  9. Stable isotopes document mainland-island divergence in resource use without concomitant physiological changes in the lizard Liolaemus pictus.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Marcela A; Sabat, Pablo

    2010-05-01

    Shifts in feeding ecology are believed to promote island-mainland divergence. The lizard Liolaemus pictus has several different subspecies on Chilean islands and mainland. These subspecies inhabit contrastingly different habitats both in different islands and mainland, which suggests the potential for habitat related dietary variation. We investigated the dietary habits of L. pictus by both stomach content analyses and by nitrogen stable isotope analyses (delta(15)N), which we used as a proxy variable for trophic level. We also compared the morphology of the digestive tract and the activity of intestinal digestive enzymes of mainland and island lizards. We hypothesized differences in diet and trophic level among populations and that these differences would predict the expression of the morphological and biochemical features of the digestive tract. More specifically, we predicted shorter intestines and higher levels of peptidases in more insectivorous than in more frugivorous/herbivorous lizards. The diet of L. pictus was characterized by the consumption of a wide diversity of food types, including fruit and insects, in all populations. Stable isotopes revealed higher trophic level, and hence probably higher protein intake, in mainland than in island populations, but contrary to our prediction, they had shorter intestines and higher relative activity of intestinal peptidases than mainland lizards. Furthermore, the proportion of fruit items in the stomach content was higher in the population that exhibited the lowest tropic level. These results suggest that morphological and physiological differences among populations of L. pictus are not correlated with feeding ecology, suggesting that the lizard's first responses to the selective pressure represented by a diet shift are behavioral.

  10. Equilibrium speciation dynamics in a model adaptive radiation of island lizards

    PubMed Central

    Rabosky, Daniel L.; Glor, Richard E.

    2010-01-01

    The relative importance of equilibrium and nonequilibrium processes in shaping patterns of species richness is one of the most fundamental questions in biodiversity studies. If equilibrium processes predominate, then ecological interactions presumably limit species diversity, potentially through diversity dependence of immigration, speciation, and extinction rates. Alternatively, species richness may be limited by the rate at which diversity arises or by the amount of time available for diversification. These latter explanations constitute nonequilibrium processes and can apply only to biotas that are unsaturated or far from diversity equilibria. Recent studies have challenged whether equilibrium models apply to biotas assembled through in situ speciation, as this process may be too slow to achieve steady-state diversities. Here we demonstrate that speciation rates in replicate Caribbean lizard radiations have undergone parallel declines to equilibrium conditions on three of four major islands. Our results suggest that feedback between total island diversity and per-capita speciation rates scales inversely with island area, with proportionately greater declines occurring on smaller islands. These results are consistent with strong ecological controls on species richness and suggest that the iconic adaptive radiation of Caribbean anoles may have reached an endpoint. PMID:21135239

  11. Development and characterization of 12 microsatellite markers for the Island Night Lizard (Xantusia riversiana), a threatened species endemic to the Channel Islands, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Donnell, Ryan P.; Drost, Charles A.; Mock, Karen E.

    2014-01-01

    The Island Night Lizard is a federally threatened species endemic to the Channel Islands of California. Twelve microsatellite loci were developed for use in this species and screened in 197 individuals from across San Nicolas Island, California. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 6 to 21. Observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.520 to 0.843. These microsatellite loci will be used to investigate population structure, effective population size, and gene flow across the island, to inform protection and management of this species.

  12. Effects of fragmentation on genetic diversity in island populations of the Aegean wall lizard Podarcis erhardii (Lacertidae, Reptilia).

    PubMed

    Hurston, H; Voith, L; Bonanno, J; Foufopoulos, J; Pafilis, P; Valakos, E; Anthony, N

    2009-08-01

    Landbridge islands offer unique opportunities for understanding the effects of fragmentation history on genetic variation in island taxa. The formation of islands by rising sea levels can be likened to a population bottleneck whose magnitude and duration is determined by island area and time since isolation, respectively. The Holocene landbridge islands of the Aegean Sea (Greece) were formed since the last glacial maximum and constitute an ideal system for disentangling the effects of island area, age and geographic isolation on genetic variability. Of the many reptile species inhabiting this island system, the Aegean wall lizard Podarcis erhardii is an excellent indicator of fragmentation history due to its widespread distribution and poor over-water dispersal abilities. In this study, we utilize a detailed record of Holocene fragmentation to investigate the effects of island history on wall lizard mitochondrial and nuclear microsatellite diversity. Findings show that the spatial distribution of mitochondrial haplotypes reflects historical patterns of fragmentation rather than geographic proximity per se. In keeping with neutral bottleneck theory, larger and younger islands retain more nuclear genetic variation than smaller, older islands. Conversely, there is no evidence of an effect of isolation by distance or effect of distance to the nearest larger landmass on genetic variability, indicating little gene flow between islands. Lastly, population-specific measures of genetic differentiation are inversely correlated with island area, suggesting that smaller islands exhibit greater divergence due to their greater susceptibility to drift. Taken together, these results suggest that both island area and time since isolation are important predictors of genetic variation and that these patterns likely arose through the progressive fragmentation of ancestral diversity and the ensuing cumulative effects of drift.

  13. Ecological divergence combined with ancient allopatry in lizard populations from a small volcanic island.

    PubMed

    Suárez, N M; Pestano, J; Brown, R P

    2014-10-01

    Population divergence and speciation are often explained by geographical isolation, but may also be possible under high gene flow due to strong ecology-related differences in selection pressures. This study combines coalescent analyses of genetic data (11 microsatellite loci and 1 Kbp of mtDNA) and ecological modelling to examine the relative contributions of isolation and ecology to incipient speciation in the scincid lizard Chalcides sexlineatus within the volcanic island of Gran Canaria. Bayesian multispecies coalescent dating of within-island genetic divergence of northern and southern populations showed correspondence with the timing of volcanic activity in the north of the island 1.5-3.0 Ma ago. Coalescent estimates of demographic changes reveal historical size increases in northern populations, consistent with expansions from a volcanic refuge. Nevertheless, ecological divergence is also supported. First, the two morphs showed non-equivalence of ecological niches and species distribution modelling associated the northern morph with mesic habitat types and the southern morph with xeric habitat types. It seems likely that the colour morphs are associated with different antipredator strategies in the different habitats. Second, coalescent estimation of gene copy migration (based on microsatellites and mtDNA) suggest high rates from northern to southern morphs demonstrating the strength of ecology-mediated selection pressures that maintain the divergent southern morph. Together, these findings underline the complexity of the speciation process by providing evidence for the combined effects of ecological divergence and ancient divergence in allopatry.

  14. Testing the island effect in adaptive radiation: rates and patterns of morphological diversification in Caribbean and mainland Anolis lizards

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Gabriel; Mahler, D. Luke; Harmon, Luke J; Losos, Jonathan B

    2008-01-01

    Many of the classic examples of adaptive radiation, including Caribbean Anolis lizards, are found on islands. However, Anolis also exhibits substantial species richness and ecomorphological disparity on mainland Central and South America. We compared patterns and rates of morphological evolution to investigate whether, in fact, island Anolis are exceptionally diverse relative to their mainland counterparts. Quite the contrary, we found that rates and extent of diversification were comparable—Anolis adaptive radiation is not an island phenomenon. However, mainland and Caribbean anoles occupy different parts of morphological space; in independent colonizations of both island and mainland habitats, island anoles have evolved shorter limbs and better-developed toe pads. These patterns suggest that the two areas are on different evolutionary trajectories. The ecological causes of these differences are unknown, but may relate to differences in predation or competition among mainland and island communities. PMID:18713721

  15. Recent volcanism and mitochondrial DNA structuring in the lizard Gallotia atlantica from the island of Lanzarote.

    PubMed

    Bloor, P; Kemp, S J; Brown, R P

    2008-02-01

    The phylogeography of the lacertid lizard Gallotia atlantica from the small volcanic island of Lanzarote (Canary Islands) was analysed based on 1075 bp of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence (partial cytochrome b and ND2) for 157 individuals from 27 sites (including three sites from neighbouring islets). Levels of sequence divergence were generally low, with the most distant haplotypes separated by only 14 mutational steps. MtDNA divergence appears to coincide with formation of the middle Pleistocene lowland that united formerly separate ancient islands to form the current island of Lanzarote, allowing rejection of a two-island model of phylogeographical structure. There was evidence of large-scale population expansion after island unification, consistent with the colonization of new areas. A nested clade phylogeographical analysis (NCPA) revealed significant phylogeographical structuring. Two-step and higher-level clades each had disjunct distributions, being found to the east and west of a common area with a north-south orientation that extends between coasts in the centre-east of the island (El Jable). Other clades were almost entirely restricted to the El Jable region alone. Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo analyses were used to separate ongoing gene flow from historical associations. These supported the NCPA by indicating recent (75,000-150,000 years ago) east-west vicariance across the El Jable region. Lava flows covered El Jable and other parts of the central lowland at this time and likely led to population extinctions and temporary dispersal barriers, although present-day evidence suggests some populations would have survived in small refugia. Expansion of the latter appears to explain the presence of a clade located between the eastern and western components of the disjunct clades. Direct relationships between mtDNA lineages and morphology were not found, although one of two morphological forms on the island has a disjunct distribution that is broadly

  16. Molecular detection of invertebrate prey in vertebrate diets: trophic ecology of Caribbean island lizards.

    PubMed

    Kartzinel, Tyler R; Pringle, Robert M

    2015-07-01

    Understanding community assembly and population dynamics frequently requires detailed knowledge of food web structure. For many consumers, obtaining precise information about diet composition has traditionally required sacrificing animals or other highly invasive procedures, generating tension between maintaining intact study populations and knowing what they eat. We developed 16S mitochondrial DNA sequencing methods to identify arthropods in the diets of generalist vertebrate predators without requiring a blocking primer. We demonstrate the utility of these methods for a common Caribbean lizard that has been intensively studied in the context of small island food webs: Anolis sagrei (a semi-arboreal 'trunk-ground' anole ecomorph). Novel PCR primers were identified in silico and tested in vitro. Illumina sequencing successfully characterized the arthropod component of 168 faecal DNA samples collected during three field trips spanning 12 months, revealing 217 molecular operational taxonomic units (mOTUs) from at least nine arthropod orders (including Araneae, Blattodea, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera and Orthoptera). Three mOTUs (one beetle, one cockroach and one ant) were particularly frequent, occurring in ≥50% of samples, but the majority of mOTUs were infrequent (180, or 83%, occurred in ≤5% of samples). Species accumulation curves showed that dietary richness and composition were similar between size-dimorphic sexes; however, female lizards had greater per-sample dietary richness than males. Overall diet composition (but not richness) was significantly different across seasons, and we found more pronounced interindividual variation in December than in May. These methods will be generally useful in characterizing the diets of diverse insectivorous vertebrates.

  17. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island at...

  18. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island at...

  19. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island at...

  20. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island at...

  1. 33 CFR 110.6 - Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). 110.6 Section 110.6 Navigation and Navigable... Areas § 110.6 Portland Harbor, Portland, Maine (between Little Diamond Island and Great Diamond Island). Beginning at the southeasterly corner of the wharf, at the most southerly point of Great Diamond Island at...

  2. Cryptic extinction of a common Pacific lizard Emoia impar (Squamata, Scincidae) from the Hawaiian Islands.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Robert; Ineich, Ivan

    2012-01-01

    Most documented declines of tropical reptiles are of dramatic or enigmatic species. Declines of widespread species tend to be cryptic. The early (1900s) decline and extinction of the common Pacific skink Emoia impar from the Hawaiian Islands is documented here through an assessment of literature, museum vouchers and recent fieldwork. This decline appears contemporaneous with the documented declines of invertebrates and birds across the Hawaiian Islands. A review of the plausible causal factors indicates that the spread of the introduced big-headed ant Pheidole megacephala is the most likely factor in this lizard decline. The introduction and spread of a similar skink Lampropholis delicata across the islands appears to temporally follow the decline of E. impar, although there is no evidence of competition between these species. It appears that L. delicata is spreading to occupy the niche vacated by the extirpated E. impar. Further confusion exists because the skink E. cyanura, which is very similar in appearance to E. impar, appears to have been introduced to one site within a hotel on Kaua'i and persisted as a population at that site for approximately 2 decades (1970s–1990s) but is now also extirpated. This study highlights the cryptic nature of this early species extinction as evidence that current biogeographical patterns of non-charismatic or enigmatic reptiles across the Pacific may be the historical result of early widespread invasion by ants. Conservation and restoration activities for reptiles in the tropical Pacific should consider this possibility and evaluate all evidence prior to any implementation.

  3. Historical fragmentation of islands and genetic drift in populations of Galápagos lava lizards (Microlophus albemarlensis complex).

    PubMed

    Jordan, M A; Snell, H L

    2008-03-01

    The formation of islands following a rise in sea level at the end of Pleistocene is expected to disrupt the equilibrium between genetic drift and gene flow in species with limited ability to disperse. Here, we test the hypothesis that genetic drift in isolation has caused the differentiation of Galápagos lava lizards (Microlophus albemarlensis complex) found on 12 islets that are likely to have been connected to a larger island, Isla Santa Cruz, during the late Pleistocene. Using 11 microsatellite loci, screened on 524 individuals from 17 localities distributed among and within 15 islands, we found marked differences in allelic richness and heterozygosity. Genetic differentiation was strong (global F(ST) = 0.44), with pairwise differences found among populations on islets being larger than differences among three localities sampled within Isla Santa Cruz. As expected under a scenario of drift in isolation, there was a positive correlation of genetic diversity with island size, no relationship between genetic and geographical distance and a strong negative correlation between heterozygosity and measures of genetic differentiation. We conclude that seawater is a significant barrier to gene flow in lava lizards on this timescale. Our results suggest that the shallow diversification of the M. albemarlensis complex is not due to recent gene flow and that genetic drift may have played a substantial role in observed patterns of phenotypic variation among islands.

  4. Parallel shifts in ecology and natural selection in an island lizard.

    PubMed

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B

    2009-01-06

    Natural selection is a potent evolutionary force that shapes phenotypic variation to match ecological conditions. However, we know little about the year-to-year consistency of selection, or how inter-annual variation in ecology shapes adaptive landscapes and ultimately adaptive radiations. Here we combine remote sensing data, field experiments, and a four-year study of natural selection to show that changes in vegetation structure associated with a severe drought altered both habitat use and natural selection in the brown anole, Anolis sagrei. In natural populations, lizards increased their use of vegetation in wet years and this was correlated with selection on limb length but not body size. By contrast, a die-back of vegetation caused by drought was followed by reduced arboreality, selection on body size, and relaxed selection on limb length. With the return of the rains and recovery of vegetation, selection reverted back to pre-drought pattern of selection acting on limb length but not body size. To test for the impact of vegetation loss on natural selection during the drought, we experimentally removed vegetation on a separate study island in a naturally wet year. The experiment revealed similar inter-annual changes in selection on body size but not limb length. Our results illustrate the dynamic nature of ecology driving natural selection on Anolis morphology and emphasize the importance of inter-annual environmental variation in shaping adaptive variation. In addition, results illustrate the utility of using remote sensing data to examine ecology's role in driving natural selection.

  5. Genomic Signatures of Historical Allopatry and Ecological Divergence in an Island Lizard

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Richard P.; Paterson, Steve; Risse, Judith

    2016-01-01

    Geographical variation among contiguous populations is frequently attributed to ecological divergence or historical isolation followed by secondary contact. Distinguishing between these effects is key to studies of incipient speciation and could be revealed by different genomic signatures. We used RAD-seq analyses to examine morphologically divergent populations of the endemic lizard (Gallotia galloti) from the volcanic island of Tenerife. Previous analyses have suggested ecological and historical causes to explain the morphological diversity. Analyses of 276,483 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from >20 Mbp of the genome revealed one genetically divergent population from Anaga, a region associated with divergent mtDNA lineages in other Tenerife endemics. This population also has a high number of private alleles, and its divergence can be explained by historical isolation. Bayesian outlier analyses identified a small proportion of SNPs as candidates for selection (0.04%) which were strongly differentiated between xeric and mesic habitat types. Individual testing for specific xeric–mesic selection using an alternative approach also supported ecological divergence in a similarly small proportion of SNPs. The study indicates the roles of both historical isolation and ecological divergence in shaping genomic diversity in G. galloti. However, north–south morphological divergence appears solely associated with the latter and likely involves a relatively small proportion of the genome. PMID:28040775

  6. Phylogeography and Conservation Genetics of the Common Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, on Islands at Its Northern Range

    PubMed Central

    Michaelides, Sozos; Cornish, Nina; Griffiths, Richard; Groombridge, Jim; Zajac, Natalia; Walters, Graham J.; Aubret, Fabien; While, Geoffrey M.; Uller, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Populations at range limits are often characterized by lower genetic diversity, increased genetic isolation and differentiation relative to populations at the core of geographical ranges. Furthermore, it is increasingly recognized that populations situated at range limits might be the result of human introductions rather than natural dispersal. It is therefore important to document the origin and genetic diversity of marginal populations to establish conservation priorities. In this study, we investigate the phylogeography and genetic structure of peripheral populations of the common European wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, on Jersey (Channel Islands, UK) and in the Chausey archipelago. We sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in 200 individuals of P. muralis to infer the phylogeography of the island populations using Bayesian approaches. We also genotyped 484 individuals from 21 populations at 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic structure and diversity of island and mainland (Western France) populations. We detected four unique haplotypes in the island populations that formed a sub-clade within the Western France clade. There was a significant reduction in genetic diversity (HO, HE and AR) of the island populations in relation to the mainland. The small fragmented island populations at the northern range margin of the common wall lizard distribution are most likely native, with genetic differentiation reflecting isolation following sea level increase approximately 7000 BP. Genetic diversity is lower on islands than in marginal populations on the mainland, potentially as a result of early founder effects or long-term isolation. The combination of restriction to specific localities and an inability to expand their range into adjacent suitable locations might make the island populations more vulnerable to extinction. PMID:25659074

  7. Phylogeography and conservation genetics of the common wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, on islands at its northern range.

    PubMed

    Michaelides, Sozos; Cornish, Nina; Griffiths, Richard; Groombridge, Jim; Zajac, Natalia; Walters, Graham J; Aubret, Fabien; While, Geoffrey M; Uller, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Populations at range limits are often characterized by lower genetic diversity, increased genetic isolation and differentiation relative to populations at the core of geographical ranges. Furthermore, it is increasingly recognized that populations situated at range limits might be the result of human introductions rather than natural dispersal. It is therefore important to document the origin and genetic diversity of marginal populations to establish conservation priorities. In this study, we investigate the phylogeography and genetic structure of peripheral populations of the common European wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, on Jersey (Channel Islands, UK) and in the Chausey archipelago. We sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in 200 individuals of P. muralis to infer the phylogeography of the island populations using Bayesian approaches. We also genotyped 484 individuals from 21 populations at 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic structure and diversity of island and mainland (Western France) populations. We detected four unique haplotypes in the island populations that formed a sub-clade within the Western France clade. There was a significant reduction in genetic diversity (HO, HE and AR) of the island populations in relation to the mainland. The small fragmented island populations at the northern range margin of the common wall lizard distribution are most likely native, with genetic differentiation reflecting isolation following sea level increase approximately 7000 BP. Genetic diversity is lower on islands than in marginal populations on the mainland, potentially as a result of early founder effects or long-term isolation. The combination of restriction to specific localities and an inability to expand their range into adjacent suitable locations might make the island populations more vulnerable to extinction.

  8. Parallel shifts in ecology and natural selection in an island lizard

    PubMed Central

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B

    2009-01-01

    Background Natural selection is a potent evolutionary force that shapes phenotypic variation to match ecological conditions. However, we know little about the year-to-year consistency of selection, or how inter-annual variation in ecology shapes adaptive landscapes and ultimately adaptive radiations. Here we combine remote sensing data, field experiments, and a four-year study of natural selection to show that changes in vegetation structure associated with a severe drought altered both habitat use and natural selection in the brown anole, Anolis sagrei. Results In natural populations, lizards increased their use of vegetation in wet years and this was correlated with selection on limb length but not body size. By contrast, a die-back of vegetation caused by drought was followed by reduced arboreality, selection on body size, and relaxed selection on limb length. With the return of the rains and recovery of vegetation, selection reverted back to pre-drought pattern of selection acting on limb length but not body size. To test for the impact of vegetation loss on natural selection during the drought, we experimentally removed vegetation on a separate study island in a naturally wet year. The experiment revealed similar inter-annual changes in selection on body size but not limb length. Conclusion Our results illustrate the dynamic nature of ecology driving natural selection on Anolis morphology and emphasize the importance of inter-annual environmental variation in shaping adaptive variation. In addition, results illustrate the utility of using remote sensing data to examine ecology's role in driving natural selection. PMID:19126226

  9. Revealing Beta-Diversity Patterns of Breeding Bird and Lizard Communities on Inundated Land-Bridge Islands by Separating the Turnover and Nestedness Components

    PubMed Central

    Si, Xingfeng; Baselga, Andrés; Ding, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Beta diversity describes changes in species composition among sites in a region and has particular relevance for explaining ecological patterns in fragmented habitats. However, it is difficult to reveal the mechanisms if broad sense beta-diversity indices (i.e. yielding identical values under nestedness and species replacement) are used. Partitioning beta diversity into turnover (caused by species replacement from site to site) and nestedness-resultant components (caused by nested species losses) could provide a unique way to understand the variation of species composition in fragmented habitats. Here, we collected occupancy data of breeding birds and lizards on land-bridge islands in an inundated lake in eastern China. We decomposed beta diversity of breeding bird and lizard communities into spatial turnover and nestedness-resultant components to assess their relative contributions and respective relationships to differences in island area, isolation, and habitat richness. Our results showed that spatial turnover contributed more to beta diversity than the nestedness-resultant component. The degree of isolation had no significant effect on overall beta diversity or its components, neither for breeding birds nor for lizards. In turn, in both groups the nestedness-resultant component increased with larger differences in island area and habitat richness, respectively, while turnover component decreased with them. The major difference among birds and lizards was a higher relevance of nestedness-resultant dissimilarity in lizards, suggesting that they are more prone to local extinctions derived from habitat fragmentation. The dominance of the spatial turnover component of beta diversity suggests that all islands have potential conservation value for breeding bird and lizard communities. PMID:25992559

  10. Revealing Beta-diversity patterns of breeding bird and lizard communities on inundated land-bridge islands by separating the turnover and nestedness components.

    PubMed

    Si, Xingfeng; Baselga, Andrés; Ding, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Beta diversity describes changes in species composition among sites in a region and has particular relevance for explaining ecological patterns in fragmented habitats. However, it is difficult to reveal the mechanisms if broad sense beta-diversity indices (i.e. yielding identical values under nestedness and species replacement) are used. Partitioning beta diversity into turnover (caused by species replacement from site to site) and nestedness-resultant components (caused by nested species losses) could provide a unique way to understand the variation of species composition in fragmented habitats. Here, we collected occupancy data of breeding birds and lizards on land-bridge islands in an inundated lake in eastern China. We decomposed beta diversity of breeding bird and lizard communities into spatial turnover and nestedness-resultant components to assess their relative contributions and respective relationships to differences in island area, isolation, and habitat richness. Our results showed that spatial turnover contributed more to beta diversity than the nestedness-resultant component. The degree of isolation had no significant effect on overall beta diversity or its components, neither for breeding birds nor for lizards. In turn, in both groups the nestedness-resultant component increased with larger differences in island area and habitat richness, respectively, while turnover component decreased with them. The major difference among birds and lizards was a higher relevance of nestedness-resultant dissimilarity in lizards, suggesting that they are more prone to local extinctions derived from habitat fragmentation. The dominance of the spatial turnover component of beta diversity suggests that all islands have potential conservation value for breeding bird and lizard communities.

  11. Historical Environment Is Reflected in Modern Population Genetics and Biogeography of an Island Endemic Lizard (Xantusia riversiana reticulata)

    PubMed Central

    Mautz, William J.; Davis Rabosky, Alison R.

    2016-01-01

    The restricted distribution and isolation of island endemics often produces unique genetic and phenotypic diversity of conservation interest to management agencies. However, these isolated species, especially those with sensitive life history traits, are at high risk for the adverse effects of genetic drift and habitat degradation by non-native wildlife. Here, we study the population genetic diversity, structure, and stability of a classic “island giant” (Xantusia riversiana, the Island Night Lizard) on San Clemente Island, California following the removal of feral goats. Using DNA microsatellites, we found that this population is reasonably genetically robust despite historical grazing, with similar effective population sizes and genetic diversity metrics across all sampling locations irrespective of habitat type and degree of degradation. However, we also found strong site-specific patterns of genetic variation and low genetic diversity compared to mainland congeners, warranting continued special management as an island endemic. We identify both high and low elevation areas that remain valuable repositories of genetic diversity and provide a case study for other low-dispersal coastal organisms in the face of future climate change. PMID:27828958

  12. Strong dependence of a pioneer shrub on seed dispersal services provided by an endemic endangered lizard in a Mediterranean island ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Santamaría, Luís; Calviño-Cancela, María

    2017-01-01

    The accelerating rate of vertebrate extinctions and population declines threatens to disrupt important ecological interactions, altering key ecosystem processes such as animal seed dispersal. The study of highly specialized mutualistic interactions is crucial to predict the consequences of population declines and extinctions. Islands offer unique opportunities to study highly specialized interactions, as they often have naturally depauperated faunas and are experiencing high rates of human-driven extinctions. In this study, we assess the effect of seed dispersal on seedling recruitment of Ephedra fragilis (Ephedraceae) on a Mediterranean island ecosystem. We used field data and stochastic simulation modeling to estimate seed fate and recruitment patterns of this pioneer shrub typical of arid and semiarid areas, and to estimate the dependence of recruitment on the lizard Podarcis lilfordi (Lacertidae), its only known seed disperser. Ephedra fragilis recruitment highly depended on lizards: lizards produced 3.8 times more newly-emerged seedlings than non-dispersed seeds and no seedlings from undispersed seeds survived the study period. Seed dispersal by lizards was mostly to open sites, which was key for the increased success observed, while undispersed seeds, falling under mother plants, suffered higher predation and lower seedling emergence and survival. The ability of this pioneer shrub to get established in open ground is crucial for vegetation colonization and restoration, especially on degraded lands affected by desertification, where they act as nurse plants for other species. Lizards are key in this process, which has important consequences for community structure and ecosystem functioning. PMID:28827820

  13. Diversification and Demography of the Oriental Garden Lizard (Calotes versicolor) on Hainan Island and the Adjacent Mainland

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yong; Guo, Xianguang; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Shi, Haitao; Li, Jiatang; Li, Jun; Cai, Bo; Wang, Yuezhao

    2013-01-01

    The Oriental garden lizard (Calotes versicolor) is one of the few non-gekkonid lizards that are geographically widespread in the tropics. We investigated its population dynamics on Hainan Island and the adjacent mainland of China and Vietnam, focusing on the impact of cyclic upheaval and submergence of land bridges during the Pleistocene. Our Bayesian phylogenetic analysis reveals two mitochondrial lineages, A and B, which are estimated to have coalesced about 0.26 million years ago (95% credibility interval: 0.05–0.61 million years ago). Lineage A contains individuals mainly from central and southern Wuzhi Mountain on Hainan Island, whereas lineage B mainly comprises individuals from other sites on the island plus the adjacent mainland. The estimated coalescence times within lineages A (0.05 million years ago) and B (0.13 million years ago) fall within a period of cyclical land-bridge formation and disappearance in the Pleistocene. A spatial analysis of molecular variance identified two distinct population groupings: I, primarily containing lineage A, and II, mainly consisting of lineage B. However, haplotypes from lineages A and B occur sympatrically, suggesting that gene flow is ongoing. Neither Wuzhi Mountain nor Qiongzhou Strait and Gulf of Tonkin act as barriers to gene flow among C. versicolor populations. Analyses of the data using mismatch distributions and extended Bayesian skyline plots provide evidence of a relatively stable population size through time for Group I, and moderate population expansions and contractions during the end of the Pleistocene for Group II. We conclude that the phylogeographical patterns of C. versicolor are the combined product of Pleistocene sea-level oscillations and nonphysical barriers to gene flow. PMID:23840304

  14. Within-island speciation with an exceptional case of distinct separation between two sibling lizard species divided by a narrow stream.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Shu-Ping; Wang, Chao-Jun; Li, Shou-Hsien; Lin, Si-Min

    2015-09-01

    Delimitation of genetic and geographic boundaries between species is a focus of evolutionary biology. In this study, we demonstrated fine-scale differentiation of Takydromus formosanus species complex comprising four insular endemics on Taiwan Island. Phylogeny and ancestral range reconstruction based on mitochondrial DNA sequences of 430 Takydromus lizards (405 lizards of this complex throughout their distribution range, and 25 lizards from 11 other species) indicated that the major branching process occurred within Taiwan, which represented a solid evidence of within-island speciation on this small island. We further demonstrated an exceptional case of a pair of sister species, T. viridipunctatus and T. luyeanus, that were separated by a narrow stream with a width of only 15m. This pattern might be one of the narrowest contact zones ever documented in terrestrial vertebrates. To evaluate the level of genetic introgression between these sister species, a fine-scale collection of another 382 lizards was conducted along a transect line across the stream. A total of 13 microsatellite markers and mtDNA genotyping was used to detect a low proportion of hybrids (5.7-9.9% from STRUCTURE, and 2.3% from DAPC). Our results indicated that the two clades are highly differentiated across this extremely short distance. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. [Home range of Aspidoscelis cozumela (Squamata: Teiidae): a parthenogenetic lizard microendemic to Cozumel Island, México].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo; López-Moreno, Ana Esthela; Méndez-Sánchez, José Fernando; Rheubert, Justin Lloyd; Méndez-de la Cruz, Fausto Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Home range is defined as the area within which an individual moves to acquire resources necessary to increase their fitness and may vary inter and intra-specifically with biotic and abiotic factors. This study details the home range of the parthenogenic lizard, Aspidoscelis cozumela, an active forager microendemic to Cozumel Island, México, with high preference for open sand beaches. The home range of A. cozumela was compared with other species of Aspidoscelis (gonochoric and parthenogenetic) and other lizards that occupy coastal habitats. Furthermore, the biotic and abiotic factors that may influence home range were analyzed. This study was conducted in the beach located on the East side of the island (area of 4,000 M2) that is composed primarily of halophyte vegetation with high levels of sunlight. From 1999 to 2001, nine samples were taken which included the dry, rainy, "nortes", and breeding seasons. During each sampling, capture-mark-recapture techniques were conducted and the date, time of day, and snout-vent length (SVL) were recorded to the nearest millimeter. Individuals were located in the study area using a bi-coordinate reference using 10 x 10 m subdivisions of the habitat. Home range and home range overlap were calculated using the convex polygon method in McPaal and home range/SVL correlation was tested using Pearson's correlation. To calculate females home range, three or more recaptures were considered. A total of 20 home ranges that averaged 45.1 ± 14.0 m2 were obtained and no correlation between SVL and home range size was detected (p = 0.9229, n = 20). However, removing individuals with outlier home ranges (females with home ranges > 100 m2, n = 2) resulted in a positive correlation with SVL (r = 0.61, p = 0.0072, n = 18). A 22.9 ± 5.7% overlap in home range was also detected. The small home range of A. cozumela represents the smallest home range within the Aspidoscelis genus recorded to date (including both parthenogenetic and gonochoric

  16. Genetic variation in the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) reveals island refugia and a fragmented Florida during the quaternary.

    PubMed

    Tollis, Marc; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2014-02-01

    The green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) is a model organism for behavior and genomics that is native to the southeastern United States. It is currently thought that the ancestors of modern green anoles dispersed to peninsular Florida from Cuba. However, the climatic changes and geological features responsible for the early diversification of A. carolinensis in North America have remained largely unexplored. This is because previous studies (1) differ in their estimates of the divergence times of populations, (2) are based on a single genetic locus or (3) did not test specific hypotheses regarding the geologic and topographic history of Florida. Here we provide a multi-locus study of green anole genetic diversity and find that the Florida peninsula contains a larger number of genetically distinct populations that are more diverse than those on the continental mainland. As a test of the island refugia hypothesis in Pleistocene Florida, we use a coalescent approach to estimate the divergence times of modern green anole lineages. We find that all demographic events occurred during or after the Upper Pliocene and suggest that green anole diversification was driven by population divergence on interglacial island refugia in Florida during the Lower Pleistocene, while the region was often separated from continental North America. When Florida reconnected to the mainland, two separate dispersal events led to the expansion of green anole populations across the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf Coastal Plain.

  17. Genetic Variation in the Green Anole Lizard (Anolis carolinensis) Reveals Island Refugia and a Fragmented Florida During the Quaternary

    PubMed Central

    Tollis, Marc; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    The green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) is a model organism for behavior and genomics that is native to the southeastern United States. It is currently thought that the ancestors of modern green anoles dispersed to peninsular Florida from Cuba. However, the climatic changes and geological features responsible for the early diversification of A. carolinensis in North America have remained largely unexplored. This is because previous studies (1) differ in their estimates of the divergence times of populations, (2) are based on a single genetic locus and (3) did not test specific hypotheses regarding the geologic and topographic history of Florida. Here we provide a multi-locus study of green anole genetic diversity and find that the Florida peninsula contains a larger number of genetically distinct populations that are more diverse than those on the continental mainland. As a test of the island refugia hypothesis in Pleistocene Florida, we use a coalescent approach to estimate the divergence times of modern green anole lineages. We find that all demographic events occurred during or after the Upper Pliocene and suggest that green anole diversification was driven by population divergence on interglacial island refugia in Florida during the Lower Pleistocene, while the region was often separated from continental North America. When Florida reconnected to the mainland, two separate dispersal events led to the expansion of green anole populations across the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf Coastal Plain. PMID:24379168

  18. The 2006-2007 Kuril Islands great earthquake sequence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lay, T.; Kanamori, H.; Ammon, C.J.; Hutko, Alexander R.; Furlong, K.; Rivera, L.

    2009-01-01

    The southwestern half of a ???500 km long seismic gap in the central Kuril Island arc subduction zone experienced two great earthquakes with extensive preshock and aftershock sequences in late 2006 to early 2007. The nature of seismic coupling in the gap had been uncertain due to the limited historical record of prior large events and the presence of distinctive upper plate, trench and outer rise structures relative to adjacent regions along the arc that have experienced repeated great interplate earthquakes in the last few centuries. The intraplate region seaward of the seismic gap had several shallow compressional events during the preceding decades (notably an MS 7.2 event on 16 March 1963), leading to speculation that the interplate fault was seismically coupled. This issue was partly resolved by failure of the shallow portion of the interplate megathrust in an MW = 8.3 thrust event on 15 November 2006. This event ruptured ???250 km along the seismic gap, just northeast of the great 1963 Kuril Island (Mw = 8.5) earthquake rupture zone. Within minutes of the thrust event, intense earthquake activity commenced beneath the outer wall of the trench seaward of the interplate rupture, with the larger events having normal-faulting mechanisms. An unusual double band of interplate and intraplate aftershocks developed. On 13 January 2007, an MW = 8.1 extensional earthquake ruptured within the Pacific plate beneath the seaward edge of the Kuril trench. This event is the third largest normal-faulting earthquake seaward of a subduction zone on record, and its rupture zone extended to at least 33 km depth and paralleled most of the length of the 2006 rupture. The 13 January 2007 event produced stronger shaking in Japan than the larger thrust event, as a consequence of higher short-period energy radiation from the source. The great event aftershock sequences were dominated by the expected faulting geometries; thrust faulting for the 2006 rupture zone, and normal faulting for

  19. The Great Depression and the New Deal on Long Island, New York.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lupinskie-Huvane, Lorraine; Singer, Alan

    2001-01-01

    Presents information adapted from the introduction to "The Great Depression and the New Deal on Long Island: A Local History Curriculum Guide." Finds that even though people in Long Island, New York, were active participants in New Deal programs, there was still anti-Roosevelt opposition during the 1932 and 1936 presidential elections.…

  20. Snake and Bird Predation Drive the Repeated Convergent Evolution of Correlated Life History Traits and Phenotype in the Izu Island Scincid Lizard (Plestiodon latiscutatus)

    PubMed Central

    Brandley, Matthew C.; Kuriyama, Takeo; Hasegawa, Masami

    2014-01-01

    Predation may create strong natural selection pressure on the phenotype and life history characteristics of prey species. The Izu scincid lizards (Plestiodon latiscutatus) that inhabit the four Japanese Izu Islands with only bird predators are drab brown, mature later, lay small clutches of large eggs, and hatch large neonates. In contrast, skinks on seven islands with both snake and bird predators are conspicuously colored, mature early, lay large clutches of small eggs, and hatch small neonates. We test the hypothesis that these suites of traits have evolved independently on each island via natural selection pressures from one of two predator regimes – birds-only and birds + snakes. Using two mtDNA genes and a nuclear locus, we infer a time-calibrated phylogeny of P. latiscutatus that reveals a basal split between Mikura and all islands south, and Miyake, all islands north, and the Izu Peninsula. Populations inhabiting Miyake, Niijima, Shikine, and Toshima are not monophyletic, suggesting either multiple colonizations or an artifact of incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). We therefore developed novel phylogenetic comparative analyses that assume either a multiple colonization or more restrictive single colonization ILS scenario and found 1) statistically significant support for the of different suites of phenotypic and life history characteristics with the presence of bird-only or bird + snake predator assemblages, and 2) strong phylogenetic support for at least two independent derivations of either the “bird-only” or “snakes + birds” phenotypes regardless of colonization scenario. Finally, our time-calibrated phylogeographic analysis supports the conclusion that the ancestor to modern Izu Island P. latiscutatus dispersed from the mainland to the Izu proto-islands between 3–7.6 million years ago (Ma). These lineages remained present in the area during successive formation of the islands, with one lineage re-colonizing the mainland 0.24-0.7 Ma. PMID

  1. Snake and bird predation drive the repeated convergent evolution of correlated life history traits and phenotype in the Izu Island Scincid lizard (Plestiodon latiscutatus).

    PubMed

    Brandley, Matthew C; Kuriyama, Takeo; Hasegawa, Masami

    2014-01-01

    Predation may create strong natural selection pressure on the phenotype and life history characteristics of prey species. The Izu scincid lizards (Plestiodon latiscutatus) that inhabit the four Japanese Izu Islands with only bird predators are drab brown, mature later, lay small clutches of large eggs, and hatch large neonates. In contrast, skinks on seven islands with both snake and bird predators are conspicuously colored, mature early, lay large clutches of small eggs, and hatch small neonates. We test the hypothesis that these suites of traits have evolved independently on each island via natural selection pressures from one of two predator regimes--birds-only and birds + snakes. Using two mtDNA genes and a nuclear locus, we infer a time-calibrated phylogeny of P. latiscutatus that reveals a basal split between Mikura and all islands south, and Miyake, all islands north, and the Izu Peninsula. Populations inhabiting Miyake, Niijima, Shikine, and Toshima are not monophyletic, suggesting either multiple colonizations or an artifact of incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). We therefore developed novel phylogenetic comparative analyses that assume either a multiple colonization or more restrictive single colonization ILS scenario and found 1) statistically significant support for the of different suites of phenotypic and life history characteristics with the presence of bird-only or bird + snake predator assemblages, and 2) strong phylogenetic support for at least two independent derivations of either the "bird-only" or "snakes + birds" phenotypes regardless of colonization scenario. Finally, our time-calibrated phylogeographic analysis supports the conclusion that the ancestor to modern Izu Island P. latiscutatus dispersed from the mainland to the Izu proto-islands between 3-7.6 million years ago (Ma). These lineages remained present in the area during successive formation of the islands, with one lineage re-colonizing the mainland 0.24-0.7 Ma.

  2. Trapper readies trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Trapper readies trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

  4. The importance of large benthic foraminifera to reef island sediment budget and dynamics at Raine Island, northern Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawson, John L.; Smithers, Scott G.; Hua, Quan

    2014-10-01

    Low-lying reef islands are among the most vulnerable environments on earth to anthropogenic-induced climate change and sea-level rise over the next century because they are low, composed of unconsolidated sediment that is able to be mobilised by waves and currents, and depend on sediments supplied by reef organisms that are particularly sensitive to environmental changes (e.g. ocean temperatures and chemistry). Therefore, the spatial and temporal links between active carbonate production and island formation and dynamics are fundamental to predicting future island resilience, yet remain poorly quantified. In this paper we present results of a detailed geomorphological and sedimentological study of a reef and sand cay on the northern Great Barrier Reef. We provide an empirical investigation of the temporal linkages between sediment production and reef island development using a large collection of single grain AMS 14C dates. Large benthic foraminifera (LBF) are the single most important contributor to contemporary island sand mass (47%; ranging from 36% to 63%) at Raine Island, reflecting rapid rates of sediment production and delivery. Standing stock data reveal extremely high production rates on the reef (1.8 kg m- 2 yr- 1), while AMS 14C dates of single LBF tests indicate rapid rates of sediment transferral across the reef. We also demonstrate that age is statistically related to preservation and taphonomic grade (severely abraded tests > moderately abraded tests > pristine tests). We construct a contemporary reef and island sediment budget model for Raine Island that shows that LBF (Baculogypsina, Marginopora and Amphistegina) contribute 55% of the sediment produced on the reef annually, of which a large proportion (54%) contribute to the net annual accretion of the island. The tight temporal coupling between LBF growth and island sediment supply combined with the sensitivity of LBF to bleaching and ocean acidification suggests that islands dominated by LBF are

  5. Unprovoked fatal shark attack in Lifou Island (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, South Pacific) by a great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias.

    PubMed

    Clua, Eric; Séret, Bernard

    2010-09-01

    The case of a fatal, unprovoked shark attack is reported and analyzed. The incident took place on the 30th of September 2007, in the lagoon of Luengoni Bay, Lifou Island (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia). A young French woman who was snorkeling was severely bitten on the right thigh and died of hemorrhage. An analysis based in particular on the size and color of the shark, the characteristics of the wounds, and the behavior of the shark before and after the bite suggests that the aggressor was a great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias.

  6. Shoreline and beach volume change between 1967 and 2007 at Raine Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawson, John L.; Smithers, Scott G.

    2010-06-01

    Raine Island is a vegetated coral cay located on the far northern outer Great Barrier Reef (GBR), recognised as a globally significant turtle rookery. Cay geomorphology, specifically the morphology of the beach and swale, dictate the availability of nesting sites and influence nesting success. Understanding short and long-term shoreline change is critical for managers charged with protecting the nesting habitat, particularly as climate change progresses. Historical topographic surveys, a simple numerical model and geographic information system (GIS) techniques were used to reconstruct a 40-year (1967-2007) shoreline history of Raine Island. Results show that significant shoreline change has occurred on 78% of the island's shoreline between 1967 and 2007; 34% experienced net retreat and 44% net progradation during the study interval. Shoreline retreat is mainly concentrated on the east-southeast section of the shoreline (average annual rate of - 0.3 ± 0.3 m/yr), while the shore on the western side of the island prograded at a similar rate (0.4 ± 0.2 m/yr). A seasonal signal was detected relating to oscillations in wind direction and intensity, with the southeast and west-southwest shorelines migrating an average of ˜ 17 m from season to season. The volume of sediment deposited on Raine Island between 1967 and 2007 increased by ˜ 68,000 m 3 net, but accretion rates varied significantly seasonally and from year to year. The largest volumetric changes have typically occurred over the last 23 years (1984-2007). Despite the recent concern that Raine Island is rapidly eroding, our data demonstrate net island growth (6% area, 4% volume) between 1967 and 2007. Perceptions of erosion probably reflect large morphological changes arising from seasonal, inter-annual and inter-decadal patterns of sediment redistribution rather than net loss from the island's sediment budget.

  7. Continuous resistivity profiling data from Great South Bay, Long Island, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cross, V.A.; Bratton, J.F.; Kroeger, K.D.; Crusius, John; Worley, C.R.

    2013-01-01

    An investigation of submarine aquifers adjacent to the Fire Island National Seashore and Long Island, New York was conducted to assess the importance of submarine groundwater discharge as a potential nonpoint source of nitrogen delivery to Great South Bay. Over 200 kilometers of continuous resistivity profiling data were collected to image the fresh-saline groundwater interface in sediments beneath the bay. In addition, groundwater sampling was performed at sites (1) along the north shore of Great South Bay, particularly in Patchogue Bay, that were representative of the developed Long Island shoreline, and (2) at sites on and adjacent to Fire Island, a 50-kilometer-long barrier island on the south side of Great South Bay. Other field activities included sediment coring, stationary electrical resistivity profiling, and surveys of in situ pore water conductivity. Results of continuous resistivity profiling surveys are described in this report. The onshore and offshore shallow hydrostratigraphy of the Great South Bay shorelines, particularly the presence and nature of submarine confining units, appears to exert primary control on the dimensions and chemistry of the submarine groundwater flow and discharge zones. Sediment coring has shown that the confining units commonly consist of drowned and buried peat layers likely deposited in salt marshes. Low-salinity groundwater extends from 10 to 100 meters offshore along much of the north and south shores of Great South Bay based on continuous resistivity profiling data, especially off the mouths of tidal creeks and beneath shallow flats to the north of Fire Island adjacent to modern salt marshes. Human modifications of much of the shoreline and nearshore areas along the north shore of the bay, including filling of salt marshes, construction of bulkheads and piers, and dredging of navigation channels, has substantially altered the natural hydrogeology of the bay's shorelines by truncating confining units and increasing

  8. Infracommunity structure of parasites of Hemigymnus melapterus (Pisces: Labridae) from Lizard Island, Australia: the importance of habitat and parasite body size.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Gabriela; Cribb, Thomas H

    2005-02-01

    This study describes the community of all metazoan parasites from 14 individuals of thicklip wrasse, Hemigymnus melapterus, from Lizard Island, Australia. All fish were parasitized, and 4,649 parasite individuals were found. Twenty-six parasite species were identified although only 6 species were abundant and prevalent: gnathiid isopods, the copepod Hatschekia hemigymni, the digenean Callohelmis pichelinae, and 3 morphotypes of tetraphyllidean cestode larvae. We analyzed whether the body size and microhabitat of the parasites and size of the host affected understanding of the structure of the parasite community. We related the abundance, biovolume, and density of parasites with the host body size and analyzed the abundances and volumetric densities of some parasite species within microhabitats. Although the 2 most abundant species comprised 75% of all parasite individuals, 4 species, each in similar proportion, comprised 85% of the total biovolume. Although larger host individuals had higher richness, abundance, and biovolume of parasites than smaller individuals, overall parasite volumetric density actually decreased with the host body size. Moreover, parasites exhibited abundances and densities significantly different among microhabitats; some parasite species depended on the area available, whereas others selected a specific microhabitat. Parasite and habitat size exhibited interesting relationships that should be considered more frequently. Considerations of these parameters improve understanding of parasite community structure and how the parasites use their habitats.

  9. A new species of bunchgrass lizard (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) from the southern sky islands of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Grummer, Jared A; Bryson, Robert W

    2014-04-22

    A new species of bunchgrass lizard in the Sceloporus scalaris group is described from the southern portion of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. The new species, Sceloporus aurantius sp. nov., was previously confused with S. brownorum but differs from this and all but one species within the S. scalaris group by a lack of blue belly patches in males. It shares with S. chaneyi an absence of blue belly patches, but differs from this species in size, number of dorsal scales, number of scales around midbody, and presence of an un-patterned morph. The new species further differs from S. chaneyi, and all other species in the S. scalaris species group, by unique phylogenetic position revealed through species delimitation based on multi-locus nuclear DNA. Principal component analyses of 24 traditional morphological characters used to describe previous S. scalaris group taxa indicate that these characters may be of limited use to delineate species in this species group. However, male lateral and ventral coloration may still be an important character for diagnosing species.

  10. Isolation breeds naivety: island living robs Australian varanid lizards of toad-toxin immunity via four-base-pair mutation.

    PubMed

    Ujvari, Beata; Mun, Hee-chang; Conigrave, Arthur D; Bray, Alessandra; Osterkamp, Jens; Halling, Petter; Madsen, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Since their introduction to the toad-free Australian continent cane toads (Bufo marinus) have caused a dramatic increase in naïve varanid mortality when these large lizards attempt to feed on this toxic amphibian. In contrast Asian-African varanids, which have coevolved with toads, are resistant to toad toxin. Toad toxins, such as Bufalin target the H1-H2 domain of the α(1) subunit of the sodium-potassium-ATPase enzyme. Sequencing of this domain revealed identical nucleotide sequences in four Asian as well as in three African varanids, and identical sequences in all 11 Australian varanids. However, compared to the Asian-African varanids, the Australian varanids showed four-base-pair substitutions, resulting in the alteration in three of the 12 amino acids representing the H1-H2 domain. The phenotypic effect of the substitutions was investigated in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells stably transfected with the Australian and the Asian-African H1-H2 domains. The transfections resulted in an approximate 3000-fold reduction in resistance to Bufalin in the Australian HEK293 cells compared to the Asian-African HEK293 cells, demonstrating the critical role of this minor mutation in providing Bufalin resistance. Our study hence presents a clear link between genotype and phenotype, a critical step in understanding the evolution of phenotypic diversity. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  11. From a thriving past to an uncertain future: Zooarchaeological evidence of two millennia of human impact on a large emblematic lizard (Iguana delicatissima) on the Guadeloupe Islands (French West Indies)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bochaton, C.; Bailon, S.; Ineich, I.; Breuil, M.; Tresset, A.; Grouard, S.

    2016-10-01

    Among the lizards in the Lesser Antillean Islands, iguanas are undoubtedly the most emblematic, especially the endemic species, Iguana delicatissima. However, although much effort is currently made for the conservation of this species as a result of the present biodiversity crisis, nearly nothing is known of the history of this animal on these islands during the last millennia. Here we present the first data relating to the distribution, morphology, and interaction of past iguanas with human populations in the Lesser Antilles. To do so, we review the archaeological Iguana remains collected over the past 15 years on the Guadeloupe Islands. Our results show that the only Iguana species occurring in pre-Columbian archaeological deposits is Iguana delicatissima. Moreover, we demonstrate that this species occurred on all the islands of Guadeloupe during pre-Columbian times and then suddenly became extinct between 1960 and 1990 on most of these islands. We also confirm the modern introduction of I. iguana to the Guadeloupe Islands. In addition, zooarchaeological research demonstrates that pre-Columbian human populations occasionally used iguanas as a source of food, but with no apparent impact on the native population. However, the first data relating to past size variations of I. delicatissima on the Guadeloupe Islands indicate that archaeological iguanas were much larger than the largest remnant modern specimens and that a marked decrease in body length (more than 20%) occurred in these lizards after contact with European populations. This evidence of widespread extinction and morphological change during modern times is another demonstration of the extensive effects of disturbance and selection induced by modern human societies on endemic insular faunas.

  12. Trappers set up trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

  13. Trappers set up trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

  14. Flea (Siphonaptera) species richness in the Great Basin Desert and island biogeography theory.

    PubMed

    Bossard, Robert L

    2014-06-01

    Numbers of flea (Siphonaptera) species (flea species richness) on individual mammals should be higher on large mammals, mammals with dense populations, and mammals with large geographic ranges, if mammals are islands for fleas. I tested the first two predictions with regressions of H. J. Egoscue's trapping data on flea species richness collected from individual mammals against mammal size and population density from the literature. Mammal size and population density did not correlate with flea species richness. Mammal geographic range did, in earlier studies. The intermediate-sized (31 g), moderately dense (0.004 individuals/m(2)) Peromyscus truei (Shufeldt) had the highest richness with eight flea species on one individual. Overall, island biogeography theory does not describe the distribution of flea species on mammals in the Great Basin Desert, based on H. J. Egoscue's collections. Alternatively, epidemiological or metapopulation theories may explain flea species richness. © 2014 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  15. Foraging movements of great frigatebirds from Aldabra Island: Relationship with environmental variables and interactions with fisheries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Corre, Matthieu Le; Kai, Emilie Tew; Marsac, Francis

    2010-07-01

    Great Frigatebirds ( Fregata minor) are large tropical seabirds that rely primarily on sub-surface predators such as tunas or cetaceans to capture their prey. We studied the foraging movements of 14 Great Frigatebirds breeding on Aldabra Island (9.4°S, 46.4°E), the largest colony in the Indian Ocean. This colony is located at more than 500 km from the main fishing grounds of a very important industrial purse-seine fishery targeting surface-dwelling tunas. Despite their slow flight speeds (16 km h -1), frigatebirds are able to forage at more than 1000 km from the colonies when breeding, using 2500-4750 km long foraging loops over oceanic waters. All trips were directed to the north of the island up to the equator. Foraging bouts, indicated by reduced flight speeds, were rare and located throughout the trips. Foraging spots tended to be more frequent on higher surface chlorophyll concentration and in association with some cyclonic vortices. However, mesoscale activity is relatively weak between Aldabra and the equator and the chlorophyll variability is mostly the result of wind-mixing processes during the southwest monsoon. These results suggest that frigatebirds forage for widely distributed resources to the north of Aldabra. The northernmost foraging bouts were located in the vicinity of the purse-seine fishing grounds, but without a significant overlap between frigatebirds and tuna fleets. The results of the study are compared with those from another population at Europa Island (22.3°S, 40.3°E) where birds were foraging on predictable features, the edge of cyclonic eddies that are marked in the Mozambique Channel. We discuss the consequences of the reliance of populations on contrasted oceanographic conditions on foraging strategies and on the evolution of life histories in these long-lived animals in a changing climate, as well as the possible effects of overfishing on frigatebird populations.

  16. Hydrogeology and extent of saltwater intrusion of the Great Neck peninsula, Great Neck, Long Island, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stumm, Frederick

    2001-01-01

    Great Neck, a peninsula, in the northwestern part of Nassau County, N.Y., is underlain by unconsolidated deposits that form a sequence of aquifers and confining units. Seven public-supply wells have been affected by the intrusion of saltwater from the surrounding embayments (Little Neck Bay, Long Island Sound, Manhasset Bay). Fifteen observation wells were drilled in 1991–96 for the collection of hydrogeologic, geochemical, and geophysical data to delineate the subsurface geology and extent of saltwater intrusion within the peninsula. Continuous high-resolution seismic-reflection surveys in the embayments surrounding the Great Neck peninsula and the Manhasset Neck peninsula to the east were completed in 1993 and 1994.Two hydrogeologic units are newly proposed herein.the North Shore aquifer and the North Shore confining unit. The new drill-core data collected in 1991–96 indicate that the Lloyd aquifer, the Raritan confining unit, and the Magothy aquifer have been completely removed from the northern part of the peninsula by extensive glacial erosion.Water levels at selected observation wells were measured quarterly throughout the study. The results from two studies of the effects of tides on ground-water levels in 1992 and 1993 indicate that water levels at wells screened within the North Shore and Lloyd aquifers respond to tides and pumping effects, but those in the overlying upper glacial aquifer (where the water table is located) do not. Data from quarterly water-level measurements and the tidal-effect studies indicate the North Shore and Lloyd aquifers to be hydraulically connected.Offshore seismic-reflection surveys in the surrounding embayments indicate at least two glacially eroded buried valleys with subhorizontal, parallel reflectors indicative of draped bedding that is interpreted as infilling by silt and clay. The buried valleys (1) truncate the surrounding coarse-grained deposits, (2) are asymmetrical and steep sided, (3) trend northwest

  17. Hydrogeology and extent of saltwater intrusion of the Great Neck peninsula, Great Neck, Long Island, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stumm, Frederick

    2001-01-01

    Great Neck, a peninsula, in the northwestern part of Nassau County, N.Y., is underlain by unconsolidated deposits that form a sequence of aquifers and confining units. Seven public-supply wells have been affected by the intrusion of saltwater from the surrounding embayments (Little Neck Bay, Long Island Sound, Manhasset Bay). Fifteen observation wells were drilled in 1991-96 for the collection of hydrogeologic, geochemical, and geophysical data to delineate the subsurface geology and extent of saltwater intrusion within the peninsula. Continuous high-resolution seismic-reflection surveys in the embayments surrounding the Great Neck peninsula and the Manhasset Neck peninsula to the east were completed in 1993 and 1994. Two hydrogeologic units are newly proposed herein.the North Shore aquifer and the North Shore confining unit. The new drill-core data collected in 1991-96 indicate that the Lloyd aquifer, the Raritan confining unit, and the Magothy aquifer have been completely removed from the northern part of the peninsula by extensive glacial erosion. Water levels at selected observation wells were measured quarterly throughout the study. The results from two studies of the effects of tides on ground-water levels in 1992 and 1993 indicate that water levels at wells screened within the North Shore and Lloyd aquifers respond to tides and pumping effects, but those in the overlying upper glacial aquifer (where the water table is located) do not. Data from quarterly water-level measurements and the tidal-effect studies indicate the North Shore and Lloyd aquifers to be hydraulically connected. Offshore seismic-reflection surveys in the surrounding embayments indicate at least two glacially eroded buried valleys with subhorizontal, parallel reflectors indicative of draped bedding that is interpreted as infilling by silt and clay. The buried valleys (1) truncate the surrounding coarse-grained deposits, (2) are asymmetrical and steep sided, (3) trend northwest-southeast, (4

  18. Coral reef origins of atmospheric dimethylsulfide at Heron Island, southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swan, Hilton B.; Jones, Graham B.; Deschaseaux, Elisabeth S. M.; Eyre, Bradley D.

    2017-01-01

    Atmospheric dimethylsulfide (DMSa), continually derived from the world's oceans, is a feed gas for the tropospheric production of new sulfate particles, leading to cloud condensation nuclei that influence the formation and properties of marine clouds and ultimately the Earth's radiation budget. Previous studies on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, have indicated coral reefs are significant sessile sources of DMSa capable of enhancing the tropospheric DMSa burden mainly derived from phytoplankton in the surface ocean; however, specific environmental evidence of coral reef DMS emissions and their characteristics is lacking. By using on-site automated continuous analysis of DMSa and meteorological parameters at Heron Island in the southern GBR, we show that the coral reef was the source of occasional spikes of DMSa identified above the oceanic DMSa background signal. In most instances, these DMSa spikes were detected at low tide under low wind speeds, indicating they originated from the lagoonal platform reef surrounding the island, although evidence of longer-range transport of DMSa from a 70 km stretch of coral reefs in the southern GBR was also observed. The most intense DMSa spike occurred in the winter dry season at low tide when convective precipitation fell onto the aerially exposed platform reef. This co-occurrence of events appeared to biologically shock the coral resulting in a seasonally aberrant extreme DMSa spike concentration of 45.9 nmol m-3 (1122 ppt). Seasonal DMS emission fluxes for the 2012 wet season and 2013 dry season campaigns at Heron Island were 5.0 and 1.4 µmol m-2 day-1, respectively, of which the coral reef was estimated to contribute 4 % during the wet season and 14 % during the dry season to the dominant oceanic flux.

  19. Steady-State Groundwater Flow Model for Great Neck, Long Island, New York

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chowdhury, S. H.; Klinger, D.; Sallemi, B. M.

    2001-12-01

    This paper describes a comprehensive groundwater flow model for the Great Neck section of Long Island, New York. The hydrogeology of this section of Long Island is dominated by a buried erosional valley consisting of sediments comparable to the North Shore Confining Unit. This formation cross-cuts, thus is in direct hydraulic connection with the Upper Glacial, North Shore Confining Unit, Raritan Clay, and Lloyd aquifers. The Magothy aquifer is present only in remote southern sections of the model area. In addition, various lenses of coarser material from the overlying Upper Glacial aquifer are dispersed throughout the area. Data collection consisted of gathering various parameter values from existing USGS reports. Hydraulic conductivity, porosity, estimated recharge values, evapotranspiration, well locations, and water level data have all been gathered from the USGS Office located in Coram, New York. Appropriate modeling protocol was followed throughout the modeling process. The computer code utilized for solving this numerical model is Visual MODFLOW as manufactured by Waterloo Hydrogeologic. Calibration and a complete sensitivity analysis were conducted. Modeled results indicate that the groundwater flow direction is consistent with what is viewed onsite. In addition, the model is consistent in returning favorable parameter results to historical data.

  20. An assessment of an environmental gradient using coral geochemical records, Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Lewis, S E; Brodie, J E; McCulloch, M T; Mallela, J; Jupiter, S D; Williams, H Stuart; Lough, J M; Matson, E G

    2012-01-01

    Coral cores were collected along an environmental and water quality gradient through the Whitsunday Island group, Great Barrier Reef (Australia), for trace element and stable isotope analysis. The primary aim of the study was to examine if this gradient could be detected in coral records and, if so, whether the gradient has changed over time with changing land use in the adjacent river catchments. Y/Ca was the trace element ratio which varied spatially across the gradient, with concentrations progressively decreasing away from the river mouths. The Ba/Ca and Y/Ca ratios were the only indicators of change in the gradient through time, increasing shortly after European settlement. The Mn/Ca ratio responded to local disturbance related to the construction of tourism infrastructure. Nitrogen isotope ratios showed no apparent trend over time. This study highlights the importance of site selection when using coral records to record regional environmental signals.

  1. A great earthquake doublet and seismic stress transfer cycle in the central Kuril islands.

    PubMed

    Ammon, Charles J; Kanamori, Hiroo; Lay, Thorne

    2008-01-31

    Temporal variations of the frictional resistance on subduction-zone plate boundary faults associated with the stick-slip cycle of large interplate earthquakes are thought to modulate the stress regime and earthquake activity within the subducting oceanic plate. Here we report on two great earthquakes that occurred near the Kuril islands, which shed light on this process and demonstrate the enhanced seismic hazard accompanying triggered faulting. On 15 November 2006, an event of moment magnitude 8.3 ruptured the shallow-dipping plate boundary along which the Pacific plate descends beneath the central Kuril arc. The thrust ruptured a seismic gap that previously had uncertain seismogenic potential, although the earlier occurrence of outer-rise compressional events had suggested the presence of frictional resistance. Within minutes of this large underthrusting event, intraplate extensional earthquakes commenced in the outer rise region seaward of the Kuril trench, and on 13 January 2007, an event of moment magnitude 8.1 ruptured a normal fault extending through the upper portion of the Pacific plate, producing one of the largest recorded shallow extensional earthquakes. This energetic earthquake sequence demonstrates the stress transfer process within the subducting lithosphere, and the distinct rupture characteristics of these great earthquakes illuminate differences in seismogenic properties and seismic hazard of such interplate and intraplate faults.

  2. Hurricane Impacts on Small Island Communities: Case study of Hurricane Matthew on Great Exuma, The Bahamas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan Sealey, Kathleen; Bowleg, John

    2017-04-01

    Great Exuma has been a UNESCO Eco-hydrology Project Site with a focus on coastal restoration and flood management. Great Exuma and its largest settlement, George Town, support a population of just over 8.000 people on an island dominated by extensive coastal wetlands. The Victoria Pond Eco-Hydrology project restored flow and drainage to highly-altered coastal wetlands to reduce flooding of the built environment as well as regain ecological function. The project was designed to show the value of a protected wetland and coastal environment within a populated settlement; demonstrating that people can live alongside mangroves and value "green" infrastructure for flood protection. The restoration project was initiated after severe storm flooding in 2007 with Tropical Storm Noel. In 2016, the passing of Hurricane Matthew had unprecedented impacts on the coastal communities of Great Exuma, challenging past practices in restoration and flood prevention. This talk reviews the loss of natural capital (for example, fish populations, mangroves, salt water inundation) from Hurricane Matthew based on a rapid response survey of Great Exuma. The surprisingly find was the impact of storm surge on low-lying areas used primarily for personal farms and small-scale agriculture. Although women made up the overwhelming majority of people who attended Coastal Restoration workshops, women were most adversely impacted by the recent hurricane flooding with the loss of their small low-lying farms and gardens. Although increasing culverts in mangrove creeks in two areas did reduce building flood damage, the low-lying areas adjacent to mangroves, mostly ephemeral freshwater wetlands, were inundated with saltwater, and seasonal crops in these areas were destroyed. These ephemeral wetlands were designed as part of the wetland flooding system, it was not known how important these small areas were to artisanal farming on Great Exuma. The size and scope of Hurricane Matthew passing through the

  3. 77 FR 51552 - The Great Lakes Islands National Wildlife Refuges in Michigan and Wisconsin

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-24

    ... Gravel Island and Green Bay National Wildlife Refuges, Door County, Wisconsin; Harbor Island National... Draft CCP/EA'' in the subject line of the message. Fax: Attention: Refuge Manager, Gravel/Green Bay NWRs... Manager, Gravel Island/Green Bay National Wildlife Refuges (managed by Horicon NWR), W4279...

  4. Do great earthquakes occur on the Alpine Fault in central South Island, New Zealand?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutherland, R.; Eberhart-Phillips, D.; Harris, R. A.; Stern, T.; Beavan, J.; Ellis, S.; Henrys, S.; Cox, S.; Norris, R. J.; Berryman, K. R.; Townend, J.; Bannister, S.; Pettinga, J.; Leitner, B.; Wallace, L.; Little, T. A.; Cooper, A. F.; Yetton, M.; Stirling, M.

    Geological observations require that episodic slip on the Alpine fault averages to a long-term displacement rate of 2-3 cm/yr. Patterns of seismicity and geodetic strain suggest the fault is locked above a depth of 6-12 km and will probably fail during an earthquake. High pore-fluid pressures in the deeper fault zone are inferred from low seismic P-wave velocity and high electrical conductivity in central South Island, and may limit the seismogenic zone east of the Alpine fault to depths as shallow as 6 km. A simplified dynamic rupture model suggests an episode of aseismic slip at depth may not inhibit later propagation of a fully developed earthquake rupture. Although it is difficult to resolve surface displacement during an ancient earthquake from displacements that occurred in the months and years that immediately surround the event, sufficient data exist to evaluate the extent of the last three Alpine fault ruptures: the 1717 AD event is inferred to have ruptured a 300-500 km length of fault; the 1620 AD event ruptured 200-300 km; and the 1430 AD event ruptured 350-600 km. The geologically estimated moment magnitudes are 7.9±0.3, 7.6±0.3, and 7.9±0.4, respectively. We conclude that large earthquakes (Mw>7) on the Alpine fault will almost certainly occur in future, and it is realistic to expect some great earthquakes (Mw≥8).

  5. Haemoproteus iwa in Great Frigatebirds (Fregata minor) in the Islands of the Western Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Bastien, Matthieu; Jaeger, Audrey; Le Corre, Matthieu; Tortosa, Pablo; Lebarbenchon, Camille

    2014-01-01

    Blood parasites of the sub-genus Haemoproteus have been reported in seabirds, in particular in species in the Suliformes order. These parasites are transmitted by hippoboscid flies of the genus Olfersia; strong specificity has been suggested between the vector and its vertebrate host. We investigated the prevalence of Haemoproteus infection in Suliformes and hippoboscid flies in two oceanic islands of the Western Indian Ocean: Europa and Tromelin. In total, 209 blood samples were collected from great frigatebirds (Fregata minor), masked boobies (Sula dactylatra) and red-footed boobies (Sula sula). Forty-one hippoboscid flies were also collected from birds. Seventeen frigatebirds and one fly collected on Europa tested positive for the presence of Haemoproteus parasites by polymerase chain reaction. Phylogenetic analyses based on partial sequences of the Cytochrome b gene showed that parasites were closely related to Haemoproteus iwa reported from frigatebirds in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean. Plasmodium was also detected in a frigatebird on Europa; however, its placement on the phylogenetic tree could not be resolved. We provide strong support for transmission of blood parasites in seabirds in the Western Indian Ocean and suggest that migrations between the Pacific and the Indian oceans could favor the large-scale distribution of Haemoproteus iwa in frigatebird populations.

  6. Spatiotemporal patterns of coral disease prevalence on Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haapkylä, J.; Melbourne-Thomas, J.; Flavell, M.; Willis, B. L.

    2010-12-01

    Despite increasing research effort on coral diseases, little is known about factors driving disease dynamics on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). This is the first study to investigate the temporal patterns of coral disease prevalence and potential drivers of disease around Heron Island, in the southern Capricorn Bunker sector of the GBR. Surveys were conducted in two austral summers and three winters between November 2007 and August 2009 on six sites around the island. Six diseases were detected: brown band syndrome (BrB), growth anomalies (GA), ulcerative white spots (UWS), white syndrome (WS), skeletal eroding band disease (SEB) and black band disease (BBD). The lowest overall mean disease prevalence was 1.87 ± 0.75% (mean ± SE) in November 2007 and the highest 4.22 ± 1.72% in August 2008. There was evidence of seasonality for two diseases: BrB and UWS. This is the first study to report a higher prevalence of BrB in the winter. BrB had a prevalence of 3.29 ± 0.58% in August 2008 and 1.53 ± 0.28% in August 2009, while UWS was the most common syndrome in the summer with a prevalence of 1.12 ± 0.31% in November 2007 and 2.67 ± 0.52% prevalence in January 2008. The prevalence of GAs and SEB did not depend on the season, although the prevalence of GAs increased throughout the study period. WS had a slightly higher prevalence in the summer, but its overall prevalence was low (<0.5%). Sites with high abundance of staghorn Acropora and Montipora were characterised by the highest disease prevalence (12% of Acropora and 3.3% of Montipora species were diseased respectively). These results highlight the correlations between coral disease prevalence, seasonally varying environmental parameters and coral community composition. Given that diseases are likely to reduce the resilience of corals, seasonal patterns in disease prevalence deserve further research.

  7. Genetic spatial structure of an anchialine cave annelid indicates connectivity within - but not between - islands of the Great Bahama Bank.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Brett C; Martínez, Alejandro; Borda, Elizabeth; Iliffe, Thomas M; Fontaneto, Diego; Worsaae, Katrine

    2017-04-01

    Land-locked anchialine blue holes are karstic sinkholes and caves with tidally influenced, vertically stratified water bodies that harbor endemic fauna exhibiting variable troglomorphic features. These habitats represent island-like systems, which can serve to elucidate evolutionary and biogeographic processes at local scales. We investigated whether the 'continuous spelean corridor' hypothesis may elucidate the biogeographical distributions of the stygobitic annelid Pelagomacellicephala iliffei (Polynoidae) collected from the Great Bahama and Caicos Banks of the Bahamas Archipelago. Phylogenetic reconstructions were performed using Bayesian Inference on individual and combined datasets of three molecular markers (16S rDNA, COI, 18S rDNA) and species delimitation employed three widely accepted methods in DNA taxonomy, namely GMYC, bPTP, and ABGD. Mantel tests were used to test the effect of geography on genetic structure. Using these analyses, we recovered five independently evolving entities of the focal species across four islands of the Great Bahama Bank including Cat, Eleuthera, Exumas, and Long. Genetic data yielded strong correlations between islands and phylogenetic entities, signifying independent evolutionary histories within anchialine caves across the platform. The island of Eleuthera showed intra-island gene flow and dispersal capabilities between blue holes separated by 115km, providing evidence of a crevicular spelean corridor within the island. However, no evidence of inter-island dispersal is present in the analyzed system. Consistent with previous biogeographic studies of cave crustaceans, the major barriers shaping the cave biota of the Bahamas Archipelago appears to be the deep trenches and channels separating the Bahamian banks. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Continuous seismic-reflection survey of the Great Salt Lake, Utah- east of Antelope and Fremont Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lambert, P.M.; West, J.C.

    1989-01-01

    A continuous seismic-reflection survey of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, was conducted east of Fremont and Antelope Islands in 1984 by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Utah Department of Natural Resources and produced data along approximately 80 miles of seismic lines. The survey was conducted to determine depth to consolidated rock, and definition and continuity of overlying basin fill under the lake. Interpretation of the data indicates the presence of faulted rock dipping away from Fremont and Antelope Islands. A north-south-trending consolidated-rock ridge is identified 200 ft below lake bottom, 275 miles east of Fremont Island. Shallow rock is also inferred 380 ft below lake bottom, near Hooper Hot Springs, and 520 ft below lake bottom approximately 4 miles east of the south end of Antelope Island. Interpretation of reflections from overlying basin fill indicates fine-grained, thinly-bedded deposits that become coarser with depth. Strong reflectors in the basin fill can be correlated with water-bearing strata penetrated by wells near the north end of Antelope Island and along the east shore of the lake. Many continuous, high-amplitude reflections can be identified in data from basin fill and may represent sedimentary sections or aquifer boundaries but cannot be defined because of a lack of subsurface control in the area. (USGS)

  9. Lack of convergence in aquatic Anolis lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2002-04-01

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

  10. The Great 2006 and 2007 Kuril Earthquakes, Forearc Segmentation and Seismic Activity of the Central Kuril Islands Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranov, B. V.; Ivashchenko, A. I.; Dozorova, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    We present a structural study of the Central Kuril Islands forearc region, where the great megathrust tsunamigenic earthquake ( M w 8.3) occurred on November 15, 2006. Based on new bathymetry and seismic profiles obtained during two research cruises of R/V Akademik Lavrentiev in 2005 and 2006, ten crustal segments with along-arc length ranging from 30 to 100 km, separated by NS- and NW-trending transcurrent faults were identified within the forearc region. The transcurrent faults may serve as barriers impeding stress transfer between the neighboring segments, so that stress accumulated within separate forearc segments is usually released by earthquakes of moderate-to-strong magnitudes. However, the great November 15, 2006 earthquake ruptured seven of the crustal segments probably following a 226-year gap since the last great earthquake in 1780. The geographic extent of earthquake rupture zones, aftershock areas and earthquake clusters correlate well with forearc crustal segments identified using the geophysical data. Based on segmented structure of the Central Kuril Islands forearc region, we consider and discuss three scenarios of a great earthquake occurrence within this area. Although the margin is segmented, we suggest that a rupture could occupy the entire seismic gap with a total length of about 500 km. In such a case, the earthquake magnitude M w might exceed 8.5, and such an event might generate tsunami waves significantly exceeding in height to those produced by the great 2006-2007 Kuril earthquakes.

  11. Communication Signals in Lizards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carpenter, Charles C.

    1983-01-01

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

  12. Communication Signals in Lizards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carpenter, Charles C.

    1983-01-01

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

  13. A sedimentary record of middle Holocene precipitation and terrestrial vertebrates from Great Cistern Blue Hole (Abaco Island), The Bahamas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, R.; van Hengstum, P. J.; Winkler, T. S.; Donnelly, J. P.; Albury, N. A.; Steadman, D. W.

    2016-12-01

    Sinkholes and blueholes provide sheltered basins on carbonate landscapes for sediments and fossils to accumulate and remain protected from reworking by coastal processes. These sedimentary archives can span hundreds to thousands of years and may contain detailed records of environmental change and landscape evolution. Great Cistern Blue Hole on Great Abaco Island in the northern Bahamas provides such an archive. Today situated a few meters above sea level in the coastal zone, Great Cistern was likely located further inland prior to a geometric change to the local coastline and during lower sea-level. To explore the long-term record of environmental change in this region, sediment cores were collected between 2014 and 2015 that yielded an 8,000-year record of continuous sedimentation. Visual inspection of the core revealed multiple intervals dominated by coarse-grained sediment that subsequent microscopic examination identified as fragments of calcite rafts. Calcite rafts (common in caves) precipitate at an air-groundwater interface in quiescent environments from the offgassing of calcium carbonate saturated groundwater. The recurrent precipitation of calcite rafts in a sinkhole potentially reflects intervals of increased discharge of the local coastal aquifer in response to increased precipitation. The onset, peak, and decline of the calcite raft deposits are consistent with other precipitation proxy records from the Caribbean region, suggesting that the deposition is providing direct evidence for middle Holocene precipitation patterns in the northern Bahamas. In addition, numerous vertebrate bones have accumulated in Great Cistern including those of a Bahamian Boa (age: 7ka yBP), a species of crocodile no longer present on Abaco Island (age: 2ka yBP), and pre-European contact human remains (age: 600 yBP). As the project continues, other bones will be identified that may serve to enhance our knowledge of human and animal activity on the island.

  14. Long-term Bat Monitoring on Islands, Offshore Structures, and Coastal Sites in the Gulf of Maine, mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes—Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, Trevor; Pelletier, Steve; Giovanni, Matt

    2016-01-15

    This report summarizes results of a long-term regional acoustic survey of bat activity at remote islands, offshore structures, and coastal sites in the Gulf of Maine, Great Lakes, and mid-Atlantic coast.

  15. Tsunami Runup in the Middle Kuril Islands from the Great Earthquake of 15 Nov 2006

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgeois, J.; Pinegina, T.; Razhegaeva, N.; Kaistrenko, V.; Levin, B.; Macinnes, B.; Kravchunovskaya, E.

    2007-12-01

    Two expeditions to the middle Kuril Islands [IMGG FED RAS, NSF Kurils Biocomplexity Project] in the summer of 2007 yielded tsunami runup and inundation measurements from the 15 Nov 2006 Mw 8.3 subduction-zone earthquake, and possibly from the 13 Jan 2007 Mw 8.1 earthquake seaward of the subduction zone. Both earthquakes produced measurable tsunamis in the far field, the 13 Jan tsunami significantly smaller; the 15 Nov tsunami did some damage in the harbor of Crescent City, CA. Ours are the first near-source measurements because no one lives in the middle Kurils. Moreover, because KBP visited many of the same sites in summer of 2006, we have numerous before-and-after comparisons, including quantified erosion. We measured 120 profiles and made more than 300 runup measurements. We found dramatic tsunami effects of erosion and deposition, with widespread runup of 8-12 m, up to about 20 m, between and including Simushir and Matua islands. In most cases, we measured runup with a transit and surveying rod, producing a topographic profile from sea level to the slope above runup indicators; in some cases, we used a hand level and tape. Runup/inundation criteria were generally subhorizontal lines of floatable debris, typically wood, plastic, glass floats, and styrofoam. Single occurrences, e.g., of a plastic bottle were not considered adequate. Corroborative evidence, not used independently, included limits of consistently oriented stems of tall grasses and flowers, limit of sand and gravel deposits above turf and dead vegetation, and elevation of fresh erosion of turf from slopes landward of the beach plain. Currently we are compiling, correcting and vetting our measurements, which will be submitted to online databases. Topographic profiles obviously had an effect on the data, with short, steep profiles generating high runup and short inundation; most beach-ridge profiles had longer inundation and shorter runup. However, at Ainu Bay on Matua Island, we found as much as 18

  16. A new blue-tailed Monitor lizard (Reptilia, Squamata, Varanus) of the Varanus indicus group from Mussau Island, Papua New Guinea.

    PubMed

    Weijola, Valter; Donnellan, Stephen C; Lindqvist, Christer

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of Varanus from Mussau Island, north-east of New Guinea. The new species is a member of the Varanus indicus species group and is distinguished from all other members by both morphological and molecular genetic characters. It is the third species of Varanus reported from the Bismarck Archipelago and the first record of a yellow tongued member of the Varanus indicus species group from a remote oceanic island. The herpetofauna of Mussau Island has not been well studied but the discovery of this new species is in accordance with recent findings indicating that the island may harbor several unknown endemic vertebrates. The distribution of the closely related Varanus finschi is also discussed in the light of recent fieldwork and a review of old records.

  17. A new blue-tailed Monitor lizard (Reptilia, Squamata, Varanus) of the Varanus indicus group from Mussau Island, Papua New Guinea

    PubMed Central

    Weijola, Valter; Donnellan, Stephen C.; Lindqvist, Christer

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We describe a new species of Varanus from Mussau Island, north-east of New Guinea. The new species is a member of the Varanus indicus species group and is distinguished from all other members by both morphological and molecular genetic characters. It is the third species of Varanus reported from the Bismarck Archipelago and the first record of a yellow tongued member of the Varanus indicus species group from a remote oceanic island. The herpetofauna of Mussau Island has not been well studied but the discovery of this new species is in accordance with recent findings indicating that the island may harbor several unknown endemic vertebrates. The distribution of the closely related Varanus finschi is also discussed in the light of recent fieldwork and a review of old records. PMID:27103877

  18. Impact of an experimental eutrophication on the processes of bioerosion on the reef: One Tree Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Chazottes, Veronique; Hutchings, Pat; Osorno, Alicia

    2017-02-23

    The components of bioerosion were investigated during ENCORE (The Effect of Nutrient Enrichment on Coral Reefs) over 2years of controlled additions of dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus. The study was carried out at One Tree Island, southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Rates of microbioerosion and external erosion by grazing were significantly higher at the enriched sites than at the control sites. Rates of accretion by coralline algae were also significantly higher at enriched sites. In contrast, rates of macroboring were not significantly different between enriched and control sites. This study highlights the importance of improving water quality on the reef to reduce rates of bioerosion given that quantities of dead coral substrates have recently substantially increased as a result of coral bleaching (Hughes et al., 2015) and several Crown of Thorns plagues (Fabricius et al., 2010; De'ath et al., 2012), on the Great Barrier Reef.

  19. Climatic control of trophic interaction strength: the effect of lizards on spiders.

    PubMed

    Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2008-01-01

    We investigated how temporal variation in rainfall influences the impact of lizards on spiders inhabiting small islands in Abaco, Bahamas. Annual censuses of web spiders were conducted on nine lizard islands and on eight no-lizard islands 1994-2003. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed that annual variation in spider density (time) and in the lizard effect on spider density (lizard x time) were both significant. Correlation coefficients between the lizard effect (ln ratio of no-lizard to lizard spider densities) and number of rainfall days were generally negative, and strengthened with length of the time period during which rainfall was measured prior to annual spider censuses. Spider density was also negatively correlated with rainfall days and strengthened with length of the prior time period. Longer time intervals included the hurricane season, suggesting that the strong negative correlations were linked to high rainfall years during which tropical storms impacted the region and reduced spider and lizard densities. Split-plot ANOVA showed that rainfall during the hurricane season had a significant effect on the lizard effect and on spider density. Results in this study are opposite to those found in our previous 10-year study (1981-1990) conducted in the Exuma Cays, a moderately xeric region of the Bahamas, where the relation between rainfall and the lizard effect on spider density was positive. Combined data from the Exuma and Abaco studies produce a unimodal relation between trophic interaction strength and rainfall; we suggest that the negative effect of storms associated with rainfall was paramount in the present study, whereas the positive bottom-up effect of rainfall prevailed in our previous study. We conclude that climatic variability has a major impact on the trophic interaction and suggest that a substantial change in precipitation in either direction may weaken the interaction significantly.

  20. Variation in growth rates of branching corals along Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Kristen D; Cantin, Neal E; Heron, Scott F; Pisapia, Chiara; Pratchett, Morgan S

    2017-06-07

    Coral growth is an important component of reef health and resilience. However, few studies have investigated temporal and/or spatial variation in growth of branching corals, which are important contributors to the structure and function of reef habitats. This study assessed growth (linear extension, density, and calcification) of three branching coral species (Acropora muricata, Pocillopora damicornis and Isopora palifera) at three distinct locations (Lizard Island, Davies/Trunk Reef, and Heron Island) along Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Annual growth rates of all species were highest at Lizard Island and declined with increasing latitude, corresponding with differences in temperature. Within locations, however, seasonal variation in growth did not directly correlate with temperature. Between October 2012 and October 2014, the highest growth of A. muricata was in the 2013-14 summer at Lizard Island, which was unusually cool and ~0.5 °C less than the long-term summer average temperature. At locations where temperatures reached or exceeded the long-term summer maxima, coral growth during summer periods was equal to, if not lower than, winter periods. This study shows that temperature has a significant influence on spatiotemporal patterns of branching coral growth, and high summer temperatures in the northern GBR may already be constraining coral growth and reef resilience.

  1. Road effects on abundance and fitness of Galápagos lava lizards (Microlophus albemarlensis).

    PubMed

    Tanner, Dawn; Perry, Jim

    2007-10-01

    Vehicle collisions with wildlife have the potential to negatively impact species everywhere roads divide natural habitats; this is especially true in areas where roads are a recent addition to the landscape (e.g., in the last decade) and/or where expansion of a road network is underway. This study addresses the impact of traffic fatalities on lava lizards, Microlophus albemarlensis, on the island of Santa Cruz, Galápagos. The main road bisecting the island north to south was added to the island beginning in 1974 but not fully paved until 2000. We assessed impacts occurring due to traffic and vehicle speeds on the island. This study adds impacts to lizard populations to those conducted on birds on Santa Cruz, providing a means to create multi-species recommendations. To quantify impacts to lizard populations, we assessed lizards on randomly chosen transects perpendicular to the road. We used Poisson regression to analyze those data and found a 30% increase in lizard abundance per 100 m distance from the road across vegetation zones. We compared incidence of prior tail loss of road-killed lizards and live animals to comment on additional energetic costs of occupying near-road territories. Tail condition could not be assessed in some road-killed lizards; among those that we could assess, 29% showed evidence of prior tail loss. That rate declined to apparent baseline conditions of only 1% beyond 200 m from the road. By traveling the length of the 40-km road, we identified hot spots for fatalities of both lizards and birds to provide necessary information for developing management and remediation strategies. We offer guidance on Best Management Practices, such as testing overpasses, fencing and underpasses, which might reduce vehicle impacts to lizards from drivers on the current road. This information is essential because of a planned increase in the Santa Cruz road network in areas where lava lizards are most abundant.

  2. The Effect of the Great Barrier Reef on the Propagation of the 2007 Solomon Islands Tsunami Recorded in Northeastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baba, Toshitaka; Mleczko, Richard; Burbidge, David; Cummins, Phil R.; Thio, Hong Kie

    2008-12-01

    The effect of offshore coral reefs on the impact from a tsunami remains controversial. For example, field surveys after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami indicate that the energy of the tsunami was reduced by natural coral reef barriers in Sri Lanka, but there was no indication that coral reefs off Banda Aceh, Indonesia had any effect on the tsunami. In this paper, we investigate whether the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) offshore Queensland, Australia, may have weakened the tsunami impact from the 2007 Solomon Islands earthquake. The fault slip distribution of the 2007 Solomon Islands earthquake was firstly obtained by teleseismic inversion. The tsunami was then propagated to shallow water just offshore the coast by solving the linear shallow water equations using a staggered grid finite-difference method. We used a relatively high resolution (approximately 250 m) bathymetric grid for the region just off the coast containing the reef. The tsunami waveforms recorded at tide gauge stations along the Australian coast were then compared to the results from the tsunami simulation when using both the realistic 250 m resolution bathymetry and with two grids having fictitious bathymetry: One in which the the GBR has been replaced by a smooth interpolation from depths outside the GBR to the coast (the “No GBR” grid), and one in which the GBR has been replaced by a flat plane at a depth equal to the mean water depth of the GBR (the “Average GBR” grid). From the comparison between the synthetic waveforms both with and without the Great Barrier Reef, we found that the Great Barrier Reef significantly weakened the tsunami impact. According to our model, the coral reefs delayed the tsunami arrival time by 5-10 minutes, decreased the amplitude of the first tsunami pulse to half or less, and lengthened the period of the tsunami.

  3. The influence of sea level and cyclones on Holocene reef flat development: Middle Island, central Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, E. J.; Smithers, S. G.; Lewis, S. E.; Clark, T. R.; Zhao, J. X.

    2016-09-01

    The geomorphology and chronostratigraphy of the reef flat (including microatoll ages and elevations) were investigated to better understand the long-term development of the reef at Middle Island, inshore central Great Barrier Reef. Eleven cores across the fringing reef captured reef initiation, framework accretion and matrix sediments, allowing a comprehensive appreciation of reef development. Precise uranium-thorium ages obtained from coral skeletons revealed that the reef initiated ~7873 ± 17 years before present (yBP), and most of the reef was emplaced in the following 1000 yr. Average rates of vertical reef accretion ranged between 3.5 and 7.6 mm yr-1. Reef framework was dominated by branching corals ( Acropora and Montipora). An age hiatus of ~5000 yr between 6439 ± 19 and 1617 ± 10 yBP was observed in the core data and attributed to stripping of the reef structure by intense cyclones during the mid- to late-Holocene. Large shingle ridges deposited onshore and basset edges preserved on the reef flat document the influence of cyclones at Middle Island and represent potential sinks for much of the stripped material. Stripping of the upper reef structure around the outer margin of the reef flat by cyclones created accommodation space for a thin (<1.2 m) veneer of reef growth after 1617 ± 10 yBP that grew over the eroded mid-Holocene reef structure. Although limited fetch and open-water exposure might suggest the reef flat at Middle Island is quite protected, our results show that high-energy waves presumably generated by cyclones have significantly influenced both Holocene reef growth and contemporary reef flat geomorphology.

  4. Legacy Pollutants are Declining in Great Skuas (Stercorarius skua) but Remain Higher in Faroe Islands than in Scotland.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Sjurdur; Nager, Ruedi G; Alonso, Sarah; McGill, Rona A R; Furness, Robert W; Dam, Maria

    2016-08-01

    To monitor environmental pollutants in Faroese biota, samples from a top predator were analysed and put into a spatial and temporal context. Analysis of 20 Great Skua eggs sampled in 2012 from the Faroe Islands showed >70 % lower concentrations of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) than in samples analysed in 1977. The 2012 Faroese eggs showed higher concentrations than for eggs in Shetland from about the same period (2008). Eggshells were analysed for sub-lethal effects but there were no detectable effects of legacy POP levels on eggshell colour or thickness. A temporal decline in legacy POPs would indicate a reduction in the general pollutant levels present in the environment as has been shown in other areas of the North Atlantic, but there are significant geographic differences in POPs levels likely due to differences in diet resulting in significantly different exposures on a relatively limited spatial scale.

  5. A great volcanic eruption around AD 1300 recorded in lacustrine sediment from Dongdao Island, South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhongkang; Long, Nanye; Wang, Yuhong; Zhou, Xin; Liu, Yi; Sun, Liguang

    2017-02-01

    The contents of Ti, Al and Fe 2 O 3 in a lacustrine sediment core (DY6) collected from Dongdao Island, South China Sea (SCS), were determined to be much higher than those in the three major sediment end-members (coral sand, guano and plants), and their likely sources include terrigenous dust and volcanic ash. At 61 cm (˜AD 1300), the contents of Ti, Al and Fe 2 O 3 have an abnormally high spike, which cannot be explained by terrigenous dust. The Sr and Nd isotope compositions at 61 cm are in excellent agreement with those in volcanic materials, but they are significantly different from those in terrigenous dust, implying a possible material input from historical volcanic eruptions in the lacustrine sediment DY6. The documented great Samalas volcanic eruption at AD 1257 in Indonesia is likely the candidate for this volcanic eruption.

  6. Sheet-gravel evidence for a late Holocene tsunami run-up on beach dunes, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichol, Scott L.; Lian, Olav B.; Carter, Charles H.

    2003-01-01

    A semi-continuous sheet of granule to cobble-size clasts forms a distinctive deposit on sand dunes located on a coastal barrier in Whangapoua Bay, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand. The gravel sheet extends from the toe of the foredune to 14.3 m above mean sea level and 200 m landward from the beach. Clasts are rounded to sub-rounded and comprise lithologies consistent with local bedrock. Terrestrial sources for the gravel are considered highly unlikely due to the isolation of the dunes from hillslopes and streams. The only source for the clasts is the nearshore to inner shelf of Whangapoua Bay, where gravel sediments have been previously documented. The mechanism for transport of the gravel is unlikely to be storm surge due to the elevation of the deposit; maximum-recorded storm surge on this coast is 0.8 m above mean high water spring tide. Aeolian processes are also discounted due to the size of clasts and the elevation at which they occur. Tsunami is therefore considered the most probable mechanism for gravel transport. Minimum run-up height of the tsunami was 14.3 m, based on maximum elevation of gravel deposits. Optical ages on dune sands beneath and covering the gravel allow age bracketing to 0-4.7 ka. Within this time frame, numerous documented regional seismic and volcanic events could have generated the tsunami, notably submarine volcanism along the southern Kermadec arc to the east-southeast of Great Barrier Island where large magnitude events are documented for the late Holocene. Radiocarbon ages on shell from Maori middens that appear to have been reworked by tsunami run-up constrain the age of this event to post ca. 1400 AD. Regardless of the precise age of this event, the well-preserved nature of the Whangapoua gravel deposit provides for an improved understanding of the high degree of spatial variability in tsunami run-up.

  7. A population genetic assessment of coral recovery on highly disturbed reefs of the Keppel Island archipelago in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Berkelmans, Ray; Peplow, Lesa M; Jones, Alison M

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs surrounding the islands lying close to the coast are unique to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in that they are frequently exposed to disturbance events including floods caused by cyclonic rainfall, strong winds and occasional periods of prolonged above-average temperatures during summer. In one such group of islands in the southern GBR, the Keppel Island archipelago, climate-driven disturbances frequently result in major coral mortality. Whilst these island reefs have clearly survived such dramatic disturbances in the past, the consequences of extreme mortality events may include the loss of genetic diversity, and hence adaptive potential, and a reduction in fitness due to inbreeding, especially if new recruitment from external sources is limited. Here we examined the level of isolation of the Keppel Island group as well as patterns of gene flow within the Keppel Islands using 10 microsatellite markers in nine populations of the coral, Acropora millepora. Bayesian cluster analysis and assignment tests indicated gene flow is restricted, but not absent, between the outer and inner Keppel Island groups, and that extensive gene flow exists within each of these island groups. Comparison of the Keppel Island data with results from a previous GBR-wide study that included a single Keppel Island population, confirmed that A. millepora in the Keppel Islands is genetically distinct from populations elsewhere on the GBR, with exception of the nearby inshore High Peak Reef just north of the Keppel Islands. We compared patterns of genetic diversity in the Keppel Island populations with those from other GBR populations and found them to be slightly, but significantly lower, consistent with the archipelago being geographically isolated, but there was no evidence for recent bottlenecks or deviation from mutation-drift equilibrium. A high incidence of private alleles in the Keppel Islands, particularly in the outer islands, supports their relative isolation and contributes

  8. Role of the Lizard Teira dugesii as a Potential Host for Ixodes ricinus Tick-Borne Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    de Carvalho, I. Lopes; Santos, A. S.; Bernardes, C.; Milhano, N.; Jesus, J.; Menezes, D.; Núncio, M. S.

    2012-01-01

    PCR screening of ticks and tissue samples collected from 151 Teira dugesii lizards seems to indicate a potential role of this lizard species in the maintenance and transmission cycle of some Ixodes ricinus tick-borne agents, such as Rickettsia monacensis, Rickettsia helvetica, and Borrelia lusitaniae, that are circulating on Madeira Island. PMID:22407681

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

    PubMed

    Donihue, Colin M

    2016-10-01

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

  10. Evolution of Anolis Lizard Dewlap Diversity

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Reproductive Medicine in Lizards.

    PubMed

    Knotek, Zdenek; Cermakova, Eva; Oliveri, Matteo

    2017-05-01

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

  12. Epilithic cyanobacterial communities of a marine tropical beach rock (Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef): diversity and diazotrophy.

    PubMed

    Díez, Beatriz; Bauer, Karolina; Bergman, Birgitta

    2007-06-01

    The diversity and nitrogenase activity of epilithic marine microbes in a Holocene beach rock (Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia) with a proposed biological calcification "microbialite" origin were examined. Partial 16S rRNA gene sequences from the dominant mat (a coherent and layered pink-pigmented community spread over the beach rock) and biofilms (nonstratified, differently pigmented microbial communities of small shallow depressions) were retrieved using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and a clone library was retrieved from the dominant mat. The 16S rRNA gene sequences and morphological analyses revealed heterogeneity in the cyanobacterial distribution patterns. The nonheterocystous filamentous genus Blennothrix sp., phylogenetically related to Lyngbya, dominated the mat together with unidentified nonheterocystous filaments of members of the Pseudanabaenaceae and the unicellular genus Chroococcidiopsis. The dominance and three-dimensional intertwined distribution of these organisms were confirmed by nonintrusive scanning microscopy. In contrast, the less pronounced biofilms were dominated by the heterocystous cyanobacterial genus Calothrix, two unicellular Entophysalis morphotypes, Lyngbya spp., and members of the Pseudanabaenaceae family. Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides and Alphaproteobacteria phylotypes were also retrieved from the beach rock. The microbial diversity of the dominant mat was accompanied by high nocturnal nitrogenase activities (as determined by in situ acetylene reduction assays). A new DGGE nifH gene optimization approach for cyanobacterial nitrogen fixers showed that the sequences retrieved from the dominant mat were related to nonheterocystous uncultured cyanobacterial phylotypes, only distantly related to sequences of nitrogen-fixing cultured cyanobacteria. These data stress the occurrence and importance of nonheterocystous epilithic cyanobacteria, and it is hypothesized that such epilithic cyanobacteria are

  13. Species composition, richness and nestedness of lizard assemblages from Restinga habitats along the brazilian coast.

    PubMed

    Rocha, C F D; Vrcibradic, D; Kiefer, M C; Menezes, V A; Fontes, A F; Hatano, F H; Galdino, C A B; Bergallo, H G; Van Sluys, M

    2014-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation is well known to adversely affect species living in the remaining, relatively isolated, habitat patches, especially for those having small range size and low density. This negative effect has been critical in coastal resting habitats. We analysed the lizard composition and richness of restinga habitats in 16 restinga habitats encompassing three Brazilian states (Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia) and more than 1500km of the Brazilian coast in order to evaluate if the loss of lizard species following habitat reduction occur in a nested pattern or at random, using the "Nestedness Temperature Calculator" to analyse the distribution pattern of lizard species among the restingas studied. We also estimated the potential capacity that each restinga has to maintain lizard species. Eleven lizard species were recorded in the restingas, although not all species occurred in all areas. The restinga with the richest lizard fauna was Guriri (eight species) whereas the restinga with the lowest richness was Praia do Sul (located at Ilha Grande, a large coastal island). Among the restingas analysed, Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves, were the most hospitable for lizards. The matrix community temperature of the lizard assemblages was 20.49° (= P <0.00001; 5000 randomisations; randomisation temperature = 51.45° ± 7.18° SD), indicating that lizard assemblages in the coastal restingas exhibited a considerable nested structure. The degree in which an area is hospitable for different assemblages could be used to suggest those with greater value of conservation. We concluded that lizard assemblages in coastal restingas occur at a considerable level of ordination in restinga habitats and that some restinga areas such as Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves are quite important to preserve lizard diversity of restinga environments.

  14. Palaeoecological evidence of a historical collapse of corals at Pelorus Island, inshore Great Barrier Reef, following European settlement

    PubMed Central

    Roff, George; Clark, Tara R.; Reymond, Claire E.; Zhao, Jian-xin; Feng, Yuexing; McCook, Laurence J.; Done, Terence J.; Pandolfi, John M.

    2013-01-01

    The inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have undergone significant declines in water quality following European settlement (approx. 1870 AD). However, direct evidence of impacts on coral assemblages is limited by a lack of historical baselines prior to the onset of modern monitoring programmes in the early 1980s. Through palaeoecological reconstructions, we report a previously undocumented historical collapse of Acropora assemblages at Pelorus Island (central GBR). High-precision U-series dating of dead Acropora fragments indicates that this collapse occurred between 1920 and 1955, with few dates obtained after 1980. Prior to this event, our results indicate remarkable long-term stability in coral community structure over centennial scales. We suggest that chronic increases in sediment flux and nutrient loading following European settlement acted as the ultimate cause for the lack of recovery of Acropora assemblages following a series of acute disturbance events (SST anomalies, cyclones and flood events). Evidence for major degradation in reef condition owing to human impacts prior to modern ecological surveys indicates that current monitoring of inshore reefs on the GBR may be predicated on a significantly shifted baseline. PMID:23135672

  15. The relative abundance of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) among other zwitterions in branching coral at Heron Island, southern Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Swan, Hilton B; Deschaseaux, Elisabeth S M; Jones, Graham B; Eyre, Bradley D

    2017-07-01

    Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and eleven other target zwitterions were quantified in the branch tips of six Acropora species and Stylophora pistillata hard coral growing on the reef flat surrounding Heron Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (HILIC-MS) was used for sample analysis with isotope dilution MS applied to quantify DMSP. The concentration of DMSP was ten times greater in A. aspera than A. valida, with this difference being maintained throughout the spring, summer and winter seasons. In contrast, glycine betaine was present in significantly higher concentrations in these species during the summer than the winter. Exposure of branch tips of A. aspera to air and hypo-saline seawater for up to 1 h did not alter the concentrations of DMSP present in the coral when compared with control samples. DMSP was the most abundant target zwitterion in the six Acropora species examined, ranging from 44-78% of all target zwitterions in A. millepora and A. aspera, respectively. In contrast, DMSP only accounted for 7% in S. pistillata, with glycine betaine and stachydrine collectively accounting for 88% of all target zwitterions in this species. The abundance of DMSP in the six Acropora species examined points to Acropora coral being an important source for the biogeochemical cycling of sulfur throughout the GBR, since this reef-building branching coral dominates the coral cover of the GBR. Graphical Abstract HILIC-MS extracted ion chromatogram showing zwitterionic metabolites from the branching coral Acropora isopora.

  16. Mosquito fauna of wilderness islands within the National Key Deer Refuge and the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, Monroe County, Florida.

    PubMed

    Leal, Andrea L; Hribar, Lawrence J

    2010-06-01

    Dry ice-baited light traps, counts of mosquitoes biting and landing on technicians, and larval surveillance were used to determine mosquito species abundance on Annette Key, Little Knockem-down Key, Little Pine Key, Raccoon Key, and the Water Keys, all of which are located offshore, within the National Key Deer Refuge and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe County, FL. Due to the close proximity of these wilderness islands to the inhabited islands of the Florida Keys, it is important to understand the abundance and composition of the mosquitoes and the effects they may have on populations on inhabited islands. Thirty different species were collected during 2004-2008. Aedes taeniorhynchus, the black salt-marsh mosquito, was the most abundant mosquito species collected at all locations. Other mosquitoes collected in large numbers at all locations were Anopheles atropos, Culex bahamensis, Cx. nigripalpus, and Deinocerites cancer. Because these wilderness islands are difficult to traverse due to vegetative growth, the placement of mosquito traps close to the perimeter of the islands may influence assessment of the abundance and diversity of mosquito species collected on each island.

  17. Philopatry drives genetic differentiation in an island archipelago: comparative population genetics of Galapagos Nazca boobies (Sula granti) and great frigatebirds (Fregata minor).

    PubMed

    Levin, Iris I; Parker, Patricia G

    2012-11-01

    Seabirds are considered highly mobile, able to fly great distances with few apparent barriers to dispersal. However, it is often the case that seabird populations exhibit strong population genetic structure despite their potential vagility. Here we show that Galapagos Nazca booby (Sula granti) populations are substantially differentiated, even within the small geographic scale of this archipelago. On the other hand, Galapagos great frigatebird (Fregata minor) populations do not show any genetic structure. We characterized the genetic differentiation by sampling five colonies of both species in the Galapagos archipelago and analyzing eight microsatellite loci and three mitochondrial genes. Using an F-statistic approach on the multilocus data, we found significant differentiation between nearly all island pairs of Nazca booby populations and a Bayesian clustering analysis provided support for three distinct genetic clusters. Mitochondrial DNA showed less differentiation of Nazca booby colonies; only Nazca boobies from the island of Darwin were significantly differentiated from individuals throughout the rest of the archipelago. Great frigatebird populations showed little to no evidence for genetic differentiation at the same scale. Only two island pairs (Darwin - Wolf, N. Seymour - Wolf) were significantly differentiated using the multilocus data, and only two island pairs had statistically significant φ(ST) values (N. Seymour - Darwin, N. Seymour - Wolf) according to the mitochondrial data. There was no significant pattern of isolation by distance for either species calculated using both markers. Seven of the ten Nazca booby migration rates calculated between island pairs were in the south or southeast to north or northwest direction. The population differentiation found among Galapagos Nazca booby colonies, but not great frigatebird colonies, is most likely due to differences in natal and breeding philopatry.

  18. Philopatry drives genetic differentiation in an island archipelago: comparative population genetics of Galapagos Nazca boobies (Sula granti) and great frigatebirds (Fregata minor)

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Iris I; Parker, Patricia G

    2012-01-01

    Seabirds are considered highly mobile, able to fly great distances with few apparent barriers to dispersal. However, it is often the case that seabird populations exhibit strong population genetic structure despite their potential vagility. Here we show that Galapagos Nazca booby (Sula granti) populations are substantially differentiated, even within the small geographic scale of this archipelago. On the other hand, Galapagos great frigatebird (Fregata minor) populations do not show any genetic structure. We characterized the genetic differentiation by sampling five colonies of both species in the Galapagos archipelago and analyzing eight microsatellite loci and three mitochondrial genes. Using an F-statistic approach on the multilocus data, we found significant differentiation between nearly all island pairs of Nazca booby populations and a Bayesian clustering analysis provided support for three distinct genetic clusters. Mitochondrial DNA showed less differentiation of Nazca booby colonies; only Nazca boobies from the island of Darwin were significantly differentiated from individuals throughout the rest of the archipelago. Great frigatebird populations showed little to no evidence for genetic differentiation at the same scale. Only two island pairs (Darwin – Wolf, N. Seymour – Wolf) were significantly differentiated using the multilocus data, and only two island pairs had statistically significant φST values (N. Seymour – Darwin, N. Seymour – Wolf) according to the mitochondrial data. There was no significant pattern of isolation by distance for either species calculated using both markers. Seven of the ten Nazca booby migration rates calculated between island pairs were in the south or southeast to north or northwest direction. The population differentiation found among Galapagos Nazca booby colonies, but not great frigatebird colonies, is most likely due to differences in natal and breeding philopatry. PMID:23170212

  19. Geographic genetic differentiation of a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Jennifer M; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M; Schall, Jos J

    2010-04-01

    Gene flow, and resulting degree of genetic differentiation among populations, will shape geographic genetic patterns and possibly local adaptation of parasites and their hosts. Some studies of Plasmodium falciparum in humans show substantial differentiation of the parasite in locations separated by only a few kilometers, a paradoxical finding for a parasite in a large, mobile host. We examined genetic differentiation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis, at 8 sites in northern California, with the use of variable microsatellite markers for both species. These lizards are small and highly territorial, so we expected local genetic differentiation of both parasite and lizard. Populations of P. mexicanum were found to be differentiated by analysis of 5 markers (F(st) values >0.05-0.10) over distances as short as 230-400 m, and greatly differentiated (F(st) values >0.25) for sites separated by approximately 10 km. In contrast, the lizard host had no, or very low, levels of differentiation for 3 markers, even for sites >40 km distant. Thus, gene flow for the lizard was great, but despite the mobility of the vertebrate host, the parasite was locally genetically distinct. This discrepancy could result if infected lizards move little, but their noninfected relatives were more mobile. Previous studies on the virulence of P. mexicanum for fence lizards support this hypothesis. However, changing prevalence of the parasite, without changes in density of the lizard, could also result in this pattern.

  20. Evolutionary stasis and lability in thermal physiology in a group of tropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Martha M; Stimola, Maureen A; Algar, Adam C; Conover, Asa; Rodriguez, Anthony J; Landestoy, Miguel A; Bakken, George S; Losos, Jonathan B

    2014-03-07

    Understanding how quickly physiological traits evolve is a topic of great interest, particularly in the context of how organisms can adapt in response to climate warming. Adjustment to novel thermal habitats may occur either through behavioural adjustments, physiological adaptation or both. Here, we test whether rates of evolution differ among physiological traits in the cybotoids, a clade of tropical Anolis lizards distributed in markedly different thermal environments on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. We find that cold tolerance evolves considerably faster than heat tolerance, a difference that results because behavioural thermoregulation more effectively shields these organisms from selection on upper than lower temperature tolerances. Specifically, because lizards in very different environments behaviourally thermoregulate during the day to similar body temperatures, divergent selection on body temperature and heat tolerance is precluded, whereas night-time temperatures can only be partially buffered by behaviour, thereby exposing organisms to selection on cold tolerance. We discuss how exposure to selection on physiology influences divergence among tropical organisms and its implications for adaptive evolutionary response to climate warming.

  1. Evolutionary stasis and lability in thermal physiology in a group of tropical lizards

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Martha M.; Stimola, Maureen A.; Algar, Adam C.; Conover, Asa; Rodriguez, Anthony J.; Landestoy, Miguel A.; Bakken, George S.; Losos, Jonathan B.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how quickly physiological traits evolve is a topic of great interest, particularly in the context of how organisms can adapt in response to climate warming. Adjustment to novel thermal habitats may occur either through behavioural adjustments, physiological adaptation or both. Here, we test whether rates of evolution differ among physiological traits in the cybotoids, a clade of tropical Anolis lizards distributed in markedly different thermal environments on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. We find that cold tolerance evolves considerably faster than heat tolerance, a difference that results because behavioural thermoregulation more effectively shields these organisms from selection on upper than lower temperature tolerances. Specifically, because lizards in very different environments behaviourally thermoregulate during the day to similar body temperatures, divergent selection on body temperature and heat tolerance is precluded, whereas night-time temperatures can only be partially buffered by behaviour, thereby exposing organisms to selection on cold tolerance. We discuss how exposure to selection on physiology influences divergence among tropical organisms and its implications for adaptive evolutionary response to climate warming. PMID:24430845

  2. Evidence for shallow megathrust slip across the Unalaska seismic gap during the great 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake, eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nicolsky, D. J.; Freymueller, J.T.; Witter, R.C.; Suleimani, E. N.; Koehler, R.D.

    2016-01-01

    We reassess the slip distribution of the 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake in the eastern part of the aftershock zone where published slip models infer little or no slip. Eyewitness reports, tide gauge data, and geological evidence for 9–23 m tsunami runups imply seafloor deformation offshore Unalaska Island in 1957, in contrast with previous studies that labeled the area a seismic gap. Here, we simulate tsunami dynamics for a suite of deformation models that vary in depth and amount of megathrust slip. Tsunami simulations show that a shallow (5–15 km deep) rupture with ~20 m of slip most closely reproduces the 1957 Dutch Harbor marigram and nearby >18 m runup at Sedanka Island marked by stranded drift logs. Models that place slip >20 km predict waves that arrive too soon. Our results imply that shallow slip on the megathrust in 1957 extended east into an area that presently creeps.

  3. Evidence for shallow megathrust slip across the Unalaska seismic gap during the great 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake, eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolsky, D. J.; Freymueller, J. T.; Witter, R. C.; Suleimani, E. N.; Koehler, R. D.

    2016-10-01

    We reassess the slip distribution of the 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake in the eastern part of the aftershock zone where published slip models infer little or no slip. Eyewitness reports, tide gauge data, and geological evidence for 9-23 m tsunami runups imply seafloor deformation offshore Unalaska Island in 1957, in contrast with previous studies that labeled the area a seismic gap. Here we simulate tsunami dynamics for a suite of deformation models that vary in depth and amount of megathrust slip. Tsunami simulations show that a shallow (5-15 km deep) rupture with 20 m of slip most closely reproduces the 1957 Dutch Harbor marigram and nearby >18 m runup at Sedanka Island marked by stranded drift logs. Slip models >20 km deep predict waves that arrive too soon. Our results imply that shallow slip on the megathrust in 1957 extended east into an area that presently creeps.

  4. Taxonomy, host specificity and dietary implications of Hurleytrematoides (Digenea: Monorchiidae) from chaetodontid fishes on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    McNamara, M K A; Cribb, T H

    2011-09-01

    Five new and five previously described species of Hurleytrematoides are reported from 19 of 34 chaetodontid species examined from the Great Barrier Reef; new species are H. faliexae n. sp., H. galzini n. sp., H. loi n. sp., H. morandi n. sp., and H. sasali n. sp. Previously described species are H. coronatum, H. fijiensis, H. prevoti, H. bartolii, and H. zebrasomae. The genus is rediagnosed in the light of morphological variation of the new species; the degree of spination and shape of the terminal genitalia distinguish individual species. Species of Hurleytrematoides infect almost every clade of the family Chaetodontidae found on the Great Barrier Reef, but obligate corallivores are not infected. All ten species were found at Heron Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef, but only six at Lizard Island on the northern Great Barrier Reef. For three of the four species not present at Lizard Island, the absence appears to be statistically significant. Although all species are apparently restricted to chaetodontids on the GBR, specificity within the family varies from oioxenous to euryxenous; a core/satellite host paradigm explains the distribution of several species.

  5. Surf and turf: predation by egg-eating snakes has led to the evolution of parental care in a terrestrial lizard.

    PubMed

    Pike, David A; Clark, Rulon W; Manica, Andrea; Tseng, Hui-Yun; Hsu, Jung-Ya; Huang, Wen-San

    2016-02-26

    Animals display a great diversity of parental care tactics that ultimately enhance offspring survival, but how such behaviors evolve remains unknown for most systems. Here, we studied the evolution of maternal care, in the form of nest guarding, in a single population of long-tailed sun skink (Eutropis longicaudata) living on Orchid Island (Taiwan). This species typically does not provide protection to its offspring. Using a common garden experiment, we show that maternal care is genetically determined in this population. Through field manipulations, we demonstrate that care provides a significant increase in egg survival on Orchid Island by reducing predation from egg-eating snakes (Oligodon formosanus); this predator is not abundant in other populations of the lizard, which do not display parental care. Finally, using extensive field surveys, we show that the seasonal availability of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests is the cause for the high abundance of snake predators on Orchid Island, with the snakes consuming lizard eggs when green turtle eggs are not available. Together, these lines of evidence provide the first full demonstration of how predation can trigger the evolution of parental care in a species derived from a non-caring ancestor.

  6. Surf and turf: predation by egg-eating snakes has led to the evolution of parental care in a terrestrial lizard

    PubMed Central

    Pike, David A.; Clark, Rulon W.; Manica, Andrea; Tseng, Hui-Yun; Hsu, Jung-Ya; Huang, Wen-San

    2016-01-01

    Animals display a great diversity of parental care tactics that ultimately enhance offspring survival, but how such behaviors evolve remains unknown for most systems. Here, we studied the evolution of maternal care, in the form of nest guarding, in a single population of long-tailed sun skink (Eutropis longicaudata) living on Orchid Island (Taiwan). This species typically does not provide protection to its offspring. Using a common garden experiment, we show that maternal care is genetically determined in this population. Through field manipulations, we demonstrate that care provides a significant increase in egg survival on Orchid Island by reducing predation from egg-eating snakes (Oligodon formosanus); this predator is not abundant in other populations of the lizard, which do not display parental care. Finally, using extensive field surveys, we show that the seasonal availability of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests is the cause for the high abundance of snake predators on Orchid Island, with the snakes consuming lizard eggs when green turtle eggs are not available. Together, these lines of evidence provide the first full demonstration of how predation can trigger the evolution of parental care in a species derived from a non-caring ancestor. PMID:26915464

  7. The impact of the introduction of the colubrid snake, Boiga irregularis, on Guam's lizards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodda, G.H.; Fritts, T.H.

    1992-01-01

    The extirpation of Guam's forest avifauna has been attributed to the accidental introduction and subsequent irruption of the brown tree snake, Boiga irregularis. However, recent dietary studies of this nocturnal arboreal snake indicate that it now preys primarily on lizards, not birds. We evaluated the effect the snake has had on Guam's lizards by contrasting lizard communities on Guam with those on adjacent snake-free islands and by comparing the extant lizard communities on Guam with those that were present before the snake arrived. Both comparisons revealed radical reductions in abundance of Guam's native nocturnal lizards and the extirpation of several species. The effect of the snake on diurnal lizards (skinks) is more equivocal. Skinks are still common on Guam, but several species no longer exist on the island. Identification of causes of these extirpations is complicated by the snake's elimination of an important avian skink predator, the concurrent irruption of a shrew, and the effects of predation and competition between the native skinks and an introduced skink.

  8. Will Coral Islands maintain their growth over the next century? A deterministic model of sediment availability at Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Hamylton, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    A geomorphic assessment of reef system calcification is conducted for past (3200 Ka to present), present and future (2010-2100) time periods. Reef platform sediment production is estimated at 569 m3 yr-1 using rate laws that express gross community carbonate production as a function of seawater aragonite saturation, community composition and rugosity and incorporating estimates of carbonate removal from the reef system. Key carbonate producers including hard coral, crustose coralline algae and Halimeda are mapped accurately (mean R2 = 0.81). Community net production estimates correspond closely to independent census-based estimates made in-situ (R2 = 0.86). Reef-scale outputs are compared with historic rates of production generated from (i) radiocarbon evidence of island deposition initiation around 3200 years ago, and (ii) island volume calculated from a high resolution island digital elevation model. Contemporary carbonate production rates appear to be remarkably similar to historical values of 573 m3 yr-1. Anticipated future seawater chemistry parameters associated with an RCP8.5 emissions scenario are employed to model rates of net community calcification for the period 2000-2100 on the basis of an inorganic aragonite precipitation law, under the assumption of constant benthic community character. Simulations indicate that carbonate production will decrease linearly to a level of 118 m3 yr-1 by 2100 and that by 2150 aragonite saturation levels may no longer support the positive budgetary status necessary to sustain island accretion. Novel aspects of this assessment include the development of rate law parameters to realistically represent the variable composition of coral reef benthic carbonate producers, incorporation of three dimensional rugosity of the entire reef platform and the coupling of model outputs with both historical radiocarbon dating evidence and forward hydrochemical projections to conduct an assessment of island evolution through time

  9. Will Coral Islands Maintain Their Growth over the Next Century? A Deterministic Model of Sediment Availability at Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef

    PubMed Central

    Hamylton, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    A geomorphic assessment of reef system calcification is conducted for past (3200 Ka to present), present and future (2010–2100) time periods. Reef platform sediment production is estimated at 569 m3 yr−1 using rate laws that express gross community carbonate production as a function of seawater aragonite saturation, community composition and rugosity and incorporating estimates of carbonate removal from the reef system. Key carbonate producers including hard coral, crustose coralline algae and Halimeda are mapped accurately (mean R2 = 0.81). Community net production estimates correspond closely to independent census-based estimates made in-situ (R2 = 0.86). Reef-scale outputs are compared with historic rates of production generated from (i) radiocarbon evidence of island deposition initiation around 3200 years ago, and (ii) island volume calculated from a high resolution island digital elevation model. Contemporary carbonate production rates appear to be remarkably similar to historical values of 573 m3 yr−1. Anticipated future seawater chemistry parameters associated with an RCP8.5 emissions scenario are employed to model rates of net community calcification for the period 2000–2100 on the basis of an inorganic aragonite precipitation law, under the assumption of constant benthic community character. Simulations indicate that carbonate production will decrease linearly to a level of 118 m3 yr−1 by 2100 and that by 2150 aragonite saturation levels may no longer support the positive budgetary status necessary to sustain island accretion. Novel aspects of this assessment include the development of rate law parameters to realistically represent the variable composition of coral reef benthic carbonate producers, incorporation of three dimensional rugosity of the entire reef platform and the coupling of model outputs with both historical radiocarbon dating evidence and forward hydrochemical projections to conduct an assessment of island evolution

  10. U-Th age distribution of coral fragments from multiple rubble ridges within the Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef: Implications for past storminess history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Entao; Zhao, Jian-xin; Feng, Yue-xing; Leonard, Nicole D.; Clark, Tara R.; Roff, George

    2016-07-01

    Prograded coral rubble ridges have been widely used as archives for reconstructing long-term storm or storminess history. Chronologies of ridge systems in previous studies are often based on a limited number of low-resolution radiocarbon or optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages per ridge (usually only one age per ridge), which carry intrinsic age uncertainties and make interpretation of storm histories problematic. To test the fidelity of storm ridges as palaeo-storm archives, we used high-precision U-Th dating to examine whether different samples from a single ridge are temporally constrained. We surveyed three transects of ridge systems from two continental islands (Normanby Island and High Island) within the Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), and obtained 96 U-Th dates from coral rubble samples collected from within and between different ridges. Our results revealed significant differences in age ranges between the two islands. The steeper and more defined rubble ridges present on Normanby Island revealed that the majority of U-Th ages (over 60%) from a single ridge clustered within a narrow age range (∼100 years). By contrast, the lower and less defined ridges on High Island, which were more likely formed during both storm and non-storm high-energy events, revealed significant scatter in age distribution (>>200 years) with no notable clustering. The narrower age ranges obtained from the steeper and more defined rubble ridges suggest that previous approaches of using either limited samples from a single ridge or low-precision dating methods to establish chronologies are generally valid at centennial to millennial timescales, although caution must be taken to use such approaches for storm history reconstruction on shorter timescales (e.g. decadal). The correlation between U-Th mortality ages of coral rubble and historical stormy periods highlights the possibility of using coral rubble age distribution from rubble ridges to reconstruct the long

  11. Natural restoration of the species-area relation for a lizard after a hurricane.

    PubMed

    Schoener, T W; Spiller, D A; Losos, J B

    2001-11-16

    We document the decimation and recovery of the commonest lizard species, Anolis sagrei, on 66 islands in the Bahamas that were directly hit by Hurricane Floyd in September 1999. Before the hurricane, an island's area was a better predictor of the occurrence of A. sagrei than was its altitude. Immediately after, altitude was a better predictor: Apparently all lizards on islands lower than about 3 meters maximum elevation perished in the storm surge. After about 1 year, area again became the better predictor. By 19 months after the hurricane, A. sagrei populations occurred on 88% of the islands they formerly occupied. Recovery occurred via overwater colonization and propagation from eggs that survived inundation, mechanisms that were enhanced by larger island area. Thus, natural processes first destroyed and then quickly restored a highly regular species-area distribution.

  12. Molecular survey of Apicomplexa in Podarcis wall lizards detects Hepatozoon, Sarcocystis, and Eimeria species.

    PubMed

    Harris, D James; Maia, João P M C; Perera, Ana

    2012-06-01

    The occurrence of apicomplexan parasites in Podarcis sp. wall lizards from the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic islands was studied by amplification and sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene. Species from 3 genera, Hepatozoon , Sarcocystis , and Eimeria , were found. The phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rRNA gene provides unexpected insights into the evolutionary history of these parasites. All Hepatozoon spp. specimens were recovered as part of a clade already identified in lizards from North Africa. The Sarcocystis species, detected in Podarcis lilfordi from Cabrera Island in the Balearic Islands, appears related to Sarcocystis gallotiae , known only from endemic Gallotia sp. lizards from the Canary Islands. Based on the lack of snake predators on this island, this parasite presumably presents an atypical transmission cycle that uses the same host species as both intermediate and final host through cannibalism, like S. gallotiae . Eimeria sp. is reported for the first time from Podarcis spp. lizards. This study shows the power of detecting multiple different apicomplexan parasites through screening of tail tissue samples and blood drops that are often collected in reptiles for other purposes.

  13. Dietary niche variation and its relationship to lizard population density.

    PubMed

    Novosolov, Maria; Rodda, Gordon H; Gainsbury, Alison M; Meiri, Shai

    2017-09-25

    (1) Insular species are predicted to broaden their niches, in response to having fewer competitors. They can thus exploit a greater proportion of the resource spectrum. In turn, broader niches are hypothesized to facilitate (or be a consequence of) increased population densities. (2) We tested whether insular lizards have broader dietary niches than mainland species, how it relates to competitor and predator richness, and the nature of the relationship between population density and dietary niche breadth. (3) We collected population density and dietary niche breadth data for 36 insular and 59 mainland lizard species, and estimated competitor and predator richness at the localities where diet data were collected. We estimated dietary niche shift by comparing island species to their mainland relatives. We controlled for phylogenetic relatedness, body mass, and the size of the plots over which densities were estimated. (4) We found that island and mainland species had similar niche breadths. Dietary niche breadth was unrelated to competitor and predator richness, on both islands and the mainland. Population density was unrelated to dietary niche breadth across island and mainland populations. (5) Our results indicate that dietary generalism is not an effective way of increasing population density nor is it result of lower competitive pressure. A lower variety of resources on islands may prevent insular animals from increasing their niche breadths even in the face of few competitors. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  14. The cercaria of Galactosomum bearupi Pearson, 1973 (Trematoda: Heterophyidae) at Heron and Masthead Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Beuret, J; Scott, D A; Pearson, J C

    2000-05-01

    Magnacercous cercariae, all morphologically identical but with different coloured tails, were found naturally infecting the intertidal prosobranch gastropod Clypeomorus batillariaeformis Habe & Kosuge (Cerithiidae) at Heron and Masthead Islands. Several species of coral-dwelling fishes were exposed to magnacercous cercariae. Active ingestion by the fish, followed by the complete development of the metacercaria in the optic lobes, occurred in Pomacentrus molluccensis Bleeker, but not in Dascyllus aruanus (L.), where development stopped short after encystment. All cercariae turned out to belong to the same species, Galactosomum bearupi Pearson, 1973. Natural infections of G. bearupi metacercariae were found in eight species of fish at Heron Island: Pomacentrus molluccensis, P. wardi Whitley, P. bankanensis Bleeker, P. flavicauda Whitley, Stegastes cf. fasciolatus (Ogilby), Sillago maculata Quoy & Gaimard, S. cf. ciliata Cuvier and Crenimugil crenilabris (Forsskål). This represents the fourth account of the cercaria of a species of Galactosomum.

  15. Cyrtodactylus rosichonariefi sp. nov. (Squamata: Gekkonidae), a new swamp-dwelling bent-toed gecko from Bunguran Island (Great Natuna), Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Riyanto, Awal; Grismer, L Lee; Wood, Perry L

    2015-05-29

    Cyrtodactylus rosichonariefi sp. nov. is the second newly described species of Bent-toed gecko from Bunguran Island (Great Natuna), Indonesia. This species occurs in the Sekunyam Forest and is differentiated from all other species of the C. semenanjungensis species group of the Thai-Malay Peninsula by having the following unique combination of characteristics: intermediate size (SVL of adult male holotype 54.6 mm); enlarged femoral scales, no femoral pores, no precloacal groove, enlarged precloacal scales, no precloacal pores; subcaudals not enlarged; and dorsal pattern blotched but lacking paired, dark, semilunar-shaped blotches on upper nape. The new species is the sister species of C. majulah Grismer, Wood & Lim. [Corrected

  16. One solution for two challenges: the lizard Microlophus atacamensis avoids overheating by foraging in intertidal shores.

    PubMed

    Sepúlveda, Maritza; Sabat, Pablo; Porter, Warren P; Fariña, José Miguel

    2014-01-01

    In lizards, one of the most important behavioral mechanisms to cope with spatial and temporal variations in thermal resources observed is activity time. The longer a lizard can maintain activity, the more time it has to forage and reach larger adult body size. We studied the behavioral adjustments to different climatic regimens on daily and seasonal scales in three natural populations of the lizard Microlophus atacamensis along a latitudinal temperature and rainfall gradient. We also used Niche Mapper to determinate the amount of thermally suitable time for activity for this species. Abundance and daily activity patterns varied greatly over the year for the three populations. In summer and spring, the daily activity times were greater, and were reduced in fall and winter seasons. In summer, when stressful heat loads should prohibit activity over a midday gap, lizards did not show bimodal patterns of activity. Instead, they move to the cooler intertidal habitat. Abundance and thermal quality in the southernmost coolest site was lower, and the potential annual activity time decreases with latitude. Contrary to expectations, lizards from this locality showed the largest body sizes possibly due to diet and/or time to sexual maturation. Our results indicate that the intertidal habitat is a key factor that influences daily and seasonal activity of M. atacamensis lizards. While this habitat is not climatically optimal for lizards, it allows them to behaviorally extend their activity window and gain access to food in the intertidal areas.

  17. One Solution for Two Challenges: The Lizard Microlophus atacamensis Avoids Overheating by Foraging in Intertidal Shores

    PubMed Central

    Sepúlveda, Maritza; Sabat, Pablo; Porter, Warren P.; Fariña, José Miguel

    2014-01-01

    In lizards, one of the most important behavioral mechanisms to cope with spatial and temporal variations in thermal resources observed is activity time. The longer a lizard can maintain activity, the more time it has to forage and reach larger adult body size. We studied the behavioral adjustments to different climatic regimens on daily and seasonal scales in three natural populations of the lizard Microlophus atacamensis along a latitudinal temperature and rainfall gradient. We also used Niche Mapper to determinate the amount of thermally suitable time for activity for this species. Abundance and daily activity patterns varied greatly over the year for the three populations. In summer and spring, the daily activity times were greater, and were reduced in fall and winter seasons. In summer, when stressful heat loads should prohibit activity over a midday gap, lizards did not show bimodal patterns of activity. Instead, they move to the cooler intertidal habitat. Abundance and thermal quality in the southernmost coolest site was lower, and the potential annual activity time decreases with latitude. Contrary to expectations, lizards from this locality showed the largest body sizes possibly due to diet and/or time to sexual maturation. Our results indicate that the intertidal habitat is a key factor that influences daily and seasonal activity of M. atacamensis lizards. While this habitat is not climatically optimal for lizards, it allows them to behaviorally extend their activity window and gain access to food in the intertidal areas. PMID:24839969

  18. Parrotfish predation on massive Porites on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaldo, R. M.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2011-03-01

    Parrotfish grazing scars on coral colonies were quantified across four reef zones at Lizard Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The abundance of parrotfish grazing scars was highest on reef flat and crest, with massive Porites spp . colonies having more parrotfish grazing scars than all other coral species combined. Massive Porites was the only coral type positively selected for grazing by parrotfishes in all four reef zones. The density of parrotfish grazing scars on massive Porites spp., and the rate of new scar formation, was highest on the reef crest and flat, reflecting the lower massive Porites cover and higher parrotfish abundance in these habitats. Overall, it appears that parrotfish predation pressure on corals could affect the abundance of preferred coral species, especially massive Porites spp , across the reef gradient. Parrotfish predation on corals may have a more important role on the GBR reefs than previously thought.

  19. Virulence of lizard malaria: the evolutionary ecology of an ancient parasite-host association.

    PubMed

    Schall, J J

    1990-01-01

    The negative consequences of parasitic infection (virulence) were examined for two lizard malaria parasite-host associations: Plasmodium agamae and P. giganteum, parasites of the rainbow lizard, Agama agama, in Sierra Leone, West Africa; and P. mexicanum in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, in northern California. These malaria species vary greatly in their reproductive characteristics: P. agamae produces only 8 merozoites per schizont, P. giganteum yields over 100, and P. mexicanum an intermediate number. All three parasites appear to have had an ancient association with their host. In fence lizards, infection with malaria is associated with increased numbers of immature erythrocytes, decreased haemoglobin levels, decreased maximal oxygen consumption, and decreased running stamina. Not affected were numbers of erythrocytes, resting metabolic rate, and sprint running speed which is supported by anaerobic means in lizards. Infected male fence lizards had smaller testes, stored less fat in preparation for winter dormancy, were more often socially submissive and, unexpectedly, were more extravagantly coloured on the ventral surface (a sexually dimorphic trait) than non-infected males. Females also stored less fat and produced smaller clutches of eggs, a directly observed reduction in fitness. Infected fence lizards do not develop behavioural fevers. P. mexicanum appears to have broad thermal buffering abilities and thermal tolerance; the parasite's population growth was unaffected by experimental alterations in the lizard's body temperature. The data are less complete for A. agama, but infected lizards suffered similar haematological and physiological effects. Infected animals may be socially submissive because they appear to gather less insect prey, possibly a result of being forced into inferior territories. Infection does not reduce clutch size in rainbow lizards, but may lengthen the time between clutches. These results are compared with

  20. Effect of colony size and surrounding substrate on corals experiencing a mild bleaching event on Heron Island reef flat (southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz, J. C.; Gomez-Cabrera, M. Del C.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

    2009-12-01

    In January-May 2006, Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef experienced a mild bleaching event. The effect of colony size, morphology and surrounding substrate on the extent of bleaching was explored. In contrast with previous studies, colony size did not influence bleaching sensitivity, suggesting that there may be a threshold of light and temperature stress beyond which size plays a role. Also contrasting with previous studies, massive corals were more affected by bleaching than branching corals. Massive corals surrounded by sand were more affected than the ones surrounded by rubble or dead coral. It is hypothesized that light reflectance from sand increases stress levels experienced by the colonies. This effect is maximized in massive corals as opposed to branching corals that form dense thickets on Heron Island. These results emphasize the importance of the ecological dynamics of coral communities experiencing low, moderate and high levels of bleaching for the understanding of how coral communities may change under the stress of climate change.

  1. Sand and nest temperatures and an estimate of hatchling sex ratio from the Heron Island green turtle ( Chelonia mydas) rookery, Southern Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Booth, David T.; Freeman, Candida

    2006-11-01

    Sand and nest temperatures were monitored during the 2002-2003 nesting season of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, at Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Sand temperatures increased from ˜ 24°C early in the season to 27-29°C in the middle, before decreasing again. Beach orientation affected sand temperature at nest depth throughout the season; the north facing beach remained 0.7°C warmer than the east, which was 0.9°C warmer than the south, but monitored nest temperatures were similar across all beaches. Sand temperature at 100 cm depth was cooler than at 40 cm early in the season, but this reversed at the end. Nest temperatures increased 2-4°C above sand temperatures during the later half of incubation due to metabolic heating. Hatchling sex ratio inferred from nest temperature profiles indicated a strong female bias.

  2. Lizard threat display handicaps endurance.

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Y

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Acoustical Coupling of Lizard Eardrums

    PubMed Central

    Manley, Geoffrey A.

    2008-01-01

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

  4. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A Great Blue Heron takes flight from waters on KSC. It is one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also 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.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-07-29

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A Great Blue Heron takes flight from waters on KSC. It is one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also 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.

  5. Four new species of Paradiscogaster Yamaguti, 1934 (Digenea: Faustulidae) from batfishes (Perciformes: Ephippidae) on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Diaz, Pablo E; Cutmore, Scott C; Cribb, Thomas H

    2017-03-01

    Examination of three species of batfishes (Teleostei: Epphippidae) from off Lizard and Heron Islands on the Great Barrier Reef led to the discovery of specimens of the trematode genus Paradiscogaster Yamaguti, 1934 (Digenea: Faustulidae). Morphological analysis demonstrated that the new specimens represented four morphotypes which we interpret to be new species: Paradiscogaster martini n. sp., P. vichovae n. sp. and P. brayi n. sp. from Platax orbicularis (Forsskål) and P. pinnatus (Linnaeus) off Lizard Island, and P. nitschkei n. sp. from P. teira (Forsskål) off Heron Island. Published material was re-examined and the specimens identified as P. chaetodontis okinawensis Yamaguti, 1971 from P. pinnatus from Okinawa, Japan, actually represent the new species P. brayi n. sp., demonstrating that some species of Paradiscogaster have wide geographical distributions. ITS2 rDNA data for the four morphotypes differ by 4-39 base pairs confirming the delineation of the four species proposed. A feature of this study is the recognition of Platax spp. as an important host group for Paradiscogaster, with the new species placing them as the second richest host group for these parasites after the Chaetodontidae.

  6. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting of soil bacteria in the vicinity of the Chinese Great Wall Station, King George Island, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Pan, Qi; Wang, Feng; Zhang, Yang; Cai, Minghong; He, Jianfeng; Yang, Haizhen

    2013-08-01

    Bacterial diversity was investigated in soil samples collected from 13 sites around the Great Wall Station, Fildes Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica, using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA genes. The classes alpha-, beta-, and gamma-Proteobacteria, as well as the phylum Actinobacteria, were found to be the dominant bacteria in the soils around the Great Wall Station. Although the selected samples were not contaminated by oil, a relationship between soil parameters, microbial biodiversity, and human impact was still seen. Sample sites in human impacted areas showed lower bacterial biodiversity (average H' = 2.65) when compared to non-impacted sites (average H' = 3.05). There was no statistically significant correlation between soil bacterial diversity and total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen, or total phosphorus contents of the soil. Canonical correlation analysis showed that TOC content was the most important factor determining bacterial community profiles among the measured soil parameters. In conclusion, microbial biodiversity and community characteristics within relatively small scales (1.5 km) were determined as a function of local environment parameters and anthropogenic impact.

  7. Lizard Bite Masquerading as Scorpion Sting Envenomation

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Local enhancement and social foraging in a non-social insular lizard.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2015-05-01

    Even in solitary foragers, conspecifics can provide reliable information about food location. The insular lizard Podarcis lilfordi is a solitary species with high population densities that sometimes aggregate around rich food patches. Its diet includes novel and unpredictable resources, such as carcasses or plants, whose exploitation quickly became widespread among the population. We tested the use of social information by lizards through some field experiments in which they had to choose one of the two pieces of fruit. Probably due to local enhancement, lizards preferred to feed on the piece of fruit where conspecifics or lizard-shaped models were already present. Conspecifics' behaviour, but also their mere presence, seems to be a valuable source of information to decide where to feed. Lizards also showed a strong attraction to conspecifics, even in the absence of food. Maybe the presence of a group is interpreted as an indirect cue for the presence of food. The group size was not important to females, but males had a significantly higher attraction towards groups with three conspecifics. We discuss some characteristics of P. lilfordi at Aire Island that can explain the development of the observed social foraging, as well as their possible consequences.

  9. Microgeographic variation in locomotor traits among lizards in a human-built environment.

    PubMed

    Donihue, Colin

    2016-01-01

    Microgeographic variation in fitness-relevant traits may be more common than previously appreciated. The fitness of many vertebrates is directly related to their locomotor capacity, a whole-organism trait integrating behavior, morphology, and physiology. Because locomotion is inextricably related to context, I hypothesized that it might vary with habitat structure in a wide-ranging lizard, Podarcis erhardii, found in the Greek Cyclade Islands. I compared lizard populations living on human-built rock walls, a novel habitat with complex vertical structure, with nearby lizard populations that are naive to human-built infrastructure and live in flat, loose-substrate habitat. I tested for differences in morphology, behavior, and performance. Lizards from built sites were larger and had significantly (and relatively) longer forelimbs and hindlimbs. The differences in hindlimb morphology were especially pronounced for distal components-the foot and longest toe. These morphologies facilitated a significant behavioral shift in jumping propensity across a rocky experimental substrate. I found no difference in maximum velocity between these populations; however, females originating from wall sites potentially accelerated faster over the rocky experimental substrate. The variation between these closely neighboring populations suggests that the lizards inhabiting walls have experienced a suite of trait changes enabling them to take advantage of the novel habitat structure created by humans.

  10. Effects of insularity on digestion: living on islands induces shifts in physiological and morphological traits in island reptiles.

    PubMed

    Sagonas, Kostas; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Valakos, Efstratios D

    2015-10-01

    Living on islands entails numerous challenges for animals, among which resource scarcity stands out. In order to survive, animals have to optimize energy acquisition. We examined the impact of insularity on digestion comparing a series of physiological and morphological traits of adult males between insular and mainland populations of the Balkan green lizard. Island lizards had longer gastrointestinal tracts and gut passage times and higher digestive efficiencies. The dissection of the hindgut revealed an unexpected finding, the presence of cecal valves that were more frequent in island lizards. Thanks to all above islanders retain food for longer periods and thus maximize energy income and increase the amount of the extracted nutrients. That way, they secure energy income from the limited, in time and quantity, food resources of the islands.

  11. Effects of insularity on digestion: living on islands induces shifts in physiological and morphological traits in island reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagonas, Kostas; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Valakos, Efstratios D.

    2015-10-01

    Living on islands entails numerous challenges for animals, among which resource scarcity stands out. In order to survive, animals have to optimize energy acquisition. We examined the impact of insularity on digestion comparing a series of physiological and morphological traits of adult males between insular and mainland populations of the Balkan green lizard. Island lizards had longer gastrointestinal tracts and gut passage times and higher digestive efficiencies. The dissection of the hindgut revealed an unexpected finding, the presence of cecal valves that were more frequent in island lizards. Thanks to all above islanders retain food for longer periods and thus maximize energy income and increase the amount of the extracted nutrients. That way, they secure energy income from the limited, in time and quantity, food resources of the islands.

  12. pH homeostasis during coral calcification in a free ocean CO2 enrichment (FOCE) experiment, Heron Island reef flat, Great Barrier Reef

    PubMed Central

    Georgiou, Lucy; Falter, James; Trotter, Julie; Kline, David I.; Holcomb, Michael; Dove, Sophie G.; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; McCulloch, Malcolm

    2015-01-01

    Geochemical analyses (δ11B and Sr/Ca) are reported for the coral Porites cylindrica grown within a free ocean carbon enrichment (FOCE) experiment, conducted on the Heron Island reef flat (Great Barrier Reef) for a 6-mo period from June to early December 2010. The FOCE experiment was designed to simulate the effects of CO2-driven acidification predicted to occur by the end of this century (scenario RCP4.5) while simultaneously maintaining the exposure of corals to natural variations in their environment under in situ conditions. Analyses of skeletal growth (measured from extension rates and skeletal density) showed no systematic differences between low-pH FOCE treatments (ΔpH = ∼−0.05 to −0.25 units below ambient) and present day controls (ΔpH = 0) for calcification rates or the pH of the calcifying fluid (pHcf); the latter was derived from boron isotopic compositions (δ11B) of the coral skeleton. Furthermore, individual nubbins exhibited near constant δ11B compositions along their primary apical growth axes (±0.02 pHcf units) regardless of the season or treatment. Thus, under the highly dynamic conditions of the Heron Island reef flat, P. cylindrica up-regulated the pH of its calcifying fluid (pHcf ∼8.4–8.6), with each nubbin having near-constant pHcf values independent of the large natural seasonal fluctuations of the reef flat waters (pH ∼7.7 to ∼8.3) or the superimposed FOCE treatments. This newly discovered phenomenon of pH homeostasis during calcification indicates that coral living in highly dynamic environments exert strong physiological controls on the carbonate chemistry of their calcifying fluid, implying a high degree of resilience to ocean acidification within the investigated ranges. PMID:26438833

  13. pH homeostasis during coral calcification in a free ocean CO2 enrichment (FOCE) experiment, Heron Island reef flat, Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Georgiou, Lucy; Falter, James; Trotter, Julie; Kline, David I; Holcomb, Michael; Dove, Sophie G; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; McCulloch, Malcolm

    2015-10-27

    Geochemical analyses (δ(11)B and Sr/Ca) are reported for the coral Porites cylindrica grown within a free ocean carbon enrichment (FOCE) experiment, conducted on the Heron Island reef flat (Great Barrier Reef) for a 6-mo period from June to early December 2010. The FOCE experiment was designed to simulate the effects of CO2-driven acidification predicted to occur by the end of this century (scenario RCP4.5) while simultaneously maintaining the exposure of corals to natural variations in their environment under in situ conditions. Analyses of skeletal growth (measured from extension rates and skeletal density) showed no systematic differences between low-pH FOCE treatments (ΔpH = ∼-0.05 to -0.25 units below ambient) and present day controls (ΔpH = 0) for calcification rates or the pH of the calcifying fluid (pHcf); the latter was derived from boron isotopic compositions (δ(11)B) of the coral skeleton. Furthermore, individual nubbins exhibited near constant δ(11)B compositions along their primary apical growth axes (±0.02 pHcf units) regardless of the season or treatment. Thus, under the highly dynamic conditions of the Heron Island reef flat, P. cylindrica up-regulated the pH of its calcifying fluid (pHcf ∼8.4-8.6), with each nubbin having near-constant pHcf values independent of the large natural seasonal fluctuations of the reef flat waters (pH ∼7.7 to ∼8.3) or the superimposed FOCE treatments. This newly discovered phenomenon of pH homeostasis during calcification indicates that coral living in highly dynamic environments exert strong physiological controls on the carbonate chemistry of their calcifying fluid, implying a high degree of resilience to ocean acidification within the investigated ranges.

  14. High-intensity cardiac infections of Phthinomita heinigerae n. sp. (Digenea: Aporocotylidae) in the orangelined cardinalfish, Taeniamia fucata (Cantor), off Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Matthew J; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Cutmore, Scott C; Cribb, Thomas H; Miller, Terrence L

    2016-10-01

    We report a new species of aporocotylid trematode (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) from the heart of the orangelined cardinalfish, Taeniamia fucata (Cantor), from off Heron Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef. We used an integrated approach, analysing host distribution, morphology, and genetic data from the internal transcribed spacer 2 of the ribosomal DNA, to circumscribe Phthinomita heinigerae n. sp. This is the first species of Phthinomita Nolan & Cribb, 2006 reported from the Apogonidae; existing species and known 'types' are recorded from species of the Labridae, Mullidae, and Siganidae. The new species is distinguished from its 11 congeners in having a body 2977-3539 long and 16.5-22.4 times longer than wide, an anterior testis 6.2-8.2 times longer than wide and 8.3-13.0 times longer than the posterior testis, a posterior testis whose width is 35-56% of the body width, and an ovary positioned 11-13% of the body length from the posterior end, and is entirely anterior to the posterior margin of the anterior testis. In addition, 2-34 base differences (0.4-7.0% sequence divergence over 485 base positions) were detected among the ITS2 sequence representing P. heinigerae n. sp. and the 14 representing other Phthinomita species/molecular types. Prevalence and intensity of infection with P. heinigerae n. sp. was relatively high within the heart tissue of T. fucata, with 19 of 20 fish examined from off Heron Island infected (95%) with 7-25 adult worms (arithmetic mean 16.6). Infections by these parasites accounted for an occupation of 7-30% of the total estimated heart volume.

  15. Fish predation on sea urchins on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, M. A. L.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2012-09-01

    Predators are important for regulating adult sea urchin densities. Here, we employ remote underwater video cameras to record diurnal predation on tethered sea urchins at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We identified four fish predators of adult sea urchins ( Balistoides viridescens, Balistapus undulatus, Lethrinus atkinsoni and Choerodon schoenleinii). Predator activity appeared to be site-specific. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus (f: Balistidae) were the two most important predators of Echinometra mathaei with the former handling E. mathaei significantly faster (mean 0.7 min) than B. undulatus (5.2 min). Balistoides viridescens also successfully preyed on 70 % of detections, while C. schoenleinii, B. undulatus and L. atkinsoni preyed on just 33, 17 and <1 %, respectively. Additionally, B. viridescens were behaviourally dominant among predator species and were observed as aggressors in 30 encounters with B. undulatus and 8 encounters with L. atkinsoni. In only one encounter was B. viridescens the recipient of any aggression (from B. undulatus). In terms of relative vulnerability, of the three sea urchin species examined, E. mathaei were more vulnerable to predation than Diadema setosum or Echinothrix calamaris, with mean handling times of 1.2, 4.8 and 10.3 min, respectively. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus both appear to be able to play an important role as predators of sea urchins on the relatively intact coral reefs of Lizard Island. However, B. viridescens emerge as the most efficient predator in terms of handling speed and the proportion of detections preyed upon. They were also the behaviourally dominant predator. This preliminary study of the predators of sea urchins on the GBR highlights the potential significance of relatively scarce but functionally important species.

  16. Great Balls of Fire: A probabilistic approach to quantify the hazard related to ballistics - A case study at La Fossa volcano, Vulcano Island, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biass, Sébastien; Falcone, Jean-Luc; Bonadonna, Costanza; Di Traglia, Federico; Pistolesi, Marco; Rosi, Mauro; Lestuzzi, Pierino

    2016-10-01

    We present a probabilistic approach to quantify the hazard posed by volcanic ballistic projectiles (VBP) and their potential impact on the built environment. A model named Great Balls of Fire (GBF) is introduced to describe ballistic trajectories of VBPs accounting for a variable drag coefficient and topography. It relies on input parameters easily identifiable in the field and is designed to model large numbers of VBPs stochastically. Associated functions come with the GBF code to post-process model outputs into a comprehensive probabilistic hazard assessment for VBP impacts. Outcomes include probability maps to exceed given thresholds of kinetic energies at impact, hazard curves and probabilistic isoenergy maps. Probabilities are calculated either on equally-sized pixels or zones of interest. The approach is calibrated, validated and applied to La Fossa volcano, Vulcano Island (Italy). We constructed a generic eruption scenario based on stratigraphic studies and numerical inversions of the 1888-1890 long-lasting Vulcanian cycle of La Fossa. Results suggest a ~ 10- 2% probability of occurrence of VBP impacts with kinetic energies ≤ 104 J at the touristic locality of Porto. In parallel, the vulnerability to roof perforation was estimated by combining field observations and published literature, allowing for a first estimate of the potential impact of VBPs during future Vulcanian eruptions. Results indicate a high physical vulnerability to the VBP hazard, and, consequently, half of the building stock having a ≥ 2.5 × 10- 3% probability of roof perforation.

  17. Phenotypic shifts in urban areas in the tropical lizard Anolis cristatellus.

    PubMed

    Winchell, Kristin M; Reynolds, R Graham; Prado-Irwin, Sofia R; Puente-Rolón, Alberto R; Revell, Liam J

    2016-05-01

    Urbanization is an increasingly important dimension of global change, and urban areas likely impose significant natural selection on the species that reside within them. Although many species of plants and animals can survive in urban areas, so far relatively little research has investigated whether such populations have adapted (in an evolutionary sense) to their newfound milieu. Even less of this work has taken place in tropical regions, many of which have experienced dramatic growth and intensification of urbanization in recent decades. In the present study, we focus on the neotropical lizard, Anolis cristatellus. We tested whether lizard ecology and morphology differ between urban and natural areas in three of the most populous municipalities on the island of Puerto Rico. We found that environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, and substrate availability differ dramatically between neighboring urban and natural areas. We also found that lizards in urban areas use artificial substrates a large proportion of the time, and that these substrates tend to be broader than substrates in natural forest. Finally, our morphological data showed that lizards in urban areas have longer limbs relative to their body size, as well as more subdigital scales called lamellae, when compared to lizards from nearby forested habitats. This shift in phenotype is exactly in the direction predicted based on habitat differences between our urban and natural study sites, combined with our results on how substrates are being used by lizards in these areas. Findings from a common-garden rearing experiment using individuals from one of our three pairs of populations provide evidence that trait differences between urban and natural sites may be genetically based. Taken together, our data suggest that anoles in urban areas are under significant differential natural selection and may be evolutionarily adapting to their human-modified environments. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution

  18. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae)

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource. PMID:26871439

  19. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource.

  20. Australia Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2001-04-11

    The Great Barrier Reef extends for 2,000 kilometers along the northeastern coast of Australia. It is not a single reef, but a vast maze of reefs, passages, and coral cays islands that are part of the reef.

  1. Great Barrier Reef

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    article title:  Australia's Great Barrier Reef     View Larger Image ... reef, but a vast maze of reefs, passages, and coral cays (islands that are part of the reef). This nadir true-color image was acquired by ...

  2. Island tameness: living on islands reduces flight initiation distance.

    PubMed

    Cooper, William E; Pyron, R Alexander; Garland, Theodore

    2014-02-22

    One of Darwin's most widely known conjectures is that prey are tame on remote islands, where mammalian predators are absent. Many species appear to permit close approach on such islands, but no comparative studies have demonstrated reduced wariness quantified as flight initiation distance (FID; i.e. predator-prey distance when the prey begins to flee) in comparison with mainland relatives. We used the phylogenetic comparative method to assess influence of distance from the mainland and island area on FID of 66 lizard species. Because body size and predator approach speed affect predation risk, we included these as independent variables. Multiple regression showed that FID decreases as distance from mainland increases and is shorter in island than mainland populations. Although FID increased as area increased in some models, collinearity made it difficult to separate effects of area from distance and island occupancy. FID increases as SVL increases and approach speed increases; these effects are statistically independent of effects of distance to mainland and island occupancy. Ordinary least-squares models fit the data better than phylogenetic regressions, indicating little or no phylogenetic signal in residual FID after accounting for the independent variables. Our results demonstrate that island tameness is a real phenomenon in lizards.

  3. Lizards cooperatively tunnel to construct a long-term home for family members.

    PubMed

    McAlpin, Steve; Duckett, Paul; Stow, Adam

    2011-05-11

    Constructing a home to protect offspring while they mature is common in many vertebrate groups, but has not previously been reported in lizards. Here we provide the first example of a lizard that constructs a long-term home for family members, and a rare case of lizards behaving cooperatively. The great desert skink, Liopholis kintorei from Central Australia, constructs an elaborate multi-tunnelled burrow that can be continuously occupied for up to 7 years. Multiple generations participate in construction and maintenance of burrows. Parental assignments based on DNA analysis show that immature individuals within the same burrow were mostly full siblings, even when several age cohorts were present. Parents were always captured at burrows containing their offspring, and females were only detected breeding with the same male both within- and across seasons. Consequently, the individual investments made to construct or maintain a burrow system benefit their own offspring, or siblings, over several breeding seasons.

  4. Levels of helminth infection in the flat lizard Tropidurus semitaeniatus from north-eastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Bezerra, C H; Ávila, R W; Passos, D C; Zanchi-Silva, D; Galdino, C A B

    2016-11-01

    Parasites represent a great, unknown component of animal biodiversity. Recent efforts have begun to uncover patterns of infection by helminth parasites in several Neotropical lizards. The present study reports, for the first time, levels of helminth infection in a population of the flat lizard Tropidurus semitaeniatus. One hundred and thirty-nine lizards were examined and evidence of five intestinal helminth species was found, comprising four species of nematodes, one species of cestode and an unidentified encysted larval nematode. The most frequently occurring species was the intestinal nematode Parapharyngodon alvarengai, which did not exhibit differences in prevalence and intensity of infection relative to host sex or age/body size. Furthermore, helminth species richness was not related to host body size.

  5. Lizards Cooperatively Tunnel to Construct a Long-Term Home for Family Members

    PubMed Central

    McAlpin, Steve; Duckett, Paul; Stow, Adam

    2011-01-01

    Constructing a home to protect offspring while they mature is common in many vertebrate groups, but has not previously been reported in lizards. Here we provide the first example of a lizard that constructs a long-term home for family members, and a rare case of lizards behaving cooperatively. The great desert skink, Liopholis kintorei from Central Australia, constructs an elaborate multi-tunnelled burrow that can be continuously occupied for up to 7 years. Multiple generations participate in construction and maintenance of burrows. Parental assignments based on DNA analysis show that immature individuals within the same burrow were mostly full siblings, even when several age cohorts were present. Parents were always captured at burrows containing their offspring, and females were only detected breeding with the same male both within- and across seasons. Consequently, the individual investments made to construct or maintain a burrow system benefit their own offspring, or siblings, over several breeding seasons. PMID:21589923

  6. Parasitism of lizards by immature stages of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis (Acari, Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Oliver, James H; Banks, Craig W; Vogel, Gregory N

    2002-01-01

    From 1982-1985 and 1993-1999, a total of 309 individual reptiles, mostly lizards and snakes, belonging to 12 species (American alligator, six lizard species, five snake species) was captured on St. Catherine's Island, Liberty County, Georgia, USA, and examined for ticks. Three lizard species, the broad-headed skink Eumeces laticeps, southeastern 5-lined skink Eumeces inexpectatus, and eastern glass lizard Ophisaurus ventralis, were severely infested with larvae and nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Ticks were not found on any of the other reptile species. Overall, 80% of 65 E. inexpectatus examined were parasitized by a mean intensity of 21.5 larvae and 88% were parasitized by a mean intensity of 4.8 nymphs. Corresponding figures for E. laticeps (n=56) were 93% and 51.3 for larvae and 89% and 7.4 for nymphs, and for O. ventralis (n=3) were 67% and 22.5 for larvae and 100% and 21.3 for nymphs. Larvae and nymphs attached along the lateral grooves of O. ventralis. Nymphs attached mainly behind the ears and in the foreleg axillae whereas larvae mainly attached to these sites and on the hindlegs in Eumeces spp. Seasonally, both larvae and nymphs were recorded on lizards from April through October. A unimodal larval peak was recorded in May or June. Seasonal data for nymphs did not reveal any distinct peaks but small bimodal peaks in mean intensities may have occurred (one in early summer, the other in late summer) suggesting that some ticks complete their life cycle in one year, and others in two years, on St. Catherine's Island. Potential epidemiological consequences of these findings with respect to Lyme disease in the southeastern United States are briefly addressed.

  7. Learning foraging thresholds for lizards

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-01-12

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

  8. Sexual differences in behavioral thermoregulation of the lizard Scelarcis perspicillata.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Temperature determines all aspects of the biology of ectotherms. Although sexual differences in thermal ecology are not the rule in lizards, some species exhibit such differences. We studied the effect of sex and reproductive condition on the thermoregulation of an introduced population of Scelarcis perspicillata during the summer in Menorca (Balearic Islands, Spain). These lizards live in the wall surfaces of a limestone quarry, where the sun is scarce because of the narrowness of the quarry walls. The population is sexually dimorphic, with larger males than females. We measured body temperature (Tb) of adult males and females in the field, and air (Ta) and substrate temperature (Ts) at the capture sites, and recorded exposure to sunlight, height of the perch, and type of substrate. We also recorded operative temperatures (Te) as a null hypothesis of thermoregulation. Finally, we studied the thermal preferences of adult males and females in a laboratory thermal gradient. Thermal preferences were similar for pregnant and non-pregnant females, and sex did not affect the thermal preferences of lizards, even after controlling for the effect of body size. However, in the field, females achieved higher Tb than males, and occupied microhabitats with higher Ta and Ts and lower perch heights than males. Furthermore, females selected perches in full sun at a higher frequency than males. As a consequence, females achieved a higher accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation (0.89) than males (0.84). Thus, all else being equal, females would achieve a higher performance than males. The observed results are attributable to sexual differences in behaviour, probably in relation with the reproductive season.

  9. The molecular evolutionary tree of lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Nicolas; Hedges, S Blair

    2009-01-01

    Squamate reptiles (lizards, snakes, amphisbaenians) number approximately 8200 living species and are a major component of the world's terrestrial vertebrate diversity. Recent molecular phylogenies based on protein-coding nuclear genes have challenged the classical, morphology-based concept of squamate relationships, requiring new classifications, and drawing new evolutionary and biogeographic hypotheses. Even the key and long-held concept of a dichotomy between iguanians (approximately 1470 sp.) and scleroglossans (all other squamates) has been refuted because molecular trees place iguanians in a highly nested position. Together with snakes and anguimorphs, iguanians form a clade--Toxicofera--characterized by the presence of toxin secreting oral glands and demonstrating a single early origin of venom in squamates. Consequently, neither the varanid lizards nor burrowing lineages such as amphisbaenians or dibamid lizards are the closest relative of snakes. The squamate timetree shows that most major groups diversified in the Jurassic and Cretaceous, 200-66 million years (Myr) ago. In contrast, five of the six families of amphisbaenians arose during the early Cenozoic, approximately 60-40 Myr ago, and oceanic dispersal on floating islands apparently played a significant role in their distribution on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Among snakes, molecular data support the basic division between the small fossorial scolecophidians (approximately 370 sp.) and the alethinophidians (all other snakes, approximately 2700 sp.). They show that the alethinophidians were primitively macrostomatan and that this condition was secondarily lost by burrowing lineages. The diversification of alethinophidians resulted from a mid-Cretaceous vicariant event, the separation of South America from Africa, giving rise to Amerophidia (aniliids and tropidophiids) and Afrophidia (all other alethinophidians). Finally, molecular phylogenies have made it possible to draw a detailed evolutionary

  10. Lizard locomotion in heterogeneous granular media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiebel, Perrin; Goldman, Daniel

    2014-03-01

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

  11. Temperature, activity, and lizard life histories

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-08-01

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

  12. Temperature, activity, and lizard life histories.

    PubMed

    Adolph, S C; Porter, W P

    1993-08-01

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

  13. Great Minds? Great Lakes!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Environmental Protection Agency, Chicago, IL. Great Lakes National Program Office.

    This book contains lesson plans that provide an integrated approach to incorporating Great Lakes environmental issues into elementary subjects. The book is divided into three subject areas: (1) History, which includes the origins of the Great Lakes, Great Lakes people, and shipwrecks; (2) Social Studies, which covers government, acid rain as a…

  14. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in clams, sediments, and seawater from the Great Barrier Reef region, Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Bagg, J.; Smith, J.D. )

    1988-09-01

    On the Great Barrier Reef actively growing organisms occur mainly in shallow water, between the low-water mark and about 5m depth. The effects of hydrocarbon pollution either from discharge into the sea or run-off from the shore might be expected to be most significantly at air/water or solid/water interfaces and so the earliest indications of contamination are likely to be found in species that live in this vulnerable zone. For this reason the clam Tridacna maxima which is found in the intertidal region was chosen to be analyzed for PAH content. This clam occurs in adequate numbers along the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef and yields enough tissue to permit detection of PAH at very low concentrations. In addition during collection their shells close so that the chance of significant contamination during transport is very small. Clams were taken from a number of sites including isolated reefs such as John Brewer Reef, the research stations, Heron and Lizard Islands, and a tourist resort, Green Island. At all these sites sediments were analyzed for PAH and at Green Island, in addition, seawater was analyzed.

  15. Nonsynchronous recovery of community characteristics in island spiders after a catastrophic hurricane

    PubMed Central

    Schoener, Thomas W.; Spiller, David A.

    2006-01-01

    We monitored spiders on 41 Bahamian islands for 4 years before and then 4 years after the catastrophic Hurricane Floyd passed directly over the site, inundating the study islands with its storm surge. The respective recoveries of major community properties after this annihilation were far from synchronous. Before the hurricane, the species-area relation was generally strong and the slope showed no temporal trend. After the hurricane, the slope increased from near zero (7 months later) to a value about equal to its prehurricane state. The lizard effect (difference in spider abundance or species richness between islands with and without the lizard Anolis sagrei) was generally strong before the hurricane; 7 months after, the lizard effect on abundance was weak and the effect on richness had vanished. In subsequent years, the lizard effect on abundance became strong again, but the effect on species richness remained weak. The strength of the lizard effect on both abundance and richness over the 8 years was strongly positively related to the density of lizards measured on a subset of the study islands. Twelve months after the hurricane, species richness averaged over all islands rebounded to the last prehurricane value, but abundance attained only about half that value; this finding was remarkably similar to results found in an earlier study of spiders impacted by Hurricane Lili (1996) in a different Bahamian region. Nonetheless, in the next 3 years, species richness failed to increase further, part of its long-term decline at the study site. PMID:16452167

  16. Isolation of Trypanosoma brucei from the monitor lizard (Varanus niloticus) in an endemic focus of Rhodesian sleeping sickness in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Njagu, Z; Mihok, S; Kokwaro, E; Verloo, D

    1999-03-15

    Monitor lizards were sampled along the shores of Lake Victoria to detect natural infections of potentially human-infective trypanosomes. In an area with endemic rhodesian sleeping sickness, one of 19 lizards was infected (Busia, Kenya). Six of ten lizards also showed indirect evidence of infection with Trypanosoma brucei (antibody ELISA). In an area with no recent history of human disease (Rusinga Island), no parasites were found and no antibodies to T. brucei were detected. The isolate was identified as T. brucei through xenodiagnosis (completion of the life cycle in the salivary glands of tsetse), and through molecular techniques (positive reactions with a PCR primer and a microsatellite DNA probe characteristic of the subgenus Trypanozoon). Experimental infections of monitor lizards were also attempted with a variety of parasites and tsetse species. It was possible to infect monitor lizards with T. brucei but not with forest or savannah genotypes of Trypanosoma congolense. Parasites reached low levels of parasitaemia for a short period without generating any pathology; they also remained infective to tsetse and laboratory rats. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the endemicity of sleeping sickness.

  17. Anatomy, morphology and evolution of the patella in squamate lizards and tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus).

    PubMed

    Regnault, Sophie; Jones, Marc E H; Pitsillides, Andrew A; Hutchinson, John R

    2016-05-01

    The patella (kneecap) is the largest and best-known of the sesamoid bones, postulated to confer biomechanical advantages including increasing joint leverage and reinforcing the tendon against compression. It has evolved several times independently in amniotes, but despite apparently widespread occurrence in lizards, the patella remains poorly characterised in this group and is, as yet, completely undescribed in their nearest extant relative Sphenodon (Rhynchocephalia). Through radiography, osteological and fossil studies we examined patellar presence in diverse lizard and lepidosauromorph taxa, and using computed tomography, dissection and histology we investigated in greater depth the anatomy and morphology of the patella in 16 lizard species and 19 Sphenodon specimens. We have found the first unambiguous evidence of a mineralised patella in Sphenodon, which appears similar to the patella of lizards and shares several gross and microscopic anatomical features. Although there may be a common mature morphology, the squamate patella exhibits a great deal of variability in development (whether from a cartilage anlage or not, and in the number of mineralised centres) and composition (bone, mineralised cartilage or fibrotendinous tissue). Unlike in mammals and birds, the patella in certain lizards and Sphenodon appears to be a polymorphic trait. We have also explored the evolution of the patella through ancestral state reconstruction, finding that the patella is ancestral for lizards and possibly Lepidosauria as a whole. Clear evidence of the patella in rhynchocephalian or stem lepidosaurian fossil taxa would clarify the evolutionary origin(s) of the patella, but due to the small size of this bone and the opportunity for degradation or loss we could not definitively conclude presence or absence in the fossils examined. The pattern of evolution in lepidosaurs is unclear but our data suggest that the emergence of this sesamoid may be related to the evolution of secondary

  18. The Role of Diet in Shaping the Chemical Signal Design of Lacertid Lizards.

    PubMed

    Baeckens, Simon; García-Roa, Roberto; Martín, José; Van Damme, Raoul

    2017-09-16

    Lizards communicate with others via chemical signals, the composition of which may vary among species. Although the selective pressures and constraints affecting chemical signal diversity at the species level remain poorly understood, the possible role of diet has been largely neglected. The chemical signals of many lizards originate from the femoral glands that exude a mixture of semiochemicals, and may be used in a variety of contexts. We analyzed the lipophilic fraction of the glandular secretions of 45 species of lacertid lizard species by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The proportions of nine major chemical classes (alcohols, aldehydes, fatty acids, furanones, ketones, steroids, terpenoids, tocopherols and waxy esters), the relative contributions of these different classes ('chemical diversity'), and the total number of different lipophilic compounds ('chemical richness') varied greatly among species. We examined whether interspecific differences in these chemical variables could be coupled to interspecific variation in diet using data from the literature. In addition, we compared chemical signal composition among species that almost never, occasionally, or often eat plant material. We found little support for the hypothesis that the chemical profile of a given species' secretion depends on the type of food consumed. Diet breadth did not correlate with chemical diversity or richness. The amount of plants or ants consumed did not affect the relative contribution of any of the nine major chemical classes to the secretion. Chemical diversity did not differ among lizards with different levels of plant consumption; however, chemical richness was low in species with an exclusive arthropod diet, suggesting that incorporating plants in the diet enables lizards to increase the number of compounds allocated to secretions, likely because a (partly) herbivorous diet allows them to include compounds of plant origin that are unavailable in animal prey. Still, overall

  19. Great Lakes: Great Gardening.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York Sea Grant Inst., Albany, NY.

    This folder contains 12 fact sheets designed to improve the quality of gardens near the Great Lakes. The titles are: (1) "Your Garden and the Great Lakes"; (2) "Organic Gardening"; (3) "Fruit and Vegetable Gardening"; (4) "Composting Yard Wastes"; (5) "Herbicides and Water Quality"; (6)…

  20. Wall lizards display conspicuous signals to conspecifics and reduce detection by avian predators

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Visual signals are often under conflicting selection to be hidden from predators while being conspicuous to mates and rivals. Here, we investigated whether 3 different island populations of Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) with variable coloration among diverse island habitats exhibit simultaneous camouflage and sexual signals. We examined whether signals appear better tuned to conspecific vision as opposed to that of avian predators, and whether background-matching camouflage and sexual signals are partitioned to specific body regions. This could facilitate both covert sexual signaling and camouflage according to the viewing perspectives of predators and conspecifics. We found that lizards typically appeared twice as conspicuous to conspecifics than to avian predators against the same visual background, largely due to lizards’ enhanced sensitivity to ultraviolet, suggesting that P. erhardii signals are tuned to conspecific vision to reduce detection by predators. Males were more conspicuous than females to both predators and conspecifics. In 2 populations, male backs were relatively more camouflaged to predators compared to signaling flanks, whereas in females, exposed and concealed surfaces were camouflaged to predators and generally did not differ in background matching. These findings indicate that lizard coloration evolves under the competing demands of natural and sexual selection to promote signals that are visible to conspecifics while being less perceptible to avian predators. They also elucidate how interactions between natural and sexual selection influence signal detectability and partitioning to different body regions, highlighting the importance of considering receiver vision, viewing perspectives, and signaling environments in studies of signal evolution. PMID:25419083

  1. Aliphatic hydrocarbons in Great Barrier Reef organisms and environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coates, M.; Connell, D. W.; Bodero, J.; Miller, G. J.; Back, R.

    1986-07-01

    This investigation was undertaken to assess the chemical nature, occurrence, and possible origin of petroleum hydrocarbons in the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. Aliphatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments, water, and a suite of seven species from widely separated coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef area were analysed by gas chromatography, and by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The hydrocarbons found were substantially of biogenic origin. The major components were n-pentadecane, n-heptadecane, pristane and mono-alkenes based on heptadecane, and were believed to originate from benthic algae and phytoplankton. There was no evidence to suggest that lipid content had any influence on hydrocarbon content. Hydrocarbons from the organisms and sediments have characteristic composition patterns which would be altered by the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons. An unresolved complex mixture, usually considered indicative of petroleum contamination, was found in greater than trace amounts only in Holothuria (sea cucumber) and Acropora (coral) from the Capricorn Group, and in some sediment samples from the Capricorn Group and Lizard Island area.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mathewson, J J

    1979-01-01

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

  3. Data use investigations for applications Explorer Mission A (Heat Capacity Mapping Mission): HCMM's role in studies of the urban heat island, Great Lakes thermal phenomena and radiometric calibration of satellite data. [Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester New York and Lake Ontario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schott, J. R. (Principal Investigator); Schimminger, E. W.

    1981-01-01

    The utility of data from NASA'a heat capacity mapping mission satellite for studies of the urban heat island, thermal phenomena in large lakes and radiometric calibration of satellite sensors was assessed. The data were found to be of significant value in all cases. Using HCMM data, the existence and microstructure of the heat island can be observed and associated with land cover within the urban complex. The formation and development of the thermal bar in the Great Lakes can be observed and quantitatively mapped using HCMM data. In addition, the thermal patterns observed can be associated with water quality variations observed both from other remote sensing platforms and in situ. The imaging radiometer on-board the HCMM satellite is shown to be calibratible to within about 1.1 C of actual surface temperatures. These findings, as well as the analytical procedures used in studying the HCMM data, are included.

  4. Phenotypic resonance from a single meal in an insectivorous lizard.

    PubMed

    Massot, Manuel; Aragón, Pedro

    2013-07-22

    Environmental variations are usually thought to require a nonanecdotal intensity or duration to have major effects on individuals and evolutionary outputs. However, environmental variations of weak intensity and short duration could be of major importance when they influence key targets or critical stages. Because conditions experienced early in life can be critical determinants of life history trajectories, especially early nutrition, we tested this hypothesis by experimentally manipulating the first meal of life in the lizard Zootoca vivipara. The species is a live-bearing lizard without parental care, and it consumes small arthropods. Neonates face a great challenge in acquiring their first meal, as is the case in many species that develop skills through learning to capture live prey. We show that this single meal had an overall and long-lasting impact. Effects on dispersal arose within 10 days, and we found effects 1-2 months later on growth, recapture probability, and juvenile survival. Interestingly, we detected effects on reproduction up to 2 years later. Such a "phenotypic resonance" reveals that the influence of small and ephemeral events should not be neglected by evolutionary biologists. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Great Minds? Great Lakes!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Environmental Protection Agency, Chicago, IL. Great Lakes National Program Office.

    This booklet introduces an environmental curriculum for use in a variety of elementary subjects. The lesson plans provide an integrated approach to incorporating Great Lakes environmental issues into the subjects of history, social studies, and environmental sciences. Each of these sections contains background information, discussion points, and a…

  6. Locomotion, Energetics, Performance, and Behavior: A Mammalian Perspective on Lizards, and Vice Versa.

    PubMed

    Garland, Theodore; Albuquerque, Ralph L

    2017-08-01

    Animals are constrained by their abilities and by interactions with environmental factors, such as low ambient temperatures. These constraints range from physical impossibilities to energetic inefficiencies, and may entail trade-offs. Some of the constraints related to locomotion and activity metabolism can be illustrated through allometric comparisons of mammals and lizards, as representative terrestrial vertebrate endotherms and ectotherms, respectively, because these lineages differ greatly in aerobic metabolic capacities, resting energetic costs, and thermoregulatory patterns. Allometric comparisons are both useful and unavoidable, but "outlier" species (unusual for their clade) can also inform evolutionary scenarios, as they help indicate extremes of possible adaptation within mammalian and saurian levels of organization. We compared mammals and lizards for standard metabolic rate (SMR), maximal oxygen consumption during forced exercise (VO2max), net (incremental) cost of transport (NCT), maximal aerobic speed (MAS), daily movement distance (DMD), daily energy expenditure (DEE) during the active season, and the ecological cost of transport (ECT = percentage of DEE attributable to locomotion). (Snakes were excluded because their limbless locomotion has no counterpart in terrestrial mammals.) We only considered lizard SMR, VO2max, NCT, MAS, and sprint speed data if measured at 35-40 °C. On average, MAS is ∼7.4-fold higher in mammals, whereas SMR and VO2max are ∼6-fold greater, but values for all three of these traits overlap (or almost overlap) between mammals and lizards, a fact that has not previously been appreciated. Previous studies show that sprint speeds are similar for smaller mammals and lizards, but at larger sizes lizards are not as fast as some mammals. Mammals move ∼6-fold further each day than lizards, and DMD is by far the most variable trait considered here, but their NCT is similar. Mammals exceed lizards by ∼11.4-fold for DEE. On

  7. Island biogeography of the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Helmus, Matthew R; Mahler, D Luke; Losos, Jonathan B

    2014-09-25

    For centuries, biogeographers have examined the factors that produce patterns of biodiversity across regions. The study of islands has proved particularly fruitful and has led to the theory that geographic area and isolation influence species colonization, extinction and speciation such that larger islands have more species and isolated islands have fewer species (that is, positive species-area and negative species-isolation relationships). However, experimental tests of this theory have been limited, owing to the difficulty in experimental manipulation of islands at the scales at which speciation and long-distance colonization are relevant. Here we have used the human-aided transport of exotic anole lizards among Caribbean islands as such a test at an appropriate scale. In accord with theory, as anole colonizations have increased, islands impoverished in native species have gained the most exotic species, the past influence of speciation on island biogeography has been obscured, and the species-area relationship has strengthened while the species-isolation relationship has weakened. Moreover, anole biogeography increasingly reflects anthropogenic rather than geographic processes. Unlike the island biogeography of the past that was determined by geographic area and isolation, in the Anthropocene--an epoch proposed for the present time interval--island biogeography is dominated by the economic isolation of human populations.

  8. Lizard locomotion on weak sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldman, Daniel

    2005-03-01

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

  9. Lizard-Skin Surface Texture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

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

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

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

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

  10. Lizard-Skin Surface Texture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

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

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

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

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

  11. Cranial kinesis in gekkonid lizards

    PubMed

    Herrel; De Vree F; Delheusy; Gans

    1999-12-01

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

  12. A modern soft-bottom, shallow-water crinoid fauna (Echinodermata) from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messing, C. G.; Meyer, D. L.; Siebeck, U. E.; Jermiin, L. S.; Vaney, D. I.; Rouse, G. W.

    2006-03-01

    A recent preliminary survey revealed that 12 species of unstalked crinoids occur on a gentle sandy slope (12 18 m depth) at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia; five of which are also found on coral reefs. The other seven appear to constitute a unique assemblage restricted to unconsolidated substrates, where most cling to algae or hide beneath rubble or sponges. Members of this assemblage exhibit all of the basic feeding postures found among reef-dwelling species. However, Comatula rotalaria, which lacks anchoring cirri and bears uniquely differentiated short and long arms, exhibits a posture different from other living crinoids. Quantitative transects reveal apparent depth-related differences in species composition: C. rotalaria dominated the 12 transects in 12 13 m (84% of 82 specimens), while Comatella nigra, Comatula cf. purpurea, Amphimetra cf. tessellata and Zygometra microdiscus accounted for 96% of 54 specimens observed along 12 transects in 16 17 m.

  13. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the clam Tridacna maxima from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, J.D.; Bagg, J.; Bycroft, B.M.

    1984-05-01

    The concentrations of eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), anthracene, pyrene, chrysene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(ghi)perylene, fluoranthene, and perylene, were measured in clams, Tridacna maxima, collected from sites on the Great Barrier Reef ranging in latitude from 14/sup 0/31'S to 23/sup 0/33' S. At most locations the concentrations of PAH were not significantly above the limit of detection, e.g., pyrene < 0.07 ..mu..g/kg wet weight, benzo(a)pyrene < 0.01 ..mu..g/kg, and chrysene < 0.07 ..mu..g/kg. These levels of PAH appear to be the lowest reported for clams anywhere in the world, indicating the pristine nature of the Great Barrier Reef at the present time. Concentrations significantly above detection levels were found at only two sites, Lizard Island First Beach (anthracene, 3.2 ..mu..g/kg; pyrene, 1.4 ..mu..g/kg) and Heron Island Harbour (pyrene, 1.2 ..mu..g/kg; benzo(a)pyrene, 0.02 ..mu..g/kg). Both sites are frequently visited by power boats which are the most likely source of hydrocarbon contamination. These low levels of contamination would not have been demonstrated by the measurement of only the most commonly studied PAH, benzo(a)pyrene. Simultaneous determination of several PAH was necessary to show clearly that some localized pollution had occurred.

  14. Plasma lipid concentrations for some Brazilian lizards.

    PubMed

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-26

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

  17. Scaling of rotational inertia in murine rodents and two species of lizard.

    PubMed

    Walter, Rebecca M; Carrier, David R

    2002-07-01

    Because the force required to rotate a body about an axis is directly proportional to its rotational inertia about the axis, it is likely that animals with high rotational inertia would be constrained in their turning abilities. Given that rotational inertia scales with mass(1.67) in geometrically similar animals, whereas the ability to apply torque scales with mass(1.00), larger animals would be expected to have more difficulty turning than smaller animals of similar shape. To determine how rotational inertia scales with body mass, we used the fact that the period of a physical pendulum is proportional to its rotational inertia(0.50), and measured rotational inertia in two groups of vertebrates with greatly different body shapes: murine rodents (Mus domesticus and Rattus norvegicus) and lizards (Iguana iguana and Varanus exanthematicus). Rotational inertia did not deviate significantly from isometric scaling in the murine rodents as a group or in the varanid lizards, scaling with mass(1.63) and mass(1.59), respectively. Although rotational inertia did scale with negative allometry in iguanas and rats alone, with mass(1.56) and mass(1.42), respectively, it still increased much more quickly with increasing mass than the predicted ability to apply torque. This suggests either that these animals are not constrained by rotational inertia because of their relatively small size or that larger rodents and lizards are poorer turners than smaller ones. The murine rodents had a 3.0- to 4.9-fold lower rotational inertia than similarly sized lizards of either species. Given that the basal synapsids had body proportions and limb configurations similar to those of modern lizards, we suggest that the loss of the large muscular tail and elongated body form during the evolution of cynodonts and mammals reduced rotational inertia and probably improved turning ability.

  18. Rickettsia Detected in the Reptile Tick Bothriocroton hydrosauri from the Lizard Tiliqua rugosa in South Australia

    PubMed Central

    Whiley, Harriet; Custance, Georgie; Graves, Stephen; Stenos, John; Taylor, Michael; Ross, Kirstin; Gardner, Michael G.

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsiosis is a potentially fatal tick borne disease. It is caused by the obligate intracellular bacteria Rickettsia, which is transferred to humans through salivary excretions of ticks during the biting process. Globally, the incidence of tick-borne diseases is increasing; as such, there is a need for a greater understanding of tick–host interactions to create more informed risk management strategies. Flinders Island spotted fever rickettsioses has been identified throughout Australia (Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Torres Strait Islands) with possible identifications in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Italy. Flinders Island spotted fever is thought to be spread through tick bites and the reptile tick Bothriocroton hydrosauri has been implicated as a vector in this transmission. This study used qPCR to assay Bothriocroton hydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard) hosts on mainland South Australia near where spotted fever cases have been identified. We report that, although we discovered Rickettsia in all tick samples, it was not Rickettsia honei. This study is the first to use PCR to positively identify Rickettsia from South Australian Bothriocroton hydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard) hosts. These findings suggest that B. hydrosauri may be a vector of multiple Rickettsia spp. Also as all 41 tested B. hydrosauri ticks were positive for Rickettsia this indicates an extremely high prevalence within the studied area in South Australia. PMID:27338482

  19. Vicariance divergence and gene flow among islet populations of an endemic lizard.

    PubMed

    Runemark, Anna; Hey, Jody; Hansson, Bengt; Svensson, Erik I

    2012-01-01

    Allopatry and allopatric speciation can arise through two different mechanisms: vicariance or colonization through dispersal. Distinguishing between these different allopatric mechanisms is difficult and one of the major challenges in biogeographical research. Here, we address whether allopatric isolation in an endemic island lizard is the result of vicariance or dispersal. We estimated the amount and direction of gene flow during the divergence of isolated islet populations and subspecies of the endemic Skyros wall lizard Podarcis gaigeae, a phenotypically variable species that inhabits a major island and small islets in the Greek archipelago. We applied isolation-with-migration models to estimate population divergence times, population sizes and gene flow between islet-mainland population pairs. Divergence times were significantly correlated with independently estimated geological divergence times. This correlation strongly supports a vicariance scenario where islet populations have sequentially become isolated from the major island. We did not find evidence for significant gene flow within P. g. gaigeae. However, gene-flow estimates from the islet to the mainland populations were positively affected by islet area and negatively by distance between the islet and mainland. We also found evidence for gene flow from one subspecies (P. g. weigandi) into another (P. g. gaigeae), but not in the other direction. Ongoing gene flow between the subspecies suggests that even in this geographically allopatric scenario with the sea posing a strong barrier to dispersal, divergence with some gene flow is still feasible.

  20. The particularities of a remote islet shape the thermoregulatory profile of an endemic Mediterranean lizard.

    PubMed

    Pafilis, Panayiotis; Lymberakis, Petros; Sagonas, Kostas; Valakos, Efstratios

    2016-10-01

    Environmental temperatures considerably affect the reptilian ability for thermoregulation and harsh climatic conditions may impose a highly effective body temperature regulation to lizards. Such demanding conditions are more common to extreme mainland habitats (e.g. deserts or mountains). To the contrary, islands have more benign climate conditions thanks to the thermal buffering effect of the surrounding sea. However, this favorable effect may be eliminated in small size islets where the scarcity of thermal shelters and exposure to high winds create challenging conditions. Here we investigate the impact of a tough islet habitat on the thermoregulation of Podarcis levendis, a lacertid lizard endemic to two rocky islets in the north Cretan Sea, Greece. To evaluate the thermoregulatory effectiveness of P. levendis we measured operative and body temperatures in the field and the preferred body temperatures in the lab. Analyses of the thermal data revealed an accurate, precise, and effective thermoregulator, achieving very high thermoregulation values (E =0.91, de¯-db¯ =7.6). This high effectiveness comes to compensate living in an inhospitable habitat as the operative temperatures denote (de =7.79). Our findings, together with the limited published literature, suggested the lack of a general pattern for all insular lizards and indicated a possible deviation for islet habitats. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Resurrection of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878 for the Green Crested Lizard (Squamata, Agamidae) of southern Myanmar

    PubMed Central

    Zug, George R.; Mulcahy, Daniel G.; Vindum, Jens V.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Recent fieldwork in southern Tanintharyi revealed the presence of a small Green Crested Lizard in the wet evergreen forest. We generated mtDNA sequence data (ND2) that demonstrates that this population’s nearest relative is Bronchocela rayaensis Grismer et al., 2015 of Pulau Langkawi, northwestern Peninsular Malaysia and Phuket Island. Morphologically the Burmese Bronchocela shares many features with Bronchocela rayaensis, which potentially would make this recently described Thai-Malay species a synonym of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878; however, we interpret the genetic and morphological differences to reflect evolutionary divergence and recommend the recognition of both species. PMID:28331413

  2. Resurrection of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878 for the Green Crested Lizard (Squamata, Agamidae) of southern Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Zug, George R; Mulcahy, Daniel G; Vindum, Jens V

    2017-01-01

    Recent fieldwork in southern Tanintharyi revealed the presence of a small Green Crested Lizard in the wet evergreen forest. We generated mtDNA sequence data (ND2) that demonstrates that this population's nearest relative is Bronchocela rayaensis Grismer et al., 2015 of Pulau Langkawi, northwestern Peninsular Malaysia and Phuket Island. Morphologically the Burmese Bronchocela shares many features with Bronchocela rayaensis, which potentially would make this recently described Thai-Malay species a synonym of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878; however, we interpret the genetic and morphological differences to reflect evolutionary divergence and recommend the recognition of both species.

  3. Taga the Great.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Frances S.

    Legends can be incorporated into elementary social studies curricula to help students understand how people transmitted history and culture from one generation to another before they learned to read and write. Taga the Great is a legend which helps explain the 16-feet high latte stones on the Mariana Islands, Tinian and Rota. According to legend,…

  4. Synuclein expression in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  5. Lizard thermal biology: do genders differ?

    PubMed

    Huey, Raymond B; Pianka, Eric R

    2007-09-01

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

  6. Integrative biology of tail autotomy in lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Phacoemulsification in an adult Savannah monitor lizard.

    PubMed

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

    2002-09-01

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

  8. Embryonic developmental process governing the conspicuousness of body stripes and blue tail coloration in the lizard Plestiodon latiscutatus.

    PubMed

    Kuriyama, Takeo; Hasegawa, Masami

    2017-01-01

    The combination of body stripes and vivid blue tail color has independently evolved in different lizard families. To understand how and when lizards developed this coloration, we microscopically compared the embryonic development of pigment cells in two island populations of Plestiodon latiscutatus that exhibit either striped and blue tailed or inconspicuously striped and blue tailed juveniles, based on the newly determined 12 normal developmental stages of embryos from shortly after egg laying to just before hatching. We focus on the role of the melanophores in the body stripe and the role of iridophore morphotypes in the extent of blue tail coloration. The melanophore density in the black background region was higher in lizards with vivid stripes than in lizards with drab stripes. Iridophores started to fill the dermal space that was not yet occupied by melanophores, which resulted in a higher iridophore density in stripes than in the inter-stripe regions. We also discovered that iridophores with thin platelets reflecting blue structural coloration appeared at a specific region in the tail at stage 11. The position of the tail where iridophores emerged coincided with the boundary area separating anterior brown and green colored tail from posterior blue colored tail after hatching. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Molecular survey and microscopic examination of Hepatozoon Miller, 1908 (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) in lacertid lizards from the western Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Maia, João P M C; Perera, Ana; Harris, D James

    2012-12-01

    The genus Hepatozoon Miller, 1908 (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) is composed of intracellular haemogregarine parasites that are widely distributed among all tetrapod groups. The present study combines microscopic and molecular data on haemogregarine parasites from lizards in the western Mediterranean. We screened tissue samples and examined blood smears for the presence of species of Hepatozoon from four lizards, namely Algyroides marchi Valverde, endemic to Southeast Spain, Podarcis bocagei Seoane from Spain and Portugal, P hispanica Steindachner from Spain, and P lilfordi Günther from Cabrera, Balearic Islands (Spain). Our results show that prevalence and intensity of Hepatozoon parasites vary between and within lizard species from different regions. Algyroides marchi and P bocagei from Spain had the lowest values, whereas P hispanica had the highest. Phylogeny based on 18S rRNA gene sequences indicates that most of the new Hepatozoon sequences are part of a clade exclusive from North African and Iberian lizards, except for a single P bocagei isolate that is found related to another clade including isolates from other reptile host species and rodents. Interestingly, isolates from Algyroides form a distinct monophyletic subgroup, which could be a signal of strict host-specificity within this host genus.

  10. Postseismic Gravity Change After the 2006-2007 Great Earthquake Doublet and Constraints on the Asthenosphere Structure in the Central Kuril Islands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shin-Chan, Han; Sauber, Jeanne; Pollitz, Fred

    2016-01-01

    Large earthquakes often trigger viscoelastic adjustment for years to decades depending on the rheological properties and the nature and spatial extent of coseismic stress. The 2006 Mw8.3 thrust and 2007 Mw8.1 normal fault earthquakes of the central Kuril Islands resulted in significant postseismic gravity change in GRACE but without a discernible coseismic gravity change. The gravity increase of approximately 4 micro-Gal, observed consistently from various GRACE solutions around the epicentral area during 2007-2015, is interpreted as resulting from gradual seafloor uplift by (is) approximately 6 cm produced by postseismic relaxation. The GRACE data are best fit with a model of 25-35 km for the elastic thickness and approximately 10(exp 18) Pa s for the Maxwell viscosity of the asthenosphere. The large measurable postseismic gravity change (greater than coseismic change) emphasizes the importance of viscoelastic relaxation in understanding tectonic deformation and fault-locking scenarios in the Kuril subduction zone.

  11. Postseismic gravity change after the 2006-2007 great earthquake doublet and constraints on the asthenosphere structure in the central Kuril Islands.

    PubMed

    Han, Shin-Chan; Sauber, Jeanne; Pollitz, Fred

    2016-04-16

    Large earthquakes often trigger viscoelastic adjustment for years to decades depending on the rheological properties and the nature and spatial extent of coseismic stress. The 2006 Mw8.3 thrust and 2007 Mw8.1 normal fault earthquakes of the central Kuril Islands resulted in significant postseismic gravity change in GRACE but without a discernible coseismic gravity change. The gravity increase of ~4 µGal, observed consistently from various GRACE solutions around the epicentral area during 2007-2015, is interpreted as resulting from gradual seafloor uplift by ~6 cm produced by postseismic relaxation. The GRACE data are best fit with a model of 25-35 km for the elastic thickness and ~10(18) Pa s for the Maxwell viscosity of the asthenosphere. The large measurable postseismic gravity change (greater than coseismic change) emphasizes the importance of viscoelastic relaxation in understanding tectonic deformation and fault-locking scenarios in the Kuril subduction zone.

  12. 76 FR 37143 - Buck Island, Green Cay, and Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuges, U.S. Virgin Islands; Final...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-24

    ..., such as rats, cats, and dogs. The introduction of the exotic Indian mongoose likely completed the... National Park Service, in May 2008, 57 individual St. Croix ground lizards were translocated to Buck Island..., we will continue existing programs of reforestation, rat and invasive plant control, and...

  13. Assembly rules for Greater Antillean Anolis lizards : Competition and random models compared.

    PubMed

    Haefner, J W

    1988-01-01

    Using previously published data, several models were constructed to predict the distribution of Anolis lizard species on a set of sites on Puerto Rico and Jamaica. The models form a series with increasing ecological detail. The simpler "null" models are based on randomly created species-site matrices using progressively greater dependency on the observed matrix. The remaining models hypothesize that competition is the most important biotic interaction determining the intra-island distribution of the lizards. "Simple" competition models test the predictive power of simple statistical descriptions relating intensity of competition and ecological variables such as niche overlap and body size ratios. More complicated models are based on the ecomorph model of Williams (1972) and use the lizard resourceuse data of several niche dimensions (e.g., perch diameter and height). These models are derived from Puerto Rican data and tested against Jamaican data. The primary statistical tool used to test the accuracy of these models in the kappa statistic (Fleiss 1973) which assesses the degree of agreement in a contingency table relative to that expected by chance. The model structure is based on generative grammars (Haefner 1981), but is also related to artificial intelligence expert systems. Model comparisons indicate the following. (1) Only those null models constrained by the marginals of the observed species-site matrix agree with observed data. (2) Simple competition models based on fixed size ratios and/or fixed levels of allowable overlap do not agree well. (3) A complex competition model developed for Puerto Rico also shows significant agreement with lizard distributions on Jamaica, but is not better than a constrained null model. (4) If allowance is made for the restricted distribution of A. sagrei, a recent colonist of Jamaica, agreement of the competition model increases dramatically. It is predicted that A. sagrei would persist following an experimental transplant to

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  15. The island-mainland species turnover relationship.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Yoel E; Losos, Jonathan B; Algar, Adam C

    2012-10-07

    Many oceanic islands are notable for their high endemism, suggesting that islands may promote unique assembly processes. However, mainland assemblages sometimes harbour comparable levels of endemism, suggesting that island biotas may not be as unique as is often assumed. Here, we test the uniqueness of island biotic assembly by comparing the rate of species turnover among islands and the mainland, after accounting for distance decay and environmental gradients. We modelled species turnover as a function of geographical and environmental distance for mainland (M-M) communities of Anolis lizards and Terrarana frogs, two clades that have diversified extensively on Caribbean islands and the mainland Neotropics. We compared mainland-island (M-I) and island-island (I-I) species turnover with predictions of the M-M model. If island assembly is not unique, then the M-M model should successfully predict M-I and I-I turnover, given geographical and environmental distance. We found that M-I turnover and, to a lesser extent, I-I turnover were significantly higher than predicted for both clades. Thus, in the first quantitative comparison of mainland-island species turnover, we confirm the long-held but untested assumption that island assemblages accumulate biodiversity differently than their mainland counterparts.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

  17. Islands in the ice stream: were spawning habitats for native salmonids in the Great Lakes created by paleo-ice streams?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riley, Stephen; Binder, Thomas R.; Tucker, Taaja R.; Menzies, John; Eyles, Nick; Janssen, John; Muir, Andrew M.; Esselman, Peter C.; Wattrus, Nigel J.; Krueger, Charles C.

    2016-01-01

    Lake trout Salvelinus namaycush, lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis and cisco Coregonus artedi are salmonid fishes native to the Laurentian Great Lakes that spawn on rocky substrates in the fall and early winter. After comparing the locations of spawning habitat for these species in the main basin of Lake Huron with surficial substrates and the hypothesized locations of fast-flowing Late Wisconsinan paleo-ice streams, we hypothesize that much of the spawning habitat for these species in Lake Huron is the result of deposition and erosion by paleo-ice streams. This hypothesis may represent a new framework for the identification and protection of spawning habitat for these native species, some of which are currently rare or extirpated in some of the Great Lakes. We further suggest that paleo-ice streams may have been responsible for the creation of native salmonid spawning habitat elsewhere in the Great Lakes and in other glaciated landscapes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-02

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

  19. Adaptive Color Polymorphism and Unusually High Local Genetic Diversity in the Side-Blotched Lizard, Uta stansburiana

    PubMed Central

    Micheletti, Steven; Parra, Eliseo; Routman, Eric J.

    2012-01-01

    Recently, studies of adaptive color variation have become popular as models for examining the genetics of natural selection. We examined color pattern polymorphism and genetic variation in a population of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) that is found in habitats with both dark (lava) and light colored (granite) substrates. We conducted a limited experiment for adult phenotypic plasticity in laboratory conditions. We recorded both substrate and lizard color patterns in the field to determine whether lizards tended to match their substrate. Finally we examined genetic variation in a gene (melanocortin 1 receptor) that has been shown to affect lizard color in other species and in a presumably neutral gene (mitochondrial cytochrome b). Populations were sampled in the immediate area of the lava flows as well as from a more distant site to examine the role of population structure. Our captive Uta did not change color to match their background. We show that side-blotched lizards tend to match the substrate on which it was caught in the field and that variation in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene does not correlate well with color pattern in this population. Perhaps the most remarkable result is that this population of side-blotched lizards shows extremely high levels of variation at both genetic markers, in the sense of allele numbers, with relatively low levels of between-allele sequence variation. Genetic variation across this small region was as great or greater than that seen in samples of pelagic fish species collected worldwide. Statistical analysis of genetic variation suggests rapid population expansion may be responsible for the high levels of variation. PMID:23133520

  20. Postseismic gravity change after the 2006–2007 great earthquake doublet and constraints on the asthenosphere structure in the central Kuril Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Han, Shin-Chan; Sauber, Jeanne; Pollitz, Fred

    2016-01-01

    Large earthquakes often trigger viscoelastic adjustment for years to decades depending on the rheological properties and the nature and spatial extent of coseismic stress. The 2006 Mw8.3 thrust and 2007 Mw8.1 normal fault earthquakes of the central Kuril Islands resulted in significant postseismic gravity change in Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) but without a discernible coseismic gravity change. The gravity increase of ~4 μGal, observed consistently from various GRACE solutions around the epicentral area during 2007–2015, is interpreted as resulting from gradual seafloor uplift by ~6 cm produced by postseismic relaxation. The GRACE data are best fit with a model of 25–35 km for the elastic thickness and ~1018 Pa s for the Maxwell viscosity of the asthenosphere. The large measurable postseismic gravity change (greater than coseismic change) emphasizes the importance of viscoelastic relaxation in understanding tectonic deformation and fault-locking scenarios in the Kuril subduction zone.

  1. Histological and histochemical investigations on Japanese lizard esophagus.

    PubMed

    Imai, M; Shibata, T; Izumi, T

    1992-05-01

    The authors previously investigated the bottle-shaped glands distributed in the lamina propria mucosae of the Japanese lizard and gecko. We made two sets of sections of the Japanese lizard at that time. The numerical values of the physical dimensions of the two individuals were as given table 1, showing that No. 2 was slightly smaller. Moreover we found very unusual tissue in the lower portion of the esophagus of No. 2. Therefore we excluded this individual from the preceding investigations. However, we made various observations, and the results of these investigations are as follows. 1. The lumen of the upper portion of the esophagus has no fold. However, the middle and lower portions formed very complicated folds. Therefore, the lumen was remarkably narrow. 2. The epithelium of the esophageal mucous membrane consisted of simple columnar cells and throughout each part, reacted strongly to PAS and moderately to AB (pH 2.5 and 0.5). It presented a dark blue (R18-B13 of Blue-Purple-Red) color in response to PAS-AB (pH 2.5) and contained no pepsinogen granules. The esophageal upper portion of small individuals only exhibited the PAS reaction in this investigation. 3. A number of bottle-shaped glands were distributed in the lamina propria mucosae of the lower portion of the esophagus of each material. The glandular cells in the basal portion were most differentiated and contained a great number of pepsinogen granules. 4. The above-mentioned glands were extremely simple and glands of this type could not be found in textbooks and theses. Accordingly, we previously described them with the tentative name of shimple branched tubular glands, but subsequently found this to be erroneous. We assume that these glands are esophageal gastric glands. 5. Compound tubular glands are formed in the lamina propria mucosae of the human esophagus, but do not exist in the Japanese macaque, crab-eating monkey, horse, cow, swine, dog, cat, rabbit, mouse and rat. Dellmann-Brown also described

  2. Habitat degradation may affect niche segregation patterns in lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  3. 16. Photo copy of drawing, May 19, 1934. GREAT CAPTAIN ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    16. Photo copy of drawing, May 19, 1934. GREAT CAPTAIN ISLAND LIGHT STATION; ARRANGEMENT OF PIPING & MACHINERY FOR FOG SIGNAL INSTALLATION. Drawing No. 8075, United States Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit, Metro Center Boulevard, Warwick, RI - Great Captain Island Light, Great Captain Island, Greenwich, Fairfield County, CT

  4. 15. Photo copy of drawing, July 24, 1916. GREAT CAPTAIN ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    15. Photo copy of drawing, July 24, 1916. GREAT CAPTAIN ISLAND LIGHT STATION. (Northwest and northeast elevations and basement floor plan). Drawing No. 5912, United States Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit, Metro Center Boulevard, Warwick, RI - Great Captain Island Light, Great Captain Island, Greenwich, Fairfield County, CT

  5. 14. Photo copy of historic photograph, ca. 1964. GREAT CAPTAIN ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    14. Photo copy of historic photograph, ca. 1964. GREAT CAPTAIN ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE, FOG SIGNAL BUILDING, AND OIL HOUSE, AND DOCK. United States Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit, Metro Center Boulevard, Warwick, RI - Great Captain Island Light, Great Captain Island, Greenwich, Fairfield County, CT

  6. Contrasting patterns of reef utilization and recruitment of coral trout ( Plectropomus leopardus) and snapper ( Lutjanus carponotatus) at One Tree Island, southern Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kingsford, M. J.

    2009-03-01

    Patterns of abundance, age structure and recruitment of coral trout ( Plectropomus leopardus) and snapper ( Lutjanus carponotatus) were described in different environments, which varied in benthic cover, in a 12-yr study at One Tree Island. It was hypothesized that both taxa would show strong preferences to different environments and benthic cover and that patterns would be consistent through time. Plectropomus leopardus were abundant on the reef slope and seaward edge of the lagoon, where live coral cover was high, and recruitment was generally low, in all environments. The population was sustained by a trickle of recruits, and total abundance varied little after 10 to 25 yr of protection in a no-take area, suggesting P. leopardus had reached an environment-related carrying capacity. Protogynous P. leopardus recruited to shallow environments at sites with 20% or more hard live coral and age data indicated the abundance of fish on the reef slope was from redistribution. Most recruits of gonochoristic L. carponotatus (<150 mm Standard length, SL) were found in the lagoonal environments, and adults were rare on the reef slope. Abundance of recruit L. carponotatus and P. leopardus did not correlate with percent cover of live and soft coral within environments. Recruits of L. carponotatus were usually rare in all lagoonal environments, but in 2003, many recruits (80 to 120 mm SL) were found in lagoonal environments with low and high hard live coral cover. A substantial proportion of the population (age max 18 yr) was from strong recruitment events. In 2003 and 2004, total abundance of L. carponotatus was supported by 1 year class 51.7 and 41% respectively. The utilization of environments and types of substrata varied among taxa and in some cases among life-history stages. There was also temporal variation in the importance of some environments (e.g. Lagoon Centre).

  7. Pollination and seed dispersal of Melocactus ernestii Vaupel subsp. ernestii (Cactaceae) by lizards: an example of double mutualism.

    PubMed

    Gomes, V G N; Quirino, Z G M; Machado, I C

    2014-03-01

    Recent studies show that the mutualistic role of lizards as pollinators and seed dispersers has been underestimated, with several ecological factors promoting such plant-animal interactions, especially on oceanic islands. Our aim is to provide a quantitative assessment of pollination and seed dispersal mutualisms with lizards in continental xeric habitats. We carried out focal observations of natural populations of Melocactus ernestii (Cactaceae) in the Caatinga, a Brazilian semiarid ecosystem, in order to record the frequency of visits, kind of resource searched and behaviour of visiting animals towards flowers and/or fruits. We made a new record of the lizard Tropidurus semitaeniatus foraging on flowers and fruits of M. ernestii. During the search for nectar, T. semitaeniatus contacted the reproductive structures of the flowers and transported pollen attached to its snout. Nectar production started at 14:00 h, with an average volume of 24.4 μl and an average concentration of solutes of 33%. Approximately 80% of the seeds of M. ernestii found in the faeces of T. semitaeniatus germinated under natural conditions. The roles of T. semitaeniatus as pollinator and seed disperser for M. ernestii show a clear relationship of double mutualism between two endemic species, which may result from the environmental conditions to which both species are subject. Seasonality, low water availability and arthropod supply in the environment, high local lizard densities, continuous nectar production by the flower and fruits with juicy pulp may be influencing the visits and, consequently, pollination and seed dispersal by lizards in this cactus. © 2013 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  8. Coupled, Active Oscillators and Lizard Otoacoustic Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  9. Ecological release in White Sands lizards

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Entire Island of Crete

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1973-06-22

    SL2-05-364 (22 June 1973) --- Lying in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the entire Island of Crete (35.0N, 25.0E) can be seen in great detail in this cloud free view. The volcanic origins of this island can also be observed in the many sharp and angular ridgelines and rugged coastal features. Photo credit: NASA

  11. Eocene lizard from Germany reveals amphisbaenian origins.

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-19

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

  12. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in monitor lizards.

    PubMed

    Manley, Geoffrey A

    2004-03-01

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

  13. Contribution by vertebrates to seed dispersal effectiveness in the Galápagos Islands: A community-wide approach.

    PubMed

    Nogales, M; González-Castro, A; Rumeu, B; Traveset, A; Vargas, P; Jaramillo, P; Olesen, J M; Heleno, R

    2017-03-17

    Seed dispersal and seedling recruitment are crucial phases in the life cycle of all spermatophyte plants. The net contribution of seed dispersers to plant establishment is known as seed dispersal effectiveness (SDE) and is defined as the product of a quantitative (number of seeds dispersed) and a qualitative (probability of recruitment) component. In Galápagos, we studied the direct contribution to SDE (number of seeds dispersed and effect on seedling emergence) provided by the five island groups of frugivores (giant tortoises, lizards, medium-sized passerine birds, small non-finch passerine birds and finches) in the two main habitats in this archipelago: the lowland and the highland zones, and found 16 vertebrate species dispersing 58 plant species. Data on frequency of occurrence of seeds in droppings and number of seeds dispersed per unit area produced contrasting patterns of seed dispersal. Based on the former, giant tortoises and medium-sized passerines were the most important seed dispersers. However, based on the latter, small non-finch passerines were the most important dispersers, followed by finches and medium-sized passerines. The effect of disperser gut passage on seedling emergence varied greatly depending on both, the disperser and the plant species. Although the contribution to SDE provided by different disperser guilds changed across plant species, medium-sized passerines (e.g. mockingbirds) provided a higher contribution to SDE than lava lizards in ten out of 16 plant species analysed, whereas lava lizards provided a higher contribution to SDE than birds in fiveplant species. While both the quantitative and qualitative components addressed are important, our data suggests that the former is a better predictor of SDE in the Galápagos archipelago. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  14. Intersexual chemo-sensation in a “visually-oriented” lizard, Anolis sagrei

    PubMed Central

    Driessens, Tess; Van Damme, Raoul

    2016-01-01

    While the conspicuous visual displays of anoles have been studied in great depth, the possibility that these lizards may also interact through chemical signalling has received hardly any consideration. In this study, we observed the behaviour of male brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) when introduced into an environment previously inhabited by female conspecifics, and compared it to when they were introduced into an untreated environment. The males in our tests exhibited significantly more elaborate display behaviour (i.e., greater number of dewlap extensions and head-nods) and a significantly greater number of tongue extrusions while in the cage formerly occupied by females than when placed in the untreated, control cage. The absolute numbers of tongue extrusions, however, were relatively low in comparison to average tongue-flick rates of ‘true’ chemically-oriented lizards. Our results strongly suggest that the males were capable of detecting chemical cues left behind by the females. These observations provide the first evidence of intersexual chemo-sensation in an anole lizard. PMID:27069809

  15. Comparing alignment methods for inferring the history of the new world lizard genus Mabuya (Squamata: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Whiting, Alison S; Sites, Jack W; Pellegrino, Katia C M; Rodrigues, Miguel T

    2006-03-01

    The rapid increase in the ability to generate molecular data, and the focus on model-based methods for tree reconstruction have greatly advanced the use of phylogenetics in many fields. The recent flurry of new analytical techniques has focused almost solely on tree reconstruction, whereas alignment issues have received far less attention. In this paper, we use a diverse sampling of gene regions from lizards of the genus Mabuya to compare the impact, on phylogeny estimation, of new maximum likelihood alignment algorithms with more widely used methods. Sequences aligned under different optimality criteria are analyzed using partitioned Bayesian analysis with independent models and parameter settings for each gene region, and the most strongly supported phylogenetic hypothesis is then used to test the hypothesis of two colonizations of the New World by African scincid lizards. Our results show that the consistent use of model-based methods in both alignment and tree reconstruction leads to trees with more optimal likelihood scores than the use of independent criteria in alignment and tree reconstruction. We corroborate and extend earlier evidence for two independent colonizations of South America by scincid lizards. Relationships within South American Mabuya are found to be in need of taxonomic revision, specifically complexes under the names M. heathi, M. agilis, and M. bistriata (sensu, M.T. Rodrigues, Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia 41 (2000) 313).

  16. Bermuda as an Evolutionary Life Raft for an Ancient Lineage of Endangered Lizards

    PubMed Central

    Brandley, Matthew C.; Wang, Yuezhao; Guo, Xianguang; Nieto Montes de Oca, Adrián; Fería Ortíz, Manuel; Hikida, Tsutomu; Ota, Hidetoshi

    2010-01-01

    Oceanic islands are well known for harboring diverse species assemblages and are frequently the basis of research on adaptive radiation and neoendemism. However, a commonly overlooked role of some islands is their function in preserving ancient lineages that have become extinct everywhere else (paleoendemism). The island archipelago of Bermuda is home to a single species of extant terrestrial vertebrate, the endemic skink Plestiodon (formerly Eumeces) longirostris. The presence of this species is surprising because Bermuda is an isolated, relatively young oceanic island approximately 1000 km from the eastern United States. Here, we apply Bayesian phylogenetic analyses using a relaxed molecular clock to demonstrate that the island of Bermuda, although no older than two million years, is home to the only extant representative of one of the earliest mainland North American Plestiodon lineages, which diverged from its closest living relatives 11.5 to 19.8 million years ago. This implies that, within a short geological time frame, mainland North American ancestors of P. longirostris colonized the recently emergent Bermuda and the entire lineage subsequently vanished from the mainland. Thus, our analyses reveal that Bermuda is an example of a “life raft” preserving millions of years of unique evolutionary history, now at the brink of extinction. Threats such as habitat destruction, littering, and non-native species have severely reduced the population size of this highly endangered lizard. PMID:20614024

  17. Bermuda as an evolutionary life raft for an ancient lineage of endangered lizards.

    PubMed

    Brandley, Matthew C; Wang, Yuezhao; Guo, Xianguang; Nieto Montes de Oca, Adrián; Fería Ortíz, Manuel; Hikida, Tsutomu; Ota, Hidetoshi

    2010-06-30

    Oceanic islands are well known for harboring diverse species assemblages and are frequently the basis of research on adaptive radiation and neoendemism. However, a commonly overlooked role of some islands is their function in preserving ancient lineages that have become extinct everywhere else (paleoendemism). The island archipelago of Bermuda is home to a single species of extant terrestrial vertebrate, the endemic skink Plestiodon (formerly Eumeces) longirostris. The presence of this species is surprising because Bermuda is an isolated, relatively young oceanic island approximately 1000 km from the eastern United States. Here, we apply Bayesian phylogenetic analyses using a relaxed molecular clock to demonstrate that the island of Bermuda, although no older than two million years, is home to the only extant representative of one of the earliest mainland North American Plestiodon lineages, which diverged from its closest living relatives 11.5 to 19.8 million years ago. This implies that, within a short geological time frame, mainland North American ancestors of P. longirostris colonized the recently emergent Bermuda and the entire lineage subsequently vanished from the mainland. Thus, our analyses reveal that Bermuda is an example of a "life raft" preserving millions of years of unique evolutionary history, now at the brink of extinction. Threats such as habitat destruction, littering, and non-native species have severely reduced the population size of this highly endangered lizard.

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

    Treesearch

    Heather L. Bateman; Alice Chung-MacCoubrey

    2012-01-01

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

  19. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A great white heron silently waits in the tall grass within KSC. The heron is one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also 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.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-10-24

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A great white heron silently waits in the tall grass within KSC. The heron is one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also 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.

  20. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A great blue heron swoops down for a landing on the water near KSC. The heron is one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also 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.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-10-24

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A great blue heron swoops down for a landing on the water near KSC. The heron is one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also 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.

  1. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A great blue heron patiently stalks its prey in the marshes around KSC. The heron is one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also 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.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-10-24

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A great blue heron patiently stalks its prey in the marshes around KSC. The heron is one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-02-01

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

  3. Lizards in the ecology of salmonellosis in Panama.

    PubMed Central

    Kourany, M; Telford, S R

    1981-01-01

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

  4. Diversity of Aulacidae (Hymenoptera: Evanioidea) in the oceanic Ogasawara Islands (Japan), with description of a new species from Anijima Island.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Kyohei; Konishi, Kazuhiko; Turrisi, Giuseppe Fabrizio

    2013-11-12

    In the context of the biodiversity conservation of the oceanic Ogasawara Islands, the parasitoid species of Aulacidae are reviewed. We examined material from eight islands with or without invasion of the introduced lizard Anolis carolinensis (Voigt 1832) (green anoles): two species of Pristaulacus Kieffer 1900, P. boninensis Konishi, 1989, and P. anijimensis sp. nov., are recognized. The former species is widely distributed in the islands, whereas the latter species is found from a single island only, Anijima Island. Although this island appears to be currently well preserved, the recent introduction of green anoles will probably affect the conservation status of many species, including the endemic P. anijimensis sp. nov. A description of the new species, detailed drawings and descriptions of genitalia of both recognized species, an updated key to Japanese Aulacidae, and a brief discussion on the conservation aspects of Aulacidae in the Ogasawara Islands are provided.

  5. Heat Islands

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA's Heat Island Effect Site provides information on heat islands, their impacts, mitigation strategies, related research, a directory of heat island reduction initiatives in U.S. communities, and EPA's Heat Island Reduction Program.

  6. Contrasting selective pressures on seed traits of two congeneric species by their main native guilds of dispersers on islands.

    PubMed

    Nogales, Manuel; González-Castro, Aarón; Marrero, Patricia; Bonnaud, Elsa; Traveset, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Many fleshy-fruited plants from the Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands are dispersed through endozoochory. In mainland Mediterranean areas, reciprocal adaptations have been found between plants and animals, although evidence is scarce. On small isolated oceanic islands, such reciprocal adaptations might well be more prevalent due to intrinsic island traits. Here we evaluate the existence of selective pressures exerted by two different disperser guilds (lizards and birds) on two seed traits (seed coat thickness and seed germination pattern) of two congeneric species present on Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands. In the continental Balearic Islands, Rubia peregrina has evolved mostly with birds, although frugivorous lizards are present in some of these islands and are known to eventually consume its fruits. By contrast, R. fruticosa, endemic to the Macaronesian archipelago, has evolved mostly interacting with lizards and only recently with birds. We hypothesized that R. fruticosa would be especially adapted to saurochory, with thicker seed coats and higher germination proportion, whereas R. peregrina would be more adapted to ornithocory, with thinner seed coats and showing a lower germination percentage after being ingested by lizards. Captivity experiments of seed ingestions by natural and non-natural dispersers (i.e., frugivores that have not evolved with those plants) were conducted. Results suggest that dispersers did not exert any strong enough selective pressure to induce changes in germination patterns. We attribute this to the fact that the Rubiaceae is an ancestral family in the Mediterranean (both on continent and islands) and thus probably interacted with lizards in the past. Lastly, although we hold that the seed coat structure of R. fruticosa is probably associated with its evolutionary success after a long interaction with insular lizards, our findings support the idea that the relationship between endozoochorous plants and the guild of

  7. Contrasting Selective Pressures on Seed Traits of Two Congeneric Species by Their Main Native Guilds of Dispersers on Islands

    PubMed Central

    Nogales, Manuel; González-Castro, Aarón; Marrero, Patricia; Bonnaud, Elsa; Traveset, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Many fleshy-fruited plants from the Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands are dispersed through endozoochory. In mainland Mediterranean areas, reciprocal adaptations have been found between plants and animals, although evidence is scarce. On small isolated oceanic islands, such reciprocal adaptations might well be more prevalent due to intrinsic island traits. Here we evaluate the existence of selective pressures exerted by two different disperser guilds (lizards and birds) on two seed traits (seed coat thickness and seed germination pattern) of two congeneric species present on Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands. In the continental Balearic Islands, Rubia peregrina has evolved mostly with birds, although frugivorous lizards are present in some of these islands and are known to eventually consume its fruits. By contrast, R. fruticosa, endemic to the Macaronesian archipelago, has evolved mostly interacting with lizards and only recently with birds. We hypothesized that R. fruticosa would be especially adapted to saurochory, with thicker seed coats and higher germination proportion, whereas R. peregrina would be more adapted to ornithocory, with thinner seed coats and showing a lower germination percentage after being ingested by lizards. Captivity experiments of seed ingestions by natural and non-natural dispersers (i.e., frugivores that have not evolved with those plants) were conducted. Results suggest that dispersers did not exert any strong enough selective pressure to induce changes in germination patterns. We attribute this to the fact that the Rubiaceae is an ancestral family in the Mediterranean (both on continent and islands) and thus probably interacted with lizards in the past. Lastly, although we hold that the seed coat structure of R. fruticosa is probably associated with its evolutionary success after a long interaction with insular lizards, our findings support the idea that the relationship between endozoochorous plants and the guild of

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

    PubMed

    Ord, Terry J; Klomp, Danielle A

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Steffen, John E

    2009-09-01

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

  10. Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-01-20

    STS072-732-072 (11-20 Jan. 1996) --- Three of the nineteen Galapagos Islands are visible in this image, photographed from the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Endeavour. The Galapagos Islands are located 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) to the west of Ecuador. The largest of the islands, Isabela, is at center (north is toward the upper right corner). The numerous circular features on the island, highlighted by clouds, are volcanoes. The Galapagos Islands owe their existence to a hot spot, or persistent heat source in the mantle, which also is located over a rift, or place where plates are separating and new crust is being created. The rift is located between the Cocos and Nazca Plates. The dark linear features on the islands are lava flows from past eruptions. The island to the left of Isabela is Fernandina, while the island to the right is San Salvador. The Galapagos Islands were visited by the English naturalist Charles Darwin in 1835.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-02-01

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

  12. Great Britain and Ireland

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-28

    NASA image acquired March 26, 2012 This nearly cloud-free view of Great Britain and Ireland was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite on March 26, 2012. Just a few days into spring, most of the land appears green, although not quite as brilliant as the summertime hues that give Ireland the nickname “the Emerald Island”. The islands of Ireland (west) and Great Britain (east) are separated by the Irish Sea, which is filled with the turquoise, green and tan swirls typical of sediment, although blooming algae could also contribute some color to the waters. To the southeast, the English Channel separates the island of Great Britain from France (south) and Belgium (north). London can be seen as a gray circle situated inland on the tan-colored River Thames. The sediment from the Thames flows into the English Channel due east of London. The United Kingdom is made up of Wales, Scotland and England, all located primarily on the island of Great Britain, and of Northern Ireland, which comprises the northern section of the island of Ireland. Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland, can be seen as a gray smudge on the eastern coast of the island. Almost due west Galway can be seen as a linear gray streak on the northern coast of Galway Bay, with the blue waters of Loch Corrib to the north. Most of the United Kingdom and Ireland are part of the Celtic broadleaf forest ecoregion, where acid-loving oak and mixed oak forests abound, along with fen and swamp forests and ombrotrophic mires. A portion of the Scottish Highlands, in the north of Great Britain, are covered by the Caledon conifer forest ecoregion. The Caledonia conifers once covered a large area of Scotland, but now only about 1% of the original forest survives, mostly high in the cooler areas of the Highlands. NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four

  13. Divergence in morphology, but not habitat use, despite low genetic differentiation among insular populations of the lizard Anolis lemurinus in Honduras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Logan, M.L.; Montgomery, Chad E.; Boback, Scott M.; Reed, R.N.; Campbell, J.A.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of recently isolated populations are useful because observed differences can often be attributed to current environmental variation. Two populations of the lizard Anolis lemurinus have been isolated on the islands of Cayo Menor and Cayo Mayor in the Cayos Cochinos Archipelago of Honduras for less than 15 000 y. We measured 12 morphometric and 10 habitat-use variables on 220 lizards across these islands in 2 y, 2008 and 2009. The goals of our study were (1) to explore patterns of sexual dimorphism, and (2) to test the hypothesis that differences in environment among islands may have driven divergence in morphology and habitat use despite genetic homogeneity among populations. Although we found no differences among sexes in habitat use, males had narrower pelvic girdles and longer toe pads on both islands. Between islands, males differed in morphology, but neither males nor females differed in habitat use. Our data suggest that either recent selection has operated differentially on males despite low genetic dill'erentiation, or that they display phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental variation. We suggest that patterns may be driven by variation in intrapopulation density or differences in predator diversity among islands.

  14. Australia's Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    The Great Barrier Reef extends for 2,000 kilometers along the northeastern coast of Australia. It is not a single reef, but a vast maze of reefs, passages, and coral cays (islands that are part of the reef). This nadir true-color image was acquired by the MISR instrument on August 26, 2000 (Terra orbit 3679), and shows part of the southern portion of the reef adjacent to the central Queensland coast. The width of the MISR swath is approximately 380 kilometers, with the reef clearly visible up to approximately 200 kilometers from the coast. It may be difficult to see the myriad details in the browse image, but if you retrieve the higher resolution version, a zoomed display reveals the spectacular structure of the many reefs.

    The more northerly coastal area in this image shows the vast extent of sugar cane cultivation, this being the largest sugar producing area in Australia, centered on the city of Mackay. Other industries in the area include coal, cattle, dairying, timber, grain, seafood, and fruit. The large island off the most northerly part of the coast visible in this image is Whitsunday Island, with smaller islands and reefs extending southeast, parallel to the coast. These include some of the better known resort islands such as Hayman, Lindeman, Hamilton, and Brampton Islands.

    Further south, just inland of the small semicircular bay near the right of the image, is Rockhampton, the largest city along the central Queensland coast, and the regional center for much of central Queensland. Rockhampton is just north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Its hinterland is a rich pastoral, agricultural, and mining region.

    MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  15. The Lizard Wireless Station of Guglielmo Marconi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montstein, Christian

    2014-08-01

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

  16. GABAergic cell types in the lizard hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Guirado, S; Dávila, J C

    1999-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Adenoviruses (AdVs) are relatively common in lizards and snakes, and several genetically distinct AdVs have been isolated in cell culture. The aims of this study were to examine serological relationships among lizard and snake AdVs and to determine the frequency of AdV infections in these species. Isolates from a boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), a corn snake (Pantherophis gutattus) and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), and two isolates from helodermatid lizards (Heloderma horridum and H. suspectum) were used in neutralisation tests for the detection of antibodies in plasma from 263 lizards from seven families (including 12 species) and from 141 snakes from four families (including 28 species) from the USA and Europe. Most lizard and snake samples had antibodies against a range of AdV isolates, indicating that AdV infection is common among these squamates. Neutralisation tests with polyclonal antibodies raised in rabbits demonstrated serological cross-reactivity between both helodermatid lizard isolates. However, squamate plasma showed different reactions to each of these lizard isolates in neutralisation tests. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Limited overwater dispersal and genetic differentiation of the snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus nigropunctatus) in the Oceanic Ogasawara Islands, Japan.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Fumio; Shima, Akina; Horikoshi, Kazuo; Kawakami, Kazuto; Segawa, Ryoko D; Aotsuka, Tadashi; Suzuki, Tadashi

    2009-08-01

    The genetic differentiation and speciation of lizards on oceanic islands may be affected by their rate of overwater dispersal. Cryptoblepharus is one of the most geographically widespread scincid lizards throughout the Indo-Pacific and Australian regions. Cryptoblepharus nigropunctatus is the northernmost species of the genus, dwelling on several small Pacific islands. To examine the colonization history of this lizard, mitochondrial 16S rDNA and D-loop sequences were compared among populations of the Ogasawara Islands consisting of four island groups (the Muko-jima, Chichi-jima, Haha-jima, and Kazan groups), and an isolated island, Minamitori-shima (Marcus Island). These four groups and Minamitori-shima have not been connected to each other because each is surrounded by deep sea (>100 m). DNA analyses showed that the lizard populations on individual islands had each representative haplotypes. The ancestors of C. nigropunctatus probably arrived on the islands from the southern Pacific Ocean via wave dispersal and differentiated to produce the present state. They appear to have dispersed from their origin along two independent pathways: one between Kitaiwo-to (Kazan group) and the Muko-jima and Chichi-jima groups, and the other among the Minamitori-shima, Minamiiwo-to (Kazan group), and Haha-jima groups. Limited long-distance overwater dispersal may be responsible for the genetic structure of the C. nigropunctatus populations on these oceanic islands. However, among the small islands within the same island group, D-loop haplotypes were shared and the local genetic diversity was usually high, suggesting frequent gene flow across the same group of islands.

  19. Distribution pattern and number of ticks on lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    The success of ectoparasites depends primarily on the site of attachment and body condition of their hosts. Ticks usually tend to aggregate on vertebrate hosts in specific areas, but the distribution pattern may depend on host body size and condition, sex, life stage or skin morphology. Here, we studied the distribution of ticks on lizards and tested the following hypothesis: occurrence or high abundance of ticks is confined with body parts with smaller scales and larger interscalar length because such sites should provide ticks with superior attachment conditions. This study was performed in field conditions in central Poland in 2008-2011. In total, 500 lizards (Lacerta agilis) were caught and 839 ticks (Ixodes ricinus, larvae and nymphs) were collected from them. Using generalised linear mixed models, we found that the ticks were most abundant on forelimbs and their axillae, with 90% of ticks attached there. This part of the lizard body and the region behind the hindlimb were covered by the smallest scales with relatively wide gaps between them. This does not fully support our hypothesis that ticks prefer locations with easy access to skin between scales, because it does not explain why so few ticks were in the hindlimb area. We found that the abundance of ticks was positively correlated with lizard body size index (snout-vent length). Tick abundance was also higher in male and mature lizards than in female and young individuals. Autotomy had no effect on tick abundance. We found no correlation between tick size and lizard morphology, sex, autotomy and body size index. The probability of occurrence of dead ticks was positively linked with the total number of ticks on the lizard but there was no relationship between dead tick presence and lizard size, sex or age. Thus lizard body size and sex are the major factors affecting the abundance of ticks, and these parasites are distributed nearly exclusively on the host's forelimbs and their axillae. Copyright © 2015

  20. Differences in demographic traits of four butterflyfish species between two reefs of the Great Barrier Reef separated by 1,200 km

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berumen, M. L.; Trip, E. D. L.; Pratchett, M. S.; Choat, J. H.

    2012-03-01

    Many species demonstrate variation in life history attributes in response to gradients in environmental conditions. For fishes, major drivers of life history variation are changes in temperature and food availability. This study examined large-scale variation in the demography of four species of butterflyfishes ( Chaetodon citrinellus, Chaetodon lunulatus, Chaetodon melannotus, and Chaetodon trifascialis) between two locations on Australia's Great Barrier Reef (Lizard Island and One Tree Island, separated by approximately 1,200 km). Variation in age-based demographic parameters was assessed using the re-parameterised von Bertalanffy growth function. All species displayed measurable differences in body size between locations, with individuals achieving a larger adult size at the higher latitude site (One Tree Island) for three of the four species examined. Resources and abundances of the study species were also measured, revealing some significant differences between locations. For example, for C. trifascialis, there was no difference in its preferred resource or in abundance between locations, yet it achieved a larger body size at the higher latitude location, suggesting a response to temperature. For some species, resources and abundances did vary between locations, limiting the ability to distinguish between a demographic response to temperature as opposed to a response to food or competition. Future studies of life histories and demographics at large spatial scales will need to consider the potentially confounding roles of temperature, resource usage and availability, and abundance/competition to disentangle the effects of these environmental variables.

  1. Variation in steroid hormone levels among Caribbean Anolis lizards: endocrine system convergence?

    PubMed

    Husak, Jerry F; Lovern, Matthew B

    2014-04-01

    Variation in aggression among species can be due to a number of proximate and ultimate factors, leading to patterns of divergent and convergent evolution of behavior among even closely related species. Caribbean Anolis lizards are well known for their convergence in microhabitat use and morphology, but they also display marked convergence in social behavior and patterns of aggression. We studied 18 Anolis species across six ecomorphs on four different Caribbean islands to test four main hypotheses. We hypothesized that species differences in aggression would be due to species differences in circulating testosterone (T), a steroid hormone implicated in numerous studies across vertebrate taxa as a primary determinant of social behavior; more aggressive species were expected to have higher baseline concentrations of T and corticosterone. We further hypothesized that low-T species would increase T and corticosterone levels during a social challenge. Within three of the four island assemblages studied we found differences in T levels among species within an island that differ in aggression, but in the opposite pattern than predicted: more aggressive species had lower baseline T than the least aggressive species. The fourth island, Puerto Rico, showed the pattern of baseline T levels among species we predicted. There were no patterns of corticosterone levels among species or ecomorphs. One of the two species tested increased T in response to a social challenge, but neither species elevated corticosterone. Our results suggest that it is possible for similarities in aggression among closely related species to evolve via different proximate mechanisms.

  2. Tracing the origins of iguanid lizards and boine snakes of the pacific.

    PubMed

    Noonan, Brice P; Sites, Jack W

    2010-01-01

    In 1947, when Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki hit ground in the Tuamotu archipelago, 102 days and approximately 4,000 km from its point of origin in South America, he inadvertently provided support for one of the most remarkable hypotheses of vertebrate dispersal. Iguanid lizards and boine snakes are ancient Gondwanan lineages whose distribution has been demonstrated to have been influenced by continental drift. Their enigmatic presence on the islands of the Pacific, however, has drawn fantastical conclusions of more than 8,000-km rafting from the Americas. We reexamine the hypothesis of dispersal in light of new molecular data and divergence time estimates. Our results suggest an early Paleogene (50-60 million years) divergence of these groups and the plausibility of an Asiatic or Australian (over land) source. Because the subfossil record indicates that iguanas (but not snakes) were a primary food source of island inhabitants, the absence of these species from islands with a longer history of human presence is unsurprising. Together these findings are taken as evidence of the influence humans have had on these taxa and are put forth as an example of anthropogenic obfuscation of biogeographic history. We suggest that this history is one of terrestrial connections permitting the colonization of the islands of the Pacific.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  5. Effects of feral cats on the evolution of anti-predator behaviours in island reptiles: insights from an ancient introduction

    PubMed Central

    Li, Binbin; Belasen, Anat; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Bednekoff, Peter; Foufopoulos, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Exotic predators have driven the extinction of many island species. We examined impacts of feral cats on the abundance and anti-predator behaviours of Aegean wall lizards in the Cyclades (Greece), where cats were introduced thousands of years ago. We compared populations with high and low cat density on Naxos Island and populations on surrounding islets with no cats. Cats reduced wall lizard populations by half. Lizards facing greater risk from cats stayed closer to refuges, were more likely to shed their tails in a standardized assay, and fled at greater distances when approached by either a person in the field or a mounted cat decoy in the laboratory. All populations showed phenotypic plasticity in flight initiation distance, suggesting that this feature is ancient and could have helped wall lizards survive the initial introduction of cats to the region. Lizards from islets sought shelter less frequently and often initially approached the cat decoy. These differences reflect changes since islet isolation and could render islet lizards strongly susceptible to cat predation. PMID:24943365

  6. Effects of feral cats on the evolution of anti-predator behaviours in island reptiles: insights from an ancient introduction.

    PubMed

    Li, Binbin; Belasen, Anat; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Bednekoff, Peter; Foufopoulos, Johannes

    2014-08-07

    Exotic predators have driven the extinction of many island species. We examined impacts of feral cats on the abundance and anti-predator behaviours of Aegean wall lizards in the Cyclades (Greece), where cats were introduced thousands of years ago. We compared populations with high and low cat density on Naxos Island and populations on surrounding islets with no cats. Cats reduced wall lizard populations by half. Lizards facing greater risk from cats stayed closer to refuges, were more likely to shed their tails in a standardized assay, and fled at greater distances when approached by either a person in the field or a mounted cat decoy in the laboratory. All populations showed phenotypic plasticity in flight initiation distance, suggesting that this feature is ancient and could have helped wall lizards survive the initial introduction of cats to the region. Lizards from islets sought shelter less frequently and often initially approached the cat decoy. These differences reflect changes since islet isolation and could render islet lizards strongly susceptible to cat predation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Among Neotropical lizards, the geographically widespread gymnophthalmid Cercosaura as currently defined includes lowland and highland taxa from Panama to Argentina, with some species occurring in the northern Andes. In this study we analyze three mitochondrial (12S, 16S, ND4) and one nuclear (c-mos) gene using Bayesian methods to clarify the phylogenetic relationships among most species of Cercosaura based on a well-supported phylogenetic hypothesis that also includes a large sample of other taxa within Cercosaurini. The phylogenetic tree obtained in this paper shows that Cercosaura as currently defined is not monophyletic. Two species from the northern Andes (C. dicra and C. vertebralis) are nested within Pholidobolus, which has been formerly recognized as a major radiation along the Andes of Ecuador and Colombia. Therefore, Cercosaura has probably not diversified in the northern Andes, although the phylogenetic position of C. hypnoides from the Andes of Colombia remains unknown. Tree topology and genetic distances support both recognition of C. ocellata bassleri as a distinct species, C. bassleri, and recognition of C. argula and C. oshaughnessyi as two different species. In the interest of promoting clarity and precision regarding the names of clades of gymnophthalmid lizards, we propose a phylogenetic definition of Cercosaura. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Caudal autotomy and regeneration in lizards.

    PubMed

    Clause, Amanda R; Capaldi, Elizabeth A

    2006-12-01

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

  9. The impact of climate change measured at relevant spatial scales: new hope for tropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Logan, Michael L; Huynh, Ryan K; Precious, Rachel A; Calsbeek, Ryan G

    2013-10-01

    Much attention has been given to recent predictions that widespread extinctions of tropical ectotherms, and tropical forest lizards in particular, will result from anthropogenic climate change. Most of these predictions, however, are based on environmental temperature data measured at a maximum resolution of 1 km(2), whereas individuals of most species experience thermal variation on a much finer scale. To address this disconnect, we combined thermal performance curves for five populations of Anolis lizard from the Bay Islands of Honduras with high-resolution temperature distributions generated from physical models. Previous research has suggested that open-habitat species are likely to invade forest habitat and drive forest species to extinction. We test this hypothesis, and compare the vulnerabilities of closely related, but allopatric, forest species. Our data suggest that the open-habitat populations we studied will not invade forest habitat and may actually benefit from predicted warming for many decades. Conversely, one of the forest species we studied should experience reduced activity time as a result of warming, while two others are unlikely to experience a significant decline in performance. Our results suggest that global-scale predictions generated using low-resolution temperature data may overestimate the vulnerability of many tropical ectotherms to climate change. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Placental specializations of the mountain spiny lizard Sceloporus jarrovi.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Daniel G; Gavelis, Gregory S; Anderson, Kristie E; Johnson, Amy R; Dunlap, Kent D

    2010-10-01

    The lizard Sceloporus jarrovi (Phrynosomatidae) is one of the most widely studied viviparous reptiles of North America. Past research has assumed that placentation in this species is relatively simple and functions mainly in gas exchange. Our examination of the late stage placenta via transmission electron microscopy reveals that S. jarrovi has a unique combination of placental characteristics, with unusual specializations for secretion and absorption. In the chorioallantoic placenta, chorionic and uterine tissues are directly apposed through eggshell loss, and their epithelia are greatly attenuated, enhancing gas exchange; this placenta shows evidence of both nutrient transfer and endocrine function. Contrary to past inferences, a yolk sac placenta forms from the avascular omphalopleure and persists through the end of gestation. The uterine epithelium is enlarged and secretory, and the fetal omphalopleure shows branching absorptive channels and other specializations for uptake. Elsewhere, the omphalopleure develops elongated folds that protrude into a coagulum of degenerating shell membrane and other organic material. Uterine tissue in this region shows specializations for absorption. Placental features in S. jarrovi have unexpected functional implications, and challenge assumptions that specializations for nutrient transfer are confined to matrotrophic species. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. Morphology, cytochemical staining, and ultrastructural characteristics of the blood cells of the giant lizard of El Hierro (Gallotia simonyi).

    PubMed

    Martínez-Silvestre, A; Marco, I; Rodriguez-Dominguez, M A; Lavín, S; Cuenca, R

    2005-04-01

    The object of this study was to examine the erythrocytes, leukocytes and thrombocytes of the giant lizard of El Hierro (Gallotia simonyi) by light and electron (TEM) microscopy, and cytochemical staining. Smears were prepared from blood from the ventral coccygeal vein of 10 healthy adult lizards (five males and five females) from the Giant Lizard of El Hierro Reproduction and Research Centre, Canary Islands, Spain. The cytochemical stains used were: benzidine peroxidase (BP), chloroacetate esterase (CAE), alpha-naphthyl acetate esterase (ANAE), acid phosphatase (AP), periodic acid-Schiff (PAS), toluidine blue (TB) and May-Grünwald-Giemsa (MGG). Electron microscopy was also performed on all samples. Heterophils had granules that were heterogeneous in both size and electron density, and stained with BP, PAS and ANAE. Eosinophil granules were homogeneously electron-dense and stained for AP, CAE and ANAE. Basophils had both highly and moderately electron-dense granules, and stained with TB and ANAE. Azurophil granules were of low electron-density and stained for AP, CAE and ANAE. Azurophil cytoplasm was vacuolated on TEM. The cytoplasm of lymphocytes contained many ribosomes and was positive for AP. Monocytes had a large nucleus and a vacuolated cytoplasm but did not stain by any of the cytochemical methods used. Thrombocytes had a relatively large nucleus but little cytoplasm; they did not stain cytochemically. The blood cells of the giant lizards of El Hierro differ from those of other members of the Order Squamata both morphologically and cytochemically. The variation in cytochemical responses in the blood of reptiles makes it necessary to study species individually if meaningful clinical decisions are to be made.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1978-03-01

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

  14. A hydrodynamic model of locomotion in the Basilisk Lizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1996-03-01

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

  15. Great Practices

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The National Great Practice Compendium highlights outstanding activities, technologies, and programs that prevent trash from entering the aquatic environment and/or that reduce the overall volume of trash that is generated.

  16. Great Apes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sleeman, Jonathan M.; Cerveny, Shannon

    2014-01-01

    Anesthesia of great apes is often necessary to conduct diagnostic analysis, provide therapeutics, facilitate surgical procedures, and enable transport and translocation for conservation purposes. Due to the stress of remote delivery injection of anesthetic agents, recent studies have focused on oral delivery and/or transmucosal absorption of preanesthetic and anesthetic agents. Maintenance of the airway and provision of oxygen is an important aspect of anesthesia in great ape species. The provision of analgesia is an important aspect of the anesthesia protocol for any procedure involving painful stimuli. Opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often administered alone, or in combination to provide multi-modal analgesia. There is increasing conservation management of in situ great ape populations, which has resulted in the development of field anesthesia techniques for free-living great apes for the purposes of translocation, reintroduction into the wild, and clinical interventions.

  17. Predators determine how weather affects the spatial niche of lizard prey: exploring niche dynamics at a fine scale.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Darias, Marta; Schoener, Thomas W; Spiller, David A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2012-12-01

    Although abiotic and biotic factors can interact to shape the spatial niche of a species, studies that explore the interactive effects of both at a local scale are rare. We demonstrate that one of the main axes (perch height) characterizing the spatial niche of a common lizard, Anolis sagrei, varies according to the interactive effects of weather and the activity of a larger predatory lizard, Leiocephalus carinatus. Results were completely consistent: no matter how favorable the weather conditions for using the ground (mainly characterized by temperature, humidity, wind speed, rain), A. sagrei did not do so if the predator was present. Hence, great behavioral plasticity enabled A. sagrei to adjust its use of space very quickly. To the best of our knowledge, these results constitute the first field demonstration for anoles (and possibly for other animals as well) of how time-varying environmental conditions and predator presence interact to produce short-term changes in utilization along a major niche axis.

  18. Kerguelen Islands

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-05-27

    This image from NASA Terra spacecraft shows the Kerguelen Islands also known as the Desolation Islands, which are part of the French Southern and Antarctic lands. The islands are among the most isolated places on Earth.

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

    PubMed

    Stayton, C Tristan

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Conrad, Jack L

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Jack L.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Ranavirus infections associated with skin lesions in lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-27

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

  5. Refuge sharing network predicts ectoparasite load in a lizard

    PubMed Central

    Kappeler, Peter M.; Bull, C. Michael

    2010-01-01

    Living in social groups facilitates cross-infection by parasites. However, empirical studies on indirect transmission within wildlife populations are scarce. We investigated whether asynchronous overnight refuge sharing among neighboring sleepy lizards, Tiliqua rugosa, facilitates indirect transmission of its ectoparasitic tick, Amblyomma limbatum. We fitted 18 neighboring lizards with GPS recorders, observed their overnight refuge use each night over 3 months, and counted their ticks every fortnight. We constructed a transmission network to estimate the cross-infection risk based on asynchronous refuge sharing frequencies among all lizards and the life history traits of the tick. Although self-infection was possible, the network provided a powerful predictor of measured tick loads. Highly connected lizards that frequently used their neighbors’ refuges were characterized by higher tick loads. Thus, indirect contact had a major influence on transmission pathways and parasite loads. Furthermore, lizards that used many different refuges had lower cross- and self-infection risks and lower tick loads than individuals that used relatively fewer refuges. Increasing the number of refuges used by a lizard may be an important defense mechanism against ectoparasite transmission in this species. Our study provides important empirical data to further understand how indirectly transmitted parasites move through host populations and influence individual parasite loads. PMID:20802788

  6. Ranavirus infections associated with skin lesions in lizards

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  8. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Along the coast of Queensland, Australia (18.0S, 147.5E), timbered foothills of the Great Dividing Range separate the semi-arid interior of Queensland from the farmlands of the coastal plains. Prominent cleared areas in the forest indicate deforestation for farm and pasture lands. Offshore, islands and the Great Barrier Reef display sand banks along the southern sides of the structures indicating a dominant southerly wind and current direction.

  9. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-01-20

    STS072-727-085 (11-20 Jan. 1996) --- The northern third of the Great Barrier Reef stretches 650 kilometers (km) along the coast of Queensland from south of Cairns to past Princess Charlotte Bay at the base of the Cape York Peninsula. The predominant westerly waves of the ocean create shallower (lighter-colored) convex-eastward rims to coral atolls along the outer edge of the barrier reef. In contrast, islands within the lagoon show the effect of predominant southerly, more-or-less offshore winds. Arcuate clouds suggest that winds were offshore at the time the photograph was taken.

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

    PubMed

    Semenov, D V

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Genotoxicity induced by Roundup® (Glyphosate) in tegu lizard (Salvator merianae) embryos.

    PubMed

    Schaumburg, Laura G; Siroski, Pablo A; Poletta, Gisela L; Mudry, Marta D

    2016-06-01

    Environmental contaminants produce multiple adverse consequences at individual, population and ecosystem levels. High volumes of agrochemicals applied to great variety of crops, together with agricultural expansion, generate great concerns due to the impact for the environment and large risk implicated for wildlife. The lack of data on these threats is striking. The tegu lizard (Salvator merianae) is one of the species that live in environments under contaminant effects. Several characteristics allow proposing this species as a potential sentinel organism for the monitoring of pesticides in their habitat. The present study is the first report about genotoxicity in tegu lizard neonates after embryonic exposure to Roundup® (glyphosate 66.2%). The micronucleus test (MN), nuclear abnormalities (NAs) assay and comet assay (CA) were used as biomarkers of genotoxic effects induced in erythrocytes by topical exposure of the eggs to the glyphosate commercial formulation Roundup® (RU), in laboratory controlled conditions. A total of 96 eggs were distributed in six groups exposed to RU (50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600μg/egg), one positive control (PC; 200μg cyclophosphamide/egg) and one negative control (NC; distilled water). No teratogenic effects were observed in any of the exposed or control neonates. A significant increase in DNA damage was observed in all concentrations higher than 100μg/egg with respect to NC (p<0.05). However, no statistical differences were found in the frequencies of MN and NAs in any group exposed to RU compared to the NC. No statistically significant differences were found in the size of the lizards at birth or after six months post-exposure (p>0.05). Our results provide new information about the undesirable effects of the glyphosate-based herbicide formulations RU on this lizard species that inhabits areas permanently exposed to several pesticide formulations. We consider of utmost necessity a strict regulation of the agrochemical application

  12. Predictors of telomere content in dragon lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  13. Conservation of sex chromosomes in lacertid lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  14. Spatial memory: are lizards really deficient?

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-23

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

  15. Characterization of Salmonella isolates from captive lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2005-10-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-11-01

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

  17. How phylogeny and foraging ecology drive the level of chemosensory exploration in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Baeckens, S; Van Damme, R; Cooper, W E

    2017-03-01

    The chemical senses are crucial for squamates (lizards and snakes). The extent to which squamates utilize their chemosensory system, however, varies greatly among taxa and species' foraging strategies, and played an influential role in squamate evolution. In lizards, 'Scleroglossa' evolved a state where species use chemical cues to search for food (active foragers), whereas 'Iguania' retained the use of vision to hunt prey (ambush foragers). However, such strict dichotomy is flawed as shifts in foraging modes have occurred in all clades. Here, we attempted to disentangle effects of foraging ecology from phylogenetic trait conservatism as leading cause of the disparity in chemosensory investment among squamates. To do so, we used species' tongue-flick rate (TFR) in the absence of ecological relevant chemical stimuli as a proxy for its fundamental level of chemosensory investigation, that is baseline TFR. Based on literature data of nearly 100 species and using phylogenetic comparative methods, we tested whether and how foraging mode and diet affect baseline TFR. Our results show that baseline TFR is higher in active than ambush foragers. Although baseline TFRs appear phylogenetically stable in some lizard taxa, that is a consequence of concordant stability of foraging mode: when foraging mode shifts within taxa, so does baseline TFR. Also, baseline TFR is a good predictor of prey chemical discriminatory ability, as we established a strong positive relationship between baseline TFR and TFR in response to prey. Baseline TFR is unrelated to diet. Essentially, foraging mode, not phylogenetic relatedness, drives convergent evolution of similar levels of squamate chemosensory investigation. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. Great Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnham, Robert

    2000-05-01

    Spectacular and mysterious objects that come and go in the night sky, comets have dwelt in our popular culture for untold ages. As remnants from the formation of the Solar system, they are objects of key scientific research and space missions. As one of nature's most potent and dramatic dangers, they pose a threat to our safety--and yet they were the origin of our oceans and perhaps even life itself. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the biggest and most awe-inspiring of all comets: those that have earned the title "Great." Robert Burnham focuses on the Great comets Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997, which gripped attention worldwide because, for many, they were the first comets ever seen. He places these two recent comets in the context of their predecessors from past ages, among them the famous Comet Halley. Great Comets explains the exciting new discoveries that have come from these magnificent objects and profiles the spaceprobes to comets due for launch in the next few years. The book even takes a peek behind Hollywood's science-fiction fantasies to assess the real risks humanity faces from potential impacts of both comets and asteroids. For everyone interested in astronomy, this exciting book reveals the secrets of the Great Comets and provides essential tools for keeping up to date with comet discoveries in the future. Robert Burnham has been an amateur astronomer since the mid-1950s. He has been a senior editor of Astronomy magazine (1986-88) and is the author of many books and CD-ROMS, including Comet Hale-Bopp: Find and Enjoy the Great Comet and Comet Explorer.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-06-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Leu, Stephan T; Bull, C Michael

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 76 FR 62087 - Draft Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment; Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, Texas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-06

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

  2. 76 FR 19304 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-07

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Leu, Stephan T.; Bull, C. Michael

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A black racer snake slithers away through a patch of dry grass on the grounds of Kennedy Space Center. The Black Racer Snake is one of the fastest, non-venomous snakes in North America. It has a slender body with a slender oval-shaped head and white patch on its chin. It lives in brushy areas, rocky hillsides and meadows, and underneath boards or tin around old buildings. Black Racers feed on insects, eggs, mice, frogs and lizards. Kennedy shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to some of the nation’s rarest and most unusual species of wildlife. In addition, the Refuge supports 19 endangered or threatened wildlife species on Federal or State lists, more than any other single refuge in the U.S.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-02-04

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A black racer snake slithers away through a patch of dry grass on the grounds of Kennedy Space Center. The Black Racer Snake is one of the fastest, non-venomous snakes in North America. It has a slender body with a slender oval-shaped head and white patch on its chin. It lives in brushy areas, rocky hillsides and meadows, and underneath boards or tin around old buildings. Black Racers feed on insects, eggs, mice, frogs and lizards. Kennedy shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to some of the nation’s rarest and most unusual species of wildlife. In addition, the Refuge supports 19 endangered or threatened wildlife species on Federal or State lists, more than any other single refuge in the U.S.

  7. Canary Islands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This easterly looking view shows the seven major volcanic islands of the Canary Island chain (28.0N, 16.5W) and offers a unique view of the islands that have become a frequent vacation spot for Europeans. The northwest coastline of Africa, (Morocco and Western Sahara), is visible in the background. Frequently, these islands create an impact on local weather (cloud formations) and ocean currents (island wakes) as seen in this photo.

  8. Great Expectations for "Great Expectations."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ridley, Cheryl

    Designed to make the study of Dickens'"Great Expectations" an appealing and worthwhile experience, this paper presents a unit of study intended to help students gain (1) an appreciation of Dickens' skill at creating realistic human characters; (2) an insight into the problems of a young man confused by false values and unreal ambitions…

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

    PubMed

    Manley, Geoffrey A

    2009-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

  13. Wind constraints on the thermoregulation of high mountain lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  14. Wind constraints on the thermoregulation of high mountain lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  15. Wind constraints on the thermoregulation of high mountain lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  16. Why tropical forest lizards are vulnerable to climate warming

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edsall, Thomas A.; Mac, Michael J.; Opler, Paul A.; Puckett Haecker, Catherine E.; Doran, Peter D.

    1998-01-01

    The Great Lakes region, as defined here, includes the Great Lakes and their drainage basins in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. The region also includes the portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the 21 northernmost counties of Illinois that lie in the Mississippi River drainage basin, outside the floodplain of the river. The region spans about 9º of latitude and 20º of longitude and lies roughly halfway between the equator and the North Pole in a lowland corridor that extends from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean.The Great Lakes are the most prominent natural feature of the region (Fig. 1). They have a combined surface area of about 245,000 square kilometers and are among the largest, deepest lakes in the world. They are the largest single aggregation of fresh water on the planet (excluding the polar ice caps) and are the only glacial feature on Earth visible from the surface of the moon (The Nature Conservancy 1994a).The Great Lakes moderate the region’s climate, which presently ranges from subarctic in the north to humid continental warm in the south (Fig. 2), reflecting the movement of major weather masses from the north and south (U.S. Department of the Interior 1970; Eichenlaub 1979). The lakes act as heat sinks in summer and heat sources in winter and are major reservoirs that help humidify much of the region. They also create local precipitation belts in areas where air masses are pushed across the lakes by prevailing winds, pick up moisture from the lake surface, and then drop that moisture over land on the other side of the lake. The mean annual frost-free period—a general measure of the growing-season length for plants and some cold-blooded animals—varies from 60 days at higher elevations in the north to 160 days in lakeshore areas in the south. The climate influences the general distribution of wild plants and animals in the region and also influences the activities and distribution of the human

  18. Testicular toxicity of methyl thiophanate in the Italian wall lizard (Podarcis sicula): morphological and molecular evaluation.

    PubMed

    Cardone, Anna

    2012-03-01

    The effects of the fungicide methyl thiophanate (MT) on testis were determined in the Italian wall lizard (Podarcis sicula) using morphological and molecular analyzes. Three experimental trials were performed: an acute test using six doses, a two-week chronic test, and "ecotoxicological" exposure (3 weeks). The minimal lethal dose (LD(50)) of pure MT, reached by the acute test, was 100 mg/kg body weight. Testicular histopathology of surviving animals showed a reduced lumen and several multinucleated giant cells 24 h after injection followed by large decreases in spermatogonia (72%) and secondary spermatocytes (58%) and a loss of spermatids and sperms 7 days after. In the chronic test, a dose equivalent to 1/100 of LD(50) was injected on alternate days. Complete shutting of the lumen and a great decrease in spermatogonia (82%) were observed. In "ecotoxicological" exposure, achieved with a commercial MT compound, testis showed a decrease in primary spermatocytes (20%) and several vacuoles. An increase in germ cell apoptosis was observed in all experimental groups using TUNEL assay. A decrease in expression of androgen and estrogen receptor (AR and ER) mRNAs was seen in all experimental groups. The reduction in AR and ER mRNAs was correlated to exposure time. Indeed, in the "ecotoxicological" treatment (30 days), the decrease reached 82 and 90% for AR and ER mRNAs, respectively. These data strongly indicate that treatment with MT, damaging the seminiferous epithelium and decreasing steroid receptor expression, might render exposed lizards infertile.

  19. Embryonic development of the skull of the Andean lizard Ptychoglossus bicolor (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Jaimes, Carlos; Jerez, Adriana; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2012-01-01

    The study of cranial design and development in Gymnophthalmidae is important to understand the ontogenetic processes behind the morphological diversity of the group and to examine the possible effects of microhabitat use and other ecological parameters, as well as phylogenetic constraints, on skull anatomy. Complete morphological descriptions of embryonic skull development within Gymnophthalmidae are non-existent. Likewise, very little is known about the complete chondrocranium of the family. Herein, the development of the skull of the semi-fossorial lizard Ptychoglossus bicolor is described along with an examination of the chondrocranium of other gymnophthalmid taxa and the teiid Cnemidophorus lemniscatus. Cranial chondrification begins with early condensations in the ethmoid, orbitotemporal and occipital regions of the chondrocranium as well as the viscerocranium. Ossification of the skull starts with elements of the dermatocranium (pterygoid, prefrontal, maxilla and jugal). The orbitosphenoid is the last chondral bone to appear. At birth, the skull is almost completely ossified and exhibits a large frontoparietal fontanelle. In general terms, the chondrocranium of the gymnophthalmids studied is characteristic of lacertiform terrestrial lizards, in spite of their life habits, and resembles the chondrocranium of C. lemniscatus in many aspects. However, the gymnophthalmids show great variation in the orbitosphenoid and a complex nasal capsule. The latter exhibits greater development of some nasal cartilages, which make it more complex than in C. lemniscatus. These characteristics might be related to microhabitat use and the well-developed olfactory and vomeronasal systems observed within this clade. PMID:22881276

  20. The genome of the green anole lizard and a comparative analysis with birds and mammals

    PubMed Central

    Alföldi, Jessica; Di Palma, Federica; Grabherr, Manfred; Williams, Christina; Kong, Lesheng; Mauceli, Evan; Russell, Pamela; Lowe, Craig B.; Glor, Richard; Jaffe, Jacob D.; Ray, David A.; Boissinot, Stephane; Shedlock, Andrew M.; Botka, Christopher; Castoe, Todd A.; Colbourne, John K.; Fujita, Matthew K.; Moreno, Ricardo Godinez; ten Hallers, Boudewijn F.; Haussler, David; Heger, Andreas; Heiman, David; Janes, Daniel E.; Johnson, Jeremy; de Jong, Pieter J.; Koriabine, Maxim Y.; Novick, Peter; Organ, Chris L.; Peach, Sally E.; Poe, Steven; Pollock, David D.; de Queiroz, Kevin; Sanger, Thomas; Searle, Steve; Smith, Jeremy D.; Smith, Zachary; Swofford, Ross; Turner-Maier, Jason; Wade, Juli; Young, Sarah; Zadissa, Amonida; Edwards, Scott V.; Glenn, Travis C.; Schneider, Christopher J.; Losos, Jonathan B.; Lander, Eric S.; Breen, Matthew; Ponting, Chris P.; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin

    2011-01-01

    The evolution of the amniotic egg was one of the great evolutionary innovations in the history of life, freeing vertebrates from an obligatory connection to water and thus permitting the conquest of terrestrial environments1. Among amniotes, genome sequences are available for mammals2 and birds3–5, but not for non-avian reptiles. Here we report the genome sequence of the North American green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. We find that A. carolinensis microchromosomes are highly syntenic with chicken microchromosomes, yet do not exhibit the high GC and low repeat content that are characteristic of avian microchromosomes3. Also, A. carolinensis mobile elements are very young and diverse – more so than in any other sequenced amniote genome. This lizard genome’s GC content is also unusual in its homogeneity, unlike the regionally variable GC content found in mammals and birds6. We describe and assign sequence to the previously unknown A. carolinensis X chromosome. Comparative gene analysis shows that amniote egg proteins have evolved significantly more rapidly than other proteins. An anole phylogeny resolves basal branches to illuminate the history of their repeated adaptive radiations. PMID:21881562

  1. The genome of the green anole lizard and a comparative analysis with birds and mammals.

    PubMed

    Alföldi, Jessica; Di Palma, Federica; Grabherr, Manfred; Williams, Christina; Kong, Lesheng; Mauceli, Evan; Russell, Pamela; Lowe, Craig B; Glor, Richard E; Jaffe, Jacob D; Ray, David A; Boissinot, Stephane; Shedlock, Andrew M; Botka, Christopher; Castoe, Todd A; Colbourne, John K; Fujita, Matthew K; Moreno, Ricardo Godinez; ten Hallers, Boudewijn F; Haussler, David; Heger, Andreas; Heiman, David; Janes, Daniel E; Johnson, Jeremy; de Jong, Pieter J; Koriabine, Maxim Y; Lara, Marcia; Novick, Peter A; Organ, Chris L; Peach, Sally E; Poe, Steven; Pollock, David D; de Queiroz, Kevin; Sanger, Thomas; Searle, Steve; Smith, Jeremy D; Smith, Zachary; Swofford, Ross; Turner-Maier, Jason; Wade, Juli; Young, Sarah; Zadissa, Amonida; Edwards, Scott V; Glenn, Travis C; Schneider, Christopher J; Losos, Jonathan B; Lander, Eric S; Breen, Matthew; Ponting, Chris P; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin

    2011-08-31

    The evolution of the amniotic egg was one of the great evolutionary innovations in the history of life, freeing vertebrates from an obligatory connection to water and thus permitting the conquest of terrestrial environments. Among amniotes, genome sequences are available for mammals and birds, but not for non-avian reptiles. Here we report the genome sequence of the North American green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. We find that A. carolinensis microchromosomes are highly syntenic with chicken microchromosomes, yet do not exhibit the high GC and low repeat content that are characteristic of avian microchromosomes. Also, A. carolinensis mobile elements are very young and diverse-more so than in any other sequenced amniote genome. The GC content of this lizard genome is also unusual in its homogeneity, unlike the regionally variable GC content found in mammals and birds. We describe and assign sequence to the previously unknown A. carolinensis X chromosome. Comparative gene analysis shows that amniote egg proteins have evolved significantly more rapidly than other proteins. An anole phylogeny resolves basal branches to illuminate the history of their repeated adaptive radiations. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

  2. GREAT optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner-Gentner, Armin; Graf, Urs U.; Philipp, Martin; Rabanus, David; Stutzki, Jürgen

    2004-10-01

    The German REceiver for Astronomy at Terahertz frequencies (GREAT) is a first generation PI instrument for the SOFIA telescope, developed by a collaboration between the MPIfR, KOSMA, DLR, and the MPAe. The first three institutes each contribute one heterodyne receiver channel to operate at 1.9, 2.7 and 4.7 THz, respectively. A later addition of a e.g. 1.4 THz channel is planned. The GREAT instrument is developed to carry two cryostats at once. That means that any two of the three frequencies can be observed simultaneously. Therefore, we need to be able to quickly exchange the optics benches, the local oscillator (LO) subsystems, and the cryostats containing the mixer devices. This demands a high modularity and flexibility of our receiver concept. Our aim is to avoid the need for realignment when swapping receiver channels. After an overview of the common GREAT optics, a detailed description of several parts (optics benches, calibration units, diplexer, focal plane imager) is given. Special emphasis is given to the LO optics of the KOSMA 1.9 THz channel, because its backward wave oscillator has an astigmatic output beam profile, which has to be corrected for. We developed astigmatic off-axis mirrors to compensate this astigmatism. The mirrors are manufactured in-house on a 5 axis CNC milling machine. We use this milling machine to obtain optical components with highest surface accuracy (about 5 microns) appropriate for these wavelengths. Based on the CNC machining capabilities we present our concept of integrated optics, which means to manufacture optical subsystems monolithically. The optics benches are located on three point mounts, which in conjunction with the integrated optics concept ensure the required adjustment free optics setup.

  3. Bone indicators of grasping hands in lizards.

    PubMed

    Fontanarrosa, Gabriela; Abdala, Virginia

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Bone indicators of grasping hands in lizards

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  5. MARINE BOTTOM COMMUNITIES OF BLOCK ISLAND WATERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The sea has long been an integral part of Block Island's natural history, beginning when the rising sea surrounded the high spot on a Pleistocene terminal moraine that became Block Island. The southern New England continental shelf, which lies around Block Island, and the Great S...

  6. MARINE BOTTOM COMMUNITIES OF BLOCK ISLAND WATERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The sea has long been an integral part of Block Island's natural history, beginning when the rising sea surrounded the high spot on a Pleistocene terminal moraine that became Block Island. The southern New England continental shelf, which lies around Block Island, and the Great S...

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-07

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Waldschmidt, S.; Tracy, C.R.

    1983-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-23

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

  13. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-04

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Phylogeny of North African Agama lizards (Reptilia: Agamidae) and the role of the Sahara desert in vertebrate speciation.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Duarte V; Brito, José C; Crochet, Pierre-André; Geniez, Philippe; Padial, José M; Harris, D James

    2012-09-01

    The origin of Saharan biodiversity is poorly understood, in part because the geological and paleoclimatic events that presumably shaped species diversity are still controversial, but also because few studies have explored causal explanations for the origin of Saharan diversity using a phylogenetic framework. Here, we use mtDNA (16S and ND4 genes) and nDNA (MC1R and CMOS genes) to infer the relationships and biogeographic history of North African agamas (genus Agama). Agamas are conspicuous, diverse and abundant African lizards that also occur in the Saharan xeric and mesic environments. Our results revealed the presence of three Agama lineages in North Africa: one Afrotropical, one Sahelo-Saharan, and one broadly distributed in North Africa and mainly Saharan. Southern Mauritania contains the highest known diversity, with all three lineages present. Results suggest that agamas colonized the Sahara twice, but only one lineage was able to radiate and diversify there. Species in the Saharan lineage are mostly allopatric, and their splitting, genetic diversity and distribution are greatly explained by mountain ranges. One species in this lineage has colonized the Mediterranean climatic zone (A. impalearis), and another one the Sahel savannah (A. boueti). The other lineage to colonize the Sahara corresponds to A. boulengeri, an eminently Sahelian species that also inhabits Saharan mountain ranges in Mauritania and Mali. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that allopatric montane populations within some currently recognized species are also genetically divergent. Our study therefore concludes that vicariant speciation is a leading motor of species diversification in the area: Inside the Sahara, associated to mountain-ranges isolated by dune seas and bare plains; outside, associated to less harsh climates to the North and South. Paleoclimatic oscillations are suggested as causal explanations of the vicariant distribution and origin of species. Agamas are thought to have

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-06-04

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

  5. 33 CFR 117.720 - Great Channel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Great Channel. 117.720 Section... DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements New Jersey § 117.720 Great Channel. The draw of the County of Cape May bridge, mile 0.7, between Stone Harbor and Nummy Island, shall open on signal...

  6. 33 CFR 117.720 - Great Channel.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Great Channel. 117.720 Section... DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements New Jersey § 117.720 Great Channel. The draw of the County of Cape May bridge, mile 0.7, between Stone Harbor and Nummy Island, shall open on signal...

  7. Great Lakes

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-28

    Bands of lake effect snow drift eastward from the western Great Lakes in this true-color image captured by the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on January 5, 2017. National Weather Service forecasters expect light to moderate lake effect snow showers to continue throughout the day today and into Saturday (1/7). Lake-effect snow forms when cold air passes over the warmer waters of a lake. This causes some lake water to evaporate into the air and warm it. This warmer, wetter air rises and cools as it moves away from the lake. When it cools, it releases that moisture and, if it’s cold enough, that moisture turns into snow. Although true-color images like this may appear to be photographs of Earth, they aren't. They are created by combining data from the three color channels on the VIIRS instrument sensitive to the red, green and blue (or RGB) wavelengths of light into one composite image. In addition, data from several other channels are often also included to cancel out or correct atmospheric interference that may blur parts of the image. Credit: NOAA/NASA/Suomi NPP via NOAA's Environmental Visualization Laboratory

  8. Long-Term Data Reveal a Population Decline of the Tropical Lizard Anolis apletophallus, and a Negative Affect of El Nino Years on Population Growth Rate

    PubMed Central

    Stapley, Jessica; Garcia, Milton; Andrews, Robin M.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change threatens biodiversity worldwide, however predicting how particular species will respond is difficult because climate varies spatially, complex factors regulate population abundance, and species vary in their susceptibility to climate change. Studies need to incorporate these factors with long-term data in order to link climate change to population abundance. We used 40 years of lizard abundance data and local climate data from Barro Colorado Island to ask how climate, total lizard abundance and cohort-specific abundance have changed over time, and how total and cohort-specific abundance relate to climate variables including those predicted to make the species vulnerable to climate change (i.e. temperatures exceeding preferred body temperature). We documented a decrease in lizard abundance over the last 40 years, and changes in the local climate. Population growth rate was related to the previous years’ southern oscillation index; increasing following cooler-wetter, la niña years, decreasing following warmer-drier, el nino years. Within-year recruitment was negatively related to rainfall and minimum temperature. This study simultaneously identified climatic factors driving long-term population fluctuations and climate variables influencing short-term annual recruitment, both of which may be contributing to the population decline and influence the population’s future persistence. PMID:25671423

  9. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae) and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia)

    PubMed Central

    Szirovicza, Leonóra; López, Pilar; Kopena, Renáta; Benkő, Mária; Martín, José; Pénzes, Judit J.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs) in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni), nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus), and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi), respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses. PMID:27399970

  10. Elevational covariation in environmental constraints and life histories of the desert lizard Sceloporus merriami

    SciTech Connect

    Grant, B.W. ); Dunham, A.E. )

    1990-10-01

    We examine environmental constraints on life history characters among three elevationally distinct populations of the desert lizard Sceloporus merriami in west Texas. We show how environmental gradients in temperature and food abundance interact to constrain body temperatures, daily activity times, growth rates, and age-specific body size. We suggest that these differences resulted in opposite responses from males and females with respect to their size and age at first reproduction. Results suggest an interaction between resource levels and biophysical constraints that may greatly influence differences among populations in important life history characteristics. Although these responses are hypothesized to be proximally induced by environmental constraints, the resulting life history differences in age-specific resource allocation to growth, storage, and reproduction may significantly affect fitness.

  11. Cost of ventilation and effect of digestive state on the ventilatory response of the tegu lizard.

    PubMed

    Skovgaard, Nini; Wang, Tobias

    2004-07-12

    We performed simultaneous measurements of ventilation, oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide production in the South American lizard, Tupinambis merianae, equipped with a mask and maintained at 25 degrees C. Ventilation of resting animals was stimulated by progressive exposure to hypercapnia (2, 4 and 6%) or hypoxia (15, 10, 8 and 6%) in inspired gas mixture. This was carried out in both fasting and digesting animals. The ventilatory response to hypercapnia and hypoxia were affected by digestive state, with a more vigorous ventilatory response in digesting animals compared to fasting animals. Hypoxia doubled total ventilation while hypercapnia led to a four-fold increase in total ventilation both accomplished through an increase in tidal volume. Oxygen uptake remained constant during all hypercapnic exposures while there was an increase during hypoxia. Cost of ventilation was estimated to be 17% during hypoxia but less than 1% during hypercapnia. Our data indicate that ventilation can be greatly elevated at a small energetic cost.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nikitina, N G; Anan'eva, N B

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Aleutian Islands

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    Remote, rugged and extraordinarily beautiful, Alaska’s Aleutian Islands are best known for wildlife reserves, military bases, fishing, furs and fog. The sprawling volcanic archipelago was brought into the spotlight by the Russian-supported expedition of Alexey Chirikov and Vitus Bering in 1741, and soon became controlled by the Russian-American Fur Company. In 1867 the United States purchased Alaska, including the Aleutian Islands, from Russia. By 1900 the port in Unalaska was well established as a shipping port for Alaska gold. The archipelago sweeps about 1,200 miles (1,800 km) from the tip of the Alaskan Peninsula to Attu, the most westward island. Four major island groups hold 14 large islands, about 55 smaller islands, and a large number of islets, adding up to roughly 150 islands/islets in total. This chain separates the Bering Sea (north) from the Pacific Ocean (south) and the islands are connected by the Marine Highway Ferry – at least as far as Unalaska. For the most remote islands, such as birding paradise of Attu, the western-most Aleutian Island, travel becomes trickier and relies primarily on custom charter. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flew over the region and captured this spectacular true-color image of the eastern Aleutian Islands on May 15, 2014. In this image, the Alaskan Peninsula protrudes from the mainland and sweeps to the southwest. The first set of islands are called the Fox Island group. Unalaska Island is part of this group and can be identified, with some imagination, as an island formed in the shape of a flying cherub, with two arms (peninsulas) outstretched towards the northeast, seemingly reaching for the round “balls” of Akutan and Akun Islands. The smallest islands in the west of the image belong to the group known as the Islands of Four Mountains. The Aleutians continue far to the west of this image. Fog surrounds the Aleutians, stretching from just off the southwestern Alaska mainland to the

  15. Seabird modulations of isotopic nitrogen on islands.

    PubMed

    Caut, Stéphane; Angulo, Elena; Pisanu, Benoit; Ruffino, Lise; Faulquier, Lucie; Lorvelec, Olivier; Chapuis, Jean-Louis; Pascal, Michel; Vidal, Eric; Courchamp, Franck

    2012-01-01

    The transport of nutrients by migratory animals across ecosystem boundaries can significantly enrich recipient food webs, thereby shaping the ecosystems' structure and function. To illustrate the potential role of islands in enabling the transfer of matter across ecosystem boundaries to be gauged, we investigated the influence of seabirds on nitrogen input on islands. Basing our study on four widely differing islands in terms of their biogeography and ecological characteristics, sampled at different spatial and temporal intervals, we analyzed the nitrogen isotopic values of the main terrestrial ecosystem compartments (vascular plants, arthropods, lizards and rodents) and their relationship to seabird values. For each island, the isotopic values of the ecosystem were driven by those of seabirds, which ultimately corresponded to changes in their marine prey. First, terrestrial compartments sampled within seabird colonies were the most enriched in δ(15)N compared with those collected at various distances outside colonies. Second, isotopic values of the whole terrestrial ecosystems changed over time, reflecting the values of seabirds and their prey, showing a fast turnover throughout the ecosystems. Our results demonstrate that seabird-derived nutrients not only spread across the terrestrial ecosystems and trophic webs, but also modulate their isotopic values locally and temporally on these islands. The wealth of experimental possibilities in insular ecosystems justifies greater use of these model systems to further our understanding of the modalities of trans-boundary nutrient transfers.

  16. Seabird Modulations of Isotopic Nitrogen on Islands

    PubMed Central

    Caut, Stéphane; Angulo, Elena; Pisanu, Benoit; Ruffino, Lise; Faulquier, Lucie; Lorvelec, Olivier; Chapuis, Jean-Louis; Pascal, Michel; Vidal, Eric; Courchamp, Franck

    2012-01-01

    The transport of nutrients by migratory animals across ecosystem boundaries can significantly enrich recipient food webs, thereby shaping the ecosystems’ structure and function. To illustrate the potential role of islands in enabling the transfer of matter across ecosystem boundaries to be gauged, we investigated the influence of seabirds on nitrogen input on islands. Basing our study on four widely differing islands in terms of their biogeography and ecological characteristics, sampled at different spatial and temporal intervals, we analyzed the nitrogen isotopic values of the main terrestrial ecosystem compartments (vascular plants, arthropods, lizards and rodents) and their relationship to seabird values. For each island, the isotopic values of the ecosystem were driven by those of seabirds, which ultimately corresponded to changes in their marine prey. First, terrestrial compartments sampled within seabird colonies were the most enriched in δ15N compared with those collected at various distances outside colonies. Second, isotopic values of the whole terrestrial ecosystems changed over time, reflecting the values of seabirds and their prey, showing a fast turnover throughout the ecosystems. Our results demonstrate that seabird-derived nutrients not only spread across the terrestrial ecosystems and trophic webs, but also modulate their isotopic values locally and temporally on these islands. The wealth of experimental possibilities in insular ecosystems justifies greater use of these model systems to further our understanding of the modalities of trans-boundary nutrient transfers. PMID:22723945

  17. Alteration of island food-web dynamics following major disturbance by hurricanes.

    PubMed

    Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2007-01-01

    Major abiotic disturbance can be an important factor influencing food-web dynamics, particularly in areas impacted by the recent increase in hurricane activity. We present a unique set of data on key food-web processes occurring on 10 small islands for three relatively calm years and then four subsequent years during which two hurricanes passed directly over the study site. Herbivory, as measured by leaf damage, was 3.2 times higher in the year after the first hurricane (2000) than in the previous year and was 1.7 times higher in the year after the second hurricane (2002) than in 2001. The effect of a top predator (the lizard, Anolis sagrei) on herbivory strengthened continuously after the first hurricane and overall was 2.4 times stronger during the disturbance period than before. Overall abundance of lizards was 30% lower during the disturbance period than before, and abundances of web spiders and hymenopteran parasitoids were 66% and 59% lower, respectively. We suggest that increased herbivory observed on all islands was caused, at least in part, by the overall reduction in predation by both lizards and arthropods, whereas magnification of the lizard effect on herbivory was caused by reduced compensatory predation by arthropods.

  18. Long Island Solar Farm

    SciTech Connect

    Anders, R.

    2013-05-01

    The Long Island Solar Farm (LISF) is a remarkable success story, whereby very different interest groups found a way to capitalize on unusual circumstances to develop a mutually beneficial source of renewable energy. The uniqueness of the circumstances that were necessary to develop the Long Island Solar Farm make it very difficult to replicate. The project is, however, an unparalleled resource for solar energy research, which will greatly inform large-scale PV solar development in the East. Lastly, the LISF is a superb model for the process by which the project developed and the innovation and leadership shown by the different players.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  20. A gliding lizard from the Early Cretaceous of China

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Studies of social birds and mammals have produced extensive theory regarding the formation and dynamics of kin-based social groups in vertebrates. However, comparing kin dynamics in birds and mammals to social reptiles provides the opportunity to identify selective factors that promote independent origins of kin sociality across vertebrates. We combined a 5-year mark-recapture study with a DNA microsatellite analysis of relatedness in a social lizard (Xantusia vigilis) to examine the formation and stability of kin groups. We found that these lizards are highly sedentary and that groups often form through the delayed dispersal of offspring. Groups containing juveniles had higher relatedness than adult-only groups, as juveniles were commonly found in aggregations with at least one parent and/or sibling. Groups containing nuclear family members were more stable than groups of less-related lizards, as predicted by social theory. We conclude that X. vigilis aggregations conform to patterns of kin sociality observed in avian and mammalian systems and represent an example of convergent evolution in social systems. We suggest that kin-based sociality in this and other lizards may be a by-product of viviparity, which can promote delayed juvenile dispersal by allowing prolonged interaction between a neonate and its mother. PMID:20926442

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, Kevin L.; Burke, Darren

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Diane; Nelson, Cathi

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-13

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

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

    PubMed

    Herrel, Anthony; O'reilly, James C

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Scale Morphology and Micro-Structure of Monitor Lizards (Squamata: Varanidae: Varanus spp.) and their Allies: Implications for Systematics, Ecology, and Conservation.

    PubMed

    Bucklitsch, Yannick; Böhme, Wolfgang; Koch, André

    2016-08-17

    We analysed scale morphology and micro-structure from five different body regions using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) across all nine recognized subgenera of the monitor lizard genus Varanus including 41 different species investigated. As far as we are aware, this qualitative visual technique was applied by us for the first time to most monitor lizard species and probably also to the primary outgroup and sister species Lanthanotus borneensis. A comprehensive list of 20 scalation characters each with up to seven corresponding character states was established and defined for the five body regions sampled. For the phylogenetic approach, parsimony analyses of the resulting morphological data matrix as well as Bremer and bootstrap support calculations were performed with the software TNT. Our results demonstrate that a variety of micro-ornamentations (i.e., ultra- or micro-dermatoglyphics) as seen in various squamate groups is hardly present in monitor lizards. In several species from six out of nine subgenera, however, we found a honeycomb-shaped micro-structure of foveate polygons. Two further samples of Euprepiosaurus Fitzinger, 1843 exhibit each another unique microscopic structure on the scale surface. Notably, the majority of species showing the honeycombed ultra-structure inhabit arid habitats in Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, it can be inferred that this microscopic scalation feature, which has also been identified in other desert dwelling lizard species, is taxonomically and ecologically correlated with a xeric habitat type in varanids, too. In addition, the systematic affiliation of V. spinulosus, an endemic monitor lizard species from the Solomon Islands with an extraordinary scale shape, is discussed in the light of current hypotheses about its phylogenetic position within the Varanidae. Due to its unique scalation characteristics, in combination with other morphological evidence, a new monotypic subgenus, Solomonsaurus subgen. nov

  10. Galapagos Islands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This true-color image of the Galapagos Islands was acquired on March 12, 2002, by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra satellite. The Galapagos Islands, which are part of Ecuador, sit in the Pacific Ocean about 1000 km (620 miles) west of South America. As the three craters on the largest island (Isabela Island) suggest, the archipelago was created by volcanic eruptions, which took place millions of years ago. Unlike most remote islands in the Pacific, the Galapagos have gone relatively untouched by humans over the past few millennia. As a result, many unique species have continued to thrive on the islands. Over 95 percent of the islands' reptile species and nearly three quarters of its land bird species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Two of the more well known are the Galapagos giant tortoise and marine iguanas. The unhindered evolutionary development of the islands' species inspired Charles Darwin to begin The Origin of Species eight years after his visit there. To preserve the unique wildlife on the islands, the Ecuadorian government made the entire archipelago a national park in 1959. Each year roughly 60,000 tourists visit these islands to experience what Darwin did over a century and a half ago. Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

  11. Galapagos Islands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This true-color image of the Galapagos Islands was acquired on March 12, 2002, by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra satellite. The Galapagos Islands, which are part of Ecuador, sit in the Pacific Ocean about 1000 km (620 miles) west of South America. As the three craters on the largest island (Isabela Island) suggest, the archipelago was created by volcanic eruptions, which took place millions of years ago. Unlike most remote islands in the Pacific, the Galapagos have gone relatively untouched by humans over the past few millennia. As a result, many unique species have continued to thrive on the islands. Over 95 percent of the islands' reptile species and nearly three quarters of its land bird species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Two of the more well known are the Galapagos giant tortoise and marine iguanas. The unhindered evolutionary development of the islands' species inspired Charles Darwin to begin The Origin of Species eight years after his visit there. To preserve the unique wildlife on the islands, the Ecuadorian government made the entire archipelago a national park in 1959. Each year roughly 60,000 tourists visit these islands to experience what Darwin did over a century and a half ago. Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffield, Glen; Bull, Michael

    2002-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Beneš, Josef; Veselý, Petr

    2017-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shine, Richard; Thomas, Jai

    2005-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-15

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

  19. Dragon's Paradise Lost: Palaeobiogeography, Evolution and Extinction of the Largest-Ever Terrestrial Lizards (Varanidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hocknull, Scott A.; Piper, Philip J.; van den Bergh, Gert D.; Due, Rokus Awe; Morwood, Michael J.; Kurniawan, Iwan

    2009-01-01

    Background The largest living lizard species, Varanus komodoensis Ouwens 1912, is vulnerable to extinction, being restricted to a few isolated islands in eastern Indonesia, between Java and Australia, where it is the dominant terrestrial carnivore. Understanding how large-bodied varanids responded to past environmental change underpins long-term management of V. komodoensis populations. Methodology/Principal Findings We reconstruct the palaeobiogeography of Neogene giant varanids and identify a new (unnamed) species from the island of Timor. Our data reject the long-held perception that V. komodoensis became a giant because of insular evolution or as a specialist hunter of pygmy Stegodon. Phyletic giantism, coupled with a westward dispersal from mainland Australia, provides the most parsimonious explanation for the palaeodistribution of V. komodoensis and the newly identified species of giant varanid from Timor. Pliocene giant varanid fossils from Australia are morphologically referable to V. komodoensis suggesting an ultimate origin for V. komodoensis on mainland Australia (>3.8 million years ago). Varanus komodoensis body size has remained stable over the last 900,000 years (ka) on Flores, a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island's megafauna, the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka, co-existence with Homo floresiensis, and the arrival of modern humans by 10 ka. Within the last 2000 years their populations have contracted severely. Conclusions/Significance Giant varanids were once a ubiquitous part of Subcontinental Eurasian and Australasian faunas during the Neogene. Extinction played a pivotal role in the reduction of their ranges and diversity throughout the late Quaternary, leaving only V. komodoensis as an isolated long-term survivor. The events over the last two millennia now threaten its future survival. PMID:19789642

  20. Dragon's paradise lost: palaeobiogeography, evolution and extinction of the largest-ever terrestrial lizards (Varanidae).

    PubMed

    Hocknull, Scott A; Piper, Philip J; van den Bergh, Gert D; Due, Rokus Awe; Morwood, Michael J; Kurniawan, Iwan

    2009-09-30

    The largest living lizard species, Varanus komodoensis Ouwens 1912, is vulnerable to extinction, being restricted to a few isolated islands in eastern Indonesia, between Java and Australia, where it is the dominant terrestrial carnivore. Understanding how large-bodied varanids responded to past environmental change underpins long-term management of V. komodoensis populations. We reconstruct the palaeobiogeography of Neogene giant varanids and identify a new (unnamed) species from the island of Timor. Our data reject the long-held perception that V. komodoensis became a giant because of insular evolution or as a specialist hunter of pygmy Stegodon. Phyletic giantism, coupled with a westward dispersal from mainland Australia, provides the most parsimonious explanation for the palaeodistribution of V. komodoensis and the newly identified species of giant varanid from Timor. Pliocene giant varanid fossils from Australia are morphologically referable to V. komodoensis suggesting an ultimate origin for V. komodoensis on mainland Australia (>3.8 million years ago). Varanus komodoensis body size has remained stable over the last 900,000 years (ka) on Flores, a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island's megafauna, the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka, co-existence with Homo floresiensis, and the arrival of modern humans by 10 ka. Within the last 2000 years their populations have contracted severely. Giant varanids were once a ubiquitous part of Subcontinental Eurasian and Australasian faunas during the Neogene. Extinction played a pivotal role in the reduction of their ranges and diversity throughout the late Quaternary, leaving only V. komodoensis as an isolated long-term survivor. The events over the last two millennia now threaten its future survival.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    Effectively moving across variable substrates is important to all terrestrial animals. The effects of substrates on lizard performance have ecological ramifications including the partitioning of habitat according to sprinting ability on different surfaces. This phenomenon is known as sprint sensitivity, or the decrease in sprint speed due to change in substrate. However, sprint sensitivity has been characterized only in arboreal Anolis lizards. Our study measured sensitivity to substrate rugosity among six lizard species that occupy rocky, sandy, and/or arboreal habitats. Lizards that use rocky habitats are less sensitive to changes in substrate rugosity, followed by arboreal lizards, and then by lizards that use sandy habitats. We infer from comparative phylogenetic analysis that forelimb, chest, and tail dimensions are important external morphological features related to sensitivity to changes in substrate rugosity. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Robert, K A; Thompson, M B

    2000-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Trevor; Whiting, Martin J

    2012-11-01

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

  5. Akpatok Island

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Akpatok Island lies in Ungava Bay in northern Quebec, Canada. Accessible only by air, Akpatok Island rises out of the water as sheer cliffs that soar 500 to 800 feet (150 to 243 m) above the sea surface. The island is an important sanctuary for cliff-nesting seabirds. Numerous ice floes around the island attract walrus and whales, making Akpatok a traditional hunting ground for native Inuit people. This image was acquired by Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) sensor on January 22, 2001. Image provided by the USGS EROS Data Center Satellite Systems Branch

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

  8. Genetic assignment of recruits reveals short- and long-distance larval dispersal in Pocillopora damicornis on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Torda, G; Lundgren, P; Willis, B L; van Oppen, M J H

    2013-12-01

    Understanding connectivity of coral populations among and within reefs over ecologically significant timescales is essential for developing evidence-based management strategies, including the design of marineprotected areas. Here, we present the first assessment of contemporary connectivity among populations of two Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs) of the brooding coral Pocillopora damicornis. We used individual-based genetic assignment methods to identify the proportions of philopatric and migrant larval recruits, settling over 12 months at sites around Lizard Island (northern Great Barrier Reef [GBR]) and over 24 months at sites around the Palms Islands (central GBR). Overall, we found spatially and temporally variable rates of self-recruitment and dispersal, demonstrating the importance of variation in local physical characteristics in driving dispersal processes. Recruitment patterns and inferred dispersal distances differed between the two P. damicornis MOTUs, with type α recruits exhibiting predominantly philopatric recruitment, while the majority of type β recruits were either migrants from identified putative source populations or assumed migrants based on genetic exclusion from all known populations. While P. damicornis invests much energy into brooding clonal larvae, we found that only 15% and 7% of type α and type β recruits, respectively, were clones of sampled adult colonies or other recruits, challenging the hypothesis that reproduction is predominantly asexual in this species on the GBR. We explain high rates of self-recruitment and low rates of clonality in these MOTUs by suggesting that locally retained larvae originate predominantly from spawned gametes, while brooded larvae are mainly vagabonds.

  9. Prevalence of virus-like particles within a staghorn scleractinian coral ( Acropora muricata) from the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patten, N. L.; Harrison, P. L.; Mitchell, J. G.

    2008-09-01

    Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to determine whether Acropora muricata coral colonies from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, harboured virus-like particles (VLPs). VLPs were present in all coral colonies sampled at Heron Island (southern GBR) and in tagged coral colonies sampled in at least two of the three sampling periods at Lizard Island (northern GBR). VLPs were observed within gastrodermal and epidermal tissues, and on rarer occasions, within the mesoglea. These VLPs had similar morphologies to known prokaryotic and eukaryotic viruses in other systems. Icosahedral VLPs were observed most frequently, however, filamentous VLPs (FVLPs) and phage were also noted. There were no clear differences in VLP size, morphology or location within the tissues with respect to sample date, coral health status or site. The most common VLP morphotype exhibited icosahedral symmetry, 120-150 nm in diameter, with an electron-dense core and an electronlucent membrane. Larger VLPs of similar morphology were also common. VLPs occurred as single entities, in groups, or in dense clusters, either as free particles within coral tissues, or within membrane-bound vacuoles. VLPs were commonly observed within the perinuclear region, with mitochondria, golgi apparatus and crescent-shaped particles frequently observed within close proximity. The host(s) of these observed VLPs was not clear; however, the different sizes and morphologies of VLPs observed within A. muricata tissues suggest that viruses are infecting either the coral animal, zooxanthellae, intracellular bacteria and/or other coral-associated microbiota, or that the one host is susceptible to infection from more than one type of virus. These results add to the limited but emerging body of evidence that viruses represent another potentially important component of the coral holobiont.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    Lizards (Podarcis muralis) preferentially use the left eye during spatial exploration in a binocular condition. Here we allowed 44 adult wild lizards to explore an unknown maze for 20 min under a temporary monocular condition whilst recording their movements, particularly the direction of turns made whilst walking within the maze. Lizards with a patch on their right eye, i.e. using their left eye to monitor the environment, moved faster than lizards with a patch on their left eye when turning both leftward and rightward in a T-cross. Hence, right eye-patched lizards were faster than left eye-patched lizards also in turning right, although their right eye was covered. Thus, lizards that could use the left eye/right hemisphere to attend spatial cues appeared to have more control and to be more prompt in exploring the maze. In addition, female lizards with their left eye covered stopped very frequently when they reached crosses, showing a high level of indecision. Results confirm that P. muralis lizards using their left eye only in exploring a new environment react faster and more efficiently than those using the right eye only in exploration. Hence lateralisation of spatial stimuli mediated by the left eye/right hemisphere could provide an advantage to this species. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A roseate spoonbill flies across the water near KSC. Spoonbills prefer to inhabit mangroves, ranging from the coasts of southern Florida, Louisiana and Texas, to the West Indies, Mexico, Central and South America. They feed on shrimps and fish in shallow waters. Spoonbills are one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also 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.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-10-24

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A roseate spoonbill flies across the water near KSC. Spoonbills prefer to inhabit mangroves, ranging from the coasts of southern Florida, Louisiana and Texas, to the West Indies, Mexico, Central and South America. They feed on shrimps and fish in shallow waters. Spoonbills are one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also 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.

  13. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Two blue-winged teals swim in a pond near KSC. The species prefers marshes and shallow ponds and lakes for nesting and range from Canada to North Carolina, the Gulf Coast and Southern California, as well as Florida. KSC shares a boundary with the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which provides 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.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-10-24

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Two blue-winged teals swim in a pond near KSC. The species prefers marshes and shallow ponds and lakes for nesting and range from Canada to North Carolina, the Gulf Coast and Southern California, as well as Florida. KSC shares a boundary with the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, which provides 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.

  14. Heron Island, Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Heron Island is located at the sourthern end of Australia's 2,050 km-long Great Barrier Reef. Surrounded by coral reef and home to over 1000 species of fish, scuba divers and scientists alike are drawn to the island's resort and research station. The true-color image above was taken by Space Imaging's Ikonos satellite with a resolution of 4 meters per pixel-high enough to see individual boats tied up at the small marina. The narrow channel leading from the marina to the ocean was blasted and dredged decades ago, before the island became a national park. Since then the Australian government has implemented conservation measures, such as limiting the number of tourists and removing or recycling, instead of incinerating, all trash. One of the applications of remote sensing data from Ikonos is environmental monitoring, including studies of coral reef health. For more information about the island, read Heron Island. Image by Robert Simmon, based on data copyright Space Imaging

  15. Island Hopping

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Gayle

    2009-01-01

    At some institutions, it may feel as though faculty live on one island and advancement staff on another. The islands form part of an archipelago, and they exchange ambassadors and send emissaries occasionally, but interactions are limited. It may even seem as though the two groups speak different languages, deal in different currencies, and abide…

  16. Belcher Islands

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    Belcher Islands - September 21st, 2001 Description: Like sweeping brushstrokes of pink and green, the Belcher Islands meander across the deep blue of Canada's Hudson Bay. The islands' only inhabitants live in the small town of Sanikiluaq, near the upper end of the middle island. Despite the green hues in this image, these rocky islands are too cold to sustain more than a smattering of low-growing vegetation. Credit: USGS/NASA/Landsat 5 To learn more about the Landsat satellite go to: landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/ NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Join us on Facebook

  17. Diet patterns of island foxes on San Nicolas Island relative to feral cat removal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cypher, Brian L.; Kelly, Erica C.; Ferrara, Francesca J.; Drost, Charles A.; Westall, Tory L.; Hudgens, Brian

    2017-01-01

    Island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) are a species of conservation concern that occur on six of the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. We analysed island fox diet on San Nicolas Island during 2006–12 to assess the influence of the removal of feral cats (Felis catus) on the food use by foxes. Our objective was to determine whether fox diet patterns shifted in response to the cat removal conducted during 2009–10, thus indicating that cats were competing with foxes for food items. We also examined the influence of annual precipitation patterns and fox abundance on fox diet. On the basis of an analysis of 1975 fox scats, use of vertebrate prey – deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), birds, and lizards – increased significantly during and after the complete removal of cats (n = 66) from the island. Deer mouse abundance increased markedly during and after cat removal and use of mice by foxes was significantly related to mouse abundance. The increase in mice and shift in item use by the foxes was consistent with a reduction in exploitative competition associated with the cat removal. However, fox abundance declined markedly coincident with the removal of cats and deer mouse abundance was negatively related to fox numbers. Also, annual precipitation increased markedly during and after cat removal and deer mouse abundance closely tracked precipitation. Thus, our results indicate that other confounding factors, particularly precipitation, may have had a greater influence on fox diet patterns.

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

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Adelina; Dolder, Heidi

    2003-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schulte, James A.; Moreno-Roark, Franck

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schulte, James A; Moreno-Roark, Franck

    2010-04-23

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

  1. Partial characterization of new adenoviruses found in lizards.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Chown, Steven L

    2014-01-01

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

  3. An Upper Cretaceous lizard with a lower temporal arcade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  4. Herpesvirus-associated papillomatosis in a green lizard.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cook, Ellee G; Murphy, Troy G; Johnson, Michele A

    2013-10-01

    Parasites influence colorful ornaments and their behavioral display in many animal hosts. Because coloration and display behavior are often critical components of communication, variation in these traits may have important implications for individual fitness, yet it remains unclear whether such traits are signals of quality in many taxa. We investigated the association between ectoparasitic mite load and the color and behavioral use of the throat fan (dewlap) by male Anolis brevirostris lizards. We found that heavily parasitized lizards exhibited lower body condition, duller dewlaps, and less frequent dewlap displays than less parasitized individuals. Our results thus suggest that highly parasitized individuals invest less in both ornamental color and behavioral display of that color. Because the two components of the signal simultaneously provide information on male quality, this study provides novel support for the long-standing hypothesis that colorful traits may function as social or sexual signals in reptiles.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Ellee G.; Murphy, Troy G.; Johnson, Michele A.

    2013-10-01

    Parasites influence colorful ornaments and their behavioral display in many animal hosts. Because coloration and display behavior are often critical components of communication, variation in these traits may have important implications for individual fitness, yet it remains unclear whether such traits are signals of quality in many taxa. We investigated the association between ectoparasitic mite load and the color and behavioral use of the throat fan (dewlap) by male Anolis brevirostris lizards. We found that heavily parasitized lizards exhibited lower body condition, duller dewlaps, and less frequent dewlap displays than less parasitized individuals. Our results thus suggest that highly parasitized individuals invest less in both ornamental color and behavioral display of that color. Because the two components of the signal simultaneously provide information on male quality, this study provides novel support for the long-standing hypothesis that colorful traits may function as social or sexual signals in reptiles.

  7. Multilocus genetic diversity and historical biogeography of the endemic wall lizard from Ibiza and Formentera, Podarcis pityusensis (Squamata: Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, V; Brown, R P; Terrasa, B; Pérez-Mellado, V; Castro, J A; Picornell, A; Ramon, M M

    2013-10-01

    Two monophyletic sister species of wall lizards inhabit the two main groups of Balearic Islands: Podarcis lilfordi from islets and small islands around Mallorca and Menorca and Podarcis pityusensis from Ibiza, Formentera and associated islets. Genetic diversity within the endangered P. lilfordi has been well characterized, but P. pityusensis has not been studied in depth. Here, 2430 bp of mtDNA and 15 microsatellite loci were analysed from P. pityusensis populations from across its natural range. Two main genetic groupings were identified, although geographical structuring differed slightly between the mtDNA and the nuclear loci. In general, individuals from islets/islands adjacent to the main island of Ibiza were genetically distinct from those from Formentera and the associated Freus islands for both mtDNA and the nuclear loci. However, most individuals from the island of Ibiza were grouped with neighbouring islets/islands for nuclear loci, but with Formentera and Freus islands for the mitochondrial locus. A time-calibrated Bayesian tree was constructed for the principal mitochondrial lineages within the Balearics, using the multispecies coalescent model, and provided statistical support for divergence of the two main P. pityusensis lineages 0.111-0.295 Ma. This suggests a mid-late Pleistocene intraspecific divergence, compared with an early Pleistocene divergence in P. lilfordi, and postdates some major increases in sea level between 0.4 and 0.6 Ma, which may have flooded Formentera. The program IMa2 provided a posterior divergence time of 0.089-0.221 Ma, which was similar to the multispecies coalescent tree estimate. More significantly, it indicated low but asymmetric effective gene copy migration rates, with higher migration from Formentera to Ibiza populations. Our findings suggest that much of the present-day diversity may have originated from a late Pleistocene colonization of one island group from the other, followed by allopatric divergence of these

  8. Unidirectional pulmonary airflow patterns in the savannah monitor lizard.

    PubMed

    Schachner, Emma R; Cieri, Robert L; Butler, James P; Farmer, C G

    2014-02-20

    The unidirectional airflow patterns in the lungs of birds have long been considered a unique and specialized trait associated with the oxygen demands of flying, their endothermic metabolism and unusual pulmonary architecture. However, the discovery of similar flow patterns in the lungs of crocodilians indicates that this character is probably ancestral for all archosaurs--the group that includes extant birds and crocodilians as well as their extinct relatives, such as pterosaurs and dinosaurs. Unidirectional flow in birds results from aerodynamic valves, rather than from sphincters or other physical mechanisms, and similar aerodynamic valves seem to be present in crocodilians. The anatomical and developmental similarities in the primary and secondary bronchi of birds and crocodilians suggest that these structures and airflow patterns may be homologous. The origin of this pattern is at least as old as the split between crocodilians and birds, which occurred in the Triassic period. Alternatively, this pattern of flow may be even older; this hypothesis can be tested by investigating patterns of airflow in members of the outgroup to birds and crocodilians, the Lepidosauromorpha (tuatara, lizards and snakes). Here we demonstrate region-specific unidirectional airflow in the lungs of the savannah monitor lizard (Varanus exanthematicus). The presence of unidirectional flow in the lungs of V. exanthematicus thus gives rise to two possible evolutionary scenarios: either unidirectional airflow evolved independently in archosaurs and monitor lizards, or these flow patterns are homologous in archosaurs and V. exanthematicus, having evolved only once in ancestral diapsids (the clade encompassing snakes, lizards, crocodilians and birds). If unidirectional airflow is plesiomorphic for Diapsida, this respiratory character can be reconstructed for extinct diapsids, and evolved in a small ectothermic tetrapod during the Palaeozoic era at least a hundred million years before the

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    With approximately 7000 species, snakes and lizards, collectively known as squamates, are by far the most species-rich group of reptiles. It was from reptile-like ancestors that mammals and birds evolved and squamates can be viewed as phylogenetically positioned between them and fishes. Hence, their hearts have been studied for more than a century yielding insights into the group itself and into the independent evolution of the fully divided four-chambered hearts of mammals and birds. Structurally the heart is complex and debates persist on rudimentary issues such as identifying structures critical to understanding ventricle function. In seeking to resolve these controversies we have generated three-dimensional (3D) models in portable digital format (pdf) of the anaconda and anole lizard hearts ('typical' squamate hearts) and the uniquely specialized python heart with comprehensive annotations of structures and cavities. We review the anatomy and physiology of squamate hearts in general and emphasize the unique features of pythonid and varanid lizard hearts that endow them with mammal-like blood pressures. Excluding pythons and varanid lizards it is concluded that the squamate heart has a highly consistent design including a disproportionately large right side (systemic venous) probably due to prevailing pulmonary bypass (intraventricular shunting). Unfortunately, investigations on rudimentary features are sparse. We therefore point out gaps in our knowledge, such as the size and functional importance of the coronary vasculature and of the first cardiac chamber, the sinus venosus, and highlight areas with implications for vertebrate cardiac evolution. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  12. Uta stansburiana and Elgaria multicarinata on the California Channel Islands: Natural dispersal or artificial introduction?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahoney, Meredith J.; Parks, Duncan S.M.; Fellers, Gary M.

    2003-01-01

    Uta stansburiana and Elgaria multicarinata occur on several California Channel Islands, and recent introduction of some populations has been suggested because of similarity in life-history traits and body size to mainland populations. We sequenced representatives of each species from mainland southern California and some of the islands on which they occur. For each species, cytochrome bsequence divergence is low across the narrow geographic area sampled. Analyses of 14 haplotypes of U. stansburiana suggest long-established residency on Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands but more recent arrival on San Nicolas and Santa Cruz Islands. Analyses of eight haplotypes of E. multicarinata suggest these lizards may have been recently transported to San Nicolas Island.

  13. A new species of Pseudogekko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Romblon Island Group, Central Philippines.

    PubMed

    Siler, Cameron D; Davis, Drew R; Diesmos, Arvin C; Guinto, Faith; Whitsett, Collin; Brown, Rafe M

    2016-07-20

    We describe a new species of lizard in the genus Pseudogekko from Sibuyan and Tablas islands in the Romblon Island Group of the central Philippines. The new species is diagnosed from other Philippine Pseudogekko by body size and shape, color pattern, and multiple differences in scale characteristics. Pseudogekko isapa sp. nov. has been collected only twice from leaves of shrubs in forested habitat on Sibuyan and Tablas islands. The distinctive new species of false gecko is undoubtedly endemic to this single, isolated island group. The fact that populations of such a distinctive new species of Pseudogekko has escaped notice of herpetologists on the reasonably well-studied and largely protected Sibuyan Island further emphasizes the secretive and forest-dependent habits of Philippine false geckos. These characteristics of their behavior and natural history render them difficult to study and challenge biologists' efforts to accurately assess their conservation status.

  14. Age-dependent social learning in a lizard

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Evidence of social learning, whereby the actions of an animal facilitate the acquisition of new information by another, is taxonomically biased towards mammals, especially primates, and birds. However, social learning need not be limited to group-living animals because species with less interaction can still benefit from learning about potential predators, food sources, rivals and mates. We trained male skinks (Eulamprus quoyii), a mostly solitary lizard from eastern Australia, in a two-step foraging task. Lizards belonging to ‘young’ and ‘old’ age classes were presented with a novel instrumental task (displacing a lid) and an association task (reward under blue lid). We did not find evidence for age-dependent learning of the instrumental task; however, young males in the presence of a demonstrator learnt the association task faster than young males without a demonstrator, whereas old males in both treatments had similar success rates. We present the first evidence of age-dependent social learning in a lizard and suggest that the use of social information for learning may be more widespread than previously believed. PMID:25009244

  15. The first iguanian lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Daza, Juan D.; Simões, Tiago R.; Rage, Jean Claude

    2016-09-01

    The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically. In a combined evidence phylogenetic dataset comprehensive of all major acrodontan lineages using multiple tree inference methods (traditional and implied weighting maximum-parsimony, and Bayesian inference), we found support for the placement of the new species within uromastycines, along with Gueragama sulamericana (Late Cretaceous of Brazil). The new fossil supports the previously hypothesized widespread geographical distribution of acrodontans in Gondwana during the Mesozoic. Additionally, it provides the first fossil evidence of uromastycines in the Cretaceous, and the ancestry of acrodontan iguanians in Africa.

  16. Remote sensing as a tool to analyse lizards behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  17. Evolution of extreme body size disparity in monitor lizards (Varanus).

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2011-09-01

    Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards.

  18. Age-dependent social learning in a lizard.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    Evidence of social learning, whereby the actions of an animal facilitate the acquisition of new information by another, is taxonomically biased towards mammals, especially primates, and birds. However, social learning need not be limited to group-living animals because species with less interaction can still benefit from learning about potential predators, food sources, rivals and mates. We trained male skinks (Eulamprus quoyii), a mostly solitary lizard from eastern Australia, in a two-step foraging task. Lizards belonging to 'young' and 'old' age classes were presented with a novel instrumental task (displacing a lid) and an association task (reward under blue lid). We did not find evidence for age-dependent learning of the instrumental task; however, young males in the presence of a demonstrator learnt the association task faster than young males without a demonstrator, whereas old males in both treatments had similar success rates. We present the first evidence of age-dependent social learning in a lizard and suggest that the use of social information for learning may be more widespread than previously believed.

  19. The first iguanian lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa

    PubMed Central

    Daza, Juan D.; Simões, Tiago R.; Rage, Jean Claude

    2016-01-01

    The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically. In a combined evidence phylogenetic dataset comprehensive of all major acrodontan lineages using multiple tree inference methods (traditional and implied weighting maximum-parsimony, and Bayesian inference), we found support for the placement of the new species within uromastycines, along with Gueragama sulamericana (Late Cretaceous of Brazil). The new fossil supports the previously hypothesized widespread geographical distribution of acrodontans in Gondwana during the Mesozoic. Additionally, it provides the first fossil evidence of uromastycines in the Cretaceous, and the ancestry of acrodontan iguanians in Africa. PMID:27703708

  20. Eating lizards: a millenary habit evidenced by Paleoparasitology

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Analyses of coprolites have contributed to the knowledge of diet as well as infectious diseases in ancient populations. Results of paleoparasitological studies showed that prehistoric groups were exposed to spurious and zoonotic parasites, especially food-related. Here we report the findings of a paleoparasitological study carried out in remote regions of Brazil’s Northeast. Findings Eggs of Pharyngodonidae (Nematoda, Oxyuroidea), a family of parasites of lizards and amphibians, were found in four human coprolites collected from three archaeological sites. In one of these, lizard scales were also found. Conclusions Through the finding of eggs of Pharyngodonidae in human coprolites and reptile scales in one of these, we have provided evidence that humans have consumed reptiles at least 10,000 years ago. This food habit persists to modern times in remote regions of Brazil’s Northeast. Although Pharyngodonidae species are not known to infect humans, the consumption of raw or undercooked meat from lizards and other reptiles may have led to transmission of a wide range of zoonotic agents to humans in the past. PMID:23098578

  1. Speed and Endurance Do Not Trade Off in Phrynosomatid Lizards.

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, Ralph Lacerda; Bonine, Kevin E; Garland, Theodore

    2015-01-01

    Trade-offs are a common focus of study in evolutionary biology and in studies of locomotor physiology and biomechanics. A previous comparative study of 12 species of European lacertid lizards found a statistically significant negative correlation between residual locomotor speed and stamina (controlling for variation in body size), consistent with ideas about trade-offs in performance based on variation in muscle fiber type composition and other subordinate traits. To begin examining the generality of this finding in other groups of squamates, we measured maximal sprint running speed on a high-speed treadmill and endurance at 1.0 km/h (0.28 m/s) in 14 species of North American phrynosomatid lizards, plus a sample of nine additional species to encompass some of the broadscale diversity of lizards. We used both conventional and phylogenetically informed regression analyses to control for some known causes of performance variation (body size, stockiness, body temperature) and then computed residual performance values. We found no evidence for a trade-off between speed and endurance among the 14 phrynosomatids or among the 23 species in the extended data set. Possible explanations for the apparent difference between lacertids and phrynosomatids are discussed.

  2. The auditory brainstem response in two lizard species

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Polyandry in dragon lizards: inbred paternal genotypes sire fewer offspring.

    PubMed

    Frère, Celine H; Chandrasoma, Dani; Whiting, Martin J

    2015-04-01

    Multiple mating in female animals is something of a paradox because it can either be risky (e.g., higher probability of disease transmission, social costs) or provide substantial fitness benefits (e.g., genetic bet hedging whereby the likelihood of reproductive failure is lowered). The genetic relatedness of parental units, particularly in lizards, has rarely been studied in the wild. Here, we examined levels of multiple paternity in Australia's largest agamid lizard, the eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii), and determined whether male reproductive success is best explained by its heterozygosity coefficient or the extent to which it is related to the mother. Female polyandry was the norm: 2/22 clutches (9.2%) were sired by three or more fathers, 17/22 (77.2%) were sired by two fathers, and only 3/22 (13.6%) clutches were sired by one father. Moreover, we reconstructed the paternal genotypes for 18 known mother-offspring clutches and found no evidence that females were favoring less related males or that less related males had higher fitness. However, males with greater heterozygosity sired more offspring. While the postcopulatory mechanisms underlying this pattern are not understood, female water dragons likely represent another example of reproduction through cryptic means (sperm selection/sperm competition) in a lizard, and through which they may ameliorate the effects of male-driven precopulatory sexual selection.

  4. Polyandry in dragon lizards: inbred paternal genotypes sire fewer offspring

    PubMed Central

    Frère, Celine H; Chandrasoma, Dani; Whiting, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    Multiple mating in female animals is something of a paradox because it can either be risky (e.g., higher probability of disease transmission, social costs) or provide substantial fitness benefits (e.g., genetic bet hedging whereby the likelihood of reproductive failure is lowered). The genetic relatedness of parental units, particularly in lizards, has rarely been studied in the wild. Here, we examined levels of multiple paternity in Australia's largest agamid lizard, the eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii), and determined whether male reproductive success is best explained by its heterozygosity coefficient or the extent to which it is related to the mother. Female polyandry was the norm: 2/22 clutches (9.2%) were sired by three or more fathers, 17/22 (77.2%) were sired by two fathers, and only 3/22 (13.6%) clutches were sired by one father. Moreover, we reconstructed the paternal genotypes for 18 known mother–offspring clutches and found no evidence that females were favoring less related males or that less related males had higher fitness. However, males with greater heterozygosity sired more offspring. While the postcopulatory mechanisms underlying this pattern are not understood, female water dragons likely represent another example of reproduction through cryptic means (sperm selection/sperm competition) in a lizard, and through which they may ameliorate the effects of male-driven precopulatory sexual selection. PMID:25937911

  5. The first iguanian lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa.

    PubMed

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Daza, Juan D; Simões, Tiago R; Rage, Jean Claude

    2016-09-01

    The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically. In a combined evidence phylogenetic dataset comprehensive of all major acrodontan lineages using multiple tree inference methods (traditional and implied weighting maximum-parsimony, and Bayesian inference), we found support for the placement of the new species within uromastycines, along with Gueragama sulamericana (Late Cretaceous of Brazil). The new fossil supports the previously hypothesized widespread geographical distribution of acrodontans in Gondwana during the Mesozoic. Additionally, it provides the first fossil evidence of uromastycines in the Cretaceous, and the ancestry of acrodontan iguanians in Africa.

  6. Behavioural flexibility and problem-solving in a tropical lizard

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Manuel; Powell, Brian J.

    2012-01-01

    The role of behavioural flexibility in responding to new or changing environmental challenges is a central theme in cognitive ecology. Studies of behavioural flexibility have focused mostly on mammals and birds because theory predicts that behavioural flexibility is favoured in species or clades that exploit a diversity of habitats or food sources and/or have complex social structure, attributes not associated with ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we present the results of a series of experiments designed to test cognitive abilities across multiple cognitive modules in a tropical arboreal lizard: Anolis evermanni. This lizard shows behavioural flexibility across multiple cognitive tasks, including solving a novel motor task using multiple strategies and reversal learning, as well as rapid associative learning. This flexibility was unexpected because lizards are commonly believed to have limited cognitive abilities and highly stereotyped behaviour. Our findings indicate that the cognitive abilities of A. evermanni are comparable with those of some endothermic species that are recognized to be highly flexible, and strongly suggest a re-thinking of our understanding of the cognitive abilities of ectothermic tetrapods and of the factors favouring the evolution of behavioural flexibility. PMID:21752816

  7. Morphology of the feeding system in agamid lizards: ecological correlates.

    PubMed

    Herrel, A; Aerts, P; Fret, J; de Vree, F

    1999-04-01

    The interaction of organismal design with ecology, and its evolutionary development are the subject of many functional and ecomorphological studies. Many studies have shown that the morphology and mechanics of the masticatory apparatus in mammals are adapted to diet. To investigate the relations between diet and the morphological and physiological properties of the lizard jaw system, a detailed analysis of the structure of the jaw apparatus was undertaken in the insectivorous lizard Plocederma stellio and in closely related herbivorous lizards of the genus Uromastix. The morphological and physiological properties of the jaw system in P. stellio and U. aegyptius were studied by means of dissections, light microscopy, histochemical characterisations, and in vivo stimulation experiments. The skull of Uromastix seems to be built for forceful biting (high, short snout). Additionally, the pterygoid muscle is modified in P. stellio, resulting in an additional force component during static biting. Stimulation experiments indicate that jaw muscles in both species are fast, which is supported by histochemical stainings. However, the oxidative capacity of the jaw muscles is larger in Uromastix. Contraction characteristics and performance of the feeding system (force output) are clearly thermally dependent. We conclude that several characteristics of the jaw system (presence of extra portion of the pterygoid muscle, large oxidative capacity of jaw muscles) in Uromastix may be attributed to its herbivorous diet. Jaw muscles, however, are still faster than expected. This is presumably the result of trade-offs between the thermal characteristics of the jaw adductors and the herbivorous lifestyle of these animals.

  8. Behavioural flexibility and problem-solving in a tropical lizard.

    PubMed

    Leal, Manuel; Powell, Brian J

    2012-02-23

    The role of behavioural flexibility in responding to new or changing environmental challenges is a central theme in cognitive ecology. Studies of behavioural flexibility have focused mostly on mammals and birds because theory predicts that behavioural flexibility is favoured in species or clades that exploit a diversity of habitats or food sources and/or have complex social structure, attributes not associated with ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we present the results of a series of experiments designed to test cognitive abilities across multiple cognitive modules in a tropical arboreal lizard: Anolis evermanni. This lizard shows behavioural flexibility across multiple cognitive tasks, including solving a novel motor task using multiple strategies and reversal learning, as well as rapid associative learning. This flexibility was unexpected because lizards are commonly believed to have limited cognitive abilities and highly stereotyped behaviour. Our findings indicate that the cognitive abilities of A. evermanni are comparable with those of some endothermic species that are recognized to be highly flexible, and strongly suggest a re-thinking of our understanding of the cognitive abilities of ectothermic tetrapods and of the factors favouring the evolution of behavioural flexibility.

  9. Mating does not influence reproductive investment, in a viviparous lizard.

    PubMed

    Bleu, Josefa; Le Galliard, Jean-François; Meylan, Sandrine; Massot, Manuel; Fitze, Patrick S

    2011-10-01

    Mating is crucial for females that reproduce exclusively sexually and should influence their investment into reproduction. Although reproductive adjustments in response to mate quality have been tested in a wide range of species, the effect of exposure to males and mating per se has seldom been studied. Compensatory mechanisms against the absence of mating may evolve more frequently in viviparous females, which pay higher direct costs of reproduction, due to gestation, than oviparous females. To test the existence of such mechanisms in a viviparous species, we experimentally manipulated the mating opportunity of viviparous female lizard, Lacerta (Zootoca) vivipara. We assessed the effect of mating on ovulation, postpartum body condition and parturition date, as well as on changes in locomotor performances and body temperatures during the breeding cycle. Female lizards ovulated spontaneously and mating had no influence on litter size, locomotor impairment or on selected body temperature. However, offspring production induced a more pronounced locomotor impairment and physical burden than the production of undeveloped eggs. Postpartum body condition and parturition dates were not different among females. This result suggests that gestation length is not determined by an embryonic signal. In the common lizard, viviparity is not associated with facultative ovulation and a control of litter size after ovulation, in response to the absence of mating. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  10. Fear no colors? Observer clothing color influences lizard escape behavior

    PubMed Central

    Drury, Jonathan P.; Blumstein, Daniel T.; Pauly, Gregory B.

    2017-01-01

    Animals often view humans as predators, leading to alterations in their behavior. Even nuanced aspects of human activity like clothing color affect animal behavior, but we lack an understanding of when and where such effects will occur. The species confidence hypothesis posits that birds are attracted to colors found on their bodies and repelled by non-body colors. Here, we extend this hypothesis taxonomically and conceptually to test whether this pattern is applicable in a non-avian reptile and to suggest that species should respond less fearfully to their sexually-selected signaling color. Responses to clothing color could also be impacted by habituation to humans, so we examine whether behavior varied between areas with low and high human activity. We quantified the effects of four T-shirt colors on flight initiation distances (FID) and on the ease of capture in western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis), and we accounted for detectability against the background environment. We found no differences in lizard behavior between sites. However, lizards tolerated the closest approaches and were most likely to be captured when approached with the T-shirt that resembled their sexually-selected signaling color. Because changes in individual behavior affect fitness, choice of clothing color by people, including tourists, hikers, and researchers, could impact wildlife populations and research outcomes. PMID:28792983

  11. Fear no colors? Observer clothing color influences lizard escape behavior.

    PubMed

    Putman, Breanna J; Drury, Jonathan P; Blumstein, Daniel T; Pauly, Gregory B

    2017-01-01

    Animals often view humans as predators, leading to alterations in their behavior. Even nuanced aspects of human activity like clothing color affect animal behavior, but we lack an understanding of when and where such effects will occur. The species confidence hypothesis posits that birds are attracted to colors found on their bodies and repelled by non-body colors. Here, we extend this hypothesis taxonomically and conceptually to test whether this pattern is applicable in a non-avian reptile and to suggest that species should respond less fearfully to their sexually-selected signaling color. Responses to clothing color could also be impacted by habituation to humans, so we examine whether behavior varied between areas with low and high human activity. We quantified the effects of four T-shirt colors on flight initiation distances (FID) and on the ease of capture in western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis), and we accounted for detectability against the background environment. We found no differences in lizard behavior between sites. However, lizards tolerated the closest approaches and were most likely to be captured when approached with the T-shirt that resembled their sexually-selected signaling color. Because changes in individual behavior affect fitness, choice of clothing color by people, including tourists, hikers, and researchers, could impact wildlife populations and research outcomes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    Oxidative stress is considered one of the main ecological and evolutionary forces. Several environmental stressors vary geographically and thus organisms inhabiting different sites face different oxidant environments. Nevertheless, there is scarce information about how oxidative damage and antioxidant defences vary geographically in animals. Here we study how oxidative stress varies from lowlands (300-700 m asl) to highlands (2200-2500 m asl) in the lizard Psammodromus algirus. To accomplish this, antioxidant enzymatic activity (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione transferase, DT-diaphorase) and lipid peroxidation were assayed in tissue samples from the lizards' tail. Lipid peroxidation was higher in individuals from lowlands than from highlands, indicating higher oxidative stress in lowland lizards. These results suggest that environmental conditions are less oxidant at high elevations with respect to low ones. Therefore, our study shows that oxidative stress varies geographically, which should have important consequences for our understanding of geographic variation in physiology and life-history of organisms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Amber fossils demonstrate deep-time stability of Caribbean lizard communities

    PubMed Central

    Sherratt, Emma; del Rosario Castañeda, María; Garwood, Russell J.; Mahler, D. Luke; Sanger, Thomas J.; Herrel, Anthony; de Queiroz, Kevin; Losos, Jonathan B.

    2015-01-01

    Whether the structure of ecological communities can exhibit stability over macroevolutionary timescales has long been debated. The similarity of independently evolved Anolis lizard communities on environmentally similar Greater Antillean islands supports the notion that community evolution is deterministic. However, a dearth of Caribbean Anolis fossils—only three have been described to date—has precluded direct investigation of the stability of anole communities through time. Here we report on an additional 17 fossil anoles in Dominican amber dating to 15–20 My before the present. Using data collected primarily by X-ray microcomputed tomography (X-ray micro-CT), we demonstrate that the main elements of Hispaniolan anole ecomorphological diversity were in place in the Miocene. Phylogenetic analysis yields results consistent with the hypothesis that the ecomorphs that evolved in the Miocene are members of the same ecomorph clades extant today. The primary axes of ecomorphological diversity in the Hispaniolan anole fauna appear to have changed little between the Miocene and the present, providing evidence for the stability of ecological communities over macroevolutionary timescales. PMID:26216976

  14. Amber fossils demonstrate deep-time stability of Caribbean lizard communities.

    PubMed

    Sherratt, Emma; del Rosario Castañeda, María; Garwood, Russell J; Mahler, D Luke; Sanger, Thomas J; Herrel, Anthony; de Queiroz, Kevin; Losos, Jonathan B

    2015-08-11