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Sample records for male elephant behavioural

  1. Risk and Ethical Concerns of Hunting Male Elephant: Behavioural and Physiological Assays of the Remaining Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Burke, Tarryne; Page, Bruce; Van Dyk, Gus; Millspaugh, Josh; Slotow, Rob

    2008-01-01

    Background Hunting of male African elephants may pose ethical and risk concerns, particularly given their status as a charismatic species of high touristic value, yet which are capable of both killing people and damaging infrastructure. Methodology/Principal Findings We quantified the effect of hunts of male elephants on (1) risk of attack or damage (11 hunts), and (2) behavioural (movement dynamics) and physiological (stress hormone metabolite concentrations) responses (4 hunts) in Pilanesberg National Park. For eleven hunts, there were no subsequent attacks on people or infrastructure, and elephants did not break out of the fenced reserve. For three focal hunts, there was an initial flight response by bulls present at the hunting site, but their movements stabilised the day after the hunt event. Animals not present at the hunt (both bulls and herds) did not show movement responses. Physiologically, hunting elephant bulls increased faecal stress hormone levels (corticosterone metabolites) in both those bulls that were present at the hunts (for up to four days post-hunt) and in the broader bull and breeding herd population (for up to one month post-hunt). Conclusions/Significance As all responses were relatively minor, hunting male elephants is ethically acceptable when considering effects on the remaining elephant population; however bulls should be hunted when alone. Hunting is feasible in relatively small enclosed reserves without major risk of attack, damage, or breakout. Physiological stress assays were more effective than behavioural responses in detecting effects of human intervention. Similar studies should evaluate intervention consequences, inform and improve best practice, and should be widely applied by management agencies. PMID:18560517

  2. Testosterone secretion, musth behaviour and social dominance in captive male Asian elephants living near the equator.

    PubMed

    Lincoln, G A; Ratnasooriya, W D

    1996-09-01

    Testosterone concentrations were measured in blood samples collected weekly over a 5 year period from six adult (19-40 year old) male Asian elephants (Elephas maximus maximus) living in captivity in Sri Lanka (7 degrees N), to investigate the relationship between androgen secretion and the occurrence of musth (temporal gland secretion, drip urination and aggressive behaviour). The testosterone profiles were very variable both within and between animals. Long-term phasic changes in blood concentrations of testosterone, associated with periods of musth, occurred in three of the six elephants, with the most pronounced cyclicity in the oldest animal. Musth occurred annually after periods of high androgen secretion and there was a positive correlation between the duration of musth and mean concentrations of testosterone during the previous 2 months. The time of musth, while consistent for an individual, was variable between animals. In four bulls living within one social group, there was a positive correlation between social rank and mean concentrations of testosterone over the 5 year study, and only the dominant animal showed periodic musth. Short-term changes in testosterone concentrations occurred in blood samples collected every 15 min for 7 h, and following the injection of 20 micrograms GnRH, consistent with regulation through the pulsatile secretion of LH. Overall, the results support the view that fully mature male Asian elephants living near the equator express an asynchronous, cyclical, circannual pattern of gonadal activity, with the cyclical pattern developing progressively from 20 to 40 years of age. The periodic increase in testosterone secretion during the gonadal cycle induces the development of musth; however, androgen withdrawal following a period of hypersecretion may be the cause of some aspects of musth behaviour (aggression, unpredictability, disobedience) which make bull elephants very difficult to manage in captivity.

  3. Elephant behaviour and conservation: social relationships, the effects of poaching, and genetic tools for management.

    PubMed

    Archie, Elizabeth A; Chiyo, Patrick I

    2012-02-01

    Genetic tools are increasingly valuable for understanding the behaviour, evolution, and conservation of social species. In African elephants, for instance, genetic data provide basic information on the population genetic causes and consequences of social behaviour, and how human activities alter elephants' social and genetic structures. As such, African elephants provide a useful case study to understand the relationships between social behaviour and population genetic structure in a conservation framework. Here, we review three areas where genetic methods have made important contributions to elephant behavioural ecology and conservation: (1) understanding kin-based relationships in females and the effects of poaching on the adaptive value of elephant relationships, (2) understanding patterns of paternity in elephants and how poaching can alter these patterns, and (3) conservation genetic tools to census elusive populations, track ivory, and understand the behavioural ecology of crop-raiding. By comparing studies from populations that have experienced a range of poaching intensities, we find that human activities have a large effect on elephant behaviour and genetic structure. Poaching disrupts kin-based association patterns, decreases the quality of elephant social relationships, and increases male reproductive skew, with important consequences for population health and the maintenance of genetic diversity. In addition, we find that genetic tools to census populations or gather forensic information are almost always more accurate than non-genetic alternatives. These results contribute to a growing understanding of poaching on animal behaviour, and how genetic tools can be used to understand and conserve social species.

  4. Coping with heat: behavioural and physiological responses of savanna elephants in their natural habitat

    PubMed Central

    Mole, Michael A.; Rodrigues DÁraujo, Shaun; van Aarde, Rudi J.; Mitchell, Duncan; Fuller, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Most of southern Africa's elephants inhabit environments where environmental temperatures exceed body temperature, but we do not know how elephants respond to such environments. We evaluated the relationships between apparent thermoregulatory behaviour and environmental, skin and core temperatures for tame savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) that were free-ranging in the hot parts of the day, in their natural environment. Environmental temperature dictated elephant behaviour within a day, with potential consequences for fine-scale habitat selection, space use and foraging. At black globe temperatures of ~30°C, elephants adjusted their behaviour to reduce environmental heat load and increase heat dissipation (e.g. shade use, wetting behaviour). Resting, walking and feeding were also influenced by environmental temperature. By relying on behavioural and autonomic adjustments, the elephants maintained homeothermy, even at environmental temperatures exceeding 40°C. Elephants clearly have the capacity to deal with extreme heat, at least in environments with adequate resources of forage, water and shade. Future conservation actions should provide for the thermoregulatory, resource and spatial needs of elephants. PMID:27757237

  5. Rival assessment among northern elephant seals: evidence of associative learning during male–male contests

    PubMed Central

    Casey, Caroline; Charrier, Isabelle; Mathevon, Nicolas; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2015-01-01

    Specialized signals emitted by competing males often convey honest information about fighting ability. It is generally believed that receivers use these signals to directly assess their opponents. Here, we demonstrate an alternative communication strategy used by males in a breeding system where the costs of conflict are extreme. We evaluated the acoustic displays of breeding male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), and found that social knowledge gained through prior experience with signallers was sufficient to maintain structured dominance relationships. Using sound analysis and playback experiments with both natural and modified signals, we determined that males do not rely on encoded information about size or dominance status, but rather learn to recognize individual acoustic signatures produced by their rivals. Further, we show that behavioural responses to competitors' calls are modulated by relative position in the hierarchy: the highest ranking (alpha) males defend their harems from all opponents, whereas mid-ranking (beta) males respond differentially to familiar challengers based on the outcome of previous competitive interactions. Our findings demonstrate that social knowledge of rivals alone can regulate dominance relationships among competing males within large, spatially dynamic social groups, and illustrate the importance of combining descriptive and experimental methods when deciphering the biological relevance of animal signals. PMID:26361553

  6. Information content and acoustic structure of male African elephant social rumbles

    PubMed Central

    Stoeger, Angela S.; Baotic, Anton

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, the prevailing theory about male African elephants (Loxodonta africana) was that, once adult and sexually mature, males are solitary and targeted only at finding estrous females. While this is true during the state of ‘musth’ (a condition characterized by aggressive behavior and elevated androgen levels), ‘non-musth’ males exhibit a social system seemingly based on companionship, dominance and established hierarchies. Research on elephant vocal communication has so far focused on females, and very little is known about the acoustic structure and the information content of male vocalizations. Using the source and filter theory approach, we analyzed social rumbles of 10 male African elephants. Our results reveal that male rumbles encode information about individuality and maturity (age and size), with formant frequencies and absolute fundamental frequency values having the most informative power. This first comprehensive study on male elephant vocalizations gives important indications on their potential functional relevance for male-male and male-female communication. Our results suggest that, similar to the highly social females, future research on male elephant vocal behavior will reveal a complex communication system in which social knowledge, companionship, hierarchy, reproductive competition and the need to communicate over long distances play key roles. PMID:27273586

  7. Southern elephant seals from Kerguelen Islands confronted by Antarctic Sea ice. Changes in movements and in diving behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailleul, Frédéric; Charrassin, Jean-Benoıˆt; Ezraty, Robert; Girard-Ardhuin, Fanny; McMahon, Clive R.; Field, Iain C.; Guinet, Christophe

    2007-02-01

    The behaviour of southern elephant seals from Kerguelen Island ( 49∘50'S, 70∘30'E) was investigated in relation to the oceanographic regions of the Southern Ocean. The oceanographic and the seal behaviour data, including location and diving activity, were collected using a new generation of satellite-relayed devices measuring and transmitting pressure, temperature, and salinity along with locations. Dive duration, maximum diving depth, time spent at the bottom of the dives, and shape of dive profiles were compared between male and female seals, and were related to the oceanographic characteristics of areas prospected by the seals. Most animals travelled to the Antarctic shelf. However, during winter, adult females travelled away from the continent, remained and foraged within the marginal sea-ice zone, while juvenile males remained within the pack ice to forage mainly on the Antarctic shelf. Therefore, as the ice expanded females appeared to shift from benthic to pelagic foraging farther north, while males continued to forage almost exclusively benthically on the continental shelf. This difference is likely related to the different energetic requirements between the two sexes, but also may be related to pregnant females having to return to Kerguelen in early spring in order to give birth and successfully raise their pups, while males can remain in the ice. Our results show an important link between elephant seals and Antarctic sea ice and suggest that changes in sea-ice conditions could strongly affect the behaviour of this species.

  8. Androgen changes and flexible rutting behaviour in male giraffes.

    PubMed

    Seeber, Peter A; Duncan, Patrick; Fritz, Hervé; Ganswindt, André

    2013-10-23

    The social organization of giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) imposes a high-cost reproductive strategy on bulls, which adopt a 'roving male' tactic. Our observations on wild giraffes confirm that bulls indeed have unsynchronized rut-like periods, not unlike another tropical megaherbivore, the elephant, but on a much shorter timescale. We found profound changes in male sexual and social activities at the scale of about two weeks. This so far undescribed rutting behaviour is closely correlated with changes in androgen concentrations and appears to be driven by them. The short time scale of the changes in sexual and social activity may explain why dominance and reproductive status in male giraffe in the field seem to be unstable.

  9. Pharmacokinetics of amoxicillin trihydrate in male Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) following intramuscular administration.

    PubMed

    Sinphithakkul, P; Klangkaew, N; Sanyathitiseree, P; Giorgi, M; Kumagai, S; Poapolathep, A; Poapolathep, S

    2016-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetic characteristics of amoxicillin (AMX) trihydrate in male Asian elephants, Elephas maximus, following intramuscular administration at two dosages of 5.5 and 11 mg/kg body weight (b.w.). Blood samples were collected from 0.5 up to 72 h. The concentration of AMX in elephant plasma was measured using liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. AMX was measurable up to 24 h after administration at two dosages. Peak plasma concentration (Cmax ) was 1.20 ± 0.39 μg/mL after i.m. administration at a dosage of 5.5 mg/kg b.w., whereas it was 3.40 ± 0.63 μg/mL at a dosage of 11 mg/kg b.w. A noncompartment model was developed to describe the disposition of AMX in Asian elephants. Based on the preliminary findings found in this research, the dosage of 5.5 and 11 mg/kg b.w. produced drug plasma concentrations higher than 0.25 mg/mL for 24 h after i.m. administration. Thereafter, i.m. administration with AMX at a dosage of 5.5 mg/kg b.w. appeared a more suitable dose than 11 mg/kg b.w. However, more studies are needed to determine AMX clinical effectiveness in elephants.

  10. Do male northern elephant seals recognize individuals or merely relative dominance rank?

    PubMed

    Insley, Stephen J; Holt, Marla M

    2012-01-01

    Vocal recognition was tested in a socially dynamic context where many individuals interact: the female defense polygyny practiced by male northern elephant seals. The goal was to tease apart whether animals recognize other individuals or instead use a simple rule-based category (i.e., relative dominance rank). A total of 67 playback experiments conducted with 18 males at Año Nuevo State Reserve, California, tested three aspects of recognition: (1) recognition of relative rank; (2) whether such recognition was continuous or categorical; and (3) recognition of familiarity. Results indicate that males recognize familiar individuals although responses are primarily based on relative dominance rank.

  11. Angiotensin II and aldosterone increase with fasting in breeding adult male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris).

    PubMed

    Ortiz, Rudy M; Crocker, Daniel E; Houser, Dorian S; Webb, Paul M

    2006-01-01

    The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) appears to contribute significantly to osmoregulation of fasting northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) pups; however, RAAS has not been characterized in fasting adult seals. Therefore, this study examined the contribution of RAAS to water turnover rates in fasting adult male northern elephant seals. Blood samples were obtained twice during their breeding fast at an interval of 6.5 wk, and water efflux rate was estimated by isotopic dilution during the same period. Serum electrolytes (Na+, K+, Cl-) and osmolality were unaltered between the two sampling periods, indicating ionic and osmotic homeostasis during the fast. Despite the lack of an increase in vasopressin, serum angiotensin II and aldosterone were increased and were significantly and positively correlated. Changes in aldosterone concentration and water efflux rate were significantly and negatively correlated, suggesting that the greater the increase in aldosterone, the smaller the loss of water. Adult male seals maintain ionic and osmotic homeostasis similar to that of fasting weaned pups, and this homeostasis appears to be mediated, at least in part, by RAAS, which probably contributes to increased water retention as well. The hormonal mechanisms by which northern elephant seals maintain water and electrolyte balance during fasting conditions appear to be similar regardless of age.

  12. Homosexual behaviour increases male attractiveness to females

    PubMed Central

    Bierbach, David; Jung, Christian T.; Hornung, Simon; Streit, Bruno; Plath, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Male homosexual behaviour—although found in most extant clades across the Animal Kingdom—remains a conundrum, as same-sex mating should decrease male reproductive fitness. In most species, however, males that engage in same-sex sexual behaviour also mate with females, and in theory, same-sex mating could even increase male reproductive fitness if males improve their chances of future heterosexual mating. Females regularly use social information to choose a mate; e.g. male attractiveness increases after a male has interacted sexually with a female (mate choice copying). Here, we demonstrate that males of the tropical freshwater fish Poecilia mexicana increase their attractiveness to females not only by opposite-sex, but likewise, through same-sex interactions. Hence, direct benefits for males of exhibiting homosexual behaviour may help explain its occurrence and persistence in species in which females rely on mate choice copying as one component of mate quality assessment. PMID:23234866

  13. Food and feeding behaviour of Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus Linn.) in Kuldiha Wild Life Sanctuary, Odisha, India.

    PubMed

    Mohapatra, Kalpana K; Patra, A K; Paramanik, D S

    2013-01-01

    The feeding behaviour of Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus) with food reference was studied in Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha during 2007 to 2009. Though the study area houses a good number of plant species only 71 species were identified as elephant fodder plants. The food trail of elephant was observed as twig breaking, bark peeling, branch breaking, stem twisting uprooting and flower plucking in different regions of study area during different seasons. Alteration of predominantly browsing strategy with that of grazing around the year was related to seasonal variation of food plants. Consumption of tree species (56%) was highest as compared to shrubs (20%), herbs (14%) and climbers (10%). A high degree of variation in dicot- monocot ratio (61:10)) was marked during identification of elephant fodder plant by direct observation. Microscopic analysis of dung showing a high degree of variation in average dicot- monocot ratio suggested that the food plant selection of elephant was highly opportunistic and seasonal. The elephants extensively fed on the plant species like Careya arborea, Kydia calycina, Helicteres isora, Mallotus philippinensis, Aegle marmelos, Zizyphus mauritiona, Bauhinia racemosa, Bauhinia vahlii, Mimosa pudica, Asparagus racemosus, Smilax zeylanica and Diosporea species. They were fond of Madhuca indica (Mahula) flowers in winter and fruits of Mangifera indica (Mango) in summer. They were never found feeding on Tectona grandis and Eucalyptus maculate inside the study area.

  14. The influence of life history milestones and association networks on crop-raiding behavior in male African elephants.

    PubMed

    Chiyo, Patrick I; Moss, Cynthia J; Alberts, Susan C

    2012-01-01

    Factors that influence learning and the spread of behavior in wild animal populations are important for understanding species responses to changing environments and for species conservation. In populations of wildlife species that come into conflict with humans by raiding cultivated crops, simple models of exposure of individual animals to crops do not entirely explain the prevalence of crop raiding behavior. We investigated the influence of life history milestones using age and association patterns on the probability of being a crop raider among wild free ranging male African elephants; we focused on males because female elephants are not known to raid crops in our study population. We examined several features of an elephant association network; network density, community structure and association based on age similarity since they are known to influence the spread of behaviors in a population. We found that older males were more likely to be raiders than younger males, that males were more likely to be raiders when their closest associates were also raiders, and that males were more likely to be raiders when their second closest associates were raiders older than them. The male association network had sparse associations, a tendency for individuals similar in age and raiding status to associate, and a strong community structure. However, raiders were randomly distributed between communities. These features of the elephant association network may limit the spread of raiding behavior and likely determine the prevalence of raiding behavior in elephant populations. Our results suggest that social learning has a major influence on the acquisition of raiding behavior in younger males whereas life history factors are important drivers of raiding behavior in older males. Further, both life-history and network patterns may influence the acquisition and spread of complex behaviors in animal populations and provide insight on managing human-wildlife conflict.

  15. Masculinity and male sexual behaviour in Mozambique.

    PubMed

    Macia, Manuel; Maharaj, Pranitha; Gresh, Ashley

    2011-11-01

    Like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Mozambique is facing a severe HIV epidemic. Evidence suggests that male sexual behaviour is one of the driving forces behind the epidemic. Yet, there is limited understanding of how notions of masculinity influence such behaviour in the context of HIV. Using data collected through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with sexually active men and women, this paper investigates how notions of masculinity influence the risk of HIV infection among men. The study findings suggest that traditional norms of masculinity, the man as the main provider and figure of authority, continue to exert a strong influence on male attitudes and behaviour. Alternative approaches are urgently needed in HIV programming that take into consideration notions of masculinity in order to reduce risky sexual behaviour.

  16. Hormone and metabolite changes associated with extended breeding fasts in male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris).

    PubMed

    Crocker, Daniel E; Ortiz, Rudy M; Houser, Dorian S; Webb, Paul M; Costa, Daniel P

    2012-04-01

    We measured metabolic hormones and several key metabolites in breeding adult male northern elephant seals to examine the regulation of fuel metabolism during extended natural fasts of over 3 months associated with high levels of energy expenditure. Males were sampled twice, early and late in the fast, losing an average of 23% of body mass and 47% of adipose stores between measurements. Males exhibited metabolic homeostasis over the breeding fast with no changes in glucose, non-esterified fatty acids, or blood urea nitrogen. Ketoacids increased over the fast but were very low when compared to other fasting species. Changes within individuals in total triiodothyronine (tT(3)) were positively related to daily energy expenditure (DEE) and protein catabolism. Differences in levels of thyroid hormones relative to that observed in weaned pups and females suggest a greater deiodination of T(4) to support the high DEE of breeding males. Relative levels of leptin and ghrelin were consistent with the suppression of appetite but a significant reduction in growth hormone across the fast was contrary to expectation in fasting mammals. The lack of the increase in cortisol during fasting found in conspecific weaned pups and lactating females may contribute to the ability of breeding males to spare protein despite high levels of energy expenditure. Together these findings reveal significant differences with conspecifics under varying nutrient demands, suggesting metabolic adaptation to extended high energy fasts.

  17. A novel application of mark-recapture to examine behaviour associated with the online trade in elephant ivory.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Lydia M; McCrea, Rachel S; Roberts, David L

    2017-01-01

    The illegal trade in elephant ivory is driving the unlawful killing of elephants such that populations are now suffering unsustainable reductions. The internet is increasingly being used as a platform to conduct illegal wildlife trade, including elephant ivory. As a globally accessible medium the internet is as highly attractive to those involved in the illegal trade as it is challenging to regulate. Characterising the online illegal wildlife (ivory) trade is complex, yet key to informing enforcement activities. We applied mark-recapture to investigate behaviour associated with the online trade in elephant ivory on eBay UK as a generalist online marketplace. Our results indicate that trade takes place via eBay UK, despite its policy prohibiting this, and that two distinct trading populations exist, characterised by the pattern of their ivory sales. We suggest these may represent a large number of occasional (or non-commercial) sellers and a smaller number of dedicated (or commercial) sellers. Directing resource towards reducing the volume of occasional sales, such as through education, would enable greater focus to be placed upon characterising the extent and value of the illegal, "commercial" online ivory trade. MRC has the potential to characterise the illegal trade in ivory and diverse wildlife commodities traded using various online platforms.

  18. A novel application of mark-recapture to examine behaviour associated with the online trade in elephant ivory

    PubMed Central

    McCrea, Rachel S.; Roberts, David L.

    2017-01-01

    The illegal trade in elephant ivory is driving the unlawful killing of elephants such that populations are now suffering unsustainable reductions. The internet is increasingly being used as a platform to conduct illegal wildlife trade, including elephant ivory. As a globally accessible medium the internet is as highly attractive to those involved in the illegal trade as it is challenging to regulate. Characterising the online illegal wildlife (ivory) trade is complex, yet key to informing enforcement activities. We applied mark-recapture to investigate behaviour associated with the online trade in elephant ivory on eBay UK as a generalist online marketplace. Our results indicate that trade takes place via eBay UK, despite its policy prohibiting this, and that two distinct trading populations exist, characterised by the pattern of their ivory sales. We suggest these may represent a large number of occasional (or non-commercial) sellers and a smaller number of dedicated (or commercial) sellers. Directing resource towards reducing the volume of occasional sales, such as through education, would enable greater focus to be placed upon characterising the extent and value of the illegal, “commercial” online ivory trade. MRC has the potential to characterise the illegal trade in ivory and diverse wildlife commodities traded using various online platforms. PMID:28289565

  19. Environment and activity affect skin temperature in breeding adult male elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris).

    PubMed

    Norris, A L; Houser, D S; Crocker, D E

    2010-12-15

    The large body size and high rates of metabolic heat production associated with male mating success in polygynous systems creates potential thermoregulatory challenges for species breeding in warm climates. This is especially true for marine predators carrying large blubber reserves intended for thermoregulation in cold water and fuel provision during extended fasts. Thermographic images were used to measure changes in skin temperature (T(S)) in adult male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) over the breeding season. Environmental variables, primarily ambient temperature and solar radiation, were the principal determinants of mean and maximum T(S). When controlled for environmental variables, dominance rank significantly impacted mean T(S), being highest in alpha males. Behavioral activity significantly influenced T(S) but in a counter-intuitive way, with inactive males exhibiting the highest T(S). This was likely due to strong impacts of environmental variables on the kinds of behavior exhibited, with males being less active on warm, humid days at peak solar radiation. We classified thermal windows as areas in which T(S) was one standard deviation greater than mean T(S) for the individual seal within a thermograph. Thermal features suggest active physiological thermoregulation during and after combat and significant circulatory adaptations for heat dumping, as evidenced by recurring locations of thermal windows representing widely varying T(S) values. Frequent observations of localized T(S) above 37°C, particularly after combat, suggest the production of thermoregulatory stress during breeding behavior. Our findings demonstrate the importance of environmental drivers in shaping activity patterns during breeding and provide evidence for thermoregulatory costs of successful breeding in large polygynous males.

  20. Detusking Fence-Breaker Elephants as an Approach in Human-Elephant Conflict Mitigation

    PubMed Central

    Mutinda, Matthew; Chenge, Geoffrey; Gakuya, Francis; Otiende, Moses; Omondi, Patrick; Kasiki, Samuel; Soriguer, Ramón C.; Alasaad, Samer

    2014-01-01

    Background Human-elephant conflict (HEC) is a recurring problem that appears wherever the range of elephants and humans overlap. Different methods including the use of electric fences are used worldwide to mitigate this conflict. Nonetheless, elephants learn quickly that their tusks do not conduct electricity and use them to break down fences (fence-breakers). Methodology/Principal Findings In Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya, destructive elephants (Loxodonta africana) were monitored between 2010 and 2013. The fence-breaking rate reached four incidents (fence-breaking) per elephant per 100 days. Ten bull males and 57 females were identified as fence-breakers. The bulls were involved in 85.07% and the females in 14.93% of incidents. The Kenya Wildlife Service approved detusking (partial cutting of tusks) in four of the 10 fence-breakers as a way of preventing them from breaking down fences, thereby mitigating HEC in the Conservancy. The result of the detusking was a drastic six-fold reduction in damage to fences (range: 1.67 to 14.5 times less fence-breaking) by the four worst fence-breaker elephants, because with trimmed tusks elephants lack the tools to break down fences. Detusking could not totally eliminate fence destruction because, despite lacking their tools, elephants can still destroy fences using their heads, bodies and trunks, albeit less effectively. On the other hand, apart from inherent aesthetic considerations, the detusking of elephants may have certain negative effects on factors such as elephants' social hierarchies, breeding, mate selection and their access to essential minerals and food. Conclusions Elephant detusking seems to be effective in drastically reducing fence-breaking incidents, nonetheless its negative effects on behaviour, access to food and its aesthetical consequences still need to be further studied and investigated. PMID:24614538

  1. Male gender identity and sexual behaviour.

    PubMed

    Chused, J F

    1999-12-01

    One consequence of a heightened interest in intersubjectivity in the current psychoanalytic literature has been a relative neglect of the examination of unconscious fantasies. Presenting material from the analysis of three males, each of whom, in childhood and/or adolescence, hid his penis between his legs and looked at himself in a mirror naked, the author demonstrates the importance of attending to both unconscious fantasies and their manifestations within the interactive field of analysis. The first patient is a young child with a gender identity disorder, whose wish to be like his mother was a response to the emotional loss of her during early childhood. The second patient is an adolescent, whose behaviour in front of a mirror was a manifestation of his desire to possess his mother and be her, to humiliate and sadistically control her, and at the same time, to experience the masochistic sexual gratification of being a seemingly helpless victim. The third patient, a 48-year-old male, came to analysis filled with suicidal impulses and self-hatred related to homosexual impulses. His repeated examination of himself in a mirror, with penis hidden, reflected severe castration anxiety, related to an ambivalent relationship with an angry mother and a longing for attention from an unavailable father. The article closes with a description of the similarities and differences in the dynamics of these three males as well as a discussion of the meaning of similar behaviour in other males seen in consultation.

  2. Three-dimensional resting behaviour of northern elephant seals: drifting like a falling leaf.

    PubMed

    Mitani, Yoko; Andrews, Russel D; Sato, Katsufumi; Kato, Akiko; Naito, Yasuhiko; Costa, Daniel P

    2010-04-23

    During their long migrations through the Pacific, northern elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris, never haul out on land and they rarely spend more than a few minutes at a time at the surface. They are almost constantly making repetitive, deep dives, raising the question of when do they rest? One type of dive, the drift dive, characterized by a time-depth profile with a phase of lower than average descent speed is believed to be a resting dive. To examine the behaviour of seals during drift dives, we measured body position and three-dimensional diving paths of six juvenile seals. We found that seals rolled over and sank on their backs during the drift phase, wobbling periodically so that they resembled a falling leaf. This enabled seals to drastically slow their descent rate, possibly so that negatively buoyant seals can rest without ending up in the abyss. This reduces the work required to return to the surface to breath, and allows them time to rest, process food or possibly sleep during the descent phase of these dives where they are probably less susceptible to predation.

  3. Impact of body reserves on energy expenditure, water flux, and mating success in breeding male northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Crocker, Daniel E; Houser, Dorian S; Webb, Paul M

    2012-01-01

    In capital breeders, individual differences in body size and condition can impact mating effort and success. In addition to the collateral advantages of large body size in competition, large nutrient reserves may offer advantages in endurance rivalry and enable the high rates of energy expenditure associated with mating success. We examined the impacts of body reserves and dominance rank on energy expenditure, water flux, mating success, and breeding tenure in the adult male northern elephant seal, a polygynous, capital breeder. Adult males expended energy at a rate of 159 ± 49 MJ d (-1), which is equivalent to 3.1 times the standard metabolic rate predicted by Kleiber's equation. Despite high rates of energy expenditure and a long fasting duration, males spared lean tissue effectively, deriving a mean of 7% of their metabolism from protein catabolism. Body composition had a strong impact on the ability to spare lean tissue during breeding. When controlling for body size, energy expenditure, depletion of blubber reserves, and water efflux were significantly greater in alpha males than in subordinate males. Large body size was associated with increased reproductive effort, tenure on shore, dominance rank, and reproductive success. Terrestrial locomotion and topography appeared to strongly influence energy expenditure. Comparisons with conspecific females suggest greater total seasonal reproductive effort in male northern elephant seals when controlling for the effects of body mass. In polygynous capital breeding systems, male effort may be strongly influenced by physiological state and exceed that of females.

  4. Home Range and Ranging Behaviour of Bornean Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) Females

    PubMed Central

    Alfred, Raymond; Ahmad, Abd Hamid; Payne, Junaidi; Williams, Christy; Ambu, Laurentius Nayan; How, Phua Mui; Goossens, Benoit

    2012-01-01

    Background Home range is defined as the extent and location of the area covered annually by a wild animal in its natural habitat. Studies of African and Indian elephants in landscapes of largely open habitats have indicated that the sizes of the home range are determined not only by the food supplies and seasonal changes, but also by numerous other factors including availability of water sources, habitat loss and the existence of man-made barriers. The home range size for the Bornean elephant had never been investigated before. Methodology/Principal Findings The first satellite tracking program to investigate the movement of wild Bornean elephants in Sabah was initiated in 2005. Five adult female elephants were immobilized and neck collars were fitted with tracking devices. The sizes of their home range and movement patterns were determined using location data gathered from a satellite tracking system and analyzed by using the Minimum Convex Polygon and Harmonic Mean methods. Home range size was estimated to be 250 to 400 km2 in a non-fragmented forest and 600 km2 in a fragmented forest. The ranging behavior was influenced by the size of the natural forest habitat and the availability of permanent water sources. The movement pattern was influenced by human disturbance and the need to move from one feeding site to another. Conclusions/Significance Home range and movement rate were influenced by the degree of habitat fragmentation. Once habitat was cleared or converted, the availability of food plants and water sources were reduced, forcing the elephants to travel to adjacent forest areas. Therefore movement rate in fragmented forest was higher than in the non-fragmented forest. Finally, in fragmented habitat human and elephant conflict occurrences were likely to be higher, due to increased movement bringing elephants into contact more often with humans. PMID:22347469

  5. Assessment of scale-dependent foraging behaviour in southern elephant seals incorporating the vertical dimension: a development of the First Passage Time method.

    PubMed

    Bailleul, Frederic; Pinaud, David; Hindell, Mark; Charrassin, Jean-Benoît; Guinet, Christophe

    2008-09-01

    1. Identifying the spatial scales at which top marine predators forage is important for understanding oceanic ecosystems. Several methods quantify how individuals concentrate their search effort along a given path. Among these, First-Passage Time (FPT) analysis is particularly useful to identify transitions in movement patterns (e.g. between searching and feeding). This method has mainly been applied to terrestrial animals or flying seabirds that have little or no vertical component to their foraging, so we examined the differences between classic FPT and a modification of this approach using the time spent at the bottom of a dive for characterizing the foraging activity of a diving predator: the southern elephant seal. 2. Satellite relayed data loggers were deployed on 20 individuals during three successive summers at the Kerguelen Islands, providing a total of 72 978 dives from eight juvenile males and nine adult females. 3. Spatial scales identified using the time spent at the bottom of a dive ( = 68.2 +/- 42.1 km) were smaller than those obtained by the classic FPT analysis ( = 104.7 +/- 67.3 km). Moreover, foraging areas identified using the new approach clearly overlapped areas where individuals increased their body condition, indicating that it accurately reflected the foraging activity of the seals. 4. These results suggest that incorporating the vertical dimension into FPT provides a different result to the surface path alone. Close to the Antarctic continent, within the pack-ice, sinuosity of the path could be explained by a high sea-ice concentration (restricting elephant seal movements), and was not necessarily related to foraging activity. 5. Our approach distinguished between actual foraging activity and changes in behaviour induced by the physical environment like sea ice, and could be applied to other diving predators. Inclusion of diving parameters appears to be essential to identify the spatial scale of foraging areas of diving animals.

  6. Foraging fidelity as a recipe for a long life: foraging strategy and longevity in male Southern Elephant Seals.

    PubMed

    Authier, Matthieu; Bentaleb, Ilham; Ponchon, Aurore; Martin, Céline; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Identifying individual factors affecting life-span has long been of interest for biologists and demographers: how do some individuals manage to dodge the forces of mortality when the vast majority does not? Answering this question is not straightforward, partly because of the arduous task of accurately estimating longevity in wild animals, and of the statistical difficulties in correlating time-varying ecological covariables with a single number (time-to-event). Here we investigated the relationship between foraging strategy and life-span in an elusive and large marine predator: the Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina). Using teeth recovered from dead males on îles Kerguelen, Southern Ocean, we first aged specimens. Then we used stable isotopic measurements of carbon (δ13C) in dentin to study the effect of foraging location on individual life-span. Using a joint change-point/survival modelling approach which enabled us to describe the ontogenetic trajectory of foraging, we unveiled how a stable foraging strategy developed early in life positively covaried with longevity in male Southern Elephant Seals. Coupled with an appropriate statistical analysis, stable isotopes have the potential to tackle ecological questions of long standing interest but whose answer has been hampered by logistic constraints.

  7. Foraging Fidelity as a Recipe for a Long Life: Foraging Strategy and Longevity in Male Southern Elephant Seals

    PubMed Central

    Authier, Matthieu; Bentaleb, Ilham; Ponchon, Aurore; Martin, Céline; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Identifying individual factors affecting life-span has long been of interest for biologists and demographers: how do some individuals manage to dodge the forces of mortality when the vast majority does not? Answering this question is not straightforward, partly because of the arduous task of accurately estimating longevity in wild animals, and of the statistical difficulties in correlating time-varying ecological covariables with a single number (time-to-event). Here we investigated the relationship between foraging strategy and life-span in an elusive and large marine predator: the Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina). Using teeth recovered from dead males on îles Kerguelen, Southern Ocean, we first aged specimens. Then we used stable isotopic measurements of carbon () in dentin to study the effect of foraging location on individual life-span. Using a joint change-point/survival modelling approach which enabled us to describe the ontogenetic trajectory of foraging, we unveiled how a stable foraging strategy developed early in life positively covaried with longevity in male Southern Elephant Seals. Coupled with an appropriate statistical analysis, stable isotopes have the potential to tackle ecological questions of long standing interest but whose answer has been hampered by logistic constraints. PMID:22505993

  8. Methodological considerations of acoustic playbacks to test the behavioral significance of call directionality in male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Marla M.; Insley, Stephen J.; Southall, Brandon L.; Schusterman, Ronald J.

    2005-09-01

    While attempting to gain access to receptive females, male northern elephant seals form dominance hierarchies through multiple dyadic interactions involving visual and acoustic signals. These signals are both highly stereotyped and directional. Previous behavioral observations suggested that males attend to the directional cues of these signals. We used in situ vocal playbacks to test whether males attend to directional cues of the acoustic components of a competitors calls (i.e., variation in call spectra and source levels). Here, we will focus on playback methodology. Playback calls were multiple exemplars of a marked dominant male from an isolated area, recorded with a directional microphone and DAT recorder and edited into a natural sequence that controlled call amplitude. Control calls were recordings of ambient rookery sounds with the male calls removed. Subjects were 20 marked males (10 adults and 10 subadults) all located at An~o Nuevo, CA. Playback presentations, calibrated for sound-pressure level, were broadcast at a distance of 7 m from each subject. Most responses were classified into the following categories: visual orientation, postural change, calling, movement toward or away from the loudspeaker, and re-directed aggression. We also investigated developmental, hierarchical, and ambient noise variables that were thought to influence male behavior.

  9. Male sexual harassment alters female social behaviour towards other females.

    PubMed

    Darden, Safi K; Watts, Lauren

    2012-04-23

    Male harassment of females to gain mating opportunities is a consequence of an evolutionary conflict of interest between the sexes over reproduction and is common among sexually reproducing species. Male Trinidadian guppies Poecilia reticulata spend a large proportion of their time harassing females for copulations and their presence in female social groups has been shown to disrupt female-female social networks and the propensity for females to develop social recognition based on familiarity. In this study, we investigate the behavioural mechanisms that may lead to this disruption of female sociality. Using two experiments, we test the hypothesis that male presence will directly affect social behaviours expressed by females towards other females in the population. In experiment one, we tested for an effect of male presence on female shoaling behaviour and found that, in the presence of a free-swimming male guppy, females spent shorter amounts of time with other females than when in the presence of a free-swimming female guppy. In experiment two, we tested for an effect of male presence on the incidence of aggressive behaviour among female guppies. When males were present in a shoal, females exhibited increased levels of overall aggression towards other females compared with female only shoals. Our work provides direct evidence that the presence of sexually harassing males alters female-female social behaviour, an effect that we expect will be recurrent across taxonomic groups.

  10. Click-evoked potentials in a large marine mammal, the adult male northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris).

    PubMed

    Houser, Dorian S; Crocker, Daniel E; Finneran, James J

    2008-07-01

    Auditory evoked potential (AEP) hearing studies in marine mammals should consider an expected size-dependent reduction in AEP amplitude. This study is the first to measure the click-evoked response in a large marine mammal, the adult male elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris). Click stimuli were presented at peak-peak equivalent sound pressure levels of 117-118 dB re: 20 microPa. Three positive peaks (P1-P3) and two negative peaks (N4 and N5) were observed in the AEP. Response latencies were longer than previously observed in a 1.8 yr old seal and the maximum peak-peak amplitude was comparatively reduced by more than 60%. The inverse relationship between size and AEP amplitude will likely require increased averaging with larger subjects and possibly modifications to electrode placement and design in order to increase the quality of recorded evoked responses.

  11. Linking foraging behaviour to physical oceanographic structures: Southern elephant seals and mesoscale eddies east of Kerguelen Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragon, Anne-Cecile; Monestiez, P.; Bar-Hen, A.; Guinet, C.

    2010-10-01

    In the Southern Ocean, mesoscale features, such as fronts and eddies, have been shown to have a significant impact in structuring and enhancing primary productivity. They are therefore likely to influence the spatial structure of prey fields and play a key role in the creation of preferred foraging regions for oceanic top-predators. Optimal foraging theory predicts that predators should adjust their movement behaviour in relation to prey density. While crossing areas with sufficient prey density, we expect predators would change their behaviour by, for instance, decreasing their speed and increasing their turning frequency. Diving predators would as well increase the useful part of their dive i.e. increase bottom-time thereby increasing the fraction of time spent capturing prey. Southern elephant seals from the Kerguelen population have several foraging areas: in Antarctic waters, on the Kerguelen Plateau and in the interfrontal zone between the Subtropical and Polar Fronts. This study investigated how the movement and diving behaviour of 22 seals equipped with satellite-relayed data loggers changed in relation to mesoscale structures typical of the interfrontal zone. We studied the links between oceanographic variables including temperature and sea level anomalies, and diving and movement behaviour such as displacement speed, diving duration and bottom-time. Correlation coefficients between each of the time series were calculated and their significance tested with a parametric bootstrap. We focused on oceanographic changes, both temporal and spatial, occurring during behavioural transitions in order to clarify the connections between the behaviour and the marine environment of the animals. We showed that a majority of seals displayed a specific foraging behaviour related to the presence of both cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies. We characterized mesoscale oceanographic zones as either favourable or unfavourable based on the intensity of foraging activity as

  12. How Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonina) Adjust Their Fine Scale Horizontal Movement and Diving Behaviour in Relation to Prey Encounter Rate

    PubMed Central

    Jouma’a, Joffrey; Picard, Baptiste; Guinet, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the diving behaviour of diving predators in relation to concomitant prey distribution could have major practical applications in conservation biology by allowing the assessment of how changes in fine scale prey distribution impact foraging efficiency and ultimately population dynamics. The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina, hereafter SES), the largest phocid, is a major predator of the southern ocean feeding on myctophids and cephalopods. Because of its large size it can carry bio-loggers with minimal disturbance. Moreover, it has great diving abilities and a wide foraging habitat. Thus, the SES is a well suited model species to study predator diving behaviour and the distribution of ecologically important prey species in the Southern Ocean. In this study, we examined how SESs adjust their diving behaviour and horizontal movements in response to fine scale prey encounter densities using high resolution accelerometers, magnetometers, pressure sensors and GPS loggers. When high prey encounter rates were encountered, animals responded by (1) diving and returning to the surface with steeper angles, reducing the duration of transit dive phases (thus improving dive efficiency), and (2) exhibiting more horizontally and vertically sinuous bottom phases. In these cases, the distance travelled horizontally at the surface was reduced. This behaviour is likely to counteract horizontal displacement from water currents, as they try to remain within favourable prey patches. The prey encounter rate at the bottom of dives decreased with increasing diving depth, suggesting a combined effect of decreased accessibility and prey density with increasing depth. Prey encounter rate also decreased when the bottom phases of dives were spread across larger vertical extents of the water column. This result suggests that the vertical aggregation of prey can regulate prey density, and as a consequence impact the foraging success of SESs. To our knowledge, this is one of

  13. Males adjust their signalling behaviour according to experience of male signals and male-female signal duets.

    PubMed

    Rebar, D; Rodríguez, R L

    2016-04-01

    Sexual signals are conspicuous sources of information about neighbouring competitors, and species in which males and females signal during pair formation provide various sources of public information to which individuals can adjust their behaviour. We performed two experiments with a duetting vibrational insect, Enchenopa binotata treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae), to ask whether males adjust their signalling behaviour according to (1a) their own experience of competitors' signals, (1b) how females adjust their mate preferences on the basis of their experience of male signals (described in prior work), and/or (2) their own experience of female response signals to competitors' signals. We presented males with synthetic male signals of different frequencies and combinations thereof for 2 weeks. We recorded males a day after their last signal exposure, finding that (1a) male signal rate increased in response to experience of attractive competitors, but that (1b) male signal frequency did not shift in a manner consistent with how females adjust their mate preferences in those experience treatments. Second, we presented males with different male-female duets for 2 weeks, finding that (2) male signal length increased from experience of female duets with attractive competitors. Males thus make two types of adjustment according to two sources of public information: one provided by experience of male signals and another by experience of female responses to male signals. Signalling plasticity can generate feedback loops between the adjustments that males and females make, and we discuss the potential consequences of such feedback loops for the evolution of communication systems.

  14. Sexual behaviour and sexually transmitted disease patterns in male homosexuals.

    PubMed Central

    Willcox, R R

    1981-01-01

    Male homosexual behaviour is not simply either "active" or "passive", since penile-anal, mouth-penile, and hand-anal sexual contact is usual for both partners, and mouth-anal contact is not infrequent. A simplified method for recording sexual behaviour--a "sexual behaviour record (SBR)"--can be of value in determining the sites to be investigated and as a basis for further epidemiological questioning. Mouth-anal contact is the reason for the relatively high incidence of diseases caused by bowel pathogens in male homosexuals. Trauma may encourage the entry of micro-organisms and thus lead to primary syphilitic lesions occurring in the anogenital area. Similarly, granuloma inguinale, condylomata acuminata, and amoebiasis may be spread from the bowel of the passive homosexual contact. In addition to sodomy, trauma may be caused by foreign bodies, including stimulators of various kinds, penile adornments, and prostheses. Images PMID:6894558

  15. Male courtship vibrations delay predatory behaviour in female spiders.

    PubMed

    Wignall, Anne E; Herberstein, Marie E

    2013-12-19

    During courtship, individuals transfer information about identity, mating status and quality. However, male web-building spiders face a significant problem: how to begin courting female spiders without being mistaken for prey? Male Argiope spiders generate distinctive courtship vibrations (shudders) when entering a female's web. We tested whether courtship shudders delay female predatory behaviour, even when live prey is present in the web. We presented a live cricket to females during playbacks of shudder vibrations, or white noise, and compared female responses to a control in which we presented a live cricket with no playback vibrations. Females were much slower to respond to crickets during playback of shudder vibrations. Shudder vibrations also delayed female predatory behaviour in a related spider species, showing that these vibrations do not simply function for species identity. These results suggest that male web-building spiders employ a phylogenetically conserved vibratory signal to ameliorate the risk of pre-copulatory cannibalism.

  16. Chronic amantadine treatment enhances the sexual behaviour of male rats.

    PubMed

    Ferraz, Marcia Martins Dias; Fontanella, Julia Cordeiro; Damasceno, Fabio; Silva de Almeida, Olga Maria Martins; Ferraz, Marcos Rochedo

    2007-04-01

    The acute administration of amantadine (AMA), a dopaminomimetic and NMDA glutamatergic receptor antagonist also used as an anti-Parkinsonian agent, stimulates male rat sexual behaviour. However it remains unclear whether long term AMA supplementation might also provoke a similar increase in male rat sexual conduct. In the present study, male rats were administered AMA (5-50 mg/kg/day) or vehicle daily for 21 days and their sexual response was monitored weekly. Chronic treatment with AMA effectively increased the sexual response of male rats, similarly to what had been observed before with acute amantadine treatment. The main effect of chronic AMA treatment occurs in arousal and in ejaculatory response, whilst the excitatory component was not affected. The 21-day treatment with AMA did not lead to tolerance, suggesting that perhaps AMA could be used in male human patients to prevent sexual inhibition caused by anti-depressant and anti-psychotic agents.

  17. Behaviour of Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus during an induced mating season in captivity: how male relative size influences male behavioural investment and female preference over time.

    PubMed

    Bolgan, M; O'Brien, J; Picciulin, M; Manning, L; Gammell, M

    2016-12-20

    The behaviour of sexually mature Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus specimens (fifth farm generation) was observed in captivity for four consecutive days. Only agonistic interactions between males of different size were facilitated on the first 2 days, while both agonistic and courtship interactions were possible from the third day up to the end of the experiment. The reliability of behavioural analysis was assessed in order to reduce the possibility of observer errors within the generated datasets. The behavioural investment of big males, small males and females was analysed using general linear models (two-way repeated measures ANOVAs with time and male size as factors). A peak in the agonistic interactions between males occurred during the first day of interactions, where the agonistic investment of big males was significantly higher than that of small males. This resulted in an increased investment in submissive behaviour by the small males, who consistently performed submissive behaviours from the second day of interactions up to the end of the trial. Big males were found to invest significantly more than small males in courtship behaviours for the duration of the trial. Even though females performed inter-sexual behaviours towards both big and small males for the entire observation period, female interaction rate towards big males was higher than towards small males. This study suggests that both male investment in mating behaviour and female preference might be related to male characteristics such as body length and that S. alpinus behavioural patterns and mate choice cues might be strongly context-related and characterized by high levels of behavioural plasticity (i.e. presence-absence of certain behavioural units or potential reversal of a mate choice cue) within the same species. Finally, in light of this, some conservation measures are discussed. In particular, effective management plans should take into account the high level of behavioural plasticity

  18. Metabolic responses to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) vary with life-history stage in adult male northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Ensminger, David C; Somo, Derek A; Houser, Dorian S; Crocker, Daniel E

    2014-08-01

    Strong individual and life-history variation in serum glucocorticoids has been documented in many wildlife species. Less is known about variation in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responsiveness and its impact on metabolism. We challenged 18 free-ranging adult male northern elephant seals (NES) with an intramuscular injection of slow-release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) over 3 sample periods: early in the breeding season, after 70+ days of the breeding fast, and during peak molt. Subjects were blood sampled every 30 min for 2h post-injection. Breeding animals were recaptured and sampled at 48 h. In response to the ACTH injection, cortisol increased 4-6-fold in all groups, and remained elevated at 48 h in early breeding subjects. ACTH was a strong secretagogue for aldosterone, causing a 3-8-fold increase in concentration. Cortisol and aldosterone responses did not vary between groups but were correlated within individuals. The ACTH challenge produced elevations in plasma glucose during late breeding and molting, suppressed testosterone and thyroid hormone at 48 h in early breeding, and increased plasma non-esterified fatty acids and ketoacids during molting. These data suggest that sensitivity of the HPA axis is maintained but the metabolic impacts of cortisol and feedback inhibition of the axis vary with life history stage. Strong impacts on testosterone and thyroid hormone suggest the importance of maintaining low cortisol levels during the breeding fast. These data suggest that metabolic adaptations to extended fasting in NES include alterations in tissue responses to hormones that mitigate deleterious impacts of acute or moderately sustained stress responses.

  19. Genes and circuits of courtship behaviour in Drosophila males.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Daisuke; Koganezawa, Masayuki

    2013-10-01

    In Drosophila melanogaster, the causal links among a complex behaviour, single neurons and single genes can be demonstrated through experimental manipulations. A key player in establishing the male courtship circuitry is the fruitless (fru) gene, the expression of which yields the FruM proteins in a subset of male but not female neurons. FruM probably regulates chromatin states, leading to single-neuron sex differences and, consequently, a sexually dimorphic circuitry. The mutual connections among fru-expressing neurons--including primary sensory afferents, central interneurons such as the P1 neuron cluster that triggers courtship, and courtship motor pattern generators--probably form the core portion of the male courtship circuitry.

  20. Targeting male mosquito mating behaviour for malaria control.

    PubMed

    Diabate, Abdoulaye; Tripet, Frédéric

    2015-06-26

    Malaria vector control relies heavily on the use of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS). These, together with the combined drug administration efforts to control malaria, have reduced the death toll to less than 700,000 deaths/year. This progress has engendered real excitement but the emergence and spread of insecticide resistance is challenging our ability to sustain and consolidate the substantial gains that have been made. Research is required to discover novel vector control tools that can supplement and improve the effectiveness of those currently available. Here, we argue that recent and continuing progress in our understanding of male mating biology is instrumental in the implementation of new approaches based on the release of either conventional sterile or genetically engineered males. Importantly, further knowledge of male biology could also lead to the development of new interventions, such as sound traps and male mass killing in swarms, and contribute to new population sampling tools. We review and discuss recent advances in the behavioural ecology of male mating with an emphasis on the potential applications that can be derived from such knowledge. We also highlight those aspects of male mating ecology that urgently require additional study in the future.

  1. Elephant resource-use traditions.

    PubMed

    Fishlock, Victoria; Caldwell, Christine; Lee, Phyllis C

    2016-03-01

    African elephants (Loxodonta africana) use unusual and restricted habitats such as swampy clearings, montane outcrops and dry rivers for a variety of social and ecological reasons. Within these habitats, elephants focus on very specific areas for resource exploitation, resulting in deep caves, large forest clearings and sand pits as well as long-established and highly demarcated routes for moving between resources. We review evidence for specific habitat exploitation in elephants and suggest that this represents socially learned cultural behaviour. Although elephants show high fidelity to precise locations over the very long term, these location preferences are explained neither by resource quality nor by accessibility. Acquiring techniques for exploiting specific resource sites requires observing conspecifics and practice and is evidence for social learning. Elephants possess sophisticated cognitive capacities used to track relationships and resources over their long lifespans, and they have an extended period of juvenile dependency as a result of the need to acquire this considerable social and ecological knowledge. Thus, elephant fidelity to particular sites results in traditional behaviour over generations, with the potential to weaken relationships between resource quality and site preferences. Illustrating the evidence for such powerful traditions in a species such as elephants contributes to understanding animal cognition in natural contexts.

  2. Conservation of fruitless' role as master regulator of male courtship behaviour from cockroaches to flies.

    PubMed

    Clynen, Elke; Ciudad, Laura; Bellés, Xavier; Piulachs, Maria-Dolors

    2011-05-01

    In Drosophila melanogaster, male courtship behaviour is regulated by the fruitless gene. In D. melanogaster, fruitless encodes a set of putative transcription factors that are sex-specifically spliced. Male-specific variants are necessary and sufficient to elicit male courtship behaviour. Fruitless sequences have been reported in other insect species, but there are no data available on their functional role. In the present work, we cloned and sequenced fruitless in males of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, and we studied its expression in male brain and testes. B. germanica fruitless encodes a 350-amino acid protein with BTB and Zinc finger domains typical of fruitless sequences. Upon RNAi-mediated knockdown of fruitless in B. germanica, males no longer exhibit courtship behaviour, thus implying that fruitless is necessary for male sexual behaviour in our cockroach model. This suggests that the role of fruitless as master regulator of male sexual behaviour has been conserved along insect evolution, at least from cockroaches to flies.

  3. Low coverage sequencing of two Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) genomes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There are three species of elephant that exist, the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and two species of African elephant (Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis). The populations of all three species are dwindling, and are under threat due to factors, such as habitat destruction and ivory hunting. The species differ in many respects, including in their morphology and response to disease. The availability of elephant genome sequence data from all three elephant species will complement studies of behaviour, genetic diversity, evolution and disease resistance. Findings We present low-coverage Illumina sequence data from two Asian elephants, representing approximately 5X and 2.5X coverage respectively. Both raw and aligned data are available, using the African elephant (L. africana) genome as a reference. Conclusions The data presented here are an important addition to the available genetic and genomic information on Asian and African elephants. PMID:25053995

  4. When is a butterfly like an elephant?

    PubMed

    Kelly, D R

    1996-08-01

    The behaviours of organisms as diverse as elephants and butterflies are affected by pheromones with identical or similar structures. Recent developments in the molecular biology of pheromone detection suggest why.

  5. Elephant natural history: a genomic perspective.

    PubMed

    Roca, Alfred L; Ishida, Yasuko; Brandt, Adam L; Benjamin, Neal R; Zhao, Kai; Georgiadis, Nicholas J

    2015-01-01

    We review DNA-based studies of elephants and recently extinct proboscideans. The evidence indicates that little or no nuclear gene flow occurs between African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) and African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis), establishing that they comprise separate species. In all elephant species, males disperse, whereas females remain with their natal social group, leading to discordance in the phylogeography of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA patterns. Improvements in ancient DNA methods have permitted sequences to be generated from an increasing number of proboscidean fossils and have definitively established that the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is the closest living relative of the extinct woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius). DNA-based methods have been developed to determine the geographic provenance of confiscated ivory in an effort to aid the conservation of elephants.

  6. High-density lipoprotein remains elevated despite reductions in total cholesterol in fasting adult male elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris).

    PubMed

    Tift, Michael S; Houser, Dorian S; Crocker, Daniel E

    2011-08-01

    We examined changes in lipid profiles of 40 adult northern elephant seal bulls over the 3-month breeding fast and the 1-month molting fast to investigate impacts of fasting on serum total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG) and lipoproteins. Total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels were initially high (3930 ± 190mgL(-1)and 1610 ± 170mgL(-1), respectively) and decreased significantly over the breeding season. Total cholesterol and LDL declined significantly with adipose tissue reserves (p<0.001), and LDL levels as low as 43 mgL(-1) were measured in seals late in the breeding fast. Less dramatic but similar changes in lipid metabolism were observed across the molting fast. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) remained consistently elevated (>1750 mgL(-1)) suggesting that elephant seals defend HDL concentrations, despite significant depletion of TC and LDL across the breeding fast. Triglyceride levels were significantly higher during the molt, consistent with lower rates of lipid oxidation needed to meet metabolic energy demands during this period. The maintenance of HDL during breeding is consistent with its role in delivering cholesterol from adipose tissue for steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis and potentially mitigates oxidative stress associated with fasting.

  7. Individual consistency in exploratory behaviour and mating tactics in male guppies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Jennifer L.; Phillips, Samuel C.; Evans, Jonathan P.

    2013-10-01

    While behavioural plasticity is considered an adaptation to fluctuating social and environmental conditions, many animals also display a high level of individual consistency in their behaviour over time or across contexts (generally termed ‘personality’). However, studies of animal personalities that include sexual behaviour, or functionally distinct but correlated traits, are relatively scarce. In this study, we tested for individual behavioural consistency in courtship and exploratory behaviour in male guppies ( Poecilia reticulata) in two light environments (high vs. low light intensity). Based on previous work on guppies, we predicted that males would modify their behaviour from sneak mating tactics to courtship displays under low light conditions, but also that the rank orders of courtship effort would remain unchanged (i.e. highly sexually active individuals would display relatively high levels of courtship under both light regimes). We also tested for correlations between courtship and exploratory behaviour, predicting that males that had high display rates would also be more likely to approach a novel object. Although males showed significant consistency in their exploratory and mating behaviour over time (1 week), we found no evidence that these traits constituted a behavioural syndrome. Furthermore, in contrast to previous work, we found no overall effect of the light environment on any of the behaviours measured, although males responded to the treatment on an individual-level basis, as reflected by a significant individual-by-environment interaction. The future challenge is to investigate how individual consistency across different environmental contexts relates to male reproductive success.

  8. Individual consistency in exploratory behaviour and mating tactics in male guppies.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Jennifer L; Phillips, Samuel C; Evans, Jonathan P

    2013-10-01

    While behavioural plasticity is considered an adaptation to fluctuating social and environmental conditions, many animals also display a high level of individual consistency in their behaviour over time or across contexts (generally termed 'personality'). However, studies of animal personalities that include sexual behaviour, or functionally distinct but correlated traits, are relatively scarce. In this study, we tested for individual behavioural consistency in courtship and exploratory behaviour in male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) in two light environments (high vs. low light intensity). Based on previous work on guppies, we predicted that males would modify their behaviour from sneak mating tactics to courtship displays under low light conditions, but also that the rank orders of courtship effort would remain unchanged (i.e. highly sexually active individuals would display relatively high levels of courtship under both light regimes). We also tested for correlations between courtship and exploratory behaviour, predicting that males that had high display rates would also be more likely to approach a novel object. Although males showed significant consistency in their exploratory and mating behaviour over time (1 week), we found no evidence that these traits constituted a behavioural syndrome. Furthermore, in contrast to previous work, we found no overall effect of the light environment on any of the behaviours measured, although males responded to the treatment on an individual-level basis, as reflected by a significant individual-by-environment interaction. The future challenge is to investigate how individual consistency across different environmental contexts relates to male reproductive success.

  9. Sex-specific foraging strategies and resource partitioning in the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina)

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Rebecca; O'Connell, Tamsin C; Lewis, Mirtha; Campagna, Claudio; Hoelzel, A. Rus

    2006-01-01

    The evolution of resource specializations is poorly understood, especially in marine systems. The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is the largest of the phocid seals, sexually dimorphic, and thought to prey predominantly on fish and squid. We collected vibrissae from male and female southern elephant seals, and assessed stable C and N isotope ratios along the length of the vibrissae. Given that whiskers grow slowly, this sampling strategy reflects any variation in feeding behaviour over a period of time. We found that isotopic variation among females was relatively small, and that the apparent prey choice and trophic level of females was different from that for males. Further, males showed a very broad range of trophic/prey choice positions, grouped into several clusters, and this included isotopic values too low to match a broad range of potential fish and cephalopod prey tested. One of these clusters overlapped with data for South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens), which were measured for comparison. Both male southern elephant seals and southern sea lions forage over the continental shelf, providing the potential for competition. We discuss the possibility that individual southern elephant seals are pursuing specialist foraging strategies to avoid competition, both with one another, and with the South American sea lions that breed nearby. PMID:17015314

  10. Sex-specific foraging strategies and resource partitioning in the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina).

    PubMed

    Lewis, Rebecca; O'Connell, Tamsin C; Lewis, Mirtha; Campagna, Claudio; Hoelzel, A Rus

    2006-11-22

    The evolution of resource specializations is poorly understood, especially in marine systems. The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is the largest of the phocid seals, sexually dimorphic, and thought to prey predominantly on fish and squid. We collected vibrissae from male and female southern elephant seals, and assessed stable C and N isotope ratios along the length of the vibrissae. Given that whiskers grow slowly, this sampling strategy reflects any variation in feeding behaviour over a period of time. We found that isotopic variation among females was relatively small, and that the apparent prey choice and trophic level of females was different from that for males. Further, males showed a very broad range of trophic/prey choice positions, grouped into several clusters, and this included isotopic values too low to match a broad range of potential fish and cephalopod prey tested. One of these clusters overlapped with data for South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens), which were measured for comparison. Both male southern elephant seals and southern sea lions forage over the continental shelf, providing the potential for competition. We discuss the possibility that individual southern elephant seals are pursuing specialist foraging strategies to avoid competition, both with one another, and with the South American sea lions that breed nearby.

  11. Ranging behaviour of little bustard males, Tetrax tetrax, in the lekking grounds.

    PubMed

    Ponjoan, Anna; Bota, Gerard; Mañosa, Santi

    2012-09-01

    We investigated the ranging behaviour during the breeding season of 18 radiotracked little bustard (Tetrax tetrax) males, a disperse-lekking species inhabiting the cereal pseudo-steppes. The average kernel 95% home range was 60±50 ha and the average cluster 85% area was 17±17 ha. Range structure was as relevant as home range size for explaining the variation in the ranging behaviour of males, which could be partially explained by age, habitat quality and site. Ranging behaviour varied from males defending small and concentrated home ranges with high habitat quality, to males holding larger home ranges composed by several arenas. Our results suggest that social dominance and resource availability may affect ranging behaviour of males during the breeding season. Also, mating systems constraints may play a role on the use of space of males within the lekking ground. The ranging behaviour of a given male may be determined by a tendency to reduce and concentrate the home range as age and social status increase, and several fine-tuning mechanisms adjusting the ranging behaviour to the prevailing environmental or social factors on a given site and year.

  12. Male ruff colour as a rank signal in a monomorphic-horned mammal: behavioural correlates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lovari, S.; Fattorini, N.; Boesi, R.; Bocci, A.

    2015-08-01

    Coexistence of individuals within a social group is possible through the establishment of a hierarchy. Social dominance is achieved through aggressive interactions, and, in wild sheep and goats, it is related mainly to age, body size and weapon size as rank signals. Adult male Himalayan tahr are much larger than females and subadult males. They have a prominent neck ruff, ranging in colour from yellow (5.5-9.5 years old, i.e. young adults, golden males) to brown (7.5-14.5 years old, i.e. older individuals, pale and dark brown males), with golden males being the most dominant. We investigated the social behaviour of male tahr and analysed the relationships between ruff colour, courtship and agonistic behaviour patterns during the rut. Colour classes varied in their use of several behaviour patterns (male dominance: approach, stare, horning vegetation; courtship: low stretch, naso- genital contact, rush). Golden-ruffed males used more threats than darker ones. Pale brown and dark brown males addressed threats significantly more often to males of lower or their own colour classes, respectively, whereas golden ones addressed threats to all colour classes, including their own. The courtship of dominant males was characterised by the assertive rush, whereas that of subordinates did not. Ruff colour of male Himalayan tahr may have evolved as a rank signal, homologous to horn size in wild sheep and goats.

  13. The Extreme Male Brain Theory and Gender Role Behaviour in Persons with an Autism Spectrum Condition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stauder, J. E. A.; Cornet, L. J. M.; Ponds, R. W. H. M.

    2011-01-01

    According to the Extreme Male Brain theory persons with autism possess masculinised cognitive traits. In this study masculinisation of gender role behaviour is evaluated in 25 persons with an autism spectrum condition (ASC) and matched controls with gender role behaviour as part of a shortened version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality…

  14. Lifetime mating opportunities and male mating behaviour in sexually cannibalistic praying mantids.

    PubMed

    Maxwell

    1998-04-01

    I examined the number of lifetime mating opportunities and mating behaviour of males in two sexually cannibalistic species, the Mediterranean, Iris oratoria, and bordered, Stagmomantis limbata, praying mantids (Mantodea: Mantidae). Two approaches estimated the number of lifetime mating opportunities: direct observations of intersexual encounters in the field, and an encounter model. I collected behavioural observations, together with ecological data for use in the model, over three field seasons. The ecological data included an assessment of the feeding condition of S. limbata females in nature; the females fed at a level comparable to females maintained on an abundant diet in the laboratory. As for the number of mating opportunities, individual males of both species encountered two or more females, as predicted by the model. I observed no male, however, in more than one copulation. This result could reflect individual variation in the times and places of sexual activity or an actual low number of mating opportunities in the field. Furthermore, a higher percentage of I. oratoria males encountered two or more females than S. limbata males, as the model indicates. Fewer mating opportunities could lead to greater selection upon S. limbata males to ensure paternity at each mating, which can explain the longer copulation times observed for S. limbata males. I considered two hypotheses about male behaviour in light of the number of lifetime encounters with females: male suicide and male reduction of the risk of cannibalism. Behavioural observations do not strongly support male suicide in either species. Certain male behaviours, such as the nature of copulatory position and, in captivity, mounting females from the rear, are consistent with the idea that males behave so as to reduce the probability that they are cannibalized during intersexual encounters. Moreover, male I. oratoria preferentially mount well-fed, fecund females in captivity. Taken together, these results

  15. Male prairie voles with different avpr1a microsatellite lengths do not differ in courtship behaviour.

    PubMed

    Graham, Brittney M; Solomon, Nancy G; Noe, Douglas A; Keane, Brian

    2016-07-01

    Females are generally expected to be selective when choosing their social and sexual partners. In a previous laboratory study, female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) showed significant social and sexual preferences for males with longer microsatellite DNA within the avpr1a gene encoding the vasopressin 1a receptor, as predicted if females select mates whose parental behaviour should increase female reproductive success. We tested the hypothesis that males with short versus long avpr1a microsatellite alleles exhibit differences in courtship behaviour, which could act as cues for female mate preference. The only behavioural difference we detected between males with short versus long avpr1a microsatellite alleles in mate preference trials was that males with short avpr1a microsatellite alleles sniffed the anogenital region of females more frequently during the first two days of the trials. Our results did not strongly support the hypothesis that a male's avpr1a genotype predicts the courtship behaviours we measured and suggests that other courtship behaviours or traits, such as odour and vocalizations, may be more important to female prairie voles when choosing mates. Additional studies using a wider array of species are needed to assess the degree to which male mammal courtship behaviour provides information on mate quality to females.

  16. Insights into Sexism: Male Status and Performance Moderates Female-Directed Hostile and Amicable Behaviour.

    PubMed

    Kasumovic, Michael M; Kuznekoff, Jeffrey H

    2015-01-01

    Gender inequality and sexist behaviour is prevalent in almost all workplaces and rampant in online environments. Although there is much research dedicated to understanding sexist behaviour, we have almost no insight into what triggers this behaviour and the individuals that initiate it. Although social constructionist theory argues that sexism is a response towards women entering a male dominated arena, this perspective doesn't explain why only a subset of males behave in this way. We argue that a clearer understanding of sexist behaviour can be gained through an evolutionary perspective that considers evolved differences in intra-sexual competition. We hypothesised that female-initiated disruption of a male hierarchy incites hostile behaviour from poor performing males who stand to lose the most status. To test this hypothesis, we used an online first-person shooter video game that removes signals of dominance but provides information on gender, individual performance, and skill. We show that lower-skilled players were more hostile towards a female-voiced teammate, especially when performing poorly. In contrast, lower-skilled players behaved submissively towards a male-voiced player in the identical scenario. This difference in gender-directed behaviour became more extreme with poorer focal-player performance. We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena. Higher-skilled players, in contrast, were more positive towards a female relative to a male teammate. As higher-skilled players have less to fear from hierarchical reorganization, we argue that these males behave more positively in an attempt to support and garner a female player's attention. Our results provide the clearest picture of inter-sexual competition to date, highlighting the importance of considering an evolutionary perspective when

  17. Insights into Sexism: Male Status and Performance Moderates Female-Directed Hostile and Amicable Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Kasumovic, Michael M.; Kuznekoff, Jeffrey H.

    2015-01-01

    Gender inequality and sexist behaviour is prevalent in almost all workplaces and rampant in online environments. Although there is much research dedicated to understanding sexist behaviour, we have almost no insight into what triggers this behaviour and the individuals that initiate it. Although social constructionist theory argues that sexism is a response towards women entering a male dominated arena, this perspective doesn’t explain why only a subset of males behave in this way. We argue that a clearer understanding of sexist behaviour can be gained through an evolutionary perspective that considers evolved differences in intra-sexual competition. We hypothesised that female-initiated disruption of a male hierarchy incites hostile behaviour from poor performing males who stand to lose the most status. To test this hypothesis, we used an online first-person shooter video game that removes signals of dominance but provides information on gender, individual performance, and skill. We show that lower-skilled players were more hostile towards a female-voiced teammate, especially when performing poorly. In contrast, lower-skilled players behaved submissively towards a male-voiced player in the identical scenario. This difference in gender-directed behaviour became more extreme with poorer focal-player performance. We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena. Higher-skilled players, in contrast, were more positive towards a female relative to a male teammate. As higher-skilled players have less to fear from hierarchical reorganization, we argue that these males behave more positively in an attempt to support and garner a female player’s attention. Our results provide the clearest picture of inter-sexual competition to date, highlighting the importance of considering an evolutionary perspective when

  18. Supplementary feeding affects the breeding behaviour of male European treefrogs (Hyla arborea)

    PubMed Central

    Meuche, Ivonne; Grafe, T Ulmar

    2009-01-01

    Background We investigated the effects of energetic constraints on the breeding behaviour of male European treefrogs Hyla arborea and how calling males allocated additional energy supplied by feeding experiments. Results Presence in the chorus was energetically costly indicated by both fed and unfed males losing weight. Males that were supplied with additional energy did not show longer chorus tenure. Instead, fed males returned sooner to the chorus. Additionally, fed males called more often than control males, a novel response for anurans. A significantly higher calling rate was noted from males even 31 nights after supplementary feeding. Conclusion This strategy of allocating additional energy reserves to increasing calling rate is beneficial given the preference of female hylids for males calling at high rates and a female's ability to detect small incremental increases in calling rate. PMID:19128468

  19. Testing multiple hypotheses for the maintenance of male homosexual copulatory behaviour in flour beetles.

    PubMed

    Levan, K E; Fedina, T Y; Lewis, S M

    2009-01-01

    Diverse animal groups exhibit homosexual interactions, yet the evolutionary maintenance of such behaviours remains enigmatic as they do not directly increase reproductive success by generating progeny. Here, we use Tribolium castaneum flour beetles, which exhibit frequent male homosexual copulations, to empirically test several hypotheses for the maintenance of such behaviours: (1) establishing social dominance; (2) practice for future heterosexual encounters; and (3) indirect sperm translocation. We found no evidence that Tribolium males use homosexual copulations either to establish dominance or to practice behaviours that increase their subsequent heterosexual reproductive performance. Our results provide limited support for the hypothesis of indirect sperm translocation: when males from two genetic strains mated with females immediately following a homosexual copulation, females produced progeny sired not only by the directly mating male, but also by that male's homosexual partner. However, this phenomenon was detected in only 7% of homosexual pairs, and in each case such indirectly sired progeny accounted for < 0.5% of females' total progeny. Direct observations indicated that mounting males often released spermatophores during homosexual copulations. These observations suggest that homosexual copulations may be a behavioural mechanism that allows males to expel older, potentially low-quality sperm. Additional work is needed to test this new hypothesis, and to determine whether sperm release during homosexual copulations occurs in other groups.

  20. Interspecies sexual behaviour between a male Japanese macaque and female sika deer.

    PubMed

    Pelé, Marie; Bonnefoy, Alexandre; Shimada, Masaki; Sueur, Cédric

    2017-01-10

    Interspecies sexual behaviour or 'reproductive interference' has been reported across a wide range of animal taxa. However, most of these occurrences were observed in phylogenetically close species and were mainly discussed in terms of their effect on fitness, hybridization and species survival. The few cases of heterospecific mating in distant species occurred between animals that were bred and maintained in captivity. Only one scientific study has reported this phenomenon, describing sexual harassment of king penguins by an Antarctic fur seal. This is the first article to report mating behaviour between a male Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata yakui) and female sika deer (Cervus nippon yakushimae) on Yakushima Island, Japan. Although Japanese macaques are known to ride deer, this individual showed clearly sexual behaviour towards several female deer, some of which tried to escape whilst others accepted the mount. This male seems to belong to a group of peripheral males. Although this phenomenon may be explained as copulation learning, this is highly unlikely. The most realistic hypothesis would be that of mate deprivation, which states that males with limited access to females are more likely to display this behaviour. Whatever the cause for this event may be, the observation of highly unusual animal behaviour may be a key to understanding the evolution of heterospecific mating behaviour in the animal kingdom.

  1. Courtship behaviour in a lekking species: individual variations and settlement tactics in male little bustard.

    PubMed

    Jiguet, F; Bretagnolle, V

    2001-08-15

    We analysed the display behaviour of male little bustard Tetrax tetrax to identify displays that are used in the context of male-male competition and those that are used for attracting females. Courtship was the main activity of males during the breeding season. Calling activity occurred throughout the day, and leks were attended for more than 4 months. Male sexual displays included snort call, wing-flash, and jump display. Snort call was performed throughout the day and mainly involved male-male interactions. In contrast, the wing-flash display was given only at twilight, and was performed most commonly when a female was present, supporting an inter-sexual function for this display. The jump display was performed only in the presence of female at anytime of the day. Analysis of individual variations in display behaviour revealed that intra-individual variation was low compared to inter-individual variation, especially for the jump display. It is, therefore, possible that display rates provide information on male quality. Four male settlement patterns could be defined, singles, paired, lekking and satellite lekking, but only wing-flash display and stamped snort call differed among those categories. We suggest that satellite males are attempting to benefit from proximity to higher status males, in accordance with the hotshot hypothesis of lek evolution.

  2. Behavioural and physiological consequences of male reproductive trade-offs in edible dormice ( Glis glis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fietz, Joanna; Klose, Stefan M.; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.

    2010-10-01

    Testosterone mediates male reproductive trade-offs in vertebrates including mammals. In male edible dormice ( Glis glis), reproductivity linked to high levels of testosterone reduces their ability to express torpor, which may be expected to dramatically increase thermoregulatory costs. Aims of this study were therefore to analyse behavioural and physiological consequences of reproductive activity in male edible dormice under ecologically and evolutionary relevant conditions in the field. As we frequently encountered sleeping groups in the field, we hypothesized that social thermoregulation should be an important measure to reduce energy expenditure especially in sexually active male edible dormice. Our results revealed that the occurrence of sleeping groups was negatively influenced by male body mass but not by reproductive status or ambient temperature. In reproductive as in non-reproductive males, the number of individuals huddling together was negatively influenced by their body mass. Thus in general males with a high body mass were sitting in smaller groups than males with a low body mass. However, in reproductive males group size was further negatively affected by ambient temperature and positively by testes size. Thus breeders formed larger sleeping groups at lower ambient temperatures and males with larger testes were found in larger groups than males with smaller testes. Measurements of oxygen consumption demonstrated that grouping behaviour represents an efficient strategy to reduce energy expenditure in edible dormice as it reduced energy requirements by almost 40%. In summary, results of this field study showcase how sexually active male edible dormice may, through behavioural adjustment, counterbalance high thermoregulatory costs associated with reproductive activity.

  3. Behavioural and physiological consequences of male reproductive trade-offs in edible dormice (Glis glis).

    PubMed

    Fietz, Joanna; Klose, Stefan M; Kalko, Elisabeth K V

    2010-10-01

    Testosterone mediates male reproductive trade-offs in vertebrates including mammals. In male edible dormice (Glis glis), reproductivity linked to high levels of testosterone reduces their ability to express torpor, which may be expected to dramatically increase thermoregulatory costs. Aims of this study were therefore to analyse behavioural and physiological consequences of reproductive activity in male edible dormice under ecologically and evolutionary relevant conditions in the field. As we frequently encountered sleeping groups in the field, we hypothesized that social thermoregulation should be an important measure to reduce energy expenditure especially in sexually active male edible dormice. Our results revealed that the occurrence of sleeping groups was negatively influenced by male body mass but not by reproductive status or ambient temperature. In reproductive as in non-reproductive males, the number of individuals huddling together was negatively influenced by their body mass. Thus in general males with a high body mass were sitting in smaller groups than males with a low body mass. However, in reproductive males group size was further negatively affected by ambient temperature and positively by testes size. Thus breeders formed larger sleeping groups at lower ambient temperatures and males with larger testes were found in larger groups than males with smaller testes. Measurements of oxygen consumption demonstrated that grouping behaviour represents an efficient strategy to reduce energy expenditure in edible dormice as it reduced energy requirements by almost 40%. In summary, results of this field study showcase how sexually active male edible dormice may, through behavioural adjustment, counterbalance high thermoregulatory costs associated with reproductive activity.

  4. Use of female nest characteristics in the sexual behaviour of male sockeye salmon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hamon, T.R.; Foote, C.J.; Brown, G.S.

    1999-01-01

    On three island beaches in Iliamna Lake, Alaska, large numbers of male sockeye salmon gathered and spawned in artificial excavations that mimicked a female's nest immediately prior to spawning, while apparently ignoring the control site. The number of males attracted was correlated positively with changes in the operational sex ratio. In contrast, on the mainland beach examined, no reaction to the artificial nests was apparent. The results are discussed in terms of mate searching behaviour by males, the duration of the spawning period, and associated selection pressures on males to use characteristics of their environment that provide information on availability of females.

  5. Individual plastic responses by males to rivals reveal mismatches between behaviour and fitness outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Bretman, Amanda; Westmancoat, James D.; Gage, Matthew J. G.; Chapman, Tracey

    2012-01-01

    Plasticity in behaviour is of fundamental significance when environments are variable. Such plasticity is particularly important in the context of rapid changes in the socio-sexual environment. Males can exhibit adaptive plastic responses to variation in the overall level of reproductive competition. However, the extent of behavioural flexibility within individuals, and the degree to which rapidly changing plastic responses map onto fitness are unknown. We addressed this by determining the behaviour and fitness profiles of individual Drosophila melanogaster males subjected to up to three episodes of exposure to rivals or no rivals, in all combinations. Behaviour (mating duration) was remarkably sensitive to the level of competition and fully reversible, suggesting that substantial costs arise from the incorrect expression of even highly flexible behaviour. However, changes in mating duration matched fitness outcomes (offspring number) only in scenarios in which males experienced zero then high competition. Following the removal of competition, mating duration, but not offspring production, decreased to below control levels. This indicates that the benefit of increasing reproductive investment when encountering rivals may exceed that of decreasing investment when rivals disappear. Such asymmetric fitness benefits and mismatches with behavioural responses are expected to exert strong selection on the evolution of plasticity. PMID:22438501

  6. The role of testosterone in male downy woodpeckers in winter home range use, mate interactions and female foraging behaviour.

    PubMed

    Kellam, James S; Lucas, Jeffrey R; Wingfield, John C

    2006-03-01

    Studies of the role of testosterone (T) in birds have typically focused on sexual or aggressive behaviours of males during the breeding period, but males of nonmigratory species may invest in mate and territory long before breeding, and the influence of T in facilitating nonbreeding-season behaviours is poorly understood. We gave free-living male downy woodpeckers, Picoides pubescens, T-implants during the winter to determine whether elevated levels of T increased a male's ability to exclusively occupy territory-based resources, and whether elevated T strengthened a male's investment in an existing pair bond relationship. We also explored how a female's foraging efficiency might be affected by her mate's behaviour if he had elevated T. We found little difference between control and T-implanted males with regard to home range exclusivity. Surprisingly, male-male display rates were significantly lower in T-implanted males than in controls. Regarding male-female interactions, T-implanted males that experienced high incursion rates from other males maintained more frequent spatial association with their mate, suggesting that T facilitates male behaviours that could restrict the mate's access to other male birds. Female mates of T-males showed reduced foraging rates, but because male-female aggression was similar between treatment groups, the cause for this reduction is unknown. The results indicate that exogenous T during winter affects a variety of behaviours in male woodpeckers, and proximate influences on pair bond maintenance in winter may be a fruitful avenue for future research.

  7. Why Do African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) Simulate Oestrus? An Analysis of Longitudinal Data

    PubMed Central

    Bates, Lucy A.; Handford, Rosie; Lee, Phyllis C.; Njiraini, Norah; Poole, Joyce H.; Sayialel, Katito; Sayialel, Soila; Moss, Cynthia J.; Byrne, Richard W.

    2010-01-01

    Female African elephants signal oestrus via chemicals in their urine, but they also exhibit characteristic changes to their posture, gait and behaviour when sexually receptive. Free-ranging females visually signal receptivity by holding their heads and tails high, walking with an exaggerated gait, and displaying increased tactile behaviour towards males. Parous females occasionally exhibit these visual signals at times when they are thought not to be cycling and without attracting interest from musth males. Using demographic and behavioural records spanning a continuous 28-year period, we investigated the occurrence of this “simulated” oestrus behaviour. We show that parous females in the Amboseli elephant population do simulate receptive oestrus behaviours, and this false oestrus occurs disproportionately in the presence of naïve female kin who are observed coming into oestrus for the first time. We compare several alternative hypotheses for the occurrence of this simulation: 1) false oestrus has no functional purpose (e.g., it merely results from abnormal hormonal changes); 2) false oestrus increases the reproductive success of the simulating female, by inducing sexual receptivity; and 3) false oestrus increases the inclusive fitness of the simulating female, either by increasing the access of related females to suitable males, or by encouraging appropriate oestrus behaviours from female relatives who are not responding correctly to males. Although the observed data do not fully conform to the predictions of any of these hypotheses, we rule out the first two, and tentatively suggest that parous females most likely exhibit false oestrus behaviours in order to demonstrate to naïve relatives at whom to direct their behaviour. PMID:20383331

  8. Symptoms of Common Mental Disorders and Adverse Health Behaviours in Male Professional Soccer Players.

    PubMed

    Gouttebarge, Vincent; Aoki, Haruhito; Kerkhoffs, Gino

    2015-12-22

    To present time, scientific knowledge about symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours among professional soccer players is lacking. Consequently, the aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of symptoms of common mental disorders (distress, anxiety/depression, sleep disturbance) and adverse health behaviours (adverse alcohol behaviour, smoking, adverse nutrition behaviour) among professional soccer players, and to explore their associations with potential stressors (severe injury, surgery, life events and career dissatisfaction). Cross-sectional analyses were conducted on baseline questionnaires from an ongoing prospective cohort study among male professional players. Using validated questionnaires to assess symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours as well as stressors, an electronic questionnaire was set up and distributed by players' unions in 11 countries from three continents. Prevalence of symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours among professional soccer players ranged from 4% for smoking and 9% for adverse alcohol behaviour to 38% for anxiety/depression and 58% for adverse nutrition behaviour. Significant associations were found for a higher number of severe injuries with distress, anxiety/depression, sleeping disturbance and adverse alcohol behaviour, an increased number of life events with distress, sleeping disturbance, adverse alcohol behaviour and smoking, as well as an elevated level of career dissatisfaction with distress, anxiety/depression and adverse nutrition behaviour. Statistically significant correlations (p<0.01) were found for severe injuries and career dissatisfaction with most symptoms of common mental disorders. High prevalence of symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours was found among professional players, confirming a previous pilot-study in a similar study population.

  9. Symptoms of Common Mental Disorders and Adverse Health Behaviours in Male Professional Soccer Players

    PubMed Central

    Gouttebarge, Vincent; Aoki, Haruhito; Kerkhoffs, Gino

    2015-01-01

    To present time, scientific knowledge about symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours among professional soccer players is lacking. Consequently, the aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of symptoms of common mental disorders (distress, anxiety/depression, sleep disturbance) and adverse health behaviours (adverse alcohol behaviour, smoking, adverse nutrition behaviour) among professional soccer players, and to explore their associations with potential stressors (severe injury, surgery, life events and career dissatisfaction). Cross-sectional analyses were conducted on baseline questionnaires from an ongoing prospective cohort study among male professional players. Using validated questionnaires to assess symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours as well as stressors, an electronic questionnaire was set up and distributed by players’ unions in 11 countries from three continents. Prevalence of symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours among professional soccer players ranged from 4% for smoking and 9% for adverse alcohol behaviour to 38% for anxiety/depression and 58% for adverse nutrition behaviour. Significant associations were found for a higher number of severe injuries with distress, anxiety/depression, sleeping disturbance and adverse alcohol behaviour, an increased number of life events with distress, sleeping disturbance, adverse alcohol behaviour and smoking, as well as an elevated level of career dissatisfaction with distress, anxiety/depression and adverse nutrition behaviour. Statistically significant correlations (p<0.01) were found for severe injuries and career dissatisfaction with most symptoms of common mental disorders. High prevalence of symptoms of common mental disorders and adverse health behaviours was found among professional players, confirming a previous pilot-study in a similar study population. PMID:26925182

  10. Male-specific (Z)-9-tricosene stimulates female mating behaviour in the spider Pholcus beijingensis

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Yong-Hong; Zhang, Jian-Xu; Li, Shu-Qiang

    2010-01-01

    Chemical signals play an important role in spider sexual communication, yet the chemistry of spider sex pheromones remains poorly understood. Chemical identification of male-produced pheromone-mediating sexual behaviour in spiders has also, to our knowledge, not been reported before. This study aimed to examine whether chemically mediated strategies are used by males of the spider Pholcus beijingensis for increasing the probability of copulation. Based on data from gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis, electroantennography assay and a series of behavioural tests, we verified that (Z)-9-tricosene is a male-specific compound in the spider P. beijingensis. This compound acts as an aphrodisiac: it increases the likelihood that a female will mate. Mate-searching males release (Z)-9-tricosene to stimulate sexual behaviour of conspecific females. In the two-choice assay, however, sexually receptive females show no preference to the chambers containing (Z)-9-tricosene. This indicates that the male pheromone of P. beijingensis is not an attractant per se to the conspecific females. This is, to our knowledge, the first identification of a male-produced aphrodisiac pheromone in spiders. PMID:20462911

  11. Genomic DNA sequences from mastodon and woolly mammoth reveal deep speciation of forest and savanna elephants.

    PubMed

    Rohland, Nadin; Reich, David; Mallick, Swapan; Meyer, Matthias; Green, Richard E; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Roca, Alfred L; Hofreiter, Michael

    2010-12-21

    To elucidate the history of living and extinct elephantids, we generated 39,763 bp of aligned nuclear DNA sequence across 375 loci for African savanna elephant, African forest elephant, Asian elephant, the extinct American mastodon, and the woolly mammoth. Our data establish that the Asian elephant is the closest living relative of the extinct mammoth in the nuclear genome, extending previous findings from mitochondrial DNA analyses. We also find that savanna and forest elephants, which some have argued are the same species, are as or more divergent in the nuclear genome as mammoths and Asian elephants, which are considered to be distinct genera, thus resolving a long-standing debate about the appropriate taxonomic classification of the African elephants. Finally, we document a much larger effective population size in forest elephants compared with the other elephantid taxa, likely reflecting species differences in ancient geographic structure and range and differences in life history traits such as variance in male reproductive success.

  12. Interdependent effects of male and female body size plasticity on mating behaviour of predatory mites

    PubMed Central

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The adaptive canalization hypothesis predicts that traits with low phenotypic plasticity are more fitness relevant, because they have been canalized via strong past selection, than traits with high phenotypic plasticity. Based on differing male body size plasticities of the predatory mites Phytoseiulus persimilis (low plasticity) and Neoseiulus californicus (high plasticity), we accordingly hypothesized that small male body size entails higher costs in female choice and male–male competition in P. persimilis than N. californicus. Males of both species are highly polygynous but females differ in the level of polyandry (low level in P. persimilis; medium level in N. californicus). We videotaped the mating interactions in triplets of either P. persimilis or N. californicus, consisting of a virgin female (small or standard-sized) and a small and a standard-sized male. Mating by both small and standard-sized P. persimilis females was biased towards standard-sized males, resulting from the interplay between female preference for standard-sized males and the inferiority of small males in male–male competition. In contrast, mating by N. californicus females was equally balanced between small and standard-sized males. Small N. californicus males were more aggressive (‘Napoleon complex’) in male–male competition, reducing the likelihood of encounter between the standard-sized male and the female, and thus counterbalancing female preference for standard-sized males. Our results support the hypothesis that male body size is more important to fitness in the low-level polyandrous P. persimilis than in the medium-level polyandrous N. californicus and provide a key example of the implications of sexually selected body size plasticity on mating behaviour. PMID:25673881

  13. Hypogonadism predisposes males to the development of behavioural and neuroplastic depressive phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Wainwright, Steven R; Lieblich, Stephanie E; Galea, Liisa A M

    2011-10-01

    The incidence of depression is 2-3× higher in women particularly during the reproductive years, an occurrence that has been associated with levels of sex hormones. The age-related decline of testosterone levels in men corresponds with the increased acquisition of depressive symptoms, and hormone replacement therapy can be efficacious in treating depression in hypogonadal men. Although it is not possible to model depression in rodents, it is possible to model some of the symptoms of depression including a dysregulated stress response and altered neuroplasticity. Among animal models of depression, chronic mild unpredictable stress (CMS) is a common paradigm used to induce depressive-like behaviours in rodents, disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis and decrease hippocampal neuroplasticity. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of hypogonadism, produced by gonadectomy, on the acquisition of depressive-like behaviours and changes in hippocampal neuroplasticity in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. A 21-day unpredictable CMS protocol was used on gonadectomised (GDX) and sham-operated males which produced an attenuation of weight gain in the GDX males receiving CMS treatment (GDX-CMS). Behavioural analysis was carried out to assess anxiety- and depressive-like behaviours. The combination of GDX and CMS produced greater passive behaviours within the forced swim test than CMS exposure alone. Similarly, hippocampal cell proliferation, neurogenesis and the expression of the neuroplastic protein polysialated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) were all significantly reduced in the GDX-CMS group compared to all other treatment groups. These findings indicate that testicular hormones confer resiliency to chronic stress in males therefore reducing the likelihood of developing putative physiological, behavioural or neurological depressive-like phenotypes.

  14. Male clients' behaviours with and perspectives about their last male escort encounter: comparing repeat versus first-time hires.

    PubMed

    Wolff, Margaret M; Grov, Christian; Smith, Michael D; Koken, Juline A; Parsons, Jeffrey T

    2014-01-01

    Research on men who have sex with men suggests that condomless anal intercourse occurs more frequently in established sexual relationships. While comparable data regarding male-for-male escorting is unavailable, research implies that many clients seek emotional as well as physical connections with the men they hire. In 2012, 495 male clients, recruited via daddysreviews.com completed an online survey about their last hiring experience. Most participants were from the USA (85.7%), the UK and Canada (3.2% each). In total, 75% of encounters involved an escort hired for the first time; 25% were with a previously hired escort ('repeat encounter'). The client's age, lifetime number of escorts hired and number hired in the past year were positively associated with the last encounter being a repeat encounter. Cuddling, sharing a meal, drinking alcohol, taking a walk, watching a show and shopping were also positively associated with repeat encounters. Conversely, none of the sexual behaviours were significantly associated with repeat encounters. Repeat encounters were significantly more likely to include non-sexual behaviours alongside sexual activities, but no more likely to involve condomless anal intercourse. Moreover, clients' knowledge of escorts' HIV status was not significantly associated with engaging in condomless anal intercourse with repeat encounters.

  15. Melanic body colour and aggressive mating behaviour are correlated traits in male mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki).

    PubMed Central

    Horth, Lisa

    2003-01-01

    Correlated traits are important from an evolutionary perspective as natural selection acting on one trait may indirectly affect other traits. Further, the response to selection can be constrained or hastened as a result of correlations. Because mating behaviour and body colour can dramatically affect fitness, a correlation between them can have important fitness ramifications. In this work, melanic (black) male mosquitofishes (Gambusia holbrooki) with temperature-sensitive body-colour expression are bred in captivity. Half of the sons of each melanic sire are reared at 19 degrees C (and express a black body colour) and half are reared at 31 degrees C (and express a silver body colour). The two colour morphs are placed in the same social setting and monitored for behavioural differences. Mating behaviour and colour are correlated traits. Mating behaviour differs markedly between the two phenotypes, despite high genetic relatedness. Melanic (black) phenotypes are more aggressive towards females, chasing them and attempting more matings than their silver siblings. Females avoid melanic-male mating attempts more than silver-male mating attempts. When males with temperature-sensitive colour expression are melanic and aggressive, they probably experience a very different selective regime in nature from when they are silver and less aggressive. Under some conditions (e.g. predation), melanic coloration and/or aggression is advantageous compared with silver coloration and/or less aggressive behaviour. However, under different conditions (e.g. high-frequency melanism), melanism and/or aggression appears to be disadvantageous and melanic males have reduced survival and reproduction. Selective advantages to each morph under different conditions may enable the long-term persistence of this temperature-sensitive genotype. PMID:12803892

  16. Fluoxetine inhibits aggressive behaviour during parental care in male fighting fish (Betta splendens, Regan).

    PubMed

    Forsatkar, Mohammad Navid; Nematollahi, Mohammad Ali; Amiri, Bagher Mojazi; Huang, Wen-Bin

    2014-11-01

    The increasing presence of aquatic contaminants, such as the pharmaceutical fluoxetine, has raised concerns over potentially disrupting effects on several aspects of fish reproduction. However, the effects of fluoxetine on reproductive and paternal behavior in fish remain understudied, particularly at environmentally relevant concentrations. In the current study, we therefore tested the hypothesis that waterborne fluoxetine at an environmentally relevant concentration (540 ng/l), disrupts specific reproductive and paternal behaviors in male Siamese fighting fish at distinct reproductive phases. A pre-post test design was adopted to investigate specific behavioral responses at the individual fish level in response to male conspecific intruders at two different distances from the nest across four distinct reproductive phases (before bubblenest construction, following bubblenest construction, after spawning and after hatching of the larvae). In the control specimens, the measured behaviours were not different between the spawning times and among the interactions in either distance to nest at the different reproduction phases. Our results indicate that fluoxetine specifically disrupts characteristic paternal territorial aggression behaviour only after spawning and hatching of the larvae, while male behaviour in previous reproductive phases is unaffected by fluoxetine exposure. Results of comparison between males at 1st spawning and specimens exposed to fluoxetine at 2nd spawning showed that the first reaction of the nest-holding males to the intruders, duration of fin spreading, number of bites, and 90° turn, and the frequency of sweeps were different between the spawning times after spawning or hatching of embryos. However, interaction of spawning time and reproduction phase was significant on biting behaviour. These results demonstrate that fluoxetine exposure at environmental concentrations negatively affects territorial defense behaviour in fighting fish during

  17. Social status and day-to-day behaviour of male serotonin transporter knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Lewejohann, Lars; Kloke, Vanessa; Heiming, Rebecca S; Jansen, Friederike; Kaiser, Sylvia; Schmitt, Angelika; Lesch, Klaus Peter; Sachser, Norbert

    2010-08-25

    Humans differing in the amount of serotonin transporter (5-HTT) are known to be differentially prone to neuropsychiatric disorders. Genetically modified mice eliciting abrogated transporter function display a number of corresponding phenotypic changes in behavioural tests. However, a characterisation of the effects of serotonergic malfunction on the day-to-day life is still missing. Yet, this is precisely what an animal model is needed for in order to be meaningful for translation into human anxiety disorders. Homozygous 5-HTT knockout mice, heterozygous 5-HTT mice, and wild-type controls were housed in groups of males of the same genotype in spacious and richly structured cages. This enriched environment allowed the animals to show a wide variety of spontaneous behavioural patterns quantified by a trained experimenter. Additionally the mice could emigrate from the cages through a tunnel and a water basin. The results revealed unaltered daily behaviour in heterozygous mice. In knockouts, however, reduced locomotion, increased socio-positive behaviour, and reduced aggressive behaviour were observed. Nevertheless, all groups showed a significant amount of aggressive behaviour and there were no differences regarding the establishment of dominance relationships, emigration, and the number of animals remaining in their groups. In a second step, pairs of heterozygous and wild-type males and pairs of knockout and wild-type males were brought together in order to assess their ability to obtain a dominant social position in a direct encounter. Heterozygous mice did not differ from wild-type mice but knockout mice were significantly inferior in obtaining the dominant position. In addition to confirming multiple effects of abolished 5-HTT function in a real life situation, this study supports the central role of the 5-HTT in the control of social interactions.

  18. Peer influence on speeding behaviour among male drivers aged 18 and 28.

    PubMed

    Møller, Mette; Haustein, Sonja

    2014-03-01

    Despite extensive research, preventive efforts and general improvements in road safety levels, the accident risk of young male drivers remains increased. Based on a standardized survey of a random sample of 2018 male drivers at the age of 18 and 28, this study looked into attitudes and behaviours related to traffic violations of male drivers. More specifically, the role of peer influence on speeding was examined in both age groups. In regression analyses it could be shown that the descriptive subjective norm, i.e., the perception of friends' speeding, was the most important predictor of speeding in both age groups. Other significant factors were: negative attitude towards speed limits, injunctive subjective norm, and the perceived risk of having an accident when speeding. In the older age group it was more common to drive faster than allowed and their speeding was largely in line with the perceived level of their friends' speeding. In the younger age group a higher discrepancy between own and friends' speeding was found indicating that young male drivers are socialized into increased speeding behaviour based on peer pressure. By contrast for the 28-year-olds peer pressure mainly seems to maintain or justify individual speeding behaviour. It is suggested that preventive measures should take these different influences of peer pressure into account by using a peer-based approach for the 18-year-olds and a more individual approach for the 28-year-olds.

  19. Telipogon peruvianus (Orchidaceae) Flowers Elicit Pre-Mating Behaviour in Eudejeania (Tachinidae) Males for Pollination

    PubMed Central

    Cairampoma, Lianka; Stauffer, Fred W.; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Several neotropical orchid genera have been proposed as being sexually deceptive; however, this has been carefully tested in only a few cases. The genus Telipogon has long been assumed to be pollinated by male tachinid flies during pseudocopulatory events but no detailed confirmatory reports are available. Here, we have used an array of methods to elucidate the pollination mechanism in Telipogon peruvianus. The species presents flowers that have a mean floral longevity of 33 days and that are self-compatible, although spontaneous self-pollination does not occur. The flowers attract males of four tachinid species but only the males of an undescribed Eudejeania (Eudejeania aff. browni; Tachinidae) species are specific pollinators. Males visit the flowers during the first few hours of the day and the pollination success is very high (42% in one patch) compared with other sexually deceptive species. Female-seeking males are attracted to the flowers but do not attempt copulation with the flowers, as is usually described in sexually deceptive species. Nevertheless, morphological analysis and behavioural tests have shown an imperfect mimicry between flowers and females suggesting that the attractant stimulus is not based only on visual cues, as long thought. Challenging previous conclusions, our chemical analysis has confirmed that flowers of Telipogon release volatile compounds; however, the role of these volatiles in pollinator behaviour remains to be established. Pollinator behaviour and histological analyses indicate that Telipogon flowers possess scent-producing structures throughout the corolla. Our study provides the first confirmed case of (i) a sexually deceptive species in the Onciidinae, (ii) pollination by pre-copulatory behaviour and (iii) pollination by sexual deception involving tachinid flies. PMID:27812201

  20. Telipogon peruvianus (Orchidaceae) Flowers Elicit Pre-Mating Behaviour in Eudejeania (Tachinidae) Males for Pollination.

    PubMed

    Martel, Carlos; Cairampoma, Lianka; Stauffer, Fred W; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Several neotropical orchid genera have been proposed as being sexually deceptive; however, this has been carefully tested in only a few cases. The genus Telipogon has long been assumed to be pollinated by male tachinid flies during pseudocopulatory events but no detailed confirmatory reports are available. Here, we have used an array of methods to elucidate the pollination mechanism in Telipogon peruvianus. The species presents flowers that have a mean floral longevity of 33 days and that are self-compatible, although spontaneous self-pollination does not occur. The flowers attract males of four tachinid species but only the males of an undescribed Eudejeania (Eudejeania aff. browni; Tachinidae) species are specific pollinators. Males visit the flowers during the first few hours of the day and the pollination success is very high (42% in one patch) compared with other sexually deceptive species. Female-seeking males are attracted to the flowers but do not attempt copulation with the flowers, as is usually described in sexually deceptive species. Nevertheless, morphological analysis and behavioural tests have shown an imperfect mimicry between flowers and females suggesting that the attractant stimulus is not based only on visual cues, as long thought. Challenging previous conclusions, our chemical analysis has confirmed that flowers of Telipogon release volatile compounds; however, the role of these volatiles in pollinator behaviour remains to be established. Pollinator behaviour and histological analyses indicate that Telipogon flowers possess scent-producing structures throughout the corolla. Our study provides the first confirmed case of (i) a sexually deceptive species in the Onciidinae, (ii) pollination by pre-copulatory behaviour and (iii) pollination by sexual deception involving tachinid flies.

  1. The role of ghrelin signalling for sexual behaviour in male mice.

    PubMed

    Egecioglu, Emil; Prieto-Garcia, Luna; Studer, Erik; Westberg, Lars; Jerlhag, Elisabet

    2016-03-01

    Ghrelin, a gut-brain signal, is well known to regulate energy homeostasis, food intake and appetite foremost via hypothalamic ghrelin receptors (GHS-R1A). In addition, ghrelin activates the reward systems in the brain, namely the mesolimbic dopamine system, and regulates thereby the rewarding properties of addictive drugs as well as of palatable foods. Given that the mesolimbic dopamine system mandates the reinforcing properties of addictive drugs and natural rewards, such as sexual behaviour, we hypothesize that ghrelin plays an important role for male sexual behaviour, a subject for the present studies. Herein we show that ghrelin treatment increases, whereas pharmacological suppression (using the GHSR-1A antagonist JMV2959) or genetic deletion of the GHS-R1A in male mice decreases the sexual motivation for as well as sexual behaviour with female mice in oestrus. Pre-treatment with L-dopa (a dopamine precursor) prior to treatment with JMV2959 significantly increased the preference for female mouse compared with vehicle treatment. On the contrary, treatment with 5-hydroxythyptohan (a precursor for serotonin) prior to treatment with JMV2959 decreased the sexual motivation compared to vehicle. In separate experiments, we show that ghrelin and GHS-R1A antagonism do not affect the time spent over female bedding as measured in the androgen-dependent bedding test. Collectively, these data show that the hunger hormone ghrelin and its receptor are required for normal sexual behaviour in male mice and that the effects of the ghrelin signalling system on sexual behaviour involve dopamine neurotransmission.

  2. Effect of Aqueous Extract of Massularia acuminata Stem on Sexual Behaviour of Male Wistar Rats

    PubMed Central

    Yakubu, M. T.; Akanji, M. A.

    2011-01-01

    Ancient literature alluded to the use of a number of plants/preparations as sex enhancer. One of such botanicals is Massularia acuminata in which the stem has been acclaimed to be used as an aphrodisiac. Documented experiments or clinical data are, however, lacking. Therefore, this study was undertaken to evaluate the acclaimed aphrodisiac activity of M. acuminata stem. Sixty male rats were completely randomized into 4 groups (A–D) of 15 each. Rats in group A (control) were administered with 1 mL of distilled water (the vehicle) while those in groups B, C, and D were given same volume containing 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg body weight of the extract, respectively. Sexual behaviour parameters were monitored in the male rats for day 1 (after a single dose), day 3 (after three doses, once daily), and day 5 (after five doses, once daily) by pairing with a receptive female (1 : 1). The male serum testosterone concentration was also determined. Cage side observation on the animals revealed proceptive behaviour (ear wiggling, darting, hopping, and lordosis) by the receptive female rats and precopulatory behaviour (chasing, anogenital sniffing and mounting) by the extract-treated male rats. The extract at 500, and 1000 mg/kg body weight significantly (P < .05) increased the frequencies of mount and intromission. In addition, the ejaculation latency was significantly prolonged (P < .05). The latencies of mount and intromission were reduced significantly whereas ejaculation frequency increased. The extract also reduced the postejaculatory interval of the animals. Computed percentages of index of libido, mounted, intromitted, ejaculated and copulatory efficiency were higher in the extract treated animals compared to the distilled water-administered control whereas the intercopulatory interval decreased significantly. The extract also significantly (P < .05) increased the serum testosterone content of the animals except in those administered with 250 mg/kg body

  3. Locomotion in diving elephant seals: physical and physiological constraints.

    PubMed

    Davis, Randall W; Weihs, Daniel

    2007-11-29

    To better understand how elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) use negative buoyancy to reduce energy metabolism and prolong dive duration, we modelled the energetic cost of transit and deep foraging dives in an elephant seal. A numerical integration technique was used to model the effects of swim speed, descent and ascent angles, and modes of locomotion (i.e. stroking and gliding) on diving metabolic rate, aerobic dive limit, vertical displacement (maximum dive depth) and horizontal displacement (maximum horizontal distance along a straight line between the beginning and end locations of the dive) for aerobic transit and foraging dives. Realistic values of the various parameters were taken from previous experimental data. Our results indicate that there is little energetic advantage to transit dives with gliding descent compared with horizontal swimming beneath the surface. Other factors such as feeding and predator avoidance may favour diving to depth during migration. Gliding descent showed variable energy savings for foraging dives. Deep mid-water foraging dives showed the greatest energy savings (approx. 18%) as a result of gliding during descent. In contrast, flat-bottom foraging dives with horizontal swimming at a depth of 400m showed less of an energetic advantage with gliding descent, primarily because more of the dive involved stroking. Additional data are needed before the advantages of gliding descent can be fully understood for male and female elephant seals of different age and body composition. This type of data will require animal-borne instruments that can record the behaviour, three-dimensional movements and locomotory performance of free-ranging animals at depth.

  4. Genetic variation in male sexual behaviour in a population of white-footed mice in relation to photoperiod

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Kathy; Bucci, Donna; Zelensky, Paul K.; Chesney, Alanna; Tidhar, Wendy; Broussard, David R.; Heideman, Paul D.

    2015-01-01

    In natural populations, genetic variation in seasonal male sexual behaviour could affect behavioural ecology and evolution. In a wild-source population of white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus, from Virginia, U.S.A., males experiencing short photoperiod show high levels of genetic variation in reproductive organ mass and neuroendocrine traits related to fertility. We tested whether males from two divergent selection lines, one that strongly suppresses fertility under short photoperiod (responder) and one that weakly suppresses fertility under short photoperiod (nonresponder), also differ in photoperiod-dependent sexual behaviour and responses to female olfactory cues. Under short, but not long, photoperiod, there were significant differences between responder and nonresponder males in sexual behaviour and likelihood of inseminating a female. Males that were severely oligospermic or azoospermic under short photoperiod failed to display sexual behaviour in response to an ovariectomized and hormonally primed receptive female. However, on the day following testing, females were positive for spermatozoa only when paired with a male having a sperm count in the normal range for males under long photoperiod. Males from the nonresponder line showed accelerated reproductive development under short photoperiod in response to urine-soiled bedding from females, but males from the responder line did not. The results indicate genetic variation in sexual behaviour that is expressed under short, but not long, photoperiod, and indicate a potential link between heritable neuroendocrine variation and male sexual behaviour. In winter in a natural population, this heritable behavioural variation could affect fitness, seasonal life history trade-offs and population growth. PMID:25983335

  5. Sperm-less males modulate female behaviour in Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae).

    PubMed

    Gabrieli, Paolo; Scolari, Francesca; Di Cosimo, Alessandro; Savini, Grazia; Fumagalli, Marco; Gomulski, Ludvik M; Malacrida, Anna R; Gasperi, Giuliano

    2016-12-01

    In the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann)(Diptera: Tephritidae), mating has a strong impact on female biology, leading to a decrease in sexual receptivity and increased oviposition and fecundity. Previous studies suggest that sperm transfer may play a role in inducing these behavioural changes. Here we report the identification of a medfly innexin gene, Cc-inx5, whose expression is limited to the germ-line of both sexes. Through RNA interference of this gene, we generated males without testes and, consequently, sperm, but apparently retaining all the other reproductive organs intact. These sperm-less males were able to mate and, like their wild-type counterparts, to induce in their partners increased oviposition rates and refractoriness to remating. Interestingly, matings to sperm-less males results in oviposition rates higher than those induced by copulation with control males. In addition, the observed female post-mating behavioural changes were congruent with changes in transcript abundance of genes known to be regulated by mating in this species. Our results suggest that sperm transfer is not necessary to reduce female sexual receptivity and to increase oviposition and fecundity. These data pave the way to a better understanding of the role/s of seminal components in modulating female post-mating responses. In the long term, this knowledge will be the basis for the development of novel approaches for the manipulation of female fertility, and, consequently, innovative tools to be applied to medfly control strategies in the field.

  6. Correlated evolution between male ejaculate allocation and female remating behaviour in seed beetles (Bruchidae).

    PubMed

    Katvala, M; Rönn, J L; Arnqvist, G

    2008-03-01

    Sperm competition theory suggests that female remating rate determines the selective regime that dictates the evolution of male ejaculate allocation. To test for correlated evolution between female remating behaviour and male ejaculate traits, we subjected detailed experimental data on female and male reproductive traits in seven-seed beetle species to phylogenetic comparative analyses. The evolution of a larger first ejaculate was positively correlated with the evolution of a more rapid decline in ejaculate size over successive matings. Further, as predicted by theory, an increase in female remating rate correlated with the evolution of larger male testes but smaller ejaculates. However, an increase in female remating was associated with the evolution of a less even allocation of ejaculate resources over successive matings, contrary to classic sperm competition theory. We failed to find any evidence for coevolution between the pattern of male ejaculate allocation and variation in female quality and we conclude that some patterns of correlated evolution are congruent with current theory, whereas some are not. We suggest that this may reflect the fact that much sperm competition theory does not fully incorporate other factors that may affect the evolution of male and female traits, such as trade-offs between ejaculate expenditure and other competing demands and the evolution of resource acquisition.

  7. Diversification of egg-deposition behaviours and the evolution of male parental care in darters (Teleostei: Percidae: Etheostomatinae).

    PubMed

    Kelly, N B; Near, T J; Alonzo, S H

    2012-05-01

    Male-only care is the most frequent parental care behaviour in teleost fishes, but little is known about its evolutionary origins and patterns of diversity in species-rich lineages. Darters are a clade of North American freshwater fishes that contain both nonparental care species and species with male-only care. In darters, paternal care takes the form of egg-guarding and other egg-tending behaviours that are dependent on the female mode of egg deposition. Male care has been hypothesized to evolve independently in darters at least three times, and it has been thought to be irreversible. We investigated the diversification of egg-deposition behaviours and the evolution of complex male care using published descriptions of darter reproductive behaviours and a multilocus molecular phylogeny that included all 146 species for which reproductive behaviours are known. We find support for two origins of male-only care behaviour. One origin of paternal care occurred relatively early in the radiation of Etheostoma and is characteristic of a recently discovered clade, Goneaperca. The other origin of male-only care occurred much more recently in a derived clade of Nothonotus. Our analyses of character diversification demonstrate reversals from care to noncare and multiple transitions between egg-deposition behaviours that are not associated with parental care.

  8. Behavioural effect of low-dose BPA on male zebrafish: Tuning of male mating competition and female mating preference during courtship process.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Guo, Jia-Yu; Li, Xu; Zhou, Hai-Jun; Zhang, Shu-Hui; Liu, Xiao-Dong; Chen, Dong-Yan; Fang, Yong-Chun; Feng, Xi-Zeng

    2017-02-01

    The ubiquity of environmental pollution by endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) such as bisphenol A (BPA) is progressively considered as a major threat to aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Numerous toxicological studies have proved that BPA are hazardous to aquatic environment, along with alterations in the development and physiology of aquatic vertebrates. However, generally, there is a paucity in knowledge of behavioural and physiological effects of BPA with low concentration, for example, 0.22 nM (50 ng/L) and 2.2 nM (500 ng/L). Here we show that treatment of adult male zebrafish (Danio rerio) with 7 weeks low-dose (0.22 nM-2.2 nM) BPA, resulted in alteration in histological structure of testis tissue and abnormality in expression levels of genes involved in testicular steroidogenesis. Furthermore, low-dose BPA treatment decreased the male locomotion during courtship; and was associated with less courtship behaviours to female but more aggressive behaviours to mating competitor. Interestingly, during the courtship test, we observed that female preferred control male to male under low-dose BPA exposure. Subsequently, we found that the ability of female to chose optimal mating male through socially mutual interaction and dynamics of male zebrafish, which was based on visual discrimination. In sum, our results shed light on the potential behavioural and physiological effect of low-dose BPA exposure on courtship behaviours of zebrafish, which could exert profound consequences on natural zebrafish populations.

  9. Inescapable footshocks induce progressive and long-lasting behavioural changes in male rats.

    PubMed

    Van Dijken, H H; Van der Heyden, J A; Mos, J; Tilders, F J

    1992-04-01

    Long-term behavioural consequences of exposure to a brief (15 min) session of inescapable footshocks (10 x 6 s, 1 mA) were investigated in male rats. The time course of the effects of inescapable footshocks was assessed by studying the behaviour of groups of rats at different post-stress intervals. Footshocked rats (S) did not differ from control (C) rats (exposed to the shock box for 15 min) in their behavioural response to an open field whether tested 1 h or 4 h post-stress. However, one day after shocks, S rats showed less locomotion and rearing, and more immobility and attention as compared to C rats. At 7 days or 14 days post-stress, S rats exhibited decreased locomotion, rearing, sniffing, and grooming, and increased immobility, attention, and defecation relative to C rats. In a second experiment, we investigated whether footshocks affect the behavioural response to a sudden drop in background noise during exposure to a novel environment. At 21 days post-stress, S rats showed a markedly enhanced immobility response to this stimulus as compared to C rats. In order to investigate whether rats could be exposed repeatedly to the open field without affecting the differences in behaviour between the two treatment groups, C and S rats were tested in an open field for the first time at 7 days post-stress, which yielded the typical effects of footshocks. When these rats were exposed to a second open-field test one week later, the behavioural responses of C and S rats were not different.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  10. Host plant volatiles induce oriented flight behaviour in male European grapevine moths, Lobesia botrana.

    PubMed

    von Arx, Martin; Schmidt-Büsser, Daniela; Guerin, Patrick M

    2011-10-01

    The European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana relies on a female produced sex pheromone for long-distance mate finding. Grapevine moth males compete heavily during limited time windows for females. The aim of this study was to investigate the perception of host plant volatiles by grapevine moth males and whether such compounds elicit upwind oriented flights. We compared five host plant headspace extracts by means of gas chromatography linked electroantennogram (EAG) recording. We identified 12 common host plant volatiles (aliphatic esters, aldehydes, and alcohols, aromatic compounds and terpenes) that elicit EAG responses from grapevine moth males and that occur in at least three of the host plant volatile headspace extracts tested. Subsequently the behavioural response of grapevine moth males to four these compounds presented singly and in mixtures (1-hexanol, 1-octen-3-ol, (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate and (E)-β-caryophyllene) was recorded in a wind tunnel. Grapevine moth males engaged in upwind flights to all of four compounds when released singly at 10,000 pg/min and to all, except 1-octen-3-ol, when released at 100 pg/min. A blend of the four host plant volatiles released at 10,000 pg/min and mixed at a ratio based on the analysis of Vitis vinifera cv. Solaris volatile emissions attracted significantly more males than any single compound. Grapevine moth males perceive and respond to host plant volatiles at biologically relevant levels indicating that host plant volatiles figure as olfactory cues and that L. botrana males can discern places where the likelihood of encountering females is higher.

  11. Problem-Elephant Translocation: Translocating the Problem and the Elephant?

    PubMed Central

    Fernando, Prithiviraj; Leimgruber, Peter; Prasad, Tharaka; Pastorini, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Human-elephant conflict (HEC) threatens the survival of endangered Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Translocating “problem-elephants” is an important HEC mitigation and elephant conservation strategy across elephant range, with hundreds translocated annually. In the first comprehensive assessment of elephant translocation, we monitored 16 translocations in Sri Lanka with GPS collars. All translocated elephants were released into national parks. Two were killed within the parks where they were released, while all the others left those parks. Translocated elephants showed variable responses: “homers” returned to the capture site, “wanderers” ranged widely, and “settlers” established home ranges in new areas soon after release. Translocation caused wider propagation and intensification of HEC, and increased elephant mortality. We conclude that translocation defeats both HEC mitigation and elephant conservation goals. PMID:23236404

  12. Why small males have big sperm: dimorphic squid sperm linked to alternative mating behaviours

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Sperm cells are the target of strong sexual selection that may drive changes in sperm structure and function to maximize fertilisation success. Sperm evolution is regarded to be one of the major consequences of sperm competition in polyandrous species, however it can also be driven by adaptation to the environmental conditions at the site of fertilization. Strong stabilizing selection limits intra-specific variation, and therefore polymorphism, among fertile sperm (eusperm). Here we analyzed reproductive morphology differences among males employing characteristic alternative mating behaviours, and so potentially different conditions of sperm competition and fertilization environment, in the squid Loligo bleekeri. Results Large consort males transfer smaller (average total length = 73 μm) sperm to a female's internal sperm storage location, inside the oviduct; whereas small sneaker males transfer larger (99 μm) sperm to an external location around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. No significant difference in swimming speed was observed between consort and sneaker sperm. Furthermore, sperm precedence in the seminal receptacle was not biased toward longer sperm, suggesting no evidence for large sperm being favoured in competition for space in the sperm storage organ among sneaker males. Conclusions Here we report the first case, in the squid Loligo bleekeri, where distinctly dimorphic eusperm are produced by different sized males that employ alternative mating behaviours. Our results found no evidence that the distinct sperm dimorphism was driven by between- and within-tactic sperm competition. We propose that presence of alternative fertilization environments with distinct characteristics (i.e. internal or external), whether or not in combination with the effects of sperm competition, can drive the disruptive evolution of sperm size. PMID:21831296

  13. Behavioural processes in social context: female abductions, male herding and female grooming in hamadryas baboons.

    PubMed

    Polo, Pablo; Colmenares, Fernando

    2012-06-01

    The formation of bonds between strangers is an event that occurs routinely in many social animals, including humans, and, as social bonds in general, they affect the individuals' welfare and biological fitness. The present study was motivated by an interest in the behavioural processes that drive bond formation in a social context of hostility, in which the incumbent partners vary greatly in physical power and reproductive interests, a situation in which individuals of many group-living species find themselves often throughout their lives. We focused on the quantitative analysis of female abductions via male aggressive herding in a nonhuman primate, the hamadryas baboon, in which intersexual bonds are known to be strong. We tested three hypotheses informed by sexual conflict/sexual coercion theory (male herding-as-conditioning and female grooming-as-appeasement) and by socioecological theory (unit size and female competition). The results supported the predictions: males resorted to coercive tactics (aggressive herding) with abducted females, and abducted females elevated the amount of grooming directed at their new unit males; in fact, they escaped from the otherwise negative effect of unit size on female-to-male grooming. These findings reveal that conflicts of interest are natural ingredients underpinning social bonds and that resorting to coercive aggression may be an option especially when partners differ greatly in their physical power.

  14. Eating behaviour, and preprandial and postprandial correlations in male broiler and layer chickens.

    PubMed

    Bokkers, E A M; Koene, P

    2003-09-01

    1. It has been suggested that broiler chickens have a disturbed satiety and hunger mechanism. The satiety mechanism for eating can be expressed as the positive correlation between meal length and the length of the preceding (preprandial) interval; the hunger mechanism for eating as the positive correlation between meal length and the length of the succeeding (postprandial) interval. An experiment was conducted to investigate eating behaviour of male broiler and layer chickens by measuring meal and interval lengths. 2. Eight male broilers and 8 male layer chickens were housed individually and visually isolated in floor pens (1 m2/pen) on wood shavings. From 4 to 7 weeks of age, eating behaviour of each bird was recorded for 3 h in two conditions each week. In the first condition, the birds were not deprived from feed. In the second condition, they were 24-h food deprived and feed was provided just before the observation started. Preprandial and postprandial correlations were calculated based on data of the non-deprived condition. Before and after each observation bird and feeder were weighed to measure weight gain and feed consumption during observation. 3. Under the non-deprived condition, the broilers spent initially more, but at a later age less time on eating. The broilers had fewer meals per hour, consumed more feed per hour, and had longer meal and interval lengths than the layer chickens. After 24-h feed deprivation, the broilers had a longer first meal, consumed more feed per hour and spent more time on eating than the layer chickens. Significant preprandial correlations but no postprandial correlations were found in the broilers. In the layer chickens, both significant preprandial and postprandial correlations were found. This indicates that for regulating eating behaviour, the satiety mechanism dominates the hunger mechanism in broilers, and satiety and hunger mechanisms are equally involved in layer chickens. 4. The typical eating behaviour of broilers

  15. Transient population dynamics of mosquitoes during sterile male releases: modelling mating behaviour and perturbations of life history parameters.

    PubMed

    Stone, Christopher M

    2013-01-01

    The release of genetically-modified or sterile male mosquitoes offers a promising form of mosquito-transmitted pathogen control, but the insights derived from our understanding of male mosquito behaviour have not fully been incorporated into the design of such genetic control or sterile-male release methods. The importance of aspects of male life history and mating behaviour for sterile-male release programmes were investigated by projecting a stage-structured matrix model over time. An elasticity analysis of transient dynamics during sterile-male releases was performed to provide insight on which vector control methods are likely to be most synergistic. The results suggest that high mating competitiveness and mortality costs of released males are required before the sterile-release method becomes ineffective. Additionally, if released males suffer a mortality cost, older males should be released due to their increased mating capacity. If released males are of a homogenous size and size-assortative mating occurs in nature, this can lead to an increase in the abundance of large females and reduce the efficacy of the population-suppression effort. At a high level of size-assortative mating, the disease transmission potential of the vector population increases due to male releases, arguing for the release of a heterogeneously-sized male population. The female population was most sensitive to perturbations of density-dependent components of larval mortality and female survivorship and fecundity. These findings suggest source reduction might be a particularly effective complement to mosquito control based on the sterile insect technique (SIT). In order for SIT to realize its potential as a key component of an integrated vector-management strategy to control mosquito-transmitted pathogens, programme design of sterile-male release programmes must account for the ecology, behaviour and life history of mosquitoes. The model used here takes a step in this direction and can

  16. A nose that roars: anatomical specializations and behavioural features of rutting male saiga

    PubMed Central

    Frey, Roland; Volodin, Ilya; Volodina, Elena

    2007-01-01

    The involvement of the unique saiga nose in vocal production has been neglected so far. Rutting male saigas produce loud nasal roars. Prior to roaring, they tense and extend their noses in a highly stereotypic manner. This change of nose configuration includes dorsal folding and convex curving of the nasal vestibulum and is maintained until the roar ends. Red and fallow deer males that orally roar achieve a temporary increase of vocal tract length (vtl) by larynx retraction. Saiga males attain a similar effect by pulling their flexible nasal vestibulum rostrally, allowing for a temporary elongation of the nasal vocal tract by about 20%. Decrease of formant frequencies and formant dispersion, as acoustic effects of an increase of vtl, are assumed to convey important information on the quality of a dominant male to conspecifics, e.g. on body size and fighting ability. Nasal roaring in saiga may equally serve to deter rival males and to attract females. Anatomical constraints might have set a limit to the rostral pulling of the nasal vestibulum. It seems likely that the sexual dimorphism of the saiga nose was induced by sexual selection. Adult males of many mammalian species, after sniffing or licking female urine or genital secretions, raise their head and strongly retract their upper lip and small nasal vestibulum while inhalating orally. This flehmen behaviour is assumed to promote transport of non-volatile substances via the incisive ducts into the vomeronasal organs for pheromone detection. The flehmen aspect in saiga involves the extensive flexible walls of the greatly enlarged nasal vestibulum and is characterized by a distinctly concave configuration of the nose region, the reverse of that observed in nasal roaring. A step-by-step model for the gradual evolution of the saiga nose is presented here. PMID:17971116

  17. Chelicerae as male grasping organs in scorpions: sexual dimorphism and associated behaviour.

    PubMed

    Carrera, Patricia C; Mattoni, Camilo I; Peretti, Alfredo V

    2009-01-01

    Specialised structures that enable males to grasp females during sexual interactions are highly susceptible to selection and thus diverge relatively rapidly over evolutionary time. These structures are often used to test hypotheses regarding sexual selection such as sexually antagonistic co-evolution and sexual selection by female choice. In the present study, we determine whether there is a relationship between a novel record of scorpion sexual dimorphism, the sexual dimorphism of chelicerae (CSD), and the presence of the mating behaviour termed "cheliceral grip" (CG). The presence of both traits in the order Scorpiones is also reviewed from a phylogenetic perspective. The results confirm a strong relationship between CSD and the presence of CG. The morphological and behavioural patterns associated with "CSD-CG" are opposed to the predictions postulated by the hypothesis of sexually antagonistic co-evolution. However, if the female shows resistance after the deposition of the spermatophore, the possibility that the male exerts pressure as a "cryptic form" of coercion to prevent the interruption of mating cannot be ruled out completely. Female choice by "mechanical fit" could be another explanation for some aspects of the CG's contact zone. The possibility that the "CG-CSD" complex has evolved under natural selection in order to ensure sperm transfer is also considered.

  18. Reproductive and sexual behaviour development of dam or artificially reared male lambs.

    PubMed

    Damián, Juan Pablo; Beracochea, Florencia; Hötzel, Maria José; Banchero, Georgget; Ungerfeld, Rodolfo

    2015-08-01

    The objective of this study was to determine if artificially reared male lambs differ from those reared by their mothers in their reproductive development and sexual behaviour during the first breeding season and in their serum testosterone to a GnRH challenge at the end of the first breeding season. Lambs were assigned to two experimental groups: 1) artificially reared lambs, separated from their dams 24-36h after birth (Week 0) and fed sheep milk until 10weeks of age (group AR, n=14); and 2) lambs reared by their dams until 10weeks of age (group DR, n=13). Reproductive parameters and sexual behaviour were recorded from Weeks 9 to 39. The GnRH challenge was performed on Week 40. Body weight, scrotal circumference, gonado-somatic index, testosterone concentration and sperm parameters were unaffected by group, but increased with age (P<0.0001). Lambs reared by their mothers had greater values of gonado-somatic index on Weeks 9, 16 and 19 (P<0.05), and tended to reach puberty earlier than AR (22.9±0.7 vs. 25.1±1.1weeks, respectively, P=0.087). Lambs reared by their mothers presented more lateral approaches and mount attempts than AR (P<0.05), and DR lambs presented more mounts on Weeks 32 and 39 than AR (P<0.05). Blood testosterone concentrations 3.5 and 4h after the GnRH challenge were higher in AR than in DR lambs (P<0.05). In conclusion mother rearing promoted sexual behaviour and reproductive performance of male lambs.

  19. Erratum to: Elephants also like coffee: Trends and drivers of human-elephant conflicts in coffee agroforestry landscapes of Kodagu, Western Ghats, India.

    PubMed

    Bal, P; Nath, C D; Nanaya, K M; Kushalappa, C G; Garcia, C

    2011-08-01

    Kodagu district produces 2% of the world's coffee, in complex, multistoried agroforestry systems. The forests of the district harbour a large population of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). The combined effects of high elephant density and major landscape changes due to the expansion of coffee cultivation are the cause of human-elephant conflicts (HEC). Mitigation strategies, including electric fences and compensation schemes implemented by the Forest Department have met with limited success. Building on previous studies in the area, we assessed current spatial and temporal trends of conflict, analysed local stakeholders' perceptions and identified factors driving elephants into the estates. Our study, initiated in May 2007, shows that the intensity of HEC has increased over the last 10 years, exhibiting new seasonal patterns. Conflict maps and the lack of correlation between physical features of the coffee plantations and elephant visits suggest elephants move along corridors between the eastern and western forests of the district, opportunistically foraging when crossing the plantations. Dung analyses indicate elephants have selectively included ripe coffee berries in their diet. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of wild elephants feeding on coffee berries. If this new behaviour spreads through the population, it will compound an already severe conflict situation. The behavioural plasticity, the multiplicity of stakeholders involved, the difficulty in defining the problem and the limits of technical solutions already proposed suggest that HEC in Kodagu has the ingredients of a "wicked" problem whose resolution will require more shared understanding and problem solving work amongst the stakeholders.

  20. Erratum: Erratum to: Elephants Also Like Coffee: Trends and Drivers of Human-Elephant Conflicts in Coffee Agroforestry Landscapes of Kodagu, Western Ghats, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bal, P.; Nath, C. D.; Nanaya, K. M.; Kushalappa, C. G.; Garcia, C.

    2011-08-01

    Kodagu district produces 2% of the world's coffee, in complex, multistoried agroforestry systems. The forests of the district harbour a large population of the Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus). The combined effects of high elephant density and major landscape changes due to the expansion of coffee cultivation are the cause of human-elephant conflicts (HEC). Mitigation strategies, including electric fences and compensation schemes implemented by the Forest Department have met with limited success. Building on previous studies in the area, we assessed current spatial and temporal trends of conflict, analysed local stakeholders' perceptions and identified factors driving elephants into the estates. Our study, initiated in May 2007, shows that the intensity of HEC has increased over the last 10 years, exhibiting new seasonal patterns. Conflict maps and the lack of correlation between physical features of the coffee plantations and elephant visits suggest elephants move along corridors between the eastern and western forests of the district, opportunistically foraging when crossing the plantations. Dung analyses indicate elephants have selectively included ripe coffee berries in their diet. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of wild elephants feeding on coffee berries. If this new behaviour spreads through the population, it will compound an already severe conflict situation. The behavioural plasticity, the multiplicity of stakeholders involved, the difficulty in defining the problem and the limits of technical solutions already proposed suggest that HEC in Kodagu has the ingredients of a "wicked" problem whose resolution will require more shared understanding and problem solving work amongst the stakeholders.

  1. Elephants Also Like Coffee: Trends and Drivers of Human-Elephant Conflicts in Coffee Agroforestry Landscapes of Kodagu, Western Ghats, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bal, P.; Nath, C. D.; Nanaya, K. M.; Kushalappa, C. G.; Garcia, C.

    2011-05-01

    Kodagu district produces 2% of the world's coffee, in complex, multistoried agroforestry systems. The forests of the district harbour a large population of the Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus). The combined effects of high elephant density and major landscape changes due to the expansion of coffee cultivation are the cause of human-elephant conflicts (HEC). Mitigation strategies, including electric fences and compensation schemes implemented by the Forest Department have met with limited success. Building on previous studies in the area, we assessed current spatial and temporal trends of conflict, analysed local stakeholders' perceptions and identified factors driving elephants into the estates. Our study, initiated in May 2007, shows that the intensity of HEC has increased over the last 10 years, exhibiting new seasonal patterns. Conflict maps and the lack of correlation between physical features of the coffee plantations and elephant visits suggest elephants move along corridors between the eastern and western forests of the district, opportunistically foraging when crossing the plantations. Dung analyses indicate elephants have selectively included ripe coffee berries in their diet. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of wild elephants feeding on coffee berries. If this new behaviour spreads through the population, it will compound an already severe conflict situation. The behavioural plasticity, the multiplicity of stakeholders involved, the difficulty in defining the problem and the limits of technical solutions already proposed suggest that HEC in Kodagu has the ingredients of a "wicked" problem whose resolution will require more shared understanding and problem solving work amongst the stakeholders.

  2. Elephants also like coffee: trends and drivers of human-elephant conflicts in coffee agroforestry landscapes of Kodagu, Western Ghats, India.

    PubMed

    Bal, P; Nath, C D; Nanaya, K M; Kushalappa, C G; Garcia, C

    2011-05-01

    Kodagu district produces 2% of the world's coffee, in complex, multistoried agroforestry systems. The forests of the district harbour a large population of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). The combined effects of high elephant density and major landscape changes due to the expansion of coffee cultivation are the cause of human-elephant conflicts (HEC). Mitigation strategies, including electric fences and compensation schemes implemented by the Forest Department have met with limited success. Building on previous studies in the area, we assessed current spatial and temporal trends of conflict, analysed local stakeholders' perceptions and identified factors driving elephants into the estates. Our study, initiated in May 2007, shows that the intensity of HEC has increased over the last 10 years, exhibiting new seasonal patterns. Conflict maps and the lack of correlation between physical features of the coffee plantations and elephant visits suggest elephants move along corridors between the eastern and western forests of the district, opportunistically foraging when crossing the plantations. Dung analyses indicate elephants have selectively included ripe coffee berries in their diet. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of wild elephants feeding on coffee berries. If this new behaviour spreads through the population, it will compound an already severe conflict situation. The behavioural plasticity, the multiplicity of stakeholders involved, the difficulty in defining the problem and the limits of technical solutions already proposed suggest that HEC in Kodagu has the ingredients of a "wicked" problem whose resolution will require more shared understanding and problem solving work amongst the stakeholders.

  3. The Effect of Timing of Female Vibrational Reply on Male Signalling and Searching Behaviour in the Leafhopper Aphrodes makarovi

    PubMed Central

    Kuhelj, Anka; de Groot, Maarten; Blejec, Andrej; Virant-Doberlet, Meta

    2015-01-01

    Sexual communication in animals often involves duetting characterized by a coordinated reciprocal exchange of acoustic signals. We used playback experiments to study the role of timing of a female reply in the species-specific duet structure in the leafhopper Aphrodes makarovi (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). In leafhoppers, mate recognition and location is mediated exclusively by species- and sex-specific substrate-borne vibrational signals and a female signal emitted in reply to male advertisement calls is essential for recognition and successful location of the female. In A. makarovi, males have to initiate each exchange of vibrational signals between partners, and in a duet the beginning of a female reply overlaps the end of the male advertisement call. Results of playback treatments in which female replies were delayed and did not overlap with the male call revealed that in order to trigger an appropriate behavioural response of the male, female reply has to appear in a period less than 400 ms after the end of the initiating male call. Results also suggest that males are not able to detect a female reply while calling, since female reply that did not continue after the end of male call triggered male behaviour similar to behaviour observed in the absence of female reply. Together, our results show that vibrational duets are tightly coordinated and that the species-specific duet structure plays an important role in mate recognition in location processes. PMID:26488472

  4. Change in Mesoherbivore Browsing Is Mediated by Elephant and Hillslope Position.

    PubMed

    Lagendijk, D D Georgette; Thaker, Maria; de Boer, Willem F; Page, Bruce R; Prins, Herbert H T; Slotow, Rob

    2015-01-01

    Elephant are considered major drivers of ecosystems, but their effects within small-scale landscape features and on other herbivores still remain unclear. Elephant impact on vegetation has been widely studied in areas where elephant have been present for many years. We therefore examined the combined effect of short-term elephant presence (< 4 years) and hillslope position on tree species assemblages, resource availability, browsing intensity and soil properties. Short-term elephant presence did not affect woody species assemblages, but did affect height distribution, with greater sapling densities in elephant access areas. Overall tree and stem densities were also not affected by elephant. By contrast, slope position affected woody species assemblages, but not height distributions and densities. Variation in species assemblages was statistically best explained by levels of total cations, Zinc, sand and clay. Although elephant and mesoherbivore browsing intensities were unaffected by slope position, we found lower mesoherbivore browsing intensity on crests with high elephant browsing intensity. Thus, elephant appear to indirectly facilitate the survival of saplings, via the displacement of mesoherbivores, providing a window of opportunity for saplings to grow into taller trees. In the short-term, effects of elephant can be minor and in the opposite direction of expectation. In addition, such behavioural displacement promotes recruitment of saplings into larger height classes. The interaction between slope position and elephant effect found here is in contrast with other studies, and illustrates the importance of examining ecosystem complexity as a function of variation in species presence and topography. The absence of a direct effect of elephant on vegetation, but the presence of an effect on mesoherbivore browsing, is relevant for conservation areas especially where both herbivore groups are actively managed.

  5. Change in Mesoherbivore Browsing Is Mediated by Elephant and Hillslope Position

    PubMed Central

    Lagendijk, D. D. Georgette; Thaker, Maria; de Boer, Willem F.; Page, Bruce R.; Prins, Herbert H. T.; Slotow, Rob

    2015-01-01

    Elephant are considered major drivers of ecosystems, but their effects within small-scale landscape features and on other herbivores still remain unclear. Elephant impact on vegetation has been widely studied in areas where elephant have been present for many years. We therefore examined the combined effect of short-term elephant presence (< 4 years) and hillslope position on tree species assemblages, resource availability, browsing intensity and soil properties. Short-term elephant presence did not affect woody species assemblages, but did affect height distribution, with greater sapling densities in elephant access areas. Overall tree and stem densities were also not affected by elephant. By contrast, slope position affected woody species assemblages, but not height distributions and densities. Variation in species assemblages was statistically best explained by levels of total cations, Zinc, sand and clay. Although elephant and mesoherbivore browsing intensities were unaffected by slope position, we found lower mesoherbivore browsing intensity on crests with high elephant browsing intensity. Thus, elephant appear to indirectly facilitate the survival of saplings, via the displacement of mesoherbivores, providing a window of opportunity for saplings to grow into taller trees. In the short-term, effects of elephant can be minor and in the opposite direction of expectation. In addition, such behavioural displacement promotes recruitment of saplings into larger height classes. The interaction between slope position and elephant effect found here is in contrast with other studies, and illustrates the importance of examining ecosystem complexity as a function of variation in species presence and topography. The absence of a direct effect of elephant on vegetation, but the presence of an effect on mesoherbivore browsing, is relevant for conservation areas especially where both herbivore groups are actively managed. PMID:26083248

  6. Knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases and sexual behaviours among Malaysian male youths.

    PubMed

    Awang, Halimah; Wong, Li Ping; Jani, Rohana; Low, Wah Yun

    2014-03-01

    This study examines the knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among male youths in Malaysia. A self-administered survey was carried out on a sample of 952 never-married males aged 15-24 years. The respondents were asked about their knowledge of STDs, how these diseases get transmitted and their sexual behaviours. The data showed that 92% of the respondents knew of at least one STD (syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, herpes, genital warts, yeast infection, trichomoniasis or HIV/AIDS). About 95% of them knew of at least one method of STD transmission. Urban and tertiary-educated male youths showed a substantially higher proportion of awareness of STDs and transmission methods compared with their rural and less-educated counterparts. The data also indicated that 10% of the study sample admitted to having had sexual experiences. There were still a large proportion of the respondents who were not aware of STDs other than syphilis and HIV/AIDS and the means of transmission, such as multiple sex partners, including those who claimed to be sexually active. Thus there is a need for more concerted efforts to disseminate information on STDs and transmission methods to a wider audience in Malaysia, especially youths in rural areas.

  7. Healthcare-seeking behaviour of HIV-infected mothers and male partners in Nairobi, Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Drake, Alison L.; Wilson, Suzanne K.; Kinuthia, John; Roxby, Alison C.; Matemo, Daniel; Farquhar, Carey; Rao, Deepa

    2015-01-01

    Healthcare-seeking behaviours of HIV-infected mothers in sub-Saharan Africa are poorly characterized and typically focus on individual health conditions rather than overall health. We conducted a qualitative study to understand how HIV-infected mothers, their male partners, and their HIV-exposed infants seek medical services. We performed 32 in-depth interviews (17 female, 15 male) and four focus group discussions (FGDs) among HIV-infected postpartum women and their male partners in Nairobi, Kenya. We used a grounded theory approach to explore the paths followed for health-related concerns. Female participants reported that willingness to be tested for HIV influences whether women sought antenatal care and the type of facility they preferred for childbirth. The need for medical care outside regular clinic hours and securing safe transportation at night were also significant barriers to seeking care. Most men sought services from traditional healers and chemists before HIV diagnosis, and at governmental facilities afterwards. Both men and women sent infants to traditional healers for non-medical conditions such as bewitching and massage, but rarely for medical conditions. Strategies to reduce HIV-related stigma and fears in antenatal and maternity settings, increase access to care after-hours, and improve linkage to HIV care for men early in their infection are needed. PMID:25646645

  8. Male reproductive success and its behavioural correlates in a polygynous mammal, the Galápagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki).

    PubMed

    Pörschmann, Ulrich; Trillmich, Fritz; Mueller, Birte; Wolf, Jochen B W

    2010-06-01

    Sexual selection theory predicts competitive males and choosy females. Nevertheless, since molecular marker-based studies, paternity outside the expected mating patterns has increasingly been described. Even in highly polygynous systems, where paternity is expected to be strongly skewed towards large, dominant males, alternative mating tactics have been suggested. We examined reproductive success in the polygynous Galápagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki). Semiaquatic territoriality allows females to move freely and may lower the degree of polygyny otherwise suggested by both territorial behaviour and strong sexual dimorphism. We assigned paternities with 22 microsatellites and analysed how male reproductive success was related to size, dominance status, intra-sexual agonistic behaviour, proximity to females, and attendance in the colony. Male behaviour was consistent across two seasons for all parameters under consideration. Attendance was by far the most important determinant of paternal success. Skew in reproductive success towards large, dominant males was weak and dominance status played no role. This appears to be caused by an extremely long reproductive season lasting five or more months, making it difficult for any male to monopolize receptive females. Females seem to choose displaying males that were present in the colony for a long time rather than dominance per se. Sexual dimorphism in Galápagos sea lions may thus be more influenced by selection for fasting than fighting ability. Our data provide further evidence for alternative mating tactics, as several males gained relatively high reproductive success despite short attendance and hardly any involvement in agonistic interactions.

  9. Volumetric analysis of the African elephant ventricular system.

    PubMed

    Maskeo, Busisiwe C; Spocter, Muhammed A; Haagensen, Mark; Manger, Paul R

    2011-08-01

    This study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine the volume of the ventricular system in the brain of three adult male African elephants (Loxodonta africana). The ventricular system of the elephant has a volume of ∼240 mL, an order of magnitude larger than that seen in the adult human. Despite this large size, allometric analysis indicates that the volume of the ventricles in the elephant is what one would expect for a mammal with an ∼5 kg brain. Interestingly, our comparison with other mammals revealed that primates appear to have small relative ventricular volumes, and that megachiropterans and microchiropterans follow different scaling rules when comparing ventricular volume to brain mass indicating separate phylogenetic histories. The current study provides context for one aspect of the elephant brain in the broader picture of mammalian brain evolution.

  10. Balancing the competing requirements of air-breathing and display behaviour during male-male interactions in Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens.

    PubMed

    Alton, Lesley A; Portugal, Steven J; White, Craig R

    2013-02-01

    Air-breathing fish of the Anabantoidei group meet their metabolic requirements for oxygen through both aerial and aquatic gas exchange. Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens are anabantoids that frequently engage in aggressive male-male interactions which cause significant increases in metabolic rate and oxygen requirements. These interactions involve opercular flaring behaviour that is thought to limit aquatic oxygen uptake, and combines with the increase in metabolic rate to cause an increase in air-breathing behaviour. Air-breathing events interrupt display behaviour and increase risk of predation, raising the question of how Siamese fighting fish manage their oxygen requirements during agonistic encounters. Using open-flow respirometry, we measured rate of oxygen consumption in displaying fish to determine if males increase oxygen uptake per breath to minimise visits to the surface, or increase their reliance on aquatic oxygen uptake. We found that the increased oxygen requirements of Siamese fighting fish during display behaviour were met by increased oxygen uptake from the air with no significant changes in aquatic oxygen uptake. The increased aerial oxygen uptake was achieved almost entirely by an increase in air-breathing frequency. We conclude that limitations imposed by the reduced gill surface area of air-breathing fish restrict the ability of Siamese fighting fish to increase aquatic uptake, and limitations of the air-breathing organ of anabantoids largely restrict their capacity to increase oxygen uptake per breath. The resulting need to increase surfacing frequency during metabolically demanding agonistic encounters has presumably contributed to the evolution of the stereotyped surfacing behaviour seen during male-male interactions, during which one of the fish will lead the other to the surface, and each will take a breath of air.

  11. Variation in body condition during the post-moult foraging trip of southern elephant seals and its consequences on diving behaviour.

    PubMed

    Richard, Gaëtan; Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Jouma'a, Joffrey; Picard, Baptiste; Génin, Alexandre; Arnould, John P Y; Bailleul, Frédéric; Guinet, Christophe

    2014-07-15

    Mature female southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) come ashore only in October to breed and in January to moult, spending the rest of the year foraging at sea. Mature females may lose as much as 50% of their body mass, mostly in lipid stores, during the breeding season due to fasting and lactation. When departing to sea, post-breeding females are negatively buoyant, and the relative change in body condition (i.e. density) during the foraging trip has previously been assessed by monitoring the descent rate during drift dives. However, relatively few drift dives are performed, resulting in low resolution of the temporal reconstruction of body condition change. In this study, six post-breeding females were equipped with time-depth recorders and accelerometers to investigate whether changes in active swimming effort and speed could be used as an alternative method of monitoring density variations throughout the foraging trip. In addition, we assessed the consequences of density change on the swimming efforts of individuals while diving and investigated the effects on dive duration. Both descent swimming speed and ascent swimming effort were found to be strongly correlated to descent rate during drift dives, enabling the fine-scale monitoring of seal density change over the whole trip. Negatively buoyant seals minimized swimming effort during descents, gliding down at slower speeds, and reduced their ascent swimming effort to maintain a nearly constant swimming speed as their buoyancy increased. One per cent of seal density variation over time was found to induce a 20% variation in swimming effort during dives with direct consequences on dive duration.

  12. When Yawning Occurs in Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Rossman, Zoë T.; Hart, Benjamin L.; Greco, Brian J.; Young, Debbie; Padfield, Clare; Weidner, Lisa; Gates, Jennifer; Hart, Lynette A.

    2017-01-01

    Yawning is a widely recognized behavior in mammalian species. One would expect that elephants yawn, although to our knowledge, no one has reported observations of yawning in any species of elephant. After confirming a behavioral pattern matching the criteria of yawning in two Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in a zoological setting, this study was pursued with nine captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) at a private reserve in the Western Cape, South Africa, the Knysna Elephant Park. Observations were made in June–September and in December. In the daytime, handlers managed seven of the elephants for guided interactions with visitors. At night, all elephants were maintained in a large enclosure with six having limited outdoor access. With infrared illumination, the elephants were continuously recorded by video cameras. During the nights, the elephants typically had 1–3 recumbent sleeping/resting bouts, each lasting 1–2 h. Yawning was a regular occurrence upon arousal from a recumbency, especially in the final recumbency of the night. Yawning was significantly more frequent in some elephants. Yawning was rare during the daytime and during periods of standing around in the enclosure at night. In six occurrences of likely contagious yawning, one elephant yawned upon seeing another elephant yawning upon arousal from a final recumbency; we recorded the sex and age category of the participants. The generality of yawning in both African and Asian elephants in other environments was documented in video recordings from 39 zoological facilities. In summary, the study provides evidence that yawning does occur in both African and Asian elephants, and in African elephants, yawning was particularly associated with arousal from nighttime recumbencies. PMID:28293560

  13. When Yawning Occurs in Elephants.

    PubMed

    Rossman, Zoë T; Hart, Benjamin L; Greco, Brian J; Young, Debbie; Padfield, Clare; Weidner, Lisa; Gates, Jennifer; Hart, Lynette A

    2017-01-01

    Yawning is a widely recognized behavior in mammalian species. One would expect that elephants yawn, although to our knowledge, no one has reported observations of yawning in any species of elephant. After confirming a behavioral pattern matching the criteria of yawning in two Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in a zoological setting, this study was pursued with nine captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) at a private reserve in the Western Cape, South Africa, the Knysna Elephant Park. Observations were made in June-September and in December. In the daytime, handlers managed seven of the elephants for guided interactions with visitors. At night, all elephants were maintained in a large enclosure with six having limited outdoor access. With infrared illumination, the elephants were continuously recorded by video cameras. During the nights, the elephants typically had 1-3 recumbent sleeping/resting bouts, each lasting 1-2 h. Yawning was a regular occurrence upon arousal from a recumbency, especially in the final recumbency of the night. Yawning was significantly more frequent in some elephants. Yawning was rare during the daytime and during periods of standing around in the enclosure at night. In six occurrences of likely contagious yawning, one elephant yawned upon seeing another elephant yawning upon arousal from a final recumbency; we recorded the sex and age category of the participants. The generality of yawning in both African and Asian elephants in other environments was documented in video recordings from 39 zoological facilities. In summary, the study provides evidence that yawning does occur in both African and Asian elephants, and in African elephants, yawning was particularly associated with arousal from nighttime recumbencies.

  14. Atorvastatin improves Y-maze learning behaviour in nicotine treated male albino rats.

    PubMed

    Das S, Syam; Nair, Saritha S; Kavitha, S; Febi, John; Indira, M

    2015-11-01

    Nicotine is a parasympathomimetic alkaloid present in tobacco which can induce hyperlipidemia and has a direct effect on neural functions. Statins, competitive inhibitors of 3-hydroxymethyl-3-glutaryl-coenzyme-A reductase, are cholesterol lowering drugs. It has some neuroprotective effects. Hence we analysed the combined effect of nicotine and statin on the learning behaviour of male albino rats. We employed Y-Maze conditional discrimination task. Rats were divided into 4 groups with six rats in each group. (1) Control, (2) Atorvastatin (10mg/kgb.wt), (3) Nicotine (0.6mg/kgb.wt) and (4) Atorvastatin (10mg/kgb.wt)+Nicotine (0.6mg/kgb.wt). After 30days of treatment rats from each group were selected for behavioural study and they were observed for 30days. At the end of the experimental period rats were sacrificed, and brain and liver were dissected out for further biochemical analysis. Nicotine treated group showed least performance in learning in comparison with control, atorvastatin and atorvastatin+nicotine treated groups. Co-administration of atorvastatin and nicotine improved learning behaviour compared to nicotine treated group. Reactive oxygen species level was significantly increased in nicotine group compared to control. The level of neurotransmitter serotonin which has a significant role in learning was found to be decreased in nicotine treated group compared to the control group. Activity of Na(+) K(+) ATPase, Ca(2+) ATPase and glutathione content was significantly reduced in nicotine treated group compared to control. The activity of acetylcholine esterase was significantly increased in the nicotine treated group. Expression studies showed significant decrease in N-methyl D-aspartate receptors and increase in mono amine oxidase-A and mono amine oxidase-B in nicotine treated group and was reversed in atorvastatin + nicotine treated group. It can be concluded that co-administration of nicotine with statin ameliorates the neural functional alterations caused

  15. Tuberculosis surveillance of elephants (Elephas maximus) in Nepal at the captive-wild interface

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A comprehensive elephant tuberculosis (TB) survey using culture and four serological screening tests was conducted in Nepal. Private and government-owned male and female captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) were included in the study. The mean reported age was 38 years (range 5-60 years). A tot...

  16. Observations on Barclay's elephant.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, M H

    1996-04-01

    This account attempts to trace the fate of the skeleton of an elephant that was gifted by George Ballingall to Dr John Barclay, one of the most important teachers of Anatomy in Edinburgh during the early 19th century. In his will, Barclay gifted his human and comparative anatomy collections, including the elephant, to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh on two conditions, that a hall should be built to house the collection, and that it should be associated with his name in perpetuity. In the 1830s, the comparative collection, but particularly the skeleton of the elephant, was the pride of the College. Unfortunately, interest in the comparative material rapidly diminished, and, due to constraints on space, while the elephant's skull was retained the rest of the skeleton was disposed of. An unpublished poem written at the time of the Burke trial, in 1829, testifies to the fact that Barclay's elephant was closely associated in the minds of the public with the activities of Dr Robert Knox, the then Conservator of the College museum.

  17. Genetic composition of social groups influences male aggressive behaviour and fitness in natural genotypes of Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Saltz, Julia B.

    2013-01-01

    Indirect genetic effects (IGEs) describe how an individual's behaviour—which is influenced by his or her genotype—can affect the behaviours of interacting individuals. IGE research has focused on dyads. However, insights from social networks research, and other studies of group behaviour, suggest that dyadic interactions are affected by the behaviour of other individuals in the group. To extend IGE inferences to groups of three or more, IGEs must be considered from a group perspective. Here, I introduce the ‘focal interaction’ approach to study IGEs in groups. I illustrate the utility of this approach by studying aggression among natural genotypes of Drosophila melanogaster. I chose two natural genotypes as ‘focal interactants’: the behavioural interaction between them was the ‘focal interaction’. One male from each focal interactant genotype was present in every group, and I varied the genotype of the third male—the ‘treatment male’. Genetic variation in the treatment male's aggressive behaviour influenced the focal interaction, demonstrating that IGEs in groups are not a straightforward extension of IGEs measured in dyads. Further, the focal interaction influenced male mating success, illustrating the role of IGEs in behavioural evolution. These results represent the first manipulative evidence for IGEs at the group level. PMID:24068359

  18. 'He's still with these girls': exploring perceptions of HIV risk among men with behaviourally bisexual male partners.

    PubMed

    Williams, Whitney; Goldenberg, Tamar; Andes, Karen L; Finneran, Catherine; Stephenson, Rob

    2016-06-14

    Recent studies have called for more nuanced research into the relationships between behaviourally bisexual men and their sexual partners. To address this, we conducted a longitudinal qualitative study with self-identifying gay men; participants took part in timeline-based interviews and relationship diaries. We conducted a thematic analysis of verbatim transcripts to understand how relationship motivations, emotions and relationship dynamics influenced perceptions of HIV risk with behaviourally bisexual male partners. Participants described how partnership types (main and casual) and relationship dimensions (exclusivity, commitment, emotional attachment and relationship designation) strongly influenced perceptions of HIV risk and shaped their decisions to choose behaviourally bisexual male sex partners. Results reveal the crucial role relationship dynamics play in the shaping of HIV risk perceptions, sexual decision-making and HIV risk between partners, and provide potential insight on how to message HIV risk to gay men and their behaviourally bisexual male partners. It is imperative that HIV prevention is able to message key concepts of risk, decision-making and partner negotiation in a way that does not act to stereotype or create stigma against behaviourally bisexual men and their male partners.

  19. Neuroendocrine profiles associated with discrete behavioural variation in Symphodus ocellatus, a species with male alternative reproductive tactics.

    PubMed

    Nugent, B M; Stiver, K A; Alonzo, S H; Hofmann, H A

    2016-10-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity are not well understood. Identifying mechanisms underlying alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) in species for which the behavioural and fitness consequences of this variation are well characterized provides an opportunity to integrate evolutionary and mechanistic understanding of the maintenance of variation within populations. In the ocellated wrasse Symphodus ocellatus, the behavioural phenotypes of three distinct male morphs (sneakers, satellites and nesting males), which arise from a single genome, have been thoroughly characterized. To determine the neuroendocrine and genomic mechanisms associated with discrete phenotypic variation and ARTs in S. ocellatus in their natural environment, we constructed a whole-brain de novo transcriptome and compared global patterns of gene expression between sexes and male morphs. Next, we quantified circulating cortisol and 11-ketotestosterone (11-kt), mediators of male reproductive behaviours, as well as stress and gonadal steroid hormone receptor expression in the preoptic area, ventral subpallial division of the telencephalon and dorsolateral telencephalon, critical brain regions for social and reproductive behaviours. We found higher levels of 11-kt in nesting males and higher levels of cortisol in sneaker males relative to other male morphs and females. We also identified distinct patterns of brain region-specific hormone receptor expression between males such that most hormone receptors are more highly expressed in satellites and nesting males relative to sneakers and females. Our results establish the neuroendocrine and molecular mechanisms that underlie ARTs in the wild and provide a foundation for experimentally testing hypotheses about the relationship between neuromolecular processes and reproductive success.

  20. Elucidating the significance of spatial memory on movement decisions by African savannah elephants using state–space models

    PubMed Central

    Polansky, Leo; Kilian, Werner; Wittemyer, George

    2015-01-01

    Spatial memory facilitates resource acquisition where resources are patchy, but how it influences movement behaviour of wide-ranging species remains to be resolved. We examined African elephant spatial memory reflected in movement decisions regarding access to perennial waterholes. State–space models of movement data revealed a rapid, highly directional movement behaviour almost exclusively associated with visiting perennial water. Behavioural change point (BCP) analyses demonstrated that these goal-oriented movements were initiated on average 4.59 km, and up to 49.97 km, from the visited waterhole, with the closest waterhole accessed 90% of the time. Distances of decision points increased when switching to different waterholes, during the dry season, or for female groups relative to males, while selection of the closest waterhole decreased when switching. Overall, our analyses indicated detailed spatial knowledge over large scales, enabling elephants to minimize travel distance through highly directional movement when accessing water. We discuss the likely cognitive and socioecological mechanisms driving these spatially precise movements that are most consistent with our findings. By applying modern analytic techniques to high-resolution movement data, this study illustrates emerging approaches for studying how cognition structures animal movement behaviour in different ecological and social contexts. PMID:25808888

  1. Elucidating the significance of spatial memory on movement decisions by African savannah elephants using state-space models.

    PubMed

    Polansky, Leo; Kilian, Werner; Wittemyer, George

    2015-04-22

    Spatial memory facilitates resource acquisition where resources are patchy, but how it influences movement behaviour of wide-ranging species remains to be resolved. We examined African elephant spatial memory reflected in movement decisions regarding access to perennial waterholes. State-space models of movement data revealed a rapid, highly directional movement behaviour almost exclusively associated with visiting perennial water. Behavioural change point (BCP) analyses demonstrated that these goal-oriented movements were initiated on average 4.59 km, and up to 49.97 km, from the visited waterhole, with the closest waterhole accessed 90% of the time. Distances of decision points increased when switching to different waterholes, during the dry season, or for female groups relative to males, while selection of the closest waterhole decreased when switching. Overall, our analyses indicated detailed spatial knowledge over large scales, enabling elephants to minimize travel distance through highly directional movement when accessing water. We discuss the likely cognitive and socioecological mechanisms driving these spatially precise movements that are most consistent with our findings. By applying modern analytic techniques to high-resolution movement data, this study illustrates emerging approaches for studying how cognition structures animal movement behaviour in different ecological and social contexts.

  2. Relationship dynamics and sexual risk behaviour of male partners of female sex workers in Kampala, Uganda.

    PubMed

    Mbonye, Martin; Siu, Godfrey E; Kiwanuka, Thadeus; Seeley, Janet

    2016-07-01

    Regular male partners of female sex workers (FSWs) represent an important population to reach with HIV-prevention interventions. This paper discusses the relationship dynamics and HIV/sexually transmitted infection risk behaviour of men involved with self-identified FSWs in Kampala. Between 2011 and 2014 we conducted repeat in-depth interviews with 42 male partners of FSWs attending a clinic for women at high risk of HIV-infection in Kampala. Men publicly struggled with the stigma of dating women who are considered to be engaged in a shamed profession, but privately saw meaning in these relationships. In coping with the stigma, some described the work of their partners in terms that distanced them from sex work, while others struggled to have the control that "being a man" demanded since they could not monitor all movements of their partners. Dealing with HIV disclosure was hard and seeking support was difficult for some of the men, leading to missed opportunities and guilt. Despite challenges, relationships with sex workers offered men some benefits such as access to much needed care and treatment. A few men also admitted to being motivated by material and financial benefits from sex workers who they perceived as being rich and this was one factor that helped them sustain the relationships. These findings offer insights into the complex relationship dynamics within high risk sexual partnerships. However, the findings suggest that effective interventions that are couple centred can be established to promote better health.

  3. The costs of risky male behaviour: sex differences in seasonal survival in a small sexually monomorphic primate

    PubMed Central

    Kraus, Cornelia; Eberle, Manfred; Kappeler, Peter M

    2008-01-01

    Male excess mortality is widespread among mammals and frequently interpreted as a cost of sexually selected traits that enhance male reproductive success. Sex differences in the propensity to engage in risky behaviours are often invoked to explain the sex gap in survival. Here, we aim to isolate and quantify the survival consequences of two potentially risky male behavioural strategies in a small sexually monomorphic primate, the grey mouse lemur Microcebus murinus: (i) most females hibernate during a large part of the austral winter, whereas most males remain active and (ii) during the brief annual mating season males roam widely in search of receptive females. Using a 10-year capture–mark–recapture dataset from a population of M. murinus in Kirindy Forest, western Madagascar, we statistically modelled sex-specific seasonal survival probabilities. Surprisingly, we did not find any evidence for direct survival benefits of hibernation—winter survival did not differ between males and females. By contrast, during the breeding season males survived less well than females (sex gap: 16%). Consistent with the ‘risky male behaviour’ hypothesis, the period for lowered male survival was restricted to the short mating season. Thus, sex differences in survival in a promiscuous mammal can be substantial even in the absence of sexual dimorphism. PMID:18426751

  4. Increased depressive behaviour in females and heightened corticosterone release in males to swim stress after adolescent social stress in rats.

    PubMed

    Mathews, Iva Z; Wilton, Aleena; Styles, Amy; McCormick, Cheryl M

    2008-06-26

    We previously reported that males undergoing chronic social stress (SS) (daily 1h isolation and new cage partner on days 30-45 of age) in adolescence habituated (decreased corticosterone release) to the homotypic stressor, but females did not. Here, we report that adolescent males exposed to chronic social stress had potentiated corticosterone release to a heterotypic stressor (15 min of swim stress) compared to acutely stressed and control males. The three groups of males did not differ in depressive-like behaviour (time spent immobile) during the swim stress. Corticosterone release in socially stressed females was elevated 45 min after the swim stress compared to acutely stressed and control females, and socially stressed females exhibited more depressive behaviour (longer durations of immobility and shorter durations of climbing) than the other females during the swim stress. Separate groups of rats were tested as adults several weeks after the social stress, and there were no group differences in corticosterone release after the swim stress. The only group difference in behaviour among the adults was more time spent climbing in socially stressed males than in controls. Thus, there are sex-specific effects of social stress in adolescence on endocrine responses and depressive behaviour to a heterotypic stressor, but, unlike for anxiety, substantial recovery is evident in adulthood in the absence of intervening stress exposures.

  5. Complex vibratory patterns in an elephant larynx.

    PubMed

    Herbst, Christian T; Svec, Jan G; Lohscheller, Jörg; Frey, Roland; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Stoeger, Angela S; Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2013-11-01

    Elephants' low-frequency vocalizations are produced by flow-induced self-sustaining oscillations of laryngeal tissue. To date, little is known in detail about the vibratory phenomena in the elephant larynx. Here, we provide a first descriptive report of the complex oscillatory features found in the excised larynx of a 25 year old female African elephant (Loxodonta africana), the largest animal sound generator ever studied experimentally. Sound production was documented with high-speed video, acoustic measurements, air flow and sound pressure level recordings. The anatomy of the larynx was studied with computed tomography (CT) and dissections. Elephant CT vocal anatomy data were further compared with the anatomy of an adult human male. We observed numerous unusual phenomena, not typically reported in human vocal fold vibrations. Phase delays along both the inferior-superior and anterior-posterior (A-P) dimension were commonly observed, as well as transverse travelling wave patterns along the A-P dimension, previously not documented in the literature. Acoustic energy was mainly created during the instant of glottal opening. The vestibular folds, when adducted, participated in tissue vibration, effectively increasing the generated sound pressure level by 12 dB. The complexity of the observed phenomena is partly attributed to the distinct laryngeal anatomy of the elephant larynx, which is not simply a large-scale version of its human counterpart. Travelling waves may be facilitated by low fundamental frequencies and increased vocal fold tension. A travelling wave model is proposed, to account for three types of phenomena: A-P travelling waves, 'conventional' standing wave patterns, and irregular vocal fold vibration.

  6. Acquisition of brains from the African elephant (Loxodonta africana): perfusion-fixation and dissection.

    PubMed

    Manger, Paul R; Pillay, Praneshri; Maseko, Busisiwe C; Bhagwandin, Adhil; Gravett, Nadine; Moon, Don-Joon; Jillani, Ngalla; Hemingway, Jason

    2009-04-30

    The current correspondence describes the in situ perfusion-fixation of the brain of the African elephant. Due to both the large size of proboscidean brains and the complex behaviour of these species, the acquisition of good quality material for comparative neuroanatomical analysis from these species is important. Three male African elephants (20-30 years) that were to be culled as part of a larger population management strategy were used. The animals were humanely euthanized and the head removed from the body. Large tubes were inserted into to the carotid arteries and the cranial vasculature flushed with a rapid (20 min) rinse of 100 l of cold saline (4 degrees C). Following the rinse the head was perfusion-fixed with a slower rinse (40 min) of 100 l of cold (4 degrees C) 4% paraformaldehyde in 0.1M phosphate buffer. This procedure resulted in well-fixed neural and other tissue. After perfusion the brains were removed from the skull with the aid of power tools, a procedure taking between 2 and 6h. The brains were immediately post-fixed in the same solution for 72 h at 4 degrees C. The brains were subsequently placed in a sucrose solution and finally an antifreeze solution and are stored in a -20 degrees C freezer. The acquisition of high quality neural material from African elephants that can be used for immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy is of importance in understanding the "hardware" underlying the behaviour of this species. This technique can be used on a variety of large mammals to obtain high quality material for comparative neuroanatomical studies.

  7. Sexual behaviour and neuronal activation in the vomeronasal pathway and hypothalamus of food-deprived male rats.

    PubMed

    Caquineau, C; Leng, G; Douglas, A J

    2012-04-01

    As feeding and mating are mutually-exclusive goal-orientated behaviours, we investigated whether brief food deprivation would impair the display of sexual behaviour of male rats. Analysis of performance in a sexual incentive motivation test revealed that, similar to fed males, food-deprived males preferred spending time in the vicinity of receptive females rather than nonreceptive females. Despite this, food-deprived males were more likely to be slow to mate than normally-fed males, and a low dose of the satiety peptide α-melanocyte-stimulating-hormone attenuated the effect of hunger. Using Fos immunocytochemistry, we compared neuronal activity in the vomeronasal projection pathway in response to oestrous cues from receptive females between food-deprived and fed males. As in fed males, more Fos expression was seen in the rostral part of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and in the medial preoptic area in food-deprived males, confirming that food-deprived males can recognise and respond to female oestrous cues. However, although there was also an increase in Fos expression in the bed nucleus of the accessory tract and in the posteromedial amygdala in fed males, no increases were seen in these areas in food-deprived rats. We also found selective attenuation in the activation of lateral posterior paraventricular nucleus (lpPVN) oxytocin neurones in food-deprived males. Taken together, the data show that, although food-deprived males can still become sexually motivated, copulation is delayed, and this is accompanied by variations in neuronal activity in the vomeronasal projection pathway. We propose that, in hungry rats, the lpPVN oxytocin neurones (which project to the spinal cord and are involved in maintaining penile erection) facilitate the transition from motivation to intromission, and their lack of activation impairs intromission, and thus delays mating.

  8. Elephants have relatively the largest cerebellum size of mammals.

    PubMed

    Maseko, Busisiwe C; Spocter, Muhammad A; Haagensen, Mark; Manger, Paul R

    2012-04-01

    The current study used MR imaging to determine the volume of the cerebellum and its component parts in the brain of three adult male African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and compared this with published data from Asian elephants and other mammalian species including odontocete cetaceans, primates, chiropterans, insectivores, carnivores, and artiodactyls. The cerebellum of the adult elephant has a volume of ∼925 mL (average of both African and Asian species). Allometric analysis indicates that the elephant has the largest relative cerebellum size of all mammals studied to date. In addition, both odontocete cetaceans and microchiropterans appear to have large relative cerebellar sizes. The vermal and hemispheric components of the African elephant cerebellum are both large relative to other mammals of similar brain size, however, for odontocete cetaceans the vermal component is small and the hemispheric component is large. These volumetric observations are related to life-histories and anatomies of the species investigated. The current study provides context for one aspect of the elephant brain in the broader picture of mammalian brain evolution.

  9. Concurrent modulation of neuronal and behavioural olfactory responses to sex and host plant cues in a male moth

    PubMed Central

    Kromann, Sophie H.; Saveer, Ahmed M.; Binyameen, Muhammad; Bengtsson, Marie; Birgersson, Göran; Hansson, Bill S.; Schlyter, Fredrik; Witzgall, Peter; Ignell, Rickard; Becher, Paul G.

    2015-01-01

    Mating has profound effects on animal physiology and behaviour, not only in females but also in males, which we show here for olfactory responses. In cotton leafworm moths, Spodoptera littoralis, odour-mediated attraction to sex pheromone and plant volatiles are modulated after mating, producing a behavioural response that matches the physiological condition of the male insect. Unmated males are attracted by upwind flight to sex pheromone released by calling females, as well as to volatiles of lilac flowers and green leaves of the host plant cotton, signalling adult food and mating sites, respectively. Mating temporarily abolishes male attraction to females and host plant odour, but does not diminish attraction to flowers. This behavioural modulation is correlated with a response modulation in the olfactory system, as shown by electro-physiological recordings from antennae and by functional imaging of the antennal lobe, using natural odours and synthetic compounds. An effect of mating on the olfactory responses to pheromone and cotton plant volatiles but not to lilac flowers indicates the presence of functionally independent neural circuits within the olfactory system. Our results indicate that these circuits interconnect and weigh perception of social and habitat odour signals to generate appropriate behavioural responses according to mating state. PMID:25621329

  10. Health-seeking behaviour of male foreign migrant workers living in a dormitory in Singapore

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Foreign workers’ migrant status may hinder their utilisation of health services. This study describes the health-seeking behaviour and beliefs of a group of male migrant workers in Singapore and the barriers limiting their access to primary healthcare. Methods A cross-sectional study of 525 male migrant workers, ≥21 years old and of Indian, Bangladeshi or Myanmar nationality, was conducted at a dormitory via self-administered questionnaires covering demographics, prevalence of medical conditions and health-seeking behaviours through hypothetical scenarios and personal experience. Results 71% (95%CI: 67 to 75%) of participants did not have or were not aware if they had healthcare insurance. 53% (95%CI: 48 to 57%) reported ever having had an illness episode while in Singapore, of whom 87% (95%CI: 82 to 91%) saw a doctor. The number of rest days was significantly associated with higher probability of having consulted a doctor for their last illness episode (p = 0.026), and higher basic monthly salary was associated with seeing a doctor within 3 days of illness (p = 0.002). Of those who saw a doctor, 84% (95%CI: 79 to 89%) responded that they did so because they felt medical care would help them to work better. While 55% (95%CI: 36 to 73%) said they did not see a doctor because the illness was not serious, those with lower salaries were significantly more likely to cite inadequate finances (55% of those earning < S$500/month). In hypothetical injury or illness scenarios, most responded that they would see the doctor, but a sizeable proportion (15% 95%CI: 12 to 18%) said they would continue to work even in a work-related injury scenario that caused severe pain and functional impairment. Those with lower salaries were significantly more likely to believe they would have to pay for their own healthcare or be uncertain about who would pay. Conclusions The majority of foreign workers in this study sought healthcare when they fell ill. However

  11. Submissive Behaviour, Depression, and Suicide Probability in Male Arrestees and Convicts

    PubMed Central

    GÖRGÜLÜ, Tuğba; TUTAREL-KIŞLAK, Şennur

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The aim of this study was to determine the relationship of suicide probability with submissive behaviors and the levels of depression in male arrestees and convicts staying in penal institutions. Methods The study consisted of 326 male participants from five different prisons. A personal information form was used to collect the socio-demographic data, The Suicide Probability Scale (SPS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Submissive Behaviour Scala (SBS) were used to determine the related psychological characteristics. Results The results showed that depression was determined in 69% of the inmates (convicts and arrestees), while the suicide probability rate was found to be in the proportion of 88% which is higher than in the general population. Regarding the examination in terms of crime types, it was found that the suicide ideation rate of sex offenders or sex offender arrestees (x=18.33; ss=7.28) and the hostility rate of bulglary offenders (x=16.63; ss=4.75) were much higher than that of the other types of offenders. According to the findings of the Hierarchical Regression Analysis conducted in order to define the variables predicting the subscale rates of SPS, while previous suicide attempt(s) and depression predict hopelessness rate; self-attempted suicide, witnessing suicide attempts, self-harm and depression predict suicide ideation rate. Furthermore, education status and depression symptoms predict negative self-evaluation rate, and lastly education level, witnessing suicide attempts, self-harm and depression symptoms predict hostility subscale rate. Conclusion Factors such as social isolation, mislearning, etc. were considered to cause increased feelings of hopelessness, suicide ideation, negative sense of self and feelings of hostility in convicts and arrestees staying indoors.

  12. Sperm competition affects male behaviour and sperm output in the rainbow darter

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, R. C.

    1998-01-01

    Rainbow darters, Etheostoma caeruleum, are promiscuous fish with moderate rates of group spawning (between one and five males may simultaneously mate with one female). In this study, I examined male sperm output and male willingness to spawn under different levels of sperm competition intensity. One male and one female were allowed to spawn in an aquarium where they had visual and olfactory access to one of four treatments: four males, one male, zero males, or one female. Theory predicts that males should reduce sperm output when there are more than the average number of males at a group spawning (four-male treatment) and should increase sperm output when there are fewer than average males at a group spawning (one-male treatment). Mean sperm output did not differ among treatments. However, males released more sperm when spawning in the presence of competing males (four-male and one-male treatments pooled) than when spawning in the absence of competing males (zero-male and one-female treatments pooled). Males were also most likely to forego spawning opportunities when sperm competition intensity was high. Furthermore, male willingness to spawn was size dependent. Large males were more likely to forego spawning opportunities under high sperm competition intensity. Large males may be better off waiting for future spawning opportunities when there is a lower potential for sperm competition intensity.

  13. It Gets Crowded with an Elephant and an Ape in the Room: Teaching about Female and Male Cognitive Differences and Similarities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halpern, Diane F.

    2014-01-01

    It is important to understand the many controversies about cognitive sex differences because beliefs about these differences are often used to justify pubic policies and individual actions. As teachers of psychology, we need to provide a safe environment where students can think and argue about why, how, and how much females and males are similar…

  14. Sociodemographic characteristics and HIV risk behaviour patterns of male sex workers in Madrid, Spain.

    PubMed

    Belza, M J; Llácer, A; Mora, R; Morales, M; Castilla, J; de la Fuente, L

    2001-10-01

    This paper describes the sociodemographic and work characteristics, prevalence of HIV infection and associated risk behaviours among male sex workers (MSWs) in Madrid (Spain). Using an anonymous semi-structured questionnaire, educators attached to a mobile unit under a street-based prostitution programme surveyed 84 MSWs from several Madrid areas. Of the total surveyed: 35% were immigrants, mean age was 23 years, mean period in prostitution was four years; 21% had no primary education; 16% had injected drugs at some time; 11% reported private sexual relationships exclusively with women; 89% always used condoms in anal practices with clients; and 41% were in sexual relationships with their partners. Only 11% had ever used fortified condoms. In the preceding month, 37% had experienced condom failure, 82% without having used any lubricant. In all, 67% reported having undergone HIV testing, with a higher percentage of positive results among injecting (60%) versus non-injecting drug users (17%). Immigrants had a lower level of education, made less use of condoms, had more condom failures and, in their private lives, a greater proportion reported sexual relationships exclusively with women. In Spain, MSWs should be included in HIV prevention programmes, which ought to be specifically adapted to immigrants. Priority should be given to reducing the condom failure rate in anal intercourse, by improving access to fortified condoms.

  15. Neural and behavioural changes in male periadolescent mice after prolonged nicotine-MDMA treatment.

    PubMed

    Adeniyi, Philip A; Ishola, Azeez O; Laoye, Babafemi J; Olatunji, Babawale P; Bankole, Oluwamolakun O; Shallie, Philemon D; Ogundele, Olalekan M

    2016-02-01

    The interaction between MDMA and Nicotine affects multiple brain centres and neurotransmitter systems (serotonin, dopamine and glutamate) involved in motor coordination and cognition. In this study, we have elucidated the effect of prolonged (10 days) MDMA, Nicotine and a combined Nicotine-MDMA treatment on motor-cognitive neural functions. In addition, we have shown the correlation between the observed behavioural change and neural structural changes induced by these treatments in BALB/c mice. We observed that MDMA (2 mg/Kg body weight; subcutaneous) induced a decline in motor function, while Nicotine (2 mg/Kg body weight; subcutaneous) improved motor function in male periadolescent mice. In combined treatment, Nicotine reduced the motor function decline observed in MDMA treatment, thus no significant change in motor function for the combined treatment versus the control. Nicotine or MDMA treatment reduced memory function and altered hippocampal structure. Similarly, a combined Nicotine-MDMA treatment reduced memory function when compared with the control. Ultimately, the metabolic and structural changes in these neural systems were seen to vary for the various forms of treatment. It is noteworthy to mention that a combined treatment increased the rate of lipid peroxidation in brain tissue.

  16. Evaluation of Demographics and Social Life Events of Asian (Elephas maximus) and African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) in North American Zoos

    PubMed Central

    Prado-Oviedo, Natalia A.; Bonaparte-Saller, Mary K.; Malloy, Elizabeth J.; Meehan, Cheryl L.; Mench, Joy A.; Carlstead, Kathy; Brown, Janine L.

    2016-01-01

    This study quantified social life events hypothesized to affect the welfare of zoo African and Asian elephants, focusing on animals that were part of a large multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional elephant welfare study in North America. Age was calculated based on recorded birth dates and an age-based account of life event data for each elephant was compiled. These event histories included facility transfers, births and deaths of offspring, and births and deaths of non-offspring herd mates. Each event was evaluated as a total number of events per elephant, lifetime rate of event exposure, and age at first event exposure. These were then compared across three categories: species (African vs. Asian); sex (male vs. female); and origin (imported vs. captive-born). Mean age distributions differed (p<0.05) between the categories: African elephants were 6 years younger than Asian elephants, males were 12 years younger than females, and captive-born elephants were 20 years younger than imported elephants. Overall, the number of transfers ranged from 0 to 10, with a 33% higher age-adjusted transfer rate for imported African than imported Asian elephants, and 37% lower rate for imported females than males (p<0.05). Other differences (p<0.05) included a 96% higher rate of offspring births for captive-born females than those imported from range countries, a 159% higher rate of birthing event exposures for captive-born males than for their imported counterparts, and Asian elephant females being 4 years younger than African females when they produced their first calf. In summarizing demographic and social life events of elephants in North American zoos, we found both qualitative and quantitative differences in the early lives of imported versus captive-born elephants that could have long-term welfare implications. PMID:27415437

  17. Evaluation of Demographics and Social Life Events of Asian (Elephas maximus) and African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) in North American Zoos.

    PubMed

    Prado-Oviedo, Natalia A; Bonaparte-Saller, Mary K; Malloy, Elizabeth J; Meehan, Cheryl L; Mench, Joy A; Carlstead, Kathy; Brown, Janine L

    2016-01-01

    This study quantified social life events hypothesized to affect the welfare of zoo African and Asian elephants, focusing on animals that were part of a large multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional elephant welfare study in North America. Age was calculated based on recorded birth dates and an age-based account of life event data for each elephant was compiled. These event histories included facility transfers, births and deaths of offspring, and births and deaths of non-offspring herd mates. Each event was evaluated as a total number of events per elephant, lifetime rate of event exposure, and age at first event exposure. These were then compared across three categories: species (African vs. Asian); sex (male vs. female); and origin (imported vs. captive-born). Mean age distributions differed (p<0.05) between the categories: African elephants were 6 years younger than Asian elephants, males were 12 years younger than females, and captive-born elephants were 20 years younger than imported elephants. Overall, the number of transfers ranged from 0 to 10, with a 33% higher age-adjusted transfer rate for imported African than imported Asian elephants, and 37% lower rate for imported females than males (p<0.05). Other differences (p<0.05) included a 96% higher rate of offspring births for captive-born females than those imported from range countries, a 159% higher rate of birthing event exposures for captive-born males than for their imported counterparts, and Asian elephant females being 4 years younger than African females when they produced their first calf. In summarizing demographic and social life events of elephants in North American zoos, we found both qualitative and quantitative differences in the early lives of imported versus captive-born elephants that could have long-term welfare implications.

  18. Immunogenetics of the Elephant Seal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garza, John Carlos

    1999-01-01

    The goals of this cooperative agreement fall into three categories: 1) A basic description of Immunogenetic variation in the northern elephant seal genome; 2) A basic genetic map of the northern elephant seal genome; 3). Microevolutionary forces in the northern elephant seal genome. The results described in this report were acquired using funds from this cooperative agreement together with funds from a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant.

  19. Spacing behaviour of juvenile corn mice, Calomys musculinus , at the beginning of the breeding period, in absence of adult males

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinmann, Andrea; Priotto, José; Sommaro, Lucia; Polop, Jaime

    2006-05-01

    This research was carried out to examine the hypothesis that the absence of fathers promotes a different spacing behaviour in juveniles Calomys musculinus at the beginning of the breeding period. The study was carried out in four 0.25-ha enclosures (two control and two experimental), in a natural pasture, between November 2003 and February 2004. In this study the fathers were removed from the experimental enclosures after juveniles were born. Home-range size depended on sex of juveniles and treatment (father removal). In control and experimental enclosures, female home-range sizes were always smaller than male home-ranges. Male home-ranges were always larger in experimental enclosures than in control enclosures. Treatment and overlap type (intra- and inter-sexual) were not independent. The overlap proportions of male home-ranges were greatest in experimental enclosures than in control enclosures, in both the overlap types (male/male, males/females). The intra- (females/females) and inter-sexual (females/males) overlap proportions of female home-ranges were independent of treatment. In C. musculinus, at the beginning of the breeding period and in absence of adult males, juvenile males increase their home-range size and therefore the degree of inter- and intra-sexual home-range overlap as a mechanism for enlarging the number of receptive females that they encounter.

  20. Behavioural evidence of male volatile pheromones in the sex-role reversed wolf spiders Allocosa brasiliensis and Allocosa alticeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aisenberg, Anita; Baruffaldi, Luciana; González, Macarena

    2010-01-01

    The use of chemical signals in a sexual context is widespread in the animal kingdom. Most studies in spiders report the use of female pheromones that attract potential sexual partners. Allocosa brasiliensis and Allocosa alticeps are two burrowing wolf spiders that show sex-role reversal. Females locate male burrows and initiate courtship before males perform any detectable visual or vibratory signal. So, females of these species would be detecting chemical or mechanical cues left by males. Our objective was to explore the potential for male pheromones to play a role in mate detection in A. brasiliensis and A. alticeps. We designed two experiments. In Experiment 1, we tested the occurrence of male contact pheromones by evaluating female courtship when exposed to empty burrows constructed by males or females (control). In Experiment 2, we tested the existence of male volatile pheromones by evaluating female behaviour when exposed to artificial burrows connected to tubes containing males, females or empty tubes (control). Our results suggest the occurrence of male volatile pheromones that trigger female courtship in both Allocosa species. The sex-role reversal postulated for these wolf spiders could be driving the consequent reversal in typical pheromone-emitter and detector roles expected for spiders.

  1. Behavioural evidence of male volatile pheromones in the sex-role reversed wolf spiders Allocosa brasiliensis and Allocosa alticeps.

    PubMed

    Aisenberg, Anita; Baruffaldi, Luciana; González, Macarena

    2010-01-01

    The use of chemical signals in a sexual context is widespread in the animal kingdom. Most studies in spiders report the use of female pheromones that attract potential sexual partners. Allocosa brasiliensis and Allocosa alticeps are two burrowing wolf spiders that show sex-role reversal. Females locate male burrows and initiate courtship before males perform any detectable visual or vibratory signal. So, females of these species would be detecting chemical or mechanical cues left by males. Our objective was to explore the potential for male pheromones to play a role in mate detection in A. brasiliensis and A. alticeps. We designed two experiments. In Experiment 1, we tested the occurrence of male contact pheromones by evaluating female courtship when exposed to empty burrows constructed by males or females (control). In Experiment 2, we tested the existence of male volatile pheromones by evaluating female behaviour when exposed to artificial burrows connected to tubes containing males, females or empty tubes (control). Our results suggest the occurrence of male volatile pheromones that trigger female courtship in both Allocosa species. The sex-role reversal postulated for these wolf spiders could be driving the consequent reversal in typical pheromone-emitter and detector roles expected for spiders.

  2. Experimental manipulation of male behaviour during copulation in Stenomacra marginella (Heteroptera: Largidae): effect on copula duration, female remating and oviposition.

    PubMed

    Cuatianquiz, Cecilia; Cordero, Carlos

    2006-09-01

    Apparently stimulatory male copulatory behaviour (MCB) is widespread among arthropods and it could help males to increase their fitness by inducing favourable behavioural and physiological changes in females. The empirical study of female responses to MCB is hindered because its experimental manipulation is difficult. We have developed a technique for reducing, with minimal disturbance, the frequency of MCB in the true bug Stenomacra marginella. Here, we test the idea that, in a polygamous species like S. marginella, sexual selection favours males whose MCB induces females to increase copula duration (thereby increasing the amount of sperm and accessory substances transferred), reduce their sexual receptivity to additional males and increase their rate of oviposition. Males prevented from performing MCB increased their rate of attempts to perform MCB. Copulations with previously mated females were of longer duration than those with virgin females, probably as a male adaptation for sperm competition, and MCB could have played a role in inducing this effect. Partial or total experimental reduction of MCB frequency had no effect on remating rates, because most females accepted remating at the first opportunity (1 day after their first copula). The probability of egg laying was reduced in females whose first mate was partially prevented from performing copulatory courtship, but not in females whose first mate was completely prevented from performing copulatory courtship. This is an intriguing result and further experiments are needed to understand its causes. We hypothesize that MCB evolved as a result of sexual selection.

  3. Psychosocial maternal stress during pregnancy affects serum corticosterone, blood immune parameters and anxiety behaviour in adult male rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Götz, Alexander A; Stefanski, Volker

    2007-01-30

    Exposure to prenatal stress can impair the behavioural and hormonal development in mammals. However, the consequences for the immune system are rarely investigated and there is only limited evidence that naturalistic prenatal stressors do also have the potential to affect the offspring. Thus, by using a social conflict model in female Long-Evans rats, we investigated the effects of prenatal social stress on several behavioural, hormonal and immunological parameters. Offspring from stressed and non-stressed pregnant females were housed in pairs after weaning, and tested at an age of 4-6 months. Prenatally stressed (PS) males were more active in the elevated plus-maze test as indicated by significantly more frequent entries into the open arms compared to prenatal control males (PC). In addition, PS males had significantly lower serum corticosterone concentrations under basal conditions as well as after ACTH-challenge. The basal number of total leukocytes was significantly lower in the PS group due to significantly lower lymphocyte counts. In particular, the CD4+ T-helper cell subset was affected. The lymphocyte proliferation to pokeweed mitogen was lower in PS males. Because some of the present findings do not correspond to previous studies using conventional stressors, we assume that the nature of the stressor plays an important role for pregnancy outcome and behaviour and physiology of the offspring in later life.

  4. Male mate location behaviour and encounter sites in a community of tropical butterflies: taxonomic and site associations and distinctions.

    PubMed

    Tiple, Ashish D; Padwad, Sonali V; Dapporto, Leonardo; Dennis, Roger L H

    2010-12-01

    Male mate location behaviour and encounter sites have been studied in 72 butterfly species at Nagpur, India, and related to taxonomy, morphology, habitat and population parameters. Species can be placed in three broad classes of mate location behaviour: invariant patrolling, invariant perching, and perch-patrol, the latter associated with increasing site fidelity, territorial defence and male assemblages. Significant taxonomic differences occur, closely related species tending to share mate location behaviours. Morphological differences are found with heavier and larger butterflies displaying greater site fidelity and territorial defence, and differences occur between individuals of species which both perch and patrol. Invariant patrolling is particularly associated with tracks through vegetation, host planttrack distributions, and high female to male numbers observed on transects; invariant perching is linked more to edge features than patrolling, and to lower population counts on transects. Species which perch-patrol, defend territories and establish male assemblages are associated with more complex vegetation structures, and have encounter sites at vegetation edges, landforms and predictable resource (host plant) concentrations. Attention is drawn to the importance of distinctive mate encounter sites for the conservation of butterfly species' habitats.

  5. The Impact of Adult Vitamin D Deficiency on Behaviour and Brain Function in Male Sprague-Dawley Rats

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Karly M.; Eyles, Darryl W.; McGrath, John J.; Burne, Thomas H. J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Vitamin D deficiency is common in the adult population, and this has been linked to depression and cognitive outcomes in clinical populations. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of adult vitamin D (AVD) deficiency on behavioural tasks of relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Methods Ten-week old male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a control or vitamin D deficient diet for 6 weeks prior to, and during behavioural testing. We first examined a range of behavioural domains including locomotion, exploration, anxiety, social behaviour, learned helplessness, sensorimotor gating, and nociception. We then assessed locomotor response to the psychomimetic drugs, amphetamine and MK-801. Attention and vigilance were assessed using the 5 choice serial reaction time task (5C-SRT) and the 5 choice continuous performance task (5C-CPT) and, in a separate cohort, working memory was assessed using the delay match to sample (DMTS) task. We also examined excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in prefrontal cortex and striatum. Results AVD-deficient rats were deficient in vitamin D3 (<10 nM) and had normal calcium and phosphate levels after 8–10 weeks on the diet. Overall, AVD deficiency was not associated with an altered phenotype across the range of behavioural domains tested. On the 5C-SRT AVD-deficient rats made more premature responses and more head entries during longer inter-trial intervals (ITI) than control rats. On the 5C-CPT AVD-deficient rats took longer to make false alarm (FA) responses than control rats. AVD-deficient rats had increases in baseline GABA levels and the ratio of DOPAC/HVA within the striatum. Conclusions AVD-deficient rats exhibited no major impairments in any of the behavioural domains tested. Impairments in premature responses in AVD-deficient rats may indicate that these animals have specific alterations in striatal systems governing compulsive or reward-seeking behaviour. PMID:23951200

  6. Perceptions about medical male circumcision and sexual behaviours of adults in rural Uganda: a cross sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Mukama, Trasias; Ndejjo, Rawlance; Musinguzi, Geofrey; Musoke, David

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Medical male circumcision is currently recognized as an additional important HIV preventive intervention to reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men. However, sexual behaviours after medical circumcision can potentially reduce the expected benefits of the practice. This study explored the perceptions about medical male circumcision and sexual behaviours of adults in Kayunga district, Uganda. Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out among 393 respondents using a semi structured questionnaire. In addition, four focus group discussions were conducted. Quantitative data was analysed using STATA 12. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses were carried out. Qualitative data was analysed thematically. Results The study established various perceptions about medical male circumcision and sexual behaviours. Majority 247 (64.5%) did not perceive circumcision as a practice that can lead men to have multiple sexual partners. Males were 3 times more likely to think that circumcision would lead to having multiple sexual partners than females (AOR=2.99, CI: 1.93-4.61). Only 89 (23.2%) believed that circumcision would lead to complacency and compromise the use of condoms to prevent against infection with HIV. Respondents who had education above primary were less likely to think that circumcision would compromise the use of condoms (AOR=0.49, CI: 0.31- 0.79). The perception that circumcised youths were less likely to abstain from sexual intercourse was less held among those with education above primary (AOR=0.58, CI: 0.37-0.91) and those older than 30 years (AOR=0.59, CI: 0.38-0.92). Conclusion There were gaps in knowledge and negative perceptions about MMC in the study community. Measures are needed to avert the negative perceptions by equipping communities with sufficient, accurate and consistent information about medical male circumcision and sexual behaviour. PMID:26985272

  7. Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Injured Elephants in Masai Mara and the Putative Negative and Positive Roles of the Local Community

    PubMed Central

    Mijele, Domnic; Obanda, Vincent; Omondi, Patrick; Soriguer, Ramón C.; Gakuya, Francis; Otiende, Moses; Hongo, Peter; Alasaad, Samer

    2013-01-01

    Background Very few studies have ever focused on the elephants that are wounded or killed as local communities attempt to scare these animals away from their settlements and farms, or on the cases in which local people take revenge after elephants have killed or injured humans. On the other hand, local communities live in close proximity to elephants and hence can play a positive role in elephant conservation by informing the authorities of the presence of injured elephants. Methodology/Principal Findings Between 2007 and 2011, 129 elephants were monitored in Masai Mara (Kenya), of which 54 had various types of active (intentionally caused) or passive (non-intentionally caused) injuries. Also studied were 75 random control samples of apparently unaffected animals. The observed active injuries were as expected biased by age, with adults suffering more harm; on the other hand, no such bias was observed in the case of passive injuries. Bias was also observed in elephant sex since more males than females were passively and actively injured. Cases of passive and active injuries in elephants were negatively related to the proximity to roads and farms; the distribution of injured elephants was not affected by the presence of either human settlements or water sources. Overall more elephants were actively injured during the dry season than the wet season as expected. Local communities play a positive role by informing KWS authorities of the presence of injured elephants and reported 43% of all cases of injured elephants. Conclusions Our results suggest that the negative effect of local communities on elephants could be predicted by elephant proximity to farms and roads. In addition, local communities may be able to play a more positive role in elephant conservation given that they are key informants in the early detection of injured elephants. PMID:23936262

  8. Sexual motivation: a neural and behavioural analysis of the mechanisms underlying appetitive and copulatory responses of male rats.

    PubMed

    Everitt, B J

    1990-01-01

    Experiments investigating the neural mechanisms underlying the expression of masculine sexual behaviour are discussed in the context of the hypothesis set out by Frank Beach that suggested the existence of separate sexual arousal and performance mechanisms. The results indicate that the medial preoptic area is crucially involved in consummatory aspects of sexual behaviour: lesions and chemical manipulations of the area profoundly affect mounts, intromissions and ejaculation, but tend not to alter appetitive sexual responses. By contrast, ventral striatal dopamine-dependent mechanisms primarily affect appetitive sexual responses, measured in a variety of paradigms, but tend not to alter copulatory behaviour itself. Finally, associative mechanisms, for example those by which arbitrary environmental stimuli come to control appetitive sexual responses through their predictive association with sexual reinforcement, are shown to depend at least in part on interactions between the basolateral amygdala and dopamine-dependent events in the ventral striatum. Thus, diverse neural and behavioural procedures have revealed that separable neural mechanisms appear to be involved more or less selectively with different components of the male rat's sexual response system. It may still be useful to conceptualize separate sexual arousal and intromission/ejaculatory mechanisms when studying the neuroendocrine basis of sexual behaviour. However, a major challenge is to understand the way in which elements of the telencephalic limbic system, the striatum and preoptic area, some of which are targets for the action of sex steroids, interact to produce an integrated pattern of sexual behaviour.

  9. First reported case of elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus infection in Laos.

    PubMed

    Bouchard, Bertrand; Xaymountry, Bounmy; Thongtip, Nikorn; Lertwatcharasarakul, Preeda; Wajjwalku, Worawidh

    2014-09-01

    The elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) is now recognized as one of the main causes of death of young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in North American zoos. Its impact in wild and domestic elephant populations in Asia is not clearly understood. This article describes the first case of EEHV infection in Lao People's Democratic Republic of a 2.5-yr-old domestic male Asian elephant. Clinical signs and pathological findings reported here are consistent with previous infections in Asian elephant calves. Phylogenetic analyses showed 100% homology with other EEHV-1A strains identified in Asia, Europe, and North America. Contamination of the molecular assays was ruled out, because the DNA polymerase sequence identified in this study differed from the positive control by two base pairs.

  10. Determinants of male floating behaviour and floater reproduction in a threatened population of the hihi (Notiomystis cincta)

    PubMed Central

    Brekke, Patricia; Ewen, John G; Clucas, Gemma; Santure, Anna W

    2015-01-01

    Floating males are usually thought of as nonbreeders. However, some floating individuals are able to reproduce through extra-pair copulations. Floater reproductive success can impact breeders’ sex ratio, reproductive variance, multiple paternity and inbreeding, particularly in small populations. Changes in reproductive variance alter the rate of genetic drift and loss of genetic diversity. Therefore, genetic management of threatened species requires an understanding of floater reproduction and determinants of floating behaviour to effectively conserve species. Here, we used a pedigreed, free-living population of the endangered New Zealand hihi (Notiomystis cincta) to assess variance in male reproductive success and test the genetic (inbreeding and heritability) and conditional (age and size) factors that influence floater behaviour and reproduction. Floater reproduction is common in this species. However, floater individuals have lower reproductive success and variance in reproductive success than territorial males (total and extra-pair fledglings), so their relative impact on the population's reproductive performance is low. Whether an individual becomes a floater, and if so then how successful they are, is determined mainly by individual age (young and old) and to lesser extents male size (small) and inbreeding level (inbred). Floating males have a small, but important role in population reproduction and persistence of threatened populations. PMID:26366197

  11. Illuminating Cancer Resistance in Elephants.

    PubMed

    2015-12-01

    A new study shows that elephants have at least 20 copies of the tumor suppressor gene TP53; their cells also favor apoptosis over DNA repair when subjected to DNA-damaging agents. These findings may help explain elephants' longevity and low cancer risk, and shed further light on natural cancer suppression mechanisms.

  12. Assessing the General Education Elephant

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eubanks, David A.

    2008-01-01

    Determining the success of a general education program can resemble the task of John Godfrey's six blind men in trying to acquaint themselves with an elephant. One man's approach is to feel the tusk and conclude that the elephant is a spear. Another approach leads to thinking that the broad side of the animal is a wall. The many ways of asking and…

  13. HEREDITARY FACTOR VII DEFICIENCY IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) CAUSED BY A F7 MISSENSE MUTATION.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Michael; McGrath, Ken; Raj, Karthik; McLaren, Philippa; Payne, Karen; McCoy, Richard; Giger, Urs

    2017-04-01

    Hereditary disorders and genetic predispositions to disease are rarely reported in captive and free-ranging wildlife, and none have been definitively identified and characterized in elephants. A wild-caught, 41-yr-old male Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus ) without an apparent increased bleeding tendency was consistently found to have prolonged prothrombin times (PTs, mean=55±35 s) compared to 17 other elephants (PT=10±2 s). This elephant's partial thromboplastin times (PTT) fell within the normal range of the other elephants (12-30 s). A prolonged PT in the presence of a normal PTT suggests disruption of the extrinsic pathway via deficiency of coagulation Factor VII (FVII). This elephant's plasma FVII activity was very low (2%) compared to that of 15 other elephants (57-80%), but other coagulation factors' activities did not differ from the control elephants. Sequencing of genomic DNA from ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid blood revealed a single homozygous point mutation (c.202A>G) in the F7 gene of the FVII deficient elephant that was not present in unrelated elephants. This mutation causes an amino acid substitution (p.Arg68Gly) that is predicted to be deleterious. Two living offspring of the affected elephant were heterozygous for the mutation and had normal plasma FVII activities and coagulation profiles. Tissue from a third offspring, a deceased calf, was utilized to show that it was also a heterozygote. A DNA test has been developed to enable the screening of additional elephants for this mutation. Consistent with FVII deficiency investigations in other species, the condition did not cause a serious bleeding tendency in this individual elephant.

  14. Do parents play different roles in drinking behaviours of male and female adolescents? A longitudinal follow-up study

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Chao-Chia; Chang, Hsing-Yi; Luh, Dih-Ling; Wu, Chi-Chen; Yen, Lee-Lan

    2015-01-01

    Objective Gender differences in the associations between adolescent drinking behaviour, and perceived parental drinking behaviours and attitudes towards underage drinking, were investigated. Methods Data were drawn from two cohorts in the Child and Adolescent Behaviours in Long-term Evolution project. We used data from 2009 to 2006, when cohorts 1 and 2, respectively, were in grade 9. No cohort effect was found, so the two cohorts were pooled; 3972 students (1999 boys and 1973 girls) participated in the study. The major variables included adolescent drinking behaviours over the last month, and perceived parental drinking behaviours and parental attitudes towards underage drinking. The effects of the combination of parental drinking behaviours, and attitudes on the drinking behaviours of male and female adolescents, were analysed by logistic regression. Results The drinking behaviour of boys was correlated with the drinking behaviours and attitudes of their fathers but not with those of their mothers. Among boys, having a non-drinking father who was against underage drinking (OR=0.27, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.46), a non-drinking father who was favourable towards underage drinking (OR=0.61, 95% CI 0.39 to 0.94), or a drinking father who was against underage drinking (OR=0.44, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.85) significantly decreased the likelihood of alcohol consumption, whereas maternal behaviour and attitude were not significant influences. Among girls, having a non-drinking father who was against underage drinking (OR=0.52, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.91) or a non-drinking father who was favourable towards underage drinking (OR=0.51, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.83) significantly decreased the likelihood of alcohol consumption, as did having a non-drinking mother who was against underage drinking (OR=0.23, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.60). Conclusions The influences of fathers and mothers on the drinking behaviour of their adolescent children differed by offspring gender. PMID:25877273

  15. Neuroprotective Effect of Melatonin Against PCBs Induced Behavioural, Molecular and Histological Changes in Cerebral Cortex of Adult Male Wistar Rats.

    PubMed

    Bavithra, S; Selvakumar, K; Sundareswaran, L; Arunakaran, J

    2017-02-01

    There is ample evidence stating Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as neurotoxins. In the current study, we have analyzed the behavioural impact of PCBs exposure in adult rats and assessed the simultaneous effect of antioxidant melatonin against the PCBs action. The rats were grouped into four and treated intraperitoneally with vehicle, PCBs, PCBs + melatonin and melatonin alone for 30 days, respectively. After the treatment period the rats were tested for locomotor activity and anxiety behaviour analysis. We confirmed the neuronal damage in the cerebral cortex by molecular and histological analysis. Our data indicates that there is impairment in locomotor activity and behaviour of PCBs treated rats compared to control. The simultaneous melatonin treated rat shows increased motor coordination and less anxiety like behaviour compared to PCBs treated rats. Molecular and histological analysis supports that, the impaired motor coordination in PCBs treated rats is due to neurodegeneration in motor cortex region. The results proved that melatonin treatment improved the motor co-ordination and reduced anxiety behaviour, prevented neurodegeneration in the cerebral cortex of PCBs-exposed adult male rats.

  16. Demographic Variables for Wild Asian Elephants Using Longitudinal Observations

    PubMed Central

    de Silva, Shermin; Webber, C. Elizabeth; Weerathunga, U. S.; Pushpakumara, T. V.; Weerakoon, Devaka K.; Wittemyer, George

    2013-01-01

    Detailed demographic data on wild Asian elephants have been difficult to collect due to habitat characteristics of much of the species’ remaining range. Such data, however, are critical for understanding and modeling population processes in this endangered species. We present data from six years of an ongoing study of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Uda Walawe National Park, Sri Lanka. This relatively undisturbed population numbering over one thousand elephants is individually monitored, providing cohort-based information on mortality and reproduction. Reproduction was seasonal, such that most births occurred during the long inter-monsoon dry season and peaked in May. During the study, the average age at first reproduction was 13.4 years and the 50th percentile inter-birth interval was approximately 6 years. Birth sex ratios did not deviate significantly from parity. Fecundity was relatively stable throughout the observed reproductive life of an individual (ages 11–60), averaging between 0.13–0.17 female offspring per individual per year. Mortalities and injuries based on carcasses and disappearances showed that males were significantly more likely than females to be killed or injured through anthropogenic activity. Overall, however, most observed injuries did not appear to be fatal. This population exhibits higher fecundity and density relative to published estimates on other Asian elephant populations, possibly enhanced by present range constriction. Understanding the factors responsible for these demographic dynamics can shed insight on the future needs of this elephant population, with probable parallels to other populations in similar settings. PMID:24376581

  17. The inappropriateness of psycho-social models of risk behaviour for understanding HIV-related risk practices among Glasgow male prostitutes.

    PubMed

    Bloor, M J; McKeganey, N P; Finlay, A; Barnard, M A

    1992-01-01

    Much the most common models of HIV-related risk behaviour are those psychosocial models derived from studies of health behaviour and tested on large interview samples of American gay men. These models were not appropriate for understanding risk behaviour among 32 Glasgow male prostitutes. Whereas psycho-social models conceive of risk behaviour as volitional and individualistic, ethnographic data indicate that the male prostitutes' risk practices were constrained and emergent from the immediate circumstances of the sexual encounter. Unsafe sex was associated with client control. Safer sex was associated with countervailing prostitute strategies of influence. These data confirm the utility of self-empowerment approaches to health education.

  18. Residues of persistent organochlorine contaminants in southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) from Elephant Island, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Miranda-Filho, Kleber C; Metcalfe, Tracy L; Metcalfe, Chris D; Robaldo, Ricardo B; Muelbert, Mônica M C; Colares, Elton P; Martinez, Pablo E; Bianchini, Adalto

    2007-06-01

    Contamination of blubber tissues by organochlorine pesticides (OC) and PCBs was assessed in female and male pups and juveniles, as well as in adult females and subdominant adult males of the Southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina, from Elephant Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. All residues of persistent organochlorine contaminants analyzed were found in blubber samples, except for beta-HCH, endosulfan II, endrin, heptachlor, and aldrin. The relative concentrations of the analytes detected were sigmaDDT > sigmaPCB > sigmachlordane > mirex > dieldrin > HCB> sigmaendosulfan > methoxychlor > sigmaHCHs > other OC pesticides. OC and PCBs concentrations were 1 or 2 orders of magnitude lower than those found in pinnipeds from northern hemisphere. The ratio sigmaDDT/sigmaPCB was higher in southern elephant seals. The relative importance of some OC residues indicates that pesticides used either currently or in the recent past in countries in the southern hemisphere are the sources of contamination in the Antarctic region. Data showed that concentrations of contaminants generally increased from pups < juveniles < adults and suggested that pups accumulated contaminants through transfer from the mother seals via transplacental and lactational routes.

  19. Breeding season influxes and the behaviour of adult male samango monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis albogularis).

    PubMed

    Henzi, S P; Lawes, M

    1987-01-01

    Troops comprising a high density population of samango monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis) in Natal province, South Africa, experienced an influx of adult males during the breeding season. Observation of one troop revealed that these males competed with one another and with two resident males for access to receptive females. Although both sexes initiated copulation, attempts to do so were more often successful if female-initiated. Males did not interact with non-receptive females and there were no recorded attempts at infanticide. Male-male interactions were agonistic in the presence of receptive females and neutral at other times. No ritualized displays of dominance and subordinance were seen. The significance of these observations for male reproductive strategies is discussed.

  20. Together we have fun: native-place networks and sexual risk behaviours among Chinese male rural-urban migrants.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaozhao Yousef; Kelly, Brian C; Yang, Tingzhong

    2016-05-01

    Some scholars argue that the maintenance of social networks contributes to the lower prevalence of deviant behaviours and fewer adverse health effects among migrants. But others suggest that if migrants are embedded in homogeneous networks, such networks may enable the formation of a deviant subculture that promotes risk taking. Facing this dilemma, the present study investigates how native-place networks influence sexual risk behaviours (SRBs), specifically the pursuit of commercial sex and condomless sex with sex workers, for male rural-urban migrants. Using a multi-stage sample of 1,591 male rural-urban migrants from two major migrant-influx cities within China, we assessed migrants' general friend network ties and native place networks (townsmen in migrants' local networks) and tested their associations with SRBs. Multiple logistic regression analyses indicate that native-place network ties are associated with paying for sex (OR = 1.33, p < 0.001) and condomless sex with sex workers (OR = 1.33, p < 0.001), while general friendship network ties reduce such risks (OR = 0.74, p < 0.001; OR = 0.84, p < 0.01) even after controlling for demographic background, housing conditions, length of stay, health beliefs and behaviours, and spousal companionship. Our findings suggest that native-place networks among Chinese male rural-urban migrants are associated with SRBs because homogenous networks may serve as a platform for the emergence of a deviant subculture that promotes risk behaviours. A Virtual Abstract of this paper is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wg20I6j8XQ.

  1. Patterns of sexual behaviour of male patients before testing HIV-positive in a Cambodian hospital, Phnom Penh

    PubMed Central

    Sok, Phan; Harwell, Joseph I.; Dansereau, Lynne; McGarvey, Stephen; Lurie, Mark; Mayer, Kenneth H.

    2010-01-01

    Background Sexual behaviours among HIV-positive male patients in Cambodia have not been fully evaluated. Objectives The patterns of sexual behaviours and social factors were compared between married and single men. Methods A retrospective cross-sectional survey of 174 male HIV patients was undertaken during March 1999–June 2000 in Phnom Penh. Results Many participants (61%) reported that they were unaware that their sexual behaviours may have put them at risk of HIV infection. Sexual behaviours included having sex with a sex worker (90%), multiple sexual partners (41%), and both of these behaviours (37%). Two-thirds (69%) reported using a condom when having sex with a sex worker. Condom use with multiple sexual partners was low (24%). A history of condom use with a sex worker was less likely to be reported among married men than single men (P = 0.008). Always using condoms with a sex worker did not differ between married men and single men. Social factors that influenced visiting a sex worker included invitation by a friend (88%), alcohol consumption (74%), and having extra spending money (72%). Multivariate analysis suggests that alcohol consumption (P = 0.008) and having extra spending money (P = 0.02) were strongly associated with visiting a sex worker. Conclusions In Cambodia, HIV-infected men frequently reported a history of using sex workers. Having multiple sex partners or using a sex worker and multiple sexual partners were not rare. Interventions should target men in settings where alcohol is consumed and to encourage married men to use condoms. PMID:19061555

  2. Corridor use by Asian elephants.

    PubMed

    Pan, Wenjing; Lin, Liu; Luo, Aidong; Zhang, Li

    2009-06-01

    There are 18 km of Kunming-Bangkok Highway passing through the Mengyang Nature Reserve of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in Yunnan Province, China. From September 2005 to September 2006 the impact of this highway on movement of wild Asian elephants between the eastern and western part of the nature reserve was studied using track transecting, rural surveys and direct monitoring. Our results showed that the number of crossroad corridors used by Asian elephants diminished from 28 to 23 following the construction of the highway. In some areas, the elephant activity diminished or even disappeared, which indicated a change in their home ranges. The utilization rate of artificial corridors was 44%. We also found that elephants preferred artificial corridors that were placed along their original corridors. During the research, wild elephants revealed their adaptation to the highway. They were found walking across the highway road surface many times and for different reasons. We suggest that the highway management bureau should revise their management strategies to mitigate the potential risks caused by elephants on the road for the safety of the public and to protect this endangered species from harm. It is also very important to protect and maintain current Asian elephants corridors in this region.

  3. Condom use behaviours among 18–24 year-old urban African American males: a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    KENNEDY, S. B.; NOLEN, S.; APPLEWHITE, J.; WAITERS, E.; VANDERHOFF, J.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this pilot project was to develop, administer and assess a brief male-focused and behavioural-driven condom promotion programme for young adult African American males in an urban setting. To achieve the aims of this study, linkages with local community centres were initially fostered and both quantitative and qualitative research methods were employed. Based on relevant tenets of the social cognitive theory and the stages of change model, a series of focus groups were conducted among the target population, recruited from non-traditional urban settings, to identify and further explore their perceived condom use barriers and facilitators in order to support programme development. Specifically, the topical items addressed those young men’s perceptions of sexuality and condom use within three broad contexts: general sexual behaviours, condom use behaviours, and the relationship between condoms and substance use. The focus group discussions were audiotaped and the transcribed data summarized and analysed based on those thematic topics. The findings revealed that significant myths, misconceptions and knowledge gaps exist regarding HIV/STD-related prevention, condom promotion and substance use. The findings imply that there is a critical need to develop target group suitable condom promotion programmes in order to successfully promote, foster and sustain condom use among high-risk populations. PMID:17852001

  4. HIV testing, perceived vulnerability and correlates of HIV sexual risk behaviours of Latino and African American young male gang members.

    PubMed

    Brooks, R A; Lee, S-J; Stover, G N; Barkley, T W

    2011-01-01

    This study examined HIV testing behaviours, perceived vulnerability to HIV and correlates of sexual risk behaviours of young adult Latino and African American male gang members in Los Angeles, California. Data were collected from 249 gang members aged 18-26 years. The majority (59%) of gang members reported unprotected vaginal intercourse (UVI) in the past 12 months. Only one-third (33.2%) of gang members had ever been tested for HIV. In our multivariate analysis, gang members who reported UVI were more likely to have engaged in the following behaviours: had sex with someone they just met (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 4.51), had sex with someone they think or know had a sexually transmitted infection (STI; AOR = 4.67) or had sex while incarcerated (AOR = 8.92). In addition, gang members with a higher perceived vulnerability to HIV were less likely to report UVI in the previous 12 months (AOR = 0.75). These findings offer implications for development of an HIV prevention intervention for young Latino and African American male gang members.

  5. The best time to have sex: mating behaviour and effect of daylight time on male sexual competitiveness in the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Benelli, Giovanni

    2015-03-01

    Aedes albopictus is the most invasive mosquito worldwide and works as a vector for many important pathogens. Control tools rely to chemical treatments against larvae, indoor residual spraying and insecticide-treated bed nets. Recently, huge efforts have been carried out to propose new eco-friendly alternatives, such as evaluation of plant-borne compounds and sterile insect technique (SIT) programs. Success of SIT is dependent to the ability of sterile males to compete for mates with wild ones. Little is still known about mating behaviour of Aedes males. Most of the studies focus on comparisons of insemination ability in sterilised and wild males, while behavioural analyses of mating behaviour are lacking. Here, I quantified the courtship and mating behaviour of A. albopictus and evaluated how daylight hours affect male mating behaviour and success. A. albopictus males chased females facing them frontally, from behind, or from a lateral side. If the female allowed genital contact, copulation followed. Otherwise, females performed rejection kicks and/or flew away. Thirty-seven percent of males obtained a successful copulation (i.e. sperm transfer occurs), lasting 63 ± 4 s. Unsuccessful copulation (20 % of males) had shorter duration (18 ± 1 s). Successful copulations followed longer male courtships (39 ± 3 s), over courtships preceding unsuccessful copulation (20 ± 2 s) or male's rejection (22 ± 2 s). After copulation, the male rested 7 ± 0.4 s close to the female, then move off. In a semi-natural environment, male mating success was lower in early afternoon, over morning and late afternoon. However, little differences in courtship duration over daylight periods were found. This study adds knowledge to the reproductive behaviour of A. albopictus, which can be used to perform comparisons among courtship and mating ethograms from different mosquito species and strains, allowing monitoring and optimisation of mass rearing quality over time in SIT programs.

  6. Long-Term Monitoring of Dzanga Bai Forest Elephants: Forest Clearing Use Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Turkalo, Andrea K.; Wrege, Peter H.; Wittemyer, George

    2013-01-01

    Individual identification of the relatively cryptic forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) at forest clearings currently provides the highest quality monitoring data on this ecologically important but increasingly threatened species. Here we present baseline data from the first 20 years of an individually based study of this species, conducted at the Dzanga Clearing, Central African Republic. A total of 3,128 elephants were identified over the 20-year study (1,244 adults; 675 females, 569 males). It took approximately four years for the majority of elephants visiting the clearing to be identified, but new elephants entered the clearing every year of the study. The study population was relatively stable, varying from 1,668 to 1,864 individuals (including juveniles and infants), with increasingly fewer males than females over time. The age-class distribution for females remained qualitatively unchanged between 1995 and 2010, while the proportion of adult males decreased from 20% to 10%, likely reflecting increased mortality. Visitation patterns by individuals were highly variable, with some elephants visiting monthly while others were ephemeral users with visits separated by multiple years. The number of individuals in the clearing at any time varied between 40 and 100 individuals, and there was little evidence of a seasonal pattern in this variation. The number of elephants entering the clearing together (defined here as a social group) averaged 1.49 (range 1–12) for males and 2.67 (range 1–14) for females. This collation of 20 years of intensive forest elephant monitoring provides the first detailed, long term look at the ecology of bai visitation for this species, offering insight to the ecological significance and motivation for bai use, social behavior, and threats to forest elephants. We discuss likely drivers (rainfall, compression, illegal killing, etc.) influencing bai visitation rates. This study provides the baseline for future demographic and behavioral

  7. Behavioural differences between male and female carpenter bees in nectar robbing and its effect on reproductive success in Glechoma longituba (Lamiaceae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y-W; Zhao, J-M; Yang, C-F; Gituru, W R

    2011-01-01

    Male and female nectar robbers may show significantly different behaviour on host plants and thus have different impacts on reproductive fitness of the plants. A 4-year study in natural populations of Glechoma longituba has shown that male carpenter bees (Xylocopa sinensis) are responsible for most of the nectar robbing from these flowers, while female bees account for little nectar robbing, demonstrating distinct behavioural differentiation between male and female bees in visiting flowers. The smaller male bee spends less time visiting a single flower than the larger female bee, consequently, the male bee is capable of visiting more flowers per unit time and has a higher foraging efficiency. Moreover, the robbing behaviour of female carpenter bees is more destructive and affects flower structures (ovules and nectaries) and floral life-span more than that of the male bee. According to the energy trade-off hypothesis, the net energy gain for male bees during nectar robbing greatly surpasses energy payout (17.72 versus 2.43 J), while the female bee net energy gain is barely adequate to meet energy payout per unit time (3.78 versus 2.39 J). The differences in net energy gain for male and female bees per unit time in nectar robbing are the likely cause of observed behavioural differences between the sexes. The differences in food resource preference between male and female bees constitute an optimal resource allocation pattern that enables the visitors to utilise floral resources more efficiently.

  8. Young Male Prisoners in a Young Offenders' Institution: Their Contact with Suicidal Behaviour by Others

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hales, H.; Davison, S.; Misch, P.; Taylor, P. J.

    2003-01-01

    Prison suicide rates are increasing. The impact of witnessing a suicide or how many people do so is unknown. The aim of this study was to find how many young people detained in a Young Offenders' Institution (YOI) have had contact with another's suicide attempt and to test for association between this and own self-harming behaviour. A…

  9. The Relationship between Lifestyle and Campus Eating Behaviours in Male and Female University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Rebecca A.; Berry, Tanya R.; Kennedy, Michael D.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Poor nutritional practices and heightened levels of stress, two common attributes of university life, are strongly linked with weight gain and decreased health. Little research has examined the relationships between university students' lifestyle factors and campus eating behaviours; therefore, this study aimed to examine relationships…

  10. Unsafe sexual behaviour in domestic and foreign migrant male workers in multinational workplaces in Jordan: occupational-based and behavioural assessment survey

    PubMed Central

    Al Rifai, Rami; Nakamura, Keiko; Seino, Kaoruko; Kizuki, Masashi; Morita, Ayako

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To examine the prevalence of unsafe sexual behaviour, sexually transmitted infection (STI)-related knowledge, health and work-related conditions, and correlates of practising unsafe sex among domestic and foreign male workers in multinational workplaces in Jordan. Design Cross-sectional behavioural assessment survey. Setting Multinational workplaces in Jordan. Participants 230 Jordanian and 480 foreign male workers aged ≥18 years who had worked in a Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) for 12 months or more. Outcomes The primary outcome was the prevalence of practising unsafe sex. ‘Unsafe sex’ was defined as sex with a non-regular sexual partner with inconsistent condom usage. Results Overall, 74.3% of workers reported lifetime sexual experience. The proportion of lifetime unsafe sex was similar among domestic (31.8%) and foreign (35.6%) workers. Of those, 59.2% of domestic and 68.1% of foreign workers started practising unsafe sex after joining the QIZ. Rates of lifetime unsafe sex were significantly higher among those who had their sexual debut after joining the QIZ in domestic (aOR, 2.2, 95% CI 1.1 to 4.4) and foreign workers (aOR, 2.4, 95% CI 1.4 to 4.1). Among the domestic workers, being 18–24 years old (aOR, 4.9), unmarried (aOR, 4.8), working in the QIZ for 5–8 years (aOR, 5.0), sometimes/frequently shopped with foreign workers (aOR, 2.1) or were current/ex-alcohol drinkers (aORs, 3.4) were independently significantly associated with higher odds of practising unsafe sex. Conclusions A significant proportion of domestic and foreign male workers had been practising unsafe sex. The findings indicated that not only foreigners but also domestic male workers associating with foreign workers are at high risk of unsafe sex. Tailored interventions to promote safer sex in multinational workplaces in Jordan are needed. PMID:26068511

  11. Behaviour/emotional problems in male juvenile delinquents and controls in Russia: the role of personality traits.

    PubMed

    Ruchkin, V V; Eisemann, M; Cloninger, C R

    1998-09-01

    Recent studies based on the psychobiological theory of personality by Cloninger postulate a relationship between certain personality traits and various psychopathological manifestations. To test this theory, we administered the Temperament and Character Inventory and the Youth Self-Report to 188 male delinquents from a juvenile correction centre in Northern Russia, and to 111 age-matched male controls recruited from among schoolchildren. As assumed by previous studies, psychological symptoms were primarily positively correlated with harm avoidance and negatively correlated with self-directedness. At the same time, the higher levels of aggressive and delinquent behaviour were positively correlated with novelty-seeking and negatively correlated with co-operativeness. The possible mechanisms underlying these findings are discussed.

  12. The influence of male circumcision for HIV prevention on sexual behaviour among traditionally circumcised men in Cape Town, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Eaton, L A; Cain, D N; Agrawal, A; Jooste, S; Udemans, N; Kalichman, S C

    2011-11-01

    We examined the relationship between HIV prevention beliefs related to male circumcision and sexual behaviour/sexually transmitted infection (STI) acquisition among traditionally circumcised men in Cape Town, South Africa. HIV-negative men (n = 304), circumcised for cultural/religious reasons, attending a health clinic in Cape Town, South Africa, completed cross-sectional surveys. Generalized linear models were used to analyse the relationships between unprotected vaginal sex acts, number of female sexual partners, STI diagnoses and male circumcision-related beliefs and risk perceptions. Men who were aware that circumcision offers protection against HIV (relative risk [RR] = 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.06-1.32, P < 0.01), endorsed risk compensation related to male circumcision (RR = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.11-1.12, P < 0.01) and perceived lower risk of HIV infection when circumcised (RR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.04-1.12, P < 0.01) were more likely to report unprotected vaginal sex acts. Similar patterns were also identified when predicting number of female sexual partners. Men who were more likely to endorse risk compensation related to male circumcision were also more likely to be diagnosed with a chronic STI (odds ratio [OR] = 1.64, 95% CI = 1.06-2.53, P < 0.05). Our findings suggest that we must not overlook the effects of beliefs towards male circumcision for HIV prevention among men traditionally circumcised; doing so may undermine current efforts to reduce HIV transmission through male circumcision.

  13. Better mate in the shade: enhancement of male mating behaviour in the cabbage butterfly, Pieris rapae crucivora, in a UV-rich environment.

    PubMed

    Obara, Yoshiaki; Koshitaka, Hisaharu; Arikawa, Kentaro

    2008-12-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) vision is widespread in a variety of animals, playing important roles in behaviours such as foraging and reproduction. Despite accumulated information about UV vision and UV-dependent behaviours of animals, little is known about the effect of temporal changes and local variations in UV light on UV-dependent behaviour. Here we report the mating behaviour of male cabbage butterfly, Pieris rapae crucivora, in environments with varying content of UV light. We first confirmed that the relative UV content is higher in shaded places than in sunny places. We furthermore arranged experimental areas with varying UV contents in the field, where we compared three aspects of male mating behaviour: visual localization of females, female-searching flight and copulation success rate. In all aspects males performed more actively in UV-rich environments: males searched females for longer, approached females preferentially in the shade and copulated there more frequently. Apparently, female-searching males detect females more easily in a UV-rich environment. The present findings should be taken into consideration when UV-dependent behaviours, visual mate choice in particular, are studied.

  14. GHB differentially affects morphine actions on motor activity and social behaviours in male mice.

    PubMed

    Maldonado, C; Rodriíuez-Arias, M; Aguilar, M A; Miñarro, J

    2003-09-01

    There are several reports suggesting that gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) influences the endogenous opioid system. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of GHB on motor and social activities and to examine its influence on morphine's actions on these behaviours. In a first experiment, several doses of GHB were studied but only the highest (200 and 400 mg/kg) produced a decrease in spontaneous motor activity measured in an actimeter cage. When hyperactivity induced by injecting 50 mg/kg of morphine was evaluated, all the GHB doses efficiently counteracted this morphine action. Using the paradigm of isolation-induced aggression, administration of 200 mg/kg of GHB significantly decreased threat and attack without impairing motor activity and, in addition, increased time spent in social contact. GHB increased morphine's suppression of threat or nonsocial exploratory behaviours. In conclusion, the interaction between GHB and the opioid systems was confirmed, with the drug having an additive effect on morphine-affected social behaviours but counteracting morphine-induced increases in motor activity.

  15. Food restriction or sleep deprivation: which exerts a greater influence on the sexual behaviour of male rats?

    PubMed

    Alvarenga, Tathiana A; Andersen, Monica L; Velázquez-Moctezuma, Javier; Tufik, Sergio

    2009-09-14

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of food restriction (FR) and paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD), either alone or in combination, on sexual behaviours (mount, intromission and ejaculation) in adult male rats. Diet restriction began at weaning with 6g/day of food, and the amount of food was increased by 1g/week until it reached 15g/day amount (in adulthood). During adulthood, rats under FR and those fed ad libitum were either subjected to PSD for 96h or maintained in home-cage groups. The results indicated that both FR and ad libitum sleep-deprived groups showed a significant decrease in performance and motivation to initiate sexual behaviour, reflected by the increase in mount and intromission latencies and decreased copulatory rate. FR associated with PSD reversed the adverse effects of sleep deprivation on the number of ejaculations and inter-copulatory interval. Testosterone concentrations decreased after sleep deprivation, regardless of food availability; while progesterone was significantly higher in the FR-PSD group only. In light of the limited understanding of the link between secretion patterns and neural-hormonal control of food availability related to sexual behaviour, our data indicate that sleep loss affects sexual responses, and FR was able to restore some of the sexual parameters investigated.

  16. Enriched cages for groups of laboratory male rats and their effects on behaviour, weight gain and adrenal glands.

    PubMed

    Lidfors, L; Wichman, A; Ewaldsson, B; Lindh, A-S

    2014-01-01

    We investigated if there were any negative effects on the behaviour and physiology of rats housed in groups of five in two types of enriched cages and compared them with paired-housed rats housed in traditional cages. Eighty-four male Wistar and Sprague-Dawley rats were housed in an enriched rat cage (ERC), a rebuilt rabbit cage (RRC) or a Makrolon III cage (MC) system from 5-16 weeks of age with access to different enrichments. Recordings of behaviour and cage use (3 × 24 h video recording), weekly weighing, measuring food consumption four days/week and water consumption two days/week, were carried out. The rats' muscle strength was assessed using the 'inclined plane' at the end of the study, and after euthanasia the adrenal glands were removed and weighed. Being in the shelter was the most common behaviour in the ERC and RRC groups. In the MC group, which lacked a shelter, rats performed the highest percentage of lying, grooming, rearing, play fighting and manipulating paper shreds. Rats in the RRC had the highest percentage of standing and manipulating gnawing sticks. Water consumption was higher in MC than in ERC and RRC rats. Rats from the RRC managed to remain at a steeper angle on the 'inclined plane' than rats from the MC. There were no significant effects of cage type on weight gain, food consumption or relative weights of adrenal glands. In conclusion, male rats kept in groups of five in larger enriched cages benefited from the enrichments, and no negative effects were found in the larger groups.

  17. Functional coupling of acoustic and chemical signals in the courtship behaviour of the male Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed Central

    Rybak, F; Sureau, G; Aubin, T

    2002-01-01

    During courtship, the male Drosophila melanogaster sends signals to the female through two major sensory channels: chemical and acoustic. These signals are involved in the stimulation of the female to accept copulation. In order to determine the respective importance in the courtship of these signals, their production was controlled using genetical and surgical techniques. Males deprived of the ability to emit both signals are unable to mate, demonstrating that other (e.g. visual or tactile) signals are not sufficient to stimulate the female. If either acoustic or chemical signals are lacking, the courtship success is strongly reduced, the lack of the former having significantly more drastic effects. However, the accelerated matings of males observed with males bearing wild-type hydrocarbons compared with defective ones, whichever the modality of acoustic performance (wing vibration or playback), strongly support the role of cuticular compounds to stimulate females. We can conclude that among the possible factors involved in communication during courtship, acoustic and chemical signals may act in a synergistic way and not separately in D. melanogaster. PMID:11934360

  18. Simultaneous Visual Discrimination in Asian Elephants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nissani, Moti; Hoefler-Nissani, Donna; Lay, U. Tin; Htun, U. Wan

    2005-01-01

    Two experiments explored the behavior of 20 Asian elephants ("Elephas aximus") in simultaneous visual discrimination tasks. In Experiment 1, 7 Burmese logging elephants acquired a white+/black- discrimination, reaching criterion in a mean of 2.6 sessions and 117 discrete trials, whereas 4 elephants acquired a black+/white- discrimination in 5.3…

  19. Formalin pain does not modify food-hoarding behaviour in male rats.

    PubMed

    Aloisi, A M; Carli, G

    1996-04-01

    Many animal species hoard food by carrying it to their home area. In this experiment we evaluated the interaction between persistent (formalin) pain and food-hoarding behaviour. A food-hoarding apparatus, consisting of a home cage connected with an alley at the end of which were placed food pellets, was used to test (60 min each day) food-restricted rats which had been familiarized with the apparatus for three days. Three groups of animals were used, one of which was tested in the apparatus in the absence of pellets. On the day of testing, the two groups of rats allowed to perform food-hoarding were either sham- or formalin-injected (50 μl, 10%) in the dorsal surface of the hind paw immediately before testing; the third group, not allowed to hoard pellets, was also injected with formalin. In animals treated with formalin, the availability of food resulted in shorter durations of Licking, Self-Grooming and Inactivity. In animals allowed to hoard food, formalin injection affected neither hoarding parameters nor exploratory activities. Our results show that, in food-restricted rats, food-hoarding behaviour is not modified by persistent nociceptive stimuli while Licking, a complex response to formalin pain, is decreased by the drive to relieve hunger.

  20. Pharmacokinetic behaviour of albendazole sulphoxide enantiomers in male and female sheep.

    PubMed

    Capece, B P; Castells, G; Pérez, F; Arboix, M; Cristòfol, C

    2000-07-01

    Benzimidazole anthelmintic drugs are widely used in veterinary practice. Albendazole sulphoxide (ABZSO) is a benzimidazole drug with two enantiomers, as a consequence of a chiral centre in the sulphoxide group. The kinetics of these enantiomers were studied in male and female sheep. Plasma samples were obtained from the animals between 0.5 and 72 h after oral administration of 7.5 mg/kg of a racemic formulation of ABZSO (total-ABZSO). After a liquid-liquid extraction, the samples were analysed by HPLC to determine the concentrations of total-ABZSO and of the sulphone metabolite (ABZSO2). During the chromatographic analysis, the ABZSO peak was collected and reanalysed by an HPLC technique using a Chiral AGP column to quantify the enantiomeric proportion therein. After kinetic analysis, the AUCs obtained for the (+)-ABZSO were 5.8 and 4.0 times higher than those for the (-)-ABZSO in male and female animals, respectively. The mean residence times were 23.4 and 16.1 h for (+)-ABZSO and 22.2 and 17.4 h for (-)-ABZSO for male and female animals, respectively. The only significant difference between the sexes (p < 0.05) was in the Tmax of the (-)-ABZSO. Comparing both enantiomers within each sex, significant differences were found in all the kinetic parameters. Finally, no kinetic differences were found between sex for total-ABZSO or ABZSO2.

  1. An Asian Elephant Imitates Human Speech

    PubMed Central

    Stoeger, Angela S.; Mietchen, Daniel; Oh, Sukhun; de Silva, Shermin; Herbst, Christian T.; Kwon, Soowhan; Fitch, W. Tecumseh

    2012-01-01

    Summary Vocal imitation has convergently evolved in many species, allowing learning and cultural transmission of complex, conspecific sounds, as in birdsong [1, 2]. Scattered instances also exist of vocal imitation across species, including mockingbirds imitating other species or parrots and mynahs producing human speech [3, 4]. Here, we document a male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) that imitates human speech, matching Korean formants and fundamental frequency in such detail that Korean native speakers can readily understand and transcribe the imitations. To create these very accurate imitations of speech formant frequencies, this elephant (named Koshik) places his trunk inside his mouth, modulating the shape of the vocal tract during controlled phonation. This represents a wholly novel method of vocal production and formant control in this or any other species. One hypothesized role for vocal imitation is to facilitate vocal recognition by heightening the similarity between related or socially affiliated individuals [1, 2]. The social circumstances under which Koshik’s speech imitations developed suggest that one function of vocal learning might be to cement social bonds and, in unusual cases, social bonds across species. PMID:23122846

  2. The effects of cage enrichment on agonistic behaviour and dominance in male laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus).

    PubMed

    Abou-Ismail, Usama A

    2011-04-01

    This experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of enriching laboratory cages on agonistic interaction and dominance of rats. In a series of three replicates, 48 rats were housed in groups of four in either 'standard' or 'enriched' cages for 6 weeks. Successful aggressive and defensive behaviour that ended up in a clear winner and loser were sampled in the first hour of the dark phase of the light/dark cycle every other week. Rats in the 'complex' cages showed lower levels of both successful aggressive and successful defensive bouts compared to rats in the 'standard' cages. Enriching cages of laboratory rat did not change the social order of the animals in the cage. Thus, enhancing the complexity of cages of laboratory rats by the particular cage modification regimen implemented in this experiment could be considered enrichment and could therefore result in an improvement of welfare in these animals.

  3. Sterile 'Judas' carp--Surgical sterilisation does not impair growth, endocrine and behavioural responses of male carp.

    PubMed

    Patil, Jawahar G; Purser, G J; Nicholson, A M

    2015-09-15

    Use of 'Judas' fish to betray the locations of conspecifics is a powerful tool in management of invasive pest fish but poses a risk of contributing to recruitment. Our aim therefore was to generate surgically sterilised male common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and test whether they readily assimilate into wild populations, retain sexual behaviour and successfully betray the locations of feral carp. Male common carp were surgically sterilised (n=44) adopting a two-point nip technique, using either a haemoclip, suture or electro cautery to tie each of the testicular ducts about 2.5 cm cranial to urogenital sinus-retaining all of the glandular testis tissue. Observed survival (95%) and success (>70%) rates were relatively high. Plasma steroids (11-keto testosterone and 17β-estradiol) were quantified by immunoassay. A subset of sterile and control male fish (n=7 each) were implanted with radio-transmitters and released into Lake Sorell (50 km(2)) and their ability to betray the location of feral carp was assessed by radio tracking and targeted fishing. There was a statistically significant difference in 11-keto testosterone and 17β-estradiol levels over time (P<0.05), but not between the sterile and control groups within each sampling time (P>0.05), implying that surgery did not compromise the animals physiologically. The sterile Judas fish integrated well into the population-behaving similarly to control Judas males and assisted in the capture of feral carp. The study marks a significant breakthrough in the management of this pest fish with potential adoption to the management of other pest fish globally.

  4. Pregnenolone sulphate enhances spatial orientation and object discrimination in adult male rats: evidence from a behavioural and electrophysiological study.

    PubMed

    Plescia, Fulvio; Sardo, Pierangelo; Rizzo, Valerio; Cacace, Silvana; Marino, Rosa Anna Maria; Brancato, Anna; Ferraro, Giuseppe; Carletti, Fabio; Cannizzaro, Carla

    2014-01-01

    Neurosteroids can alter neuronal excitability interacting with specific neurotransmitter receptors, thus affecting several functions such as cognition and emotionality. In this study we investigated, in adult male rats, the effects of the acute administration of pregnenolone-sulfate (PREGS) (10mg/kg, s.c.) on cognitive processes using the Can test, a non aversive spatial/visual task which allows the assessment of both spatial orientation-acquisition and object discrimination in a simple and in a complex version of the visual task. Electrophysiological recordings were also performed in vivo, after acute PREGS systemic administration in order to investigate on the neuronal activation in the hippocampus and the perirhinal cortex. Our results indicate that, PREGS induces an improvement in spatial orientation-acquisition and in object discrimination in the simple and in the complex visual task; the behavioural responses were also confirmed by electrophysiological recordings showing a potentiation in the neuronal activity of the hippocampus and the perirhinal cortex. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that PREGS systemic administration in rats exerts cognitive enhancing properties which involve both the acquisition and utilization of spatial information, and object discrimination memory, and also correlates the behavioural potentiation observed to an increase in the neuronal firing of discrete cerebral areas critical for spatial learning and object recognition. This provides further evidence in support of the role of PREGS in exerting a protective and enhancing role on human memory.

  5. Pre-copula acoustic behaviour of males in the malarial mosquitoes Anopheles coluzzii and Anopheles gambiae s.s. does not contribute to reproductive isolation.

    PubMed

    Simões, Patrício M V; Gibson, Gabriella; Russell, Ian J

    2017-02-01

    We reveal that males of two members of the Anopheles gambiae s.l. species complex, Anopheles coluzzii and Anopheles gambiae s.s. (hereafter A. gambiae), which are both malaria vectors, perform a stereotypical acoustic behaviour in response to pure tones at frequencies that encompass the frequency range of the female's flight-tones. This behaviour resembles that described for Culex quinquefasciatus and consists of phonotactic flight initiated by a steep increase in wing-beat frequency (WBF) followed by rapid frequency modulation (RFM) of WBF when in close proximity to the sound source. RFM was elicited without acoustic feedback or the presence of a live female, but it appears to be a stereotypic behaviour in the immediate lead up to copula formation. RFM is an independent and different behavioural process from harmonic convergence interactions used by male-female pairs for mate recognition at earlier stages of mating. Acoustic threshold for RFM was used to plot behavioural audiograms from free-flying A coluzzii and A gambiae males. These audiograms were almost identical (minima ∼400 Hz) and encompassed the WBF ranges of A coluzzii (378-601 Hz) and A gambiae (373-590 Hz) females, indicating that males of the two species share similar frequency tuning and range. Furthermore, no differences were found between the two species in their WBFs, RFM behaviour or harmonic convergence ratios. These results indicate that assortative mating between A coluzzii and A gambiae is unlikely to be based on male-specific acoustic behaviours during RFM. The significance of these findings in relation to possible mechanisms for assortative mating is discussed.

  6. Predictors of condom use behaviour among male street labourers in urban Vietnam using a modified Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model.

    PubMed

    Van Huy, Nguyen; P Dunne, Michael; Debattista, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    HIV risk in vulnerable groups such as itinerant male street labourers is often examined via a focus on individual determinants. This study provides a test of a modified Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model to predict condom use behaviour among male street workers in urban Vietnam. In a cross-sectional survey using a social mapping technique, 450 male street labourers from 13 districts of Hanoi, Vietnam were recruited and interviewed. Collected data were first examined for completeness; structural equation modelling was then employed to test the model fit. Condoms were used inconsistently by many of these men, and usage varied in relation to a number of factors. A modified IMB model had a better fit than the original IMB model in predicting condom use behaviour. This modified model accounted for 49% of the variance, versus 10% by the original version. In the modified model, the influence of psychosocial factors was moderately high, whilst the influence of HIV prevention information, motivation and perceived behavioural skills was moderately low, explaining in part the limited level of condom use behaviour. This study provides insights into social factors that should be taken into account in public health planning to promote safer sexual behaviour among Asian male street labourers.

  7. The HIV-associated risk behaviour among male drug abusers in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Juita, G; Osman, A

    1995-12-01

    To examine the risk factors of HIV type-I infection among male drug addicts in Malaysia, a case-control study was conducted on inmates, aged 20-40 years, at a drug rehabilitation centre in January, 1994. Stratified random sampling was performed. A total of 87 cases and 261 controls, chosen by frequency matching for age and ethnicity, answered self-administered questionnaires. About 59.8% of the subjects administered drugs intravenously and of these, 71.2% shared needles. Practices significantly associated with HIV infection were needle-sharing (OR = 8.53; 95% CI = 3.36-5.52), sexual relationship with prostitutes (OR = 3.70; 95% CI = 2.10-6.56), homosexuality (OR = 4.05; 95% CI = 1.49-11.11) and non-condom use while having sex with prostitutes (OR = 2.27; 95% CI = 1.05-4.97).

  8. Male Moth Songs Tempt Females to Accept Mating: The Role of Acoustic and Pheromonal Communication in the Reproductive Behaviour of Aphomia sociella

    PubMed Central

    Kindl, Jiří; Kalinová, Blanka; Červenka, Milan; Jílek, Milan; Valterová, Irena

    2011-01-01

    Background Members of the subfamily Galleriinae have adapted to different selective environmental pressures by devising a unique mating process. Galleriinae males initiate mating by attracting females with either chemical or acoustic signals (or a combination of both modalities). Six compounds considered candidates for the sex pheromone have recently been identified in the wing gland extracts of Aphomia sociella males. Prior to the present study, acoustic communication had not been investigated. Signals mediating female attraction were likewise unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings Observations of A. sociella mating behaviour and recordings of male acoustic signals confirmed that males initiate the mating process. During calling behaviour (stationary wing fanning and pheromone release), males disperse pheromone from their wing glands. When a female approaches, males cease calling and begin to produce ultrasonic songs as part of the courtship behaviour. Replaying of recorded courting songs to virgin females and a comparison of the mating efficiency of intact males with males lacking tegullae proved that male ultrasonic signals stimulate females to accept mating. Greenhouse experiments with isolated pheromone glands confirmed that the male sex pheromone mediates long-range female attraction. Conclusion/Significance Female attraction in A. sociella is chemically mediated, but ultrasonic communication is also employed during courtship. Male ultrasonic songs stimulate female sexual display and significantly affect mating efficiency. Considerable inter-individual differences in song structure exist. These could play a role in female mate selection provided that the female's ear is able to discern them. The A. sociella mating strategy described above is unique within the subfamily Galleriinae. PMID:22065997

  9. MeCP2 deficiency results in robust Rett-like behavioural and motor deficits in male and female rats.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Kelsey C; Hawkins, Virginia E; Arps, Kara M; Mulkey, Daniel K; Olsen, Michelle L

    2016-08-01

    Since the identification of MECP2 as the causative gene in the majority of Rett Syndrome (RTT) cases, transgenic mouse models have played a critical role in our understanding of this disease. The use of additional mammalian RTT models offers the promise of further elucidating critical early mechanisms of disease as well as providing new avenues for translational studies. We have identified significant abnormalities in growth as well as motor and behavioural function in a novel zinc-finger nuclease model of RTT utilizing both male and female rats throughout development. Male rats lacking MeCP2 (Mecp2(ZFN/y)) were noticeably symptomatic as early as postnatal day 21, with most dying by postnatal day 55, while females lacking one copy of Mecp2 (Mecp2(ZFN/+)) displayed a more protracted disease course. Brain weights of Mecp2(ZFN/y) and Mecp2(ZFN/+ )rats were significantly reduced by postnatal day 14 and 21, respectively. Early motor and breathing abnormalities were apparent in Mecp2(ZFN/y) rats, whereas Mecp2(ZFN/+ )rats displayed functional irregularities later in development. The large size of this species will provide profound advantages in the identification of early disease mechanisms and the development of appropriately timed therapeutics. The current study establishes a foundational basis for the continued utilization of this rat model in future RTT research.

  10. MeCP2 deficiency results in robust Rett-like behavioural and motor deficits in male and female rats

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Kelsey C.; Hawkins, Virginia E.; Arps, Kara M.; Mulkey, Daniel K.; Olsen, Michelle L.

    2016-01-01

    Since the identification of MECP2 as the causative gene in the majority of Rett Syndrome (RTT) cases, transgenic mouse models have played a critical role in our understanding of this disease. The use of additional mammalian RTT models offers the promise of further elucidating critical early mechanisms of disease as well as providing new avenues for translational studies. We have identified significant abnormalities in growth as well as motor and behavioural function in a novel zinc-finger nuclease model of RTT utilizing both male and female rats throughout development. Male rats lacking MeCP2 (Mecp2ZFN/y) were noticeably symptomatic as early as postnatal day 21, with most dying by postnatal day 55, while females lacking one copy of Mecp2 (Mecp2ZFN/+) displayed a more protracted disease course. Brain weights of Mecp2ZFN/y and Mecp2ZFN/+ rats were significantly reduced by postnatal day 14 and 21, respectively. Early motor and breathing abnormalities were apparent in Mecp2ZFN/y rats, whereas Mecp2ZFN/+ rats displayed functional irregularities later in development. The large size of this species will provide profound advantages in the identification of early disease mechanisms and the development of appropriately timed therapeutics. The current study establishes a foundational basis for the continued utilization of this rat model in future RTT research. PMID:27329765

  11. Heterochromatin and nucleolus-organizer-region behaviour at male pachytene of Sus scrofa domestica.

    PubMed

    Schwarzacher, T; Mayr, B; Schweizer, D

    1984-01-01

    In the domestic pig (2n = 38) two types of constitutive heterochromatin can be differentiated by fluorescence counterstaining techniques. All 24 biarmed autosomes and the X chromosome have chromomycin A3-positive centromeric C-bands, whereas all 12 acrocentric chromosomes exhibit DA-DAPI-positive centromeric heterochromatin. Fluorescence analysis of male pachytene nuclei revealed that the DA-DAPI-positive C-bands form one or two large chromocentres per cell, while the chromomycin A3-bright C-material is well scattered. Hence, the bivalents formed by the acrocentric chromosome pairs are centromerically associated, whilst the submetacentric bivalents are not. Counce-Meyer spreading techniques were used to study the structure of synaptonemal complexes (SCs) both by light and electron microscopy. In general, the SCs of the domestic pig resemble those described for other mammals. The SC formed by the X and the Y may include up to 94.5% of the Y chromosome. In silver-stained microspreads each of the bivalents (nos. 8 and 10) bearing the nucleolus-organizer-regions (NORs) is connected to a pair of nucleoli, indicating that all four NORs are active during early meiotic stages. By contrast, in the majority of mitotic metaphases of phytohaemagglutinin-stimulated lymphocytes only one pair (no. 10) exhibited Ag-NOR staining. The significance of the chromosome disposition in the pachytene nucleus is discussed with regard to heterochromatin composition and karyotype evolution.

  12. Male use of female sex work in India: a nationally representative behavioural survey.

    PubMed

    Gaffey, Michelle F; Venkatesh, Srinivasan; Dhingra, Neeraj; Khera, Ajay; Kumar, Rajesh; Arora, Paul; Nagelkerke, Nico; Jha, Prabhat

    2011-01-01

    Heterosexual transmission of HIV in India is driven by the male use of female sex workers (FSW), but few studies have examined the factors associated with using FSW. This nationally representative study examined the prevalence and correlates of FSW use among 31,040 men aged 15-49 years in India in 2006. Nationally, about 4% of men used FSW in the previous year, representing about 8.5 million FSW clients. Unmarried men were far more likely than married men to use FSW overall (PR = 8.0), but less likely than married men to use FSW among those reporting at least one non-regular partner (PR = 0.8). More than half of all FSW clients were married. FSW use was higher among men in the high-HIV states than in the low-HIV states (PR = 2.7), and half of all FSW clients lived in the high-HIV states. The risk of FSW use rose sharply with increasing number of non-regular partners in the past year. Given the large number of men using FSW, interventions for the much smaller number of FSW remains the most efficient strategy for curbing heterosexual HIV transmission in India.

  13. The impact of cafeteria diet feeding on physiology and anxiety-related behaviour in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats of different ages.

    PubMed

    Warneke, Wiebke; Klaus, Susanne; Fink, Heidrun; Langley-Evans, Simon C; Voigt, Jörg-Peter

    2014-01-01

    There is emerging experimental evidence that hyper-energetic diets not only cause obesity but also impact on behaviour in rodents. A hyper-energetic comfort diet/cafeteria diet (CD) fed during early development programmes anxiety-related behaviour in adult age, but little is known how an obesogenic CD impacts on behaviour when fed at a later age. To this end we fed CD to Sprague-Dawley rats of both sexes at either 6 weeks or 12 months old, for a period of 6 weeks. Anxiety-related behaviour was assessed in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and the open field (OF). A glucose tolerance test was performed and metabolic indices, body weight and fat were measured. CD-fed young adult females, but not males, had a higher energy intake, due to an overconsumption of carbohydrates and fats. Only in adult CD-fed rats of both sexes did this overconsumption led to increased weight gain. Protein intake was reduced in all CD groups. Fat mass (subcutaneous, perirenal, gonadal) increased in most CD groups, whereas brown fat increased only in adults. Triacylglycerol, free fatty acid and total cholesterol concentrations increased predominantly in adult CD-fed rats. Glucose tolerance was only impaired in adult males. CD-fed adult males showed fewer entries into the aversive open arms and groomed more on the EPM, whereas adult females spent more time on these arms. In the OF, CD-fed females of both ages visited the inner zone more frequently and travelled a longer distance. The behavioural data suggests anxiolysis in CD-fed females and signs of increased anxiety in adult males. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that feeding CD leads to both obesity and behavioural changes in rats. Overall, these effects were more pronounced in older rats, with the behavioural effects being particularly gender dependent.

  14. HIV prevalence and related risk behaviours among female partners of male injecting drugs users in Iran: results of a bio-behavioural survey, 2010

    PubMed Central

    Alipour, Abbas; Haghdoost, Ali Akbar; Sajadi, Leily; Zolala, Farzaneh

    2013-01-01

    Objective Sexual partners of injecting drug users (IDUs) are at high risk of HIV infection, yet data for such populations are scarce worldwide, particularly in the Middle East and North African region. This study measured and compared the prevalence of HIV, hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis B (HBV) and related behavioural factors in male IDUs (MIDUs), their main female sexual partners who were also injecting drug users (FIDUPs) and their main non-injecting female partners (FNIDUPs). Method Using convenience sampling, MIDUs were recruited at drop-in health centres in three cities (Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz), who in turn recruited their main female partners. Behavioural data were collected using a standard questionnaire, and blood samples were drawn for HIV and HCV antibody testing and HBV surface antigen. Results HIV prevalence was 9.4% (95% CI 2.96% to 26.2%) among MIDUs (n=226), 7.7% (95% CI 1.9% to 26.3%) among FIDUPs (n=42) and 2.8% (95% CI 0.65% to 11.3%) among FNIDUPs (n=184). HCV prevalence was 38.6% (95% CI 20.3% to 60.7%) among MIDUs, 36.6% (95% CI 13.6% to 67.9%) among FIDUPs and 8.4% (95% CI 5.67% to 12.4%) among FNIDUPs. HBV surface antigen prevalence was 3.6% (95% CI 1.5% to 8.3%), 7.3% (95% CI 1.9% to 24.8%) and 1.1% (95% CI 0.3% to 4.7%), respectively. Among MIDUs, 19.5% (95% CI 3.4% to 62.2%) had a history of sexual contact with other men. Mean age at first sexual contact in MIDUs was 19.2 years (95% CI 18.6 to 25.2) and in FIDUPs and FNIDUPs 16.4 years (95% CI 14.1 to 22.1) and 18.2 years (95% CI 15.7 to 23.1), respectively. FIDUPs and FNIDUPs had a higher mean number of sexual partners (other than their main partner) in the previous month than MIDUs (5.5 (95% CI 0 to 14.1) and 2.5 (95% CI 1.1 to 4) vs 1.3 (95% CI 0.37 to 2.2), respectively). FIDUPs tended to use drugs before or during sex with their main and casual partners more often than MIDUs (with main partner: 69% (95% CI 41.5% to 87.5%) vs 54.4% (95% CI 27% to 79.4%), respectively, and with

  15. In three brain regions central to maternal behaviour, neither male nor female Phodopus dwarf hamsters show changes in oestrogen receptor alpha distribution with mating or parenthood.

    PubMed

    Timonin, M E; Cushing, B S; Wynne-Edwards, K E

    2008-12-01

    Oestrogen receptor (ER)alpha immunoreactivity in three brain regions relevant to maternal behaviour (medial preoptic area, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and medial amygdala) was measured in two species of dwarf hamster that both mate during a postpartum oestrous but differ in expression of paternal behaviour. Male and female Phodopus campbelli and Phodopus sungorus were sampled as sexually naive adults, following mating to satiety, and as new parents. In all brain regions, females expressed higher levels of ER alpha than males. Species did not have an effect on ER alpha distribution except in the medial amygdala, where P. sungorus females had higher expression levels than all other groups. Behavioural status was not associated with altered ER alpha expression. These results were not expected for females and suggest that a primary activational role for oestrogen, acting through ER alpha in these regions, does not generalize to maternal behaviour in Phodopus. In males, these results are consistent with previous manipulations of the ER alpha ligand, oestrogen, and suggest that paternal behaviour in P. campbelli is likely to be regulated by developmental effects of oestrogen on the brain during early life (similar to Microtus ochrogaster), rather than through activation by oestrogen at the time of fatherhood (similar to Peromyscus californicus).

  16. Unmanned aerial survey of elephants.

    PubMed

    Vermeulen, Cédric; Lejeune, Philippe; Lisein, Jonathan; Sawadogo, Prosper; Bouché, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    The use of a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) was tested to survey large mammals in the Nazinga Game Ranch in the south of Burkina Faso. The Gatewing ×100™ equipped with a Ricoh GR III camera was used to test animal reaction as the UAS passed, and visibility on the images. No reaction was recorded as the UAS passed at a height of 100 m. Observations, made on a set of more than 7000 images, revealed that only elephants (Loxodonta africana) were easily visible while medium and small sized mammals were not. The easy observation of elephants allows experts to enumerate them on images acquired at a height of 100 m. We, therefore, implemented an aerial strip sample count along transects used for the annual wildlife foot count. A total of 34 elephants were recorded on 4 transects, each overflown twice. The elephant density was estimated at 2.47 elephants/km(2) with a coefficient of variation (CV%) of 36.10%. The main drawback of our UAS was its low autonomy (45 min). Increased endurance of small UAS is required to replace manned aircraft survey of large areas (about 1000 km of transect per day vs 40 km for our UAS). The monitoring strategy should be adapted according to the sampling plan. Also, the UAS is as expensive as a second-hand light aircraft. However the logistic and flight implementation are easier, the running costs are lower and its use is safer. Technological evolution will make civil UAS more efficient, allowing them to compete with light aircraft for aerial wildlife surveys.

  17. Unmanned Aerial Survey of Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Vermeulen, Cédric; Lejeune, Philippe; Lisein, Jonathan; Sawadogo, Prosper; Bouché, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    The use of a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) was tested to survey large mammals in the Nazinga Game Ranch in the south of Burkina Faso. The Gatewing ×100™ equipped with a Ricoh GR III camera was used to test animal reaction as the UAS passed, and visibility on the images. No reaction was recorded as the UAS passed at a height of 100 m. Observations, made on a set of more than 7000 images, revealed that only elephants (Loxodonta africana) were easily visible while medium and small sized mammals were not. The easy observation of elephants allows experts to enumerate them on images acquired at a height of 100 m. We, therefore, implemented an aerial strip sample count along transects used for the annual wildlife foot count. A total of 34 elephants were recorded on 4 transects, each overflown twice. The elephant density was estimated at 2.47 elephants/km2 with a coefficient of variation (CV%) of 36.10%. The main drawback of our UAS was its low autonomy (45 min). Increased endurance of small UAS is required to replace manned aircraft survey of large areas (about 1000 km of transect per day vs 40 km for our UAS). The monitoring strategy should be adapted according to the sampling plan. Also, the UAS is as expensive as a second-hand light aircraft. However the logistic and flight implementation are easier, the running costs are lower and its use is safer. Technological evolution will make civil UAS more efficient, allowing them to compete with light aircraft for aerial wildlife surveys. PMID:23405088

  18. Female and Male Teachers' Pro-Environmental Behaviour, Conceptions and Attitudes Towards Nature and the Environment Do Not Differ: Ecofeminism Put to the Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mc Ewen, B.; Clément, P.; Gericke, N. M.; Nyberg, E.; Hagman, M.; Landström, J.

    2015-01-01

    Teachers' pro-environmental behaviour, conceptions and attitudes towards nature and the environment were investigated using 47 questions from the BIOHEAD-Citizen questionnaire. The sample included 1,109 pre- and in-service teachers from Sweden and France. Analyses showed only few significant differences between female and male teachers. Forty-one…

  19. Non-invasive assessment of reproductive status and stress in captive Asian elephants in three south Indian zoos.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Vinod; Palugulla Reddy, Vivekananda; Kokkiligadda, Adiseshu; Shivaji, Sisinthy; Umapathy, Govindhaswamy

    2014-05-15

    Asian elephants in captivity need immediate attention to be bred so as to meet the increasing demand for captive elephants and to overcome the dependence on supplementing the captive stock with wild animals. Unfortunately, captive breeding programs across the globe have met with limited success and therefore more effort is needed to improve breeding in captivity. Endocrine profiling of reproductive hormones (progestagens and androgens) and the stress hormone (glucocorticoids) could facilitate better management and breeding strategies. In the present study, we investigated reproductive and stress physiology of 12 captive Asian elephants for 10-27 months using a non-invasive method based on steroid analysis of 1700 elephant dung samples. Most of the elephants were cycling regularly. Males during musth showed increased fecal androgen metabolite concentrations and exhibited a slight increase in fecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels. Elephants used in public festivals and processions showed significantly increased in faecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels. The results indicate that captive elephants require periodic health care, better husbandry practices and scientific management for sustainable captive population.

  20. Forest elephant crisis in the Congo Basin.

    PubMed

    Blake, Stephen; Strindberg, Samantha; Boudjan, Patrick; Makombo, Calixte; Bila-Isia, Inogwabini; Ilambu, Omari; Grossmann, Falk; Bene-Bene, Lambert; de Semboli, Bruno; Mbenzo, Valentin; S'hwa, Dino; Bayogo, Rosine; Williamson, Liz; Fay, Mike; Hart, John; Maisels, Fiona

    2007-04-01

    Debate over repealing the ivory trade ban dominates conferences of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Resolving this controversy requires accurate estimates of elephant population trends and rates of illegal killing. Most African savannah elephant populations are well known; however, the status of forest elephants, perhaps a distinct species, in the vast Congo Basin is unclear. We assessed population status and incidence of poaching from line-transect and reconnaissance surveys conducted on foot in sites throughout the Congo Basin. Results indicate that the abundance and range of forest elephants are threatened from poaching that is most intense close to roads. The probability of elephant presence increased with distance to roads, whereas that of human signs declined. At all distances from roads, the probability of elephant occurrence was always higher inside, compared to outside, protected areas, whereas that of humans was always lower. Inside protected areas, forest elephant density was correlated with the size of remote forest core, but not with size of protected area. Forest elephants must be prioritised in elephant management planning at the continental scale.

  1. HH jets aligned perpendicular to elephant trunks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raga, A. C.; Lora, V.; Smith, N.

    2010-04-01

    We consider a system of outflows ejected from low mass young stars embedded in the tips of elephant trunks. We assume that these outflows have axes which are intrinsically perpendicular to the axes of the host elephant trunks. We then derive the distribution function expected for the angle between the projections of the outflow and elephant trunk axes on the plane of the sky. These distribution functions are useful for interpreting the alignments (or lack thereof) observed between HH outflow and elephant trunk axes in photoionized regions.

  2. Roadless wilderness area determines forest elephant movements in the Congo Basin.

    PubMed

    Blake, Stephen; Deem, Sharon L; Strindberg, Samantha; Maisels, Fiona; Momont, Ludovic; Isia, Inogwabini-Bila; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Karesh, William B; Kock, Michael D

    2008-01-01

    A dramatic expansion of road building is underway in the Congo Basin fuelled by private enterprise, international aid, and government aspirations. Among the great wilderness areas on earth, the Congo Basin is outstanding for its high biodiversity, particularly mobile megafauna including forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis). The abundance of many mammal species in the Basin increases with distance from roads due to hunting pressure, but the impacts of road proliferation on the movements of individuals are unknown. We investigated the ranging behaviour of forest elephants in relation to roads and roadless wilderness by fitting GPS telemetry collars onto a sample of 28 forest elephants living in six priority conservation areas. We show that the size of roadless wilderness is a strong determinant of home range size in this species. Though our study sites included the largest wilderness areas in central African forests, none of 4 home range metrics we calculated, including core area, tended toward an asymptote with increasing wilderness size, suggesting that uninhibited ranging in forest elephants no longer exists. Furthermore we show that roads outside protected areas which are not protected from hunting are a formidable barrier to movement while roads inside protected areas are not. Only 1 elephant from our sample crossed an unprotected road. During crossings her mean speed increased 14-fold compared to normal movements. Forest elephants are increasingly confined and constrained by roads across the Congo Basin which is reducing effective habitat availability and isolating populations, significantly threatening long term conservation efforts. If the current road development trajectory continues, forest wildernesses and the forest elephants they contain will collapse.

  3. Roadless Wilderness Area Determines Forest Elephant Movements in the Congo Basin

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Stephen; Deem, Sharon L.; Strindberg, Samantha; Maisels, Fiona; Momont, Ludovic; Isia, Inogwabini-Bila; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Karesh, William B.; Kock, Michael D.

    2008-01-01

    A dramatic expansion of road building is underway in the Congo Basin fuelled by private enterprise, international aid, and government aspirations. Among the great wilderness areas on earth, the Congo Basin is outstanding for its high biodiversity, particularly mobile megafauna including forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis). The abundance of many mammal species in the Basin increases with distance from roads due to hunting pressure, but the impacts of road proliferation on the movements of individuals are unknown. We investigated the ranging behaviour of forest elephants in relation to roads and roadless wilderness by fitting GPS telemetry collars onto a sample of 28 forest elephants living in six priority conservation areas. We show that the size of roadless wilderness is a strong determinant of home range size in this species. Though our study sites included the largest wilderness areas in central African forests, none of 4 home range metrics we calculated, including core area, tended toward an asymptote with increasing wilderness size, suggesting that uninhibited ranging in forest elephants no longer exists. Furthermore we show that roads outside protected areas which are not protected from hunting are a formidable barrier to movement while roads inside protected areas are not. Only 1 elephant from our sample crossed an unprotected road. During crossings her mean speed increased 14-fold compared to normal movements. Forest elephants are increasingly confined and constrained by roads across the Congo Basin which is reducing effective habitat availability and isolating populations, significantly threatening long term conservation efforts. If the current road development trajectory continues, forest wildernesses and the forest elephants they contain will collapse. PMID:18958284

  4. African Elephant Alarm Calls Distinguish between Threats from Humans and Bees

    PubMed Central

    Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Vollrath, Fritz; Savage, Anne

    2014-01-01

    The Samburu pastoralists of Northern Kenya co-exist with African elephants, Loxodonta africana, and compete over resources such as watering holes. Audio playback experiments demonstrate that African elephants produce alarm calls in response to the voices of Samburu tribesmen. When exposed to adult male Samburu voices, listening elephants exhibited vigilance behavior, flight behavior, and produced vocalizations (rumbles, roars and trumpets). Rumble vocalizations were most common and were characterized by increased and more variable fundamental frequencies, and an upward shift in the first [F1] and second [F2] formant locations, compared to control rumbles. When exposed to a sequence of these recorded rumbles, roars and trumpets, listening elephants also exhibited vigilance and flight behavior. The same behavior was observed, in lesser degrees, both when the roars and trumpets were removed, and when the second formants were artificially lowered to levels typical of control rumbles. The “Samburu alarm rumble” is acoustically distinct from the previously described “bee alarm rumble.” The bee alarm rumbles exhibited increased F2, while Samburu alarm rumbles exhibited increased F1 and F2, compared to controls. Moreover, the behavioral reactions to the two threats were different. Elephants exhibited vigilance and flight behavior in response to Samburu and bee stimuli and to both alarm calls, but headshaking behavior only occurred in response to bee sounds and bee alarm calls. In general, increasingly threatening stimuli elicited alarm calls with increases in F0 and in formant locations, and increasing numbers of these acoustic cues in vocal stimuli elicited increased vigilance and flight behavior in listening elephants. These results show that African elephant alarm calls differentiate between two types of threat and reflect the level of urgency of threats. PMID:24586753

  5. Temporal patterns of rat behaviour in the central platform of the elevated plus maze. Comparative analysis between male subjects of strains with different basal levels of emotionality.

    PubMed

    Casarrubea, M; Faulisi, F; Caternicchia, F; Santangelo, A; Di Giovanni, G; Benigno, A; Magnusson, M S; Crescimanno, G

    2016-08-01

    We have analyzed the temporal patterns of behaviour of male rats of the Wistar and DA/Han strains on the central platform of the elevated plus maze. The ethogram encompassed 10 behavioural elements. Durations, frequencies and latencies showed quantitative differences as to walking and sniffing activities. Wistar rats displayed significantly lower latency and significantly higher durations and frequencies of walking activities. DA/Han rats showed a significant increase of sniffing duration. In addition, DA/Han rats showed a significantly higher amount of time spent in the central platform. Multivariate T-pattern analysis revealed differences in the temporal organization of behaviour of the two rat strains. DA/Han rats showed (a) higher behavioural complexity and variability and (b) a significantly higher mean number of T-patterns than Wistar rats. Taken together, T-pattern analysis of behaviour in the centre of the elevated plus maze can noticeably improve the detection of subtle features of anxiety related behaviour. We suggest that T-pattern analysis could be used as sensitive tool to test the action of anxiolytic and anxiogenic manipulations.

  6. Neonatal Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Impairs Learning Behaviour by Disrupting Hippocampal Organization in Male Swiss Albino Mice.

    PubMed

    Bhaskar, Rakesh; Mishra, Ashish K; Mohanty, Banalata

    2017-02-16

    Hippocampus is highly susceptible to endocrine disrupting chemicals exposure particularly during the critical phase of brain development. In this study, mice offspring were exposed to endocrine disruptors mancozeb (MCZ) and imidacloprid (IMI) individually (40 mg MCZ and 0.65 mg IMI/kg/day) as well as to their equimixture (40 mg MCZ + 0.65 mg IMI/kg/day) through the diet of lactating mothers from post-natal day (PND) 1 to PND 28. Half of the randomly selected male offspring were killed at PND 29, and the rest half were left unexposed and killed at PND 63. Brain weight, histology, plasma hormone profile and working memory performance were the various end-points studied. Brain weight was significantly decreased in the mixture-exposed group at PND 29, which persisted to PND 63. Total thickness of pyramidal cell layers decreased significantly along with misalignment, shrinkage and degeneration of pyramidal neurons in CA1 and CA3 regions of the IMI and mixture-exposed groups. The length and branch points of dendrites of pyramidal neurons were decreased significantly in mixture-exposed group at both PND 29 and PND 63. Dendritic spine density was also reduced in mixture-exposed group offspring. Testosterone level was significantly decreased only at PND 29, but corticosterone level was increased at both PND 29 and PND 63 in mixture-exposed offspring. T-maze task performance revealed significantly increased time duration and reduced path efficiency in mixture-exposed group offspring. The results thus indicate that pesticide mixture exposure could lead to changes in learning behaviour even at doses that individually did not induce any adverse effect on hippocampal organization.

  7. Genetic evidence for two species of elephant in Africa.

    PubMed

    Roca, A L; Georgiadis, N; Pecon-Slattery, J; O'Brien, S J

    2001-08-24

    Elephants from the tropical forests of Africa are morphologically distinct from savannah or bush elephants. Dart-biopsy samples from 195 free-ranging African elephants in 21 populations were examined for DNA sequence variation in four nuclear genes (1732 base pairs). Phylogenetic distinctions between African forest elephant and savannah elephant populations corresponded to 58% of the difference in the same genes between elephant genera Loxodonta (African) and Elephas (Asian). Large genetic distance, multiple genetically fixed nucleotide site differences, morphological and habitat distinctions, and extremely limited hybridization of gene flow between forest and savannah elephants support the recognition and conservation management of two African species: Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis.

  8. The Elephants Teach: Creative Writing since 1880

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, David Gershom

    2006-01-01

    When Vladimir Nabokov was up for a chair in literature at Harvard, the linguist Roman Jakobson protested: "What's next? Shall we appoint elephants to teach zoology?" That anecdote, with which D. G. Myers begins "The Elephants Teach", perfectly frames the issues this book tackles. Myers explores more than a century of debate over how writing should…

  9. Free-swimming northern elephant seals have low field metabolic rates that are sensitive to an increased cost of transport.

    PubMed

    Maresh, Jennifer L; Simmons, Samantha E; Crocker, Daniel E; McDonald, Birgitte I; Williams, Terrie M; Costa, Daniel P

    2014-05-01

    Widely ranging marine predators often adopt stereotyped, energy-saving behaviours to minimize the energetic cost of transport while maximizing energy gain. Environmental and anthropogenic disturbances can disrupt energy balance by prompting avoidance behaviours that increase transport costs, thereby decreasing foraging efficiency. We examined the ability of 12 free-ranging, juvenile northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) to mitigate the effects of experimentally increased transport costs by modifying their behaviour and/or energy use in a compensatory manner. Under normal locomotion, elephant seals had low energy requirements (106.5±28.2 kJ kg(-1) day(-1)), approaching or even falling below predictions of basal requirements. Seals responded to a small increase in locomotion costs by spending more time resting between dives (149±44 s) compared with matched control treatments (102±11 s; P<0.01). Despite incurred costs, most other dive and transit behaviours were conserved across treatments, including fixed, rhythmic swimming gaits. Because of this, and because each flipper stroke had a predictable effect on total costs (P<0.001), total energy expenditure was strongly correlated with time spent at sea under both treatments (P<0.0001). These results suggest that transiting elephant seals have a limited capacity to modify their locomotory behaviour without increasing their transport costs. Based on this, we conclude that elephant seals and other ocean predators occupying similar niches may be particularly sensitive to increased transport costs incurred when avoiding unanticipated disturbances.

  10. Subacute oral exposure to benzo[alpha]pyrene (B[alpha]P) increases aggressiveness and affects consummatory aspects of sexual behaviour in male mice.

    PubMed

    Bouayed, Jaouad; Desor, Frédéric; Soulimani, Rachid

    2009-09-30

    Benzo[alpha]pyrene (B[alpha]P) is a neurotoxic pollutant which is also able to affect some behaviour and cognitive function. Here we report that a subacute oral exposure to B[alpha]P increases aggressiveness and affects copulatory behaviour in male mice. Indeed, after 3 weeks of exposure to B[alpha]P at 0.02 and 0.2mg/kg, we have observed that B[alpha]P 0.02 mg/kg-treated male mice are more aggressive than control mice in resident-intruder test because a significant decrease in the latency time of the first attack and a significant increase in the number of attacks in B[alpha]P 0.02 mg/kg-treated mice were found. On the other hand, we have found that subacute exposure (4 weeks) to B[alpha]P, does not affect the appetitive aspects and sexual motivation in copulatory behaviour because the latency to the first mount between control and B[alpha]P-treated male mice was not significantly different. We have nevertheless, surprisingly found that B[alpha]P (0.02-0.2)mg/kg-treated mice have performed significantly more sexual behavioural acts including mounting, intromission latency and intromission frequency than control mice. Although these last results suggest that B[alpha]P improves the consummatory aspects of sexual behaviour, we cannot conclude that this neurotoxic pollutant has advantage of sexual function because B[alpha]P has been shown to alter the monoaminergic neurotransmitter system and causes endocrine dysregulation via toxic effect.

  11. Male and female rats differ in brain cannabinoid CB1 receptor density and function and in behavioural traits predisposing to drug addiction: effect of ovarian hormones.

    PubMed

    Castelli, Maria Paola; Fadda, Paola; Casu, Angelo; Spano, Maria Sabrina; Casti, Alberto; Fratta, Walter; Fattore, Liana

    2014-01-01

    Sex-dependent differences are frequently observed in the biological and behavioural effects of substances of abuse, including cannabis. We recently demonstrated a modulating effect of sex and oestrous cycle on cannabinoid-taking and seeking behaviours. Here, we investigated the influence of sex and oestrogen in the regulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptor density and function, measured by [(3)H]CP55940 and CP55940-stimulated [(35)S]GTPγS binding autoradiography, respectively, in the prefrontal cortex (Cg1 and Cg3), caudate- putamen, nucleus accumbens, amygdala and hippocampus of male and cycling female rats, as well as ovariectomised (OVX) rats and OVX rats primed with oestradiol (10 µg/rat) (OVX+E). CB1 receptor density was significantly lower in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of cycling females than in males and in OVX females, a difference that appeared to be oestradiol-dependent, because it was no more evident in the OVX+E group. CP55940-stimulated [(35)S]GTPγS binding was significantly higher in the Cg3 of OVX rats relative to cycling and OVX+E rats. No difference was observed in CB1 receptor density or function in any of the other brain areas analysed. Finally, sex and oestradiol were also found to affect motor activity, social behaviour and sensorimotor gating in rats tested in locomotor activity boxes, social interaction and prepulse inhibition tasks, respectively. Our findings provide biochemical evidence for sex- and hormone- dependent differences in the density and function of CB1 receptors in selected brain regions, and in behaviours associated with greater vulnerability to drug addiction, revealing a more vulnerable behavioural phenotype in female than in male rats.

  12. Occurrence and seasonality of internal parasite infection in elephants, Loxodonta africana, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    PubMed Central

    Baines, Lydia; Morgan, Eric R.; Ofthile, Mphoeng; Evans, Kate

    2015-01-01

    It is known from studies in a wide range of wild and domestic animals, including elephants, that parasites can affect growth, reproduction and health. A total of 458 faecal samples from wild elephants were analysed using a combination of flotation and sedimentation methods. Coccidian oocysts (prevalence 51%), and nematode (77%) and trematode (24%) eggs were found. Species were not identified, though trematode egg morphology was consistent with that of the intestinal fluke Protofasciola robusta. The following factors were found to have a significant effect on parasite infection: month, year, sex, age, and group size and composition. There was some evidence of peak transmission of coccidia and nematodes during the rainy season, confirmed for coccidia in a parallel study of seven sympatric domesticated elephants over a three month period. Nematode eggs were more common in larger groups and nematode egg counts were significantly higher in elephants living in maternal groups (mean 1116 eggs per gram, standard deviation, sd 685) than in all-male groups (529, sd 468). Fluke egg prevalence increased with increasing elephant age. Preservation of samples in formalin progressively decreased the probability of detecting all types of parasite over a storage time of 1–15 months. Possible reasons for associations between other factors and infection levels are discussed. PMID:25830107

  13. Successful foraging zones of southern elephant seals from the Kerguelen Islands in relation to oceanographic conditions.

    PubMed

    Bailleul, Frédéric; Charrassin, Jean-Benoît; Monestiez, Pascal; Roquet, Fabien; Biuw, Martin; Guinet, Christophe

    2007-11-29

    Southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, undertake large-scale oceanic movements to access favourable foraging areas. Successful foraging areas of elephant seals from the Kerguelen Islands are investigated here in relation to oceanographic parameters. Movements and diving activity of the seals as well as oceanographic data were collected through a new generation of satellite relayed devices measuring and transmitting locations, pressure, temperature and salinity. For the first time, we have associated foraging behaviour, determined by high increased sinuosity in tracks, and dive density (i.e. number of dives performed per kilometre covered), and changes in body condition, determined by variations in drift rate obtained from drift dives, to identify the oceanographic conditions of successful foraging zones for this species. Two main sectors, one close to the Antarctic continent and the other along the Polar Front (PF), where both foraging activity and body condition increase, seem to be of particular interest for the seals. Within these regions, some seals tended to focus their foraging activity on zones with particular temperature signatures. Along the Antarctic continent, some seals targeted colder waters on the sea bottom during benthic dives, while at the PF the favourable zones tended to be warmer. The possible negative effect of colder waters in Antarctic on the swimming performances of potential fish or squid prey could explain the behaviour of elephant seals in these zones, while warmer waters within the PF could correspond to the optimal conditions for potential myctophid prey of elephant seals.

  14. Could dromedary camels develop stereotypy? The first description of stereotypical behaviour in housed male dromedary camels and how it is affected by different management systems.

    PubMed

    Padalino, Barbara; Aubé, Lydiane; Fatnassi, Meriem; Monaco, Davide; Khorchani, Touhami; Hammadi, Mohamed; Lacalandra, Giovanni Michele

    2014-01-01

    Dromedary camel husbandry has recently been evolving towards a semi-intensive system, due to the changes in use of the animal and the settlement of nomadic populations. Captivity could restrict its social activities, limiting the expression of various behavioural needs and causing the manifestation of stereotypy. The aims of this trial were, firstly, to identify and describe some stereotypical behaviours in captive male dromedary camels used for artificial insemination and, secondly, to study the effects on them of the following husbandry management systems: i) housing in single boxes for 24 hours (H24), ii) housing in single boxes for 23 hours with one hour free in the paddock (H23), and iii) housing in single boxes for 22 hours 30 min with 1 h of paddock time and 30 min exposure to a female camel herd (ExF). Every day, the camels were filmed in their single box in the morning for 30 minutes to record their behavioural activities and a focal animal sampling ethogram was filled in. In this study, male camels showed both oral and locomotor stereotypy most frequently when the bulls were reared in H24. Overall, this preliminary study is a starting point in the identification of stereotypies in male camels, reporting the positive effects of spending one hour outdoor and of social interaction with females.

  15. Could Dromedary Camels Develop Stereotypy? The First Description of Stereotypical Behaviour in Housed Male Dromedary Camels and How It Is Affected by Different Management Systems

    PubMed Central

    Padalino, Barbara; Aubé, Lydiane; Fatnassi, Meriem; Monaco, Davide; Khorchani, Touhami; Hammadi, Mohamed; Lacalandra, Giovanni Michele

    2014-01-01

    Dromedary camel husbandry has recently been evolving towards a semi-intensive system, due to the changes in use of the animal and the settlement of nomadic populations. Captivity could restrict its social activities, limiting the expression of various behavioural needs and causing the manifestation of stereotypy. The aims of this trial were, firstly, to identify and describe some stereotypical behaviours in captive male dromedary camels used for artificial insemination and, secondly, to study the effects on them of the following husbandry management systems: i) housing in single boxes for 24 hours (H24), ii) housing in single boxes for 23 hours with one hour free in the paddock (H23), and iii) housing in single boxes for 22 hours 30 min with 1 h of paddock time and 30 min exposure to a female camel herd (ExF). Every day, the camels were filmed in their single box in the morning for 30 minutes to record their behavioural activities and a focal animal sampling ethogram was filled in. In this study, male camels showed both oral and locomotor stereotypy most frequently when the bulls were reared in H24. Overall, this preliminary study is a starting point in the identification of stereotypies in male camels, reporting the positive effects of spending one hour outdoor and of social interaction with females. PMID:24586522

  16. Automated detection of elephants in wildlife video.

    PubMed

    Zeppelzauer, Matthias

    2013-08-01

    Biologists often have to investigate large amounts of video in behavioral studies of animals. These videos are usually not sufficiently indexed which makes the finding of objects of interest a time-consuming task. We propose a fully automated method for the detection and tracking of elephants in wildlife video which has been collected by biologists in the field. The method dynamically learns a color model of elephants from a few training images. Based on the color model, we localize elephants in video sequences with different backgrounds and lighting conditions. We exploit temporal clues from the video to improve the robustness of the approach and to obtain spatial and temporal consistent detections. The proposed method detects elephants (and groups of elephants) of different sizes and poses performing different activities. The method is robust to occlusions (e.g., by vegetation) and correctly handles camera motion and different lighting conditions. Experiments show that both near- and far-distant elephants can be detected and tracked reliably. The proposed method enables biologists efficient and direct access to their video collections which facilitates further behavioral and ecological studies. The method does not make hard constraints on the species of elephants themselves and is thus easily adaptable to other animal species.

  17. Automated detection of elephants in wildlife video

    PubMed Central

    Zeppelzauer, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Biologists often have to investigate large amounts of video in behavioral studies of animals. These videos are usually not sufficiently indexed which makes the finding of objects of interest a time-consuming task. We propose a fully automated method for the detection and tracking of elephants in wildlife video which has been collected by biologists in the field. The method dynamically learns a color model of elephants from a few training images. Based on the color model, we localize elephants in video sequences with different backgrounds and lighting conditions. We exploit temporal clues from the video to improve the robustness of the approach and to obtain spatial and temporal consistent detections. The proposed method detects elephants (and groups of elephants) of different sizes and poses performing different activities. The method is robust to occlusions (e.g., by vegetation) and correctly handles camera motion and different lighting conditions. Experiments show that both near- and far-distant elephants can be detected and tracked reliably. The proposed method enables biologists efficient and direct access to their video collections which facilitates further behavioral and ecological studies. The method does not make hard constraints on the species of elephants themselves and is thus easily adaptable to other animal species. PMID:25902006

  18. The effects of neonatal castration on the subsequent behavioural response to centrally administered arginine vasopressin and the expression of V1a receptors in adult male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Cushing, B S; Okorie, U; Young, L J

    2003-11-01

    Centrally administered arginine vasopressin induces the formation of partner preferences in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). The expression of many vasopressin-regulated behaviours is testosterone dependent. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that early exposure to gonadal steroids are necessary to establish the typical response of adult male prairie voles to exogenous vasopressin, predicting that adult males which were castrated neonatally would not form partner preferences in response to centrally administered vasopressin. We also examined the effect of neonatal castration on the expression of vasopressin (V1a) receptors. Voles were castrated on the day of birth (NEOCAST), sham-castrated on the day of birth (NEOSHAM) or castrated as adults (ADULTCAST). With the exception of one group of neonatal sham males (NEOSHAM CON), which served as a control for the effects of vasopressin, as adults, all males received a 1- micro l intracerebroventricular injection of vasopressin (100 ng) in artificial cerebrospinal fluid. In addition, 2 weeks before testing, one group of neonatally castrated males received an implant of testosterone propionate (NEOCAST + TP). Between 60 and 90 days of age, an internal cannula was placed in the lateral cerebral ventricle and, 24 h later, males were injected with vasopressin. Subsequently, after an additional 15 min, males were cohabitated with a female 'partner' for 1 h. Immediately following cohabitation, males were placed in a Y-shaped partner preference test apparatus for 3 h, in which the male had access to the 'partner' and a novel female, 'stranger.' Time spent with the partner versus the stranger was compared within and between treatments. The results were found to support our hypothesis as the NEOSHAM and ADULTCAST males formed partner preferences, spending more time with the partner, and they spent significantly more time with their partner than did NEOSHAM CON, NEOCAST or NEOCAST + TP males. Replacement of

  19. Exposure to Pornographic Videos and Its Effect on HIV-Related Sexual Risk Behaviours among Male Migrant Workers in Southern India

    PubMed Central

    Mahapatra, Bidhubhusan; Saggurti, Niranjan

    2014-01-01

    Objective Research on pornography and its association with HIV-related sexual behaviours is limited in India. This study aims to examine the prevalence and correlates of viewing pornographic videos and examine its associations with HIV-related sexual risk behaviours among male migrant workers in India. Methods Data were drawn from a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2007–08 across 21 districts in four states of India. Respondents included 11,219 male migrants aged 18 years or older, who had migrated to at least two places in the past two years for work. Bivariate and multivariate methods were used to examine the association between viewing pornography and HIV-related sexual risk behaviours. Results Two-fifths (40%) of the migrants had viewed pornographic videos in one month prior to the survey. Migrants aged 25–29 years, literate, unmarried and away from native village for more than five years were more likely to view pornography than their counterparts. Migrants who viewed pornographic videos were more likely to engage in paid (Adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 4.2, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.7–4.8) and unpaid sex (AOR: 4.2, 95% CI: 3.7–4.7), report inconsistent condom use in paid sex (AOR: 2.3, 95% CI: 1.7–3.0) and experience STI-like symptoms (AOR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.5–1.8) than their counterparts. Conclusions The findings regarding migrants' exposure to pornography and its linkage with high HIV risk behaviour suggest that the HIV prevention programmes for migrants need to be more innovative to communicate on the negative-effects of viewing pornography. More importantly, programmes need to find alternative ways to engage migrants in infotainment activities during their leisure time in an effort to reduce their exposure to pornographic videos as well as risky sexual behaviours. PMID:25423311

  20. Conservation outside protected areas and the effect of human-dominated landscapes on stress hormones in Savannah elephants.

    PubMed

    Ahlering, M A; Maldonado, J E; Eggert, L S; Fleischer, R C; Western, D; Brown, J L

    2013-06-01

    Biodiversity conservation strategies are increasingly focused on regions outside national protected areas, where animals face numerous anthropogenic threats and must coexist with human settlements, livestock, and agriculture. The effects of these potential threats are not always clear, but they could have profound implications for population viability. We used savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) as a case study to assess the physiological stress associated with living in a human-livestock-dominated landscape. We collected samples over two 3-month periods in 2007 and 2008. We used fecal DNA to identify 96 individual elephants in a community conservation area (CCA) and measured fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentrations as a proxy for stress. The CCA is community Maasai land managed for livestock and wildlife. We compared the FGM concentrations from the CCA to FGM concentrations of 40 elephants in Amboseli National Park and 32 elephants in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, where human settlements and intense livestock grazing were absent. In the CCA, we found no significant individual differences in FGM concentrations among the elephants in 2007 (p = 0.312) or 2008 (p = 0.412) and no difference between years (p = 0.616). The elephants in the CCA had similar FGM concentrations to the Maasai Mara population, but Amboseli elephants had significantly lower FGM concentrations than those in either Maasai Mara or the CCA (Tukey pairwise test, p < 0.001), due primarily to females excreting significantly lower FGM relative to males (p = 0.025). In the CCA, there was no relation among female group size, average pairwise group relatedness, and average group FGM concentration. We found no clear evidence of chronic stress in elephants living on CCA communal land, which is encouraging for conservation strategies promoting the protection of animals living outside protected areas.

  1. On-ground housing in “Mice Drawer System” (MDS) cage affects locomotor behaviour but not anxiety in male mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simone, Luciano; Bartolomucci, Alessandro; Palanza, Paola; Parmigiani, Stefano

    2008-03-01

    In the present study adult male mice were housed for 21 days in a housing modules of the Mice Drawer System (MDS). MDS is the facility that will support the research on board the International Space Station (ISS). Our investigation focused on: circadian rhythmicity of wide behavioural categories such as locomotor activity, food intake/drinking and resting; emotionality in the elevated plus maze (EPM); body weight. Housing in the MDS determined a strong up-regulation of activity and feeding behaviour and a concomitant decrease in inactivity. Importantly, housing in the MDS disrupted circadian rhythmicity in mice and also determined a decrease in body weight. Finally, when mice were tested in the EPM a clear hyperactivity (i.e. increased total transitions) was found, while no evidence for altered anxiety was detected. In conclusion, housing adult male mice in the MDS housing modules may affect their behaviour, circadian rhythmicity while having no effect on anxiety. It is suggested that to allow adaptation to the peculiar housing allowed by MDS a longer housing duration is needed.

  2. A time-sequence functional analysis of mating behaviour and genital coupling in Drosophila: role of cryptic female choice and male sex-drive in the evolution of male genitalia.

    PubMed

    Jagadeeshan, S; Singh, R S

    2006-07-01

    Male genitalia in Drosophila exemplify strikingly rapid and divergent evolution, whereas female genitalia are relatively invariable. Whereas precopulatory and post-copulatory sexual selection has been invoked to explain this trend, the functional significance of genital structures during copulation remains obscure. We used time-sequence analysis to study the functional significance of external genitalic structures during the course of copulation, between D. melanogaster and D. simulans. This functional analysis has provided new information that reveals the importance of male-driven copulatory mechanics and strategies in the rapid diversification of genitalia. The posterior process, which is a recently evolved sexual character and present only in males of the melanogaster clade, plays a crucial role in mounting as well as in genital coupling. Whereas there is ample evidence for precopulatory and/or post-copulatory female choice, we show here that during copulation there is little or no physical female choice, consequently, males determine copulation duration. We also found subtle differences in copulatory mechanics between very closely related species. We propose that variation in male usage of novel genitalic structures and shifts in copulatory behaviour have played an important role in the diversification of genitalia in species of the Drosophila subgroup.

  3. Eradication of elephant ear mites (Loxoanoetus bassoni) in two African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Wyatt, Jeff; DiVincenti, Louis

    2012-03-01

    Elephant ear mites, not previously described in North America, were eradicated in two African elephants (Loxodonta africana) after six otic instillations of ivermectin at 2-wk intervals. The microscopic examination of a clear, mucoid discharge collected from the external ear canals of two wild-born African elephants housed in a New York State zoo for 25 yr revealed live mites (Loxoaneotus bassoni). The cytologic examination demonstrated no evidence of inflammation or infection. Both elephants were asymptomatic with normal hemograms and serum chemistry panels. A diagnosis of otoacariasis was made. Each elephant was treated six times with 5 ml of 1% ivermectin syrup instilled in each ear canal once every 2 wk. Microscopic examinations of clear mucus collected from each elephant's ear canals 9 days after the first instillation of ivermectin were negative for any life stages of ear mites. Microscopic examinations of mucus collected from both elephants' ear canals at 6, 11, and 16 wk, as well as annually post-treatment for 7 yr, confirmed eradication of the ear mites. The L. bassoni ear mite was first identified in the external ear canals of wild, asymptomatic, lesion-free, African elephants culled in Kruger National Park in South Africa. However, a new species in the same genus of mites (Loxoanoetus lenae) was identified at the necropsy of an 86-yr-old Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) living in a circus in Australia. The autopsy revealed a marked, ballooning distension of bone around the left external acoustic meatus, suggestive of mite-induced otitis externa, as seen in cattle infested with ear mites (Raillieta auris). Elephant health care providers should identify the prevalence of, and consider treatment of, elephants in their care infested with ear mites, given the possible risk for adverse health effects.

  4. Source levels of northern elephant seal vocalizations in-air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Insley, Stephen J.; Southall, Brandon L.

    2005-09-01

    Accurate measurements of vocalization sound-pressure levels are necessary to determine the acoustical active space of animals in natural and human-altered ambient noise conditions. Despite this basic need, such data are limited or nonexistent for most species. Our study characterized aerial ambient noise and vocalization source levels for northern elephant seals during the breeding season. Subjects were adult males, lactating females, and dependent offspring (pups) at An~o Nuevo State Reserve. Source level measurements were made using a Type 1 sound level meter and calibrated microphones on-axis: (1) at 1 m; (2) at several known distances (laser measured); and (3) simultaneously at 1 m and a second known distance. Concurrent ambient noise conditions were measured in situ (non-weighted 5 min Leq integrated averages) and recorded for later spectral analysis. Measurements were made at two sites, one relatively noisy and the other relatively quiet, to determine whether animals compensate for higher noise conditions by increasing source levels (Lombard effect). Results indicate a wide range in signal strength, particularly for adult males whose vocalization source levels appear to be correlated with dominance rank and related to ambient noise conditions. The Lombard effect was not observed for adult females or elephant seal pups.

  5. Age-related differences in the association between stereotypic behaviour and salivary cortisol in young males with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Bitsika, Vicki; Sharpley, Christopher F; Agnew, Linda L; Andronicos, Nicholas M

    2015-12-01

    To identify if age influenced the relationship between one of the central symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and physiological stress, the association between stereotypic behaviour (SB) and stress-related cortisol concentrations was examined in a sample of 150 young males with an ASD. Parent-rated SB was significantly correlated with cortisol concentrations for boys aged 6 years to 12 years but not for adolescents aged 13 years to 18 years. This age-related difference in this association was not a function of cortisol concentrations but was related to differences in SB across these two age groups. IQ did not have a significant effect on this relationship, suggesting that age-related learning may have been a possible pathway for reduced SB during adolescence. The aspect of SB that was most powerfully related to cortisol was general repetitive behaviour rather than movements of specific body parts. Explanations of these findings are raised for further investigation.

  6. The influence of social structure, habitat, and host traits on the transmission of Escherichia coli in wild elephants.

    PubMed

    Chiyo, Patrick I; Grieneisen, Laura E; Wittemyer, George; Moss, Cynthia J; Lee, Phyllis C; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Archie, Elizabeth A

    2014-01-01

    Social structure is proposed to influence the transmission of both directly and environmentally transmitted infectious agents. However in natural populations, many other factors also influence transmission, including variation in individual susceptibility and aspects of the environment that promote or inhibit exposure to infection. We used a population genetic approach to investigate the effects of social structure, environment, and host traits on the transmission of Escherichia coli infecting two populations of wild elephants: one in Amboseli National Park and another in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. If E. coli transmission is strongly influenced by elephant social structure, E. coli infecting elephants from the same social group should be genetically more similar than E. coli sampled from members of different social groups. However, we found no support for this prediction. Instead, E. coli was panmictic across social groups, and transmission patterns were largely dominated by habitat and host traits. For instance, habitat overlap between elephant social groups predicted E. coli genetic similarity, but only in the relatively drier habitat of Samburu, and not in Amboseli, where the habitat contains large, permanent swamps. In terms of host traits, adult males were infected with more diverse haplotypes, and males were slightly more likely to harbor strains with higher pathogenic potential, as compared to adult females. In addition, elephants from similar birth cohorts were infected with genetically more similar E. coli than elephants more disparate in age. This age-structured transmission may be driven by temporal shifts in genetic structure of E. coli in the environment and the effects of age on bacterial colonization. Together, our results support the idea that, in elephants, social structure often will not exhibit strong effects on the transmission of generalist, fecal-oral transmitted bacteria. We discuss our results in the context of social, environmental

  7. The Influence of Social Structure, Habitat, and Host Traits on the Transmission of Escherichia coli in Wild Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Chiyo, Patrick I.; Grieneisen, Laura E.; Wittemyer, George; Moss, Cynthia J.; Lee, Phyllis C.; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Archie, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    Social structure is proposed to influence the transmission of both directly and environmentally transmitted infectious agents. However in natural populations, many other factors also influence transmission, including variation in individual susceptibility and aspects of the environment that promote or inhibit exposure to infection. We used a population genetic approach to investigate the effects of social structure, environment, and host traits on the transmission of Escherichia coli infecting two populations of wild elephants: one in Amboseli National Park and another in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. If E. coli transmission is strongly influenced by elephant social structure, E. coli infecting elephants from the same social group should be genetically more similar than E. coli sampled from members of different social groups. However, we found no support for this prediction. Instead, E. coli was panmictic across social groups, and transmission patterns were largely dominated by habitat and host traits. For instance, habitat overlap between elephant social groups predicted E. coli genetic similarity, but only in the relatively drier habitat of Samburu, and not in Amboseli, where the habitat contains large, permanent swamps. In terms of host traits, adult males were infected with more diverse haplotypes, and males were slightly more likely to harbor strains with higher pathogenic potential, as compared to adult females. In addition, elephants from similar birth cohorts were infected with genetically more similar E. coli than elephants more disparate in age. This age-structured transmission may be driven by temporal shifts in genetic structure of E. coli in the environment and the effects of age on bacterial colonization. Together, our results support the idea that, in elephants, social structure often will not exhibit strong effects on the transmission of generalist, fecal-oral transmitted bacteria. We discuss our results in the context of social, environmental

  8. Density as an explanatory variable of movements and calf survival in savanna elephants across southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Young, K D; Van Aarde, R J

    2010-05-01

    1. Southern Africa's 'elephant problem' is often attributed to an overabundance of elephants (Loxodonta africana) in conservation areas. Paradoxically, the African elephant is listed as 'vulnerable' (IUCN Redlist) despite occupying a large geographical range and numbering about 600 000. How densities influence elephant populations is therefore important for conservation management decisions, particularly because a move towards non-equilibrium management of savannas implies a need for elephant populations to fluctuate in response to variation in intrinsic (demographic) and extrinsic (resource) factors. 2. A study on one of the world's largest elephant populations demonstrated that population regulation is driven by a spatial response to water availability, environmental stochasticity and density. The challenge remains to identify the demographic and behavioural variables that drive density dependence. 3. We evaluated whether the movements of elephant family groups from 13 populations across a wide resource gradient were explained by variability in primary productivity, rainfall and population density. We then assessed whether density-related movements explained variability in juvenile survival, hence inferring a spatially driven behavioural mechanism that may explain density-dependent population growth. We also analysed whether management actions modified this mechanism. 4. In the dry season, daily-displacement distances (DDDs) increased non-linearly with density, and declined with increased vegetation productivity and previous wet season rainfall. In the wet season, DDDs were primarily explained by vegetation productivity. 5. The survival of weaned calves (4-7 years) decreased with increasing dry season DDDs, but this did not hold for suckling calves (1-3 years) or sub-adults (8-11 years). 6. Fences and supplementary water modified the shape and strength of relationships between DDDs and densities, vegetation productivity and rainfall and negated the relationships

  9. How Bees Deter Elephants: Beehive Trials with Forest Elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) in Gabon.

    PubMed

    Ngama, Steeve; Korte, Lisa; Bindelle, Jérôme; Vermeulen, Cédric; Poulsen, John R

    2016-01-01

    In Gabon, like elsewhere in Africa, crops are often sources of conflict between humans and wildlife. Wildlife damage to crops can drastically reduce income, amplifying poverty and creating a negative perception of wild animal conservation among rural people. In this context, crop-raiding animals like elephants quickly become "problem animals". To deter elephants from raiding crops beehives have been successfully employed in East Africa; however, this method has not yet been tested in Central Africa. We experimentally examined whether the presence of Apis mellifera adansonii, the African honey bee species present in Central Africa, deters forest elephants (Loxodonta Africana cyclotis) from feeding on fruit trees. We show for the first time that the effectiveness of beehives as deterrents of elephants is related to bee activity. Empty hives and those housing colonies of low bee activity do not deter elephants all the time; but beehives with high bee activity do. Although elephant disturbance of hives does not impede honey production, there is a tradeoff between deterrence and the quantity of honey produced. To best achieve the dual goals of deterring elephants and producing honey colonies must maintain an optimum activity level of 40 to 60 bee movements per minute. Thus, beehives colonized by Apis mellifera adansonii bees can be effective elephant deterrents, but people must actively manage hives to maintain bee colonies at the optimum activity level.

  10. How Bees Deter Elephants: Beehive Trials with Forest Elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) in Gabon

    PubMed Central

    Ngama, Steeve; Korte, Lisa; Bindelle, Jérôme; Vermeulen, Cédric; Poulsen, John R.

    2016-01-01

    In Gabon, like elsewhere in Africa, crops are often sources of conflict between humans and wildlife. Wildlife damage to crops can drastically reduce income, amplifying poverty and creating a negative perception of wild animal conservation among rural people. In this context, crop-raiding animals like elephants quickly become “problem animals”. To deter elephants from raiding crops beehives have been successfully employed in East Africa; however, this method has not yet been tested in Central Africa. We experimentally examined whether the presence of Apis mellifera adansonii, the African honey bee species present in Central Africa, deters forest elephants (Loxodonta Africana cyclotis) from feeding on fruit trees. We show for the first time that the effectiveness of beehives as deterrents of elephants is related to bee activity. Empty hives and those housing colonies of low bee activity do not deter elephants all the time; but beehives with high bee activity do. Although elephant disturbance of hives does not impede honey production, there is a tradeoff between deterrence and the quantity of honey produced. To best achieve the dual goals of deterring elephants and producing honey colonies must maintain an optimum activity level of 40 to 60 bee movements per minute. Thus, beehives colonized by Apis mellifera adansonii bees can be effective elephant deterrents, but people must actively manage hives to maintain bee colonies at the optimum activity level. PMID:27196059

  11. Investigating the seismic signal of elephants: using seismology to mitigate elephant human conflict

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, S. J.; Manzi, M.; Naidoo, A.; Raveloson, A.

    2015-12-01

    Human interactions with wild elephants are often a source of conflict, as elephants invade inhabited lands looking for sustenance. In order to mitigate these interactions, a number of elephant defense systems are under development. These include electric fences, bees and the playback of warning calls recorded from elephants. With the discovery that elephants use seismic signals to communicate (O'Connell-Rodwell et al., 2006, Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.), it is hoped that seismic signals can also be used to help reduce conflict. Our current research project investigates the spectral content of the elephant seismic signal that travels through the ground using a variety of geophones and seismometers. Our experimental setup used a Geometrics Geode 24 channel seismic system with an array of 24 geophones spaced 1 m apart in an area of compact soil overlying weathered granites. Initially we used 14 Hz vertical geophones. The ground and ambient noise conditions were characterized by recording several hammer shots. These were used to identify the air wave, wind noise, and the direct wave, which had a dominant frequency of ~50 Hz. Several trained elephants that 'rumble' on command were then deployed ~5 m perpendicular to a line of 24 (14 Hz) vertical geophones between the 1 and 10 m geophone positions. We recorded a number of different elephants and configurations, and digitally recorded video for comparison. An additional deployment of 20 (14 Hz) horizontal geophones was also used. For all data, the sample interval was 0.25 ms and the recording length was 16 s as the timing of the rumbles could not be precisely controlled. We were able to identify the airwave due to the elephant's rumble with velocities between 305-310 m/s and the ground seismic signal due to the rumble with frequencies between 20-30 Hz. Our next experiment will include broadband seismometers at a further distance, to more fully characterize the frequency content of the elephant signal.

  12. Minimum cost of transport in Asian elephants: do we really need a bigger elephant?

    PubMed

    Langman, Vaughan A; Rowe, Michael F; Roberts, Thomas J; Langman, Nathanial V; Taylor, Charles R

    2012-05-01

    Body mass is the primary determinant of an animal's energy requirements. At their optimum walking speed, large animals have lower mass-specific energy requirements for locomotion than small ones. In animals ranging in size from 0.8 g (roach) to 260 kg (zebu steer), the minimum cost of transport (COT(min)) decreases with increasing body size roughly as COT(min)∝body mass (M(b))(-0.316±0.023) (95% CI). Typically, the variation of COT(min) with body mass is weaker at the intraspecific level as a result of physiological and geometric similarity within closely related species. The interspecific relationship estimates that an adult elephant, with twice the body mass of a mid-sized elephant, should be able to move its body approximately 23% cheaper than the smaller elephant. We sought to determine whether adult Asian and sub-adult African elephants follow a single quasi-intraspecific relationship, and extend the interspecific relationship between COT(min) and body mass to 12-fold larger animals. Physiological and possibly geometric similarity between adult Asian elephants and sub-adult African elephants caused body mass to have a no effect on COT(min) (COT(min)∝M(b)(0.007±0.455)). The COT(min) in elephants occurred at walking speeds between 1.3 and ∼1.5 m s(-1), and at Froude numbers between 0.10 and 0.24. The addition of adult Asian elephants to the interspecific relationship resulted in COT(min)∝M (-0.277±0.046)(b). The quasi-intraspecific relationship between body mass and COT(min) among elephants caused the interspecific relationship to underestimate COT(min) in larger elephants.

  13. The consequences of poaching and anthropogenic change for forest elephants.

    PubMed

    Breuer, Thomas; Maisels, Fiona; Fishlock, Vicki

    2016-10-01

    Poaching has devastated forest elephant populations (Loxodonta cyclotis), and their habitat is dramatically changing. The long-term effects of poaching and other anthropogenic threats have been well studied in savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana), but the impacts of these changes for Central Africa's forest elephants have not been discussed. We examined potential repercussions of these threats and the related consequences for forest elephants in Central Africa by summarizing the lessons learned from savannah elephants and small forest elephant populations in West Africa. Forest elephant social organization is less known than the social organization of savannah elephants, but the close evolutionary history of these species suggests that they will respond to anthropogenic threats in broadly similar ways. The loss of older, experienced individuals in an elephant population disrupts ecological, social, and population parameters. Severe reduction of elephant abundance within Central Africa's forests can alter plant communities and ecosystem functions. Poaching, habitat alterations, and human population increase are probably compressing forest elephants into protected areas and increasing human-elephant conflict, which negatively affects their conservation. We encourage conservationists to look beyond documenting forest elephant population decline and address the causes of these declines when developing conversation strategies. We suggest assessing the effectiveness of the existing protected-area networks for landscape connectivity in light of current industrial and infrastructure development. Longitudinal assessments of the effects of landscape changes on forest elephant sociality and behavior are also needed. Finally, lessons learned from West African elephant population loss and habitat fragmentation should be used to inform strategies for land-use planning and managing human-elephant interactions.

  14. Deep-ocean foraging northern elephant seals bioaccumulate persistent organic pollutants.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Sarah H; Peterson, Michael G; Debier, Cathy; Covaci, Adrian; Dirtu, Alin C; Malarvannan, Govindan; Crocker, Daniel E; Schwarz, Lisa K; Costa, Daniel P

    2015-11-15

    As top predators in the northeast Pacific Ocean, northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) are vulnerable to bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Our study examined a suite of POPs in blubber (inner and outer) and blood (serum) of free-ranging northern elephant seals. For adult females (N=24), we satellite tracked and sampled the same seals before and after their approximately seven month long foraging trip. For males, we sampled different adults and sub-adults before (N=14) and after (N=15) the same foraging trip. For females, we calculated blubber burdens for all compounds. The highest POP concentrations in males and females were found for ∑DDTs and ∑PCBs. In blubber and serum, males had significantly greater concentrations than females for almost all compounds. For males and females, ∑DDT and ∑PBDEs were highly correlated in blubber and serum. While ∑PCBs were highly correlated with ∑DDTs and ∑PBDEs in blubber and serum for males, ∑PCBs showed weaker correlations with both compounds in females. As females gained mass while foraging, concentrations of nearly all POPs in inner and outer blubber significantly decreased; however, the absolute burden in blubber significantly increased, indicating ingestion of contaminants while foraging. Additionally, we identified three clusters of seal foraging behavior, based on geography, diving behavior, and stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, which corresponded with differences in ∑DDTs, ∑PBDEs, MeO-BDE 47, as well as the ratio of ∑DDTs to ∑PCBs, indicating the potential for behavior to heighten or mitigate contaminant exposure. The greatest concentrations of ∑DDTs and ∑PBDEs were observed in the cluster that foraged closer to the coast and had blood samples more enriched in (13)C. Bioaccumulation of POPs by elephant seals supports mesopelagic food webs as a sink for POPs and highlights elephant seals as a potential sentinel of contamination in deep ocean food webs.

  15. Bupropion induced changes in exploratory and anxiety-like behaviour in NMRI male mice depends on the age.

    PubMed

    Carrasco, M Carmen; Vidal, Jose; Redolat, Rosa

    2013-09-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effects of the antidepressant bupropion on anxiety and novelty-seeking in adolescent mice of different ages and adults. Behavioural differences between early adolescent, late adolescent and adult NMRI mice were measured both in the elevated plus-maze and the hole-board tasks following acute administration of bupropion (5, 10, 15, 20mg/kg) or saline. In the plus maze test, early and late adolescent mice treated with bupropion (10, 15mg/kg, respectively) had lower percentages of entries in the open-arms compared to their vehicle controls. Adult mice treated with bupropion did not differ from their vehicle controls. These results suggest that the effect of this drug on anxiety-like behaviour in mice depends on the age, showing adolescents an anxiogenic-like profile. In the hole-board, adolescents showed more elevated levels of novelty-seeking than adults, exhibiting shorter latency to the first head-dip (HD) and a higher number of HD's. Bupropion increases the latency to the first HD and decreases the number of HD's in all age-groups, indicating a decline in exploratory tendency. Findings reveal that the age can modulate the behaviour displayed by mice in both animal models, and that adolescents are more sensitive to bupropion's anxiogenic effects.

  16. The elephant knee joint: morphological and biomechanical considerations

    PubMed Central

    Weissengruber, G E; Fuss, F K; Egger, G; Stanek, G; Hittmair, K M; Forstenpointner, G

    2006-01-01

    Elephant limbs display unique morphological features which are related mainly to supporting the enormous body weight of the animal. In elephants, the knee joint plays important roles in weight bearing and locomotion, but anatomical data are sparse and lacking in functional analyses. In addition, the knee joint is affected frequently by arthrosis. Here we examined structures of the knee joint by means of standard anatomical techniques in eight African (Loxodonta africana) and three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Furthermore, we performed radiography in five African and two Asian elephants and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in one African elephant. Macerated bones of 11 individuals (four African, seven Asian elephants) were measured with a pair of callipers to give standardized measurements of the articular parts. In one Asian and three African elephants, kinematic and functional analyses were carried out using a digitizer and according to the helical axis concept. Some peculiarities of healthy and arthrotic knee joints of elephants were compared with human knees. In contrast to those of other quadruped mammals, the knee joint of elephants displays an extended resting position. The femorotibial joint of elephants shows a high grade of congruency and the menisci are extremely narrow and thin. The four-bar mechanism of the cruciate ligaments exists also in the elephant. The main motion of the knee joint is extension–flexion with a range of motion of 142°. In elephants, arthrotic alterations of the knee joint can lead to injury or loss of the cranial (anterior) cruciate ligament. PMID:16420379

  17. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection among Asian Elephants in Captivity

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Gary; Zimmerman, Ralph; Shashkina, Elena; Chen, Liang; Richard, Michael; Bradford, Carol M.; Dragoo, Gwen A.; Saiers, Rhonda L.; Peloquin, Charles A.; Daley, Charles L.; Planet, Paul; Narachenia, Apurva; Mathema, Barun

    2017-01-01

    Although awareness of tuberculosis among captive elephants is increasing, antituberculosis therapy for these animals is not standardized. We describe Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission between captive elephants based on whole genome analysis and report a successful combination treatment. Infection control protocols and careful monitoring of treatment of captive elephants with tuberculosis are warranted. PMID:28221115

  18. Seed dispersal potential of Asian elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harich, Franziska K.; Treydte, Anna C.; Ogutu, Joseph O.; Roberts, John E.; Savini, Chution; Bauer, Jan M.; Savini, Tommaso

    2016-11-01

    Elephants, the largest terrestrial mega-herbivores, play an important ecological role in maintaining forest ecosystem diversity. While several plant species strongly rely on African elephants (Loxodonta africana; L. cyclotis) as seed dispersers, little is known about the dispersal potential of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). We examined the effects of elephant fruit consumption on potential seed dispersal using the example of a tree species with mega-faunal characteristics, Dillenia indica L., in Thailand. We conducted feeding trials with Asian elephants to quantify seed survival and gut passage times (GPT). In total, 1200 ingested and non-ingested control seeds were planted in soil and in elephant dung to quantify differences in germination rates in terms of GPT and dung treatment. We used survival analysis as a novel approach to account for the right-censored nature of the data obtained from germination experiments. The average seed survival rate was 79% and the mean GPT was 35 h. The minimum and maximum GPT were 20 h and 72 h, respectively. Ingested seeds were significantly more likely to germinate and to do so earlier than non-ingested control seeds (P = 0.0002). Seeds with the longest GPT displayed the highest germination success over time. Unexpectedly, seeds planted with dung had longer germination times than those planted without. We conclude that D. indica does not solely depend on but benefits from dispersal by elephants. The declining numbers of these mega-faunal seed dispersers might, therefore, have long-term negative consequences for the recruitment and dispersal dynamics of populations of certain tree species.

  19. Correlated evolution in parental care in females but not males in response to selection on paternity assurance behaviour.

    PubMed

    Head, Megan L; Hinde, Camilla A; Moore, Allen J; Royle, Nick J

    2014-07-01

    According to classical parental care theory males are expected to provide less parental care when offspring in a brood are less likely to be their own, but empirical evidence in support of this relationship is equivocal. Recent work predicts that social interactions between the sexes can modify co-evolution between traits involved in mating and parental care as a result of costs associated with these social interactions (i.e. sexual conflict). In burying beetles (Nicrophorus vespilloides), we use artificial selection on a paternity assurance trait, and crosses within and between selection lines, to show that selection acting on females, not males, can drive the co-evolution of paternity assurance traits and parental care. Males do not care more in response to selection on mating rate. Instead, patterns of parental care change as an indirect response to costs of mating for females.

  20. Correlated evolution in parental care in females but not males in response to selection on paternity assurance behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Head, Megan L; Hinde, Camilla A; Moore, Allen J; Royle, Nick J

    2014-01-01

    According to classical parental care theory males are expected to provide less parental care when offspring in a brood are less likely to be their own, but empirical evidence in support of this relationship is equivocal. Recent work predicts that social interactions between the sexes can modify co-evolution between traits involved in mating and parental care as a result of costs associated with these social interactions (i.e. sexual conflict). In burying beetles (Nicrophorus vespilloides), we use artificial selection on a paternity assurance trait, and crosses within and between selection lines, to show that selection acting on females, not males, can drive the co-evolution of paternity assurance traits and parental care. Males do not care more in response to selection on mating rate. Instead, patterns of parental care change as an indirect response to costs of mating for females. PMID:24766255

  1. The impact of competition on elephant musth strategies: A game-theoretic model.

    PubMed

    Wyse, J Max; Hardy, Ian C W; Yon, Lisa; Mesterton-Gibbons, Mike

    2017-03-21

    Mature male African Savannah elephants are known to periodically enter a temporary state of heightened aggression called "musth", often linked with increased androgens, particularly testosterone. Sexually mature males are capable of entering musth at any time of year, and will often travel long distances to find estrous females. When two musth bulls or two non-musth bulls encounter one another, the agonistic interaction is usually won by the larger male. However, when a smaller musth bull encounters a larger non-musth bull, the smaller musth male can win. The relative mating success of musth males is due partly to this fighting advantage, and partly to estrous females' general preference for musth males. Though musth behavior has long been observed and documented, the evolutionary advantages of musth remain poorly understood. Here we develop a game-theoretic model of male musth behavior which assumes musth duration as a parameter, and distributions of small, medium and large musth males are predicted in both time and space. The predicted results are similar to the musth timing behavior observed in the Amboseli National Park elephant population, and further results are generated with relevance to Samburu National Park. We discuss small male musth behavior, the effects of estrous female spatial heterogeneity on musth timing, conservation applications, and the assumptions underpinning the model.

  2. The multivariate concentric square field test reveals different behavioural profiles in male AA and ANA rats with regard to risk taking and environmental reactivity.

    PubMed

    Roman, Erika; Meyerson, Bengt J; Hyytiä, Petri; Nylander, Ingrid

    2007-11-02

    The aim of the present investigation was to compare the behavioural profiles in alcohol-preferring AA (Alko, alcohol) and alcohol-avoiding ANA (Alko, non-alcohol) rats. Twelve adult, alcohol-naïve male AA and ANA rats were tested in the recently established multivariate concentric square field (MCSF) test. The more traditional open field and elevated plus-maze tests were used as reference tests. Six weeks after the initial MCSF test, a repeated testing was used to explore differences in acquired recognition after a previous experience. The results revealed distinct differences between the two lines. The ANA rats were generally more active in the three tests. In the MCSF, parameters of risk taking and shelter seeking indicated differences between the two lines. The ANA rats had higher shelter seeking behaviour and less risk taking behaviour than the AA rats. Repeated exposure to the MCSF caused a general decrease in activity and reduction in the number of visits to the various zones, especially evident in the ANA rats. The ANA rats showed more shelter seeking than the AA rats and also more shelter seeking than in the first trial, supporting an "anxiety-like" profile in these rats. In conclusion, the parameters related to risk taking and shelter seeking revealed obvious differences between AA and ANA rats. The higher risk taking behaviour seen in the AA rats might relate to their innate propensity for high voluntary alcohol intake. The results are discussed in relation to the reported neurobiological differences and in relation to other alcohol-preferring and alcohol-avoiding rat lines.

  3. Effects of perinatal diet and prenatal stress on the behavioural profile of aged male and female rats.

    PubMed

    Bengoetxea, Xabier; Paternain, Laura; Martisova, Eva; Milagro, Fermin I; Martínez, J Alfredo; Campión, Javier; Ramírez, María J

    2017-03-01

    The present work studies whether chronic prenatal stress (PS) influences the long-term sex-dependent neuropsychological status of offspring and the effects of an early dietary intervention in the dam. In addition, dams were fed with either a high-fat sugar diet (HFSD) or methyl donor supplemented diet (MDSD). PS procedure did not affect body weight of the offspring. MDSD induced decreases in body weight both in male and female offspring (1 month) that were still present in aged rats. HFSD induced an increase in body weight both in male and female offspring that did not persist in aged rats. In the Porsolt forced swimming test, only young males showed increases in immobility time that were reversed by MDSD. In old female rats (20 months), PS-induced cognitive impairment in both the novel object recognition test (NORT) and in the Morris water maze that was reversed by MDSD, whereas in old males, cognitive impairments and reversion by MDSD was evident only in the Morris water maze. HFSD induced cognitive impairment in both control and PS old rats, but there was no additive effect of PS and HFSD. It is proposed here that the diversity of symptoms following PS could arise from programming effects in early brain development and that these effects could be modified by dietary intake of the dam.

  4. Dietary forage concentration and particle size affect sorting, feeding behaviour, intake and growth of Chinese Holstein male calves.

    PubMed

    Muhammad, A U R; Xia, C Q; Cao, B H

    2016-04-01

    The objective of study was to evaluate the effect of forage concentration (F:C) and forage particle length (FPL) on sorting, feeding behaviour, intake, growth and body measurements of growing calves. Twenty-eight weaned calves of body weight 156.79 ± 33.44 (mean ± SD) were used in 2 × 2 factorial arrangements with the factors FPL of hay grass (full and short) and hay grass concentrations (low, 50% and high, 65%). The treatments were as follows: full length (FL) with low F:C (50:50), FL with high F:C(65:35), short length (SL) with low F:C (50:50) and SL with high F:C (65:35). Increasing F:C and decreasing FPL enhanced sorting for short and fine particle and sorting against long particle (p < 0.05). Dry matter intake (DMI) was decreased by decreasing the FPL (p < 0.05). Increasing F:C (65:35) increased the DMI (p < 0.05). A positive interaction between FPL and F:C was found for (daily weight gain) DWG, weight gain (WG) and feed conversation ratio (FCR) (p < 0.05). In case of feeding behaviour, interaction for eating time and eating time per kilogram DM was present. Increasing the F:C increased the eating time in both FL and SL (p < 0.05). Chopping of hay had decreased the chewing time (p < 0.05). Increasing F:C increased chewing time per kilogram DMI. High F:C decreased the lying time (p < 0.05) in FL and SL treatments (p < 0.05). Increasing F:C reduced the overall abnormal behaviour (p < 0.05). These results suggested that animals performed better at higher F:C at SL diet. Intensity of sorting for short and fine particle and against long particle increased at higher F:C and SL diets. Eating time and eating time per kilogram DMI increased by increasing F:C level in both FL and SL treatments. Chewing time increased by increasing the FPL, while increasing the F:C enhanced the chewing time per kilogram DMI and reduced animal's abnormal behaviour.

  5. Foetal age determination and development in elephants

    PubMed Central

    Hildebrandt, Thomas; Drews, Barbara; Gaeth, Ann P; Goeritz, Frank; Hermes, Robert; Schmitt, Dennis; Gray, Charlie; Rich, Peter; Streich, Wolf Juergen; Short, Roger V; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2006-01-01

    Elephants have the longest pregnancy of all mammals, with an average gestation of around 660 days, so their embryonic and foetal development have always been of special interest. Hitherto, it has only been possible to estimate foetal ages from theoretical calculations based on foetal mass. The recent development of sophisticated ultrasound procedures for elephants has now made it possible to monitor the growth and development of foetuses of known gestational age conceived in captivity from natural matings or artificial insemination. We have studied the early stages of pregnancy in 10 captive Asian and 9 African elephants by transrectal ultrasound. Measurements of foetal crown–rump lengths have provided the first accurate growth curves, which differ significantly from the previous theoretical estimates based on the cube root of foetal mass. We have used these to age 22 African elephant foetuses collected during culling operations. Pregnancy can be first recognized ultrasonographically by day 50, the presumptive yolk sac by about day 75 and the zonary placenta by about day 85. The trunk is first recognizable by days 85–90 and is distinct by day 104, while the first heartbeats are evident from around day 80. By combining ultrasonography and morphology, we have been able to produce the first reliable criteria for estimating gestational age and ontological development of Asian and African elephant foetuses during the first third of gestation. PMID:17164195

  6. Patch-occupancy models indicate human activity as major determinant of forest elephant Loxodonta cyclotis seasonal distribution in an industrial corridor in Gabon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buij, R.; McShea, W.J.; Campbell, P.; Lee, M.E.; Dallmeier, F.; Guimondou, S.; Mackaga, L.; Guisseougou, N.; Mboumba, S.; Hines, J.E.; Nichols, J.D.; Alonso, A.

    2007-01-01

    The importance of human activity and ecological features in influencing African forest elephant ranging behaviour was investigated in the Rabi-Ndogo corridor of the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in southwest Gabon. Locations in a wide geographical area with a range of environmental variables were selected for patch-occupancy surveys using elephant dung to assess seasonal presence and absence of elephants. Patch-occupancy procedures allowed for covariate modelling evaluating hypotheses for both occupancy in relation to human activity and ecological features, and detection probability in relation to vegetation density. The best fitting models for old and fresh dung data sets indicate that (1) detection probability for elephant dung is negatively related to the relative density of the vegetation, and (2) human activity, such as presence and infrastructure, are more closely associated with elephant distribution patterns than are ecological features, such as the presence of wetlands and preferred fresh fruit. Our findings emphasize the sensitivity of elephants to human disturbance, in this case infrastructure development associated with gas and oil production. Patch-occupancy methodology offers a viable alternative to current transect protocols for monitoring programs with multiple covariates.

  7. Genomic inferences from Afrotheria and the evolution of elephants.

    PubMed

    Roca, Alfred L; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2005-12-01

    Recent genetic studies have established that African forest and savanna elephants are distinct species with dissociated cytonuclear genomic patterns, and have identified Asian elephants from Borneo and Sumatra as conservation priorities. Representative of Afrotheria, a superordinal clade encompassing six eutherian orders, the African savanna elephant was among the first mammals chosen for whole-genome sequencing to provide a comparative understanding of the human genome. Elephants have large and complex brains and display advanced levels of social structure, communication, learning and intelligence. The elephant genome sequence might prove useful for comparative genomic studies of these advanced traits, which have appeared independently in only three mammalian orders: primates, cetaceans and proboscideans.

  8. Behavioural response of sexually naïve and experienced male rats to the smell of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one and female rat faeces.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Birte L; Jerôme, Nathalie; Saint-Albin, Audrey; Rampin, Olivier; Maurin, Yves

    2013-08-15

    Sexually experienced male rats display penile erections when exposed to faeces from mammalian females in oestrus (Rampin et al., Behav Brain Res, 172:169, 2006), suggesting that specific odours indicate female receptiveness across species. However, it is unknown to what extent the sexual response observed results from an odorous conditioning acquired during sexual experience. We tested the behavioural response of male Brown Norway rats both when sexually naïve and experienced to four odours, including oestrous rat faeces and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one (methylheptenone; a molecule found in higher concentrations during oestrus in female rats, foxes and horses). Odour had a significant effect on the sexual response of the naïve rats, with oestrus faeces provoking significantly more erections than herb odour, and with methylheptenone and di-oestrus faeces being intermediate. This indicates that sexually naïve male rats have an unconditioned ability to detect oestrous mediated via odour. After gaining sexual experience, the response to methylheptenone, di- and oestrus faeces was significantly higher than that observed with herb odour. These results strongly suggest that methylheptenone is part of the odorous bouquet of oestrus and contributes to the olfactory determination of female receptiveness.

  9. Von Economo neurons in the elephant brain.

    PubMed

    Hakeem, Atiya Y; Sherwood, Chet C; Bonar, Christopher J; Butti, Camilla; Hof, Patrick R; Allman, John M

    2009-02-01

    Von Economo neurons (VENs), previously found in humans, all of the great ape species, and four cetacean species, are also present in African and Indian elephants. The VENs in the elephant are primarily found in similar locations to those in the other species. They are most abundant in the frontoinsular cortex (area FI) and are also present at lower density in the anterior cingulate cortex. Additionally, they are found in a dorsolateral prefrontal area and less abundantly in the region of the frontal pole. The VEN morphology appears to have arisen independently in hominids, cetaceans, and elephants, and may reflect a specialization for the rapid transmission of crucial social information in very large brains.

  10. Qualitative comparison of the cranio-dental osteology of the extant elephants, Elephas Maximus (Asian elephant) and Loxodonta africana (African elephant).

    PubMed

    Todd, Nancy E

    2010-01-01

    Few osteological descriptions of the extant elephants and no detailed morphological comparison of the two genera, Elephas and Loxodonta, have been done in recent years. In this study, 786 specimens of extant elephants (crania, mandibles, and molars) were examined for characters unique to each species. Differences between sexes in each species were described, as well as differences between subspecies of each species. Striking differences in morphology were noted between sexes of both elephants and between subspecies, which may complement current genetic studies, the focus of which is to determine division at the subspecies or species level, particularly differences between the savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) and the forest elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis). In addition, examination of the two living elephants provides an excellent dataset for identifying phylogenetic characters for use in examining evolutionary relationships within and between fossil lineages of elephantids.

  11. What is the use of elephant hair?

    PubMed

    Myhrvold, Conor L; Stone, Howard A; Bou-Zeid, Elie

    2012-01-01

    The idea that low surface densities of hairs could be a heat loss mechanism is understood in engineering and has been postulated in some thermal studies of animals. However, its biological implications, both for thermoregulation as well as for the evolution of epidermal structures, have not yet been noted. Since early epidermal structures are poorly preserved in the fossil record, we study modern elephants to infer not only the heat transfer effect of present-day sparse hair, but also its potential evolutionary origins. Here we use a combination of theoretical and empirical approaches, and a range of hair densities determined from photographs, to test whether sparse hairs increase convective heat loss from elephant skin, thus serving an intentional evolutionary purpose. Our conclusion is that elephants are covered with hair that significantly enhances their thermoregulation ability by over 5% under all scenarios considered, and by up to 23% at low wind speeds where their thermoregulation needs are greatest. The broader biological significance of this finding suggests that maintaining a low-density hair cover can be evolutionary purposeful and beneficial, which is consistent with the fact that elephants have the greatest need for heat loss of any modern terrestrial animal because of their high body-volume to skin-surface ratio. Elephant hair is the first documented example in nature where increasing heat transfer due to a low hair density covering may be a desirable effect, and therefore raises the possibility of such a covering for similarly sized animals in the past. This elephant example dispels the widely-held assumption that in modern endotherms body hair functions exclusively as an insulator and could therefore be a first step to resolving the prior paradox of why hair was able to evolve in a world much warmer than our own.

  12. Swimming speed and foraging strategies of northern elephant seals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassrick, Jason L.; Crocker, Daniel E.; Zeno, Ramona L.; Blackwell, Susanna B.; Costa, Daniel P.; Le Boeuf, Burney J.

    2007-02-01

    We investigated swimming speed, a key variable in both the management of oxygen stores and foraging strategies, and its relationship to diving behaviour in northern elephant seals , Mirounga angustirostris. Swimming speed significantly reduced the dive duration and time at depth for presumed foraging dives, but increased with dive depth. This suggests that the extended duration of deep dives is made possible by physiological adjustments and not by changes in swimming speed or effort. Swimming speeds were similar across sex and age classes despite different predicted minimum cost of transport speeds. All seals exhibited characteristic dive shapes and swimming speed patterns that support their putative functions, but two-dimensional dive shapes and swimming angles varied between sexes and age classes. Mean dive angles on descent were markedly shallow, suggesting use of negative buoyancy to cover horizontal distance while diving. Buoyancy also appeared to affect two-dimensional dive shapes and ability to use extended gliding behaviours between surface and deep foraging zones. Significant differences in diving behaviour between sexes and between young and adult females were evident for various phases of the dive cycle, potentially resulting from physical constraints or differences in dive functionality.

  13. Cross-sectional area of the elephant corpus callosum: comparison to other eutherian mammals.

    PubMed

    Manger, P R; Hemingway, J; Haagensen, M; Gilissen, E

    2010-05-19

    The current study reports our findings of the relationship between cross-sectional area of the corpus callosum and brain mass in over 100 eutherian mammal species. We were specifically interested in determining whether the elephant had a corpus callosum the size that would be expected for eutherian mammal with a brain mass of approximately 5000 g, or whether a different morphology had evolved. To answer this question we first analysed data from primates, other eutherian mammals and cetaceans, finding that primates and other eutherian mammals showed a positive allometric relationship between the two variables, such that larger brains had a relatively larger corpus callosum. Interestingly, primates have a slightly larger corpus callosum than other eutherian mammals, but showed a similar allometric scaling to this group. The cetaceans had a both absolutely and relatively small corpus callosum compared to other mammals and showed isometric scaling with brain mass. The six elephants studied herein had the largest absolute corpus callosums recorded to date; however, relative to the mass of their brain, the size of the corpus callosum was what would be expected of a typical eutherian mammal with a brain mass of approximately 5000 g. The data for elephants hinted at sexual dimorphism in size of the corpus callosum, with female elephants having both an absolute and relatively larger callosum than the males. If this observation is supported in future studies, the elephants will be the first non-primate species to show sexual dimorphism in this neural character. The results are discussed in both an evolutionary and functional context.

  14. Genetic relatedness and disrupted social structure in a poached population of African elephants.

    PubMed

    Gobush, Kathleen; Kerr, Ben; Wasser, Samuel

    2009-02-01

    We use genetic measures of relatedness and observations of female bonding to examine the demographic signature of historically heavy poaching of a population of free-ranging African elephants. We collected dung samples to obtain DNA and observed behaviour from 102 elephant families over a 25-month period in 2003-2005 in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. Poaching reduced the population by 75% in the decade prior to the 1989 ivory trade ban; park records indicate that poaching dropped significantly in Mikumi following the ban. Using 10 microsatellite loci, DNA was genotyped in 203 elephants and pair-wise relatedness was calculated among adult females within and between groups. The Mikumi population is characterized by small group size, considerable variation in group relatedness, females with no first-order adult relatives and females that form only weak social bonds. We used gene-drop analysis and a model of a genetically intact pedigree to compare our observed Mikumi group relatedness to a simulated genetically intact unpoached expectation. The majority of groups in Mikumi contain 2 to 3 adults; of these, 45% were classified as genetically disrupted. Bonding, quantified with a pair-wise association index, was significantly correlated with relatedness; however only half of the females formed strong bonds with other females, and relatedness was substantially lower for a given bond strength as compared to an unpoached population. Female African elephants without kin demonstrated considerable behavioural plasticity in this disturbed environment, grouping with other females lacking kin, with established groups, or remaining alone, unable to form any stable adult female-bonds. We interpret these findings as the remaining effect of poaching disturbance in Mikumi, despite a drop in the level of poaching since the commercial trade in ivory was banned 15 years ago.

  15. Aspects of elephant behavior, ecology, and interactions with humans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connell, Caitlin Elizabeth

    This dissertation is comprised of two chapters relating to the acoustic behavior of elephants, their surrounding ecology and interactions with humans. The first chapter investigates the seismic aspects of Asian elephant (Elephus maximus) acoustic communication. The second chapter is comprised of a synthesis of two separate studies conducted on the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Namibia, both in Etosha National Park and the Caprivi region. The two studies were combined and published in Biological Conservation as one large study on aspects of the economic and social impacts of elephant/human conflict and experiments conducted to reduce conflict. In chapter one, seismic and acoustic data were recorded simultaneously from Asian elephants during periods of vocalizations and locomotion. Acoustic and seismic signals from rumbles were highly correlated at near and far distances and were in phase near the elephant and were out of phase at an increased distance from the elephant. Data analyses indicated that elephant generated signals associated with rumbles and "foot stomps" propagated at different velocities in the two media, the acoustic signals traveling at 309 m/s and the seismic signals at 248--264 m/s. Both types of signals had predominant frequencies in the range of 20 Hz. Seismic signal amplitudes considerably above background noise were recorded at 40 m from the generating elephants for both the rumble and the stomp. Seismic propagation models suggest that seismic waveforms from vocalizations are potentially detectable by instruments at distances of up to 16 km, and up to 32 km for locomotion generated signals. Thus, if detectable by elephants, these seismic signals could be useful for long distance communication. In chapter two, the economic impact of elephants, Loxodonta africana , and predators, particularly lions, Panthera leo, on rural agriculturists in the Kwando region of the East Caprivi, Namibia was assessed from the years 1991 to 1995. Elephants

  16. Further diagnostic thoughts about the Elephant Man.

    PubMed

    Cohen, M M

    1988-04-01

    Further evidence for a diagnosis of the Elephant Man's condition is reviewed. It is known that the Elephant Man had "mocassin" lesions, hyperostoses of the skull, and absence of café-au-lait spots, all of which are characteristic of Proteus syndrome. Recently, questions have been raised about his skeletal findings and their relevance to neurofibromatosis. However, other skeletal diagnoses have been entertained, including Maffucci syndrome, Paget's disease of bone, pyarthrosis, and fibrous dysplasia. These diagnostic possibilities are discussed and evaluated critically. It is concluded that the skeletal findings are most consistent with Proteus syndrome and coincidental hip disease secondary to childhood trauma.

  17. Induced elephant (Loxodonta africana) tusk removal.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Martin; Gould, Alan R; Clark, Thomas J; Burns, Roy

    2003-03-01

    Elephant tusk removal usually requires costly surgical procedures that are time-consuming and present a significant risk to the animal when performed using general anesthesia. Such techniques require gauges, chisels, and forceps to remove the tusk. This article reports the simple removal of the tusk of an 18-yr-old African elephant (Loxodonta africana) without the use of surgical instruments and anesthesia. Rubber elastics were placed around a tusk, causing loss of alveolar bone with subsequent exfoliation of the tusk within 3 wk. The healing process was uneventful.

  18. Mating Behaviour in Laevicaudatan Clam Shrimp (Crustacea, Branchiopoda) and Functional Morphology of Male Claspers in a Phylogenetic Context: A Video-Based Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Sigvardt, Zandra M. S.; Olesen, Jørgen

    2014-01-01

    Clam shrimps are freshwater branchiopod crustaceans which often present complicated breeding systems including asexual reproduction (parthenogenesis) and mixed mating systems (in androdioecious species both selfing and outcrossing occurs due to the co-presence of hermaphrodites and males). Reproductive patterns of Spinicaudata, which contains most clam shrimp species, have received much attention. Another group of clam shrimps, Laevicaudata, which holds a key position in branchiopod phylogeny, has practically not been studied. As a part of the mating process, males clasp to the carapace margin of the females with a pair (or two pairs) of anterior trunk limbs modified as claspers. Previous studies have shown that clasper morphology is important in a phylogenetic context, and that some parts of the claspers in Spinicaudata and Laevicaudata may have undergone a remarkable parallel evolution. Here we have used video microscopy to study aspects of the mating behaviour, egg extrusion, and fertilization in Lynceus brachyurus (Laevicaudata). It is shown that fertilization is likely to be external and that the peculiar tri-lobed lateral lamellae of female's hind body assist in guiding the egg mass to the exopodal egg carriers where they are collected by their distal setation. The functional morphology of the male claspers was studied in detail by close-up video recordings. The movable “finger” of the clasper bends around the female's carapace edge and serves to hold the female during mating. The larger palp grasps around the female carapace margin in a way very similar to the movable “finger”, possibly indirectly providing sensory input on the “finger” position. A brief comparative study of the claspers of a spinicaudatan clam shrimp showed both similarities and differences to the laevicaudatan claspers. The presence of two pairs of claspers in Spinicaudata seems to give males a better hold of the female which may play a role during extended mate guarding. PMID

  19. Mating behaviour in laevicaudatan clam shrimp (Crustacea, Branchiopoda) and functional morphology of male claspers in a phylogenetic context: a video-based analysis.

    PubMed

    Sigvardt, Zandra M S; Olesen, Jørgen

    2014-01-01

    Clam shrimps are freshwater branchiopod crustaceans which often present complicated breeding systems including asexual reproduction (parthenogenesis) and mixed mating systems (in androdioecious species both selfing and outcrossing occurs due to the co-presence of hermaphrodites and males). Reproductive patterns of Spinicaudata, which contains most clam shrimp species, have received much attention. Another group of clam shrimps, Laevicaudata, which holds a key position in branchiopod phylogeny, has practically not been studied. As a part of the mating process, males clasp to the carapace margin of the females with a pair (or two pairs) of anterior trunk limbs modified as claspers. Previous studies have shown that clasper morphology is important in a phylogenetic context, and that some parts of the claspers in Spinicaudata and Laevicaudata may have undergone a remarkable parallel evolution. Here we have used video microscopy to study aspects of the mating behaviour, egg extrusion, and fertilization in Lynceus brachyurus (Laevicaudata). It is shown that fertilization is likely to be external and that the peculiar tri-lobed lateral lamellae of female's hind body assist in guiding the egg mass to the exopodal egg carriers where they are collected by their distal setation. The functional morphology of the male claspers was studied in detail by close-up video recordings. The movable "finger" of the clasper bends around the female's carapace edge and serves to hold the female during mating. The larger palp grasps around the female carapace margin in a way very similar to the movable "finger", possibly indirectly providing sensory input on the "finger" position. A brief comparative study of the claspers of a spinicaudatan clam shrimp showed both similarities and differences to the laevicaudatan claspers. The presence of two pairs of claspers in Spinicaudata seems to give males a better hold of the female which may play a role during extended mate guarding.

  20. HIV/STI RISK-TAKING SEXUAL BEHAVIOURS AND RISK PERCEPTION AMONG MALE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN TEHRAN: IMPLICATIONS FOR HIV PREVENTION AMONG YOUTH.

    PubMed

    Khalajabadi Farahani, Farideh; Akhondi, Mohammad Mahdi; Shirzad, Mehdi; Azin, Ali

    2017-03-13

    Recent evidence indicates a rising trend in premarital sexual activity among young people in Iran. However, little is known about the extent to which young people's sexual behaviours expose them to HIV and STI risks. This study aimed to assess HIV/STI-related sexual risk-taking behaviours (correlates and determinants) and HIV/STI risk perception among male university students in Tehran. A representative sample of male university students (N=1322) studying in government and private Tehran universities completed an anonymous questionnaire survey in 2013-14. Respondents were selected using two-stage stratified cluster sampling. About 35% of respondents had ever had premarital sex (n=462). The majority (about 85%) of the sexually experienced students reported having multiple sexual partners in their lifetime. More than half (54%) reported inconsistent condom use over the previous month. Despite this exposure to HIV/STI risk, the respondents had a very low level of HIV/STI risk perception. Only 6.5% were highly concerned about contracting HIV over the previous year, and an even lower percentage (3.4%) were concerned about contracting STIs in the near future. Early sexual debut (<18 years), studying in a private university, ever watching pornography and work experience were found to be significant predictors of having multiple sexual partners. Younger age at sexual debut, having one lifetime sexual partner and poor HIV knowledge were significant predictors of inconsistent condom use over the preceding month. HIV prevention programmes among Iranian youth need to focus on the postponement of first sex and enhancement of HIV/STI knowledge in the light of increasing access of young people to pornography.

  1. Winter use of sea ice and ocean water mass habitat by southern elephant seals: The length and breadth of the mystery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labrousse, Sara; Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Heerah, Karine; Guinet, Christophe; Sallée, Jean-Baptiste; Authier, Matthieu; Picard, Baptiste; Roquet, Fabien; Bailleul, Frédéric; Hindell, Mark; Charrassin, Jean-Benoit

    2015-09-01

    Understanding the responses of animals to the environment is crucial for identifying critical foraging habitat. Elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) from the Kerguelen Islands (49°20‧S, 70°20‧E) have several different foraging strategies. Why some individuals undertake long trips to the Antarctic continent while others utilize the relatively close frontal zones is poorly understood. Here, we investigate how physical properties within the sea ice zone are linked to foraging activities of southern elephant seals (SES). To do this, we first developed a new approach using indices of foraging derived from high temporal resolution dive and accelerometry data to predict foraging behaviour in an extensive, low resolution dataset from CTD-Satellite Relay Data Loggers (CTD-SRDLs). A sample of 37 post-breeding SES females were used to construct a predictive model applied to demersal and pelagic dive strategies relating prey encounter events (PEE) to dive parameters (dive duration, bottom duration, hunting-time, maximum depth, ascent speed, descent speed, sinuosity, and horizontal speed) for each strategy. We applied these models to a second sample of 35 seals, 20 males and 15 females, during the post-moult foraging trip to the Antarctic continental shelf between 2004 and 2013, which did not have fine-scale behavioural data. The females were widely distributed with important foraging activity south of the Southern Boundary Front, while males predominately travelled to the south-eastern part of the East Antarctica region. Combining our predictions of PEE with environmental features (sea ice concentration, water masses at the bottom phase of dives, bathymetry and slope index) we found higher foraging activity for females over shallower seabed depths and at the boundary between the overlying Antarctic Surface Water (AASW) and the underlying Modified Circumpolar Deep Water (MCDW). Increased biological activity associated with the upper boundary of MCDW, may provide

  2. Isolation of Leptospira from a phocid: acute renal failure and mortality from Leptospirosis in rehabilitated northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), California, USA.

    PubMed

    Delaney, Martha A; Colegrove, Kathleen M; Spraker, Terry R; Zuerner, Richard L; Galloway, Renee L; Gulland, Frances M D

    2014-07-01

    During rehabilitation, acute renal failure due to leptospirosis occurred in eight male northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) that stranded along the central California coast in 2011. Characteristic histologic lesions including renal tubular degeneration, necrosis, and mineralization, and mild lymphoplasmacytic interstitial nephritis were noted in the six animals examined. Immunohistochemistry, bacterial culture, and PCR were positive in 2/3, 2/3, and 3/4 seals, respectively, and 6/8 had high serum antibody titers to Leptospira interrogans serovar pomona. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis confirmed one isolate as serovar pomona. Variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis showed both elephant seal isolates were identical to each other but distinct from those isolated from California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). The time from stranding to onset of azotemia was 1 to 38 (median=24) days, suggesting some seals were infected at the rehabilitation facility. Based on temporal and spatial incidence of infection, transmission among elephant seals likely occurred during rehabilitation. Molecular (VNTR) analysis of the two isolates indicates there is a unique L. interrogans serovar pomona genotype in elephant seals, and sea lions were not the source of infection prior to or during rehabilitation. This study confirms the susceptibility of northern elephant seals to leptospirosis, indicates intraspecies transmission during rehabilitation, and reports the first isolation and preliminary characterization of leptospires from elephant seals.

  3. Does diet influence salivary enzyme activities in elephant species?

    PubMed

    Boehlke, Carolin; Pötschke, Sandra; Behringer, Verena; Hannig, Christian; Zierau, Oliver

    2017-01-01

    Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are herbivore generalists; however, Asian elephants might ingest a higher proportion of grasses than Africans. Although some studies have investigated nutrition-specific morphological adaptations of the two species, broader studies on salivary enzymes in both elephant species are lacking. This study focuses on the comparison of salivary enzymes activity profiles in the two elephant species; these enzymes are relevant for protective and digestive functions in humans. We aimed to determine whether salivary amylase (sAA), lysozyme (sLYS), and peroxidase (sPOD) activities have changed in a species-specific pattern during evolutionary separation of the elephant genera. Saliva samples of 14 Asian and eight African elephants were collected in three German zoos. Results show that sAA and sLYS are salivary components of both elephant species in an active conformation. In contrast, little to no sPOD activity was determined in any elephant sample. Furthermore, sAA activity was significantly higher in Asian compared with African elephants. sLYS and sPOD showed no species-specific differences. The time of food provision until sample collection affected only sAA activity. In summary, the results suggest several possible factors modulating the activity of the mammal-typical enzymes, such as sAA, sLYS, and sPOD, e.g., nutrition and sampling procedure, which have to be considered when analyzing differences in saliva composition of animal species.

  4. Neuronal morphology in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) neocortex.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Bob; Lubs, Jessica; Hannan, Markus; Anderson, Kaeley; Butti, Camilla; Sherwood, Chet C; Hof, Patrick R; Manger, Paul R

    2011-01-01

    Virtually nothing is known about the morphology of cortical neurons in the elephant. To this end, the current study provides the first documentation of neuronal morphology in frontal and occipital regions of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana). Cortical tissue from the perfusion-fixed brains of two free-ranging African elephants was stained with a modified Golgi technique. Neurons of different types (N=75), with a focus on superficial (i.e., layers II-III) pyramidal neurons, were quantified on a computer-assisted microscopy system using Neurolucida software. Qualitatively, elephant neocortex exhibited large, complex spiny neurons, many of which differed in morphology/orientation from typical primate and rodent pyramidal neurons. Elephant cortex exhibited a V-shaped arrangement of bifurcating apical dendritic bundles. Quantitatively, the dendrites of superficial pyramidal neurons in elephant frontal cortex were more complex than in occipital cortex. In comparison to human supragranular pyramidal neurons, elephant superficial pyramidal neurons exhibited similar overall basilar dendritic length, but the dendritic segments tended to be longer in the elephant with less intricate branching. Finally, elephant aspiny interneurons appeared to be morphologically consistent with other eutherian mammals. The current results thus elaborate on the evolutionary roots of Afrotherian brain organization and highlight unique aspects of neural architecture in elephants.

  5. Hearing in the elephant (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Heffner, R; Heffner, H

    1980-05-02

    Auditory thresholds were determined for a 7-year-old Indian elephant. The hearing range extended from 17 hertz to 10.5 kilohertz. The results indicate that the inverse relationship between functional interaural distance (that is, the distance between the two ears divided by the speed of sound) and high-frequency hearing limit is valid even for very large mammals.

  6. Elephant teeth from the atlantic continental shelf.

    PubMed

    Whitmore, F C; Emery, K O; Cooke, H B; Swift, D J

    1967-06-16

    Teeth of mastodons and mammoths have been recovered by fishermen from at least 40 sites on the continental shelf as deep as 120 meters. Also present are submerged shorelines, peat deposits, lagoonal shells, anz relict sands. Evidently elephants and other large mammals ranged this region during the glacial stage of low sea level of the last 25,000 years.

  7. Elephant teeth from the atlantic continental shelf

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Whitmore, F.C.; Emery, K.O.; Cooke, H.B.S.; Swift, D.J.P.

    1967-01-01

    Teeth of mastodons and mastodons have been recovered by fishermen from at least 40 sites on the continental shelf as deep as 120 meters. Also present are submerged shorelines, peat deposits, lagoonal shells, and relict sands. Evidently elephants and other large mammals ranged this region during the glacial stage of low sea level of the last 25.000 years.

  8. Epidemiology of male same-sex behaviour and associated sexual health indicators in low- and middle-income countries: 2003–2007 estimates

    PubMed Central

    Cáceres, C F; Konda, K; Segura, E R; Lyerla, R

    2008-01-01

    Objectives: To conduct a systematic review of published and unpublished data from research and public health information systems on the prevalence of male-to-male sex in the total male population; as well as among men who have sex with men (MSM), data on prevalence of heterosexual activity and heterosexual unions; prevalence of condom use with male and female partners; and prevalence of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Methods: Key indicators were defined (a) among men in the general population: prevalence of sex with a man ever and last year; (b) among MSM: prevalence of heterosexual experiences ever and last year; proportion of male-female transgenders; proportion of sex workers; prevalence of HIV and other STIs, condom use in last sexual encounter; consistent condom use with men last year; never used a condom with a man. With help from key informants, study searches were conducted in Pubmed, LILLACS, institutional databases, conference records and other sources. Methodology and quality of information were assessed, and the best data available for 2003–7 were selected. Indicator estimates from each study were used to propose regional estimate ranges. Results: A total of 83 new entries were entered into the database in addition to the previous 561, totalling 644. Of these, 107 showing 2003–7 data were selected. Many new studies came from sub-Saharan Africa, portraying hidden HIV epidemics among MSM. The most frequently reported estimate was HIV infection, with high estimate ranges in most of the regions, except for Middle East and North Africa and Eastern Europe. The next most frequently reported was lifetime frequency of heterosexual sex, showing that roughly 50% of MSM ever had sex with a woman. The small number of newer studies reporting prevalence of “sex with a man in last 12 months” between 2003 and 2007, did not warrant enough new evidence to revise our 2005 size estimates for MSM populations. Conclusions: A

  9. A Novel Objective Method of Estimating the Age of Mandibles from African Elephants (Loxodonta africana Africana).

    PubMed

    Stansfield, Fiona J

    2015-01-01

    The importance of assigning an accurate estimate of age and sex to elephant carcasses found in the wild has increased in recent years with the escalation in levels of poaching throughout Africa. Irregularities identified in current ageing techniques prompted the development of a new method to describe molar progression throughout life. Elephant mandibles (n = 323) were studied and a point near the distal dental alveolus was identified as being most useful in ranking each jaw according to molar progression. These 'Age Reference Lines' were then associated with an age scale based on previous studies and Zimbabwean mandibles of known age. The new ranking produced a single age scale that proved useful for both male and female mandibles up to the maximum lifespan age of 70-75 years. Methods to aid in molar identification and the sexing of found jaws were also identified.

  10. A Novel Objective Method of Estimating the Age of Mandibles from African Elephants (Loxodonta africana Africana)

    PubMed Central

    Stansfield, Fiona J.

    2015-01-01

    The importance of assigning an accurate estimate of age and sex to elephant carcasses found in the wild has increased in recent years with the escalation in levels of poaching throughout Africa. Irregularities identified in current ageing techniques prompted the development of a new method to describe molar progression throughout life. Elephant mandibles (n = 323) were studied and a point near the distal dental alveolus was identified as being most useful in ranking each jaw according to molar progression. These ‘Age Reference Lines’ were then associated with an age scale based on previous studies and Zimbabwean mandibles of known age. The new ranking produced a single age scale that proved useful for both male and female mandibles up to the maximum lifespan age of 70–75 years. Methods to aid in molar identification and the sexing of found jaws were also identified. PMID:25970428

  11. Retrospective analysis of mortalities in elephant shrews (Macroscelididae) and tree shrews (Tupaiidae) at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, USA.

    PubMed

    Clancy, Meredith M; Woc-Colburn, Margarita; Viner, Tabitha; Sanchez, Carlos; Murray, Suzan

    2013-06-01

    Investigations into the cause of mortality and other important findings at necropsy were made into two families of small mammals at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park (SNZP; USA). Necropsy reports from 1976 through 2008 were reviewed for all elephant shrews in family Macroscelididae (n = 118) and all tree shrews in family Tupaiidae (n = 90) that lived for greater than 30 days at the SNZP. Causes of mortality were classified by body system and etiology to identify prevalent diseases and trends across demographics for each family. In elephant shrews, gastrointestinal disease (n = 18) and respiratory disease (n = 22) were important causes of mortality with an increased prevalence of pneumonia in adult males. Trauma was a common cause of mortality in tree shrews (n = 22). Cryptococcosis was an important cause of mortality in both families (n = 8 elephant shrews; n = 13 tree shrews). Bacterial infections, often systemic at time of mortality, were also common (n = 16 elephant shrews; n = 17 tree shrews). Arteriosclerosis was a common comorbid pathology noted at necropsy in certain populations, seen only in Elephantulus rufescens in the family Macroscelididae (n = 22) and in only males in the family Tupaiidae (n = 11). Gongylonemiasis was seen commonly in tree shrews (n = 15), as a comorbid finding, or in 5 cases directly leading to mortality. Awareness of the prevalence of these diseases can help guide prevention and intervention strategies.

  12. Where sociality and relatedness diverge: the genetic basis for hierarchical social organization in African elephants.

    PubMed

    Wittemyer, George; Okello, John B A; Rasmussen, Henrik B; Arctander, Peter; Nyakaana, Silvester; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Siegismund, Hans R

    2009-10-07

    Hierarchical properties characterize elephant fission-fusion social organization whereby stable groups of individuals coalesce into higher order groups or split in a predictable manner. This hierarchical complexity is rare among animals and, as such, an examination of the factors driving its emergence offers unique insight into the evolution of social behaviour. Investigation of the genetic basis for such social affiliation demonstrates that while the majority of core social groups (second-tier affiliates) are significantly related, this is not exclusively the case. As such, direct benefits received through membership of these groups appear to be salient to their formation and maintenance. Further analysis revealed that the majority of groups in the two higher social echelons (third and fourth tiers) are typically not significantly related. The majority of third-tier members are matrilocal, carrying the same mtDNA control region haplotype, while matrilocality among fourth-tier groups was slightly less than expected at random. Comparison of results to those from a less disturbed population suggests that human depredation, leading to social disruption, altered the genetic underpinning of social relations in the study population. These results suggest that inclusive fitness benefits may crystallize elephant hierarchical social structuring along genetic lines when populations are undisturbed. However, indirect benefits are not critical to the formation and maintenance of second-, third- or fourth-tier level bonds, indicating the importance of direct benefits in the emergence of complex, hierarchical social relations among elephants. Future directions and conservation implications are discussed.

  13. Where sociality and relatedness diverge: the genetic basis for hierarchical social organization in African elephants

    PubMed Central

    Wittemyer, George; Okello, John B. A.; Rasmussen, Henrik B.; Arctander, Peter; Nyakaana, Silvester; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Siegismund, Hans R.

    2009-01-01

    Hierarchical properties characterize elephant fission–fusion social organization whereby stable groups of individuals coalesce into higher order groups or split in a predictable manner. This hierarchical complexity is rare among animals and, as such, an examination of the factors driving its emergence offers unique insight into the evolution of social behaviour. Investigation of the genetic basis for such social affiliation demonstrates that while the majority of core social groups (second-tier affiliates) are significantly related, this is not exclusively the case. As such, direct benefits received through membership of these groups appear to be salient to their formation and maintenance. Further analysis revealed that the majority of groups in the two higher social echelons (third and fourth tiers) are typically not significantly related. The majority of third-tier members are matrilocal, carrying the same mtDNA control region haplotype, while matrilocality among fourth-tier groups was slightly less than expected at random. Comparison of results to those from a less disturbed population suggests that human depredation, leading to social disruption, altered the genetic underpinning of social relations in the study population. These results suggest that inclusive fitness benefits may crystallize elephant hierarchical social structuring along genetic lines when populations are undisturbed. However, indirect benefits are not critical to the formation and maintenance of second-, third- or fourth-tier level bonds, indicating the importance of direct benefits in the emergence of complex, hierarchical social relations among elephants. Future directions and conservation implications are discussed. PMID:19605399

  14. [Keeping of elephants in the zoo and circus].

    PubMed

    Rietschel, W

    2002-03-01

    There is a decrease in the number of elephants kept in European zoological gardens and circus companies. In the future the import of animals will only be possible for holders which are able to keep family-groups of elephants under species-specific conditions. This will not be possible under circus conditions. This article will describe some problems observed in elephant holdings in zoological gardens and circus companies.

  15. A Comparison of Walking Rates Between Wild and Zoo African Elephants.

    PubMed

    Miller, Lance J; Chase, Michael J; Hacker, Charlotte E

    2016-01-01

    With increased scrutiny surrounding the welfare of elephants in zoological institutions, it is important to have empirical evidence on their current welfare status. If elephants are not receiving adequate exercise, it could lead to obesity, which can lead to many issues including acyclicity and potentially heart disease. The goal of the current study was to compare the walking rates of elephants in the wild versus elephants in zoos to determine if elephants are walking similar distances relative to their wild counterparts. Eleven wild elephants throughout different habitats and locations in Botswana were compared to 8 elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Direct comparisons revealed no significant difference in average walking rates of zoo elephants when compared with wild elephants. These results suggest that elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park walk similar rates to those of wild elephants and may be meeting their exercise needs.

  16. Isoleucine epimerization ages of the dwarf elephants of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belluomini, Giorgio; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    1985-07-01

    The isoleucine epimerization reaction has been used to date tooth enamel from dwarf elephants collected from the Sicilian caves of Spinagallo and Puntali. Elephant teeth from the Isernia la Pineta deposit in central Italy, dated at ˜700 ka by potassium-argon (K-Ar) and paleomagnetics, were used for calibration of the isoleucine epimerization rate. The ages determined for the dwarf elephants found at the Spinagallo Cave are considerably older than the more robust dwarf species found at the Puntali Cave. These dates suggest that more than one invasion of continental elephants have taken place on Sicily. The subsequent isolation of the continental species has apparently produced varying stages of dwarfism.

  17. Sticky snack for sengis: The Cape rock elephant-shrew, Elephantulus edwardii (Macroscelidea), as a pollinator of the Pagoda lily, Whiteheadia bifolia (Hyacinthaceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wester, Petra

    2010-12-01

    Following the recent discovery of rodent pollination in the Pagoda lily, Whiteheadia bifolia (Hyacinthaceae) in South Africa, now the Cape rock elephant-shrew, Elephantulus edwardii (Macroscelidea, Afrotheria) is reported as an additional pollinator. Elephant-shrews, live-trapped near W. bifolia plants, were released in two terraria, containing the plants. The animals licked nectar with their long and slender tongues while being dusted with pollen and touching the stigmas of the flowers with their long and flexible noses. The captured elephant-shrews had W. bifolia pollen in their faeces, likely as a result of grooming their fur as they visited the flowers without eating or destroying them. The animals mostly preferred nectar over other food. This is the first record of pollination and nectar consumption in the primarily insectivorous E. edwardii, contributing to the very sparse knowledge about the behaviour of this unique clade of African mammals, as well as pollination by small mammals.

  18. Kinetics of viral loads and genotypic analysis of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus-1 infection in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Stanton, Jeffrey J; Zong, Jian-Chao; Eng, Crystal; Howard, Lauren; Flanagan, Joe; Stevens, Martina; Schmitt, Dennis; Wiedner, Ellen; Graham, Danielle; Junge, Randall E; Weber, Martha A; Fischer, Martha; Mejia, Alicia; Tan, Jie; Latimer, Erin; Herron, Alan; Hayward, Gary S; Ling, Paul D

    2013-03-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause fatal hemorrhagic disease in juvenile Asian elephants (Elphas maximus); however, sporadic shedding of virus in trunk washes collected from healthy elephants also has been detected. Data regarding the relationship of viral loads in blood compared with trunk washes are lacking, and questions about whether elephants can undergo multiple infections with EEHVs have not been addressed previously. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the kinetics of EEHV1 loads, and genotypic analysis was performed on EEHV1 DNA detected in various fluid samples obtained from five Asian elephants that survived detectable EEHV1 DNAemia on at least two separate occasions. In three elephants displaying clinical signs of illness, preclinical EEHV1 DNAemia was detectable, and peak whole-blood viral loads occurred 3-8 days after the onset of clinical signs. In two elephants with EEHV1 DNAemia that persisted for 7-21 days, no clinical signs of illness were observed. Detection of EEHV1 DNA in trunk washes peaked approximately 21 days after DNAemia, and viral genotypes detected during DNAemia matched those detected in subsequent trunk washes from the same elephant. In each of the five elephants, two distinct EEHV1 genotypes were identified in whole blood and trunk washes at different time points. In each case, these genotypes represented both an EEHV1A and an EEHV1B subtype. These data suggest that knowledge of viral loads could be useful for the management of elephants before or during clinical illness. Furthermore, sequential infection with both EEHV1 subtypes occurs in Asian elephants, suggesting that they do not elicit cross-protective sterilizing immunity. These data will be useful to individuals involved in the husbandry and clinical care of Asian elephants.

  19. Nonfatal clinical presentation of elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus discovered in a group of captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Schaftenaar, W; Reid, C; Martina, B; Fickel, J; Osterhaus, A D M E

    2010-12-01

    Several different strains of elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus-1 (EEHV-1) have been identified via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques in both African and Asian elephants. EEHV-1 has been identified in both cutaneous lesions in healthy African elephants and fatal cases of hemorrhagic syndrome in Asian elephants. However, until now, no EEHV-1 strain has been identified or associated with otherwise healthy Asian elephants. This article describes recurrent nonendothelial lesions associated with EEHV-1 infection in a herd of Asian elephants not exhibiting fatal hemorrhagic syndrome. Genotypes of EEHV-1 strains, based on viral DNA polymerase and glycoprotein B, associated with fatal hemorrhagic syndrome, were compared to those identified in nonendothelial lesions. The same EEHV-1 genotypes were identified in fatal cases and mucosal lesions in otherwise healthy Asian elephants in this herd. Further studies of the Asian elephant immune system and virologic studies to determine the triggers of tissue tropism are needed before any conclusion can be reached. Elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus, EEHV, herpetic lesions, tropism.

  20. Housing and Social Environments of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) Elephants in North American Zoos

    PubMed Central

    Meehan, Cheryl L.; Hogan, Jennifer N.; Bonaparte-Saller, Mary K.; Mench, Joy A.

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated 255 African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants living in 68 North American zoos over one year to quantify housing and social variables. All parameters were quantified for the both the day and the night and comparisons were made across these time periods as well as by species and sex. To assess housing, we evaluated not only total exhibit size, but also individual animals’ experiences based on the time they spent in the unique environments into which the exhibits were subdivided. Variables developed to assess housing included measurements of area as a function of time (Total Space Experience), environment type (Indoor, Outdoor, In/Out Choice) and time spent on hard and soft flooring. Over the year, Total Space Experience values ranged from 1,273 square feet to 169,692 square feet, with Day values significantly greater than Night values (p<0.001). Elephants spent an average of 55.1% of their time outdoors, 28.9% indoors, and 16% in areas with a choice between being in or out. Time spent on hard flooring substrate ranged from 0% to 66.7%, with Night values significantly greater than Day (p<0.001). Social factors included number of animals functionally housed together (Social Experience) and social group characteristics such as time spent with juveniles and in mixed-sex groups. Overall Social Experience scores ranged from 1 to 11.2 and were significantly greater during the Day than at Night (p<0.001). There were few significant social or housing differences between African (N = 138) and Asian (N = 117) species or between males (N = 54) and females (N = 201). The most notable exception was Total Space Experience, with African and male elephants having larger Total Space Experience than Asian and female elephants, respectively (P-value<0.05). The housing and social variables evaluated herein have been used in a series of subsequent epidemiological analyses relating to various elephant welfare outcomes. PMID:27414034

  1. Housing and Social Environments of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) Elephants in North American Zoos.

    PubMed

    Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jennifer N; Bonaparte-Saller, Mary K; Mench, Joy A

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated 255 African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants living in 68 North American zoos over one year to quantify housing and social variables. All parameters were quantified for the both the day and the night and comparisons were made across these time periods as well as by species and sex. To assess housing, we evaluated not only total exhibit size, but also individual animals' experiences based on the time they spent in the unique environments into which the exhibits were subdivided. Variables developed to assess housing included measurements of area as a function of time (Total Space Experience), environment type (Indoor, Outdoor, In/Out Choice) and time spent on hard and soft flooring. Over the year, Total Space Experience values ranged from 1,273 square feet to 169,692 square feet, with Day values significantly greater than Night values (p<0.001). Elephants spent an average of 55.1% of their time outdoors, 28.9% indoors, and 16% in areas with a choice between being in or out. Time spent on hard flooring substrate ranged from 0% to 66.7%, with Night values significantly greater than Day (p<0.001). Social factors included number of animals functionally housed together (Social Experience) and social group characteristics such as time spent with juveniles and in mixed-sex groups. Overall Social Experience scores ranged from 1 to 11.2 and were significantly greater during the Day than at Night (p<0.001). There were few significant social or housing differences between African (N = 138) and Asian (N = 117) species or between males (N = 54) and females (N = 201). The most notable exception was Total Space Experience, with African and male elephants having larger Total Space Experience than Asian and female elephants, respectively (P-value<0.05). The housing and social variables evaluated herein have been used in a series of subsequent epidemiological analyses relating to various elephant welfare outcomes.

  2. Educational disparities in the intention to quit smoking among male smokers in China: a cross-sectional survey on the explanations provided by the theory of planned behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Droomers, Mariël; Huang, Xinyuan; Fu, Wenjie; Yang, Yong; Li, Hong; Zheng, Pinpin

    2016-01-01

    Objectives We aim to describe the intention to quit smoking among Chinese male smokers from different educational backgrounds and to explain this intention from their attitude, perceived social norms and self-efficacy regarding smoking cessation. Setting Participants were recruited from workplaces and communities to reflect the occupational distribution in three cities (Shanghai, Nanning and Mudanjiang) in China. Design and participants In 2013 interviews were conducted with 3676 male smokers aged 18 years and older. Outcome measures Multivariate logistic regression analyses calculated educational differences in the intention to quit smoking as well as the association between the intention to quit smoking and attitude, subjective norms, and self-efficacy. Bootstrapping estimated to what extent the educational disparities in the intention to quit smoking were mediated by these three determinants. Results No educational disparities in the intention to quit smoking within 1 or 6 months were observed among male Chinese smokers (p=0.623 and p=0.153, respectively). A less negative attitude, a higher perceived subjective norm towards smoking cessation, and a higher perceived self-efficacy to quit smoking were all associated with intention to quit (all p values <0.001). Perceived subjective norms were the only component of the theory of planned behaviour that statistically significantly mediated the differences in the intention to quit smoking (within 1 or 6 months) between the lowest educated Chinese men and the groups with lower (β=0.039, 95% CI 0.017 to 0.071 and β=0.043, 95% CI 0.019 to 0.073), higher (β=0.041, 95% CI 0.017 to 0.075 and β=0.045, 95% CI 0.019 to 0.077) and the highest education (β=0.045, 95% CI 0.019 to 0.080 and β=0.050, 95% CI 0.023 to 0.083). Conclusions In order to prevent future socioeconomic disparities in smoking cessation, investment in a more stimulating social environment and norms towards smoking cessation among particularly the

  3. Physical mapping of the elephant X chromosome: conservation of gene order over 105 million years.

    PubMed

    Delgado, Claudia Leticia Rodríguez; Waters, Paul D; Gilbert, Clément; Robinson, Terence J; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall

    2009-01-01

    All therian mammals (eutherians and marsupials) have an XX female/XY male sex chromosome system or some variant of it. The X and Y evolved from a homologous pair of autosomes over the 166 million years since therian mammals diverged from monotremes. Comparing the sex chromosomes of eutherians and marsupials defined an ancient X conserved region that is shared between species of these mammalian clades. However, the eutherian X (and the Y) was augmented by a recent addition (XAR) that is autosomal in marsupials. XAR is part of the X in primates, rodents, and artiodactyls (which belong to the eutherian clade Boreoeutheria), but it is uncertain whether XAR is part of the X chromosome in more distantly related eutherian mammals. Here we report on the gene content and order on the X of the elephant (Loxodonta africana)-a representative of Afrotheria, a basal endemic clade of African mammals-and compare these findings to those of other documented eutherian species. A total of 17 genes were mapped to the elephant X chromosome. Our results support the hypothesis that the eutherian X and Y chromosomes were augmented by the addition of autosomal material prior to eutherian radiation. Not only does the elephant X bear the same suite of genes as other eutherian X chromosomes, but gene order appears to have been maintained across 105 million years of evolution, perhaps reflecting strong constraints posed by the eutherian X inactivation system.

  4. New evidence for hybrid zones of forest and savanna elephants in Central and West Africa.

    PubMed

    Mondol, Samrat; Moltke, Ida; Hart, John; Keigwin, Michael; Brown, Lisa; Stephens, Matthew; Wasser, Samuel K

    2015-12-01

    The African elephant consists of forest and savanna subspecies. Both subspecies are highly endangered due to severe poaching and habitat loss, and knowledge of their population structure is vital to their conservation. Previous studies have demonstrated marked genetic and morphological differences between forest and savanna elephants, and despite extensive sampling, genetic evidence of hybridization between them has been restricted largely to a few hybrids in the Garamba region of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Here, we present new genetic data on hybridization from previously unsampled areas of Africa. Novel statistical methods applied to these data identify 46 hybrid samples--many more than have been previously identified--only two of which are from the Garamba region. The remaining 44 are from three other geographically distinct locations: a major hybrid zone along the border of the DRC and Uganda, a second potential hybrid zone in Central African Republic and a smaller fraction of hybrids in the Pendjari-Arli complex of West Africa. Most of the hybrids show evidence of interbreeding over more than one generation, demonstrating that hybrids are fertile. Mitochondrial and Y chromosome data demonstrate that the hybridization is bidirectional, involving males and females from both subspecies. We hypothesize that the hybrid zones may have been facilitated by poaching and habitat modification. The localized geography and rarity of hybrid zones, their possible facilitation from human pressures, and the high divergence and genetic distinctness of forest and savanna elephants throughout their ranges, are consistent with calls for separate species classification.

  5. Why Do Elephants Flap Their Ears?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koffi, Moise; Jiji, Latif; Andreopoulos, Yiannis

    2009-11-01

    It is estimated that a 4200 kg elephant generates as much as 5.12 kW of heat. How the elephant dissipates its metabolic heat and regulates its body temperature has been investigated during the past seven decades. Findings and conclusions differ sharply. The high rate of metabolic heat coupled with low surface area to volume ratio and the absence of sweat glands eliminate surface convection as the primary mechanism for heat removal. Noting that the elephant ears have high surface area to volume ratio and an extensive vascular network, ear flapping is thought to be the principal thermoregulatory mechanism. A computational and experimental program is carried out to examine flow and heat transfer characteristics. The ear is modeled as a uniformly heated oscillating rectangular plate. Our computational work involves a three-dimensional time dependent CFD code with heat transfer capabilities to obtain predictions of the flow field and surface temperature distributions. This information was used to design an experimental setup with a uniformly heated plate of size 0.2m x 0.3m oscillating at 1.6 cycles per second. Results show that surface temperature increases and reaches a steady periodic oscillation after a period of transient oscillation. The role of the vortices shed off the plate in heat transfer enhancement will be discussed.

  6. How should the psychological well-being of zoo elephants be objectively investigated?

    PubMed

    Mason, Georgia J; Veasey, Jake S

    2010-01-01

    Animal welfare (sometimes termed "well-being") is about feelings - states such as "suffering" or "contentment" that we can infer but cannot measure directly. Welfare indices have been developed from two main sources: studies of suffering humans, and of research animals deliberately subjected to challenges known to affect emotional state. We briefly review the resulting indices here, and discuss how well they are understood for elephants, since objective welfare assessment should play a central role in evidence-based elephant management. We cover behavioral and cognitive responses (approach/avoidance; intention, redirected and displacement activities; vigilance/startle; warning signals; cognitive biases, apathy and depression-like changes; stereotypic behavior); physiological responses (sympathetic responses; corticosteroid output - often assayed non-invasively via urine, feces or even hair; other aspects of HPA function, e.g. adrenal hypertrophy); and the potential negative effects of prolonged stress on reproduction (e.g. reduced gametogenesis; low libido; elevated still-birth rates; poor maternal care) and health (e.g. poor wound-healing; enhanced disease rates; shortened lifespans). The best validated, most used welfare indices for elephants are corticosteroid outputs and stereotypic behavior. Indices suggested as valid, partially validated, and/or validated but not yet applied within zoos include: measures of preference/avoidance; displacement movements; vocal/postural signals of affective (emotional) state; startle/vigilance; apathy; salivary and urinary epinephrine; female acyclity; infant mortality rates; skin/foot infections; cardio-vascular disease; and premature adult death. Potentially useful indices that have not yet attracted any validation work in elephants include: operant responding and place preference tests; intention and vacuum movements; fear/stress pheromone release; cognitive biases; heart rate, pupil dilation and blood pressure

  7. Elephants and Their Young: Science and Math Activities for Young Children. Teacher's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Echols, Jean C.; Kopp, Jaine; Blinderman, Ellen

    This book contains a series of playful activities in which young children actively learn about the African elephant's body structure, family life, and social behavior. Children make model elephants out of paper and cardboard, then devise elephant puppets with sock trunks as well as create models of elephant's ears, trunks, tusks, make elephant…

  8. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection in Free-Roaming Wild Asian Elephant

    PubMed Central

    Shivashankar, Beechagondahalli Papanna; Umashankar, Kunigal Srinivasa; Nandini, Poojappa; Giridhar, Papanna; Byregowda, Somenahalli Munivenkatappa; Shrinivasa, Basavegowdanadoddi Marinaik

    2017-01-01

    Postmortem examination of a wild Asian elephant at Rajiv Gandhi National Park, India, revealed nodular lesions, granulomas with central caseation, and acid-fast bacilli in the lungs. PCR and nucleotide sequencing confirmed the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This study indicates that wild elephants can harbor M. tuberculosis that can become fatal. PMID:28221114

  9. Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Wild Asian Elephants, Southern India

    PubMed Central

    Zachariah, Arun; Pandiyan, Jeganathan; Madhavilatha, G.K.; Mundayoor, Sathish; Chandramohan, Bathrachalam; Sajesh, P.K.; Santhosh, Sam

    2017-01-01

    We tested 3 ild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in southern India and confirmed infection in 3 animals with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an obligate human pathogen, by PCR and genetic sequencing. Our results indicate that tuberculosis may be spilling over from humans (reverse zoonosis) and emerging in wild elephants. PMID:28221104

  10. Drug delivery to captive Asian elephants - treating Goliath.

    PubMed

    Isaza, Ramiro; Hunter, Robert P

    2004-07-01

    Captive Asian elephants have been maintained in captivity by humans for over 4000 years. Despite this association, there is little published literature on the treatment of elephant diseases or methods of drug administration to these animals. Elephants in captivity are generally healthy and require few therapeutic interventions over the course of their lifetime. However, when they become acutely ill, treatment becomes a serious issue. The successful and consistent administration of therapeutics to elephants is formidable in an animal that presents significant limitations in drug delivery options. The single most important factor in administering drugs to an elephant is the animal's cooperation in accepting the medication. Working around elephants can be very dangerous and this is magnified when working around sick or injured animals where the elephant is subject to increased stress, pain, and unusual situations associated with treatment. The large body size of the Asian elephant produces a separate set of issues. In this paper, methods of drug administration and their associated limitations will be reviewed. Considerations of medicating such large animals can serve to highlight the problems and principles of treatment that are inherent in these species.

  11. 38. ELEPHANT BOILERS 1905: Photocopy of April 1905 photograph ...

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

    38. ELEPHANT BOILERS - 1905: Photocopy of April 1905 photograph showing elephant boilers along the west wall of the Washington and Mason Street powerhouse and car barn. View looking west on first floor of building. - San Francisco Cable Railway, Washington & Mason Streets, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA

  12. Resisting Elephants Lurking in the Music Education Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Regelski, Thomas A.

    2014-01-01

    Music education has many "elephants" in its classrooms: obvious major problems that go unmentioned and suffered silently. Two of the larger, more problematic "elephants" are identified, analyzed, and critiqued: (1) the hegemony of university schools of music on school music and the resulting focus in school music on…

  13. My College Education: Looking at the Whole Elephant

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merrow, John

    2006-01-01

    In a well-known fable, several blind men are asked to describe an elephant. One says, ''An elephant is flat, like a pancake," another says that it's "like a big snake." Their descriptions are accurate but limited, based on whichever part of the beast each happens to be holding--the ear, the trunk, and so forth. America's "system" of higher…

  14. Bee threat elicits alarm call in African elephants.

    PubMed

    King, Lucy E; Soltis, Joseph; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Savage, Anne; Vollrath, Fritz

    2010-04-26

    Unlike the smaller and more vulnerable mammals, African elephants have relatively few predators that threaten their survival. The sound of disturbed African honeybees Apis meliffera scutellata causes African elephants Loxodonta africana to retreat and produce warning vocalizations that lead other elephants to join the flight. In our first experiment, audio playbacks of bee sounds induced elephants to retreat and elicited more head-shaking and dusting, reactive behaviors that may prevent bee stings, compared to white noise control playbacks. Most importantly, elephants produced distinctive "rumble" vocalizations in response to bee sounds. These rumbles exhibited an upward shift in the second formant location, which implies active vocal tract modulation, compared to rumbles made in response to white noise playbacks. In a second experiment, audio playbacks of these rumbles produced in response to bees elicited increased headshaking, and further and faster retreat behavior in other elephants, compared to control rumble playbacks with lower second formant frequencies. These responses to the bee rumble stimuli occurred in the absence of any bees or bee sounds. This suggests that these elephant rumbles may function as referential signals, in which a formant frequency shift alerts nearby elephants about an external threat, in this case, the threat of bees.

  15. Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Wild Asian Elephants, Southern India.

    PubMed

    Zachariah, Arun; Pandiyan, Jeganathan; Madhavilatha, G K; Mundayoor, Sathish; Chandramohan, Bathrachalam; Sajesh, P K; Santhosh, Sam; Mikota, Susan K

    2017-03-01

    We tested 3 ild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in southern India and confirmed infection in 3 animals with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an obligate human pathogen, by PCR and genetic sequencing. Our results indicate that tuberculosis may be spilling over from humans (reverse zoonosis) and emerging in wild elephants.

  16. Triangulating the provenance of African elephants using mitochondrial DNA

    PubMed Central

    Ishida, Yasuko; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Hondo, Tomoko; Roca, Alfred L

    2013-01-01

    African elephant mitochondrial (mt) DNA follows a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. As females do not migrate between elephant herds, mtDNA exhibits low geographic dispersal. We therefore examined the effectiveness of mtDNA for assigning the provenance of African elephants (or their ivory). For 653 savanna and forest elephants from 22 localities in 13 countries, 4258 bp of mtDNA was sequenced. We detected eight mtDNA subclades, of which seven had regionally restricted distributions. Among 108 unique haplotypes identified, 72% were found at only one locality and 84% were country specific, while 44% of individuals carried a haplotype detected only at their sampling locality. We combined 316 bp of our control region sequences with those generated by previous trans-national surveys of African elephants. Among 101 unique control region haplotypes detected in African elephants across 81 locations in 22 countries, 62% were present in only a single country. Applying our mtDNA results to a previous microsatellite-based assignment study would improve estimates of the provenance of elephants in 115 of 122 mis-assigned cases. Nuclear partitioning followed species boundaries and not mtDNA subclade boundaries. For taxa such as elephants in which nuclear and mtDNA markers differ in phylogeography, combining the two markers can triangulate the origins of confiscated wildlife products. PMID:23798975

  17. Determinants of elephant distribution at Nazinga Game Ranch, Burkina Faso

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jenks, Jonathan A.; Klaver, Robert W.; Wicks, Zeno W.

    2007-01-01

    We used seasonal ground total counts and remote sensing and GIS technology to relate elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) distribution at Nazinga Game Ranch to environmental and anthropogenic factors. Variables used in analyses were normalized difference vegetation index, elevation, stream density, density of poaching and human illegal activities, distance to dams, distance to rivers, distance to roads, and distance to poaching risk. Contrary to our expectation, road traffic did not disturb elephants. Strong negative relationships were documented between elephant abundance and stream density, distance to dams, and poaching density. Density of poaching and other human illegal activities explained 81%, vegetation greenness 6%, and stream density 3% of the variation in elephant density. Elephant distribution represented a survival strategy affected by poaching, food quality and abundance, and water availability. 

  18. Hematologic and serum biochemical profile of the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris): variation with age, sex, and season.

    PubMed

    Yochem, Pamela K; Stewart, Brent S; Mazet, Jonna A K; Boyce, Walter M

    2008-10-01

    The foraging success, and thus the survival and reproductive success, of deep-diving pinnipeds such as the northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris, depends on the ability to withstand repetitive breath-hold dives. Health parameters can be incorporated as potential explanatory variables for differences observed in diving and migratory performance of individual seals. Furthermore, biomedical samples from apparently healthy individuals can provide valuable baseline data for evaluating effects of natural or anthropogenic threats to individuals and populations. We evaluated 42 blood parameters in 134 northern elephant seals during the breeding and molting seasons (1992-1999) to test for age, sex, and seasonal differences and to develop reference ranges. Adult males sampled during the breeding season differed from all other adult groups for a suite of parameters often associated with inflammation, infection, or other stressors: lower hematocrit, higher white blood cell count, higher band neutrophils, higher neutrophil count, lower albumin, and lower serum iron. Adult females during the breeding season differed from all other adult categories for two parameters (lower platelet counts, lower alanine aminotransferase activity). Molting males had higher blood urea nitrogen than all other classes; creatinine did not differ between breeding and molting adult males, but was higher in males than in females in both seasons. We found significant differences among age classes for 24 of 42 parameters measured, including higher levels of triglycerides, total protein, calcium, and iron in pups than we found in juveniles or adults. Unlike other mammals which undergo substantial decreases in energy expenditure during prolonged fasting (e.g., hibernation), northern elephant seals defend territories, give birth and suckle large offspring, mate, and molt during their bi-annual fasts. Nonetheless, many studies have described physiologic homeostasis during fasting in elephant seals

  19. "The Elephant in the Dark Room": Merrick and Menacing Mimicry in Bernard Pomerance's "The Elephant Man"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sasani, Samira

    2015-01-01

    This paper tries to look at Pomerance's "The Elephant Man," from a new perspective from which no critic has investigated the play, before. Applying postcolonial theory of Homi K. Bhabha to the play, the author scrutinizes how "mimicry strategy", employed by the colonizer and the Other, can be threatening for both and how the…

  20. Hormonal and behavioural correlates of male dominance and reproductive status in captive colonies of the naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber.

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, F M; Faulkes, C G

    1998-01-01

    Naked mole-rat colonies are societies with a high reproductive skew, breeding being restricted to one dominant female (the 'queen') and 1-3 males. Other colony members of both sexes are reproductively suppressed. Experimental removal of breeding males allowed us to investigate the relationship between urinary testosterone and cortisol, dominance rank, and male reproductive status. Dominance rank was strongly correlated with body weight, age, and urinary testosterone titres in males. No relationship between urinary cortisol levels and male reproductive status or dominance was found. Breeding males were among the highest-ranking, heaviest and oldest males in their respective colonies, and were succeeded by other high-ranking, large, old colony males. In contrast to females, no evidence of competition over breeding status was observed among males. Male-male agonism was low both before and after removal of breeders and mate guarding was not observed. The lower reproductive skew for males compared with female skew or queen control over male reproduction may explain why males compete less strongly than females over breeding status after removal of same-sexed breeders. PMID:9721687

  1. Shackleton's men: life on Elephant Island.

    PubMed

    Piggott, Jan R

    2004-09-01

    The experiences of the 22 men from Ernest Shackleton's Endurance expedition of 1914-1916 who were marooned on Elephant Island during the Antarctic winter are not as well known as the narrative of the ship being beset and sunk, and Shackleton's open boat journey to South Georgia to rescue them. Frank Wild was left in charge of the marooned men by Shackleton and saved them from starvation and despair. The morale of the men in the face of extreme exposure to the elements, the ingenuity of their devices for survival and their diet, conversation and entertainments all reveal heroic qualities of Shackletonian endurance.

  2. Silencing of the Hsf gene, the transcriptional regulator of A. gambiae male accessory glands, inhibits the formation of the mating plug in mated females and disrupts their monogamous behaviour.

    PubMed

    Dottorini, Tania; Persampieri, Tania; Palladino, Pietro; Spaccapelo, Roberta; Crisanti, Andrea

    2012-11-01

    Discovering the molecular factors that shape the mating behaviour and the fertility of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae, the principal vector of human malaria, is regarded as critical to better understand its reproductive success as well as for identifying new leads for malaria control measures. In A. gambiae mating induces complex behavioural and physiological changes in the females, including refractoriness to subsequent mating and induction of egg-laying. In other insects including Drosophila a group of proteins named Accessory gland proteins (Acps), produced by males and transferred with sperm to the female reproductive tract, have been implicated in this post-mating response. Although Acps represent a set of promising candidates for unravelling the mating physiology, their role in inducing behavioural changes in mated A. gambiae females remains largely unknown. In this work, we demonstrate that a down-regulation of a large fraction of Acp genes via silencing of the Acp regulating transcription factor Hsf, abolishes the formation of mating plug in mated females and fails to induce refractoriness of mated female to subsequent inseminations. A significant fraction of females mated to Hsf silenced males (66%) failed to receive the mating plug though seminal fluid had been transferred as documented by the presence of spermatozoa in the female sperm storage organ. Furthermore, nearly all females (95%) mated to HSF-silenced males were re-inseminated when exposed to males carrying EGPF marked sperm. Our findings provide evidence showing that Acp genes regulated by the transcription factor HSF play a key role in the function of the male accessory glands.

  3. Will Elephants Soon Disappear from West African Savannahs?

    PubMed Central

    Bouché, Philippe; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Wittemyer, George; Nianogo, Aimé J.; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Lejeune, Philippe; Vermeulen, Cédric

    2011-01-01

    Precipitous declines in Africa's native fauna and flora are recognized, but few comprehensive records of these changes have been compiled. Here, we present population trends for African elephants in the 6,213,000 km2 Sudano-Sahelian range of West and Central Africa assessed through the analysis of aerial and ground surveys conducted over the past 4 decades. These surveys are focused on the best protected areas in the region, and therefore represent the best case scenario for the northern savanna elephants. A minimum of 7,745 elephants currently inhabit the entire region, representing a minimum decline of 50% from estimates four decades ago for these protected areas. Most of the historic range is now devoid of elephants and, therefore, was not surveyed. Of the 23 surveyed elephant populations, half are estimated to number less than 200 individuals. Historically, most populations numbering less than 200 individuals in the region were extirpated within a few decades. Declines differed by region, with Central African populations experiencing much higher declines (−76%) than those in West Africa (−33%). As a result, elephants in West Africa now account for 86% of the total surveyed. Range wide, two refuge zones retain elephants, one in West and the other in Central Africa. These zones are separated by a large distance (∼900 km) of high density human land use, suggesting connectivity between the regions is permanently cut. Within each zone, however, sporadic contacts between populations remain. Retaining such connectivity should be a high priority for conservation of elephants in this region. Specific corridors designed to reduce the isolation of the surveyed populations are proposed. The strong commitment of governments, effective law enforcement to control the illegal ivory trade and the involvement of local communities and private partners are all critical to securing the future of elephants inhabiting Africa's northern savannas. PMID:21731620

  4. Will elephants soon disappear from West African savannahs?

    PubMed

    Bouché, Philippe; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Wittemyer, George; Nianogo, Aimé J; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Lejeune, Philippe; Vermeulen, Cédric

    2011-01-01

    Precipitous declines in Africa's native fauna and flora are recognized, but few comprehensive records of these changes have been compiled. Here, we present population trends for African elephants in the 6,213,000 km² Sudano-Sahelian range of West and Central Africa assessed through the analysis of aerial and ground surveys conducted over the past 4 decades. These surveys are focused on the best protected areas in the region, and therefore represent the best case scenario for the northern savanna elephants. A minimum of 7,745 elephants currently inhabit the entire region, representing a minimum decline of 50% from estimates four decades ago for these protected areas. Most of the historic range is now devoid of elephants and, therefore, was not surveyed. Of the 23 surveyed elephant populations, half are estimated to number less than 200 individuals. Historically, most populations numbering less than 200 individuals in the region were extirpated within a few decades. Declines differed by region, with Central African populations experiencing much higher declines (-76%) than those in West Africa (-33%). As a result, elephants in West Africa now account for 86% of the total surveyed. Range wide, two refuge zones retain elephants, one in West and the other in Central Africa. These zones are separated by a large distance (∼900 km) of high density human land use, suggesting connectivity between the regions is permanently cut. Within each zone, however, sporadic contacts between populations remain. Retaining such connectivity should be a high priority for conservation of elephants in this region. Specific corridors designed to reduce the isolation of the surveyed populations are proposed. The strong commitment of governments, effective law enforcement to control the illegal ivory trade and the involvement of local communities and private partners are all critical to securing the future of elephants inhabiting Africa's northern savannas.

  5. Mammoth and elephant phylogenetic relationships: Mammut americanum, the missing outgroup.

    PubMed

    Orlando, Ludovic; Hänni, Catherine; Douady, Christophe J

    2007-03-29

    At the morphological level, the woolly mammoth has most often been considered as the sister-species of Asian elephants, but at the DNA level, different studies have found support for proximity with African elephants. Recent reports have increased the available sequence data and apparently solved the discrepancy, finding mammoths to be most closely related to Asian elephants. However, we demonstrate here that the three competing topologies have similar likelihood, bayesian and parsimony supports. The analysis further suggests the inadequacy of using Sirenia or Hyracoidea as outgroups. We therefore argue that orthologous sequences from the extinct American mastodon will be required to definitively solve this long-standing question.

  6. Identifying foraging events in deep diving southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, using acceleration data loggers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallon, S.; Bailleul, F.; Charrassin, J.-B.; Guinet, C.; Bost, C.-A.; Handrich, Y.; Hindell, M.

    2013-04-01

    Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) range widely throughout the Southern Ocean and are associated with important habitats (e.g., ice edges, shelf) where they accumulate energy to fuel their reproductive efforts on land. Knowledge of the fine scale foraging behaviour used to garner this energy, however, is limited. For the first time, acceleration loggers were deployed on three adult southern elephant seals during a translocation study at Kerguelen Island. The aims of the study were to (1) identify prey capture attempts using 2-D accelerometer tags deployed on the head of southern elephant seals, (2) compare the number of foraging dives identified by simple dive depth profiles and accelerometer profiles and (3) compare dive characteristics between prey encounter and non-prey encounter dives. The 2-D loggers recorded depth every second, surge and heave accelerations at 8 or 16 Hz and were carried for periods between 23 and 121 h. Rapid head movements were interpreted to be associated with prey encounter events. Acceleration data detected possible prey encounter events in 39-52% of dives whilst 67-80% of dives were classified as foraging dives when using dive depth profiles alone. Prey encounters occurred in successive dives during days and nights and lasted between tenths of a second and 7.6 min. Binomial linear mixed effect models showed that seals were diving significantly deeper and increased both descent rate and bottom duration when encountering prey. Dive duration, however, did not significantly increase during dives with prey encounters. These results are in accordance with optimal foraging theory, which predicts that deep divers should increase both their transit rates and the time spent at depth when a profitable prey patch is encountered. These findings indicate that this technique is promising as it more accurately detects possible prey encounter events compared with dive depth profiles alone and thus provides a better understanding of seal foraging

  7. Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Pig-Tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina) and Tiger (Panthera tigris) Populations at Tourism Venues in Thailand and Aspects of Their Welfare

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt-Burbach, Jan; Ronfot, Delphine; Srisangiam, Rossukon

    2015-01-01

    This study focused on determining the size and welfare aspects of Asian elephant, pig-tailed macaque and tiger populations at facilities open to tourists in Thailand. Data were gathered from 118 venues through direct observations and interviews with staff. A score sheet-based welfare assessment was used to calculate scores between 1 and 10, indicating each venue’s welfare situation. Factors such as freedom of movement for the animals, access to veterinary care, environmental noise quality, hygiene standards and work intensity were included in the score sheet. 1688 elephants, 371 macaques and 621 tigers were found at the venues. 89 venues exclusively kept elephants, 9 designated ‘Monkey schools’ offered macaque shows, 4 venues kept primarily tigers, mostly for petting and photo opportunities, and the remaining venues kept a mix of these animals. A strong imbalance in female to male gender ratios was recorded with about 4:1 for adult elephants and 1:4 for adult macaques. Severely inadequate welfare conditions were common, with 75% of macaques and 99% of tigers being kept at venues with scores less than 5. 86% of elephants were kept in inadequate conditions at venues with scores between 3 and 5, but a significant number of venues with scores above 5 were found. 4.6% of elephants were provided commendable conditions, reaching assessment scores of 8 and above. 71% of venues did not offer any sort of education about animals to visitors. This study is the first to assess welfare aspects of captive wild animals at tourism venues across Thailand. It concludes that significant concerns exist about the welfare of wild animals in the tourism sector of Thailand. Urgent attention needs to be given to address these concerns and prevent further suffering. But also to ensure the demand for wild animals doesn’t have a negative impact on wild populations. PMID:26407173

  8. Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Pig-Tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina) and Tiger (Panthera tigris) Populations at Tourism Venues in Thailand and Aspects of Their Welfare.

    PubMed

    Schmidt-Burbach, Jan; Ronfot, Delphine; Srisangiam, Rossukon

    2015-01-01

    This study focused on determining the size and welfare aspects of Asian elephant, pig-tailed macaque and tiger populations at facilities open to tourists in Thailand. Data were gathered from 118 venues through direct observations and interviews with staff. A score sheet-based welfare assessment was used to calculate scores between 1 and 10, indicating each venue's welfare situation. Factors such as freedom of movement for the animals, access to veterinary care, environmental noise quality, hygiene standards and work intensity were included in the score sheet. 1688 elephants, 371 macaques and 621 tigers were found at the venues. 89 venues exclusively kept elephants, 9 designated 'Monkey schools' offered macaque shows, 4 venues kept primarily tigers, mostly for petting and photo opportunities, and the remaining venues kept a mix of these animals. A strong imbalance in female to male gender ratios was recorded with about 4:1 for adult elephants and 1:4 for adult macaques. Severely inadequate welfare conditions were common, with 75% of macaques and 99% of tigers being kept at venues with scores less than 5. 86% of elephants were kept in inadequate conditions at venues with scores between 3 and 5, but a significant number of venues with scores above 5 were found. 4.6% of elephants were provided commendable conditions, reaching assessment scores of 8 and above. 71% of venues did not offer any sort of education about animals to visitors. This study is the first to assess welfare aspects of captive wild animals at tourism venues across Thailand. It concludes that significant concerns exist about the welfare of wild animals in the tourism sector of Thailand. Urgent attention needs to be given to address these concerns and prevent further suffering. But also to ensure the demand for wild animals doesn't have a negative impact on wild populations.

  9. Devastating decline of forest elephants in central Africa.

    PubMed

    Maisels, Fiona; Strindberg, Samantha; Blake, Stephen; Wittemyer, George; Hart, John; Williamson, Elizabeth A; Aba'a, Rostand; Abitsi, Gaspard; Ambahe, Ruffin D; Amsini, Fidèl; Bakabana, Parfait C; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Bayogo, Rosine E; Bechem, Martha; Beyers, Rene L; Bezangoye, Anicet N; Boundja, Patrick; Bout, Nicolas; Akou, Marc Ella; Bene, Lambert Bene; Fosso, Bernard; Greengrass, Elizabeth; Grossmann, Falk; Ikamba-Nkulu, Clement; Ilambu, Omari; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Iyenguet, Fortune; Kiminou, Franck; Kokangoye, Max; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Latour, Stephanie; Liengola, Innocent; Mackaya, Quevain; Madidi, Jacob; Madzoke, Bola; Makoumbou, Calixte; Malanda, Guy-Aimé; Malonga, Richard; Mbani, Olivier; Mbendzo, Valentin A; Ambassa, Edgar; Ekinde, Albert; Mihindou, Yves; Morgan, Bethan J; Motsaba, Prosper; Moukala, Gabin; Mounguengui, Anselme; Mowawa, Brice S; Ndzai, Christian; Nixon, Stuart; Nkumu, Pele; Nzolani, Fabian; Pintea, Lilian; Plumptre, Andrew; Rainey, Hugo; de Semboli, Bruno Bokoto; Serckx, Adeline; Stokes, Emma; Turkalo, Andrea; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vosper, Ashley; Warren, Ymke

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants- taxonomically and functionally unique-are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002-2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced.

  10. Foraging habitats of southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, from the Northern Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muelbert, Monica M. C.; de Souza, Ronald B.; Lewis, Mirtha N.; Hindell, Mark A.

    2013-04-01

    Elephant Island (EI) is uniquely placed to provide southern elephant seals (SES) breeding there with potential access to foraging grounds in the Weddell Sea, the frontal zones of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Patagonian shelf and the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Quantifying where seals from EI forage therefore provides insights into the types of important habitats available, and which are of particular importance to elephant seals. Twenty nine SES (5 sub-adult males—SAM and 24 adult females—AF) were equipped with SMRU CTD-SLDRs during the post-breeding (PB 2008, 2009) and post-moulting (PM 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) trips to sea. There were striking intra-annual and inter-sex differences in foraging areas, with most of the PB females remaining within 150 km of EI. One PB AF travelled down the WAP as did 16 out of the 20 PM females and foraged near the winter ice-edge. Most PM sub-adult males remained close to EI, in areas similar to those used by adult females several months earlier, although one SAM spent the early part of the winter foraging on the Patagonian Shelf. The waters of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula (NAP) contain abundant resources to support the majority of the Islands' SES for the summer and early winter, such that the animals from this population have shorter migrations than those from most other populations. Sub-adult males and PB females are certainly taking advantage of these resources. However, PM females did not remain there over the winter months, instead they used the same waters at the ice-edge in the southern WAP that females from both King George Island and South Georgia used. Females made more benthic dives than sub-adult males—again this contrasts with other sites where SAMs do more benthic diving. Unlike most other populations studied to date EI is a relatively southerly breeding colony located on the Antarctic continental shelf. EI seals are using shelf habitats more than other SES populations but some individuals still

  11. Nuclear organization of cholinergic, putative catecholaminergic and serotonergic nuclei in the brain of the eastern rock elephant shrew, Elephantulus myurus.

    PubMed

    Pieters, Raymond P; Gravett, Nadine; Fuxe, Kjell; Manger, Paul R

    2010-05-01

    The organization of the nuclear subdivisions of the cholinergic, putative catecholaminergic and serotonergic systems of the brain of the elephant shrew (Elephantulus myurus) were determined following immunohistochemistry for choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase and serotonin, respectively. This was done in order to determine if differences in the nuclear organization of these systems in comparison to other mammals were evident and how any noted differences may relate to specialized behaviours of the elephant shrew. The elephant shrew belongs to the order Macroscelidea, and forms part of the Afrotherian mammalian cohort. In general, the organization of the nuclei of these systems resembled that described in other mammalian species. The cholinergic system showed many features in common with that seen in the rock hyrax, rodents and primates; however, specific differences include: (1) cholinergic neurons were observed in the superior and inferior colliculi, as well as the cochlear nuclei; (2) cholinergic neurons were not observed in the anterior nuclei of the dorsal thalamus as seen in the rock hyrax; and (3) cholinergic parvocellular nerve cells forming subdivisions of the laterodorsal and pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei were not observed at the midbrain/pons interface as seen in the rock hyrax. The organization of the putative catecholaminergic system was very similar to that seen in the rock hyrax and rodents except for the lack of the rodent specific C3 nucleus, the dorsal division of the anterior hypothalamic group (A15d) and the compact division of the locus coeruleus (A6c). The nuclear organization of the serotonergic system was identical to that seen in all eutherian mammals studied to date. The additional cholinergic neurons found in the cochlear nucleus and colliculi may relate to a specific acoustic signalling system observed in elephant shrews expressed when the animals are under stress or detect a predator. These neurons may then function to

  12. Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina Linn.) depredate toothfish longlines in the midnight zone.

    PubMed

    van den Hoff, John; Kilpatrick, Robbie; Welsford, Dirk

    2017-01-01

    Humans have devised fishing technologies that compete with marine predators for fish resources world-wide. One such fishery for the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) has developed interactions with a range of predators, some of which are marine mammals capable of diving to extreme depths for extended periods. A deep-sea camera system deployed within a toothfish fishery operating in the Southern Ocean acquired the first-ever video footage of an extreme-diver, the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina), depredating catch from longlines set at depths in excess of 1000m. The interactions recorded were non-lethal, however independent fisheries observer reports confirm elephant seal-longline interactions can be lethal. The seals behaviour of depredating catch at depth during the line soak-period differs to other surface-breathing species and thus presents a unique challenge to mitigate their by-catch. Deployments of deep-sea cameras on exploratory fishing gear prior to licencing and permit approvals would gather valuable information regarding the nature of interactions between deep diving/dwelling marine species and longline fisheries operating at bathypelagic depths. Furthermore, the positive identification by sex and age class of species interacting with commercial fisheries would assist in formulating management plans and mitigation strategies founded on species-specific life-history strategies.

  13. Keas Perform Similarly to Chimpanzees and Elephants when Solving Collaborative Tasks.

    PubMed

    Heaney, Megan; Gray, Russell D; Taylor, Alex H

    2017-01-01

    Cooperation between individuals is one of the defining features of our species. While other animals, such as chimpanzees, elephants, coral trout and rooks also exhibit cooperative behaviours, it is not clear if they think about cooperation in the same way as humans do. In this study we presented the kea, a parrot endemic to New Zealand, with a series of tasks designed to assess cooperative cognition. We found that keas were capable of working together, even when they had to wait for their partner for up to 65 seconds. The keas also waited for a partner only when a partner was actually needed to gain food. This is the first demonstration that any non-human animal can wait for over a minute for a cooperative partner, and the first conclusive evidence that any bird species can successful track when a cooperative partner is required, and when not. The keas did not attend to whether their partner could actually access the apparatus themselves, which may have been due to issues with task demands, but one kea did show a clear preference for working together with other individuals, rather than alone. This preference has been shown to be present in humans but absent in chimpanzees. Together these results provide the first evidence that a bird species can perform at a similar level to chimpanzees and elephants across a range of collaborative tasks. This raises the possibility that aspects of the cooperative cognition seen in the primate lineage have evolved convergently in birds.

  14. Structure and innervation of the tusk pulp in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana)

    PubMed Central

    Weissengruber, GE; Egerbacher, M; Forstenpointner, G

    2005-01-01

    African elephants (Loxodonta africana) use their tusks for digging, carrying and behavioural display. Their healing ability following traumatic injury is enormous. Pain experience caused by dentin or pulp damage of tusks seems to be negligible in elephants. In this study we examined the pulp tissue and the nerve distribution using histology, electron microscopy and immunhistochemistry. The results demonstrate that the pulp comprises two differently structured regions. Randomly orientated collagen fibres characterize a cone-like part lying rostral to the foramen apicis dentis. Numerous nerve fibres and Ruffini endings are found within this cone. Rostral to the cone, delicate collagen fibres and large vessels are orientated longitudinally. The rostral two-thirds of the pulp are highly vascularized, whereas nerve fibres are sparse. Vessel and nerve fibre distribution and the structure of connective tissue possibly play important roles in healing and in the obviously limited pain experience after tusk injuries and pulp alteration. The presence of Ruffini endings is most likely related to the use of tusks as tools. PMID:15817106

  15. Keas Perform Similarly to Chimpanzees and Elephants when Solving Collaborative Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Heaney, Megan; Gray, Russell D.

    2017-01-01

    Cooperation between individuals is one of the defining features of our species. While other animals, such as chimpanzees, elephants, coral trout and rooks also exhibit cooperative behaviours, it is not clear if they think about cooperation in the same way as humans do. In this study we presented the kea, a parrot endemic to New Zealand, with a series of tasks designed to assess cooperative cognition. We found that keas were capable of working together, even when they had to wait for their partner for up to 65 seconds. The keas also waited for a partner only when a partner was actually needed to gain food. This is the first demonstration that any non-human animal can wait for over a minute for a cooperative partner, and the first conclusive evidence that any bird species can successful track when a cooperative partner is required, and when not. The keas did not attend to whether their partner could actually access the apparatus themselves, which may have been due to issues with task demands, but one kea did show a clear preference for working together with other individuals, rather than alone. This preference has been shown to be present in humans but absent in chimpanzees. Together these results provide the first evidence that a bird species can perform at a similar level to chimpanzees and elephants across a range of collaborative tasks. This raises the possibility that aspects of the cooperative cognition seen in the primate lineage have evolved convergently in birds. PMID:28199322

  16. Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina Linn.) depredate toothfish longlines in the midnight zone

    PubMed Central

    van den Hoff, John; Kilpatrick, Robbie; Welsford, Dirk

    2017-01-01

    Humans have devised fishing technologies that compete with marine predators for fish resources world-wide. One such fishery for the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) has developed interactions with a range of predators, some of which are marine mammals capable of diving to extreme depths for extended periods. A deep-sea camera system deployed within a toothfish fishery operating in the Southern Ocean acquired the first-ever video footage of an extreme-diver, the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina), depredating catch from longlines set at depths in excess of 1000m. The interactions recorded were non-lethal, however independent fisheries observer reports confirm elephant seal-longline interactions can be lethal. The seals behaviour of depredating catch at depth during the line soak-period differs to other surface-breathing species and thus presents a unique challenge to mitigate their by-catch. Deployments of deep-sea cameras on exploratory fishing gear prior to licencing and permit approvals would gather valuable information regarding the nature of interactions between deep diving/dwelling marine species and longline fisheries operating at bathypelagic depths. Furthermore, the positive identification by sex and age class of species interacting with commercial fisheries would assist in formulating management plans and mitigation strategies founded on species-specific life-history strategies. PMID:28234988

  17. Positive reinforcement training for a trunk wash in Nepal's working elephants: demonstrating alternatives to traditional elephant training techniques.

    PubMed

    Fagen, Ariel; Acharya, Narayan; Kaufman, Gretchen E

    2014-01-01

    Many trainers of animals in the zoo now rely on positive reinforcement training to teach animals to voluntarily participate in husbandry and veterinary procedures in an effort to improve behavioral reliability, captive management, and welfare. However, captive elephant handlers in Nepal still rely heavily on punishment- and aversion-based methods. The aim of this project was to determine the effectiveness of secondary positive reinforcement (SPR) in training free-contact elephants in Nepal to voluntarily participate in a trunk wash for the purpose of tuberculosis testing. Five female elephants, 4 juveniles and 1 adult, were enrolled in the project. Data were collected in the form of minutes of training, number of offers made for each training task, and success rate for each task in performance tests. Four out of 5 elephants, all juveniles, successfully learned the trunk wash in 35 sessions or fewer, with each session lasting a mean duration of 12 min. The elephants' performance improved from a mean success rate of 39.0% to 89.3% during the course of the training. This study proves that it is feasible to efficiently train juvenile, free-contact, traditionally trained elephants in Nepal to voluntarily and reliably participate in a trunk wash using only SPR techniques.

  18. The Proteus syndrome: the Elephant Man diagnosed.

    PubMed

    Tibbles, J A; Cohen, M M

    1986-09-13

    Sir Frederick Treves first showed Joseph Merrick, the famous Elephant Man, to the Pathological Society of London in 1884. A diagnosis of neurofibromatosis was suggested in 1909 and was widely accepted. There is no evidence, however, of café au lait spots or histological proof of neurofibromas. It is also clear that Joseph Merrick's manifestations were much more bizarre than those commonly seen in neurofibromatosis. Evidence indicates that Merrick suffered from the Proteus syndrome and had the following features compatible with this diagnosis: macrocephaly; hyperostosis of the skull; hypertrophy of long bones; and thickened skin and subcutaneous tissues, particularly of the hands and feet, including plantar hyperplasia, lipomas, and other unspecified subcutaneous masses.

  19. Blood temperature profiles of diving elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Meir, Jessica U; Ponganis, Paul J

    2010-01-01

    Hypothermia-induced reductions in metabolic rate have been proposed to suppress metabolism and prolong the duration of aerobic metabolism during dives of marine mammals and birds. To determine whether core hypothermia might contribute to the repetitive long-duration dives of the northern elephant seal Mirounga angustirostris, blood temperature profiles were obtained in translocated juvenile elephant seals equipped with a thermistor and backpack recorder. Representative temperature (the y-intercept of the mean temperature vs. dive duration relationship) was 37.2 degrees C +/- 0.6 degrees C (n=3 seals) in the extradural vein, 38.1 degrees C +/- 0.7 degrees C (n = 4 seals) in the hepatic sinus, and 38.8 degrees +/- 1.6 degrees C (n = 6 deals) in the aorta. Mean temperature was significantly though weakly negatively related to dive duration in all but one seal. Mean venous temperatures of all dives of individual seals ranged between 36 degrees and 38 degrees C, while mean arterial temperatures ranged between 35 degrees and 39 degrees C. Transient decreases in venous and arterial temperatures to as low as 30 degrees -33 degrees C occurred in some dives >30 min (0.1% of dives in the study). The lack of significant core hypothermia during routine dives (10-30 min) and only a weak negative correlation of mean temperature with dive duration do not support the hypothesis that a cold-induced Q(10) effect contributes to metabolic suppression of central tissues during dives. The wide range of arterial temperatures while diving and the transient declines in temperature during long dives suggest that alterations in blood flow patterns and peripheral heat loss contribute to thermoregulation during diving.

  20. Sperm DNA fragmentation and morphological degeneration in chilled elephant (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta Africana) semen collected by transrectal massage.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, J K; Steinman, K J; Montano, G A; Love, C C; Robeck, T R

    2013-05-01

    Ejaculates from nine Asian and two African elephants were analysed to gain a further understanding of mechanisms underlying variable semen quality after transrectal massage. Semen analysis was performed after collection (0 h; subjective motility parameters only) and after 24 h of chilled storage at 10 °C (24 h; all ejaculate and sperm characteristics). Ejaculates with ≤50% total motility (TM) at 24 h, which represented >90% of collection attempts, contained a sperm population with a high degree of DNA damage (64.2 ± 19.2% fragmented DNA) and an elevated incidence of detached heads (43.3 ± 22.5%). In contrast, good quality ejaculates designated as those with >50% TM at 24 h displayed higher (p < 0.05) values of sperm kinetic parameters, DNA integrity and normal morphology. Fertility potential was high for good quality ejaculates from two males (one Asian and one African bull) based on in vitro characteristics after chilled storage for up to 48 h post-collection. Urine contamination of semen, as assessed quantitatively by creatinine concentration, was confirmed as a significant factor in reduced elephant ejaculate quality. However, the identification of considerable DNA damage and morphological degeneration in the majority of ejaculates after only 24 h of chilled storage indicates that sperm ageing could be a primary contributor to inconsistent semen quality in the elephant.

  1. Continent-wide survey reveals massive decline in African savannah elephants.

    PubMed

    Chase, Michael J; Schlossberg, Scott; Griffin, Curtice R; Bouché, Philippe J C; Djene, Sintayehu W; Elkan, Paul W; Ferreira, Sam; Grossman, Falk; Kohi, Edward Mtarima; Landen, Kelly; Omondi, Patrick; Peltier, Alexis; Selier, S A Jeanetta; Sutcliffe, Robert

    2016-01-01

    African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are imperiled by poaching and habitat loss. Despite global attention to the plight of elephants, their population sizes and trends are uncertain or unknown over much of Africa. To conserve this iconic species, conservationists need timely, accurate data on elephant populations. Here, we report the results of the Great Elephant Census (GEC), the first continent-wide, standardized survey of African savannah elephants. We also provide the first quantitative model of elephant population trends across Africa. We estimated a population of 352,271 savannah elephants on study sites in 18 countries, representing approximately 93% of all savannah elephants in those countries. Elephant populations in survey areas with historical data decreased by an estimated 144,000 from 2007 to 2014, and populations are currently shrinking by 8% per year continent-wide, primarily due to poaching. Though 84% of elephants occurred in protected areas, many protected areas had carcass ratios that indicated high levels of elephant mortality. Results of the GEC show the necessity of action to end the African elephants' downward trajectory by preventing poaching and protecting habitat.

  2. Field application of serodiagnostics to identify elephants with Tuberculosis prior to case confirmation by culture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three serologic methods for antibody detection in elephant tuberculosis (TB), multiantigen print immunoassay (MAPIA), ElephantTB STAT-PAK kit, and DPP VetTB test, were validated prospectively using serial serum samples from 14 captive elephants in 5 countries which were diagnosed with TB by positive...

  3. 78 FR 690 - Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-04

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants AGENCY... regulations as related to elephant tuberculosis as well as to aid users in their compliance with those... Tuberculosis in Elephants'' developed by The National Tuberculosis Working Group for Zoo and Wildlife...

  4. Predictors of HIV-protection behaviour in HIV-positive men who have sex with casual male partners: a test of the explanatory power of an extended Information-Motivation-Behavioural Skills model.

    PubMed

    Nideröst, Sibylle; Gredig, Daniel; Roulin, Christophe; Rickenbach, Martin

    2011-07-01

    This prospective study applies an extended Information-Motivation-Behavioural Skills (IMB) model to establish predictors of HIV-protection behaviour among HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) during sex with casual partners. Data have been collected from anonymous, self-administered questionnaires and analysed by using descriptive and backward elimination regression analyses. In a sample of 165 HIV-positive MSM, 82 participants between the ages of 23 and 78 (M=46.4, SD=9.0) had sex with casual partners during the three-month period under investigation. About 62% (n=51) have always used a condom when having sex with casual partners. From the original IMB model, only subjective norm predicted condom use. More important predictors that increased condom use were low consumption of psychotropics, high satisfaction with sexuality, numerous changes in sexual behaviour after diagnosis, low social support from friends, alcohol use before sex and habitualised condom use with casual partner(s). The explanatory power of the calculated regression model was 49% (p<0.001). The study reveals the importance of personal and social resources and of routines for condom use, and provides information for the research-based conceptualisation of prevention offers addressing especially people living with HIV ("positive prevention").

  5. Using genetic profiles of African forest elephants to infer population structure, movements, and habitat use in a conservation and development landscape in Gabon.

    PubMed

    Eggert, L S; Buij, R; Lee, M E; Campbell, P; Dallmeier, F; Fleischer, R C; Alonso, A; Maldonado, J E

    2014-02-01

    Conservation of wide-ranging species, such as the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), depends on fully protected areas and multiple-use areas (MUA) that provide habitat connectivity. In the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in Gabon, which includes 2 national parks separated by a MUA containing energy and forestry concessions, we studied forest elephants to evaluate the importance of the MUA to wide-ranging species. We extracted DNA from elephant dung samples and used genetic information to identify over 500 individuals in the MUA and the parks. We then examined patterns of nuclear microsatellites and mitochondrial control-region sequences to infer population structure, movement patterns, and habitat use by age and sex. Population structure was weak but significant, and differentiation was more pronounced during the wet season. Within the MUA, males were more strongly associated with open habitats, such as wetlands and savannas, than females during the dry season. Many of the movements detected within and between seasons involved the wetlands and bordering lagoons. Our results suggest that the MUA provides year-round habitat for some elephants and additional habitat for others whose primary range is in the parks. With the continuing loss of roadless wilderness areas in Central Africa, well-managed MUAs will likely be important to the conservation of wide-ranging species.

  6. Acute death associated with Citrobacter freundii infection in an African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Ortega, Joaquín; Corpa, Juan M; Orden, José A; Blanco, Jorge; Carbonell, María D; Gerique, Amalia C; Latimer, Erin; Hayward, Gary S; Roemmelt, Andreas; Kraemer, Thomas; Romey, Aurore; Kassimi, Labib B; Casares, Miguel

    2015-09-01

    A 21-year-old male African elephant (Loxodonta africana) died suddenly with no previous medical history. Grossly, there were severe multifocal epicardial and endocardial hemorrhages of the atria and ventricles, hydropericardium, multifocal pleural hemorrhages, and severe pulmonary congestion and edema. Histologically, there was fibrinoid vasculitis and thrombosis in the heart and lung and myocardial necrosis. Citrobacter freundii was isolated in abundance in pure culture from liver and heart samples. Low levels of multiples types of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV-6, EEHV-2B, and EEHV-3A) were detected in spleen samples, but not in heart samples. The levels of EEHV DNA found were much lower than those usually associated with acute EEHV hemorrhagic disease, and many other genomic loci that would normally be found in such cases were evidently below the level of detection. Therefore, these findings are unlikely to indicate lethal EEHV disease. Polymerase chain reaction for encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) and toxicology for oleander (Nerium oleander) were negative. Stress, resulting from recent transport, and antimicrobial therapy may have contributed to the death of this animal.

  7. Short-term social isolation induces depressive-like behaviour and reinstates the retrieval of an aversive task: Mood-congruent memory in male mice?

    PubMed Central

    Takatsu-Coleman, André L.; Patti, Camilla L.; Zanin, Karina A.; Zager, Adriano; Carvalho, Rita C.; Borçoi, Aline R.; Ceccon, Liliane M.B.; Berro, Laís F.; Tufik, Sergio; Andersen, Monica L.; Frussa-Filho, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Background Although mood-congruent memory (MCM), or the tendency to recall information consistent with one’s mood, is a robust phenomenon in human depression, to our knowledge, it has never been demonstrated in animals. Methods Mice were subjected to social isolation (SI) or crowding for 12 hours and had their depressive-like behaviour (evaluated by the forced swim, tail suspension, sucrose preference and splash tests) or their serum corticosterone concentrations evaluated. In addition, we determined the temporal forgetting curve of the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task (PM-DAT) and examined the effects of SI or crowding on memory retrieval in the PM-DAT. Finally, we verified the effects of metyrapone pretreatment on reinstatement of memory retrieval or on the increase of corticosterone levels induced by SI. Results Twelve hours of SI produced depressive-like behaviour, enhanced corticosterone concentration and reinstated retrieval of a forgotten discriminative aversive (i.e., negatively valenced) task. Depressive-like behaviour was critical for this facilitative effect of SI because 12 hours of crowding neither induced depressive-like behaviour nor enhanced retrieval, although it increased corticosterone levels at the same magnitude as SI. However, corticosterone increase was a necessary condition for MCM in mice, in that the corticosterone synthesis inhibitor metyrapone abolished SI-induced retrieval reinstatement. Limitations Our study did not investigate the effects of the social manipulations proposed here in a positively valenced task. Conclusion To our knowledge, the present paper provides the first evidence of MCM in animal models. PMID:23182303

  8. Foot pressure distributions during walking in African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

    PubMed Central

    Pataky, Todd C.; Day, Madeleine; Hensman, Michael C.; Hensman, Sean; Hutchinson, John R.; Clemente, Christofer J.

    2016-01-01

    Elephants, the largest living land mammals, have evolved a specialized foot morphology to help reduce locomotor pressures while supporting their large body mass. Peak pressures that could cause tissue damage are mitigated passively by the anatomy of elephants' feet, yet this mechanism does not seem to work well for some captive animals. This study tests how foot pressures vary among African and Asian elephants from habitats where natural substrates predominate but where foot care protocols differ. Variations in pressure patterns might be related to differences in husbandry, including but not limited to trimming and the substrates that elephants typically stand and move on. Both species' samples exhibited the highest concentration of peak pressures on the lateral digits of their feet (which tend to develop more disease in elephants) and lower pressures around the heel. The trajectories of the foot's centre of pressure were also similar, confirming that when walking at similar speeds, both species load their feet laterally at impact and then shift their weight medially throughout the step until toe-off. Overall, we found evidence of variations in foot pressure patterns that might be attributable to husbandry and other causes, deserving further examination using broader, more comparable samples. PMID:27853539

  9. Interpretation of human pointing by African elephants: generalisation and rationality.

    PubMed

    Smet, Anna F; Byrne, Richard W

    2014-11-01

    Factors influencing the abilities of different animals to use cooperative social cues from humans are still unclear, in spite of long-standing interest in the topic. One of the few species that have been found successful at using human pointing is the African elephant (Loxodonta africana); despite few opportunities for learning about pointing, elephants follow a pointing gesture in an object-choice task, even when the pointing signal and experimenter's body position are in conflict, and when the gesture itself is visually subtle. Here, we show that the success of captive African elephants at using human pointing is not restricted to situations where the pointing signal is sustained until the time of choice: elephants followed human pointing even when the pointing gesture was withdrawn before they had responded to it. Furthermore, elephants rapidly generalised their response to a type of social cue they were unlikely to have seen before: pointing with the foot. However, unlike young children, they showed no sign of evaluating the 'rationality' of this novel pointing gesture according to its visual context: that is, whether the experimenter's hands were occupied or not.

  10. Using morphometric and analytical techniques to characterize elephant ivory.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rina Rani; Goyal, Surendra Prakash; Khanna, Param Pal; Mukherjee, Pulok Kumar; Sukumar, Raman

    2006-10-16

    There is a need to characterize Asian elephant ivory and compare with African ivory for controlling illegal trade and implementation of national and international laws. In this paper, we characterize ivory of Asian and African elephants using Schreger angle measurements, elemental analysis {X-ray fluorescence (XRF), inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS)} and isotopic analysis. We recorded Schreger angle characteristics of elephant ivory at three different zones in ivory samples of African (n=12) and Asian (n=28) elephants. The Schreger angle ranged from 32 degrees to 145 degrees and 30 degrees to 153 degrees in Asian and African ivory, respectively. Elemental analysis (for Asian and African ivory) by XRF, ICP-AES and ICP-MS provided preliminary data. We attempted to ascertain source of origin of Asian elephant ivory similarly as in African ivory based on isotopes of carbon, nitrogen and strontium. We determined isotopic ratios of carbon (n=31) and nitrogen (n=31) corresponding to diet and rainfall, respectively. Reference ivory samples from five areas within India were analyzed using collagen and powder sample and the latter was found more suitable for forensic analysis. During our preliminary analysis, the range of delta13C values (-13.6+/-0.15 per thousand and -25.6+/-0.15 per thousand) and delta15N values (10.2+/-0.15 per thousand and 3.5+/-0.15 per thousand) were noted.

  11. The Days and Nights of Zoo Elephants: Using Epidemiology to Better Understand Stereotypic Behavior of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in North American Zoos.

    PubMed

    Greco, Brian J; Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jen N; Leighty, Katherine A; Mellen, Jill; Mason, Georgia J; Mench, Joy A

    2016-01-01

    Stereotypic behavior is an important indicator of compromised welfare. Zoo elephants are documented to perform stereotypic behavior, but the factors that contribute to performance have not been systematically assessed. We collected behavioral data on 89 elephants (47 African [Loxodonta africana], 42 Asian [Elephas maximus]) at 39 North American zoos during the summer and winter. Elephants were videoed for a median of 12 daytime hours per season. A subset of 32 elephants (19 African, 13 Asian) was also observed live for a median of 10.5 nighttime hours. Percentages of visible behavior scans were calculated from five minute instantaneous samples. Stereotypic behavior was the second most commonly performed behavior (after feeding), making up 15.5% of observations during the daytime and 24.8% at nighttime. Negative binomial regression models fitted with generalized estimating equations were used to determine which social, housing, management, life history, and demographic variables were associated with daytime and nighttime stereotypic behavior rates. Species was a significant risk factor in both models, with Asian elephants at greater risk (daytime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 4.087; nighttime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 8.015). For both species, spending time housed separately (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.009), and having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.175), increased the risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy during the day, while spending more time with juvenile elephants (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 0.985), and engaging with zoo staff reduced this risk (p = 0.018, Risk Ratio = 0.988). At night, spending more time in environments with both indoor and outdoor areas (p = 0.013, Risk Ratio = 0.987) and in larger social groups (p = 0.039, Risk Ratio = 0.752) corresponded with reduced risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy, while having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p = 0.033, Risk Ratio = 1.115) increased this risk. Overall, our results indicate

  12. The Days and Nights of Zoo Elephants: Using Epidemiology to Better Understand Stereotypic Behavior of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in North American Zoos

    PubMed Central

    Greco, Brian J.; Meehan, Cheryl L.; Hogan, Jen N.; Leighty, Katherine A.; Mellen, Jill; Mason, Georgia J.; Mench, Joy A.

    2016-01-01

    Stereotypic behavior is an important indicator of compromised welfare. Zoo elephants are documented to perform stereotypic behavior, but the factors that contribute to performance have not been systematically assessed. We collected behavioral data on 89 elephants (47 African [Loxodonta africana], 42 Asian [Elephas maximus]) at 39 North American zoos during the summer and winter. Elephants were videoed for a median of 12 daytime hours per season. A subset of 32 elephants (19 African, 13 Asian) was also observed live for a median of 10.5 nighttime hours. Percentages of visible behavior scans were calculated from five minute instantaneous samples. Stereotypic behavior was the second most commonly performed behavior (after feeding), making up 15.5% of observations during the daytime and 24.8% at nighttime. Negative binomial regression models fitted with generalized estimating equations were used to determine which social, housing, management, life history, and demographic variables were associated with daytime and nighttime stereotypic behavior rates. Species was a significant risk factor in both models, with Asian elephants at greater risk (daytime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 4.087; nighttime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 8.015). For both species, spending time housed separately (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.009), and having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.175), increased the risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy during the day, while spending more time with juvenile elephants (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 0.985), and engaging with zoo staff reduced this risk (p = 0.018, Risk Ratio = 0.988). At night, spending more time in environments with both indoor and outdoor areas (p = 0.013, Risk Ratio = 0.987) and in larger social groups (p = 0.039, Risk Ratio = 0.752) corresponded with reduced risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy, while having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p = 0.033, Risk Ratio = 1.115) increased this risk. Overall, our results indicate

  13. Quantity and configuration of available elephant habitat and related conservation concerns in the Lower Kinabatangan floodplain of Sabah, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Estes, Jason G; Othman, Nurzhafarina; Ismail, Sulaiman; Ancrenaz, Marc; Goossens, Benoit; Ambu, Laurentius N; Estes, Anna B; Palmiotto, Peter A

    2012-01-01

    The approximately 300 (298, 95% CI: 152-581) elephants in the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo are a priority sub-population for Borneo's total elephant population (2,040, 95% CI: 1,184-3,652). Habitat loss and human-elephant conflict are recognized as the major threats to Bornean elephant survival. In the Kinabatangan region, human settlements and agricultural development for oil palm drive an intense fragmentation process. Electric fences guard against elephant crop raiding but also remove access to suitable habitat patches. We conducted expert opinion-based least-cost analyses, to model the quantity and configuration of available suitable elephant habitat in the Lower Kinabatangan, and called this the Elephant Habitat Linkage. At 184 km(2), our estimate of available habitat is 54% smaller than the estimate used in the State's Elephant Action Plan for the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (400 km(2)). During high flood levels, available habitat is reduced to only 61 km(2). As a consequence, short-term elephant densities are likely to surge during floods to 4.83 km(-2) (95% CI: 2.46-9.41), among the highest estimated for forest-dwelling elephants in Asia or Africa. During severe floods, the configuration of remaining elephant habitat and the surge in elephant density may put two villages at elevated risk of human-elephant conflict. Lower Kinabatangan elephants are vulnerable to the natural disturbance regime of the river due to their limited dispersal options. Twenty bottlenecks less than one km wide throughout the Elephant Habitat Linkage, have the potential to further reduce access to suitable habitat. Rebuilding landscape connectivity to isolated habitat patches and to the North Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (less than 35 km inland) are conservation priorities that would increase the quantity of available habitat, and may work as a mechanism to allow population release, lower elephant density, reduce human-elephant

  14. Respiration and heart rate at the surface between dives in northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Le Boeuf, B J; Crocker, D E; Grayson, J; Gedamke, J; Webb, P M; Blackwell, S B; Costa, D P

    2000-11-01

    All underwater activities of diving mammals are constrained by the need for surface gas exchange. Our aim was to measure respiratory rate (fb) and heart rate (fh) at the surface between dives in free-ranging northern elephant seals Mirounga angustirostris. We recorded fb and fh acoustically in six translocated juveniles, 1.8-2. 4 years old, and three migrating adult males from the rookery at Año Nuevo, California, USA. To each seal, we attached a diving instrument to record the diving pattern, a satellite tag to track movements and location, a digital audio tape recorder or acoustic datalogger with an external hydrophone to record the sounds of respiration and fh at the surface, and a VHF transmitter to facilitate recovery. During surface intervals averaging 2.2+/-0.4 min, adult males breathed a mean of 32.7+/-5.4 times at a rate of 15. 3+/-1.8 breaths min(-)(1) (means +/- s.d., N=57). Mean fh at the surface was 84+/-3 beats min(-)(1). The fb of juveniles was 26 % faster than that of adult males, averaging 19.2+/-2.2 breaths min(-)(1) for a mean total of 41.2+/-5.0 breaths during surface intervals lasting 2.6+/-0.31 min. Mean fh at the surface was 106+/-3 beats min(-)(1). fb and fh did not change significantly over the course of surface intervals. Surface fb and fh were not clearly associated with levels of exertion, such as rapid horizontal transit or apparent foraging, or with measures of immediately previous or subsequent diving performance, such as diving duration, diving depth or swimming speed. Together, surface respiration rate and the duration of the preceding dive were significant predictors of surface interval duration. This implies that elephant seals minimize surface time spent loading oxygen depending on rates of oxygen uptake and previous depletion of stores.

  15. The occurrence of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus): first case of EEHV4 in Asia.

    PubMed

    Sripiboon, Supaphen; Tankaew, Pallop; Lungka, Grishda; Thitaram, Chatchote

    2013-03-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) is a type of herpesvirus that causes acute hemorrhagic disease in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and is often fatal, especially in calves. This study describes the postmortem evaluation of two captive-born Asian elephants (2 and 3 yr of age, respectively) diagnosed with EEHV in Thailand. Both elephants presented only mild depression, lethargy, and anorexia before death within 24 hr of symptom onset. Necropsies were performed, and tissue samples were tested for EEHV viral presence using polymerase chain reaction. Molecular and phylogenetic evidence illustrated two types of EEHV, which were closely related to EEHV1A in Case 1 and EEHV4 in Case 2. Pathologic findings differed between the cases. More specific organ tropism was found in Case 1, where mainly the cardiovascular system was affected. In contrast, in Case 2, hemorrhages were noted in most organs, including in the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. This report is the first to document EEHV4 in Asia and the second case of this strain to be identified in an elephant worldwide.

  16. Positive Reinforcement Training for a Trunk Wash in Nepal's Working Elephants: Demonstrating Alternatives to Traditional Elephant Training Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Fagen, Ariel; Acharya, Narayan; Kaufman, Gretchen E.

    2016-01-01

    Many trainers of animals in the zoo now rely on positive reinforcement training to teach animals to voluntarily participate in husbandry and veterinary procedures in an effort to improve behavioral reliability, captive management, and welfare. However, captive elephant handlers in Nepal still rely heavily on punishment- and aversion-based methods. The aim of this project was to determine the effectiveness of secondary positive reinforcement (SPR) in training free-contact elephants in Nepal to voluntarily participate in a trunk wash for the purpose of tuberculosis testing. Five female elephants, 4 juveniles and 1 adult, were enrolled in the project. Data were collected in the form of minutes of training, number of offers made for each training task, and success rate for each task in performance tests. Four out of 5 elephants, all juveniles, successfully learned the trunk wash in 35 sessions or fewer, with each session lasting a mean duration of 12 min. The elephants’ performance improved from a mean success rate of 39.0% to 89.3% during the course of the training. This study proves that it is feasible to efficiently train juvenile, free-contact, traditionally trained elephants in Nepal to voluntarily and reliably participate in a trunk wash using only SPR techniques. PMID:24410366

  17. Genetic connectivity across marginal habitats: the elephants of the Namib Desert.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Yasuko; Van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J; Leggett, Keith E A; Putnam, Andrea S; Fox, Virginia E; Lai, Jesse; Boag, Peter T; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Roca, Alfred L

    2016-09-01

    Locally isolated populations in marginal habitats may be genetically distinctive and of heightened conservation concern. Elephants inhabiting the Namib Desert have been reported to show distinctive behavioral and phenotypic adaptations in that severely arid environment. The genetic distinctiveness of Namibian desert elephants relative to other African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) populations has not been established. To investigate the genetic structure of elephants in Namibia, we determined the mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region sequences and genotyped 17 microsatellite loci in desert elephants (n = 8) from the Hoanib River catchment and the Hoarusib River catchment. We compared these to the genotypes of elephants (n = 77) from other localities in Namibia. The mtDNA haplotype sequences and frequencies among desert elephants were similar to those of elephants in Etosha National Park, the Huab River catchment, the Ugab River catchment, and central Kunene, although the geographically distant Caprivi Strip had different mtDNA haplotypes. Likewise, analysis of the microsatellite genotypes of desert-dwelling elephants revealed that they were not genetically distinctive from Etosha elephants, and there was no evidence for isolation by distance across the Etosha region. These results, and a review of the historical record, suggest that a high learning capacity and long-distance migrations allowed Namibian elephants to regularly shift their ranges to survive in the face of high variability in climate and in hunting pressure.

  18. Continent-wide survey reveals massive decline in African savannah elephants

    PubMed Central

    Schlossberg, Scott; Griffin, Curtice R.; Bouché, Philippe J.C.; Djene, Sintayehu W.; Elkan, Paul W.; Ferreira, Sam; Grossman, Falk; Kohi, Edward Mtarima; Landen, Kelly; Omondi, Patrick; Peltier, Alexis; Selier, S.A. Jeanetta; Sutcliffe, Robert

    2016-01-01

    African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are imperiled by poaching and habitat loss. Despite global attention to the plight of elephants, their population sizes and trends are uncertain or unknown over much of Africa. To conserve this iconic species, conservationists need timely, accurate data on elephant populations. Here, we report the results of the Great Elephant Census (GEC), the first continent-wide, standardized survey of African savannah elephants. We also provide the first quantitative model of elephant population trends across Africa. We estimated a population of 352,271 savannah elephants on study sites in 18 countries, representing approximately 93% of all savannah elephants in those countries. Elephant populations in survey areas with historical data decreased by an estimated 144,000 from 2007 to 2014, and populations are currently shrinking by 8% per year continent-wide, primarily due to poaching. Though 84% of elephants occurred in protected areas, many protected areas had carcass ratios that indicated high levels of elephant mortality. Results of the GEC show the necessity of action to end the African elephants’ downward trajectory by preventing poaching and protecting habitat. PMID:27635327

  19. Personality assessment and its association with genetic factors in captive Asian and African elephants.

    PubMed

    Yasui, Saki; Konno, Akitsugu; Tanaka, Masayuki; Idani, Gen'ichi; Ludwig, Arne; Lieckfeldt, Dietmar; Inoue-Murayama, Miho

    2013-01-01

    Elephants live in a complex society based on matrilineal groups. Management of captive elephants is difficult, partly because each elephant has a unique personality. For a better understanding of elephant well being in captivity, it would be helpful to systematically evaluate elephants' personalities and their underlying biological basis. We sent elephant' personality questionnaires to keepers of 75 elephants. We also used 196 elephant DNA samples to search for genetic polymorphisms in genes expressed in the brain that have been suggested to be related to personality traits. Three genes, androgen receptor (AR), fragile X related mental retardation protein interacting protein (NUFIP2), and acheate-scute homologs 1 (ASH1) contained polymorphic regions. We examined the association of personality with intraspecific genetic variation in 17 Asian and 28 African elephants. The results suggest that the ASH1 genotype was associated with neuroticism in Asian elephants. Subjects with short alleles had lower scores of neuroticism than those with long alleles. This is the first report of an association between a genetic polymorphism and personality in elephants.

  20. Ovarian cycle activity varies with respect to age and social status in free-ranging elephants in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Elizabeth W; Meyer, Jordana M; Putman, Sarah B; Schulte, Bruce A; Brown, Janine L

    2013-01-01

    Free-ranging African elephants live in a fission-fusion society, at the centre of which is the matriarch. Matriarchs are generally older females that guide their families to resources and co-ordinate group defense. While much is known about elephant society, knowledge is generally lacking about how age affects the physiology of wild elephants. Investigation of the ovarian activity of free-ranging elephants could provide insight into the reproductive ageing process, with implications for population management. Faecal samples were collected from 46 individuals ranging in age from 14 to 60 years for a 2-year period, and progestagen metabolite analyses were used to examine relationships between social status, age, season, and ovarian activity in female elephants in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. Social status was the strongest predictor of faecal progestagen metabolite concentrations in non-pregnant elephants, with grand matriarchs (n = 6) having the lowest values compared with matriarchs (n = 21) and non-matriarch females (n = 19). Likewise, social status and age were the strongest predictors of faecal progestagen metabolite concentrations in pregnant elephants (n = 27). The number of years since a non-pregnant female gave birth to her last calf (post-partum duration) was longer for older females with a higher social status, as well as during the dry season. Our results indicate that social standing and age of elephants are related to reproductive function, and that older females exhibit reductions in ovarian capacity. These results expand our understanding of reproduction and fertility throughout an elephant's lifespan, and the factors that impact gonadal function in free-ranging females. Given that possible over-abundance of elephants in areas such as Addo Elephant National Park is fuelling the debate over how best to manage these populations, knowledge about the reproductive potential of high-ranking females can provide managers with

  1. Devastating Decline of Forest Elephants in Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Stephen; Wittemyer, George; Hart, John; Williamson, Elizabeth A.; Aba’a, Rostand; Abitsi, Gaspard; Ambahe, Ruffin D.; Amsini, Fidèl; Bakabana, Parfait C.; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Bayogo, Rosine E.; Bechem, Martha; Beyers, Rene L.; Bezangoye, Anicet N.; Boundja, Patrick; Bout, Nicolas; Akou, Marc Ella; Bene, Lambert Bene; Fosso, Bernard; Greengrass, Elizabeth; Grossmann, Falk; Ikamba-Nkulu, Clement; Ilambu, Omari; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Iyenguet, Fortune; Kiminou, Franck; Kokangoye, Max; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Latour, Stephanie; Liengola, Innocent; Mackaya, Quevain; Madidi, Jacob; Madzoke, Bola; Makoumbou, Calixte; Malanda, Guy-Aimé; Malonga, Richard; Mbani, Olivier; Mbendzo, Valentin A.; Ambassa, Edgar; Ekinde, Albert; Mihindou, Yves; Morgan, Bethan J.; Motsaba, Prosper; Moukala, Gabin; Mounguengui, Anselme; Mowawa, Brice S.; Ndzai, Christian; Nixon, Stuart; Nkumu, Pele; Nzolani, Fabian; Pintea, Lilian; Plumptre, Andrew; Rainey, Hugo; de Semboli, Bruno Bokoto; Serckx, Adeline; Stokes, Emma; Turkalo, Andrea; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vosper, Ashley; Warren, Ymke

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants– taxonomically and functionally unique–are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002–2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced. PMID:23469289

  2. Sexual differentiation in three unconventional mammals: spotted hyenas, elephants and tammar wallabies.

    PubMed

    Glickman, Stephen E; Short, Roger V; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2005-11-01

    The present review explores sexual differentiation in three non-conventional species: the spotted hyena, the elephant and the tammar wallaby, selected because of the natural challenges they present for contemporary understanding of sexual differentiation. According to the prevailing view of mammalian sexual differentiation, originally proposed by Alfred Jost, secretion of androgen and anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) by the fetal testes during critical stages of development accounts for the full range of sexually dimorphic urogenital traits observed at birth. Jost's concept was subsequently expanded to encompass sexual differentiation of the brain and behavior. Although the central focus of this review involves urogenital development, we assume that the novel mechanisms described in this article have potentially significant implications for sexual differentiation of brain and behavior, a transposition with precedent in the history of this field. Contrary to the "specific" requirements of Jost's formulation, female spotted hyenas and elephants initially develop male-type external genitalia prior to gonadal differentiation. In addition, the administration of anti-androgens to pregnant female spotted hyenas does not prevent the formation of a scrotum, pseudoscrotum, penis or penile clitoris in the offspring of treated females, although it is not yet clear whether the creation of masculine genitalia involves other steroids or whether there is a genetic mechanism bypassing a hormonal mediator. Wallabies, where sexual differentiation occurs in the pouch after birth, provide the most conclusive evidence for direct genetic control of sexual dimorphism, with the scrotum developing only in males and the pouch and mammary glands only in females, before differentiation of the gonads. The development of the pouch and mammary gland in females and the scrotum in males is controlled by genes on the X chromosome. In keeping with the "expanded" version of Jost's formulation, secretion

  3. Freezing African Elephant Semen as a New Population Management Tool

    PubMed Central

    Hermes, Robert; Saragusty, Joseph; Göritz, Frank; Bartels, Paul; Potier, Romain; Baker, Barbara; Streich, W. Jürgen; Hildebrandt, Thomas B.

    2013-01-01

    Background The captive elephant population is not self-sustaining and with a limited number of breeding bulls, its genetic diversity is in decline. One way to overcome this is to import young and healthy animals from the wild. We introduce here a more sustainable alternative method - importation of semen from wild bulls without removing them from their natural habitat. Due to the logistics involved, the only practical option would be to transport cryopreserved sperm. Despite some early reports on African elephant semen cryopreservation, the utility of this new population management tool has not been evaluated. Methodology/Principal Findings Semen was collected by electroejaculation from 14 wild African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) bulls and cryopreserved using the directional freezing technique. Sperm treatments evaluated included the need for centrifugation, the use of hen or quail yolk, the concentration of glycerol (3%, 5% or 7%) in the extender, and maintenance of motility over time after thawing. Our results suggest that dilution in an extender containing hen yolk and 7% glycerol after centrifugation best preserved post-thaw sperm motility when compared to all other treatments (P≤0.012 for all). Using this approach we were able to achieve after thawing (mean ± SD) 54.6±3.9% motility, 85.3±2.4% acrosome integrity, and 86.8±4.6% normal morphology with no decrease in motility over 1 h incubation at 37°C. Sperm cryopreserved during this study has already lead to a pregnancy of a captive female elephant following artificial insemination. Conclusions/Significance With working techniques for artificial insemination and sperm cryopreservation of both African and Asian elephants in hand, population managers can now enrich captive or isolated wild elephant populations without removing valuable individuals from their natural habitat. PMID:23483917

  4. Geographic variation of stable isotopes in African elephant ivory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, S.; Merker, S.; Jacob, D.

    2012-04-01

    In 1989, the international community listed the African elephant in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) thus prohibiting commercial ivory trade. Recent surveillance data show that the illegal trade in ivory has been growing worldwide. Long-term preservation of many of the African elephant populations can be supported with a control mechanism that helps with the implementation of remedial conservation action. Therefore, setting up a reference database that predicts the origin of ivory specimens can assist in determining smuggling routes and the provenance of illegal ivory. Our research builds on earlier work to seek an appropriate method for determining the area of origin for individual tusks. Several researchers have shown that the provenance of elephant ivory can be traced by its isotopic composition, but this is the first attempt to produce an integrated isotopic reference database of elephant ivory provenance. We applied a combination of various routine geochemical analyses to measure the stable isotope ratios of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulphur. Up to now, we analysed 606 ivory samples of known geographical origin from African range states, museums and private collections, comprising 22 African elephant range states. The isotopic measurements were superimposed with data layers from vegetation, geology and climate. A regression function for the isotope composition of the water isotopes in precipitation and collagen in ivory was developed to overcome the problem of imprecise origin of some of the sampled material. Multivariate statistics, such as nearest neighborhood and discriminate analysis were applied to eventually allow a statistical determination of the provenance for ivory of unknown origin. Our results suggest that the combination of isotopic parameters have the potential to provide predictable and complementary markers for estimating the origin of seized elephant ivory.

  5. Review of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesviruses and Acute Hemorrhagic Disease

    PubMed Central

    Long, Simon Y.; Latimer, Erin M.; Hayward, Gary S.

    2016-01-01

    More than 100 young captive and wild Asian elephants are known to have died from a rapid-onset, acute hemorrhagic disease caused primarily by multiple distinct strains of two closely related chimeric variants of a novel herpesvirus species designated elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV1A and EEHV1B). These and two other species of Probosciviruses (EEHV4 and EEHV5) are evidently ancient and likely nearly ubiquitous asymptomatic infections of adult Asian elephants worldwide that are occasionally shed in trunk wash secretions. Although only a handful of similar cases have been observed in African elephants, they also have proved to harbor their own multiple and distinct species of Probosciviruses—EEHV2, EEHV3, EEHV6, and EEHV7—found in lung and skin nodules or saliva. For reasons that are not yet understood, approximately 20% of Asian elephant calves appear to be susceptible to the disease when primary infections are not controlled by normal innate cellular and humoral immune responses. Sensitive specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) DNA blood tests have been developed, routine monitoring has been established, the complete large DNA genomes of each of the four Asian EEHV species have now been sequenced, and PCR gene subtyping has provided unambiguous evidence that this is a sporadic rather than epidemic disease that it is not being spread among zoos or other elephant housing facilities. Nevertheless, researchers have not yet been able to propagate EEHV in cell culture, determine whether or not human antiherpesvirus drugs are effective inhibitors, or develop serology assays that can distinguish between antibodies against the multiple different EEHV species. PMID:26912715

  6. Big data analyses reveal patterns and drivers of the movements of southern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Jorge P; Fernández-Gracia, Juan; Thums, Michele; Hindell, Mark A; Sequeira, Ana M M; Meekan, Mark G; Costa, Daniel P; Guinet, Christophe; Harcourt, Robert G; McMahon, Clive R; Muelbert, Monica; Duarte, Carlos M; Eguíluz, Víctor M

    2017-12-01

    The growing number of large databases of animal tracking provides an opportunity for analyses of movement patterns at the scales of populations and even species. We used analytical approaches, developed to cope with "big data", that require no 'a priori' assumptions about the behaviour of the target agents, to analyse a pooled tracking dataset of 272 elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) in the Southern Ocean, that was comprised of >500,000 location estimates collected over more than a decade. Our analyses showed that the displacements of these seals were described by a truncated power law distribution across several spatial and temporal scales, with a clear signature of directed movement. This pattern was evident when analysing the aggregated tracks despite a wide diversity of individual trajectories. We also identified marine provinces that described the migratory and foraging habitats of these seals. Our analysis provides evidence for the presence of intrinsic drivers of movement, such as memory, that cannot be detected using common models of movement behaviour. These results highlight the potential for "big data" techniques to provide new insights into movement behaviour when applied to large datasets of animal tracking.

  7. Identifying source populations and genetic structure for savannah elephants in human-dominated landscapes and protected areas in the Kenya-Tanzania borderlands.

    PubMed

    Ahlering, Marissa A; Eggert, Lori S; Western, David; Estes, Anna; Munishi, Linus; Fleischer, Robert; Roberts, Melissa; Maldonado, Jesus E

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the genetic metapopulation structure of elephants across the trans Rift Valley region of Kenya and Tanzania, one of the remaining strongholds for savannah elephants (Loxodonata africana) in East Africa, using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers. We then examined this population structure to determine the source population for a recent colonization event of savannah elephants on community-owned land within the trans rift valley region. Four of the five sampled populations showed significant genetic differentiation (p<0.05) as measured with both mtDNA haplotypes and microsatellites. Only the samples from the adjacent Maasai Mara and Serengeti ecosystems showed no significant differentiation. A phylogenetic neighbour-joining tree constructed from mtDNA haplotypes detected four clades. Clade four corresponds to the F clade of previous mtDNA studies that reported to have originated in forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) but to also be present in some savannah elephant populations. The split between clade four and the other three clades corresponded strongly to the geographic distribution of mtDNA haplotypes across the rift valley in the study area. Clade four was the dominant clade detected on the west side of the rift valley with rare occurrences on the east side. Finally, the strong patterns of population differentiation clearly indicated that the recent colonists to the community-owned land in Kenya came from the west side of the rift valley. Our results indicate strong female philopatry within the isolated populations of the trans rift valley region, with gene flow primarily mediated via male movements. The recent colonization event from Maasai Mara or Serengeti suggests there is hope for maintaining connectivity and population viability outside formal protected areas in the region.

  8. Identifying Source Populations and Genetic Structure for Savannah Elephants in Human-Dominated Landscapes and Protected Areas in the Kenya-Tanzania Borderlands

    PubMed Central

    Ahlering, Marissa A.; Eggert, Lori S.; Western, David; Estes, Anna; Munishi, Linus; Fleischer, Robert; Roberts, Melissa; Maldonado, Jesus E.

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the genetic metapopulation structure of elephants across the trans Rift Valley region of Kenya and Tanzania, one of the remaining strongholds for savannah elephants (Loxodonata africana) in East Africa, using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers. We then examined this population structure to determine the source population for a recent colonization event of savannah elephants on community-owned land within the trans rift valley region. Four of the five sampled populations showed significant genetic differentiation (p<0.05) as measured with both mtDNA haplotypes and microsatellites. Only the samples from the adjacent Maasai Mara and Serengeti ecosystems showed no significant differentiation. A phylogenetic neighbour-joining tree constructed from mtDNA haplotypes detected four clades. Clade four corresponds to the F clade of previous mtDNA studies that reported to have originated in forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) but to also be present in some savannah elephant populations. The split between clade four and the other three clades corresponded strongly to the geographic distribution of mtDNA haplotypes across the rift valley in the study area. Clade four was the dominant clade detected on the west side of the rift valley with rare occurrences on the east side. Finally, the strong patterns of population differentiation clearly indicated that the recent colonists to the community-owned land in Kenya came from the west side of the rift valley. Our results indicate strong female philopatry within the isolated populations of the trans rift valley region, with gene flow primarily mediated via male movements. The recent colonization event from Maasai Mara or Serengeti suggests there is hope for maintaining connectivity and population viability outside formal protected areas in the region. PMID:23300634

  9. Allometric variation among juvenile, adult male and female eastern bearded dragons Pogona barbata (Cuvier, 1829), with comments on the behavioural implications.

    PubMed

    Wotherspoon, Danny; Burgin, Shelley

    2011-02-01

    The functional significance of allometric change in reptiles has received limited attention and the reason for such changes has been regarded as 'obscure'. In this paper we report data on the Australian Pogona barbata, the eastern bearded dragon, from across their range and review changes in allometric growth among juveniles, and adult males and females and consider the functional relevance of these changes. There were significant differences in the population for mass, tail length, tail width, rear leg length and jaw length. These differences were consistent with differences required in locomotor performance and thus habitat use, together with access to different preferred dietary components.

  10. Source and cyclic release pattern of (Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate, the pre-ovulatory pheromone of the female Asian elephant.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, L E

    2001-07-01

    Female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) release a pre-ovulatory urinary pheromone, (Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate (Z7--12:Ac), to signal males of their readiness to mate. Z7--12:Ac is quantitatively elevated during the follicular stage of estrus, reaching maximum concentrations just prior to ovulation, as demonstrated by two complementary headspace techniques: (i) evacuated canister capture followed by cryogenic trapping; (ii) solid phase microextraction (SPME), used prior to gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry (GC/MS). These patterns were coincident with observed male behaviors and were consistent with biochemical and binding properties of the active ligand, including optimal binding pH. To release maximum amounts of Z7--12:Ac for quantitation, serum and urine samples from three mature female Asian elephants in their luteal and follicular stages of several estrous cycles were subjected to heat and pH changes and were then treated with protease prior to SPME-GC/MS analyses. When the post-luteal serum progesterone concentrations declined to baseline levels, Z7--12:Ac became detectable in the female urine. Throughout the follicular stage pheromone concentrations increased linearly with no apparent relationship to the two serum luteinizing hormone peaks. Pre-ovulatory urine also contained related compounds, including (Z)-7--12-dodecenol. The relative amount of this alcohol increased relative to acetate during long-term storage, with a proportional reduction in bioactivity. Z7--12:Ac was not detected in mucus samples from the urogenital tract. A potential precursor of Z7--12:Ac was identified in liver homogenates from female elephants in the follicular stage.

  11. Reconciling apparent conflicts between mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenies in African elephants.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Yasuko; Oleksyk, Taras K; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; David, Victor A; Zhao, Kai; Stephens, Robert M; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Roca, Alfred L

    2011-01-01

    Conservation strategies for African elephants would be advanced by resolution of conflicting claims that they comprise one, two, three or four taxonomic groups, and by development of genetic markers that establish more incisively the provenance of confiscated ivory. We addressed these related issues by genotyping 555 elephants from across Africa with microsatellite markers, developing a method to identify those loci most effective at geographic assignment of elephants (or their ivory), and conducting novel analyses of continent-wide datasets of mitochondrial DNA. Results showed that nuclear genetic diversity was partitioned into two clusters, corresponding to African forest elephants (99.5% Cluster-1) and African savanna elephants (99.4% Cluster-2). Hybrid individuals were rare. In a comparison of basal forest "F" and savanna "S" mtDNA clade distributions to nuclear DNA partitions, forest elephant nuclear genotypes occurred only in populations in which S clade mtDNA was absent, suggesting that nuclear partitioning corresponds to the presence or absence of S clade mtDNA. We reanalyzed African elephant mtDNA sequences from 81 locales spanning the continent and discovered that S clade mtDNA was completely absent among elephants at all 30 sampled tropical forest locales. The distribution of savanna nuclear DNA and S clade mtDNA corresponded closely to range boundaries traditionally ascribed to the savanna elephant species based on habitat and morphology. Further, a reanalysis of nuclear genetic assignment results suggested that West African elephants do not comprise a distinct third species. Finally, we show that some DNA markers will be more useful than others for determining the geographic origins of illegal ivory. These findings resolve the apparent incongruence between mtDNA and nuclear genetic patterns that has confounded the taxonomy of African elephants, affirm the limitations of using mtDNA patterns to infer elephant systematics or population structure, and

  12. Elevated elephant density does not improve ecotourism opportunities: convergence in social and ecological objectives.

    PubMed

    Maciejewski, Kristine; Kerley, Graham I H

    2014-07-01

    In order to sustainably conserve biodiversity, many protected areas, particularly private protected areas, must find means of self-financing. Ecotourism is increasingly seen as a mechanism to achieve such financial sustainability. However, there is concern that ecotourism operations are driven to achieve successful game-viewing, influencing the management of charismatic species. An abundance of such species, including the African elephant (Loxodonta africana), has been stocked in protected areas under the assumption that they will increase ecotourism value. At moderate to high densities, the impact of elephants is costly; numerous studies have documented severe changes in biodiversity through the impacts of elephants. Protected areas that focus on maintaining high numbers of elephants may therefore face a conflict between socioeconomic demands and the capacity of ecological systems. We address this conflict by analyzing tourist elephant-sighting records from six private and one statutory protected area, the Addo Elephant National Park (AENP), in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, in relation to elephant numbers. We found no relationship between elephant density and elephant-viewing success. Even though elephant density in the AENP increased over time, a hierarchical partitioning analysis indicated that elephant density was not a driver of tourist numbers. In contrast, annual tourist numbers for the AENP were positively correlated with general tourist numbers recorded for South Africa. Our results indicate that the socioeconomic and ecological requirements of protected areas in terms of tourism and elephants, respectively, converge. Thus, high elephant densities and their associated ecological costs are not required to support ecotourism operations for financial sustainability. Understanding the social and ecological feedbacks that dominate the dynamics of protected areas, particularly within private protected areas, can help to elucidate the management

  13. Reconciling Apparent Conflicts between Mitochondrial and Nuclear Phylogenies in African Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Georgiadis, Nicholas J.; David, Victor A.; Zhao, Kai; Stephens, Robert M.; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Roca, Alfred L.

    2011-01-01

    Conservation strategies for African elephants would be advanced by resolution of conflicting claims that they comprise one, two, three or four taxonomic groups, and by development of genetic markers that establish more incisively the provenance of confiscated ivory. We addressed these related issues by genotyping 555 elephants from across Africa with microsatellite markers, developing a method to identify those loci most effective at geographic assignment of elephants (or their ivory), and conducting novel analyses of continent-wide datasets of mitochondrial DNA. Results showed that nuclear genetic diversity was partitioned into two clusters, corresponding to African forest elephants (99.5% Cluster-1) and African savanna elephants (99.4% Cluster-2). Hybrid individuals were rare. In a comparison of basal forest “F” and savanna “S” mtDNA clade distributions to nuclear DNA partitions, forest elephant nuclear genotypes occurred only in populations in which S clade mtDNA was absent, suggesting that nuclear partitioning corresponds to the presence or absence of S clade mtDNA. We reanalyzed African elephant mtDNA sequences from 81 locales spanning the continent and discovered that S clade mtDNA was completely absent among elephants at all 30 sampled tropical forest locales. The distribution of savanna nuclear DNA and S clade mtDNA corresponded closely to range boundaries traditionally ascribed to the savanna elephant species based on habitat and morphology. Further, a reanalysis of nuclear genetic assignment results suggested that West African elephants do not comprise a distinct third species. Finally, we show that some DNA markers will be more useful than others for determining the geographic origins of illegal ivory. These findings resolve the apparent incongruence between mtDNA and nuclear genetic patterns that has confounded the taxonomy of African elephants, affirm the limitations of using mtDNA patterns to infer elephant systematics or population structure

  14. New insights into the cardiorespiratory physiology of weaned southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina)

    PubMed Central

    Cummings, Cloe R.; Lea, Mary-Anne; Morrice, Margaret G.; Wotherspoon, Simon; Hindell, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) pups must strike a balance between conserving energy during their post-weaning fast and simultaneously developing diving abilities to attain nutritional independence. Little is known about environmental influences on cardiorespiratory patterns, hence energy use, throughout the 6 week fast. Continuous heart rates were recorded for free-ranging, newly weaned southern elephant seals using heart rate time–depth recorders for 5–9 days at Sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island, during October 1994 (n = 1), 1995 (n = 4) and 1996 (n = 1). Daytime observations of respiration and behaviour were made throughout. We present the first instance of synchronous heart rate traces recorded simultaneously for individual weaners. Generalized additive models revealed that a sinusoidal pattern of diurnal heart rate elevation and nocturnal depression was evident in all seals and, on at least one occasion, a conspicuous break in this pattern coincided with an extreme cold weather event. Seals in this study were capable of considerable cardiorespiratory control and regularly demonstrated bradycardia during periods of resting apnoea. Apnoeic duration ranged from 33 to 291 s (mean 134 s). Apnoeic heart rates (mean 67 ± 15 beats min−1, range 40–114 beats min−1) were on average 19.7% lower than those exhibited during periods of eupnoea (mean 83 ± 15 beats min−1, range 44–124 beats min−1). The early development of the cardiorespiratory response is characterized by arrhythmic heart and respiration rates. The strong temporal patterns observed are being driven by the opposing requirements of maximizing time spent fasting in order to develop diving capabilities and of maximizing departure mass. This pilot study has highlighted a potentially large effect of ambient weather conditions on newly weaned southern elephant seal cardiorespiratory activity. Given the increasing westerlies and more erratic and

  15. A new easy accessible and low-cost method for screening olfactory sensitivity in mice: behavioural and nociceptive response in male and female CD-1 mice upon exposure to millipede aversive odour.

    PubMed

    Capone, Francesca; Puopolo, Maria; Branchi, Igor; Alleva, Enrico

    2002-06-01

    In a previous study, mice were found to be repelled by the odour emitted by the millipede (Ommatoiulus sabulosus) as a defensive strategy against predators [Physiol. Behav. 74 (2001) 305-311]. To develop a standardised test for screening olfactory capabilities in rodents, we have characterised the behavioural response displayed by adult male and female CD-1 mice when exposed to a Stimulus Object (SO) consisting of a millipede-shaped sponge previously soaked either in a Toluquinone (TQ) solution (5g/100ml; Fluka), a chemical component of the exudate secreted by the millipede, or in distilled water. In Experiment 1, behaviours performed when exposed to the SO were scored (15min for 5 consecutive days). TQ exposure suppressed nearly completely Catching and Eating the SO, and increased general activity in a sex-dependent fashion. In Experiment 2, performances in a hot-plate test (50+/-0.5 degrees C, cut-off 60s) were assessed immediately after a 15-min exposure to the SO. Toluquinone-exposed mice showed a subtle yet significant decrease of pain threshold. TQ exposure assay is a new, easily testable, and low-cost method for measuring rodents olfactory sensitivity relevant for the analysis of the pharmacological agents, lesions and transgenesis.

  16. Salmonella and Campylobacter spp. in northern elephant seals, California.

    PubMed

    Stoddard, Robyn A; Gulland, M D Frances; Atwill, E Rob; Lawrence, Judy; Jang, Spencer; Conrad, Patricia A

    2005-12-01

    Campylobacter and Salmonella spp. prevalence and antimicrobial drug sensitivity were determined in northern elephant seals that had not entered the water and seals that were stranded on the California coast. Stranded seals had a higher prevalence of pathogenic bacteria, possibly from terrestrial sources, which were more likely to be resistant.

  17. The "elephant man" of Cambridge. a case report of neurofibromatosis.

    PubMed

    Rai, G S; Coni, N K

    1981-03-01

    The case is presented of a 65-year-old man with neurofibromatosis manifesting facial and skeletal features resembling those of the "elephant man" described by Sir Frederick Treves. Autopsy revealed not only a pheochromocytoma (a common accompaniment of neurofibromatosis), but an enlarged infarcted spleen and a subphrenic abscess. These findings have not been described previously in a patient with neurofibromatosis.

  18. Thyroid function testing in elephant seals in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Yochem, Pamela K; Gulland, Frances M D; Stewart, Brent S; Haulena, Martin; Mazet, Jonna A K; Boyce, Walter M

    2008-02-01

    Northern Elephant Seal Skin Disease (NESSD) is a severe, ulcerative, skin condition of unknown cause affecting primarily yearling northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris); it has been associated with decreased levels of circulating thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Abnormalities of the thyroid gland that result in decreased hormone levels (hypothyroidism) can result in hair loss, scaling and secondary skin infections. However, concurrent illness (including skin ailments) can suppress basal levels of thyroid hormones and mimic hypothyroidism; when this occurs in animals with normal thyroid glands it is called "sick euthyroid syndrome". The two conditions (true hypothyroidism vs. "sick euthyroid") can be distinguished in dogs by testing the response of the thyroid gland to exogenous thyrotropin (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, TSH). To determine whether hypothyroidism is involved in the etiology of NESSD, we tested thyroid function of stranded yearling elephant seals in the following categories: healthy seals (rehabilitated and ready for release; N=9), seals suffering from NESSD (N=16) and seals with other illnesses (e.g., lungworm pneumonia; N=10). Levels of T4 increased significantly for all three categories of elephant seals following TSH stimulation, suggesting that seals with NESSD are "sick euthyroid" and that the disease is not associated with abnormal thyroid gland function.

  19. Illegal killing for ivory drives global decline in African elephants.

    PubMed

    Wittemyer, George; Northrup, Joseph M; Blanc, Julian; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Omondi, Patrick; Burnham, Kenneth P

    2014-09-09

    Illegal wildlife trade has reached alarming levels globally, extirpating populations of commercially valuable species. As a driver of biodiversity loss, quantifying illegal harvest is essential for conservation and sociopolitical affairs but notoriously difficult. Here we combine field-based carcass monitoring with fine-scale demographic data from an intensively studied wild African elephant population in Samburu, Kenya, to partition mortality into natural and illegal causes. We then expand our analytical framework to model illegal killing rates and population trends of elephants at regional and continental scales using carcass data collected by a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species program. At the intensively monitored site, illegal killing increased markedly after 2008 and was correlated strongly with the local black market ivory price and increased seizures of ivory destined for China. More broadly, results from application to continental data indicated illegal killing levels were unsustainable for the species between 2010 and 2012, peaking to ∼ 8% in 2011 which extrapolates to ∼ 40,000 elephants illegally killed and a probable species reduction of ∼ 3% that year. Preliminary data from 2013 indicate overharvesting continued. In contrast to the rest of Africa, our analysis corroborates that Central African forest elephants experienced decline throughout the last decade. These results provide the most comprehensive assessment of illegal ivory harvest to date and confirm that current ivory consumption is not sustainable. Further, our approach provides a powerful basis to determine cryptic mortality and gain understanding of the demography of at-risk species.

  20. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) reassure others in distress.

    PubMed

    Plotnik, Joshua M; de Waal, Frans B M

    2014-01-01

    Contact directed by uninvolved bystanders toward others in distress, often termed consolation, is uncommon in the animal kingdom, thus far only demonstrated in the great apes, canines, and corvids. Whereas the typical agonistic context of such contact is relatively rare within natural elephant families, other causes of distress may trigger similar, other-regarding responses. In a study carried out at an elephant camp in Thailand, we found that elephants affiliated significantly more with other individuals through directed, physical contact and vocal communication following a distress event than in control periods. In addition, bystanders affiliated with each other, and matched the behavior and emotional state of the first distressed individual, suggesting emotional contagion. The initial distress responses were overwhelmingly directed toward ambiguous stimuli, thus making it difficult to determine if bystanders reacted to the distressed individual or showed a delayed response to the same stimulus. Nonetheless, the directionality of the contacts and their nature strongly suggest attention toward the emotional states of conspecifics. The elephants' behavior is therefore best classified with similar consolation responses by apes, possibly based on convergent evolution of empathic capacities.

  1. Elmer and His Elephant Friends. Literature in the Art Room.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sigan, Jackie

    2000-01-01

    Describes a first-grade lesson that combines art and literature in which students learn how to mix colors. Explains that they listen to the story "Elmer" by David McKee and then create their own patchwork elephants just like Elmer. Discusses how the students made the jungle scene. (CMK)

  2. The dynamics of social networks among female Asian elephants

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Patterns in the association of individuals can shed light on the underlying conditions and processes that shape societies. Here we characterize patterns of association in a population of wild Asian Elephants at Uda Walawe National Park in Sri Lanka. We observed 286 individually-identified adult female elephants over 20 months and examined their social dynamics at three levels of organization: pairs of individuals (dyads), small sets of direct companions (ego-networks), and the population level (complete networks). Results Corroborating previous studies of this and other Asian elephant populations, we find that the sizes of elephant groups observed in the field on any particular day are typically small and that rates of association are low. In contrast to earlier studies, our longitudinal observations reveal that individuals form larger social units that can be remarkably stable across years while associations among such units change across seasons. Association rates tend to peak in dry seasons as opposed to wet seasons, with some cyclicity at the level of dyads. In addition, we find that individuals vary substantially in their fidelity to companions. At the ego-network level, we find that despite these fluctuations, individuals associate with a pool of long-term companions. At the population level, social networks do not exhibit any clear seasonal structure or hierarchical stratification. Conclusions This detailed longitudinal study reveals different social dynamics at different levels of organization. Taken together, these results demonstrate that low association rates, seemingly small group sizes, and fission-fusion grouping behavior mask hidden stability in the extensive and fluid social affiliations in this population of Asian elephants. PMID:21794147

  3. Chronology of the extant African elephant species and case study of the species identification of the small African elephant with the molecular phylogenetic method.

    PubMed

    Murata, Yumie; Yonezawa, Takahiro; Kihara, Ichiro; Kashiwamura, Toshihide; Sugihara, Yuji; Nikaido, Masato; Okada, Norihiro; Endo, Hideki; Hasegawa, Masami

    2009-07-15

    Despite vigorous genetic studies of African elephants (Loxodonta africana and L. cyclotis) during the last decade, their evolutionary history is still obscure. Phylogenetic studies and coalescence time estimation using longer nucleotide sequence data from denser samplings are necessary to better understand the natural history of African elephants. Further, species identification among African elephants is sometimes very difficult using only the external morphological characteristics. This is a serious problem for making an adequate breeding plan in zoological gardens. In this paper, we investigated the continent-wide phylogeographical pattern of the African elephants and estimated the coalescence times among them. From these molecular data and geological evidence, we proposed an evolutionary scenario for the African elephants. We further demonstrated the effectiveness of molecular phylogenetic methods in species identification.

  4. Estimating economic losses to tourism in Africa from the illegal killing of elephants

    PubMed Central

    Naidoo, Robin; Fisher, Brendan; Manica, Andrea; Balmford, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Recent surveys suggest tens of thousands of elephants are being poached annually across Africa, putting the two species at risk across much of their range. Although the financial motivations for ivory poaching are clear, the economic benefits of elephant conservation are poorly understood. We use Bayesian statistical modelling of tourist visits to protected areas, to quantify the lost economic benefits that poached elephants would have delivered to African countries via tourism. Our results show these figures are substantial (∼USD $25 million annually), and that the lost benefits exceed the anti-poaching costs necessary to stop elephant declines across the continent's savannah areas, although not currently in the forests of central Africa. Furthermore, elephant conservation in savannah protected areas has net positive economic returns comparable to investments in sectors such as education and infrastructure. Even from a tourism perspective alone, increased elephant conservation is therefore a wise investment by governments in these regions. PMID:27802262

  5. Estimating economic losses to tourism in Africa from the illegal killing of elephants.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, Robin; Fisher, Brendan; Manica, Andrea; Balmford, Andrew

    2016-11-01

    Recent surveys suggest tens of thousands of elephants are being poached annually across Africa, putting the two species at risk across much of their range. Although the financial motivations for ivory poaching are clear, the economic benefits of elephant conservation are poorly understood. We use Bayesian statistical modelling of tourist visits to protected areas, to quantify the lost economic benefits that poached elephants would have delivered to African countries via tourism. Our results show these figures are substantial (∼USD $25 million annually), and that the lost benefits exceed the anti-poaching costs necessary to stop elephant declines across the continent's savannah areas, although not currently in the forests of central Africa. Furthermore, elephant conservation in savannah protected areas has net positive economic returns comparable to investments in sectors such as education and infrastructure. Even from a tourism perspective alone, increased elephant conservation is therefore a wise investment by governments in these regions.

  6. Estimating economic losses to tourism in Africa from the illegal killing of elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naidoo, Robin; Fisher, Brendan; Manica, Andrea; Balmford, Andrew

    2016-11-01

    Recent surveys suggest tens of thousands of elephants are being poached annually across Africa, putting the two species at risk across much of their range. Although the financial motivations for ivory poaching are clear, the economic benefits of elephant conservation are poorly understood. We use Bayesian statistical modelling of tourist visits to protected areas, to quantify the lost economic benefits that poached elephants would have delivered to African countries via tourism. Our results show these figures are substantial (~USD $25 million annually), and that the lost benefits exceed the anti-poaching costs necessary to stop elephant declines across the continent's savannah areas, although not currently in the forests of central Africa. Furthermore, elephant conservation in savannah protected areas has net positive economic returns comparable to investments in sectors such as education and infrastructure. Even from a tourism perspective alone, increased elephant conservation is therefore a wise investment by governments in these regions.

  7. Comparison of cortisol and thyroid hormones between tuberculosis-suspect and healthy elephants of Nepal

    PubMed Central

    PAUDEL, Sarad; BROWN, Janine L.; THAPALIYA, Sharada; DHAKAL, Ishwari P.; MIKOTA, Susan K.; GAIRHE, Kamal P.; SHIMOZURU, Michito; TSUBOTA, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    We compared cortisol and thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) concentrations between tuberculosis (TB)-suspected (n=10) and healthy (n=10) elephants of Nepal. Whole blood was collected from captive elephants throughout Nepal, and TB testing was performed using the ElephantTB STAT-PAK® and DPP VetTB® serological assays that detect antibodies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. bovis in elephant serum. Cortisol, T3 and T4 were quantified by competitive enzyme immunoassays, and the results showed no significant differences in hormone concentrations between TB-suspect and healthy elephants. These preliminary data suggest neither adrenal nor thyroid function is altered by TB disease status. However, more elephants, including those positively diagnosed for TB by trunk wash cultures, need to be evaluated over time to confirm results. PMID:27452878

  8. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200–1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ13C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation.

  9. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200–1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ13C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation. PMID:26085591

  10. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Sarah H; Ackerman, Joshua T; Costa, Daniel P

    2015-07-07

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200-1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ(13)C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation.

  11. Meiotic behaviour of sex chromosomes investigated by three-colour FISH on 35,142 sperm nuclei from two 47,XYY males.

    PubMed

    Chevret, E; Rousseaux, S; Monteil, M; Usson, Y; Cozzi, J; Pelletier, R; Sele, B

    1997-03-01

    Meiotic segregation of sex chromosomes from two fertile 47,XYY men was analysed by a three-colour fluorescence in situ hybridisation procedure. This method allows the identification of hyperhaploidies (spermatozoa with 24 chromosomes) and diploidies (spermatozoa with 46 chromosomes), and their meiotic origin (meiosis I or II). Alpha-satellite probes specific for chromosomes X, Y and 1 were observed simultaneously in 35,142 sperm nuclei. For both 47,XYY men (24,315 sperm nuclei analysed from one male and 10,827 from the other one) the sex ratio differs from the expected 1:1 ratio (P < 0.001). The rates of disomic Y, diploid YY and diploid XY spermatozoa were increased for both 47,XYY men compared with control sperm (142,050 sperm nuclei analysed from five control men), whereas the rates of hyperhaploidy XY, disomy X and disomy 1 were not significantly different from those of control sperm. These results support the hypothesis that the extra Y chromosome is lost before meiosis with a proliferative advantage of the resulting 46,XY germ cells. Our observations also suggest that a few primary spermatocytes with two Y chromosomes are able to progress through meiosis and to produce Y-bearing sperm cells. A theoretical pairing of the three gonosomes in primary spermatocytes with an extra sex chromosome, compatible with active spermatogenesis, is proposed.

  12. Environmental Perturbations, Behavioral Change, and Population Response in a Long-Term Northern Elephant Seal Study

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    Population Response in a Long-Term Northern Elephant Seal Study Daniel P. Costa University of California, Santa Cruz 100 Shaffer Rd. Santa Cruz, CA...grant has allowed us to extend and improve a four-decade study of northern elephant seal populations in California, aiming specifically to quantify...in a Long-Term Northern Elephant Seal Study 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e

  13. Cyto-nuclear genomic dissociation and the African elephant species question.

    PubMed

    Roca, Alfred L; Georgiadis, Nicholas; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2007-07-01

    Studies of skull morphology and of nuclear DNA have strongly concluded that African elephants comprise two species. Nonetheless, Debruyne (2005) has suggested a single-species model for Loxodonta based on the polyphyly of a single genetic locus, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Discordant patterns between mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers were subsequently reported in some African savanna elephant populations, further supporting a two-species model, and prompting us to re-examine here the geographic distribution of different elephant morphotypes and their relationship to nuclear and mtDNA phylogeographic patterns. We used exact tests to compare the distribution of forest elephant-typical and savanna elephant-typical characteristics across eight published datasets containing morphological, mtDNA or nuclear DNA data for African elephants. Among the elephants examined by Debruyne (2005), we found that patterns of forest vs. savanna characteristics were significantly different (p < 10(-5)) between mtDNA and morphology, suggesting the presence of cyto-nuclear genomic dissociation. We show that the eight African elephant continent-wide datasets compared, including that of Debruyne (2005), together support a two-species model with cyto-nuclear genomic dissociation rather than a one-species model, and together indicate that Africa harbors two species of elephant.

  14. Elephant (Elephas maximus) Health and Management in Asia: Variations in Veterinary Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Miller, David; Jackson, Bradford; Riddle, Heidi S.; Stremme, Christopher; Miller, Thaddeus

    2015-01-01

    There is a need to identify strategic investments in Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) health that will yield maximal benefits for overall elephant health and conservation. As an exploratory first step, a survey was administered to veterinarians from Asian elephant range countries at a workshop and via email to help prioritize health-related concerns that will mostly benefit elephants. Responses were received from 45 veterinarians from eight countries that had a range of experience with captive and wild elephants. The occurrence of medical conditions and responses to treatment varied among responses. However, injuries, parasitism, and gastrointestinal disease were reported as the most common syndromes responsible for elephant morbidity, whereas injury and infectious disease not due to parasitism were the most commonly reported sources of elephant mortality. Substandard nutrition, water quality and quantity deficiencies, and inadequate or absent shelter were among the factors listed as barriers to optimal elephant health. While this survey's results do not support definitive conclusions, they can be used to identify where and how subsequent investigations should be directed. Rigorous assessment of the relative costs and benefits of available options is required to ensure that investments in individual and population health yield the maximal benefits for elephants. PMID:25688328

  15. Ivory Harvesting Pressure on the Genome of the African Elephant: A Phenotypic Shift to Tusklessness.

    PubMed

    Raubenheimer, Erich J; Miniggio, Hilde D

    2016-09-01

    The unique chequered pattern of elephant ivory has made it a desired commodity for the production of various works of art. The demand however outstrips the supply and with soaring prices, illegal tusk harvesting is thriving on the African continent. Formal restrictions placed on trade in elephant products have been ineffective in reversing the rapid decline in elephant numbers. We are presently facing the reality of extinction of free roaming elephant on the African continent. This paper describes the histogenesis of the chequered pattern, the genomic impact of ivory harvesting on the phenotype of breeding herds, and the contribution of science to tracing the origin of illegal ivory.

  16. Three Blind Men and the Elephant

    SciTech Connect

    Long, J S

    2007-02-13

    Just like the blind men in the popular story of perceiving the elephant, the three major constituencies participating in the energy debate have greatly different perceptions of the problem. The constituency that is worried about climate change believes the energy problem is caused by profligate use of fossil fuel that has dramatically changed our atmosphere. The energy security group sees dangerous reliance on foreign sources of oil increasingly held by countries hostile to the US. The economic vitality group sees high energy prices and their effect on the economy and our life-style. Just like the blind men, each of the three constituencies perceives a different problem. And just as with the blind men, while each perspective is right as a piece of the elephant, it takes all the perspectives together to actually solve the problem. Environmentalists focus on solutions responding to the scientific consensus that greenhouse gases are creating rapid climate change. The tipping point has come: it is now a consensus position among scientists the global warming is being affected by anthropogenic activity to 90% certainty according to the last IPCC report. Although they still struggle with the prediction of how much global temperatures will rise if we do nothing--is it 5 deg or 10 under BAU? This group believes that we cannot afford to take a chance because we get only one chance. We can not afford to do this kind of experiment with the Earth. Any choice which decreases our CO{sub 2} footprint is favored, even if it means a decrease in standard of living. The energy security constituency sees the geo-politics of oil becoming increasingly dire. They look at oil money being used to fund anti-American activities of groups such as the Wahabis in Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the infamous Al Qaeda. They quip that the Iraq war is the first war where we are paying for both sides. They note Iran and the Shia throughout the Middle East seeing the possibility of controlling

  17. Deep divers in shallow seas: Southern elephant seals on the Patagonian shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campagna, Claudio; Piola, Alberto R.; Marin, Maria Rosa; Lewis, Mirtha; Zajaczkovski, Uriel; Fernández, Teresita

    2007-10-01

    Elephant seals are wide-ranging, pelagic, deep-diving (average of 400-600 m) predators that typically travel to open waters and continental shelf edges thousands of kilometers from their land breeding colonies. We report a less common pattern of foraging in the shallow waters of a continental shelf. Southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, that breed at Península Valdés (Argentina), face an extended (˜1,000,000 km 2; 400-700 km-wide, depending on track), shallow (<150 m) and seasonally productive plateau, the Patagonian shelf. Adults of both sexes usually cross it in rapid transit to other potential foraging grounds on the shelf edge or in the Argentine Basin, but 2-4 year-old juveniles spread over the plateau and spent months in shallow waters. This behavior was recorded for 9 seals (5 males and 4 females) of 23 satellite-tracked juveniles (springs of 2004 and 2005) and for 2 subadult males studied in previous seasons. Trips included travel trajectories and time spent in areas where swim speed decreased, suggesting foraging. Preferred locations of juvenile females were in the proximity of the shelf break, where stratified waters had relatively high phytoplankton concentrations, but young and subadult males used the relatively cold (7-8 °C), low-salinity (˜33.3) mid-shelf waters, with depths of 105-120 m and a poorly stratified water column. Three of the latter seals, instrumented with time-depth recorders, showed dives compatible with benthic feeding and no diel pattern of depths distribution. Regions of the mid-shelf were used in different seasons and were associated with low chlorophyll- a concentration at the time of the visit, suggesting that surface productivity does not overlap with putative quality habitat for benthic foragers. Benthic diving on the shallow mid-shelf would be a resource partitioning strategy advantageous for young males prior to greater energetic demands of a high growth rate and a large body size. Later in life, the more predictable

  18. First reported case of fatal tuberculosis in a wild African elephant with past human-wildlife contact.

    PubMed

    Obanda, V; Poghon, J; Yongo, M; Mulei, I; Ngotho, M; Waititu, K; Makumi, J; Gakuya, F; Omondi, P; Soriguer, R C; Alasaad, S

    2013-07-01

    Tuberculosis is emerging/re-emerging in captive elephant populations, where it causes morbidity and deaths, although no case of TB in wild African elephants has been reported. In this paper we report the first case of fatal TB in an African elephant in the wild. The infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis was confirmed by post-mortem and histological examinations of a female sub-adult elephant aged >12 years that died in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya, while under treatment. This case is unique in that during its lifetime the elephant had contact with both humans and wild elephants. The source of the infection was unclear because the elephant could have acquired the infection in the orphanage or in the wild. However, our results show that wild elephants can maintain human TB in the wild and that the infection can be fatal.

  19. Effects of environmental variables on surface temperature of breeding adult female northern elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris, and pups.

    PubMed

    Codde, Sarah A; Allen, Sarah G; Houser, Dorian S; Crocker, Daniel E

    2016-10-01

    Pinnipeds spend extended periods of time on shore during breeding, and some temperate species retreat to the water if exposed to high ambient temperatures. However, female northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) with pups generally avoid the water, presumably to minimize risks to pups or male harassment. Little is known about how ambient temperature affects thermoregulation of well insulated females while on shore. We used a thermographic camera to measure surface temperature (Ts) of 100 adult female elephant seals and their pups during the breeding season at Point Reyes National Seashore, yielding 782 thermograms. Environmental variables were measured by an onsite weather station. Environmental variables, especially solar radiation and ambient temperature, were the main determinants of mean and maximum Ts of both females and pups. An average of 16% of the visible surface of both females and pups was used as thermal windows to facilitate heat loss and, for pups, this area increased with solar radiation. Thermal window area of females increased with mean Ts until approximately 26°C and then declined. The Ts of both age classes were warmer than ambient temperature and had a large thermal gradient with the environment (female mean 11.2±0.2°C; pup mean 14.2±0.2°C). This large gradient suggests that circulatory adjustments to bypass blubber layers were sufficient to allow seals to dissipate heat under most environmental conditions. We observed the previously undescribed behavior of females and pups in the water and determined that solar radiation affected this behavior. This may have been possible due to the calm waters at the study site, which reduced the risk of neonates drowning. These results may predict important breeding habitat features for elephant seals as solar radiation and ambient temperatures change in response to changing climate.

  20. Serum POP concentrations are highly predictive of inner blubber concentrations at two extremes of body condition in northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Michael G; Peterson, Sarah H; Debier, Cathy; Covaci, Adrian; Dirtu, Alin C; Malarvannan, Govindan; Crocker, Daniel E; Costa, Daniel P

    2016-11-01

    Long-lived, upper trophic level marine mammals are vulnerable to bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Internal tissues may accumulate and mobilize POP compounds at different rates related to the body condition of the animal and the chemical characteristics of individual POP compounds; however, collection of samples from multiple tissues is a major challenge to ecotoxicology studies of free-ranging marine mammals and the ability to predict POP concentrations in one tissue from another tissue remains rare. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) forage on mesopelagic fish and squid for months at a time in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, interspersed with two periods of fasting on land, which results in dramatic seasonal fluctuations in body condition. Using northern elephant seals, we examined commonly studied tissues in mammalian toxicology to describe relationships and determine predictive equations among tissues for a suite of POP compounds, including ΣDDTs, ΣPCBs, Σchlordanes, and ΣPBDEs. We collected paired blubber (inner and outer) and blood serum samples from adult female and male seals in 2012 and 2013 at Año Nuevo State Reserve (California, USA). For females (N = 24), we sampled the same seals before (late in molting fast) and after (early in breeding fast) their approximately seven month foraging trip. For males, we sampled different seals before (N = 14) and after (N = 15) their approximately four month foraging trip. We observed strong relationships among tissues for many, but not all compounds. Serum POP concentrations were strong predictors of inner blubber POP concentrations for both females and males, while serum was a more consistent predictor of outer blubber for males than females. The ability to estimate POP blubber concentrations from serum, or vice versa, has the potential to enhance toxicological assessment and physiological modeling. Furthermore, predictive equations may illuminate commonalities or

  1. Dating Studies of Elephant Tusks Using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Sideras-Haddad, E; Brown, T A

    2002-10-03

    A new method for determining the year of birth, the year of death, and hence, the age at death, of post-bomb and recently deceased elephants has been developed. The technique is based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry radiocarbon analyses of small-sized samples extracted from along the length of a ge-line of an elephant tusk. The measured radiocarbon concentrations in the samples from a tusk can be compared to the {sup 14}C atmospheric bomb-pulse curve to derive the growth years of the initial and final samples from the tusk. Initial data from the application of this method to two tusks will be presented. Potentially, the method may play a significant role in wildlife management practices of African national parks. Additionally, the method may contribute to the underpinnings of efforts to define new international trade regulations, which could, in effect, decrease poaching and the killing of very young animals.

  2. Elephant brain. Part I: gross morphology, functions, comparative anatomy, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Shoshani, Jeheskel; Kupsky, William J; Marchant, Gary H

    2006-06-30

    We report morphological data on brains of four African, Loxodonta africana, and three Asian elephants, Elephas maximus, and compare findings to literature. Brains exhibit a gyral pattern more complex and with more numerous gyri than in primates, humans included, and in carnivores, but less complex than in cetaceans. Cerebral frontal, parietal, temporal, limbic, and insular lobes are well developed, whereas the occipital lobe is relatively small. The insula is not as opercularized as in man. The temporal lobe is disproportionately large and expands laterally. Humans and elephants have three parallel temporal gyri: superior, middle, and inferior. Hippocampal sizes in elephants and humans are comparable, but proportionally smaller in elephant. A possible carotid rete was observed at the base of the brain. Brain size appears to be related to body size, ecology, sociality, and longevity. Elephant adult brain averages 4783 g, the largest among living and extinct terrestrial mammals; elephant neonate brain averages 50% of its adult brain weight (25% in humans). Cerebellar weight averages 18.6% of brain (1.8 times larger than in humans). During evolution, encephalization quotient has increased by 10-fold (0.2 for extinct Moeritherium, approximately 2.0 for extant elephants). We present 20 figures of the elephant brain, 16 of which contain new material. Similarities between human and elephant brains could be due to convergent evolution; both display mosaic characters and are highly derived mammals. Humans and elephants use and make tools and show a range of complex learning skills and behaviors. In elephants, the large amount of cerebral cortex, especially in the temporal lobe, and the well-developed olfactory system, structures associated with complex learning and behavioral functions in humans, may provide the substrate for such complex skills and behavior.

  3. Rates of reinforcement and measures of compliance in free and protected contact elephant management systems.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Megan L; Perdue, Bonnie M; Bloomsmith, Mollie A; Maple, Terry L

    2015-01-01

    Protected contact is an alternative to traditional captive elephant training techniques that emerged as a result of concerns for animal welfare and personnel safety. The present study documented the behavior of elephants and their animal care professionals to determine rates of reinforcement and measures of compliance under two handling systems. Behavioral data were collected from animal care professionals and elephants during the elephants' baths in both free contact (FC) and protected contact (PC). Positive reinforcement, in the form of food, was delivered, on average, nearly eight times more frequently in the PC condition. Further, the mean rate at which the animal care professionals used the ankus in the FC condition as negative reinforcement was similar to the mean rate at which they provided positive reinforcement to the elephants in the FC condition. Latencies between verbal commands and the elephants' behaviors demonstrated an inconsistent pattern, but were generally longer in the PC condition. The mean percent of "refusals" by the elephants was higher for most behaviors across elephants in the PC condition. The findings suggest that animal care professionals did not heavily rely on positive reinforcement in the FC condition to elicit desired behaviors from the elephants, but this was the case in the PC condition. We propose that longer latencies and higher mean percent of refusals by the elephants may indicate that they were exercising choice or control over their environment, which has been associated with improved well-being. Additional studies of this kind are needed to enable other institutions to make informed decisions about elephant management and welfare.

  4. An assessment of elephant home ranges and movement patterns during construction of Hulu Terengganu hydroelectric dam, Terengganu using GPS satellite collars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magintan, D.; Shukorb, M. N.; Lihan, Tukimat; Campos, Ahimza-arceiz; Saaban, Salman; Husin, Shahril Mohd; Ahmad, Mohd Noh

    2016-11-01

    Home ranges and movement patterns of elephants during construction of hydroelectric dams were carried out in Hulu Terengganu, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. Two elephants from two herds were captured, collared and released in the catchment area four to five months before inundation started in early October 2014. The two elephants were identified as Puah (female) and Sireh (male). The home range size of each individual during the construction of dams was estimated at 96.53 km2 for Puah and 367.99 km2 for Sireh. The monthly estimates of ranging for Puah was between 5.1 km2 and 38.4 km2 with average monthly ranging of 19.2 ± 4.7, while for Sireh, the monthly ranging estimates were between 20.6 km2 and 184.7 km2 with average monthly ranging at 79.9 ± 34.7. The movement mean rate (based on distance per day) for Puah and Sireh per day were 1.3 ± 0.1 km and 1.9 ± 0.1 km, respectively. Puah movement estimates for the first day after putting the collar was 0.88 km, whereas, the distance movement for Sireh on the first day after the collar was 0.02 km. The total distance travelled for Puah before inundation was 226.18 km, while Sireh covered 267.38 km.

  5. The influence of socioeconomic factors on the densities of high-value cross-border species, the African elephant.

    PubMed

    Selier, Sarah-Anne Jeanetta; Slotow, Rob; Di Minin, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Unprecedented poaching levels triggered by demand for ivory in Far East Asia are threatening the persistence of African elephant Loxodonta africana. Southern African countries make an important contribution to elephant conservation and could soon become the last stronghold of elephant conservation in Africa. While the ecological factors affecting elephant distribution and densities have extensively been accounted for, there is a need to understand which socioeconomic factors affect elephant numbers in order to prevent conflict over limited space and resources with humans. We used elephant count data from aerial surveys for seven years in a generalized linear model, which accounted for temporal correlation, to investigate the effect of six socioeconomic and ecological variables on the number of elephant at the country level in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA). Important factors in predicting elephant numbers were the proportion of total land surface under cultivation, human population density and the number of tourists visiting the country. Specifically, elephant numbers were higher where the proportion of total land surface under cultivation was the lowest; where population density was the lowest and where tourist numbers had increased over the years. Our results confirm that human disturbance is affecting elephant numbers, but highlight that the benefits provided by ecotourism could help enhance elephant conservation. While future studies should include larger areas and more detailed data at the site level, we stress that the development of coordinated legislation and policies to improve land-use planning are needed to reduce the impact of increasing human populations and agriculture on elephant.

  6. Prolonged fasting increases glutathione biosynthesis in postweaned northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Medina, José Pablo; Zenteno-Savín, Tania; Forman, Henry Jay; Crocker, Daniel E; Ortiz, Rudy M

    2011-04-15

    Northern elephant seals experience prolonged periods of absolute food and water deprivation (fasting) while breeding, molting or weaning. The postweaning fast in elephant seals is characterized by increases in the renin-angiotensin system, expression of the oxidant-producing protein Nox4, and NADPH oxidase activity; however, these increases are not correlated with increased oxidative damage or inflammation. Glutathione (GSH) is a potent reductant and a cofactor for glutathione peroxidases (GPx), glutathione-S transferases (GST) and 1-cys peroxiredoxin (PrxVI) and thus contributes to the removal of hydroperoxides, preventing oxidative damage. The effects of prolonged food deprivation on the GSH system are not well described in mammals. To test our hypothesis that GSH biosynthesis increases with fasting in postweaned elephant seals, we measured circulating and muscle GSH content at the early and late phases of the postweaning fast in elephant seals along with the activity/protein content of glutamate-cysteine ligase [GCL; catalytic (GCLc) and modulatory (GCLm) subunits], γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), glutathione disulphide reductase (GR), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), GST and PrxVI, as well as plasma changes in γ-glutamyl amino acids, glutamate and glutamine. GSH increased two- to four-fold with fasting along with a 40-50% increase in the content of GCLm and GCLc, a 75% increase in GGT activity, a two- to 2.5-fold increase in GR, G6PDH and GST activities and a 30% increase in PrxVI content. Plasma γ-glutamyl glutamine, γ-glutamyl isoleucine and γ-glutamyl methionine also increased with fasting whereas glutamate and glutamine decreased. Results indicate that GSH biosynthesis increases with fasting and that GSH contributes to counteracting hydroperoxide production, preventing oxidative damage in fasting seals.

  7. Elephant trail runoff and sediment dynamics in northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sidle, Roy C; Ziegler, Alan D

    2010-01-01

    Although elephants may exert various impacts on the environment, no data are available on the effects of elephant trails on runoff, soil erosion, and sediment transport to streams during storms. We monitored water and sediment fluxes from an elephant trail in northern Thailand during seven monsoon storms representing a wide range of rainfall energies. Runoff varied from trivial amounts to 353 mm and increased rapidly in tandem with expanding contributing areas once a threshold of wetting occurred. Runoff coefficients during the two largest storms were much higher than could be generated from the trail itself, implying a 4.5- to 7.9-fold increase in the drainage areas contributing to storm runoff. Clockwise hysteresis patterns of suspended sediment observed during most storms was amplified by a "first flush" of sediment early on the hydrograph in which easily entrained sediment was transported. As runoff areas expanded during the latter part of large storms, discharge increased but sediment concentrations declined. Thus, sediment flux was better correlated to kinetic energy of rainfall on the falling limbs of most storm hydrographs compared to rising limbs. Based on a power function relationship between sediment flux and storm kinetic energy, the estimated annual sediment yield from the trail for 135 storms in 2005 was 308 to 375 Mg ha(-1) yr(-1), higher than from most disturbed land surfaces in the tropics. The eight largest storms (30% of total storm energy) in 2005 transported half of the total annual sediment. These measurements together with site investigations reveal that highly interconnected elephant trails, together with other source areas, directly link runoff and sediment to streams.

  8. Effects of economic downturns on mortality of wild African elephants.

    PubMed

    Wittemyer, George

    2011-10-01

    Declines in economic activity and associated changes in human livelihood strategies can increase threats of species overexploitation. This is exemplified by the effects of economic crises, which often drive intensification of subsistence poaching and greater reliance on natural resources. Whereas development theory links natural resource use to social-economic conditions, few empirical studies of the effect of economic downturns on wild animal species have been conducted. I assessed the relations between African elephant (Loxodonta africana) mortality and human-caused wounds in Samburu, Kenya and (1) livestock and maize prices (measures of local economic conditions), (2) change in national and regional gross domestic product (GDP) (measures of macroeconomic conditions), and (3) the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (a correlate of primary productivity). In addition, I analyzed household survey data to determine the attitudes of local people toward protected areas and wild animals in the area. When cattle prices in the pastoralist study region were low, human-caused wounds to and adult mortality of elephants increased. The NDVI was negatively correlated with juvenile mortality, but not correlated with adult mortality. Changes in Kenyan and East Asian (primary market for ivory) GDP did not explain significant variation in mortality. Increased human wounding of elephants and elephant mortality during periods of low livestock prices (local economic downturns) likely reflect an economically driven increase in ivory poaching. Local but not macroeconomic indices explained significant variation in mortality, likely due to the dominance of the subsistence economy in the study area and its political and economic isolation. My results suggest economic metrics can serve as effective indicators of changes in human use of and resulting effects on natural resources. Such information can help focus management approaches (e.g., antipoaching effort or proffering of

  9. Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at Elephant Head Observatory: 2013 August- October

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alkema, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Photometric observations of two main-belt asteroids, 541 Deborah and 1468 Zomba, were made from Elephant Head Observatory during 2013 August to October. The period and amplitude results are, respectively, P = 29.368 ± 0.005 h, A = 0.10 ± 0.01 mag; P = 2.773 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.34 ± 0.02 mag.

  10. Nearby grandmother enhances calf survival and reproduction in Asian elephants

    PubMed Central

    Lahdenperä, Mirkka; Mar, Khyne U.; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-01-01

    Usually animals reproduce into old age, but a few species such as humans and killer whales can live decades after their last reproduction. The grandmother hypothesis proposes that such life-history evolved through older females switching to invest in their existing (grand)offspring, thereby increasing their inclusive fitness and selection for post-reproductive lifespan. However, positive grandmother effects are also found in non-menopausal taxa, but evidence of their associated fitness effects is rare and only a few tests of the hypothesis in such species exist. Here we investigate the grandmother effects in Asian elephants. Using a multigenerational demographic dataset on semi-captive elephants in Myanmar, we found that grandcalves from young mothers (<20 years) had 8 times lower mortality risk if the grandmother resided with her grandcalf compared to grandmothers residing elsewhere. Resident grandmothers also decreased their daughters’ inter-birth intervals by one year. In contrast to the hypothesis predictions, the grandmother’s own reproductive status did not modify such grandmother benefits. That elephant grandmothers increased their inclusive fitness by enhancing their daughter’s reproductive rate and success irrespective of their own reproductive status suggests that fitness-enhancing grandmaternal effects are widespread, and challenge the view that grandmother effects alone select for menopause coupled with long post-reproductive lifespan. PMID:27282468

  11. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) reassure others in distress

    PubMed Central

    de Waal, Frans B.M.

    2014-01-01

    Contact directed by uninvolved bystanders toward others in distress, often termed consolation, is uncommon in the animal kingdom, thus far only demonstrated in the great apes, canines, and corvids. Whereas the typical agonistic context of such contact is relatively rare within natural elephant families, other causes of distress may trigger similar, other-regarding responses. In a study carried out at an elephant camp in Thailand, we found that elephants affiliated significantly more with other individuals through directed, physical contact and vocal communication following a distress event than in control periods. In addition, bystanders affiliated with each other, and matched the behavior and emotional state of the first distressed individual, suggesting emotional contagion. The initial distress responses were overwhelmingly directed toward ambiguous stimuli, thus making it difficult to determine if bystanders reacted to the distressed individual or showed a delayed response to the same stimulus. Nonetheless, the directionality of the contacts and their nature strongly suggest attention toward the emotional states of conspecifics. The elephants’ behavior is therefore best classified with similar consolation responses by apes, possibly based on convergent evolution of empathic capacities. PMID:24688856

  12. Carcass characteristics and meat quality of lambs fed babassu cake (Orbignya speciosa) as a replacement for elephant grass silage.

    PubMed

    Luz, Janaina Barros; Alves, Kaliandra Souza; Mezzomo, Rafael; Ribeiro Dos Santos Neta, Ernestina; Gomes, Daiany Íris; Sampaio Oliveira, Luis Rennan; Silva, Josiane Costa; Ramos de Carvalho, Francisco Fernando

    2017-01-01

    The study aimed to evaluate the effect of the partial replacement of elephant grass silage with babassu cake (Orbignya speciosa) on the carcass characteristics and meat quality of feedlot lambs. Forty-five castrated male Santa Ines sheep (19.08 ± 0.41 kg) approximately 4 months old were distributed in a completely randomized design, with five treatments 0.0, 12.5, 25.0, 37.5 and 50 % (%DM) replacement of babassu cake with silage forming isoproteic diets formulated at a ratio of 40 % roughage to 60 % concentrate. All of the studied animals were slaughtered at the end of the experiment. The liver weights and yields increased with the inclusion of babassu cake. The weight of the shoulder increased from 2.31 to 2.61 kg, while the loin yield decreased from 7.38 to 6.64 % with the inclusion of babassu cake, both linearly. The body length, thoracic perimeter, rump perimeter and carcass compactness index showed high and positive correlations with the hot and cold carcass weights. The myofibrillar fragmentation index decreased linearly as a function of the inclusion level of babassu cake, but other quality variables were not affected. The replacement of up to 50 % of the elephant grass silage with babassu cake in the diet of lambs does not cause negative effects on carcass characteristics or meat quality.

  13. [Contribution of molecular phylogeny and morphometrics to the systematics of African elephants].

    PubMed

    Debruyne, Régis

    2004-01-01

    African elephants are conventionally classified as a single species: Loxodonta africana (Blumenbach 1797). However, the discovery in 1900 of a smaller form of the African elephant, spread throughout the equatorial belt of this land, has given rise to a debate over the relevance of a second species of elephant in Africa. The twentieth century has not provided any definite answer to this question. Actually, recent molecular analyses have sustained this issue by advocating either a division of forest elephants into a valid species, or their inclusion as a subspecies of L. africana. Our work initiated at the National Museum of Natural History of Paris provides new molecular (mitochondrial) and morphological (and morphometrical) evidence making it possible to propose a comprehensive phylogenetic hypothesis. It appears that there is no conclusive argument to keep forest elephants (cyclotis form) and savannah elephants (africana form) apart in two distinct species. A high level of mitochondrial introgression between the two forms, as well as a continuum in the morphology of the skulls of the two morphotypes rather suggests that, despite an ancient division, these two taxa freely interbreed wherever their ranges intersect. We thus adopt a conservative systematic position in considering these two forms as two subspecies, respectively: L. africana africana, the savannah elephant, and L. africana cyclotis, the forest elephant. We finally discuss the conservation topic in the light of this systematic framework.

  14. Survey Sequencing and Comparative Analysis of the Elephant Shark (Callorhinchus milii) Genome

    PubMed Central

    Venkatesh, Byrappa; Kirkness, Ewen F; Loh, Yong-Hwee; Halpern, Aaron L; Lee, Alison P; Johnson, Justin; Dandona, Nidhi; Viswanathan, Lakshmi D; Tay, Alice; Venter, J. Craig; Strausberg, Robert L; Brenner, Sydney

    2007-01-01

    Owing to their phylogenetic position, cartilaginous fishes (sharks, rays, skates, and chimaeras) provide a critical reference for our understanding of vertebrate genome evolution. The relatively small genome of the elephant shark, Callorhinchus milii, a chimaera, makes it an attractive model cartilaginous fish genome for whole-genome sequencing and comparative analysis. Here, the authors describe survey sequencing (1.4× coverage) and comparative analysis of the elephant shark genome, one of the first cartilaginous fish genomes to be sequenced to this depth. Repetitive sequences, represented mainly by a novel family of short interspersed element–like and long interspersed element–like sequences, account for about 28% of the elephant shark genome. Fragments of approximately 15,000 elephant shark genes reveal specific examples of genes that have been lost differentially during the evolution of tetrapod and teleost fish lineages. Interestingly, the degree of conserved synteny and conserved sequences between the human and elephant shark genomes are higher than that between human and teleost fish genomes. Elephant shark contains putative four Hox clusters indicating that, unlike teleost fish genomes, the elephant shark genome has not experienced an additional whole-genome duplication. These findings underscore the importance of the elephant shark as a critical reference vertebrate genome for comparative analysis of the human and other vertebrate genomes. This study also demonstrates that a survey-sequencing approach can be applied productively for comparative analysis of distantly related vertebrate genomes. PMID:17407382

  15. Recursion to food plants by free-ranging Bornean elephant

    PubMed Central

    Gillespie, Graeme; Goossens, Benoit; Ismail, Sulaiman; Ancrenaz, Marc; Linklater, Wayne

    2015-01-01

    Plant recovery rates after herbivory are thought to be a key factor driving recursion by herbivores to sites and plants to optimise resource-use but have not been investigated as an explanation for recursion in large herbivores. We investigated the relationship between plant recovery and recursion by elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah. We identified 182 recently eaten food plants, from 30 species, along 14 × 50 m transects and measured their recovery growth each month over nine months or until they were re-browsed by elephants. The monthly growth in leaf and branch or shoot length for each plant was used to calculate the time required (months) for each species to recover to its pre-eaten length. Elephant returned to all but two transects with 10 eaten plants, a further 26 plants died leaving 146 plants that could be re-eaten. Recursion occurred to 58% of all plants and 12 of the 30 species. Seventy-seven percent of the re-eaten plants were grasses. Recovery times to all plants varied from two to twenty months depending on the species. Recursion to all grasses coincided with plant recovery whereas recursion to most browsed plants occurred four to twelve months before they had recovered to their previous length. The small sample size of many browsed plants that received recursion and uneven plant species distribution across transects limits our ability to generalise for most browsed species but a prominent pattern in plant-scale recursion did emerge. Plant recovery time was a good predictor of time to recursion but varied as a function of growth form (grass, ginger, palm, liana and woody) and differences between sites. Time to plant recursion coincided with plant recovery time for the elephant’s preferred food, grasses, and perhaps also gingers, but not the other browsed species. Elephants are bulk feeders so it is likely that they time their returns to bulk feed on these grass species when quantities have

  16. Systematic review on the conservation genetics of African savannah elephants

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background In this paper we review the conservation genetics of African savannah elephants, aiming to understand the spatio-temporal research trends and their underlying factors. As such, we explore three questions associated to the conservation genetics and molecular ecology of these elephants: (1) what are the research trends concerning the conservation genetics of Loxodonta africana? (2) Do richer countries conduct more research on the genetics of African elephants? (3) Which attributes influence where scholars conduct their research? Materials and Methods We examined available peer-reviewed publications from 1993 to 2014 in complementary online databases, including the ISI/Web of Science (WoS), Scopus and Google Scholar (GS), and searched for publications in scientific journals as well as in the reference section of these publications. We analyzed the annual trend of publications in this field of research, including the number of authors, levels of collaboration among authors, year of publication, publishing journal and the countries from where genetic samples were collected. Additionally, we identified main research clusters, authors, and institutional collaborations, based on co-citation and co-occurrence networks. Results We found that during the study period there was a positive trend in the number of publications and a reduction in the number of authors per paper. Twenty-five countries contributed, with the majority of publications authored by researchers in the USA, Kenya and South Africa. The majority of samples were collected in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. Research outputs are associated with the existence of long-term conservation/research projects and research potential as measured by the literacy rate and the number of higher education institutions in a country. Five research clusters were identified, focusing on the origin and evolution of the species, methodological issues and the relatedness among elephant species. Conclusions Research in

  17. The fluidity of blood in African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Windberger, U; Plasenzotti, R; Voracek, Th

    2005-01-01

    The large cellular volume of erythrocytes and the increased plasma concentration of proteins in elephants are factors which potentially affect blood rheology adversely. To verify blood rheology, routine hemorheologic variables were analyzed in four African elephants (Loxodonta africana), housed in the zoo of Vienna. Whole blood viscosity at three different shear rates (WBV at low shear rate: WBV 0.7 s(-1) and WBV 2.4 s(-1); WBV at high shear rate: WBV 94 s(-1) done by LS30, Contraves) and erythrocyte aggregation (aggregation indices AI by LS30; aggregation indices M0, M1 by Myrenne aggregometer) were high (WBV 94 s(-1): 5.368 (5.246/5.648); WBV 2.4 s(-1): 16.291 (15.605/17.629); WBV 0.7 s(-1): 28.28 (25.537/32.173) mPa s; AI 2.4 s(-1): 0.25 (0.23/0.30); AI 0.7 s(-1): 0.24 (0.23/0.28); M0: 7.8 (6.4/8.4); M1: 30.2 (25/31)). Plasma viscosity (PV) was increased as well (1.865 (1.857/1.912) mPa s) compared to other mammalian species. These parameters would indicate a decrease in blood fluidity in elephants. However, erythrocyte rigidity (LORCA, Mechatronics) was decreased, which in contrast, has a promotive effect on peripheral perfusion. Blood rheology of the elephants was determined by a high whole blood and plasma viscosity as the result of pronounced erythrocyte aggregation and high plasma protein concentration. Thus, in the terminal vessels the resistance to flow will be increased. The large erythrocytes, which might impede blood flow further due to geometrical reasons, however, had a pronounced flexibility. We conclude that the effect of the increased inner resistance to peripheral blood flow was counteracted by the decreased rigidity of the erythrocytes to enable an adequate blood flow in African elephants.

  18. Fetal lung development in the elephant reflects the adaptations required for snorkeling in adult life.

    PubMed

    West, John B; Fu, Zhenxing; Gaeth, Ann P; Short, Roger V

    2003-11-14

    The adult elephant is unique among mammals in that the pleural membranes are thickened and the pleural cavity is obliterated by connective tissue. It has been suggested that this peculiar anatomy developed because the animal can snorkel at depth, and this behavior subjects the microvessels in the parietal pleura to a very large transmural pressure. To investigate the development of the parietal pleura, the thickness of the endothoracic fascia (ET) was measured in four fetal African elephants of approximate gestational age 111-130 days, and the appearances were compared with those in human, rabbit, rat and mouse fetuses of approximately the same stage of lung organogenesis. The mean thicknesses of ET in the elephant, human, rabbit, rat and mouse were 403, 53, 29, 27 and 37 microm, respectively. This very early development of a thick parietal pleura in the elephant fetus is consistent with the hypothesis of a long history of snorkeling in the elephant's putative aquatic ancestors.

  19. 'The Elephant Man' as 'self' and 'other': the psycho-social costs of a misdiagnosis.

    PubMed

    Ablon, J

    1995-06-01

    'The Elephant Man's Disease' acquired enormous notoriety through the portrayals of the life of Joseph Merrick, 'The Elephant Man', on American stage, screen and television. These portrayals, inspired by Ashley Montagu's book, The Elephant Man (1971) parleyed the designation of Merrick's condition into a household phrase, a metaphor for the grimmest extreme of ugliness. This paper explores the impact of 'The Elephant Man' as the chief referent and role model for persons who believed they shared the condition of neurofibromatosis 1, a neurological genetic disorder, which was erroneously believed at the time his story was popularized to have affected Joseph Merrick. Data were gathered through interviews with sixty affected individuals and families about their responses to the media representations of 'The Elephant Man'. Informants were recruited from three NF Support Groups and two urban hospital caseloads in Northern California.

  20. Forensic species identification of elephant (Elephantidae) and giraffe (Giraffidae) tail hair using light microscopy.

    PubMed

    Yates, Bonnie C; Espinoza, Edgard O; Baker, Barry W

    2010-09-01

    Here we present methods for distinguishing tail hairs of African elephants (Loxodonta africana), Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), and giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) from forensic contexts. Such hairs are commonly used to manufacture jewelry artifacts that are often sold illegally in the international wildlife trade. Tail hairs from these three species are easily confused macroscopically, and morphological methods for distinguishing African and Asian tail hairs have not been published. We used cross section analysis and light microscopy to analyze the tail hair morphology of 18 individual African elephants, 18 Asian elephants, and 40 giraffes. We found that cross-sectional shape, pigment placement, and pigment density are useful morphological features for distinguishing the three species. These observations provide wildlife forensic scientists with an important analytical tool for enforcing legislation and international treaties regulating the trade in elephant parts.

  1. Immune responses of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to commercial tetanus toxoid vaccine.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, William A; Wiedner, Ellen; Isaza, Ramiro; Townsend, Hugh G G; Boleslawski, Maria; Lunn, D P

    2010-02-15

    Although captive elephants are commonly vaccinated annually against tetanus using commercially available tetanus toxoid vaccines marketed for use in horses and livestock, no data exists to prove that tetanus toxoid vaccination produces measurable antibody titers in elephants. An ELISA test was created to measure antibody responses to tetanus toxoid vaccinations in 22 Asian elephants ranging in age from 24 to 56 years (mean age 39 years) over a 7-month period. All animals had been previously vaccinated with tetanus toxoid vaccine, with the last booster administered 4 years before the start of the study. The great majority of elephants had titers prior to booster vaccination, and following revaccination all elephants demonstrated anamnestic increases in titers, indicating that this species does respond to tetanus vaccination. Surprisingly older animals mounted a significantly higher response to revaccination than did younger animals.

  2. Quantity and Configuration of Available Elephant Habitat and Related Conservation Concerns in the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain of Sabah, Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Estes, Jason G.; Othman, Nurzhafarina; Ismail, Sulaiman; Ancrenaz, Marc; Goossens, Benoit; Ambu, Laurentius N.; Estes, Anna B.; Palmiotto, Peter A.

    2012-01-01

    The approximately 300 (298, 95% CI: 152–581) elephants in the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo are a priority sub-population for Borneo's total elephant population (2,040, 95% CI: 1,184–3,652). Habitat loss and human-elephant conflict are recognized as the major threats to Bornean elephant survival. In the Kinabatangan region, human settlements and agricultural development for oil palm drive an intense fragmentation process. Electric fences guard against elephant crop raiding but also remove access to suitable habitat patches. We conducted expert opinion-based least-cost analyses, to model the quantity and configuration of available suitable elephant habitat in the Lower Kinabatangan, and called this the Elephant Habitat Linkage. At 184 km2, our estimate of available habitat is 54% smaller than the estimate used in the State's Elephant Action Plan for the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (400 km2). During high flood levels, available habitat is reduced to only 61 km2. As a consequence, short-term elephant densities are likely to surge during floods to 4.83 km−2 (95% CI: 2.46–9.41), among the highest estimated for forest-dwelling elephants in Asia or Africa. During severe floods, the configuration of remaining elephant habitat and the surge in elephant density may put two villages at elevated risk of human-elephant conflict. Lower Kinabatangan elephants are vulnerable to the natural disturbance regime of the river due to their limited dispersal options. Twenty bottlenecks less than one km wide throughout the Elephant Habitat Linkage, have the potential to further reduce access to suitable habitat. Rebuilding landscape connectivity to isolated habitat patches and to the North Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (less than 35 km inland) are conservation priorities that would increase the quantity of available habitat, and may work as a mechanism to allow population release, lower elephant density, reduce human-elephant

  3. Usual Populations, Unusual Individuals: Insights into the Behavior and Management of Asian Elephants in Fragmented Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasaiah, Nishant M.; Vaidyanathan, Srinivas; Sinha, Anindya

    2012-01-01

    Background A dearth in understanding the behavior of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at the scale of populations and individuals has left important management issues, particularly related to human-elephant conflict (HEC), unresolved. Evaluation of differences in behavior and decision-making among individual elephants across groups in response to changing local ecological settings is essential to fill this gap in knowledge and to improve our approaches towards the management and conservation of elephants. Methodology/Principal Findings We hypothesized certain behavioral decisions that would be made by Asian elephants as reflected in their residence time and movement rates, time-activity budgets, social interactions and group dynamics in response to resource availability and human disturbance in their habitat. This study is based on 200 h of behavioral observations on 60 individually identified elephants and a 184-km2 grid-based survey of their natural and anthropogenic habitats within and outside the Bannerghatta National Park, southern India during the dry season. At a general population level, the behavioral decisions appeared to be guided by the gender, age and group-type of the elephants. At the individual level, the observed variation could be explained only by the idiosyncratic behaviors of individuals and that of their associating conspecific individuals. Recursive partitioning classification trees for residence time of individual elephants indicated that the primary decisions were taken by individuals, independently of their above-mentioned biological and ecological attributes. Conclusions/Significance Decision-making by Asian elephants thus appears to be determined at two levels, that of the population and, more importantly, the individual. Models based on decision-making by individual elephants have the potential to predict conflict in fragmented landscapes that, in turn, could aid in mitigating HEC. Thus, we must target individuals, in addition to

  4. Reproductive Health Assessment of Female Elephants in North American Zoos and Association of Husbandry Practices with Reproductive Dysfunction in African Elephants (Loxodonta africana)

    PubMed Central

    Meehan, Cheryl L.; Hogan, Jennifer N.; Morfeld, Kari A.; Carlstead, Kathy

    2016-01-01

    As part of a multi-institutional study of zoo elephant welfare, we evaluated female elephants managed by zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and applied epidemiological methods to determine what factors in the zoo environment are associated with reproductive problems, including ovarian acyclicity and hyperprolactinemia. Bi-weekly blood samples were collected from 95 African (Loxodonta africana) and 75 Asian (Elephas maximus) (8–55 years of age) elephants over a 12-month period for analysis of serum progestogens and prolactin. Females were categorized as normal cycling (regular 13- to 17-week cycles), irregular cycling (cycles longer or shorter than normal) or acyclic (baseline progestogens, <0.1 ng/ml throughout), and having Low/Normal (<14 or 18 ng/ml) or High (≥14 or 18 ng/ml) prolactin for Asian and African elephants, respectively. Rates of normal cycling, acyclicity and irregular cycling were 73.2, 22.5 and 4.2% for Asian, and 48.4, 37.9 and 13.7% for African elephants, respectively, all of which differed between species (P < 0.05). For African elephants, univariate assessment found that social isolation decreased and higher enrichment diversity increased the chance a female would cycle normally. The strongest multi-variable models included Age (positive) and Enrichment Diversity (negative) as important factors of acyclicity among African elephants. The Asian elephant data set was not robust enough to support multi-variable analyses of cyclicity status. Additionally, only 3% of Asian elephants were found to be hyperprolactinemic as compared to 28% of Africans, so predictive analyses of prolactin status were conducted on African elephants only. The strongest multi-variable model included Age (positive), Enrichment Diversity (negative), Alternate Feeding Methods (negative) and Social Group Contact (positive) as predictors of hyperprolactinemia. In summary, the incidence of ovarian cycle problems and hyperprolactinemia predominantly

  5. Reproductive Health Assessment of Female Elephants in North American Zoos and Association of Husbandry Practices with Reproductive Dysfunction in African Elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Brown, Janine L; Paris, Stephen; Prado-Oviedo, Natalia A; Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jennifer N; Morfeld, Kari A; Carlstead, Kathy

    2016-01-01

    As part of a multi-institutional study of zoo elephant welfare, we evaluated female elephants managed by zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and applied epidemiological methods to determine what factors in the zoo environment are associated with reproductive problems, including ovarian acyclicity and hyperprolactinemia. Bi-weekly blood samples were collected from 95 African (Loxodonta africana) and 75 Asian (Elephas maximus) (8-55 years of age) elephants over a 12-month period for analysis of serum progestogens and prolactin. Females were categorized as normal cycling (regular 13- to 17-week cycles), irregular cycling (cycles longer or shorter than normal) or acyclic (baseline progestogens, <0.1 ng/ml throughout), and having Low/Normal (<14 or 18 ng/ml) or High (≥14 or 18 ng/ml) prolactin for Asian and African elephants, respectively. Rates of normal cycling, acyclicity and irregular cycling were 73.2, 22.5 and 4.2% for Asian, and 48.4, 37.9 and 13.7% for African elephants, respectively, all of which differed between species (P < 0.05). For African elephants, univariate assessment found that social isolation decreased and higher enrichment diversity increased the chance a female would cycle normally. The strongest multi-variable models included Age (positive) and Enrichment Diversity (negative) as important factors of acyclicity among African elephants. The Asian elephant data set was not robust enough to support multi-variable analyses of cyclicity status. Additionally, only 3% of Asian elephants were found to be hyperprolactinemic as compared to 28% of Africans, so predictive analyses of prolactin status were conducted on African elephants only. The strongest multi-variable model included Age (positive), Enrichment Diversity (negative), Alternate Feeding Methods (negative) and Social Group Contact (positive) as predictors of hyperprolactinemia. In summary, the incidence of ovarian cycle problems and hyperprolactinemia predominantly affects

  6. Southern Elephant Seals Replenish Their Lipid Reserves at Different Rates According to Foraging Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Richard, Gaëtan; Cox, Samantha L.; Picard, Baptiste; Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Guinet, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Assessing energy gain and expenditure in free ranging marine predators is difficult. However, such measurements are critical if we are to understand how variation in foraging efficiency, and in turn individual body condition, is impacted by environmentally driven changes in prey abundance and/or accessibility. To investigate the influence of oceanographic habitat type on foraging efficiency, ten post-breeding female southern elephant seals Mirounga leonina (SES) were equipped and tracked with bio-loggers to give continuous information of prey catch attempts, body density and body activity. Variations in these indices of foraging efficiency were then compared between three different oceanographic habitats, delineated by the main frontal structures of the Southern Ocean. Results show that changes in body density are related not only to the number of previous prey catch attempts and to the body activity (at a 6 day lag), but also foraging habitat type. For example, despite a lower daily prey catch attempt rate, SESs foraging north of the sub-Antarctic front improve their body density at a higher rate than individuals foraging south of the sub-Antarctic and polar fronts, suggesting that they may forage on easier to catch and/or more energetically rich prey in this area. Our study highlights a need to understand the influence of habitat type on top predator foraging behaviour and efficiency when attempting a better comprehension of marine ecosystems. PMID:27902786

  7. Southern Elephant Seals Replenish Their Lipid Reserves at Different Rates According to Foraging Habitat.

    PubMed

    Richard, Gaëtan; Cox, Samantha L; Picard, Baptiste; Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Guinet, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Assessing energy gain and expenditure in free ranging marine predators is difficult. However, such measurements are critical if we are to understand how variation in foraging efficiency, and in turn individual body condition, is impacted by environmentally driven changes in prey abundance and/or accessibility. To investigate the influence of oceanographic habitat type on foraging efficiency, ten post-breeding female southern elephant seals Mirounga leonina (SES) were equipped and tracked with bio-loggers to give continuous information of prey catch attempts, body density and body activity. Variations in these indices of foraging efficiency were then compared between three different oceanographic habitats, delineated by the main frontal structures of the Southern Ocean. Results show that changes in body density are related not only to the number of previous prey catch attempts and to the body activity (at a 6 day lag), but also foraging habitat type. For example, despite a lower daily prey catch attempt rate, SESs foraging north of the sub-Antarctic front improve their body density at a higher rate than individuals foraging south of the sub-Antarctic and polar fronts, suggesting that they may forage on easier to catch and/or more energetically rich prey in this area. Our study highlights a need to understand the influence of habitat type on top predator foraging behaviour and efficiency when attempting a better comprehension of marine ecosystems.

  8. Water conservation in fasting northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris).

    PubMed

    Lester, Christopher W; Costa, Daniel P

    2006-11-01

    Prolonged terrestrial fasting is a key element in the life history of elephant seals. While on land seals typically fast without access to fresh water, and thus must maintain positive water balance by reductions in water loss such that they can subsist primarily on metabolic water production (MWP). The terrestrial apnea demonstrated by seals may reduce respiratory evaporative water loss (REWL) to levels that allow seals to make a net gain of water from MWP. We empirically measured REWL in 13 fasting northern elephant seal pups and determined the effects on water conservation of a breathing mode that incorporates a regular pattern of apneas, of > or =1 min in duration, followed by eupneic recovery, compared with a breathing mode with no apneas longer than 20 s and resembling typical breathing patterns in other mammals (normative breathing). Overall REWL fell 41% from 0.075+/-0.013 g min(-1) (mean +/- s.d.) during normative breathing to 0.044+/-0.006 g min(-1) during apneic breathing. The decline in REWL is attributed to a decrease in overall ventilation rate, made possible by a decline in metabolic rate along with an increase in oxygen extraction that would occur during apneic breathing. Data on the range of ambient humidity conditions at the local breeding site were collected and used to bound the range of environmental conditions used in laboratory measurements. Our data showed that the observed variations in ambient humidity had no significant effect on REWL. A combination of apneic breathing and the complex nasal turbinates allows fasting elephant seals to reduce REWL well below the rate of MWP so that they can maintain water balance during the fast.

  9. Elephant transcriptome provides insights into the evolution of eutherian placentation.

    PubMed

    Hou, Zhuo-Cheng; Sterner, Kirstin N; Romero, Roberto; Than, Nandor Gabor; Gonzalez, Juan M; Weckle, Amy; Xing, Jun; Benirschke, Kurt; Goodman, Morris; Wildman, Derek E

    2012-01-01

    The chorioallantoic placenta connects mother and fetus in eutherian pregnancies. In order to understand the evolution of the placenta and provide further understanding of placenta biology, we sequenced the transcriptome of a term placenta of an African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and compared these data with RNA sequence and microarray data from other eutherian placentas including human, mouse, and cow. We characterized the composition of 55,910 expressed sequence tag (i.e., cDNA) contigs using our custom annotation pipeline. A Markov algorithm was used to cluster orthologs of human, mouse, cow, and elephant placenta transcripts. We found 2,963 genes are commonly expressed in the placentas of these eutherian mammals. Gene ontology categories previously suggested to be important for placenta function (e.g., estrogen receptor signaling pathway, cell motion and migration, and adherens junctions) were significantly enriched in these eutherian placenta-expressed genes. Genes duplicated in different lineages and also specifically expressed in the placenta contribute to the great diversity observed in mammalian placenta anatomy. We identified 1,365 human lineage-specific, 1,235 mouse lineage-specific, 436 cow lineage-specific, and 904 elephant-specific placenta-expressed (PE) genes. The most enriched clusters of human-specific PE genes are signal/glycoprotein and immunoglobulin, and humans possess a deeply invasive human hemochorial placenta that comes into direct contact with maternal immune cells. Inference of phylogenetically conserved and derived transcripts demonstrates the power of comparative transcriptomics to trace placenta evolution and variation across mammals and identified candidate genes that may be important in the normal function of the human placenta, and their dysfunction may be related to human pregnancy complications.

  10. Elevated carboxyhemoglobin in a marine mammal, the northern elephant seal.

    PubMed

    Tift, Michael S; Ponganis, Paul J; Crocker, Daniel E

    2014-05-15

    Low concentrations of endogenous carbon monoxide (CO), generated primarily through degradation of heme from heme-proteins, have been shown to maintain physiological function of organs and to exert cytoprotective effects. However, high concentrations of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), formed by CO binding to hemoglobin, potentially prevent adequate O2 delivery to tissues by lowering arterial O2 content. Elevated heme-protein concentrations, as found in marine mammals, are likely associated with greater heme degradation, more endogenous CO production and, consequently, elevated COHb concentrations. Therefore, we measured COHb in elephant seals, a species with large blood volumes and elevated hemoglobin and myoglobin concentrations. The levels of COHb were positively related to the total hemoglobin concentration. The maximum COHb value was 10.4% of total hemoglobin concentration. The mean (± s.e.m.) value in adult seals was 8.7 ± 0.3% (N=6), while juveniles and pups (with lower heme-protein contents) had lower mean COHb values of 7.6 ± 0.2% and 7.1 ± 0.3%, respectively (N=9 and N=9, respectively). Serial samples over several hours revealed little to no fluctuation in COHb values. This consistent elevation in COHb suggests that the magnitude and/or rate of heme-protein turnover is much higher than in terrestrial mammals. The maximum COHb values from this study decrease total body O2 stores by 7%, thereby reducing the calculated aerobic dive limit for this species. However, the constant presence of elevated CO in blood may also protect against potential ischemia-reperfusion injury associated with the extreme breath-holds of elephant seals. We suggest the elephant seal represents an ideal model for understanding the potential cytoprotective effects, mechanisms of action and evolutionary adaptation associated with chronically elevated concentrations of endogenously produced CO.

  11. Elephant Seals and Temperature Data: Calibrations and Limitations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simmons, S. E.; Tremblay, Y.; Costa, D. P.

    2006-12-01

    In recent years with technological advances, instruments deployed on diving marine animals have been used to sample the environment in addition to their behavior. Of all oceanographic variables one of the most valuable and easiest to record is temperature. Here we report on a series of lab calibration and field validation experiments that consider the accuracy of temperature measurements from animal borne ocean samplers. Additionally we consider whether sampling frequency or animal behavior affects the quality of the temperature data collected by marine animals. Rapid response, external temperature sensors on eight Wildlife Computers MK9 time-depth recorders (TDRs) were calibrated using water baths at the Naval Postgraduate School (Monterey, CA). These water baths are calibrated using a platinum thermistor to 0.001° C. Instruments from different production batches were calibrated before and after deployments on adult female northern elephant seals, to examine tag performance over time and under `normal' usage. Tag performance in the field was validated by comparisons with temperature data from a Seabird CTD. In April/May of 2004, casts to 200m were performed over the Monterey Canyon using a CTD array carrying MK9s. These casts were performed before and after the release of a juvenile elephant seal from the boat. The seal was also carrying an MK9 TDR, allowing the assessment of any animal effect on temperature profiles. Sampling frequency during these field validations was set at one second intervals and the data from TDRs on both the CTD and the seals was sub-sampled at four, eight, 30 and 300 (5 min) seconds. The sub-sampled data was used to determine thermocline depth, a thermocline depth zone and temperature gradients and assess whether sampling frequency or animal behavior affects the quality of temperature data. Preliminary analyses indicate that temperature sensors deployed on elephant seals can provide water column temperature data of high quality and

  12. Assessment of Flooring Renovations on African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Behavior and Glucocorticoid Response

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Sarah A.; Roberts, Beth; Pope, Brittany M.; Blake, Margaret R.; Leavelle, Stephen E.; Marshall, Jennifer J.; Smith, Andrew; Hadicke, Amanda; Falcone, Josephine F.; Knott, Katrina; Kouba, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    Captive African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants can experience foot pathologies and arthritis. As a preventative measure against these pathologies and to alleviate the potential discomfort due to concrete substrates, some zoological institutions have renovated elephant housing to increase the amount of natural or shock-absorbent substrates. The objective of this study was to compare behavioral (diurnal and nocturnal) and glucorticoid (e.g., serum cortisol) responses of three female African elephants before, during, and after renovation to their indoor housing floor to assess whether renovations had short-term effects on the elephants’ behavior and stress physiology. Behavioral data were collected using scan-sampling methods, and activity budgets were constructed for each of the three elephants. In addition, the duration of all lying rest activities were recorded. Weekly serum cortisol concentrations were determined with enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Overall, eating was the most prevalent behavior exhibited outdoors during the day, while resting (either in a lying or standing position) were most common during the indoor, nocturnal periods. Although variation existed among the three elephants, all three females spent significantly more time walking and less time eating during the day after the completion of the renovations. The extent to which the three elephants exhibited nocturnal lying rest behavior varied among the elephants, with the oldest elephant exhibiting the least amount (an average of 13.2 ± 2.8% of the nightly behavioral scans) compared to the two younger elephants (an average of 34.5 ± 2.1% and 56.6 ± 2.8% of the nightly behavioral scans). There was a significant increase in lying rest behavior for one elephant and standing rest for a second elephant following renovations. Baseline cortisol concentrations prior to renovations were 3.0 ± 0.4 ng/ml, 4.5 ± 0.5 ng/ml, and 4.9 ± 0.5 ng/ml for the three elephants. Cortisol

  13. The contribution of nasal countercurrent heat exchange to water balance in the northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris.

    PubMed

    Huntley, A C; Costa, D P; Rubin, R D

    1984-11-01

    Elephant seals fast completely from food and water for 1-3 months during terrestrial breeding. Temporal countercurrent heat exchange in the nasal passage reduces expired air temperature (Te) below body temperature (Tb). At a mean ambient temperature of 13.7 degrees C, Te is 20.9 degrees C. This results in the recovery of 71.5% of the water added to inspired air. The amount of cooling of the expired air (Tb - Te) and the percentage of water recovery varies inversely with ambient temperature. Total nasal surface area available for heat and water exchange, located in the highly convoluted nasal turbinates, is estimated to be 720 cm2 in weaned pups and 3140 cm2 in an adult male. Nasal temporal countercurrent heat exchange reduces total water loss sufficiently to allow maintenance of water balance using metabolic water production alone.

  14. Skeletal development in the African elephant and ossification timing in placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Lionel; Stansfield, Fiona J; Allen, W R Twink; Asher, Robert J

    2012-06-07

    We provide here unique data on elephant skeletal ontogeny. We focus on the sequence of cranial and post-cranial ossification events during growth in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana). Previous analyses on ossification sequences in mammals have focused on monotremes, marsupials, boreoeutherian and xenarthran placentals. Here, we add data on ossification sequences in an afrotherian. We use two different methods to quantify sequence heterochrony: the sequence method and event-paring/Parsimov. Compared with other placentals, elephants show late ossifications of the basicranium, manual and pedal phalanges, and early ossifications of the ischium and metacarpals. Moreover, ossification in elephants starts very early and progresses rapidly. Specifically, the elephant exhibits the same percentage of bones showing an ossification centre at the end of the first third of its gestation period as the mouse and hamster have close to birth. Elephants show a number of features of their ossification patterns that differ from those of other placental mammals. The pattern of the initiation of the ossification evident in the African elephant underscores a possible correlation between the timing of ossification onset and gestation time throughout mammals.

  15. Fatal herpesvirus hemorrhagic disease in wild and orphan asian elephants in southern India.

    PubMed

    Zachariah, Arun; Zong, Jian-Chao; Long, Simon Y; Latimer, Erin M; Heaggans, Sarah Y; Richman, Laura K; Hayward, Gary S

    2013-04-01

    Up to 65% of deaths of young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) between 3 mo and 15 yr of age in Europe and North America over the past 20 yr have been attributed to hemorrhagic disease associated with a novel DNA virus called elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV). To evaluate the potential role of EEHV in suspected cases of a similar lethal acute hemorrhagic disease occurring in southern India, we studied pathologic tissue samples collected from field necropsies. Nine cases among both orphaned camp and wild Asian elephants were identified by diagnostic PCR. These were subjected to detailed gene subtype DNA sequencing at multiple PCR loci, which revealed seven distinct strains of EEHV1A and one of EEHV1B. Two orphan calves that died within 3 days of one another at the same training camp had identical EEHV1A DNA sequences, indicating a common epidemiologic source. However, the high level of EEHV1 subtype genetic diversity found among the other Indian strains matches that among over 30 EEHV1 strains that have been evaluated from Europe and North America. These results argue against the previous suggestions that this is just a disease of captive elephants and that the EEHV1 virus has crossed recently from African elephant (Loxodonta africana) hosts to Asian elephants. Instead, both the virus and the disease are evidently widespread in Asia and, despite the disease severity, Asian elephants appear to be the ancient endogenous hosts of both EEHV1A and EEHV1B.

  16. A single glycine-alanine exchange directs ligand specificity of the elephant progestin receptor.

    PubMed

    Wierer, Michael; Schrey, Anna K; Kühne, Ronald; Ulbrich, Susanne E; Meyer, Heinrich H D

    2012-01-01

    The primary gestagen of elephants is 5α-dihydroprogesterone (DHP), which is unlike all other mammals studied until now. The level of DHP in elephants equals that of progesterone in other mammals, and elephants are able to bind DHP with similar affinity to progesterone indicating a unique ligand-binding specificity of the elephant progestin receptor (PR). Using site-directed mutagenesis in combination with in vitro binding studies we here report that this change in specificity is due to a single glycine to alanine exchange at position 722 (G722A) of PR, which specifically increases DHP affinity while not affecting binding of progesterone. By conducting molecular dynamics simulations comparing human and elephant PR ligand-binding domains (LBD), we observed that the alanine methyl group at position 722 is able to push the DHP A-ring into a position similar to progesterone. In the human PR, the DHP A-ring position is twisted towards helix 3 of PR thereby disturbing the hydrogen bond pattern around the C3-keto group, resulting in a lower binding affinity. Furthermore, we observed that the elephant PR ligand-binding pocket is more rigid than the human analogue, which probably explains the higher affinity towards both progesterone and DHP. Interestingly, the G722A substitution is not elephant-specific, rather it is also present in five independent lineages of mammalian evolution, suggesting a special role of the substitution for the development of distinct mammalian gestagen systems.

  17. Evidence of means-end behavior in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Irie-Sugimoto, Naoko; Kobayashi, Tessei; Sato, Takao; Hasegawa, Toshikazu

    2008-04-01

    The present study explores to what extent Asian elephants show "means-end" behavior. We used captive Asian elephants (N = 2) to conduct four variations of the Piagetian "support" problem, which involves a goal object that is out of reach, but rests on a support within reach. In the first condition, elephants were simultaneously presented with two identical trays serving as the "support", with the bait on one tray and the other tray left empty. In the next two conditions, the bait was placed on one tray, while additional bait was placed beside the other tray. In the last condition, both trays contained bait, but one of the trays had a small gap which prevented the elephants from reaching the reward. Subjects were required to choose and pull either tray with their trunk and to obtain the bait (i.e. goal). Results showed that one elephant performed all of the support problems significantly above chance after several sessions, suggesting that the elephant was capable of understanding that pulling the tray was the "means" for achieving the "end" of obtaining the bait. This study showed that elephants show means-end behavior when subjected to a Piagetian "support" task, and indicates that such goal-directed behavior occurs in species other than primates.

  18. How much Dillenia indica seed predation occurs from Asian elephant dung?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekar, Nitin; Giam, Xingli; Sharma, Netra Prasad; Sukumar, Raman

    2016-01-01

    Elephants are thought to be effective seed dispersers, but research on whether elephant dung effectively protects seeds from seed predation is lacking. Quantifying rates of seed predation from elephant dung will facilitate comparisons between elephants and alternative dispersers, helping us understand the functional role of megaherbivores in ecosystems. We conducted an experiment to quantify the predation of Dillenia indica seeds from elephant dung in Buxa Reserve, India from December 2012 to April 2013. Using dung boluses from the same dung pile, we compared the number of seeds in boluses that are a) opened immediately upon detection (control boluses), b) made available only to small seed predators (<3 mm wide) for 1-4 months, and c) made available to all seed predators and secondary dispersers for 1-4 months. Using a model built on this experiment, we estimated that seed predation by small seed predators (most likely ants and termites) destroys between 82.9% and 96.4% of seeds in elephant dung between the time of defecation and the median germination date for D. indica. Exposure to larger seed predators and secondary dispersers did not lead to a significant additional reduction in the number of seeds per dung bolus. Our findings suggest that post-dispersal seed predation by small insects (<3 mm) substantially reduces but does not eliminate the success of elephants as dispersers of D. indica in a tropical moist forest habitat.

  19. Laparoscopic vasectomy in African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana); surgical technique and results.

    PubMed

    Marais, Hendrik J; Hendrickson, Dean A; Stetter, Mark; Zuba, Jeffery R; Penning, Mark; Siegal-Willott, Jess; Hardy, Christine

    2013-12-01

    Several small, enclosed reserves in southern Africa are experiencing significant elephant population growth, which has resulted in associated environmental damage and changes in biodiversity. Although several techniques exist to control elephant populations, e.g., culling, relocation, and immunocontraception, the technique of laparoscopic vasectomy of free-ranging bull elephants was investigated. Bilateral vasectomies were performed in 45 elephants. Of these elephants, one died within 24 hr of recovery and two had complications during surgery but recovered uneventfully. Histologic examination confirmed the resected tissue as ductus deferens in all the bulls. Most animals recovered uneventfully and showed no abnormal behavior after surgery. Complications recorded included incisional dehiscence, 1 full-thickness and 2 partial-thickness lacerations of the large intestine, and initial sling-associated complications, for example, deep radial nerve paresis. One bull was found dead 6 weeks after surgery without showing any prior abnormal signs. Vasectomy in free-ranging African bull elephants may be effectively performed in their normal environment. The surgical procedure can be used as a realistic population management tool in free-ranging elephants without major anesthetic, surgical, or postoperative complications.

  20. Ticks of four-toed elephant shrews and Southern African hedgehogs.

    PubMed

    Horak, Ivan G; Welman, Shaun; Hallam, Stacey L; Lutermann, Heike; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi

    2011-03-17

    Several studies on ticks infesting small mammals, including elephant shrews, have been conducted in South Africa; however, these studies have included only a single four-toed elephant shrew and no hedgehogs. This study thus aimed to identify and quantify the ixodid ticks infesting four-toed elephant shrews and Southern African hedgehogs. Four-toed elephant shrews (Petrodromus tetradactylus) were trapped in dense shrub undergrowth in a nature reserve in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal. They were separately housed, first in cages and later in glass terraria fitted with wire-mesh bases to allow detached ticks to fall through for collection. Southern African hedgehogs (Atelerix frontalis) were hand caught on a farm in the eastern region of the Northern Cape Province and all visible ticks were collected by means of tweezers while the animals were anaesthetised. The ticks from each animal were preserved separately in 70% ethanol for later identification and counting. The immature stages of five ixodid tick species were collected from the elephant shrews, of which Rhipicephalus muehlensi was the most common. It has not been recorded previously on any species of elephant shrew. Three ixodid tick species were collected from the hedgehogs. Large numbers of adult Haemaphysalis colesbergensis, which has not been encountered previously on hedgehogs, were collected from these animals. Four-toed elephant shrews are good hosts of the larvae and nymphs of R. muehlensi, and Southern African hedgehogs are good hosts of adult H. colesbergensis.

  1. Understanding long-term variations in an elephant piosphere effect to manage impacts.

    PubMed

    Landman, Marietjie; Schoeman, David S; Hall-Martin, Anthony J; Kerley, Graham I H

    2012-01-01

    Surface water availability is a key driver of elephant impacts on biological diversity. Thus, understanding the spatio-temporal variations of these impacts in relation to water is critical to their management. However, elephant piosphere effects (i.e. the radial pattern of attenuating impact) are poorly described, with few long-term quantitative studies. Our understanding is further confounded by the complexity of systems with elephant (i.e. fenced, multiple water points, seasonal water availability, varying population densities) that likely limit the use of conceptual models to predict these impacts. Using 31 years of data on shrub structure in the succulent thickets of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, we tested elephant effects at a single water point. Shrub structure showed a clear sigmoid response with distance from water, declining at both the upper and lower limits of sampling. Adjacent to water, this decline caused a roughly 300-m radial expansion of the grass-dominated habitats that replace shrub communities. Despite the clear relationship between shrub structure and ecological functioning in thicket, the extent of elephant effects varied between these features with distance from water. Moreover, these patterns co-varied with other confounding variables (e.g. the location of neighboring water points), which limits our ability to predict such effects in the absence of long-term data. We predict that elephant have the ability to cause severe transformation in succulent thicket habitats with abundant water supply and elevated elephant numbers. However, these piosphere effects are complex, suggesting that a more integrated understanding of elephant impacts on ecological heterogeneity may be required before water availability is used as a tool to manage impacts. We caution against the establishment of water points in novel succulent thicket habitats, and advocate a significant reduction in water provisioning at our study site, albeit with greater

  2. Understanding Long-Term Variations in an Elephant Piosphere Effect to Manage Impacts

    PubMed Central

    Landman, Marietjie; Schoeman, David S.; Hall-Martin, Anthony J.; Kerley, Graham I. H.

    2012-01-01

    Surface water availability is a key driver of elephant impacts on biological diversity. Thus, understanding the spatio-temporal variations of these impacts in relation to water is critical to their management. However, elephant piosphere effects (i.e. the radial pattern of attenuating impact) are poorly described, with few long-term quantitative studies. Our understanding is further confounded by the complexity of systems with elephant (i.e. fenced, multiple water points, seasonal water availability, varying population densities) that likely limit the use of conceptual models to predict these impacts. Using 31 years of data on shrub structure in the succulent thickets of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, we tested elephant effects at a single water point. Shrub structure showed a clear sigmoid response with distance from water, declining at both the upper and lower limits of sampling. Adjacent to water, this decline caused a roughly 300-m radial expansion of the grass-dominated habitats that replace shrub communities. Despite the clear relationship between shrub structure and ecological functioning in thicket, the extent of elephant effects varied between these features with distance from water. Moreover, these patterns co-varied with other confounding variables (e.g. the location of neighboring water points), which limits our ability to predict such effects in the absence of long-term data. We predict that elephant have the ability to cause severe transformation in succulent thicket habitats with abundant water supply and elevated elephant numbers. However, these piosphere effects are complex, suggesting that a more integrated understanding of elephant impacts on ecological heterogeneity may be required before water availability is used as a tool to manage impacts. We caution against the establishment of water points in novel succulent thicket habitats, and advocate a significant reduction in water provisioning at our study site, albeit with greater

  3. CONSERVATION. Genetic assignment of large seizures of elephant ivory reveals Africa's major poaching hotspots.

    PubMed

    Wasser, S K; Brown, L; Mailand, C; Mondol, S; Clark, W; Laurie, C; Weir, B S

    2015-07-03

    Poaching of elephants is now occurring at rates that threaten African populations with extinction. Identifying the number and location of Africa's major poaching hotspots may assist efforts to end poaching and facilitate recovery of elephant populations. We genetically assign origin to 28 large ivory seizures (≥0.5 metric tons) made between 1996 and 2014, also testing assignment accuracy. Results suggest that the major poaching hotspots in Africa may be currently concentrated in as few as two areas. Increasing law enforcement in these two hotspots could help curtail future elephant losses across Africa and disrupt this organized transnational crime.

  4. Beehive fences as a multidimensional conflict-mitigation tool for farmers coexisting with elephants.

    PubMed

    King, Lucy E; Lala, Fredrick; Nzumu, Hesron; Mwambingu, Emmanuel; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2017-02-21

    Increasing habitat fragmentation and human population growth in Africa has resulted in an escalation in human-elephant conflict between small-scale farmers and free-ranging African elephants (Loxodonta Africana). In 2012 Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) implemented the national 10-year Conservation and Management Strategy for the Elephant in Kenya, which includes an action aimed at testing whether beehive fences can be used to mitigate human-elephant conflict. From 2012 to 2015, we field-tested the efficacy of beehive fences to protect 10 0.4-ha farms next to Tsavo East National Park from elephants. We hung a series of beehives every 10 m around the boundary of each farm plot. The hives were linked with strong wire. After an initial pilot test with 2 farms, the remaining 8 of 10 beehive fences also contained 2-dimensional dummy hives between real beehives to help reduce the cost of the fence. Each trial plot had a neighboring control plot of the same size within the same farm. Of the 131 beehives deployed 88% were occupied at least once during the 3.5-year trial. Two hundred and fifty-three elephants, predominantly 20-45 years old entered the community farming area, typically during the crop- ripening season. Eighty percent of the elephants that approached the trial farms were kept out of the areas protected by the beehive fences, and elephants that broke a fence were in smaller than average groups. Beehive fences not only kept large groups of elephants from invading the farmland plots but the farmers also benefited socially and financially from the sale of 228 kg of elephant-friendly honey. As news of the success of the trial spread, a further 12 farmers requested to join the project, bringing the number of beehive fence protected farms to 22 and beehives to 297. This demonstrates positive adoption of beehive fences as a community mitigation tool. Understanding the response of elephants to the beehive fences, the seasonality of crop raiding and fence breaking, and the

  5. Elephants in the understory: opposing direct and indirect effects of consumption and ecosystem engineering by megaherbivores.

    PubMed

    Coverdale, Tyler C; Kartzinel, Tyler R; Grabowski, Kathryn L; Shriver, Robert K; Hassan, Abdikadir A; Goheen, Jacob R; Palmer, Todd M; Pringle, Robert M

    2016-11-01

    Positive indirect effects of consumers on their resources can stabilize food webs by preventing overexploitation, but the coupling of trophic and non-trophic interactions remains poorly integrated into our understanding of community dynamics. Elephants engineer African savanna ecosystems by toppling trees and breaking branches, and although their negative effects on trees are well documented, their effects on small-statured plants remain poorly understood. Using data on 117 understory plant taxa collected over 7 yr within 36 1-ha experimental plots in a semi-arid Kenyan savanna, we measured the strength and direction of elephant impacts on understory vegetation. We found that elephants had neutral effects on most (83-89%) species, with a similar frequency of positive and negative responses among the remainder. Overall, estimated understory biomass was 5-14% greater in the presence of elephants across a range of rainfall levels. Whereas direct consumption likely accounts for the negative effects, positive effects are presumably indirect. We hypothesized that elephants create associational refuges for understory plants by damaging tree canopies in ways that physically inhibit feeding by other large herbivores. As predicted, understory biomass and species richness beneath elephant-damaged trees were 55% and 21% greater, respectively, than under undamaged trees. Experimentally simulated elephant damage increased understory biomass by 37% and species richness by 49% after 1 yr. Conversely, experimentally removing elephant damaged branches decreased understory biomass by 39% and richness by 30% relative to sham-manipulated trees. Camera-trap surveys revealed that elephant damage reduced the frequency of herbivory by 71%, whereas we detected no significant effect of damage on temperature, light, or soil moisture. We conclude that elephants locally facilitate understory plants by creating refuges from herbivory, which countervails the direct negative effects of

  6. Tuberculosis in elephants-a reemergent disease: diagnostic dilemmas, the natural history of infection, and new immunological tools.

    PubMed

    Maslow, J N; Mikota, S K

    2015-05-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) in elephants has been described since ancient times. However, it was not until 1996 when infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis was identified in a herd of circus elephants that significant research into this disease began. The epidemiology and natural history of TB were unknown in elephants since there had been no comprehensive screening programs, and diagnostic techniques developed for cervidae and bovidae were of unknown value. And, while precepts of test and slaughter were the norm for cattle and deer, this was considered untenable for an endangered species. With no precedent for the treatment of TB in animals, treatment regimens for elephants were extrapolated from human protocols, which guided changes to the Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants. In the absence of diagnostic testing to confirm cure in elephants, the efficacy of these treatment regimens is only beginning to be understood as treated elephants die and are examined postmortem. However, because of pressures arising from public relations related to elephant husbandry and the added considerations of TB infection in animals (whether real or imagined), sharing of information to aid in research and treatment has been problematic. Here we review the challenges and successes of the diagnosis of tuberculosis in elephants and discuss the natural history of the disease to put the work of Landolfi et al on the immunological response to tuberculosis in elephants in perspective.

  7. THE IMPACT OF ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS ON THE CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) POPULATION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND (1995-2013).

    PubMed

    Kendall, Rebecca; Howard, Lauren; Masters, Nic; Grant, Robyn

    2016-06-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) is one of the most devastating infections and causes of mortality in captive Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus ) populations. Eight confirmed fatal EEHV cases have occurred since 1995 within the captive Asian elephant population of the United Kingdom and Ireland. This report aims to review the impact of EEHV on the captive Asian elephant population in the United Kingdom and Ireland, document and compare fatal cases, and recommend a framework of monitoring within the United Kingdom and Ireland to increase the success of treatment of EEHV hemorrhagic disease (EEHV HD) in the future. Six zoologic institutions (which include zoos, safari parks, and wildlife parks) that currently house or have previously housed a captive Asian elephant group were included in this report. Medical records and postmortem results were collected from four of these institutions for each confirmed fatal case. EEHV HD was found to be responsible for 29.6% of fatalities in Asian elephants born in captivity in the United Kingdom and Ireland between 1995 and 2013. Following a review of all the cases, it is shown that although clinical signs may be associated with specific EEHV species, the swiftness of disease progression means that most body tissues are impacted 1-6 days following the presentation of visible clinical signs and treatment is less likely to succeed. Therefore, EEHV monitoring should consist of conducting regular polymerase chain reaction analysis of whole blood samples from at-risk, young Asian elephants aged 1-8 yr in order for subclinical viremia to be identified early and treatment to be started before the appearance of visible clinical signs.

  8. Evidence and potential risk factors of tuberculosis among captive Asian elephants and wildlife staff in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Yakubu, Yusuf; Ong, Bee Lee; Zakaria, Zunita; Hassan, Latiffah; Mutalib, Abdul Rahim; Ngeow, Yun Fong; Verasahib, Khebir; Razak, Mohd Firdaus Ariff Abdul

    2016-03-01

    Elephant tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an important re-emerging zoonosis with considerable conservation and public health risk. We conducted prospective cohort and cross-sectional studies in elephants and wildlife staff respectively in order to identify potential risk factors associated with TB in captive Asian elephants and their handlers in Peninsular Malaysia. Sixty elephants in six different facilities were screened for TB longitudinally using the ElephantTB STAT-PAK and DPP VetTB assays from February 2012 to May 2014, and 149 wildlife staff were examined for tuberculosis infection using the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-tube (QFT) assay from January to April, 2012. Information on potential risk factors associated with infection in both elephants and staff were collected using questionnaires and facility records. The overall seroprevalence of TB amongst the elephants was 23.3% (95% CI: 13.8-36.3) and the risk of seroconversion was significantly higher among elephants with assigned mahouts [p=0.022, OR=4.9 (95% CI: 1.3-18.2)]. The percentage of QFT responders among wildlife staff was 24.8% (95% CI: 18.3-32.7) and the risk of infection was observed to be significantly associated with being a zoo employee [p=0.018, OR=2.7 (95% CI: 1.2-6.3)] or elephant handler [p=0.035, OR=4.1 (95% CI: 1.1-15.5)]. These findings revealed a potential risk of TB infection in captive elephants and handlers in Malaysia, and emphasize the need for TB screening of newly acquired elephants, isolating sero-positive elephants and performing further diagnostic tests to determine their infection status, and screening elephant handlers for TB, pre- and post-employment.

  9. Sex differences in fuel use and metabolism during development in fasting juvenile northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Kelso, Elizabeth J; Champagne, Cory D; Tift, Michael S; Houser, Dorian S; Crocker, Daniel E

    2012-08-01

    Many polygynous, capital breeders exhibit sexual dimorphism with respect to body size and composition. Sexual dimorphism is often facilitated by sex differences in foraging behavior, growth rates and patterns of nutrient deposition during development. In species that undergo extended fasts during development, metabolic strategies for fuel use have the potential to influence future reproductive success by directly impacting somatic growth and acquisition of traits required for successful breeding. We investigated sexual dimorphism associated with metabolic strategies for fasting in developing northern elephant seals. Thirty-one juvenile seals of both sexes were sampled over extended fasts during annual autumn haul-outs. Field metabolic rate (FMR) and the contribution of protein catabolism to energy expenditure were estimated from changes in mass and body composition over 23±5 days of fasting (mean ± s.d.). Protein catabolism was assessed directly in a subset of animals based on urea flux at the beginning and end of the fast. Regulatory hormones and blood metabolites measured included growth hormone, cortisol, thyroxine, triiodothyronine, insulin, glucagon, testosterone, estradiol, glucose, urea and β-hydroxybutyrate. Males exhibited higher rates of energy expenditure during the fast but spared body protein stores more effectively than females. Rates of protein catabolism and energy expenditure were significantly impacted by hormone levels, which varied between the sexes. These data suggest that sex differences in fuel metabolism and energy expenditure during fasting arise early in juvenile development and may play an important role in the development of adult traits associated with reproductive success.

  10. Underwater and surface behavior of homing juvenile northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Matsumura, Moe; Watanabe, Yuuki Y; Robinson, Patrick W; Miller, Patrick J O; Costa, Daniel P; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki

    2011-02-15

    Northern elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris, travel between colonies along the west coast of North A