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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. 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. PMID:21880086

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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

  9. The Social and Ecological Integration of Captive-Raised Adolescent Male African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) into a Wild Population

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Kate; Moore, Randall; Harris, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Background A rapid rise in the number of captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) used in the tourism industry in southern Africa and orphaned elephants in human care has led to concerns about their long-term management, particularly males. One solution is to release them into the wild at adolescence, when young males naturally leave their herd. However, this raises significant welfare concerns: little is known about how well released elephants integrate into wild populations and whether they pose a greater threat to humans than wild elephants. We document the release of three captive-raised adolescent male African elephants in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Methodology/Principal Findings Despite having been part of a herd of working elephants for at least eight years, the three males progressively integrated into the complex fission-fusion society of wild bull elephants. In the three years following release, they showed no tendency to be closer to human habitation, and there were no significant differences between wild and captive-raised adolescent males in the total number of social interactions, size of ranges and habitat use. However, the captive-raised elephants sparred less and vocalised more, and spent more time alone and in smaller social groups. Thereafter the released elephants continued to expand their ranges and interact with both mixed-sex herds and males. One male was shot by farmers 94 months after release, along with ten wild elephants, on a ranch outside the protected area. Conclusions/Significance We show that captive-raised adolescent male elephants can integrate into a wild population. Long-term studies are required to determine the longevity, breeding success, and eventual fate of released male elephants, but we identified no significant short-term welfare problems for the released elephants or recipient population. Release of captive-raised mammals with complex social systems is a husbandry option that should be explored further. PMID

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:23925833

  13. Androgen changes and flexible rutting behaviour in male giraffes

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23925833

  14. 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. PMID:26411748

  15. 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. PMID:24006812

  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. Oxidative stress is a potential cost of breeding in male and female northern elephant seals

    PubMed Central

    Sharick, J.T.; Vazquez-Medina, J.P.; Ortiz, R.M.; Crocker, D.E.

    2014-01-01

    Summary The trade-off between current reproductive effort and survival is a key concept of life history theory. A variety of studies support the existence of this trade-off but the underlying physiological mechanisms are not well-understood. Oxidative stress has been proposed as a potential mechanism underlying the observed inverse relationship between reproductive investment and lifespan. Prolonged fasting is associated with oxidative stress including increases in the production of reactive oxygen species, oxidative damage and inflammation.Northern elephant seals (NES) undergo prolonged fasts while maintaining high metabolic rates during breeding. We investigated NES of both sexes to assess oxidative stress associated with extended breeding fasts. We measured changes in the plasma activity or concentrations of markers for oxidative stress in 30 adult male and 33 adult female northern elephant seals across their 1–3 month breeding fasts. Markers assessed included a pro-oxidant enzyme, several antioxidant enzymes, markers for oxidative damage to lipids, proteins and DNA, and markers for systemic inflammation.Plasma xanthine oxidase (XO), a pro-oxidant enzyme that increases production of oxidative radicals, and several protective antioxidant enzymes increased over breeding in both sexes. Males showed increased oxidative damage to lipids and DNA and increased systemic inflammation, while oxidative damage to proteins declined across breeding. In contrast, females showed no oxidative damage to lipids or DNA or changes in inflammation, but showed increases in oxidative damage to proteins. XO activity, antioxidant enzymes, oxidative damage markers, and inflammatory markers were strongly correlated in males but these relationships were weaker or non-existent in females.NES provide evidence for oxidative stress as a physiological cost of reproduction in a capital breeding mammal. Both sexes strongly up-regulated antioxidant defenses during breeding. Despite this response

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:19864274

  20. Sensory regulation of C. elegans male mate-searching behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Barrios, Arantza; Nurrish, Stephen; Emmons, Scott W.

    2009-01-01

    Summary How do animals integrate internal drives and external environmental cues to coordinate behaviours? We address this question studying mate-searching behaviour in C. elegans. C. elgans males explore their environment in search of mates (hermaphrodites) and will leave food if mating partners are absent. However, when mates and food coincide, male exploratory behaviour is suppressed and males are retained on the food source. We show that the drive to explore is stimulated by male specific neurons in the tail, the ray neurons. Periodic contact with the hermaphrodite detected through ray neurons changes the male’s behaviour during periods of no contact and prevents the male from leaving the food source. The hermaphrodite signal is conveyed by male-specific interneurons that are post-synaptic to the rays and that send processes to the major integrative center in the head. This study identifies key parts of the neural circuit that regulates a sexual appetitive behaviour in C. elegans. PMID:19062284

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Female mate choice and male behaviour in domestic fowl.

    PubMed

    Leonard; Zanette

    1998-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to use paired choice tests to examine mate selection by female domestic chickens, Gallus gallus domesticus. We examined five behavioural and six morphological traits of 34 pairs of males to determine which male features influenced female mate choice. The frequency of a behavioural display known as wingflapping was the only variable that differed significantly between males that were chosen and males that were not. Within trials, females selected males with the highest wingflapping rate. Across trials, the wingflapping rate of chosen males ranged widely (3-82 wingflaps/h) suggesting that females used a relative choice mechanism when selecting a mate. These results differ from earlier work on the closely related red junglefowl, G. g. murghi, in which females use morphological traits and a threshold choice mechanism when selecting mates. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9819324

  7. Supression of testicular function in a male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) treated with gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccines.

    PubMed

    Lueders, Imke; Hildebrandt, Thomas Bernd; Gray, Charles; Botha, Stephan; Rich, Peter; Niemuller, Cheryl

    2014-09-01

    The ability to control testosterone concentrations and sperm production is of great interest in both Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants. GnRH vaccination may pose an alternative to surgical castration. This is a case report of a male Asian elephant treated with two commercial GnRH vaccines (Equity and Improvac). Beginning at the age of 7 yr, the male was vaccinated monthly for 6 consecutive months, then every 6 mo and, finally, every 12 to 24 mo over a period of 6 yr. In order to evaluate the GnRH vaccine as a potential method of immunologic castration, behavioral observations, testosterone level analysis, body weights, ultrasound examinations, and semen collection were part of the routine monitoring of this bull (no. 1) and a half-brother (bull 2) who remained untreated and served as control. The results showed a decrease in serum testosterone concentrations after the second booster. Levels stayed continuously below 5.0 ng/ml within the study period. The combined testicle diameter of 9.03 +/- 0.3 cm prior to treatment had decreased to a size of 6.93 +/- 0.19 cm (P < 0.001) when measured 2 yr later. Accessory sex gland fluid content disappeared and penile atrophy was observed. Semen collections yielded no spermatozoa 1 yr after the initial treatment. Bull 1 showed slowed weight gain as compared to bull 2 and, due to its friendly temperament and the absence of musth, remained in free contact. This report documents the GnRH vaccine as a possible noninvasive and inexpensive method for immune-castration. PMID:25314829

  8. 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.

  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. PMID:21976624

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Behavioural and endocrine effects of naltrexone in male talapoin monkeys.

    PubMed

    Meller, R E; Keverne, E B; Herbert, J

    1980-11-01

    The effect of treating captive male talapoin monkeys with naltrexone hydrochloride (500 micrograms/kg intra-muscular injection twice daily) was studied both in socially living and singly caged animals. The behaviour of the group males and endocrine changes in all treated animals were monitored during the course of treatment and on drug withdrawal. Naltrexone significantly reduced sexual behaviour in previously active males, while increasing grooming interactions. Aggressive behaviour did not change. There was an overall significant elevation in testosterone, LH and cortisol during drug treatment and a significant decrease on withdrawal. Changes in prolactin in response to naltrexone depended upon the pre-treatment level of this hormone: in males in which levels were low, there was a significant elevation in prolactin, while in those with high pre-treatment prolactin, levels were unchanged by the drug. The behavioural changes reported for this primate are in direct contrast to changes reported in rodents, while the hormonal changes, except for prolactin, are comparable to others reported. PMID:7192404

  13. 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

  14. Chemical cues from females trigger male courtship behaviour in grasshoppers.

    PubMed

    Finck, Jonas; Kuntze, Janine; Ronacher, Bernhard

    2016-05-01

    Gomphocerine grasshoppers use species-specific calling songs for sex recognition and mate attraction. In two closely related species, Chorthippus biguttulus and C. mollis, acoustic communication is the only experimentally characterized communication channel that elicits male courtship behaviour. However, courtship in these species involves extensive close-range interactions that are likely to be mediated by other signalling modalities, in particular chemical cues. We developed a bioassay to determine if female cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) act as chemical cues that induce courtship behaviour, and if males assess variation in CHCs to determine whether or not to court a female. The results of this approach provide evidence that grasshopper males use species- and sex-specific information from CHC signals and respond with a courtship song to the CHC profile of conspecific females but not to the CHC profile of heterospecific females and conspecific males. We conclude that males of C. biguttulus and C. mollis use multimodal channels for mating decisions, based on both acoustic and olfactory cues. We discuss various factors that might favour the evolution of male choosiness in grasshoppers. PMID:27025933

  15. Potential of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccine to suppress musth in captive male Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Somgird, Chaleamchat; Homkong, Pongpon; Sripiboon, Supaphen; Brown, Janine L; Stout, Tom A E; Colenbrander, Ben; Mahasawangkul, Sittidet; Thitaram, Chatchote

    2016-01-01

    Musth in adult bull elephants is a period of increased androgen concentrations ranging from a few weeks to several months. For captive elephant bull management, musth presents a serious challenge because of the aggressive behavior of musth bulls toward people and other elephants. Commercially available GnRH vaccines have been shown to suppress testicular function by interrupting the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in many species. The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of a GnRH vaccine in elephant bulls for suppressing the HPG axis and mitigating musth-related aggressive behavior. Five adult Asian elephant bulls (22-55 years old) were immunized with a GnRH vaccine starting with an initial injection 2-4 months before the predicted musth period, and followed by three boosters at approximately 4-week intervals. Blood samples were collected twice weekly for hormone and antibody titer analysis. An increase in GnRH antibody titers was observed in all bulls after the second or third booster, and titers remained elevated for 2-3 months after the final booster. Musth was attenuated and shortened in three bulls and postponed completely in two. We conclude that GnRH vaccination is capable of suppressing symptoms of musth in adult bull elephants. With appropriate timing, GnRH vaccination could be used to control or manage musth and aggressive behavior in captive elephant bulls. However, more work is needed to identify an optimal dose, booster interval, and vaccination schedule for complete suppression of testicular steroidogenesis.

  16. Potential of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccine to suppress musth in captive male Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Somgird, Chaleamchat; Homkong, Pongpon; Sripiboon, Supaphen; Brown, Janine L; Stout, Tom A E; Colenbrander, Ben; Mahasawangkul, Sittidet; Thitaram, Chatchote

    2016-01-01

    Musth in adult bull elephants is a period of increased androgen concentrations ranging from a few weeks to several months. For captive elephant bull management, musth presents a serious challenge because of the aggressive behavior of musth bulls toward people and other elephants. Commercially available GnRH vaccines have been shown to suppress testicular function by interrupting the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in many species. The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of a GnRH vaccine in elephant bulls for suppressing the HPG axis and mitigating musth-related aggressive behavior. Five adult Asian elephant bulls (22-55 years old) were immunized with a GnRH vaccine starting with an initial injection 2-4 months before the predicted musth period, and followed by three boosters at approximately 4-week intervals. Blood samples were collected twice weekly for hormone and antibody titer analysis. An increase in GnRH antibody titers was observed in all bulls after the second or third booster, and titers remained elevated for 2-3 months after the final booster. Musth was attenuated and shortened in three bulls and postponed completely in two. We conclude that GnRH vaccination is capable of suppressing symptoms of musth in adult bull elephants. With appropriate timing, GnRH vaccination could be used to control or manage musth and aggressive behavior in captive elephant bulls. However, more work is needed to identify an optimal dose, booster interval, and vaccination schedule for complete suppression of testicular steroidogenesis. PMID:26656504

  17. 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.

  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. PMID:24798580

  19. Reciprocal relationships between behaviour and parasites suggest that negative feedback may drive flexibility in male reproductive behaviour.

    PubMed

    Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Snider, Matthew H

    2016-05-25

    Parasites are ubiquitous components of the environment that contribute to behavioural and life-history variation among hosts. Although it is well known that host behaviour can affect parasite infection risk and that parasites can alter host behaviour, the potential for dynamic feedback between these processes is poorly characterized. Using Grant's gazelle (Nanger granti) as a model, we tested for reciprocal effects of behaviour on parasites and parasites on behaviour to understand whether behaviour-parasite feedback could play a role in maintaining variation in male reproductive behaviour. Adult male gazelles either defend territories to attract mates or reside in bachelor groups. Territoriality is highly variable both within- and between-individuals, suggesting that territory maintenance is costly. Using a combination of longitudinal and experimental studies, we found that individual males transition frequently between territorial and bachelor reproductive status, and that elevated parasite burdens are a cost of territoriality. Moreover, among territorial males, parasites suppress aspects of behaviour related to territory maintenance and defence. These results suggest that territorial behaviour promotes the accumulation of parasites in males, and these parasites dampen the very behaviours required for territory maintenance. Our findings suggest that reciprocal feedback between host behaviour and parasitism could be a mechanism maintaining variation in male reproductive behaviour in the system. PMID:27194703

  20. Reciprocal relationships between behaviour and parasites suggest that negative feedback may drive flexibility in male reproductive behaviour.

    PubMed

    Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Snider, Matthew H

    2016-05-25

    Parasites are ubiquitous components of the environment that contribute to behavioural and life-history variation among hosts. Although it is well known that host behaviour can affect parasite infection risk and that parasites can alter host behaviour, the potential for dynamic feedback between these processes is poorly characterized. Using Grant's gazelle (Nanger granti) as a model, we tested for reciprocal effects of behaviour on parasites and parasites on behaviour to understand whether behaviour-parasite feedback could play a role in maintaining variation in male reproductive behaviour. Adult male gazelles either defend territories to attract mates or reside in bachelor groups. Territoriality is highly variable both within- and between-individuals, suggesting that territory maintenance is costly. Using a combination of longitudinal and experimental studies, we found that individual males transition frequently between territorial and bachelor reproductive status, and that elevated parasite burdens are a cost of territoriality. Moreover, among territorial males, parasites suppress aspects of behaviour related to territory maintenance and defence. These results suggest that territorial behaviour promotes the accumulation of parasites in males, and these parasites dampen the very behaviours required for territory maintenance. Our findings suggest that reciprocal feedback between host behaviour and parasitism could be a mechanism maintaining variation in male reproductive behaviour in the system.

  1. Sex behaviour of male Japanese tourists in Bangkok, Thailand.

    PubMed

    Yokota, Fumihiko

    2006-01-01

    This paper explores why Japanese men engage in potentially risky commercial sexual behaviours while on holiday in Thailand. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 30 heterosexual male Japanese tourists, aged 19-36, who paid for sex with Thai women. Study participants were recruited at guesthouses in Bangkok. Analysis revealed eight main factors that encourage participation in commercial sex: a sense of freedom and anonymity during "time-out" spent travelling in a foreign country; a sense that there are permissive norms governing commercial sex in Thailand; the perceived sexual desirability of Thai women, a sense of economic and racial superiority relative to Thai women; a sense of loneliness or feeling in need of companionship; peer influence; the widespread availability of inexpensive sexual services in Thailand; and sexual desire or need. Findings indicate that Japanese male sexual conduct reflects individual drives while on holiday, in the context of interactions among Japanese peers, shaped by Thailand's socio-cultural environment.

  2. Population genetic structure of the African elephant in Uganda based on variation at mitochondrial and nuclear loci: evidence for male-biased gene flow.

    PubMed

    Nyakaana, S; Arctander, P

    1999-07-01

    A drastic decline has occurred in the size of the Uganda elephant population in the last 40 years, exacerbated by two main factors; an increase in the size of the human population and poaching for ivory. One of the attendant consequences of such a decline is a reduction in the amount of genetic diversity in the surviving populations due to increased effects of random genetic drift. Information about the amount of genetic variation within and between the remaining populations is vital for their future conservation and management. The genetic structure of the African elephant in Uganda was examined using nucleotide variation of mitochondrial control region sequences and four nuclear microsatellite loci in 72 individuals from three localities. Eleven mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes were observed, nine of which were geographically localized. We found significant genetic differentiation between the three populations at the mitochondrial locus while three out of the four microsatellite loci differentiated KV and QE, one locus differentiated KV and MF and no loci differentiated MF and QE. Expected heterozygosity at the four loci varied between 0.51 and 0.84 while nucleotide diversity at the mitochondrial locus was 1.4%. Incongruent patterns of genetic variation within and between populations were revealed by the two genetic systems, and we have explained these in terms of the differences in the effective population sizes of the two genomes and male-biased gene flow between populations.

  3. Population genetic structure of the African elephant in Uganda based on variation at mitochondrial and nuclear loci: evidence for male-biased gene flow.

    PubMed

    Nyakaana, S; Arctander, P

    1999-07-01

    A drastic decline has occurred in the size of the Uganda elephant population in the last 40 years, exacerbated by two main factors; an increase in the size of the human population and poaching for ivory. One of the attendant consequences of such a decline is a reduction in the amount of genetic diversity in the surviving populations due to increased effects of random genetic drift. Information about the amount of genetic variation within and between the remaining populations is vital for their future conservation and management. The genetic structure of the African elephant in Uganda was examined using nucleotide variation of mitochondrial control region sequences and four nuclear microsatellite loci in 72 individuals from three localities. Eleven mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes were observed, nine of which were geographically localized. We found significant genetic differentiation between the three populations at the mitochondrial locus while three out of the four microsatellite loci differentiated KV and QE, one locus differentiated KV and MF and no loci differentiated MF and QE. Expected heterozygosity at the four loci varied between 0.51 and 0.84 while nucleotide diversity at the mitochondrial locus was 1.4%. Incongruent patterns of genetic variation within and between populations were revealed by the two genetic systems, and we have explained these in terms of the differences in the effective population sizes of the two genomes and male-biased gene flow between populations. PMID:10447852

  4. Elephant ear

    MedlinePlus

    The harmful substances in elephant ear plants are: Oxalic acid Asparagine, a protein found in this plant Note: ... days to a week if treated correctly. Rarely, oxalic acid may cause swelling severe enough to block the ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:25493538

  8. Sex behaviour of male Japanese tourists in Bangkok, Thailand.

    PubMed

    Yokota, Fumihiko

    2006-01-01

    This paper explores why Japanese men engage in potentially risky commercial sexual behaviours while on holiday in Thailand. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 30 heterosexual male Japanese tourists, aged 19-36, who paid for sex with Thai women. Study participants were recruited at guesthouses in Bangkok. Analysis revealed eight main factors that encourage participation in commercial sex: a sense of freedom and anonymity during "time-out" spent travelling in a foreign country; a sense that there are permissive norms governing commercial sex in Thailand; the perceived sexual desirability of Thai women, a sense of economic and racial superiority relative to Thai women; a sense of loneliness or feeling in need of companionship; peer influence; the widespread availability of inexpensive sexual services in Thailand; and sexual desire or need. Findings indicate that Japanese male sexual conduct reflects individual drives while on holiday, in the context of interactions among Japanese peers, shaped by Thailand's socio-cultural environment. PMID:16641061

  9. 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

  10. [The introduction of paddocks in circus elephant husbandry].

    PubMed

    Schmid, J; Zeeb, K

    1994-02-01

    The guidelines for the keeping, the education and the using of animals in circuses and similar institutions, which are made in connection with the law for prevention of cruelty to animals, claim to keep elephants daily one hour unshackled in the group in a paddock. This paper deals with the effect of the paddock to the social, the play, and the comfort behaviour, and the stereotyped movements of circus elephants. Basically for the behaviour of kept elephants are results of observations in nature. A pilot study with 29 elephants in four circuses showed that the paddock enabled the elephants to carry out social and comfort behaviour more frequently than in the shackled keeping. The stereotyped movements were nearly absent by keeping the elephants in the paddock. If they keep shackled, this behaviour anomaly will take up much time.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:24036665

  14. Alternative phenotypes of male mating behaviour in the two-spotted spider mite.

    PubMed

    Sato, Yukie; Sabelis, Maurice W; Egas, Martijn; Faraji, Farid

    2013-09-01

    Severe intraspecific competition for mates selects for aggressive individuals but may also lead to the evolution of alternative phenotypes that do not act aggressively, yet manage to acquire matings. The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, shows male mate-guarding behaviour and male-male combat for available females. This may provide opportunity for weaker males to avoid fighting by adopting alternative mating behaviour such as sneaker or satellite tactics as observed in other animals. We investigated male precopulatory behaviour in the two-spotted spider mite by means of video-techniques and found three types of male mating behaviour: territorial, sneaker and opportunistic. Territorial and sneaker males associate with female teleiochrysales and spend much time guarding them. Territorial males are easily disturbed by rival males and engage themselves in fights with them. However, sneaker males are not at all disturbed by rival males, never engage in fights and, strikingly, never face attack by territorial males. Opportunistic males wander around in search of females that are in the teleiochrysalis stage but very close to or at emergence. To quickly classify any given mate-guarding male as territorial or sneaker we developed a method based on the instantaneous response of males to disturbance by a live male mounted on top of a brush. We tested this method against the response of the same males to natural disturbance by two or three other males. Because this method proved to be successful, we used it to collect territorial and sneaker males, and subjected them to morphological analysis to assess whether the various behavioural phenotypes are associated with different morphological characters. However, we found no statistical differences between territorial and sneaker males, concerning the length of the first legs, the stylets, the pedipalps or the body.

  15. Heritable variation underlies behavioural types in the mating context in male bluefin killifish

    PubMed Central

    McGhee, Katie E.; Travis, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    In many species, consistent behavioural differences among individuals are linked to fitness variation. Determining the environmental and genetic factors that mould these behavioural types is crucial to understanding how behaviours might respond to selection. Male bluefin killifish, Lucania goodei, show extensive consistent behavioural variation in their levels of courtship, male-directed aggression and female-directed aggression, resulting in a range of fitness-related behavioural types coexisting within a population. To determine whether the behavioural components underlying a male’s stable behavioural type in the mating context are heritable and genetically correlated, we performed paternal half-sib crosses. Using animal models, we found that all three of these mating behaviours were moderately heritable (h2 = 0.17–0.29) and courtship behaviour was also heritable as a binomial trait (court yes/no: h2 = 0.50). Including effects of dam identity/common rearing environment experienced by full sibs decreased model fit, suggesting that early social interactions might contribute to behavioural types. In addition, we found evidence consistent with the possibility that the positive phenotypic correlations among mating behaviours are underlain by positive genetic correlations. Thus, it is possible that the seemingly maladaptive aggression that males direct towards females during social interactions persist due to genetic constraints and direct selection on both male-directed aggression and courtship behaviour. PMID:24187377

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:17015314

  19. Attraction to male pheromones and sexual behaviour show different regulatory mechanisms in female mice.

    PubMed

    Moncho-Bogani, Jose; Lanuza, Enrique; Lorente, Maria José; Martinez-Garcia, Fernando

    2004-05-01

    In rodents, female sexual behaviour is under hormonal control. The attraction females show for male-derived nonvolatile chemicals (pheromones) can be regarded as the first step of this behaviour, but it is unknown whether this attraction is also modulated by sexual steroids. To test this possibility, ovariectomized adult female mice with no experience of chemical signals from adult males were randomly assigned to four groups that received oil (control), progesterone, estradiol (E) or estradiol+progesterone (E+P) injections, respectively. Females were then tested for their attraction to male-soiled bedding and, subsequently, for their proceptive behaviour when confronted to adult males. Females showed attraction to male-soiled bedding irrespective of the hormonal treatment, whereas only those females treated with E or E+P showed proceptive behaviour. Therefore, in contrast to proceptive and copulatory behaviour, the female attraction to male pheromones is independent of sexual steroids, thus indicating that those parts of the vomeronasal system involved in this attraction do not respond to steroids. In summary, sexual behaviour in female mice can be seen as a two-step process. First, females are attracted by male pheromones, a process which is independent of their hormonal status. After encountering the males, females show proceptive behaviour only in estrous, when fertilization is more likely. The attraction exerted by male sexual pheromones promotes female autostimulation that might ensure anticipatory endocrine changes leading to ovulation by the time of sexual intercourse.

  20. Male mating behaviour and sperm production characteristics under varying sperm competition risk in guppies.

    PubMed

    Evans; Magurran

    1999-11-01

    Since natural populations of guppies, Poecilia reticulata, often differ from one another in social structure, the intensity of sperm competition is likely to vary between localities. Guppies are promiscuous, with female choice for colourful males playing a central role in the mating system. In addition, male guppies use forced copulations to circumvent female choice. Both methods of copulation are used interchangeably by individual males, but the degree to which either is used may depend on the social environment into which males are born. Here we show that male mating behaviour varies according to the rearing sex ratio: when reared in male-biased groups, males performed more forced copulations and fewer courtship displays but showed the opposite pattern of behaviour when reared in female-biased groups. Our prediction, based on sperm competition theory, that stripped sperm number would reflect social structure was not supported by our results. Instead, the overall level of sexual activity (gonopodial thrusts+sigmoid displays) was a better predictor of sperm number in the different groups of males. Rearing density, where sex ratio was controlled, did not significantly affect male mating behaviour or sperm traits. Males reared under the different sex ratios continued to show their characteristic behaviour patterns when placed in equal sex ratio tanks. We conclude, therefore, that males adopt mating strategies to suit their social environment, and that these strategies remain fixed, for short periods at least, if population structure changes. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10564602

  1. Asian elephants acquire inaccessible food by blowing.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, Kaori; Irie, Naoko; Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, Mariko; Kutsukake, Nobuyuki

    2016-01-01

    Many animals acquire otherwise inaccessible food with the aid of sticks and occasionally water. As an exception, some reports suggest that elephants manipulate breathing through their trunks to acquire inaccessible food. Here, we report on two female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Kamine Zoo, Japan, who regularly blew to drive food within their reach. We experimentally investigated this behaviour by placing foods in inaccessible places. The elephants blew the food until it came within accessible range. Once the food was within range, the elephants were increasingly less likely to blow as the distance to the food became shorter. One subject manipulated her blowing duration based on food distance: longer when the food was distant. These results suggest that the elephants used their breath to achieve goals: that is, they used it not only to retrieve the food but also to fine-tune the food position for easy grasping. We also observed individual differences in the elephants' aptitude for this technique, which altered the efficiency of food acquisition. Thus, we added a new example of spontaneous behaviour for achieving a goal in animals. The use of breath to drive food is probably unique to elephants, with their dexterous trunks and familiarity with manipulating the act of blowing, which is commonly employed for self-comfort and acoustic communication.

  2. Asian elephants acquire inaccessible food by blowing.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, Kaori; Irie, Naoko; Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, Mariko; Kutsukake, Nobuyuki

    2016-01-01

    Many animals acquire otherwise inaccessible food with the aid of sticks and occasionally water. As an exception, some reports suggest that elephants manipulate breathing through their trunks to acquire inaccessible food. Here, we report on two female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Kamine Zoo, Japan, who regularly blew to drive food within their reach. We experimentally investigated this behaviour by placing foods in inaccessible places. The elephants blew the food until it came within accessible range. Once the food was within range, the elephants were increasingly less likely to blow as the distance to the food became shorter. One subject manipulated her blowing duration based on food distance: longer when the food was distant. These results suggest that the elephants used their breath to achieve goals: that is, they used it not only to retrieve the food but also to fine-tune the food position for easy grasping. We also observed individual differences in the elephants' aptitude for this technique, which altered the efficiency of food acquisition. Thus, we added a new example of spontaneous behaviour for achieving a goal in animals. The use of breath to drive food is probably unique to elephants, with their dexterous trunks and familiarity with manipulating the act of blowing, which is commonly employed for self-comfort and acoustic communication. PMID:26541597

  3. HIV risk behaviours among male-to-female transgenders in comparison with homosexual or bisexual males and heterosexual females.

    PubMed

    Nemoto, T; Luke, D; Mamo, L; Ching, A; Patria, J

    1999-06-01

    Issues and concerns among six directors, one counsellor and one consultant for transgender programmes in San Francisco are described. Additionally, 173 clients who were enrolled in programmes in eight AIDS service organizations were interviewed using a structured survey questionnaire. This study examined the relationships between HIV risk behaviours and social and cognitive factors among transgendered females (male-to-female transgenders) (n = 25) in comparison with homosexual or bisexual males (n = 122) and heterosexual females (n = 26). Transgendered females engaged in riskier behaviours than the other groups in terms of the number of sex partners in the past 30 days and the past six months, commercial sex activities, and having a steady sex partner who injected drugs. Adverse socioeconomic conditions and transgender-specific risk behaviours such as injecting hormones in relation to HIV risk behaviours must be targeted by future intervention studies.

  4. 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. PMID:22626823

  5. 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.

  6. Inhibition of cytochrome p450 brain aromatase reduces two male specific sexual behaviours in the male Endler guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Hallgren, Stefan L E; Linderoth, Maria; Olsén, K Håkan

    2006-07-01

    In mammalian and avian vertebrate groups, androgens act as controlling agents on male aggression and courtship behaviour by their conversion to oestrogens by cytochrome P450 aromatase in well-defined brain regions. Despite the fact that bony fishes have exceptionally high brain aromatase activity, little is known about it's possible regulatory effects on the reproductive behaviours of teleosts. In this study, Endler guppy males (Poecilia reticulata) were subjected to 26-29 days of 24-h exposure to two different concentrations (15 and 100 microg/L) of the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole in the water. Compared with the control males, two of three courtship activities in males exposed to the higher concentration were reduced when they were paired with receptive stimulus females. Reduction in brain aromatase activity was confirmed in both exposed groups with the use of the tritiated water assay.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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. PMID:27083501

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Female aggression and the maintenance of monogamy: female behaviour predicts male mating status in European starlings

    PubMed Central

    Sandell, M. I.

    1998-01-01

    Any reduction in the fitness of a breeding female induced by the settlement of additional females with her mate creates a conflict between the sexes over mating system. In birds, females are often aggressive towards other females but few studies have been able to quantify the importance of female-female aggression for the maintenance of monogamy. This study of the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris, quantifies male and female behaviour towards a potential prospecting female, presented in a cage during the pre-laying period, and relates it to the subsequent mating status of the male. A solitary breeding male was given the opportunity to attract an additional mate, which almost half of the males did. No biometric characters of the male or female were related to the subsequent mating status. Males demonstrated mate-attraction behaviour towards the caged female but the behaviour of the male did not predict the likelihood to attract an additional female. However, the proportion of time that the female spent near the potential settler was related to mating status, indicating that females that reacted more strongly towards a potential female competitor maintained their monogamous status. These results suggest that female behaviour may play an important role in shaping the mating system of facultatively polygynous species.

  15. 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.

  16. Impact of prenatal and acute methamphetamine exposure on behaviour of adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Schutová, B; Hrubá, L; Pometlová, M; Slamberová, R

    2009-01-01

    Psychostimulants have been shown to alter behaviour in both rats and humans. The aim of the present study was: (1) to assess the effect of prenatal and acute methamphetamine (MA) administration on behaviour in adult male rats and (2) to find out if the prenatal exposure to MA increases sensitivity to acute MA application in adulthood. Behaviour of adult male rats prenatally exposed to MA (5 mg/kg) or no drug was tested in Open field (OF) and Elevated plus maze (EPM). Half of the animals were injected with MA (1 mg/kg) subcutaneously 30 minutes prior to testing. Locomotion, exploration, comforting behaviour and anxiety were evaluated in the OF, while anxiety and exploratory behaviour were assessed in the EPM. Our results showed that prenatal MA did not have an effect on baseline behaviour in either of the tests. By contrast, acute MA increased overall psychomotor activity by increasing locomotion and exploratory behaviour and decreasing comforting behaviour. Moreover, adult rats prenatally exposed to MA were more sensitive to the effects of acute MA on exploration. In addition, acute MA application decreased anxiety in the OF as well as in the EPM. Our present study, thus, demonstrates that acute MA increases overall psychomotor activity and decreases anxiety to novel environment. To further support our hypothesis that prenatal MA exposure increases sensitivity to drugs in adulthood, studies investigating the levels of dopamine in the rat brain after prenatal MA exposure are planned.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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. PMID:26925182

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:21203580

  5. Sexually transmitted disease among married Zambian women: the role of male and female sexual behaviour in prevention and management.

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, C S; Sunkutu, M R; Musaba, E; Glover, L H

    1997-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Few studies have evaluated the relation between male and female sexual behaviour and STD among married African women. The objectives of this study were to identify male and female sexual behaviour associated with female STD, and to explore whether incorporating male and female sexual behaviour and male symptoms can improve algorithms for STD management in married African women. METHODS: 99 married couples with one symptomatic member (58 males, 41 females) attending an STD clinic in Lusaka, Zambia were interviewed separately about sexual and contraceptive behaviour, and had physical examinations. Diagnostic tests for Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC), Trichomonas vaginalis (TV), and HIV were performed. Bivariate and multivariate odds ratios for the association between sexual behaviour and STD were calculated. Predictive algorithms based on current Zambian guidelines for management of STD in women were created. RESULTS: Among women at baseline, 10% were positive for GC, 14% for TV, 52% for HIV. Female alcohol use before sex, a male's paying for sex, and a couple's having sex unprotected by condoms or spermicides were associated with female STD. Incorporation of these behaviours along with symptoms of urethral discharge and dysuria among husbands increased the predictive ability of algorithms for management of STD in women. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of male and female sexual behaviour and male STD symptoms to diagnostic algorithms for female STD should be explored in other settings. Both husbands' and wives' behaviour independently predict STD in these women; risk reduction programmes should target both men's and women's sexual behaviour. PMID:9582483

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:24915753

  8. Vocal communication in African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Soltis, Joseph

    2010-01-01

    Research on vocal communication in African elephants has increased in recent years, both in the wild and in captivity, providing an opportunity to present a comprehensive review of research related to their vocal behavior. Current data indicate that the vocal repertoire consists of perhaps nine acoustically distinct call types, "rumbles" being the most common and acoustically variable. Large vocal production anatomy is responsible for the low-frequency nature of rumbles, with fundamental frequencies in the infrasonic range. Additionally, resonant frequencies of rumbles implicate the trunk in addition to the oral cavity in shaping the acoustic structure of rumbles. Long-distance communication is thought possible because low-frequency sounds propagate more faithfully than high-frequency sounds, and elephants respond to rumbles at distances of up to 2.5 km. Elephant ear anatomy appears designed for detecting low frequencies, and experiments demonstrate that elephants can detect infrasonic tones and discriminate small frequency differences. Two vocal communication functions in the African elephant now have reasonable empirical support. First, closely bonded but spatially separated females engage in rumble exchanges, or "contact calls," that function to coordinate movement or reunite animals. Second, both males and females produce "mate attraction" rumbles that may advertise reproductive states to the opposite sex. Additionally, there is evidence that the structural variation in rumbles reflects the individual identity, reproductive state, and emotional state of callers. Growth in knowledge about the communication system of the African elephant has occurred from a rich combination of research on wild elephants in national parks and captive elephants in zoological parks.

  9. 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. PMID:21481538

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Horth, Lisa

    2003-05-22

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Night and day: diurnal differences in the behavioural satiety sequence in male rats.

    PubMed

    Tallett, A J; Blundell, J E; Rodgers, R J

    2009-04-20

    The behavioural satiety sequence (BSS) is an important method for assessing the selectivity of treatment (physiological, pharmacological and/or genetic) effects on food intake in rodents. The concept describes the natural progression from feeding to resting, with the transition between the two a useful biomarker of behavioural satiety. Although treatments can accelerate (anorexigenics) or delay (orexigenics) this transition without disrupting behavioural structure, the detection of such changes depends upon the timing of the transition under control conditions. Fasting and presatiation are known to affect this timing. However, recent observations in our laboratory have suggested that phase of testing (light or dark) might also be an important consideration. The present study therefore directly compared food intake and the BSS in thoroughly habituated male rats maintained either on a normal light cycle and tested during the light phase or on a reversed light cycle and tested during the dark phase. The results show that phase of testing had relatively little impact on food intake or diverse measures of ingestive and non-ingestive behaviour. Although modest differences were detected in locomotion, grooming and scratching (higher in dark phase), by far the largest difference concerned resting behaviour which had both a later onset and a much lower peak level during dark phase testing. Importantly, these behavioural differences delayed the transition between eating and resting. The potential contribution of diurnal differences in rate of eating is discussed as are the implications of these findings for future studies on the neurobiology of feeding behaviour.

  15. Wild Asian elephants distinguish aggressive tiger and leopard growls according to perceived danger.

    PubMed

    Thuppil, Vivek; Coss, Richard G

    2013-10-23

    Prey species exhibit antipredator behaviours such as alertness, aggression and flight, among others, in response to predators. The nature of this response is variable, with animals reacting more strongly in situations of increased vulnerability. Our research described here is the first formal study to investigate night-time antipredator behaviour in any species of elephants, Asian or African. We examined the provocative effects of elephant-triggered tiger and leopard growls while elephants attempted to crop-raid. Tigers opportunistically prey on elephant calves, whereas leopards pose no threat; therefore, we predicted that the elephant response would be reflective of this difference. Elephants reacted similarly cautiously to the simulated presence of felids of both species by eventually moving away, but differed markedly in their more immediate behavioural responses. Elephants retreated silently to tiger-growl playbacks, whereas they responded with aggressive vocalizations, such as trumpets and grunts, to leopard-growl playbacks. Elephants also lingered in the area and displayed alert or investigative behaviours in response to leopard growls when compared with tiger growls. We anticipate that the methods outlined here will promote further study of elephant antipredator behaviour in a naturalistic context, with applications for conservation efforts as well.

  16. Kin recognition and cannibalistic behaviours by adult male fathead minnows ( Pimephales promelas)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Warren W.; Mirza, Reehan S.; Pyle, Greg G.

    2008-03-01

    Parental care is an energetically demanding activity that ensures genes are efficiently passed from one generation to the next. According to evolutionary theory, the greatest energetic investment should be directed towards offspring that are most closely related to the parent. Male fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas, provide this parental investment to developing embryos but not newly hatched larvae. Therefore, selection should favour recognition of embryonic kin to ensure energetic expenditure is optimally invested. In this study, adult male fathead minnows were tested using behavioural assays, with egg cannibalism as an endpoint, to determine whether adult males could discriminate between related and unrelated embryos. Egg cannibalism was highest when adult male fathead minnows were presented with unrelated eggs and lowest when presented with eggs fertilized by the test subject (related eggs). The degree of cannibalism was also a function of breeding status. Unrelated males in breeding condition showed an intermediate response between the low cannibalism demonstrated by related males and the high cannibalism demonstrated by unrelated males in a nonbreeding condition. These results suggest that although male fathead minnows can discriminate between unrelated and related embryos, at least some component of parental investment is a simple function of breeding status.

  17. 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.

  18. Problem-elephant translocation: translocating the problem and the elephant?

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Mild mutations in the pan neural gene prospero affect male-specific behaviour in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Grosjean, Yaël; Savy, Mathilde; Soichot, Julien; Everaerts, Claude; Cézilly, Frank; Ferveur, Jean François

    2004-01-30

    The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most appropriate model organisms to study the genetics of behaviour. Here, we focus on prospero (pros), a key gene for the development of the nervous system which specifies multiple aspects from the early formation of the embryonic central nervous system to the formation of larval and adult sensory organs. We studied the effects on locomotion, courtship and mating behaviour of three mild pros mutations. These newly isolated pros mutations were induced after the incomplete excision of a transposable genomic element that, before excision, caused a lethal phenotype during larval development. Strikingly, these mutant strains, but not the strains with a clean excision, produced a high frequency of heterozygous flies, after more than 50 generations in the lab. We investigated the factors that could decrease the fitness of homozygotes relatively to heterozygous pros mutant flies. Flies of both genotypes had slightly different levels of fertility. More strikingly, homozygous mutant males had a lower sexual activity than heterozygous males and failed to mate in a competitive situation. No similar effect was detected in mutant females. These findings suggest that mild mutations in pros did not alter vital functions during development but drastically changed adult male behaviour and reproductive fitness. PMID:14744542

  1. The association between gang involvement and sexual behaviours among detained adolescent males

    PubMed Central

    Voisin, D; Salazar, L; Crosby, R; DiClemente, R; Yarber, W; Staples-Horne, M

    2004-01-01

    Objective: Data were collected from 270 detained male adolescents (aged 14–18 years) to determine the association between ever having been in a gang and a range of sexual behaviours such as sexual activity, male condom use, sex with multiple partners, and drug use during sex. Methods: Participants answered survey questions using audio computer assisted self interviewing (A-CASI) procedures, which assessed demographic, family factors, history of gang membership, and sexual behaviours. Results: Multiple logistic regression analyses, controlling for demographic, socioeconomic status, and family factors, indicated that adolescents who reported having been in a gang, relative to their peers reporting no gang involvement, were 5.7 times more likely to have had sex, 3.2 times more likely to have got a girl pregnant, and almost four times more likely to have been "high" on alcohol or other drugs during sexual intercourse, have had sex with a partner who was "high" on alcohol or other drugs, or have had sex with multiple partners concurrently. Conclusions: Findings suggest that having been in a gang can discriminate between levels of STI associated risk behaviours among an otherwise high risk population—detained adolescent males. PMID:15572610

  2. Early vaccination with Improvac®: effects on performance and behaviour of male pigs.

    PubMed

    Andersson, K; Brunius, C; Zamaratskaia, G; Lundström, K

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of giving a two-dose regimen of gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccine, Improvac® (Pfizer Ltd), earlier than currently recommended, on performance and behaviour of growing/finishing pigs. Cross-bred male pigs (n = 192) were randomly allocated, within a litter, into four groups at birth: one group of pigs surgically castrated without anaesthesia before one week of age, a second group of early vaccinated pigs given Improvac at 10 and 14 weeks of age, a third group of standard vaccinated pigs given Improvac at 16 and 20 weeks of age, so that the second vaccination was given 4 to 6 weeks before slaughter as recommended by the manufacturer, and a fourth group of entire male pigs. The experiment started when the pigs were 12 weeks old and lasted until 25 weeks of age, when the pigs were slaughtered. The pigs were fed restrictedly. Daily weight gain and feed conversion during the entire raising period did not differ significantly between groups. Estimated lean meat content of early vaccinated and surgically castrated pigs was lower when compared with entire male pigs, whereas standard vaccinated pigs did not differ from entire males. Dressing percentage was higher in early vaccinated and surgically castrated pigs than in standard vaccinated and entire male pigs, partly because of lower size and weight of reproductive organs. For both groups of vaccinated pigs, both problematic and non-problematic behaviours decreased after their second injection, from the levels of entire males to those of surgically castrated pigs. After the second injection, pigs of both vaccination groups performed no mountings, in contrast with entire male pigs of the same age. Skin lesions at slaughter were fewer and less severe for vaccinated pigs compared with entire male pigs. No difference in income per carcass was observed for surgically castrated or vaccinated pigs. However, for entire male pigs the income was lower, as the payment system in

  3. 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

  4. Insightful problem solving in an Asian elephant.

    PubMed

    Foerder, Preston; Galloway, Marie; Barthel, Tony; Moore, Donald E; Reiss, Diana

    2011-01-01

    The "aha" moment or the sudden arrival of the solution to a problem is a common human experience. Spontaneous problem solving without evident trial and error behavior in humans and other animals has been referred to as insight. Surprisingly, elephants, thought to be highly intelligent, have failed to exhibit insightful problem solving in previous cognitive studies. We tested whether three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) would use sticks or other objects to obtain food items placed out-of-reach and overhead. Without prior trial and error behavior, a 7-year-old male Asian elephant showed spontaneous problem solving by moving a large plastic cube, on which he then stood, to acquire the food. In further testing he showed behavioral flexibility, using this technique to reach other items and retrieving the cube from various locations to use as a tool to acquire food. In the cube's absence, he generalized this tool utilization technique to other objects and, when given smaller objects, stacked them in an attempt to reach the food. The elephant's overall behavior was consistent with the definition of insightful problem solving. Previous failures to demonstrate this ability in elephants may have resulted not from a lack of cognitive ability but from the presentation of tasks requiring trunk-held sticks as potential tools, thereby interfering with the trunk's use as a sensory organ to locate the targeted food. PMID:21876741

  5. Insightful Problem Solving in an Asian Elephant

    PubMed Central

    Foerder, Preston; Galloway, Marie; Barthel, Tony; Moore, Donald E.; Reiss, Diana

    2011-01-01

    The “aha” moment or the sudden arrival of the solution to a problem is a common human experience. Spontaneous problem solving without evident trial and error behavior in humans and other animals has been referred to as insight. Surprisingly, elephants, thought to be highly intelligent, have failed to exhibit insightful problem solving in previous cognitive studies. We tested whether three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) would use sticks or other objects to obtain food items placed out-of-reach and overhead. Without prior trial and error behavior, a 7-year-old male Asian elephant showed spontaneous problem solving by moving a large plastic cube, on which he then stood, to acquire the food. In further testing he showed behavioral flexibility, using this technique to reach other items and retrieving the cube from various locations to use as a tool to acquire food. In the cube's absence, he generalized this tool utilization technique to other objects and, when given smaller objects, stacked them in an attempt to reach the food. The elephant's overall behavior was consistent with the definition of insightful problem solving. Previous failures to demonstrate this ability in elephants may have resulted not from a lack of cognitive ability but from the presentation of tasks requiring trunk-held sticks as potential tools, thereby interfering with the trunk's use as a sensory organ to locate the targeted food. PMID:21876741

  6. Indiscriminate Males: Mating Behaviour of a Marine Snail Compromised by a Sexual Conflict?

    PubMed Central

    Johannesson, Kerstin; Saltin, Sara H.; Duranovic, Iris; Havenhand, Jon N.; Jonsson, Per R.

    2010-01-01

    Background In promiscuous species, male fitness is expected to increase with repeated matings in an open-ended fashion (thereby increasing number of partners or probability of paternity) whereas female fitness should level out at some optimal number of copulations when direct and indirect benefits still outweigh the costs of courtship and copulation. After this fitness peak, additional copulations would incur female fitness costs and be under opposing selection. Hence, a sexual conflict over mating frequency may evolve in species where females are forced to engage in costly matings. Under such circumstance, if females could avoid male detection, significant fitness benefits from such avoidance strategies would be predicted. Methodology/Principal Findings Among four Littorina species, one lives at very much higher densities and has a longer mating season than the other three species. Using video records of snail behaviour in a laboratory arena we show that males of the low-density species discriminate among male and female mucous trails, trailing females for copulations. In the high-density species, however, males fail to discriminate between male and female trails, not because males are unable to identify female trails (which we show using heterospecific females), but because females do not, as the other species, add a gender-specific cue to their trail. Conclusions/Significance We conclude that there is likely a sexual conflict over mating frequency in the high-density species (L. saxatilis) owing to females most likely being less sperm-limited in this species. This has favoured the evolution of females that permanently or optionally do not release a cue in the mucus to decrease excessive and costly matings resulting in unusually high frequencies of male-male copulating attempts in the wild. This is one of few examples of masking gender identity to obtain fewer matings. PMID:20711254

  7. Morphology, testes development and behaviour of unusual triploid males in microchromosome-carrying clones of Poecilia formosa.

    PubMed

    Lamatsch, D K; Stöck, M; Fuchs, R; Döbler, M; Wacker, R; Parzefall, J; Schlupp, I; Schartl, M

    2010-11-01

    In a microchromosome-carrying laboratory stock of the normally all-female Amazon molly Poecilia formosa triploid individuals were obtained, all of which spontaneously developed into males. A comparison of morphology of the external and internal insemination apparatus and the gonads, sperm ploidy and behaviour, to laboratory-bred F(1) hybrids revealed that the triploid P. formosa males, though producing mostly aneuploid sperm, are partly functional males that differ mainly in sperm maturation and sexual motivation from gonochoristic P. formosa males.

  8. Nutritional effects on male calling behaviour in the variable field cricket.

    PubMed

    Wagner; Hoback

    1999-01-01

    In the variable field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps, females prefer higher chirp rates and longer chirp durations in male calling song. Higher chirp rates are energetically more expensive to produce, but the energetic cost of calling does not vary with chirp duration. We tested the hypothesis that nutrition affects male chirp rate and chirp duration. Full-sibling brothers of similar age were placed on high- and low-nutrition feeding regimes. There was no effect of feeding regime on male weight; neither group showed a significant change in weight, and the two groups did not differ from each other in weight change. However, males on the high-nutrition feeding regime both called more frequently and called at higher chirp rates when they did call. The two groups did not differ in chirp duration, the duration of pulses within chirps or chirp dominant frequency. These results suggest that females select mates based on one nutrition-dependent call character (chirp rate) and one nutrition-independent call character (chirp duration). In addition, because males in the two groups did not show significant differences in weight change, and because males on the high-nutrition feeding regime engaged in energetically more expensive calling, these results suggest that males invest any excess energy above their basic maintenance requirements in the production of call types that increase their attractiveness to females. The absence of a relationship between body condition and calling song structure for males in the field may be a consequence of this pattern of energy allocation. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10053075

  9. Mammoths, Mastodons, and Elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haynes, Gary

    1993-05-01

    The diminishing population of African and Asian elephants can be compared to the extinction of other elephant-like species, such as mammoths and mastodonts, which occurred more than ten thousand years ago. The purpose of this book is to use the ecology and behavior of modern elephants to create models for reconstructing the life and death of extinct mammoths and mastodonts. The source of the models is a long-term and continuing study of elephants in Zimbabwe, Africa. These models are clearly described with respect to the anatomical, behavioral, and ecological similarities between past and present proboscideans. The implications of these similarities on the life and death of mammoths and mastodonts is explored in detail. The importance of this book is primarily its unifying perspective on living and extinct proboscideans: the fossil record is closely examined and compared to the natural history of surviving elephants. Dr. Haynes's studies of the places where African elephants die (so-called elephant burial grounds) are unique.

  10. Eavesdropping on elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payne, Katy

    2001-05-01

    The Elephant Listening Project is creating an acoustic monitoring program for African forest elephants, an endangered species that lives in dense forests where visual censusing is impossible. In 2002, a 21/2-month continuous recording was made on an array of autonomous recording units (ARUs) surrounding a forest clearing in the Central African Republic. Each day between 10 and 160 forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis), the subjects of Andrea Turkalo's 13-year demographic study, were present on the clearing. Thousands of vocalizations were recorded, most of which contained infrasonic energy. The calls were located in space using software developed in the Bioacoustics Research Program. During daylight hours simultaneous video recordings were made. GPS time-synchronization of video cameras and the ARUs made it possible to identify the elephants responsible for many calls and to examine associated circumstances and behaviors. Recordings were also made on a second acoustic array, permitting a preliminary estimate of propagation and an indication of source level for selected elephant calls. Automatic detection of elephant calls is increasing the feasibility of analyzing long acoustic recordings, and paving the way for finer-tuned analyses, with an ultimate goal of describing forest elephants' acoustic repertoire.

  11. Male sexual behaviour and ethanol consumption from an evolutionary perspective: A comment on "Sexual Deprivation Increases Ethanol Intake in Drosophila".

    PubMed

    Guevara-Fiore, Palestina; Endler, John A

    2014-01-01

    Shohat-Ophir et al. (1) demonstrate a connection between sexual behaviour and ethanol consumption in male Drosophila flies, and how the neuropeptide F system regulates ethanol preference. Their results are rightly discussed only in a physiological context, but this has facilitated erroneous anthropomorphic interpretations by the media. Here we discuss the link between male sexual behaviour and ethanol consumption from an evolutionary perspective, providing a broader context to interpret their results.

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of Bryonia laciniosa seeds on sexual behaviour of male rats.

    PubMed

    Chauhan, N S; Dixit, V K

    2010-01-01

    Ethanolic extract of seeds of Bryonia laciniosa Linn was administered orally to groups of male albino rats at the dose levels of 50, 100, and 150 mg kg(-1) body weight per day for 28 days. The changes in sexual behaviour, reproductive organ weights, histology of testis and epididymis, epididymal sperm density, and androgenic hormone levels were evaluated. The sexual behaviour parameters studied such as mount frequency, intromission frequency, mount latency, intromission latency were significantly affected. Increase in body weight as well as weight of testis, prostate, seminal vesicle, and epididymis was noticed. Transverse sections of testis exhibited increased spermatogenesis and a significant increase in sperm count in epididymis. The fructose content of seminal vesicle was also increased. The extract treatment also brought a significant increase in serum testosterone and luteinizing hormone levels. The studies clearly reflect androgenic activity of the extract and its effects on hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis.

  14. Sex differences in impaling behaviour of Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor: do males have better impaling skills than females?

    PubMed

    Antczak, Marcin; Hromada, Martin; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2012-09-01

    Prey impaling in shrikes Laniidae is considered to be a feeding adaptation to dismember and consume large prey and is unique among food-storing animals. However, other exaptations of this behaviour were recorded, including signals in mate choice, where cache size is a sign of male quality. Thus, due to a strong sexual selection, male and female birds might differ in their behavioural patterns of impaling behaviour. We examined sex differences in impaling behaviour of the Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor - one of the species where caches are known to be sexual signals. Data were collected in western Poland during breeding seasons in the years 2006-2010. In the studied population, we recorded several sex-specific differences in impaling behaviour. Males impaled prey, invertebrates as well as vertebrates, faster and with fewer attempts per impaling event than females. Sexes differed in the location of impaled prey; males selected more visible places, especially during the mating and courtship phase, whereas females impaled prey in concealed locations. Males also had slightly better impaling success compared to females. We suggest that sex differences in impaling behaviour may be due to different uses of impaled prey, and the better impaling skills of males may be the result of better experience in impaling which is forced by sexual selection in this species. We also discuss other factors which might trigger sex-specific differences in food caching by shrikes.

  15. Chronic social stress does not affect behavioural habituation in male CD1 mice.

    PubMed

    Boleij, Hetty; Willems, Jeroen; Leijten, Marieke; van't Klooster, José; Lesscher, Heidi; Kirchhoff, Susanne; Lavrijsen, Marla; Arndt, Saskia S; Ohl, Frauke

    2014-10-15

    Various protocols to induce chronic stress in rodents are being used to determine the effects and underlying mechanisms of prolonged stress experience. Recently, a novel chronic social stress (CSS) protocol has been developed for mice where social instability in adolescence and early adulthood is induced. This protocol has been shown to cause an increase in HPA-axis activity and acute avoidance behaviour in the elevated plus maze. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of this CSS protocol on habituation to an initially novel environment in CD1 mice, since it has been shown that initially high avoidance behaviour in mice can still be followed by rapid habituation, pointing towards an adaptive response. One group of male mice, the CSS group, was exposed to the CSS protocol for 7 weeks and we compared their behavioural and physiological responses with male mice that were housed in a stable social group, the SH group. The results reveal a decrease in body weight gain and fur condition, changes in adrenal weight and decreased GR mRNA expression in the CA1 and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in chronically stressed CD1 animals. Irrespective of such evidence for a significantly stressful effect of the protocol, CD 1 mice, after termination of the stress procedure, revealed habituation profiles that matched those of control animals. We conclude that the physiological and central-nervous effects caused by a CSS procedure as used in this experiment fall within the coping capacities of CD1 mice at the behavioural level. PMID:25036428

  16. Neurochemical and behavioural impact of C18 fatty acids in male mice postweaning.

    PubMed

    Yamamuro, Yutaka; Yamaguchi, Yuki; Abe, Shin; Takenaga, Fumio

    2013-06-01

    Dietary components, particularly essential fatty acids, affect the expression and maintenance of normal physiological phenotypes. However, the influence of C18 fatty acids that are abundantly present in the normal diet is unclear. We focused on the behavioural and neurochemical effects of C18 fatty acids during postweaning development in male mice. An AIN-93G diet supplemented with 8% stearic acid (C18:0), 3% oleic acid (C18:1), 3% linoleic acid (C18:2) or 3% α-linolenic acid (C18:3) was provided from four weeks of age for eight weeks. At 12 weeks of age, novel exploratory behaviour and social interaction tests were carried out. One week after the last behavioural test, the brain of each mouse was removed. The frequency of social interactive behaviour was decreased by approximately 70% in the C18:0 group compared to the basal diet group, but there was no difference in cumulative time. The frequency of social interaction showed a positive correlation to cumulative time in mice fed with the experimental diets except for C18:0. Dietary C18 fatty acids following weaning had no impact on brain fatty acid composition except for the C18:3 diet. Furthermore, the neurochemical properties to be especially noted were that choline acetyltransferase activity was absolutely higher in C18:0 diet-fed mice than in the other groups, especially in the frontal cortex where it was 1.7-fold higher than in the basal diet-fed group. The present results reveal a significant possibility of neurochemical and behavioural effects of dietary fatty acids, and saturated fatty acids are of special importance during the postweaning period.

  17. Transient Population Dynamics of Mosquitoes during Sterile Male Releases: Modelling Mating Behaviour and Perturbations of Life History Parameters

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. A role for acoustic distortion in novel rapid frequency modulation behaviour in free-flying male mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Simões, Patrício M V; Ingham, Robert A; Gibson, Gabriella; Russell, Ian J

    2016-07-01

    We describe a new stereotypical acoustic behaviour by male mosquitoes in response to the fundamental frequency of female flight tones during mating sequences. This male-specific free-flight behaviour consists of phonotactic flight beginning with a steep increase in wing-beat frequency (WBF) followed by rapid frequency modulation (RFM) of WBF in the lead up to copula formation. Male RFM behaviour involves remarkably fast changes in WBF and can be elicited without acoustic feedback or physical presence of the female. RFM features are highly consistent, even in response to artificial tones that do not carry the multi-harmonic components of natural female flight tones. Comparison between audiograms of the robust RFM behaviour and the electrical responses of the auditory Johnston's organ (JO) reveals that the male JO is tuned not to the female WBF per se but, remarkably, to the difference between the male and female WBFs. This difference is generated in the JO responses as a result of intermodulation distortion products (DPs) caused by non-linear interaction between male-female flight tones in the vibrations of the antenna. We propose that male mosquitoes rely on their own flight tones in making use of DPs to acoustically detect, locate and orientate towards flying females. We argue that the previously documented flight-tone harmonic convergence of flying male and female mosquitoes could be a consequence of WBF adjustments so that DPs generated through flight-tone interaction fall within the optimal frequency ranges for JO detection. PMID:27122548

  19. Developmental exposure to Passiflora incarnata induces behavioural alterations in the male progeny.

    PubMed

    Bacchi, André D; Ponte, Bianca; Vieira, Milene L; de Paula, Jaqueline C C; Mesquita, Suzana F P; Gerardin, Daniela C C; Moreira, Estefânia G

    2013-01-01

    Passiflora incarnata is marketed in many countries as a phytomedicine and is prescribed mainly as a sedative and anxiolytic. Even though the directions of most marketed phytomedicines recommend them to be used under medical supervision, reproductive and developmental studies are sparse and not mandatory for regulatory purposes. To evaluate the reproductive and developmental toxicity of P. incarnata, Wistar female rats were gavaged with 30 or 300 mg kg(-1) of this herb from gestational Day (GD) 0 to postnatal Day (PND) 21. P. incarnata treatment did not influence dams' bodyweight or food intake or their reproductive performance (post-implantation loss, litter size, litter weight). There was also no influence on the physical development of pups (bodyweight gain, day of vaginal opening or preputial separation) or their behaviour in the open-field at PND 22, 35 and 75. Sexual behaviour was disrupted in adult male pups exposed to 300 mg kg(-1) of P. incarnata; in this group, only 3 out of 11 pups were sexually competent. This behavioural disruption was not accompanied by alterations in plasma testosterone levels, reproductive-related organs and glands weights or sperm count. It is hypothesised that aromatase inhibition may be involved in the observed effect.

  20. Effects of Chlorophytum borivilianum on sexual behaviour and sperm count in male rats.

    PubMed

    Kenjale, Rakesh; Shah, Riddhi; Sathaye, Sadhana

    2008-06-01

    This study was designed to evaluate the aphrodisiac and spermatogenic potential of the aqueous extract of dried roots of Chlorophytum borivilianum (CB) in rats. Male Wistar albino rats were divided into four groups. Rats were orally treated with (1) CONTROL GROUP: distilled water; (2) CB 125 mg/kg/day; (3) CB 250 mg/kg/day; and (4) Viagra((R)) group: 4 mg/kg/day sildenafil citrate and their sexual behaviour was monitored 3 h later using a receptive female. Their sexual behaviour was evaluated on days 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28 of treatment by pairing with a pro-oestrous female rat. For sperm count the treatment was continued further in all groups except the Viagra((R)) group for 60 days. At 125 mg/kg, CB had a marked aphrodisiac action, increased libido, sexual vigor and sexual arousal. Similarly, at the higher dose (250 mg/kg) all the parameters of sexual behaviour were enhanced, but showed a saturation effect after day 14. On day 60 the sperm count increased significantly in both the CB groups, 125 mg/kg and 250 mg/kg, in a dose dependent manner. Thus, roots of Chlorophytum borivilianum can be useful in the treatment of certain forms of sexual inadequacies, such as premature ejaculation and oligospermia.

  1. 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. PMID:25846838

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Is painting by elephants in zoos as enriching as we are led to believe?

    PubMed

    English, Megan; Kaplan, Gisela; Rogers, Lesley J

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between the activity of painting and performance of stereotyped and other stress-related behaviour was investigated in four captive Asian elephants at Melbourne Zoo, Australia. The activity involved the elephant being instructed to paint on a canvas by its keeper in front of an audience. Painting by elephants in zoos is commonly believed to be a form of enrichment, but this assumption had not been based on any systematic research. If an activity is enriching we would expect stress-related behaviour to be reduced but we found no evidence of the elephants anticipating the painting activity and no effect on the performance of stereotyped or other stress-related behaviour either before or after the painting session. This indicates that the activity does not fulfil one of the main aims of enrichment. However, if an elephant was not selected to paint on a given day this was associated with higher levels of non-interactive behaviour, a possible indicator of stress. Behavioural observations associated with ear, eye and trunk positions during the painting session showed that the elephant's attentiveness to the painting activity or to the keeper giving instruction varied between individuals. Apart from positive reinforcement from the keeper, the results indicated that elephants gain little enrichment from the activity of painting. Hence, the benefits of this activity appear to be limited to the aesthetic appeal of these paintings to the people viewing them.

  11. A Case of an Aortic Abscess around the Elephant Trunk

    PubMed Central

    Kawasaki, Muneyasu; Katayanagi, Tomoyuki; Okuma, Shinnosuke; Masuhara, Hiroshi; Shiono, Noritsugu; Watanabe, Yoshinori

    2015-01-01

    A 52-year-old male patient with a history of total arch replacement using the elephant trunk technique for acute aortic dissection 4 years before visited our hospital with the chief complaint of persistent fever. Chest computed tomography (CT) suggested prosthetic vascular graft infection, which was treated surgically after chemotherapy. The first surgery consisted of debridement of an abscess around the vascular graft and in the aorta around the elephant trunk, and thoracic descending aorta replacement and vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) in view of the risk of bleeding from the peripheral region of the elephant trunk. One week later, omental filling was performed as the second step. This is a very rare case of aortic abscess around the elephant trunk that could successfully be managed by graft-conserving treatment. PMID:26226888

  12. Comparative reproductive biology of elephants.

    PubMed

    Brown, Janine L

    2014-01-01

    The ability to serially collect blood samples and conduct ultrasound examinations in Asian and African elephants has provided unique opportunities to study the biology of these endangered species. As a result, many unique aspects of elephant reproduction have been identified. For females, there are interesting differences in luteal steroidogenic activity, follicular maturation, pituitary gonadotropin secretion, fetal development and reproductive tract anatomy, while males exhibit the unique phenomenon of musth and an unusual reproductive anatomy (internal testes, ampullary semen storage). However, problems associated with uterine and ovarian pathologies hamper captive propagation efforts. Older, nulliparous cows are particularly susceptible, leading to speculation that continuous ovarian cyclicity of non-bred females in zoos is having a negative and cumulative effect on reproductive health. There are notable species differences in reproductive mechanisms as well (e.g., ovarian acyclicity, prolactin secretion, sperm cryosensitivity), implying that species-specific approaches to management and application of assisted reproductive techniques are needed for maximal reproductive efficiency and enhancement of genetic management.

  13. 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...

  14. 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. PMID:23178457

  15. 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.

  16. Use of a deslorelin implant for influencing sex hormones and male behaviour in a stallion - Case report.

    PubMed

    Schönert, Susanne; Reher, Martina; Gruber, Achim D; Carstanjen, Bianca

    2012-12-01

    This case report describes the use of a subcutaneously applied 4.7-mg deslorelin acetate implant in a three-year-old Arabian crossbred stallion showing unwanted strong male behaviour. Following deslorelin acetate implantation the stallion showed a short transitional increase in male behaviour. A 'gelding-like' behaviour was noted 15 days (D15) after treatment. The horse was surgically castrated at the owners request at D52 after treatment. Serum testosterone, oestradiol-17β and oestrone sulphate values decreased after deslorelin acetate implantation, but serum LH and FSH levels remained unchanged. Histopathological analysis of both testes and sperm analysis revealed a reduced spermatogenesis at D52. The testicular volume decreased after treatment. The use of a subcutaneously applied deslorelin acetate implant might be a promising tool to change the behaviour of aggressive stallions. PMID:23160033

  17. First report of behavioural lateralisation in mosquitoes: right-biased kicking behaviour against males in females of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus.

    PubMed

    Benelli, Giovanni; Romano, Donato; Messing, Russell H; Canale, Angelo

    2015-04-01

    Lateralisation (i.e. functional and/or structural specialisations of left and right sides of the brain) of aggressive traits has been studied in a number of vertebrates, while evidence for invertebrates is scarce. Mosquito females display aggressive responses against undesired males, performing rejection kicks with the hind legs. In this research, we examined lateralisation of kicking behaviour in females of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. We found a right-biased population-level lateralisation of kicking behaviour. Four repeated testing phases on mosquito females confirmed the preferential use of right legs. However, when left legs were used, the mean number of kicks per rejection event was not different to that performed with right legs. Both left and right kicking behaviour lead to successful displacement of undesired partners. This is the first report about behavioural lateralisation in mosquitoes.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:24803471

  20. 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

  1. The effect of removing animals for slaughter on the behaviour of the remaining male and female pigs in the pen.

    PubMed

    Fredriksen, B; Hexeberg, C

    2009-04-01

    The study was performed to investigate changes in the behaviour of male and female pigs when one or more pigs were removed from the pen and sent to slaughter. Twelve pens were included, half of them housed six female pigs each, while the other half housed six male pigs each. Skin lesions and behaviour were recorded on two occasions, four days before and two days after one or more animals per pen were sent to slaughter. On the first occasion the male pigs fought on average about twice as often as the females (2.6 vs. 1.0 per animal per hour) and had twice as many skin lesions (6.7 vs. 3.2). On the second occasion, the frequency of fighting among both males (6.8) and females (1.8) had increased, however, more in males than in females. The number of skin lesions was not significantly higher on the second occasion. In the male group there was also a tendency towards increased mounting on the second occasion (from 2.3 to 3.3 per animal per hour). The study shows that the very common practice of slaughtering pigs from one pen over more than one occasion results in an increase in unwanted behaviour. The effect is more pronounced in groups of entire male pigs than in groups of females.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Short periods of prenatal stress affect growth, behaviour and hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in male guinea pig offspring.

    PubMed

    Kapoor, Amita; Matthews, Stephen G

    2005-08-01

    Prenatal stress can have profound long-term influences on physiological function throughout the course of life. We hypothesized that focused periods of moderate prenatal stress at discrete time points in late gestation have differential effects on hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function in adult guinea pig offspring, and that changes in HPA axis function will be associated with modification of anxiety-related behaviour. Pregnant guinea pigs were exposed to a strobe light for 2 h on gestational days (GD) 50, 51, 52 (PS50) or 60, 61, 62 (PS60) (gestation length approximately 70 days). A control group was left undisturbed throughout pregnancy. Behaviour was assessed in male offspring on postnatal day (PND)25 and PND70 by measurement of ambulatory activity and thigmotaxis (wall-seeking behaviour) in a novel open field environment. Subsequent to behavioural testing, male offspring were cannulated (PND75) to evaluate basal and activated HPA axis function. Body weight was significantly decreased in adult PS50 and PS60 offspring and this effect was apparent soon after weaning. The brain-to-body-weight ratio was significantly increased in adult PS50 males. Basal plasma cortisol levels were elevated in PS50 male offspring throughout the 24 h sampling period compared with controls. In response to an ACTH challenge and to exposure to an acute stressor, PS60 male offspring exhibited elevated plasma cortisol responses. Plasma testosterone concentrations were strikingly decreased in PS50 offspring. Thigmotaxis in the novel environment was increased in PS50 male offspring at PND25 and PND70, suggesting increased anxiety in these animals. In conclusion, prenatal stress during critical windows of neuroendocrine development programs growth, HPA axis function, and stress-related behaviour in adult male guinea pig offspring. Further, the nature of the effect is dependant on the timing of the maternal stress during pregnancy.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:27399044

  10. 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.

  11. A simple and inexpensive molecular method for sexing and identification of the forensic samples of elephant origin.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Sandeep K; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy; Singh, Lalji

    2006-07-01

    The population of the Asian elephant is being dramatically reduced due to poaching of the ivory from the male. As poaching occurs in remote forests, it often takes weeks or longer for it to be discovered and it is therefore often very difficult to determine the sex of the decomposed body. Data suggest that in the recent past, over 2000 male elephants have been poached in South India. We have developed a technique based on molecular markers to determine that the carcass is an elephant and that it is a male. Using DNA sequence information from Genbank, we have developed two primer pairs: one for the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the other for the sex-determining region of Y chromosome (SRY) gene of the Indian elephant. After PCR amplification of known elephant DNA, we found that the mtDNA was common in both males and females, whereas the SRY-specific amplicon was observed only in the male.

  12. Architectural organization of the african elephant diencephalon and brainstem.

    PubMed

    Maseko, Busisiwe C; Patzke, Nina; Fuxe, Kjell; Manger, Paul R

    2013-01-01

    novel concept regarding the reception and localization of infrasonic sources. The orexinergic system of the hypothalamus displayed a medial hypothalamic parvocellular cluster of neurons in addition to the magnocellular clusters typical of mammals located in the lateral hypothalamus, and a novel medial division of the locus coeruleus was observed in the pons. These systems are related to appetitive drive and promotion of wakefulness, two aspects of elephant behaviour that appear to be inextricably linked. Lastly, we observed an extensive potential neurogenic lining of the ventricles throughout the brainstem that is present in even quite old elephants, although the function of these cells remains elusive. These observations combined demonstrate that, while much of the elephant brainstem is typically mammalian, certain aspects of the anatomy related to specialized behaviour of elephants are present and instructive in understanding elephant behaviour. PMID:24021932

  13. Alterations in male sexual behaviour, attractiveness and testosterone levels induced by an adult-onset calorie restriction regimen.

    PubMed

    Govic, Antonina; Levay, Elizabeth A; Hazi, Agnes; Penman, Jim; Kent, Stephen; Paolini, Antonio G

    2008-06-26

    Despite an abundance of research on calorie restriction (CR) altering gonadal and appetite regulating hormones, the sexual behavioural consequences of CR remain to be examined systematically. This study compared the sexual behaviour, partner preference, serum testosterone and leptin levels of male adult Hooded Wistar rats administered a CR (continuous 25%, 50% CR or a temporary restriction) with ad libitum fed controls. The temporary restriction (Previous CR) failed to alter sexual behaviour, partner preference and levels of testosterone and leptin. The moderately 25% CR males did not demonstrate an impairment in sexual behaviour but did demonstrate a reduced level of attractiveness to females in one measure of partner preference. Sexual performance was affected by a substantial CR, as the CR 50% group exhibited a longer latency to the first intromission, indicating alteration in sexual arousal. Females also consistently demonstrated a clear preference for the control group compared to the CR 50% group. These findings indicate a possible reduction in the overall reproductive potential of the substantially CR animals. Testosterone levels were equally suppressed by both the 25% and 50% CR, while leptin levels were only reduced in the CR 50% group. Leptin, rather than testosterone, may have influenced the impairment in sexual behaviour only demonstrated by the substantially CR animals. Testosterone, may, however, play a role in modulating the preference of control over CR males, as attractiveness was totally reduced by a substantial CR, and partially reduced by a moderate restricted regimen.

  14. An investigation into resting behavior in Asian elephants in UK zoos.

    PubMed

    Williams, Ellen; Bremner-Harrison, Samantha; Harvey, Naomi; Evison, Emma; Yon, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Maintaining adequate welfare in captive elephants is challenging. Few studies have investigated overnight rest behavior in zoo elephants, yet time spent resting has been identified as a welfare indicator in some species. We investigated resting behavior in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in UK zoos, with the aim of identifying patterns or preferences in lying rest. Details of standing (SR) and lying (LR) rest behavior were identified by observing video footage of inside enclosures collected for 14 elephants (2 male, 12 female) housed at three UK zoos (Zoo A: 18 nights; Zoo B: 27 nights; Zoo C: 46 nights) from 16:00 to 08:30 (approximately). Elephants engaged in a mean of 58-337 min rest per night. Time of night affected mean duration of LR bouts (P < 0.001); longest bouts were observed between 22:01 and 06:00. Elephants showed a substrate preference when lying to rest; LR was not observed on concrete or tiled flooring. Where sand was available (to 11/14 elephants), all elephants engaged in LR on sand flooring. Only two elephants engaged in LR on rubber flooring (available to 7/14 elephants). Mean duration of rest bouts was greater when a conspecific was within two body lengths than when conspecifics were not (P < 0.01). Our study indicated that elephants show substrate preferences when choosing an area for rest and engage in more rest when conspecifics are in close proximity. The results of this study could be used as a basis for future studies investigating the link between rest and welfare in captive elephants. PMID:26189573

  15. An investigation into resting behavior in Asian elephants in UK zoos.

    PubMed

    Williams, Ellen; Bremner-Harrison, Samantha; Harvey, Naomi; Evison, Emma; Yon, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Maintaining adequate welfare in captive elephants is challenging. Few studies have investigated overnight rest behavior in zoo elephants, yet time spent resting has been identified as a welfare indicator in some species. We investigated resting behavior in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in UK zoos, with the aim of identifying patterns or preferences in lying rest. Details of standing (SR) and lying (LR) rest behavior were identified by observing video footage of inside enclosures collected for 14 elephants (2 male, 12 female) housed at three UK zoos (Zoo A: 18 nights; Zoo B: 27 nights; Zoo C: 46 nights) from 16:00 to 08:30 (approximately). Elephants engaged in a mean of 58-337 min rest per night. Time of night affected mean duration of LR bouts (P < 0.001); longest bouts were observed between 22:01 and 06:00. Elephants showed a substrate preference when lying to rest; LR was not observed on concrete or tiled flooring. Where sand was available (to 11/14 elephants), all elephants engaged in LR on sand flooring. Only two elephants engaged in LR on rubber flooring (available to 7/14 elephants). Mean duration of rest bouts was greater when a conspecific was within two body lengths than when conspecifics were not (P < 0.01). Our study indicated that elephants show substrate preferences when choosing an area for rest and engage in more rest when conspecifics are in close proximity. The results of this study could be used as a basis for future studies investigating the link between rest and welfare in captive elephants.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-22

    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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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. PMID:27415437

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:26088184

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Social status and mating activity in elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Le Boeuf, B J; Peterson, R S

    1969-01-01

    Individually marked male elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris, observed on an island off central California participate in a social hierarchy resembling the peck order of domestic chickens. Individuals achieve status by fighting and maintain it by stereotyped threat displays. The higher the status of a male, the more readily he approaches and copulates with females. Four percent of the males inseminated 85 percent of the females.

  9. Formation of Twisted Elephant Trunks in the Rosette Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlqvist, P.; Gahm, G. F.; Kristen, H.

    New observations show that dark elephant trunks in the Rosette nebula are often built up by thin filaments. In several of the trunks the filaments seem to form a twisted pattern. This pattern is hard to reconcile with current theory. We propose a new model for the formation of twisted elephant trunks in which electromagnetic forces play an important role. The model considers the behaviour of a twisted magnetic filament in a molecular cloud, where a cluster of hot stars has been recently born. As a result of stellar winds, and radiation pressure, electromagnetic forces, and inertia forces part of the filament can develop into a double helix pointing towards the stars. The double helix represents the twisted elephant trunk. A simple analogy experiment visualizes and supports the trunk model.

  10. 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. PMID:21289445

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Longitudinal study of Asian elephants, Elephas maximus, indicates intermittent shedding of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1 during pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Laura; Dunham, Stephen; Yon, Lisa; Chapman, Sarah; Kenaghan, Megan; Purdie, Laura; Tarlinton, Rachael

    2015-01-01

    Introduction EEHV-1 is a viral infection of elephants that has been associated with a fatal haemorrhagic syndrome in Asian elephants. Previous studies have suggested that pregnant animals may shed more virus than non-pregnant animals. Methods This study examined whether pregnancy affected the frequency or magnitude of shedding of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1 (EEHV1) using Taq man real-time PCR on trunk washes from four female elephants from a UK collection over three time periods between 2011 and 2014. These periods included pregnancies in two animals (period 1 and period 3). Behavioural observations made by keepers were also assessed. Results During period 1 there was a high degree of social hierarchical instability which led to a hierarchy change, and was associated with aggressive behaviour. Also during period 1 EEHV-1 shedding was of a higher magnitude and frequency than in the latter two time periods. Conclusions These results suggest that there is no clear relationship between shedding and pregnancy, and that behavioural stressors may be related to an increase in EEHV-1 shedding. PMID:26392899

  14. Dung as a potential medium for inter-sexual chemical signaling in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Ghosal, Ratna; Seshagiri, P B; Sukumar, R

    2012-09-01

    Chemical signaling is a prominent mode of male-female communication among elephants, especially during their sexually active periods. Studies on the Asian elephant in zoos have shown the significance of a urinary pheromone (Z7-12:Ac) in conveying the reproductive status of a female toward the opposite sex. We investigated the additional possibility of an inter-sexual chemical signal being conveyed through dung. Sixteen semi-captive adult male elephants were presented with dung samples of three female elephants in different reproductive phases. Each male was tested in 3 separate trials, within an interval of 1-3 days. The trials followed a double-blind pattern as the male and female elephants used in the trials were strangers, and the observer was not aware of the reproductive status of females during the period of bioassays. Males responded preferentially (P<0.005), in terms of higher frequency of sniff, check and place behavior toward the dung of females close to pre-ovulatory period (follicular-phase) as compared to those in post-ovulatory period (luteal-phase). The response toward the follicular phase samples declined over repeated trials though was still significantly higher than the corresponding response toward the non-ovulatory phase in each of the trials performed. This is the first study to show that male Asian elephants were able to distinguish the reproductive phase of the female by possibly detecting a pre-ovulatory pheromone released in dung.

  15. 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. PMID:25314848

  16. The spatial scaling of habitat selection by African elephants.

    PubMed

    de Knegt, Henrik J; van Langevelde, Frank; Skidmore, Andrew K; Delsink, Audrey; Slotow, Rob; Henley, Steve; Bucini, Gabriela; de Boer, Willem F; Coughenour, Michael B; Grant, Cornelia C; Heitkönig, Ignas M A; Henley, Michelle; Knox, Nicky M; Kohi, Edward M; Mwakiwa, Emmanuel; Page, Bruce R; Peel, Mike; Pretorius, Yolanda; van Wieren, Sipke E; Prins, Herbert H T

    2011-01-01

    1. Understanding and accurately predicting the spatial patterns of habitat use by organisms is important for ecological research, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. However, this understanding is complicated by the effects of spatial scale, because the scale of analysis affects the quantification of species-environment relationships. 2. We therefore assessed the influence of environmental context (i.e. the characteristics of the landscape surrounding a site), varied over a large range of scales (i.e. ambit radii around focal sites), on the analysis and prediction of habitat selection by African elephants in Kruger National Park, South Africa. 3. We focused on the spatial scaling of the elephants' response to their main resources, forage and water, and found that the quantification of habitat selection strongly depended on the scales at which environmental context was considered. Moreover, the inclusion of environmental context at characteristic scales (i.e. those at which habitat selectivity was maximized) increased the predictive capacity of habitat suitability models. 4. The elephants responded to their environment in a scale-dependent and perhaps hierarchical manner, with forage characteristics driving habitat selection at coarse spatial scales, and surface water at fine spatial scales. 5. Furthermore, the elephants exhibited sexual habitat segregation, mainly in relation to vegetation characteristics. Male elephants preferred areas with high tree cover and low herbaceous biomass, whereas this pattern was reversed for female elephants. 6. We show that the spatial distribution of elephants can be better understood and predicted when scale-dependent species-environment relationships are explicitly considered. This demonstrates the importance of considering the influence of spatial scale on the analysis of spatial patterning in ecological phenomena.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. Demographic variables for wild Asian elephants using longitudinal observations.

    PubMed

    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 50(th) 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.

  2. Demographic variables for wild Asian elephants using longitudinal observations.

    PubMed

    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 50(th) 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

  3. 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

  4. Peri-pubertal exposure to testicular hormones organizes response to novel environments and social behaviour in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Brown, Gillian R; Kulbarsh, Kyle D; Spencer, Karen A; Duval, Camille

    2015-07-01

    Previous research has shown that exposure to testicular hormones during the peri-pubertal period of life has long-term, organizational effects on adult sexual behaviour and underlying neural mechanisms in laboratory rodents. However, the organizational effects of peri-pubertal testicular hormones on other aspects of behaviour and brain function are less well understood. Here, we investigated the effects of manipulating peri-pubertal testicular hormone exposure on later behavioural responses to novel environments and on hormone receptors in various brain regions that are involved in response to novelty. Male rodents generally spend less time in the exposed areas of novel environments than females, and this sex difference emerges during the peri-pubertal period. Male Lister-hooded rats (Rattus norvegicus) were castrated either before puberty or after puberty, then tested in three novel environments (elevated plus-maze, light-dark box, open field) and in an object/social novelty task in adulthood. Androgen receptor (AR), oestrogen receptor (ER1) and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor (CRF-R2) mRNA expression were quantified in the hypothalamus, hippocampus and medial amygdala. The results showed that pre-pubertally castrated males spent more time in the exposed areas of the elevated-plus maze and light-dark box than post-pubertally castrated males, and also confirmed that peri-pubertal hormone exposure influences later response to an opposite-sex conspecific. Hormone receptor gene expression levels did not differ between pre-pubertally and post-pubertally castrated males in any of the brain regions examined. This study therefore demonstrates that testicular hormone exposure during the peri-pubertal period masculinizes later response to novel environments, although the neural mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated.

  5. Peri-pubertal exposure to testicular hormones organizes response to novel environments and social behaviour in adult male rats

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Gillian R.; Kulbarsh, Kyle D.; Spencer, Karen A.; Duval, Camille

    2015-01-01

    Previous research has shown that exposure to testicular hormones during the peri-pubertal period of life has long-term, organizational effects on adult sexual behaviour and underlying neural mechanisms in laboratory rodents. However, the organizational effects of peri-pubertal testicular hormones on other aspects of behaviour and brain function are less well understood. Here, we investigated the effects of manipulating peri-pubertal testicular hormone exposure on later behavioural responses to novel environments and on hormone receptors in various brain regions that are involved in response to novelty. Male rodents generally spend less time in the exposed areas of novel environments than females, and this sex difference emerges during the peri-pubertal period. Male Lister-hooded rats (Rattus norvegicus) were castrated either before puberty or after puberty, then tested in three novel environments (elevated plus-maze, light–dark box, open field) and in an object/social novelty task in adulthood. Androgen receptor (AR), oestrogen receptor (ER1) and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor (CRF-R2) mRNA expression were quantified in the hypothalamus, hippocampus and medial amygdala. The results showed that pre-pubertally castrated males spent more time in the exposed areas of the elevated-plus maze and light–dark box than post-pubertally castrated males, and also confirmed that peri-pubertal hormone exposure influences later response to an opposite-sex conspecific. Hormone receptor gene expression levels did not differ between pre-pubertally and post-pubertally castrated males in any of the brain regions examined. This study therefore demonstrates that testicular hormone exposure during the peri-pubertal period masculinizes later response to novel environments, although the neural mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated. PMID:26159287

  6. Psychological and behavioural effects of endogenous testosterone levels and anabolic-androgenic steroids among males. A review.

    PubMed

    Bahrke, M S; Yesalis, C E; Wright, J E

    1990-11-01

    The psychological and behavioural effects of endogenous testosterone levels and anabolic-androgenic steroids in males have been investigated for over 50 years in both clinical and nonmedical uses, including the influence of anabolic-androgenic steroids on the nervous system and neuromuscular expression as a mechanism for behavioural and ergogenic effects. The relationship between moods, behaviour and endogenous plasma testosterone levels, as well as anabolic steroids and corticosteroid administration has been studied, including psychological dependence, withdrawal effects, and major methodological issues. While a relationship between endogenous testosterone levels and aggressive behaviour has been observed in various animal species, it is less consistent in humans. It can be concluded that, although the use of exogenous anabolic-androgenic steroids may have psychological and behavioural effects in some patients and athletes, the effects are variable, transient upon discontinuation of the drugs, and appear to be related to type (17 alpha-alkalated rather than 17 beta-esterified), but not dose, of anabolic-androgenic steroids administered. The roles of genetic factors, medical history, environmental and peer influences, and individual expectations are likewise unclear. In general, the evidence at present is limited and much additional research will be necessary for a complete understanding of this relationship.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:26582759

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Preparatory behaviours and condom use during receptive and insertive anal sex among male-to-female transgenders (Waria) in Jakarta, Indonesia

    PubMed Central

    Prabawanti, Ciptasari; Dijkstra, Arie; Riono, Pandu; Hartana Tb, Gagan

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The male-to-female transgender (waria) is part of a key population at higher risk for HIV. This study aims to test whether psychosocial determinants as defined by the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) can explain behaviours related to condom use among waria. Three preparatory behaviours (getting, carrying, and offering a condom) and two condom use behaviours (during receptive and insertive anal sex) were assessed. Methods The study involved 209 waria, recruited from five districts in Jakarta and interviewed by using structured questionnaires. Specific measures were developed to study attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control (PBC) in order to predict intentions and behaviours. Results The explained variance between intentions with regard to three preparatory behaviours and two condom uses ranged between 30 and 57%, and the variance between the actual preparatory behaviours of three preparatory and two condom uses ranged between 21 and 42%. In our study, as with several previous studies of the TPB on HIV protection behaviours, the TPB variables differed in their predictive power. With regard to intention, attitude and PBC were consistently significant predictors; attitude was the strongest predictor of intention for all three preparatory behaviours, and PBC was the strongest predictor of intention for condom use, both during receptive and insertive anal sex. TPB variables were also significantly related to the second parameter of future behaviour: actual (past) behaviour. TPB variables were differentially related to the five behaviours. Attitude was predictive in three behaviours, PBC in three behaviours and subjective norms in two behaviours. Conclusions Our results have implications for the development of interventions to target preparatory behaviours and condom use behaviours. Five behaviours and three psychological factors as defined in the TPB are to be targeted. PMID:25529498

  12. Male Roman high and low avoidance rats show different patterns of copulatory behaviour: comparison with Sprague Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Sanna, Fabrizio; Corda, Maria Giuseppa; Melis, Maria Rosaria; Piludu, Maria Antonietta; Giorgi, Osvaldo; Argiolas, Antonio

    2014-03-29

    Roman high- (RHA) and low-avoidance (RLA) rats, selectively bred for, respectively, rapid vs. extremely poor acquisition of avoidant behaviour in the shuttle-box, display different coping strategies when exposed to aversive environmental conditions: RLA rats are reactive copers and show hyperemotional behaviour characterized by hypomotility and freezing, while RHA rats show a proactive coping behaviour aimed at gaining control over the stressor. RHA rats also display a robust sensation/novelty seeking profile, high baseline levels of impulsivity, and marked preference for, and intake of, natural and drug rewards. This study shows that the Roman lines also differ in sexual behaviour, a main source of natural reward. Thus, male RHA rats engaged in copulatory activity with a receptive female showing more mounts, intromissions and ejaculations in the first copulation test as compared with their RLA counterparts and Sprague Dawley rats used as an external reference strain. Such differences decreased only partially in subsequent copulation tests, with RHA rats always showing higher levels of sexual motivation and performance than RLA rats. Accordingly, analysis of copulatory parameters of five copulation tests performed at 3-day intervals confirmed that the Roman lines display different patterns of copulatory activity that persist after stabilization of copulatory behaviour by sexual experience. Finally, the weight of the testes, epididymides and seminal vesicles increased to a similar extent in both Roman lines after sexual activity. These results are discussed in terms of the relative contribution of differences in brain neurotransmission (mainly dopamine) and neuroendocrine function to the different patterns of copulatory behaviour of the Roman lines.

  13. Intention to start cigarette smoking among Iranian male adolescents: usefulness of an extended version of the theory of planned behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Karimy, Mahmood; Niknami, Shamsaddin; Hidarnia, Ali Reza; Hajizadeh, Ibrahim

    2012-01-01

    Background Smoking is one of the risk behaviours that begin in adolescence, and therefore identifying predictors of smoking is necessary for planning prevention programmes. Objectives To examine the ability of the extended theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to predict the intention to smoke. Methods This was a cross-sectional study carried out in Iran, 2011. The data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire which included items on demographics, smoking behaviour, components of the TPB model (attitude, subjective norms, perceived behaviour control and intention) and an added construct on smoking self-identity. Data were analysed using descriptive, correlation and linear regression statistics. Results 365 male high school students with a mean age of 16.5 (SD=1.2) years were studied. Fifty-five (15.1%) of the students surveyed were current smokers. All components of the TPB model and smoking self identity were statistically significantly related to intention to smoke (p<0.001). The TPB constructs with and without smoking self-identity accounted for 58.5% (adjusted R2) and 54.8% of the variance observed for intention to smoke, respectively. Result also revealed the highest weights for perceived behaviour control (β=−0.35). Conclusions The extended model of the TPB predicted ‘intention to smoke’ better than the original TPB. The findings of this study might be used as a framework in designing heart disease prevention programmes. Thus the findings have implications for both health promotion specialists and cardiologists. They could place an emphasis on perceived behaviour control, specifying that individuals who do not smoke should not start and if they are smokers it is possible to stop smoking. PMID:27326046

  14. 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. PMID

  15. 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.

  16. Male sexual behaviour and ethanol consumption from an evolutionary perspective: A comment on “Sexual Deprivation Increases Ethanol Intake in Drosophila”

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Shohat-Ophir et al.1 demonstrate a connection between sexual behaviour and ethanol consumption in male Drosophila flies, and how the neuropeptide F system regulates ethanol preference. Their results are rightly discussed only in a physiological context, but this has facilitated erroneous anthropomorphic interpretations by the media. Here we discuss the link between male sexual behaviour and ethanol consumption from an evolutionary perspective, providing a broader context to interpret their results. PMID:25970263

  17. School Dropout, Problem Behaviour and Poor Academic Achievement: A Longitudinal View of Portuguese Male Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beatriz Saraiva, A.; Pereira, Beatriz O.; Zamith-Cruz, Judite

    2011-01-01

    This study examines school dropouts from the perspective of male adults themselves through interviews with offenders currently serving sentences. Participants were 10 Portuguese male inmates, between the ages of 19 and 46 years of age, incarcerated in two prison facilities on the Azores. Qualitative and interpretative methods were carried out…

  18. Long-term monitoring of Dzanga Bai forest elephants: forest clearing use patterns.

    PubMed

    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

  19. 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

  20. Response of male mice to odours of female mice in different stages of oestrous cycle: self-grooming behaviour and the effect of castration.

    PubMed

    Achiraman, Shanmugam; SankarGanesh, Devaraj; Kannan, Soundarapandian; Kamalakkannan, Soundararajan; Nirmala, Natarajan; Archunan, Govindaraju

    2014-01-01

    The behavioural assays were carried out in a Y-maze wherein intact, castrated and testosterone-treated male mice were exposed to oestrus and non-oestrus urine samples. The intact male mice investigated more frequently and spent more time in the Y-maze arm with oestrus urine than in that with non-oestrus urine. In contrast, the castrated mice were not attracted to oestrus urine, whereas testosterone-treated mice showed preference for oestrus urine. The rate of self-grooming was higher in intact males in case of exposure to oestrus urine while the rate was lower with respect to non-oestrus urine. However, castrated mice exhibited less self-grooming behaviour which was partially restored by testosterone treatment. The results suggest that self-grooming behaviour is an indicator of detection and discrimination of oestrus by males, and supports the androgen role in male chemosensory ability to discriminate between oestrus and non-oestrus female odours.

  1. Relationships between circulating androgens, aggressive behaviour and breeding tubercles in males of the common bream Abramis brama L. in an aquarium environment.

    PubMed

    Poncin, P; Matondo, B Nzau; Termol, C; Kestemont, P; Philippart, J C

    2011-09-01

    In this study, relationships between circulating androgens, aggressive behaviour and breeding tubercles in males of common bream Abramis brama were examined in an aquarium environment. The breeding tubercles of fish were counted, the number of attacks was quantified by male status and circulating rates of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone from blood plasma were analysed using radioimmunoassay procedures. The results revealed that no significant differences were found between circulating testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone in territorial and nonterritorial males. Furthermore, no significant correlations were found between circulating androgens, androgens and aggression, androgens and tubercles and breeding tubercles and aggression in common bream by male status. However, territorial fish displayed a significantly higher level of aggressive behaviour and breeding tubercles than nonterritorial fish. In natural environments, the occurrence of breeding tubercles during the spawning season could contribute to identifying the behavioural status of common bream males.

  2. Eating behaviours in youths: A comparison between female and male athletes and non-athletes.

    PubMed

    Fortes, L de S; Kakeshita, I S; Almeida, S S; Gomes, A R; Ferreira, M E C

    2014-02-01

    This study compared the different factors associated with eating behaviors among young female and male athletes and non-athletes. A total of 580 female and male athletes and 362 female and male non-athletes between 10 and 19 years old participated. We used the subscales of the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) to evaluate the factors associated with unhealthy eating behaviors. We found higher scores for females on the diet subscale compared with males, regardless of athletic group (P < 0.05). Non-athlete youths scored higher on this subscale compared with male athletes (P < 0.05). Our findings indicate higher scores for female athletes with regard to the bulimia and preoccupation with food subscale compared with other the groups (P < 0.05). Moreover, we observed that non-athlete males were more likely to engage in binge eating compared with athletes of the same sex (P < 0.05). Finally, females had higher scores on the oral self subscale than males, regardless of athletic group (P < 0.05). We concluded that the factors associated with eating behaviors differ with regard to sex and group.

  3. Endocrine correlates of musth in free-ranging Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) determined by non-invasive faecal steroid hormone metabolite measurements.

    PubMed

    Ghosal, Ratna; Ganswindt, André; Seshagiri, Polani B; Sukumar, Raman

    2013-01-01

    The occurrence of musth, a period of elevated levels of androgens and heightened sexual activity, has been well documented for the male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). However, the relationship between androgen-dependent musth and adrenocortical function in this species is unclear. The current study is the first assessment of testicular and adrenocortical function in free-ranging male Asian elephants by measuring levels of testosterone (androgen) and cortisol (glucocorticoid--a physiological indicator of stress) metabolites in faeces. During musth, males expectedly showed significant elevation in faecal testosterone metabolite levels. Interestingly, glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations remained unchanged between musth and non-musth periods. This observation is contrary to that observed with wild and captive African elephant bulls and captive Asian bull elephants. Our results show that musth may not necessarily represent a stressful condition in free-ranging male Asian elephants. PMID:24358371

  4. The elephant brain in numbers

    PubMed Central

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Avelino-de-Souza, Kamilla; Neves, Kleber; Porfírio, Jairo; Messeder, Débora; Mattos Feijó, Larissa; Maldonado, José; Manger, Paul R.

    2014-01-01

    What explains the superior cognitive abilities of the human brain compared to other, larger brains? Here we investigate the possibility that the human brain has a larger number of neurons than even larger brains by determining the cellular composition of the brain of the African elephant. We find that the African elephant brain, which is about three times larger than the human brain, contains 257 billion (109) neurons, three times more than the average human brain; however, 97.5% of the neurons in the elephant brain (251 billion) are found in the cerebellum. This makes the elephant an outlier in regard to the number of cerebellar neurons compared to other mammals, which might be related to sensorimotor specializations. In contrast, the elephant cerebral cortex, which has twice the mass of the human cerebral cortex, holds only 5.6 billion neurons, about one third of the number of neurons found in the human cerebral cortex. This finding supports the hypothesis that the larger absolute number of neurons in the human cerebral cortex (but not in the whole brain) is correlated with the superior cognitive abilities of humans compared to elephants and other large-brained mammals. PMID:24971054

  5. How to swallow an elephant

    SciTech Connect

    Powell, K.B.

    1995-03-01

    There is an old East Indian fable of a young man who went to see a wise man. The young man had a question - {open_quotes}How can I become rich and powerful?{close_quotes} The wise man paused for a moment then asked a question in return - {open_quotes}How can you swallow an elephant?{close_quotes} The young man was astounded, {open_quotes}There is no way a man can swallow an elephant!{close_quotes} {open_quotes}Yes, there is,{close_quotes} replied the wise man, {open_quotes}You just have to do it one bite at a time.{close_quotes} Many large problems can only be handled the same way that an elephant is swallowed, one bite at a time. Global warming and other environmental problems are obviously of elephant-swallowing scale. Some have set a goal for our society of reducing atmospheric greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}), by 20%. The cost to accomplish this has been estimated to be about five trillion dollars! As big as this elephant is, I suspect that its size is understated, if all the factors involved are included. The proponents of the plan tell us that it is well worth the cost to save the world. Therein lies another elephant-style problem.

  6. Divergent Evolution of Male Aggressive Behaviour: Another Reproductive Isolation Barrier in Extremophile Poeciliid Fishes?

    PubMed Central

    Bierbach, David; Klein, Moritz; Saßmannshausen, Vanessa; Schlupp, Ingo; Riesch, Rüdiger; Parzefall, Jakob; Plath, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Reproductive isolation among locally adapted populations may arise when immigrants from foreign habitats are selected against via natural or (inter-)sexual selection (female mate choice). We asked whether also intrasexual selection through male-male competition could promote reproductive isolation among populations of poeciliid fishes that are locally adapted to extreme environmental conditions [i.e., darkness in caves and/or toxic hydrogen sulphide (H2S)]. We found strongly reduced aggressiveness in extremophile P. oecilia mexicana, and darkness was the best predictor for the evolutionary reduction of aggressiveness, especially when combined with presence of H2S. We demonstrate that reduced aggression directly translates into migrant males being inferior when paired with males from non-sulphidic surface habitats. By contrast, the phylogenetically old sulphur endemic P. sulphuraria from another sulphide spring area showed no overall reduced aggressiveness, possibly indicating evolved mechanisms to better cope with H2S. PMID:22315695

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Organization and chemical neuroanatomy of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Patzke, Nina; Olaleye, Olatunbosun; Haagensen, Mark; Hof, Patrick R; Ihunwo, Amadi O; Manger, Paul R

    2014-09-01

    Elephants are thought to possess excellent long-term spatial-temporal and social memory, both memory types being at least in part hippocampus dependent. Although the hippocampus has been extensively studied in common laboratory mammalian species and humans, much less is known about comparative hippocampal neuroanatomy, and specifically that of the elephant. Moreover, the data available regarding hippocampal size of the elephant are inconsistent. The aim of the current study was to re-examine hippocampal size and provide a detailed neuroanatomical description of the hippocampus in the African elephant. In order to examine the hippocampal size the perfusion-fixed brains of three wild-caught adult male African elephants, aged 20-30 years, underwent MRI scanning. For the neuroanatomical description brain sections containing the hippocampus were stained for Nissl, myelin, calbindin, calretinin, parvalbumin and doublecortin. This study demonstrates that the elephant hippocampus is not unduly enlarged, nor specifically unusual in its internal morphology. The elephant hippocampus has a volume of 10.84 ± 0.33 cm³ and is slightly larger than the human hippocampus (10.23 cm(3)). Histological analysis revealed the typical trilaminated architecture of the dentate gyrus (DG) and the cornu ammonis (CA), although the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus appears to have supernumerary sublaminae compared to other mammals. The three main architectonic fields of the cornu ammonis (CA1, CA2, and CA3) could be clearly distinguished. Doublecortin immunostaining revealed the presence of adult neurogenesis in the elephant hippocampus. Thus, the elephant exhibits, for the most part, what might be considered a typically mammalian hippocampus in terms of both size and architecture.

  10. 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…

  11. An Asian elephant imitates human speech.

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-20

    Vocal imitation has convergently evolved in many species, allowing learning and cultural transmission of complex, conspecific sounds, as in birdsong. Scattered instances also exist of vocal imitation across species, including mockingbirds imitating other species or parrots and mynahs producing human speech. 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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Epidemiology of eating disorders, eating disordered behaviour, and body image disturbance in males: a narrative review.

    PubMed

    Mitchison, Deborah; Mond, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Challenges to epidemiological studies of eating and related body image disturbance disorders in males include, in addition to low base rates and the predominance of residual diagnostic categories, the female-centric nature of current classification schemes and the consequent lack of appropriate assessment instruments. In this narrative review, we summarise epidemiological data regarding the prevalence and correlates of eating disorders, related body image disturbance disorders, and eating disorder features in males. Attention is focused on disorders most likely to be observed among males, such as muscle dysmorphia and muscularity-oriented excessive exercise. It is argued that, given the multiple challenges involved in research of this kind, a focus on features is more likely to advance the field than a focus on diagnoses. In terms of correlates, we focus on impairment and help-seeking, since these issues are most relevant in informing public health burden, service provision, and related issues. We end with some thoughts about current gaps in the knowledge base and directions for future research that we consider to be most promising.

  14. Epidemiology of eating disorders, eating disordered behaviour, and body image disturbance in males: a narrative review.

    PubMed

    Mitchison, Deborah; Mond, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Challenges to epidemiological studies of eating and related body image disturbance disorders in males include, in addition to low base rates and the predominance of residual diagnostic categories, the female-centric nature of current classification schemes and the consequent lack of appropriate assessment instruments. In this narrative review, we summarise epidemiological data regarding the prevalence and correlates of eating disorders, related body image disturbance disorders, and eating disorder features in males. Attention is focused on disorders most likely to be observed among males, such as muscle dysmorphia and muscularity-oriented excessive exercise. It is argued that, given the multiple challenges involved in research of this kind, a focus on features is more likely to advance the field than a focus on diagnoses. In terms of correlates, we focus on impairment and help-seeking, since these issues are most relevant in informing public health burden, service provision, and related issues. We end with some thoughts about current gaps in the knowledge base and directions for future research that we consider to be most promising. PMID:27408719

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Assessment of the quality of life of vulnerable young males with severe emotional and behaviour difficulties in a residential setting.

    PubMed

    Carroll, D; Duffy, T; Martin, C R

    2013-01-01

    Sixty-four looked after and accommodated males aged 13-16 had an assessment of their quality of life using Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) and Quality of Life in Care (QOLIC). The participants were from a Scottish residential centre for young people with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties. The total sample of 64 participants consists of two distinct groups: residential group (n = 33) and a secure care group (n = 31). Over 3 observations the aim of the study was to identify similarities and differences between the groups and to establish the sensitivity of the PedsQL and the PedsQL in care module (QOLIC) as a measurement instrument for Quality of Life (QoL) in adolescent males. Overall there was a nonsignificant increase in the quality of life of these young people at the centre as measured by PedsQL and QOLIC over 3 observations. No significant differences were detected in the quality of life scores between the two groups using the QOLIC.

  19. Endotheliotropic elephant herpesvirus, the first betaherpesvirus with a thymidine kinase gene.

    PubMed

    Ehlers, Bernhard; Dural, Güzin; Marschall, Manfred; Schregel, Vera; Goltz, Michael; Hentschke, Jochen

    2006-10-01

    Endotheliotropic elephant herpesvirus (elephantid herpesvirus 1; ElHV-1) is apathogenic for African elephants (Loxodonta africana), but causes fatal haemorrhagic disease in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). This is thought to occur through transmission from African elephants in places where both species are housed, such as zoological gardens. The virus has caused considerable losses in North American and European zoological gardens and thus severely impedes breeding of the endangered Asian elephant. Previously, the ultrastructural and genetic characterization of ElHV-1 from a male Asian elephant that died from the disease at the Berlin zoological gardens in 1998 have been reported. Here, a partial characterization of the ElHV-1 genome is presented. A 60 kbp locus, spanning 34 open reading frames, was analysed. Most of the detected genes were found to be conserved among the herpesviruses and showed an overall arrangement most similar to that of betaherpesviruses, in particular Human herpesvirus 6 and Human herpesvirus 7. Most importantly, in addition to a protein kinase gene that is homologous to the human cytomegalovirus UL97 gene, a thymidine kinase (TK) gene was found, which is generally missing in betaherpesvirus genomes. Thus, ElHV-1 is the only known betaherpesvirus to encode a TK gene. This peculiarity might contribute to the fulminant pathogenicity of ElHV-1, but also provide a crucial enzymic activity for developing an efficient antiviral therapy with currently available nucleoside analogues.

  20. IMMUNOLOCALIZATION OF INHIBIN/ACTIVIN SUBUNITS AND STEROIDOGENIC ENZYMES IN THE TESTES OF AN ADULT AFRICAN ELEPHANT (LOXODONTA AFRICANA).

    PubMed

    Li, Qinglin; Lu, Lu; Weng, Qiang; Kawakami, Shigehisa; Saito, Eriko; Yamamoto, Tatsuya; Yamamoto, Yuki; Kaewmanee, Saroch; Nagaoka, Kentaro; Watanabe, Gen; Taya, Kazuyoshi

    2016-06-01

    In this case report, the authors investigated immunolocalization of inhibin α and inhibin/activin βA and βB subunits, as well as steroidogenic enzymes, in the testes of an African elephant. Testes were collected from a reproductively active male African elephant (24 yr old) at autopsy. Histologically, all types of spermatogenic cells including mature-phase spermatozoa were found in the seminiferous tubules. Positive immunostaining for inhibin α and inhibin/activin βA and βB subunits was observed in Sertoli and Leydig cells. In addition, P450scc, 3βHSD, P450c17, and P450arom were also detected in the cytoplasm of Leydig cells. These results suggested that Leydig cells of adult African elephant testes have the ability to synthesize progestin, androgen, and estrogen, whereas both Sertoli and Leydig cells appear as a major source of inhibin secretion in the male African elephant.

  1. Causes and correlates of calf mortality in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Mar, Khyne U; Lahdenperä, Mirkka; Lummaa, Virpi

    2012-01-01

    Juvenile mortality is a key factor influencing population growth rate in density-independent, predation-free, well-managed captive populations. Currently at least a quarter of all Asian elephants live in captivity, but both the wild and captive populations are unsustainable with the present fertility and calf mortality rates. Despite the need for detailed data on calf mortality to manage effectively populations and to minimize the need for capture from the wild, very little is known of the causes and correlates of calf mortality in Asian elephants. Here we use the world's largest multigenerational demographic dataset on a semi-captive population of Asian elephants compiled from timber camps in Myanmar to investigate the survival of calves (n = 1020) to age five born to captive-born mothers (n = 391) between 1960 and 1999. Mortality risk varied significantly across different ages and was higher for males at any age. Maternal reproductive history was associated with large differences in both stillbirth and liveborn mortality risk: first-time mothers had a higher risk of calf loss as did mothers producing another calf soon (<3.7 years) after a previous birth, and when giving birth at older age. Stillbirth (4%) and pre-weaning mortality (25.6%) were considerably lower than those reported for zoo elephants and used in published population viability analyses. A large proportion of deaths were caused by accidents and lack of maternal milk/calf weakness which both might be partly preventable by supplementary feeding of mothers and calves and work reduction of high-risk mothers. Our results on Myanmar timber elephants with an extensive keeping system provide an important comparison to compromised survivorship reported in zoo elephants. They have implications for improving captive working elephant management systems in range countries and for refining population viability analyses with realistic parameter values in order to predict future population size of the Asian

  2. Successful artificial insemination in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) using chilled and frozen-thawed semen

    PubMed Central

    Thongtip, Nikorn; Mahasawangkul, Sittidet; Thitaram, Chatchote; Pongsopavijitr, Pornsawan; Kornkaewrat, Kornchai; Pinyopummin, Anuchai; Angkawanish, Taweepoke; Jansittiwate, Saran; Rungsri, Ronnachit; Boonprasert, Khajornpat; Wongkalasin, Warut; Homkong, Pongpon; Dejchaisri, Suthathip; Wajjwalku, Worawit; Saikhun, Kulnasan

    2009-01-01

    Background Artificial insemination (AI) using frozen-thawed semen is well established and routinely used for breeding in various mammalian species. However, there is no report of the birth of elephant calves following AI with frozen-thawed semen. The objective of the present study was to investigate the fertilizing ability of chilled and frozen-thawed semen in the Asian elephant following artificial insemination (AI). Methods Semen samples were collected by from 8 bulls (age range, 12-to 42-years) by manual stimulation. Semen with high quality were either cooled to 4°C or frozen in liquid nitrogen (-196°C) before being used for AI. Blood samples collected from ten elephant females (age range, 12-to 52-years) were assessed for estrus cycle and elephants with normal cycling were used for AI. Artificial insemination series were conducted during 2003 to 2008; 55 and 2 AI trials were conducted using frozen-thawed and chilled semen, respectively. Pregnancy was detected using transrectal ultrasonography and serum progestagen measurement. Results One female (Khod) inseminated with chilled semen became pregnant and gave birth in 2007. The gestation length was 663 days and the sex of the elephant calf was male. One female (Sao) inseminated with frozen-thawed semen showed signs of pregnancy by increasing progestagen levels and a fetus was observed for 5 months by transrectal ultrasonography. Conclusion This is the first report showing pregnancy following AI with frozen-thawed semen in the Asian elephant. Successful AI in the Asian elephant using either chilled or frozen-thawed semen is a stepping stone towards applying this technology for genetic improvement of the elephant population. PMID:19615097

  3. Causes and Correlates of Calf Mortality in Captive Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus)

    PubMed Central

    Mar, Khyne U.; Lahdenperä, Mirkka; Lummaa, Virpi

    2012-01-01

    Juvenile mortality is a key factor influencing population growth rate in density-independent, predation-free, well-managed captive populations. Currently at least a quarter of all Asian elephants live in captivity, but both the wild and captive populations are unsustainable with the present fertility and calf mortality rates. Despite the need for detailed data on calf mortality to manage effectively populations and to minimize the need for capture from the wild, very little is known of the causes and correlates of calf mortality in Asian elephants. Here we use the world's largest multigenerational demographic dataset on a semi-captive population of Asian elephants compiled from timber camps in Myanmar to investigate the survival of calves (n = 1020) to age five born to captive-born mothers (n = 391) between 1960 and 1999. Mortality risk varied significantly across different ages and was higher for males at any age. Maternal reproductive history was associated with large differences in both stillbirth and liveborn mortality risk: first-time mothers had a higher risk of calf loss as did mothers producing another calf soon (<3.7 years) after a previous birth, and when giving birth at older age. Stillbirth (4%) and pre-weaning mortality (25.6%) were considerably lower than those reported for zoo elephants and used in published population viability analyses. A large proportion of deaths were caused by accidents and lack of maternal milk/calf weakness which both might be partly preventable by supplementary feeding of mothers and calves and work reduction of high-risk mothers. Our results on Myanmar timber elephants with an extensive keeping system provide an important comparison to compromised survivorship reported in zoo elephants. They have implications for improving captive working elephant management systems in range countries and for refining population viability analyses with realistic parameter values in order to predict future population size of the Asian

  4. Comparative sequence analyses of genome and transcriptome reveal novel transcripts and variants in the Asian elephant Elephas maximus.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Puli Chandramouli; Sinha, Ishani; Kelkar, Ashwin; Habib, Farhat; Pradhan, Saurabh J; Sukumar, Raman; Galande, Sanjeev

    2015-12-01

    The Asian elephant Elephas maximus and the African elephant Loxodonta africana that diverged 5-7 million years ago exhibit differences in their physiology, behaviour and morphology. A comparative genomics approach would be useful and necessary for evolutionary and functional genetic studies of elephants. We performed sequencing of E. maximus and map to L. africana at ~15X coverage. Through comparative sequence analyses, we have identified Asian elephant specific homozygous, non-synonymous single nucleotide variants (SNVs) that map to 1514 protein coding genes, many of which are involved in olfaction. We also present the first report of a high-coverage transcriptome sequence in E. maximus from peripheral blood lymphocytes. We have identified 103 novel protein coding transcripts and 66-long non-coding (lnc)RNAs. We also report the presence of 181 protein domains unique to elephants when compared to other Afrotheria species. Each of these findings can be further investigated to gain a better understanding of functional differences unique to elephant species, as well as those unique to elephantids in comparison with other mammals. This work therefore provides a valuable resource to explore the immense research potential of comparative analyses of transcriptome and genome sequences in the Asian elephant.

  5. Comparative sequence analyses of genome and transcriptome reveal novel transcripts and variants in the Asian elephant Elephas maximus.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Puli Chandramouli; Sinha, Ishani; Kelkar, Ashwin; Habib, Farhat; Pradhan, Saurabh J; Sukumar, Raman; Galande, Sanjeev

    2015-12-01

    The Asian elephant Elephas maximus and the African elephant Loxodonta africana that diverged 5-7 million years ago exhibit differences in their physiology, behaviour and morphology. A comparative genomics approach would be useful and necessary for evolutionary and functional genetic studies of elephants. We performed sequencing of E. maximus and map to L. africana at ~15X coverage. Through comparative sequence analyses, we have identified Asian elephant specific homozygous, non-synonymous single nucleotide variants (SNVs) that map to 1514 protein coding genes, many of which are involved in olfaction. We also present the first report of a high-coverage transcriptome sequence in E. maximus from peripheral blood lymphocytes. We have identified 103 novel protein coding transcripts and 66-long non-coding (lnc)RNAs. We also report the presence of 181 protein domains unique to elephants when compared to other Afrotheria species. Each of these findings can be further investigated to gain a better understanding of functional differences unique to elephant species, as well as those unique to elephantids in comparison with other mammals. This work therefore provides a valuable resource to explore the immense research potential of comparative analyses of transcriptome and genome sequences in the Asian elephant. PMID:26648035

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. The effect of cage shelf on the behaviour of male C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice in the elevated plus maze test.

    PubMed

    Õkva, K; Nevalainen, T; Pokk, P

    2013-07-01

    The effect of environmental enrichment in the form of a cage shelf on the behaviour of male C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice was compared. Male C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice were randomly allocated into 12 cages per strain. The mice were kept in control conditions or exposed to a cage shelf for two, four, six or eight weeks, and thereafter assessed with the elevated plus maze. C57BL/6 mice displayed a trend of being less anxious than the BALB/c mice. A cage shelf increased the number of entries made into the open arms and the total number of entries only in the case of the C57BL/6 mice, but had no effect on the behaviour of the BALB/c mice. In conclusion, the effect of a cage shelf on the elevated plus maze behaviour of mice depends on the strain of the animals.

  11. The Clactonian elephant butchery site at Southfleet Road, Ebbsfleet, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wenban-Smith, F. F.; Allen, P.; Bates, M. R.; Parfitt, S. A.; Preece, R. C.; Stewart, J. R.; Turner, C.; Whittaker, J. E.

    2006-07-01

    Archaeological excavations at Southfleet Road, Ebbsfleet, Kent, have revealed a complex sequence of fossiliferous Middle Pleistocene sediments containing lithic artefacts. An incomplete skeleton of straight-tusked elephant Palaeoloxodon antiquus was found in lacustrine sediments in close association with a cluster of mint condition cores, flakes and notched flake-tools, some with evidence of use-damage. These finds appear to reflect in situ tool production and butchery of the elephant carcass. A far larger concentration of similar artefacts, again in mint condition, occurred nearby in the same horizon. These finds were overlain by a fluvial gravel containing abundant handaxes, some also in mint condition. A range of fossils, including pollen, molluscs and small vertebrates, indicates temperate conditions with local woodland coeval with the elephant butchery. The sediments appear to have formed during the early part of an interglacial, almost certainly MIS 11. As well as providing rare undisturbed evidence of human behaviour, the site supports the existence of a distinctive non-handaxe Clactonian core/flake-tool industry in southeast England at this period. Copyright

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:17407383

  15. Simultaneous Visual Discrimination In Asian Elephants

    PubMed Central

    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 sessions and 293 trials. One elephant failed to reach criterion in the white+/black− task in 9 sessions and 549 trials, and 2 elephants failed to reach criterion in the black+/white− task in 9 sessions and 452 trials. In Experiment 2, 3 elephants learned a large/small transposition problem, reaching criterion within a mean of 1.7 sessions and 58 trials. Four elephants failed to reach criterion in 4.8 sessions and 193 trials. Data from both the black/ white and large/small discriminations showed a surprising age effect, suggesting that elephants beyond the age of 20 to 30 years either may be unable to acquire these visual discriminations or may require an inordinate number of trials to do so. Overall, our results cannot be readily reconciled with the widespread view that elephants possess exceptional intelligence. PMID:15762378

  16. Forest Elephant Crisis in the Congo Basin

    PubMed Central

    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

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:17407383

  17. 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. PMID:18958284

  18. Detection of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus infection among healthy Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in South India.

    PubMed

    Stanton, Jeffrey J; Nofs, Sally A; Zachariah, Arun; Kalaivannan, N; Ling, Paul D

    2014-04-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause fatal hemorrhagic disease in Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants. Of the seven known EEHV species, EEHV1 is recognized as the most common cause of hemorrhagic disease among Asian elephants in human care worldwide. Recent data collected from ex situ Asian elephants located in multiple North American and European institutions suggest that subclinical EEHV1 infection is common in this population of elephants. Although fatal EEHV1-associated hemorrhagic disease has been reported in range countries, data are lacking regarding the prevalence of subclinical EEHV infections among in situ Asian elephants. We used previously validated EEHV-specific quantitative real-time PCR assays to detect subclinical EEHV infection in three regionally distinct Asian elephant cohorts, totaling 46 in situ elephants in South India, during October and November 2011. Using DNA prepared from trunk washes, we detected EEHV1, EEHV3/4, and EEHV5 at frequencies of 7, 9, and 20% respectively. None of the trunk washes was positive for EEHV2 or 6. At least one EEHV species was detectable in 35% (16/46) of the samples that were screened. These data suggest that subclinical EEHV infection among in situ Asian elephants occurs and that Asian elephants may be natural hosts for EEHV1, EEHV3 or 4, and EEHV5, but not EEHV2 and EEHV6. The methodology described in this study provides a foundation for further studies to determine prevalences of EEHV infection in Asian elephants throughout the world.

  19. A simple and inexpensive molecular method for sexing and identification of the forensic samples of elephant origin.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Sandeep K; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy; Singh, Lalji

    2006-07-01

    The population of the Asian elephant is being dramatically reduced due to poaching of the ivory from the male. As poaching occurs in remote forests, it often takes weeks or longer for it to be discovered and it is therefore often very difficult to determine the sex of the decomposed body. Data suggest that in the recent past, over 2000 male elephants have been poached in South India. We have developed a technique based on molecular markers to determine that the carcass is an elephant and that it is a male. Using DNA sequence information from Genbank, we have developed two primer pairs: one for the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the other for the sex-determining region of Y chromosome (SRY) gene of the Indian elephant. After PCR amplification of known elephant DNA, we found that the mtDNA was common in both males and females, whereas the SRY-specific amplicon was observed only in the male. PMID:16882222

  20. Elephants: Big, Strong and Wise. Young Discovery Library Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfeffer, Pierre

    This book is written for children ages 5 through 10. Part of a series designed to develop their curiosity, fascinate them and educate them, this volume examines the characteristics and natural history of elephants. Topics included are: (1) elephant's ancestors; (2) elephant life; and (3) training elephants for work. Quiz items are included. (YP)

  1. 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

  2. African elephant alarm calls distinguish between threats from humans and bees.

    PubMed

    Soltis, Joseph; King, Lucy E; 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

  3. 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…

  4. Reproductive behaviour in the male cricket Gryllus bimaculatus DeGeer. II. Neural control of the genitalia.

    PubMed

    Kumashiro, M; Sakai, M

    2001-03-01

    To understand the neural mechanisms of reproductive behaviour in the male cricket, we identified motor neurones innervating the muscles in each genital organ by backfilling with cobalt/nickel and recording their extracellular spike activity from nerve bundles of the terminal abdominal ganglion during tethered copulation and spermatophore formation. During tethered copulation, at least two motor neurones innervating two ipsilateral muscles were activated during projection of the guiding rod of the phallic dorsal pouch. Only one motor neurone, innervating four ipsilateral muscles of the dorsal pouch, was responsible for spermatophore extrusion by deforming the dorsal pouch. For spermatophore transfer, three motor neurones, singly innervating three epiphallus muscles, played a major role in opening passages for haemolymph to enter the ventral lobes and median pouch by bending the epiphallus. Two ventral lobe and 3-5 median pouch motor neurones seemed to play a role in expanding or folding the two membranous structures by relaxing or contracting their muscle fibres. After spermatophore transfer, most of the genital motor neurones exhibited a rhythmic burst of action potentials causing movement of the phallic complex coupled with strong abdominal contractions. For spermatophore formation, the genital motor neurones began to accelerate their rhythmic bursts approximately 30 s prior to subgenital plate opening and then changed their activity to tonic bursting or silence. The results have allowed us to describe the timing of the onset and termination of genital muscle contraction more precisely than before, to examine the neural mechanisms of copulatory motor control and to speculate on the neural organization of the reproductive centre for spermatophore extrusion and protrusion.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:24790099

  7. Acute phase protein expression during elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus-1 viremia in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Stanton, Jeffrey J; Cray, Carolyn; Rodriguez, Marilyn; Arheart, Kristopher L; Ling, Paul D; Herron, Alan

    2013-09-01

    Infection of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) with elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) can be associated with rapid, lethal hemorrhagic disease and has been documented in elephant herds in human care and in the wild. Recent reports describe real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays used to monitor clinically ill elephants and also to detect subclinical EEHV1 infection in apparently healthy Asian elephants. Acute phase proteins have been demonstrated to increase with a variety of infectious etiologies in domesticated mammals but have not yet been described in elephants. In addition, the immune response of Asian elephants to EEHV1 infection has not been described. In this study, whole blood and trunk wash samples representing repeated measures from eight elephants were examined for the presence of EEHV1 using a qPCR assay. Elephants were classified into groups, as follows: whole blood negative and positive and trunk wash negative and positive. Serum amyloid A (SAA) and haptoglobin (HP) levels were compared between these groups. A significant difference in SAA was observed with nearly a threefold higher mean value during periods of viremia (P=0.011). Higher values of SAA were associated with >10,000 virus genome copies/ml EEHV1 in whole blood. There were no significant differences in HP levels, although some individual animals did exhibit increased levels with infection. These data indicate that an inflammatory process is stimulated during EEHV1 viremia. Acute phase protein quantitation may aid in monitoring the health status of Asian elephants.

  8. Acute phase protein expression during elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus-1 viremia in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Stanton, Jeffrey J; Cray, Carolyn; Rodriguez, Marilyn; Arheart, Kristopher L; Ling, Paul D; Herron, Alan

    2013-09-01

    Infection of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) with elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) can be associated with rapid, lethal hemorrhagic disease and has been documented in elephant herds in human care and in the wild. Recent reports describe real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays used to monitor clinically ill elephants and also to detect subclinical EEHV1 infection in apparently healthy Asian elephants. Acute phase proteins have been demonstrated to increase with a variety of infectious etiologies in domesticated mammals but have not yet been described in elephants. In addition, the immune response of Asian elephants to EEHV1 infection has not been described. In this study, whole blood and trunk wash samples representing repeated measures from eight elephants were examined for the presence of EEHV1 using a qPCR assay. Elephants were classified into groups, as follows: whole blood negative and positive and trunk wash negative and positive. Serum amyloid A (SAA) and haptoglobin (HP) levels were compared between these groups. A significant difference in SAA was observed with nearly a threefold higher mean value during periods of viremia (P=0.011). Higher values of SAA were associated with >10,000 virus genome copies/ml EEHV1 in whole blood. There were no significant differences in HP levels, although some individual animals did exhibit increased levels with infection. These data indicate that an inflammatory process is stimulated during EEHV1 viremia. Acute phase protein quantitation may aid in monitoring the health status of Asian elephants. PMID:24063088

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:17472917

  11. Low-level repeated exposure to diazinon and chlorpyrifos decrease anxiety-like behaviour in adult male rats as assessed by marble burying behaviour.

    PubMed

    Savy, Claire Y; Fitchett, Ann E; McQuade, Richard; Gartside, Sarah E; Morris, Christopher M; Blain, Peter G; Judge, Sarah J

    2015-09-01

    Occupational exposure to organophosphate (OPs) pesticides is reported to increase in the risk of developing anxiety and depression. Preclinical studies using OP levels, which inhibit acetylcholinesterase activity, support the clinical observations, but little is known of the effects of exposure below this threshold. We examined the effects of low level OP exposure on behaviours and neurochemistry associated with affective disorders. Adult rats were administered either diazinon (1 mg/kg i.p.) which is present in sheep dip and flea collars, chlorpyrifos (1 mg/kg i.p.) which is present in crop sprays, or vehicle for 5 days. OP exposure did not affect acetylcholinesterase activity (blood, cerebellum, caudate putamen, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex), anhedonia-like behaviour (sucrose preference), working memory (novel object recognition), locomotor activity or anxiety-like behaviour in the open field arena. In contrast OP exposure attenuated marble burying behaviour, an ethological measure of anxiety. The diazinon-induced reduction in marble burying persisted after exposure cessation. In comparison to vehicle, dopamine levels were lowered by chlorpyrifos, but not diazinon. 5-HT levels and turnover were unaffected by OP exposure. However, 5-HT transporter expression was reduced by diazinon suggesting subtle changes in 5-HT transmission. These data indicate exposure to occupational and domestic OPs, below the threshold to inhibit acetylcholinesterase, can subtly alter behaviour and neurochemistry.

  12. Oestrous behaviour and development of preovulatory follicles in goats induced to ovulate using the male effect with and without progesterone priming.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Bulnes, A; Carrizosa, J A; Urrutia, B; Lopez-Sebastian, A

    2006-01-01

    The objective of the current study was to examine follicular dynamics in goats induced to ovulate by using the male effect with or without progesterone pretreatment. Ten Murcian-Granadina goats were treated with a single dose of 25 mg of progesterone in olive oil on the day of male effect induction (Day 0), whereas ten does remained untreated. Changes in the ovarian follicular population and onset of oestrous behaviour were checked daily from Day 0 to the day on which ovulation was detected by ultrasonography. All of the treated goats and only 20% of control goats (P < 0.001) showed oestrous behaviour between 72 and 96 h after the introduction of bucks. Differences in follicle growth were found between the groups. The control goats exhibiting oestrous behaviour during the first 4 days of ovarian screening and all of the goats treated with progesterone had their preovulatory follicles in growing phase. However, the largest follicles in control does not showing oestrus in these first 4 days were in regressing phase, being necessary for the emergence of new preovulatory follicles from a new follicular wave between Days 6 and 7, for exhibition of oestrous behaviour and subsequent ovulation. In conclusion, the appearance of short luteal phases and delayed ovulation in goats treated with the male effect during seasonal anoestrous depends on the stage of follicle development at the time of buck introduction. A single injection of progesterone stimulates the emergence of a new follicular wave, able to grow and give adequate ovulation after induction of the male effect. PMID:17032582

  13. Male emergence schedule and dispersal behaviour are modified by mate availability in heterogeneous landscapes: evidence from the orange-tip butterfly.

    PubMed

    Davies, W James; Saccheri, Ilik J

    2015-01-01

    Protandry (prior emergence of males) in insect populations is usually considered to be the result of natural selection acting directly on eclosion timing. When females are monandrous (mate once), males in high density populations benefit from early emergence in the intense scramble competition for mates. In low density populations, however, scramble competition is reduced or absent, and theoretical models predict that protandry will be less favoured. This raises the question of how males behave in heterogeneous landscapes characterized by high density core populations in a low density continuum. We hypothesized that disadvantaged late emerging males in a core population would disperse to the continuum to find mates. We tested this idea using the protandrous, monandrous, pierid butterfly Anthocharis cardamines (the orange-tip) in a core population in Cheshire, northwest England. Over a six-year period, predicted male fitness (the number of matings a male can expect during his residence time, determined by the daily ratio of virgin females to competing males) consistently declined to <1 in late season. This decline affected a large proportion (∼44%) of males in the population and was strongly associated with decreased male recapture-rates, which we attribute to dispersal to the surrounding continuum. In contrast, reanalysis of mark-release-recapture data from an isolated population in Durham, northeast England, showed that in the absence of a continuum very few males (∼3%) emerged when fitness declined to <1 in late season. Hence the existence of a low density continuum may lead to the evolution of plastic dispersal behaviour in high density core populations, maintaining late emerging males which would otherwise be eliminated by selection. This has important theoretical consequences, since a truncated male emergence curve is a key prediction in game theoretic models of emergence timing which has so far received limited support. Our results have implications for

  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. Dose- and time-dependent effects of Garcinia kola seed extract on sexual behaviour and reproductive parameters in male Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Sewani-Rusike, C R; Ralebona, N; Nkeh-Chungag, B N

    2016-04-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a crude extract of Garcinia kola on male sexual function after subchronic and chronic treatment periods at different sublethal doses. Adult male Wistar rats were treated orally with 100, 200 and 400 mg kg(-1) of a 70% ethanolic extract of G. kola daily for 56 days. Sexual behaviour studies were performed on days 28 and 50. At termination on day 56, organ weights, sperm count, reproductive hormone levels and testicular histology were assessed. Subchronic and chronic treatment of normal male rats with G. kola extract resulted in overall increase in components of libido, erection and ejaculation in treated rats - with lower doses being more efficient than the higher dose. There was a slight reduction in some components of sexual behaviour with prolonged time of treatment. G. kola treatment at all doses resulted in increased testicular weights, increased sperm count with no change in motility and increased serum testosterone levels with no change in gonadotropin levels. Gross testicular histology was not affected by treatment. We conclude that G. kola seed extract possesses potent aphrodisiac activity in male albino rats with resultant increase in sperm count and testosterone levels. PMID:26123866

  16. The effects of gonadectomy and binge-like ethanol exposure during adolescence on open field behaviour in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Yan, Wensheng; Kang, Jie; Zhang, Guoliang; Li, Shuangcheng; Kang, Yunxiao; Wang, Lei; Shi, Geming

    2015-09-14

    Binge drinking ethanol exposure during adolescence can lead to long-term neurobehavioural damage. It is not known whether the pubertal surge in testosterone that occurs during adolescence might impact the neurobehavioural effects of early ethanol exposure in adult animals. We examined this hypothesis by performing sham or gonadectomy surgeries on Sprague-Dawley rats around postnatal day (P) 23. From P28-65,the rats were administered 3.0g/kg ethanol using a binge-like model of exposure. Dependent measurements included tests of open field behaviour, blood ethanol concentrations, and testosterone levels. As adults, significant decreases in open field activity were observed in the GX rats. The open field behaviour of the GX rats was restored after testosterone administration. Binge-like ethanol exposure altered most of the parameters of the open field behaviour, suggestive of alcohol-induced anxiety, but rats treated with alcohol in combination with gonadectomy showed less motor behaviour and grooming behaviour and an increase in immobility, suggesting ethanol-induced depression. These results indicated that testosterone is required for ethanol-induced behavioural changes and that testicular hormones are potent stimulators of ethanol-induced behaviours.

  17. Social life of captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Southern India: implications for elephant welfare.

    PubMed

    Vanitha, Varadharajan; Thiyagesan, Krishnamoorthy; Baskaran, Nagarajan

    2011-01-01

    Asian elephants in the wild live in complex social societies; in captivity, however, management often occurs in solitary conditions, especially at the temples and private places of India. To investigate the effect of social isolation, this study assessed the social group sizes and the presence of stereotypies among 140 captive Asian elephants managed in 3 captive systems (private, temple, and forest department) in Tamil Nadu, India, between 2003 and 2005. The majority of the facilities in the private (82%) and temple (95%) systems held a single elephant without opportunity for social interaction. The forest department managed the elephants in significantly larger groups than the private and temple systems. Among the 3 systems, the proportion of elephants with stereotypies was the highest in temple (49%) followed by private system (26%) and the forest department facility (6%); this correlates with the social isolation trend observed in the 3 systems and suggests a possible link between social isolation and abnormal elephant behavior separate from other environmental factors. The results of this study indicate it would be of greater benefit to elephant well being to keep the patchily distributed solitary temple and private elephants who are socially compatible and free from contagious diseases in small social groups at "common elephant houses" for socialization.

  18. 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.

  19. African bees to control African elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

  20. 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

  1. Evolution of mate-harm, longevity and behaviour in male fruit flies subjected to different levels of interlocus conflict

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Interlocus conflict predicts (a) evolution of traits, beneficial to males but detrimental to females and (b) evolution of aging and life-span under the influence of the cost of bearing these traits. However, there are very few empirical investigations shedding light on these predictions. Those that do address these issues, mostly reported response of male reproductive traits or the lack of it and do not address the life-history consequence of such evolution. Here, we test both the above mentioned predictions using experimental evolution on replicate populations of Drosophila melanogaster. We present responses observed after >45 generations of altered levels of interlocus conflict (generated by varying the operational sex ratio). Results Males from the male biased (high conflict, M-regime) regime evolved higher spontaneous locomotor activity and courtship frequency. Females exposed to these males were found to have higher mortality rate. Males from the female biased regime (low conflict, F-regime) did not evolve altered courtship frequency and activity. However, progeny production of females continuously exposed to F-males was significantly higher than the progeny production of females exposed to M-males indicating that the F-males are relatively benign towards their mates. We found that males from male biased regime lived shorter compared to males from the female biased regime. Conclusion F-males (evolving under lower levels of sexual conflict) evolved decreased mate harming ability indicating the cost of maintenance of the suit of traits that cause mate-harm. The M-males (evolving under higher levels sexual conflict) caused higher female mortality indicating that they had evolved increased mate harming ability, possibly as a by product of increased reproduction related activity. There was a correlated evolution of life-history of the M and F-males. M-regime males lived shorter compared to the males from F-regime, possibly due to the cost of investing

  2. Diurnal and nocturnal activity budgets of zoo elephants in an outdoor facility.

    PubMed

    Horback, Kristina M; Miller, Lance J; Andrews, Jeff R M; Kuczaj, Stan A

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined the activity budgets of 15 African elephants (1 bull, 6 cows, 2 male juveniles, 2 female juveniles, and 4 male calves) living at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park during the summers of 2010 and 2011. Onsite behavioral data (n = 600 hr) were collected for approximately 12 weeks from 0400 to 0830 and 1100 to 2400 during the 2010 and 2011 summer season. Foraging was the most common behavior state during the day followed by resting, and walking. During the evening hours, the elephants spent majority of their time foraging, resting, and sleeping. The average rate of self-maintenance behavior events (dust, wallow, etc.) increased from 0600 to 0700, 1100 to 1500, and from 1700 to 1900. Positive social behavior events (touch other, play, etc.) remained high from 0500 to 2300, with peaks at 0600, 1300, 1500, and 1900. Negative social events occurred at low rates throughout the day and night, with peaks at 0600, 1900, and 2200. The majority of positive behavior events during the daylight and nighttime hours involved the mother-calf pairs. Furthermore, the calves and juveniles initiated approximately 60% of all social events during the daytime and 57% of all social interactions at night. The results of this study demonstrate the differences between diurnal and nocturnal activity budgets of a multi-age and sex elephant herd in a zoological facility, which highlights the importance of managing elephants to meet their 24 hr behavioral needs.

  3. Diurnal and nocturnal activity budgets of zoo elephants in an outdoor facility.

    PubMed

    Horback, Kristina M; Miller, Lance J; Andrews, Jeff R M; Kuczaj, Stan A

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined the activity budgets of 15 African elephants (1 bull, 6 cows, 2 male juveniles, 2 female juveniles, and 4 male calves) living at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park during the summers of 2010 and 2011. Onsite behavioral data (n = 600 hr) were collected for approximately 12 weeks from 0400 to 0830 and 1100 to 2400 during the 2010 and 2011 summer season. Foraging was the most common behavior state during the day followed by resting, and walking. During the evening hours, the elephants spent majority of their time foraging, resting, and sleeping. The average rate of self-maintenance behavior events (dust, wallow, etc.) increased from 0600 to 0700, 1100 to 1500, and from 1700 to 1900. Positive social behavior events (touch other, play, etc.) remained high from 0500 to 2300, with peaks at 0600, 1300, 1500, and 1900. Negative social events occurred at low rates throughout the day and night, with peaks at 0600, 1900, and 2200. The majority of positive behavior events during the daylight and nighttime hours involved the mother-calf pairs. Furthermore, the calves and juveniles initiated approximately 60% of all social events during the daytime and 57% of all social interactions at night. The results of this study demonstrate the differences between diurnal and nocturnal activity budgets of a multi-age and sex elephant herd in a zoological facility, which highlights the importance of managing elephants to meet their 24 hr behavioral needs. PMID:25113850

  4. 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.

  5. Dynamics of the HIV epidemic in southern China: sexual and drug-using behaviours among female sex workers and male clients in Yunnan

    PubMed Central

    Xu, J J; Smith, M K; Chu, J; Ding, G W; Chang, D F; Sharp, G B; Qian, H Z; Lu, L; Bi, A M; Wang, N

    2015-01-01

    Summary To examine the HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI)-related risk behaviours among community-based female sex workers (FSWs) and their clients in Yunnan Province, China, we performed a cross-sectional study of 705 FSWs and 100 male clients. We found that HIV seroprevalence among FSWs was 13.0% and the most prevalent STI was herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) (71.1%), followed by Chlamydia trachomatis (18.1%) and syphilis (8.8%). The 20% of FSWs who reported injection drug use also reported needle-sharing behaviours in the last three months. Drug-using FSWs had substantially higher HIV and HSV-2 prevalence, serviced more clients and had a longer history of sex work than non-using FSWs. In total, 57.0% of male clients did not consistently use condoms with FSWs, 2.0% reported illicit drug use and 17.0% had STI symptoms in the last year. The dual risk behaviours of drug-using FSWs and clients place them at greater risk of HIV infection. Intervention programmes must adopt comprehensive methods. PMID:23033525

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Detection of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus infection among healthy Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in South India.

    PubMed

    Stanton, Jeffrey J; Nofs, Sally A; Zachariah, Arun; Kalaivannan, N; Ling, Paul D

    2014-04-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause fatal hemorrhagic disease in Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants. Of the seven known EEHV species, EEHV1 is recognized as the most common cause of hemorrhagic disease among Asian elephants in human care worldwide. Recent data collected from ex situ Asian elephants located in multiple North American and European institutions suggest that subclinical EEHV1 infection is common in this population of elephants. Although fatal EEHV1-associated hemorrhagic disease has been reported in range countries, data are lacking regarding the prevalence of subclinical EEHV infections among in situ Asian elephants. We used previously validated EEHV-specific quantitative real-time PCR assays to detect subclinical EEHV infection in three regionally distinct Asian elephant cohorts, totaling 46 in situ elephants in South India, during October and November 2011. Using DNA prepared from trunk washes, we detected EEHV1, EEHV3/4, and EEHV5 at frequencies of 7, 9, and 20% respectively. None of the trunk washes was positive for EEHV2 or 6. At least one EEHV species was detectable in 35% (16/46) of the samples that were screened. These data suggest that subclinical EEHV infection among in situ Asian elephants occurs and that Asian elephants may be natural hosts for EEHV1, EEHV3 or 4, and EEHV5, but not EEHV2 and EEHV6. The methodology described in this study provides a foundation for further studies to determine prevalences of EEHV infection in Asian elephants throughout the world. PMID:24484479

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Evaluation of chronic alcohol self-administration by a 3-bottle choice paradigm in adult male rats. Effects on behavioural reactivity, spatial learning and reference memory.

    PubMed

    Cacace, Silvana; Plescia, Fulvio; La Barbera, Marco; Cannizzaro, Carla

    2011-06-01

    Chronic ethanol consumption is able to modify emotional behaviour and cognition in humans. In particular, the effects exerted by alcohol may depend on doses, time and modalities of administration. In this study we investigated, in adult male rats, ethanol self-administration and preference patterns using a 3-bottle choice paradigm with water, 10% ethanol solution, and white wine (10%, v/v), along a four-week period. The influence of alcohol free-access on novelty-induced explorative behaviour in the open field, and on spatial learning and reference memory in the Morris water maze was also evaluated. Our results indicate that: (i) rats show a higher preference for alcohol, in the first two weeks of the paradigm, displaying a higher consumption of 10% ethanol solution than white wine; in the last two weeks, they reduce their alcoholic preference, drinking the same moderate amounts of the two alcoholic beverages; (ii) at the fourth week of the free-access paradigm rats show a high explorative behaviour in the central squares of the open field and an improvement in spatial information processing in the new-place learning task of the Morris water maze. In conclusion our data suggest that, interestingly, rats exposed to the free-access paradigm were able to self-regulate their alcoholic intake, and indicated that a moderate alcohol consumption was able to induce an increase in behavioural reactivity and an enhancement in spatial learning flexibility.

  13. Soil nutrient status determines how elephant utilize trees and shape environments.

    PubMed

    Pretorius, Yolanda; de Boer, Fred W; van der Waal, Cornelis; de Knegt, Henjo J; Grant, Rina C; Knox, Nicky M; Kohi, Edward M; Mwakiwa, Emmanuel; Page, Bruce R; Peel, Mike J S; Skidmore, Andrew K; Slotow, Rob; van Wieren, Sipke E; Prins, Herbert H T

    2011-07-01

    1. Elucidation of the mechanism determining the spatial scale of patch selection by herbivores has been complicated by the way in which resource availability at a specific scale is measured and by vigilance behaviour of the herbivores themselves. To reduce these complications, we studied patch selection by an animal with negligible predation risk, the African elephant. 2. We introduce the concept of nutrient load as the product of patch size, number of patches and local patch nutrient concentration. Nutrient load provides a novel spatially explicit expression of the total available nutrients a herbivore can select from. 3. We hypothesized that elephant would select nutrient-rich patches, based on the nutrient load per 2500 m(2) down to the individual plant scale, and that this selection will depend on the nitrogen and phosphorous contents of plants. 4. We predicted that elephant would cause more adverse impact to trees of lower value to them in order to reach plant parts with higher nutrient concentrations such as bark and root. However, elephant should maintain nutrient-rich trees by inducing coppicing of trees through re-utilization of leaves. 5. Elephant patch selection was measured in a homogenous tree species stand by manipulating the spatial distribution of soil nutrients in a large field experiment using NPK fertilizer. 6. Elephant were able to select nutrient-rich patches and utilized Colophospermum mopane trees inside these patches more than outside, at scales ranging from 2500 down to 100 m(2) . 7. Although both nitrogen and phosphorus contents of leaves from C. mopane trees were higher in fertilized and selected patches, patch choice correlated most strongly with nitrogen content. As predicted, stripping of leaves occurred more in nutrient-rich patches, while adverse impact such as uprooting of trees occurred more in nutrient-poor areas. 8. Our results emphasize the necessity of including scale-dependent selectivity in foraging studies and how elephant

  14. Self-recognition in an Asian elephant

    PubMed Central

    Plotnik, Joshua M.; de Waal, Frans B. M.; Reiss, Diana

    2006-01-01

    Considered an indicator of self-awareness, mirror self-recognition (MSR) has long seemed limited to humans and apes. In both phylogeny and human ontogeny, MSR is thought to correlate with higher forms of empathy and altruistic behavior. Apart from humans and apes, dolphins and elephants are also known for such capacities. After the recent discovery of MSR in dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), elephants thus were the next logical candidate species. We exposed three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to a large mirror to investigate their responses. Animals that possess MSR typically progress through four stages of behavior when facing a mirror: (i) social responses, (ii) physical inspection (e.g., looking behind the mirror), (iii) repetitive mirror-testing behavior, and (iv) realization of seeing themselves. Visible marks and invisible sham-marks were applied to the elephants' heads to test whether they would pass the litmus “mark test” for MSR in which an individual spontaneously uses a mirror to touch an otherwise imperceptible mark on its own body. Here, we report a successful MSR elephant study and report striking parallels in the progression of responses to mirrors among apes, dolphins, and elephants. These parallels suggest convergent cognitive evolution most likely related to complex sociality and cooperation. PMID:17075063

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:27196059

  17. 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

  18. Effects of a pyrethroid pesticide on endocrine responses to female odours and reproductive behaviour in male parr of brown trout (Salmo trutta L.).

    PubMed

    Jaensson, Alia; Scott, Alexander P; Moore, Andrew; Kylin, Henrik; Olsén, K Håkan

    2007-02-15

    Reproductive behaviour of brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) from an anadromous stock was studied in a large stream water aquarium. Four adult males and two ovulated females were placed in the aquarium together with eight mature male parr. Four of the parr were exposed during the previous 4 days to two concentrations (0.1 or 1.0 microgl(-1)) of the pyrethroid pesticide cypermethrin (a disrupter of olfactory receptor function) and four of the parr to the solvent ethanol. The behaviour of all fish was followed for 24h and then blood and milt was collected. Exposure to the higher concentration of cypermethrin disturbed the reproductive behaviour of the parr. They displayed fewer courting events, spent less time near the nesting females and had lower volumes of strippable milt. They also had significantly lower amounts of 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) in the blood plasma than the control group. The higher cypermethrin group also had significantly lower levels of all these variables than the lower cypermethrin group, apart from strippable milt that showed no significant differences between two groups. No significant differences in non-reproductive behaviours were observed between any of the groups. In the control fish, there were significant positive correlations between (a) the number of courting events and the amount of time spent near the female, (b) blood plasma levels of 17alpha,20beta-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17,20beta-P) and time spent near the female and (c) plasma levels of 17,20beta-P and the number of courting events. Further, in control fish, higher plasma levels of 17,20beta-P were observed in parr interacting with a female compared to those with no female contacts. A priming experiment confirmed a previous study that cypermethrin damages olfactory reception. Parr exposed to cypermethrin had significantly lower blood plasma levels of 17,20beta-P and 11-KT than control males after exposure to ovarian fluid and urine (known to contain reproductive priming

  19. Climatic variation and age-specific survival in Asian elephants from Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Mumby, Hannah S; Courtiol, Alexandre; Mar, Khyne U; Lummaa, Virpi

    2013-05-01

    Concern about climate change has intensified interest in understanding how climatic variability affects animal life histories. Despite such effects being potentially most dramatic in large, long-lived, and slowly reproducing terrestrial mammals, little is known of the effects of climatic variation on survival in those species. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are endangered across their distribution, and inhabit regions characterized by high seasonality of temperature and rainfall. We investigated the effects of monthly climatic variation on survival and causes of death in Asian elephants using a unique demographic data set of 1024 semi-captive, longitudinally monitored elephants from four sites in Myanmar between 1965 and 2000. Temperature had a significant effect on survival in both sexes and across all ages. For elephants between 1 month and 17 years of age, maximal survival was reached at -24 degrees C, and any departures from this temperature increased mortality, whereas neonates and mature elephants had maximal survival at even lower temperatures. Although males experienced higher mortality overall, sex differences in these optimal temperatures were small. Because the elephants spent more time during a year in temperatures above 24 degrees C than in temperatures below it, most deaths occurred at hot (temperatures>24 degrees C) rather than cold periods. Decreased survival at higher temperatures resulted partially from increased deaths from infectious disease and heat stroke, whereas the lower survival in the coldest months was associated with an increase in noninfectious diseases and poor health in general. Survival was also related to rainfall, with the highest survival rates during the wettest months for all ages and sexes. Our results show that even the normal-range monsoon variation in climate can exert a large impact on elephant survival in Myanmar, leading to extensive absolute differences in mortality; switching from favorable to unfavorable climatic

  20. Climatic variation and age-specific survival in Asian elephants from Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Mumby, Hannah S; Courtiol, Alexandre; Mar, Khyne U; Lummaa, Virpi

    2013-05-01

    Concern about climate change has intensified interest in understanding how climatic variability affects animal life histories. Despite such effects being potentially most dramatic in large, long-lived, and slowly reproducing terrestrial mammals, little is known of the effects of climatic variation on survival in those species. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are endangered across their distribution, and inhabit regions characterized by high seasonality of temperature and rainfall. We investigated the effects of monthly climatic variation on survival and causes of death in Asian elephants using a unique demographic data set of 1024 semi-captive, longitudinally monitored elephants from four sites in Myanmar between 1965 and 2000. Temperature had a significant effect on survival in both sexes and across all ages. For elephants between 1 month and 17 years of age, maximal survival was reached at -24 degrees C, and any departures from this temperature increased mortality, whereas neonates and mature elephants had maximal survival at even lower temperatures. Although males experienced higher mortality overall, sex differences in these optimal temperatures were small. Because the elephants spent more time during a year in temperatures above 24 degrees C than in temperatures below it, most deaths occurred at hot (temperatures>24 degrees C) rather than cold periods. Decreased survival at higher temperatures resulted partially from increased deaths from infectious disease and heat stroke, whereas the lower survival in the coldest months was associated with an increase in noninfectious diseases and poor health in general. Survival was also related to rainfall, with the highest survival rates during the wettest months for all ages and sexes. Our results show that even the normal-range monsoon variation in climate can exert a large impact on elephant survival in Myanmar, leading to extensive absolute differences in mortality; switching from favorable to unfavorable climatic

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:22496287

  4. Central serotonin depletion modulates the behavioural, endocrine and physiological responses to repeated social stress and subsequent c-fos expression in the brains of male rats.

    PubMed

    Chung, K K; Martinez, M; Herbert, J

    1999-01-01

    Intraspecific confrontation has been used to study effect of depleting central serotonin on the adaptation of male rats to repeated social stress (social defeat). Four groups of adult male rats were used (serotonin depletion/sham: stressed; serotonin depletion/sham: non-stressed). Central serotonin was reduced (by 59-97%) by a single infusion of the neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxtryptamine (150 microg) into the cerebral ventricles; levels of dopamine and noradrenaline were unaltered (rats received appropriate uptake blockers prior to neurotoxic infusions). Sham-operated animals received solute only. Rats were then either exposed daily for 10 days to a second larger aggressive male in the latter's home cage, or simply transferred to an empty cage (control procedure). Rats with reduced serotonin failed to show the increased freezing behaviour during the pre-defeat phase of the social interaction test characteristic of sham animals. There was no change in the residents' behaviour. Core temperature increased during aggressive interaction in sham rats, and this did not adapt with repeated stress. By contrast, stress-induced hyperthermia was accentuated in serotonin-reduced rats as the number of defeat sessions increased. Basal core temperature was unaffected by serotonin depletion. Heart rate increased during social defeat, but this did not adapt with repeated stress; serotonin depletion had no effect on this cardiovascular response. Basal corticosterone was increased in serotonin-depleted rats, but the progressive reduction in stress response over days was not altered. C-fos expression in the brain was not altered in control (non-stressed) rats by serotonin reduction in the areas examined, but there was increased expression after repeated social stress in the medial amygdala of 5-HT depleted rats. These experiments show that reduction of serotonin alters responses to repeated social stress in male rats, and suggests a role for serotonin in the adaptive process. PMID:10408610

  5. Central serotonin depletion modulates the behavioural, endocrine and physiological responses to repeated social stress and subsequent c-fos expression in the brains of male rats.

    PubMed

    Chung, K K; Martinez, M; Herbert, J

    1999-01-01

    Intraspecific confrontation has been used to study effect of depleting central serotonin on the adaptation of male rats to repeated social stress (social defeat). Four groups of adult male rats were used (serotonin depletion/sham: stressed; serotonin depletion/sham: non-stressed). Central serotonin was reduced (by 59-97%) by a single infusion of the neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxtryptamine (150 microg) into the cerebral ventricles; levels of dopamine and noradrenaline were unaltered (rats received appropriate uptake blockers prior to neurotoxic infusions). Sham-operated animals received solute only. Rats were then either exposed daily for 10 days to a second larger aggressive male in the latter's home cage, or simply transferred to an empty cage (control procedure). Rats with reduced serotonin failed to show the increased freezing behaviour during the pre-defeat phase of the social interaction test characteristic of sham animals. There was no change in the residents' behaviour. Core temperature increased during aggressive interaction in sham rats, and this did not adapt with repeated stress. By contrast, stress-induced hyperthermia was accentuated in serotonin-reduced rats as the number of defeat sessions increased. Basal core temperature was unaffected by serotonin depletion. Heart rate increased during social defeat, but this did not adapt with repeated stress; serotonin depletion had no effect on this cardiovascular response. Basal corticosterone was increased in serotonin-depleted rats, but the progressive reduction in stress response over days was not altered. C-fos expression in the brain was not altered in control (non-stressed) rats by serotonin reduction in the areas examined, but there was increased expression after repeated social stress in the medial amygdala of 5-HT depleted rats. These experiments show that reduction of serotonin alters responses to repeated social stress in male rats, and suggests a role for serotonin in the adaptive process.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:26801000

  8. 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.

  9. Age determination by back length for African savanna elephants: extending age assessment techniques for aerial-based surveys.

    PubMed

    Trimble, Morgan J; van Aarde, Rudi J; Ferreira, Sam M; Nørgaard, Camilla F; Fourie, Johan; Lee, Phyllis C; Moss, Cynthia J

    2011-01-01

    Determining the age of individuals in a population can lead to a better understanding of population dynamics through age structure analysis and estimation of age-specific fecundity and survival rates. Shoulder height has been used to accurately assign age to free-ranging African savanna elephants. However, back length may provide an analog measurable in aerial-based surveys. We assessed the relationship between back length and age for known-age elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. We also compared age- and sex-specific back lengths between these populations and compared adult female back lengths across 11 widely dispersed populations in five African countries. Sex-specific Von Bertalanffy growth curves provided a good fit to the back length data of known-age individuals. Based on back length, accurate ages could be assigned relatively precisely for females up to 23 years of age and males up to 17. The female back length curve allowed more precise age assignment to older females than the curve for shoulder height does, probably because of divergence between the respective growth curves. However, this did not appear to be the case for males, but the sample of known-age males was limited to ≤27 years. Age- and sex-specific back lengths were similar in Amboseli National Park and Addo Elephant National Park. Furthermore, while adult female back lengths in the three Zambian populations were generally shorter than in other populations, back lengths in the remaining eight populations did not differ significantly, in support of claims that growth patterns of African savanna elephants are similar over wide geographic regions. Thus, the growth curves presented here should allow researchers to use aerial-based surveys to assign ages to elephants with greater precision than previously possible and, therefore, to estimate population variables.

  10. Age Determination by Back Length for African Savanna Elephants: Extending Age Assessment Techniques for Aerial-Based Surveys

    PubMed Central

    Trimble, Morgan J.; van Aarde, Rudi J.; Ferreira, Sam M.; Nørgaard, Camilla F.; Fourie, Johan; Lee, Phyllis C.; Moss, Cynthia J.

    2011-01-01

    Determining the age of individuals in a population can lead to a better understanding of population dynamics through age structure analysis and estimation of age-specific fecundity and survival rates. Shoulder height has been used to accurately assign age to free-ranging African savanna elephants. However, back length may provide an analog measurable in aerial-based surveys. We assessed the relationship between back length and age for known-age elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. We also compared age- and sex-specific back lengths between these populations and compared adult female back lengths across 11 widely dispersed populations in five African countries. Sex-specific Von Bertalanffy growth curves provided a good fit to the back length data of known-age individuals. Based on back length, accurate ages could be assigned relatively precisely for females up to 23 years of age and males up to 17. The female back length curve allowed more precise age assignment to older females than the curve for shoulder height does, probably because of divergence between the respective growth curves. However, this did not appear to be the case for males, but the sample of known-age males was limited to ≤27 years. Age- and sex-specific back lengths were similar in Amboseli National Park and Addo Elephant National Park. Furthermore, while adult female back lengths in the three Zambian populations were generally shorter than in other populations, back lengths in the remaining eight populations did not differ significantly, in support of claims that growth patterns of African savanna elephants are similar over wide geographic regions. Thus, the growth curves presented here should allow researchers to use aerial-based surveys to assign ages to elephants with greater precision than previously possible and, therefore, to estimate population variables. PMID:22028925

  11. The elephant interferon gamma assay: a contribution to diagnosis of tuberculosis in elephants.

    PubMed

    Angkawanish, T; Morar, D; van Kooten, P; Bontekoning, I; Schreuder, J; Maas, M; Wajjwalku, W; Sirimalaisuwan, A; Michel, A; Tijhaar, E; Rutten, V

    2013-11-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) has been shown to be the main causative agent of tuberculosis in elephants worldwide. M. tb may be transmitted from infected humans to other species including elephants and vice versa, in case of prolonged intensive contact. An accurate diagnostic approach covering all phases of the infection in elephants is required. As M. tb is an intracellular pathogen and cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses are elicited early after infection, the skin test is the CMI assay of choice in humans and cattle. However, this test is not applicable in elephants. The interferon gamma (IFN-γ) assay is considered a good alternative for the skin test in general, validated for use in cattle and humans. This study was aimed at development of an IFN-γ assay applicable for diagnosis of tuberculosis in elephants. Recombinant elephant IFN-γ (rEpIFN-γ) produced in eukaryotic cells was used to immunize mice and generate the monoclonal antibodies. Hybridomas were screened for IFN-γ-specific monoclonal antibody production and subcloned, and antibodies were isotyped and affinity purified. Western blot confirmed recognition of the rEpIFN-γ. The optimal combination of capture and detection antibodies selected was able to detect rEpIFN-γ in concentrations as low as 1 pg/ml. The assay was shown to be able to detect the native elephant IFN-γ, elicited in positive-control cultures (pokeweed mitogen (PWM), phorbol myristate acetate plus ionomycin (PMA/I)) of both Asian and African elephant whole-blood cultures (WBC). Preliminary data were generated using WBC from non-infected elephants, a M. tb infection-suspected elephant and a culture-confirmed M. tb-infected elephant. The latter showed measurable production of IFN-γ after stimulation with ESAT6/CFP10 PPDB and PPDA in concentration ranges as elicited in WBC by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC)-specific antigens in other species. Hence, the IFN-γ assay presented potential as a diagnostic tool for the

  12. Genetic and ultrastructural characterization of a European isolate of the fatal endotheliotropic elephant herpesvirus.

    PubMed

    Ehlers, B; Burkhardt, S; Goltz, M; Bergmann, V; Ochs, A; Weiler, H; Hentschke, J

    2001-03-01

    A male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) died at the Berlin zoological gardens in August 1998 of systemic infection with the novel endotheliotropic elephant herpesvirus (ElHV-1). This virus causes a fatal haemorrhagic disease in Asian elephants, the so-called endothelial inclusion body disease, as reported from North American zoological gardens. In the present work, ElHV-1 was visualized ultrastructurally in affected organ material. Furthermore, a gene block comprising the complete glycoprotein B (gB) and DNA polymerase (DPOL) genes as well as two partial genes was amplified by PCR-based genome walking and sequenced. The gene content and arrangement were similar to those of members of the Betaherpesvirinae. However, phylogenetic analysis with gB and DPOL consistently revealed a very distant relationship to the betaherpesviruses. Therefore, ElHV-1 may be a member of a new genus or even a new herpesvirus subfamily. The sequence information generated was used to set up a nested-PCR assay for diagnosis of suspected cases of endothelial inclusion body disease. Furthermore, it will aid in the development of antibody-based detection methods and of vaccination strategies against this fatal herpesvirus infection in the endangered Asian elephant.

  13. Results of the third reproductive assessment survey of North American Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) female elephants.

    PubMed

    Dow, T L; Holásková, I; Brown, J L

    2011-01-01

    A written survey assessed reproductive status of female Asian and African elephants in AZA/SSP facilities in 2008, and data were compared to surveys conducted in 2002 and 2005. Results showed that ovarian acyclicity rates across the surveys remained unchanged for Asian (13.3, 10.9 and 11.1%) and African (22.1, 31.2 and 30.5%) elephants, respectively (P > 0.05), but were higher overall for African compared to Asian elephants (P < 0.05). In 2008, the percentages of Asian and African elephants with irregular cycles (14.3 and 15.8%) and irregular + no cycles (25.4 and 46.4%) was similar to 2005 (7.6 and 11.8%; 18.5 and 43.0%), but were increased compared to 2002 (2.6 and 5.2%; 16.0 and 27.3%), respectively (P < 0.05). For both species, ovarian acyclicity increased with age (P < 0.05). Reproductive tract pathologies did not account for the majority of acyclicity, although rates were higher in noncycling females (P < 0.05). Bull presence was associated with increased cyclicity rates (P < 0.05) for Asian (92.5 vs. 58.3%) and African (64.9 vs. 57.8%) elephants compared to females at facilities with no male, respectively. Cyclicity rates were higher for Asian (86.8 vs. 65.2%) and African (67.9 vs. 56.7%) elephants managed in free compared to protected contact programs (P < 0.05), respectively. Geographical facility location had no effect on cyclicity (P > 0.05). In summary, incidence of ovarian cycle problems continues to predominantly affect African elephants. Although percentages of acyclicity did not increase between 2005 and 2008, 42.2% Asian and 30.2% African females were no longer being hormonally monitored; thus, reproductive cycle abnormalities could be worse than current data suggest.

  14. 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.

  15. The sizes of elephant groups in zoos: implications for elephant welfare.

    PubMed

    Rees, Paul A

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the distribution of 495 Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and 336 African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in 194 zoos, most of which were located in Europe (49.1%) and North America (32.6%). Cows outnumbered bulls 4 to 1 (Loxodonta) and 3 to 1 (Elephas). Groups contained 7 or fewer: mean, 4.28 (sigma = 5.73). One fifth of elephants lived alone or with one conspecific. Forty-six elephants (5.5%) had no conspecific. Many zoos ignore minimum group sizes of regional zoo association guidelines. The American Zoo and Aquarium Association recommends that breeding facilities keep herds of 6 to 12 elephants. The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums recommends keeping together at least 4 cows over 2 years old. Over 69% Asian and 80% African cow groups-including those under 2 years-consisted of fewer than 4 individuals. Recently, Europe and North America have made progress with some zoos no longer keeping elephants and with others investing in improved facilities and forming larger herds. The welfare of individual elephants should outweigh all other considerations; zoos should urgently seek to integrate small groups into larger herds.

  16. Effects of aqueous root extract of Carpolobia alba G. Don on sexual behaviour in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Kenmogne, H; Koloko, B; Hambe, C; Domkam, J; Ngaha Njila, M; Bend, E; Oundoum Oundoum, P; Massoma Lembè, D; Dimo, T

    2016-10-01

    Several lines say that a number of natural products, mostly plant based, have been claimed to cure male sexual dysfunction. One of such botanicals is Carpolobia alba G. Don which is used in Cameroon to treat erectile dysfunction and related male sexual debilities. However, the traditional claim has not been scientifically tested. Thirty adult male rats (five groups of six animals) were orally treated daily with distilled water, sildenafil citrate (positive control), 75, 150, 300 mg/kg of C. alba G. Don roots aqueous extract. The erection and ejaculation properties were recorded on the first, seventh and fourteenth day of treatment by following copulation settings: number of erections (NE), mount frequency (MF), intromission frequency (IF), ejaculation frequency (EF), mount latency (ML), intromission latency (IL), ejaculation latency (EL), average interval of copulation (AIC) and post-ejaculatory interval (PEI). The extract resulted in an improvement of copulation parameters through significant reduction (p < .001) of PEI, ML and IL and significant increase (p < .001) in the NE, MF, IF, EF, EL and AIC. These results indicate a pro-erectile and pro-ejaculatory potential of aqueous root extract of this plant in male rats. PMID:27681647

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Differential effects of CB1 receptor agonism in behavioural tests of unconditioned and conditioned fear in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Simone, Jonathan J; Green, Matthew R; Hodges, Travis E; McCormick, Cheryl M

    2015-02-15

    We investigated the effects of the highly selective CB1 receptor agonist ACEA and the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist AM251 on two behavioural tests of unconditioned fear, the elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field test (OFT), as well as on the recall and extinction of a conditioned auditory fear. Both ACEA and AM251 increased anxiety-like behaviour in the EPM and OFT. There was no effect of either drug on recall of the conditioned fear, and ACEA enhanced and AM251 impaired fear extinction. Further, though both the low (0.1 mg/kg) and high (0.5 mg/kg) dose of ACEA facilitated fear extinction, the low dose attenuated, and the high dose potentiated, fear induced corticosterone release suggesting independent effects of the drug on fear and stress responses. Although the extent to which cannabinoids are anxiogenic or anxiolytic has been proposed to be dose-dependent, these results indicate that the same dose has differential effects across tasks, likely based in differences in sensitivities of CB1 receptors to the agonist in the neural regions subserving unconditioned and conditioned fear.

  20. Expectancy effects in tennis: the impact of opponents' pre-match non-verbal behaviour on male tennis players.

    PubMed

    Buscombe, Richard; Greenlees, Iain; Holder, Tim; Thelwell, Richard; Rimmer, Matt

    2006-12-01

    In this study, we examined the impact of a male opponent's pre-match body language and clothing (general vs. sports-specific) on how his performances were judged by an observer. Forty male tennis players viewed videos of a male target tennis player warming up and then observed playing footage of the target. Each participant viewed the target player warming up displaying one of four combinations of body language and clothing (positive body language/tennis-specific clothing; positive body language/general sportswear; negative body language/tennis-specific clothing; negative body language/general sportswear). Participants rated the performance of the tennis player and gave their perceptions of the likely outcome of a tennis match with the target player. Analyses of variance indicated that clothing and body language had an interactive effect on both outcome expectations and ratings of performance. The findings support the contention that the initial impressions athletes form of their opponents can influence the way in which they judge the performances of opponents and their perceived likelihood of success against the same opponents. PMID:17101528

  1. Pharmacokinetics and intramuscular bioavailability of a single dose of butorphanol in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Tana, Leann M; Isaza, Ramiro; Koch, David E; Hunter, Robert P

    2010-09-01

    Captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are susceptible to lameness resulting from foot and joint pain, including chronic arthritis. In the past, opioid analgesics, such as butorphanol, have been used clinically for pain management. However, dosages used in treating elephants were often extrapolated from data in horses, with no pharmacokinetic information on the specific agents used in elephant species. In this pharmacokinetic study, six adult captive Asian elephants (5 female, 1 male castrate) were administered a 0.015 mg/kg dose of butorphanol by both i.v. and i.m. routes. A complete crossover design was used with a 3-wk washout period between treatments. Serial blood samples were collected immediately prior to butorphanol administration and at 5, 10, 20, and 40 min and 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, and 24 h after administration. The butorphanol analysis was performed using a validated liquid chromatography-mass spectrophotometric assay with a limit of quantitation of 0.025 ng/ml. The mean Cmax after i.m. administration was 7.9 ng/ml, with a corresponding Tmax, of 40 min and t(1/3), of 7.1 h. After i.v. administration, the mean Vd(ss) was 1.4 L/kg and the mean Cl(p) was 0.26 L/kg/h. Mean i.m. bioavailability was 37%. The results indicate that butorphanol used at 0.015 mg/kg i.m. or i.v. could be useful in elephants when given for pain control. PMID:20945638

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:19175507

  6. CLINICAL INFECTION OF TWO CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) WITH ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 1B.

    PubMed

    Fuery, Angela; Tan, Jie; Peng, RongSheng; Flanagan, Joseph P; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E; Howard, Lauren L; Ling, Paul D

    2016-03-01

    The ability of prior infection from one elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) type to protect against clinical or lethal infection from others remains an important question. This report describes viremia and subsequent shedding of EEHV1B in two juvenile 4-yr-old Asian elephants within 3 wk or 2 mo following significant infections caused by the rarely seen EEHV4. High levels of EEHV1B shedding were detected in the first elephant prior to emergence of infection and viremia in the second animal. The EEHV1B virus associated with both infections was identical to the strain causing infection in two herd mates previously. High EEHV viremia correlated with leukopenia and thrombocytopenia, which was followed by leukocytosis and thrombocytosis when clinical signs started to resolve. The observations from these cases should be beneficial for helping other institutions monitor and treat elephants infected with EEHV1, the most common virus associated with lethal hemorrhagic disease.

  7. CLINICAL INFECTION OF TWO CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) WITH ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 1B.

    PubMed

    Fuery, Angela; Tan, Jie; Peng, RongSheng; Flanagan, Joseph P; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E; Howard, Lauren L; Ling, Paul D

    2016-03-01

    The ability of prior infection from one elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) type to protect against clinical or lethal infection from others remains an important question. This report describes viremia and subsequent shedding of EEHV1B in two juvenile 4-yr-old Asian elephants within 3 wk or 2 mo following significant infections caused by the rarely seen EEHV4. High levels of EEHV1B shedding were detected in the first elephant prior to emergence of infection and viremia in the second animal. The EEHV1B virus associated with both infections was identical to the strain causing infection in two herd mates previously. High EEHV viremia correlated with leukopenia and thrombocytopenia, which was followed by leukocytosis and thrombocytosis when clinical signs started to resolve. The observations from these cases should be beneficial for helping other institutions monitor and treat elephants infected with EEHV1, the most common virus associated with lethal hemorrhagic disease. PMID:27010294

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Nectar-related vs. human-related volatiles: behavioural response and choice by female and male Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) between emergence and first feeding.

    PubMed

    Foster, W A; Takken, W

    2004-04-01

    The close association of Anopheles gambiae Giles with humans and its females' ability to live on human blood alone suggest that females may ignore sources of sugar in favour of human blood as a source of energy. They have limited energy reserves at emergence, and at 27 degrees C both sexes generally die if they do not feed during night 1, 24-36 h after emergence. Food preferences during this critical period were tested by measuring responses to volatiles from honey and soiled socks, which served as surrogates for nectar-related and human-related volatiles in a wind-tunnel olfactometer. Both sexes responded more strongly to honey than to human volatiles, and given a choice, preferred honey over human volatiles. After 5 days of sugar access and maturation, males continued to prefer honey volatiles, whereas females changed behaviour, responding almost exclusively to human volatiles. Night 1 experiments also demonstrated that: (i). females previously having had sugar during the night of emergence responded more strongly to human volatiles; (ii). large-bodied mosquitoes of both sexes responded more strongly to honey than small-bodied ones; and (iii). females were equally responsive to honey in both early and late scotophase but were slightly more responsive to human volatiles in late scotophase. These results indicate that for a female's first meal, sugar is a viable option and is preferred when nectar-related stimuli are strong. This supports field evidence that sugar-feeding is a significant component of A. gambiae female behaviour.

  12. 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. PMID:24807176

  13. 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.

  14. Supporting elephant conservation in Sri Lanka through MODIS imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perera, Kithsiri; Tateishi, Ryutaro

    2012-10-01

    The latest national elephant survey of Sri Lanka (2011) revealed Sri Lanka has 5,879 elephants. The total forest cover for these elephants is about 19,500 sq km (2012 estimation) and estimated forest area is about 30% of the country when smaller green patches are also counted. However, studies have pointed out that a herd of elephants need about a 100 sq km of forest patch to survive. With a high human population density (332 people per sq km, 2010), the pressure for land to feed people and elephants is becoming critical. Resent reports have indicated about 250 elephants are killed annually by farmers and dozens of people are also killed by elephants. Under this context, researchers are investigating various methods to assess the elephant movements to address the issues of Human-Elephant-Conflict (HEC). Apart from various local remedies for the issue, the conservation of elephant population can be supported by satellite imagery based studies. MODIS sensor imagery can be considered as a successful candidate here. Its spatial resolution is low (250m x 250m) but automatically filters out small forest patches in the mapping process. The daily imagery helps to monitor temporal forest cover changes. This study investigated the background information of HEC and used MODIS 250m imagery to suggest applicability of satellite data for Elephant conservations efforts. The elephant movement information was gathered from local authorities and potentials to identify bio-corridors were discussed. Under future research steps, regular forest cover monitoring through MODIS data was emphasized as a valuable tool in elephant conservations efforts.

  15. Physical, physiological, and behavioral correlates of musth in captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Ganswindt, Andre; Heistermann, Michael; Hodges, Keith

    2005-01-01

    Although musth in male African elephants (Loxodonta africana) is known to be associated with increased aggressiveness, urine dribbling (UD), temporal gland secretion (TGS), and elevated androgens, the temporal relationship between these changes has not been examined. Here, we describe the pattern of musth-related characteristics in 14 captive elephant bulls by combining long-term observations of physical and behavioral changes with physiological data on testicular and adrenal function. The length of musth periods was highly variable but according to our data set not related to age. Our data also confirm that musth is associated with elevated androgens and, in this respect, show that TGS and UD are downstream effects of this elevation, with TGS responding earlier and to lower androgen levels than UD. Because the majority of musth periods were associated with a decrease in glucocorticoid levels, our data also indicate that musth does not represent a physiological stress mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the occurrence of musth is associated with increased aggression and that this is presumably androgen mediated because aggressive males had higher androgen levels. Collectively, the information generated contributes to a better understanding of what characterizes and initiates musth in captive African elephants and provides a basis for further studies designed to examine in more detail the factors regulating the intensity and duration of musth.

  16. Africa's elephants and rhinos: Flagships in crisis.

    PubMed

    Western, D

    1987-11-01

    Despite extensive conservation measures over the last two decades, populations of elephants and rhinos in Africa continue to decline. The plight of the black rhino is especially acute. Poaching for rhino horn and ivory, rather than habitat loss, remains the principal threat to these species. The only long-term hope may lie in the effective protection of small, isolated populations.

  17. Africa's elephants and rhinos: Flagships in crisis.

    PubMed

    Western, D

    1987-11-01

    Despite extensive conservation measures over the last two decades, populations of elephants and rhinos in Africa continue to decline. The plight of the black rhino is especially acute. Poaching for rhino horn and ivory, rather than habitat loss, remains the principal threat to these species. The only long-term hope may lie in the effective protection of small, isolated populations. PMID:21227879

  18. 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.

  19. Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 5, a newly recognized elephant herpesvirus associated with clinical and subclinical infections in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Atkins, Lisa; Zong, Jian-Chao; Tan, Jie; Mejia, Alicia; Heaggans, Sarah Y; Nofs, Sally A; Stanton, Jeffrey J; Flanagan, Joseph P; Howard, Lauren; Latimer, Erin; Stevens, Martina R; Hoffman, Daryl S; Hayward, Gary S; Ling, Paul D

    2013-03-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause acute hemorrhagic disease with high mortality rates in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Recently, a new EEHV type known as EEHV5 has been described, but its prevalence and clinical significance remain unknown. In this report, an outbreak of EEHV5 infection in a herd of captive Asian elephants in a zoo was characterized. In February 2011, a 42-yr-old wild-born female Asian elephant presented with bilaterally swollen temporal glands, oral mucosal hyperemia, vesicles on the tongue, and generalized lethargy. The elephant had a leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. She was treated with flunixin meglumine, famciclovir, and fluids. Clinical signs of illness resolved gradually over 2 wk, and the white blood cell count and platelets rebounded to higher-than-normal values. EEHV5 viremia was detectable starting 1 wk before presentation and peaked at the onset of clinical illness. EEHV5 shedding in trunk secretions peaked after viremia resolved and continued for more than 2 mo. EEHV5 trunk shedding from a female herd mate without any detectable viremia was detected prior to onset of clinical disease in the 42-yr-old elephant, indicating reactivation rather than primary infection in this elephant. Subsequent EEHV5 viremia and trunk shedding was documented in the other five elephants in the herd, who remained asymptomatic, except for 1 day of temporal gland swelling in an otherwise-healthy 1-yr-old calf. Unexpectedly, the two elephants most recently introduced into the herd 40 mo previously shed a distinctive EEHV5 strain from that seen in the other five elephants. This is the first report to document the kinetics of EEHV5 infection in captive Asian elephants and to provide evidence that this virus can cause illness in some animals.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:25970428

  3. Seismic waves from elephant vocalizations: A possible communication mode?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Günther, Roland H.; O'Connell-Rodwell, Caitlin E.; Klemperer, Simon L.

    2004-06-01

    We conducted experiments with trained African elephants that show that low-frequency elephant vocalizations produce Rayleigh waves. We model a potential range for these seismic waves, under ideal conditions, of c. 2 km. In appropriate conditions, surface waves from an elephant's infrasonic vocalizations might propagate further than airborne sound and provide advantages over acoustic communication. However, if we use the detection capabilities of the human ear as a benchmark for the signal-detection thresholds of elephants, our estimates of attenuation and ambient seismic noise suggest that the seismic detection range is unlikely to exceed the acoustic detection range under normal atmospheric conditions. We conclude that elephants may benefit from seismic detection in circumstances where the range of acoustic communication is limited, or in cases where multimodal communication is advantageous. Given our current understanding, elephants are unlikely to rely on seismic waves as their primary mode for long-range communication.

  4. Confirmation of pleisiomorphic daily torpor in mammals: the round-eared elephant shrew Macroscelides proboscideus (Macroscelidea).

    PubMed

    Lovegrove, B G; Lawes, M J; Roxburgh, L

    1999-10-01

    The characteristics of daily torpor were measured in the round-eared elephant shrew Macroscelides proboscideus (Macroscelidea) in response to ambient temperature and food deprivation. Elephant shrews are an ancient mammal order within a superordinal African clade including hyraxes, elephants, dugongs and the aardvark. M. proboscideus only employed torpor when deprived of food; torpor did not occur under an ad libitum diet at ambient temperatures of 10, 15 and 25 degrees C. Torpor bout duration ranged from < 1 h to ca. 18 h. The times of entry into torpor were restricted to the scotophase, despite normothermic body temperature patterns indicating a rest phase coincident with the photophase. Full arousal was always achieved within the first 3 h of the photophase. When food deprived, the onset of the rest phase, and hence torpor, advanced with respect to the experimental photoperiod. The lowest torpor body temperature measured was 9.41 degrees C. Daily torpor in M. proboscideus confirms a pleisiomorphic origin of daily heterothermy. Torpor facilitates risk-averse foraging behaviour in these small omnivores by overcoming long-term energy shortfalls generated by the inherent variability of food availability in their semiarid, El Niño-afflicted habitats.

  5. [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.

  6. Plasma preparation and storage for African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Knauf, Sascha; Blad-Stahl, Julia; Lawrenz, Arne; Schuerer, Ulrich; Wehrend, Axel

    2009-03-01

    The use of plasma as a life-saving tool for neonatal African elephants (Loxodonta africana) that failed passive transfer of immunoglobulins is proposed. The methodology of blood sampling, plasma extraction, and plasma storage is described. Values for cellular component sedimentation and biochemical parameters of extracted plasma that was collected from 2 female elephants is presented. The proposal for a central plasma bank for elephants in European zoos is suggested. PMID:19368242

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:26963741

  10. CLINICAL INFECTION OF CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) WITH ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 4.

    PubMed

    Fuery, Angela; Browning, Geoffrey R; Tan, Jie; Long, Simon; Hayward, Gary S; Cox, Sherry K; Flanagan, Joseph P; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E; Howard, Lauren L; Ling, Paul D

    2016-03-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) can cause lethal hemorrhagic disease in juvenile Asian elephants. A number of EEHV types and subtypes exist, where most deaths have been caused by EEHV1A and EEHV1B. EEHV4 has been attributed to two deaths, but as both diagnoses were made postmortem, EEHV4 disease has not yet been observed and recorded clinically. In this brief communication, two cases of EEHV4 infection in juvenile elephants at the Houston Zoo are described, where both cases were resolved following intensive treatment and administration of famciclovir. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction detected EEHV4 viremia that correlated with clinical signs. High levels of EEHV4 shedding from trunk wash secretions of the first viremic elephant correlated with subsequent infection of the second elephant with EEHV4. It is hoped that the observations made in these cases--and the successful treatment regimen used--will help other institutions identify and treat EEHV4 infection in the future.

  11. CLINICAL INFECTION OF CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) WITH ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 4.

    PubMed

    Fuery, Angela; Browning, Geoffrey R; Tan, Jie; Long, Simon; Hayward, Gary S; Cox, Sherry K; Flanagan, Joseph P; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E; Howard, Lauren L; Ling, Paul D

    2016-03-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) can cause lethal hemorrhagic disease in juvenile Asian elephants. A number of EEHV types and subtypes exist, where most deaths have been caused by EEHV1A and EEHV1B. EEHV4 has been attributed to two deaths, but as both diagnoses were made postmortem, EEHV4 disease has not yet been observed and recorded clinically. In this brief communication, two cases of EEHV4 infection in juvenile elephants at the Houston Zoo are described, where both cases were resolved following intensive treatment and administration of famciclovir. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction detected EEHV4 viremia that correlated with clinical signs. High levels of EEHV4 shedding from trunk wash secretions of the first viremic elephant correlated with subsequent infection of the second elephant with EEHV4. It is hoped that the observations made in these cases--and the successful treatment regimen used--will help other institutions identify and treat EEHV4 infection in the future. PMID:27010293

  12. Seismic Census Technique for African Elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, J. D.; O'Connell-Rodwell, C. E.; Klemperer, S. L.

    2005-12-01

    Large mammal populations are difficult to census and monitor in remote areas. In particular, elephant populations in Central Africa are difficult to census due to dense forest making aerial surveys impractical. Conservation management would be improved by a census technique that was accurate and precise, did not require large efforts in the field, and could record numbers of animals over a period of time. We report a new detection technique that relies on sensing the footfalls of large mammals. Geophones were used to record the footfalls of elephants and other large mammal species at a water hole in Etosha National Park, Namibia. We were able to discriminate between species using the spectral content of their footfalls with an 85% accuracy rate while only using a single geophone. This was done using correlation coefficients comparing the shape of the spectra for various species. An ANOVA found significant differences between these correlation coefficients (F4,1785 = 147.78, P = 0.000). An estimate of the energy created by passing elephants (the area under the amplitude envelope) can be used to estimate the number of elephants passing the geophone. Our best regression line plotting number of elephants versus energy recorded in the geophone explained 55% of the variance in the data. Much of the unexplained variance is due to the variation in distance from the geophone to the passing elephants. By subjecting the recordings to a narrow band-pass filter and using beamforming techniques on array data, we believe that we can control for the variation in distance between animal and geophones, and thus achieve better estimates of the number of animals passing the array. Using 7 pairs of geophones in a linear array, we offset the pairs of time series to correspond with the time delay associated with the signal intersecting the pair of geophones at increments of 2 degrees. The offset time series were then summed and the RMS value calculated. The largest RMS value was then

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:27414034

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26577954

  20. Control of musth in an Asian elephant bull (Elephas maximus) using leuprolide acetate.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Claudio A; West, Gary D; Houck, Richard; Leblanc, Michelle

    2004-03-01

    The results of long-term administration of leuprolide acetate (LA) depot in a 52-yr-old Asian elephant bull (Elephas maximus) for control of musth are presented. Twelve injections were administered for 6 yr during our interpretation of early musth or "premusth." Intervals between musth periods during the study varied from 2 to 34 mo. Blood samples, drawn weekly, were assayed for serum testosterone concentrations; mean levels were 11.78 +/- 1.97 nmol/L throughout the first 26 mo of the study, 7.28 +/- 1.28 nmol/L during the following 21 mo, and 0.45 +/- 0.035 nmol/L in the last 34 mo of this study. Early musth signs ceased within 3 days of drug administration after 10 of 12 injections. The mean serum testosterone concentrations were significantly decreased by the last 34 mo of the study. The results suggest leuprolide is a suitable alternative for controlling or preventing (or both) musth in captive Asian elephants, although permanent reproductive effects may occur. Zoos and wildlife conservation institutions could benefit from the use of LA in Asian elephants to increase the male availability in captivity, consequently ensuring genetic diversity and the perpetuation of the species.

  1. 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.

  2. Baltimore Zoo digester project. Final report. [Elephants

    SciTech Connect

    Gibson, P.W.

    1980-01-01

    The results of a project to produce methane using the manure from zoo animals as a feedstock is presented. Two digesters are in operation, the first (built in 1974) utilizing wastes from the Hippo House and a second (built in 1980) utilizing wastes from the Elephant House. Demonstrations on the utilization of the gas were performed during zoo exhibits. The Elephant House Digester has a capacity of 4200 gallons and a floating gas dome which can retain at least 150 cu ft of gas. Solar energy has been incorporated into the design to maintain digester temperature at 95/sup 0/F. The system produces 50 cu ft per day. After cleaning the gas, it is used to generate electricity to power an electric light, a roof fan, and an air conditioner. The gas is also used to operate a gas range and a gas lamp. During the opening day exhibit, 50 meals were cooked using the bio-gas from just 2 elephants. (DMC)

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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. PMID

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. Complete Genome Sequence of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus 1A.

    PubMed

    Ling, Paul D; Reid, Jeffrey G; Qin, Xiang; Muzny, Donna M; Gibbs, Richard; Petrosino, Joseph; Peng, Rongsheng; Zong, Jian-Chao; Heaggans, Sarah Y; Hayward, Gary S

    2013-01-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1A is a member of the Proboscivirus genus and is a major cause of fatal hemorrhagic disease in endangered juvenile Asian elephants worldwide. Here, we report the first complete genome sequence from this genus, obtained directly from necropsy DNA, in which 60 of the 115 predicted genes are not found in any known herpesvirus.

  11. Development and evaluation of an interferon-γ release assay in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)

    PubMed Central

    PAUDEL, Sarad; VILLANUEVA, Marvin A.; MIKOTA, Susan K.; NAKAJIMA, Chie; GAIRHE, Kamal P.; SUBEDI, Suraj; RAYAMAJHI, Nabin; SASHIKA, Mariko; SHIMOZURU, Michito; MATSUBA, Takashi; SUZUKI, Yasuhiko; TSUBOTA, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    We developed an interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) specific for Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Whole blood collected from forty captive Asian elephants was stimulated with three different mitogens i.e., phytohemagglutinin (PHA), pokweed mitogen (PWM) and phorbol myristate aceteate/ionomycin (PMA/I). A sandwich ELISA that was able to recognize the recombinant elephant interferon-γ (rEIFN-γ) as well as native interferon-γ from the Asian elephants was performed using anti-elephant IFN-γ rabbit polyclonal antibodies as capture antibodies and biotinylated anti-elephant IFN-γ rabbit polyclonal antibodies as detection antibodies. PMA/I was the best mitogen to use as a positive control for an Asian elephant IGRA. The development of an Asian elephant-specific IGRA that detects native IFN-γ in elephant whole blood provides promising results for its application as a potential diagnostic tool for diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB) in Asian elephants. PMID:26983683

  12. Development and evaluation of an interferon-γ release assay in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Paudel, Sarad; Villanueva, Marvin A; Mikota, Susan K; Nakajima, Chie; Gairhe, Kamal P; Subedi, Suraj; Rayamajhi, Nabin; Sashika, Mariko; Shimozuru, Michito; Matsuba, Takashi; Suzuki, Yasuhiko; Tsubota, Toshio

    2016-08-01

    We developed an interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) specific for Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Whole blood collected from forty captive Asian elephants was stimulated with three different mitogens i.e., phytohemagglutinin (PHA), pokweed mitogen (PWM) and phorbol myristate aceteate/ionomycin (PMA/I). A sandwich ELISA that was able to recognize the recombinant elephant interferon-γ (rEIFN-γ) as well as native interferon-γ from the Asian elephants was performed using anti-elephant IFN-γ rabbit polyclonal antibodies as capture antibodies and biotinylated anti-elephant IFN-γ rabbit polyclonal antibodies as detection antibodies. PMA/I was the best mitogen to use as a positive control for an Asian elephant IGRA. The development of an Asian elephant-specific IGRA that detects native IFN-γ in elephant whole blood provides promising results for its application as a potential diagnostic tool for diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB) in Asian elephants.

  13. Development and evaluation of an interferon-γ release assay in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Paudel, Sarad; Villanueva, Marvin A; Mikota, Susan K; Nakajima, Chie; Gairhe, Kamal P; Subedi, Suraj; Rayamajhi, Nabin; Sashika, Mariko; Shimozuru, Michito; Matsuba, Takashi; Suzuki, Yasuhiko; Tsubota, Toshio

    2016-08-01

    We developed an interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) specific for Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Whole blood collected from forty captive Asian elephants was stimulated with three different mitogens i.e., phytohemagglutinin (PHA), pokweed mitogen (PWM) and phorbol myristate aceteate/ionomycin (PMA/I). A sandwich ELISA that was able to recognize the recombinant elephant interferon-γ (rEIFN-γ) as well as native interferon-γ from the Asian elephants was performed using anti-elephant IFN-γ rabbit polyclonal antibodies as capture antibodies and biotinylated anti-elephant IFN-γ rabbit polyclonal antibodies as detection antibodies. PMA/I was the best mitogen to use as a positive control for an Asian elephant IGRA. The development of an Asian elephant-specific IGRA that detects native IFN-γ in elephant whole blood provides promising results for its application as a potential diagnostic tool for diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB) in Asian elephants. PMID:26983683

  14. Vocal learning in elephants: neural bases and adaptive context.

    PubMed

    Stoeger, Angela S; Manger, Paul

    2014-10-01

    In the last decade clear evidence has accumulated that elephants are capable of vocal production learning. Examples of vocal imitation are documented in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants, but little is known about the function of vocal learning within the natural communication systems of either species. We are also just starting to identify the neural basis of elephant vocalizations. The African elephant diencephalon and brainstem possess specializations related to aspects of neural information processing in the motor system (affecting the timing and learning of trunk movements) and the auditory and vocalization system. Comparative interdisciplinary (from behavioral to neuroanatomical) studies are strongly warranted to increase our understanding of both vocal learning and vocal behavior in elephants.

  15. Vocal learning in elephants: neural bases and adaptive context

    PubMed Central

    Stoeger, Angela S; Manger, Paul

    2014-01-01

    In the last decade clear evidence has accumulated that elephants are capable of vocal production learning. Examples of vocal imitation are documented in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants, but little is known about the function of vocal learning within the natural communication systems of either species. We are also just starting to identify the neural basis of elephant vocalizations. The African elephant diencephalon and brainstem possess specializations related to aspects of neural information processing in the motor system (affecting the timing and learning of trunk movements) and the auditory and vocalization system. Comparative interdisciplinary (from behavioral to neuroanatomical) studies are strongly warranted to increase our understanding of both vocal learning and vocal behavior in elephants. PMID:25062469

  16. Vocal learning in elephants: neural bases and adaptive context.

    PubMed

    Stoeger, Angela S; Manger, Paul

    2014-10-01

    In the last decade clear evidence has accumulated that elephants are capable of vocal production learning. Examples of vocal imitation are documented in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants, but little is known about the function of vocal learning within the natural communication systems of either species. We are also just starting to identify the neural basis of elephant vocalizations. The African elephant diencephalon and brainstem possess specializations related to aspects of neural information processing in the motor system (affecting the timing and learning of trunk movements) and the auditory and vocalization system. Comparative interdisciplinary (from behavioral to neuroanatomical) studies are strongly warranted to increase our understanding of both vocal learning and vocal behavior in elephants. PMID:25062469

  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. Why Was the Elephant Late in Getting on the Ark? Elephant Riddles and Other Jokes in the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kazemek, Francis E.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses why elephant riddles are viable catalysts for word play and language development in the primary grades. Explores some relationships between children's thinking and elephant riddles. Offers some suggestions for incorporating them as a regular part of the classroom flow. (SR)

  19. Putting the elephant back in the herd: elephant relative quantity judgments match those of other species.

    PubMed

    Perdue, Bonnie M; Talbot, Catherine F; Stone, Adam M; Beran, Michael J

    2012-09-01

    The ability to discriminate between quantities has been observed in many species. Typically, when an animal is given a choice between two sets of food, accurate performance (i.e., choosing the larger amount) decreases as the ratio between two quantities increases. A recent study reported that elephants did not exhibit ratio effects, suggesting that elephants may process quantitative information in a qualitatively different way from all other nonhuman species that have been tested (Irie-Sugimoto et al. in Anim Cogn 12:193-199, 2009). However, the results of this study were confounded by several methodological issues. We tested two African elephants (Loxodonta africana) to more thoroughly investigate relative quantity judgment in this species. In contrast to the previous study, we found evidence of ratio effects for visible and nonvisible sequentially presented sets of food. Thus, elephants appear to represent and compare quantities in much the same way as other species, including humans when they are prevented from counting. Performance supports an accumulator model in which quantities are represented as analog magnitudes. Furthermore, we found no effect of absolute magnitude on performance, providing support against an object-file model explanation of quantity judgment. PMID:22692435

  20. Distribution and load of elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses in tissues from associated fatalities of Asian elephants.

    PubMed

    Seilern-Moy, Katharina; Darpel, Karin; Steinbach, Falko; Dastjerdi, Akbar

    2016-07-15

    Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesviruses (EEHVs) are the cause of a highly fatal haemorrhagic disease in elephants primarily affecting young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in both captivity and in the wild. The viruses have emerged as a significant threat to Asian elephant conservation, critically affecting overall sustainability of their population. So far insight into the pathogenesis of EEHV infections has been restricted to examination of EEHV-infected tissues. However, little is known about distribution and burden of the viruses within the organs of fatal cases, crucial elements in the understanding of the virus pathogenesis. This study was therefore undertaken to assess the extent of organ and cell involvement in fatal cases of EEHV-1A, 1B and 5 using a quantitative real-time PCR. EEHV-1 and 5 DNA were detectable in all the tissues examined, albeit with substantial differences in the viral DNA load. The highest EEHV-1A DNA load was observed in the liver, followed by the heart, thymus and tongue. EEHV-1B and 5 showed the highest DNA load in the heart, followed by tongue and liver. This study provides new insights into EEHV pathogenicity and has implications in choice of sample type for disease investigation and virus isolation.

  1. Distribution and load of elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses in tissues from associated fatalities of Asian elephants.

    PubMed

    Seilern-Moy, Katharina; Darpel, Karin; Steinbach, Falko; Dastjerdi, Akbar

    2016-07-15

    Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesviruses (EEHVs) are the cause of a highly fatal haemorrhagic disease in elephants primarily affecting young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in both captivity and in the wild. The viruses have emerged as a significant threat to Asian elephant conservation, critically affecting overall sustainability of their population. So far insight into the pathogenesis of EEHV infections has been restricted to examination of EEHV-infected tissues. However, little is known about distribution and burden of the viruses within the organs of fatal cases, crucial elements in the understanding of the virus pathogenesis. This study was therefore undertaken to assess the extent of organ and cell involvement in fatal cases of EEHV-1A, 1B and 5 using a quantitative real-time PCR. EEHV-1 and 5 DNA were detectable in all the tissues examined, albeit with substantial differences in the viral DNA load. The highest EEHV-1A DNA load was observed in the liver, followed by the heart, thymus and tongue. EEHV-1B and 5 showed the highest DNA load in the heart, followed by tongue and liver. This study provides new insights into EEHV pathogenicity and has implications in choice of sample type for disease investigation and virus isolation. PMID:27102836

  2. "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…

  3. Tuberculosis in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Ong, B L; Ngeow, Y F; Razak, M F A Abdul; Yakubu, Y; Zakaria, Z; Mutalib, A R; Hassan, L; Ng, H F; Verasahib, K

    2013-07-01

    A cross-sectional study was conducted from 10 January to 9 April 2012, to determine the seroprevalence of tuberculosis (TB) of all captive Asian elephants and their handlers in six locations in Peninsular Malaysia. In addition, trunk-wash samples were examined for tubercle bacillus by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For 63 elephants and 149 elephant handlers, TB seroprevalence was estimated at 20.4% and 24.8%, respectively. From 151 trunkwash samples, 24 acid-fast isolates were obtained, 23 of which were identified by hsp65-based sequencing as non-tuberculous mycobacteria. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific PCR was positive in the trunk-wash samples from three elephants which were also seropositive. Conversely, the trunk wash from seven seropositive elephants were PCR negative. Hence, there was evidence of active and latent TB in the elephants and the high seroprevalence in the elephants and their handlers suggests frequent, close contact, two-way transmission between animals and humans within confined workplaces.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:19430604

  7. Random recursive trees and the elephant random walk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kürsten, Rüdiger

    2016-03-01

    One class of random walks with infinite memory, so-called elephant random walks, are simple models describing anomalous diffusion. We present a surprising connection between these models and bond percolation on random recursive trees. We use a coupling between the two models to translate results from elephant random walks to the percolation process. We calculate, besides other quantities, exact expressions for the first and the second moment of the root cluster size and of the number of nodes in child clusters of the first generation. We further introduce another model, the skew elephant random walk, and calculate the first and second moment of this process.

  8. Random recursive trees and the elephant random walk.

    PubMed

    Kürsten, Rüdiger

    2016-03-01

    One class of random walks with infinite memory, so-called elephant random walks, are simple models describing anomalous diffusion. We present a surprising connection between these models and bond percolation on random recursive trees. We use a coupling between the two models to translate results from elephant random walks to the percolation process. We calculate, besides other quantities, exact expressions for the first and the second moment of the root cluster size and of the number of nodes in child clusters of the first generation. We further introduce another model, the skew elephant random walk, and calculate the first and second moment of this process. PMID:27078296

  9. Molecular characterisation and genetic variation of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus infection in captive young Asian elephants in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sripiboon, Supaphen; Jackson, Bethany; Ditcham, William; Holyoake, Carly; Robertson, Ian; Thitaram, Chatchote; Tankaew, Pallop; Letwatcharasarakul, Preeda; Warren, Kristin

    2016-10-01

    Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) is emerging as a new threat for elephant conservation, since being identified as the cause of severe, often fatal, haemorrhagic disease in young Asian elephants. To describe positive cases and the molecular relatedness of virus detected in elephants in Thailand, we re-examined all available of EEHV samples occurring in young elephants in Thailand between 2006 and 2014 (n=24). Results indicated 75% (18/24) of suspected cases were positive for EEHV by semi-nested PCR. Further gene analysis identified these positive cases as EEHV1A (72%, 13/18 cases), EEHV1B (11%, 2/18) and EEHV4 (17%, 3/18). This study is the first to phylogenetically analyse and provide an overview of most of the known EEHV cases that have occurred in Thailand. Positive individuals ranged in age from one to nine years, with no sex association detected, and occurred across geographical locations throughout the country. All individuals, except one, were captive-born. No history of direct contact among the cases was recorded, and this together with the fact that various subtype clusters of virus were found, implied that none of the positive cases were epidemiologically related. These results concur with the hypothesis that EEHV1 is likely to be an ancient endogenous pathogen in Asian elephants. It is recommended that active surveillance and routine monitoring for EEHV should be undertaken in all elephant range countries, to gain a better understanding of the epidemiology, transmission and prevention of this disease.

  10. Climate influences thermal balance and water use in African and Asian elephants: physiology can predict drivers of elephant distribution.

    PubMed

    Dunkin, Robin C; Wilson, Dinah; Way, Nicolas; Johnson, Kari; Williams, Terrie M

    2013-08-01

    Elephant movement patterns in relation to surface water demonstrate that they are a water-dependent species. Thus, there has been interest in using surface water management to mitigate problems associated with localized elephant overabundance. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying the elephant's water dependence remain unclear. Although thermoregulation is likely an important driver, the relationship between thermoregulation, water use and climate has not been quantified. We measured skin surface temperature of and cutaneous water loss from 13 elephants (seven African, 3768±642 kg; six Asian, 3834±498 kg) and determined the contribution of evaporative cooling to their thermal and water budgets across a range of air temperatures (8-33°C). We also measured respiratory evaporative water loss and resting metabolic heat production on a subset of elephants (N=7). The rate of cutaneous evaporative water loss ranged between 0.31 and 8.9 g min(-1) m(-2) for Asian elephants and 0.26 and 6.5 g min(-1) m(-2) for African elephants. Simulated thermal and water budgets using climate data from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and Okaukuejo, Namibia, suggested that the 24-h evaporative cooling water debt incurred in warm climates can be more than 4.5 times that incurred in mesic climates. This study confirms elephants are obligate evaporative coolers but suggests that classification of elephants as water dependent is insufficient given the importance of climate in determining the magnitude of this dependence. These data highlight the potential for a physiological modeling approach to predicting the utility of surface water management for specific populations.

  11. Climate influences thermal balance and water use in African and Asian elephants: physiology can predict drivers of elephant distribution.

    PubMed

    Dunkin, Robin C; Wilson, Dinah; Way, Nicolas; Johnson, Kari; Williams, Terrie M

    2013-08-01

    Elephant movement patterns in relation to surface water demonstrate that they are a water-dependent species. Thus, there has been interest in using surface water management to mitigate problems associated with localized elephant overabundance. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying the elephant's water dependence remain unclear. Although thermoregulation is likely an important driver, the relationship between thermoregulation, water use and climate has not been quantified. We measured skin surface temperature of and cutaneous water loss from 13 elephants (seven African, 3768±642 kg; six Asian, 3834±498 kg) and determined the contribution of evaporative cooling to their thermal and water budgets across a range of air temperatures (8-33°C). We also measured respiratory evaporative water loss and resting metabolic heat production on a subset of elephants (N=7). The rate of cutaneous evaporative water loss ranged between 0.31 and 8.9 g min(-1) m(-2) for Asian elephants and 0.26 and 6.5 g min(-1) m(-2) for African elephants. Simulated thermal and water budgets using climate data from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and Okaukuejo, Namibia, suggested that the 24-h evaporative cooling water debt incurred in warm climates can be more than 4.5 times that incurred in mesic climates. This study confirms elephants are obligate evaporative coolers but suggests that classification of elephants as water dependent is insufficient given the importance of climate in determining the magnitude of this dependence. These data highlight the potential for a physiological modeling approach to predicting the utility of surface water management for specific populations. PMID:23842629

  12. 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

  13. The Elephant Vanishes: impact of human-elephant conflict on people's wellbeing.

    PubMed

    Jadhav, Sushrut; Barua, Maan

    2012-11-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impact upon the wellbeing of marginalised people, worldwide. Although tangible losses from such conflicts are well documented, hidden health consequences remain under-researched. Based on preliminary clinical ethnographic inquiries and sustained fieldwork in Assam, India, this paper documents mental health antecedents and consequences including severe untreated psychiatric morbidity and substance abuse. The case studies presented make visible the hidden mental health dimensions of human-elephant conflict. The paper illustrates how health impacts of conflicts penetrate far deeper than immediate physical threat from elephants, worsens pre-existing mental illness of marginalised people, and leads to newer psychiatric and social pathologies. These conflicts are enacted and perpetuated in institutional spaces of inequality. The authors argue that both wildlife conservation and community mental health disciplines would be enhanced by coordinated intervention. The paper concludes by generating questions that are fundamental for a new interdisciplinary paradigm that bridges ecology and the clinic.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:26407173

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:23469289

  19. On the Possible Detection of Lightning Storms by Elephants.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Michael C; Garstang, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical calculations suggest that sounds produced by thunderstorms and detected by a system similar to the International Monitoring System (IMS) for the detection of nuclear explosions at distances ≥100 km, are at sound pressure levels equal to or greater than 6 × 10(-3) Pa. Such sound pressure levels are well within the range of elephant hearing. Frequencies carrying these sounds might allow for interaural time delays such that adult elephants could not only hear but could also locate the source of these sounds. Determining whether it is possible for elephants to hear and locate thunderstorms contributes to the question of whether elephant movements are triggered or influenced by these abiotic sounds. PMID:26487406

  20. 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

  1. Physiological stress and refuge behavior by African elephants.

    PubMed

    Jachowski, David S; Slotow, Rob; Millspaugh, Joshua J

    2012-01-01

    Physiological stress responses allow individuals to adapt to changes in their status or surroundings, but chronic exposure to stressors could have detrimental effects. Increased stress hormone secretion leads to short-term escape behavior; however, no studies have assessed the potential of longer-term escape behavior, when individuals are in a chronic physiological state. Such refuge behavior is likely to take two forms, where an individual or population restricts its space use patterns spatially (spatial refuge hypothesis), or alters its use of space temporally (temporal refuge hypothesis). We tested the spatial and temporal refuge hypotheses by comparing space use patterns among three African elephant populations maintaining different fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentrations. In support of the spatial refuge hypothesis, the elephant population that maintained elevated FGM concentrations (iSimangaliso) used 20% less of its reserve than did an elephant population with lower FGM concentrations (Pilanesberg) in a reserve of similar size, and 43% less than elephants in the smaller Phinda reserve. We found mixed support for the temporal refuge hypothesis; home range sizes in the iSimangaliso population did not differ by day compared to nighttime, but elephants used areas within their home ranges differently between day and night. Elephants in all three reserves generally selected forest and woodland habitats over grasslands, but elephants in iSimangaliso selected exotic forest plantations over native habitat types. Our findings suggest that chronic stress is associated with restricted space use and altered habitat preferences that resemble a facultative refuge behavioral response. Elephants can maintain elevated FGM levels for ≥ 6 years following translocation, during which they exhibit refuge behavior that is likely a result of human disturbance and habitat conditions. Wildlife managers planning to translocate animals, or to initiate other management

  2. The elephants of Gash-Barka, Eritrea: nuclear and mitochondrial genetic patterns.

    PubMed

    Brandt, Adam L; Hagos, Yohannes; Yacob, Yohannes; David, Victor A; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Shoshani, Jeheskel; Roca, Alfred L

    2014-01-01

    Eritrea has one of the northernmost populations of African elephants. Only about 100 elephants persist in the Gash-Barka administrative zone. Elephants in Eritrea have become completely isolated, with no gene flow from other elephant populations. The conservation of Eritrean elephants would benefit from an understanding of their genetic affinities to elephants elsewhere on the continent and the degree to which genetic variation persists in the population. Using dung samples from Eritrean elephants, we examined 18 species-diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms in 3 nuclear genes, sequences of mitochondrial HVR1 and ND5, and genotyped 11 microsatellite loci. The sampled Eritrean elephants carried nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers establishing them as savanna elephants, with closer genetic affinity to Eastern than to North Central savanna elephant populations, and contrary to speculation by some scholars that forest elephants were found in Eritrea. Mitochondrial DNA diversity was relatively low, with 2 haplotypes unique to Eritrea predominating. Microsatellite genotypes could only be determined for a small number of elephants but suggested that the population suffers from low genetic diversity. Conservation efforts should aim to protect Eritrean elephants and their habitat in the short run, with restoration of habitat connectivity and genetic diversity as long-term goals.

  3. Towards an Automated Acoustic Detection System for Free Ranging Elephants

    PubMed Central

    Zeppelzauer, Matthias; Hensman, Sean; Stoeger, Angela S.

    2015-01-01

    The human-elephant conflict is one of the most serious conservation problems in Asia and Africa today. The involuntary confrontation of humans and elephants claims the lives of many animals and humans every year. A promising approach to alleviate this conflict is the development of an acoustic early warning system. Such a system requires the robust automated detection of elephant vocalizations under unconstrained field conditions. Today, no system exists that fulfills these requirements. In this paper, we present a method for the automated detection of elephant vocalizations that is robust to the diverse noise sources present in the field. We evaluate the method on a dataset recorded under natural field conditions to simulate a real-world scenario. The proposed method outperformed existing approaches and robustly and accurately detected elephants. It thus can form the basis for a future automated early warning system for elephants. Furthermore, the method may be a useful tool for scientists in bioacoustics for the study of wildlife recordings. PMID:25983398

  4. Effects of rubberized flooring on Asian elephant behavior in captivity.

    PubMed

    Meller, Camie L; Croney, Candace C; Shepherdson, David

    2007-01-01

    Six Asian elephants at the Oregon Zoo were observed to determine the effects of a poured rubber flooring substrate on captive Asian elephant behavior. Room utilization also was evaluated in seven rooms used for indoor housing, including Front and Back observation areas. Data were collected in three phases. Phase I (Baseline Phase) examined elephant behavior on old concrete floors. In Phase II (Choice Phase), elephant behavior was observed in the Back observation area where room sizes were comparable and when a choice of flooring substrates was available. Phase III (Final Phase) examined elephant behavior when all rooms in both observation areas, Front and Back, were converted to rubberized flooring. Room use in both observation areas remained stable throughout the study, suggesting that flooring substrate did not affect room use choice. However, there was a clear pattern of decreased discomfort behaviors on the new rubber flooring. Normal locomotion as well as stereotypic locomotion increased on the new rubber flooring. In addition, resting behavior changed to more closely reflect the resting behavior of wild elephants, which typically sleep standing up, and spend very little time in lateral recumbence. Overall, these findings suggest that the rubber flooring may have provided a more comfortable surface for locomotion as well as standing resting behavior. It is suggested that poured rubber flooring may be a beneficial addition to similar animal facilities. Zoo Biol 0:1-11, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. The elephants of Zoba Gash Barka, Eritrea: part 4. Cholelithiasis in a wild African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Agnew, Dalen W; Hagey, Lee; Shoshani, Jeheskel

    2005-12-01

    A 4.0-kg cholelith was found within the abdominal cavity of a dead wild African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Eritrea. Analysis of this cholelith by histochemistry, electron microscopy, electrospray mass spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy revealed it was composed of bile alcohols but no calcium, bilirubin, or cholesterol. Bacteria were also found in the cholelith. Similar, but smaller, bile stones have been identified previously in other wild African elephants and an excavated mammoth (Mammuthus columbi). Choleliths have been reported only once in a captive Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Elephants, along with hyraxes (Procavia capensis) and manatees (Trichechus manatus), are unique among mammals in producing only bile alcohols and no bile acids, which may predispose them to cholelithiasis, particularly in association with bacterial infection. Dietary factors may also play an important role in cholelith formation. PMID:17312726

  6. Detection of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus type 1 in asymptomatic elephants using TaqMan real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Hardman, K; Dastjerdi, A; Gurrala, R; Routh, A; Banks, M; Steinbach, F; Bouts, T

    2012-02-25

    This study assessed the feasibility of identifying asymptomatic viral shedders using a novel TaqMan real-time PCR on trunk washes and swabs from the conjunctiva, palate and vulva of elephants. Six elephants from a UK collection were sampled weekly over a period of 11 weeks for this study. The herd prevalence of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus-1 (EEHV-1) was 100 per cent by PCR. The virus DNA was detected in all the sampling sites; however, the prevalence of virus DNA in the conjunctiva swabs was higher. In addition, Asian elephants from two continental European collections were sampled once and one animal tested positive on a trunk wash. The virus from this animal was phylogenetically typed as EEHV-1A based on 231 nucleotides of the terminase gene.

  7. The Proteus syndrome: the Elephant Man diagnosed.

    PubMed Central

    Tibbles, J A; Cohen, M M

    1986-01-01

    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. Images FIG 1 FIG 2 FIG 3 FIG 4 PMID:3092979

  8. 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.

  9. Population pharmacokinetics of pyrazinamide in elephants.

    PubMed

    Zhu, M; Maslow, J N; Mikota, S K; Isaza, R; Dunker, F; Riddle, H; Peloquin, C A

    2005-10-01

    This study was undertaken to characterize the population pharmacokinetics (PK), therapeutic dose, and preferred route of administration for pyrazinamide (PZA) in elephants. Twenty-three African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants infected with or in contact with others culture positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis were dosed under treatment conditions. PZA was dosed daily at 20-30 mg/kg via oral (fasting or nonfasting state) or rectal (enema or suppository) administration. Blood samples were collected 0-24 h postdose. Population PK was estimated using nonlinear mixed effect modeling. Drug absorption was rapid with T(max) at or before 2 h regardless of the method of drug administration. C(max) at a mean dose of 25.6 (+/-4.6) mg/kg was 19.6 (+/-9.5 microg/mL) for PZA given orally under fasting conditions. Under nonfasting conditions at a mean dose of 26.1 +/- 4.2 mg/kg, C(max) was 25% (4.87 +/- 4.89 microg/mL) and area under concentration curve (AUC) was 30% of the values observed under fasting conditions. Mean rectal dose of 32.6 +/- 15.2 mg/kg yielded C(max) of 12.3 +/- 6.3 microg/mL, but comparable AUC to PZA administered orally while fasting. Both oral and rectal administration of PZA appeared to be acceptable and oral dosing is preferred because of the higher C(max) and lower inter-subject variability. A starting dose of 30 mg/kg is recommended with drug monitoring between 1 and 2 h postdose. Higher doses may be required if the achieved C(max) values are below the recommended 20-50 microg/mL range. PMID:16207301

  10. Hydrothermal calcite in the Elephant Moraine

    SciTech Connect

    Faure, G.; Taylor, K.S.; Jones, L.M.

    1986-01-01

    In the course of geologic mapping of the Elephant Moraine on the east antarctic ice sheet, Faure and Taylor (1985) collected several specimens of black botryoidal calcite, composed of radiating acicular crystals that resemble stromatolites. Calcite from this and other specimens is significantly enriched in strontium-87 (the strontium-87/strontium-86 ratio equals 0.71417 +/- 0.00002), carbon-12 (delta carbon-13 equals -22.9 parts per thousand, PDB standard) and oxygen-16 (delta oxygen-18 equals -21.1 parts per thousand, standard mean ocean water) compared with calcite of marine origin. The enrichment in carbon-12 is similar to that of calcite associated with coal in the Allan Hills. The enrichment in oxygen-16 indicates that the calcite from the Elephant Moraine could only have precipitated in isotopic equilibrium with glacial melt water. Therefore, the temperature at which the black calcite precipitated from water of that isotope composition was about 85/sup 0/C. A temperature of this magnitude implies that the black calcite formed as a result of volcanic activity under the east antarctic ice sheet. The enrichment of the black calcite in carbon-12 suggests that it formed in part from carbon dioxide derived from the coal seams of the Weller Formation in the Beacon Supergroup. The isotopic composition of strontium in the black calcite is similar to that of carbonate beds and concretions in the Beacon rocks of southern Victoria Land. A volcanic-hydrothermal origin is also consistent with the very low total organic carbon content of 0.15% in the calcite.

  11. 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.

  12. Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone concentrations in elephant serum and temporal gland secretions.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, L E; Buss, I O; Hess, D L; Schmidt, M J

    1984-03-01

    Serum and temporal gland secretions (TGS) were obtained from mature wild African (Loxodonta africana) and captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Samples were obtained from five cows and eight bulls culled for management purposes in Kruger National Park, South Africa, and from four females and two males residing at the Washington Park Zoo, Portland, Oregon. Our purpose was to describe the levels of the androgens, testosterone (T), and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and to correlate these observations with sex, species and behavioral status. Male-female differences in serum T were pronounced in the Asian species, whereas male and female concentrations overlapped in the African elephant serum. Serum T concentrations in African females were greater than in Asian females. Serum DHT reflected T levels, except that the striking elevation of testosterone in Asian bulls during musth was not paralleled by equal increases in DHT levels. A species difference observed among males was higher serum T levels in nonmusth Asian bulls (1.84-5.35 ng/ml) compared to the levels in African bulls (0.38-0.68 ng/ml), except for one dominant African bull (6.64 ng/ml). This single African value was still considerably lower than the serum T values of the Asian males during musth. These musth values were the highest serum androgen concentrations: T was between 19 and 40 ng/ml (average 26.10 ng/ml). The TSG values of T and DHT were much higher than serum levels except in the Asian female. T/DHT ratios in TGS were more similar than in serum. One dominant African bull had a T TGS value of 78 ng/ml, which was much higher than the rest of the African males or females, but considerably lower than as Asian bull in musth (547 ng/ml). It seems apparent that a change in androgen status as reflected in serum and TGS levels of T and DHT precedes or is concomitant with overt alteration in behavior in the Asian male. The temporal gland appears to actively concentrate androgens in both African males and

  13. 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...

  14. 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. PMID:27635327

  15. 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.

  16. Elephant trunk technique for hybrid aortic arch repair.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Yuji

    2014-03-01

    The original elephant trunk technique was developed by Borst in 1983 for the treatment of aortic arch aneurysms. This technique reduced operative risks, but was associated with cumulative mortality rates of 6.9 % for the first stage and 7.5 % for the second stage. Patients also waited a long time between two major surgical procedures. Only 50.4 % of patients underwent the second-stage surgery, and there was a significant interval mortality rate of 10.7 %. With the advent of stent-graft techniques, two different hybrid elephant trunk techniques were developed. One technique is first-stage elephant trunk graft placement followed by second-stage endovascular completion. The conventional elephant trunk graft provides a good landing zone for the stent-graft, and endovascular completion is a useful alternative to conventional second-stage surgery. This method has few major complications, and a postoperative paraplegia rate of 1.1 %. The other technique is the frozen elephant trunk technique. This technique eliminates the need for subsequent endovascular completion, and is particularly useful for the treatment of acute type A dissection because it can achieve a secure seal. However, it is associated with a higher rate of spinal cord ischemia than other methods such as the original elephant trunk technique. The left subclavian artery (LSA) is often lost when performing a hybrid elephant trunk procedure. Revascularization of the LSA should be performed to prevent arm ischemia and neurological complications such as paraplegia or stroke, although the level of evidence for this recommendation is low. PMID:23943042

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Developmental milestones among African elephant calves on their first day of life.

    PubMed

    Bercovitch, Fred B; Andrews, Jeff

    2010-01-01

    A recurrent issue confronted by zoos is the extent to which animals living ex situ have life history profiles representative of those living in situ. The lengthy lifespan of African elephants hinders collecting proper comparative data, but enough information has been published to conduct preliminary analyses comparing the developmental profile of zoo and wild African elephants on their first day of life. We show that calves born in a zoo stand and walk on their own for the first time at the same age as those born in the wild. Calves born in the zoo take a little longer until first successful nursing, but the difference in age between wild and zoo is not statistically significant. Male and female calves born in zoos develop at the same pace, with data insufficient to compare with wild-born calves. We conclude maternal parity has an effect on the age of first nursing, but not on first standing or walking, because the initiation of suckling requires coordination between two animals. We suggest that available evidence indicates that calves born in the wild and in zoos develop at comparable rates.

  20. Molecular characterisation and genetic variation of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus infection in captive young Asian elephants in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sripiboon, Supaphen; Jackson, Bethany; Ditcham, William; Holyoake, Carly; Robertson, Ian; Thitaram, Chatchote; Tankaew, Pallop; Letwatcharasarakul, Preeda; Warren, Kristin

    2016-10-01

    Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) is emerging as a new threat for elephant conservation, since being identified as the cause of severe, often fatal, haemorrhagic disease in young Asian elephants. To describe positive cases and the molecular relatedness of virus detected in elephants in Thailand, we re-examined all available of EEHV samples occurring in young elephants in Thailand between 2006 and 2014 (n=24). Results indicated 75% (18/24) of suspected cases were positive for EEHV by semi-nested PCR. Further gene analysis identified these positive cases as EEHV1A (72%, 13/18 cases), EEHV1B (11%, 2/18) and EEHV4 (17%, 3/18). This study is the first to phylogenetically analyse and provide an overview of most of the known EEHV cases that have occurred in Thailand. Positive individuals ranged in age from one to nine years, with no sex association detected, and occurred across geographical locations throughout the country. All individuals, except one, were captive-born. No history of direct contact among the cases was recorded, and this together with the fact that various subtype clusters of virus were found, implied that none of the positive cases were epidemiologically related. These results concur with the hypothesis that EEHV1 is likely to be an ancient endogenous pathogen in Asian elephants. It is recommended that active surveillance and routine monitoring for EEHV should be undertaken in all elephant range countries, to gain a better understanding of the epidemiology, transmission and prevention of this disease. PMID:27503594

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:11023846

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Three Zoo Elephants and a Human Contact - Oregon, 2013.

    PubMed

    Zlot, Amy; Vines, Jennifer; Nystrom, Laura; Lane, Lindsey; Behm, Heidi; Denny, Justin; Finnegan, Mitch; Hostetler, Trevor; Matthews, Gloria; Storms, Tim; DeBess, Emilio

    2016-01-08

    In 2013, public health officials in Multnomah County, Oregon, started an investigation of a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak among elephants and humans at a local zoo. The investigation ultimately identified three bull elephants with active TB and 118 human contacts of the elephants. Ninety-six (81%) contacts were evaluated, and seven close contacts were found to have latent TB infection. The three bulls were isolated and treated (elephants with TB typically are not euthanized) to prevent infection of other animals and humans, and persons with latent infection were offered treatment. Improved TB screening methods for elephants are needed to prevent exposure of human contacts.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Megagardeners of the forest - the role of elephants in seed dispersal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Blake, Steve

    2011-11-01

    As the largest frugivores on Earth, elephants have unique ecological properties. Found in deserts, savannahs, and forests, they are the last remnants of a diverse lineage. Among the three currently recognized forms, African forest elephants are the most frugivorous, followed by Asian and African savannah elephants, although their role as seed dispersers is variable and context-dependent. African forest elephants may consume more seeds from more species than any other taxon of large vertebrate dispersers, defecating them over long distances in viable conditions into nutrient-rich and protective dung. In short, elephants are forest gardeners. The signature of elephant dispersal is evident in the spatial distribution of trees suggesting that elephants maintain tree diversity and retain low redundancy in seed dispersal systems. Large numbers of forest elephants ranging over large areas may be essential for ecosystem function. The loss of elephants will have important negative consequences for the ecological trajectories of some plant species and whole ecological communities, yet the conservation status of forest elephants is catastrophic in Asia and rapidly becoming so in Africa due to hunting and other conflicts with people. In this paper we review the current knowledge of elephants as seed dispersers, discuss the ecological consequences of their decline, and suggest priority areas for research and conservation action.

  12. 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. PMID:27648236

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Moon-Mars: The Elephant in the Attic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leovy, Conway; Anderson, Tad; Catling, David; Charlson, Robert

    2005-04-01

    Earth scientists have an elephant in the attic, and although some have been mumbling about it, few are speaking out in public. The elephant is the new Presidential vision for America's civil space program that envisages manned lunar missions within two decades and an eventual manned mission to Mars-the ``Moon-Mars'' vision, for short. This elephant is not just peacefully sleeping; it is actively carousing around up there, threatening to bring drastic changes to the house, changes that could threaten vital research in the Earth sciences. Prior to careful consideration of feasibility or unintended consequences, NASA has moved rapidly to restructure itself in response to the new vision. These changes run the risk of preempting much of the work of a current National Research Council (NRC) panel assessing space-based needs and priorities for the Earth sciences (http://qp.nas.edu/decadalsurvey).

  18. Identification of bifidobacteria isolated from Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Bunesova, Vera; Vlkova, Eva; Rada, Vojtech; Killer, Jiri; Kmet, Vladimir

    2013-06-01

    Bifidobacteria are considered as one of the key genera in intestinal tracts of animals, and their species composition vary depending on the host. The aim of this study was to identify faecal bifidobacteria from Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), housed in Zoological gardens (Ostrava, Czech Republic). Using culturing, bifidobacteria were found in counts 7.60+/-0.56 log CFU/g. Twenty-six pure strains were isolated from faeces of Asian elephant. The isolates were clustered into two groups according to fingerprinting profiles and fermentation characteristic. Bacteria were identified by a combination of MALDI-TOF MS, PCR methods and sequencing as B. boum (12 isolates) and B. adolescentis (14 isolates). Elephant strains showed different fingerprinting profiles than type and collection strains. Since these two species are frequently isolated from gastrointestinal tract of herbivores, they seem to be typical of animals fed plant diets. PMID:23660657

  19. 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

  20. The return of the giants: ecological effects of an increasing elephant population.

    PubMed

    Skarpe, Christina; Aarrestad, Per Arild; Andreassen, Harry P; Dhillion, Shivcharn S; Dimakatso, Thatayaone; du Toit, Johan T; Duncan; Halley, J; Hytteborn, Håkan; Makhabu, Shimane; Mari, Moses; Marokane, Wilson; Masunga, Gaseitsiwe; Ditshoswane, Modise; Moe, Stein R; Mojaphoko, Rapelang; Mosugelo, David; Motsumi, Sekgowa; Neo-Mahupeleng, Gosiame; Ramotadima, Mpho; Rutina, Lucas; Sechele, Lettie; Sejoe, Thato B; Stokke, Sigbjørn; Swenson, Jon E; Taolo, Cyril; Vandewalle, Mark; Wegge, Per

    2004-08-01

    Northern Botswana and adjacent areas, have the world's largest population of African elephant (Loxodonta africana). However, a 100 years ago elephants were rare following excessive hunting. Simultaneously, ungulate populations were severely reduced by decease. The ecological effects of the reduction in large herbivores must have been substantial, but are little known. Today, however, ecosystem changes following the increase in elephant numbers cause considerable concern in Botswana. This was the background for the "BONIC" project, investigating the interactions between the increasing elephant population and other ecosystem components and processes. Results confirm that the ecosystem is changing following the increase in elephant and ungulate populations, and, presumably, developing towards a situation resembling that before the reduction of large herbivores. We see no ecological reasons to artificially change elephant numbers. There are, however, economic and social reasons to control elephants, and their range in northern Botswana may have to be artificially restricted. PMID:15387059

  1. The return of the giants: ecological effects of an increasing elephant population.

    PubMed

    Skarpe, Christina; Aarrestad, Per Arild; Andreassen, Harry P; Dhillion, Shivcharn S; Dimakatso, Thatayaone; du Toit, Johan T; Duncan; Halley, J; Hytteborn, Håkan; Makhabu, Shimane; Mari, Moses; Marokane, Wilson; Masunga, Gaseitsiwe; Ditshoswane, Modise; Moe, Stein R; Mojaphoko, Rapelang; Mosugelo, David; Motsumi, Sekgowa; Neo-Mahupeleng, Gosiame; Ramotadima, Mpho; Rutina, Lucas; Sechele, Lettie; Sejoe, Thato B; Stokke, Sigbjørn; Swenson, Jon E; Taolo, Cyril; Vandewalle, Mark; Wegge, Per

    2004-08-01

    Northern Botswana and adjacent areas, have the world's largest population of African elephant (Loxodonta africana). However, a 100 years ago elephants were rare following excessive hunting. Simultaneously, ungulate populations were severely reduced by decease. The ecological effects of the reduction in large herbivores must have been substantial, but are little known. Today, however, ecosystem changes following the increase in elephant numbers cause considerable concern in Botswana. This was the background for the "BONIC" project, investigating the interactions between the increasing elephant population and other ecosystem components and processes. Results confirm that the ecosystem is changing following the increase in elephant and ungulate populations, and, presumably, developing towards a situation resembling that before the reduction of large herbivores. We see no ecological reasons to artificially change elephant numbers. There are, however, economic and social reasons to control elephants, and their range in northern Botswana may have to be artificially restricted.

  2. Osteocalcin and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at different ages.

    PubMed

    Arya, Nlin; Moonarmart, Walasinee; Cheewamongkolnimit, Nareerat; Keratikul, Nutcha; Poon-Iam, Sawinee; Routh, Andrew; Bumpenpol, Pitikarn; Angkawanish, Taweepoke

    2015-11-01

    Bone turnover markers could offer a potential alternative means for the early diagnosis of metabolic bone disease in young growing elephants although the baseline of bone turnover markers in elephant is not well established. The aim of this study was to determine any relationship between the age of captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and markers of bone formation. Serum samples from 24 female Asian elephants were collected to evaluate levels of two bone formation markers, namely, osteocalcin (OC) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP). Both intact and N-terminal midfragment OC and BAP were negatively correlated with age. The findings demonstrate that younger elephants have a higher rate of bone turnover than older elephants. Use of these and additional bone markers could lead to the establishment of validated protocols for the monitoring of bone disease in elephants. PMID:26361748

  3. Working with an Adult Male with Down's Syndrome, Autism and Challenging Behaviour: Evaluation of a Programme of Staff Support and Organizational Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, David W.; Summerhill, Lisa; Mosley, Ellis; Tooth, Claire

    2003-01-01

    This article examines the case of a male with Down syndrome who has been referred to a clinical psychology service due to challenging behaviors. It provides a case history and rationale for the assessment of autism, and describes the positive effects of an intervention for increasing staff awareness of autism. (Contains references.) (CR)

  4. Cassini at Enceladus: Assembling the Elephant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, John R.; Cassini Science Team

    2006-09-01

    One of the Cassini mission's most spectacular findings to date has been the discovery of ongoing endogenic activity on Enceladus, granting this tiny moon membership in the exclusive club of demonstrably geologically active worlds. Like the proverbial blind men, a wide range of Cassini instruments have each provided a different and highly complementary view of this particular elephant. The completed picture shows warm south polar fissures continually spraying plumes of water ice particles and H2O-dominated gas into circum-Saturnian space, supplying both the E ring and the neutral O and OH clouds that surround Saturn. Enceladus thus gives us the unique opportunity to directly sample the interior of an icy satellite. Many puzzles remain, however, including the nature of the tidal and other heat sources (in particular, why Mimas has escaped similar heating); the reason for the extreme localization of activity at the exact south pole and whether there is any current activity elsewhere; the heat transport and plume generation mechanisms; the surprisingly low abundance of NH3 in the plume; and the quantitative reconciliation of the gas and ice particle supply and loss rates derived using different techniques. Many of these questions will be addressed by future close Enceladus flybys, which will provide dramatic improvements in data quality over the remarkable results already in hand. The current mission plan includes an encounter at 25 km altitude on March 12 2008, and additional close flybys are a high priority for Cassini's first extended mission, between mid-2008 and mid-2010.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Review of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesviruses and Acute Hemorrhagic Disease.

    PubMed

    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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. New insights into the cardiorespiratory physiology of weaned southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina).

    PubMed

    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 increasing

  14. 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)

  15. Illegal killing for ivory drives global decline in African elephants

    PubMed Central

    Wittemyer, George; Northrup, Joseph M.; Blanc, Julian; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Omondi, Patrick; Burnham, Kenneth P.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25136107

  16. 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

    2014-09-01

    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.

  17. 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

    2014-09-01

    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. PMID:25136107

  18. 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. PMID:24688856

  19. 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.

  20. Solar Radiation during Rewarming from Torpor in Elephant Shrews: Supplementation or Substitution of Endogenous Heat Production?

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Michelle L.; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi; Bennett, Nigel C.; McKechnie, Andrew E.

    2015-01-01

    Many small mammals bask in the sun during rewarming from heterothermy, but the implications of this behaviour for their energy balance remain little understood. Specifically, it remains unclear whether solar radiation supplements endogenous metabolic thermogenesis (i.e., rewarming occurs through the additive effects of internally-produced and external heat), or whether solar radiation reduces the energy required to rewarm by substituting (i.e, replacing) metabolic heat production. To address this question, we examined patterns of torpor and rewarming rates in eastern rock elephant shrews (Elephantulus myurus) housed in outdoor cages with access to either natural levels of solar radiation or levels that were experimentally reduced by means of shade cloth. We also tested whether acclimation to solar radiation availability was manifested via phenotypic flexibility in basal metabolic rate (BMR), non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) capacity and/or summit metabolism (Msum). Rewarming rates varied significantly among treatments, with elephant shrews experiencing natural solar radiation levels rewarming faster than conspecifics experiencing solar radiation levels equivalent to approximately 20% or 40% of natural levels. BMR differed significantly between individuals experiencing natural levels of solar radiation and conspecifics experiencing approximately 20% of natural levels, but no between-treatment difference was evident for NST capacity or Msum. The positive relationship between solar radiation availability and rewarming rate, together with the absence of acclimation in maximum non-shivering and total heat production capacities, suggests that under the conditions of this study solar radiation supplemented rather than substituted metabolic thermogenesis as a source of heat during rewarming from heterothermy. PMID:25853244

  1. Solar radiation during rewarming from torpor in elephant shrews: supplementation or substitution of endogenous heat production?

    PubMed

    Thompson, Michelle L; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi; Bennett, Nigel C; McKechnie, Andrew E

    2015-01-01

    Many small mammals bask in the sun during rewarming from heterothermy, but the implications of this behaviour for their energy balance remain little understood. Specifically, it remains unclear whether solar radiation supplements endogenous metabolic thermogenesis (i.e., rewarming occurs through the additive effects of internally-produced and external heat), or whether solar radiation reduces the energy required to rewarm by substituting (i.e, replacing) metabolic heat production. To address this question, we examined patterns of torpor and rewarming rates in eastern rock elephant shrews (Elephantulus myurus) housed in outdoor cages with access to either natural levels of solar radiation or levels that were experimentally reduced by means of shade cloth. We also tested whether acclimation to solar radiation availability was manifested via phenotypic flexibility in basal metabolic rate (BMR), non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) capacity and/or summit metabolism (Msum). Rewarming rates varied significantly among treatments, with elephant shrews experiencing natural solar radiation levels rewarming faster than conspecifics experiencing solar radiation levels equivalent to approximately 20% or 40% of natural levels. BMR differed significantly between individuals experiencing natural levels of solar radiation and conspecifics experiencing approximately 20% of natural levels, but no between-treatment difference was evident for NST capacity or Msum. The positive relationship between solar radiation availability and rewarming rate, together with the absence of acclimation in maximum non-shivering and total heat production capacities, suggests that under the conditions of this study solar radiation supplemented rather than substituted metabolic thermogenesis as a source of heat during rewarming from heterothermy.

  2. Myth, marula, and elephant: an assessment of voluntary ethanol intoxication of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) following feeding on the fruit of the marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea).

    PubMed

    Morris, Steve; Humphreys, David; Reynolds, Dan

    2006-01-01

    Africa can stir wild and fanciful notions in the casual visitor; one of these is the tale of inebriated wild elephants. The suggestion that the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) becomes intoxicated from eating the fruit of the marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea) is an attractive, established, and persistent tale. This idea now permeates the African tourist industry, historical travelogues, the popular press, and even scholastic works. Accounts of ethanol inebriation in animals under natural conditions appear mired in folklore. Elephants are attracted to alcohol, but there is no clear evidence of inebriation in the field. Extrapolating from human physiology, a 3,000-kg elephant would require the ingestion of between 10 and 27 L of 7% ethanol in a short period to overtly affect behavior, which is unlikely in the wild. Interpolating from ecological circumstances and assuming rather unrealistically that marula fruit contain 3% ethanol, an elephant feeding normally might attain an ethanol dose of 0.3 g kg(-1), about half that required. Physiological issues to resolve include alcohol dehydrogenase activity and ethanol clearance rates in elephants, as well as values for marula fruit alcohol content. These models were highly biased in favor of inebriation but even so failed to show that elephants can ordinarily become drunk. Such tales, it seems, may result from "humanizing" elephant behavior. PMID:16555195

  3. Myth, marula, and elephant: an assessment of voluntary ethanol intoxication of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) following feeding on the fruit of the marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea).

    PubMed

    Morris, Steve; Humphreys, David; Reynolds, Dan

    2006-01-01

    Africa can stir wild and fanciful notions in the casual visitor; one of these is the tale of inebriated wild elephants. The suggestion that the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) becomes intoxicated from eating the fruit of the marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea) is an attractive, established, and persistent tale. This idea now permeates the African tourist industry, historical travelogues, the popular press, and even scholastic works. Accounts of ethanol inebriation in animals under natural conditions appear mired in folklore. Elephants are attracted to alcohol, but there is no clear evidence of inebriation in the field. Extrapolating from human physiology, a 3,000-kg elephant would require the ingestion of between 10 and 27 L of 7% ethanol in a short period to overtly affect behavior, which is unlikely in the wild. Interpolating from ecological circumstances and assuming rather unrealistically that marula fruit contain 3% ethanol, an elephant feeding normally might attain an ethanol dose of 0.3 g kg(-1), about half that required. Physiological issues to resolve include alcohol dehydrogenase activity and ethanol clearance rates in elephants, as well as values for marula fruit alcohol content. These models were highly biased in favor of inebriation but even so failed to show that elephants can ordinarily become drunk. Such tales, it seems, may result from "humanizing" elephant behavior.

  4. 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

  5. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Sarah H; Ackerman, Joshua T; Costa, Daniel P

    2015-07-01

    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 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.

  6. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Sarah H; Ackerman, Joshua T; Costa, Daniel P

    2015-07-01

    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 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. PMID:26085591

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Distinguishing forest and savanna African elephants using short nuclear DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Yasuko; Demeke, Yirmed; van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Leggett, Keith E A; Fox, Virginia E; Roca, Alfred L

    2011-01-01

    A more complete description of African elephant phylogeography would require a method that distinguishes forest and savanna elephants using DNA from low-quality samples. Although mitochondrial DNA is often the marker of choice for species identification, the unusual cytonuclear patterns in African elephants make nuclear markers more reliable. We therefore designed and utilized genetic markers for short nuclear DNA regions that contain fixed nucleotide differences between forest and savanna elephants. We used M13 forward and reverse sequences to increase the total length of PCR amplicons and to improve the quality of sequences for the target DNA. We successfully sequenced fragments of nuclear genes from dung samples of known savanna and forest elephants in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Namibia. Elephants at previously unexamined locations were found to have nucleotide character states consistent with their status as savanna or forest elephants. Using these and results from previous studies, we estimated that the short-amplicon nuclear markers could distinguish forest from savanna African elephants with more than 99% accuracy. Nuclear genotyping of museum, dung, or ivory samples will provide better-informed conservation management of Africa's elephants.

  10. Serological evidence of bovine herpesviruses 1 and 2 in Asian elephants.

    PubMed

    Bhat, M N; Manickam, R; Kumanan, K

    1997-10-01

    Antibodies were detected against bovine herpesviruses 1 (BHV 1) and 2 (BHV 2) in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) using the passive hemagglutination (PHA) test. The study was conducted during May to December 1994 using sera collected from zoological gardens and national parks in India. Four (4%) of 109 elephant sera had PHA titers ranging from 1:8 to 1:32 against BHV 1. Twenty-five (23%) of the 109 elephant sera had PHA titers ranging from 1:8 to