Science.gov

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. Risk and ethical concerns of hunting male elephant: behavioural and physiological assays of the remaining elephants.

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-18

    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. 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). 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.

  3. 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.

  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.

  5. Male African elephants discriminate and prefer vocalizations of unfamiliar females

    PubMed Central

    Stoeger, Angela S.; Baotic, Anton

    2017-01-01

    Gaining information about conspecifics via long-distance vocalizations is crucial for social and spatially flexible species such as the African elephant (Loxodonta africana). Female elephants are known to discriminate individuals and kin based on acoustic cues. Specifically, females approached the loudspeaker exclusively with playbacks of familiar individuals with high association indexes, intentionally fusing with their affiliates. For males, which are less bonded, gathering social information via vocalizations could still have important implications, but little is known about their vocal discrimination skills. We experimentally tested the ability of male African elephants to discriminate the social rumbles of familiar (from the same population) versus unfamiliar females. Male elephants discriminated and preferentially moved towards the rumbles of unfamiliar females, showing longer attentive reactions and significantly more orientating (facing and approaching the speaker) behavior. The increased orientating response of males towards playbacks of unfamiliar females is converse to the reaction of female subjects. Our results provide evidence that male elephants extract social information from vocalizations, yet with a different intention than females. Accordingly, males might use social cues in vocalizations to assess mating opportunities, which may involve selection to identify individuals or kin in order to avoid inbreeding. PMID:28422091

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. The social and ecological integration of captive-raised adolescent male African elephants (Loxodonta africana) into a wild population.

    PubMed

    Evans, Kate; Moore, Randall; Harris, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    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. 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. 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.

  11. 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.

  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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Insley, Stephen J; Holt, Marla M

    2012-01-01

    Vocal recognition was tested in a socially dynamic context where many individuals interact: the female defense polygyny practiced by male northern elephant seals. The goal was to tease apart whether animals recognize other individuals or instead use a simple rule-based category (i.e., relative dominance rank). A total of 67 playback experiments conducted with 18 males at Año Nuevo State Reserve, California, tested three aspects of recognition: (1) recognition of relative rank; (2) whether such recognition was continuous or categorical; and (3) recognition of familiarity. Results indicate that males recognize familiar individuals although responses are primarily based on relative dominance rank. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. The Influence of Life History Milestones and Association Networks on Crop-Raiding Behavior in Male African Elephants

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Factors that influence learning and the spread of behavior in wild animal populations are important for understanding species responses to changing environments and for species conservation. In populations of wildlife species that come into conflict with humans by raiding cultivated crops, simple models of exposure of individual animals to crops do not entirely explain the prevalence of crop raiding behavior. We investigated the influence of life history milestones using age and association patterns on the probability of being a crop raider among wild free ranging male African elephants; we focused on males because female elephants are not known to raid crops in our study population. We examined several features of an elephant association network; network density, community structure and association based on age similarity since they are known to influence the spread of behaviors in a population. We found that older males were more likely to be raiders than younger males, that males were more likely to be raiders when their closest associates were also raiders, and that males were more likely to be raiders when their second closest associates were raiders older than them. The male association network had sparse associations, a tendency for individuals similar in age and raiding status to associate, and a strong community structure. However, raiders were randomly distributed between communities. These features of the elephant association network may limit the spread of raiding behavior and likely determine the prevalence of raiding behavior in elephant populations. Our results suggest that social learning has a major influence on the acquisition of raiding behavior in younger males whereas life history factors are important drivers of raiding behavior in older males. Further, both life-history and network patterns may influence the acquisition and spread of complex behaviors in animal populations and provide insight on managing human-wildlife conflict. PMID:22347468

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Homosexual behaviour increases male attractiveness to females

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Masculinity and male sexual behaviour in Mozambique.

    PubMed

    Macia, Manuel; Maharaj, Pranitha; Gresh, Ashley

    2011-11-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Detusking fence-breaker elephants as an approach in human-elephant conflict mitigation.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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). 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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    McCrea, Rachel S.; Roberts, David L.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Male gender identity and sexual behaviour.

    PubMed

    Chused, J F

    1999-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Vaccination against GnRH may suppress aggressive behaviour and musth in African elephant (Loxodonta africana) bulls--a pilot study.

    PubMed

    De Nys, H M; Bertschinger, H J; Turkstra, J A; Colenbrander, B; Palme, R; Human, A M

    2010-03-01

    Aggressive behaviour and musth are constant problems in captive and sometimes in free-ranging African elephant bulls. Aggressive bulls are difficult and musth bulls almost impossible to manage without severely restricting their movement either by leg-chaining or using tranquillisers. This study investigated the relationship between faecal androgen metabolites (FAM) and faecal cortisol metabolites (FCM) concentrations and aggressive behaviour and tested a GnRH vaccine as a means of down-regulating aggressive behaviour and musth in 1 free-ranging and 5 captive elephant bulls. The bulls were non-aggressive (n=3), aggressive (n=2) or in musth (n=1) at the onset of the study. The bulls were injected with a GnRH vaccine-adjuvant combination 3 or 4 times at 3- to 7-week intervals. Behaviour, FAM and FCM concentrations were measured during every week prior to vaccination until 4 months after the last vaccination. FAM concentrations were positively correlated with aggressive behaviour before the 1st vaccination. Androgen production, as reflected by FAM concentrations, was down-regulated in 3 of the 6 immunised bulls. At least 2 bulls and possibly a 3rd showed behavioural improvement following GnRH vaccination and in all 3 temporal gland secretion ceased. No further aggressive behaviour was observed until the end of the study in any of the bulls. The results of this 1st GnRH immunisation study suggest that it could be a useful method to control aggressive behaviour and musth in African elephant bulls.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Contribution of dihydrotestosterone to male sexual behaviour.

    PubMed Central

    Mantzoros, C. S.; Georgiadis, E. I.; Trichopoulos, D.

    1995-01-01

    OBJECTIVE--To document the relative importance of endogenous sex steroids in modulating the frequency of orgasms, the dominant aspect of sexual behaviour in healthy eugonadal men. DESIGN--Measurement of adrenal and testicular sex steroids in a sample of army recruits and study of their relation to frequency of orgasms ascertained by questionnaire after potential confounding variables were controlled for. SETTING--Military campus and military hospital laboratories in Athens, Greece. SUBJECTS--92 consecutively enrolled healthy male recruits aged 18-22 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Weekly number of orgasms. Serum concentrations of testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, dihydrotestosterone, oestradiol, oestrone, delta-4-androstenedione, and sex hormone binding globulin. RESULTS--Serum dihydrotestosterone concentration was the only independent hormonal predictor of the frequency of orgasms; an increase in concentration of 1.36 nmol/l (about 2 SD) corresponded to an average increase of one orgasm a week. CONCLUSIONS--Differences in concentrations of circulating dihydrotestosterone within the normal range may represent a major predictor of sexual activity in healthy young men. PMID:7773040

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Le Bras, Yves; Jouma'a, Joffrey; Picard, Baptiste; Guinet, Christophe

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Elephant resource-use traditions.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Willcox, R R

    1981-06-01

    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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Wignall, Anne E; Herberstein, Marie E

    2013-12-19

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-20

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

  12. 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. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  13. Bio-physical characterisation of polynyas as a key foraging habitat for juvenile male southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Malpress, Veda; Bestley, Sophie; Corney, Stuart; Welsford, Dirk; Labrousse, Sara; Sumner, Michael; Hindell, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Antarctic coastal polynyas are persistent open water areas in the sea ice zone, and regions of high biological productivity thought to be important foraging habitat for marine predators. This study quantified southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) habitat use within and around the polynyas of the Prydz Bay region (63°E- 88°E) in East Antarctica, and examined the bio-physical characteristics structuring polynyas as foraging habitat. Output from a climatological regional ocean model was used to provide context for in situ temperature-salinity vertical profiles collected by tagged elephant seals and to characterise the physical properties structuring polynyas. Biological properties were explored using remotely-sensed surface chlorophyll (Chl-a) and, qualitatively, historical fish assemblage data. Spatially gridded residence time of seals was examined in relation to habitat characteristics using generalized additive mixed models. The results showed clear polynya usage during early autumn and increasingly concentrated usage during early winter. Bathymetry, Chl-a, surface net heat flux (representing polynya location), and bottom temperature were identified as significant bio-physical predictors of the spatio-temporal habitat usage. The findings from this study confirm that the most important marine habitats for juvenile male southern elephant seals within Prydz Bay region are polynyas. A hypothesis exists regarding the seasonal evolution of primary productivity, coupling from surface to subsurface productivity and supporting elevated rates of secondary production in the upper water column during summer-autumn. An advancement to this hypothesis is proposed here, whereby this bio-physical coupling is likely to extend throughout the water column as it becomes fully convected during autumn-winter, to also promote pelagic-benthic linkages important for benthic foraging within polynyas.

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

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Daisuke; Koganezawa, Masayuki

    2013-10-01

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

  15. Targeting male mosquito mating behaviour for malaria control.

    PubMed

    Diabate, Abdoulaye; Tripet, Frédéric

    2015-06-26

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

  16. Under the sea ice: Exploring the relationship between sea ice and the foraging behaviour of southern elephant seals in East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labrousse, Sara; Sallée, Jean-Baptiste; Fraser, Alexander D.; Massom, Robert A.; Reid, Phillip; Sumner, Michael; Guinet, Christophe; Harcourt, Robert; McMahon, Clive; Bailleul, Frédéric; Hindell, Mark A.; Charrassin, Jean-Benoit

    2017-08-01

    Investigating ecological relationships between predators and their environment is essential to understand the response of marine ecosystems to climate variability and change. This is particularly true in polar regions, where sea ice (a sensitive climate variable) plays a crucial yet highly dynamic and variable role in how it influences the whole marine ecosystem, from phytoplankton to top predators. For mesopredators such as seals, sea ice both supports a rich (under-ice) food resource, access to which depends on local to regional coverage and conditions. Here, we investigate sex-specific relationships between the foraging strategies of southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) in winter and spatio-temporal variability in sea ice concentration (SIC) and coverage in East Antarctica. We satellite-tracked 46 individuals undertaking post-moult trips in winter from Kerguelen Islands to the peri-Antarctic shelf between 2004 and 2014. These data indicate distinct general patterns of sea ice usage: while females tended to follow the sea ice edge as it extended northward, the males remained on the continental shelf despite increasing sea ice. Seal hunting time, a proxy of foraging activity inferred from the diving behaviour, was longer for females in late autumn in the outer part of the pack ice, ∼150-370 km south of the ice edge. Within persistent regions of compact sea ice, females had a longer foraging activity (i) in the highest sea ice concentration at their position, but (ii) their foraging activity was longer when there were more patches of low concentration sea ice around their position (either in time or in space; 30 days & 50 km). The high spatio-temporal variability of sea ice around female positions is probably a key factor allowing them to exploit these concentrated patches. Despite lack of information on prey availability, females may exploit mesopelagic finfishes and squids that concentrate near the ice-water interface or within the water column (from

  17. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Dastjerdi, Akbar; Robert, Christelle; Watson, Mick

    2014-01-01

    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. 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. The data presented here are an important addition to the available genetic and genomic information on Asian and African elephants.

  20. 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.

  1. When is a butterfly like an elephant?

    PubMed

    Kelly, D R

    1996-08-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Exploring urban male non-marital sexual behaviours in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Mir, Ali M; Wajid, Abdul; Pearson, Stephen; Khan, Mumraiz; Masood, Irfan

    2013-04-11

    In Pakistan, sexual practices outside marriage are proscribed by law. We aimed to assess the range and magnitude of non-marital sexual behaviours of urban men, focusing on men having sex with men. In this cross sectional survey undertaken in six cities of Pakistan, we interviewed 2400 men aged 16-45 years selected through a multistage systematic sampling design. Sexual behaviours were assessed through a structured questionnaire. Multivariable analysis was used to identify association between various individual level characteristics and probability of engaging in sexual activities involving men. Nearly one-third (29 percent) reported having had non-marital sex in their lifetime. Of these men 16 percent reported premarital sex, while 11 percent reported engaging in both pre- and extramarital sex. Only two percent reported exclusive extramarital sex. In total 211 respondents, 9 percent reported ever having had sexual relations with men. While 62 respondents, 2.6 percent reported exclusive sex with males. Factors that were significantly associated with MSM behaviours were being less than 27 years (adjusted OR 5.4, 95% CI 3.8-7.7, p < 0.000), less than 10 years of schooling (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.4-3.2, p < 0.000), being unemployed (adjusted OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.6-4.3, p < 0.000), being exposed to pornographic materials (adjusted OR 4.8, 95% CI 3.0-7.7, p < 0.000) and being a migrant (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.3-3.4, p < 0.002). Factors significantly associated with exclusive homosexual behaviour were having sexual debut at a younger age i.e. 16-22 years (adjusted OR 12.5, 95% CI: 3.8-40.7, p < 0.000), being unemployed (adjusted OR 8.8, 95% CI: 3.0-26.0, p = 0.000), having had exposure to pornographic materials (adjusted OR 3.3, 95% CI: 1.5-7.2, p = 0.002). To prevent the spread of STI's in Pakistan, preventive interventions should focus on reaching out to young uneducated men offering them with appropriate counselling and skills to adopt "safe sex practices" through

  7. Exposure of embryos to an aromatization inhibitor increases copulatory behaviour of male quail.

    PubMed

    Adkins-Regan, E

    1985-08-01

    This experiment examined the possibility that endogenous embryonic androgen contributes to sexual differentiation of behaviour in male or female quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica ), and that it does so via aromatization (conversion to oestrogen). Eggs were injected on day 9 of incubation with oil or ATD (an aromatization inhibitor). As adults, males and females were exposed to short days, injected with testosterone propionate, tested for male-typical behaviour, then injected with oestradiol benzoate and tested for female-typical receptivity. ATD increased the level of male-typical copulatory behaviour in males. Male-typical behaviour in females was not affected, nor was female-typical behaviour in either sex. Thus normal male quail are actually slightly demasculinized by their own androgen during embryonic development, and this process is mediated by aromatization. Copyright © 1985. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Courtship behaviour in male red-backed salamanders: the ESS dating game

    PubMed

    Hom; Jaeger; Willits

    1997-09-01

    Social interactions in red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereusare complex and often depend upon the sex and reproductive status of individuals. In the population at Mountain Lake Biological Station, Virginia, adult males outnumber sexually active (gravid) females by approximately 2:1, because males court annually while females accept mates only biennially. Field observations of male P. cinereus suggest that males maintain feeding territories and allow non-gravid (not sexually active) females access to their territories for foraging, whereas they defend their territories against intrusion by males. We used a game-theoretic analysis of models of male fitness to examine conditions that would favour the evolution of this 'permissive' behaviour. Under a series of increasingly realistic behavioural assumptions, we found that the critical factor in the evolution of male permissive behaviour is female preference for permissive males. If non-gravid females are more likely to return to mate with a male that allows access to his territory, then permissive behaviour is likely to evolve. Furthermore, the evolution of permissive behaviour is facilitated when energetic losses due to territorial defence exceed those due to allowing females to forage.1997The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

  13. Female vibration discourages male courtship behaviour in the Amarillo fish (Girardinichthys multiradiatus).

    PubMed

    Martínez Medina, Lourdes; Macías Garcia, Constantino; Flores Urbina, Amira; Manjarrez, Javier; Moyaho, Alejandro

    2013-11-01

    Amarillo fish females (Girardinichthys multiradiatus) vibrate when conspecific males approach them; the reason behind this behaviour is unclear. Hypotheses are that females vibrate either to avoid aggression from males or to court them. We prevented females from vibrating by temporarily blocking their lateral line organs and eyes, on the assumption that they rely on these senses to detect approaching males. Females with the lateral line organs obstructed vibrated less frequently than females with the lateral line intact, indicating that the mechanosensory lateral line system is necessary for perceiving approaching males. Males displayed more courtship behaviour to sighted females with the lateral line organs obstructed than to sighted females with the lateral line intact. A general tendency indicated that the less the females vibrated the more the males courted them. These findings indicate that female vibration discourages male courtship behaviour. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Altered reproductive behaviours in male mosquitofish living downstream from a sewage treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Saaristo, Minna; Myers, Jackie; Jacques-Hamilton, Rowan; Allinson, Mayumi; Yamamoto, Atsushi; Allinson, Graeme; Pettigrove, Vincent; Wong, Bob B M

    2014-04-01

    Freshwater environments are common repositories for the discharge of large volumes of domestic and industrial waste, particularly through wastewater effluent. One common group of chemical pollutants present in wastewater are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which can induce morphological and behavioural changes in aquatic organisms. The aim of this study was to compare the reproductive behaviour and morphology of a freshwater fish, the mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki), collected from two sites (wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and a putative pristine site). The mosquitofish is a sexually dimorphic livebearer with a coercive mating system. Males inseminate females using their modified anal fin as an intromittent organ. Despite this, females are able to exert some control over the success of male mating attempts by selectively associating with, or avoiding, certain males over others. Using standard laboratory assays of reproductive behaviour, we found that mosquitofish males living in close proximity to WWTP showed increased mating activity compared to those inhabiting a pristine site. More specifically, during behavioural trials in which males were allowed to interact with females separated by a transparent divider, we found that WWTP-males spent more time associating with females. Concordant with this, when males and females were subsequently allowed to interact freely, WWTP-males also spent more time chasing and orienting towards the females. As a result, females from both sites showed more interest towards the WWTP-site males. Male anal fin morphology, however, did not differ between sites. Our study illustrates that lifetime exposure to WWTP-effluents can greatly affect male behaviour. The results underscore the importance of behaviour as a potential tool for investigating unknown contaminants in the environment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Maxwell

    1998-04-01

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

  20. 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. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Effect of genes, social experience, and their interaction on the courtship behaviour of transgenic Drosophila males.

    PubMed

    Svetec, Nicolas; Houot, Benjamin; Ferveur, Jean-François

    2005-06-01

    Behaviour depends (a) on genes that specify the neural and non-neural elements involved in the perception of and responses to sensory stimuli and (b) on experience that can modulate the fine development of these elements. We exposed transgenic and control Drosophila melanogaster males, and their hybrids, to male siblings during adult development and measured the contribution of genes and of experience to their courtship behaviour. The transgene CheB42a specifically targets male gustatory sensillae and alters the perception of male inhibitory pheromones which leads to frequent male-male interactions. The age at which social experience occurred and the genotype of tester males induced a variable effect on the intensity of male homo- and heterosexual courtship. The strong interaction between the effects of genes and of social experience reveals the plasticity of the apparently stereotyped elements involved in male courtship behaviour. Finally, a high intensity of homosexual courtship was found only in males that simultaneously carried a mutation in their white gene and the CheB42a transgene.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Genomic DNA Sequences from Mastodon and Woolly Mammoth Reveal Deep Speciation of Forest and Savanna Elephants

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. Laparoscopic vasectomy in African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Rubio-Martínez, Luis M; Hendrickson, Dean A; Stetter, Mark; Zuba, Jeffery R; Marais, Hendrik J

    2014-07-01

    To describe a surgical technique for, and outcome after, laparoscopic vasectomy of free-ranging elephants. Case series. African elephants (Loxodonta africana; n = 14). Male elephants (12-35 years old) were anesthetized with etorphine and supported in a sling in a modified standing position, and positive pressure ventilated with oxygen. Anesthesia was maintained with IV etorphine. Vasectomy was performed under field conditions by bilateral, open-approach, flank laparoscopy with the abdomen insufflated with filtered ambient air. A 4-cm segment of each ductus deferens was excised. Behavior and incision healing were recorded for 8 months postoperatively. Successful bilateral vasectomy (surgical time, 57-125 minutes) was confirmed by histologic examination of excised tissue. Recovery was uneventful without signs of abnormal behavior. Large intestine lacerations (3 elephants; 1 full and 2 partial thickness) were sutured extracorporeally. One elephant found dead at 6 weeks, had no prior abnormal signs. Skin incisions healed without complication. Laparoscopic vasectomy can be performed in African elephants in their natural environment. © Copyright 2014 by The American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-10

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

  11. Male behavioural maturation rate responds to selection on pollen hoarding in honeybees

    PubMed Central

    RUEPPELL, OLAV; PAGE, ROBERT E.; FONDRK, M. KIM

    2008-01-01

    Division of labour in social insect colonies relies on behavioural functional differentiation (specialization) of individuals with similar genomes. However, individual behavioural traits do not evolve independently of each other (behavioural syndromes). A prime example is the suite of behavioural differences in honeybee workers that has evolved in response to bidirectional selection on pollen hoarding of honeybee colonies (pollen-hoarding syndrome). More generally, these differences reflect functional differentiation between nectar and pollen foragers. We demonstrate here that this pollen-hoarding syndrome extends to drones. Similar to what has been shown in workers, drones from the high-pollen-hoarding strain had a higher locomotion activity after emergence, and they initiated flight earlier than did males derived from the low-pollen-hoarding strain, with hybrids intermediate. However, these two behavioural traits were unlinked at the individual level. We also found that social environment (the colony) affects the age at which drones initiate flight. The indirect selection responses of male behaviour suggest that male and worker evolution are not independent and may constrain each other’s evolution. Furthermore, we identified three distinct peaks in the probability of flight initiation over the course of the experiment and a decreased phenotypic variability in the ‘hybrid’ males, contrary to quantitative genetic expectations. PMID:18846249

  12. 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.

  13. Behavioural responses to video playbacks by zebra finch males.

    PubMed

    Galoch, Zdzislaw; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2007-01-10

    A major problem for communication research is to provide standardized stimuli and to disentangle the relative contribution of different sensory channels to the compound signal and its effectiveness. Video techniques have frequently been used for this purpose. Fifty Hertz cathode ray tube (CRT) screens cannot be used for birds because their flicker frequency is lower than the time resolution of at least songbirds. Thin film transistor (TFT) screens have successfully been used to present video clips of behaving conspecifics. We show here that they are indeed transmitting video images in a way that enables zebra finches to react appropriately to live video images of conspecifics and that the test birds are able to detect small differences in the behaviour of the stimulus animals. Adding acoustic information strongly enhanced the reaction to the video clips.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  17. Short-term exposure to an endocrine disruptor affects behavioural consistency in male threespine stickleback.

    PubMed

    Dzieweczynski, Teresa L

    2011-10-01

    It has been established that exposure to xenooestrogens can have profound effects on reproductive and aggressive behaviours in aquatic organisms. Studies on the effects of 17α-ethinyloestradiol (EE2) on behaviour, however, rarely examine these effects over multiple trials, across time, or across contexts. In addition, it is possible that individuals vary in their sensitivity to EE2 and individuals may differ in the degree to which their behaviour is affected. The study of consistent individual differences in behaviour has grown in popularity in recent years perhaps because of the evolutionary questions this behavioural variation raises. Adult male threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from an anadromous population repeatedly received the simultaneous presentation of a dummy male and dummy female conspecific both before and after exposure to a short-term, nominal (15 ng L(-1)) concentration of 17α-ethinyloestradiol (EE2). These before and after measures were then compared against one another as well as against responses of males in a control group that was not exposed to EE2. Courtship, aggression, and nesting behaviours were all affected by EE2 exposure. In addition, behavioural consistency over trials was markedly reduced after EE2 exposure, as shown by lower repeatability values in the after exposure measures and in weaker correlations between the before and after exposure measures in the EE2 group compared to the control group. This suggests that male threespine stickleback vary in their sensitivity to EE2. This study is one of the first to examine the effects of short-term EE2 exposure on behaviour across trials and has important implications for population-level fitness consequences of xenooestrogens. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-03-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-02-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Female conspecifics restore rhythmic singing behaviour in arrhythmic male zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Jha, Neelu Anand; Kumar, Vinod

    2017-03-01

    The present study investigated whether pairing with a conspecific female would restore rhythmicity in the singing behaviour of arrhythmic male songbirds. We recorded the singing and, as the circadian response indicator, monitored the activity-rest pattern in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) housed without or with a conspecific female under 12 h light: 12 h darkness (12L:12D) or constant bright light (LL bright). Both unpaired and paired birds exhibited a significant daily rhythm in the singing and activity behaviour, but paired birds, under 12L:12D, showed a ~2 h extension in the evening. Exposure to LLbright decayed rhythmicity, but the female presence restored rhythmic patterns without affecting the 24 h song output. In the acoustic features, we found a significant difference in the motif duration between unpaired and paired male songs. Overall, these results demonstrated for the first time the role of the female in restoring the circadian phenotype of singing behaviour in male songbirds with disrupted circadian functions, although how interaction between sexes affects the circadian timing of male singing is not understood yet. It is suggested that social cues rendered by a conspecific female could improve the circadian performance by restoring rhythmicity in the biological functions of the cohabiting arrhythmic male partner.

  6. Male behaviours towards unplanned pregnancy: experiences of Brazilian low-income women.

    PubMed

    Hoga, L A K; Manganiello, A

    2007-12-01

    Lone women are responsible for a quarter of Brazilian families. The unplanned pregnancy, a strong reality for many young poor women in this country, provokes a strong impact on physical, emotional, socio-economic and family dimensions. Do personal characteristics determine the behaviours of males towards unplanned pregnancy? Do the associations between the couple's bond and male behaviours influence attitudes towards unplanned pregnancy? This descriptive study was carried out in a low-income community in the City of São Paulo, Brazil. A structured form was composed to obtain data from 100 women who have lived out the unplanned pregnancy experience. Personal characteristics do not appear to determine male behaviours towards unplanned pregnancy. There was a statistically significant difference among men in different types of bonding relationship (married, cohabiting, dating, without bonding) with regard to the following behaviours: attention given during pregnancy; changes to the type of bond between partners; civil registration of the child by the father; financial support provided by the father and contact with the child. Bonding and correlated topics are essential in sexual and reproductive healthcare education and promotion. Population sampling was statistically calculated based on community demographic data and the conclusions refer to the estimated parameters of men's behaviours according to women's experiences.

  7. Prenatal exposure to paracetamol/acetaminophen and precursor aniline impairs masculinisation of male brain and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Hay-Schmidt, Anders; Finkielman, Olivia T Ejlstrup; Jensen, Benjamin A H; Høgsbro, Christine F; Bak Holm, Jacob; Johansen, Kristoffer Haurum; Jensen, Tina Kold; Andrade, Anderson Martino; Swan, Shanna H; Bornehag, Carl-Gustaf; Brunak, Søren; Jegou, Bernard; Kristiansen, Karsten; Kristensen, David Møbjerg

    2017-08-01

    Paracetamol/acetaminophen (N-Acetyl-p-Aminophenol; APAP) is the preferred analgesic for pain relief and fever during pregnancy. It has therefore caused concern that several studies have reported that prenatal exposure to APAP results in developmental alterations in both the reproductive tract and the brain. Genitals and nervous system of male mammals are actively masculinised during foetal development and early postnatal life by the combined actions of prostaglandins and androgens, resulting in the male-typical reproductive behaviour seen in adulthood. Both androgens and prostaglandins are known to be inhibited by APAP. Through intrauterine exposure experiments in C57BL/6 mice, we found that exposure to APAP decreased neuronal number in the sexually dimorphic nucleus (SDN) of the preoptic area (POA) in the anterior hypothalamus of male adult offspring. Likewise, exposure to the environmental pollutant and precursor of APAP, aniline, resulted in a similar reduction. Decrease in neuronal number in the SDN-POA is associated with reductions in male sexual behaviour. Consistent with the changes, male mice exposed in uteri to APAP exhibited changes in urinary marking behaviour as adults and had a less aggressive territorial display towards intruders of the same gender. Additionally, exposed males had reduced intromissions and ejaculations during mating with females in oestrus. Together, these data suggest that prenatal exposure to APAP may impair male sexual behaviour in adulthood by disrupting the sexual neurobehavioral programming. These findings add to the growing body of evidence suggesting the need to limit the widespread exposure and use of APAP by pregnant women. © 2017 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Davis, Randall W; Weihs, Daniel

    2007-11-29

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

  10. The roles of kairomones, synomones and pheromones in the chemically-mediated behaviour of male mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Pitts, R Jason; Mozūraitis, Raimondas; Gauvin-Bialecki, Anne; Lempérière, Guy

    2014-04-01

    Despite decades of intensive study of the chemical ecology of female mosquitoes, relatively little is known about the chemical ecology of males. This short review summarizes the current state of knowledge of the chemicals that mediate male mosquito behaviour. Various trophic interactions including insect-plant, insect-host, and insect-insect responses are emphasized. The relevance of the chemical ecology of male mosquitoes in the context of vector control programmes is discussed. Copyright © 2013 International Atomic Energy Agency 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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. 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

  15. 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

  16. Mood and male sexual behaviour in the APP23 model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Vloeberghs, Ellen; Van Dam, Debby; Franck, Frieda; Staufenbiel, Matthias; De Deyn, Peter Paul

    2007-06-18

    Alzheimer's disease is characterised by both cognitive deterioration and the development of a wide range of neuropsychiatric disturbances, among which affective disturbances, stereotyped behaviour, dietary hyperactivity and changes in sexual behaviour. The transgenic APP23 mouse models Alzheimer's disease and has shown to be a unique tool in the study of this condition. APP23 mice develop, next to the age-dependent cognitive decline, also a range of behavioural problems, such as circadian activity disturbances and increased aggression, in analogy with the dementing patients. The present study aimed to investigate whether this model also develops mood disturbances and changes in sexual behaviour. Using two behavioural despair paradigms and the sucrose preference test, we did not find evidence for the development of depression-related behaviours. A sophisticated protocol was neither able to unravel changes in male sexual behaviour between APP23 and WT mice. The present study nevertheless provides evidence that the APP23 mice are more anxious and fearful in comparison with control littermates, which opens perspectives to future treatment studies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-25

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

  19. Eavesdropping on elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payne, Katy

    2004-05-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Male students' behaviour, knowledge, attitudes, and needs in sexual and reproductive health matters.

    PubMed

    Makenzius, Marlene; Gådin, Katja Gillander; Tydén, Tanja; Romild, Ulla; Larsson, Margareta

    2009-08-01

    To investigate young male students' behaviour, knowledge, attitudes, and needs related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Differences between students on vocational and academic study programmes were also investigated. A questionnaire consisting of 87 multiple choice questions was distributed to 253 male students attending three upper secondary schools in a single Swedish county. A response rate of 76% (n = 192) was achieved. Vocational students displayed more risk behaviour than those in academic study programmes regarding use of tobacco and sexual behaviour. Eighteen percent of those who were sexually experienced had suggested or provided the emergency contraception pill (ECP) to a girl. Insufficient knowledge of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) was identified, especially among the vocational students. No one reported the upper secondary school as their main source of knowledge and both groups requested more information about both genders' reproductive systems, and STIs. Some discriminatory attitudes regarding gender equality in SRH matters were identified. Both groups stated that male-friendly Youth Health Clinics (YHCs), easier access to condoms and Internet-service for Chlamydia test are important. Improvements in the quality and quantity of sex education in upper secondary schools are needed; they should be tailored to the spectrum of students' situations and needs. A structure of the YHC adapted to male youths' needs and alternative, easily accessible STI tests are important factors for reaching young men and having them participate in a responsible way in protecting their own and their partners' SRH.

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

    PubMed

    Møller, Mette; Haustein, Sonja

    2014-03-01

    Despite extensive research, preventive efforts and general improvements in road safety levels, the accident risk of young male drivers remains increased. Based on a standardized survey of a random sample of 2018 male drivers at the age of 18 and 28, this study looked into attitudes and behaviours related to traffic violations of male drivers. More specifically, the role of peer influence on speeding was examined in both age groups. In regression analyses it could be shown that the descriptive subjective norm, i.e., the perception of friends' speeding, was the most important predictor of speeding in both age groups. Other significant factors were: negative attitude towards speed limits, injunctive subjective norm, and the perceived risk of having an accident when speeding. In the older age group it was more common to drive faster than allowed and their speeding was largely in line with the perceived level of their friends' speeding. In the younger age group a higher discrepancy between own and friends' speeding was found indicating that young male drivers are socialized into increased speeding behaviour based on peer pressure. By contrast for the 28-year-olds peer pressure mainly seems to maintain or justify individual speeding behaviour. It is suggested that preventive measures should take these different influences of peer pressure into account by using a peer-based approach for the 18-year-olds and a more individual approach for the 28-year-olds. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Development of sexually abusive behaviour in sexually victimised males: a longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Salter, Daniel; McMillan, Dean; Richards, Mark; Talbot, Tiffany; Hodges, Jill; Bentovim, Arnon; Hastings, Richard; Stevenson, Jim; Skuse, David

    2003-02-08

    Sexual maltreatment is one of the most common forms of child abuse. To identify risk factors for sexually abusive behaviour by adults, we prospectively assessed childhood experiences and personal characteristics of male child victims who became abusers in later life. In a longitudinal study (7-19 years duration), we included 224 former male victims of sexual abuse. Risk factors contemporaneous with the abuse, and putative protective influences, were identified from social service and clinical records. Evidence of later criminal acts was obtained from a nationwide search of official records. Of the 224 former victims, 26 had subsequently committed sexual offences (victim-abusers), in almost all cases with children, mainly outside their families. Risk factors during childhood for later offending included material neglect (odds ratio 3.4, 95% CI 1.2-9.7), lack of supervision (3.0, 1.1-8.3), and sexual abuse by a female person (3.0, 1.1-8.7). Victim-abusers had more frequently witnessed serious intrafamilial violence (3.1, 1.0-10.0). Six (29%) of 21 victim-abusers on whom we had relevant data had been cruel to animals (7.9, 2.0-31.4). No single putative protective factor, nor a composite protective index, significantly reduced the risk of paedophilic behaviour. Most male victims of child sexual abuse do not become paedophiles, but particular experiences and patterns of childhood behaviour are associated with an increased risk of victims becoming abusers in later life. Our findings have implications for the design of selective interventions with a vulnerable subgroup of male victims, aimed at reducing the risk of paedophilic behaviour in later life.

  7. 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

  8. Male sexually coercive behaviour drives increased swimming efficiency in female guppies.

    PubMed

    Killen, Shaun S; Croft, Darren P; Salin, Karine; Darden, Safi K

    2016-04-01

    Sexual coercion of females by males is widespread across sexually reproducing species. It stems from a conflict of interest over reproduction and exerts selective pressure on both sexes. For females, there is often a significant energetic cost of exposure to male sexually coercive behaviours.Our understanding of the efficiency of female resistance to male sexually coercive behaviour is key to understanding how sexual conflict contributes to population level dynamics and ultimately to the evolution of sexually antagonistic traits.Overlooked within this context are plastic physiological responses of traits within the lifetime of females that could moderate the energetic cost imposed by coercive males. Here, we examined whether conflict over the frequency and timing of mating between male and female guppies Poecilia reticulata can induce changes in swimming performance and aerobic capacity in females as they work to escape harassment by males.Females exposed to higher levels of harassment over a 5-month period used less oxygen to swim at a given speed, but displayed no difference in resting metabolic rate, maximal metabolic rate, maximal sustained swimming speed or aerobic scope compared to females receiving lower levels of harassment.The observed increase in swimming efficiency is at least partially related to differences in swimming mechanics, likely brought on by a training effect of increased activity, as highly harassed females spent less time performing pectoral fin-assisted swimming.Sexual conflict results in sexually antagonistic traits that impose a variety of costs, but our results show that females can reduce costs through phenotypic plasticity. It is also possible that phenotypic plasticity in swimming physiology or mechanics in response to sexual coercion can potentially give females more control over matings and affect which male traits are under selection.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Anger expression, negative life events and violent behaviour among male college students in Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Gelaye, Bizu; Philpart, Marc; Goshu, Miruts; Berhane, Yemane; Fitzpatrick, Annette L; Williams, Michelle A

    2008-07-01

    To assess the prevalence of violent behaviour and to identify risk factors associated with violent behaviour among male college students in Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study among 1294 male college students in Awassa, Ethiopia was conducted in June 2006. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information concerning violent acts, anger expression, and sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics. Multivariable logistic regression procedures were used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). More than half of the students (54.3%) reported committing at least one act of physical violence during the current academic year. Academic year of studies, use of khat, a natural stimulant with amphetamine-like effects, anger proneness and stressful life events were statistically significant covariates associated with committing acts of violence. Seniors, as compared with freshmen, were less likely to admit violent behaviour (OR=0.46; 95% CI 0.30-0.71). Those who reported using khat were more likely to report committing violent acts (OR=1.46, 95% CI 1.02-2.08) than were non-users. Students with moderate levels of anger expression (scores of 11- 14) were 3.40 times more likely to report committing acts of violence (OR=3.40; 95% CI 2.42-4.79) than were those with low levels of anger expression (scores v11). For students with high levels of anger expression (> or = 15 scores), the corresponding OR was 7.62 (95% CI 5.15-11.29). Participants who had experienced > or = 4 negative life events during the current academic year were more likely (OR=2.41; 95% CI 1.58-3.69) to report violent behaviour than were those with fewer stressful life events. Screening for violent behaviour and violence prevention programmes, particularly those in educational settings, should include strategies that address students' stressful life events, anger management, and substance use.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-04-01

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

  1. Volumetric analysis of the African elephant ventricular system.

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

  3. Teen dating violence perpetration and relation to STI and sexual risk behaviours among adolescent males.

    PubMed

    Reed, Elizabeth; Miller, Elizabeth; Raj, Anita; Decker, Michele R; Silverman, Jay G

    2014-06-01

    To investigate teen dating violence (TDV) perpetration (physical, sexual or psychological violence) and association with STI and related sexual risk behaviours among urban male adolescents. Adolescent male survey participants (N=134) were aged 14-20 years, recruited from urban health centres. Using crude and adjusted logistic regression, TDV perpetration was examined in relation to self-reported: STI, having sex with another person when they were only supposed to have sex with their main partner, and consistent condom use. Over one-third of males (45%) reported any TDV; 42% reported sexual violence perpetration, 13% reported perpetrating physical violence against a dating/sexual partner and 11% reported psychological violence, including threats of physical or sexual violence. Approximately 15% of males reported having ever had an STI, one quarter reported having sex with another person when they were only supposed to have sex with their main partner and 36% reported consistent condom use (past 3 months). In adjusted logistic regression models, TDV perpetration was significantly associated with self-reports of an STI (OR=3.3; 95% CI 1.2 to 9.2) and having sex with another person when they were supposed to be only having sex with their main partner (OR=4.8; 95% CI 2.0 to 11.4). There was no significant association between TDV perpetration and consistent condom use. Current study findings are the first within the literature on adolescents to suggest that greater STI and sexual risk behaviours among male adolescents perpetrating TDV may be one mechanism explaining increased STI among female adolescents reporting TDV victimisation. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  5. When Yawning Occurs in Elephants

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. When Yawning Occurs in Elephants.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Observations on Barclay's elephant.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, M H

    1996-04-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed

    Bokkers, E A M; Koene, P

    2003-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

    In the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann)(Diptera: Tephritidae), mating has a strong impact on female biology, leading to a decrease in sexual receptivity and increased oviposition and fecundity. Previous studies suggest that sperm transfer may play a role in inducing these behavioural changes. Here we report the identification of a medfly innexin gene, Cc-inx5, whose expression is limited to the germ-line of both sexes. Through RNA interference of this gene, we generated males without testes and, consequently, sperm, but apparently retaining all the other reproductive organs intact. These sperm-less males were able to mate and, like their wild-type counterparts, to induce in their partners increased oviposition rates and refractoriness to remating. Interestingly, matings to sperm-less males results in oviposition rates higher than those induced by copulation with control males. In addition, the observed female post-mating behavioural changes were congruent with changes in transcript abundance of genes known to be regulated by mating in this species. Our results suggest that sperm transfer is not necessary to reduce female sexual receptivity and to increase oviposition and fecundity. These data pave the way to a better understanding of the role/s of seminal components in modulating female post-mating responses. In the long term, this knowledge will be the basis for the development of novel approaches for the manipulation of female fertility, and, consequently, innovative tools to be applied to medfly control strategies in the field. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Hierarchy in the home cage affects behaviour and gene expression in group-housed C57BL/6 male mice.

    PubMed

    Horii, Yasuyuki; Nagasawa, Tatsuhiro; Sakakibara, Hiroyuki; Takahashi, Aki; Tanave, Akira; Matsumoto, Yuki; Nagayama, Hiromichi; Yoshimi, Kazuto; Yasuda, Michiko T; Shimoi, Kayoko; Koide, Tsuyoshi

    2017-08-01

    Group-housed male mice exhibit aggressive behaviour towards their cage mates and form a social hierarchy. Here, we describe how social hierarchy in standard group-housed conditions affects behaviour and gene expression in male mice. Four male C57BL/6 mice were kept in each cage used in the study, and the social hierarchy was determined from observation of video recordings of aggressive behaviour. After formation of a social hierarchy, the behaviour and hippocampal gene expression were analysed in the mice. Higher anxiety- and depression-like behaviours and elevated gene expression of hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone and hippocampal serotonin receptor subtypes were observed in subordinate mice compared with those of dominant mice. These differences were alleviated by orally administering fluoxetine, which is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class. We concluded that hierarchy in the home cage affects behaviour and gene expression in male mice, resulting in anxiety- and depression-like behaviours being regulated differently in dominant and subordinate mice.

  16. EPIDEMIOLOGIC EVALUATION OF ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 3B INFECTION IN AN AFRICAN ELEPHANT (LOXODONTA AFRICANA).

    PubMed

    Bronson, Ellen; McClure, Michael; Sohl, Jennifer; Wiedner, Ellen; Cox, Sherry; Latimer, Erin M; Pearson, Virginia R; Hayward, Gary S; Fuery, Angela; Ling, Paul D

    2017-06-01

    This epidemiologic study follows a 5-yr-old male African elephant ( Loxodonta africana ) during an episode of hemorrhagic disease (HD) due to elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 3B (EEHV3B) utilizing data from complete blood counts, electrophoresis and acute phase protein analysis, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of multiple body fluids during and after the clinical episode. The elephant presented with sudden onset of marked lethargy and inappetence followed by hypersalivation, hyperemia of the conjunctivae and focally on the tongue, and swellings on the head and ventrum. A moderate leukocytopenia with band neutrophilia, lymphopenia, monocytopenia, and thrombocytophilia was followed by a rise in all three cell types by day 10. Moderate increases in serum amyloid A and C-reactive protein were noted in the first weeks of illness. Conventional PCR of whole blood yielded a strong positive result for EEHV3B. Quantitative PCR revealed moderate viremia, which slowly returned to undetectable levels by day 35 of treatment. EEHV3B was shed in trunk wash samples starting at day 22 for 10 days at moderate levels, and then at low levels for up to 8.5 mo. All three female herd mates shed low levels of EEHV3B in trunk washes intermittently starting from day 28 of the calf's illness until over 7 mo afterward. The majority of saliva samples from the calf over the 8.5-mo period were also positive for EEHV3B. A subfraction of saliva samples from a female herdmate was positive from days 127-190 following disease onset in the calf. Four elephant gammaherpesviruses were detected sporadically from the calf and female herdmates during this same time period. Treatment was started at the onset of clinical signs and consisted of rectal and oral fluids and oral famciclovir. This is the first case of EEHV3B HD in an elephant species and the first thorough epidemiologic evaluation of EEHV HD in an African elephant.

  17. 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. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    PubMed Central

    Frey, Roland; Volodin, Ilya; Volodina, Elena

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stone, Christopher M

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. Neural pathways mediating control of reproductive behaviour in male Japanese quail

    PubMed Central

    Wild, J Martin; Balthazart, Jacques

    2012-01-01

    The sexually dimorphic medial preoptic nucleus (POM) in Japanese quail has for many years been the focus of intensive investigations into its role in reproductive behaviour. The present paper delineates a sequence of descending pathways that finally reach sacral levels of the spinal cord housing motor neurons innervating cloacal muscles involved in reproductive behaviour. We first retrogradely labeled the motor neurons innervating the large cloacal sphincter muscle (mSC) that forms part of the foam gland complex (Seiwert and Adkins-Regan, 1998, Brain Behav Evol 52:61–80) and then putative premotor nuclei in the brainstem, one of which was nucleus retroambigualis (RAm) in the caudal medulla. Anterograde tracing from RAm defined a bulbospinal pathway, terminations of which overlapped the distribution of mSC motor neurons and their extensive dorsally directed dendrites. Descending input to RAm arose from an extensive dorsomedial nucleus of the intercollicular complex (DM-ICo), electrical stimulation of which drove vocalizations. POM neurons were retrogradely labeled by injections of tracer into DM-ICo, but POM projections largely surrounded DM, rather than penetrated it. Thus, although a POM projection to ICo was shown, a POM projection to DM must be inferred. Nevertheless, the sequence of projections in the male quail from POM to cloacal motor neurons strongly resembles that in rats, cats and monkeys for the control of reproductive behaviour, as largely defined by Holstege and co-workers (e.g., Holstege et al., 1997, Neuroscience 80: 587–598). PMID:23225613

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Eating the elephant whole or in slices: views of participants in a smoking cessation intervention trial on multiple behaviour changes as sequential or concurrent tasks

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background This paper explores smoking cessation participants’ perceptions of attempting weight management alongside smoking cessation within the context of a health improvement intervention implemented in Glasgow, Scotland. Methods One hundred and thirty-eight participants were recruited from smoking cessation classes in areas of multiple deprivation in Glasgow and randomised to intervention, receiving dietary advice, or to control groups. The primary outcome of the study was to determine the % change in body weight. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 15 intervention and 15 control participants at weeks 6 (during the intervention) and 24 (at the end of the intervention). The current paper, though predominantly qualitative, links perceptions of behaviour modification to % weight change and cessation rates at week 24 thereby enabling a better understanding of the mediators influencing multiple behaviour change. Results Our findings suggest that participants who perceive separate behaviour changes as part of a broader approach to a healthier lifestyle, and hence attempt behaviour changes concurrently, may be at comparative advantage in positively achieving dual outcomes. Conclusions These findings highlight the need to assess participants’ preference for attempting multiple behaviour changes sequentially or simultaneously in addition to assessing their readiness to change. Further testing of this hypothesis is warranted. Trial Registration ISRCTN94961361 PMID:22759785

  9. Self-mutilative behaviours in male alcohol-dependent inpatients and relationship with posttraumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Evren, Cuneyt; Dalbudak, Ercan; Evren, Bilge; Cetin, Rabia; Durkaya, Mine

    2011-03-30

    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between self-mutilation (SM) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in male alcohol-dependent inpatients, and to examine whether there is something unique about self-mutilaters with the PTSD/alcohol-dependence co-morbidity, compared with self-mutilaters without PTSD in this population. Participants were 156 consecutively admitted male alcohol-dependent inpatients. Patients were investigated with the Self-mutilative Behaviour Questionnaire (SMBQ), the Traumatic Experiences Checklist (TEC), the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), the Symptom Checklist-Revised (SCL-90-R) and the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST). Among alcohol-dependent inpatients, 34.0% (n=53) were considered as group with SM. Rate of being unemployed, history of any trauma, history of suicide attempt and lifetime PTSD diagnosis were higher, whereas being married, current age, age at onset of regular alcohol use and duration of education were lower in the group with SM. Mean scores of SCL-90 subscales, TEC and MAST were higher in the SM group. Although SM might be related with PTSD among male alcohol-dependent inpatients, predictors of SM were age at onset of regular alcohol use, history of suicide attempt, anxiety, depression and hostility. Age at onset of regular alcohol use, history of suicide attempt, anxiety, depression and somatisation predicted SM in the subgroup of patients without PTSD, whereas hostility predicted SM alone in the subgroup of patients with PTSD. Results support the anti-suicide and the affect-regulation models of SM in the non-PTSD group, whereas they support the hostility model of SM in the subgroup with PTSD in alcohol-dependent inpatients. Thus, to reduce self-mutilative behaviour (SMB)among alcohol-dependent patients, clinicians must address different subjects in different subgroup patients; that is, focussing hostility in those with PTSD co-morbidity.

  10. 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. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Health care-seeking behaviour of HIV-infected mothers and male partners in Nairobi, Kenya.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25071994

  16. Incidence of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus in Asian elephants in India.

    PubMed

    Barman, Nagendra N; Choudhury, Bhaskar; Kumar, Vishnu; Koul, Monika; Gogoi, Sophia M; Khatoon, Elina; Chakroborty, A; Basumatary, P; Barua, B; Rahman, T; Das, S K; Kumar, Sachin

    2017-09-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) are the cause of acute hemorrhagic disease in endangered Asian and African elephants. In the present study, we report the incidence of EEHV infection and associated mortality in the captive elephant of Assam, India. Our result showed the gross morphology and histopathological changes of EEHV infection in the elephant. Moreover, the phylogenetic analysis of the polymerase, helicase, and GPCR genes from the infected tissue samples suggested the presence of EEHV1A virus. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Social and behavioural aspects of venereal disease among resident male university students.

    PubMed

    Babu, D S; Marwah, S M; Singh, G

    1976-06-01

    A study of 1500 male students at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India was conducted to establish the prevalence and related social and behavioural aspects of venereal diseases. The prevalence was found to be 3.93 per cent. The majority of the students (86.4 per cent) belonged to the Hindu religion which is based on the caste system. Students from the Vaishya caste were more affected with venereal diseases. The social acceptability of having more than one wife had a definite impact on the incidence of venereal diseases. Students who practised masturbation and homosexuality were also more affected with venereal diseases. Prostitutes were the main source of infection. It was found that 28.8 per cent of these students had been infected on a previous occasion.

  3. 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. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. 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

  5. Perinatal and chronic hypothyroidism impair behavioural development in male and female rats.

    PubMed

    van Wijk, N; Rijntjes, E; van de Heijning, B J M

    2008-11-01

    A lack of thyroid hormone, i.e. hypothyroidism, during early development results in multiple morphological and functional alterations in the developing brain. In the present study, behavioural effects of perinatal and chronic hypothyroidism were assessed during development in both male and female offspring of hypothyroid rats. To induce hypothyroidism, dams and offspring were fed an iodide-poor diet and drinking water with 0.75% sodium perchlorate; dams starting 2 weeks prior to mating and pups either until the day of killing (chronic hypothyroidism) or only until weaning (perinatal hypothyroidism) to test for reversibility of the effects observed. Neuromotor competence, locomotor activity and cognitive function were monitored in the offspring until postnatal day 71 and were compared with age-matched control rats. Early neuromotor competence, as assessed in the grip test and balance beam test, was impaired by both chronic and perinatal hypothyroidism. The open field test, assessing locomotor activity, revealed hyperactive locomotor behavioural patterns in chronic hypothyroid animals only. The Morris water maze test, used to assess cognitive performance, showed that chronic hypothyroidism affected spatial memory in a negative manner. In contrast, perinatal hypothyroidism was found to impair spatial memory in female rats only. In general, the effects of chronic hypothyroidism on development were more pronounced than the effects of perinatal hypothyroidism, suggesting the early effects of hypothyroidism on functional alterations of the developing brain to be partly reversible and to depend on developmental timing of the deficiency.

  6. The Release of a Captive-Raised Female African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Kate; Moore, Randall J.; Harris, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Simple Summary Managing captive elephants poses a significant challenge because of their complex social behaviour. While wild female elephants live in close-knit family groups of related individuals, captive herds often consist of unrelated animals. Some of the elephants in captive groups may be excluded by their companions and experience increased aggression, so that their welfare is compromised. There is no easy solution to this problem and novel approaches are required since slaughter of captive elephants is not publicly acceptable. We show that captive-raised female elephants can be released into the wild, survive and reproduce, and suggest that this management option should be explored further for female elephants currently held under various captive conditions. Abstract Wild female elephants live in close-knit matrilineal groups and housing captive elephants in artificial social groupings can cause significant welfare issues for individuals not accepted by other group members. We document the release of a captive-raised female elephant used in the safari industry because of welfare and management problems. She was fitted with a satellite collar, and spatial and behavioural data were collected over a 17-month period to quantify her interactions with the wild population. She was then monitored infrequently for a further five-and-a-half years. We observed few signs of aggression towards her from the wild elephants with which she socialized. She used an area of comparable size to wild female elephants, and this continued to increase as she explored new areas. Although she did not fully integrate into a wild herd, she had three calves of her own, and formed a social unit with another female and her calf that were later released from the same captive herd. We recommend that release to the wild be considered as a management option for other captive female elephants. PMID:26487408

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Spatio-temporal distribution of injured elephants in Masai Mara and the putative negative and positive roles of the local community.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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. 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. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  12. Family type and criminal behaviour of male offspring: the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort Study.

    PubMed

    Sauvola, Anu; Koskinen, Outi; Jokelainen, Jari; Hakko, Helinä; Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Räsänen, Pirkko

    2002-06-01

    Unstable family environment during childhood is known to predispose to juvenile delinquency. This study explored whether childhood family structure is associated with violent behaviour of adult offspring. We used a large, unselected general population birth cohort (n = 5589 males) linked with the national crime registers (up to the age of 32 years). The Ministry of Justice provided information on registered offences for all subjects. A logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the association between family type and criminality (violent and non-violent crimes). We found that single-parent family "at birth" (adj. OR 3.6, 95% CI 1.8-7.0) and "all time" (up to the age of 14 years) (adj. OR 5.2, 95% CI 2.5-10.6) were risk factors for violent offences of an adult offspring. Also parental death (adj. OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3-3.6) and divorce (adj. OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.6-3.7) doubled the risk for violence. Non-violent offences were associated only with parental death and, divorce. A single-parent family of origin is strongly associated with later violent criminality of male offspring. Further studies are needed to explore the psychosocial aspects of single-parent family environment which may promote the vulnerability to violent offending in adulthood.

  13. Social context of HIV risk behaviours among male-to-female transgenders of colour.

    PubMed

    Nemoto, T; Operario, D; Keatley, J; Villegas, D

    2004-08-01

    To explore the social context of drug use and sexual behaviours that put male-to-female (MTF) transgenders at risk for HIV, focus groups were conducted consisting of African American, Latina and Asian and Pacific Islander MTF transgenders (N = 48) who reside or work in San Francisco, California. Participants were likely to report having unprotected sex with primary partners to signify love and emotional connection, as well as to receive gender validation from their partners. In contrast, viewing sex work with customers as a business encouraged intentious to use condoms. Safer sex intentions with customers were frequently undermined by urgent financial needs, which stemmed from transphobia, employment discrimination and costly procedures associated with gender transition. Participants reported using drugs as a way to cope with or escape life stresses associated with relationships, sex work, transphobia and financial hardship. Interventions with at-risk MTF transgenders should address the interpersonal and social context of unsafe sex and drug use, particularly the unique roles of relationship issues with male partners, stigma, discrimination and community norms regarding sex work and drug use.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  2. 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. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society.

  3. USE OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS AS A COMPONENT OF TUSK FRACTURE MANAGEMENT IN AN ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) AND AN AFRICAN ELEPHANT (LOXODONTA AFRICANA).

    PubMed

    Sim, Richard R; Stringer, Elizabeth; Donovan, Dennis; Chappell, Rachael; Flora, Pat; Hall, Jon; Pillay, Selvum; Willis, Benjamin G; McCain, Stephanie

    2017-09-01

    Tusk fractures in Asian (Elephas maximus) and African elephants (Loxodonta africana) can result in damage to the distal end or to longitudinal cracks, potentially progressing to pulpitis. With pulp exposure, endodontic therapy is the treatment of choice, but conservative therapy has sufficed for some elephants. This manuscript describes the use of composite materials as a component of tusk fracture management. A 7-yr-old male Asian elephant fractured the distal end of both tusks with pulp exposure in one. Capping of each tusk with a Kevlar/fiberglass composite prevented further damage, and a modification allowed care of the exposed pulp tissue. A 34-yr-old male African elephant with a longitudinal crack received a carbon fiber/fiberglass composite circumferential wrap to potentially stabilize the crack. Compression of the crack was achieved, but follow-up was truncated due to bacterial pulpitis. Both cases show that composite material allows for lightweight, durable management of tusk fractures with continued radiographic monitoring.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Weixian; Neo, Andy; Tan, Sandra; Cook, Alex R; Wong, Mee Lian; Tan, Joshua; Sayampanathan, Andrew; Lim, Daniel; Tang, Shin Yong; Goh, Wei Leong; Chen, Mark I-Cheng; Ho, Chwin

    2014-07-10

    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. 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. 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. The majority of foreign workers in this study sought healthcare when they fell ill. However, knowledge about health-related insurance was poor and a

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Behavioural therapy based on distraction alleviates impaired fear extinction in male serotonin transporter knockout rats.

    PubMed

    Nonkes, Lourens J P; de Pooter, Maaike; Homberg, Judith R

    2012-07-01

    The "biological susceptibility" model posits that some individuals, by genetic predisposition, are highly sensitive to environmental stimuli. Exposure to adverse stimuli leads to negative outcomes, and better outcomes follow favourable stimuli. Recent studies indicate that individuals carrying the low-activity (short; s) variant of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT)-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) show an enhanced vulnerability to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Simultaneously, they respond poorly to exposure therapy, the first-line treatment to enhance fear extinction in individuals with PTSD. Given that s-allele carriers also show improved adaptive responding when exposed to positive stimuli, we hypothesized that this trait could be used to offset impaired fear extinction. We explored this hypothesis preclinically using wild-type and 5-HTT knockout (5-HTT-/-) male rats (n = 36) that share behavioural similarities with 5-HTTLPR s-allele carriers. Subsequent to cued fear conditioning, animals were tested for short- (1 and 2 days postconditioning) and long-term (6 days postconditioning) fear extinction in the absence or presence of a secondary "distracting" stimulus predicting the delivery of sucrose pellets. Introducing a secondary stimulus predicting sucrose pellets that distracts attention away from the fear-predicting stimulus led to a long-lasting improvement of impaired fear extinction in 5-HTT-/- male rats. The contextdependency of the efficacy of the "distraction therapy" was not tested. In addition, it remains to be clarified whether the positive valence of the distracting stimulus is critical for the distraction of attention or whether a neutral and/or novel stimulus can induce similar effects. Finally, although of lesser importance from a therapeutic perspective, underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. These data indicate that positive environmental stimuli can be used to offset heightened responses to negative stimuli, particularly in

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

    PubMed Central

    GÖRGÜLÜ, Tuğba; TUTAREL-KIŞLAK, Şennur

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, R. C.

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-10-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. ISONIAZID AND RIFAMPIN PHARMACOKINETICS IN TWO ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) INFECTED WITH MYCOBACTERIUM TUBERCULOSIS.

    PubMed

    Egelund, Eric F; Isaza, Ramiro; Alsultan, Abdullah; Peloquin, Charles A

    2016-09-01

    This report describes the pharmacokinetic profiles of chronically administered oral isoniazid and rifampin in one adult male and one adult female Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus ) that were asymptomatically infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis . Rifampin's half-life was reduced when compared to previous single-dose pharmacokinetic profiles of healthy uninfected Asian elephants. Both elephants experienced delayed absorption of isoniazid and rifampin as compared to previous pharmacokinetic studies in this species. The altered pharmacokinetics of both drugs in repeated-dosing clinical situations underscores the need for individual therapeutic drug monitoring for tuberculosis treatment.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Leadership in elephants: the adaptive value of age

    PubMed Central

    McComb, Karen; Shannon, Graeme; Durant, Sarah M.; Sayialel, Katito; Slotow, Rob; Poole, Joyce; Moss, Cynthia

    2011-01-01

    The value of age is well recognized in human societies, where older individuals often emerge as leaders in tasks requiring specialized knowledge, but what part do such individuals play in other social species? Despite growing interest in how effective leadership might be achieved in animal social systems, the specific role that older leaders may play in decision-making has rarely been experimentally investigated. Here, we use a novel playback paradigm to demonstrate that in African elephants (Loxodonta africana), age affects the ability of matriarchs to make ecologically relevant decisions in a domain critical to survival—the assessment of predatory threat. While groups consistently adjust their defensive behaviour to the greater threat of three roaring lions versus one, families with younger matriarchs typically under-react to roars from male lions despite the severe danger they represent. Sensitivity to this key threat increases with matriarch age and is greatest for the oldest matriarchs, who are likely to have accumulated the most experience. Our study provides the first empirical evidence that individuals within a social group may derive significant benefits from the influence of an older leader because of their enhanced ability to make crucial decisions about predatory threat, generating important insights into selection for longevity in cognitively advanced social mammals. PMID:21411454

  6. Differences in eating behaviours, dietary intake and body weight status between male and female Malaysian University students.

    PubMed

    Gan, W Y; Mohd, Nasir M T; Zalilah, M S; Hazizi, A S

    2011-08-01

    University students are potentially important targets for the promotion of healthy lifestyles as this may reduce the risks of lifestyle-related disorders later in life. This cross-sectional study examined differences in eating behaviours, dietary intake, weight status, and body composition between male and female university students. A total of 584 students (59.4% females and 40.6% males) aged 20.6 +/- 1.4 years from four Malaysian universities in the Klang Valley participated in this study. Participants completed the Eating Behaviours Questionnaire and two-day 24-hour dietary recall. Body weight, height, waist circumference and percentage of body fat were measured. About 14.3% of males and 22.4% of females were underweight, while 14.0% of males and 12.3% of females were overweight and obese. A majority of the participants (73.8% males and 74.6% females) skipped at least one meal daily in the past seven days. Breakfast was the most frequently skipped meal. Both males and females frequently snacked during morning tea time. Fruits and biscuits were the most frequently consumed snack items. More than half of the participants did not meet the Malaysian Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) for energy, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, iron (females only), and calcium. Significantly more males than females achieved the RNI levels for energy, protein and iron intakes. This study highlights the presence of unhealthy eating behaviours, inadequate nutrient intake, and a high prevalence of underweight among university students. Energy and nutrient intakes differed between the sexes. Therefore, promoting healthy eating among young adults is crucial to achieve a healthy nutritional status.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Götz, Alexander A; Stefanski, Volker

    2007-01-30

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. 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. 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). 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.

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

    PubMed

    Everitt, B J

    1990-01-01

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

  13. The impact of peer outreach on HIV knowledge and prevention behaviours of male sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Geibel, Scott; King'ola, Nzioki; Temmerman, Marleen; Luchters, Stanley

    2012-08-01

    Targeting most at-risk populations is an essential component of HIV prevention strategies. Peer education programmes have been found to increase HIV knowledge, condom use and safer sex behaviours among female sex workers in Africa and men who have sex with men elsewhere. The authors aimed to evaluate the impact of a peer-driven intervention on male sex workers who sell sex to men in Mombasa, Kenya. Using time-venue sampling, a baseline survey of 425 male sex workers was conducted in late 2006, after which, 40 peer educators were trained in HIV prevention, basic counselling skills and distribution of condoms and lubricants. A follow-up time-venue survey of 442 male sex workers was conducted in early 2008, and pre- and post-intervention changes were examined. The impact of peer educator exposure on HIV knowledge and condom use was analysed. Positive changes in HIV prevention behaviours were observed, including increases in consistent use of condoms with both male clients (35.9%-50.2%, p<0.001) and non-paying male partners (27.4%-39.5%, p=0.008). Exposure to peer educators (AOR=1.97, 95% CI 1.29 to 3.02) and ever having been counselled or tested for HIV (AOR=1.71, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.66) were associated with consistent condom use in multivariate analysis. Peer educator contact was also associated with improved HIV knowledge and use of water-based lubricants. Peer outreach programming reached highly stigmatised male sex workers in Mombasa, resulting in significant, but limited, improvements in HIV knowledge and prevention behaviours. Improved peer coverage and additional prevention initiatives are needed to sufficiently mitigate HIV transmission.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Henzi, S P; Lawes, M

    1987-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Understanding the socio-economic and sexual behavioural correlates of male circumcision across eleven voluntary medical male circumcision priority countries in southeastern Africa.

    PubMed

    Lau, Fiona K; Jayakumar, Sylvia; Sgaier, Sema K

    2015-08-22

    Male circumcision (MC) has been demonstrated to be effective and cost-effective for HIV/AIDS prevention. Global guidance to adopt this intervention was announced in 2007 for countries with high HIV/AIDS prevalence and low MC prevalence. However, scale up of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programs in MC priority countries have been slow. Many of these countries have particular cultural barriers that impede uptake of this effective intervention. This analysis explored correlates of MC status among men and their socio-economic, health and sexual behaviour factors using DHS data (2006-2011) from 11 MC priority countries. Our analysis included univariate unadjusted analyses for individual countries and the region (by combining all countries into one dataset) and a multiple logistic regression model. Individual country results vary widely but alignment was mostly found between unadjusted analyses and multiple logistic regression model. The model found that men who are of the Muslim faith, reside in urban areas, have higher or secondary education attainment, hold professional occupations, and be in the richest wealth quintile are more likely to be circumcised. Circumcision is also positively correlated with lower reports of STIs, safe sexual behaviour, and HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge. Since the data collected predate VMMC program launch in these countries, results can only indicate baseline associations. However, characteristics of these existing circumcision practices may be utilized for better population targeting and program management to achieve higher impact with this effective prevention strategy.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Hazardous Drinking and HIV-risk-related Behaviour among Male Clients of Female Sex Workers in Tijuana, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Goodman-Meza, David; Pitpitan, Eileen V.; Semple, Shirley J.; Wagner, Karla D.; Chavarin, Claudia V.; Strathdee, Steffanie A.; Patterson, Thomas L.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objectives Male clients of female sex workers (FSWs) are at high risk for HIV. Whereas the HIV risks of alcohol use are well understood, less is known about hazardous alcohol use among male clients of FSWs, particularly in Mexico. We sought to identify risk factors for hazardous alcohol use and test associations between hazardous alcohol use and HIV risk behaviour among male clients in Tijuana. Method Male clients of FSWs in Tijuana (n = 400) completed a quantitative interview in 2008. The AUDIT was used to characterize hazardous alcohol use. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine independent associations of demographic and HIV risk variables with hazardous alcohol use (vs. non-hazardous). Results Forty percent of our sample met criteria for hazardous alcohol use. Variables independently associated with hazardous drinking were reporting any sexually transmitted infection (STI), having sex with a FSW while under the influence of alcohol, being younger than 36 years of age, living in Tijuana, and ever having been jailed. Hazardous drinkers were less likely ever to have been deported or to have shared injection drugs. Discussion and Conclusions Hazardous alcohol use is associated with HIV risk, including engaging in sex with FSWs while intoxicated and having an STI among male clients of FSWs in Tijuana. Scientific Significance We systematically described patterns and correlates of hazardous alcohol use among male clients of FSWs in Tijuana, Mexico. The results suggest that HIV/STI risk reduction interventions must target hazardous alcohol users, and be tailored to address alcohol use. PMID:25066863

  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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. On the behavioural specificity of hypophagia induced in male rats by mCPP, naltrexone, and their combination.

    PubMed

    Wright, F L; Rodgers, R J

    2014-02-01

    Serotonergic (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and opioidergic mechanisms are intimately involved in appetite regulation. In view of recent evidence of positive anorectic interactions between opioid and various non-opioid substrates, our aim was to assess the behavioural specificity of anorectic responses to the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone, the 5-HT2C/1B receptor agonist mCPP and their combination. Behavioural profiling techniques, including the behavioural satiety sequence (BSS), were used to examine acute drug effects in non-deprived male rats tested with palatable mash. Experiment 1 characterised the dose-response profile of mCPP (0.1-3.0 mg/kg), while experiment 2 assessed the effects of combined treatment with a sub-anorectic dose of mCPP (0.1 mg/kg) and one of two low doses of naltrexone (0.1 and 1.0 mg/kg). Experiment 1 confirmed the dose-dependent anorectic efficacy of mCPP, with robust effects on intake and feeding-related measures observed at 3.0 mg/kg. However, that dose was also associated with other behavioural alterations including increased grooming, reductions in locomotion and sniffing, and disruption of the BSS. In experiment 2, naltrexone dose-dependently reduced food intake and time spent feeding, effects accompanied by a behaviourally selective acceleration in the BSS. However, the addition of 0.1 mg/kg mCPP did not significantly alter the behavioural changes observed in response to either dose of naltrexone given alone. In contrast to recently reported positive anorectic interactions involving low-dose combinations of opioid receptor antagonists or mCPP with cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists, present results would not appear to provide any support for potentially clinically relevant anorectic interactions between opioid and 5-HT2C/1B receptor mechanisms.

  14. Behavioural profile of exendin-4/naltrexone dose combinations in male rats during tests of palatable food consumption.

    PubMed

    Wright, F L; Rodgers, R J

    2014-09-01

    The glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonist exendin-4 potently suppresses food intake in animals and humans. However, little is known about the behavioural specificity of this effect either when administered alone or when co-administered with another anorectic agent. The present study characterises the effects of exendin-4, both alone and in combination with naltrexone, on behaviours displayed by male rats during tests with palatable mash. Experiment 1 examined the dose-response effects of exendin-4 (0.025-2.5 μg/kg, IP), while experiment 2 profiled the effects of low-dose combinations of the peptide (0.025 and 0.25 μg/kg) and naltrexone (0.1 mg/kg). In experiment 1, exendin-4 dose dependently suppressed food intake as well as the frequency and rate of eating. However, these effects were accompanied by dose-dependent reductions in all active behaviours and, at 2.5 μg/kg, a large increase in resting and disruption of the behavioural satiety sequence (BSS). In experiment 2, while exendin-4 (0.25 μg/kg) and naltrexone each produced a significant reduction in intake and feeding behaviour (plus an acceleration in the BSS), co-treatment failed to produce stronger effects than those seen in response to either compound alone. Similarities between the behavioural signature of exendin-4 and that previously reported for the emetic agent lithium chloride would suggest that exendin-4 anorexia is related to the aversive effects of the peptide. Furthermore, as low-dose combinations of the peptide with naltrexone failed to produce an additive/synergistic anorectic effect, this particular co-treatment strategy would not appear to have therapeutic significance.

  15. Behavioural and cognitive sex/gender differences in autism spectrum condition and typically developing males and females.

    PubMed

    Hull, Laura; Mandy, William; Petrides, K V

    2017-08-01

    Studies assessing sex/gender differences in autism spectrum conditions often fail to include typically developing control groups. It is, therefore, unclear whether observed sex/gender differences reflect those found in the general population or are particular to autism spectrum conditions. A systematic search identified articles comparing behavioural and cognitive characteristics in males and females with and without an autism spectrum condition diagnosis. A total of 13 studies were included in meta-analyses of sex/gender differences in core autism spectrum condition symptoms (social/communication impairments and restricted/repetitive behaviours and interests) and intelligence quotient. A total of 20 studies were included in a qualitative review of sex/gender differences in additional autism spectrum condition symptoms. For core traits and intelligence quotient, sex/gender differences were comparable in autism spectrum conditions and typical samples. Some additional autism spectrum condition symptoms displayed different patterns of sex/gender differences in autism spectrum conditions and typically developing groups, including measures of executive function, empathising and systemising traits, internalising and externalising problems and play behaviours. Individuals with autism spectrum conditions display typical sex/gender differences in core autism spectrum condition traits, suggesting that diagnostic criteria based on these symptoms should take into account typical sex/gender differences. However, awareness of associated autism spectrum condition symptoms should include the possibility of different male and female phenotypes, to ensure those who do not fit the 'typical' autism spectrum condition presentation are not missed.

  16. Self-report of family functioning and risk for psychotic disorders in male adolescents with behavioural disturbances.

    PubMed

    Weiser, M; Reichenberg, A; Werbeloff, N; Kravitz, E; Halperin, D; Lubin, G; Shmushkevitch, M; Yoffe, R; Addington, J; Davidson, M

    2008-03-01

    Previous studies indicate that a poor family environment might affect vulnerability for the later manifestation of psychotic illness. The current study aims to examine family functioning prior to the onset of psychosis. Subjects were 42,948, 17-year old males with behavioural disturbances who were asked about the functioning of their family by the Israeli Draft Board. Data on later psychiatric hospitalizations were obtained from a National Psychiatric Hospitalization Registry. Poorer self-reported family functioning was associated with greater risk for later hospitalization for psychosis [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.05-1.27], with a trend in the same direction for schizophrenia (adjusted HR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.98-1.24). In male adolescents with behavioural disturbances, perceived poorer family functioning is associated with increased risk for non-affective psychotic disorders and schizophrenia. These data do not enable us to determine if perceived familial dysfunction increases vulnerability for psychosis, if premorbid behavioural abnormalities disrupt family life, or neither.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2003-01-01

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

  6. High tech cognitive and acoustic enrichment for captive elephants.

    PubMed

    French, Fiona; Mancini, Clara; Sharp, Helen

    2017-09-23

    This paper investigates the potential for using technology to support the development of sensory and cognitive enrichment activities for captive elephants. It explores the usefulness of applying conceptual frameworks from interaction design and game design to the problem of developing species-specific smart toys that promote natural behaviours and provide stimulation. We adopted a Research through Design approach, and describe how scientific inquiry supported our design process, while the creation of artefacts guided our investigations into possible future solutions. Our fieldwork resulted in the development of an interactive prototype of an acoustic toy that elephants are able to control using interface elements constructed from a range of natural materials. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Male moth songs tempt females to accept mating: the role of acoustic and pheromonal communication in the reproductive behaviour of Aphomia sociella.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    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. 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. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-09-01

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

  11. Effect of 50% ethanolic extract of Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry. (clove) on sexual behaviour of normal male rats

    PubMed Central

    Tajuddin; Ahmad, Shamshad; Latif, Abdul; Qasmi, Iqbal Ahmad

    2004-01-01

    Background The flower bud of Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry. (clove) has been used in Unani medicine since ancient times for the treatment of male sexual disorders. The present study is aimed to investigate the effect of 50% ethanolic extract of clove on general mating behaviour, libido, potency along with its likely gastric ulceration and adverse effects on sexually normal male albino rats. Methods The suspension of the extract was administered orally at the dose of 100, 250, and 500 mg / kg, to different groups of male rats (n = 6) once a day for seven days. The female albino rats involved in mating were made receptive by hormonal treatment. The general mating behaviour, libido and potency were determined and compared with the standard reference drug sildenafil citrate. The probable gastric ulceration and adverse effects of the extract were also evaluated. Results Oral administration of the extract significantly increased the Mounting Frequency, Intromission Frequency; Intromission Latency, Erections; Quick Flips, Long Flips as well as aggregate of penile reflexes and caused significant reduction in the Mounting Latency and Post Ejaculatory Interval. The most appreciable effect of the extract was observed at the dose of 500 mg/kg. The test drug was also found to be devoid of any conspicuous gastric ulceration and adverse effects. Conclusion The results indicated that the 50% ethanolic extract of clove produced a significant and sustained increase in the sexual activity of normal male rats, without any conspicuous gastric ulceration and adverse effects. Thus, the resultant aphrodisiac effectivity of the extract lends support to the claims for its traditional usage in sexual disorders. PMID:15530165

  12. Effect of 50% ethanolic extract of Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry. (clove) on sexual behaviour of normal male rats.

    PubMed

    Tajuddin; Ahmad, Shamshad; Latif, Abdul; Qasmi, Iqbal Ahmad

    2004-11-05

    The flower bud of Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry. (clove) has been used in Unani medicine since ancient times for the treatment of male sexual disorders. The present study is aimed to investigate the effect of 50% ethanolic extract of clove on general mating behaviour, libido, potency along with its likely gastric ulceration and adverse effects on sexually normal male albino rats. The suspension of the extract was administered orally at the dose of 100, 250, and 500 mg / kg, to different groups of male rats (n = 6) once a day for seven days. The female albino rats involved in mating were made receptive by hormonal treatment. The general mating behaviour, libido and potency were determined and compared with the standard reference drug sildenafil citrate. The probable gastric ulceration and adverse effects of the extract were also evaluated. Oral administration of the extract significantly increased the Mounting Frequency, Intromission Frequency; Intromission Latency, Erections; Quick Flips, Long Flips as well as aggregate of penile reflexes and caused significant reduction in the Mounting Latency and Post Ejaculatory Interval. The most appreciable effect of the extract was observed at the dose of 500 mg/kg. The test drug was also found to be devoid of any conspicuous gastric ulceration and adverse effects. The results indicated that the 50% ethanolic extract of clove produced a significant and sustained increase in the sexual activity of normal male rats, without any conspicuous gastric ulceration and adverse effects. Thus, the resultant aphrodisiac effectivity of the extract lends support to the claims for its traditional usage in sexual disorders.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Obara, Yoshiaki; Koshitaka, Hisaharu; Arikawa, Kentaro

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-14

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

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

  18. The association of snus and smoking behaviour: a cohort analysis of Swedish males in the 1990s.

    PubMed

    Stenbeck, Magnus; Hagquist, Curt; Rosén, Måns

    2009-09-01

    The European Union has banned sales of moist snuff (snus) in all member states, with the exception of Sweden. The ban is motivated by the potential adverse health effects of snus, but snus may also help people to avoid smoking or stop tobacco use. The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between snus and smoking behaviour. The Swedish Survey of Living Conditions (ULF) health interview panel running from 1988/9 to 1996/7 was used to examine the gross and net flows between smoking and snus among Swedish males. Females were excluded from the analysis due to low snus prevalence. Contingency table models were used to investigate several hypotheses about the relationships between snus and smoking behaviour. We found clear associations between the two habits. For the younger cohort (age 16-44 years), snus use contributed to approximately six smoking quitters per smoking starter attributable to snus. For the older cohort (age 45-84) there were slightly more than two quitters per starter. In terms of odds ratios, in the younger group smoking cessation attributable to snus was twice as common as smoking initiation, but in the older group the odds of starting smoking attributable to snus was 2.5 times higher than for quitting. Snus contributed to the reduction of smoking among Swedish males in the 1990s. Snus had different effects among non-smokers and smokers in different age groups.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Rybak, F; Sureau, G; Aubin, T

    2002-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-07-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Abou-Ismail, Usama A

    2011-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Suicidal behaviours in male and female users of illicit drugs recruited in drug treatment facilities.

    PubMed

    Arribas-Ibar, Elisabet; Suelves, Josep Maria; Sanchez-Niubò, Albert; Domingo-Salvany, Antònia; T Brugal, M

    We assessed prevalence of suicidal ideation and plans among illicit drug users and their association with contextual factors, by gender. Cross-sectional study. In a sample of 511 illicit drug users recruited during spring 2012 in drug treatment and prevention facilities in Catalonia (Spain), the prevalence of suicidal ideation/plans in the last 12 months was assessed. Poisson regression was used to examine associations between suicidal ideation/plans and various factors (socio-demographic, psychological, illegal drug market activities and marginal income generation activities, which included any reported sex work, stealing, peddling, begging or borrowing on credit from a dealer). The average age was 37.9 years (standard deviation: 8.62); 76.3% were men. Suicidal ideation/plans were reported by 30.8% of men and 38.8% of women, with no significant differences by age or gender. Recent aggression (male prevalence ratio [PR]=2.2; female PR=1.4), psychological treatment (male PR=1.2; female PR=1.3) and illegal/marginal income generation activities (male PR=1.5; female PR=1.1) were associated with suicidal ideation/plans. Men who trafficked were more likely to have suicidal ideation/plans (PR=1.3), while prison history was positive for women (PR=1.8) and negative for men (PR=0.7). Prevalence of suicidal ideation/plans was high among illicit drug users recruited from healthcare facilities. Besides psychological variables, participation in illegal market activities and crime ought to be considered in drug users' suicidal prevention. Suicide risk needs to be evaluated in drug treatment facilities and psychological status and context contemplated. Copyright © 2017 SESPAS. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. HH jets aligned perpendicular to elephant trunks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-15

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

  19. Ranging behaviour and time budgets of male wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus in different habitats and seasons.

    PubMed

    Corp, N; Gorman, Martyn L; Speakman, John R

    1997-01-01

    Radiotelemetry was used to measure the range areas, activity patterns and time budgets of 21 adult male wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) between May 1991 and August 1992. The study investigated variation in range, total distance travelled, speed of movement and time budgets between wood mice in the nonbreeding and breeding seasons in a deciduous woodland (n = 8 and 6 respectively). We also examined habitat differences by estimating these same parameters for wood mice inhabiting maritime sand-dunes in the breeding season (n = 7). Insufficient males of an appropriate mass for radiotracking were captured to study the sand-dune mice in the nonbreeding season. Significant variation was found across both season and site. In the breeding season, in woodland, range areas were 5 times larger than during the nonbreeding season. Wood mice on the sand-dunes exploited ranges 28 times greater than their woodland counterparts. The pattern of variation in range area was parallelled by significant differences in total distances and average speeds travelled per night. Diurnal activity, c. 60 min day(-1), was frequently recorded, at both sites, but only, in the breeding season, which was attributed to the need to forage in order to maintain energy balance. The comparatively lower availability of food on the sand-dunes was considered the main factor explaining the greater range area, total distance moved, speed travelled and level of activity of animals at this site.

  20. 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.

  1. Energy requirement and food intake behaviour in young adult intact male cats with and without predisposition to overweight.

    PubMed

    Wichert, Brigitta; Trossen, Julia; Uebelhart, Daniel; Wanner, Marcel; Hartnack, Sonja

    2012-01-01

    Obesity is a common problem in cats. In the experimental cat family of the institute of animal nutrition besides a "normal" lean phenotype, cats with predisposition to an overweight phenotype are present. To investigate energy requirements and food intake behaviour of intact male cats of different phenotypes, six "normal" lean cats (GL) and six cats disposed to overweight (GO) were used. At the beginning of the experiment, all cats had an ideal body condition score of 5. To reach this the GO cats had to pass a weight-loss program. Energy requirements of the cats were determined using respiration chambers, whereas the amount and frequency of food intake was measured with a feeding station recording the data automatically. Energy requirement at weight constancy of the GO cats was even on fat-free mass (FFM) significantly (P = 0.02) lower (162.6 kJ/kg FFM/d) than that of the "normal" lean cats (246 kJ/kg FFM/d). The GO cats also showed a higher food intake 34.5 ± 1.5 g dry matter/kg body weight(0.67) compared to the GL cats (24.0 ± 2.1 g dry matter/kg body weight(0.67))(P = 0.001). In conclusion quantifiable differences in food intake and behaviour in cats predisposed to overweight compared to "normal" lean cats were found.

  2. Energy Requirement and Food Intake Behaviour in Young Adult Intact Male Cats with and without Predisposition to Overweight

    PubMed Central

    Wichert, Brigitta; Trossen, Julia; Uebelhart, Daniel; Wanner, Marcel; Hartnack, Sonja

    2012-01-01

    Obesity is a common problem in cats. In the experimental cat family of the institute of animal nutrition besides a “normal” lean phenotype, cats with predisposition to an overweight phenotype are present. To investigate energy requirements and food intake behaviour of intact male cats of different phenotypes, six “normal” lean cats (GL) and six cats disposed to overweight (GO) were used. At the beginning of the experiment, all cats had an ideal body condition score of 5. To reach this the GO cats had to pass a weight-loss program. Energy requirements of the cats were determined using respiration chambers, whereas the amount and frequency of food intake was measured with a feeding station recording the data automatically. Energy requirement at weight constancy of the GO cats was even on fat-free mass (FFM) significantly (P = 0.02) lower (162.6 kJ/kg FFM/d) than that of the “normal” lean cats (246 kJ/kg FFM/d). The GO cats also showed a higher food intake 34.5 ± 1.5 g dry matter/kg body weight0.67 compared to the GL cats (24.0 ± 2.1 g dry matter/kg body weight0.67)(P = 0.001). In conclusion quantifiable differences in food intake and behaviour in cats predisposed to overweight compared to “normal” lean cats were found. PMID:22623906

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Juita, G; Osman, A

    1995-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Animal Perception of Seasonal Thresholds: Changes in Elephant Movement in Relation to Rainfall Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Birkett, Patricia J.; Vanak, Abi T.; Muggeo, Vito M. R.; Ferreira, Salamon M.; Slotow, Rob

    2012-01-01

    Background The identification of temporal thresholds or shifts in animal movement informs ecologists of changes in an animal’s behaviour, which contributes to an understanding of species’ responses in different environments. In African savannas, rainfall, temperature and primary productivity influence the movements of large herbivores and drive changes at different scales. Here, we developed a novel approach to define seasonal shifts in movement behaviour by examining the movements of a highly mobile herbivore (elephant; Loxodonta africana), in relation to local and regional rainfall patterns. Methodology/Principal Findings We used speed to determine movement changes of between 8 and 14 GPS-collared elephant cows, grouped into five spatial clusters, in Kruger National Park, South Africa. To detect broad-scale patterns of movement, we ran a three-year daily time-series model for each individual (2007–2009). Piecewise regression models provided the best fit for elephant movement, which exhibited a segmented, waveform pattern over time. Major breakpoints in speed occurred at the end of the dry and wet seasons of each year. During the dry season, female elephant are constrained by limited forage and thus the distances they cover are shorter and less variable. Despite the inter-annual variability of rainfall, speed breakpoints were strongly correlated with both local and regional rainfall breakpoints across all three years. Thus, at a multi-year scale, rainfall patterns significantly affect the movements of elephant. The variability of both speed and rainfall breakpoints across different years highlights the need for an objective definition of seasonal boundaries. Conclusions/Significance By using objective criteria to determine behavioural shifts, we identified a biologically meaningful indicator of major changes in animal behaviour in different years. We recommend the use of such criteria, from an animal’s perspective, for delineating seasons or other

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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)

  12. An exploratory study of HIV risk behaviours and testing among male sex workers in Beirut, Lebanon

    PubMed Central

    Aunon, Frances M.; Wagner, Glenn J.; Maher, Rabih; Khouri, Danielle; Kaplan, Rachel L.; Mokhbat, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Male sex workers (MSW) are a particularly high-risk subset of men who have sex with men in Lebanon and report higher numbers of sex partners and lower rates of condom use. The purpose was to explore the factors influencing sexual risk behaviors and HIV testing among MSW. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 16 MSW living in Beirut and working in bathhouses (hammam) or as escorts; content analysis identified emergent themes. Escorts reported more consistent condom use with clients and HIV testing than hammam MSW, with influential factors including HIV risk knowledge and perceived risk susceptibility, job security, and internalized stigma and related feelings of self-worth and fatalism regarding health and HIV risk. In contrast, both groups of MSW typically opted not to condoms with nonclient sex partners, in an effort to differentiate sex for work versus pleasure. The uptake of HIV testing was limited by concerns about the confidentiality of the test results and fear of repercussions of a positive test result for their health and employment. The respondents described an insular existence within the sex work culture, in part to limit exposure to stigma, which has implications for access to support as well as the influence of peer norms regarding sexual risk behavior and health seeking behaviors such as HIV testing. Further research is needed to tailor prevention and HIV testing efforts to reflect the distinct sexual health “cultures” that distinguish these two populations of MSW in Lebanon. PMID:25950906

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

    PubMed

    Schwarzacher, T; Mayr, B; Schweizer, D

    1984-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Smoking behaviours and attitudes among male restaurant workers in Boston's Chinatown: a pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Averbach, A; Lam, D; Lam, L; Sharfstein, J; Cohen, B; Koh, H

    2002-01-01

    Design: Cross sectional survey in Chinese of a convenience sample of 54 restaurant workers recruited through extensive outreach activities. Results: All 54 of the workers were male immigrants. 45 (83.3%) reported smoking cigarettes regularly, and the remaining nine were former smokers. 36 of the smokers (80.0%) started smoking before entering the USA. The workers were aware that cigarettes are addictive (98.1%), cause lung cancer (79.6%), and lead to heart disease (64.8%). However, a substantial number reported that smoking was relaxing (75.9%) and enhanced concentration (66.7%). Nearly half believed low tar and low nicotine cigarettes to be safer than standard brands. The vast majority of workers believed that smoking was not socially acceptable for women. Smokers reported they received information on quitting most commonly from friends (60%), newspapers (53.5%), and television (44.4%). The restaurant workers most often saw advertising against smoking in Chinese newspapers (63%). Conclusion: Despite high rates of smoking, Chinese American restaurant workers were generally aware of the health risks and were interested in quitting. Community based research can set the stage for targeted public health efforts to reduce smoking in immigrant communities. PMID:12034979

  16. Male Use of Female Sex Work in India: A Nationally Representative Behavioural Survey

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Heterosexual transmission of HIV in India is driven by the male use of female sex workers (FSW), but few studies have examined the factors associated with using FSW. This nationally representative study examined the prevalence and correlates of FSW use among 31,040 men aged 15–49 years in India in 2006. Nationally, about 4% of men used FSW in the previous year, representing about 8.5 million FSW clients. Unmarried men were far more likely than married men to use FSW overall (PR = 8.0), but less likely than married men to use FSW among those reporting at least one non-regular partner (PR = 0.8). More than half of all FSW clients were married. FSW use was higher among men in the high-HIV states than in the low-HIV states (PR = 2.7), and half of all FSW clients lived in the high-HIV states. The risk of FSW use rose sharply with increasing number of non-regular partners in the past year. Given the large number of men using FSW, interventions for the much smaller number of FSW remains the most efficient strategy for curbing heterosexual HIV transmission in India. PMID:21829486

  17. Reproductive Endocrinology and Musth Indicators in a Captive Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Duer, Connie; Tomasi, Tom; Abramson, Charles I

    2016-12-01

    Even in the best situations, the artificial social constructs of captivity alter natural elephant behavior and unfortunately create distress. Asian elephants are powerful and intelligent animals that require consideration for their well-being and prudent management. The males present particular difficulties due to a temporary state of heightened aggressive behavior unique to male elephants called "musth." When he is in this state, the danger the elephant poses to other animals and the people around him is considerable. In addition to antagonistic behavior, musth is also characterized by temporal gland secretion and urine dribbling. In previous studies, musth has been attributed to elevated testosterone levels. This study attempted to enhance the knowledge base concerning these phenomena by examining hormone concentrations (n = 357) in Onyx, a male Asian elephant housed at Dickerson Park Zoo, with intermittent access to females (n = 1-5) over a 12-year period. Behavior and signs of musth also were recorded daily by elephant department staff. Musth indicators (temporal gland secretion, aggression, urine dribbling) increased with musth but not prior to it. We confirmed that temporal gland secretion was a better indicator of behavioral musth than urine dribbling. Hormones concentrations increased as musth approached, and presumably initiated musth indicators, but variability was high. Therefore, these hormones cannot be used to predict the onset of musth in this individual. Rather, the free/total testosterone ratio was a good indication of the 60-day pre-musth period. In addition, testosterone production and musth indicators increased in intensity when a young bull at the zoo started entering musth. © The Author(s) 2016.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Comparative Demography of an At-Risk African Elephant Population

    PubMed Central

    Wittemyer, George; Daballen, David; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge of population processes across various ecological and management settings offers important insights for species conservation and life history. In regard to its ecological role, charisma and threats from human impacts, African elephants are of high conservation concern and, as a result, are the focus of numerous studies across various contexts. Here, demographic data from an individually based study of 934 African elephants in Samburu, Kenya were summarized, providing detailed inspection of the population processes experienced by the population over a fourteen year period (including the repercussions of recent increases in illegal killing). These data were compared with those from populations inhabiting a spectrum of xeric to mesic ecosystems with variable human impacts. In relation to variability in climate and human impacts (causing up to 50% of recorded deaths among adults), annual mortality in Samburu fluctuated between 1 and 14% and, unrelatedly, natality between 2 and 14% driving annual population increases and decreases. Survivorship in Samburu was significantly lower than other populations with age-specific data even during periods of low illegal killing by humans, resulting in relatively low life expectancy of males (18.9 years) and females (21.8 years). Fecundity (primiparous age and inter-calf interval) were similar to those reported in other human impacted or recovering populations, and significantly greater than that of comparable stable populations. This suggests reproductive effort of African savanna elephants increases in relation to increased mortality (and resulting ecological ramifications) as predicted by life history theory. Further comparison across populations indicated that elongated inter-calf intervals and older ages of reproductive onset were related to age structure and density, and likely influenced by ecological conditions. This study provides detailed empirical data on elephant population dynamics strongly influenced by human

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-08-24

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

  2. 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.

  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. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  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. Call repertoire of infant African elephants: First insights into the early vocal ontogeny

    PubMed Central

    Stoeger-Horwath, Angela S.; Stoeger, Simon; Schwammer, Harald. M.; Kratochvil, Helmut

    2010-01-01

    African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) have a complex acoustic communication system, but very little is known about their vocal ontogeny. A first approach in ontogenetic studies is to define the call repertoire of specific age groups. Twelve hundred calls of 11 infant elephants from neonatal to 18 months of age recorded at the Vienna Zoo in Austria and at the Daphne Sheldrick’s orphanage at the Nairobi National Park, Kenya were analyzed. Six call types were structurally distinguished: the rumble, the bark, the grunt, the roar (subdivided into a noisy-, tonal-, and mixed-roar), the snort, and the trumpet. Generally, within-call-type variation was high in all individuals. In contrast to adult elephants, the infants showed no gender-dependent variation in the structure or in the number of call types produced. Male infants, however, were more vocally adamant in their suckle behavior than females. These results give a first insight to the early vocal ontogeny and should promote further ontogenetic studies on elephants. Due to their vocal learning ability in combination with the complex fission-fusion society, elephants could be an interesting model to study the role of imitation in the vocal ontogeny of a nonprimate terrestrial mammal. PMID:17552738

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Automated detection of elephants in wildlife video.

    PubMed

    Zeppelzauer, Matthias

    2013-08-01

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

  15. Automated detection of elephants in wildlife video

    PubMed Central

    Zeppelzauer, Matthias

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Uncertainty exposure causes behavioural sensitization and increases risky decision-making in male rats: toward modelling gambling disorder.

    PubMed

    Zeeb, Fiona D; Li, Zhaoxia; Fisher, Daniel C; Zack, Martin H; Fletcher, Paul J

    2017-08-23

    An animal model of gambling disorder, previously known as pathological gambling, could advance our understanding of the disorder and help with treatment development. We hypothesized that repeated exposure to uncertainty during gambling induces behavioural and dopamine (DA) sensitization - similar to chronic exposure to drugs of abuse. Uncertainty exposure (UE) may also increase risky decision-making in an animal model of gambling disorder. Male Sprague Dawley rats received 56 UE sessions, during which animals responded for saccharin according to an unpredictable, variable ratio schedule of reinforcement (VR group). Control animals responded on a predictable, fixed ratio schedule (FR group). Rats yoked to receive unpredictable reward were also included (Y group). Animals were then tested on the Rat Gambling Task (rGT), an analogue of the Iowa Gambling Task, to measure decision-making. Compared with the FR group, the VR and Y groups experienced a greater locomotor response following administration of amphetamine. On the rGT, the FR and Y groups preferred the advantageous options over the risky, disadvantageous options throughout testing (40 sessions). However, rats in the VR group did not have a significant preference for the advantageous options during sessions 20-40. Amphetamine had a small, but significant, effect on decision-making only in the VR group. After rGT testing, only the VR group showed greater hyperactivity following administration of amphetamine compared with the FR group. Reward uncertainty was the only gambling feature modelled. Actively responding for uncertain reward likely sensitized the DA system and impaired the ability to make optimal decisions, modelling some aspects of gambling disorder.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-16

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

  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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Young, K D; Van Aarde, R J

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bouayed, Jaouad; Desor, Frédéric; Soulimani, Rachid

    2009-09-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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 Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. 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

  17. Surviving and fatal Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus-1A infections in juvenile Asian elephants - lessons learned and recommendations on anti-herpesviral therapy.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-27

    Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause acute haemorrhagic disease in young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and clinical EEHV infections account for the majority of their fatalities. The anti-herpesviral drug famciclovir (FCV) has been used routinely to treat viraemic at-risk elephants, but thus far without proven efficacy. This paper presents clinical and virological investigations of two EEHV-1A infected elephants treated with FCV, and discusses anti-herpesvirus therapies of viraemic elephants. Two 1.5 year old male Asian elephants at a zoological collection in the UK developed clinical EEHV-1A infections. Case 1 showed signs of myalgia for the duration of 24 hours before returning back to normal. EEHV-1A DNAemia was confirmed on the day of clinical signs and continued to be present for 18 days in total. Trunk shedding of the virus commenced 10 days after detection of initial DNAemia. Case 2 tested positive for EEHV-1A DNAemia in a routine blood screening sample in the absence of clinical signs. The blood viral load increased exponentially leading up to fatal clinical disease seven days after initial detection of DNAemia. Both calves were treated with 15 mg/kg FCV per rectum on detection of DNAemia and penciclovir, the FCV metabolite, could be detected in the blood at assumed therapeutic levels. The early indicators for clinical disease were a marked absolute and relative drop in white blood cells, particularly monocytes prior to the detection of viraemia. The most prognostic haematological parameter at later stages of the disease was the platelet count showing a continuous sharp decline throughout, followed by a dramatic drop at the time of death. The EEHV-1A viraemic animals investigated here further highlight the ongoing threat posed by these viruses to juvenile Asian elephants. The findings call into question the efficacy of rectal FCV in clinical cases and direct towards the use of alternative anti-herpesvirus drugs and complementary

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Males call more from wetter nests: effects of substrate water potential on reproductive behaviours of terrestrial toadlets.

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, N J

    2001-01-01

    Laboratory studies of terrestrial-breeding frogs have demonstrated that wetter substrates produce fitter offspring but the relevance of substrate wetness to adult reproductive strategies is unknown. I hypothesized that male toadlets (Pseudophryne bibronii) would select wetter areas for nesting and would advertise wet nests strongly, and tested these predictions by manipulating water potentials at a breeding site. Males preferred to nest in the wettest areas, and called at greater rates on almost twice as many nights as males occupying drier nests. Overall, males that mated called on significantly more nights than unmated males. Hence, because males occupying wet nests called more, they also mated more and in 19 out of 20 cases, oviposition occurred in wet nests that were suitable for embryonic development. Males occupying drier nests may have risked dehydration by calling, and so were less able to signal to females. Hydration states therefore have the potential to influence the reproductive success of terrestrial male frogs. PMID:12123303

  1. 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.

  2. The elephant knee joint: morphological and biomechanical considerations

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection among Asian Elephants in Captivity

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Seed dispersal potential of Asian elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  6. Exposure to pornographic videos and its effect on HIV-related sexual risk behaviours among male migrant workers in southern India.

    PubMed

    Mahapatra, Bidhubhusan; Saggurti, Niranjan

    2014-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-11-01

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

  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. 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.

  12. Estimates of the pharmacokinetics of famciclovir and its active metabolite penciclovir in young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Brock, A Paige; Isaza, Ramiro; Hunter, Robert P; Richman, Laura K; Montali, Richard J; Schmitt, Dennis L; Koch, David E; Lindsay, William A

    2012-12-01

    To determine plasma pharmacokinetics of penciclovir following oral and rectal administration of famciclovir to young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). 6 healthy Asian elephants (5 females and 1 male), 4.5 to 9 years old and weighing 1,646 to 2,438 kg. Famciclovir was administered orally or rectally in accordance with an incomplete crossover design. Three treatment groups, each comprising 4 elephants, received single doses of famciclovir (5 mg/kg, PO, or 5 or 15 mg/kg, rectally); there was a minimum 12-week washout period between subsequent famciclovir administrations. Serial blood samples were collected after each administration. Samples were analyzed for famciclovir and penciclovir with a validated liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy assay. Famciclovir was tolerated well for both routes of administration and underwent complete biotransformation to the active metabolite, penciclovir. Mean maximum plasma concentration of penciclovir was 1.3 μg/mL at 1.1 hours after oral administration of 5 mg/kg. Similar results were detected after rectal administration of 5 mg/kg. Mean maximum plasma concentration was 3.6 μg/mL at 0.66 hours after rectal administration of 15 mg/kg; this concentration was similar to results reported for humans receiving 7 mg/kg orally. Juvenile Asian elephants are susceptible to elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus. Although most infections are fatal, case reports indicate administration of famciclovir has been associated with survival of 3 elephants. In Asian elephants, a dose of 8 to 15 mg of famciclovir/kg given orally or rectally at least every 8 hours may result in penciclovir concentrations that are considered therapeutic in humans.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Identification of shedders of elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses among Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Switzerland

    PubMed Central

    Hatt, Jean-Michel; Schetle, Nelli; Steinmetz, Hanspeter

    2017-01-01

    Elephants, particularly Asian (Elephas maximus), are threatened by lethal elephant hemorrhagic disease (EHD) due to elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHV). At least five of seven known EEHV types have been associated to EHD, with types 1, 4, and 5 predominantly affecting Asian elephants. In Switzerland, at least three Asian elephants have been lost due to EHD but nothing is known about the present EEHV1 circulation. Moreover, the prevalence of other EEHV types has never been assessed. Intermittent shedding of EEHV can be monitored through collecting trunk secretions and analyzing them by PCR methods that discriminate the different EEHV types. To identify EEHV shedders, seven of eight Asian elephants in a Swiss zoo were trained to provide trunk wash samples. These were collected at intervals over a period of four months and tested by PCR for presence of EEHV1 through 6. Moreover, the quality of each sample was assessed by testing for the elephant TNF-alpha gene. Overall, 57% of the samples were valid with five of seven participating elephants identified as EEHV shedders. Two of those shed virus only once, whereas the other three, all closely related among each other, shed virus on multiple occasions. One of the frequent shedders had been in very close contact to all of the three EHD victims. Therefore, we speculate that this particular animal may represent the virus source in all three cases. However, when subtyping was conducted, the presently circulating virus was identified as EEHV1B, while the virus subtype causing EHD had been 1A in all three cases. In addition to four animals excreting EEHV1, a recently introduced animal was observed to shed EEHV3/4. We suggest that the policy of trunk washing to identify and characterize EEHV-shedders is to be endorsed in zoos with ongoing or planned elephant breeding programs. PMID:28467495

  17. Identification of shedders of elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses among Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Ackermann, Mathias; Hatt, Jean-Michel; Schetle, Nelli; Steinmetz, Hanspeter

    2017-01-01

    Elephants, particularly Asian (Elephas maximus), are threatened by lethal elephant hemorrhagic disease (EHD) due to elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHV). At least five of seven known EEHV types have been associated to EHD, with types 1, 4, and 5 predominantly affecting Asian elephants. In Switzerland, at least three Asian elephants have been lost due to EHD but nothing is known about the present EEHV1 circulation. Moreover, the prevalence of other EEHV types has never been assessed. Intermittent shedding of EEHV can be monitored through collecting trunk secretions and analyzing them by PCR methods that discriminate the different EEHV types. To identify EEHV shedders, seven of eight Asian elephants in a Swiss zoo were trained to provide trunk wash samples. These were collected at intervals over a period of four months and tested by PCR for presence of EEHV1 through 6. Moreover, the quality of each sample was assessed by testing for the elephant TNF-alpha gene. Overall, 57% of the samples were valid with five of seven participating elephants identified as EEHV shedders. Two of those shed virus only once, whereas the other three, all closely related among each other, shed virus on multiple occasions. One of the frequent shedders had been in very close contact to all of the three EHD victims. Therefore, we speculate that this particular animal may represent the virus source in all three cases. However, when subtyping was conducted, the presently circulating virus was identified as EEHV1B, while the virus subtype causing EHD had been 1A in all three cases. In addition to four animals excreting EEHV1, a recently introduced animal was observed to shed EEHV3/4. We suggest that the policy of trunk washing to identify and characterize EEHV-shedders is to be endorsed in zoos with ongoing or planned elephant breeding programs.

  18. Foetal age determination and development in elephants

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Roca, Alfred L; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2005-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Serum leptin concentration during the terrestrial phase of the Southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina (Carnivora: Phocidae).

    PubMed

    Guilherme, C; Bianchini, A; Martinez, P E; Robaldo, R B; Colares, E P

    2004-11-01

    This study aimed to verify the serum leptin concentration during the terrestrial phase of the Southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) on Elephant Island (South Shetlands, Antarctica). Sera from 25 adult Southern elephant seals were analyzed. Leptin concentration was determined using the 125I radioimmunoassay method. Total protein, triglycerides, and cholesterol concentration were measured by spectrophotometric methods. Seals were grouped by sex and their physiological status (reproducing or molting seals). In reproducing seals, serum concentrations of leptin, total protein, triglycerides, and cholesterol were, respectively, 9.33+/-1.97 ng/ml, 6.87+/-0.09 g/dl, 98.26+/-2.12 mg/dl, and 232.17+/-41.18 mg/dl in males and 5.30+/-1.36 ng/ml, 6.44+/-0.29 g/dl, 109.01+/-3.34 mg/dl, and 219.20+/-26.65 in females (mean+/-1 SD). In molting seals, these values were 2.35+/-1.51 ng/ml, 7.42+/-0.25 mg/dl, 321.10+/-20.01 mg/dl, and 244.66+/-22.24 mg/dl in males and 2.94+/-1.89 ng/ml, 7.88+/-0.46 mg/dl, 197.54 mg/dl, and 224.55+/-16.70 mg/dl in females. In both males and females, there were no significant differences (P>0.05) in total protein and cholesterol concentration between reproducing and molting seals. However, both males and females showed higher leptin concentration (P<0.05) and lower triglyceride concentration (P<0.05) in the reproductive period than in the molt period. In the reproductive period, it was expected that the Southern elephant seal shows an inhibited hunger sensation, mobilizes stored energy, and stimulates the HPG axis. Results from the present study support this hypothesis and suggest that this strategy may be effected by the hormonal stimulation of leptin.

  3. Being drunk and high during sex is not associated with condom use behaviours: a study of high-risk young Black males.

    PubMed

    Crosby, Richard A; Milhausen, Robin R; Sanders, Stephanie; Graham, Cynthia A; Yarber, William L

    2014-03-01

    Objective To assess the relationship between the frequency of being drunk and high during sex, and condom use errors and problems (CUEP) among a sample of high-risk young Black males recruited from the United States. Data were collected in clinics treating sexually transmissible infections in three cities in the southern United States. Males 15-23 years of age (n=697) who identified as African-American and reported recent (past 2 months) condom use were eligible. Measures of alcohol and drug use, as well as condom use behaviours were assessed by audio-computer assisted self-interview. Eighteen CUEP were included in this assessment. Sixteen bivariate correlations were obtained. The magnitude of the coefficients was small, ranging from 0.01 to 0.13. Only three were significant. These were positive associations between the frequency of being drunk and the frequency of unprotected vaginal sex, as well as the frequency of the 18-item measure of CUEP. A significant correlation was also found between the frequency of being high during sex and the frequency of unprotected vaginal sex. Adjustments for age did not change the findings. Interventions designed to promote safer sex behaviours among young Black males attending sexually transmissible infection clinics are no more likely to benefit patients through the inclusion of messages and training attempting to dissuade the use of alcohol and drugs before or during sex.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-21

    Mature male African Savannah elephants are known to periodically enter a temporary state of heightened aggression called "musth", often linked with increased androgens, particularly testosterone. Sexually mature males are capable of entering musth at any time of year, and will often travel long distances to find estrous females. When two musth bulls or two non-musth bulls encounter one another, the agonistic interaction is usually won by the larger male. However, when a smaller musth bull encounters a larger non-musth bull, the smaller musth male can win. The relative mating success of musth males is due partly to this fighting advantage, and partly to estrous females' general preference for musth males. Though musth behavior has long been observed and documented, the evolutionary advantages of musth remain poorly understood. Here we develop a game-theoretic model of male musth behavior which assumes musth duration as a parameter, and distributions of small, medium and large musth males are predicted in both time and space. The predicted results are similar to the musth timing behavior observed in the Amboseli National Park elephant population, and further results are generated with relevance to Samburu National Park. We discuss small male musth behavior, the effects of estrous female spatial heterogeneity on musth timing, conservation applications, and the assumptions underpinning the model. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Sexual dimorphism in African elephant social rumbles

    PubMed Central

    Stoeger, Angela S.

    2017-01-01

    This study used the source and filter theory approach to analyse sex differences in the acoustic features of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) low-frequency rumbles produced in social contexts (‘social rumbles’). Permuted discriminant function analysis revealed that rumbles contain sufficient acoustic information to predict the sex of a vocalizing individual. Features primarily related to the vocalizer’s size, i.e. fundamental frequency variables and vocal tract resonant frequencies, differed significantly between the sexes. Yet, controlling for age and size effects, our results indicate that the pronounced sexual size dimorphism in African elephants is partly, but not exclusively, responsible for sexual differences in social rumbles. This provides a scientific foundation for future work investigating the perceptual and functional relevance of specific acoustic characteristics in African elephant vocal sexual communication. PMID:28489908

  7. Von Economo neurons in the elephant brain.

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-01

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

  8. Sexual dimorphism in African elephant social rumbles.

    PubMed

    Baotic, Anton; Stoeger, Angela S

    2017-01-01

    This study used the source and filter theory approach to analyse sex differences in the acoustic features of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) low-frequency rumbles produced in social contexts ('social rumbles'). Permuted discriminant function analysis revealed that rumbles contain sufficient acoustic information to predict the sex of a vocalizing individual. Features primarily related to the vocalizer's size, i.e. fundamental frequency variables and vocal tract resonant frequencies, differed significantly between the sexes. Yet, controlling for age and size effects, our results indicate that the pronounced sexual size dimorphism in African elephants is partly, but not exclusively, responsible for sexual differences in social rumbles. This provides a scientific foundation for future work investigating the perceptual and functional relevance of specific acoustic characteristics in African elephant vocal sexual communication.

  9. Sexual risk behaviours and HIV seroprevalence among male sex workers who have sex with men and non-sex workers in Campinas, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Tun, W; de Mello, M; Pinho, A; Chinaglia, M; Diaz, J

    2008-11-01

    To compare population-based prevalence estimates of sexual risk behaviours and HIV seroprevalence of male sex workers who have sex with men (MSM) and those not engaged in sex work in Campinas, Brazil. MSM (n = 658) were recruited for a cross-sectional study through respondent-driven sampling. Audio-assisted computer self-interview was used to collect information on sexual behaviours and HIV testing (optional) was performed. Population-based prevalence estimates with 95% CI of characteristics and behaviours of MSM sex workers and non-sex workers are reported. One-quarter reported ever receiving payment for sex and 14.8% (95% CI 11.1 to 19.0) had been paid in the previous 2 months; most exclusively with men. MSM sex workers were significantly more likely than non-sex workers to report being transgendered (40.5% vs 8.1%), to practise unprotected receptive (22.4% vs 4.6%) and insertive (20.5% vs 5.0%) anal intercourse with > or =2 male partners and to have unprotected vaginal sex with women (22.7% vs 5.6%). MSM sex workers experienced significantly greater rates of psychological abuse (80.9% vs 58.4%) and physical abuse (48.2% vs 15.2%). MSM sex workers have higher sexual risk behaviours as well as social vulnerabilities than the general population of MSM. HIV/sexually transmitted infection prevention efforts should be targeted to this riskier subgroup. Programmes should be transgender sensitive, should recognise that MSM sex workers have sex with men and women and address other factors that influence risk, such as homophobic abuse.

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

    PubMed

    Todd, Nancy E

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. What Is the Use of Elephant Hair?

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The idea that low surface densities of hairs could be a heat loss mechanism is understood in engineering and has been postulated in some thermal studies of animals. However, its biological implications, both for thermoregulation as well as for the evolution of epidermal structures, have not yet been noted. Since early epidermal structures are poorly preserved in the fossil record, we study modern elephants to infer not only the heat transfer effect of present-day sparse hair, but also its potential evolutionary origins. Here we use a combination of theoretical and empirical approaches, and a range of hair densities determined from photographs, to test whether sparse hairs increase convective heat loss from elephant skin, thus serving an intentional evolutionary purpose. Our conclusion is that elephants are covered with hair that significantly enhances their thermoregulation ability by over 5% under all scenarios considered, and by up to 23% at low wind speeds where their thermoregulation needs are greatest. The broader biological significance of this finding suggests that maintaining a low-density hair cover can be evolutionary purposeful and beneficial, which is consistent with the fact that elephants have the greatest need for heat loss of any modern terrestrial animal because of their high body-volume to skin-surface ratio. Elephant hair is the first documented example in nature where increasing heat transfer due to a low hair density covering may be a desirable effect, and therefore raises the possibility of such a covering for similarly sized animals in the past. This elephant example dispels the widely-held assumption that in modern endotherms body hair functions exclusively as an insulator and could therefore be a first step to resolving the prior paradox of why hair was able to evolve in a world much warmer than our own. PMID:23071700

  13. What is the use of elephant hair?

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Elephant-Initiated Interactions with Humans: Individual Differences and Specific Preferences in Captive African Elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Rossman, Zoë T; Padfield, Clare; Young, Debbie; Hart, Lynette A

    2017-01-01

    South Africa has seen a recent increase in the number of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) maintained in reserves and parks and managed in free contact, where they may spend a significant amount of time in close proximity to humans. This study investigates how individual elephants choose to initiate interactions with humans by examining whether interaction types and frequencies vary both between elephants and with regards to the category of human involved in the interaction. Observations were made on a herd of seven captive African elephants frequently exposed to elephant handlers (guides), volunteers (who carry out general observations for the park's research unit), and tourists. The elephants differed in the frequencies with which they initiated interactions with each category of human and in the types of behaviors they used to initiate interactions. However, all of the elephants interacted most frequently with guides. Certain individual elephants showed preferences in interacting with specific guides, indicating particular elephant-guide bonds. This study provides evidence for elephant-handler bonds as well as information on the extent of interactions between humans and African elephants managed in free contact.

  15. Elephant-Initiated Interactions with Humans: Individual Differences and Specific Preferences in Captive African Elephants (Loxodonta africana)

    PubMed Central

    Rossman, Zoë T.; Padfield, Clare; Young, Debbie; Hart, Lynette A.

    2017-01-01

    South Africa has seen a recent increase in the number of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) maintained in reserves and parks and managed in free contact, where they may spend a significant amount of time in close proximity to humans. This study investigates how individual elephants choose to initiate interactions with humans by examining whether interaction types and frequencies vary both between elephants and with regards to the category of human involved in the interaction. Observations were made on a herd of seven captive African elephants frequently exposed to elephant handlers (guides), volunteers (who carry out general observations for the park’s research unit), and tourists. The elephants differed in the frequencies with which they initiated interactions with each category of human and in the types of behaviors they used to initiate interactions. However, all of the elephants interacted most frequently with guides. Certain individual elephants showed preferences in interacting with specific guides, indicating particular elephant-guide bonds. This study provides evidence for elephant-handler bonds as well as information on the extent of interactions between humans and African elephants managed in free contact. PMID:28503553

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-19

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

  17. 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.

  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. Further diagnostic thoughts about the Elephant Man.

    PubMed

    Cohen, M M

    1988-04-01

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

  20. Induced elephant (Loxodonta africana) tusk removal.

    PubMed

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

    2003-03-01

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

  1. Palaeogenomes of Eurasian straight-tusked elephants challenge the current view of elephant evolution.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Matthias; Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Baleka, Sina; Stiller, Mathias; Penkman, Kirsty E H; Alt, Kurt W; Ishida, Yasuko; Mania, Dietrich; Mallick, Swapan; Meijer, Tom; Meller, Harald; Nagel, Sarah; Nickel, Birgit; Ostritz, Sven; Rohland, Nadin; Schauer, Karol; Schüler, Tim; Roca, Alfred L; Reich, David; Shapiro, Beth; Hofreiter, Michael

    2017-06-06

    The straight-tusked elephants Palaeoloxodon spp. were widespread across Eurasia during the Pleistocene. Phylogenetic reconstructions using morphological traits have grouped them with Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), and many paleontologists place Palaeoloxodon within Elephas. Here, we report the recovery of full mitochondrial genomes from four and partial nuclear genomes from two P. antiquus fossils. These fossils were collected at two sites in Germany, Neumark-Nord and Weimar-Ehringsdorf, and likely date to interglacial periods ~120 and ~244 thousand years ago, respectively. Unexpectedly, nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analyses suggest that P. antiquus was a close relative of extant African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis). Species previously referred to Palaeoloxodon are thus most parsimoniously explained as having diverged from the lineage of Loxodonta, indicating that Loxodonta has not been constrained to Africa. Our results demonstrate that the current picture of elephant evolution is in need of substantial revision.

  2. 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.

  3. Acute behavioural effects of bupropion and naltrexone, alone and in combination, in non-deprived male rats presented with palatable mash.

    PubMed

    Wright, F L; Rodgers, R J

    2013-07-01

    In appetite research, drugs frequently progress to clinical trials on the basis of outcome (reduced food intake/body weight gain) with insufficient attention to process (behavioural analysis). Although bupropion and naltrexone (alone and in combination) reduce food consumption in rodents and humans, their effects on behaviour during feeding tests have not been thoroughly investigated. This study aimed to assess the behavioural specificity of anorectic responses to bupropion, naltrexone and their combination. Video analysis was employed to characterise the behavioural effects of acute systemic treatment with bupropion (10.0-40.0 mg/kg), naltrexone (0.1-3.0 mg/kg) and combined bupropion (20 mg/kg) plus naltrexone (0.1-1.0 mg/kg) in non-deprived male rats exposed for 1 h to palatable mash. Particular attention was paid to the behavioural satiety sequence (BSS). In experiment 1, the anorectic response to 40 mg/kg bupropion was associated with significant psychomotor stimulation and a complete disruption of the BSS. In experiment 2, the anorectic response to 3 mg/kg naltrexone was associated with an accelerated but otherwise normal BSS. In experiment 3, the co-administration of 20 mg/kg bupropion and naltrexone (0.1 and 1.0 mg/kg) not only produced an additive anorectic profile (including a reduced rate of eating), but the addition of the opioid receptor antagonist also concurrently attenuated the psychomotor stimulant response to the atypical antidepressant. Low-dose co-treatment with naltrexone and bupropion produces a stronger suppression of appetite than that seen with either agent alone and has the additional advantage of reducing some of the unwanted effects of bupropion.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Poaching empties critical Central African wilderness of forest elephants.

    PubMed

    Poulsen, John R; Koerner, Sally E; Moore, Sarah; Medjibe, Vincent P; Blake, Stephen; Clark, Connie J; Akou, Mark Ella; Fay, Michael; Meier, Amelia; Okouyi, Joseph; Rosin, Cooper; White, Lee J T

    2017-02-20

    Elephant populations are in peril everywhere, but forest elephants in Central Africa have sustained alarming losses in the last decade [1]. Large, remote protected areas are thought to best safeguard forest elephants by supporting large populations buffered from habitat fragmentation, edge effects and human pressures. One such area, the Minkébé National Park (MNP), Gabon, was created chiefly for its reputation of harboring a large elephant population. MNP held the highest densities of elephants in Central Africa at the turn of the century, and was considered a critical sanctuary for forest elephants because of its relatively large size and isolation. We assessed population change in the park and its surroundings between 2004 and 2014. Using two independent modeling approaches, we estimated a 78-81% decline in elephant numbers over ten years - a loss of more than 25,000 elephants. While poaching occurs from within Gabon, cross-border poaching largely drove the precipitous drop in elephant numbers. With nearly 50% of forest elephants in Central Africa thought to reside in Gabon [1], their loss from the park is a considerable setback for the preservation of the species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Workplace smoking policies and their association with male employees' smoking behaviours: a cross-sectional survey in one company in China

    PubMed Central

    Gao, JiaNing; Zheng, PinPin; Gao, JunLing; Chapman, Simon

    2010-01-01

    Objectives The present work sought to evaluate different worksite smoking control policies and their associations with employees' smoking behaviours and attitudes among Chinese male workers. Methods This was a cross-sectional survey with a self-administered standardised questionnaire, conducted among seven production workplaces of one multinational company in Shanghai in 2008. In total, 1043 male workers were involved. Current smoking prevalence, daily cigarette consumption, quitting intention and their potential association with workplace smoking control policies (smoke free or restricted smoking) were measured. Results Current smoking prevalence in workplaces where smoke-free policies had been imposed for 3 years was 55.5%, about 18% lower than in workplaces that only restricted smoking. Smokers in smoke-free workplaces also smoked 3.4 cigarettes less per day, made more quit attempts, were more confident of successfully quitting and more willing to accept a company sponsored cessation programme. Those patterns declined or were not found among the workplaces where smoking control policies had been imposed for 10 years. Smoker quitting intentions were not associated with workplace smoking policies regardless of the duration of the policies imposed. Conclusions A smoke-free workplace policy was found to have a significant association with lower smoking prevalence and daily cigarette consumption, but not with employee quitting intentions. Restrictive smoking policies had no impact on employee smoking behaviours. The impact of workplace smoking control policies may vary over time. PMID:21097936

  12. Long Term Physiologic and Behavioural Effects of Housing Density and Environmental Resource Provision for Adult Male and Female Sprague Dawley Rats

    PubMed Central

    Pinelli, Christopher J.; Leri, Francesco; Turner, Patricia V.

    2017-01-01

    Simple Summary The effect of housing on rodent well-being has received increasing scrutiny in recent years in North America in an attempt to define adequate standards of animal care. Typically, the adequacy of cage size is determined by species and body weight, with little consideration being given to the cage complexity and impact on animal welfare. Further, most studies evaluate different caging methods over relatively short periods of time, which may not be realistic for typical colony settings. Inappropriate housing may lead to boredom, aggression, and the development of abnormal behaviour and function, which in turn may affect animal responses during research protocols. In this study, we evaluated the impact of group housing rats by sex in double wide cages with the addition of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubes for shelter, a nylon chew toy, and a piece of food enrichment given three times weekly over the course of five months. These groups were compared to rats that were single or pair-housed by sex in standard cages provided only with a nylon chew toy. We found that group-housed rats were more active and continued to engaged in positive social behaviours, such as grooming, for the duration of the study, with minimal impact on other aspects of animal function. Abstract There is considerable interest in refining laboratory rodent environments to promote animal well-being, as well as research reproducibility. Few studies have evaluated the long term impact of enhancing rodent environments with resources and additional cagemates. To that end, male and female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were housed singly (n = 8/sex), in pairs (n = 16/sex), or in groups of four (n = 16/sex) for five months. Single and paired rats were housed in standard cages with a nylon chew toy, while group-housed rats were kept in double-wide cages with two PVC shelters and a nylon chew toy and were provided with food enrichment three times weekly. Animal behaviour, tests of anxiety (open field

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Hearing in the elephant (Elephas maximus).

    PubMed

    Heffner, R; Heffner, H

    1980-05-02

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

  16. Elephant teeth from the atlantic continental shelf.

    PubMed

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

    1967-06-16

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 5, A NEWLY RECOGNIZED ELEPHANT HERPESVIRUS ASSOCIATED WITH CLINICAL AND SUBCLINICAL INFECTIONS IN CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS)

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23505714

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-02

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  3. HIV behavioural risks and the role of work environment among Chinese male sex workers in Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Wong, William C W; Leung, Phil W S; Li, C W

    2012-01-01

    Male sex workers are a highly marginalised group in Hong Kong and it is increasingly so with an influx of them travelling from mainland China to work as "freelance" sex workers. This study aimed to measure important work environment variables that might affect the likelihood of condom use among male sex workers working in Hong Kong. A cross-sectional survey of 161 participants recruited by snowball and convenience sampling methods through outreach workers of a local non-governmental organization was conducted in 2007-2008. Only 27.4%, 54.7% and 42.6% reported consistent condom use when engaging in oral, anal and vaginal sex, respectively. Logistic regression shows unsafe sex was nearly four times (OR=3.41; 95%CI 1.51-7.69) as common in institutionalised male sex workers as among their independent counterparts. Lack of condoms provided at workplaces was a major barrier in this socio-legal context and was strongly associated with condom non-use amongst institutionalised sex workers (OR= 10.86; 95%CI 2.94-40.17). The present study finds that when compared with independent Male sex workers (MSWs), institutionalised MSWs were older, less educated, earned a higher income but more likely to engage in unsafe sex with their clients and their partners. Public health physicians must work with law-enforcing authorities to provide clear guidelines to remove these HIV prevention barriers.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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