Science.gov

Sample records for protected terrestrial vertebrates

  1. V. Terrestrial vertebrates

    Treesearch

    Dean Pearson; Deborah Finch

    2011-01-01

    Within the Interior West, terrestrial vertebrates do not represent a large number of invasive species relative to invasive weeds, aquatic vertebrates, and invertebrates. However, several invasive terrestrial vertebrate species do cause substantial economic and ecological damage in the U.S. and in this region (Pimental 2000, 2007; Bergman and others 2002; Finch and...

  2. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation 1995 annual progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Vail, E.R.; Mitchell, J.M.; Webb, J.W.; King, A.L.; Hamlett, P.A.

    1995-11-01

    This progress report discusses surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) from October 1994 through September 1995. These surveys are important to help avoid or minimize potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed as threatened, endangered, or in need of management by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Currently, there are 69 species of federally or state-listed terrestrial vertebrates that may occur in Tennessee. Not all of these are expected to occur on the ORR, nor do resources permit comprehensive sampling for all of them over the entire ORR. To effectively organize sampling efforts, listed animal species that might be present were targeted using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, species distributions, literature reviews, and personal communications. Sampling was conducted during the time of the year when each targeted species would most likely be encountered. Several trapping and surveying methods were used, including pitfall traps, Sherman traps, seining, artificial covers, and cave and avian surveys.

  3. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Mitchell, J.M.; Vail, E.R.; Webb, J.W.; King, A.L.; Hamlett, P.A.

    1996-05-01

    Surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) were conducted from October 1994 through May 1996. The surveys were undertaken to help avoid or minimize the potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed by the state or federal government as endangered, threatened, or in need-of-management; federal species of concern were included. Results of the survey will also assist in effectively managing the ORR. Currently, there are 69 species of federal- or state-listed terrestrial vertebrates (20 reptiles and amphibians, 20 mammals, and 29 birds) that may occur in Tennessee. Listed animal species that might be present on the ORR were targeted for survey using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, known species distributions, presence of suitable habitat, literature reviews, and personal communications. Survey methods included trapping, seining, monitoring artificial covers, active searching, and avian surveys. Surveys were conducted during the time of year when each targeted species was most likely to be encountered. The report also includes ancillary information. Records are provided for nonlisted species (44 species of reptiles and amphibians, 155 species of birds, and 28 species of mammals). Categorization of survey sites into 1 or more of 19 habitat types, which are briefly described, is presented. Notes are summarized on the occurrence of threatened and endangered species on the ORR. The report also lists threatened and endangered species not found that might be located by additional surveys, recommends three survey areas for natural-area status due to wildlife value, and suggests several avenues for future work.

  4. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Mitchell, J.M.; Vail, E.R.; Webb, J.W.; Evans, J.W.

    1996-07-01

    This document is the final report on surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) conducted from October 1994 through May 1996. The surveys were undertaken to gain information that could help prevent or minimize the potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed by the state or federal government as endangered, threatened, or in need of management; federal species of concern were also included. The results of the survey will assist in the effective management of the natural resources of the ORR. Currently, there are 69 species of federal or state listed terrestrial vertebrates (20 reptiles and amphibians, 20 mammals, and 29 birds) that may occur in Tennessee. Listed animal species that might be present on the ORR were targeted for survey using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, known species distributions, presence of suitable habitat, literature reviews, and personal communications. Survey methods included trapping, seining, monitoring of artificial covers, active searching, and avian surveys. Surveys were conducted during the time of year when each targeted species was most likely to be encountered. The surveys confirmed the presence of 20 threatened and endangered species on the ORR. This report also includes some ancillary information. Records are provided for nonlisted species (44 species of reptiles and amphibians, 155 species of birds, and 28 species of mammals). Categorization of survey sites into 1 or more of 19 habitat types, which are briefly described, is presented. Notes are summarized on the occurrence of threatened and endangered species on the ORR. Finally, this report also lists threatened and endangered species not found that might be located by additional surveys, recommends three survey areas for natural-area status due to wildlife value, and suggests several avenues for future work.

  5. On how much biodiversity is covered in Europe by national protected areas and by the Natura 2000 network: insights from terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Maiorano, L; Amori, G; Montemaggiori, A; Rondinini, C; Santini, L; Saura, S; Boitani, L

    2015-08-01

    The European Union has made extensive biodiversity conservation efforts with the Habitats and Birds Directives and with the establishment of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas, one of the largest networks of conservation areas worldwide. We performed a gap analysis of the entire Natura 2000 system plus national protected areas and all terrestrial vertebrates (freshwater fish excluded). We also evaluated the level of connectivity of both systems, providing therefore a first estimate of the functionality of the Natura 2000 system as an effective network of protected areas. Together national protected areas and the Natura 2000 network covered more than one-third of the European Union. National protected areas did not offer protection to 13 total gap species (i.e., species not covered by any protected area) or to almost 300 partial gap species (i.e., species whose representation target is not met). Together the Natura 2000 network and national protected areas left 1 total gap species and 121 partial gap species unprotected. The terrestrial vertebrates listed in the Habitats and Birds Directives were relatively well covered (especially birds), and overall connectivity was improved considerably by Natura 2000 sites that act as stepping stones between national protected areas. Overall, we found that the Natura 2000 network represents at continental level an important network of protected areas that acts as a good complement to existing national protected areas. However, a number of problems remain that are mainly linked to the criteria used to list the species in the Habitats and Birds Directives. The European Commission initiated in 2014 a process aimed at assessing the importance of the Birds and Habitats Directives for biodiversity conservation. Our results contribute to this assessment and suggest the system is largely effective for terrestrial vertebrates but would benefit from further updating of the species lists and field management. © 2015 Society for

  6. Contaminant Exposure in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    EPA Science Inventory

    Manuscript is a critical review of the state of the science for quantifying exposures of terrestrial wildlife species to chemical contamination. It describes the unique aspects of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and threatened and endangered species. Fate and transport of ...

  7. Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2000-08-01

    Although herbivory probably first appeared over 300 million years ago, it only became established as a common feeding strategy during Late Permian times. Subsequently, herbivory evolved in numerous lineages of terrestrial vertebrates, and the acquisition of this mode of feeding was frequently associated with considerable evolutionary diversification in those lineages. This book represents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of herbivory in land-dwelling amniote tetrapods in recent years. In Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates, leading experts review the evolutionary history and structural adaptations required for feeding on plants in the major groups of land-dwelling vertebrates, especially dinosaurs and ungulate mammals. As such, this volume will be the definitive reference source on this topic for evolutionary biologists and vertebrate paleontologists.

  8. Mapping and Quantifying Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity at ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast functions of ecosystems is critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment. Because of the variability among living organisms and levels of organization (e.g. genetic, species, ecosystem), biodiversity has always been difficult to measure precisely, especially within a systematic manner and over multiple scales. In answer to this challenge, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a partnership with other Federal agencies, academic institutions, and Non-Governmental Organizations to develop the EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas), an online national Decision Support Tool that allows users to view and analyze the geographical description of the supply and demand for ecosystem services, as well as the drivers of change. As part of the EnviroAtlas, an approach has been developed that uses deductive habitat models for all terrestrial vertebrates of the conterminous United States and clusters them into biodiversity metrics that relate to ecosystem service-relevant categories. Metrics, such as species and taxon richness, have been developed and integrated with other measures of biodiversity. Collectively, these metrics provide a consistent scalable process from which to make geographic comparisons, provide thematic assessments, and to monitor status and trends in biodiversity. The national biodiversity component operates across approximatel

  9. Mapping and Quantifying Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity at ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast functions of ecosystems is critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment. Because of the variability among living organisms and levels of organization (e.g. genetic, species, ecosystem), biodiversity has always been difficult to measure precisely, especially within a systematic manner and over multiple scales. In answer to this challenge, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a partnership with other Federal agencies, academic institutions, and Non-Governmental Organizations to develop the EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas), an online national Decision Support Tool that allows users to view and analyze the geographical description of the supply and demand for ecosystem services, as well as the drivers of change. As part of the EnviroAtlas, an approach has been developed that uses deductive habitat models for all terrestrial vertebrates of the conterminous United States and clusters them into biodiversity metrics that relate to ecosystem service-relevant categories. Metrics, such as species and taxon richness, have been developed and integrated with other measures of biodiversity. Collectively, these metrics provide a consistent scalable process from which to make geographic comparisons, provide thematic assessments, and to monitor status and trends in biodiversity. The national biodiversity component operates across approximatel

  10. [Construction of an indicator system for evaluating the protection efficacy of national nature reserves in China: A case study on terrestrial vertebrates (excluding migratory birds)].

    PubMed

    Yan, Yu-ying; Yang, Dao-de; Deng, Jiao; Zhang, Zhi-qiang; Zhou, Xian-yan; Wang, Wei; Li, Jun-sheng

    2015-05-01

    The protection efficacy of nature reserves is a key element in achieving targets of biodiversity conservation. It is therefore very important to develop a scientific, systematic, and accurate index system for evaluating the protection efficacy of national nature reserves in China. Using methods of frequency statistics, expert consultation, analytic hierarchy process, and demonstration survey, we present a novel index system for evaluating the protection efficacy of Chinese national nature reserves for terrestrial vertebrates (excluding migratory birds) over a 10-year period. The indicator system included one target layer, two system layers, nine factor layers, and forty index layers. The system layer included ecological effectiveness evaluation (with a score of 60%) and management effectiveness evaluation (score of 40%). The ecological effectiveness evaluation was a comprehensive, dynamic evaluation of the target species, population, habitat, and ecological system. The management effectiveness evaluation was focused on the effectiveness of patrol and monitoring. The additional part aimed to analyze the impact of humans on the target species, population and nature resources of the nature reserve. This study combined the ecological effectiveness evaluation and the management effectiveness evaluation for the first time, highlighted the importance of time and space changes, distinguished the influence of natural factors from human factors, and integrated them into the evaluation results. By emphasizing quantifiable indicators, this evaluation index system could vastly assist the protection of nature reserves by improving management effectiveness, biodiversity conservation, and macroscopic decision-making.

  11. The fragmentation of Pangaea and Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Vavrek, Matthew J

    2016-09-01

    During the Mesozoic (242-66 million years ago), terrestrial regions underwent a massive shift in their size, position and connectivity. At the beginning of the era, the land masses were joined into a single supercontinent called Pangaea. However, by the end of the Mesozoic, terrestrial regions had become highly fragmented, both owing to the drifting apart of the continental plates and the extremely high sea levels that flooded and divided many regions. How terrestrial biodiversity was affected by this fragmentation and large-scale flooding of the Earth's landmasses is uncertain. Based on a model using the species-area relationship (SAR), terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity would be expected to nearly double through the Mesozoic owing to continental fragmentation, despite a decrease of 24% in total terrestrial area. Previous studies of Mesozoic vertebrates have generally found increases in terrestrial diversity towards the end of the era, although these increases are often attributed to intrinsic or climatic factors. Instead, continental fragmentation over this time may largely explain any observed increase in terrestrial biodiversity. This study demonstrates the importance that non-intrinsic effects can have on the taxonomic success of a group, and the importance of geography to understanding past biodiversity. © 2016 The Author(s).

  12. The fragmentation of Pangaea and Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    During the Mesozoic (242–66 million years ago), terrestrial regions underwent a massive shift in their size, position and connectivity. At the beginning of the era, the land masses were joined into a single supercontinent called Pangaea. However, by the end of the Mesozoic, terrestrial regions had become highly fragmented, both owing to the drifting apart of the continental plates and the extremely high sea levels that flooded and divided many regions. How terrestrial biodiversity was affected by this fragmentation and large-scale flooding of the Earth's landmasses is uncertain. Based on a model using the species–area relationship (SAR), terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity would be expected to nearly double through the Mesozoic owing to continental fragmentation, despite a decrease of 24% in total terrestrial area. Previous studies of Mesozoic vertebrates have generally found increases in terrestrial diversity towards the end of the era, although these increases are often attributed to intrinsic or climatic factors. Instead, continental fragmentation over this time may largely explain any observed increase in terrestrial biodiversity. This study demonstrates the importance that non-intrinsic effects can have on the taxonomic success of a group, and the importance of geography to understanding past biodiversity. PMID:27651536

  13. Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrate fauna, North Slope, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Clemens, W.A.; Allison, C.W.

    1985-01-01

    Closely related terrestrial vertebrates in Cretaceous mid-latitude (30/sup 0/ to 50/sup 0/) faunas of North America and Asia as well as scattered occurrences of footprints and skin impressions suggested that in the Late Mesozoic the Alaskan North Slope supported a diverse fauna. In 1961 abundant skeletal elements of Cretaceous, Alaskan dinosaurs (hadrosaurids) were discovered by the late R.L. Liscomb. This material is being described by K.L. Davies. Additional fossils collected by E.M. Brouwers and her associates include skeletal elements of hadrosaurid and carnosaurian (.tyrannosaurid) dinosaurs and other vertebrates. The fossil locality on the North Slope is not at about 70/sup 0/N. In the Late Cretaceous the members of this fauna were subject to the daylight regime and environment at a paleolatitude closer to 80/sup 0/N. Current hypotheses attributing extinctions of dinosaurs and some other terrestrial vertebrates to impact of an extraterrestrial object cite periods of darkness, decreased temperature (possibly followed by extreme warming) and acid rain as the direct causes of their demise. Unless members of this North Slope fauna undertook long-distance migrations, their high latitude occurrence indicates groups of dinosaurs and other terrestrial vertebrates regularly tolerated months of darkness.

  14. A National System to Map and Quantify Terrestrial Vertebrate ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the products and services from which we transform natural assets of the Earth for human survival, security, and well-being. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is absolutely critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment now and into the future. Because of the variability among living organisms and levels of organization (e.g. genetic, species, ecosystem), biodiversity has always been difficult to measure precisely, especially within a systematic manner and over multiple scales.Nevertheless, the need to measure and assess occurrence of biodiversity, changes over time and space, agents of change, and consequences for the provision of ecosystem services for human livelihood remains important. In answer to this challenge, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a partnership with other Federal agencies, academic institutions, and Non-Governmental Organizations to develop the EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas), an online national Decision Support Tool that allows users to view and analyze the geographical description of the supply and demand for ecosystem services, as well as the drivers of change. As part of the EnviroAtlas, an approach has been developed that uses deductive habitat models for all the terrestrial vertebrates of the conterminous United States and cluste

  15. A National System to Map and Quantify Terrestrial Vertebrate ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the products and services from which we transform natural assets of the Earth for human survival, security, and well-being. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is absolutely critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment now and into the future. Because of the variability among living organisms and levels of organization (e.g. genetic, species, ecosystem), biodiversity has always been difficult to measure precisely, especially within a systematic manner and over multiple scales.Nevertheless, the need to measure and assess occurrence of biodiversity, changes over time and space, agents of change, and consequences for the provision of ecosystem services for human livelihood remains important. In answer to this challenge, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a partnership with other Federal agencies, academic institutions, and Non-Governmental Organizations to develop the EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas), an online national Decision Support Tool that allows users to view and analyze the geographical description of the supply and demand for ecosystem services, as well as the drivers of change. As part of the EnviroAtlas, an approach has been developed that uses deductive habitat models for all the terrestrial vertebrates of the conterminous United States and cluste

  16. Threats from Climate Change to Terrestrial Vertebrate Hotspots in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Maiorano, Luigi; Amori, Giovanni; Capula, Massimo; Falcucci, Alessandra; Masi, Monica; Montemaggiori, Alessandro; Pottier, Julien; Psomas, Achilleas; Rondinini, Carlo; Russo, Danilo; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.

    2013-01-01

    We identified hotspots of terrestrial vertebrate species diversity in Europe and adjacent islands. Moreover, we assessed the extent to which by the end of the 21st century such hotspots will be exposed to average monthly temperature and precipitation patterns which can be regarded as extreme if compared to the climate experienced during 1950-2000. In particular, we considered the entire European sub-continent plus Turkey and a total of 1149 species of terrestrial vertebrates. For each species, we developed species-specific expert-based distribution models (validated against field data) which we used to calculate species richness maps for mammals, breeding birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Considering four global circulation model outputs and three emission scenarios, we generated an index of risk of exposure to extreme climates, and we used a bivariate local Moran’s I to identify the areas with a significant association between hotspots of diversity and high risk of exposure to extreme climates. Our results outline that the Mediterranean basin represents both an important hotspot for biodiversity and especially for threatened species for all taxa. In particular, the Iberian and Italian peninsulas host particularly high species richness as measured over all groups, while the eastern Mediterranean basin is particularly rich in amphibians and reptiles; the islands (both Macaronesian and Mediterranean) host the highest richness of threatened species for all taxa occurs. Our results suggest that the main hotspots of biodiversity for terrestrial vertebrates may be extensively influenced by the climate change projected to occur over the coming decades, especially in the Mediterranean bioregion, posing serious concerns for biodiversity conservation. PMID:24066162

  17. Threats from climate change to terrestrial vertebrate hotspots in Europe.

    PubMed

    Maiorano, Luigi; Amori, Giovanni; Capula, Massimo; Falcucci, Alessandra; Masi, Monica; Montemaggiori, Alessandro; Pottier, Julien; Psomas, Achilleas; Rondinini, Carlo; Russo, Danilo; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Boitani, Luigi; Guisan, Antoine

    2013-01-01

    We identified hotspots of terrestrial vertebrate species diversity in Europe and adjacent islands. Moreover, we assessed the extent to which by the end of the 21(st) century such hotspots will be exposed to average monthly temperature and precipitation patterns which can be regarded as extreme if compared to the climate experienced during 1950-2000. In particular, we considered the entire European sub-continent plus Turkey and a total of 1149 species of terrestrial vertebrates. For each species, we developed species-specific expert-based distribution models (validated against field data) which we used to calculate species richness maps for mammals, breeding birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Considering four global circulation model outputs and three emission scenarios, we generated an index of risk of exposure to extreme climates, and we used a bivariate local Moran's I to identify the areas with a significant association between hotspots of diversity and high risk of exposure to extreme climates. Our results outline that the Mediterranean basin represents both an important hotspot for biodiversity and especially for threatened species for all taxa. In particular, the Iberian and Italian peninsulas host particularly high species richness as measured over all groups, while the eastern Mediterranean basin is particularly rich in amphibians and reptiles; the islands (both Macaronesian and Mediterranean) host the highest richness of threatened species for all taxa occurs. Our results suggest that the main hotspots of biodiversity for terrestrial vertebrates may be extensively influenced by the climate change projected to occur over the coming decades, especially in the Mediterranean bioregion, posing serious concerns for biodiversity conservation.

  18. [Neurobiological mechanisms of the origin of terrestrial vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Savel'ev, S V

    2008-01-01

    Some trends in the phylogenetic changes of the vertebrate neural system in the course of their transition from aquatic to terrestrial mode of life are analyzed. Wide multifunctionality of the neural centers and heterotopic substitution of the brain functions are supposed to be prerequisites of transition of archaic amphibians to the land via a stable transitional environment. The latter include underground or vegetation aquatic-air labyrinths in which conditions of gradual acquisition of adaptations to the terrestrial mode of life occurred. The principal neurological adaptations to such mode of life and less dependence on aquatic environment developed during the long-term evolution in that environment. The neurobiological model of evolutionn of the archaic amphibians in the transitional environment of aquatic-air labyrinths suggested herewith is compared to other hypotheses of the tetrapod origin.

  19. Radiation effects in wild terrestrial vertebrates - the EPIC collection.

    PubMed

    Sazykina, Tatiana; Kryshev, Ivan I

    2006-01-01

    The paper presents data on radiation effects in populations of wild vertebrate animals inhabiting contaminated terrestrial ecosystems. The data were extracted from the database "Radiation effects on biota", compiled within the framework of the EC Project EPIC (2000-2003). The data collection, based on publications in Russian, demonstrates radiation effects in the areas characterized with high levels of radionuclides (Kyshtym radioactive trace; "spots" of enhanced natural radioactivity in the Komi region of Russia; territories contaminated from the Chernobyl fallout). The data covers a wide range of exposures from acute accidental irradiation to lifetime exposures at relatively low dose rates. Radiation effects include mortality, changes in reproduction, decrease of health, ecological effects, cytogenetic effects, adaptation to radiation, and others. Peculiarities of radiation effects caused by different radionuclides are described, also the severity of effects as they appear in different organisms (e.g. mice, frogs, birds, etc.).

  20. Climate change, extinction risks, and reproduction of terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Carey, Cynthia

    2014-01-01

    This review includes a broad, but superficial, summary of our understanding about current and future climate changes, the predictions about how these changes will likely affect the risks of extinction of organisms, and how current climate changes are already affecting reproduction in terrestrial vertebrates. Many organisms have become extinct in the last century, but habitat destruction, disease and man-made factors other than climate change have been implicated as the causal factor in almost all of these. Reproduction is certain to be negatively impacted in all vertebrate groups for a variety of reasons, such as direct thermal and hydric effects on mortality of embryos, mismatches between optimal availability of food supplies, frequently determined by temperature, and reproductive capacities, sometimes determined by rigid factors such as photoperiod, and disappearance of appropriate foraging opportunities, such as melting sea ice. The numbers of studies documenting correlations between climate changes and biological phenomena are rapidly increasing, but more direct information about the consequences of these changes for species survival and ecosystem health is needed than is currently available.

  1. Contaminant effect endpoints in terrestrial vertebrates at and above the individual level

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Cohen, J.B.; Golden, N.H.; Albers, P.H.; Heinz, G.H.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    2000-01-01

    Use of biochemical, physiological, anatomical, reproductive and behavioral characteristics of wild terrestrial vertebrates to assess contaminant exposure and effects has become commonplace over the past 3 decades. At the level of the individual organism, response patterns have been associated with and sometimes causally linked to contaminant exposure. However, such responses at the organismal level are rarely associated with or causally linked to effects at the population level. Although the ultimate goal of ecotoxicology is the protection of populations, communities, and ecosystems, most of the existing science and regulatory legislation focus on the level of the individual. Consequently, much of this overview concentrates on contaminant effects at the organismal level, with some extrapolation to higher-level effects. In this chapter, we review the state of the science for the evaluation of biotic end-points used to assess contaminant exposure and effects at or above the level of the individual. In addition, we describe extant contaminant concentration thresholds, guidelines, or standards (toxicant criteria) in environmental matrices (e.g., water, soil, sediment, foods) that have been developed to protect wild terrestrial vertebrates. Suggestions are provided to develop and embellish the use and value of such endpoints and criteria for extrapolation of effects to higher levels of biological organization. Increasing focus on populations, communities, and ecosystems is needed to develop biologically meaningful regulatory guidelines that will protect natural resources.

  2. Climate and topography explain range sizes of terrestrial vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yiming; Li, Xianping; Sandel, Brody; Blank, David; Liu, Zetian; Liu, Xuan; Yan, Shaofei

    2016-05-01

    Identifying the factors that influence range sizes of species provides important insight into the distribution of biodiversity, and is crucial for predicting shifts in species ranges in response to climate change. Current climate (for example, climate variability and climate extremes), long-term climate change, evolutionary age, topographic heterogeneity, land area and species traits such as physiological thermal limits, dispersal ability, annual fecundity and body size have been shown to influence range size. Yet, few studies have examined the generality of each of these factors among different taxa, or have simultaneously evaluated the strength of relationships between range size and these factors at a global scale. We quantify contributions of these factors to range sizes of terrestrial vertebrates (mammals, birds and reptiles) at a global scale. We found that large-ranged species experience greater monthly extremes of maximum or minimum temperature within their ranges, or occur in areas with higher long-term climate velocity and lower topographic heterogeneity or lower precipitation seasonality. Flight ability, body mass and continent width are important only for particular taxa. Our results highlight the importance of climate and topographic context in driving range size variation. The results suggest that small-range species may be vulnerable to climate change and should be the focus of conservation efforts.

  3. Devonian tides: a driver for the evolution of terrestrial vertebrates?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, Hannah; Green, Mattias

    2017-04-01

    The Devonian era saw one of the biggest evolutionary phases for Vertebrates, branching off from lobed-finned fish (sarcopterygians) to develop limbs enabling the transition from a marine to a terrestrial life. It has recently been suggested that the evolutionary pressure came from unusually large semidiurnal tides at the time, leaving individuals stranded in rock pools for up to a fortnight. It was therefore advantageous if the organism had some form of mechanism to transition between these pools, and so brought about the development of limbs. Here, we simulate the tides from the Devonian using the dedicated tidal model OTIS and a series of Devonian plate reconstructions. The reconstructions span the entire Devonian era (410 Mya - 340 Mya) and comprise of Classic and Alternative models of the Devonian. The results shows that as Gondwana and Laurasia collided, the ocean basin between them did go through several resonances, indeed producing unusually large local tides and associated spring-neap cycles. This not only support the idea that tides produced the pressure for the evolution of tetrapods, but can also have contributed to the vast areas of anoxia implied by the sediments from the period which led to mass extinction events during the late Devonian.

  4. Checklist of the terrestrial vertebrates of the Guiana Shield

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2005-01-01

    Distributions are given for 1850 species of terrestrial vertebrates in the Guiana Shield region of northeastern South America, with introductory text by the authors of each section. Distributions cover the three Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, and French Guiana), and the states of the Venezuelan Guayna (Amazonas, Bolivar, and Delta Amacuro), and in some cases the states of the Brazilian portion of the Guiana Shield (Amazonas, Roraima, Para, and Amapa), and the Colombian portion of the Guiana Shield. The first section is a checklist of amphibians of the Guiana Shield, by J. Celsa Sefiaris and Ross MacCulloch, detailing the distribution of 269 species. The second section is a checklist of the reptiles of the Guiana Shield by Teresa C. S. de Avila Pires, detailing the distribution of 295 species. The third section is a checklist of the birds of the Guiana Shield, by Chris Milensky, Wiltshire Hinds, Alexandre Aleixo, and Maria de Fatima C. Lima, detailing the distribution of 1004 species. The fourth section is a checklist of the mammals of the Guiana Shield, by Burton K. Lim, Mark D. Engstrom, and Jose Ochoa G., detailing the distribution of 282 species.

  5. Late Quaternary terrestrial vertebrate coprolites from New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Jamie R.; Wilmshurst, Janet M.

    2014-08-01

    Over the past decade, concerted efforts to find and study Late Quaternary terrestrial vertebrate coprolites in New Zealand have revealed new insights into the diets and ecologies of New Zealand's prehistoric birds. Here, we provide a broader review of the coprolites found in natural (non-archaeological) Late Quaternary deposits from New Zealand. We summarise the morphological diversity of the coprolites, and discuss the taphonomy of the sites in which they are found. Since the 1870s more than 2000 coprolites have been discovered from 30 localities, all restricted to the South Island. The distribution of coprolite localities appears to reflect the presence of geological and climatic factors that enhance the potential for coprolite preservation; coprolites require dry conditions for preservation, and have been found on the ground surface within drafting cave entrances and at shallow (<300 mm) depths beneath rock overhangs with a northerly aspect. We classify the coprolites into eleven morphotypes, each of which may represent a range of different bird and/or reptile species. A review of genetically identified specimens shows that coprolites of different bird species overlap in size and morphology, reinforcing the need for identifications to be based on ancient DNA analysis.

  6. The effectiveness of Iberian protected areas in conserving terrestrial biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Miguel B; Lobo, Jorge M; Moreno, Juan C

    2007-12-01

    The Iberian Peninsula harbors about 50% of European plant and terrestrial vertebrate species and more than 30% of European endemic species. Despite the global recognition of its importance, the selection of protected areas has been ad hoc and the effectiveness of such choices has rarely been assessed. We compiled the most comprehensive distributional data set of Iberian terrestrial plant and vertebrate species available to date and used it to assess the degree of species representation within existing protected areas. Existing protected areas in Spain and Portugal reasonably represented the plant and animal species we considered (73-98%). Nevertheless, species of some groups (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and gymnosperms) did not accumulate in protected areas at a rate higher than expected by chance (p > 0.05). We determined that to conserve all vertebrate and plant species in the Iberian Peninsula, at least 36 additional areas are needed. Selection of additional areas for conservation would be facilitated if such areas coincided with sites of community importance (SCI) designated under the European Commission Habitats Directive. Additional areas required for full representation of the selected plant and animal species all coincide with SCI in Spain. Nevertheless, the degree of coincidence varies between 0.3% and 74.6%, and there is a possibility that important areas for conservation occur outside the SCI. Our results support the view that current SCI can be used for prioritization of areas for conservation, but a systematic reevaluation of conservation priorities in Spain and Portugal would be necessary to ensure that effective conservation of one of European's most important biodiversity regions is achieved.

  7. Hotspots of species richness, threat and endemism for terrestrial vertebrates in SW Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascual, López-López; Luigi, Maiorano; Alessandra, Falcucci; Emilio, Barba; Luigi, Boitani

    2011-09-01

    The Mediterranean basin, and the Iberian Peninsula in particular, represent an outstanding "hotspot" of biological diversity with a long history of integration between natural ecosystems and human activities. Using deductive distribution models, and considering both Spain and Portugal, we downscaled traditional range maps for terrestrial vertebrates (amphibians, breeding birds, mammals and reptiles) to the finest possible resolution with the data at hand, and we identified hotspots based on three criteria: i) species richness; ii) vulnerability, and iii) endemism. We also provided a first evaluation of the conservation status of biodiversity hotspots based on these three criteria considering both existing and proposed protected areas (i.e., Natura 2000). For the identification of hotspots, we used a method based on the cumulative distribution functions of species richness values. We found no clear surrogacy among the different types of hotspots in the Iberian Peninsula. The most important hotspots (considering all criteria) are located in the western and southwestern portions of the study area, in the Mediterranean biogeographical region. Existing protected areas are not specifically concentrated in areas of high species richness, with only 5.2% of the hotspots of total richness being currently protected. The Natura 2000 network can potentially constitute an important baseline for protecting vertebrate diversity in the Iberian Peninsula although further improvements are needed. We suggest taking a step forward in conservation planning in the Mediterranean basin, explicitly considering the history of the region as well as its present environmental context. This would allow moving from traditional reserve networks (conservation focused on "patterns") to considerations about the "processes" that generated present biodiversity.

  8. Environmental factors affecting contaminant toxicity in aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, Barnett A.; Heath, Alan G.; Hoffman, David J.; Rattner, Barnett A.; Burton, G. Allen; Cairns, John

    1995-01-01

    Environmental factors have long been demonstrated to influence the toxicity of pollutants to vertebrates. The vast majority of data has been derived from studies on fish, highly inbred laboratory rodents, and man.1,2 The magnitude and significance of these factors on toxicity has almost exclusively been elucidated in controlled experiments conducted in a laboratory setting. The significance of such effects to free-ranging vertebrate wildlife is frequently overlooked. Drawing upon controlled experiments and observational science, we overview environmental factors that influence pollutant toxicity in fish and wildlife, and attempt to present some perspective on their ecotoxicological significance.

  9. Environmental factors affecting contaminant toxicity in aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, Barnett A.; Heath, Alan G.; Hoffman, David J.; Rattner, Barnett A.; Burton, G. Allen; Cairns, John

    2003-01-01

    Physical and natural factors have long been known to influence the toxicity of environmental contaminants to vertebrates. The majority of data that address this topic have been derived from studies on fish, highly inbred laboratory rodents, and man.' The degree to which these factors modify toxicity has principally been elucidated by controlled laboratory experiments. Until recently, the significance of such effects to free-ranging vertebrates Figure 23.1 was frequently overlooked in ecological risk assessments.' Drawing upon controlled experiments and observational science, we overview environmental factors that influence pollutant toxicity in fish and wildlife, and present some perspective on their ecotoxicological significance.

  10. Use of retrospective data to assess ecotoxicological monitoring needs for terrestrial vertebrates residing in Atlantic coast estuaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cohen, J.B.; Rattner, B.A.; Golden, N.H.

    2003-01-01

    The 'Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates' (CEE-TV) database contains 4,336 records of ecotoxicological information for free-ranging amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals residing in Atlantic and Florida Gulf coast estuaries and their drainages. To identify spatial data gaps, those CEE-TV records for which the specific study location were known (n=2,740) were combined with watershed and wildlife management unit boundaries using Geographic Information Systems software. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Index of Watershed Indicators (IWI), which classifies watersheds based on water quality and their vulnerability to pollution, was used to prioritize these data gaps. Of 136 watersheds in the study area, 15 that are classified by the IWI as having water quality problems or high vulnerability to pollution lacked terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological monitoring or research in the past decade. Older studies within some of these watersheds documented high levels of contaminants in wildlife tissues. Of 90 National Wildlife Refuge units, 42 without current data fall within watersheds of concern. Of 40 National Park units larger than 1 km2, 17 without current data fall within watersheds of concern. Issues encountered in this analysis highlighted the need for spatially and temporally replicated field monitoring programs that utilize random sampling. Without data from such studies, it will be difficult to perform unbiased assessments of regional trends in contaminant exposure and effects in terrestrial vertebrates.

  11. Use of retrospective data to assess ecotoxicological monitoring needs for terrestrial vertebrates residing in Atlantic coast estuaries.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Jonathan B; Rattner, Barnett A; Golden, Nancy H

    2003-01-01

    The "Contaminant Exposure and Effects-Terrestrial Vertebrates" (CEE-TV) database contains 4,336 records of ecotoxicological information for free-ranging amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals residing in Atlantic and Florida Gulf coast estuaries and their drainages. To identify spatial data gaps, those CEE-TV records for which the specific study location were known (n = 2,740) were combined with watershed and wildlife management unit boundaries using Geographic Information Systems software. The US Environmental Protection Agency's Index of Watershed Indicators (IWI), which classifies watersheds based on water quality and their vulnerability to pollution, was used to prioritize these data gaps. Of 136 watersheds in the study area, 15 that are classified by the IWI as having water quality problems or high vulnerability to pollution lacked terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological monitoring or research in the past decade. Older studies within some of these watersheds documented high levels of contaminants in wildlife tissues. Of 90 National Wildlife Refuge units, 42 without current data fall within watersheds of concern. Of 40 National Park units larger than 1 km2, 17 without current data fall within watersheds of concern. Issues encountered in this analysis highlighted the need for spatially and temporally replicated field monitoring programs that utilize random sampling. Without data from such studies, it will be difficult to perform unbiased assessments of regional trends in contaminant exposure and effects in terrestrial vertebrates.

  12. Resources for phylogenomic analyses of Australian terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Bragg, Jason G; Potter, Sally; Bi, Ke; Catullo, Renee; Donnellan, Stephen C; Eldridge, Mark D B; Joseph, Leo; Keogh, J Scott; Oliver, Paul; Rowe, Kevin C; Moritz, Craig

    2016-11-08

    High-throughput sequencing methods promise to improve our ability to infer the evolutionary histories of lineages and to delimit species. These are exciting prospects for the study of Australian vertebrates, a group comprised of many globally unique lineages with a long history of isolation. The evolutionary relationships within many of these lineages have been difficult to resolve with small numbers of loci, and we now know that many lineages also exhibit substantial cryptic diversity. Here, we present a set of phylogenetically diverse transcriptome resources to enable exon-based sequence capture studies of Australian vertebrates, including transcriptome sequences for four species of birds, four frogs, seven lizards and seven mammals. We also use exon data from the marsupial transcriptomes we generated to examine an approach for choosing a moderate number (dozens or hundreds) of phylogenetically informative exons based on a single transcriptome sequence, and a relatively distant reference genome. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Reproductive costs in terrestrial male vertebrates: insights from bird studies

    PubMed Central

    Gamelon, Marlène; Sæther, Bernt-Erik

    2016-01-01

    Reproduction requires resources that cannot be allocated to other functions resulting in direct reproductive costs (i.e. trade-offs between current reproduction and subsequent survival/reproduction). In wild vertebrates, direct reproductive costs have been widely described in females, but their occurrence in males remains to be explored. To fill this gap, we gathered 53 studies on 48 species testing direct reproductive costs in male vertebrates. We found a trade-off between current reproduction and subsequent performances in 29% of the species and in every clade. As 73% of the studied species are birds, we focused on that clade to investigate whether such trade-offs are associated with (i) levels of paternal care, (ii) polygyny or (iii) pace of life. More precisely for this third question, it is expected that fast species (i.e. short lifespan, early maturity, high fecundity) pay a cost in terms of survival, whereas slow species (with opposite characteristics) do so in terms of fecundity. Our findings tend to support this hypothesis. Finally, we pointed out the potential confounding effects that should be accounted for when investigating reproductive costs in males and strongly encourage the investigation of such costs in more clades to understand to what extent our results are relevant for other vertebrates. PMID:26791619

  14. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Alves, Maria Alice S; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world's megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  15. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Clinton N.; Alves, Maria Alice S.; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M.

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world’s megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  16. Terrestrial vertebrates alter seedling composition and richness but not diversity in an Australian tropical rain forest.

    PubMed

    Theimer, Tad C; Gehring, Catherine A; Green, Peter T; Connell, Joseph H

    2011-08-01

    Although birds and mammals play important roles in several mechanisms hypothesized to maintain plant diversity in species-rich habitats, there have been few long-term, community-level tests of their importance. We excluded terrestrial birds and mammals from fourteen 6 x 7.5 m plots in Australian primary tropical rain forest and compared recruitment and survival of tree seedlings annually over the subsequent seven years to that on nearby open plots. We re-censused a subset of the plots after 13 years of vertebrate exclusion to test for longer-term effects. After two years of exclusion, seedling abundance was significantly higher (74%) on exclosure plots and remained so at each subsequent census. Richness was significantly higher on exclosure plots from 1998 to 2003, but in 2009 richness no longer differed, and rarefied species richness was higher in the presence of vertebrates. Shannon's diversity and Pielou's evenness did not differ in any year. Vertebrates marginally increased density-dependent mortality and recruitment limitation, but neither effect was great enough to increase richness or diversity on open plots relative to exclosure plots. Terrestrial vertebrates significantly altered seedling community composition, having particularly strong impacts on members of the Lauraceae. Overall, our results highlight that interactions between terrestrial vertebrates and tropical tree recruitment may not translate into strong community-level effects on diversity, especially over the short-term, despite significant impacts on individual species that result in altered species composition.

  17. Stability of Mitochondrial Membrane Proteins in Terrestrial Vertebrates Predicts Aerobic Capacity and Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Kitazoe, Yasuhiro; Kishino, Hirohisa; Hasegawa, Masami; Matsui, Atsushi; Lane, Nick; Tanaka, Masashi

    2011-01-01

    The cellular energy produced by mitochondria is a fundamental currency of life. However, the extent to which mitochondrial (mt) performance (power and endurance) is adapted to habitats and life strategies of vertebrates is not well understood. A global analysis of mt genomes revealed that hydrophobicity (HYD) of mt membrane proteins (MMPs) is much lower in terrestrial vertebrates than in fishes and shows a strong negative correlation with serine/threonine composition (STC). Here, we present evidence that this systematic feature of MMPs was crucial for the evolution of large terrestrial vertebrates with high aerobic capacity. An Arrhenius-type equation gave positive correlations between STC and maximum life span (MLS) in terrestrial vertebrates (with a few exceptions relating to the lifestyle of small animals with a high resting metabolic rate [RMR]) and negative correlations in secondary marine vertebrates, such as cetaceans and alligators (which returned from land to water, utilizing buoyancy with increased body size). In particular, marked STC increases in primates (especially hominoids) among placentals were associated with very high MLS values. We connected these STC increases in MMPs with greater stability of respiratory complexes by estimating the degradation of the Arrhenius plot given by accelerating mtRMR up to mt maximum metabolic rate. Both mtRMR and HYD in terrestrial vertebrates decreased with increasing body mass. Decreases in mtRMR raise MMP stability when high mobility is not required, whereas decreased HYD may weaken this stability under the hydrophobic environment of lipid bilayer. High maximal metabolic rates (5–10 RMR), which we postulate require high MMP mobility, presumably render MMPs more unstable. A marked rise in STC may therefore be essential to stabilize MMPs, perhaps as dynamic supercomplexes, via hydrogen bonds associated with serine/threonine motifs. PMID:21824868

  18. Oldest Pathology in a Tetrapod Bone Illuminates the Origin of Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Bishop, Peter J.; Walmsley, Christopher W.; Phillips, Matthew J.; Quayle, Michelle R.

    2015-01-01

    The origin of terrestrial tetrapods was a key event in vertebrate evolution, yet how and when it occurred remains obscure, due to scarce fossil evidence. Here, we show that the study of palaeopathologies, such as broken and healed bones, can help elucidate poorly understood behavioural transitions such as this. Using high-resolution finite element analysis, we demonstrate that the oldest known broken tetrapod bone, a radius of the primitive stem tetrapod Ossinodus pueri from the mid-Viséan (333 million years ago) of Australia, fractured under a high-force, impact-type loading scenario. The nature of the fracture suggests that it most plausibly occurred during a fall on land. Augmenting this are new osteological observations, including a preferred directionality to the trabecular architecture of cancellous bone. Together, these results suggest that Ossinodus, one of the first large (>2m length) tetrapods, spent a significant proportion of its life on land. Our findings have important implications for understanding the temporal, biogeographical and physiological contexts under which terrestriality in vertebrates evolved. They push the date for the origin of terrestrial tetrapods further back into the Carboniferous by at least two million years. Moreover, they raise the possibility that terrestriality in vertebrates first evolved in large tetrapods in Gondwana rather than in small European forms, warranting a re-evaluation of this important evolutionary event. PMID:25938463

  19. Oldest pathology in a tetrapod bone illuminates the origin of terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Peter J; Walmsley, Christopher W; Phillips, Matthew J; Quayle, Michelle R; Boisvert, Catherine A; McHenry, Colin R

    2015-01-01

    The origin of terrestrial tetrapods was a key event in vertebrate evolution, yet how and when it occurred remains obscure, due to scarce fossil evidence. Here, we show that the study of palaeopathologies, such as broken and healed bones, can help elucidate poorly understood behavioural transitions such as this. Using high-resolution finite element analysis, we demonstrate that the oldest known broken tetrapod bone, a radius of the primitive stem tetrapod Ossinodus pueri from the mid-Viséan (333 million years ago) of Australia, fractured under a high-force, impact-type loading scenario. The nature of the fracture suggests that it most plausibly occurred during a fall on land. Augmenting this are new osteological observations, including a preferred directionality to the trabecular architecture of cancellous bone. Together, these results suggest that Ossinodus, one of the first large (>2m length) tetrapods, spent a significant proportion of its life on land. Our findings have important implications for understanding the temporal, biogeographical and physiological contexts under which terrestriality in vertebrates evolved. They push the date for the origin of terrestrial tetrapods further back into the Carboniferous by at least two million years. Moreover, they raise the possibility that terrestriality in vertebrates first evolved in large tetrapods in Gondwana rather than in small European forms, warranting a re-evaluation of this important evolutionary event.

  20. Movement in a gravitational field: The question of limb interarticular coordination in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Legreneur, Pierre; Bels, Vincent; Monteil, Karine; Laurin, Michel

    2013-05-01

    In this paper, we demonstrated that interarticular coordination of terrestrial tetrapods emerges from an environment highly constrained by friction and the gravitational field. We briefly review recent works on the jumping behavior in squamates, lemurs and amphibians. We then explore previously published work as well as some unpublished experimental data on human jumping. Finally, we end by inferring locomotion in some of the first limbed vertebrates using a simulation procedure. All these data show that despite changes in shape, structure, and motor controls of taxa, the same spatio-temporal sequence of joint displacements always occurs when the movement is executed in a terrestrial environment. Comparison with aquatic locomotion argues for the hypothesis that this pattern emerged in early terrestrial tetrapods as a response to the gravitational constraint and the terrestrial frictional environment.

  1. Paleoecological implications of Alaskan terrestrial vertebrate fauna in latest Cretaceous time at high paleolatitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clemens, William A.; Gayle Nelms, L.

    1993-06-01

    The latest Cretaceous cool temperate environment of the Alaskan North Slope included dinosaurs (some species represented by both juveniles and adults) and mammals, all probably endothermic, and freshwater fish among its terrestrial vertebrate fauna. No traces have been found of amphibians or nondinosaurian reptiles, ectothermic vertebrates that are abundantly represented in approximately contemporaneous faunas of North American middle paleolatitudes. A geologically brief period of intense cold and darkness has been hypothesized as the primary cause of terminal Cretaceous extinctions. However, the extinction of the lineages of Alaskan dinosaurs and mammals, in contrast to the survival of most lineages of amphibians and nondinosaurian reptiles into the Tertiary, contradicts this hypothesis.

  2. The oldest caseid synapsid from the Late Pennsylvanian of Kansas, and the evolution of herbivory in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Fröbisch, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    The origin and early evolution of amniotes (fully terrestrial vertebrates) led to major changes in the structure and hierarchy of terrestrial ecosystems. The first appearance of herbivores played a pivotal role in this transformation. After an early bifurcation into Reptilia and Synapsida (including mammals) 315 Ma, synapsids dominated Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrate communities, with the herbivorous caseids representing the largest vertebrates on land. Eocasea martini gen. et sp. nov., a small carnivorous caseid from the Late Carboniferous, extends significantly the fossil record of Caseidae, and permits the first clade-based study of the origin and initial evolution of herbivory in terrestrial tetrapods. Our results demonstrate for the first time that large caseid herbivores evolved from small, non-herbivorous caseids. This pattern is mirrored by three other clades, documenting multiple, independent, but temporally staggered origins of herbivory and increase in body size among early terrestrial tetrapods, leading to patterns consistent with modern terrestrial ecosystem.

  3. The Oldest Caseid Synapsid from the Late Pennsylvanian of Kansas, and the Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Reisz, Robert R.; Fröbisch, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    The origin and early evolution of amniotes (fully terrestrial vertebrates) led to major changes in the structure and hierarchy of terrestrial ecosystems. The first appearance of herbivores played a pivotal role in this transformation. After an early bifurcation into Reptilia and Synapsida (including mammals) 315 Ma, synapsids dominated Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrate communities, with the herbivorous caseids representing the largest vertebrates on land. Eocasea martini gen. et sp. nov., a small carnivorous caseid from the Late Carboniferous, extends significantly the fossil record of Caseidae, and permits the first clade-based study of the origin and initial evolution of herbivory in terrestrial tetrapods. Our results demonstrate for the first time that large caseid herbivores evolved from small, non-herbivorous caseids. This pattern is mirrored by three other clades, documenting multiple, independent, but temporally staggered origins of herbivory and increase in body size among early terrestrial tetrapods, leading to patterns consistent with modern terrestrial ecosystem. PMID:24739998

  4. The chemical and evolutionary ecology of tetrodotoxin (TTX) toxicity in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hanifin, Charles T

    2010-03-10

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is widely distributed in marine taxa, however in terrestrial taxa it is limited to a single class of vertebrates (Amphibia). Tetrodotoxin present in the skin and eggs of TTX-bearing amphibians primarily serves as an antipredator defense and these taxa have provided excellent models for the study of the evolution and chemical ecology of TTX toxicity. The origin of TTX present in terrestrial vertebrates is controversial. In marine organisms the accepted hypothesis is that the TTX present in metazoans results from either dietary uptake of bacterially produced TTX or symbiosis with TTX producing bacteria, but this hypothesis may not be applicable to TTX-bearing amphibians. Here I review the taxonomic distribution and evolutionary ecology of TTX in amphibians with some attention to the origin of TTX present in these taxa.

  5. The Chemical and Evolutionary Ecology of Tetrodotoxin (TTX) Toxicity in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Hanifin, Charles T.

    2010-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is widely distributed in marine taxa, however in terrestrial taxa it is limited to a single class of vertebrates (Amphibia). Tetrodotoxin present in the skin and eggs of TTX-bearing amphibians primarily serves as an antipredator defense and these taxa have provided excellent models for the study of the evolution and chemical ecology of TTX toxicity. The origin of TTX present in terrestrial vertebrates is controversial. In marine organisms the accepted hypothesis is that the TTX present in metazoans results from either dietary uptake of bacterially produced TTX or symbiosis with TTX producing bacteria, but this hypothesis may not be applicable to TTX-bearing amphibians. Here I review the taxonomic distribution and evolutionary ecology of TTX in amphibians with some attention to the origin of TTX present in these taxa. PMID:20411116

  6. Ranking terrestrial vertebrate species for utility in biomonitoring and vulnerability to environmental contaminants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Golden, N.H.; Rattner, B.A.

    2003-01-01

    The measurement of contaminant tissue concentrations or exposure-related effects in biota has been used extensively to monitor pollution and environmental health. Terrestrial vertebrates have historically been an important group of species in such evaluations, not only because many are excellent sentinels of environmental contamination, but also because they are valued natural resources in their own right that may be adversely affected by toxicant exposure. Selection of appropriate vertebrates for biomonitoring studies frequently relies on expert opinion, although a few rigorous schemes are in use for predicting vulnerability of birds to the adverse effects of petroleum crude oil. A Utility Index that ranks terrestrial vertebrate species as potential sentinels of contaminants in a region, and a Vulnerability Index that assesses the threat of specific groups of contaminants to these species, have been developed to assist decision makers in risk assessments of persistent organic pollutants, cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides, petroleum crude oil, mercury, and lead shot. Twenty-five terrestrial vertebrate species commonly found in Atlantic Coast estuarine habitat were ranked for their utility as biomonitors of contamination and their vulnerability to pollutants in this region. No single species, taxa or class of vertebrates was found to be an ideal sentinel for all groups of contaminants. Although birds have overwhelmingly been used to monitor contaminants compared to other terrestrial vertebrate classes, the non-migratory nature and dietary habits of the snapping turtle and mink consistently resulted in ranking these species excellent sentinels as well. Vulnerability of Atlantic Coast populations of these species varied considerably among groups of contaminants. Usually a particular species was found to be at high risk to only one or two groups of contaminants, although a noteworthy exception is the bald eagle that is highly vulnerable to all five of the

  7. A new lineage of trypanosomes from Australian vertebrates and terrestrial bloodsucking leeches (Haemadipsidae).

    PubMed

    Hamilton, P B; Stevens, J R; Gidley, J; Holz, P; Gibson, W C

    2005-04-01

    Little is known about the trypanosomes of indigenous Australian vertebrates and their vectors. We surveyed a range of vertebrates and blood-feeding invertebrates for trypanosomes by parasitological and PCR-based methods using primers specific to the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene of genus Trypanosoma. Trypanosome isolates were obtained in culture from two common wombats, one swamp wallaby and an Australian bird (Strepera sp.). By PCR, blood samples from three wombats, one brush-tailed wallaby, three platypuses and a frog were positive for trypanosome DNA. All the blood-sucking invertebrates screened were negative for trypanosomes both by microscopy and PCR, except for specimens of terrestrial leeches (Haemadipsidae). Of the latter, two Micobdella sp. specimens from Victoria and 18 Philaemon sp. specimens from Queensland were positive by PCR. Four Haemadipsa zeylanica specimens from Sri Lanka and three Leiobdella jawarerensis specimens from Papua New Guinea were also PCR positive for trypanosome DNA. We sequenced the SSU rRNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes in order to determine the phylogenetic positions of the new vertebrate and terrestrial leech trypanosomes. In trees based on these genes, Australian vertebrate trypanosomes fell in several distinct clades, for the most part being more closely related to trypanosomes outside Australia than to each other. Two previously undescribed wallaby trypanosomes fell in a clade with Trypanosoma theileri, the cosmopolitan bovid trypanosome, and Trypanosoma cyclops from a Malaysian primate. The terrestrial leech trypanosomes were closely related to the wallaby trypanosomes, T. cyclops and a trypanosome from an Australian frog. We suggest that haemadipsid leeches may be significant and widespread vectors of trypanosomes in Australia and Asia.

  8. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-01-01

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study. PMID:27228463

  9. Environmental Contaminants and Terrestrial Vertebrates: Effects on Populations, Communities, and Ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2000-01-01

    The desire of resource managers, risk assessors, and the general public to better understand the consequences of environmental contamination has produced a strong and growing need for information on the effects of contaminants on populations and groups of species, and over moderate to large areas of land or water. However, the problems associated with research involving populations and groups of species or large and complex geographic areas, especially in terrestrial environments, are well known within the scientific community. With the previous thoughts in mind, an interactive symposium was held at the University of Maryland in October 1998. The purpose of the symposium was to review and critically evaluate our understanding of the effects of contaminants on terrestrial vertebrates at levels of organization above that of the individual. Invited background and technical presentations provided a common baseline of information for symposium participants. Discussion groups were then asked to critically evaluate the topics of two technical sessions. Several presentations of recent or ongoing research provided participants with examples of current approaches to assessments of the effects of contaminants on terrestrial vertebrates at the population or higher level of organization. The book consists of 10 chapters written by presenters at the symposium and three chapters conveying the reports of discussion group.

  10. Axial allometry in a neutrally buoyant environment: effects of the terrestrial-aquatic transition on vertebral scaling.

    PubMed

    Jones, K E; Pierce, S E

    2016-03-01

    Ecological diversification into new environments presents new mechanical challenges for locomotion. An extreme example of this is the transition from a terrestrial to an aquatic lifestyle. Here, we examine the implications of life in a neutrally buoyant environment on adaptations of the axial skeleton to evolutionary increases in body size. On land, mammals must use their thoracolumbar vertebral column for body support against gravity and thus exhibit increasing stabilization of the trunk as body size increases. Conversely, in water, the role of the axial skeleton in body support is reduced, and, in aquatic mammals, the vertebral column functions primarily in locomotion. Therefore, we hypothesize that the allometric stabilization associated with increasing body size in terrestrial mammals will be minimized in secondarily aquatic mammals. We test this by comparing the scaling exponent (slope) of vertebral measures from 57 terrestrial species (23 felids, 34 bovids) to 23 semi-aquatic species (pinnipeds), using phylogenetically corrected regressions. Terrestrial taxa meet predictions of allometric stabilization, with posterior vertebral column (lumbar region) shortening, increased vertebral height compared to width, and shorter, more disc-shaped centra. In contrast, pinniped vertebral proportions (e.g. length, width, height) scale with isometry, and in some cases, centra even become more spool-shaped with increasing size, suggesting increased flexibility. Our results demonstrate that evolution of a secondarily aquatic lifestyle has modified the mechanical constraints associated with evolutionary increases in body size, relative to terrestrial taxa.

  11. The "terminal Triassic catastrophic extinction event" in perspective: a review of carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate extinction patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weems, R.E.

    1992-01-01

    A catastrophic terminal Triassic extinction event among terrestrial vertebrates is not supported by available evidence. The current model for such an extinction is based on at least eight weak or untenable assumptions: (1) a terminal Triassic extinction-inducing asteroid impact occurred, (2) a terminal Triassic synchronous mass extinction of terrestrial vertebrates occurred, (3) a concurrent terminal Triassic marine extinction occurred, (4) all terrestrial vertebrate families have similar diversities and ecologies, (5) changes in familial diversity can be gauged accurately from the known fossil record, (6) extinction of families can be compared through time without normalizing for changes in familial diversity through time, (7) extinction rates can be compared without normalizing for differing lengths of geologic stages, and (8) catastrophic mass extinctions do not select for small size. These assumptions have resulted in unsupportable and (or) erroneous conclusions. Carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate families mostly have evolution and extinction patterns unlike the vertebrate evolution and extinction patterns during the terminal Cretaceous event. Only the Serpukhovian (mid Carboniferous) extinction event shows strong analogy to the terminal Cretaceous event. Available data suggest no terminal Triassic extinction anomaly, but rather a prolonged and nearly steady decline in the global terrestrial vertebrate extinction rate throughout the Triassic and earliest Jurassic. ?? 1992.

  12. Ontogenetic niche shifts in dinosaurs influenced size, diversity and extinction in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Codron, Daryl; Carbone, Chris; Müller, Dennis W H; Clauss, Marcus

    2012-08-23

    Given the physiological limits to egg size, large-bodied non-avian dinosaurs experienced some of the most extreme shifts in size during postnatal ontogeny found in terrestrial vertebrate systems. In contrast, mammals--the other dominant vertebrate group since the Mesozoic--have less complex ontogenies. Here, we develop a model that quantifies the impact of size-specific interspecies competition on abundances of differently sized dinosaurs and mammals, taking into account the extended niche breadth realized during ontogeny among large oviparous species. Our model predicts low diversity at intermediate size classes (between approx. 1 and 1000 kg), consistent with observed diversity distributions of dinosaurs, and of Mesozoic land vertebrates in general. It also provides a mechanism--based on an understanding of different ecological and evolutionary constraints across vertebrate groups--that explains how mammals and birds, but not dinosaurs, were able to persist beyond the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, and how post-K-T mammals were able to diversify into larger size categories.

  13. Ontogenetic niche shifts in dinosaurs influenced size, diversity and extinction in terrestrial vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Codron, Daryl; Carbone, Chris; Müller, Dennis W. H.; Clauss, Marcus

    2012-01-01

    Given the physiological limits to egg size, large-bodied non-avian dinosaurs experienced some of the most extreme shifts in size during postnatal ontogeny found in terrestrial vertebrate systems. In contrast, mammals—the other dominant vertebrate group since the Mesozoic—have less complex ontogenies. Here, we develop a model that quantifies the impact of size-specific interspecies competition on abundances of differently sized dinosaurs and mammals, taking into account the extended niche breadth realized during ontogeny among large oviparous species. Our model predicts low diversity at intermediate size classes (between approx. 1 and 1000 kg), consistent with observed diversity distributions of dinosaurs, and of Mesozoic land vertebrates in general. It also provides a mechanism—based on an understanding of different ecological and evolutionary constraints across vertebrate groups—that explains how mammals and birds, but not dinosaurs, were able to persist beyond the Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) boundary, and how post-K–T mammals were able to diversify into larger size categories. PMID:22513279

  14. A new database on contaminant exposure and effects in terrestrial vertebrates for natural resource managers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Pearson, J.L.; Garrett, L.J.; Erwin, R.M.; Walz, A.; Ottinger, M.A.; Barrett, H.R.

    1997-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) program of the Department of the Interior is focused to identify and understand effects of contaminant stressors on biological resources under their stewardship. Despite the desire of many to continuously monitor the environmental health of our estuaries, much can be learned by summarizing existing temporal, geographic, and phylogenetic contaminant information. To this end, retrospective contaminant exposure and effects data for amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals residing within 30 km of Atlantic coast estuaries are being assembled through searches of published literature (e.g., Fisheries Review, Wildlife Review, BIOSIS Previews) and databases (e.g., US EPA Ecological Incident Information System; USGS Diagnostic and Epizootic Databases), and compilation of summary data from unpublished reports of government natural resource agencies, private conservation groups, and universities. These contaminant exposure and effect data for terrestrial vertebrates (CEE-TV) are being summarized using Borland dBASE in a 96- field format, including species, collection time and site coordinates, sample matrix, contaminant concentration, biomarker and bioindicator responses, and source of information (N>1500 records). This CEE-TV database has been imported into the ARC/INFO geographic information system (GIS), for purposes of examining geographic coverage and trends, and to identify critical data gaps. A preliminary risk assessment will be conducted to identify and characterize contaminants and other stressors potentially affecting terrestrial vertebrates that reside, migrate through or reproduce in these estuaries. Evaluations are underway, using specific measurement and assessment endpoints, to rank and prioritize estuarine ecosystems in which terrestrial vertebrates are potentially at risk for purposes of prediction and focusing future biomonitoring efforts.

  15. Geometric factors influencing the diet of vertebrate predators in marine and terrestrial environments.

    PubMed

    Carbone, Chris; Codron, Daryl; Scofield, Conrad; Clauss, Marcus; Bielby, Jon

    2014-12-01

    Predator-prey relationships are vital to ecosystem function and there is a need for greater predictive understanding of these interactions. We develop a geometric foraging model predicting minimum prey size scaling in marine and terrestrial vertebrate predators taking into account habitat dimensionality and biological traits. Our model predicts positive predator-prey size relationships on land but negative relationships in the sea. To test the model, we compiled data on diets of 794 predators (mammals, snakes, sharks and rays). Consistent with predictions, both terrestrial endotherm and ectotherm predators have significantly positive predator-prey size relationships. Marine predators, however, exhibit greater variation. Some of the largest predators specialise on small invertebrates while others are large vertebrate specialists. Prey-predator mass ratios were generally higher for ectothermic than endothermic predators, although dietary patterns were similar. Model-based simulations of predator-prey relationships were consistent with observed relationships, suggesting that our approach provides insights into both trends and diversity in predator-prey interactions.

  16. Geometric factors influencing the diet of vertebrate predators in marine and terrestrial environments

    PubMed Central

    Carbone, Chris; Codron, Daryl; Scofield, Conrad; Clauss, Marcus; Bielby, Jon; Enquist, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Predator–prey relationships are vital to ecosystem function and there is a need for greater predictive understanding of these interactions. We develop a geometric foraging model predicting minimum prey size scaling in marine and terrestrial vertebrate predators taking into account habitat dimensionality and biological traits. Our model predicts positive predator–prey size relationships on land but negative relationships in the sea. To test the model, we compiled data on diets of 794 predators (mammals, snakes, sharks and rays). Consistent with predictions, both terrestrial endotherm and ectotherm predators have significantly positive predator–prey size relationships. Marine predators, however, exhibit greater variation. Some of the largest predators specialise on small invertebrates while others are large vertebrate specialists. Prey–predator mass ratios were generally higher for ectothermic than endothermic predators, although dietary patterns were similar. Model-based simulations of predator–prey relationships were consistent with observed relationships, suggesting that our approach provides insights into both trends and diversity in predator–prey interactions. PMID:25265992

  17. Adaptive Evolution of Skin in Terrestrial Vertebrates and Possible Involvement of Endogenous Retroviruses.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    The first terrestrial vertebrates emerged from water and adapted to living on land approximately 360 million years ago (late Devonian). In particular, amphibians are thought to have surface epithelia that changed from multilayered epithelia into keratinized stratified squamous epithelia by acquiring stratum corneum (SC), which is composed of several dead cell layers that serve as an air liquid interface barrier. Then, reptiles appeared and became a major terrestrial vertebrate group approximately 340 million years ago by forming hard SC. About 220 million years ago, mammals radiated by acquiring soft and moisturized SC, and endogenous retroviruses were thought to be actively integrated into mammalian genomes. Skin ASpartic Protease (SASPase)/ASPRV1 is the mammalian-specific endogenous retroviral-derived protease. SASPase-deficient mice had dry skin and aberrant accumulation of profilaggrin, which is another mammalian-specific gene that regulates SC barrier function and is a major predisposing factor for atopic dermatitis. These findings indicate that the retroviral element SASPase was integrated into the first mammalian species and was involved in the adaptive evolution of mammals, as it facilitates moisturization of skin SC. It is possible that other uncharacterized endogenous retroviruses were also involved in epidermal barrier function.

  18. Beta Diversity in a Highly Heterogeneous Area: Disentangling Species and Taxonomic Dissimilarity for Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M.; Goyenechea, Irene; Ortiz-Pulido, Raúl; Castillo-Cerón, Jesús; Manriquez, Norma; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E.; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying differences in species composition among communities provides important information related to the distribution, conservation and management of biodiversity, especially when two components are recognized: dissimilarity due to turnover, and dissimilarity due to richness differences. The ecoregions in central Mexico, within the Mexican Transition Zone, have outstanding environmental heterogeneity and harbor huge biological richness, besides differences in the origin of the biota. Therefore, biodiversity studies in this area require the use of complementary measures to achieve appropriate information that may help in the design of conservation strategies. In this work we analyze the dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, and the components of turnover and richness differences, among six ecoregions in the state of Hidalgo, central Mexico. We follow two approaches: one based on species level dissimilarity, and the second on taxonomic dissimilarity. We used databases from the project “Biodiversity in the state of Hidalgo”. Our results indicate that species dissimilarity is higher than taxonomic dissimilarity, and that turnover contributes more than richness differences, both for species and taxonomic total dissimilarity. Moreover, total dissimilarity, turnover dissimilarity and the dissimilarity due to richness differences were positively related in the four vertebrate groups. Reptiles had the highest values of dissimilarity, followed by mammals, amphibians and birds. For reptiles, birds, and mammals, species turnover was the most important component, while richness differences had a higher contribution for amphibians. The highest values of dissimilarity occurred between environmentally contrasting ecoregions (i.e., tropical and temperate forests), which suggests that environmental heterogeneity and differences in the origin of biotas are key factors driving beta diversity of terrestrial vertebrates among ecoregions in this complex area. PMID:27500934

  19. Contaminant exposure and effects--terrestrial vertebrates database: Trends and data gaps for Atlantic Coast estuaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Pearson, J.L.; Golden, N.H.; Cohen, J.B.; Erwin, R.M.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2000-01-01

    In order to examine the condition of biota in Atlantic coast estuaries, a ?Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates? database (CEE-TV) has been compiled through computerized search of published literature, review of existing databases, and solicitation of unpublished reports from conservation agencies, private groups, and universities. Summary information has been entered into the database, including species, collection date (1965-present), site coordinates, estuary name, hydrologic unit catalogue code, sample matrix, contaminant concentrations, biomarker and bioindicator responses, and reference source, utilizing a 98-field character and numeric format. Currently, the CEE-TV database contains 3699 georeferenced records representing 190 vertebrate species and >145,000 individuals residing in estuaries from Maine through Florida. This relational database can be directly queried, imported into a Geographic Information System to examine spatial patterns, identify data gaps and areas of concern, generate hypotheses, and focus ecotoxicological field assessments. Information on birds made up the vast majority (83%) of the database, with only a modicum of data on amphibians (75,000 chemical compounds in commerce, only 118 commonly measured environmental contaminants were quantified in tissues of terrestrial vertebrates. There were no CEE-TV data records in 15 of the 67 estuaries located along the Atlantic coast and Florida Gulf coast. The CEE-TV database has a number of potential applications including focusing biomonitoring efforts to generate critically needed ecotoxicological data in the numerous ?gaps? along the coast, reducing uncertainty about contaminant risk, identifying areas for mitigation, restoration or special management, and ranking ecological conditions of estuaries.

  20. Beta Diversity in a Highly Heterogeneous Area: Disentangling Species and Taxonomic Dissimilarity for Terrestrial Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M; Goyenechea, Irene; Ortiz-Pulido, Raúl; Castillo-Cerón, Jesús; Manriquez, Norma; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana; Moreno, Claudia E

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying differences in species composition among communities provides important information related to the distribution, conservation and management of biodiversity, especially when two components are recognized: dissimilarity due to turnover, and dissimilarity due to richness differences. The ecoregions in central Mexico, within the Mexican Transition Zone, have outstanding environmental heterogeneity and harbor huge biological richness, besides differences in the origin of the biota. Therefore, biodiversity studies in this area require the use of complementary measures to achieve appropriate information that may help in the design of conservation strategies. In this work we analyze the dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, and the components of turnover and richness differences, among six ecoregions in the state of Hidalgo, central Mexico. We follow two approaches: one based on species level dissimilarity, and the second on taxonomic dissimilarity. We used databases from the project "Biodiversity in the state of Hidalgo". Our results indicate that species dissimilarity is higher than taxonomic dissimilarity, and that turnover contributes more than richness differences, both for species and taxonomic total dissimilarity. Moreover, total dissimilarity, turnover dissimilarity and the dissimilarity due to richness differences were positively related in the four vertebrate groups. Reptiles had the highest values of dissimilarity, followed by mammals, amphibians and birds. For reptiles, birds, and mammals, species turnover was the most important component, while richness differences had a higher contribution for amphibians. The highest values of dissimilarity occurred between environmentally contrasting ecoregions (i.e., tropical and temperate forests), which suggests that environmental heterogeneity and differences in the origin of biotas are key factors driving beta diversity of terrestrial vertebrates among ecoregions in this complex area.

  1. Inner architecture of vertebral centra in terrestrial and aquatic mammals: a two-dimensional comparative study.

    PubMed

    Dumont, Maitena; Laurin, Michel; Jacques, Florian; Pellé, Eric; Dabin, Willy; de Buffrénil, Vivian

    2013-05-01

    Inner vertebral architecture is poorly known, except in human and laboratory animals. In order to document this topic at a broad comparative level, a 2D-histomorphometric study of vertebral centra was conducted in a sample of 98 therian mammal species, spanning most of the size range and representing the main locomotor adaptations known in therian taxa. Eleven variables relative to the development and geometry of trabecular networks were extracted from CT scan mid-sagittal sections. Phylogeny-informed statistical tests were used to reveal the respective influences of phylogeny, size, and locomotion adaptations on mammalian vertebral structure. The use of random taxon reshuffling and squared change parsimony reveals that 9 of the 11 characteristics (the two exceptions are total sectional area and structural polarization) contain a phylogenetic signal. Linear discriminant analyses suggest that the sampled taxa can be arranged into three categories with respect to locomotion mode: a) terrestrial + flying + digging + amphibious forms, b) coastal oscillatory aquatic taxa, and c) pelagic oscillatory aquatic forms represented by oceanic cetaceans. Pairwise comparison tests and linear regressions show that, when specific size increases, the length of trabecular network (Tt.Tb.Le), as well as trabecular proliferation in total sections (Pr.Tb.Tt), increase with positive allometry. This process occurs in all locomotion categories but is particularly pronounced in pelagic oscillators. Conversely, mean trabecular width has a lesser increase with size in pelagic oscillators. Trabecular orientation is not influenced by size. All tests were corrected for multiple testing. By using six structural variables or indices, locomotion mode can be predicted with a 97.4% success rate for terrestrial forms, 66.7% for coastal oscillatory, and 81.3% for pelagic oscillatory. The possible functional meaning of these results and their potential use for paleobiological inference of locomotion in

  2. Environmental contaminant exposure data and monitoring priorities for wild terrestrial vertebrates at national parks in coastal and estuarine habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.; Eisenreich, K.M.; McKernan, M.A.; Harmon, David

    2006-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) Project of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assesses the exposure and effects of environmental contaminants on select species and habitats in the United States. One of the many BEST Project activities entails the development of decision-support tools to assist in the identification of chemical threats to species and lands under the stewardship of the Department of the Interior. Although there are many ecotoxicological monitoring programs that focus on aquatic species and habitats, there are currently no large-scale efforts that are focused on terrestrial vertebrates in the United States. Nonetheless, organochlorine contaminants, metals, and new pollutants continue to pose hazards to terrestrial vertebrates at many spatial scales (ranging from small hazardous-waste-site point sources to entire watersheds). To evaluate and prioritize pollutant hazards for terrestrial vertebrates, a ?Contaminant Exposure and EffectsTerrestrial Vertebrates? (CEE-TV) database (www.pwrc.usgs.gov/contaminants-online) was developed. The CEE-TV database has been used to conduct simple searches for exposure and biological effects information for a given species or location, identification of temporal contaminant exposure trends, information gap analyses for national wildlife refuge and national park units, and ranking of terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological information needs based on data density and water quality problems. Despite widespread concerns about environmental contamination, during the past decade only about one-half of the coastal National Park units appear to have terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological data. Based upon known environmental contaminant hazards, it is recommended that regionalized monitoring programs or efforts focused on lands managed by the Department of the Interior should be undertaken to prevent serious natural resource problems.

  3. Global patterns of the beta diversity-energy relationship in terrestrial vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Hong; Xiao, Ming

    2012-02-01

    Patterns in beta diversity or species turnover, describing the change in species composition between places, have their wide implication for ecological and evolutionary issues. It is thought that beta diversity increases with increasing energy availability, but very few studies have directly tested this hypothesis. We examined the beta diversity-energy relationship for four classes of terrestrial vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians) in ecoregions across the world. The relationship was examined for each class in each of six biogeographic realms. We show that beta diversity is generally higher in areas with higher energy availability, measured as annual potential evapotranspiration. A higher level of beta diversity in areas with higher energy availability may have contributed to the well-known latitudinal diversity gradient (i.e., species richness increases towards the equator).

  4. Age-area scaling of extinction debt within isolated terrestrial vertebrate assemblages.

    PubMed

    Hugueny, Bernard

    2017-05-01

    A new model of delayed species loss (extinction debt) within isolated communities is applied to a large data set of terrestrial vertebrate assemblages (n = 188) occupying habitat fragments or islands varying greatly in size and age. The model encapsulates previous approaches based on diversity-dependent (DD) extinction rates while allowing for a more flexible treatment of temporal dynamics. Three important results emerge. First, species loss rate slows down with the age of the isolate, a strong and general pattern largely unnoticed so far. Secondly, while being good candidates in the light of previous works, DD models fail to account for this pattern, a result that necessitates a search for other mechanisms. Thirdly, a simple diversity-independent model based on area (converted into population size) and age explains 97% of the variability in species loss rate and appears to be a promising predictive tool to handle extinction debt following habitat loss. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Terrestrial vertebrate fauna surveys for the preparation of environmental impact assessments; how can we do it better? A Western Australian example

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, Graham G. . E-mail: g.thompson@ecu.edu.au

    2007-01-15

    The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in 2002 released Position Statement, No. 3, Terrestrial Biological Surveys as an Element of Biodiversity Protection outlining how terrestrial fauna survey data are to be used and interpreted in the preparation of environmental impact assessments (EIA). In 2004, the EPA released its Guidance for the Assessment of Environmental Factors, Terrestrial Fauna Surveys for Environmental Impact Assessment in Western Australia, No. 56. This paper briefly assesses the adequacy of recent terrestrial fauna surveys undertaken to support publicly released EIAs and indicates that the EPA is not always adhering to its own position and guidance statements. This paper argues that the current fauna survey guidelines are in need of improvement. The approach and requirements of some other Australian states are briefly assessed to identify similarities and where improvements can be made to the Western Australian (WA) guidelines. This paper concludes with suggestions on how the process and the guidelines in WA can be revised to more adequately assess the impact of developments on terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity and ecosystem function. These suggestions may have relevance for other areas where fauna surveys are undertaken to support EIAs.

  6. Massive increase in visual range preceded the origin of terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    MacIver, Malcolm A; Schmitz, Lars; Mugan, Ugurcan; Murphey, Todd D; Mobley, Curtis D

    2017-03-21

    The evolution of terrestrial vertebrates, starting around 385 million years ago, is an iconic moment in evolution that brings to mind images of fish transforming into four-legged animals. Here, we show that this radical change in body shape was preceded by an equally dramatic change in sensory abilities akin to transitioning from seeing over short distances in a dense fog to seeing over long distances on a clear day. Measurements of eye sockets and simulations of their evolution show that eyes nearly tripled in size just before vertebrates began living on land. Computational simulations of these animal's visual ecology show that for viewing objects through water, the increase in eye size provided a negligible increase in performance. However, when viewing objects through air, the increase in eye size provided a large increase in performance. The jump in eye size was, therefore, unlikely to have arisen for seeing through water and instead points to an unexpected hybrid of seeing through air while still primarily inhabiting water. Our results and several anatomical innovations arising at the same time suggest lifestyle similarity to crocodiles. The consequent combination of the increase in eye size and vision through air would have conferred a 1 million-fold increase in the amount of space within which objects could be seen. The "buena vista" hypothesis that our data suggest is that seeing opportunities from afar played a role in the subsequent evolution of fully terrestrial limbs as well as the emergence of elaborated action sequences through planning circuits in the nervous system.

  7. Massive increase in visual range preceded the origin of terrestrial vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    MacIver, Malcolm A.; Schmitz, Lars; Mugan, Ugurcan; Murphey, Todd D.; Mobley, Curtis D.

    2017-01-01

    The evolution of terrestrial vertebrates, starting around 385 million years ago, is an iconic moment in evolution that brings to mind images of fish transforming into four-legged animals. Here, we show that this radical change in body shape was preceded by an equally dramatic change in sensory abilities akin to transitioning from seeing over short distances in a dense fog to seeing over long distances on a clear day. Measurements of eye sockets and simulations of their evolution show that eyes nearly tripled in size just before vertebrates began living on land. Computational simulations of these animal’s visual ecology show that for viewing objects through water, the increase in eye size provided a negligible increase in performance. However, when viewing objects through air, the increase in eye size provided a large increase in performance. The jump in eye size was, therefore, unlikely to have arisen for seeing through water and instead points to an unexpected hybrid of seeing through air while still primarily inhabiting water. Our results and several anatomical innovations arising at the same time suggest lifestyle similarity to crocodiles. The consequent combination of the increase in eye size and vision through air would have conferred a 1 million-fold increase in the amount of space within which objects could be seen. The “buena vista” hypothesis that our data suggest is that seeing opportunities from afar played a role in the subsequent evolution of fully terrestrial limbs as well as the emergence of elaborated action sequences through planning circuits in the nervous system. PMID:28270619

  8. Spatial mismatch of phylogenetic diversity across three vertebrate groups and protected areas in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Zupan, Laure; Cabeza, Mar; Maiorano, Luigi; Roquet, Cristina; Devictor, Vincent; Lavergne, Sébastien; Mouillot, David; Mouquet, Nicolas; Renaud, Julien; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2014-01-01

    Aim We investigate patterns of phylogenetic diversity in relation to species diversity for European birds, mammals and amphibians, to evaluate their congruence and highlight areas of particular evolutionary history. We estimate the extent to which the European network of protected areas (PAs) network retains interesting evolutionary history areas for the three groups separately and simultaneously. Location Europe Methods Phylogenetic (QEPD) and species diversity (SD) were estimated using the Rao’s quadratic entropy at 10′ resolution. We determined the regional relationship between QEPD and SD for each taxa with a spatial regression model and used the tails of the residuals (QERES) distribution to identify areas of higher and lower QEPD than predicted. Spatial congruence of biodiversity between groups was assessed with Pearson’s correlation. A simple classification scheme allowed building a convergence map where a convergent pixel equalled to a QERES value of the same sign for the 3 groups. This convergence map was overlaid to the current PAs network to estimate the level of protection in convergent pixels and compared it to a null expectation built on 1000 randomization of PAs over the landscape. Results QERES patterns across vertebrates show a strong spatial mismatch highlighting different evolutionary histories. Convergent areas represent only 2.7% of the Western Palearctic, with only 8.4% of these areas being covered by the current PAs network while a random distribution would retain 10.4% of them. QERES are unequally represented within PAs: areas with higher QEPD than predicted are better covered than expected, while low QEPD areas are undersampled. Main conclusions Patterns of diversity strongly diverge between groups of vertebrates in Europe. Although Europe has the world’s most extensive PAs network, evolutionary history of terrestrial vertebrates is unequally protected. The challenge is now to reconcile effective conservation planning with a

  9. Evidence for Natural Selection in Nucleotide Content Relationships Based on Complete Mitochondrial Genomes: Strong Effect of Guanine Content on Separation between Terrestrial and Aquatic Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sorimachi, Kenji; Okayasu, Teiji

    2015-01-01

    The complete vertebrate mitochondrial genome consists of 13 coding genes. We used this genome to investigate the existence of natural selection in vertebrate evolution. From the complete mitochondrial genomes, we predicted nucleotide contents and then separated these values into coding and non-coding regions. When nucleotide contents of a coding or non-coding region were plotted against the nucleotide content of the complete mitochondrial genomes, we obtained linear regression lines only between homonucleotides and their analogs. On every plot using G or A content purine, G content in aquatic vertebrates was higher than that in terrestrial vertebrates, while A content in aquatic vertebrates was lower than that in terrestrial vertebrates. Based on these relationships, vertebrates were separated into two groups, terrestrial and aquatic. However, using C or T content pyrimidine, clear separation between these two groups was not obtained. The hagfish (Eptatretus burgeri) was further separated from both terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates. Based on these results, nucleotide content relationships predicted from the complete vertebrate mitochondrial genomes reveal the existence of natural selection based on evolutionary separation between terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate groups. In addition, we propose that separation of the two groups might be linked to ammonia detoxification based on high G and low A contents, which encode Glu rich and Lys poor proteins.

  10. Diversity of limb-bone safety factors for locomotion in terrestrial vertebrates: evolution and mixed chains.

    PubMed

    Blob, Richard W; Espinoza, Nora R; Butcher, Michael T; Lee, Andrew H; D'Amico, Angela R; Baig, Faraz; Sheffield, K Megan

    2014-12-01

    During locomotion over land, vertebrates' limb bones are exposed to loads. Like most biological structures, limb bones have a capacity to withstand greater loads than they usually experience, termed a safety factor (SF). How diverse are limb-bone SFs, and what factors correlate with such variation? We have examined these questions from two perspectives. First, we evaluated locomotor SF for the femur in diverse lineages, including salamanders, frogs, turtles, lizards, crocodilians, and marsupials (opossums). Comparisons with values for hind-limb elements in running birds and eutherian mammals indicate phylogenetic diversity in limb-bone SF. A high SF (∼7) is primitive for tetrapods, but low magnitudes of load and elevated strength of bones contribute to different degrees across lineages; moreover, birds and eutherians appear to have evolved lower SFs independently. Second, we tested the hypothesis that SFs would be similar across limb bones within a taxon by comparing data from the humerus and femur of alligators. Both in bending and in torsion, we found a higher SF for the humerus than for the femur. Such a "mixed chain" of different SFs across elements has been predicted if bones have differing variabilities in load, different costs to maintain, or high SF values in general. Although variability in load is similar for the humerus and femur, a high SF may be less costly for the humerus because it is smaller than the femur. The high SFs of alligators also might facilitate differences in SF among their limb bones. Beyond these specific findings, however, a more general implication of our results is that evaluations of the diversity of limb-bone SFs can provide important perspective to direct future research. In particular, more complete understanding of variation in SF could provide insight into factors that promoted the evolutionary radiation of terrestrial locomotor function in vertebrates.

  11. Clockwork blue: on the evolution of non-image-forming retinal photoreceptors in marine and terrestrial vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erren, T. C.; Erren, M.; Lerchl, A.; Meyer-Rochow, V. B.

    2008-04-01

    This paper presents a hypothesis that could explain why blue light appears to dominate non-image-forming (NIF) ocular photoreception in marine as well as terrestrial vertebrates. Indeed, there is more and more evidence suggesting that ‘novel’ retinal photoreceptors, which are sensitive to blue light and were only discovered in the 1990s, could be a feature shared by all vertebrates. In our view, blue light photoreception evolved and persisted as NIF photoreception because it has been useful in the colonisation of extensive photo-dependent oceanic habitats and facilitated the move of vertebrates from an aquatic to a terrestrial environment. Because the available scattered evidence is compatible with the validity of our hypothesis, we hope that our rationale will be followed up. Indeed, it (1) involves testable predictions, (2) provides plausible explanations for previous observations, (3) unites phenomena not previously considered related to one another and (4) suggests tests that have not been carried out before. Overall, our approach not only embraces cross-disciplinary links; it, moreover, serves as a reminder of an all-embracing evolutionary history, especially with regard to a ubiquitous photoreceptive ‘clockwork-blue’ in marine and terrestrial vertebrates.

  12. Planetary Protection: Two Relevant Terrestrial Examples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chyba, C.

    2002-09-01

    Concerns about potential pathogens in returned samples from Mars ("Mars Sample Return: Issues and Recommendations", National Research Council, 1997) or planetary satellites ("Evaluating the Biological Potential in Samples Returned from Planetary Satellites and Small Solar System Bodies", National Research Council, 1998) focus on two potential types of pathogenesis, toxic and infectious. The National Research Council reports cited above state that the chances of extraterrestrial organisms proving either toxic or infectious to humans are extremely low, but cannot be entirely ruled out. Here I discuss recently discovered terrestrial examples relevant to each possibility, in order to make these concerns concrete. The first example concerns the production of hepatotoxins (toxins affecting the liver) and neurotoxins by cyanobacteria in glacial lakes on alpine pastures in Switzerland. In this example, mat-forming benthic cyanobacteria are implicated in a hundred cattle poisonings that have been reported from alpine pasteurs in southeastern Switzerland over the past twenty-five years (e.g. K. Mez et al, Hydrobiologia 368, 1-15 (1998)). It is unlikely that these cyanobacteria evolved the toxins in response to dairy cows; rather the susceptibility of cattle to these toxins seems simply to be an unfortunate coincidence of a toxin working across a large evolutionary distance. The second example concerns the recent demonstration that the decimation of shallow-water Caribbean elkhorn coral is due to infection by a common fecal enterobacterium associated with the human gut (K. L. Patterson et al., PNAS 99, 8725-8730 (2002)). The bacterium, Serratia marcenscens, is also a free-living microbe in water and soil, as well as an opportunistic pathogen in a variety of animal species. The distance between humans and corals emphasizes the possibility that certain organisms may prove pathogenic across a wide evolutionary divide. Of course, in neither of these cases are the evolutionary

  13. Terrestrial EVA Suit = Fire Fighter's Protective Clothing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foley, Tico; Brown, Robert G.; Burrell, Eddie; DelRosso, Dominic; Krishen, Kumar; Moffitt, Harold; Orndoff, Evelyne; Santos, Beatrice; Butzer, Melissa; Dasgupta, Rajib

    1999-01-01

    Firefighters want to go to work, do their job well, and go home alive and uninjured. For their most important job, saving lives, firefighters want protective equipment that will allow more extended and effective time at fire scenes in order to perform victim search and rescue. A team, including engineers at NASA JSC and firefighters from Houston, has developed a list of problem areas for which NASA technology and know-how can recommend improvements for firefighter suits and gear. Prototypes for solutions have been developed and are being evaluated. This effort will spin back to NASA as improvements for lunar and planetary suits.

  14. Geographic range did not confer resilience to extinction in terrestrial vertebrates at the end-Triassic crisis.

    PubMed

    Dunhill, Alexander M; Wills, Matthew A

    2015-08-11

    Rates of extinction vary greatly through geological time, with losses particularly concentrated in mass extinctions. Species duration at other times varies greatly, but the reasons for this are unclear. Geographical range correlates with lineage duration amongst marine invertebrates, but it is less clear how far this generality extends to other groups in other habitats. It is also unclear whether a wide geographical distribution makes groups more likely to survive mass extinctions. Here we test for extinction selectivity amongst terrestrial vertebrates across the end-Triassic event. We demonstrate that terrestrial vertebrate clades with larger geographical ranges were more resilient to extinction than those with smaller ranges throughout the Triassic and Jurassic. However, this relationship weakened with increasing proximity to the end-Triassic mass extinction, breaking down altogether across the event itself. We demonstrate that these findings are not a function of sampling biases; a perennial issue in studies of this kind.

  15. Eimeria that infect fish are diverse and are related to, but distinct from, those that infect terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Molnár, Kálmán; Ostoros, Györgyi; Dunams-Morel, Detiger; Rosenthal, Benjamin M

    2012-12-01

    The Eimeria are ubiquitous parasites (Phylum: Apicomplexa; family: Coccidia) of the gut epithelium of vertebrates which complete their development in a single host species and whose sporocysts may be recognized by the presence of a Stieda body through which their sporozoites excyst. Their diversity and relationship to other kinds of coccidia have been successfully explored by molecular systematic studies based on the sequencing the 18S ribosomal DNA. To date, most attention has been paid to the diversity and evolutionary relationships of Eimeria spp. parasitizing terrestrial vertebrates, most especially those species infecting domesticated birds and mammals. Regrettably, no Eimeria have yet been considered from the Earth's first vertebrates: the fish. If Eimeria first evolved in fish, then extant piscine parasites should comprise a deeply branching assemblage at the base of well-constructed phylogenetic trees. Here, we sequenced portions of ribosomal DNA from several such isolates (from Eimeria anguillae, Eimeria daviesae, Eimeria percae, Eimeria variabilis, Eimeria rutili and Eimeria nemethi) and compared them to one another as well as to other available sequences from the parasites of fish and terrestrial vertebrates, in order to better understand their diversity and origins. By establishing that such piscine parasites comprise a deeply branching clade at the base of the Eimeriidae, these data substantiate the hypothesis that Eimeria may have originated in fish. Plainly, a great deal of coccidian diversity awaits future discovery and description.

  16. Photographic identification of individuals of a free-ranging, small terrestrial vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Treilibs, Claire E; Pavey, Chris R; Hutchinson, Mark N; Bull, C Michael

    2016-02-01

    Recognition of individuals within an animal population is central to a range of estimates about population structure and dynamics. However, traditional methods of distinguishing individuals, by some form of physical marking, often rely on capture and handling which may affect aspects of normal behavior. Photographic identification has been used as a less-invasive alternative, but limitations in both manual and computer-automated recognition of individuals are particularly problematic for smaller taxa (<500 g). In this study, we explored the use of photographic identification for individuals of a free-ranging, small terrestrial reptile using (a) independent observers, and (b) automated matching with the Interactive Individual Identification System (I(3)S Pattern) computer algorithm. We tested the technique on individuals of an Australian skink in the Egernia group, Slater's skink Liopholis slateri, whose natural history and varied scale markings make it a potentially suitable candidate for photo-identification. From 'photographic captures' of skink head profiles, we designed a multi-choice key based on alternate character states and tested the abilities of observers - with or without experience in wildlife survey - to identify individuals using categorized test photos. We also used the I(3)S Pattern algorithm to match the same set of test photos against a database of 30 individuals. Experienced observers identified a significantly higher proportion of photos correctly (74%) than those with no experience (63%) while the I(3)S software correctly matched 67% as the first ranked match and 83% of images in the top five ranks. This study is one of the first to investigate photo identification with a free-ranging small vertebrate. The method demonstrated here has the potential to be applied to the developing field of camera-traps for wildlife survey and thus a wide range of survey and monitoring applications.

  17. Identification of contaminant trends and data gaps for terrestrial vertebrates residing in northeastern estuaries of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Pearson, J.L.; Golden, N.H.; Erwin, R.M.; Ottinger, M.A.

    1998-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) program of the Department of the Interior is focused to identify and understand effects of contaminant stressors on biological resources under their stewardship. One BEST program activity involves evaluation of retrospective data to assess and predict the condition of biota in Atlantic coast estuaries. A 'Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates' database (CEE-TV) has been compiled through computerized literature searches of Fish and Wildlife Reviews, BIOSIS, AGRICOLA, and TOXLINE, review of existing databases (e.g., US EPA Ecological Incident Information System, USGS Diagnostic and Epizootic Databases), and solicitation of unpublished reports from conservation agencies, private groups, and universities. Summary information has been entered into the CEE-TV database, including species, collection date (1965-present), site coordinates, sample matrix, contaminant concentrations, biomarker and bioindicator responses, and reference source, utilizing a 96-field dBase format. Currently, the CEE-TV database contains 3500 georeferenced records representing >200 vertebrate species and > 100,000 individuals residing in estuaries from Maine through Florida. This relational database can be directly queried, imported into the ARC/INFO geographic information system (GIS) to examine spatial tendencies, and used to identify 'hot-spots', generate hypotheses, and focus ecotoxicological assessments. An overview of temporal, phylogenetic, and geographic contaminant exposure and effects information, trends, and data gaps will be presented for terrestrial vertebrates residing in estuaries in the northeast United States.

  18. Protected area coverage of threatened vertebrates and ecoregions in Peru: Comparison of communal, private and state reserves.

    PubMed

    Shanee, Sam; Shanee, Noga; Monteferri, Bruno; Allgas, Nestor; Alarcon Pardo, Alejandro; Horwich, Robert H

    2017-11-01

    Protected areas (PAs) are a conservation mainstay and arguably the most effective conservation strategy for species protection. As a 'megadiverse' country, Peru is a priority for conservation actions. Peruvian legislation allows for the creation of state PAs and private/communal PAs. Using publicly available species distribution and protected area data sets we evaluated the coverage of Threatened terrestrial vertebrate species distributions and ecoregions provided by both kinds of PA in Peru. Peru's state PA system covers 217,879 km(2) and private/communal PAs cover 16,588 km(2). Of the 462 species of Threatened and Data Deficient species we evaluated, 75% had distributions that overlapped with at least one PA but only 53% had ≥10% of their distributions within PAs, with inclusion much reduced at higher coverage targets. Of the species we evaluated, 118 species are only found in national PAs and 29 species only found in private/communal PAs. Of the 17 terrestrial ecoregions found in Peru all are represented in PAs; the national PA system included coverage of 16 and private/communal PAs protect 13. One ecoregion is only protected in private/communal PAs, whereas four are only covered in national PAs. Our results show the important role private/communal PAs can play in the protection of ecological diversity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Retrospective ecotoxicological data and current information needs for terrestrial vertebrates residing in coastal habitat of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Eisenreich, K.M.; Golden, N.H.; McKernan, M.A.; Hothem, R.L.; Custer, T.W.

    2005-01-01

    The Contaminant Exposure and Effects?Terrestrial Vertebrates (CEE-TV) database was developed to conduct simple searches for ecotoxicological information, examine exposure trends, and identify significant data gaps. The CEE-TV database contains 16,696 data records on free-ranging amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals residing in estuarine and coastal habitats of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Great Lakes. Information in the database was derived from over 1800 source documents, representing 483 unique species (about 252,000 individuals), with sample collection dates spanning from 1884 to 2003. The majority of the records contain exposure data (generally contaminant concentrations) on a limited number (n=209) of chlorinated and brominated compounds, cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides, economic poisons, metals, and petroleum hydrocarbons, whereas only 9.3% of the records contain biomarker or bioindicator effects data. Temporal examination of exposure data provides evidence of declining concentrations of certain organochlorine pesticides in some avian species (e.g., ospreys, Pandion haliaetus), and an apparent increase in the detection and possibly the incidence of avian die-offs related to cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides. To identify spatial data gaps, 11,360 database records with specific sampling locations were combined with the boundaries of coastal watersheds, and National Wildlife Refuge and National Park units. Terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological data were lacking in 41.9% of 464 coastal watersheds in the continental United States. Recent (1990?2003) terrestrial vertebrate contaminant exposure or effects data were available for only about half of the National Wildlife Refuge and National Park units in the geographic area encompassed by the database. When these data gaps were overlaid on watersheds exhibiting serious water quality problems and/or high vulnerability to pollution, 72 coastal watersheds, and 76 National

  20. Retrospective ecotoxicological data and current information needs for terrestrial vertebrates residing in coastal habitat of the United States.

    PubMed

    Rattner, B A; Eisenreich, K M; Golden, N H; McKernan, M A; Hothem, R L; Custer, T W

    2005-08-01

    The Contaminant Exposure and Effects-Terrestrial Vertebrates (CEE-TV) database was developed to conduct simple searches for ecotoxicological information, examine exposure trends, and identify significant data gaps. The CEE-TV database contains 16,696 data records on free-ranging amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals residing in estuarine and coastal habitats of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Great Lakes. Information in the database was derived from over 1800 source documents, representing 483 unique species (about 252,000 individuals), with sample collection dates spanning from 1884 to 2003. The majority of the records contain exposure data (generally contaminant concentrations) on a limited number (n = 209) of chlorinated and brominated compounds, cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides, economic poisons, metals, and petroleum hydrocarbons, whereas only 9.3% of the records contain biomarker or bioindicator effects data. Temporal examination of exposure data provides evidence of declining concentrations of certain organochlorine pesticides in some avian species (e.g., ospreys, Pandion haliaetus), and an apparent increase in the detection and possibly the incidence of avian die-offs related to cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides. To identify spatial data gaps, 11,360 database records with specific sampling locations were combined with the boundaries of coastal watersheds, and National Wildlife Refuge and National Park units. Terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological data were lacking in 41.9% of 464 coastal watersheds in the continental United States. Recent (1990-2003) terrestrial vertebrate contaminant exposure or effects data were available for only about half of the National Wildlife Refuge and National Park units in the geographic area encompassed by the database. When these data gaps were overlaid on watersheds exhibiting serious water quality problems and/or high vulnerability to pollution, 72 coastal watersheds, and 76

  1. Approaches for assessment of terrestrial vertebrate responses to contaminants: moving beyond individual organisms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albers, P.H.; Heinz, G.H.; Hall, R.J.; Albers, Peter H.; Heinz, Gary H.; Ohlendorf, Harry M.

    2000-01-01

    Conclusions: A need for a broader range ofinformation on effects of contaminants on individuals exists among the 4 classes of terrestrial vertebrates, especially mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Separation of contaminant effects from other effects and reduction of speculative extrapolation within and among species requires information that can be produced only by combined field and laboratory investigations that incorporate seasonal or annual cycles and important spatial and interaction conditions. Assessments of contaminant effects at the population level and higher are frequently dependent on extrapolations from a lower organizational level. Actual measurements of the effects of contaminants on populations or communities, possibly in conjunction with case studies that establish relations between effects on individuals and effects on populations, are needed to reduce the uncertainty associated with these extrapolations. Associated with these assessment levels is the need for acceptable definitions of what we mean when we refer to a 'meaningful population change' or an 'effect on communities or ecosystems.' At these higher levels of organization we are also confronted with the need for procedures useful for separating contaminant effects from effects caused by other environmental conditions. Although the bulk of literature surveyed was of the focused cause-and-effect type that is necessary for proving relations between contaminants and wildlife, community or ecosystem field assessments, as sometimes performed with reptiles and amphibians, might be a useful alternative for estimating the potential of a contaminant to cause environmental harm. Assumptions about the special usefulness of reptiles and amphibians as environmental indicators ought to be tested with comparisons to mammals and birds. Information on the effects of contaminants above the individual level is needed to generate accurate estimates of the potential consequences of anthropogenic pollution (e

  2. Contaminant exposure and potential effects on terrestrial vertebrates residing in the National Capital Region network and Mid-Atlantic network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.

    2006-01-01

    Based upon these and other findings, ecotoxicological monitoring and research investigations of terrestrial vertebrates are warranted at several National Parks. These include Shenandoah National Park, Richmond National Battlefield, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Valley Forge National Historic Park, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Monocacy National Battlefield, and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The types of investigations vary according to the species present at these parks and potential contaminant threats, but should focus on contemporary use pesticides and herbicides, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, lead, and perhaps, emerging contaminants including antibiotics, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants. Other management recommendations include additional training for natural resource staff members in the area of ecotoxicology, inclusion of terrestrial vertebrate contaminant monitoring and the Contaminant Assessment Process (U.S. Geological Survey Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Project) into the National Park Service Vital Signs Program, development of protocols for hand ling and toxicological analysis of dead or seemingly affected wildlife, consideration of some alternative methods and compounds for pest management and weed control, and use of non-toxic fishing tackle by visitors. 

  3. Predator-prey interactions amongst Permo-Triassic terrestrial vertebrates as a deterministic factor influencing faunal collapse and turnover.

    PubMed

    Codron, J; Botha-Brink, J; Codron, D; Huttenlocker, A K; Angielczyk, K D

    2017-01-01

    Unlike modern mammalian communities, terrestrial Paleozoic and Mesozoic vertebrate systems were characterized by carnivore faunas that were as diverse as their herbivore faunas. The comparatively narrow food base available to carnivores in these paleosystems raises the possibility that predator-prey interactions contributed to unstable ecosystems by driving populations to extinction. Here, we develop a model of predator-prey interactions based on diversity, abundance and body size patterns observed in the Permo-Triassic vertebrate fossil record of the Karoo Basin, South Africa. Our simulations reflect empirical evidence that despite relatively high carnivore: herbivore species ratios, herbivore abundances were sufficient for carnivores to maintain required intake levels through most of the Karoo sequence. However, high mortality rates amongst herbivore populations, even accounting for birth rates of different-sized species, are predicted for assemblages immediately preceding the end-Guadalupian and end-Permian mass extinctions, as well as in the Middle Triassic when archosaurs replaced therapsids as the dominant terrestrial fauna. These results suggest that high rates of herbivore mortality could have played an important role in biodiversity declines leading up to each of these turnover events. Such declines would have made the systems especially vulnerable to subsequent stochastic events and environmental perturbations, culminating in large-scale extinctions.

  4. Modeling the influence of environmental heterogeneity on heavy metal exposure concentrations for terrestrial vertebrates in river floodplains.

    PubMed

    Schipper, Aafke M; Loos, Mark; Ragas, Ad M J; Lopes, João P C; Nolte, Boris T; Wijnhoven, Sander; Leuven, Rob S E W

    2008-04-01

    To analyze the influence of environmental heterogeneity on heavy metal exposure concentrations for terrestrial vertebrates in river floodplains, a spatially explicit exposure model has been constructed (SpaCE-model: Spatially explicit cumulative exposure model). This model simulates the environmental use of individual organisms by selecting model cells to be foraged in within a multicelled, heterogeneous landscape. Exposure durations and exposure concentrations are calculated for the selected cells, whereby exposure concentrations are dependent on the availability and contaminant concentrations of different diet items in each cell. The model was applied to a selection of 10 terrestrial vertebrate species, including six small mammalian and four top predator species. It was parameterized for cadmium contamination in a 285-ha, embanked floodplain area along the Rhine River in The Netherlands. Simulations of 1,000 individuals for each species resulted in intraspecies variation in exposure concentrations of between 11 and 39%, with the smallest values generally corresponding to the species with the largest home ranges. Comparison of the model results with cadmium concentrations measured in four of the species from the study area showed that the predicted variation accounted for 12 to 16% of the variation in the measurements. This indicates that environmental heterogeneity governs a minor part of the variation in metal exposure concentrations that can actually be observed in river floodplains.

  5. Water availability not fruitfall modulates the dry season distribution of frugivorous terrestrial vertebrates in a lowland Amazon forest

    PubMed Central

    Paredes, Omar Stalin Landázuri; Norris, Darren; de Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes

    2017-01-01

    Terrestrial vertebrate frugivores constitute one of the major guilds in tropical forests. Previous studies show that the meso-scale distribution of this group is only weakly explained by variables such as altitude and tree basal area in lowland Amazon forests. For the first time we test whether seasonally limiting resources (water and fallen fruit) affect the dry season distribution in 25 species of terrestrial vertebrates. To examine the effects of the spatial availability of fruit and water on terrestrial vertebrates we used a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera-traps within 25km2 of lowland Amazon forest. Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of four variables (altitude, distance to large rivers, distance to nearest water, and presence vs absence of fruits) on the number of photos on five functional groups (all frugivores, small, medium, large and very large frugivores) and on seven of the most abundant frugivore species (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina, Mazama americana, Mazama nemorivaga, Myoprocta acouchy, Pecari tajacu and Psophia crepitans). A total of 279 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 900 camera-trap days. For most species and three functional groups, the variation in the number of photos per camera was significantly but weakly explained by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 6.2 to 48.8%). Generally, we found that the presence of water availability was more important than the presence of fallen fruit for the groups and species studied. Medium frugivores, large-bodied frugivores, and two of the more abundant species (C. paca and P. crepitans) were recorded more frequently closer to water bodies; while none of the functional groups nor the most abundant species showed any significant relationship with the presence of fallen fruit. Two functional groups and two of the seven most common frugivore species assessed in the GLMs showed significant results with species

  6. Water availability not fruitfall modulates the dry season distribution of frugivorous terrestrial vertebrates in a lowland Amazon forest.

    PubMed

    Paredes, Omar Stalin Landázuri; Norris, Darren; Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes de; Michalski, Fernanda

    2017-01-01

    Terrestrial vertebrate frugivores constitute one of the major guilds in tropical forests. Previous studies show that the meso-scale distribution of this group is only weakly explained by variables such as altitude and tree basal area in lowland Amazon forests. For the first time we test whether seasonally limiting resources (water and fallen fruit) affect the dry season distribution in 25 species of terrestrial vertebrates. To examine the effects of the spatial availability of fruit and water on terrestrial vertebrates we used a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera-traps within 25km2 of lowland Amazon forest. Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of four variables (altitude, distance to large rivers, distance to nearest water, and presence vs absence of fruits) on the number of photos on five functional groups (all frugivores, small, medium, large and very large frugivores) and on seven of the most abundant frugivore species (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina, Mazama americana, Mazama nemorivaga, Myoprocta acouchy, Pecari tajacu and Psophia crepitans). A total of 279 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 900 camera-trap days. For most species and three functional groups, the variation in the number of photos per camera was significantly but weakly explained by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 6.2 to 48.8%). Generally, we found that the presence of water availability was more important than the presence of fallen fruit for the groups and species studied. Medium frugivores, large-bodied frugivores, and two of the more abundant species (C. paca and P. crepitans) were recorded more frequently closer to water bodies; while none of the functional groups nor the most abundant species showed any significant relationship with the presence of fallen fruit. Two functional groups and two of the seven most common frugivore species assessed in the GLMs showed significant results with species

  7. Jumping sans legs: does elastic energy storage by the vertebral column power terrestrial jumps in bony fishes?

    PubMed

    Ashley-Ross, Miriam A; Perlman, Benjamin M; Gibb, Alice C; Long, John H

    2014-02-01

    Despite having no obvious anatomical modifications to facilitate movement over land, numerous small fishes from divergent teleost lineages make brief, voluntary terrestrial forays to escape poor aquatic conditions or to pursue terrestrial prey. Once stranded, these fishes produce a coordinated and effective "tail-flip" jumping behavior, wherein lateral flexion of the axial body into a C-shape, followed by contralateral flexion of the body axis, propels the fish into a ballistic flight-path that covers a distance of multiple body lengths. We ask: how do anatomical structures that evolved in one habitat generate effective movement in a novel habitat? Within this context, we hypothesized that the mechanical properties of the axial skeleton play a critical role in producing effective overland movement, and that tail-flip jumping species demonstrate enhanced elastic energy storage through increased body flexural stiffness or increased body curvature, relative to non-jumping species. To test this hypothesis, we derived a model to predict elastic recoil work from the morphology of the vertebral (neural and hemal) spines. From ground reaction force (GRF) measurements and high-speed video, we calculated elastic recoil work, flexural stiffness, and apparent material stiffness of the body for Micropterus salmoides (a non-jumper) and Kryptolebias marmoratus (adept tail-flip jumper). The model predicted no difference between the two species in work stored by the vertebral spines, and GRF data showed that they produce the same magnitude of mass-specific elastic recoil work. Surprisingly, non-jumper M. salmoides has a stiffer body than tail-flip jumper K. marmoratus. Many tail-flip jumping species possess enlarged, fused hypural bones that support the caudal peduncle, which suggests that the localized structures, rather than the entire axial skeleton, may explain differences in terrestrial performance.

  8. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales

    PubMed Central

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use–land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa. PMID:26161981

  9. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales.

    PubMed

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use-land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa.

  10. Spatial scale and cross-taxon congruence of terrestrial vertebrate and vascular plant species richness in China.

    PubMed

    Qian, Hong; Kissling, W Daniel

    2010-04-01

    In ecology and biogeography it is often recognized that the species richness of different groups of organisms is spatially congruent (and thus positively correlated). However, ecological phenomena are often scale dependent and can change with spatial scale (i.e., grain size and extent). Because species richness gradients are also correlated with environmental gradients and plant species richness is thought to influence animal species richness, the relative roles of environment and plant richness in influencing cross-taxon congruence of animal richness at different spatial scales remain poorly explored. In this study, we examine the spatial concordance in species richness among terrestrial vertebrates and vascular plants at two spatial grain sizes (local and regional) across China. We hypothesize that (H1) cross-taxon richness relationships are weaker at the local scale; (H2) climatic predictors of species richness are stronger at the regional scale; (H3) effects of habitat heterogeneity on species richness are stronger at the local scale; (H4) plant richness positively affects vertebrate richness after accounting for environmental effects; and (H5) the plant-vertebrate richness relationship is weaker at the regional scale. We found significant and positive correlations between species richness of the groups, with correlations being stronger at the regional scale than at the local scale (supporting H1). Climate has weaker effects on species richness at the regional scale than at the local scale (rejecting H2), and for vertebrates (but not for plants) effects of habitat heterogeneity are stronger at the local scale (supporting hypothesis H3). Plant richness positively affects vertebrate richness after accounting for environmental effects (supporting H4), but the effect is stronger for the two endothermic groups (mammals and birds) than for the two ectothermic groups (reptiles and amphibians). In contrast to hypothesis H5, the effect of plant richness on species

  11. Landscape heterogeneity and marine subsidy generate extensive intrapopulation niche diversity in a large terrestrial vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Darimont, Chris T; Paquet, Paul C; Reimchen, Thomas E

    2009-01-01

    1. Inquiries into niche variation within populations typically focus on proximate ecological causes such as competition. Here we examine how landscape heterogeneity and allochthonous (marine) subsidy might ultimately generate intrapopulation niche diversity. 2. Using stable isotope analysis, we detected extensive terrestrial-marine isotopic niche variation among subpopulations, social groups, and individual grey wolves (Canis lupus) that occupy a spatially heterogeneous landscape in coastal British Columbia comprising a mainland area and adjacent archipelago. 3. The inner island subpopulation exhibited the widest isotopic niche in the population, consuming extensive terrestrial and marine resources. Mainland and outer island subpopulations occupied comparatively narrow and primarily terrestrial, and primarily marine, niches respectively. Within these biogeographical subpopulations, social groups also diverged in niche. 4. To support examination at the individual level, we used an isotopic approach to test Van Valen's (1965) niche variation hypothesis. Consistent with the hypothesis, we observed that among-individual variation increased with subpopulation niche width. 5. Patterns at all levels related to how a spatially heterogeneous coastal landscape structured the competitive environment, which in turn mediated the availability and use of terrestrial and marine resources. Broadly, our results suggest that spatial heterogeneity and allochthonous subsidy--both widespread but commonly subject to contemporary anthropogenic change--might provide novel opportunities for examination and conservation of ecological variation within populations.

  12. Vertebral artery origin stent placement with distal protection: technical and clinical results.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, A I; Kirmani, J F; Harris-Lane, P; Divani, A A; Ahmed, S; Ebrihimi, A; Al Kawi, A; Janjua, N

    2006-05-01

    To report the feasibility, safety, and 1-month results of performing stent placement for vertebral origin stenosis with the use of a distal protection device. Distal protection devices have been shown to reduce the number of cerebral emboli and subsequent ischemic events when used as adjuncts to percutaneous carotid intervention; however, one case of the use of a distal protection device for vertebral artery has been reported in the literature. We retrospectively determined rates of technical success and 1-month stroke or death associated with stent placement by using distal protection (Filter EX; Boston Scientific, Natick, Mass) in patients with symptomatic vertebral artery origin stenosis. Technical success was defined as successful deployment of distal protection device and stent at target lesion followed by successful retrieval of the device and a final residual stenosis of less than 30%. Other outcomes ascertained included any stroke, death, and semiquantitative assessment of particulate material retained by the filter device. The mean age of the 12 treated patients was 68 years (range, 52-88 years) and the group included 9 men and 3 women. The mean percentage of vertebral artery origin stenosis was 71 +/- 6%. Femoral and radial approaches were used in 9 and 3 cases, respectively. Technical success was achieved in 11 of the 12 patients in whom distal protection device placement was attempted. Postprocedure residual stenosis was 5 +/- 4%. Eight devices held macroscopically visible embolic debris (large and small amounts in 3 and 5 devices, respectively). No stroke or death was observed in the 1-month follow-up. The present study demonstrates the feasibility of performing stent placement for vertebral artery origin stenosis by using a distal protection device. Further studies are required to determine the effectiveness of this approach for vertebral artery origin atherosclerosis.

  13. Cervical vertebral realignment when voluntarily adopting a protective neck posture.

    PubMed

    Newell, Robyn S; Siegmund, Gunter P; Blouin, Jean-Sébastien; Street, John; Cripton, Peter A

    2014-07-01

    In vivo human volunteer study of the intervertebral postural changes and muscle activity levels while tensing the neck muscles. To determine if actively tensing the neck muscles changes the posture of the cervical spine and, because axial impact neck injury often occurs while inverted, whether these changes exist both upright and upside down. Rollover accidents are dynamic and complex events in which head contacts with the vehicle interior can cause catastrophic neck injuries. Computational modeling has suggested that active neck muscles may increase the risk of cervical spine fracture in a rollover crash. Cadaver testing has also demonstrated that overall neck alignment and curvature are key to understanding and preventing catastrophic neck injuries. Although muscle activity and neck posture affects the resulting injury, there are currently no in vivo data describing how tensing the neck muscles influences intervertebral posture. Eleven human subjects (6 females, 5 males) actively tensed their neck muscles while seated upright and inverted. Vertebral alignment was measured using fluoroscopy and muscle activity was recorded using surface and indwelling electrodes in 8 neck muscles. On average, tensed muscles increased cervical spine curvature and anterior motion of the cervical vertebrae relative to the torso. These changes, which were magnified by inversion, indicate that cervical intervertebral posture differs considerably between the relaxed and tensed states. Active muscle contraction can change the vertebral alignment in upright and inverted postures. This change in posture may alter the load path and injury mechanics during an axial head impact and may help explain the disparity between the neck injuries observed in real-world rollover accidents and ex vivo cadaver experiments. N/A.

  14. Caribbean biogeography: molecular evidence for dispersal in West Indian terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed Central

    Hedges, S B; Hass, C A; Maxson, L R

    1992-01-01

    The geological association of the Greater Antilles with North and South America in the late Cretaceous led to the hypothesis that the present Antillean biota reflects those ancient land connections. Molecular data from diverse West Indian amphibians and reptiles and their mainland relatives support a more recent derivation of the Antillean vertebrate fauna by overwater dispersal. The catastrophic bolide impact in the Caribbean region at the close of the Cretaceous provides a proximate cause for the absence of an ancient West Indian biota. PMID:11607282

  15. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands—the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon: the relationship of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities and structural conditions (Part 2).

    Treesearch

    Chris Maser; Jack Ward Thomas; Ralph G. Anderson

    1984-01-01

    The relationships of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities, structural conditions, and special habitats in the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon are described in a series of appendices. The importance of habitat components to wildlife and the predictability of management activities on wildlife are examined in terms of managed rangelands. ...

  16. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands—the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon: the relationship of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities and structural conditions (Part 1).

    Treesearch

    Chris Maser; Jack Ward Thomas; Ralph G. Anderson

    1984-01-01

    The relationships of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities, structural conditions, and special habitats in the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon are described. The importance of habitat components to wildlife and the predictability of management activities on wildlife are examined in terms of managed rangelands. The paper does not provide guidelines but rather...

  17. Source habitats for terrestrial vertebrates of focus in the interior Columbia basin: broadscale trends and management implications. Volume 1—Overview.

    Treesearch

    Michael J. Wisdom; Richard S. Holthausen; Barbara C. Wales; Christina D. Hargis; Victoria A. Saab; Danny C. Lee; Wendel J. Hann; Terrell D. Rich; Mary M. Rowland; Wally J. Murphy; Michelle R. Eames

    2000-01-01

    We defined habitat requirements (source habitats) and assessed trends in these habitats for 91 species of terrestrial vertebrates on 58 million ha (145 million acres) of public and private lands within the interior Columbia basin (hereafter referred to as the basin). We also summarized knowledge about species-road relations for each species and mapped source habitats...

  18. An assessment of non-volant terrestrial vertebrates response to wind farms--a study of small mammals.

    PubMed

    Łopucki, Rafał; Mróz, Iwona

    2016-02-01

    The majority of studies on the effects of wind energy development on wildlife have been focused on birds and bats, whereas knowledge of the response of terrestrial, non-flying vertebrates is very scarce. In this paper, the impact of three functioning wind farms on terrestrial small mammal communities (rodents and shrews) and the population parameters of the most abundant species were studied. The study was carried out in southeastern Poland within the foothills of the Outer Western Carpathians. Small mammals were captured at 12 sites around wind turbines and at 12 control sites. In total, from 1200 trap-days, 885 individuals of 14 studied mammal species were captured. There was no difference in the characteristics of communities of small mammals near wind turbines and within control sites; i.e. these types of sites were inhabited by a similar number of species of similar abundance, similar species composition, species diversity (H' index) and species evenness (J') (Pielou's index). For the two species with the highest proportion in the communities (Apodemus agrarius and Microtus arvalis), the parameters of their populations (mean body mass, sex ratio, the proportion of adult individuals and the proportion of reproductive female) were analysed. In both species, none of the analysed parameters differed significantly between sites in the vicinity of turbines and control sites. For future studies on the impact of wind turbines on small terrestrial mammals in different geographical areas and different species communities, we recommend the method of paired 'turbine-control sites' as appropriate for animal species with pronounced fluctuations in population numbers.

  19. Crucial advantages of tail use in the evolution of vertebrate terrestrial locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astley, Henry; McInroe, Benjamin; Kawano, Sandy; Blob, Rick; Goldman, Daniel

    In the invasion of terrestrial environment, the first tetrapods faced the challenge of locomotion on flowable substrates (e.g. sand and mud), sometimes oriented at inclines. Although the morphology of many early tetrapods is known, robotic studies have revealed that effective locomotion on these substrates also depends strongly upon kinematics; slight differences in movements of the same appendage can lead to success or failure. Using a model organism (the mudskipper) and a robotic physical model, we demonstrate how muscular tails provided critical locomotor advantages on granular substrates that the first invaders of land likely encountered. Mudskippers use their tails for additional propulsion with increasing frequency as the slope of the granular material increases, and the decline in locomotor performance with slope is shallower when the tail is used. Experiments with a robotic model of the mudskipper showed that, while the tail did not always provide a benefit to locomotion, use of the tail made the robot's performance more robust, achieving effective locomotion on a wider range of slopes, limb postures and foot placements. These results suggest that, rather than simply being an inert appendage, the tails of early tetrapods were vital to their first forays into terrestrial habitats.

  20. Tidal marshes: A global perspective on the evolution and conservation of their terrestrial vertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenberg, Russell; Maldonado, Jesus; Droege, Sam; McDonald, M.V.

    2006-01-01

    Globally, tidal marshes are found in small pockets or narrow bands totaling only approximately 45,000 square kilometers. The combination of salinity, low floristic and structural complexity, and regular tidal inundation, as well as unpredictable catastrophic flooding, provides a unique selective environment that shapes local adaptations, including those that are morphological, physiological, demographic, and behavioral. Although tidal marshes support a low diversity of nonaquatic vertebrate species, a high proportion of these inhabitants, at least along North American coastlines, are restricted to or have subspecies restricted to tidal marshes. Tidal marshes and their endemic fauna face broad threats from a variety of human-caused environmental changes. Future research should focus on global inventories, intercontinental comparative work, and investigation to determine why almost all presently described endemic taxa appear to be found in North America.

  1. Controlling for the species-area effect supports constrained long-term Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate diversification.

    PubMed

    Close, Roger A; Benson, Roger B J; Upchurch, Paul; Butler, Richard J

    2017-05-22

    Variation in the geographic spread of fossil localities strongly biases inferences about the evolution of biodiversity, due to the ubiquitous scaling of species richness with area. This obscures answers to key questions, such as how tetrapods attained their tremendous extant diversity. Here, we address this problem by applying sampling standardization methods to spatial regions of equal size, within a global Mesozoic-early Palaeogene data set of non-flying terrestrial tetrapods. We recover no significant increase in species richness between the Late Triassic and the Cretaceous/Palaeogene (K/Pg) boundary, strongly supporting bounded diversification in Mesozoic tetrapods. An abrupt tripling of richness in the earliest Palaeogene suggests that this diversity equilibrium was reset following the K/Pg extinction. Spatial heterogeneity in sampling is among the most important biases of fossil data, but has often been overlooked. Our results indicate that controlling for variance in geographic spread in the fossil record significantly impacts inferred patterns of diversity through time.

  2. Locomotor preferences in terrestrial vertebrates: An online crowdsourcing approach to data collection

    PubMed Central

    Lees, John; Gardiner, James; Usherwood, James; Nudds, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how animals move within their environment is a burgeoning field of research. Despite this, relatively basic data, such as the locomotor speeds that animals choose to walk at in the wild, are sparse. If animals choose to walk with dynamic similarity, they will move at equal dimensionless speeds, represented by Froude number (Fr). Fr may be interpreted from simple limb kinematics obtained from video data. Here, using Internet videos, limb kinematics were measured in 112 bird and mammal species weighing between 0.61 and 5400 kg. This novel method of data collection enabled the determination of kinematics for animals walking at their self-selected speeds without the need for exhaustive fieldwork. At larger sizes, both birds and mammals prefer to walk at slower relative speeds and relative stride frequencies, as preferred Fr decreased in larger species, indicating that Fr may not be a good predictor of preferred locomotor speeds. This may result from the observation that the minimum cost of transport is approached at lower Fr in larger species. Birds walk with higher duty factors, lower stride frequencies and longer stance times compared to mammals at self-selected speeds. The trend towards lower preferred Fr is also apparent in extinct vertebrate species. PMID:27381514

  3. Analysis of Terrestrial Interference Protection from UAS CNPC Satellite Transmitters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerczewski, Robert J.; Wilson, Jeffrey D.; Bishop, William D.

    2016-01-01

    Unmanned aircraft (UA) are projected to have a major impact on future aviation. Larger UA operating at altitudes above 3000 feet will require at least occasional access to non-segregated, that is, controlled airspace. In order for unmanned aircraft to be integrated into the airspace and operate with other commercial aircraft, a very reliable command and control (a. k. a. control and non-payload communications, (CNPC)) link is required. For operations covering large distances or over remote locations, a beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) CNPC link implemented through a satellite will almost always be required. Protected aviation spectrum (aeronautical mobile satellite (route) service, or AMS(R)S) would normally be used for such a safety-critical link, however studies have shown that currently available aviation safety satellite spectrum is inadequate to support the projected BLOS CNPC link bandwidth requirements. To address this inadequacy, the 2015 World Radio communication Conference studied the possible use of the Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) to provide CNPC, including possible allocations in Ku-Band and Ka-Band, under Agenda Item (AI) 1.5. Although UA CNPC satellite links in these bands were shown to meet operational availability and continuity requirements, a serious complication exists in that there are also terrestrial service allocations in these bands, in particular, Fixed Service (FS) point-to-point and point-to-multipoint microwave digital links. During the WRC-15 study cycle, much opposition to AI 1.5 was generated based on fears that UA CNPC satellite transmitters in these bands would impose unacceptable levels of interference to the FS receivers. NASA analyzed the possible interference from the UA transmitters based on probable UA transmission and FS receiver characteristics, and UA traffic distributions and densities to determine conditions under which UA could operate without imposing unacceptable interference levels to the FS. Ultimately, UA power flux

  4. Controlling for the species-area effect supports constrained long-term Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate diversification

    PubMed Central

    Close, Roger A.; Benson, Roger B.J.; Upchurch, Paul; Butler, Richard J.

    2017-01-01

    Variation in the geographic spread of fossil localities strongly biases inferences about the evolution of biodiversity, due to the ubiquitous scaling of species richness with area. This obscures answers to key questions, such as how tetrapods attained their tremendous extant diversity. Here, we address this problem by applying sampling standardization methods to spatial regions of equal size, within a global Mesozoic-early Palaeogene data set of non-flying terrestrial tetrapods. We recover no significant increase in species richness between the Late Triassic and the Cretaceous/Palaeogene (K/Pg) boundary, strongly supporting bounded diversification in Mesozoic tetrapods. An abrupt tripling of richness in the earliest Palaeogene suggests that this diversity equilibrium was reset following the K/Pg extinction. Spatial heterogeneity in sampling is among the most important biases of fossil data, but has often been overlooked. Our results indicate that controlling for variance in geographic spread in the fossil record significantly impacts inferred patterns of diversity through time. PMID:28530240

  5. An Ecoregion-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm

    PubMed Central

    Olson, David; Joshi, Anup; Burgess, Neil D.; Wikramanayake, Eric; Hahn, Nathan; Palminteri, Suzanne; Hedao, Prashant; Noss, Reed; Hansen, Matt; Locke, Harvey; Ellis, Erle C; Jones, Benjamin; Barber, Charles Victor; Hayes, Randy; Kormos, Cyril; Martin, Vance; Crist, Eileen; Sechrest, Wes; Price, Lori; Baillie, Jonathan E. M.; Weeden, Don; Suckling, Kierán; Davis, Crystal; Sizer, Nigel; Moore, Rebecca; Thau, David; Birch, Tanya; Potapov, Peter; Turubanova, Svetlana; Tyukavina, Alexandra; de Souza, Nadia; Pintea, Lilian; Brito, José C.; Llewellyn, Othman A.; Miller, Anthony G.; Patzelt, Annette; Ghazanfar, Shahina A.; Timberlake, Jonathan; Klöser, Heinz; Shennan-Farpón, Yara; Kindt, Roeland; Lillesø, Jens-Peter Barnekow; van Breugel, Paulo; Graudal, Lars; Voge, Maianna; Al-Shammari, Khalaf F.; Saleem, Muhammad

    2017-01-01

    Abstract We assess progress toward the protection of 50% of the terrestrial biosphere to address the species-extinction crisis and conserve a global ecological heritage for future generations. Using a map of Earth's 846 terrestrial ecoregions, we show that 98 ecoregions (12%) exceed Half Protected; 313 ecoregions (37%) fall short of Half Protected but have sufficient unaltered habitat remaining to reach the target; and 207 ecoregions (24%) are in peril, where an average of only 4% of natural habitat remains. We propose a Global Deal for Nature—a companion to the Paris Climate Deal—to promote increased habitat protection and restoration, national- and ecoregion-scale conservation strategies, and the empowerment of indigenous peoples to protect their sovereign lands. The goal of such an accord would be to protect half the terrestrial realm by 2050 to halt the extinction crisis while sustaining human livelihoods. PMID:28608869

  6. An Ecoregion-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm.

    PubMed

    Dinerstein, Eric; Olson, David; Joshi, Anup; Vynne, Carly; Burgess, Neil D; Wikramanayake, Eric; Hahn, Nathan; Palminteri, Suzanne; Hedao, Prashant; Noss, Reed; Hansen, Matt; Locke, Harvey; Ellis, Erle C; Jones, Benjamin; Barber, Charles Victor; Hayes, Randy; Kormos, Cyril; Martin, Vance; Crist, Eileen; Sechrest, Wes; Price, Lori; Baillie, Jonathan E M; Weeden, Don; Suckling, Kierán; Davis, Crystal; Sizer, Nigel; Moore, Rebecca; Thau, David; Birch, Tanya; Potapov, Peter; Turubanova, Svetlana; Tyukavina, Alexandra; de Souza, Nadia; Pintea, Lilian; Brito, José C; Llewellyn, Othman A; Miller, Anthony G; Patzelt, Annette; Ghazanfar, Shahina A; Timberlake, Jonathan; Klöser, Heinz; Shennan-Farpón, Yara; Kindt, Roeland; Lillesø, Jens-Peter Barnekow; van Breugel, Paulo; Graudal, Lars; Voge, Maianna; Al-Shammari, Khalaf F; Saleem, Muhammad

    2017-06-01

    We assess progress toward the protection of 50% of the terrestrial biosphere to address the species-extinction crisis and conserve a global ecological heritage for future generations. Using a map of Earth's 846 terrestrial ecoregions, we show that 98 ecoregions (12%) exceed Half Protected; 313 ecoregions (37%) fall short of Half Protected but have sufficient unaltered habitat remaining to reach the target; and 207 ecoregions (24%) are in peril, where an average of only 4% of natural habitat remains. We propose a Global Deal for Nature-a companion to the Paris Climate Deal-to promote increased habitat protection and restoration, national- and ecoregion-scale conservation strategies, and the empowerment of indigenous peoples to protect their sovereign lands. The goal of such an accord would be to protect half the terrestrial realm by 2050 to halt the extinction crisis while sustaining human livelihoods.

  7. Coccidian parasites of fish encompass profound phylogenetic diversity and gave rise to each of the major parasitic groups in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Rosenthal, Benjamin M; Dunams-Morel, Detiger; Ostoros, Gyorgyi; Molnár, Kálmán

    2016-06-01

    Fish are the oldest and most diverse group of vertebrates; it therefore stands to reason that fish may have been the original hosts for many types of extant vertebrate parasites. Here, we sought to determine whether coccidian parasites of fish are especially diverse. We therefore sampled such parasites from thirty-nine species of fish and tested phylogenetic hypotheses concerning their relationships, using 18S rDNA. We found compelling phylogenetic support for distinctions among at least four lineages of piscine parasites presently ascribed to the genus Goussia. Some, but not all parasites attributed to Eimeria were confirmed as such. Major taxonomic revisions are likely justified for these parasites of fish, which appear to have given rise to each of the major lineages of coccidian parasites that subsequently proliferated in terrestrial vertebrates, including those such as Toxoplasma gondii that form tissue cysts in intermediate hosts. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Comparison of marine and terrestrial protected areas under federal jurisdiction in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lindholm, J.; Barr, B.

    2001-01-01

    There is a significant disparity in the protection of terrestrial and marine environments in the United States. Despite the considerable literature dedicated to the subject of protected areas, both terrestrial and marine, in the United States, we are not aware of work explicitly describing this dichotomy. We compared marine and terrestrial areas under federal jurisdiction to provide a quantitative assessment of the differences between the conservation of land and sea in the United States. Specifically, we compared national marine sanctuaries (including sanctuary preservation areas and ecological reserves) with national parks, national forests, and national wildlife refuges (including national wilderness preservation areas). Our results suggest that marine sanctuaries are fewer in number, smaller in total area, and smaller in percentage of area covered than are terrestrial protected areas.

  9. Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of Xenopus tropicalis Frog Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 Reveal Its Functional Evolution for Heat, Acid, and Capsaicin Sensitivities in Terrestrial Vertebrates*

    PubMed Central

    Ohkita, Masashi; Saito, Shigeru; Imagawa, Toshiaki; Takahashi, Kenji; Tominaga, Makoto; Ohta, Toshio

    2012-01-01

    The functional difference of thermosensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the evolutionary context has attracted attention, but thus far little information is available on the TRP vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) function of amphibians, which diverged earliest from terrestrial vertebrate lineages. In this study we cloned Xenopus tropicalis frog TRPV1 (xtTRPV1), and functional characterization was performed using HeLa cells heterologously expressing xtTRPV1 (xtTRPV1-HeLa) and dorsal root ganglion neurons isolated from X. tropicalis (xtDRG neurons) by measuring changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). The channel activity was also observed in xtTRPV1-expressing Xenopus oocytes. Furthermore, we tested capsaicin- and heat-induced nocifensive behaviors of the frog X. tropicalis in vivo. At the amino acid level, xtTRPV1 displays ∼60% sequence identity to other terrestrial vertebrate TRPV1 orthologues. Capsaicin induced [Ca2+]i increases in xtTRPV1-HeLa and xtDRG neurons and evoked nocifensive behavior in X. tropicalis. However, its sensitivity was extremely low compared with mammalian orthologues. Low extracellular pH and heat activated xtTRPV1-HeLa and xtDRG neurons. Heat also evoked nocifensive behavior. In oocytes expressing xtTRPV1, inward currents were elicited by heat and low extracellular pH. Mutagenesis analysis revealed that two amino acids (tyrosine 523 and alanine 561) were responsible for the low sensitivity to capsaicin. Taken together, our results indicate that xtTRPV1 functions as a polymodal receptor similar to its mammalian orthologues. The present study demonstrates that TRPV1 functions as a heat- and acid-sensitive channel in the ancestor of terrestrial vertebrates. Because it is possible to examine vanilloid and heat sensitivities in vitro and in vivo, X. tropicalis could be the ideal experimental lower vertebrate animal for the study of TRPV1 function. PMID:22130664

  10. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of Xenopus tropicalis frog transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 reveal its functional evolution for heat, acid, and capsaicin sensitivities in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Ohkita, Masashi; Saito, Shigeru; Imagawa, Toshiaki; Takahashi, Kenji; Tominaga, Makoto; Ohta, Toshio

    2012-01-20

    The functional difference of thermosensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the evolutionary context has attracted attention, but thus far little information is available on the TRP vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) function of amphibians, which diverged earliest from terrestrial vertebrate lineages. In this study we cloned Xenopus tropicalis frog TRPV1 (xtTRPV1), and functional characterization was performed using HeLa cells heterologously expressing xtTRPV1 (xtTRPV1-HeLa) and dorsal root ganglion neurons isolated from X. tropicalis (xtDRG neurons) by measuring changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)). The channel activity was also observed in xtTRPV1-expressing Xenopus oocytes. Furthermore, we tested capsaicin- and heat-induced nocifensive behaviors of the frog X. tropicalis in vivo. At the amino acid level, xtTRPV1 displays ∼60% sequence identity to other terrestrial vertebrate TRPV1 orthologues. Capsaicin induced [Ca(2+)](i) increases in xtTRPV1-HeLa and xtDRG neurons and evoked nocifensive behavior in X. tropicalis. However, its sensitivity was extremely low compared with mammalian orthologues. Low extracellular pH and heat activated xtTRPV1-HeLa and xtDRG neurons. Heat also evoked nocifensive behavior. In oocytes expressing xtTRPV1, inward currents were elicited by heat and low extracellular pH. Mutagenesis analysis revealed that two amino acids (tyrosine 523 and alanine 561) were responsible for the low sensitivity to capsaicin. Taken together, our results indicate that xtTRPV1 functions as a polymodal receptor similar to its mammalian orthologues. The present study demonstrates that TRPV1 functions as a heat- and acid-sensitive channel in the ancestor of terrestrial vertebrates. Because it is possible to examine vanilloid and heat sensitivities in vitro and in vivo, X. tropicalis could be the ideal experimental lower vertebrate animal for the study of TRPV1 function.

  11. Spatial analysis of Puerto Rico's terrestrial protected areas [1:240 000

    Treesearch

    M. Quinones; W.A. Gould; J. Castro-Prieto; S. Martinuzzi

    2013-01-01

    This research map describes Puerto Rico's terrestrial protected areas based on natural and anthropogenic elements of the landscape. We used geospatial data, i.e., land cover (Gould et al. 2007); urban, suburban, and rural settlements (Martinuzzi et al. 2008); and physiography to illustrate landscape elements and analyze what and how much is protected in Puerto...

  12. The densest terrestrial vertebrate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodda, G.H.; Perry, G.; Rondeau, R.J.; Lazell, J.

    2001-01-01

    As governments impose increasingly stringent regulations on the collection of bird specimens and as man alters ever greater areas of habitat with the loss of many of their contained species, museum specimens increase immeasurably in importance. Yet at present, museum collections do not contain an adequate representation of the world's avifauna and, unfortunately, are not likely to do so. Thus, it is imperative that data associated with specimens that are obtained be as complete as possible. To this end, we describe categories of information with wide application to many types of studies, outline character states, and recommend standard forms of data notation. We recognize that under certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to record more limited data. However, we encourage at least those engaged in general collecting to record as many of these standard data as possible.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  14. Global status of and prospects for protection of terrestrial geophysical diversity.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Eric W; Segan, Daniel B; Watson, James E M

    2015-06-01

    Conservation of representative facets of geophysical diversity may help conserve biological diversity as the climate changes. We conducted a global classification of terrestrial geophysical diversity and analyzed how land protection varies across geophysical diversity types. Geophysical diversity was classified in terms of soil type, elevation, and biogeographic realm and then compared to the global distribution of protected areas in 2012. We found that 300 (45%) of 672 broad geophysical diversity types currently meet the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi Target 11 of 17% terrestrial areal protection, which suggested that efforts to implement geophysical diversity conservation have a substantive basis on which to build. However, current protected areas were heavily biased toward high elevation and low fertility soils. We assessed 3 scenarios of protected area expansion and found that protection focused on threatened species, if fully implemented, would also protect an additional 29% of geophysical diversity types, ecoregional-focused protection would protect an additional 24%, and a combined scenario would protect an additional 42%. Future efforts need to specifically target low-elevation sites with productive soils for protection and manage for connectivity among geophysical diversity types. These efforts may be hampered by the sheer number of geophysical diversity facets that the world contains, which makes clear target setting and prioritization an important next step. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Using Artificial Life to Assess the Typicality of Terrestrial Life: Implications for Human Mission Planetary Protection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lupisella, Mark; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The extent to which extraterrestrial life questions can be addressed, in the absence of an actual example, rests in some measure on the extent to which terrestrial life is representative of life in general since we will likely have to draw heavily, if not completely, from terrestrial life research. One example of a practical question involving extraterrestrial life that arises in preparing for a human mission to another planet such as Mars, is trying to assess and minimize the possible adverse effects of the presence of humans on possible indigenous extraterrestrial life-forms. This paper will present some key planetary protection challenges for a human Mars mission and then focus on one possible approach for assessing the extent to which terrestrial life is representative of biological phenomena in general, informing perhaps, the level of confidence we might have in applying terrestrial research - to extraterrestrial life issues. The approach involves appealing to the relatively new field of Artificial Life (A-Life) to: (1) use what might be the most basic minimal set of life-defining characteristics in (2) a large number of open-ended Artificial Life simulations to generate a "life possibility space" (3) the products of which can be examined for their plausibility within the context of relevant constraining knowledge, so that (4) the remaining possibility space can be examined for its variability relative to terrestrial life, where low variability might suggest that terrestrial life is representative of life in general, and high variability would indicate otherwise.

  16. Using Artificial Life to Assess the Typicality of Terrestrial Life: Implications for Human Mission Planetary Protection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lupisella, Mark; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The extent to which extraterrestrial life questions can be addressed, in the absence of an actual example, rests in some measure on the extent to which terrestrial life is representative of life in general since we will likely have to draw heavily, if not completely, from terrestrial life research. One example of a practical question involving extraterrestrial life that arises in preparing for a human mission to another planet such as Mars, is trying to assess and minimize the possible adverse effects of the presence of humans on possible indigenous extraterrestrial life-forms. This paper will present some key planetary protection challenges for a human Mars mission and then focus on one possible approach for assessing the extent to which terrestrial life is representative of biological phenomena in general, informing perhaps, the level of confidence we might have in applying terrestrial research - to extraterrestrial life issues. The approach involves appealing to the relatively new field of Artificial Life (A-Life) to: (1) use what might be the most basic minimal set of life-defining characteristics in (2) a large number of open-ended Artificial Life simulations to generate a "life possibility space" (3) the products of which can be examined for their plausibility within the context of relevant constraining knowledge, so that (4) the remaining possibility space can be examined for its variability relative to terrestrial life, where low variability might suggest that terrestrial life is representative of life in general, and high variability would indicate otherwise.

  17. Eimeria that infect fish are diverse and are related to, but distinct from, those that infect terrestrial vertebrates

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Eimeria are ubiquitous Apicoplexan parasites (family: coccidia) of the gut epithelium of vertebrates which complete their development in a single host species and whose sporocysts may be recognized by the presence of a Stieda body through which their sporozoites excyst. Their diversity and rel...

  18. China's endemic vertebrates sheltering under the protective umbrella of the giant panda.

    PubMed

    Li, Binbin V; Pimm, Stuart L

    2016-04-01

    The giant panda attracts disproportionate conservation resources. How well does this emphasis protect other endemic species? Detailed data on geographical ranges are not available for plants or invertebrates, so we restrict our analyses to 3 vertebrate taxa: birds, mammals, and amphibians. There are gaps in their protection, and we recommend practical actions to fill them. We identified patterns of species richness, then identified which species are endemic to China, and then which, like the panda, live in forests. After refining each species' range by its known elevational range and remaining forest habitats as determined from remote sensing, we identified the top 5% richest areas as the centers of endemism. Southern mountains, especially the eastern Hengduan Mountains, were centers for all 3 taxa. Over 96% of the panda habitat overlapped the endemic centers. Thus, investing in almost any panda habitat will benefit many other endemics. Existing panda national nature reserves cover all but one of the endemic species that overlap with the panda's distribution. Of particular interest are 14 mammal, 20 bird, and 82 amphibian species that are inadequately protected. Most of these species the International Union for Conservation of Nature currently deems threatened. But 7 mammal, 3 bird, and 20 amphibian species are currently nonthreatened, yet their geographical ranges are <20,000 km(2) after accounting for elevational restriction and remaining habitats. These species concentrate mainly in Sichuan, Yunnan, Nan Mountains, and Hainan. There is a high concentration in the east Daxiang and Xiaoxiang Mountains of Sichuan, where pandas are absent and where there are no national nature reserves. The others concentrate in Yunnan, Nan Mountains, and Hainan. Here, 10 prefectures might establish new protected areas or upgrade local nature reserves to national status.

  19. Effectiveness of protected areas for representing species and populations of terrestrial mammals in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    González-Maya, José F; Víquez-R, Luis R; Belant, Jerrold L; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    Costa Rica has one of the greatest percentages (26%) of protected land in the world. The National Protected Areas System (NPAS) of Costa Rica was established in 1976 and currently includes >190 protected areas within seven different protection categories. The effectiveness of the NPAS to represent species, populations, and areas with high species richness has not been properly evaluated. Such evaluations are fundamental to understand what is necessary to strengthen the NPAS and better protect biodiversity. We present a novel assessment of NPAS effectiveness in protecting mammal species. We compiled the geographical ranges of all terrestrial Costa Rican mammals then determined species lists for all protected areas and the estimated proportion of each species' geographic range protected. We also classified mammal species according to their conservation status using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We found almost complete representation of mammal species (98.5%) in protected areas, but low relative coverage (28.3% on average) of their geographic ranges in Costa Rica and 25% of the species were classified as underprotected according to a priori representation targets. Interestingly, many species-rich areas are not protected, and at least 43% of cells covering the entire country are not included in protected areas. Though protected areas in Costa Rica represent species richness well, strategic planning for future protected areas to improve species complementarity and range protection is necessary. Our results can help to define sites where new protected areas can have a greater impact on mammal conservation, both in terms of species richness and range protection.

  20. Effectiveness of Protected Areas for Representing Species and Populations of Terrestrial Mammals in Costa Rica

    PubMed Central

    González-Maya, José F.; Víquez-R, Luis R.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    Costa Rica has one of the greatest percentages (26%) of protected land in the world. The National Protected Areas System (NPAS) of Costa Rica was established in 1976 and currently includes >190 protected areas within seven different protection categories. The effectiveness of the NPAS to represent species, populations, and areas with high species richness has not been properly evaluated. Such evaluations are fundamental to understand what is necessary to strengthen the NPAS and better protect biodiversity. We present a novel assessment of NPAS effectiveness in protecting mammal species. We compiled the geographical ranges of all terrestrial Costa Rican mammals then determined species lists for all protected areas and the estimated proportion of each species’ geographic range protected. We also classified mammal species according to their conservation status using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We found almost complete representation of mammal species (98.5%) in protected areas, but low relative coverage (28.3% on average) of their geographic ranges in Costa Rica and 25% of the species were classified as underprotected according to a priori representation targets. Interestingly, many species-rich areas are not protected, and at least 43% of cells covering the entire country are not included in protected areas. Though protected areas in Costa Rica represent species richness well, strategic planning for future protected areas to improve species complementarity and range protection is necessary. Our results can help to define sites where new protected areas can have a greater impact on mammal conservation, both in terms of species richness and range protection. PMID:25970293

  1. Good governance for terrestrial protected areas: A framework, principles and performance outcomes.

    PubMed

    Lockwood, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Governing norms by which to steer traditional government functions are well established and understood; however, this is not the case for the new multi-level and collaborative approaches that characterize protected area governance. This is largely new territory that makes novel demands on governance institutions and policy. In this context, establishing and maintaining good governance across the diversity of ownership and responsibility arrangements is critical for the future effectiveness and acceptability of protected areas. Fulfilling the promise and avoiding the pitfalls inherent in contemporary protected area governance will require an understanding of what is meant by 'good governance' and development of associated mechanisms to assess performance and provide a basis for improvement. This paper's contribution lies in the guidance it provides for the hitherto under-developed area of governance quality assessment. I first present a framework that positions governance quality in relation to governance and management effectiveness. I then characterize good protected area governance according to a set of seven principles - legitimacy, transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, fairness, connectivity and resilience. Together, the framework, governance principles and related performance outcomes provide a platform for assessment of governance quality for an individual terrestrial protected area, a network of several protected areas, or a national protected area system.

  2. Why are some mitochondria more powerful than others: insights from comparisons of muscle mitochondria from three terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Guderley, Helga; Turner, Nigel; Else, Paul L; Hulbert, A J

    2005-10-01

    We studied the molecular composition of muscle mitochondria to evaluate whether the contents of cytochromes or adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) or phospholipid acyl compositions reflect differences in mitochondrial oxidative capacities. We isolated mitochondria from three vertebrates of similar size and preferred temperature, the rat (Rattus norvegicus), the cane toad (Bufo marinus) and the bearded dragon lizard (Pogona vitticeps). Mitochondrial oxidative capacities were higher in rats and cane toads than in bearded dragon, whether rates were expressed relative to protein, cytochromes or ANT. Inter-specific differences were least pronounced when rates were expressed relative to cytochrome A, a component of cytochrome C oxidase (CCO), or ANT. In mitochondria from rat and cane toad, cytochrome A was more abundant than C followed by B and then C(1), while in bearded dragon mitochondria, the cytochromes were present in roughly equal levels. Analysis of correlations between mitochondrial oxidative capacities and macromolecular components revealed that cytochrome A explained at least half of the intra- and inter-specific variability in substrate oxidation rates. ANT levels were an excellent correlate of state 3 rates while phospholipid contents were correlated with state 4 rates. As the % poly-unsaturation and the % 20:4n-6 in mitochondrial phospholipids were equivalent in toads and rats, and exceeded the levels in lizards, they may contribute to the inter-specific differences in oxidative capacities. We suggest that the numbers of CCO and ANT together with the poly-unsaturation of phospholipids explain the higher oxidative capacities in muscle mitochondria from rats and cane toads.

  3. The applicability of terrestrial visitor impact management strategies to the protection of coral reefs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marion, J.L.; Rogers, C.S.

    1994-01-01

    A dramatic expansion in nature-based tourism to tropical coastal destinations has occurred in the past 20 years. Tourism development, combined with intense recreational pressures, has irreversibly transformed and degraded many popular scenic natural environments. This paper examines the management of recreational impacts to coral reefs using Virgin Islands National Park as a case study. A review of terrestrial recreational ecology research explores the implications and potential applicability of some principal findings to the protection of coral reefs. Visitor impact management recommendations for the protection of coral reefs are offered. Managers can minimize coral reef recreational impacts by (1) restricting high-impact uses, (2) containing rather than dispersing recreational use, (3) encouraging the use of resistant environments, (4) teaching low-impact recreational practices, and (5) enforcing park rules and regulations.

  4. Protecting terrestrial ecosystems and the climate through a global carbon market.

    PubMed

    Bonnie, Robert; Carey, Melissa; Petsonk, Annie

    2002-08-15

    Protecting terrestrial ecosystems through international environmental laws requires the development of economic mechanisms that value the Earth's natural systems. The major international treaties to address ecosystem protection lack meaningful binding obligations and the requisite financial instruments to affect large-scale conservation. The Kyoto Protocol's emissions-trading framework creates economic incentives for nations to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions cost effectively. Incorporating GHG impacts from land-use activities into this system would create a market for an important ecosystem service provided by forests and agricultural lands: sequestration of atmospheric carbon. This would spur conservation efforts while reducing the 20% of anthropogenic CO(2) emissions produced by land-use change, particularly tropical deforestation. The Kyoto negotiations surrounding land-use activities have been hampered by a lack of robust carbon inventory data. Moreover, the Protocol's provisions agreed to in Kyoto made it difficult to incorporate carbon-sequestering land-use activities into the emissions-trading framework without undermining the atmospheric GHG reductions contemplated in the treaty. Subsequent negotiations since 1997 failed to produce a crediting system that provides meaningful incentives for enhanced carbon sequestration. Notably, credit for reducing rates of tropical deforestation was explicitly excluded from the Protocol. Ultimately, an effective GHG emissions-trading framework will require full carbon accounting for all emissions and sequestration from terrestrial ecosystems. Improved inventory systems and capacity building for developing nations will, therefore, be necessary.

  5. Turbines and Terrestrial Vertebrates: Variation in Tortoise Survivorship Between a Wind Energy Facility and an Adjacent Undisturbed Wildland Area in the Desert Southwest (USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Augustine, Benjamin; Arundel, Terence R.; Murphy, Mason O.; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Delaney, David; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Madrak, Sheila V.; Price, Steven J.

    2015-08-01

    With the recent increase in utility-scale wind energy development, researchers have become increasingly concerned how this activity will affect wildlife and their habitat. To understand the potential impacts of wind energy facilities (WEF) post-construction (i.e., operation and maintenance) on wildlife, we compared differences in activity centers and survivorship of Agassiz's desert tortoises ( Gopherus agassizii) inside or near a WEF to neighboring tortoises living near a wilderness area (NWA) and farther from the WEF. We found that the size of tortoise activity centers varied, but not significantly so, between the WEF (6.25 ± 2.13 ha) and adjacent NWA (4.13 ± 1.23 ha). However, apparent survival did differ significantly between the habitat types: over the 18-year study period apparent annual survival estimates were 0.96 ± 0.01 for WEF tortoises and 0.92 ± 0.02 for tortoises in the NWA. High annual survival suggests that operation and maintenance of the WEF has not caused considerable declines in the adult population over the past two decades. Low traffic volume, enhanced resource availability, and decreased predator populations may influence annual survivorship at this WEF. Further research on these proximate mechanisms and population recruitment would be useful for mitigating and managing post-development impacts of utility-scale wind energy on long-lived terrestrial vertebrates.

  6. Turbines and terrestrial vertebrates: variation in tortoise survivorship between a wind energy facility and an adjacent undisturbed wildland area in the desert southwest (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Augustine, Benjamin J.; Arundel, Terry; Murphy, Mason O.; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Delaney, David F.; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Madrak, Sheila V.; Price, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    With the recent increase in utility-scale wind energy development, researchers have become increasingly concerned how this activity will affect wildlife and their habitat. To understand the potential impacts of wind energy facilities (WEF) post-construction (i.e., operation and maintenance) on wildlife, we compared differences in activity centers and survivorship of Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) inside or near a WEF to neighboring tortoises living near a wilderness area (NWA) and farther from the WEF. We found that the size of tortoise activity centers varied, but not significantly so, between the WEF (6.25 ± 2.13 ha) and adjacent NWA (4.13 ± 1.23 ha). However, apparent survival did differ significantly between the habitat types: over the 18 year study period apparent annual survival estimates were 0.96 ± 0.01 for WEF tortoises and 0.92 ± 0.02 for tortoises in the NWA. High annual survival suggests that operation and maintenance of the WEF has not caused considerable declines in the adult population over the past two decades. Low traffic volume, enhanced resource availability and decreased predator populations may influence annual survivorship at this WEF. Further research on these proximate mechanisms and population recruitment would be useful for mitigating and managing post-development impacts of utility scale wind energy on long-lived terrestrial vertebrates.

  7. Interferences of an environmental pollutant with estrogen-like action in the male reproductive system of the terrestrial vertebrate Podarcis sicula.

    PubMed

    Verderame, Mariailaria; Limatola, Ermelinda

    2015-03-01

    Nonylphenol (NP) is classified among the endocrine disruptor chemicals with estrogen-like properties. It is widely used in many industries and to dilute pesticides in agriculture, and is known to affect the reproductive system of many aquatic and semi-aquatic organisms. This study aimed to verify how NP, administered via food and water, may interfere with the reproductive cycle of a terrestrial vertebrate. Our model was the male Italian wall lizard Podarcis sicula, a seasonal breeding species that may be naturally exposed to environmental pollution. From our findings it emerges that an NP-polluted diet administered during the mating period causes in this lizard a slowdown of spermatogenesis and affects the testicular and epididymal structure, making it similar to that of the non-reproductive period. The distribution in the testis and epididymis of mRNA for steroid hormone receptors, i.e., estrogen α and β and androgen receptors, was also investigated. NP treatment inhibits the expression of AR, ERα, and ERβ-mRNA in spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes and causes a switch-off of the secretory activity of the epididymal corpus by inducing the expression of ERα. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Turbines and Terrestrial Vertebrates: Variation in Tortoise Survivorship Between a Wind Energy Facility and an Adjacent Undisturbed Wildland Area in the Desert Southwest (USA).

    PubMed

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E; Ennen, Joshua R; Augustine, Benjamin; Arundel, Terence R; Murphy, Mason O; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Delaney, David; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Madrak, Sheila V; Price, Steven J

    2015-08-01

    With the recent increase in utility-scale wind energy development, researchers have become increasingly concerned how this activity will affect wildlife and their habitat. To understand the potential impacts of wind energy facilities (WEF) post-construction (i.e., operation and maintenance) on wildlife, we compared differences in activity centers and survivorship of Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) inside or near a WEF to neighboring tortoises living near a wilderness area (NWA) and farther from the WEF. We found that the size of tortoise activity centers varied, but not significantly so, between the WEF (6.25 ± 2.13 ha) and adjacent NWA (4.13 ± 1.23 ha). However, apparent survival did differ significantly between the habitat types: over the 18-year study period apparent annual survival estimates were 0.96 ± 0.01 for WEF tortoises and 0.92 ± 0.02 for tortoises in the NWA. High annual survival suggests that operation and maintenance of the WEF has not caused considerable declines in the adult population over the past two decades. Low traffic volume, enhanced resource availability, and decreased predator populations may influence annual survivorship at this WEF. Further research on these proximate mechanisms and population recruitment would be useful for mitigating and managing post-development impacts of utility-scale wind energy on long-lived terrestrial vertebrates.

  9. THE INFLUENCE OF THERMAL EVOLUTION IN THE MAGNETIC PROTECTION OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Bustamante, Sebastian; Cuartas, Pablo A.; Hoyos, Jaime H. E-mail: sbustama@pegasus.udea.edu.co E-mail: jhhoyos@udem.edu.co

    2013-06-10

    Magnetic protection of potentially habitable planets plays a central role in determining their actual habitability and/or the chances of detecting atmospheric biosignatures. Here we develop a thermal evolution model of potentially habitable Earth-like planets and super-Earths (SEs). Using up-to-date dynamo-scaling laws, we predict the properties of core dynamo magnetic fields and study the influence of thermal evolution on their properties. The level of magnetic protection of tidally locked and unlocked planets is estimated by combining simplified models of the planetary magnetosphere and a phenomenological description of the stellar wind. Thermal evolution introduces a strong dependence of magnetic protection on planetary mass and rotation rate. Tidally locked terrestrial planets with an Earth-like composition would have early dayside magnetopause distances between 1.5 and 4.0 R{sub p} , larger than previously estimated. Unlocked planets with periods of rotation {approx}1 day are protected by magnetospheres extending between 3 and 8 R{sub p} . Our results are robust in comparison with variations in planetary bulk composition and uncertainties in other critical model parameters. For illustration purposes, the thermal evolution and magnetic protection of the potentially habitable SEs GL 581d, GJ 667Cc, and HD 40307g were also studied. Assuming an Earth-like composition, we found that the dynamos of these planets are already extinct or close to being shut down. While GL 581d is the best protected, the protection of HD 40307g cannot be reliably estimated. GJ 667Cc, even under optimistic conditions, seems to be severely exposed to the stellar wind, and, under the conditions of our model, has probably suffered massive atmospheric losses.

  10. Endovascular stenting of symptomatic innominate artery stenosis under distal balloon protection of the internal carotid and vertebral artery for cerebral protection: a technical case report.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Shigeyuki; Kiura, Yoshihiro; Kajihara, Yosuke; Mukada, Kazutoshi; Kurisu, Kaoru

    2013-02-01

    The use of cerebral protection devices in endovascular treatment for innominate artery (IA) stenosis is not well established. We describe a novel technique for cerebral protection during endovascular stenting of symptomatic IA stenosis. An 82-year-old man presented with acutely scattered brain infarction by artery-to-artery embolism due to IA stenosis. Endovascular treatment for symptomatic IA stenosis was planned to prevent recurrent attacks. Endovascular stenting for IA stenosis via the right femoral artery approach was performed under simultaneous distal balloon protection of the right internal carotid artery (ICA) and vertebral artery (VA) via the right brachial artery approach. Successful treatment of symptomatic IA stenosis was achieved with no complications. The technique with simultaneous distal balloon protection of the ICA and VA provided excellent cerebral protection in stenting of IA stenosis.

  11. Use of survey data to develop sediment criteria for protecting aquatic vertebrates in mountain streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined the relationship of aquatic vertebrate taxa abundances and an index of biotic integrity (IBI) to reachwide measures of areal percent streambed surficial fines (≤ 0.06 mm) and sand and fines (≤ 2 mm), based on data collected from 557 wadeable streams in the Western Mou...

  12. UAS Satellite Earth Station Emission Limits for Terrestrial System Interference Protection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerczewski, Robert J.; Bishop, William D.

    2017-01-01

    Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) will have a major impact on future aviation. Medium and large UA operating at altitudes above 3000 feet will require access to non-segregated, that is, controlled airspace. In order for unmanned aircraft to be integrated into the airspace and operate with other commercial aircraft, a very reliable command and control (C2, a. k. a. control and non-payload communications, (CNPC)) link is required. For operations covering large distances or over remote locations, a beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) CNPC link would need to be implemented through satellite. Significant progress has taken place on several fronts to advance the integration of UAS into controlled airspace, including the recent completion of Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for terrestrial line-of-sight (LOS) UAS command and control (C2) links. The development of MOPS for beyond line-of-sight C2 satellite communication links is underway. Meanwhile the allocation of spectrum for UAS C2 by the International Telecommunications Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) has also progressed. Spectrum for LOS C2 was allocated at the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12), and for BLOS C2 an allocation was made at WRC-15, under WRC-15 Resolution 155. Resolution 155, however, does not come into effect until several other actions have been completed. One of these required actions is the identification of a power flux density (pfd) limit on the emissions of UAS Ku-Band satellite communications transmitters reaching the ground. The pfd limit is intended to protect terrestrial systems from harmful interference. WRC-19 is expected to finalize the pfd limit. In preparation for WRC-19, analyses of the required pfd limit are on-going, and supporting activities such as propagation modeling are also planned. This paper provides the status of these activities.

  13. Coccidian parasites of fish encompass profound phylogenetic diversity and gave rise to each of the major parasitic groups in terrestrial vertebrates

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Coccidian paraasites are ubiquitous single-celled protists that cause enteric disease in all manner of vertebrate hosts. These include infections of wildlife, livestock, and people, resulting in a variety of disease outcomes. The diversity and relationships among these diverse parasites is best kn...

  14. Research information needs on terrestrial vertebrate species of the interior Columbia basin and northern portions of the Klamath and Great Basins: a research, development, and application database.

    Treesearch

    Bruce G. Marcot

    1997-01-01

    Research information needs on selected invertebrates and all vertebrates of the interior Columbia River basin and adjacent areas in the United States were collected into a research, development, and application database as part of the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project. The database includes 482 potential research study topics on 232 individual...

  15. Local biodiversity is higher inside than outside terrestrial protected areas worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Claudia L.; Hill, Samantha L. L.; Newbold, Tim; Hudson, Lawrence N.; Börger, Luca; Contu, Sara; Hoskins, Andrew J.; Ferrier, Simon; Purvis, Andy; Scharlemann, Jörn P. W.

    2016-01-01

    Protected areas are widely considered essential for biodiversity conservation. However, few global studies have demonstrated that protection benefits a broad range of species. Here, using a new global biodiversity database with unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverage, we compare four biodiversity measures at sites sampled in multiple land uses inside and outside protected areas. Globally, species richness is 10.6% higher and abundance 14.5% higher in samples taken inside protected areas compared with samples taken outside, but neither rarefaction-based richness nor endemicity differ significantly. Importantly, we show that the positive effects of protection are mostly attributable to differences in land use between protected and unprotected sites. Nonetheless, even within some human-dominated land uses, species richness and abundance are higher in protected sites. Our results reinforce the global importance of protected areas but suggest that protection does not consistently benefit species with small ranges or increase the variety of ecological niches. PMID:27465407

  16. Vertebrate skeletogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Lefebvre, Véronique; Bhattaram, Pallavi

    2011-01-01

    Vertebrate skeletogenesis consists in elaborating an edifice of more than 200 pieces of bone and cartilage. Each skeletal piece is crafted at a distinct location in the body, is articulated with others, and reaches a specific size, shape, and tissue composition according to both species instructions and individual determinants. This complex, customized body frame fulfills multiple essential tasks. It confers morphological features, allows controlled postures and movements, protects vital organs, houses hematopoiesis, stores minerals, and adsorbs toxins. This review provides an overview of the multiple facets of this ingenious process for experts as well as non-experts of skeletogenesis. We explain how the developing vertebrate uses both specific and ubiquitously expressed genes to generate multipotent mesenchymal cells, specify them to a skeletogenic fate, control their survival and proliferation, and direct their differentiation into cartilage, bone and joint cells. We review milestone discoveries made towards uncovering the intricate networks of regulatory factors that are involved in these processes, with an emphasis on signaling pathways and transcription factors. We describe numerous skeletal malformation and degeneration diseases that occur in humans as a result of mutations in regulatory genes, and explain how these diseases both help and motivate us to further decipher skeletogenic processes. Upon discussing current knowledge and gaps in knowledge in the control of skeletogenesis, we highlight ultimate research goals, and propose research priorities and approaches for future endeavors. PMID:20691853

  17. Representation of Ecosystem Services by Terrestrial Protected Areas: Chile as a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Durán, América P.; Casalegno, Stefano; Marquet, Pablo A.; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2013-01-01

    Protected areas are increasingly considered to play a key role in the global maintenance of ecosystem processes and the ecosystem services they provide. It is thus vital to assess the extent to which existing protected area systems represent those services. Here, for the first time, we document the effectiveness of the current Chilean protected area system and its planned extensions in representing both ecosystem services (plant productivity, carbon storage and agricultural production) and biodiversity. Additionally, we evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas based on their respective management objectives. Our results show that existing protected areas in Chile do not contain an unusually high proportion of carbon storage (14.9%), agricultural production (0.2%) or biodiversity (11.8%), and also represent a low level of plant productivity (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index of 0.38). Proposed additional priority sites enhance the representation of ecosystem services and biodiversity, but not sufficiently to attain levels of representation higher than would be expected for their area of coverage. Moreover, when the species groups were assessed separately, amphibians was the only one well represented. Suggested priority sites for biodiversity conservation, without formal protection yet, was the only protected area category that over-represents carbon storage, agricultural production and biodiversity. The low representation of ecosystem services and species’ distribution ranges by the current protected area system is because these protected areas are heavily biased toward southern Chile, and contain large extents of ice and bare rock. The designation and management of proposed priority sites needs to be addressed in order to increase the representation of ecosystem services within the Chilean protected area system. PMID:24376559

  18. Representation of ecosystem services by terrestrial protected areas: Chile as a case study.

    PubMed

    Durán, América P; Casalegno, Stefano; Marquet, Pablo A; Gaston, Kevin J

    2013-01-01

    Protected areas are increasingly considered to play a key role in the global maintenance of ecosystem processes and the ecosystem services they provide. It is thus vital to assess the extent to which existing protected area systems represent those services. Here, for the first time, we document the effectiveness of the current Chilean protected area system and its planned extensions in representing both ecosystem services (plant productivity, carbon storage and agricultural production) and biodiversity. Additionally, we evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas based on their respective management objectives. Our results show that existing protected areas in Chile do not contain an unusually high proportion of carbon storage (14.9%), agricultural production (0.2%) or biodiversity (11.8%), and also represent a low level of plant productivity (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index of 0.38). Proposed additional priority sites enhance the representation of ecosystem services and biodiversity, but not sufficiently to attain levels of representation higher than would be expected for their area of coverage. Moreover, when the species groups were assessed separately, amphibians was the only one well represented. Suggested priority sites for biodiversity conservation, without formal protection yet, was the only protected area category that over-represents carbon storage, agricultural production and biodiversity. The low representation of ecosystem services and species' distribution ranges by the current protected area system is because these protected areas are heavily biased toward southern Chile, and contain large extents of ice and bare rock. The designation and management of proposed priority sites needs to be addressed in order to increase the representation of ecosystem services within the Chilean protected area system.

  19. Protective effect of Tribulus terrestris linn on liver and kidney in cadmium intoxicated rats.

    PubMed

    Lakshmi, G Dhana; Kumar, P Ravi; Bharavi, K; Annapurna, P; Rajendar, B; Patel, Pankaj T; Kumar, C S V Satish; Rao, G S

    2012-02-01

    Administration of cadmium (Cd) significantly increased the peroxidation markers such as malondialdehyde and protein carbonyls along with significant decrease in antioxidant markers such as super oxide dismutase and reduced glutathione in liver and kidney tissues. Cadmium also caused a significant alteration in hepatic and renal functional markers in serum viz. total protein, albumin, alanine transaminase, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine. Prominent pathological changes observed in liver were severe vascular and sinusoidal congestion with diffuse degenerative changes and mononuclear infiltration into peripheral areas, while the kidney showed vascular and glomerular congestion, cloudy swelling of tubular epithelium. Coadministration of ethonolic extract of T. terrestris or vitamin E along with Cd significantly reversed the Cd induced changes along with significant reduction in Cd load.

  20. Considerations of an air-quality standard to protect terrestrial vegetation from acidic precipitation

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, L.S.

    1981-01-01

    Studies on the effects of acidic precipitation which is here defined as wet or frozen deposition with a hydrogen ion concentration greater than 2.5 ..mu..eq 1/sup -1/, are reviewed. At the present time there is an inadequate amount of information that shows decreases in crop growth except for one field study. Most studies with plants (crops and forests) are inadequate for standard setting because they are not conducted in the field with adequate randomization of plots coupled with rigorous statistical analyses. Although visible injury to foliage has been documented in a variety of greenhouse studies, no experimental evidence demonstrates loss of field crop value or reduction in plant productivity due to visible foliar injury. Acidic precipitation can contribute nutrients to vegetation and could also influence leaching rates of nutrients from vegetation. Although these processes occur, there are no data that show changes in nutrient levels in foliage that relate to crop or natural ecosystem productivity. Experimental results show that fertilization of ferns is inhibited by current levels of acidic precipitation in the northeastern United States. However, the overall impacts of inhibited fertilization on perpetuation of the species or ecosystem productivity have not been evaluated. Simulated acidic precipitation has been shown to effect plant pathogens in greenhouse and field experiments. Simulated acidic precipitation inhibited pathogen activities under some circumstances and promoted pathogen activities under other circumstances. No conclusion can be drawn about the effects of current levels of precipitation acidity on plant pathogen-host interactions. From these data it must be concluded that research on the effects of acidic precipitation on terrestrial vegetation is too meager to draw any conclusions with regard to an air quality standard.

  1. Iron-scytonemin complexes: DFT calculations on new UV protectants for terrestrial cyanobacteria and astrobiological implications.

    PubMed

    Varnali, Tereza; Edwards, Howell G M

    2010-09-01

    Cyanobacterial colonies produce the radiation-protectant biomolecule scytonemin as part of their response strategy for survival in environmentally stressed conditions in hot and cold deserts. These colonies frequently use sandstone rocks as host matrices for subsurface colonization, which is accompanied by a zone of depletion of iron and transportation of iron compounds to the mineral surface. It is suggested that an iron-scytonemin complex could feature in this survival strategy and facilitate the movement of iron through the rock. Calculations were carried out on several hypothetical iron-scytonemin complexes to evaluate the most stable structure energetically and examine the effect of the complexation of the biomolecule upon the electronic absorption characteristics of the radiation-protectant species. The implications for extraterrestrial planetary detection and analytical monitoring of an iron-scytonemin complex are assessed.

  2. Eco-SpaCE: an object-oriented, spatially explicit model to assess the risk of multiple environmental stressors on terrestrial vertebrate populations.

    PubMed

    Loos, Mark; Ragas, Ad M J; Plasmeijer, Rinus; Schipper, Aafke M; Hendriks, A Jan

    2010-08-15

    Wildlife organisms are exposed to a combination of chemical, biological and physical stressors. Information about the relative impact of each stressor can support management decisions, e.g., by the allocation of resources to counteract those stressors that cause most harm. The present paper introduces Eco-SpaCE; a novel receptor-oriented cumulative exposure model for wildlife species that includes relevant ecological processes such as spatial habitat variation, food web relations, predation, and life history. A case study is presented in which the predicted mortality due to cadmium contamination is compared with the predicted mortality due to flooding, starvation, and predation for three small mammal species (Wood mouse, Common vole, and European mole) and a predator (Little owl) living in a lowland floodplain along the river Rhine in The Netherlands. Results indicated that cadmium is the principal stressor for European mole and Little owl populations. Wood mouse and Common vole population densities were mainly influenced by flooding and food availability. Their estimated population sizes were consistent with numbers reported in literature. Predictions for cadmium accumulation and flooding stress were in agreement with field data. The large uncertainty around cadmium toxicity for wildlife leads to the conclusion that more species-specific ecotoxicological data is required for more realistic risk assessments. The predictions for starvation were subject to the limited quantitative information on biomass obtainable as food for vertebrates. It is concluded that the modelling approach employed in Eco-SpaCE, combining ecology with ecotoxicology, provides a viable option to explore the relative contribution of contamination to the overall stress in an ecosystem. This can help environmental managers to prioritize management options, and to reduce local risks.

  3. Iron-Scytonemin Complexes: DFT Calculations on New UV Protectants for Terrestrial Cyanobacteria and Astrobiological Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varnali, Tereza; Edwards, Howell G. M.

    2010-09-01

    Cyanobacterial colonies produce the radiation-protectant biomolecule scytonemin as part of their response strategy for survival in environmentally stressed conditions in hot and cold deserts. These colonies frequently use sandstone rocks as host matrices for subsurface colonization, which is accompanied by a zone of depletion of iron and transportation of iron compounds to the mineral surface. It is suggested that an iron-scytonemin complex could feature in this survival strategy and facilitate the movement of iron through the rock. Calculations were as host matrices for subsurface colonization, which is accompanied by a zone of depletion of iron and transportation of iron compounds to the mineral surface. It is suggested that an iron-scytonemin complex could feature in this survival strategy and facilitate the movement of iron through the rock. Calculations were carried out on several hypothetical iron-scytonemin complexes to evaluate the most stable structure energetically and examine the effect of the complexation of the biomolecule upon the electronic absorption characteristics of the radiation-protectant species. The implications for extraterrestrial planetary detection and analytical monitoring of an iron-scytonemin complex are assessed.

  4. Understanding local-scale drivers of biodiversity outcomes in terrestrial protected areas.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Megan D; Craigie, Ian D; Dudley, Nigel; Hockings, Marc

    2017-07-01

    Conservation relies heavily on protected areas (PAs) maintaining their key biodiversity features to meet global biodiversity conservation goals. However, PAs have had variable success, with many failing to fully maintain their biodiversity features. The current literature concerning what drives variability in PA performance is rapidly expanding but unclear, sometimes contradictory, and spread across multiple disciplines. A clear understanding of the drivers of successful biodiversity conservation in PAs is necessary to make them fully effective. Here, we conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current state of knowledge concerning the drivers of biological outcomes within PAs, focusing on those that can be addressed at local scales. We evaluate evidence in support of potential drivers to identify those that enable more successful outcomes and those that impede success and provide a synthetic review. Interactions are discussed where they are known, and we highlight gaps in understanding. We find that elements of PA design, management, and local and national governance challenges, species and system ecology, and sociopolitical context can all influence outcomes. Adjusting PA management to focus on actions and policies that influence the key drivers identified here could improve global biodiversity outcomes. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  5. Conservation on International Boundaries: The Impact of Security Barriers on Selected Terrestrial Mammals in Four Protected Areas in Arizona, USA

    PubMed Central

    McCallum, Jamie W.; Rowcliffe, J. Marcus; Cuthill, Innes C.

    2014-01-01

    Several thousand terrestrial protected areas (PAs) lie on international boundaries. Because international boundaries can be focal points for trade, illegal activity and development, such PAs can be vulnerable to a range of anthropogenic threats. There is an increasing trend towards the erection of international boundary infrastructure (including fences, barriers and ditches) in many parts of the world, which may reduce the risk of these anthropogenic threats to some PAs. However this may restrict home range and access to resources for some native species. We sought to understand the impacts of these two different types of threat by using camera traps to measure the activity level of humans, native and invasive mammals in four US PAs on the Mexican international boundary. Comparisons were made between treatment areas with barriers and those without. Results showed that puma and coati were more likely to appear in treatment areas without barriers, whereas humans were not observed more frequently in one treatment area over another. The suggestion is that the intermittent fencing present in this part of the world does affect some native species, but does not necessarily restrict the movement of humans (including illegal migrants), who may negatively impact native species. PMID:24717982

  6. Matrix protected organic matter in a river dominated margin: A possible mechanism to sequester terrestrial organic matter?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mead, Ralph N.; Goñi, Miguel A.

    2008-06-01

    The provenance of organic matter in surface sediments from the northern Gulf of Mexico was investigated by analyzing the compositions of lipid biomarkers ( n-alkanes, fatty acids, sterols) liberated after a series of chemical treatments designed to remove different organo-mineral matrix associations (i.e. freely extractable, base-hydrolyzable, unhydrolyzable). Bulk analyses of the organic matter (carbon content, carbon:nitrogen ratios, stable and radiocarbon isotopic analyses) were also performed on the intact sediments and their non-hydrolyzable, demineralized residue. We found recognizable lipids from distinct sources, including terrestrial vascular plants, bacteria and marine algae and zooplankton, within each of the isolated fractions. Based on the lipid signatures and bulk compositions, the organic matter within the unhydrolyzable fractions appeared to be the most diagenetically altered, was the oldest in age, and had the highest abundance of terrigenous lipids. In contrast, the base-hydrolyzable fraction was the most diagentically unaltered, had the youngest ages and was most enriched in N and marine lipids. Our results indicate that fresh, autochthonous organic matter is the most important contributor to base-hydrolyzable lipids, whereas highly altered allochthonous sources appear to be predominant source of unhydrolyzable lipids in the surface sediments from the Atchafalaya River shelf. Overall, the lipid biomarker signatures of intact sediments were biased towards the autochthonous source because many of the organic compounds indicative of degraded, terrigenous sources were protected from extraction and saponification by organo-mineral matrices. It is only after these protective matrices were removed by treatment with HCl and HF that these compounds became evident.

  7. Human Thyroid Cancer-1 (TC-1) is a vertebrate specific oncogenic protein that protects against copper and pro-apoptotic genes in yeast

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Natalie K.; Arab, Nagla T.; Eid, Rawan; Gharib, Nada; Sheibani, Sara; Vali, Hojatollah; Khoury, Chamel; Murray, Alistair; Boucher, Eric; Mandato, Craig A.; Young, Paul G.; Greenwood, Michael T.

    2015-01-01

    The human Thyroid Cancer-1 (hTC-1) protein, also known as C8orf4 was initially identified as a gene that was up-regulated in human thyroid cancer. Here we show that hTC-1 is a peptide that prevents the effects of over-expressing Bax in yeast. Analysis of the 106 residues of hTC-1 in available protein databases revealed direct orthologues in jawed-vertebrates, including mammals, frogs, fish and sharks. No TC-1 orthologue was detected in lower organisms, including yeast. Here we show that TC-1 is a general pro-survival peptide since it prevents the growth- and cell death-inducing effects of copper in yeast. Human TC-1 also prevented the deleterious effects that occur due to the over-expression of a number of key pro-apoptotic peptides, including YCA1, YBH3, NUC1, and AIF1. Even though the protective effects were more pronounced with the over-expression of YBH3 and YCA1, hTC-1 could still protect yeast mutants lacking YBH3 and YCA1 from the effects of copper sulfate. This suggests that the protective effects of TC-1 are not limited to specific pathways or processes. Taken together, our results indicate that hTC-1 is a pro-survival protein that retains its function when heterologously expressed in yeast. Thus yeast is a useful model to characterize the potential roles in cell death and survival of cancer related genes. PMID:28357300

  8. Opportunistic Identification of Vertebral Fractures.

    PubMed

    Adams, Judith E

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are powerful predictors of future fracture, so, their identification is important to ensure that patients are commenced on appropriate bone protective or bone-enhancing therapy. Risk factors (e.g., low bone mineral density and increasing age) and symptoms (back pain, loss of height) may herald the presence of vertebral fractures, which are usually confirmed by performing spinal radiographs or, increasingly, using vertebral fracture assessment with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanners. However, a large number (30% or more) of vertebral fractures are asymptomatic and do not come to clinical attention. There is, therefore, scope for opportunistic (fortuitous) identification of vertebral fractures from various imaging modalities (radiographs, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and radionuclide scans) performed for other clinical indications and which include the spine in the field of view, with midline sagittal reformatted images from computed tomography having the greatest potential for such opportunistic detection. Numerous studies confirm this potential for identification but consistently find underreporting of vertebral fractures. So, a valuable opportunity to improve the management of patients at increased risk of future fracture is being squandered. Educational training programs for all clinicians and constant reiteration, stressing the importance of the accurate and clear reporting of vertebral fractures ("you only see what you look for"), can improve the situation, and automated computer-aided diagnostic tools also show promise to solve the problem of this underreporting of vertebral fractures. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Vertebrate Dissimilarity Due to Turnover and Richness Differences in a Highly Beta-Diverse Region: The Role of Spatial Grain Size, Dispersal Ability and Distance

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M.; Moreno, Claudia E.; Pineda-López, Rubén; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana

    2013-01-01

    We explore the influence of spatial grain size, dispersal ability, and geographic distance on the patterns of species dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, separating the dissimilarity explained by species replacement (turnover) from that resulting from richness differences. With data for 905 species of terrestrial vertebrates distributed in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, classified into five groups according to their taxonomy and dispersal ability, we calculated total dissimilarity and its additive partitioning as two components: dissimilarity derived from turnover and dissimilarity derived from richness differences. These indices were compared using fine (10 x 10 km), intermediate (20 x 20 km) and coarse (40 x 40 km) grain grids, and were tested for any correlations with geographic distance. The results showed that total dissimilarity is high for the terrestrial vertebrates in this region. Total dissimilarity, and dissimilarity due to turnover are correlated with geographic distance, and the patterns are clearer when the grain is fine, which is consistent with the distance-decay pattern of similarity. For all terrestrial vertebrates tested on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec both the dissimilarity derived from turnover and the dissimilarity resulting from richness differences make important contributions to total dissimilarity, and dispersal ability does not seem to influence the dissimilarity patterns. These findings support the idea that conservation efforts in this region require a system of interconnected protected areas that embrace the environmental, climatic and biogeographic heterogeneity of the area. PMID:24324840

  10. Evolution of the vertebrate epididymis.

    PubMed

    Jones, R C

    1998-01-01

    This review examines the structure and function of the extratesticular sperm ducts of vertebrates in terms of their evolutionary development and adaptive significance. The primitive extratesticular duct system of Chondrichthyes is described as an example of the vertebrate archetype. Adaptations of the duct system in higher vertebrates have involved a loss of some structures and specialization of others. The duct system probably evolved as a homeostatic mechanism to facilitate fertilization and some embryological development under conditions protected from the external environment. However, it is argued that the ducts also play an important role in the competition between males to achieve paternity. In vertebrates that practise internal fertilization the ducts are involved in post-testicular maturation and storage of spermatozoa. The biological significance of post-testicular sperm maturation has not been resolved. By contrast, sperm storage is essential in most male vertebrates because of the slow rate of spermatogenesis, particularly in ectotherms. Sperm storage is also important in the competition between males for paternity as it enables a male to mate a 'partner' a number of times during an oestrus in order to reduce the prospect of being cuckolded by another male. The extent of sperm maturation and storage in the epididymis of particular vertebrates depends on the relative roles of the testis and its extragonadal ducts in the competition between males for paternity. These roles depend on a number of factors, including allometric limitations to testis size, metabolic rate and the development of endothermy, and the reproductive strategy of females of the species.

  11. Terrestrial sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Charlie Byrer

    2008-03-10

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  12. Terrestrial sequestration

    ScienceCinema

    Charlie Byrer

    2016-07-12

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  13. Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: an underestimated cause of global decline?

    PubMed

    Brühl, Carsten A; Schmidt, Thomas; Pieper, Silvia; Alscher, Annika

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, a class of animals in global decline, are present in agricultural landscapes characterized by agrochemical inputs. Effects of pesticides on terrestrial life stages of amphibians such as juvenile and adult frogs, toads and newts are little understood and a specific risk assessment for pesticide exposure, mandatory for other vertebrate groups, is currently not conducted. We studied the effects of seven pesticide products on juvenile European common frogs (Rana temporaria) in an agricultural overspray scenario. Mortality ranged from 100% after one hour to 40% after seven days at the recommended label rate of currently registered products. The demonstrated toxicity is alarming and a large-scale negative effect of terrestrial pesticide exposure on amphibian populations seems likely. Terrestrial pesticide exposure might be underestimated as a driver of their decline calling for more attention in conservation efforts and the risk assessment procedures in place do not protect this vanishing animal group.

  14. US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Van Houtan, Kyle S; Pimm, Stuart L; Sexton, Joseph O

    2015-04-21

    Because habitat loss is the main cause of extinction, where and how much society chooses to protect is vital for saving species. The United States is well positioned economically and politically to pursue habitat conservation should it be a societal goal. We assessed the US protected area portfolio with respect to biodiversity in the country. New synthesis maps for terrestrial vertebrates, freshwater fish, and trees permit comparison with protected areas to identify priorities for future conservation investment. Although the total area protected is substantial, its geographic configuration is nearly the opposite of patterns of endemism within the country. Most protected lands are in the West, whereas the vulnerable species are largely in the Southeast. Private land protections are significant, but they are not concentrated where the priorities are. To adequately protect the nation's unique biodiversity, we recommend specific areas deserving additional protection, some of them including public lands, but many others requiring private investment.

  15. US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities

    PubMed Central

    Pimm, Stuart L.; Sexton, Joseph O.

    2015-01-01

    Because habitat loss is the main cause of extinction, where and how much society chooses to protect is vital for saving species. The United States is well positioned economically and politically to pursue habitat conservation should it be a societal goal. We assessed the US protected area portfolio with respect to biodiversity in the country. New synthesis maps for terrestrial vertebrates, freshwater fish, and trees permit comparison with protected areas to identify priorities for future conservation investment. Although the total area protected is substantial, its geographic configuration is nearly the opposite of patterns of endemism within the country. Most protected lands are in the West, whereas the vulnerable species are largely in the Southeast. Private land protections are significant, but they are not concentrated where the priorities are. To adequately protect the nation’s unique biodiversity, we recommend specific areas deserving additional protection, some of them including public lands, but many others requiring private investment. PMID:25847995

  16. Soil criteria to protect terrestrial wildlife and open-range livestock from metal toxicity at mining sites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ford, Karl L; Beyer, W. Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Thousands of hard rock mines exist in the western USA and in other parts of the world as a result of historic and current gold, silver, lead, and mercury mining. Many of these sites in the USA are on public lands. Typical mine waste associated with these sites are tailings and waste rock dumps that may be used by wildlife and open-range livestock. This report provides wildlife screening criteria levels for metals in soil and mine waste to evaluate risk and to determine the need for site-specific risk assessment, remediation, or a change in management practices. The screening levels are calculated from toxicity reference values based on maximum tolerable levels of metals in feed, on soil and plant ingestion rates, and on soil to plant uptake factors for a variety of receptors. The metals chosen for this report are common toxic metals found at mining sites: arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc. The resulting soil screening values are well above those developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The difference in values was mainly a result of using toxicity reference values that were more specific to the receptors addressed rather than the most sensitive receptor.

  17. Soil criteria to protect terrestrial wildlife and open-range livestock from metal toxicity at mining sites.

    PubMed

    Ford, Karl L; Beyer, W Nelson

    2014-03-01

    Thousands of hard rock mines exist in the western USA and in other parts of the world as a result of historic and current gold, silver, lead, and mercury mining. Many of these sites in the USA are on public lands. Typical mine waste associated with these sites are tailings and waste rock dumps that may be used by wildlife and open-range livestock. This report provides wildlife screening criteria levels for metals in soil and mine waste to evaluate risk and to determine the need for site-specific risk assessment, remediation, or a change in management practices. The screening levels are calculated from toxicity reference values based on maximum tolerable levels of metals in feed, on soil and plant ingestion rates, and on soil to plant uptake factors for a variety of receptors. The metals chosen for this report are common toxic metals found at mining sites: arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc. The resulting soil screening values are well above those developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The difference in values was mainly a result of using toxicity reference values that were more specific to the receptors addressed rather than the most sensitive receptor.

  18. The protection afforded by the outer layer to procercoids of Schistocephalus solidus during passage through the stomach lumen of their vertebrate host (Gasterosteus aculeatus).

    PubMed

    Marwaha, J; Jensen, K H; Jakobsen, P J

    2013-05-01

    Intestinal cestodes with complex life cycles have to pass through the acid stomach lumen of their vertebrate host(s) in order to reach their preferred site of development. The cestode's tegument is the only organ in constant contact with this hostile environment. Procercoids of Schistocephalus solidus (order Diphyllobothriidea) lose their outer layer on passing through the acidic stomach of their second intermediate host (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We wanted to investigate if the outer layer is an adaptation that enables passage through this hostile environment. We used fish bile to force the procercoid larvae to shed their outer layer. This allowed us to compare the survival of the normal procercoids and the transformed ones when exposed to hydrochloric acid. We observed that the presence of the outer layer significantly improved the survival and active period of the procercoid larvae. Thus we conclude that in cestodes which inhabit the digestive tracts of vertebrates, the outer layer is an adaptation which enables them to pass through the acidic stomach environment of their vertebrate host(s). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Protective effect of Tribulus terrestris L. fruit aqueous extracton lipid profile and oxidative stress in isoproterenol induced myocardial necrosis in male albino Wistar rats

    PubMed Central

    Sailaja, K.V.; Shivaranjani, V. Leela; Poornima, H.; Rahamathulla, S.B.Md.; Devi, K. Lakshmi

    2013-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate the possible protective effects of Tribulus terrestris fruit aqueous extract (TTFAEt) on lipid profile and oxidative stress in isoproterenol (ISO) induced myocardial necrosis in albino Wistar rats. Albino Wistar rats were divided into normal control, TTFAEt alone treated, ISO control and pretreated (TTFAEt+ISO) groups. The extract was administered at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight for 40 days orally by gavage and ISO was administered at a dose of 85 mg/kg body weight for two consecutive days intraperitoneally at an interval of 24 h. ISO induced myocardial infarction (MI) was confirmed by disturbances in serum lipid profile, heart tissue lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzyme levels. There was a significant increase in the levels of serum total cholesterol (32.60 %), triglycerides (41.30 %), very low density lipoproteins (81.81 %), low density lipoproteins (84%) and phospholipids (38.88 %) and a significant decrease in the levels of high density lipoproteins (33.33 %) in the ISO control group when compared to normal controls. Additionally, there is a significant decrease in the levels of heart tissue antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase and depletion of reduced glutathione, which indicates enhanced lipid peroxidation(172 %). Pretreatment with extract significantly showed a protective effect against ISO altered lipid profile, lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzyme levels. The present study showed therapeutic effect of TTFAEt on lipid profile and oxidative stress in isoproterenol (ISO) induced myocardial necrosis in experimental rats. PMID:26417233

  20. Acute oral toxicity of chemicals in terrestrial life stages of amphibians: Comparisons to birds and mammals.

    PubMed

    Crane, Mark; Finnegan, Meaghean; Weltje, Lennart; Kosmala-Grzechnik, Sylwia; Gross, Melanie; Wheeler, James R

    2016-10-01

    Amphibians are currently the most threatened and rapidly declining group of vertebrates and this has raised concerns about their potential sensitivity and exposure to plant protection products and other chemicals. Current environmental risk assessment procedures rely on surrogate species (e.g. fish and birds) to cover the risk to aquatic and terrestrial life stages of amphibians, respectively. Whilst a recent meta-analysis has shown that in most cases amphibian aquatic life stages are less sensitive to chemicals than fish, little research has been conducted on the comparative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages. Therefore, in this paper we address the questions "What is the relative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages to acute chemical oral exposure when compared with mammals and birds?" and "Are there correlations between oral toxicity data for amphibians and data for mammals or birds?" Identifying a relationship between these data may help to avoid additional vertebrate testing. Acute oral amphibian toxicity data collected from the scientific literature and ecotoxicological databases were compared with toxicity data for mammals and birds. Toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages are generally sparse, as noted in previous reviews. Single-dose oral toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages were available for 26 chemicals and these were positively correlated with LD50 values for mammals, while no correlation was found for birds. Further, the data suggest that oral toxicity to terrestrial amphibian life stages is similar to or lower than that for mammals and birds, with a few exceptions. Thus, mammals or birds are considered adequate toxicity surrogates for use in the assessment of the oral exposure route in amphibians. However, there is a need for further data on a wider range of chemicals to explore the wider applicability of the current analyses and recommendations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Targeting Global Protected Area Expansion for Imperiled Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Venter, Oscar; Fuller, Richard A.; Segan, Daniel B.; Carwardine, Josie; Brooks, Thomas; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Di Marco, Moreno; Iwamura, Takuya; Joseph, Liana; O'Grady, Damien; Possingham, Hugh P.; Rondinini, Carlo; Smith, Robert J.; Venter, Michelle; Watson, James E. M.

    2014-01-01

    Governments have agreed to expand the global protected area network from 13% to 17% of the world's land surface by 2020 (Aichi target 11) and to prevent the further loss of known threatened species (Aichi target 12). These targets are interdependent, as protected areas can stem biodiversity loss when strategically located and effectively managed. However, the global protected area estate is currently biased toward locations that are cheap to protect and away from important areas for biodiversity. Here we use data on the distribution of protected areas and threatened terrestrial birds, mammals, and amphibians to assess current and possible future coverage of these species under the convention. We discover that 17% of the 4,118 threatened vertebrates are not found in a single protected area and that fully 85% are not adequately covered (i.e., to a level consistent with their likely persistence). Using systematic conservation planning, we show that expanding protected areas to reach 17% coverage by protecting the cheapest land, even if ecoregionally representative, would increase the number of threatened vertebrates covered by only 6%. However, the nonlinear relationship between the cost of acquiring land and species coverage means that fivefold more threatened vertebrates could be adequately covered for only 1.5 times the cost of the cheapest solution, if cost efficiency and threatened vertebrates are both incorporated into protected area decision making. These results are robust to known errors in the vertebrate range maps. The Convention on Biological Diversity targets may stimulate major expansion of the global protected area estate. If this expansion is to secure a future for imperiled species, new protected areas must be sited more strategically than is presently the case. PMID:24960185

  2. Targeting global protected area expansion for imperiled biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Venter, Oscar; Fuller, Richard A; Segan, Daniel B; Carwardine, Josie; Brooks, Thomas; Butchart, Stuart H M; Di Marco, Moreno; Iwamura, Takuya; Joseph, Liana; O'Grady, Damien; Possingham, Hugh P; Rondinini, Carlo; Smith, Robert J; Venter, Michelle; Watson, James E M

    2014-06-01

    Governments have agreed to expand the global protected area network from 13% to 17% of the world's land surface by 2020 (Aichi target 11) and to prevent the further loss of known threatened species (Aichi target 12). These targets are interdependent, as protected areas can stem biodiversity loss when strategically located and effectively managed. However, the global protected area estate is currently biased toward locations that are cheap to protect and away from important areas for biodiversity. Here we use data on the distribution of protected areas and threatened terrestrial birds, mammals, and amphibians to assess current and possible future coverage of these species under the convention. We discover that 17% of the 4,118 threatened vertebrates are not found in a single protected area and that fully 85% are not adequately covered (i.e., to a level consistent with their likely persistence). Using systematic conservation planning, we show that expanding protected areas to reach 17% coverage by protecting the cheapest land, even if ecoregionally representative, would increase the number of threatened vertebrates covered by only 6%. However, the nonlinear relationship between the cost of acquiring land and species coverage means that fivefold more threatened vertebrates could be adequately covered for only 1.5 times the cost of the cheapest solution, if cost efficiency and threatened vertebrates are both incorporated into protected area decision making. These results are robust to known errors in the vertebrate range maps. The Convention on Biological Diversity targets may stimulate major expansion of the global protected area estate. If this expansion is to secure a future for imperiled species, new protected areas must be sited more strategically than is presently the case.

  3. Identification of evolutionary hotspots based on genetic data from multiple terrestrial and aquatic taxa and gap analysis of hotspots in protected lands encompassed by the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robinson, J.; Snider, M.; Duke, J.; Moyer, G.R.

    2014-01-01

     The southeastern United States is a recognized hotspot of biodiversity for a variety of aquatic taxa, including fish, amphibians, and mollusks. Unfortunately, the great diversity of the area is accompanied by a large proportion of species at risk of extinction . Gap analysis was employed to assess the representation of evolutionary hotspots in protected lands w h ere an evolutionary hotspot was defined as an area with high evolutionary potential and measured by atypical patterns of genetic divergence, genetic diversity, and to a lesser extent genetic similarity across multiple terrestrial or aquatic taxa. A survey of the primary literature produced 16 terrestrial and 14 aquatic genetic datasets for estimation of genetic divergence and diversity. Relative genetic diversity and divergence values for each terrestrial and aquatic dataset were used for interpolation of multispecies genetic surfaces and subsequent visualization using ArcGIS. The multispecies surfaces interpolated from relative divergences and diversity data identified numerous evolutionary hotspots for both terrestrial and aquatic taxa , many of which were afforded some current protection. For instance, 14% of the cells identified as hotspots of aquatic diversity were encompassed by currently protected areas. Additionally, 25% of the highest 1% of terrestrial diversity cells were afforded some level of protection. In contrast, areas of high and low divergence among species, and areas of high variance in diversity were poorly represented in the protected lands. Of particular interest were two areas that were consistently identified by several different measures as important from a conservation perspective. These included an area encompassing the panhandle of Florida and southern Georgia near the Apalachicola National Forest (displaying varying levels of genetic divergence and greater than average levels of genetic diversity) and a large portion of the coastal regions of North and South Carolina

  4. Extracranial vertebral artery intervention.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Debabrata; Pineda, Guillermo

    2007-12-01

    Atherosclerosis is the commonest cause of vertebral artery stenosis and has a predilection for the origin and proximal section of the extracranial portion of the vessel and also the intracranial portion of the vessel. Although it has generally been thought that extracranial vertebral artery (ECVA) disease has a more benign outcome compared to intracranial vertebral artery disease, significant occlusive disease of the proximal vertebral artery is the primary cause of vertebral artery ischemia in a significant proportion of patients. We focus on the interventional management of patients with proximal ECVA disease in this article.

  5. TERRESTRIAL ECOTOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Terrestrial ecotoxicology is the study of how environmental pollutants affect land-dependent organisms and their environment. It requires three elements: (1) a source, (2) a receptor, and (3) an exposure pathway. This article reviews the basic principles of each of each element...

  6. Use of a mobile terrestrial laser system to quantify the impact of rigid coastal protective structures on sandy beaches, Quebec, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van-Wierts, S.; Bernatchez, P.

    2012-04-01

    Coastal erosion is an important issue within the St-Lawrence estuary and gulf, especially in zones of unconsolidated material. Wide beaches are important coastal environments; they act as a buffer against breaking waves by absorbing and dissipating their energy, thus reducing the rate of coastal erosion. They also offer protection to humans and nearby ecosystems, providing habitat for plants, animals and lifeforms such as algae and microfauna. Conventional methods, such as aerial photograph analysis, fail to adequately quantify the morphosedimentary behavior of beaches at the scale of a hydrosedimentary cells. The lack of reliable and quantitative data leads to considerable errors of overestimation and underestimation of sediment budgets. To address these gaps and to minimize acquisition costs posed by airborne LiDAR survey, a mobile terrestrial LiDAR has been set up to acquire topographic data of the coastal zone. The acquisition system includes a LiDAR sensor, a high precision navigation system (GPS-INS) and a video camera. Comparison of LiDAR data with 1050 DGPS control points shows a vertical mean absolute error of 0.1 m in beach areas. The extracted data is used to calculate sediment volumes, widths, slopes, and a sediment budget index. A high accuracy coastal characterization is achieved through the integration of laser data and video. The main objective of this first project using this system is to quantify the impact of rigid coastal protective structures on sediment budget and beach morphology. Results show that the average sediment volume of beaches located before a rock armour barrier (12 m3/m) were three times narrower than for natural beaches (35,5 m3/m). Natural beaches were also found to have twice the width (25.4 m) of the beaches bordering inhabited areas (12.7 m). The development of sediment budget index for beach areas is an excellent proxy to quickly identify deficit areas and therefore the coastal segments most at risk of erosion. The obtained

  7. REPRODUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL EFFECTS OF CONTAMINANTS IN OVIPAROUS VERTEBRATES: WORKSHOP SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Oviparous vertebrates generally occupy important niches in aquatic as well as terrestrial systems, and reproductive and developmental effects on these species can be of relatively great ecological significance. Because these organisms have critical windows of development, they ma...

  8. REPRODUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL EFFECTS OF CONTAMINANTS IN OVIPAROUS VERTEBRATES: WORKSHOP SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Oviparous vertebrates generally occupy important niches in aquatic as well as terrestrial systems, and reproductive and developmental effects on these species can be of relatively great ecological significance. Because these organisms have critical windows of development, they ma...

  9. Abrupt and gradual extinction among Late Permian land vertebrates in the Karoo basin, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Ward, Peter D; Botha, Jennifer; Buick, Roger; De Kock, Michiel O; Erwin, Douglas H; Garrison, Geoffrey H; Kirschvink, Joseph L; Smith, Roger

    2005-02-04

    The Karoo basin of South Africa exposes a succession of Upper Permian to Lower Triassic terrestrial strata containing abundant terrestrial vertebrate fossils. Paleomagnetic/magnetostratigraphic and carbon-isotope data allow sections to be correlated across the basin. With this stratigraphy, the vertebrate fossil data show a gradual extinction in the Upper Permian punctuated by an enhanced extinction pulse at the Permian-Triassic boundary interval, particularly among the dicynodont therapsids, coinciding with negative carbon-isotope anomalies.

  10. Testing Skills in Vertebrates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funk, Mildred Sears; Tosto, Pat

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors present a project that gives students examples of basic skills that many vertebrate species develop as they grow and function in their ecosystem. These activities involve information gathering about surroundings, learning how to use objects, and tracking and searching skills. Different vertebrate species may acquire…

  11. Testing Skills in Vertebrates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funk, Mildred Sears; Tosto, Pat

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors present a project that gives students examples of basic skills that many vertebrate species develop as they grow and function in their ecosystem. These activities involve information gathering about surroundings, learning how to use objects, and tracking and searching skills. Different vertebrate species may acquire…

  12. Modular evolution of the Cetacean vertebral column.

    PubMed

    Buchholtz, Emily A

    2007-01-01

    Modular theory predicts that hierarchical developmental processes generate hierarchical phenotypic units that are capable of independent modification. The vertebral column is an overtly modular structure, and its rapid phenotypic transformation in cetacean evolution provides a case study for modularity. Terrestrial mammals have five morphologically discrete vertebral series that are now known to be coincident with Hox gene expression patterns. Here, I present the hypothesis that in living Carnivora and Artiodactyla, and by inference in the terrestrial ancestors of whales, the series are themselves components of larger precaudal and caudal modular units. Column morphology in a series of fossil and living whales is used to predict the type and sequence of developmental changes responsible for modification of that ancestral pattern. Developmental innovations inferred include independent meristic additions to the precaudal column in basal archaeocetes and basilosaurids, stepwise homeotic reduction of the sacral series in protocetids, and dissociation of the caudal series into anterior tail and fluke subunits in basilosaurids. The most dramatic change was the novel association of lumbar and anterior caudal vertebrae in a module that crosses the precaudal/caudal boundary. This large unit is defined by shared patterns of vertebral morphology, count, and size in all living whales (Neoceti).

  13. Forestry effects on vertebrate species habitats in the riparian zone

    Treesearch

    Mariko Yamasaki

    2000-01-01

    Three factors influence a coarse-filter approach to the providing wildlife habitat in riparian areas in the northeastern United States. These are: 1) degree of riparian-upland forest connectivity; 2) water regime; and 3) key vegetation structures present in riparian areas that are important to terrestrial vertebrate species.

  14. Permo-Triassic vertebrate extinctions: A program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, E. C.

    1988-01-01

    Since the time of the Authors' study on this subject, a great deal of new information has become available. Concepts of the nature of extinctions have changed materially. The Authors' conclusion that a catastrophic event was not responsible for the extinction of vertebrates has modified to the extent that hypotheses involving either the impact of a massive extra-terrestrial body or volcanism provide plausible but not currently fully testable hypotheses. Stated changes resulted in a rapid decrease in organic diversity, as the ratio of origins of taxa to extinctions shifted from strongly positive to negative, with momentary equilibrium being reached at about the Permo-Triassic boundary. The proximate causes of the changes in the terrestrial biota appear to lie in two primary factors: (1) strong climatic changes (global mean temperatures, temperature ranges, humidity) and (2) susceptibility of the dominant vertebrates (large dicynodonts) and the glossopteris flora to disruption of the equlibrium of the world ecosystem. The following proximate causes have been proposed: (1) rhythmic fluctuations in solar radiation, (2) tectonic events as Pangea assembled, altering land-ocean relationships, patterns of wind and water circulation and continental physiography, (3) volcanism, and (4) changes subsequent to impacts of one or more massive extra terrestrial objects, bodies or comets. These hypotheses are discussed.

  15. Miocene vertebrates and North Florida shorelines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olsen, S.J.

    1968-01-01

    Vertebrate fossils from ten localities, spread across northern Florida, give evidence of shorelines and deltas that have previously been established on geologic evidence or invertebrates alone. Terrestrial mammal remains, in association with shallow-water forms, indicate a deltaic assemblage and in several instances specific animals suggest restricted water depths at the time of sediment deposition. Fortunately diagnostic fragments of Miocene horses, Merychippus and Parahippus, are present in these beds, allowing for a rather close age evaluation of these sediments. Adequate fossil material has been collected from these localities to suggest the past environment and ecological conditions for the forms represented. By utilizing a suggested course of experiments with stream table apparatus it is possible to use the orientation of the fossil vertebrate remains as aids in determining past conditions of sediment accumulation. ?? 1968.

  16. Vertebral Compression Fractures

    MedlinePlus

    ... OI: Information on Vertebral Compression Fractures 804 W. Diamond Ave., Ste. 210 Gaithersburg, MD 20878 (800) 981- ... osteogenesis imperfecta contact : Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation 804 W. Diamond Avenue, Suite 210, Gaithersburg, MD 20878 Tel: 800- ...

  17. A National System to Map and Quantify Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the products and services from which we transform natural assets of the Earth for human survival, security, and well-being. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is a...

  18. Mapping and Quantifying Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity at a National Scale

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast functions of ecosystems is critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment. Because of the variability among living organisms and levels of organization (e.g. genetic, spec...

  19. A National System to Map and Quantify Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the products and services from which we transform natural assets of the Earth for human survival, security, and well-being. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is a...

  20. Oxygen concentration affects upper thermal tolerance in a terrestrial vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Shea, Tanner K; DuBois, P Mason; Claunch, Natalie M; Murphey, Nicolette E; Rucker, Kiley A; Brewster, Robert A; Taylor, Emily N

    2016-09-01

    We tested the oxygen limitation hypothesis, which states that animals decline in performance and reach the upper limits of their thermal tolerance when the metabolic demand for oxygen at high temperatures exceeds the circulatory system's ability to supply adequate oxygen, in air-breathing lizards exposed to air with different oxygen concentrations. Lizards exposed to hypoxic air (6% O2) gaped, panted, and lost their righting response at significantly lower temperatures than lizards exposed to normoxic (21% O2) or hyperoxic (35% O2) air. A greater proportion of lizards in the hyperoxic treatment were able to withstand body temperatures above 44°C than in the normoxic treatment. We also found that female lizards had a higher panting threshold than male lizards, while sex had no effect on gaping threshold and loss of righting response. Body size affected the temperature at which lizards lost the righting response, with larger lizards losing the response at lower temperatures than smaller lizards when exposed to hypoxic conditions. These data suggest that oxygen limitation plays a mechanistic role in the thermal tolerance of lizards. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The evolution of endothermy in terrestrial vertebrates: Who? When? Why?

    PubMed

    Hillenius, Willem J; Ruben, John A

    2004-01-01

    Avian and mammalian endothermy results from elevated rates of resting, or routine, metabolism and enables these animals to maintain high and stable body temperatures in the face of variable ambient temperatures. Endothermy is also associated with enhanced stamina and elevated capacity for aerobic metabolism during periods of prolonged activity. These attributes of birds and mammals have greatly contributed to their widespread distribution and ecological success. Unfortunately, since few anatomical/physiological attributes linked to endothermy are preserved in fossils, the origin of endothermy among the ancestors of mammals and birds has long remained obscure. Two recent approaches provide new insight into the metabolic physiology of extinct forms. One addresses chronic (resting) metabolic rates and emphasizes the presence of nasal respiratory turbinates in virtually all extant endotherms. These structures are associated with recovery of respiratory heat and moisture in animals with high resting metabolic rates. The fossil record of nonmammalian synapsids suggests that at least two Late Permian lineages possessed incipient respiratory turbinates. In contrast, these structures appear to have been absent in dinosaurs and nonornithurine birds. Instead, nasal morphology suggests that in the avian lineage, respiratory turbinates first appeared in Cretaceous ornithurines. The other approach addresses the capacity for maximal aerobic activity and examines lung structure and ventilatory mechanisms. There is no positive evidence to support the reconstruction of a derived, avian-like parabronchial lung/air sac system in dinosaurs or nonornithurine birds. Dinosaur lungs were likely heterogenous, multicameral septate lungs with conventional, tidal ventilation, although evidence from some theropods suggests that at least this group may have had a hepatic piston mechanism of supplementary lung ventilation. This suggests that dinosaurs and nonornithurine birds generally lacked the capacity for high, avian-like levels of sustained activity, although the aerobic capacity of theropods may have exceeded that of extant ectotherms. The avian parabronchial lung/air sac system appears to be an attribute limited to ornithurine birds.

  2. A National Approach to Map and Quantify Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the products and services from which we transform natural assets of the Earth for human survival, security, and well-being. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is a...

  3. Mapping and Quantifying Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity at a National Scale

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast functions of ecosystems is critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment. Because of the variability among living organisms and levels of organization (e.g. genetic, spec...

  4. Trends in Medicinal Uses of Edible Wild Vertebrates in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    The use of food medicines is a widespread practice worldwide. In Brazil, such use is often associated with wild animals, mostly focusing on vertebrate species. Here we assessed taxonomic and ecological trends in traditional uses of wild edible vertebrates in the country, through an extensive ethnobiological database analysis. Our results showed that at least 165 health conditions are reportedly treated by edible vertebrate species (n = 204), mostly fishes and mammals. However, reptiles stand out presenting a higher plasticity in the treatment of multiple health conditions. Considering the 20 disease categories recorded, treatment prescriptions were similar within continental (i.e., terrestrial and freshwater) and also within coastal and marine habitats, which may reflect locally related trends in occurrence and use of the medicinal fauna. The comprehension of the multiplicity and trends in the therapeutic uses of Brazilian vertebrates is of particular interest from a conservation perspective, as several threatened species were recorded. PMID:28894470

  5. Explaining large-scale patterns of vertebrate diversity

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, John J.

    2015-01-01

    The major clades of vertebrates differ dramatically in their current species richness, from 2 to more than 32 000 species each, but the causes of this variation remain poorly understood. For example, a previous study noted that vertebrate clades differ in their diversification rates, but did not explain why they differ. Using a time-calibrated phylogeny and phylogenetic comparative methods, I show that most variation in diversification rates among 12 major vertebrate clades has a simple ecological explanation: predominantly terrestrial clades (i.e. birds, mammals, and lizards and snakes) have higher net diversification rates than predominantly aquatic clades (i.e. amphibians, crocodilians, turtles and all fish clades). These differences in diversification rates are then strongly related to patterns of species richness. Habitat may be more important than other potential explanations for richness patterns in vertebrates (such as climate and metabolic rates) and may also help explain patterns of species richness in many other groups of organisms. PMID:26202428

  6. Biochemistry below 0 degrees C: nature's frozen vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Storey, K B; Mosser, D D; Douglas, D N; Grundy, J E; Storey, J M

    1996-03-01

    Although alien to man, the ability to endure the freezing of extracellular body fluids during the winter has developed in several species of terrestrially hibernating frogs and turtles as well as in many species of insects and other invertebrates. Wood frogs, for example, can endure freezing for at least 2 weeks with no breathing, no heart beat or blood circulation, and with up to 65% of their total body water as ice. Our studies are providing a comprehensive view of the requirements for natural freezing survival and of the physical and metabolic protection that must be offered for effective cryopreservation of vertebrate organs. Molecular mechanisms of natural freeze tolerance in lower vertebrates include: 1) control over ice crystal growth in plasma by ice nucleating proteins, 2) the accumulation of low molecular weight cryoprotectants to minimize intracellular dehydration and stabilize macromolecular components, and 3) good ischemia tolerance by all organs that may include metabolic arrest mechanisms to reduce organ energy requirements while frozen. Cryomicroscopy of tissue slices and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of whole animals is revealing the natural mode of ice propagation through an organism. MRI has also revealed that thawing is non-uniform; core organs (with high cryoprotectant levels) melt first, facilitating the early resumption of heart beat and blood circulation. Studies of the production and actions of the natural cryoprotectant, glucose, in frogs have shown its importance in maintaining a critical minimum cell volume in frozen organs and new work on the metabolic effects of whole body dehydration in 3 species of frogs has indicated that adaptations supporting freeze tolerance grew out of mechanisms that deal with desiccation resistance in amphibians. Studies of the regulation of cryoprotectant glucose synthesis by wood frog liver have shown the role of protein kinases and of alpha and beta adrenergic receptors in regulating the glycemic

  7. Vertebral sclerosis in adults.

    PubMed Central

    Russell, A S; Percy, J S; Lentle, B C

    1979-01-01

    Narrowing of the intervertebral disc space with sclerosis of the adjacent vertebral bodies may occur as a consequence of infection, neoplasia, trauma, or rheumatic disease. Some patients have been described with backache and these radiological appearances without any primary cause being apparent. The lesions were almost always of 1 or, at most, 2 vertebrae and most frequently involved the inferior margin of L4. We describe 3 patients with far more extensive vertebral involvement and present the clinical, radiological, scintiscan, and histological findings. The only patient we have seen with the better known, isolated L4/5 lesion was shown on biopsy to have staphylococcal osteomyelitis. For this reason we would still recommend a biopsy of all such sclerotic vertebral lesions if they occur in the absence of other rheumatic disease. Images PMID:434941

  8. Avoidance and tolerance of freezing in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Jon P; Lee, Richard E

    2013-06-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates have colonized regions that are seasonally or perpetually cold, and some species, particularly terrestrial hibernators, must cope with temperatures that fall substantially below 0°C. Survival of such excursions depends on either freeze avoidance through supercooling or freeze tolerance. Supercooling, a metastable state in which body fluids remain liquid below the equilibrium freezing/melting point, is promoted by physiological responses that protect against chilling injury and by anatomical and behavioral traits that limit risk of inoculative freezing by environmental ice and ice-nucleating agents. Freeze tolerance evolved from responses to fundamental stresses to permit survival of the freezing of a substantial amount of body water under thermal and temporal conditions of ecological relevance. Survival of freezing is promoted by a complex suite of molecular, biochemical and physiological responses that limit cell death from excessive shrinkage, damage to macromolecules and membranes, metabolic perturbation and oxidative stress. Although freeze avoidance and freeze tolerance generally are mutually exclusive strategies, a few species can switch between them, the mode used in a particular instance of chilling depending on prevailing physiological and environmental conditions.

  9. Incidental vertebral lesions.

    PubMed

    Coumans, Jean-Valery C E; Walcott, Brian P

    2011-12-01

    Incidental vertebral lesions on imaging of the spine are commonly encountered in clinical practice. Contributing factors include the aging population, the increasing prevalence of back pain, and increased usage of MR imaging. Additionally, refinements in CT and MR imaging have increased the number of demonstrable lesions. The management of incidental findings varies among practitioners and commonly depends more on practice style than on data or guidelines. In this article we review incidental findings within the vertebral column and review management of these lesions, based on available Class III data.

  10. Autophagy during vertebrate development.

    PubMed

    Aburto, María R; Hurlé, Juan M; Varela-Nieto, Isabel; Magariños, Marta

    2012-08-02

    Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process by which cells degrade their own components through the lysosomal machinery. In physiological conditions, the mechanism is tightly regulated and contributes to maintain a balance between synthesis and degradation in cells undergoing intense metabolic activities. Autophagy is associated with major tissue remodeling processes occurring through the embryonic, fetal and early postnatal periods of vertebrates. Here we survey current information implicating autophagy in cellular death, proliferation or differentiation in developing vertebrates. In developing systems, activation of the autophagic machinery could promote different outcomes depending on the cellular context. Autophagy is thus an extraordinary tool for the developing organs and tissues.

  11. Vertebral-Basilar Insufficiency

    PubMed Central

    Cape, Ronald D. T.; Hogan, David B.

    1983-01-01

    Vertebral-basilar ischemia can result in giddiness, transient ischemic attacks, and drop attacks. Management involves controlling blood pressure, getting the patient to stop smoking, controlling diabetes and/or hyperlipidemia, and instituting antiplatelet therapy. Several facets of this problem remain unexplained. PMID:21283322

  12. Utility terrestrial biodiversity issues

    SciTech Connect

    Breece, G.A.; Ward, B.J.

    1996-11-01

    Results from a survey of power utility biologists indicate that terrestrial biodiversity is considered a major issued by only a few utilities; however, a majority believe it may be a future issue. Over half of the respondents indicated that their company is involved in some management for biodiversity, and nearly all feel that it should be a goal for resource management. Only a few utilities are funding biodiversity research, but a majority felt more research was needed. Generally, larger utilities with extensive land holdings had greater opportunities and resources for biodiversity management. Biodiversity will most likely be a concern with transmission rights-of-way construction and maintenance, endangered species issues and general land resource management, including mining reclamation and hydro relicensing commitments. Over half of the companies surveyed have established voluntary partnerships with management groups, and biodiversity is a goal in nearly all the joint projects. Endangered species management and protection, prevention of forest fragmentation, wetland protection, and habitat creation and protection are the most common partnerships involving utility companies. Common management practices and unique approaches are presented, along with details of the survey. 4 refs.

  13. Top-down effects of a terrestrial frog on forest nutrient dynamics.

    Treesearch

    Karen H. Beard; Kristiina A. Vogt; Andrew Kulmatiski

    2002-01-01

    Many studies have found top-down effects of predators on prey, but few studies have linked top-down effects of vertebrate predators to nutrient cycling rates in terrestrial systems. In this study, large and significant effects of a terrestrial frog, Eleutherodactylus coqui (coqu

  14. Solar-Terrestrial and Terrestrial Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, J. M.; Aikin, A. C.; Cliver, E. W.; Rieger, E.; Share, G. H.

    SMM's Impact on Solar-Terrestrial Studies Paradigm Shift in Solar-Terrestrial Physics Two Classes of SEP Events γ-Rays from the Earth Galactic Cosmic Ray-Induced γ-Rays from the Earth Solar Cosmic Ray-Induced γ-Rays from the Earth Transient Radiation Belts from Orbiting Nuclear Reactors Mesospheric Chemistry Studies with UVSP Ozone Measurements Molecular Oxygen Measurements

  15. Use of Terrestrial Hermit Crabs in the Study of Habituation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nolan, Laurence J.

    2004-01-01

    For small colleges, the use of invertebrates in undergraduate learning laboratory experiments may be a valuable alternative to the use of vertebrate species. This article describes a habituation experiment using terrestrial hermit crabs. All of the materials required are inexpensive and readily available. What makes this experiment unique is that…

  16. Use of Terrestrial Hermit Crabs in the Study of Habituation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nolan, Laurence J.

    2004-01-01

    For small colleges, the use of invertebrates in undergraduate learning laboratory experiments may be a valuable alternative to the use of vertebrate species. This article describes a habituation experiment using terrestrial hermit crabs. All of the materials required are inexpensive and readily available. What makes this experiment unique is that…

  17. Management of Vertebral Stenosis Complicated by Presence of Acute Thrombus

    SciTech Connect

    Canyigit, Murat; Arat, Anil Cil, Barbaros E.; Sahin, Gurdal; Turkbey, Baris; Elibol, Bulent

    2007-04-15

    A 44-year-old male presented with multiple punctate acute infarcts of the vertebrobasilar circulation and a computed tomographic angiogram showing stenosis of the right vertebral origin. A digital subtraction angiogram demonstrated a new intraluminal filling defect at the origin of the stenotic vertebral artery where antegrade flow was maintained. This filling defect was accepted to be an acute thrombus of the vertebral origin, most likely due to rupture of a vulnerable plaque. The patient was treated with intravenous heparin. A control angiogram revealed dissolution of the acute thrombus under anticoagulation and the patient was treated with stenting with distal protection. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated no additional acute ischemic lesions. We were unable to find a similar report in the English literature documenting successful management of an acute vertebral ostial thrombus with anticoagulation. Anticoagulation might be considered prior to endovascular treatment of symptomatic vertebral stenoses complicated by the presence of acute thrombus.

  18. Head segmentation in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Schilling, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Classic theories of vertebrate head segmentation clearly exemplify the idealistic nature of comparative embryology prior to the 20th century. Comparative embryology aimed at recognizing the basic, primary structure that is shared by all vertebrates, either as an archetype or an ancestral developmental pattern. Modern evolutionary developmental (Evo-Devo) studies are also based on comparison, and therefore have a tendency to reduce complex embryonic anatomy into overly simplified patterns. Here again, a basic segmental plan for the head has been sought among chordates. We convened a symposium that brought together leading researchers dealing with this problem, in a number of different evolutionary and developmental contexts. Here we give an overview of the outcome and the status of the field in this modern era of Evo-Devo. We emphasize the fact that the head segmentation problem is not fully resolved, and we discuss new directions in the search for hints for a way out of this maze. PMID:20607135

  19. Viruses of lower vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Essbauer, S; Ahne, W

    2001-08-01

    Viruses of lower vertebrates recently became a field of interest to the public due to increasing epizootics and economic losses of poikilothermic animals. These were reported worldwide from both wildlife and collections of aquatic poikilothermic animals. Several RNA and DNA viruses infecting fish, amphibians and reptiles have been studied intensively during the last 20 years. Many of these viruses induce diseases resulting in important economic losses of lower vertebrates, especially in fish aquaculture. In addition, some of the DNA viruses seem to be emerging pathogens involved in the worldwide decline in wildlife. Irido-, herpes- and polyomavirus infections may be involved in the reduction in the numbers of endangered amphibian and reptile species. In this context the knowledge of several important RNA viruses such as orthomyxo-, paramyxo-, rhabdo-, retro-, corona-, calici-, toga-, picorna-, noda-, reo- and birnaviruses, and DNA viruses such as parvo-, irido-, herpes-, adeno-, polyoma- and poxviruses, is described in this review.

  20. Fine-grained debris flows and extraordinary vertebrate burials in the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, Raymond R.

    2005-04-01

    Vertebrate fossils are remarkably abundant and exceptionally well preserved within the Upper Cretaceous Maevarano Formation of northwestern Madagascar. The vast majority of these fossils, including all of the currently known bone beds, are entombed within deposits of fine-grained cohesive debris flows. These deposits are typically massive and are characterized by very poor sorting and a significant montmorillonite-dominated silt-clay (mud) fraction ranging from 17% to 46% by weight. Deposition is attributed to recurrent exceptional rainfall events that prompted erosion and flooded ancient channel belts with sediment-laden flows. These extraordinary burial events shielded vertebrate remains from destructive surface processes and also afforded protection for soft tissues. Taphonomic attributes of associated bone concentrations suggest that debris flows had limited transport potential and generally entombed subaerially exposed bone assemblages. The remarkable and recurrent association of bone beds and debris-flow deposits likely reflects marked seasonality in this Late Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystem, with prolonged dry spells prompting mortality and subsequent rains setting debris flows in motion.

  1. Building the Vertebrate Spine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourquié, Olivier

    2008-03-01

    The vertebrate body can be subdivided along the antero-posterior (AP) axis into repeated structures called segments. This periodic pattern is established during embryogenesis by the somitogenesis process. Somites are generated in a rhythmic fashion from the paraxial mesoderm and subsequently differentiate to give rise to the vertebrae and skeletal muscles of the body. Somite formation involves an oscillator-the segmentation clock-whose periodic signal is converted into the periodic array of somite boundaries. This clock drives the dynamic expression of cyclic genes in the presomitic mesoderm and requires Notch and Wnt signaling. Microarray studies of the mouse presomitic mesoderm transcriptome reveal that the segmentation clock drives the periodic expression of a large network of cyclic genes involved in cell signaling. Mutually exclusive activation of the Notch/FGF and Wnt pathways during each cycle suggests that coordinated regulation of these three pathways underlies the clock oscillator. In humans, mutations in the genes associated to the function of this oscillator such as Dll3 or Lunatic Fringe result in abnormal segmentation of the vertebral column such as those seen in congenital scoliosis. Whereas the segmentation clock is thought to set the pace of vertebrate segmentation, the translation of this pulsation into the reiterated arrangement of segment boundaries along the AP axis involves dynamic gradients of FGF and Wnt signaling. The FGF signaling gradient is established based on an unusual mechanism involving mRNA decay which provides an efficient means to couple the spatio-temporal activation of segmentation to the posterior elongation of the embryo. Another striking aspect of somite production is the strict bilateral symmetry of the process. Retinoic acid was shown to control aspects of this coordination by buffering destabilizing effects from the embryonic left-right machinery. Defects in this embryonic program controlling vertebral symmetry might lead

  2. What's new in vertebral cementoplasty?

    PubMed Central

    Guarnieri, Gianluigi; Giurazza, Francesco; Manfrè, Luigi

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral cementoplasty is a well-known mini-invasive treatment to obtain pain relief in patients affected by vertebral porotic fractures, primary or secondary spine lesions and spine trauma through intrametameric cement injection. Two major categories of treatment are included within the term vertebral cementoplasty: the first is vertebroplasty in which a simple cement injection in the vertebral body is performed; the second is assisted technique in which a device is positioned inside the metamer before the cement injection to restore vertebral height and allow a better cement distribution, reducing the kyphotic deformity of the spine, trying to obtain an almost normal spine biomechanics. We will describe the most advanced techniques and indications of vertebral cementoplasty, having recently expanded the field of applications to not only patients with porotic fractures but also spine tumours and trauma. PMID:26728798

  3. A new species of terrestrial-breeding frog (Amphibia, Craugastoridae, Pristimantis) from high elevations of the Pui Pui Protected Forest in central Peru.

    PubMed

    Lehr, Edgar; von May, Rudolf

    2017-01-01

    We describe a new species of Pristimantis from upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands of the Pui Pui Protected Forest and its close surroundings, Región Junín, central Peru. The description of the new species is based on 34 specimens found at elevations between 3400 and 3936 m a.s.l. Pristimantis attenboroughisp. n. is characterized by a snout-vent length of 14.6-19.2 mm in adult males (n = 21), 19.2-23.0 mm in adult females (n = 10), and is compared morphologically and genetically with other taxonomically and biogeographically relevant species of Pristimantis. The new species is characterized by having narrow digits that lack circumferential grooves, irregularly shaped, discontinuous dorsolateral folds, and absence of both tympanic membrane and tympanic annulus. The high similarity in morphology between P. attenboroughisp. n. and members of the Andean genera Phrynopus and Bryophryne provides an example for convergent evolution, and highlights the importance of using molecular data to justify generic assignment. Pristimantis attenboroughisp. n. is most similar to Phrynopus chaparroi from the Región Junín, suggesting that the generic placement of this species needs to be revised. Phylogenetically the new species belongs to the Pristimantis danae species Group, a clade that includes several Pristimantis species distributed in the montane forests of central Peru, including P. albertus, P. aniptopalmatus, P. ornatus, and P. stictogaster.

  4. Diagnosing vertebral fractures: missed opportunities.

    PubMed

    Borges, João Lindolfo Cunha; Maia, Julianne Lira; Silva, Renata Faria; Lewiecki, Edward Michael

    2015-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are the single most common type of osteoporotic fracture. Postmenopausal women are at increased risk for osteoporotic vertebral fractures compared with women of childbearing age. Vertebral fractures are associated with an increase in morbidity, mortality, and high risk of a subsequent vertebral fracture, regardless of bone mineral density. Despite the common occurrence and serious consequences of vertebral fractures, they are often unrecognized or misdiagnosed by radiologists. Moreover, vertebral fractures may be described by variable terminology that can confuse rather than enlighten referring physicians. We conducted a survey of spine X-ray reports from a group of postmenopausal women screened for participation in a study of osteoporosis at Centro de Pesquisa Clínica do Brasil. A descriptive analysis evaluated the variability of reports in 7 patients. Four independent general radiologists issued reports assessing vertebral fractures through a blinded analysis. The objective of this study was to evaluate for consistency in these reports. The analysis found marked variability in the diagnosis of vertebral fractures and the terminology used to describe them. In community medical practices, such variability could lead to differences in the management of patients with osteoporosis, with the potential for undertreatment or overtreatment depending on clinical circumstances. Accurate and unambiguous reporting of vertebral fractures is likely to be associated with improved clinical outcomes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  5. Rare, threatened, and endangered vertebrates of southwest Florida and potential OCS (outer continental shelf) activity impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Woolfender, G.E.

    1983-02-01

    The eight southwestern Florida counties include populations of 68 vertebrates considered in this report as rare, threatened, or endangered. The terrestrial and near-shore habitats of the study area and the habitat preferences of each of the 68 vertebrates are described. Each vertebrate is listed in the habitats it occupies, and information about reproduction, feeding, and where available, population estimates, is given under the habitat considered most important for each species. The distributions of the rare, threatened and endangered vertebrates by county and habitat demonstrate the relative importance of the southernmost counties (Monroe and Collier) and wetland and coastal habitats. Activities contributing to the decline of these 68 vertebrates are assessed and habitat loss is overwhelmingly more important for all.

  6. Trackways Produced by Lungfish During Terrestrial Locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Falkingham, Peter L.; Horner, Angela M.

    2016-01-01

    Some primarily aquatic vertebrates make brief forays onto land, creating traces as they do. A lack of studies on aquatic trackmakers raises the possibility that such traces may be ignored or misidentified in the fossil record. Several terrestrial Actinopterygian and Sarcopterygian species have previously been proposed as possible models for ancestral tetrapod locomotion, despite extant fishes being quite distinct from Devonian fishes, both morphologically and phylogenetically. Although locomotion has been well-studied in some of these taxa, trackway production has not. We recorded terrestrial locomotion of a 35 cm African lungfish (Protopterus annectens; Dipnoi: Sarcopterygii) on compliant sediment. Terrestrial movement in the lungfish is accomplished by planting the head and then pivoting the trunk. Impressions are formed where the head impacts the substrate, while the body and fins produce few traces. The head leaves a series of alternating left-right impressions, where each impact can appear as two separate semi-circular impressions created by the upper and lower jaws, bearing some similarity to fossil traces interpreted as footprints. Further studies of trackways of extant terrestrial fishes are necessary to understand the behavioural repertoire that may be represented in the fossil track record. PMID:27670758

  7. Trackways Produced by Lungfish During Terrestrial Locomotion.

    PubMed

    Falkingham, Peter L; Horner, Angela M

    2016-09-27

    Some primarily aquatic vertebrates make brief forays onto land, creating traces as they do. A lack of studies on aquatic trackmakers raises the possibility that such traces may be ignored or misidentified in the fossil record. Several terrestrial Actinopterygian and Sarcopterygian species have previously been proposed as possible models for ancestral tetrapod locomotion, despite extant fishes being quite distinct from Devonian fishes, both morphologically and phylogenetically. Although locomotion has been well-studied in some of these taxa, trackway production has not. We recorded terrestrial locomotion of a 35 cm African lungfish (Protopterus annectens; Dipnoi: Sarcopterygii) on compliant sediment. Terrestrial movement in the lungfish is accomplished by planting the head and then pivoting the trunk. Impressions are formed where the head impacts the substrate, while the body and fins produce few traces. The head leaves a series of alternating left-right impressions, where each impact can appear as two separate semi-circular impressions created by the upper and lower jaws, bearing some similarity to fossil traces interpreted as footprints. Further studies of trackways of extant terrestrial fishes are necessary to understand the behavioural repertoire that may be represented in the fossil track record.

  8. Spermatogenesis in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pudney, J

    1995-12-15

    Spermatogenesis appears to be a fairly conserved process throughout the vertebrate series. Thus, spermatogonia develop into spermatocytes that undergo meiosis to produce spermatids which enter spermiogenesis where they undergo a morphological transformation into spermatozoa. There is, however, variation amongst the vertebrates in how germ cell development and maturation is accomplished. This difference can be broadly divided into two distinct patterns, one present in anamniotes (fish, amphibia) and the other in amniotes (reptiles, birds, mammals). For anamniotes, spermatogenesis occurs in spermatocysts (cysts) which for most species develop within seminiferous lobules. Cysts are produced when a Sertoli cell becomes associated with a primary spermatogonium. Mitotic divisions of the primary spermatogonium produce a cohort of secondary spermatogonia that are enclosed by the Sertoli cell which forms the wall of the cyst. With spermatogenic progression a clone of isogeneic spermatozoa is produced which are released, by rupture of the cyst, into the lumen of the seminiferous lobule. Following spermiation, the Sertoli cell degenerates. For anamniotes, therefore, there is no permanent germinal epithelium since spermatocysts have to be replaced during successive breeding seasons. By contrast, spermatogenesis in amniotes does not occur in cysts but in seminiferous tubules that possess a permanent population of Sertoli cells and spermatogonia which act as a germ cell reservoir for succeeding bouts of spermatogenic activity. There is, in general, a greater variation in the organization of the testis and pattern of spermatogenesis in the anamniotes compared to amniotes. This is primarily due to the fact there is more reproductive diversity in anamniotes ranging from a relatively unspecialized condition where gametes are simply released into the aqueous environment to highly specialized strategies involving internal fertilization. These differences are obviously reflected in the

  9. Chemical ecology of vertebrate carrion

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Vertebrate carrion is a nutrient-rich, ephemeral resource that is utilized by many different organisms ranging from vertebrate and invertebrate scavengers to microbes. The organisms that consume carrion play an important ecological role, as decomposition is vital to ecosystem function. Without the...

  10. Terrestrial Planets: Comparative Planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Papers were presented at the 47th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting on the Comparative planetology of Terrestrial Planets. Subject matter explored concerning terrestrial planets includes: interrelationships among planets; plaentary evolution; planetary structure; planetary composition; planetary Atmospheres; noble gases in meteorites; and planetary magnetic fields.

  11. TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM SIMULATOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Terrestrial Habitats Project at the Western Ecology Division (Corvallis, OR) is developing tools and databases to meet the needs of Program Office clients for assessing risks to wildlife and terrestrial ecosystems. Because habitat is a dynamic condition in real-world environm...

  12. TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM SIMULATOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Terrestrial Habitats Project at the Western Ecology Division (Corvallis, OR) is developing tools and databases to meet the needs of Program Office clients for assessing risks to wildlife and terrestrial ecosystems. Because habitat is a dynamic condition in real-world environm...

  13. Comparative anatomy: all vertebrates do have vertebrae.

    PubMed

    Janvier, Philippe

    2011-09-13

    In contrast to lampreys and jawed vertebrates, hagfishes were thought to lack vertebrae. Now, long overlooked vertebral rudiments have been analysed in hagfish, suggesting that vertebrae existed in the last common ancestor of all vertebrates.

  14. [On the relevance of the official lists for notified products and measures for disinfection, disinfestation and control of vertebrate pests ordered by an authority on the legal basis of § 18 IfSG (German Protection against Infection Act)].

    PubMed

    Klasen, J; Schmolz, E; Hübner, N-O; Schwebke, I

    2014-05-01

    In order to protect human health against communicable diseases, the German Protection against Infection Act (IfSG) requires the use of officially approved products and methods for officially ordered disinfection, disinfestation (control of arthropods) as well as measures for the management of vertebrate pests that spread pathogens. Official approval is granted by registration in lists published by the responsible federal health authorities and only for products and methods that have been tested and found to be sufficiently effective and do not have an unacceptable impact on health and the environment (§ 18 IfSG). It is not compulsory for manufacturers to have their products and methods listed in accordance with § 18 IfSG. In particular listing is not a prerequisite for access to the German market. Users are free to choose a product as long as no officially ordered measure, i.e. disinfection, disinfestation or measures against vertebrate pests, according to § 18 IfSG applies. However, it is highly recommended to use approved products included in the abovementioned lists even for routine application, as these registered products and methods have been tested, i.e. the efficacy has been proven by means of specific, recognized and quality assured testing procedures or by expert reports which have been confirmed by independent institutions.

  15. Development of a framework based on an ecosystem services approach for deriving specific protection goals for environmental risk assessment of pesticides.

    PubMed

    Nienstedt, Karin M; Brock, Theo C M; van Wensem, Joke; Montforts, Mark; Hart, Andy; Aagaard, Alf; Alix, Anne; Boesten, Jos; Bopp, Stephanie K; Brown, Colin; Capri, Ettore; Forbes, Valery; Köpp, Herbert; Liess, Matthias; Luttik, Robert; Maltby, Lorraine; Sousa, José P; Streissl, Franz; Hardy, Anthony R

    2012-01-15

    General protection goals for the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of plant protection products are stated in European legislation but specific protection goals (SPGs) are often not precisely defined. These are however crucial for designing appropriate risk assessment schemes. The process followed by the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as well as examples of resulting SPGs obtained so far for environmental risk assessment (ERA) of pesticides is presented. The ecosystem services approach was used as an overarching concept for the development of SPGs, which will likely facilitate communication with stakeholders in general and risk managers in particular. It is proposed to develop SPG options for 7 key drivers for ecosystem services (microbes, algae, non target plants (aquatic and terrestrial), aquatic invertebrates, terrestrial non target arthropods including honeybees, terrestrial non-arthropod invertebrates, and vertebrates), covering the ecosystem services that could potentially be affected by the use of pesticides. These SPGs need to be defined in 6 dimensions: biological entity, attribute, magnitude, temporal and geographical scale of the effect, and the degree of certainty that the specified level of effect will not be exceeded. In general, to ensure ecosystem services, taxa representative for the key drivers identified need to be protected at the population level. However, for some vertebrates and species that have a protection status in legislation, protection may be at the individual level. To protect the provisioning and supporting services provided by microbes it may be sufficient to protect them at the functional group level. To protect biodiversity impacts need to be assessed at least at the scale of the watershed/landscape.

  16. Behavioral fever in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Rakus, Krzysztof; Ronsmans, Maygane; Vanderplasschen, Alain

    2017-01-01

    Fever is an evolutionary conserved defense mechanism which is present in both endothermic and ectothermic vertebrates. Ectotherms in response to infection can increase their body temperature by moving to warmer places. This process is known as behavioral fever. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the mechanisms of induction of fever in mammals. We further discuss the evolutionary conserved mechanisms existing between fever of mammals and behavioral fever of ectothermic vertebrates. Finally, the experimental evidences supporting an adaptive value of behavioral fever expressed by ectothermic vertebrates are summarized. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Lungfish axial muscle function and the vertebrate water to land transition.

    PubMed

    Horner, Angela M; Jayne, Bruce C

    2014-01-01

    The role of axial form and function during the vertebrate water to land transition is poorly understood, in part because patterns of axial movement lack morphological correlates. The few studies available from elongate, semi-aquatic vertebrates suggest that moving on land may be powered simply from modifications of generalized swimming axial motor patterns and kinematics. Lungfish are an ideal group to study the role of axial function in terrestrial locomotion as they are the sister taxon to tetrapods and regularly move on land. Here we use electromyography and high-speed video to test whether lungfish moving on land use axial muscles similar to undulatory swimming or demonstrate novelty. We compared terrestrial lungfish data to data from lungfish swimming in different viscosities as well as to salamander locomotion. The terrestrial locomotion of lungfish involved substantial activity in the trunk muscles but almost no tail activity. Unlike other elongate vertebrates, lungfish moved on land with a standing wave pattern of axial muscle activity that closely resembled the pattern observed in terrestrially locomoting salamanders. The similarity in axial motor pattern in salamanders and lungfish suggests that some aspects of neuromuscular control for the axial movements involved in terrestrial locomotion were present before derived appendicular structures.

  18. Lungfish Axial Muscle Function and the Vertebrate Water to Land Transition

    PubMed Central

    Horner, Angela M.; Jayne, Bruce C.

    2014-01-01

    The role of axial form and function during the vertebrate water to land transition is poorly understood, in part because patterns of axial movement lack morphological correlates. The few studies available from elongate, semi-aquatic vertebrates suggest that moving on land may be powered simply from modifications of generalized swimming axial motor patterns and kinematics. Lungfish are an ideal group to study the role of axial function in terrestrial locomotion as they are the sister taxon to tetrapods and regularly move on land. Here we use electromyography and high-speed video to test whether lungfish moving on land use axial muscles similar to undulatory swimming or demonstrate novelty. We compared terrestrial lungfish data to data from lungfish swimming in different viscosities as well as to salamander locomotion. The terrestrial locomotion of lungfish involved substantial activity in the trunk muscles but almost no tail activity. Unlike other elongate vertebrates, lungfish moved on land with a standing wave pattern of axial muscle activity that closely resembled the pattern observed in terrestrially locomoting salamanders. The similarity in axial motor pattern in salamanders and lungfish suggests that some aspects of neuromuscular control for the axial movements involved in terrestrial locomotion were present before derived appendicular structures. PMID:24788982

  19. Myoglobin oxygen affinity in aquatic and terrestrial birds and mammals.

    PubMed

    Wright, Traver J; Davis, Randall W

    2015-07-01

    Myoglobin (Mb) is an oxygen binding protein found in vertebrate skeletal muscle, where it facilitates intracellular transport and storage of oxygen. This protein has evolved to suit unique physiological needs in the muscle of diving vertebrates that express Mb at much greater concentrations than their terrestrial counterparts. In this study, we characterized Mb oxygen affinity (P50) from 25 species of aquatic and terrestrial birds and mammals. Among diving species, we tested for correlations between Mb P50 and routine dive duration. Across all species examined, Mb P50 ranged from 2.40 to 4.85 mmHg. The mean P50 of Mb from terrestrial ungulates was 3.72±0.15 mmHg (range 3.70-3.74 mmHg). The P50 of cetaceans was similar to terrestrial ungulates ranging from 3.54 to 3.82 mmHg, with the exception of the melon-headed whale, which had a significantly higher P50 of 4.85 mmHg. Among pinnipeds, the P50 ranged from 3.23 to 3.81 mmHg and showed a trend for higher oxygen affinity in species with longer dive durations. Among diving birds, the P50 ranged from 2.40 to 3.36 mmHg and also showed a trend of higher affinities in species with longer dive durations. In pinnipeds and birds, low Mb P50 was associated with species whose muscles are metabolically active under hypoxic conditions associated with aerobic dives. Given the broad range of potential globin oxygen affinities, Mb P50 from diverse vertebrate species appears constrained within a relatively narrow range. High Mb oxygen affinity within this range may be adaptive for some vertebrates that make prolonged dives. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  20. Terrestrial photovoltaic measurements, 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The following major topics are discussed; (1) Terrestrial solar irradiance; (2) Solar simulation and reference cell calibration; and (3) Cell and array measurement procedures. Numerous related subtopics are also discussed within each major topic area.

  1. Diterpenoids of terrestrial origin.

    PubMed

    Hanson, James R

    2012-08-01

    This review covers the isolation and chemistry of the diterpenoids from terrestrial as opposed to marine sources and includes labdanes, clerodanes, abietanes, pimaranes, kauranes, gibberellins, cembranes and their cyclization products and taxanes. There are 161 references.

  2. Extra Terrestrial Lava Flows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lopes-Gautier, R.

    1993-01-01

    Volcanism has been one of the major processes shaping the surfaces of the terrestrial planets. Lava flows have been identified on the Moon, Mars, Venus, and on Juptier's moon Io. The study of extra-terrestrial lavas has largely relied on the interpretation of remotely acquired imaging, topographic and spectroscopic data. Models relating the final flow morpohology to eruption characteristics and magma chemistry have been important tools in the interpretation of these data.

  3. Lymphatic regulation in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Michael S; Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Withers, Philip C

    2013-08-01

    All vertebrate animals share in common the production of lymph through net capillary filtration from their closed circulatory system into their tissues. The balance of forces responsible for net capillary filtration and lymph formation is described by the Starling equation, but additional factors such as vascular and interstitial compliance, which vary markedly among vertebrates, also have a significant impact on rates of lymph formation. Why vertebrates show extreme variability in rates of lymph formation and how nonmammalian vertebrates maintain plasma volume homeostasis is unclear. This gap hampers our understanding of the evolution of the lymphatic system and its interaction with the cardiovascular system. The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate lymphatic system is not clear, but recent advances suggest common developmental factors for lymphangiogenesis in teleost fishes, amphibians, and mammals with some significant changes in the water-land transition. The lymphatic system of anuran amphibians is characterized by large lymphatic sacs and two pairs of lymph hearts that return lymph into the venous circulation but no lymph vessels per se. The lymphatic systems of reptiles and some birds have lymph hearts, and both groups have extensive lymph vessels, but their functional role in both lymph movement and plasma volume homeostasis is almost completely unknown. The purpose of this review is to present an evolutionary perspective in how different vertebrates have solved the common problem of the inevitable formation of lymph from their closed circulatory systems and to point out the many gaps in our knowledge of this evolutionary progression.

  4. The solar terrestrial observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chappell, C. R.

    1978-01-01

    The larger system of the earth environment is controlled externally by electromagnetic and particle energy from the sun. Recent studies have shown that the sun is a variable star with changes in its radiation which produce significant effects in the earth's climate and weather. The study of the solar-terrestrial system requires simultaneous, long-duration observations of the different elements or 'links' in the solar-terrestrial chain. Many investigations must be conducted in space from a vantage point above the earth's atmosphere where all of the sun's emissions can be observed free from atmospheric distortion, where the magnetospheric particles and fields can be measured directly, and where the atmosphere can be observed on a global scale. The extension of the Shuttle on-orbit capability in connection with the development of the power module will offer an important near-term step in an evolutionary process leading toward a permanent manned Solar Terrestrial Observatory capability in low-earth orbit. Attention is given to the required solar-terrestrial measurements, the operation of the Solar Terrestrial Observatory, and an evolutionary approach to the Solar Terrestrial Observatory.

  5. Home-range allometry in coral reef fishes: comparison to other vertebrates, methodological issues and management implications.

    PubMed

    Nash, Kirsty L; Welsh, Justin Q; Graham, Nicholas A J; Bellwood, David R

    2015-01-01

    Body size has been identified as a key driver of home-range area. Despite considerable research into home-range allometry, the relatively high variability in this relationship among taxa means that the mechanisms driving this relationship are still under debate. To date, studies have predominantly focused on terrestrial taxa, and coral reef fishes in particular have received little attention. We quantitatively reviewed studies examining home range in reef fishes, and assessed the interspecific relationship between body mass and home-range area. Body mass and home range are positively related in reef fishes (slopes of 1.15-1.72), with predators having larger home ranges than herbivorous species. This may be attributed to the mobility and lower abundance of predators' food items. Coral reef fishes, and fishes in general, appear to occupy a smaller area per unit mass than terrestrial vertebrates (intercepts of -0.92 to 0.07 versus ≥1.14). This is likely linked to the relative metabolic costs of moving through water compared to air. The small home ranges of reef fishes and their apparent reluctance to cross open areas suggest that reserves aimed at protecting fish species may be more effective if located across whole reefs, even if those reefs are comparatively small, rather than if they cover subsections of contiguous reef, as home ranges in the former are less likely to cross reserve boundaries.

  6. [Neural crest and vertebrate evolution].

    PubMed

    Le Douarin, Nicole M; Creuzet, Sophie

    2011-01-01

    The neural crest (NC) is a remarkable structure of the Vertebrate embryo, which forms from the lateral borders of the neural plate (designated as neural folds) during neural tube closure. As soon as the NC is formed, its constitutive cells detach and migrate away from the neural primordium along definite pathways and at precise periods of time according to a rostro-caudal progression. The NC cells aggregate in definite places in the developing embryo, where they differentiate into a large variety of cell types including the neurons and glial cells of the peripheral nervous system, the pigment cells dispersed throughout the body and endocrine cells such as the adrenal medulla and the calcitonin producing cells. At the cephalic level only, in higher Vertebrates (but along the whole neural axis in Fishes and Amphibians), the NC is also at the origin of mesenchymal cells differentiating into connective tissue chondrogenic and osteogenic cells. Vertebrates belong to the larger group of Cordates which includes also the Protocordates (Cephalocordates and the Urocordates). All Cordates are characterized by the same body plan with a dorsal neural tube and a notochord which, in Vertebrates, exists only at embryonic stages. The main difference between Protocordates and Vertebrates is the very rudimentary development of cephalic structures in the former. As a result, the process of cephalization is one of the most obvious characteristics of Vertebrates. It was accompanied by the apparition of the NC which can therefore be considered as an innovation of Vertebrates during evolution. The application of a cell marking technique which consists in constructing chimeric embryos between two species of birds, the quail and the chicken, has led to show that the vertebrate head is mainly formed by cells originating from the NC, meaning that this structure was an important asset in Vertebrate evolution. Recent studies, described in this article, have strengthened this view by showing

  7. [Serine proteinases of lower vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Kolodzeĭskaia, M V

    1986-01-01

    Recent data on the effect of serine proteinases of lower vertebrates are generalized. Hydrolysis specificity and kinetics of different synthetic substrates, dependence of the activity of enzymes on pH, their irreversible inhibition by chloromethyl ketones of amino acids and peptides as well as high-molecular proteinase inhibitors are considered in detail. The data testify to the fact that chymotrypsins and trypsins of higher vertebrates and serine proteinases of lower vertebrates act as an acid-base catalysis. Enzymes in the pyloric cacca of fishes are in the state of proenzymes and are transformed into an active form with the aid of their own proteolytic factors. The esterase and proteolytic activity of fish proteinases is concentrated in the same active site and reaches the highest values at pH 7,8. New data are presented on particularities of the lower vertebrate proteinases, on the similarity and differences in their specificity. A distinct difference is shown in the nature of the binding site of the active centre in a number of serine proteinases of fishes as compared to chymotrypsin and trypsin of higher vertebrates.

  8. Ectodomain Architecture Affects Sequence and Functional Evolution of Vertebrate Toll-like Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jinlan; Zhang, Zheng; Liu, Jing; Zhao, Jing; Yin, Deling

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are crucial components of innate immunity that specifically recognize diverse pathogen-associated molecular patterns from pathogens. The continuous hydrogen-bond network (asparagine ladder) formed among the asparagine residues on the concave surfaces of neighboring leucine-rich repeat modules assists in stabilizing the overall shape of TLR ectodomains responsible for ligand recognition. Analysis of 28 types of vertebrate TLRs showed that their ectodomains possessed three types of architectures: a single-domain architecture with an intact asparagine ladder, a three-domain architecture with the ladder interrupted in the middle, and a trans-three-domain architecture with the ladder broken in both termini. Based on a phylogenetic analysis, the three vertebrate TLR architectures arose during early evolution. The 1428 vertebrate TLRs can be divided into eight families based on sequence and structural differences. TLRs ligand specificities are affected by their ectodomain architectures. Three-domain TLRs bind hydrophobic ligands, whereas single-domain and trans-three-domain TLRs mainly recognize hydrophilic ligands. Analysis of 39 vertebrate genomes suggested that the number of single-domain TLR genes in terrestrial vertebrate genomes decreased by half compared to aquatic vertebrate genomes. Single-domain TLR genes underwent stronger purifying selective pressures than three-domain TLR genes in mammals. Overall, ectodomain architecture influences the sequence and functional evolution of vertebrate TLRs. PMID:27216145

  9. Arctic terrestrial ecosystem contamination.

    PubMed

    Thomas, D J; Tracey, B; Marshall, H; Norstrom, R J

    1992-07-15

    Limited data have been collected on the presence of contaminants in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem, with the exception of radioactive fallout from atmospheric weapons testing. Although southern and temperate biological systems have largely cleansed themselves of radioactive fallout deposited during the 1950s and 1960s, Arctic environments have not. Lichens accumulate radioactivity more than many other plants because of their large surface area and long life span; the presence and persistence of radioisotopes in the Arctic is of concern because of the lichen----reindeer----human ecosystem. Effective biological half-life of cesium 137 is reckoned to be substantially less than its physical half-life. The database on organochlorines in Canadian Arctic terrestrial mammals and birds is very limited, but indications are that the air/plant/animal contaminant pathway is the major route of these compounds into the terrestrial food chain. For terrestrial herbivores, the most abundant organochlorine is usually hexachlorobenzene followed by hexachlorocyclohexane isomers. PCB accumulation favours the hexachlorobiphenyl, pentachlorobiphenyl and heptachlorobiphenyl homologous series. The concentrations of the various classes of organochlorine compounds are substantially lower in terrestrial herbivore tissues than in marine mammal tissues. PCBs and DDT are the most abundant residues in peregrine falcons (a terrestrial carnivore) reaching average levels of 9.2 and 10.4 micrograms.g-1, respectively, more than 10 times higher than other organochlorines and higher than in marine mammals, including the polar bear. Contaminants from local sources include metals from mining activities, hydrocarbons and waste drilling fluids from oil and gas exploration and production, wastes from DEW line sites, naturally occurring radionuclides associated with uranium mineralization, and smoke containing SO2 and H2SO4 aerosol from the Smoking Hills at Cape Bathurst, N.W.T.

  10. Terrestrial Gravity Fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harms, Jan

    2015-12-01

    Different forms of fluctuations of the terrestrial gravity field are observed by gravity experiments. For example, atmospheric pressure fluctuations generate a gravity-noise foreground in measurements with super-conducting gravimeters. Gravity changes caused by high-magnitude earthquakes have been detected with the satellite gravity experiment GRACE, and we expect high-frequency terrestrial gravity fluctuations produced by ambient seismic fields to limit the sensitivity of ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. Accordingly, terrestrial gravity fluctuations are considered noise and signal depending on the experiment. Here, we will focus on ground-based gravimetry. This field is rapidly progressing through the development of GW detectors. The technology is pushed to its current limits in the advanced generation of the LIGO and Virgo detectors, targeting gravity strain sensitivities better than 10-23 Hz-1/2 above a few tens of a Hz. Alternative designs for GW detectors evolving from traditional gravity gradiometers such as torsion bars, atom interferometers, and superconducting gradiometers are currently being developed to extend the detection band to frequencies below 1 Hz. The goal of this article is to provide the analytical framework to describe terrestrial gravity perturbations in these experiments. Models of terrestrial gravity perturbations related to seismic fields, atmospheric disturbances, and vibrating, rotating or moving objects, are derived and analyzed. The models are then used to evaluate passive and active gravity noise mitigation strategies in GW detectors, or alternatively, to describe their potential use in geophysics. The article reviews the current state of the field, and also presents new analyses especially with respect to the impact of seismic scattering on gravity perturbations, active gravity noise cancellation, and time-domain models of gravity perturbations from atmospheric and seismic point sources. Our understanding of

  11. Terrestrial Gravity Fluctuations.

    PubMed

    Harms, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Different forms of fluctuations of the terrestrial gravity field are observed by gravity experiments. For example, atmospheric pressure fluctuations generate a gravity-noise foreground in measurements with super-conducting gravimeters. Gravity changes caused by high-magnitude earthquakes have been detected with the satellite gravity experiment GRACE, and we expect high-frequency terrestrial gravity fluctuations produced by ambient seismic fields to limit the sensitivity of ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. Accordingly, terrestrial gravity fluctuations are considered noise and signal depending on the experiment. Here, we will focus on ground-based gravimetry. This field is rapidly progressing through the development of GW detectors. The technology is pushed to its current limits in the advanced generation of the LIGO and Virgo detectors, targeting gravity strain sensitivities better than 10(-23) Hz(-1/2) above a few tens of a Hz. Alternative designs for GW detectors evolving from traditional gravity gradiometers such as torsion bars, atom interferometers, and superconducting gradiometers are currently being developed to extend the detection band to frequencies below 1 Hz. The goal of this article is to provide the analytical framework to describe terrestrial gravity perturbations in these experiments. Models of terrestrial gravity perturbations related to seismic fields, atmospheric disturbances, and vibrating, rotating or moving objects, are derived and analyzed. The models are then used to evaluate passive and active gravity noise mitigation strategies in GW detectors, or alternatively, to describe their potential use in geophysics. The article reviews the current state of the field, and also presents new analyses especially with respect to the impact of seismic scattering on gravity perturbations, active gravity noise cancellation, and time-domain models of gravity perturbations from atmospheric and seismic point sources. Our understanding of

  12. Vestibular blueprint in early vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Straka, Hans; Baker, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Central vestibular neurons form identifiable subgroups within the boundaries of classically outlined octavolateral nuclei in primitive vertebrates that are distinct from those processing lateral line, electrosensory, and auditory signals. Each vestibular subgroup exhibits a particular morpho-physiological property that receives origin-specific sensory inputs from semicircular canal and otolith organs. Behaviorally characterized phenotypes send discrete axonal projections to extraocular, spinal, and cerebellar targets including other ipsi- and contralateral vestibular nuclei. The anatomical locations of vestibuloocular and vestibulospinal neurons correlate with genetically defined hindbrain compartments that are well conserved throughout vertebrate evolution though some variability exists in fossil and extant vertebrate species. The different vestibular subgroups exhibit a robust sensorimotor signal processing complemented with a high degree of vestibular and visual adaptive plasticity. PMID:24312016

  13. Terrestrial-Imaging Spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vane, Gregg A.; Goetz, Alexander F. H.

    1990-01-01

    Report reviews history and state of art of terrestrial imaging spectroscopy. Discusses history, design, and performance of Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS), which is pioneering sensor for terrestrial high-resolution remote sensing. Also discusses recent developments described in literature of imaging spectroscopy from three points of view: techniques for handling and analysis of spectral-image data, geological research, and botanical research. This field encompasses use of airborne and spaceborne imaging spectrometers to generate specialized maps for use in agriculture, geology, ecology, and related disciplines.

  14. Late Permian vertebrate community of the Pranhita Godavari valley, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Sanghamitra; Bandyopadhyay, Saswati

    2003-03-01

    The Kundaram Formation of the Pranhita-Godavari valley yields the only Late Permian multispecies terrestrial vertebrate assemblage from India. This includes various medium and small dicynodonts such as Endothiodon, Oudenodon, Kingoria, Emydops, Cistecephalus and Pristerodon. At present two species of Endothiodon ( E. mahalanobisi and E. uniseries) are known. Apart from these dicynodonts, the Kundaram vertebrate fauna also contains a medium-sized gorgonopsian and a small captorhinid. The material, from the red mudstone dominated Kundaram Formation, includes numerous isolated, disarticulated skulls and lower jaws. Postcranial elements are relatively rare except for a few broken limb ends and vertebrae. The bones are encrusted by iron rich matrix and most of them had suffered deformation. This skull dominant accumulation is attributed to prolonged aerial exposure prior to burial resulting in disarticulation of the skeletons and subsequent inundation by floodwater. The limb bones and other postcranial elements of the already disarticulated skeletons were winnowed out by shallow competent flow while the relatively heavier skulls and lower jaws resisting transportation were buried near the site of death. The Late Permian scenario of the Pranhita-Godavari valley was characterised by the dominance of herbivores. This abundance of herbivores at the base and the presence of relatively few carnivores and omnivores at the top of the Kundaram food pyramid indicate a trophic structure similar to that of the modern-day terrestrial ecosystem.

  15. A Membrane-Bound Vertebrate Globin

    PubMed Central

    Blank, Miriam; Wollberg, Jessica; Gerlach, Frank; Reimann, Katja; Roesner, Anja; Hankeln, Thomas; Fago, Angela; Weber, Roy E.; Burmester, Thorsten

    2011-01-01

    The family of vertebrate globins includes hemoglobin, myoglobin, and other O2-binding proteins of yet unclear functions. Among these, globin X is restricted to fish and amphibians. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) globin X is expressed at low levels in neurons of the central nervous system and appears to be associated with the sensory system. The protein harbors a unique N-terminal extension with putative N-myristoylation and S-palmitoylation sites, suggesting membrane-association. Intracellular localization and transport of globin X was studied in 3T3 cells employing green fluorescence protein fusion constructs. Both myristoylation and palmitoylation sites are required for correct targeting and membrane localization of globin X. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a vertebrate globin has been identified as component of the cell membrane. Globin X has a hexacoordinate binding scheme and displays cooperative O2 binding with a variable affinity (P50∼1.3–12.5 torr), depending on buffer conditions. A respiratory function of globin X is unlikely, but analogous to some prokaryotic membrane-globins it may either protect the lipids in cell membrane from oxidation or may act as a redox-sensing or signaling protein. PMID:21949889

  16. Terrestrial planet formation

    PubMed Central

    Righter, K.; O’Brien, D. P.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (∼106 y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few × 106 y), and finally embryos to planets (107–108 y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  17. Diterpenoids of terrestrial origin.

    PubMed

    Hanson, James R

    2013-10-11

    Covering January to December 2012. Previous review, Nat.Prod.Rep., 2012, 29, 890-898. This review covers the isolation and chemistry of diterpenoids from terrestrial as opposed to marine sources and includes labdanes, clerodanes, abietanes, pimaranes, kauranes, cembranes and their cyclization products. There are 169 references.

  18. Diterpenoids of terrestrial origin.

    PubMed

    Hanson, James R

    2016-10-28

    Covering January to December 2015. Previous review; Nat. Prod. Rep., 2015, 32, 1654-1663.This review covers the isolation and chemistry of diterpenoids from terrestrial as opposed to marine sources and includes labdanes, clerodanes, abietanes, pimaranes, kauranes, cembranes and their cyclization products. There are 214 references.

  19. Diterpenoids of terrestrial origin.

    PubMed

    Hanson, James R

    2017-09-06

    Covering: January to December, 2016 previous review Nat. Prod. Rep., 2016, 33, 1227-1238This review covers the isolation and chemistry of diterpenoids from terrestrial as opposed to marine sources and includes labdanes, clerodanes, abietanes, pimaranes, kauranes, cembrenes and their cyclization products. There are 205 references.

  20. Diterpenoids of terrestrial origin.

    PubMed

    Hanson, James R

    2015-12-19

    Covering January to December 2014. Previous review, Nat. Prod. Rep., 2015, 32, 76-87 This review covers the isolation and chemistry of diterpenoids from terrestrial as opposed to marine sources and includes, labdanes, clerodanes, abietanes, pimaranes, kauranes, cembranes and their cyclization products. There are 200 references.

  1. Diterpenoids of terrestrial origin.

    PubMed

    Hanson, James R

    2015-01-01

    Covering: January to December 2013. Previous review, Nat. Prod. Rep., 2013, 30, 1346-1356. This review covers the isolation and chemistry of diterpenoids from terrestrial as opposed to marine sources and includes labdanes, clerodanes, abietanes, pimaranes, kauranes, cembranes and their cyclization products. There are 179 references.

  2. Terrestrial analogs to Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farr, T. G.; Arcone, S.; Arvidson, R.; Baker, V.; Barlow, N.; Beaty, D.; Bell, M.; Blankenship, D.; Bridges, N.; Briggs, G.; hide

    2002-01-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing.

  3. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  4. Ecological Relationships of Meso-Scale Distribution in 25 Neotropical Vertebrate Species

    PubMed Central

    Michalski, Lincoln José; Norris, Darren; de Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes; Michalski, Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates are a vital ecological component of Amazon forest biodiversity. Although vertebrates are a functionally important part of various ecosystem services they continue to be threatened by anthropogenic impacts throughout the Amazon. Here we use a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera traps within 25km2 to provide a baseline assessment of vertebrate species diversity in a sustainable use protected area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We examined seasonal differences in the per species encounter rates (number of photos per camera trap and number of cameras with photos). Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of five variables (altitude, canopy cover, basal area, distance to nearest river and distance to nearest large river) on the number of photos per species and on functional groups. GLMs were also used to examine the relationships between large predators [Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Puma (Puma concolor)] and their prey. A total of 649 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 1,800 camera trap days (900 each during wet and dry seasons). Only ungulates and rodents showed significant seasonal differences in the number of photos per camera. The number of photos differed between seasons for only three species (Mazama americana, Dasyprocta leporina and Myoprocta acouchy) all of which were photographed more (3 to 10 fold increase) during the wet season. Mazama americana was the only species where a significant difference was found in occupancy, with more photos in more cameras during the wet season. For most groups and species variation in the number of photos per camera was only explained weakly by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 10.3 to 54.4%). Terrestrial birds (Crax alector, Psophia crepitans and Tinamus major) and rodents (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina and M. acouchy) were the notable exceptions, with our GLMs significantly explaining variation in the distribution of all species

  5. Ecological relationships of meso-scale distribution in 25 neotropical vertebrate species.

    PubMed

    Michalski, Lincoln José; Norris, Darren; de Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes; Michalski, Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates are a vital ecological component of Amazon forest biodiversity. Although vertebrates are a functionally important part of various ecosystem services they continue to be threatened by anthropogenic impacts throughout the Amazon. Here we use a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera traps within 25km2 to provide a baseline assessment of vertebrate species diversity in a sustainable use protected area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We examined seasonal differences in the per species encounter rates (number of photos per camera trap and number of cameras with photos). Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of five variables (altitude, canopy cover, basal area, distance to nearest river and distance to nearest large river) on the number of photos per species and on functional groups. GLMs were also used to examine the relationships between large predators [Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Puma (Puma concolor)] and their prey. A total of 649 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 1,800 camera trap days (900 each during wet and dry seasons). Only ungulates and rodents showed significant seasonal differences in the number of photos per camera. The number of photos differed between seasons for only three species (Mazama americana, Dasyprocta leporina and Myoprocta acouchy) all of which were photographed more (3 to 10 fold increase) during the wet season. Mazama americana was the only species where a significant difference was found in occupancy, with more photos in more cameras during the wet season. For most groups and species variation in the number of photos per camera was only explained weakly by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 10.3 to 54.4%). Terrestrial birds (Crax alector, Psophia crepitans and Tinamus major) and rodents (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina and M. acouchy) were the notable exceptions, with our GLMs significantly explaining variation in the distribution of all species

  6. Terrestrial reserve networks do not adequately represent aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Herbert, Matthew E; McIntyre, Peter B; Doran, Patrick J; Allan, J David; Abell, Robin

    2010-08-01

    Protected areas are a cornerstone of conservation and have been designed largely around terrestrial features. Freshwater species and ecosystems are highly imperiled, but the effectiveness of existing protected areas in representing freshwater features is poorly known. Using the inland waters of Michigan as a test case, we quantified the coverage of four key freshwater features (wetlands, riparian zones, groundwater recharge, rare species) within conservation lands and compared these with representation of terrestrial features. Wetlands were included within protected areas more often than expected by chance, but riparian zones were underrepresented across all (GAP 1-3) protected lands, particularly for headwater streams and large rivers. Nevertheless, within strictly protected lands (GAP 1-2), riparian zones were highly represented because of the contribution of the national Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. Representation of areas of groundwater recharge was generally proportional to area of the reserve network within watersheds, although a recharge hotspot associated with some of Michigan's most valued rivers is almost entirely unprotected. Species representation in protected areas differed significantly among obligate aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial species, with representation generally highest for terrestrial species and lowest for aquatic species. Our results illustrate the need to further evaluate and address the representation of freshwater features within protected areas and the value of broadening gap analysis and other protected-areas assessments to include key ecosystem processes that are requisite to long-term conservation of species and ecosystems. We conclude that terrestrially oriented protected-area networks provide a weak safety net for aquatic features, which means complementary planning and management for both freshwater and terrestrial conservation targets is needed.

  7. Learning about Vertebrate Limb Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liang, Jennifer O.; Noll, Matthew; Olsen, Shayna

    2014-01-01

    We have developed an upper-level undergraduate laboratory exercise that enables students to replicate a key experiment in developmental biology. In this exercise, students have the opportunity to observe live chick embryos and stain the apical ectodermal ridge, a key tissue required for development of the vertebrate limb. Impressively, every…

  8. Learning about Vertebrate Limb Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liang, Jennifer O.; Noll, Matthew; Olsen, Shayna

    2014-01-01

    We have developed an upper-level undergraduate laboratory exercise that enables students to replicate a key experiment in developmental biology. In this exercise, students have the opportunity to observe live chick embryos and stain the apical ectodermal ridge, a key tissue required for development of the vertebrate limb. Impressively, every…

  9. Vertebrate Embryonic Cleavage Pattern Determination.

    PubMed

    Hasley, Andrew; Chavez, Shawn; Danilchik, Michael; Wühr, Martin; Pelegri, Francisco

    2017-01-01

    The pattern of the earliest cell divisions in a vertebrate embryo lays the groundwork for later developmental events such as gastrulation, organogenesis, and overall body plan establishment. Understanding these early cleavage patterns and the mechanisms that create them is thus crucial for the study of vertebrate development. This chapter describes the early cleavage stages for species representing ray-finned fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles, mammals, and proto-vertebrate ascidians and summarizes current understanding of the mechanisms that govern these patterns. The nearly universal influence of cell shape on orientation and positioning of spindles and cleavage furrows and the mechanisms that mediate this influence are discussed. We discuss in particular models of aster and spindle centering and orientation in large embryonic blastomeres that rely on asymmetric internal pulling forces generated by the cleavage furrow for the previous cell cycle. Also explored are mechanisms that integrate cell division given the limited supply of cellular building blocks in the egg and several-fold changes of cell size during early development, as well as cytoskeletal specializations specific to early blastomeres including processes leading to blastomere cohesion. Finally, we discuss evolutionary conclusions beginning to emerge from the contemporary analysis of the phylogenetic distributions of cleavage patterns. In sum, this chapter seeks to summarize our current understanding of vertebrate early embryonic cleavage patterns and their control and evolution.

  10. The ISCD and Vertebral Fractures.

    PubMed

    Vokes, Tamara; Lentle, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Some 30 years ago the diagnosis of osteoporosis relied primarily on the measurement of bone mineral density by DXA. More recently, however, it was recognized that vertebral fractures are an important predictor of future fractures and that they reflect some aspect of bone fragility not captured by BMD measurement. In response to that, DXA manufacturers developed VFA, spine imaging on the densitometer, which allowed integration of BMD with information on vertebral fractures obtained at the same visit. ISCD has been instrumental in several aspects of VFA use such as developing and teaching courses for VFA or more broadly, for recognition of vertebral fractures; in developing guidelines for performance, interpretation and reporting of the VFA; and in advocating for reimbursement for VFA tests performed in the clinical practice. ISCD is poised to continue as a leader in vertebral fracture recognition and application of VFA to clinical practice and research. Copyright © 2016 The International Society for Clinical Densitometry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Terrestrial feeding in aquatic turtles: environment-dependent feeding behavior modulation and the evolution of terrestrial feeding in Emydidae.

    PubMed

    Stayton, Charles Tristan

    2011-12-15

    Evolutionary transitions between aquatic and terrestrial environments are common in vertebrate evolution. These transitions require major changes in most physiological functions, including feeding. Emydid turtles are ancestrally aquatic, with most species naturally feeding only in water, but some terrestrial species can modulate their feeding behavior appropriately for both media. In addition, many aquatic species can be induced to feed terrestrially. A comparison of feeding in both aquatic and terrestrial environments presents an excellent opportunity to investigate the evolution of terrestrial feeding from aquatic feeding, as well as a system within which to develop methods for studying major evolutionary transitions between environments. Individuals from eight species of emydid turtles (six aquatic, two terrestrial) were filmed while feeding underwater and on land. Bite kinematics were analyzed to determine whether aquatic turtles modulated their feeding behavior in a consistent and appropriate manner between environments. Aquatic turtles showed consistent changes between environments, taking longer bites and using more extensive motions of the jaw and hyoid when feeding on land. However, these motions differ from those shown by species that naturally feed in both environments and mostly do not seem to be appropriate for terrestrial feeding. For example, more extensive motions of the hyoid are only effective during underwater suction feeding. Emydids evolving to feed on land probably would have needed to evolve or learn to overcome many, but not all, aspects of the intrinsic emydid response to terrestrial feeding. Studies that investigate major evolutionary transitions must determine what responses to the new environment are shown by naïve individuals in order to fully understand the evolutionary patterns and processes associated with these transitions.

  12. Symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas during pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Moles, Alexis; Hamel, Olivier; Perret, Christophe; Bord, Eric; Robert, Roger; Buffenoir, Kevin

    2014-05-01

    Symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas during pregnancy are rare, as only 27 cases have been reported in the literature since 1948. However, symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas can be responsible for spinal cord compression, in which case they constitute a medical emergency, which raises management difficulties in the context of pregnancy. Pregnancy is a known factor responsible for deterioration of these vascular tumors. In this paper, the authors report 2 clinical cases of symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas during pregnancy, including 1 case of spontaneous fracture that has never been previously reported in the literature. The authors then present a brief review of the literature to discuss emergency management of this condition. The first case was a 28-year-old woman at 35 weeks of gestation, who presented with paraparesis. Spinal cord MRI demonstrated a vertebral hemangioma invading the body and posterior arch of T-3 with posterior epidural extension. Laminectomy and vertebroplasty were performed after cesarean section, allowing neurological recovery. The second case involved a 35-year-old woman who presented with spontaneous fracture of T-7 at 36 weeks of gestation, revealing a vertebral hemangioma with no neurological deficit, but it was responsible for pain and local instability. Treatment consisted of postpartum posterior interbody fusion. With a clinical and radiological follow-up of 2 years, no complications and no modification of the hemangiomas were observed. A review of the literature reveals discordant management of these rare cases, which is why the treatment course must be decided by a multidisciplinary team as a function of fetal gestational age and maternal neurological features.

  13. Early development of the vertebral column.

    PubMed

    Scaal, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The segmental organization of the vertebrate body is most obviously visible in the vertebral column, which consists of a series of vertebral bones and interconnecting joints and ligaments. During embryogenesis, the vertebral column derives from the somites, which are the primary segments of the embryonic paraxial mesoderm. Anatomical, cellular and molecular aspects of vertebral column development have been of interest to developmental biologists for more than 150 years. This review briefly summarizes the present knowledge on early steps of vertebral column development in amniotes, starting from sclerotome formation and leading to the establishment of the anatomical bauplan of the spine composed of vertebral bodies, vertebral arches, intervertebral discs and ribs, and their specific axial identities along the body axis.

  14. Volcanic ash - Terrestrial versus extraterrestrial

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okeefe, J. A.

    1976-01-01

    A principal difference between terrestrial and extraterrestrial lavas may consist in the greater ability of terrestrial lavas to form thin films (like those of soap bubbles) and hence foams. It would follow that, in place of the pumice and spiny shards found in terrestrial volcanic ash, an extraterrestrial ash should contain minute spherules. This hypothesis may help to explain lunar microspherules.

  15. Presentation--HABITAT DISTRIBUTION MODELS FOR 37 VERTEBRATE SPECIES IN THE MOJAVE DESERT ECOREGION OF NEVADA, ARIZONA, AND UTAH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Thirty-seven terrestrial vertebrate species in the Clark County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) were previously modeled through the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP), using a deductive approach. To increase the applicability of such habitat models ...

  16. Vertebrate predators have minimal cascading effects on plant production or seed predation in an intact grassland ecosystem

    Treesearch

    John L. Maron; Dean E. Pearson

    2011-01-01

    The strength of trophic cascades in terrestrial habitats has been the subject of considerable interest and debate. We conducted an 8-year experiment to determine how exclusion of vertebrate predators, ungulates alone (to control for ungulate exclusion from predator exclusion plots) or none of these animals influenced how strongly a three-species assemblage of rodent...

  17. Presentation--HABITAT DISTRIBUTION MODELS FOR 37 VERTEBRATE SPECIES IN THE MOJAVE DESERT ECOREGION OF NEVADA, ARIZONA, AND UTAH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Thirty-seven terrestrial vertebrate species in the Clark County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) were previously modeled through the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP), using a deductive approach. To increase the applicability of such habitat models ...

  18. Evolution of endothelin receptors in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Braasch, Ingo; Schartl, Manfred

    2014-12-01

    Endothelin receptors are G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) of the β-group of rhodopsin receptors that bind to endothelin ligands, which are 21 amino acid long peptides derived from longer prepro-endothelin precursors. The most basal Ednr-like GPCR is found outside vertebrates in the cephalochordate amphioxus, but endothelin ligands are only present among vertebrates, including the lineages of jawless vertebrates (lampreys and hagfishes), cartilaginous vertebrates (sharks, rays, and chimaeras), and bony vertebrates (ray-finned fishes and lobe-finned vertebrates including tetrapods). A bona fide endothelin system is thus a vertebrate-specific innovation with important roles for regulating the cardiovascular system, renal and pulmonary processes, as well as for the development of the vertebrate-specific neural crest cell population and its derivatives. Expectedly, dysregulation of endothelin receptors and the endothelin system leads to a multitude of human diseases. Despite the importance of different types of endothelin receptors for vertebrate development and physiology, current knowledge on endothelin ligand-receptor interactions, on the expression of endothelin receptors and their ligands, and on the functional roles of the endothelin system for embryonic development and in adult vertebrates is very much biased towards amniote vertebrates. Recent analyses from a variety of vertebrate lineages, however, have shown that the endothelin system in lineages such as teleost fish and lampreys is more diverse and is divergent from the mammalian endothelin system. This diversity is mainly based on differential evolution of numerous endothelin system components among vertebrate lineages generated by two rounds of whole genome duplication (three in teleosts) during vertebrate evolution. Here we review current understanding of the evolutionary history of the endothelin receptor family in vertebrates supplemented with surveys on the endothelin receptor gene complement of

  19. Vertebral Augmentation for Osteoporotic Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    Richmond, Bradford J

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral augmentation procedures such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty were developed to reduce pain and improve quality of life for patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. However, the use of vertebral augmentation has been debated and questioned since its inception. This article addresses some of these issues.

  20. Cervical vertebral bone age in girls.

    PubMed

    Mito, Toshinori; Sato, Koshi; Mitani, Hideo

    2002-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to establish cervical vertebral bone age as a new index for objectively evaluating skeletal maturation on cephalometric radiographs. Using cephalometric radiographs of 176 girls (ages 7.0-14.9 years), we measured cervical vertebral bodies and determined a regression formula to obtain cervical vertebral bone age. Next, using cephalometric and hand-wrist radiographs of another 66 girls (ages 8.0-13.9 years), we determined the correlation between cervical vertebral bone age and bone age using the Tanner-Whitehouse 2 method. The following results were obtained: (1) a regression formula was determined to obtain cervical vertebral bone age based on ratios of measurements in the third and fourth cervical vertebral bodies; (2) the correlation coefficient for the relationship between cervical vertebral bone age and bone age (0.869) was significantly (P <.05) higher than that for the relationship between cervical vertebral bone age and chronological age (0.705); and (3) the difference (absolute value) between the cervical vertebral bone age and bone age (0.75 years) was significantly (P <.001) smaller than that between cervical vertebral bone age and chronological age (1.17 years). These results suggest that cervical vertebral bone age reflects skeletal maturity because it approximates bone age, which is considered to be the most reliable method for evaluating skeletal maturation. Using cervical vertebral bone age, it might be possible to evaluate maturity in a detailed and objective manner on cephalometric radiographs.

  1. Phytopharmacology of Tribulus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Shahid, M; Riaz, M; Talpur, M M A; Pirzada, T

    2016-01-01

    Tribulus terrestris is an annual herb which belongs to the Zygophyllaceae family. This plant has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases for hundreds of decades. The main active phytoconstituents of this plant include flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, lignin, amides, and glycosides. The plant parts have different pharmacological activities including aphrodisiac, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant potential. T. terrestris is most often used for infertility and loss of libido. It has potential application as immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, anthelmintic and anticarcinogenic activities. The aim of the present article is to create a database for further investigation of the phytopharmacological properties of this plant to promote research. This study will definitely help to confirm its traditional use along with its value-added utility, eventually leading to higher revenues from the plant.

  2. Rare, threatened, and endangered vertebrates of southwest Florida and potential OCS activity impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Woolfenden, G.E.

    1983-02-01

    The eight southwestern Florida counties include populations of 68 vertebrates considered in this report as rare, threatened, or endangered. The terrestrial and near-shore habitats of the study area and the habitat preferences of each of the 68 vertebrates are described. Each vertebrate is listed in the habitats it occupies, and information about reproduction, feeding, and where available, population estimates, is given under the habitat considered most important for each species. The distributions of the rare, threatened and endangered vertebrates by county and habitat demonstrate the relative importance of the southernmost counties (Monroe and Collier) and wetland and coastal habitats (strand, mangrove/marsh, estuaries). Activities contributing to the decline of these 68 vertebrates are assessed and habitat loss is overwhelmingly more important for all. Potential impacts of OCS development are assessed by estimating the effects OCS activities might have on various habitats. Direct impact of OCS development is estimated to be small. Oil spills are considered the most dangerous result of development and the habitats continguous with marine waters (strand, mangrove/marsh, estuaries) are the most susceptible to damage. These are also the habitats identified as harboring the largest, number of rare and endangered vertebrates in southwest Florida.

  3. Solar-Terrestrial Interactions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-01

    observed. We worked out a polar theory that incorporates molecular ions and shows that they are expected to be associated with large outflow speeds...because of the change in the mean molecular degrees of freedom of the plasma. We calculated vertical cutoff rigidities for spacecraft altitudes and...E. Lamanna, Societa Italiana di Fisica , Bologna, Italy, 1997.) Shea, M.A., and D.F. Smart, Overview of the Effects of Solar Terrestrial Phenomena

  4. Time Scales: Terrestrial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petit, G.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Terrestrial time is at present derived from atomic clocks. The SI second, the unit of time of the international system of units, has been defined since 1967 in terms of a hyperfine transition of the cesium atom and the best primary frequency standards now realize it with a relative uncertainty of a few parts in 1015, which makes it the most accurately measurable physical quantity. INTERNATIONAL A...

  5. Differential use of salmon by vertebrate consumers: implications for conservation

    PubMed Central

    Wheat, Rachel E.; Allen, Jennifer M.; Wilmers, Christopher C.

    2015-01-01

    Salmon and other anadromous fish are consumed by vertebrates with distinct life history strategies to capitalize on this ephemeral pulse of resource availability. Depending on the timing of salmon arrival, this resource may be in surplus to the needs of vertebrate consumers if, for instance, their populations are limited by food availability during other times of year. However, the life history of some consumers enables more efficient exploitation of these ephemeral resources. Bears can deposit fat and then hibernate to avoid winter food scarcity, and highly mobile consumers such as eagles, gulls, and other birds can migrate to access asynchronous pulses of salmon availability. We used camera traps on pink, chum, and sockeye salmon spawning grounds with various run times and stream morphologies, and on individual salmon carcasses, to discern potentially different use patterns among consumers. Wildlife use of salmon was highly heterogeneous. Ravens were the only avian consumer that fed heavily on pink salmon in small streams. Eagles and gulls did not feed on early pink salmon runs in streams, and only moderately at early sockeye runs, but were the dominant consumers at late chum salmon runs, particularly on expansive river flats. Brown bears used all salmon resources far more than other terrestrial vertebrates. Notably, black bears were not observed on salmon spawning grounds despite being the most frequently observed vertebrate on roads and trails. From a conservation and management perspective, all salmon species and stream morphologies are used extensively by bears, but salmon spawning late in the year are disproportionately important to eagles and other highly mobile species that are seasonally limited by winter food availability. PMID:26339539

  6. Differential use of salmon by vertebrate consumers: implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Levi, Taal; Wheat, Rachel E; Allen, Jennifer M; Wilmers, Christopher C

    2015-01-01

    Salmon and other anadromous fish are consumed by vertebrates with distinct life history strategies to capitalize on this ephemeral pulse of resource availability. Depending on the timing of salmon arrival, this resource may be in surplus to the needs of vertebrate consumers if, for instance, their populations are limited by food availability during other times of year. However, the life history of some consumers enables more efficient exploitation of these ephemeral resources. Bears can deposit fat and then hibernate to avoid winter food scarcity, and highly mobile consumers such as eagles, gulls, and other birds can migrate to access asynchronous pulses of salmon availability. We used camera traps on pink, chum, and sockeye salmon spawning grounds with various run times and stream morphologies, and on individual salmon carcasses, to discern potentially different use patterns among consumers. Wildlife use of salmon was highly heterogeneous. Ravens were the only avian consumer that fed heavily on pink salmon in small streams. Eagles and gulls did not feed on early pink salmon runs in streams, and only moderately at early sockeye runs, but were the dominant consumers at late chum salmon runs, particularly on expansive river flats. Brown bears used all salmon resources far more than other terrestrial vertebrates. Notably, black bears were not observed on salmon spawning grounds despite being the most frequently observed vertebrate on roads and trails. From a conservation and management perspective, all salmon species and stream morphologies are used extensively by bears, but salmon spawning late in the year are disproportionately important to eagles and other highly mobile species that are seasonally limited by winter food availability.

  7. Partitioning sources of variation in vertebrate species richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, R.B.; Krohn, W.B.

    2000-01-01

    Aim: To explore biogeographic patterns of terrestrial vertebrates in Maine, USA using techniques that would describe local and spatial correlations with the environment. Location: Maine, USA. Methods: We delineated the ranges within Maine (86,156 km2) of 275 species using literature and expert review. Ranges were combined into species richness maps, and compared to geomorphology, climate, and woody plant distributions. Methods were adapted that compared richness of all vertebrate classes to each environmental correlate, rather than assessing a single explanatory theory. We partitioned variation in species richness into components using tree and multiple linear regression. Methods were used that allowed for useful comparisons between tree and linear regression results. For both methods we partitioned variation into broad-scale (spatially autocorrelated) and fine-scale (spatially uncorrelated) explained and unexplained components. By partitioning variance, and using both tree and linear regression in analyses, we explored the degree of variation in species richness for each vertebrate group that Could be explained by the relative contribution of each environmental variable. Results: In tree regression, climate variation explained richness better (92% of mean deviance explained for all species) than woody plant variation (87%) and geomorphology (86%). Reptiles were highly correlated with environmental variation (93%), followed by mammals, amphibians, and birds (each with 84-82% deviance explained). In multiple linear regression, climate was most closely associated with total vertebrate richness (78%), followed by woody plants (67%) and geomorphology (56%). Again, reptiles were closely correlated with the environment (95%), followed by mammals (73%), amphibians (63%) and birds (57%). Main conclusions: Comparing variation explained using tree and multiple linear regression quantified the importance of nonlinear relationships and local interactions between species

  8. Evolution of the structure and function of the vertebrate tongue.

    PubMed

    Iwasaki, Shin-ichi

    2002-07-01

    Studies of the comparative morphology of the tongues of living vertebrates have revealed how variations in the morphology and function of the organ might be related to evolutional events. The tongue, which plays a very important role in food intake by vertebrates, exhibits significant morphological variations that appear to represent adaptation to the current environmental conditions of each respective habitat. This review examines the fundamental importance of morphology in the evolution of the vertebrate tongue, focusing on the origin of the tongue and on the relationship between morphology and environmental conditions. Tongues of various extant vertebrates, including those of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, were analysed in terms of gross anatomy and microanatomy by light microscopy and by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Comparisons of tongue morphology revealed a relationship between changes in the appearance of the tongue and changes in habitat, from a freshwater environment to a terrestrial environment, as well as a relationship between the extent of keratinization of the lingual epithelium and the transition from a moist or wet environment to a dry environment. The lingual epithelium of amphibians is devoid of keratinization while that of reptilians is keratinized to different extents. Reptiles live in a variety of habitats, from seawater to regions of high temperature and very high or very low humidity. Keratinization of the lingual epithelium is considered to have been acquired concomitantly with the evolution of amniotes. The variations in the extent of keratinization of the lingual epithelium, which is observed between various amniotes, appear to be secondary, reflecting the environmental conditions of different species.

  9. Evolution of the structure and function of the vertebrate tongue

    PubMed Central

    Iwasaki, Shin-ichi

    2002-01-01

    Abstract Studies of the comparative morphology of the tongues of living vertebrates have revealed how variations in the morphology and function of the organ might be related to evolutional events. The tongue, which plays a very important role in food intake by vertebrates, exhibits significant morphological variations that appear to represent adaptation to the current environmental conditions of each respective habitat. This review examines the fundamental importance of morphology in the evolution of the vertebrate tongue, focusing on the origin of the tongue and on the relationship between morphology and environmental conditions. Tongues of various extant vertebrates, including those of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, were analysed in terms of gross anatomy and microanatomy by light microscopy and by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Comparisons of tongue morphology revealed a relationship between changes in the appearance of the tongue and changes in habitat, from a freshwater environment to a terrestrial environment, as well as a relationship between the extent of keratinization of the lingual epithelium and the transition from a moist or wet environment to a dry environment. The lingual epithelium of amphibians is devoid of keratinization while that of reptilians is keratinized to different extents. Reptiles live in a variety of habitats, from seawater to regions of high temperature and very high or very low humidity. Keratinization of the lingual epithelium is considered to have been acquired concomitantly with the evolution of amniotes. The variations in the extent of keratinization of the lingual epithelium, which is observed between various amniotes, appear to be secondary, reflecting the environmental conditions of different species. PMID:12171472

  10. Morphological castes in a vertebrate

    PubMed Central

    O'Riain, M. J.; Jarvis, J. U. M.; Alexander, R.; Buffenstein, R.; Peeters, C.

    2000-01-01

    Morphological specialization for a specific role has, until now, been assumed to be restricted to social invertebrates. Herein we show that complete physical dimorphism has evolved between reproductives and helpers in the eusocial naked mole-rat. Dimorphism is a consequence of the lumbar vertebrae lengthening after the onset of reproduction in females. This is the only known example of morphological castes in a vertebrate and is distinct from continuous size variation between breeders and helpers in other species of cooperatively breeding vertebrates. The evolution of castes in a mammal and insects represents a striking example of convergent evolution for enhanced fecundity in societies characterized by high reproductive skew. Similarities in the selective environment between naked mole-rats and eusocial insect species highlight the selective conditions under which queen/worker castes are predicted to evolve in animal societies. PMID:11087866

  11. Climate change and marine vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sydeman, William J; Poloczanska, Elvira; Reed, Thomas E; Thompson, Sarah Ann

    2015-11-13

    Climate change impacts on vertebrates have consequences for marine ecosystem structures and services. We review marine fish, mammal, turtle, and seabird responses to climate change and discuss their potential for adaptation. Direct and indirect responses are demonstrated from every ocean. Because of variation in research foci, observed responses differ among taxonomic groups (redistributions for fish, phenology for seabirds). Mechanisms of change are (i) direct physiological responses and (ii) climate-mediated predator-prey interactions. Regional-scale variation in climate-demographic functions makes range-wide population dynamics challenging to predict. The nexus of metabolism relative to ecosystem productivity and food webs appears key to predicting future effects on marine vertebrates. Integration of climate, oceanographic, ecosystem, and population models that incorporate evolutionary processes is needed to prioritize the climate-related conservation needs for these species. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  12. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

    Carroll, R L; Kuntz, A; Albright, K

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord.

  13. Evolution of the new vertebrate head by co-option of an ancient chordate skeletal tissue.

    PubMed

    Jandzik, David; Garnett, Aaron T; Square, Tyler A; Cattell, Maria V; Yu, Jr-Kai; Medeiros, Daniel M

    2015-02-26

    A defining feature of vertebrates (craniates) is a pronounced head that is supported and protected by a robust cellular endoskeleton. In the first vertebrates, this skeleton probably consisted of collagenous cellular cartilage, which forms the embryonic skeleton of all vertebrates and the adult skeleton of modern jawless and cartilaginous fish. In the head, most cellular cartilage is derived from a migratory cell population called the neural crest, which arises from the edges of the central nervous system. Because collagenous cellular cartilage and neural crest cells have not been described in invertebrates, the appearance of cellular cartilage derived from neural crest cells is considered a turning point in vertebrate evolution. Here we show that a tissue with many of the defining features of vertebrate cellular cartilage transiently forms in the larvae of the invertebrate chordate Branchiostoma floridae (Florida amphioxus). We also present evidence that during evolution, a key regulator of vertebrate cartilage development, SoxE, gained new cis-regulatory sequences that subsequently directed its novel expression in neural crest cells. Together, these results suggest that the origin of the vertebrate head skeleton did not depend on the evolution of a new skeletal tissue, as is commonly thought, but on the spread of this tissue throughout the head. We further propose that the evolution of cis-regulatory elements near an ancient regulator of cartilage differentiation was a major factor in the evolution of the vertebrate head skeleton.

  14. A multidimensional approach for detecting species patterns in Malagasy vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Yoder, Anne D.; Olson, Link E.; Hanley, Carol; Heckman, Kellie L.; Rasoloarison, Rodin; Russell, Amy L.; Ranivo, Julie; Soarimalala, Voahangy; Karanth, K. Praveen; Raselimanana, Achille P.; Goodman, Steven M.

    2005-01-01

    The biodiversity of Madagascar is extraordinarily distinctive, diverse, and endangered. It is therefore urgent that steps be taken to document, describe, interpret, and protect this exceptional biota. As a collaborative group of field and laboratory biologists, we employ a suite of methodological and analytical tools to investigate the vertebrate portion of Madagascar's fauna. Given that species are the fundamental unit of evolution, where micro- and macroevolutionary forces converge to generate biological diversity, a thorough understanding of species distribution and abundance is critical for understanding the evolutionary, ecological, and biogeographic forces that have shaped Malagasy vertebrate diversity. We illustrate the means by which we apply Mayr's “three basic tasks” of the systematist [Mayr, E. (1942) Systematics and the Origin of Species from the Viewpoint of a Zoologist (Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA)] to identify, classify, and study the organisms that together constitute Madagascar's vertebrate community. Using field inventory methods, specimen-based studies, and morphological and molecular analyses, we formulate hypotheses of species identity that then serve as the foundation for subsequent studies of biology and history. Our experience, as well as that of other investigators, has shown that much of the vertebrate species diversity in Madagascar is “cryptic” for both biological and practical reasons. Beyond issues of cryptic biological diversity, the resolution of species identity in Madagascar has been hampered because of a lack of vouchered comparative material at the population level. Through our activities, we are attempting to remedy these limitations while simultaneously enhancing research capacity in Madagascar. PMID:15851666

  15. A multidimensional approach for detecting species patterns in Malagasy vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Anne D; Olson, Link E; Hanley, Carol; Heckman, Kellie L; Rasoloarison, Rodin; Russell, Amy L; Ranivo, Julie; Soarimalala, Voahangy; Karanth, K Praveen; Raselimanana, Achille P; Goodman, Steven M

    2005-05-03

    The biodiversity of Madagascar is extraordinarily distinctive, diverse, and endangered. It is therefore urgent that steps be taken to document, describe, interpret, and protect this exceptional biota. As a collaborative group of field and laboratory biologists, we employ a suite of methodological and analytical tools to investigate the vertebrate portion of Madagascar's fauna. Given that species are the fundamental unit of evolution, where micro- and macroevolutionary forces converge to generate biological diversity, a thorough understanding of species distribution and abundance is critical for understanding the evolutionary, ecological, and biogeographic forces that have shaped Malagasy vertebrate diversity. We illustrate the means by which we apply Mayr's "three basic tasks" of the systematist [Mayr, E. (1942) Systematics and the Origin of Species from the Viewpoint of a Zoologist (Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA)] to identify, classify, and study the organisms that together constitute Madagascar's vertebrate community. Using field inventory methods, specimen-based studies, and morphological and molecular analyses, we formulate hypotheses of species identity that then serve as the foundation for subsequent studies of biology and history. Our experience, as well as that of other investigators, has shown that much of the vertebrate species diversity in Madagascar is "cryptic" for both biological and practical reasons. Beyond issues of cryptic biological diversity, the resolution of species identity in Madagascar has been hampered because of a lack of vouchered comparative material at the population level. Through our activities, we are attempting to remedy these limitations while simultaneously enhancing research capacity in Madagascar.

  16. Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, D.W.H.

    1987-01-01

    The Maritime and Continental Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are considered in the context of environmental impacts - habitat destruction, alien introductions, and pollution. Four types of pollution are considered: nutrients, radionuclides, inert materials, and noxious chemicals. Their ability to recover from perturbation is discussed in the light of present scientific knowledge, and the methods used to control impacts are reviewed. It is concluded that techniques of waste disposal are still inadequate, adequate training in environmental and conservation principles for Antarctic personnel in many countries is lacking, and scientific investigations may be a much more serious threat than tourism to the integrity of these ecosystems. Some priorities crucial to future management are suggested.

  17. Solar terrestrial observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Eight basic solar-terrestrial scientific objectives that benefit from the Shuttle/Platform approach and a program of measurements for each are discussed. The objectives are to understand: (1) solar variability, (2) wave-particle processes, (3) magnetosphere-ionosphere mass transport, (4) the global electric circuit, (5) upper atmospheric dynamics, (6) middle atmospheric chemistry and energetics, (7) lower atmospheric turbidity, and (8) planetary atmospheric waves. A two stage approach to a multidisciplinary payload is developed: an initial STO, that uses a single platform in a low-Earth orbit, and an advanced STO that uses two platforms in differing orbits.

  18. Hypoxia, global warming, and terrestrial late Permian extinctions.

    PubMed

    Huey, Raymond B; Ward, Peter D

    2005-04-15

    A catastrophic extinction occurred at the end of the Permian Period. However, baseline extinction rates appear to have been elevated even before the final catastrophe, suggesting sustained environmental degradation. For terrestrial vertebrates during the Late Permian, the combination of a drop in atmospheric oxygen plus climate warming would have induced hypoxic stress and consequently compressed altitudinal ranges to near sea level. Our simulations suggest that the magnitude of altitudinal compression would have forced extinctions by reducing habitat diversity, fragmenting and isolating populations, and inducing a species-area effect. It also might have delayed ecosystem recovery after the mass extinction.

  19. Evolution of vertebrate colour vision.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Gerald H; Rowe, Mickey P

    2004-07-01

    Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in learning how colour vision has evolved. This trend has been fuelled by an enhanced understanding of the nature and extent of colour vision among contemporary species, by a deeper understanding of the paleontological record and by the application of new tools from molecular biology. This review provides an assessment of the progress in understanding the evolution of vertebrate colour vision. In so doing, we offer accounts of the evolution of three classes of mechanism important for colour vision--photopigment opsins, oil droplets and retinal organisation--and then examine details of how colour vision has evolved among mammals and, more specifically, among primates.

  20. Evolution of vertebrate visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Bowmaker, James K

    2008-09-01

    The visual pigments of vertebrates evolved about 500 million years ago, before the major evolutionary step of the development of jaws. Four spectrally distinct classes of cone opsin evolved through gene duplication, followed by the rod opsin class that arose from the duplication of the middle-wave-sensitive cone opsin. All four cone classes are present in many extant teleost fish, reptiles and birds, but one or more classes have been lost in primitive fish, amphibians and mammals. Gene duplication within the cone classes, especially in teleosts, has resulted in multiple opsins being available, both temporally and spatially, during development.

  1. Early steps in vertebrate cardiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Mohun, T; Sparrow, D

    1997-10-01

    Heart formation provides an excellent model for studying the molecular basis of cell determination in vertebrate embryos. By combining molecular assays with the experimental approaches of classic embryology, a model for the cell signalling events that initiate cardiogenesis is emerging. Studies of chick, amphibian, and fish embryos demonstrate the inductive role of dorso-anterior endoderm in specifying the cardiac fate of adjacent mesoderm. A consequence of this signalling is the onset of cardiomyogenesis and several transcription factors--Nkx2-5-related, HAND, GATA and MEF-2 families--contribute to these events.

  2. Terrestrial ecology of semi-aquatic giant gartersnakes (Thamnophis gigas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Halstead, Brian J.; Skalos, Shannon M.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Wetlands are a vital component of habitat for semiaquatic herpetofauna, but for most species adjacent terrestrial habitats are also essential. We examined the use of terrestrial environments by Giant Gartersnakes (Thamnophis gigas) to provide behavioral information relevant to conservation of this state and federally listed threatened species. We used radio telemetry data collected 1995–2011 from adults at several sites throughout the Sacramento Valley, California, USA, to examine Giant Gartersnake use of the terrestrial environment. We found Giant Gartersnakes in terrestrial environments more than half the time during the summer, with the use of terrestrial habitats increasing to nearly 100% during brumation. While in terrestrial habitats, we found Giant Gartersnakes underground more than half the time in the early afternoon during summer, and the probability of being underground increased to nearly 100% of the time at all hours during brumation. Extreme temperatures also increased the probability that we would find Giant Gartersnakes underground. Under most conditions, we found Giant Gartersnakes to be within 10 m of water at 95% of observations. For females during brumation and individuals that we found underground, however, the average individual had a 10% probability of being located > 20 m from water. Individual variation in each of the response variables was extensive; therefore, predicting the behavior of an individual was fraught with uncertainty. Nonetheless, our estimates provide resource managers with valuable information about the importance of protecting and carefully managing terrestrial habitats for conserving a rare semiaquatic snake.

  3. On the Origin and Evolution of Vertebrate Olfactory Receptor Genes: Comparative Genome Analysis Among 23 Chordate Species

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Olfaction is a primitive sense in organisms. Both vertebrates and insects have receptors for detecting odor molecules in the environment, but the evolutionary origins of these genes are different. Among studied vertebrates, mammals have ∼1,000 olfactory receptor (OR) genes, whereas teleost fishes have much smaller (∼100) numbers of OR genes. To investigate the origin and evolution of vertebrate OR genes, I attempted to determine near-complete OR gene repertoires by searching whole-genome sequences of 14 nonmammalian chordates, including cephalochordates (amphioxus), urochordates (ascidian and larvacean), and vertebrates (sea lamprey, elephant shark, five teleost fishes, frog, lizard, and chicken), followed by a large-scale phylogenetic analysis in conjunction with mammalian OR genes identified from nine species. This analysis showed that the amphioxus has >30 vertebrate-type OR genes though it lacks distinctive olfactory organs, whereas all OR genes appear to have been lost in the urochordate lineage. Some groups of genes (θ, κ, and λ) that are phylogenetically nested within vertebrate OR genes showed few gene gains and losses, which is in sharp contrast to the evolutionary pattern of OR genes, suggesting that they are actually non-OR genes. Moreover, the analysis demonstrated a great difference in OR gene repertoires between aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates, reflecting the necessity for the detection of water-soluble and airborne odorants, respectively. However, a minor group (β) of genes that are atypically present in both aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates was also found. These findings should provide a critical foundation for further physiological, behavioral, and evolutionary studies of olfaction in various organisms. PMID:20333175

  4. Heinrich event 4 characterized by terrestrial proxies in southwestern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-García, J. M.; Blain, H.-A.; Bennàsar, M.; Sanz, M.; Daura, J.

    2013-05-01

    Heinrich event 4 (H4) is well documented in the North Atlantic Ocean as a cooling event that occurred between 39 and 40 Ka. Deep-sea cores around the Iberian Peninsula coastline have been analysed to characterize the H4 event, but there are no data on the terrestrial response to this event. Here we present for the first time an analysis of terrestrial proxies for characterizing the H4 event, using the small-vertebrate assemblage (comprising small mammals, squamates and amphibians) from Terrassa Riera dels Canyars, an archaeo-palaeontological deposit located on the seaboard of the northeastern Iberian Peninsula. This assemblage shows that the H4 event is characterized in northeastern Iberia by harsher and drier terrestrial conditions than today. Our results were compared with other proxies such as pollen, charcoal, phytolith, avifauna and large-mammal data available for this site, as well as with the general H4 event fluctuations and with other sites where H4 and the previous and subsequent Heinrich events (H5 and H3) have been detected in the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of the Iberian Peninsula. We conclude that the terrestrial proxies follow the same patterns as the climatic and environmental conditions detected by the deep-sea cores at the Iberian margins.

  5. Heinrich Event 4 characterized by terrestrial proxies in southwestern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-García, J. M.; Blain, H.-A.; Bennàsar, M.; Sanz, M.; Daura, J.

    2013-02-01

    Heinrich Event 4 (H4) is well documented in the North Atlantic Ocean as a cooling event that occurred between 39 000 and 40 000 yr BP. Deep-sea cores around the Iberian Peninsula coastline have been analysed to characterize the H4 event, but there are no data on the terrestrial response to this event. Here we present for the first time an analysis of terrestrial proxies for characterizing the H4 event, using the small-vertebrate assemblage (comprising small mammals, squamates and amphibians) from Terrassa Riera dels Canyars, an archaeo-palaeontological deposit located on the seaboard of the northeastern Iberian Peninsula. This assemblage shows that the H4 event is characterized in northeastern Iberia by harsher and drier terrestrial conditions than today. Our results were compared with other proxies such as pollen, charcoal, phytolith, avifauna and large-mammal data available for this site, as well as with the general H4 event fluctuations and with other sites where H4 and the previous and subsequent Heinrich events (H5 and H3) have been detected in the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of the Iberian Peninsula. We conclude that the terrestrial proxies follow the same patterns as the climatic and environmental conditions detected by the deep-sea cores at the Iberian margins.

  6. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions.

    PubMed

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak; Gusset, Markus; Skolnik, Ben; Parr, Michael; Byers, Onnie; Johnson, Kevin; Young, Glyn; Flesness, Nate; Possingham, Hugh; Fa, John E

    2015-03-16

    Despite an increase in policy and management responses to the global biodiversity crisis, implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets still shows insufficient progress [1]. These targets, strategic goals defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), address major causes of biodiversity loss in part by establishing protected areas (Target 11) and preventing species extinctions (Target 12). To achieve this, increased interventions will be required for a large number of sites and species. The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) [2], a consortium of conservation-oriented organisations that aims to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species restricted to single sites, has identified 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers and reef-building corals in 588 'trigger' sites [3]. These are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites. Protected area coverage of AZE sites is a key indicator of progress towards Target 11 [1]. Moreover, effective conservation of AZE sites is essential to achieve Target 12, as the loss of any of these sites would certainly result in the global extinction of at least one species [2]. However, averting human-induced species extinctions within AZE sites requires enhanced planning tools to increase the chances of success [3]. Here, we assess the potential for ensuring the long-term conservation of AZE vertebrate species (157 mammals, 165 birds, 17 reptiles and 502 amphibians) by calculating a conservation opportunity index (COI) for each species. The COI encompasses a set of measurable indicators that quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation of a species in its natural habitat (COIh) and by establishing insurance populations in zoos (COIc).

  7. Predicting chemical impacts on vertebrate endocrine systems.

    PubMed

    Nichols, John W; Breen, Miyuki; Denver, Robert J; Distefano, Joseph J; Edwards, Jeremy S; Hoke, Robert A; Volz, David C; Zhang, Xiaowei

    2011-01-01

    Animals have evolved diverse protective mechanisms for responding to toxic chemicals of both natural and anthropogenic origin. From a governmental regulatory perspective, these protective responses complicate efforts to establish acceptable levels of chemical exposure. To explore this issue, we considered vertebrate endocrine systems as potential targets for environmental contaminants. Using the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT), hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG), and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes as case examples, we identified features of these systems that allow them to accommodate and recover from chemical insults. In doing so, a distinction was made between effects on adults and those on developing organisms. This distinction was required because endocrine system disruption in early life stages may alter development of organs and organ systems, resulting in permanent changes in phenotypic expression later in life. Risk assessments of chemicals that impact highly regulated systems must consider the dynamics of these systems in relation to complex environmental exposures. A largely unanswered question is whether successful accommodation to a toxic insult exerts a fitness cost on individual animals, resulting in adverse consequences for populations. Mechanistically based mathematical models of endocrine systems provide a means for better understanding accommodation and recovery. In the short term, these models can be used to design experiments and interpret study findings. Over the long term, a set of validated models could be used to extrapolate limited in vitro and in vivo testing data to a broader range of untested chemicals, species, and exposure scenarios. With appropriate modification, Tier 2 assays developed in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program could be used to assess the potential for accommodation and recovery and inform the development of mechanistically based models.

  8. Early vertebrate origin and diversification of small transmembrane regulators of cellular ion transport.

    PubMed

    Pirkmajer, Sergej; Kirchner, Henriette; Lundell, Leonidas S; Zelenin, Pavel V; Zierath, Juleen R; Makarova, Kira S; Wolf, Yuri I; Chibalin, Alexander V

    2017-07-15

    Small transmembrane proteins such as FXYDs, which interact with Na(+) ,K(+) -ATPase, and the micropeptides that interact with sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) -ATPase play fundamental roles in regulation of ion transport in vertebrates. Uncertain evolutionary origins and phylogenetic relationships among these regulators of ion transport have led to inconsistencies in their classification across vertebrate species, thus hampering comparative studies of their functions. We discovered the first FXYD homologue in sea lamprey, a basal jawless vertebrate, which suggests small transmembrane regulators of ion transport emerged early in the vertebrate lineage. We also identified 13 gene subfamilies of FXYDs and propose a revised, phylogeny-based FXYD classification that is consistent across vertebrate species. These findings provide an improved framework for investigating physiological and pathophysiological functions of small transmembrane regulators of ion transport. Small transmembrane proteins are important for regulation of cellular ion transport. The most prominent among these are members of the FXYD family (FXYD1-12), which regulate Na(+) ,K(+) -ATPase, and phospholamban, sarcolipin, myoregulin and DWORF, which regulate the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) -ATPase (SERCA). FXYDs and regulators of SERCA are present in fishes, as well as terrestrial vertebrates; however, their evolutionary origins and phylogenetic relationships are obscure, thus hampering comparative physiological studies. Here we discovered that sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), a representative of extant jawless vertebrates (Cyclostomata), expresses an FXYD homologue, which strongly suggests that FXYDs predate the emergence of fishes and other jawed vertebrates (Gnathostomata). Using a combination of sequence-based phylogenetic analysis and conservation of local chromosome context, we determined that FXYDs markedly diversified in the lineages leading to cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes) and

  9. [Spontaneous vertebral arteriovenous fistula manifestating as radiculopathy].

    PubMed

    Ito, Osamu; Nishimura, Ataru; Ishido, Katsuya; Hitotsumatsu, Tsutomu

    2011-08-01

    A 61-year-old man presented with a rare case of spontaneous vertebral arteriovenous fistula manifesting as radiculopathy of the left arm. MRI demonstrated an abnormal dilated vascular space on the left ventral aspect of the spinal canal and compression of the spinal cord and subarachnoid space. MRA disclosed a single high-flow vertebral arteriovenous fistula. Angiography showed a direct high-flow fistula at the C2-3 level between the left vertebral artery and the spinal extradural veinous plexus, and an abnormal dilated left vertebral artery with "string of beads"-like feature. The fistula was successfully obliterated by coil embolization with preservation of patency of the left vertebral artery, resulting in improvement of the signs and symptoms. Retrospectively this spontaneous vertebral arteriovenous fistula was considered in association with fibromuscular dysplasia.

  10. Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Variability.

    PubMed

    Baldocchi, Dennis; Ryu, Youngryel; Keenan, Trevor

    2016-01-01

    A growing literature is reporting on how the terrestrial carbon cycle is experiencing year-to-year variability because of climate anomalies and trends caused by global change. As CO 2 concentration records in the atmosphere exceed 50 years and as satellite records reach over 30 years in length, we are becoming better able to address carbon cycle variability and trends. Here we review how variable the carbon cycle is, how large the trends in its gross and net fluxes are, and how well the signal can be separated from noise. We explore mechanisms that explain year-to-year variability and trends by deconstructing the global carbon budget. The CO 2 concentration record is detecting a significant increase in the seasonal amplitude between 1958 and now. Inferential methods provide a variety of explanations for this result, but a conclusive attribution remains elusive. Scientists have reported that this trend is a consequence of the greening of the biosphere, stronger northern latitude photosynthesis, more photosynthesis by semi-arid ecosystems, agriculture and the green revolution, tropical temperature anomalies, or increased winter respiration. At the global scale, variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle can be due to changes in constituent fluxes, gross primary productivity, plant respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration, and losses due to fire, land use change, soil erosion, or harvesting. It remains controversial whether or not there is a significant trend in global primary productivity (due to rising CO 2, temperature, nitrogen deposition, changing land use, and preponderance of wet and dry regions). The degree to which year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation anomalies affect global primary productivity also remains uncertain. For perspective, interannual variability in global gross primary productivity is relatively small (on the order of 2 Pg-C y (-1)) with respect to a large and uncertain background (123 +/- 4 Pg-C y (-1)), and

  11. Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Variability

    PubMed Central

    Baldocchi, Dennis; Ryu, Youngryel; Keenan, Trevor

    2016-01-01

    A growing literature is reporting on how the terrestrial carbon cycle is experiencing year-to-year variability because of climate anomalies and trends caused by global change. As CO 2 concentration records in the atmosphere exceed 50 years and as satellite records reach over 30 years in length, we are becoming better able to address carbon cycle variability and trends. Here we review how variable the carbon cycle is, how large the trends in its gross and net fluxes are, and how well the signal can be separated from noise. We explore mechanisms that explain year-to-year variability and trends by deconstructing the global carbon budget. The CO 2 concentration record is detecting a significant increase in the seasonal amplitude between 1958 and now. Inferential methods provide a variety of explanations for this result, but a conclusive attribution remains elusive. Scientists have reported that this trend is a consequence of the greening of the biosphere, stronger northern latitude photosynthesis, more photosynthesis by semi-arid ecosystems, agriculture and the green revolution, tropical temperature anomalies, or increased winter respiration. At the global scale, variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle can be due to changes in constituent fluxes, gross primary productivity, plant respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration, and losses due to fire, land use change, soil erosion, or harvesting. It remains controversial whether or not there is a significant trend in global primary productivity (due to rising CO 2, temperature, nitrogen deposition, changing land use, and preponderance of wet and dry regions). The degree to which year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation anomalies affect global primary productivity also remains uncertain. For perspective, interannual variability in global gross primary productivity is relatively small (on the order of 2 Pg-C y -1) with respect to a large and uncertain background (123 +/- 4 Pg-C y -1), and

  12. Evolutionary Specialization of Tactile Perception in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Eve R; Gracheva, Elena O; Bagriantsev, Slav N

    2016-05-01

    Evolution has endowed vertebrates with the remarkable tactile ability to explore the world through the perception of physical force. Yet the sense of touch remains one of the least well understood senses at the cellular and molecular level. Vertebrates specializing in tactile perception can highlight general principles of mechanotransduction. Here, we review cellular and molecular adaptations that underlie the sense of touch in typical and acutely mechanosensitive vertebrates. ©2016 Int. Union Physiol. Sci./Am. Physiol. Soc.

  13. Evolutionary Specialization of Tactile Perception in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Eve R.

    2016-01-01

    Evolution has endowed vertebrates with the remarkable tactile ability to explore the world through the perception of physical force. Yet the sense of touch remains one of the least well understood senses at the cellular and molecular level. Vertebrates specializing in tactile perception can highlight general principles of mechanotransduction. Here, we review cellular and molecular adaptations that underlie the sense of touch in typical and acutely mechanosensitive vertebrates. PMID:27053733

  14. Endocrine disruption in aquatic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kloas, Werner; Urbatzka, Ralph; Opitz, Robert; Würtz, Sven; Behrends, Thomas; Hermelink, Björn; Hofmann, Frauke; Jagnytsch, Oana; Kroupova, Hana; Lorenz, Claudia; Neumann, Nadja; Pietsch, Constanze; Trubiroha, Achim; Van Ballegooy, Christoph; Wiedemann, Caterina; Lutz, Ilka

    2009-04-01

    Environmental compounds can interfere with endocrine systems of wildlife and humans. The main sink of such substances, called endocrine disrupters (ED), are surface waters. Thus, aquatic vertebrates, such as fish and amphibians, are most endangered. ED can adversely affect reproductive biology and the thyroid system. ED act by (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic modes of action, resulting in abnormal sexual differentiation and impaired reproduction. These effects are mainly driven by direct interferences of ED with sex steroid receptors rather than indirectly by impacting synthesis and bioavailability of sex steroids, which in turn might affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Recent findings reveal that, in addition to the human-produced waste of ED, natural sources, such as parasites and decomposition of leaves, also might act as ED, markedly affecting sexual differentiation and reproduction in fish and amphibians. Although the thyroid system has essential functions in both fish and amphibians, amphibian metamorphosis has been introduced as the most sensitive model to detect thyroidal ED; no suitable fish model exists. Whereas ED may act primarily on only one specific endocrine target, all endocrine systems will eventually be deregulated as they are intimately connected to each other. The recent ecotoxicological issue of pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) present in the aquatic environment indicates a high potential for further endocrine modes of action on aquatic vertebrates by ED derived from PhACs, such as glucocorticoids, progestins, and beta-agonists.

  15. Vertebral osteomyelitis: assessment using MR.

    PubMed

    Modic, M T; Feiglin, D H; Piraino, D W; Boumphrey, F; Weinstein, M A; Duchesneau, P M; Rehm, S

    1985-10-01

    Thirty-seven patients who were clinically suspected of having vertebral osteomyelitis were prospectively evaluated with magnetic resonance (MR), radiography, and radionuclide studies. These findings were correlated with the final clinical, microbiologic, or histologic diagnoses. Based on the results of these latter studies, 23 patients were believed to have osteomyelitis. MR examinations consisted of at least a sagittal image (TE = 30 msec, TR = 0.5 sec) and an image obtained at TE = 120 msec, TR = 2-3 sec. All patients underwent radiographic and MR examinations, 36 underwent technetium 99m-HDP bone scanning, and 20 patients underwent gallium 67 scanning. Nineteen patients underwent both bone and gallium scanning. The imaging studies were reviewed independently by investigators blinded to the final diagnoses. MR had a sensitivity of 96%, specificity of 92%, and accuracy of 94%. Combined gallium and bone scan studies (19 cases) had a sensitivity of 90%, specificity of 100%, and accuracy of 94%. Bone scans alone had a sensitivity of 90%, specificity of 78%, and accuracy of 86%. Plain radiographs had a sensitivity of 82%, specificity of 57%, and accuracy of 73%. The MR appearance of vertebral osteomyelitis in this study was characteristic, and MR was as accurate and sensitive as radionuclide scanning in the detection of osteomyelitis.

  16. Ghrelin Receptors in Non-Mammalian Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2012-01-01

    The growth hormone secretagogue-receptor (GHS-R) was discovered in humans and pigs in 1996. The endogenous ligand, ghrelin, was discovered 3 years later, in 1999, and our understanding of the physiological significance of the ghrelin system in vertebrates has grown steadily since then. Although the ghrelin system in non-mammalian vertebrates is a subject of great interest, protein sequence data for the receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates has been limited until recently, and related biological information has not been well organized. In this review, we summarize current information related to the ghrelin receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates. PMID:23882259

  17. Terrestrial Water Storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodell, M.; Chambers, D. P.; Famiglietti, J. S.

    2015-01-01

    During 2014 dryness continued in the Northern Hemisphere and relative wetness continued in the Southern Hemisphere (Fig. 2.21; Plate 2.1g). These largely canceled out such that the global land surface began and ended the year with a terrestrial water storage (TWS) anomaly slightly below 0 cm (equivalent height of water; Fig. 2.22). TWS is the sum of groundwater, soil moisture, surface water, snow, and ice. Groundwater responds more slowly to meteorological phenomena than the other components because the overlying soil acts as a low pass filter, but often it has a larger range of variability on multiannual timescales (Rodell and Famiglietti 2001; Alley et al. 2002).In situ groundwater data are only archived and made and Tanzania. The rest of the continent experienced mixed to dry conditions. Significant reductions in TWS in Greenland, Antarctica, and southern coastal Alaska reflect ongoing ice sheet and glacier ablation, not groundwater depletion.

  18. Terrestrial Water Storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodell, M.; Chambers, D. P.; Famiglietti, J. S.

    2015-01-01

    During 2014 dryness continued in the Northern Hemisphere and relative wetness continued in the Southern Hemisphere (Fig. 2.21; Plate 2.1g). These largely canceled out such that the global land surface began and ended the year with a terrestrial water storage (TWS) anomaly slightly below 0 cm (equivalent height of water; Fig. 2.22). TWS is the sum of groundwater, soil moisture, surface water, snow, and ice. Groundwater responds more slowly to meteorological phenomena than the other components because the overlying soil acts as a low pass filter, but often it has a larger range of variability on multiannual timescales (Rodell and Famiglietti 2001; Alley et al. 2002).In situ groundwater data are only archived and made and Tanzania. The rest of the continent experienced mixed to dry conditions. Significant reductions in TWS in Greenland, Antarctica, and southern coastal Alaska reflect ongoing ice sheet and glacier ablation, not groundwater depletion.

  19. Introduced Terrestrial Species (Future)

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    These data represent predicted future potential distributions of terrestrial plants, animals, and pathogens non-native to the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are available for 8-digit HUCs. The data are a weighted proportion of appropriate habitat overlapped by the potential distribution of a given species. Predictive models were built using current geographic distributions; these models were then projected onto a spatially explicit climate-change scenario (Hadley CM2 GSdX20 model), demonstrating potential distributions of non-indigenous species for the Mid-Atlantic region for the 2020's. More information about these resources, including the variables used in this study, may be found here: https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/NERL/ReVA/ReVA_Data.zip.

  20. Terrestrial Planet Geophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, R. J.

    2008-12-01

    Terrestrial planet geophysics beyond our home sphere had its start arguably in the early 1960s, with Keith Runcorn contending that the second-degree shape of the Moon is due to convection and Mariner 2 flying past Venus and detecting no planetary magnetic field. Within a decade, in situ surface geophysical measurements were carried out on the Moon with the Apollo program, portions of the lunar magnetic and gravity fields were mapped, and Jack Lorell and his colleagues at JPL were producing spherical harmonic gravity field models for Mars using tracking data from Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. Moreover, Mariner 10 discovered a planetary magnetic field at Mercury, and a young Sean Solomon was using geological evidence of surface contraction to constrain the thermal evolution of the innermost planet. In situ geophysical experiments (such as seismic networks) were essentially never carried out after Apollo, although they were sometimes planned just beyond the believability horizon in planetary mission queues. Over the last three decades, the discipline of terrestrial planet geophysics has matured, making the most out of orbital magnetic and gravity field data, altimetric measurements of surface topography, and the integration of geochemical information. Powerful constraints are provided by tectonic and volcanic information gleaned from surface images, and the engagement of geologists in geophysical exercises is actually quite useful. Accompanying these endeavors, modeling techniques, largely adopted from the Earth Science community, have become increasingly sophisticated and have been greatly enhanced by the dramatic increase in computing power over the last two decades. The future looks bright with exciting new data sets emerging from the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the promise of the GRAIL gravity mission to the Moon, and the re-emergence of Venus as a worthy target for exploration. Who knows? With the unflagging optimism and persistence

  1. Terrestrial Planets Accreted Dry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albarede, F.; Blichert-Toft, J.

    2007-12-01

    Plate tectonics shaped the Earth, whereas the Moon is a dry and inactive desert. Mars probably came to rest within the first billion years of its history, and Venus, although internally very active, has a dry inferno for its surface. The strong gravity field of a large planet allows for an enormous amount of gravitational energy to be released, causing the outer part of the planetary body to melt (magma ocean), helps retain water on the planet, and increases the pressure gradient. The weak gravity field and anhydrous conditions prevailing on the Moon stabilized, on top of its magma ocean, a thick buoyant plagioclase lithosphere, which insulated the molten interior. On Earth, the buoyant hydrous phases (serpentines) produced by reactions between the terrestrial magma ocean and the wet impactors received from the outer Solar System isolated the magma and kept it molten for some few tens of million years. The elemental distributions and the range of condensation temperatures show that the planets from the inner Solar System accreted dry. The interior of planets that lost up to 95% of their K cannot contain much water. Foundering of their wet surface material softened the terrestrial mantle and set the scene for the onset of plate tectonics. This very same process may have removed all the water from the surface of Venus 500 My ago and added enough water to its mantle to make its internal dynamics very strong and keep the surface very young. Because of a radius smaller than that of the Earth, not enough water could be drawn into the Martian mantle before it was lost to space and Martian plate tectonics never began. The radius of a planet therefore is the key parameter controlling most of its evolutional features.

  2. Quantitative vertebral morphometry based on parametric modeling of vertebral bodies in 3D.

    PubMed

    Stern, D; Njagulj, V; Likar, B; Pernuš, F; Vrtovec, T

    2013-04-01

    Quantitative vertebral morphometry (QVM) was performed by parametric modeling of vertebral bodies in three dimensions (3D). Identification of vertebral fractures in two dimensions is a challenging task due to the projective nature of radiographic images and variability in the vertebral shape. By generating detailed 3D anatomical images, computed tomography (CT) enables accurate measurement of vertebral deformations and fractures. A detailed 3D representation of the vertebral body shape is obtained by automatically aligning a parametric 3D model to vertebral bodies in CT images. The parameters of the 3D model describe clinically meaningful morphometric vertebral body features, and QVM in 3D is performed by comparing the parameters to their statistical values. Thresholds and parameters that best discriminate between normal and fractured vertebral bodies are determined by applying statistical classification analysis. The proposed QVM in 3D was applied to 454 normal and 228 fractured vertebral bodies, yielding classification sensitivity of 92.5% at 7.5% specificity, with corresponding accuracy of 92.5% and precision of 86.1%. The 3D shape parameters that provided the best separation between normal and fractured vertebral bodies were the vertebral body height and the inclination and concavity of both vertebral endplates. The described QVM in 3D is able to efficiently and objectively discriminate between normal and fractured vertebral bodies and identify morphological cases (wedge, (bi)concavity, or crush) and grades (1, 2, or 3) of vertebral body fractures. It may be therefore valuable for diagnosing and predicting vertebral fractures in patients who are at risk of osteoporosis.

  3. Terrestrial Coordinate Systems and Frames

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boucher, C.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    A terrestrial reference system (TRS) is a spatial reference system corotating with the Earth in its DIURNAL MOTION in space. In such a system, the positions of points anchored on the Earth's solid surface have coordinates which have only small variations with time, as a result of geophysical effects (tectonic or tidal deformations; see TECTONICS, EARTH'S INTERIOR, TIDES). A terrestrial reference ...

  4. The corneal surface of aquatic vertebrates: microstructures with optical and nutritional function?

    PubMed Central

    Collin, H B; Collin, S P

    2000-01-01

    The anterior surface of the mammalian cornea plays an important role in maintaining a smooth optical interface and consequently a sharp retinal image. The smooth surface is produced by a tear film, which adheres to a variety of microprojections, which increase the cell surface area, improve the absorbance of oxygen and nutrients and aid in the movement of metabolic products across the outer cell membrane. However, little is known of the structural adaptations and tear film support provided in other vertebrates from different environments. Using field emission scanning electron microscopy; this study examines the density and surface structure of corneal epithelial cells in representative species of the classes Cephalaspidomorphi, Chondrichthyes, Osteichthyes, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves and Mammalia, including some Marsupialia. Variations in cell density and the structure and occurrence of microholes, microridges, microplicae and microvilli are described with respect to the demands placed upon the cornea in different aquatic environments such as marine and freshwater. A progressive decrease in epithelial cell density occurs from marine (e.g. 29348 cells mm(-2) in the Dover sole Microstomius pacficus) to estuarine or freshwater (e.g. 5999 cells mm(-2) in the black bream Acanthopagrus butcheri) to terrestrial (e.g. 2126 cells mm(-2) in the Australian koala Phascolarctos cinereus) vertebrates, indicating the reduction in osmotic stress across the corneal surface. The microholes found in the Southern Hemisphere lampreys, namely the pouched lamprey (Geotria australis) and the shorthead lamprey (Mordacia mordax) represent openings for the release of mucus, which may protect the cornea from abrasion during their burrowing phase. Characteristic of marine teleosts, fingerprint-like patterns of corneal microridges are a ubiquitous feature, covering many types of sensory epithelia (including the olfactory epithelium and the oral mucosa). Like microplicae and microvilli

  5. Building the backbone: the development and evolution of vertebral patterning.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Angeleen; Kishida, Marcia G; Kimmel, Charles B; Keynes, Roger J

    2015-05-15

    The segmented vertebral column comprises a repeat series of vertebrae, each consisting of two key components: the vertebral body (or centrum) and the vertebral arches. Despite being a defining feature of the vertebrates, much remains to be understood about vertebral development and evolution. Particular controversy surrounds whether vertebral component structures are homologous across vertebrates, how somite and vertebral patterning are connected, and the developmental origin of vertebral bone-mineralizing cells. Here, we assemble evidence from ichthyologists, palaeontologists and developmental biologists to consider these issues. Vertebral arch elements were present in early stem vertebrates, whereas centra arose later. We argue that centra are homologous among jawed vertebrates, and review evidence in teleosts that the notochord plays an instructive role in segmental patterning, alongside the somites, and contributes to mineralization. By clarifying the evolutionary relationship between centra and arches, and their varying modes of skeletal mineralization, we can better appreciate the detailed mechanisms that regulate and diversify vertebral patterning.

  6. Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants

    PubMed Central

    Mooney, Kailen A.; Gruner, Daniel S.; Barber, Nicholas A.; Van Bael, Sunshine A.; Philpott, Stacy M.; Greenberg, Russell

    2010-01-01

    Theory on trophic interactions predicts that predators increase plant biomass by feeding on herbivores, an indirect interaction called a trophic cascade. Theory also predicts that predators feeding on predators, or intraguild predation, will weaken trophic cascades. Although past syntheses have confirmed cascading effects of terrestrial arthropod predators, we lack a comprehensive analysis for vertebrate insectivores—which by virtue of their body size and feeding habits are often top predators in these systems—and of how intraguild predation mediates trophic cascade strength. We report here on a meta-analysis of 113 experiments documenting the effects of insectivorous birds, bats, or lizards on predaceous arthropods, herbivorous arthropods, and plants. Although vertebrate insectivores fed as intraguild predators, strongly reducing predaceous arthropods (38%), they nevertheless suppressed herbivores (39%), indirectly reduced plant damage (40%), and increased plant biomass (14%). Furthermore, effects of vertebrate insectivores on predatory and herbivorous arthropods were positively correlated. Effects were strongest on arthropods and plants in communities with abundant predaceous arthropods and strong intraguild predation, but weak in communities depauperate in arthropod predators and intraguild predation. The naturally occurring ratio of arthropod predators relative to herbivores varied tremendously among the studied communities, and the skew to predators increased with site primary productivity and in trees relative to shrubs. Although intraguild predation among arthropod predators has been shown to weaken herbivore suppression, we find this paradigm does not extend to vertebrate insectivores in these communities. Instead, vertebrate intraguild preda-tion is associated with strengthened trophic cascades, and insectivores function as dominant predators in terrestrial plant-arthropod communities. PMID:20368418

  7. Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S; Barber, Nicholas A; Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell

    2010-04-20

    Theory on trophic interactions predicts that predators increase plant biomass by feeding on herbivores, an indirect interaction called a trophic cascade. Theory also predicts that predators feeding on predators, or intraguild predation, will weaken trophic cascades. Although past syntheses have confirmed cascading effects of terrestrial arthropod predators, we lack a comprehensive analysis for vertebrate insectivores-which by virtue of their body size and feeding habits are often top predators in these systems-and of how intraguild predation mediates trophic cascade strength. We report here on a meta-analysis of 113 experiments documenting the effects of insectivorous birds, bats, or lizards on predaceous arthropods, herbivorous arthropods, and plants. Although vertebrate insectivores fed as intraguild predators, strongly reducing predaceous arthropods (38%), they nevertheless suppressed herbivores (39%), indirectly reduced plant damage (40%), and increased plant biomass (14%). Furthermore, effects of vertebrate insectivores on predatory and herbivorous arthropods were positively correlated. Effects were strongest on arthropods and plants in communities with abundant predaceous arthropods and strong intraguild predation, but weak in communities depauperate in arthropod predators and intraguild predation. The naturally occurring ratio of arthropod predators relative to herbivores varied tremendously among the studied communities, and the skew to predators increased with site primary productivity and in trees relative to shrubs. Although intraguild predation among arthropod predators has been shown to weaken herbivore suppression, we find this paradigm does not extend to vertebrate insectivores in these communities. Instead, vertebrate intraguild preda-tion is associated with strengthened trophic cascades, and insectivores function as dominant predators in terrestrial plant-arthropod communities.

  8. Timing Embryo Segmentation: Dynamics and Regulatory Mechanisms of the Vertebrate Segmentation Clock

    PubMed Central

    Resende, Tatiana P.; Andrade, Raquel P.; Palmeirim, Isabel

    2014-01-01

    All vertebrate species present a segmented body, easily observed in the vertebrate column and its associated components, which provides a high degree of motility to the adult body and efficient protection of the internal organs. The sequential formation of the segmented precursors of the vertebral column during embryonic development, the somites, is governed by an oscillating genetic network, the somitogenesis molecular clock. Herein, we provide an overview of the molecular clock operating during somite formation and its underlying molecular regulatory mechanisms. Human congenital vertebral malformations have been associated with perturbations in these oscillatory mechanisms. Thus, a better comprehension of the molecular mechanisms regulating somite formation is required in order to fully understand the origin of human skeletal malformations. PMID:24895605

  9. Terrestrial forest management plan for Palmyra Atoll

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hathaway, Stacie A.; McEachern, Kathryn; Fisher, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    This 'Terrestrial Forest Management Plan for Palmyra Atoll' was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Palmyra Program to refine and expand goals and objectives developed through the Conservation Action Plan process. It is one in a series of adaptive management plans designed to achieve TNC's mission toward the protection and enhancement of native wildlife and habitat. The 'Terrestrial Forest Management Plan for Palmyra Atoll' focuses on ecosystem integrity and specifically identifies and addresses issues related to assessing the status and distribution of resources, as well as the pressures acting upon them, most specifically nonnative and potentially invasive species. The plan, which presents strategies for increasing ecosystem integrity, provides a framework to implement and track the progress of conservation and restoration goals related to terrestrial resources on Palmyra Atoll. The report in its present form is intended to be an overview of what is known about historical and current forest resources; it is not an exhaustive review of all available literature relevant to forest management but an attempt to assemble as much information specific to Palmyra Atoll as possible. Palmyra Atoll is one of the Northern Line Islands in the Pacific Ocean southwest of the Hawai`ian Islands. It consists of many heavily vegetated islets arranged in a horseshoe pattern around four lagoons and surrounded by a coral reef. The terrestrial ecosystem consists of three primary native vegetation types: Pisonia grandis forest, coastal strand forest, and grassland. Among these vegetation types, the health and extent of Pisonia grandis forest is of particular concern. Overall, the three vegetation types support 25 native plant species (two of which may be extirpated), 14 species of sea birds, six shore birds, at least one native reptile, at least seven native insects, and six native land crabs. Green and hawksbill turtles forage at Palmyra Atoll

  10. Vertebral architecture in the earliest stem tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Pierce, Stephanie E; Ahlberg, Per E; Hutchinson, John R; Molnar, Julia L; Sanchez, Sophie; Tafforeau, Paul; Clack, Jennifer A

    2013-02-14

    The construction of the vertebral column has been used as a key anatomical character in defining and diagnosing early tetrapod groups. Rhachitomous vertebrae--in which there is a dorsally placed neural arch and spine, an anteroventrally placed intercentrum and paired, posterodorsally placed pleurocentra--have long been considered the ancestral morphology for tetrapods. Nonetheless, very little is known about vertebral anatomy in the earliest stem tetrapods, because most specimens remain trapped in surrounding matrix, obscuring important anatomical features. Here we describe the three-dimensional vertebral architecture of the Late Devonian stem tetrapod Ichthyostega using propagation phase-contrast X-ray synchrotron microtomography. Our scans reveal a diverse array of new morphological, and associated developmental and functional, characteristics, including a possible posterior-to-anterior vertebral ossification sequence and the first evolutionary appearance of ossified sternal elements. One of the most intriguing features relates to the positional relationships between the vertebral elements, with the pleurocentra being unexpectedly sutured or fused to the intercentra that directly succeed them, indicating a 'reverse' rhachitomous design. Comparison of Ichthyostega with two other stem tetrapods, Acanthostega and Pederpes, shows that reverse rhachitomous vertebrae may be the ancestral condition for limbed vertebrates. This study fundamentally revises our current understanding of vertebral column evolution in the earliest tetrapods and raises questions about the presumed vertebral architecture of tetrapodomorph fish and later, more crownward, tetrapods.

  11. Spinal cord compression due to vertebral hemangioma.

    PubMed

    Aksu, Gorkem; Fayda, Merdan; Saynak, Mert; Karadeniz, Ahmet

    2008-02-01

    This article presents a case of multiple vertebral hemangiomas in a 58-year-old man with pain in the dorsal region and bilateral progressive foot numbness. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed multiple vertebral hemangiomas. One hemangioma at the T7 level demonstrated epidural extension, causing spinal cord compression. After treatment with radiotherapy, the patient's symptoms improved significantly.

  12. The evolution of adaptive immunity in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hirano, Masayuki; Das, Sabyasachi; Guo, Peng; Cooper, Max D

    2011-01-01

    Approximately 500 million years ago, two types of recombinatorial adaptive immune systems (AISs) arose in vertebrates. The jawed vertebrates diversify their repertoire of immunoglobulin domain-based T and B cell antigen receptors mainly through the rearrangement of V(D)J gene segments and somatic hypermutation, but none of the fundamental AIS recognition elements in jawed vertebrates have been found in jawless vertebrates. Instead, the AIS of jawless vertebrates is based on variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) that are generated through recombinatorial usage of a large panel of highly diverse leucine-rich-repeat (LRR) sequences. Whereas the appearance of transposon-like, recombination-activating genes contributed uniquely to the origin of the AIS in jawed vertebrates, the use of activation-induced cytidine deaminase for receptor diversification is common to both the jawed and jawless vertebrates. Despite these differences in anticipatory receptor construction, the basic AIS design featuring two interactive T and B lymphocyte arms apparently evolved in an ancestor of jawed and jawless vertebrates within the context of preexisting innate immunity and has been maintained since as a consequence of powerful and enduring selection, most probably for pathogen defense purposes.

  13. Eye marks in vertebrates: AIDS to vision.

    PubMed

    Ficken, R W; Matthiae, P E; Horwich, R

    1971-09-03

    Lines leading forward from the eye may function as aiming sights in many small vertebrates. The chief evidence is the correlation of distribution and positions of eye-lines in various vertebrate groups with predatory feeding habits. Dark patches around the eye may serve to reduce glare in species in bright environments. Facial patterns often have multiple functions.

  14. Vertebral osteomyelitis in insulin-dependent diabetics.

    PubMed

    Cooppan, R; Schoenbaum, S; Younger, M D; Freidberg, S; D'elia, J

    1976-11-20

    Vertebral osteomyelitis continues to be a diagnostically and therapeutically challenging disease with a relatively high incidence in diabetics. The clinical features, investigations and treatment of 7 insulin-dependent diabetics with vertebral osteomyelitis are presented and possible aetiological factors in this group are discussed.

  15. Lamprey: a model for vertebrate evolutionary research.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yang; Zhu, Si-Wei; Li, Qing-Wei

    2016-09-18

    Lampreys belong to the superclass Cyclostomata and represent the most ancient group of vertebrates. Existing for over 360 million years, they are known as living fossils due to their many evolutionally conserved features. They are not only a keystone species for studying the origin and evolution of vertebrates, but also one of the best models for researching vertebrate embryonic development and organ differentiation. From the perspective of genetic information, the lamprey genome remains primitive compared with that of other higher vertebrates, and possesses abundant functional genes. Through scientific and technological progress, scientists have conducted in-depth studies on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems of lampreys. Such research has significance for understanding and revealing the origin and evolution of vertebrates, and could contribute to a greater understanding of human diseases and treatments. This review presents the current progress and significance of lamprey research.

  16. Lamprey: a model for vertebrate evolutionary research

    PubMed Central

    XU, Yang; ZHU, Si-Wei; LI, Qing-Wei

    2016-01-01

    Lampreys belong to the superclass Cyclostomata and represent the most ancient group of vertebrates. Existing for over 360 million years, they are known as living fossils due to their many evolutionally conserved features. They are not only a keystone species for studying the origin and evolution of vertebrates, but also one of the best models for researching vertebrate embryonic development and organ differentiation. From the perspective of genetic information, the lamprey genome remains primitive compared with that of other higher vertebrates, and possesses abundant functional genes. Through scientific and technological progress, scientists have conducted in-depth studies on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems of lampreys. Such research has significance for understanding and revealing the origin and evolution of vertebrates, and could contribute to a greater understanding of human diseases and treatments. This review presents the current progress and significance of lamprey research. PMID:27686784

  17. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  18. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided.

  19. Sustained vertebral antifracture efficacy of oral anti-osteoporotic therapies in postmenopausal osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Brandi, M-L

    2010-11-01

    Vertebral fractures are common in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, a chronic condition requiring long-term treatment with anti-osteoporotic treatments. Therefore, it is important to assess sustainability of antifracture efficacy. A review of the literature to determine pivotal vertebral fracture studies for oral bisphosphonates (ibandronate, risedronate and alendronate), strontium ranelate, and raloxifene and to evaluate vertebral antifracture efficacy over time. Data from the BONE trial showed that ibandronate sustained vertebral antifracture efficacy over time (58% vertebral fracture risk reduction in first year p = 0.0561, increased to 62% for years 0-3; p < 0.001). The Vertebral Efficacy with Risedronate Therapy-North America (VERT-NA) and VERT-multi-national (VERT-MN) studies demonstrated that the relative risk reduction (RRR) with risedronate versus placebo decreased over time (VERT-NA: 65% for first year to 41% for years 0-3; VERT-MN: 61% for first year to 49% for years 0-3). Data from the Fracture Intervention Trial (FIT) I trial with alendronate showed that the RRR in the cumulative incidence of new vertebral fractures versus placebo decreased from 62% for years 0-2 to 47% for years 0-3. Similar decreases in RRR over time were reported with strontium ranelate in the Spinal Osteoporosis Therapeutic Intervention study (SOTI; 49% for first year to 33% for years 0-4) and Treatment of Peripheral Osteoporosis Study (TROPOS; 45% for first year to 24% for years 0-5). No clear trend exists for sustained efficacy over time with raloxifene. Vertebral fracture protection could be interpreted to decrease over time with alendronate, risedronate and strontium ranelate, and may be due to multiple factors. Ibandronate sustained vertebral antifracture efficacy over time.

  20. Space or terrestrial energy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boulet, L.

    Consideration is given to the possibility of generating sufficient energy at acceptable costs on earth to offset the need to build solar power satellite systems (SPS). Electricity usage, one of the basic driving forces of developed nations, grows with the population. Currently comprising 33 pct of the total world energy used, electricity is projected to grow to a 50-55 pct share in the 21st century. Future terrestrial electrical energy sources include carbon-based fuels, nuclear (fusion or fission), and the renewable solar technologies. Carbon-based fuel supplies can last until 2030 AD, about the same as fission plants with recycled fuel. Breeder reactors would stretch the nuclear fuels to the year 3000. Solar technologies offer more immediate solutions than fusion reactors and can produce 50 pct of the power available from the construction of the maximum number of nuclear power plants. The addition of SPS would further augment the total. Combinations of all the technologies are recommended, with local research for the most appropriate technology for each nation.

  1. The evolution of vertebral formulae in Hominoidea.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Nathan E; Almécija, Sergio

    2017-09-01

    Primate vertebral formulae have long been investigated because of their link to locomotor behavior and overall body plan. Knowledge of the ancestral vertebral formulae in the hominoid tree of life is necessary to interpret the pattern of evolution among apes, and to critically evaluate the morphological adaptations involved in the transition to hominin bipedalism. Though many evolutionary hypotheses have been proposed based on living and fossil species, the application of quantitative phylogenetic methods for thoroughly reconstructing ancestral vertebral formulae and formally testing patterns of vertebral evolution is lacking. To estimate the most probable scenarios of hominoid vertebral evolution, we utilized an iterative ancestral state reconstruction approach to determine likely ancestral vertebral counts in apes, humans, and other anthropoid out-groups. All available ape and hominin fossil taxa with an inferred regional vertebral count were included in the analysis. Sensitivity iterations were performed both by changing the phylogenetic position of fossil taxa with a contentious placement, and by changing the inferred number of vertebrae in taxa with uncertain morphology. Our ancestral state reconstruction results generally support a short-backed hypothesis of human evolution, with a Pan-Homo last common ancestor possessing a vertebral formulae of 7:13:4:6 (cervical:thoracic:lumbar:sacral). Our results indicate that an initial reduction in lumbar vertebral count and increase in sacral count is a synapomorphy of crown hominoids (supporting an intermediate-backed hypothesis for the origins of the great ape-human clade). Further reduction in lumbar count occurs independently in orangutans and African apes. Our results highlight the complexity and homoplastic nature of vertebral count evolution, and give little support to the long-backed hypothesis of human evolution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Nasal immunity is an ancient arm of the mucosal immune system of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Larragoite, Erin T.; Crossey, Kyle; Erhardt, Erik B.; Martin, Samuel A.M.; LaPatra, Scott E.; Salinas, Irene

    2015-01-01

    The mucosal surfaces of all vertebrates have been exposed to similar evolutionary pressures for millions of years. In terrestrial vertebrates such as birds and mammals, the nasopharynx-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT) represents a first line of immune defence. Here we propose that NALT is an ancient arm of the mucosal immune system not restricted to terrestrial vertebrates. We find that NALT is present in rainbow trout and that it resembles other teleost mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues. Trout NALT consists of diffuse lymphoid cells and lacks tonsils and adenoids. The predominant B-cell subset found in trout NALT are IgT + B cells, similar to skin and gut. The trout olfactory organ is colonized by abundant symbiotic bacteria, which are coated by trout secretory immunoglobulin. Trout NALT is capable of mounting strong anti-viral immune responses following nasal delivery of a live attenuated viral vaccine. Our results open up a new tool for the control of aquatic infectious diseases via nasal vaccination. PMID:25335508

  3. On the protection of "protected areas".

    PubMed

    Joppa, Lucas N; Loarie, Scott R; Pimm, Stuart L

    2008-05-06

    Tropical moist forests contain the majority of terrestrial species. Human actions destroy between 1 and 2 million km(2) of such forests per decade, with concomitant carbon release into the atmosphere. Within these forests, protected areas are the principle defense against forest loss and species extinctions. Four regions-the Amazon, Congo, South American Atlantic Coast, and West Africa-once constituted about half the world's tropical moist forest. We measure forest cover at progressively larger distances inside and outside of protected areas within these four regions, using datasets on protected areas and land-cover. We find important geographical differences. In the Amazon and Congo, protected areas are generally large and retain high levels of forest cover, as do their surroundings. These areas are protected de facto by being inaccessible and will likely remain protected if they continue to be so. Deciding whether they are also protected de jure-that is, whether effective laws also protect them-is statistically difficult, for there are few controls. In contrast, protected areas in the Atlantic Coast forest and West Africa show sharp boundaries in forest cover at their edges. This effective protection of forest cover is partially offset by their very small size: little area is deep inside protected area boundaries. Lands outside protected areas in the Atlantic Coast forest are unusually fragmented. Finally, we ask whether global databases on protected areas are biased toward highly protected areas and ignore "paper parks." Analysis of a Brazilian database does not support this presumption.

  4. K-Pg events facilitated lineage transitions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Procheş, Serban; Polgar, Gianluca; Marshall, David J

    2014-06-01

    We use dated phylogenetic trees for tetrapod vertebrates to identify lineages that shifted between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in terms of feeding or development, and to assess the timing of such events. Both stem and crown lineage ages indicate a peak in transition events in correspondence with the K-Pg mass extinction. This meets the prediction that changes in competitive pressure and resource availability following mass extinction events should facilitate such transitions.

  5. K-Pg events facilitated lineage transitions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Procheş, Şerban; Polgar, Gianluca; Marshall, David J.

    2014-01-01

    We use dated phylogenetic trees for tetrapod vertebrates to identify lineages that shifted between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in terms of feeding or development, and to assess the timing of such events. Both stem and crown lineage ages indicate a peak in transition events in correspondence with the K-Pg mass extinction. This meets the prediction that changes in competitive pressure and resource availability following mass extinction events should facilitate such transitions. PMID:24919699

  6. The prevalence of vertebral fracture amongst patients presenting with non-vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Gallacher, S J; Gallagher, A P; McQuillian, C; Mitchell, P J; Dixon, T

    2007-02-01

    Despite vertebral fracture being a significant risk factor for further fracture, vertebral fractures are often unrecognised. A study was therefore conducted to determine the proportion of patients presenting with a non-vertebral fracture who also have an unrecognised vertebral fracture. Prospective study of patients presenting with a non-vertebral fracture in South Glasgow who underwent DXA evaluation with vertebral morphometry (MXA) from DV5/6 to LV4/5. Vertebral deformities (consistent with fracture) were identified by direct visualisation using the Genant semi-quantitative grading scale. Data were available for 337 patients presenting with low trauma non-vertebral fracture; 261 were female. Of all patients, 10.4% were aged 50-64 years, 53.2% were aged 65-74 years and 36.2% were aged 75 years or over. According to WHO definitions, 35.0% of patients had normal lumbar spine BMD (T-score -1 or above), 37.4% were osteopenic (T-score -1.1 to -2.4) and 27.6% osteoporotic (T-score -2.5 or lower). Humerus (n=103, 31%), radius-ulna (n=90, 27%) and hand/foot (n=53, 16%) were the most common fractures. For 72% of patients (n=241) the presenting fracture was the first low trauma fracture to come to clinical attention. The overall prevalence of vertebral deformity established by MXA was 25% (n=83); 45% (n=37) of patients with vertebral deformity had deformities of more than one vertebra. Of the patients with vertebral deformity and readable scans for grading, 72.5% (58/80) had deformities of grade 2 or 3. Patients presenting with hip fracture, or spine T-score vertebral fracture were all significantly more likely to have evidence of a prevalent vertebral deformity (p<0.05). However, 19.8% of patients with an osteopenic T-score had a vertebral deformity (48% of which were multiple), and 16.1% of patients with a normal T-score had a vertebral deformity (26.3% of which were multiple). Following non-vertebral fracture, some

  7. Mitotic chromosome condensation in vertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Vagnarelli, Paola

    2012-07-15

    Work from several laboratories over the past 10-15 years has revealed that, within the interphase nucleus, chromosomes are organized into spatially distinct territories [T. Cremer, C. Cremer, Chromosome territories, nuclear architecture and gene regulation in mammalian cells, Nat. Rev. Genet. 2 (2001) 292-301 and T. Cremer, M. Cremer, S. Dietzel, S. Muller, I. Solovei, S. Fakan, Chromosome territories-a functional nuclear landscape, Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 18 (2006) 307-316]. The overall compaction level and intranuclear location varies as a function of gene density for both entire chromosomes [J.A. Croft, J.M. Bridger, S. Boyle, P. Perry, P. Teague,W.A. Bickmore, Differences in the localization and morphology of chromosomes in the human nucleus, J. Cell Biol. 145 (1999) 1119-1131] and specific chromosomal regions [N.L. Mahy, P.E. Perry, S. Gilchrist, R.A. Baldock, W.A. Bickmore, Spatial organization of active and inactive genes and noncoding DNA within chromosome territories, J. Cell Biol. 157 (2002) 579-589] (Fig. 1A, A'). In prophase, when cyclin B activity reaches a high threshold, chromosome condensation occurs followed by Nuclear Envelope Breakdown (NEB) [1]. At this point vertebrate chromosomes appear as compact structures harboring an attachment point for the spindle microtubules physically recognizable as a primary constriction where the two sister chromatids are held together. The transition from an unshaped interphase chromosome to the highly structured mitotic chromosome (compare Figs. 1A and B) has fascinated researchers for several decades now; however a definite picture of how this process is achieved and regulated is not yet in our hands and it will require more investigation to comprehend the complete process. From a biochemical point of view a vertebrate mitotic chromosomes is composed of DNA, histone proteins (60%) and non-histone proteins (40%) [6]. I will discuss below what is known to date on the contribution of these two different classes of

  8. Late Miocene/Early Pliocene vertebrate fauna from Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean): an update.

    PubMed

    Bover, Pere; Rofes, Juan; Bailon, Salvador; Agustí, Jordi; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Torres, Enric; Alcover, Josep Antoni

    2014-03-01

    The vertebrate fossil record from the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean) has improved considerably over the past decade, especially in Mallorca and Menorca. In Menorca, the Pliocene terrestrial fauna was updated by the discovery and description of the large-sized leporid Nuralagus, several reptiles and an amphibian. In Mallorca, paleontological exploration yielded 2 deposits with a Late Miocene/Early Pliocene chronology, Caló den Rafelino (CdR) and Na Burguesa-1 (NB-1). So far, 4 new mammalian taxa and 2 new reptiles have been identified for the CdR deposit, whereas the faunal assemblage from the recently discovered deposit (Apr 2012) of NB-1 is currently composed of, at least, 6 terrestrial mammals, 8 reptiles and an amphibian. Its faunal composition and some primitive characteristics of the obtained taxa suggest that the chronology of this deposit is slightly earlier than the CdR. The terrestrial vertebrates recorded in these 2 Mallorcan deposits are changing the view of the paleofaunal assemblage previously known for the Plio-Pleistocene of the island. Morphological characteristics displayed by some of the taxa suggest that these faunas would be at the beginning of an isolated evolution. In this paper we present a preliminary report on the fossils recovered from the NB-1 deposit, as well as some unpublished data from CdR, and we analyze the whole fauna from both Mallorcan deposits, focusing on taxonomical and paleobiogeographical aspects.

  9. Vertebrate records in polar sediments: Biological responses to past climate change and human activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, L. G.; Emslie, S. D.; Huang, T.; Blais, J. M.; Xie, Z. Q.; Liu, X. D.; Yin, X. B.; Wang, Y. H.; Huang, W.; Hodgson, D. A.; Smol, J. P.

    2013-11-01

    Biological responses to climate and environmental changes in remote polar regions are of increasing interest in global change research. Terrestrial and marine polar ecosystems have suffered from impacts of both rapid climate change and intense human activities, and large fluctuations in the population sizes of seabirds, seals, and Antarctic krill have been observed in the past decades. To understand the mechanisms driving these regime shifts in polar ecosystems, it is important to first distinguish the influences of natural forcing from anthropogenic activities. Therefore, investigations of past changes of polar ecosystems prior to human contact are relevant for placing recent human-induced changes within a long-term historical context. Here we focus our review on the fossil, sub-fossil, archaeological, and biogeochemical remains of marine vertebrates in polar sediments. These remains include well-preserved tissues such as bones, hairs and feathers, and biogeochemical markers and other proxy indicators, including deposits of guano and excrement, which can accumulate in lake and terrestrial sediments over thousands of years. Analyses of these remains have provided insight into both natural and anthropogenic impacts on marine vertebrates over millennia and have helped identify the causal agents for these impacts. Furthermore, land-based seabirds and marine mammals have been shown to play an important role as bio-vectors in polar environments as they transport significant amounts of nutrients and anthropogenic contaminants between ocean and terrestrial ecosystems.

  10. Radiocarbon dating of terrestrial carbonates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Rink, W. Jack; Thompson, Jeroen

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial carbonates encompass a wide range of materials that potentially could be used for radiocarbon (14C) dating. Biogenic carbonates, including shells and tests of terrestrial and aquatic gastropods, bivalves, ostracodes, and foraminifera, are preserved in a variety of late Quaternary deposits and may be suitable for 14C dating. Primary calcareous deposits (marls, tufa, speleothems) and secondary carbonates (rhizoliths, fracture fill, soil carbonate) may also be targeted for dating when conditions are favorable. This chapter discusses issues that are commonly encountered in 14C dating of terrestrial carbonates, including isotopic disequilibrium and open-system behavior, as well as methods used to determine the reliability of ages derived from these materials. Recent methodological advancements that may improve the accuracy and precision of 14C ages of terrestrial carbonates are also highlighted.

  11. Proposed Missions - Terrestrial Planet Finder

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-20

    NASA Terrestrial Planet Finder will use multiple telescopes working together to take family portraits of stars and their orbiting planets and determine which planets may have the right chemistry to sustain life.

  12. Ethnic difference of clinical vertebral fracture risk.

    PubMed

    Bow, C H; Cheung, E; Cheung, C L; Xiao, S M; Loong, C; Soong, C; Tan, K C; Luckey, M M; Cauley, J A; Fujiwara, S; Kung, A W C

    2012-03-01

    Vertebral fractures are the most common osteoporotic fractures. Data on the vertebral fracture risk in Asia remain sparse. This study observed that Hong Kong Chinese and Japanese populations have a less dramatic increase in hip fracture rates associated with age than Caucasians, but the vertebral fracture rates were higher, resulting in a high vertebral-to-hip fracture ratio. As a result, estimation of the absolute fracture risk for Asians may need to be readjusted for the higher clinical vertebral fracture rate. Vertebral fractures are the most common osteoporotic fractures. Data on the vertebral fracture risk in Asia remain sparse. The aim of this study was to report the incidence of clinical vertebral fractures among the Chinese and to compare the vertebral-to-hip fracture risk to other ethnic groups. Four thousand, three hundred eighty-six community-dwelling Southern Chinese subjects (2,302 women and 1,810 men) aged 50 or above were recruited in the Hong Kong Osteoporosis Study since 1995. Baseline demographic characteristics and medical history were obtained. Subjects were followed annually for fracture outcomes with a structured questionnaire and verified by the computerized patient information system of the Hospital Authority of the Hong Kong Government. Only non-traumatic incident hip fractures and clinical vertebral fractures that received medical attention were included in the analysis. The incidence rates of clinical vertebral fractures and hip fractures were determined and compared to the published data of Swedish Caucasian and Japanese populations. The mean age at baseline was 62 ± 8.2 years for women and 68 ± 10.3 years for men. The average duration of follow-up was 4.0 ± 2.8 (range, 1 to 14) years for a total of 14,733 person-years for the whole cohort. The incidence rate for vertebral fracture was 194/100,000 person-years in men and 508/100,000 person-years in women, respectively. For subjects above the age of 65, the clinical

  13. Two Rare Variants of Left Vertebral Artery.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rajani

    2017-02-15

    Though the variations of vertebral artery are clinically asymptomatic yet abnormalities are of diagnostic importance either prior to vascular surgery in the neck region or in patients of intravascular diseases such as arteriovenous malformations or cerebral aneurysms. Therefore, the aim of the study is to bring out 2 variations in the configuration of vertebral artery and their clinical implication. During dissection of thorax of 2 female cadavers, 2 different variants of configurations of left vertebral arteries were observed. In 1 patient, the left vertebral artery arose aberrantly from arch of aorta between left common carotid artery and left subclavian artery. This artery then, following oblique course, abnormally entered into foramen transversarium of C4 vertebra. In the second patient, the left common stump emerged from arch of aorta in the left side of left common carotid artery and then instantly bifurcated into vertebral artery and subclavian artery. Then following the usual oblique course, the left vertebral artery anomalously entered into foramen transversarium of C3 vertebra at the level of upper border of thyroid cartilage. The knowledge of these rare variations in the origin of vertebral artery is of paramount importance to surgeons performing surgery in neck region, radiologist performing angiography to avoid misinterpretation of radiographs and to anatomists for rare variations in academics and research.

  14. Terrestrial Sciences Subelement Review Minutes,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1978-04-10

    AD-AI03 184 OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH ARLINGTON VA F/G 8/10 TERRESTRIAL SCIENCES SUBELEMENT REVIEW MINUTES,(U) APR 78 P C BADGLEY UNCLASSIFIED NL...155 REFERENCES: Reprints from Science , Technology and the Modern Navy: ONR Thirtieth Anniversary Volume. 4I INTRODUCTION PETER C. BADGLEY, 696-4120...ONR CODE 460 1i L I -- TERRESTRIAL SCIENCES SUBELEMENT REVIEW April 10, 1978 Introduction and Overview By Peter C.. Badgley Subelement Monitor and

  15. Developmental control of segment numbers in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Céline; Pourquié, Olivier

    2011-01-01

    Segmentation or metamery in vertebrates is best illustrated by the repetition of the vertebrae and ribs, their associated skeletal muscles and blood vessels, and the spinal nerves and ganglia. The segment number varies tremendously among the different vertebrate species, ranging from as few as six vertebrae in some frogs to as many as several hundred in some snakes and fish. In vertebrates, metameric segments or somites form sequentially during body axis formation. This results in the embryonic axis becoming entirely segmented into metameric units from the level of the otic vesicle almost to the very tip of the tail. The total segment number mostly depends on two parameters: (1) the control of the posterior growth of the body axis during somitogenesis—more same-size segments can be formed in a longer axis and (2) segment size—more smaller-size segments can be formed in a same-size body axis. During evolution, independent variations of these parameters could explain the huge diversity in segment numbers observed among vertebrate species. These variations in segment numbers are accompanied by diversity in the regionalization of the vertebral column. For example, amniotes can exhibit up to five different types of vertebrae: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and caudal, the number of which varies according to the species. This regionalization of the vertebral column is controlled by the Hox family of transcription factors. We propose that during development, dissociation of the Hox- and segmentation-clock-dependent vertebral patterning systems explains the enormous diversity of vertebral formulae observed in vertebrates. PMID:19621429

  16. [Spasmodic torticollis and vertebral hemangioma].

    PubMed

    Durán, E; Chacón, J R

    Spasmodic torticollis in young patients should give rise to a clinical suspicion that this is secondary to another primary disorder. Therefore a series of diagnostic tests should be carried out before it is labelled as idiopathic. The patient was a thirty year old man who had had difficulty in writing with his right hand since childhood. At the age of 20 years he was diagnosed as having writer's cramp and idiopathic spasmodic torticollis. On general physical examination no abnormalities were found. On neurological examination he had: absence of reflexes of both arms, limited but painless rotation of the neck towards the left and hypertrophy of the left trapezius muscle. Laboratory, neurophysiological and neuroimaging investigations seeking a secondary cause for the torticollis were all normal. There were no Keyser-Fleischer rings. Chest X-ray showed, dorsal scoliosis with convexity to the left. CAT and MR of the spine showed a hemangioma in the body of T1. On arteriography of the supra-aortic and vertebral trunks a hemangioma was found at T1 which received contrast material via a branch of the right thyro-bi-cervico-scapular trunk. Various treatments were tried (diazepam, Botox, Dysport, tetrabenazine, baclofen, etc.) with no improvement. A definite diagnosis of secondary torticollis could not be made since the hemangioma was supplied by a very narrow vascular pedicle, so embolization was contraindicated. Cervical spinal cord alterations may cause focal dystonia due to increased excitability of the spinal motor neurone, due to dysfunction of the disinhibitory descending reciprocal paths.

  17. Rotations in a Vertebrate Setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCollum, Gin

    2003-05-01

    Rotational movements of the head are often considered to be measured in a single three dimensional coordinate system implemented by the semicircular canals of the vestibular system of the inner ear. However, the vertebrate body -- including the nervous system -- obeys rectangular symmetries alien to rotation groups. At best, nervous systems mimic the physical rotation group in a fragmented way, only partially reintegrating physical movements in whole organism responses. The vestibular canal reference frame is widely used in nervous systems, for example by eye movements. It is used to some extent even in the cerebrum, as evidenced by the remission of hemineglect -- in which half of space is ignored -- when the vestibular system is stimulated. However, reintegration of space by the organism remains incomplete. For example, compensatory eye movements (which in most cases aid visual fixation) may disagree with conscious self-motion perception. In addition, movement-induced nausea, illusions, and cue-free perceptions demonstrate symmetry breaking or incomplete spatial symmetries. As part of a long-term project to investigate rotation groups in nervous systems, we have analyzed the symmetry group of a primary vestibulo-spinal projection.

  18. Antibody Isotype Switching in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Senger, Kate; Hackney, Jason; Payandeh, Jian; Zarrin, Ali A

    2015-01-01

    The humoral or antibody-mediated immune response in vertebrates has evolved to respond to diverse antigenic challenges in various anatomical locations. Diversification of the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) constant region via isotype switching allows for remarkable plasticity in the immune response, including versatile tissue distribution, Fc receptor binding, and complement fixation. This enables antibody molecules to exert various biological functions while maintaining antigen-binding specificity. Different immunoglobulin (Ig) classes include IgM, IgD, IgG, IgE, and IgA, which exist as surface-bound and secreted forms. High-affinity autoantibodies are associated with various autoimmune diseases such as lupus and arthritis, while defects in components of isotype switching are associated with infections. A major route of infection used by a large number of pathogens is invasion of mucosal surfaces within the respiratory, digestive, or urinary tract. Most infections of this nature are initially limited by effector mechanisms such as secretory IgA antibodies. Mucosal surfaces have been proposed as a major site for the genesis of adaptive immune responses, not just in fighting infections but also in tolerating commensals and constant dietary antigens. We will discuss the evolution of isotype switching in various species and provide an overview of the function of various isotypes with a focus on IgA, which is universally important in gut homeostasis as well as pathogen clearance. Finally, we will discuss the utility of antibodies as therapeutic modalities.

  19. Vertebral numbers and human evolution.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Middleton, Emily R; Villamil, Catalina I; Shattuck, Milena R

    2016-01-01

    Ever since Tyson (1699), anatomists have noted and compared differences in the regional numbers of vertebrae among humans and other hominoids. Subsequent workers interpreted these differences in phylogenetic, functional, and behavioral frameworks and speculated on the history of vertebral numbers during human evolution. Even in a modern phylogenetic framework and with greatly expanded sample sizes of hominoid species, researchers' conclusions vary drastically, positing that hominins evolved from either a "long-backed" (numerically long lumbar column) or a "short-backed" (numerically short lumbar column) ancestor. We show that these disparate interpretations are due in part to the use of different criteria for what defines a lumbar vertebra, but argue that, regardless of which lumbar definition is used, hominins are similar to their great ape relatives in possessing a short trunk, a rare occurrence in mammals and one that defines the clade Hominoidea. Furthermore, we address the recent claim that the early hominin thoracolumbar configuration is not distinct from that of modern humans and conclude that early hominins show evidence of "cranial shifting," which might explain the anomalous morphology of several early hominin fossils. Finally, we evaluate the competing hypotheses on numbers of vertebrae and argue that the current data support a hominin ancestor with an African ape-like short trunk and lower back. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Organizational heterogeneity of vertebrate genomes.

    PubMed

    Frenkel, Svetlana; Kirzhner, Valery; Korol, Abraham

    2012-01-01

    Genomes of higher eukaryotes are mosaics of segments with various structural, functional, and evolutionary properties. The availability of whole-genome sequences allows the investigation of their structure as "texts" using different statistical and computational methods. One such method, referred to as Compositional Spectra (CS) analysis, is based on scoring the occurrences of fixed-length oligonucleotides (k-mers) in the target DNA sequence. CS analysis allows generating species- or region-specific characteristics of the genome, regardless of their length and the presence of coding DNA. In this study, we consider the heterogeneity of vertebrate genomes as a joint effect of regional variation in sequence organization superimposed on the differences in nucleotide composition. We estimated compositional and organizational heterogeneity of genome and chromosome sequences separately and found that both heterogeneity types vary widely among genomes as well as among chromosomes in all investigated taxonomic groups. The high correspondence of heterogeneity scores obtained on three genome fractions, coding, repetitive, and the remaining part of the noncoding DNA (the genome dark matter--GDM) allows the assumption that CS-heterogeneity may have functional relevance to genome regulation. Of special interest for such interpretation is the fact that natural GDM sequences display the highest deviation from the corresponding reshuffled sequences.

  1. Heterogeneity of vertebrate brain tubulins.

    PubMed Central

    Field, D J; Collins, R A; Lee, J C

    1984-01-01

    We have examined the extent of brain tubulin heterogeneity in six vertebrate species commonly used in tubulin research (rat, calf, pig, chicken, human, and lamb) using isoelectric focusing, two-dimensional electrophoresis, and peptide mapping procedures that provide higher resolution than previously available. The extent of heterogeneity is extremely similar in all of these organisms, as judged by number, range of isoelectric points, and distribution of the isotubulins. A minimum of 6 alpha and 12 beta tubulins was resolved from all sources. Even the pattern of spots on two-dimensional peptide maps is remarkably similar. These similarities suggest that the populations of tubulin in all of these brains should have similar overall physical properties. It is particularly interesting that chicken, which has only four or five beta-tubulin genes, contains approximately 12 beta tubulins. Thus, post-translational modification must generate at least some of the tubulin heterogeneity. Mammalian species, which contain 15-20 tubulin DNA sequences, do not show any more tubulin protein heterogeneity than does chicken. This suggests that expression of only a small number of the mammalian genes may be required to generate the observed tubulin heterogeneity. Images PMID:6588378

  2. A terrestrial fauna from the Scottish Lower Carboniferous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, S. P.; Panchen, A. L.; Smithson, T. R.

    1985-03-01

    Despite several important discoveries, extending over more than 120 years, our knowledge of early land vertebrates is still sparse. The earliest tetrapod remains are known from the Upper Devonian of East Greenland1-3 and Australia4-6, but the tetrapod fossil record does not become plentiful until Coal Measure times, in the Upper Carboniferous, some 50 Myr later. Finds in the Lower Carboniferous are very few indeed. Apart from two localities in West Virginia, USA7,8, and one in Nova Scotia, Canada9, all other Lower Carboniferous tetrapod sites are from the Viséan of Fife and the Lothian Region, Scotland10,11. We report here the discovery of an assemblage of terrestrial animals from a new Lower Carboniferous locality in the Lothian Region. Specimens were collected from the East Kirkton Limestone in the Brigantian stage of the Scottish Viséan, and include the first articulated amphibian skeleton to be found in the Lower Carboniferous of Europe in the twentieth century. This find is the earliest well-preserved amphibian skeleton ever discovered. The associated fauna is remarkable for the presence of myriapods, scorpions, the earliest known harvest-man and several other types of amphibian. The presence of such forms, together with the striking absence of fishes, suggests that the amphibians form an integral part of a terrestrial fauna; terrestrial amphibians are otherwise unknown before the Upper Carboniferous Coal Measures.

  3. Impacts of climate warming on terrestrial ectotherms across latitude

    PubMed Central

    Deutsch, Curtis A.; Tewksbury, Joshua J.; Huey, Raymond B.; Sheldon, Kimberly S.; Ghalambor, Cameron K.; Haak, David C.; Martin, Paul R.

    2008-01-01

    The impact of anthropogenic climate change on terrestrial organisms is often predicted to increase with latitude, in parallel with the rate of warming. Yet the biological impact of rising temperatures also depends on the physiological sensitivity of organisms to temperature change. We integrate empirical fitness curves describing the thermal tolerance of terrestrial insects from around the world with the projected geographic distribution of climate change for the next century to estimate the direct impact of warming on insect fitness across latitude. The results show that warming in the tropics, although relatively small in magnitude, is likely to have the most deleterious consequences because tropical insects are relatively sensitive to temperature change and are currently living very close to their optimal temperature. In contrast, species at higher latitudes have broader thermal tolerance and are living in climates that are currently cooler than their physiological optima, so that warming may even enhance their fitness. Available thermal tolerance data for several vertebrate taxa exhibit similar patterns, suggesting that these results are general for terrestrial ectotherms. Our analyses imply that, in the absence of ameliorating factors such as migration and adaptation, the greatest extinction risks from global warming may be in the tropics, where biological diversity is also greatest. PMID:18458348

  4. Impacts of climate warming on terrestrial ectotherms across latitude.

    PubMed

    Deutsch, Curtis A; Tewksbury, Joshua J; Huey, Raymond B; Sheldon, Kimberly S; Ghalambor, Cameron K; Haak, David C; Martin, Paul R

    2008-05-06

    The impact of anthropogenic climate change on terrestrial organisms is often predicted to increase with latitude, in parallel with the rate of warming. Yet the biological impact of rising temperatures also depends on the physiological sensitivity of organisms to temperature change. We integrate empirical fitness curves describing the thermal tolerance of terrestrial insects from around the world with the projected geographic distribution of climate change for the next century to estimate the direct impact of warming on insect fitness across latitude. The results show that warming in the tropics, although relatively small in magnitude, is likely to have the most deleterious consequences because tropical insects are relatively sensitive to temperature change and are currently living very close to their optimal temperature. In contrast, species at higher latitudes have broader thermal tolerance and are living in climates that are currently cooler than their physiological optima, so that warming may even enhance their fitness. Available thermal tolerance data for several vertebrate taxa exhibit similar patterns, suggesting that these results are general for terrestrial ectotherms. Our analyses imply that, in the absence of ameliorating factors such as migration and adaptation, the greatest extinction risks from global warming may be in the tropics, where biological diversity is also greatest.

  5. Threatened, endangered, and vulnerable species of terrestrial vertebrates in the Rocky Mountain Region

    Treesearch

    Deborah M. Finch

    1991-01-01

    This report describes the current status of 67 threatened, endangered, and vulnerable wildlife species in the Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service. Known or potential reasons for population declines and species susceptibility are identified; and distributions, habitats, specialized needs, and perceived threats of individual species are discusses.

  6. Industrial effluents as a source of mercury contamination in terrestrial riparian vertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, G.V.N.

    1983-01-01

    Eight species of piscivorous and insectivorous birds and one species of bat collected along Virginia's North Fork of the Holston River contained elevated mercury residues. The ubiquitous occurrence of mercury in riparian insectivores implicates aquatic insects as a vehicle for spreading mercury contamination from one ecosystem to another and expands the ecological ramifications of mercury-contaminated industrial effluents.

  7. Archipelagos of the Anthropocene: rapid and extensive differentiation of native terrestrial vertebrates in a single metropolis.

    PubMed

    Littleford-Colquhoun, Bethan L; Clemente, Christofer; Whiting, Martin J; Ortiz-Barrientos, Daniel; Frère, Celine H

    2017-05-01

    Some of the best evidence for rapid evolutionary change comes from studies of archipelagos and oceanic islands. City parks are analogous systems as they create geographically isolated green spaces that differ in size, structure and complexity. Very little, however, is known about whether city parks within a single urban centre drive selection and result in the diversification of native species. Here, we provide evidence for the rapid genetic and morphological differentiation of a native lizard (Intellagama lesueurii) at four geographically close yet unconnected parks within one city. Year of establishment of each city park varied from 1855 (oldest) to 2001 (youngest) equating to a generation time range of 32 to three generations. Genetic divergence among city park populations was large despite the small pairwise geographic distances (<5 km) and found to be two to three times higher for microsatellites and three to 33 times higher for mtDNA relative to nonurban populations. Patterns of morphological differentiation were also found to be most extensive among the four city park populations. In contrast to nonurban populations, city park populations showed significant differentiation in relative body size, relative head and limb morphology and relative forelimb and hindlimb length. Crucially, we show that these patterns of differentiation are unlikely to have been caused by founder events and/or drift alone. Our results suggest that city park 'archipelagos' could represent theatres for rapid evolution that may, in time, favour adaptive diversification. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Regional data to support biodiversity assessments: terrestrial vertebrate and butterfly data from the Southwest

    Treesearch

    Darren J. Bender; Curtis H. Flather; Kenneth R. Wilson; Gordon C. Reese

    2005-01-01

    Spatially explicit data on the location of species across broad geographic areas greatly facilitate effective conservation planning on lands managed for multiple uses. The importance of these data notwithstanding, our knowledge about the geography of biodiversity is remarkably incomplete. An important factor contributing to our ignorance is that much of the...

  9. Measuring Selection on Physiology in the Wild and Manipulating Phenotypes (in Terrestrial Nonhuman Vertebrates).

    PubMed

    Husak, Jerry F

    2015-12-15

    To understand why organisms function the way that they do, we must understand how evolution shapes physiology. This requires knowledge of how selection acts on physiological traits in nature. Selection studies in the wild allow us to determine how variation in physiology causes variation in fitness, revealing how evolution molds physiology over evolutionary time. Manipulating phenotypes experimentally in a selection study shifts the distribution of trait variation in a population to better explore potential constraints and the adaptive value of physiological traits. There is a large database of selection studies in the wild on a variety of traits, but very few of those are physiological traits. Nevertheless, data available so far suggest that physiological traits, including metabolic rate, thermal physiology, whole-organism performance, and hormone levels, are commonly subjected to directional selection in nature, with stabilizing and disruptive selection less common than predicted if physiological traits are optimized to an environment. Selection studies on manipulated phenotypes, including circulating testosterone and glucocorticoid levels, reinforce this notion, but reveal that trade-offs between survival and reproduction or correlational selection can constrain the evolution of physiology. More studies of selection on physiological traits in nature that quantify multiple traits are necessary to better determine the manner in which physiological traits evolve and whether different types of traits (dynamic performance vs. regulatory) evolve differently.

  10. A National Approach to Map and Quantify Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity within an Ecosystem Services Framework

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the products and services from which we transform natural assets of the Earth for human survival, security, and well-being. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is a...

  11. [Specificity of host-parasite relations between arthropods and terrestrial vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Balashov, Iu S

    2001-01-01

    Specificity of partners in host-parasite system is one of its main characteristics. Unfortunately this term has different senses in scientific literature. In everyday practice one judges an extent of host specificity of a parasite mainly by indices of its occurrence and abundance on different host species. An occurrence of parasites in nature reflects general result of complex eco-physiological interrelationships between partners in hostparasite system. Specificity of parasites in a choice of hosts may depend on a belonging of the latter to certain taxa (phylogenetic specificity), or on biotic and abiotic factors (ecological specificity). In arthropods, the phylogentic specificity and coevolution are characteristic to a greater extent for permanent hosts (lice, Mallophaga, cheyletoid and feather mites). A coevolutionaryphylogenesis is disturbed by transfers of parasites onto new hosts, by different rates of speciation in filial lines or by an extinction of several parasite taxa. In temporary parasites different forms of ecological specificity are prevalent. A host specificity is expressed to the lesser extent in mosquitoes, horseflies and in other blood-sucking Diptera. In temporary parasites with a long-term feeding (ticks) coevolutionary sequences are relatively rare, because this parasites had to adapt not only to a life on host, but also to a lesser stable environment. In some nest-burrow bloodsuckers (fleas, gamasid mites and argasid ticks) the ecological specificity is shown no by their relations with certain host species, but by an associations with habitats occupied by hosts (burrow, nests, caves). In relation with a high dynamics of host-parasite system, a specificity of its partners is comparative and it is kept up only under specific ecological conditions.

  12. Gravity, blood circulation, and the adaptation of form and function in lower vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Lillywhite, H B

    Gravitational force influences musculoskeletal systems, fluid distribution, and hydrodynamics of the circulation, especially in larger terrestrial vertebrates. The disturbance to hydrodynamics and distribution of body fluids relates largely to the effects of hydrostatic pressure gradients acting in vertical blood columns. These, in turn, are linked to the evolution of adaptive countermeasures involving modifications of structure and function. Comparative studies of snakes suggest there are four generalizations concerning adaptive countermeasures to gravity stress that seem relevant to lower vertebrates generally. First, increasing levels of regulated arterial blood pressure are expected to evolve with some relation to gravitational stresses incurred by the effects of height and posture on vertical blood columns above the heart. Second, aspects of gross anatomical organization are expected to evolve in relation to gravitational influence incurred by habitat and behavior. Third, natural selection coupled to gravitational stresses has favored morphological features that reduce the compliance of perivascular tissues and provide an anatomical "antigravity suit." Fourth, natural selection has produced gradients or regional differences of vascular characteristics in tall or elongated vertebrates that are active in high gravity stress environments. Consideration or awareness of these principles should be incorporated into interpretations of structure and function in lower vertebrates.

  13. Vertebrate rhodopsin adaptation to dim light via rapid meta-II intermediate formation.

    PubMed

    Sugawara, Tohru; Imai, Hiroo; Nikaido, Masato; Imamoto, Yasushi; Okada, Norihiro

    2010-03-01

    Rhodopsin is a photoreceptive protein present in vertebrate rod photoreceptor cells, which are responsible for scotopic vision. Recent molecular studies have shown that several aquatic vertebrate species have independently acquired rhodopsin containing Asp83Asn, Glu122Gln, and Ala292Ser substitutions, causing a blue shift in the rhodopsin absorption spectra for adaptation to the blue-green photic environment in deep water. Here, we provide new evidence for the evolutionary and functional relevance of the Asp83Asn substitution. Spectroscopic and kinetic analyses of rhodopsins in six cichlid fishes from the East African Great Lakes using charge-coupled device spectrophotometer revealed that the Asp83Asn substitution accelerated the formation of meta-II, a rhodopsin intermediate crucial for activation of the G-protein transducin. Because rapid formation of meta-II likely results in effective transduction of photic signals, it is reasonable to assume that deep-water cichlid species have acquired rhodopsin containing Asn83 to adapt to dim lighting. Remarkably, rhodopsin containing Asn83 has been identified in terrestrial vertebrates such as bats, and these rhodopsin variants also exhibit accelerated meta-II formation. Our results indicated that the Asp83Asn substitution observed in a variety of animal species was acquired independently in many different lineages during vertebrate evolution for adaptation to dimly lit environments.

  14. Ecological Guild Evolution and the Discovery of the World's Smallest Vertebrate

    PubMed Central

    Rittmeyer, Eric N.; Allison, Allen; Gründler, Michael C.; Thompson, Derrick K.; Austin, Christopher C.

    2012-01-01

    Living vertebrates vary drastically in body size, yet few taxa reach the extremely minute size of some frogs and teleost fish. Here we describe two new species of diminutive terrestrial frogs from the megadiverse hotspot island of New Guinea, one of which represents the smallest known vertebrate species, attaining an average body size of only 7.7 mm. Both new species are members of the recently described genus Paedophryne, the four species of which are all among the ten smallest known frog species, making Paedophryne the most diminutive genus of anurans. This discovery highlights intriguing ecological similarities among the numerous independent origins of diminutive anurans, suggesting that minute frogs are not mere oddities, but represent a previously unrecognized ecological guild. PMID:22253785

  15. Climate events synchronize the dynamics of a resident vertebrate community in the high Arctic.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Brage B; Grøtan, Vidar; Aanes, Ronny; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; Stien, Audun; Fuglei, Eva; Ims, Rolf A; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Pedersen, Ashild Ø

    2013-01-18

    Recently accumulated evidence has documented a climate impact on the demography and dynamics of single species, yet the impact at the community level is poorly understood. Here, we show that in Svalbard in the high Arctic, extreme weather events synchronize population fluctuations across an entire community of resident vertebrate herbivores and cause lagged correlations with the secondary consumer, the arctic fox. This synchronization is mainly driven by heavy rain on snow that encapsulates the vegetation in ice and blocks winter forage availability for herbivores. Thus, indirect and bottom-up climate forcing drives the population dynamics across all overwintering vertebrates. Icing is predicted to become more frequent in the circumpolar Arctic and may therefore strongly affect terrestrial ecosystem characteristics.

  16. Update of vertebral cementoplasty in porotic patients

    PubMed Central

    Masala, Salvatore; Muto, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Vertebroplasty (VP) is a percutaneous mini-invasive technique developed in the late 1980s as antalgic and stabilizing treatment in patients affected by symptomatic vertebral fracture due to porotic disease, traumatic injury and primary or secondary vertebral spine tumors. The technique consists of a simple metameric injection of an inert cement (poly-methyl-methacrylate, PMMA), through a needle by trans-peduncular, parapeduncular or trans-somatic approach obtaining a vertebral augmentation and stabilization effect associated with pain relief. The technique is simple and fast, and should be performed under fluoroscopy or CT guidance in order to obtain a good result with low complication rate. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the utility of VP, the indications-contraindications criteria, how to technically perform the technique using imaging guidance, and the results and complications of this treatment in patients affected by symptomatic vertebral compression fracture. PMID:26015527

  17. Innate immunity in vertebrates: an overview.

    PubMed

    Riera Romo, Mario; Pérez-Martínez, Dayana; Castillo Ferrer, Camila

    2016-06-01

    Innate immunity is a semi-specific and widely distributed form of immunity, which represents the first line of defence against pathogens. This type of immunity is critical to maintain homeostasis and prevent microbe invasion, eliminating a great variety of pathogens and contributing with the activation of the adaptive immune response. The components of innate immunity include physical and chemical barriers, humoral and cell-mediated components, which are present in all jawed vertebrates. The understanding of innate defence mechanisms in non-mammalian vertebrates is the key to comprehend the general picture of vertebrate innate immunity and its evolutionary history. This is also essential for the identification of new molecules with applications in immunopharmacology and immunotherapy. In this review, we describe and discuss the main elements of vertebrate innate immunity, presenting core findings in this field and identifying areas that need further investigation. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Cervicobrachialgia with congenital vertebral anomalies and diastematomyelia.

    PubMed

    Roosen, N; De Moor, J

    1984-05-01

    A case of diastematomyelia in an adult female patient is reported. The relationship of the cervicobrachialgia, which was the presenting sign, to the diastematomyelia and the congenital vertebral anomalies is discussed.

  19. A Case of Aerococcus Urinae Vertebral Osteomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Jerome, Michael; Slim, Jihad; Sison, Raymund; Marton, Randy

    2015-01-01

    Aerococcus urinae is an aerobic, alpha hemolytic gram positive coccus bacterium that grows in pairs or clusters. We report the first case of vertebral osteomyelitis due to A. urinae. This has not been previously reported in the literature. PMID:26069429

  20. [Vertebral osteomyelitis associated with epidural block].

    PubMed

    Carrillo Esper, R; Cruz-Bautista, I

    2001-01-01

    Infectious complications after epidural anesthesia are infrequent and the most common are epidural and subdural abscess. We report one rare case of vertebral osteomyelitus associated with an epidural catheter and review the literature.

  1. [Osteocyte-network in various vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Akira

    2012-05-01

    Since aquatic and land vertebrates live in different habitats,the morphology and function of bone might be greatly affected by the habitats of each vertebrate. We histologically investigated the bones of various vertebrates including teleost fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Teleost fishes exhibited either bones contained many osteocytes (cellular bone) or bones have few osteocytes (acellular bone) . The development of osteocyte lacunocanalicular system in the cellular bone of the fish is poor compared to those in amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Bones in Xenopus laevis, a freshwater species, exhibited well-developed lacunocanalicular systems as well as those in reptiles and mammals. These studies indicates that the osteocyte lacunocanalicular system differs between teleost fishes and land vertebrates, but this is not directly related to aquatic habitat.

  2. Sleep and orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Volkoff, Hélène

    2012-01-01

    Although a precise definition of "sleep" has yet to be established, sleep-like behaviors have been observed in all animals studied to date including mammals and nonmammalian vertebrates. Orexins are hypothalamic neuropeptides that are involved in the regulation of many physiological functions, including feeding, thermoregulation, cardiovascular control, as well as the control of the sleep-wakefulness cycle. To date, the knowledge on the functions of orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates is still limited, but the similarity of the structures of orexins and their receptors among vertebrates suggest that they have similar conserved physiological functions. This review describes our current knowledge on sleep in nonmammalian vertebrates (birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) and the possible role of orexins in the regulation of their energy homeostasis and arousal states.

  3. RFamide Peptides in Early Vertebrate Development

    PubMed Central

    Sandvik, Guro Katrine; Hodne, Kjetil; Haug, Trude Marie; Okubo, Kataaki; Weltzien, Finn-Arne

    2014-01-01

    RFamides (RFa) are neuropeptides involved in many different physiological processes in vertebrates, such as reproductive behavior, pubertal activation of the reproductive endocrine axis, control of feeding behavior, and pain modulation. As research has focused mostly on their role in adult vertebrates, the possible roles of these peptides during development are poorly understood. However, the few studies that exist show that RFa are expressed early in development in different vertebrate classes, perhaps mostly associated with the central nervous system. Interestingly, the related peptide family of FMRFa has been shown to be important for brain development in invertebrates. In a teleost, the Japanese medaka, knockdown of genes in the Kiss system indicates that Kiss ligands and receptors are vital for brain development, but few other functional studies exist. Here, we review the literature of RFa in early vertebrate development, including the possible functional roles these peptides may play. PMID:25538682

  4. Variability and constraint of vertebral formulae and proportions in colugos, tree shrews, and rodents, with special reference to vertebral modification by aerodynamic adaptation.

    PubMed

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Thorington, Richard W; Bohaska, Paula W; Sato, Fumi

    2017-07-13

    The aim of the present study is to provide the first large data set on vertebral formulae and proportions, and examine their relationship with different locomotive modes in colugos (Dermoptera), tree shrews (Scandentia), and rodents (Rodentia), which have been considered less variable because they were thought to have a plesiomorphic number of 19 thoracolumbar vertebrae. The data included 33 colugos and 112 tree shrews, which are phylogenetically sister taxa, and 288 additional skeletons from 29 other mammalian species adapted to different locomotive modes, flying, gliding, arboreal, terrestrial, digging, and semi-aquatic habitats. The following results were obtained: (1) intra-/interspecies variability and geographical variation in thoracic, lumbar, and thoracolumbar counts were present in two gliding colugo species and 12 terrestrial/arboreal tree shrew species; (2) in our examined mammals, some aerodynamic mammals, such as colugos, southern flying squirrels, scaly-tailed squirrels, and bats, showed exceptionally high amounts of intraspecific variation of thoracic, lumbar, and thoracolumbar counts, and sugar gliders and some semi-aquatic rodents also showed some variation; (3) longer thoracic and shorter lumbar vertebrae were typically shared traits among the examined mammals, except for flying squirrels (Pteromyini) and scaly-tailed squirrels (Anomaluridae). Our study reveals that aerodynamic adaptation could potentially lead to strong selection and modification of vertebral formulae and/or proportions based on locomotive mode despite evolutionary and developmental constraints.

  5. Recombination Drives Vertebrate Genome Contraction

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Kiwoong; Ellegren, Hans

    2012-01-01

    Selective and/or neutral processes may govern variation in DNA content and, ultimately, genome size. The observation in several organisms of a negative correlation between recombination rate and intron size could be compatible with a neutral model in which recombination is mutagenic for length changes. We used whole-genome data on small insertions and deletions within transposable elements from chicken and zebra finch to demonstrate clear links between recombination rate and a number of attributes of reduced DNA content. Recombination rate was negatively correlated with the length of introns, transposable elements, and intergenic spacer and with the rate of short insertions. Importantly, it was positively correlated with gene density, the rate of short deletions, the deletion bias, and the net change in sequence length. All these observations point at a pattern of more condensed genome structure in regions of high recombination. Based on the observed rates of small insertions and deletions and assuming that these rates are representative for the whole genome, we estimate that the genome of the most recent common ancestor of birds and lizards has lost nearly 20% of its DNA content up until the present. Expansion of transposable elements can counteract the effect of deletions in an equilibrium mutation model; however, since the activity of transposable elements has been low in the avian lineage, the deletion bias is likely to have had a significant effect on genome size evolution in dinosaurs and birds, contributing to the maintenance of a small genome. We also demonstrate that most of the observed correlations between recombination rate and genome contraction parameters are seen in the human genome, including for segregating indel polymorphisms. Our data are compatible with a neutral model in which recombination drives vertebrate genome size evolution and gives no direct support for a role of natural selection in this process. PMID:22570634

  6. What is the general action of ghrelin for vertebrates? - comparisons of ghrelin's effects across vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2013-01-15

    Ten years and more passed since ghrelin was discovered. Various physiological actions of ghrelin have been documented in both mammalian and nonmammalian vertebrates. Do these actions have any commonality? In this review, we focused on several effects of ghrelin, and compared the effect across vertebrates. We would like to discuss possible general function of ghrelin in vertebrates. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Role of Transpedicular Percutaneous Vertebral Biopsy for Diagnosis of Pathology in Vertebral Compression Fractures

    PubMed Central

    Nadkarni, Sunil; Hardikar, Sharad Moreshwar; Hardikar, Madan Sharad

    2016-01-01

    Study Design Retrospective observational study. Purpose To identify the role of percutaneous vertebral biopsy in histopathological diagnosis of vertebral compression fractures and to identify the frequency of unexpected malignancy in vertebral compression fractures. Overview of Literature Vertebral compression fractures are common in the Indian population. Magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear imaging have some limitations in the diagnosis of definitive pathology of vertebral compression fractures. Therefore, histological confirmation is necessary for definitive diagnosis and to plan appropriate management for patient. Methods A retrospective observational study was conducted involving 84 patients who underwent percutaneous vertebral biopsy between 2010 and 2014. We performed C-arm guided percutaneous transpedicular core vertebral biopsy of vertebral compression fractures under combination of local anesthesia and intravenous conscious sedation. Results Sufficient biopsy material was obtained in 79 of the 84 cases. In the other five cases, biopsy material was not sufficient for reporting. Out of the 79 cases, osteoporotic pathology was detected in 69 patients, malignancy was detected in 8 patients and no pathology was found in 2 patients. Two patients with distant metastases to vertebra were identified. Primary spinal malignancy was detected in 6 patients (1 unsuspected plasmacytoma, 5 diagnosed malignancy preoperatively). So, the frequency of unsuspected malignancy of this study was 1.19% (1/84). None of the patients had any complications. Conclusions C-arm guided percutaneous transpedicular vertebral biopsy is useful in obtaining definitive histopathological diagnosis of vertebral compression fractures, especially in differentiating malignant and non-malignant vertebral compression fractures and helping plan appropriate management of patients. The rate of unexpected malignancy in vertebral compression fracture was 1.19%. PMID:27790322

  8. Vertebrate Cells Express Protozoan Antigen after Hybridization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crane, Mark St. J.; Dvorak, James A.

    1980-04-01

    Epimastigotes, the invertebrate host stage of Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan parasite causing Chagas' disease in man, were fused with vertebrate cells by using polyethylene glycol. Hybrid cells were selected on the basis of T. cruzi DNA complementation of biochemical deficiencies in the vertebrate cells. Some clones of the hybrid cells expressed T. cruzi-specific antigen. It might be possible to use selected antigens obtained from the hybrids as vaccines for immunodiagnosis or for elucidation of the pathogenesis of Chagas' disease.

  9. Diagnosis and treatment of vertebral compression fractures.

    PubMed

    Dewar, Cherie

    2015-01-01

    A healthy spine is an integral part of an individual's overall well-being. The spinal column's essential role in physiological and neurological function can be compromised when disease or trauma causes a vertebra to compress under the body's weight, producing a vertebral compression fracture. This is a common ailment among adults older than 65 years of age, especially for those with low bone mass or osteoporosis. This article describes vertebral compression fractures, with a special emphasis on medical imaging.

  10. Percutaneous Vertebral Body Augmentation: An Updated Review

    PubMed Central

    Omidi-Kashani, Farzad

    2014-01-01

    There are many medical conditions like osteoporosis, tumor, or osteonecrosis that weaken the structural strength of the vertebral body and prone it to fracture. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation that is usually applied by polymethylmethacrylate is a relatively safe, effective, and long lasting procedure commonly performed in these situations. In this paper, we updated a review of biomechanics, indications, contraindications, surgical techniques, complications, and overall prognosis of these minimally invasive spinal procedures. PMID:25379561

  11. Cervical vertebral fusion with anterior meningocele

    PubMed Central

    Chavredakis, Emmanuel; Carter, David; Bhojak, Manesh; Jenkinson, Michael D; Clark, Simon R

    2015-01-01

    We present the first described case of cervical vertebral fusion associated with anterior meningocele and syringomyelia. A 45-year-old woman presented with minor trauma, and plain cervical spine radiographs highlighted a congenital deformity of the cervical vertebral bodies. She had a normal neurological examination; however, further imaging revealed a meningocele and syringomyelia. This case highlights the importance of thorough imaging investigation when presented with a congenital deformity in order to detect and prevent development of degenerative spinal cord pathologies. PMID:25923673

  12. Vertebral osteomyelitis: clinical features and diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Eren Gök, S; Kaptanoğlu, E; Celikbaş, A; Ergönül, O; Baykam, N; Eroğlu, M; Dokuzoğuz, B

    2014-10-01

    We aimed to describe clinical and diagnostic features of vertebral osteomyelitis for differential diagnosis and treatment. This is a prospective observational study performed between 2002 and 2012 in Ankara Numune Education and Research Hospital in Ankara, Turkey. All the patients with vertebral osteomyelitis were followed for from 6 months to 3 years. In total, 214 patients were included in the study, 113 out of 214 (53%) were female. Out of 214 patients, 96 (45%) had brucellar vertebral osteomyelitis (BVO), 63 (29%) had tuberculous vertebral osteomyelitis (TVO), and 55 (26%) had pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis (PVO). Mean number of days between onset of symptoms and establishment of diagnosis was greater with the patients with TVO (266 days) than BVO (115 days) or PVO (151 days, p <0.001). In blood cultures, Brucella spp. were isolated from 35 of 96 BVO patients (35%). Among 55 PVO patients, the aetiological agent was isolated in 11 (20%) patients. For tuberculin skin test >15 mm, sensitivity was 0.66, specificity was 0.97, positive predictive value was 0.89, negative predictive value was 0.88, and receiver operating characteristics area was 0.8. Tuberculous and brucellar vertebral osteomyelitis remained the leading causes of vertebral osteomyelitis with delayed diagnosis. In differential diagnosis of vertebral osteomyelitis, consumption of unpasteurized cheese, dealing with husbandry, sweating, arthralgia, hepatomegaly, elevated alanine transaminase, and lumbar involvement in magnetic resonance imaging were found to be predictors of BVO, thoracic involvement in magnetic resonance imaging and tuberculin skin test > 15 mm were found to be predictors of TVO, and history of spinal surgery and leucocytosis were found to be predictors of PVO.

  13. Concomitant and previous osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Lenski, Markus; Büser, Natalie; Scherer, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Background and purpose Patients with osteoporosis who present with an acute onset of back pain often have multiple fractures on plain radiographs. Differentiation of an acute osteoporotic vertebral fracture (AOVF) from previous fractures is difficult. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of concomitant AOVFs and previous OVFs in patients with symptomatic AOVFs, and to identify risk factors for concomitant AOVFs. Patients and methods This was a prospective epidemiological study based on the Registry of Pathological Osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures (REPAPORA) with 1,005 patients and 2,874 osteoporotic vertebral fractures, which has been running since February 1, 2006. Concomitant fractures are defined as at least 2 acute short-tau inversion recovery (STIR-) positive vertebral fractures that happen concomitantly. A previous fracture is a STIR-negative fracture at the time of initial diagnostics. Logistic regression was used to examine the influence of various variables on the incidence of concomitant fractures. Results More than 99% of osteoporotic vertebral fractures occurred in the thoracic and lumbar spine. The incidence of concomitant fractures at the time of first patient contact was 26% and that of previous fractures was 60%. The odds ratio (OR) for concomitant fractures decreased with a higher number of previous fractures (OR =0.86; p = 0.03) and higher dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry T-score (OR =0.72; p = 0.003). Interpretation Concomitant and previous osteoporotic vertebral fractures are common. Risk factors for concomitant fractures are a low T-score and a low number of previous vertebral fractures in cases of osteoporotic vertebral fracture. An MRI scan of the the complete thoracic and lumbar spine with STIR sequence reduces the risk of under-diagnosis and under-treatment. PMID:28056595

  14. Radiotherapy in the treatment of vertebral hemangiomas

    SciTech Connect

    Faria, S.L.; Schlupp, W.R.; Chiminazzo, H. Jr.

    1985-02-01

    Symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas are not common. Although radiotherapy has been used as treatment, the data are sparse concerning total dose, fractionation and results. The authors report nine patients with vertebral hemangioma treated with 3000-4000 rad, 200 rad/day, 5 fractions per week, followed from 6 to 62 months. Seventy-seven percent had complete or almost complete disappearance of the symptoms. Radiotherapy schedules are discussed.

  15. Vertebrate paleontological exploration of the Upper Cretaceous succession in the Dakhla and Kharga Oases, Western Desert, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sallam, Hesham M.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Kora, Mahmoud; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Seiffert, Erik R.; Faris, Mahmoud; Ouda, Khaled; El-Dawoudi, Iman; Saber, Sara; El-Sayed, Sanaa

    2016-05-01

    The Campanian and Maastrichtian stages are very poorly documented time intervals in Africa's record of terrestrial vertebrate evolution. Upper Cretaceous deposits exposed in southern Egypt, near the Dakhla and Kharga Oases in the Western Desert, preserve abundant vertebrate fossils in nearshore marine environments, but have not yet been the focus of intensive collection and description. Our recent paleontological work in these areas has resulted in the discovery of numerous new vertebrate fossil-bearing localities within the middle Campanian Qusier Formation and the upper Campanian-lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation. Fossil remains recovered from the Campanian-aged Quseir Formation include sharks, rays, actinopterygian and sarcopterygian fishes, turtles, and rare terrestrial archosaurians, including some of the only dinosaurs known from this interval on continental Africa. The upper Campanian/lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation preserves sharks, sawfish, actinopterygians, and marine reptiles (mosasaurs and plesiosaurs). Notably absent from these collections are representatives of Mammalia and Avialae, both of which remain effectively undocumented in the Upper Cretaceous rocks of Africa and Arabia. New age constraints on the examined rock units is provided by 23 nannofossil taxa, some of which are reported from the Duwi Formation for the first time. Fossil discoveries from rock units of this age are essential for characterizing the degree of endemism that may have developed as the continent became increasingly tectonically isolated from the rest of Gondwana, not to mention for fully evaluating origin and diversification hypotheses of major modern groups of vertebrates (e.g., crown birds, placental mammals).

  16. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments. PMID:26132139

  17. Homeotic transformations and number changes in the vertebral column of Triturus newts

    PubMed Central

    Slijepčević, Maja; Galis, Frietson; Arntzen, Jan W.

    2015-01-01

    We explored intraspecific variation in vertebral formulae, more specifically the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae and frequencies of transitional sacral vertebrae in Triturus newts (Caudata: Salamandridae). Within salamandrid salamanders this monophyletic group shows the highest disparity in the number of thoracic vertebrae and considerable intraspecific variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae. Triturus species also differ in their ecological preferences, from predominantly terrestrial to largely aquatic. Following Geoffroy St. Hilaire’s and Darwin’s rule which states that structures with a large number of serially homologous repetitive elements are more variable than structures with smaller numbers, we hypothesized that the variation in vertebral formulae increases in more elongated species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. We furthermore hypothesized that the frequency of transitional vertebrae will be correlated with the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae within the species. We also investigated potential effects of species hybridization on the vertebral formula. The proportion of individuals with a number of thoracic vertebrae different from the modal number and the range of variation in number of vertebrae significantly increased in species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. Contrary to our expectation, the frequencies of transitional vertebrae were not correlated with frequencies of change in the complete vertebrae number. The frequency of transitional sacral vertebra in hybrids did not significantly differ from that of the parental species. Such a pattern could be a result of selection pressure against transitional vertebrae and/or a bias towards the development of full vertebrae numbers. Although our data indicate relaxed selection for vertebral count changes in more elongated, aquatic species, more data on different selective pressures in species with different numbers of vertebrae in the two contrasting

  18. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Benchimol, Maíra; Peres, Carlos A

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments.

  19. Homeotic transformations and number changes in the vertebral column of Triturus newts.

    PubMed

    Slijepčević, Maja; Galis, Frietson; Arntzen, Jan W; Ivanović, Ana

    2015-01-01

    We explored intraspecific variation in vertebral formulae, more specifically the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae and frequencies of transitional sacral vertebrae in Triturus newts (Caudata: Salamandridae). Within salamandrid salamanders this monophyletic group shows the highest disparity in the number of thoracic vertebrae and considerable intraspecific variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae. Triturus species also differ in their ecological preferences, from predominantly terrestrial to largely aquatic. Following Geoffroy St. Hilaire's and Darwin's rule which states that structures with a large number of serially homologous repetitive elements are more variable than structures with smaller numbers, we hypothesized that the variation in vertebral formulae increases in more elongated species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. We furthermore hypothesized that the frequency of transitional vertebrae will be correlated with the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae within the species. We also investigated potential effects of species hybridization on the vertebral formula. The proportion of individuals with a number of thoracic vertebrae different from the modal number and the range of variation in number of vertebrae significantly increased in species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. Contrary to our expectation, the frequencies of transitional vertebrae were not correlated with frequencies of change in the complete vertebrae number. The frequency of transitional sacral vertebra in hybrids did not significantly differ from that of the parental species. Such a pattern could be a result of selection pressure against transitional vertebrae and/or a bias towards the development of full vertebrae numbers. Although our data indicate relaxed selection for vertebral count changes in more elongated, aquatic species, more data on different selective pressures in species with different numbers of vertebrae in the two contrasting

  20. The origins of colour vision in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P; Trezise, Ann E O

    2004-07-01

    The capacity for colour vision is mediated by the comparison of the signal intensities from photoreceptors of two or more types that differ in spectral sensitivity. Morphological, physiological and molecular analyses of the retina in an agnathan (jawless) fish, the lamprey Geotria australis, may hold important clues to the origins of colour vision in vertebrates. Lampreys are extant representatives of an ancient group of vertebrates, the origins of which are thought to date back to at least the early Cambrian, approximately 540 million years ago. G. australis possesses five photoreceptor types, each with cone-like ultrastructural features and different spectral sensitivities. Recent molecular genetic studies have also revealed that five visual pigment (opsin) genes are expressed in the retina, each of which is orthologous to the major classes of vertebrate opsin genes. These findings reveal that multiple opsin genes originated very early in vertebrate evolution, prior to the separation of the jawed and jawless vertebrate lineages, thereby providing the genetic basis for colour vision in all vertebrates.

  1. Retroviral Diversity and Distribution in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Herniou, Elisabeth; Martin, Joanne; Miller, Karen; Cook, James; Wilkinson, Mark; Tristem, Michael

    1998-01-01

    We used the PCR to screen for the presence of endogenous retroviruses within the genomes of 18 vertebrate orders across eight classes, concentrating on reptilian, amphibian, and piscine hosts. Thirty novel retroviral sequences were isolated and characterized by sequencing approximately 1 kb of their encoded protease and reverse transcriptase genes. Isolation of novel viruses from so many disparate hosts suggests that retroviruses are likely to be ubiquitous within all but the most basal vertebrate classes and, furthermore, gives a good indication of the overall retroviral diversity within vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that viruses clustering with (but not necessarily closely related to) the spumaviruses and murine leukemia viruses are widespread and abundant in vertebrate genomes. In contrast, we were unable to identify any viruses from hosts outside of mammals and birds which grouped with the other five currently recognized retroviral genera: the lentiviruses, human T-cell leukemia-related viruses, avian leukemia virus-related retroviruses, type D retroviruses, and mammalian type B retroviruses. There was also some indication that viruses isolated from individual vertebrate classes tended to cluster together in phylogenetic reconstructions. This implies that the horizontal transmission of at least some retroviruses, between some vertebrate classes, occurs relatively infrequently. It is likely that many of the retroviral sequences described here are distinct enough from those of previously characterized viruses to represent novel retroviral genera. PMID:9621058

  2. Evolution and development of the vertebrate neck

    PubMed Central

    Ericsson, Rolf; Knight, Robert; Johanson, Zerina

    2013-01-01

    Muscles of the vertebrate neck include the cucullaris and hypobranchials. Although a functional neck first evolved in the lobe-finned fishes (Sarcopterygii) with the separation of the pectoral/shoulder girdle from the skull, the neck muscles themselves have a much earlier origin among the vertebrates. For example, lampreys possess hypobranchial muscles, and may also possess the cucullaris. Recent research in chick has established that these two muscles groups have different origins, the hypobranchial muscles having a somitic origin but the cucullaris muscle deriving from anterior lateral plate mesoderm associated with somites 1–3. Additionally, the cucullaris utilizes genetic pathways more similar to the head than the trunk musculature. Although the latter results are from experiments in the chick, cucullaris homologues occur in a variety of more basal vertebrates such as the sharks and zebrafish. Data are urgently needed from these taxa to determine whether the cucullaris in these groups also derives from lateral plate mesoderm or from the anterior somites, and whether the former or the latter represent the basal vertebrate condition. Other lateral plate mesoderm derivatives include the appendicular skeleton (fins, limbs and supporting girdles). If the cucullaris is a definitive lateral plate-derived structure it may have evolved in conjunction with the shoulder/limb skeleton in vertebrates and thereby provided a greater degree of flexibility to the heads of predatory vertebrates. PMID:22697305

  3. Vertebral deformities identified by vertebral fracture assessment: associations with clinical characteristics and bone mineral density.

    PubMed

    Jacobs-Kosmin, Dana; Sandorfi, Nora; Murray, Heather; Abruzzo, John L

    2005-01-01

    Whether vertebral fractures identified on radiographs are painful or not, they are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Vertebral fractures on X-rays correlate with low bone mineral density (BMD) at the spine and hip in addition to several clinical characteristics. Evidence suggests that vertebral deformities detected by X-ray and by vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) show good agreement. We examined the relationship between VFA-detected vertebral deformities and patient characteristics as well as BMD by analyzing the records of 432 patients who had undergone dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans with VFA. Patients' demographic data and T-scores were obtained from patient questionnaires and DXA scans. We categorized vertebral deformities by type and severity. Patients with vertebral deformities were significantly older and more likely to report a history of fracture after childhood. Significantly more estrogen use was reported in patients without deformity. Those with deformities had significantly lower T-scores at the femoral neck and total hip but not at the spine. Increased severity and number of deformities correlated with lower T-scores at the total hip and femoral neck but not the spine. In conclusion, vertebral deformities detected by VFA, like those on X-ray, correlate with both clinical characteristics and reduced bone mass at the hip. These relationships, in addition to rapid performance, convenience, and minimal radiation exposure, indicate VFA-detected vertebral deformities are a valuable adjunct in identifying patients in need of additional evaluation and treatment.

  4. Comparison of acid mucin goblet cell distribution and Hox13 expression patterns in the developing vertebrate digestive tract.

    PubMed

    Theodosiou, Nicole A; Hall, Daniel A; Jowdry, Andrea L

    2007-07-15

    The digestive tract of vertebrates is a complex organ system required for the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients. The colon evolved as a water absorption organ essential for vertebrates to survive on land. In contrast to land vertebrates, the Chondrichthyes (sharks, skates and rays) are nearly iso-osmotic with their ocean environment and do not reabsorb water from food waste. To understand the origin of the vertebrate colon, we examined the distribution of sulfated and sialyated mucus-producing cells in the little skate, Raja erinacea, as an indication of water absorption function in the chondrichthian digestive tract. The percentage of acid mucin producing goblet cells was analyzed in the spiral valve and hindgut of little skate and the small intestine and colon of mouse embryos. Levels of acid mucins in the hindgut of the little skate was comparable to that of the small intestines of terrestrial vertebrates, whereas the distal region of the spiral valve contained high levels of acid mucin producing cells similar to the colon of mouse and chick. The low numbers of acid mucins in the little skate hindgut confirms that a functional colon for water absorption is absent in the Chondrichthyes. Interestingly, the presence of high levels of acid mucins in the posterior spiral valve provides evidence for a possible primordial water-absorbing organ in the elasmobranchs. Hoxd13 patterns acid mucins in the colons of terrestrial vertebrates. Expression of Hoxd13 and Hoxa13 in R. erinacea suggests conserved roles for Hox genes in patterning the early hindgut.

  5. Terrestrial reproduction as an adaptation to steep terrain in African toads.

    PubMed

    Liedtke, H Christoph; Müller, Hendrik; Hafner, Julian; Penner, Johannes; Gower, David J; Mazuch, Tomáš; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Loader, Simon P

    2017-03-29

    How evolutionary novelties evolve is a major question in evolutionary biology. It is widely accepted that changes in environmental conditions shift the position of selective optima, and advancements in phylogenetic comparative approaches allow the rigorous testing of such correlated transitions. A longstanding question in vertebrate biology has been the evolution of terrestrial life histories in amphibians and here, by investigating African bufonids, we test whether terrestrial modes of reproduction have evolved as adaptations to particular abiotic habitat parameters. We reconstruct and date the most complete species-level molecular phylogeny and estimate ancestral states for reproductive modes. By correlating continuous habitat measurements from remote sensing data and locality records with life-history transitions, we discover that terrestrial modes of reproduction, including viviparity evolved multiple times in this group, most often directly from fully aquatic modes. Terrestrial modes of reproduction are strongly correlated with steep terrain and low availability of accumulated water sources. Evolutionary transitions to terrestrial modes of reproduction occurred synchronously with or after transitions in habitat, and we, therefore, interpret terrestrial breeding as an adaptation to these abiotic conditions, rather than an exaptation that facilitated the colonization of montane habitats. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Mercury cycling in terrestrial watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shanley, James B.; Bishop, Kevin; Banks, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    This chapter discusses mercury cycling in the terrestrial landscape, including inputs from the atmosphere, accumulation in soils and vegetation, outputs in streamflow and volatilization, and effects of land disturbance. Mercury mobility in the terrestrial landscape is strongly controlled by organic matter. About 90% of the atmospheric mercury input is retained in vegetation and organic matter in soils, causing a buildup of legacy mercury. Some mercury is volatilized back to the atmosphere, but most export of mercury from watersheds occurs by streamflow. Stream mercury export is episodic, in association with dissolved and particulate organic carbon, as stormflow and snowmelt flush organic-rich shallow soil horizons. The terrestrial landscape is thus a major source of mercury to downstream aquatic environments, where mercury is methylated and enters the aquatic food web. With ample organic matter and sulfur, methylmercury forms in uplands as well—in wetlands, riparian zones, and other anoxic sites. Watershed features (topography, land cover type, and soil drainage class) are often more important than atmospheric mercury deposition in controlling the amount of stream mercury and methylmercury export. While reductions in atmospheric mercury deposition may rapidly benefit lakes, the terrestrial landscape will respond only over decades, because of the large stock and slow turnover of legacy mercury. We conclude with a discussion of future scenarios and the challenge of managing terrestrial mercury.

  7. Vertebral microanatomy in squamates: structure, growth and ecological correlates.

    PubMed

    Houssaye, Alexandra; Mazurier, Arnaud; Herrel, Anthony; Volpato, Virginie; Tafforeau, Paul; Boistel, Renaud; De Buffrénil, Vivian

    2010-12-01

    The histological study of vertebrae in extant squamates shows that the internal vertebral structure in this group differs from that of other tetrapods. Squamate vertebrae are lightly built and basically composed of two roughly concentric osseous tubes--one surrounding the neural canal and the other constituting the peripheral cortex of the vertebra--connected by few thin trabeculae. This structure, which characteristically evokes that of a tubular bone, results from a peculiar remodelling process characterised by an imbalance between local bone resorption and redeposition; in both periosteal and endosteo-endochondral territories, bone is extensively resorbed but not reconstructed in the same proportion by secondary deposits. This process is particularly intense in the deep region of the centrum, where originally compact cortices are made cancellous, and where the endochondral spongiosa is very loose. This remodelling process starts at an early stage of development and remains active throughout subsequent growth. The growth of squamate centra is also strongly asymmetrical, with the posterior (condylar) part growing much faster than the anterior (cotylar) part. Preliminary analyses testing for associations between vertebral structure and habitat use suggest that vertebrae of fossorial taxa are denser than those of terrestrial taxa, those in aquatic taxa being of intermediate density. However, phylogenetically informed analyses do not corroborate these findings, thus suggesting a strong phylogenetic signal in the data. As our analyses demonstrate that vertebrae in snakes are generally denser than those of lizards sensu stricto, this may drive the presence of a phylogenetic signal in the data. More comprehensive sampling of fossorial and aquatic lizards is clearly needed to more rigorously evaluate these patterns. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Anatomy © 2010 Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

  8. Vertebral microanatomy in squamates: structure, growth and ecological correlates

    PubMed Central

    Houssaye, Alexandra; Mazurier, Arnaud; Herrel, Anthony; Volpato, Virginie; Tafforeau, Paul; Boistel, Renaud; de Buffrénil, Vivian

    2010-01-01

    The histological study of vertebrae in extant squamates shows that the internal vertebral structure in this group differs from that of other tetrapods. Squamate vertebrae are lightly built and basically composed of two roughly concentric osseous tubes – one surrounding the neural canal and the other constituting the peripheral cortex of the vertebra – connected by few thin trabeculae. This structure, which characteristically evokes that of a tubular bone, results from a peculiar remodelling process characterised by an imbalance between local bone resorption and redeposition; in both periosteal and endosteo-endochondral territories, bone is extensively resorbed but not reconstructed in the same proportion by secondary deposits. This process is particularly intense in the deep region of the centrum, where originally compact cortices are made cancellous, and where the endochondral spongiosa is very loose. This remodelling process starts at an early stage of development and remains active throughout subsequent growth. The growth of squamate centra is also strongly asymmetrical, with the posterior (condylar) part growing much faster than the anterior (cotylar) part. Preliminary analyses testing for associations between vertebral structure and habitat use suggest that vertebrae of fossorial taxa are denser than those of terrestrial taxa, those in aquatic taxa being of intermediate density. However, phylogenetically informed analyses do not corroborate these findings, thus suggesting a strong phylogenetic signal in the data. As our analyses demonstrate that vertebrae in snakes are generally denser than those of lizards sensu stricto, this may drive the presence of a phylogenetic signal in the data. More comprehensive sampling of fossorial and aquatic lizards is clearly needed to more rigorously evaluate these patterns. PMID:21039477

  9. Effect of increasing CO2 on the terrestrial carbon cycle

    PubMed Central

    Schimel, David; Fisher, Joshua B.

    2015-01-01

    Feedbacks from the terrestrial carbon cycle significantly affect future climate change. The CO2 concentration dependence of global terrestrial carbon storage is one of the largest and most uncertain feedbacks. Theory predicts the CO2 effect should have a tropical maximum, but a large terrestrial sink has been contradicted by analyses of atmospheric CO2 that do not show large tropical uptake. Our results, however, show significant tropical uptake and, combining tropical and extratropical fluxes, suggest that up to 60% of the present-day terrestrial sink is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2. This conclusion is consistent with a validated subset of atmospheric analyses, but uncertainty remains. Improved model diagnostics and new space-based observations can reduce the uncertainty of tropical and temperate zone carbon flux estimates. This analysis supports a significant feedback to future atmospheric CO2 concentrations from carbon uptake in terrestrial ecosystems caused by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This feedback will have substantial tropical contributions, but the magnitude of future carbon uptake by tropical forests also depends on how they respond to climate change and requires their protection from deforestation. PMID:25548156

  10. Effect of increasing CO2 on the terrestrial carbon cycle.

    PubMed

    Schimel, David; Stephens, Britton B; Fisher, Joshua B

    2015-01-13

    Feedbacks from the terrestrial carbon cycle significantly affect future climate change. The CO2 concentration dependence of global terrestrial carbon storage is one of the largest and most uncertain feedbacks. Theory predicts the CO2 effect should have a tropical maximum, but a large terrestrial sink has been contradicted by analyses of atmospheric CO2 that do not show large tropical uptake. Our results, however, show significant tropical uptake and, combining tropical and extratropical fluxes, suggest that up to 60% of the present-day terrestrial sink is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2. This conclusion is consistent with a validated subset of atmospheric analyses, but uncertainty remains. Improved model diagnostics and new space-based observations can reduce the uncertainty of tropical and temperate zone carbon flux estimates. This analysis supports a significant feedback to future atmospheric CO2 concentrations from carbon uptake in terrestrial ecosystems caused by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This feedback will have substantial tropical contributions, but the magnitude of future carbon uptake by tropical forests also depends on how they respond to climate change and requires their protection from deforestation.

  11. Utilization of the terrestrial cyanobacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katoh, Hiroshi; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Furukawa, Jun; Kimura, Shunta; Yokoshima, Mika; Yamaguchi, Yuji; Takenaka, Hiroyuki

    The terrestrial, N _{2}-fixing cyanobacterium, Nostoc commune has expected to utilize for agriculture, food and terraforming cause of its extracellular polysaccharide, desiccation tolerance and nitrogen fixation. Previously, the first author indicated that desiccation related genes were analyzed and the suggested that the genes were related to nitrogen fixation and metabolisms. In this report, we suggest possibility of agriculture, using the cyanobacterium. Further, we also found radioactive compounds accumulated N. commune (cyanobacterium) in Fukushima, Japan after nuclear accident. Thus, it is investigated to decontaminate radioactive compounds from the surface soil by the cyanobacterium and showed to accumulate radioactive compounds using the cyanobacterium. We will discuss utilization of terrestrial cyanobacteria under closed environment. Keyword: Desiccation, terrestrial cyanobacteria, bioremediation, agriculture

  12. Terrestrial ecosystems and climatic change

    SciTech Connect

    Emanuel, W.R. ); Schimel, D.S. . Natural Resources Ecology Lab.)

    1990-01-01

    The structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems depend on climate, and in turn, ecosystems influence atmospheric composition and climate. A comprehensive, global model of terrestrial ecosystem dynamics is needed. A hierarchical approach appears advisable given currently available concepts, data, and formalisms. The organization of models can be based on the temporal scales involved. A rapidly responding model describes the processes associated with photosynthesis, including carbon, moisture, and heat exchange with the atmosphere. An intermediate model handles subannual variations that are closely associated with allocation and seasonal changes in productivity and decomposition. A slow response model describes plant growth and succession with associated element cycling over decades and centuries. These three levels of terrestrial models are linked through common specifications of environmental conditions and constrain each other. 58 refs.

  13. Evolutionary Dynamics of the Interferon-Induced Transmembrane Gene Family in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhao; Liu, Jun; Li, Meng; Yang, Hui; Zhang, Chiyu

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrate interferon-induced transmembrane (IFITM) genes have been demonstrated to have extensive and diverse functions, playing important roles in the evolution of vertebrates. Despite observance of their functionality, the evolutionary dynamics of this gene family are complex and currently unknown. Here, we performed detailed evolutionary analyses to unravel the evolutionary history of the vertebrate IFITM family. A total of 174 IFITM orthologous genes and 112 pseudogenes were identified from 27 vertebrate genome sequences. The vertebrate IFITM family can be divided into immunity-related IFITM (IR-IFITM), IFITM5 and IFITM10 sub-families in phylogeny, implying origins from three different progenitors. In general, vertebrate IFITM genes are located in two loci, one containing the IFITM10 gene, and the other locus containing IFITM5 and various numbers of IR-IFITM genes. Conservation of evolutionary synteny was observed in these IFITM genes. Significant functional divergence was detected among the three IFITM sub-families. No gene duplication or positive selection was found in IFITM5 sub-family, implying the functional conservation of IFITM5 in vertebrate evolution, which is involved in bone formation. No IFITM5 locus was identified in the marmoset genome, suggesting a potential association with the tiny size of this monkey. The IFITM10 sub-family was divided into two groups: aquatic and terrestrial types. Functional divergence was detected between the two groups, and five IFITM10-like genes from frog were dispersed into the two groups. Both gene duplication and positive selection were observed in aquatic vertebrate IFITM10-like genes, indicating that IFITM10 might be associated with the adaptation to aquatic environments. A large number of lineage- and species-specific gene duplications were observed in IR-IFITM sub-family and positive selection was detected in IR-IFITM of primates and rodents. Because primates have experienced a long history of viral infection

  14. Groundwater and Terrestrial Water Storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodell, Matthew; Chambers, Don P.; Famiglietti, James S.

    2012-01-01

    Groundwater is a vital resource and also a dynamic component of the water cycle. Unconfined aquifer storage is less responsive to short term weather conditions than the near surface terrestrial water storage (TWS) components (soil moisture, surface water, and snow). However, save for the permanently frozen regions, it typically exhibits a larger range of variability over multi-annual periods than the other components. Groundwater is poorly monitored at the global scale, but terrestrial water storage (TWS) change data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission are a reasonable proxy for unconfined groundwater at climatic scales.

  15. Basaltic volcanism in terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, J. A.

    1977-01-01

    A prescription is presented of a 3-year experimental project designed to encourage a selected group of earth scientists to think on a Solar System scale rather than a terrestrial, lunar, or martian scale. Basaltic volcanism was the process selected because it manifests itself widely in the inner Solar System and because it seemed more cleanly separable from other geological problems than other processes considered. Studies in ten areas are to illuminate all aspects of the mechanics and chronology of the generation and eruption of basaltic lavas in the terrestrial planets. Attention is given to individual team reports related to the various areas.

  16. Terrestrial ecosystem biomonitoring at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, R.; Matiatos, D.; Seery, D.; Hetrick, M.; Griess, J.; Henry, C.; Vaughn, S.; Miesner, J.

    1994-12-31

    In 1987 the Fish and Wildlife Service became actively involved in wildlife population monitoring at the Arsenal because of the discovery of a bald eagle roost on the site. Since that time the Service has conducted or funded a variety of investigations to inventory the wildlife species present at the Arsenal and determine their population status. As time progressed and as a result of the passage of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Refuge legislation in 1992, the Service developed a biomonitoring strategy to determine the current effects of contaminants on terrestrial wildlife resources at the Arsenal and evaluate the efficacy of remediation to ensure the protection and restoration of wildlife resources at the future refuge. This poster will present an overview of the species being studied, measurement and assessment endpoints, strategies, and methods being used by the Service to assess wildlife health as it relates to contaminant exposure.

  17. Vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm treated by internal trapping via the contralateral vertebral artery: A case report

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    A 42-year-old man with a history of sudden onset of severe headache followed by consciousness disturbance was brought to our hospital. Radiological examinations revealed subarachnoid hemorrhage, associated with rupture of a left vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm. Initially, internal trapping was attempted via the ipsilateral vertebral artery. However, the microcatheter could not be navigated through the true lumen to the distal side of the vertebral artery. Subsequently, therefore, the guiding catheter was placed in the right vertebral artery, and the microcatheter was retrogradely navigated successfully through the lesion to the proximal side of the left vertebral artery. Finally, the lesion was completely embolized with electrodetachable coils without complications. However, the patient died after the operation because of deterioration of the general condition. The postmortem examination revealed how an intimal flap had interfered with the antegrade navigation of the microcatheter in the lesion. The present case showed that endovascular treatment for a vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm via the contralateral vertebral artery may be a useful option in cases where antegrade navigation of the microcatheter via the ipsilateral vertebral artery is found to be difficult. PMID:26116649

  18. Vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm treated by internal trapping via the contralateral vertebral artery: A case report.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Atsuhiro

    2015-10-01

    A 42-year-old man with a history of sudden onset of severe headache followed by consciousness disturbance was brought to our hospital. Radiological examinations revealed subarachnoid hemorrhage, associated with rupture of a left vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm. Initially, internal trapping was attempted via the ipsilateral vertebral artery. However, the microcatheter could not be navigated through the true lumen to the distal side of the vertebral artery. Subsequently, therefore, the guiding catheter was placed in the right vertebral artery, and the microcatheter was retrogradely navigated successfully through the lesion to the proximal side of the left vertebral artery. Finally, the lesion was completely embolized with electrodetachable coils without complications. However, the patient died after the operation because of deterioration of the general condition. The postmortem examination revealed how an intimal flap had interfered with the antegrade navigation of the microcatheter in the lesion. The present case showed that endovascular treatment for a vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm via the contralateral vertebral artery may be a useful option in cases where antegrade navigation of the microcatheter via the ipsilateral vertebral artery is found to be difficult.

  19. The Terrestrial Eocene-Oligocene Transition in North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prothero, Donald R.; Emry, Robert J.

    1996-06-01

    The transition from the Eocene to the Oligocene epoch, occurring approximately 47 to 30 million years ago, was the most dramatic episode of climatic and biotic change since the demise of the dinosaurs. The mild tropical climates of the Paleocene and early Eocene were replaced by modern climatic conditions and extremes, including glacial ice in Antarctica. The first part of this book summarizes the latest information in the dating and correlation of the strata of late middle Eocene through early Oligocene age in North America. The second part reviews almost all the important terrestrial reptiles and mammals found near the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, in the White River Chronofauna--from the turtles, snakes and lizards to the common rodents, carnivores, oreodonts and deer of the Badlands. This is the first comprehensive treatment of these topics in over sixty years, and will be invaluable to vertebrate paleontologists, geologists, mammalogists and evolutionary biologists.

  20. Evolution of innate and adaptive immune systems in jawless vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kasamatsu, Jun

    2013-01-01

    Because jawless vertebrates are the most primitive vertebrates, they have been studied to gain understanding of the evolutionary processes that gave rise to the innate and adaptive immune systems in vertebrates. Jawless vertebrates have developed lymphocyte-like cells that morphologically resemble the T and B cells of jawed vertebrates, but they express variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) instead of the T and B cell receptors that specifically recognize antigens in jawed vertebrates. These VLRs act as antigen receptors, diversity being generated in their antigen-binding sites by assembly of highly diverse leucine-rich repeat modules. Therefore, jawless vertebrates have developed adaptive immune systems based on the VLRs. Although pattern recognition receptors, including Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and Rig-like receptors (RLRs), and their adaptor genes are conserved in jawless vertebrates, some transcription factor and inflammatory cytokine genes in the TLR and RLR pathways are not present. However, like jawed vertebrates, the initiation of adaptive immune responses in jawless vertebrates appears to require prior activation of the innate immune system. These observations imply that the innate immune systems of jawless vertebrates have a unique molecular basis that is distinct from that of jawed vertebrates. Altogether, although the molecular details of the innate and adaptive immune systems differ between jawless and jawed vertebrates, jawless vertebrates have developed versions of these immune systems that are similar to those of jawed vertebrates. © 2012 The Societies and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  1. Vertebral Column Resection for Rigid Spinal Deformity

    PubMed Central

    Laratta, Joseph L.; Petridis, Petros; Shillingford, Jamal N.; Lehman, Ronald A.; Lenke, Lawrence G.

    2017-01-01

    Study Design: Broad narrative review. Objective: To review the evolution, operative technique, outcomes, and complications associated with posterior vertebral column resection. Methods: A literature review of posterior vertebral column resection was performed. The authors’ surgical technique is outlined in detail. The authors’ experience and the literature regarding vertebral column resection are discussed at length. Results: Treatment of severe, rigid coronal and/or sagittal malalignment with posterior vertebral column resection results in approximately 50–70% correction depending on the type of deformity. Surgical site infection rates range from 2.9% to 9.7%. Transient and permanent neurologic injury rates range from 0% to 13.8% and 0% to 6.3%, respectively. Although there are significant variations in EBL throughout the literature, it can be minimized by utilizing tranexamic acid intraoperatively. Conclusion: The ability to correct a rigid deformity in the spine relies on osteotomies. Each osteotomy is associated with a particular magnitude of correction at a single level. Posterior vertebral column resection is the most powerful posterior osteotomy method providing a successful correction of fixed complex deformities. Despite meticulous surgical technique and precision, this robust osteotomy technique can be associated with significant morbidity even in the most experienced hands. PMID:28660112

  2. Vertebrate extracellular preovulatory and postovulatory egg coats.

    PubMed

    Menkhorst, Ellen; Selwood, Lynne

    2008-11-01

    Extracellular egg coats deposited by maternal or embryonic tissues surround all vertebrate conceptuses during early development. In oviparous species, the time of hatching from extracellular coats can be considered equivalent to the time of birth in viviparous species. Extracellular coats must be lost during gestation for implantation and placentation to occur in some viviparous species. In the most recent classification of vertebrate extracellular coats, Boyd and Hamilton (Cleavage, early development and implantation of the egg. In: Parkes AS (ed.), Marshall's Physiology of Reproduction, vol. 2, 3rd ed. London: Longmans, Green & Co; 1961:1-126) defined the coat synthesized by the oocyte during oogenesis as primary and the coat deposited by follicle cells surrounding the oocyte as secondary. Tertiary egg coats are those synthesized and deposited around the primary or secondary coat by the maternal reproductive tract. This classification is difficult to reconcile with recent data collected using modern molecular biological techniques that can accurately establish the site of coat precursor synthesis and secretion. We propose that a modification to the classification by Boyd and Hamilton is required. Vertebrate egg coats should be classed as belonging to the following two broad groups: the preovulatory coat, which is deposited during oogenesis by the oocyte or follicle cells, and the postovulatory coats, which are deposited after fertilization by the reproductive tract or conceptus. This review discusses the origin and classification of vertebrate extracellular preovulatory and postovulatory coats and illustrates what is known about coat homology between the vertebrate groups.

  3. Vertebral Column Resection for Rigid Spinal Deformity.

    PubMed

    Saifi, Comron; Laratta, Joseph L; Petridis, Petros; Shillingford, Jamal N; Lehman, Ronald A; Lenke, Lawrence G

    2017-05-01

    Broad narrative review. To review the evolution, operative technique, outcomes, and complications associated with posterior vertebral column resection. A literature review of posterior vertebral column resection was performed. The authors' surgical technique is outlined in detail. The authors' experience and the literature regarding vertebral column resection are discussed at length. Treatment of severe, rigid coronal and/or sagittal malalignment with posterior vertebral column resection results in approximately 50-70% correction depending on the type of deformity. Surgical site infection rates range from 2.9% to 9.7%. Transient and permanent neurologic injury rates range from 0% to 13.8% and 0% to 6.3%, respectively. Although there are significant variations in EBL throughout the literature, it can be minimized by utilizing tranexamic acid intraoperatively. The ability to correct a rigid deformity in the spine relies on osteotomies. Each osteotomy is associated with a particular magnitude of correction at a single level. Posterior vertebral column resection is the most powerful posterior osteotomy method providing a successful correction of fixed complex deformities. Despite meticulous surgical technique and precision, this robust osteotomy technique can be associated with significant morbidity even in the most experienced hands.

  4. Consideration of encapsulants for photovoltaic arrays in terrestrial applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cuddihy, E. F.; Carroll, W. F.

    1977-01-01

    Long-term survivability of photovoltaic arrays and components in terrestrial environments will require development of adequate protective systems. Highly considered are polymeric encapsulants, a method which was successfully employed in space and aerospace applications to protect critical electrical circuitry. To be employable, however, the polymer encapsulants must themselves be chemically and mechanically resistant to failure in terrestrial service. Chemical resistance includes stability to the degrading actions of ultraviolet light, oxygen, moisture and elevated temperatures in sun rich areas. Programs are underway to identify and develop chemically stable encapsulant candidates. Chemical considerations aside, mechanical failures of the encapsulants must also be avoided in array designs. This paper discusses design considerations for avoiding mechanical failures of polymeric encapsulants, with emphasis on biaxial properties, thermal fatigue, and anisotropy and nonhomogeneity of material properties. The general principles to be presented evolved from actual failures of polymeric materials in engineering applications. Also included are brief remarks on the permeability of polymer materials to atmospheric gases.

  5. Provenance of the terrestrial planets.

    PubMed

    Wetherill, G W

    1994-01-01

    Earlier work on the simultaneous accumulation of the asteroid belt and the terrestrial planets is extended to investigate the relative contribution to the final planets made by material from different heliocentric distances. As before, stochastic variations intrinsic to the accumulation processes lead to a variety of final planetary configurations, but include systems having a number of features similar to our solar system. Fifty-nine new simulations are presented, from which thirteen are selected as more similar to our solar system than the others. It is found that the concept of "local feeding zones" for each final terrestrial planet has no validity for this model. Instead, the final terrestrial planets receive major contributions from bodies ranging from 0.5 to at least 2.5 AU, and often to greater distances. Nevertheless, there is a correlation between the final heliocentric distance of a planet and its average provenance. Together with the effect of stochastic fluctuations, this permits variation in the composition of the terrestrial planets, such as the difference in the decompressed density of Earth and Mars. Biologically important light elements, derived from the asteroidal region, are likely to have been significant constituents of the Earth during its formation.

  6. Solar Variability and Terrestrial Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mörner, N.-A.

    The thermal conditions on Planet Earth are primarily the function of the energy in- put from the Sun. The variations in climate on Planet Earth is, however, primarily the function of the redistribution and reorganisation of the internal terrestrial heat balance. Solar variability may affect terrestrial climate (1) by direct changes in irradiance, a fac- tor, however, which is known to be very small, (2) by the solar wind interaction with the geomagnetic field increasing and decreasing the shielding capacity to infalling cosmic-ray, which is known to affect the formation of clouds thereby also affecting global terrestrial climat, and (3) by the solar wind interaction with the geomagnetic field leading to changes in the EarthSs rate of rotation which affect ocean and atmo- sphere circulation thereby also affecting global climate (and sea level). INTAS Project 97-301008 concerns the interaction between geomagnetic field changes and global climatic changes. No doubts, we see important links between externally and internally driven changes in the EarthSs geomagnetic field and changes in terrestrial climate.

  7. Terrestrial ecosystems and their change

    Treesearch

    Anatoly Z. Shvidenko; Eric Gustafson; A. David McGuire; Vjacheslav I. Kharuk; Dmitry G. Schepaschenko; Herman H. Shugart; Nadezhda M. Tchebakova; Natalia N. Vygodskaya; Alexander A. Onuchin; Daniel J. Hayes; Ian McCallum; Shamil Maksyutov; Ludmila V. Mukhortova; Amber J. Soja; Luca Belelli-Marchesini; Julia A. Kurbatova; Alexander V. Oltchev; Elena I. Parfenova; Jacquelyn K. Shuman

    2012-01-01

    This chapter considers the current state of Siberian terrestrial ecosystems, their spatial distribution, and major biometric characteristics. Ongoing climate change and the dramatic increase of accompanying anthropogenic pressure provide different but mostly negative impacts on Siberian ecosystems. Future climates of the region may lead to substantial drying on large...

  8. Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca variations in environmental and biological sources: A survey of marine and terrestrial systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peek, Stephanie; Clementz, Mark T.

    2012-10-01

    The relative concentrations of strontium to calcium (Sr/Ca) and barium to calcium (Ba/Ca) in mammalian bioapatite are common biogeochemical indicators for trophic level and/or dietary preferences in terrestrial foodwebs; however, similar research in marine foodwebs is lacking. This study combined environmental and biological Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca data from both terrestrial and marine settings from 62 published books, reports, and studies along with original data collected from 149 marine mammals (30 species) and 83 prey items (18 species) and found that variations in Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca ratios of biological and environmental samples are appreciably different in terrestrial and marine systems. In terrestrial systems, environmental sources account for most of the variations in Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca ratios. In contrast, environmental sources in marine systems (i.e., seawater) are comparatively invariant, meaning most of the variations in Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca ratios originate from biological processes. Marine consumers, particularly non-mammalian and mammalian vertebrates, show evidence of biopurification of Ca relative to Sr and Ba, similar to what is observed in terrestrial systems; however, unlike terrestrial systems, variations in Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca ratios of environmental sources are overprinted by bioaccumulation of Sr and Ba at the base of marine foodwebs. This demonstrates that in marine systems, spatial or temporal differences may have little to no effect on Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca ratios of marine vertebrates, making Sr/Ca, and to a lesser extent Ba/Ca, potentially useful global proxies for trophic level and dietary preferences of marine vertebrates.

  9. Linking fruit traits to variation in predispersal vertebrate seed predation, insect seed predation, and pathogen attack.

    PubMed

    Beckman, Noelle G; Muller-Landau, Helene C

    2011-11-01

    The importance of vertebrates, invertebrates, and pathogens for plant communities has long been recognized, but their absolute and relative importance in early recruitment of multiple coexisting tropical plant species has not been quantified. Further, little is known about the relationship of fruit traits to seed mortality due to natural enemies in tropical plants. To investigate the influences of vertebrates, invertebrates, and pathogens on reproduction of seven canopy plant species varying in fruit traits, we quantified reductions in fruit development and seed germination due to vertebrates, invertebrates, and fungal pathogens through experimental removal of these enemies using canopy exclosures, insecticide, and fungicide, respectively. We also measured morphological fruit traits hypothesized to mediate interactions of plants with natural enemies of seeds. Vertebrates, invertebrates, and fungi differentially affected predispersal seed mortality depending on the plant species. Fruit morphology explained some variation among species; species with larger fruit and less physical protection surrounding seeds exhibited greater negative effects of fungi on fruit development and germination and experienced reduced seed survival integrated over fruit development and germination in response to vertebrates. Within species, variation in seed size also contributed to variation in natural enemy effects on seed viability. Further, seedling growth was higher for seeds that developed in vertebrate exclosures for Anacardium excelsum and under the fungicide treatment for Castilla elastica, suggesting that predispersal effects of natural enemies may carry through to the seedling stage. This is the first experimental test of the relative effects of vertebrates, invertebrates, and pathogens on seed survival in the canopy. This study motivates further investigation to determine the generality of our results for plant communities. If there is strong variation in natural enemy attack

  10. The origin of the vertebrate skeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pivar, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    The anatomy of the human and other vertebrates has been well described since the days of Leonardo da Vinci and Vesalius. The causative origin of the configuration of the bones and of their shapes and forms has been addressed over the ensuing centuries by such outstanding investigators as Goethe, Von Baer, Gegenbauer, Wilhelm His and D'Arcy Thompson, who sought to apply mechanical principles to morphogenesis. However, no coherent causative model of morphogenesis has ever been presented. This paper presents a causative model for the origin of the vertebrate skeleton, based on the premise that the body is a mosaic enlargement of self-organized patterns engrained in the membrane of the egg cell. Drawings illustrate the proposed hypothetical origin of membrane patterning and the changes in the hydrostatic equilibrium of the cytoplasm that cause topographical deformations resulting in the vertebrate body form.

  11. Cervical Vertebral Body Chordoma in a Cat.

    PubMed

    Hampel, R; Taylor-Brown, F; Priestnall, S L

    2016-05-01

    A 9-year-old, neutered female Maine Coon cat with a 6-week history of progressive ataxia was diagnosed with a cervical vertebral body mass using magnetic resonance imaging. The mass displaced and compressed the cervical spinal cord. The cat was humanely destroyed and necropsy examination confirmed a mass within the second cervical vertebral body. Microscopically, the mass was composed of large, clear, vacuolated ('physaliferous') cells. Immunohistochemically, the neoplastic cells expressed both cytokeratin and vimentin and the final diagnosis was a cervical, vertebral body chordoma. This is only the third report of a chordoma in this species and the first in this location. Chordoma should be considered as a potential differential diagnosis for tumours arising from the cervical vertebrae in the cat.

  12. Chitin is endogenously produced in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Tang, W Joyce; Fernandez, Javier; Sohn, Joel J; Amemiya, Chris T

    2015-03-30

    Chitin, a biopolymer of N-acetylglucosamine, is abundant in invertebrates and fungi and is an important structural molecule [1, 2]. There has been a longstanding belief that vertebrates do not produce chitin; however, we have obtained compelling evidence to the contrary. Chitin synthase genes are present in numerous fishes and amphibians, and chitin is localized in situ to the lumen of the developing zebrafish gut, in epithelial cells of fish scales, and in at least three different cell types in larval salamander appendages. Chitin synthase gene knockdowns and various histochemical experiments in zebrafish further authenticated our results. Finally, a polysaccharide was extracted from scales of salmon that exhibited all the chemical hallmarks of chitin. Our data and analyses demonstrate the existence of endogenous chitin in vertebrates and suggest that it serves multiple roles in vertebrate biology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Three Distinct Glutamate Decarboxylase Genes in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Grone, Brian P.; Maruska, Karen P.

    2016-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a widely conserved signaling molecule that in animals has been adapted as a neurotransmitter. GABA is synthesized from the amino acid glutamate by the action of glutamate decarboxylases (GADs). Two vertebrate genes, GAD1 and GAD2, encode distinct GAD proteins: GAD67 and GAD65, respectively. We have identified a third vertebrate GAD gene, GAD3. This gene is conserved in fishes as well as tetrapods. We analyzed protein sequence, gene structure, synteny, and phylogenetics to identify GAD3 as a homolog of GAD1 and GAD2. Interestingly, we found that GAD3 was lost in the hominid lineage. Because of the importance of GABA as a neurotransmitter, GAD3 may play important roles in vertebrate nervous systems. PMID:27461130

  14. Chitin is endogenously produced in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, Joel J.; Amemiya, Chris T.

    2015-01-01

    Chitin, a biopolymer of N-acetylglucosamine, is abundant in invertebrates and fungi, and is an important structural molecule. There has been a longstanding belief that vertebrates do not produce chitin, however, we have obtained compelling evidence to the contrary. Chitin synthase genes are present in numerous fishes and amphibians, and chitin is localized in situ to the lumen of the developing zebrafish gut, in epithelial cells of fish scales, and in at least three different cell types in larval salamander appendages. Chitin synthase gene knockdowns and various histochemical experiments in zebrafish further authenticated our results. Finally, a polysaccharide was extracted from scales of salmon that exhibited all the chemical hallmarks of chitin. Our data and analyses demonstrate the existence of endogenous chitin in vertebrates and suggest that it serves multiple roles in vertebrate biology. PMID:25772447

  15. The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Frater, Nakita; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Berger, Lee R

    2013-04-12

    Two partial vertebral columns of Australopithecus sediba grant insight into aspects of early hominin spinal mobility, lumbar curvature, vertebral formula, and transitional vertebra position. Au. sediba likely possessed five non-rib-bearing lumbar vertebrae and five sacral elements, the same configuration that occurs modally in modern humans. This finding contrasts with other interpretations of early hominin regional vertebral numbers. Importantly, the transitional vertebra is distinct from and above the last rib-bearing vertebra in Au. sediba, resulting in a functionally longer lower back. This configuration, along with a strongly wedged last lumbar vertebra and other indicators of lordotic posture, would have contributed to a highly flexible spine that is derived compared with earlier members of the genus Australopithecus and similar to that of the Nariokotome Homo erectus skeleton.

  16. Invertebrate mucous secretions: functional alternatives to vertebrate paradigms.

    PubMed

    Denny, M W

    1989-01-01

    Invertebrates use mucus in a far broader spectrum of functions than do vertebrates. Examples include: 1. Navigation. The slime trails of grastropods often contain directional information that is used in homing, mating, and predation. 2. Defense. Many invertebrates coat themselves with slippery, distasteful mucus secretions to ward off predators. 3. Desiccation resistance. Limpets and terrestrial snails use a thin barrier of dry mucus as a mechanism for minimizing desiccation. 4. Structural support. Mucus functions as a tensile structural element in feeding nets and mating ropes. A preliminary analysis of these structures indicates that tensile stiffnesses of 10(4)-10(5) N/m2 may be common. 5. Food. The production of mucus can account for up to 80% of the total energy expenditure of some invertebrates. Mucus is often used as a food source, and in some cases is used to enhance the growth of food items. 6. Locomotion. The adhesive locomotion of gastropods is dependent on the unusual mechanical properties of pedal mucus. These properties may set limits to the size and speed of snails and slugs.

  17. Multifocal lenses compensate for chromatic defocus in vertebrate eyes.

    PubMed

    Kröger, R H; Campbell, M C; Fernald, R D; Wagner, H J

    1999-04-01

    The focal length of the vertebrate eye is a function of wavelength, i.e. the eye suffers from longitudinal chromatic aberration. Chromatic defocus is a particularly severe problem in eyes with high light-gathering ability, since depth of field is small due to a pupillary opening that is large in relation to the focal length of the eye. Calculations show that in such eyes only a narrow spectral band of light can be in focus on the retina. For the major part of the visual spectrum, spatial resolution should be limited by the optics of the eye and far lower than the resolving power achievable by the retinal cone photoreceptor mosaic. To solve this problem, fishes with irises unresponsive to light have developed lenses with multiple focal lengths. Well-focused images are created at the wavelengths of maximum absorbance of all spectral cone types. Multifocal lenses also appear to be present in some terrestrial species. In eyes with mobile irises, multifocal lenses are correlated with pupil shapes that allow all zones of the lens, with different refractive powers, to participate in the imaging process, irrespective of the state of pupil constriction.

  18. Inferring Amazonian Environmental History from Vertebrate Phylogenies and Timetrees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cracraft, J.

    2016-12-01

    Although our understanding of the causal linkages between Amazonian geological and biotic histories remains at an early stage, recent advances across disciplines are revealing new evidence for these linkages at different spatiotemporal scales. Multiple recent studies support the idea that the modern Amazonian drainage system is Plio-Pleistocene in age. That view is corroborated by numerous biogeographic analyses showing that the phylogenetic relationships of the taxa match the predicted age-patterns of biotas endemic to interfluvia. In addition, timetrees based on fossil-calibrated phylogenies using slow nuclear genes produce ages for many species-level taxa that are consistent with this Plio-Pleistocene age. At the same time, timetrees of large clades show that many vertebrate lineages have been present in South America and in particular, in Amazonia, for tens of millions of years, and are far older than the current drainage system. The question therefore arises: what did the terrestrial landscape look like prior to the formation of the drainage system and where were these more ancient biotas distributed? We use time-calibrated phylogenies of birds to tease-apart their temporal and spatial history in order to reconstruct the distribution of more ancient terra firme forest. These time-calibrated phylogenies can also help establish causal associations between the large-scale diversification of lineages across space with processes such as Andean orogeny or with patterns of long-term secular climate and environmental change.

  19. The evolution of early vertebrate photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Collin, Shaun P.; Davies, Wayne L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.

    2009-01-01

    Meeting the challenge of sampling an ancient aquatic landscape by the early vertebrates was crucial to their survival and would establish a retinal bauplan to be used by all subsequent vertebrate descendents. Image-forming eyes were under tremendous selection pressure and the ability to identify suitable prey and detect potential predators was thought to be one of the major drivers of speciation in the Early Cambrian. Based on the fossil record, we know that hagfishes, lampreys, holocephalans, elasmobranchs and lungfishes occupy critical stages in vertebrate evolution, having remained relatively unchanged over hundreds of millions of years. Now using extant representatives of these ‘living fossils’, we are able to piece together the evolution of vertebrate photoreception. While photoreception in hagfishes appears to be based on light detection and controlling circadian rhythms, rather than image formation, the photoreceptors of lampreys fall into five distinct classes and represent a critical stage in the dichotomy of rods and cones. At least four types of retinal cones sample the visual environment in lampreys mediating photopic (and potentially colour) vision, a sampling strategy retained by lungfishes, some modern teleosts, reptiles and birds. Trichromacy is retained in cartilaginous fishes (at least in batoids and holocephalans), where it is predicted that true scotopic (dim light) vision evolved in the common ancestor of all living gnathostomes. The capacity to discriminate colour and balance the tradeoff between resolution and sensitivity in the early vertebrates was an important driver of eye evolution, where many of the ocular features evolved were retained as vertebrates progressed on to land. PMID:19720654

  20. Roles for FGF in lamprey pharyngeal pouch formation and skeletogenesis highlight ancestral functions in the vertebrate head.

    PubMed

    Jandzik, David; Hawkins, M Brent; Cattell, Maria V; Cerny, Robert; Square, Tyler A; Medeiros, Daniel M

    2014-02-01

    A defining feature of vertebrates (craniates) is a pronounced head supported and protected by a cellularized endoskeleton. In jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes), the head skeleton is made of rigid three-dimensional elements connected by joints. By contrast, the head skeleton of modern jawless vertebrates (agnathans) consists of thin rods of flexible cellular cartilage, a condition thought to reflect the ancestral vertebrate state. To better understand the origin and evolution of the gnathostome head skeleton, we have been analyzing head skeleton development in the agnathan, lamprey. The fibroblast growth factors FGF3 and FGF8 have various roles during head development in jawed vertebrates, including pharyngeal pouch morphogenesis, patterning of the oral skeleton and chondrogenesis. We isolated lamprey homologs of FGF3, FGF8 and FGF receptors and asked whether these functions are ancestral features of vertebrate development or gnathostome novelties. Using gene expression and pharmacological agents, we found that proper formation of the lamprey head skeleton requires two phases of FGF signaling: an early phase during which FGFs drive pharyngeal pouch formation, and a later phase when they directly regulate skeletal differentiation and patterning. In the context of gene expression and functional studies in gnathostomes, our results suggest that these roles for FGFs arose in the first vertebrates and that the evolution of the jaw and gnathostome cellular cartilage was driven by changes developmentally downstream from pharyngeal FGF signaling.

  1. Formation of the terrestrial planets from planetesimals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetherill, George W.

    1991-01-01

    Formation of the terrestrial planets from planetesimals is discussed. The following subject areas are covered: (1) formation of the original planetesimals; (2) growth of planetesimals into planetary embryos; and (3) growth of runaway planetary embryos into terrestrial planets.

  2. Renal-vertebral index in normal children.

    PubMed Central

    Bacopoulos, C; Papahatzi-Kalmadi, M; Karpathios, T; Thomaidis, T; Matsaniotis, N

    1981-01-01

    The renal-vertebral index is a simple method of evaluating the renal length in children and is convenient for everyday clinical work. The results of 822 normal children aged between 3 days and 14 years are reported. Infants of up to 1 year were found to have an index of about 4 to 5, pre-school children are an index of 3 1/2 to 4 1/2, and schoolchildren an index of 3 1/2 to 4. There was no significant difference in renal-vertebral index between boys and girls. Images Fig. 1 PMID:7259261

  3. Scenarios for the making of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Holland, Nicholas D; Holland, Linda Z; Holland, Peter W H

    2015-04-23

    Over the past 200 years, almost every invertebrate phylum has been proposed as a starting point for evolving vertebrates. Most of these scenarios are outdated, but several are still seriously considered. The short-range transition from ancestral invertebrate chordates (similar to amphioxus and tunicates) to vertebrates is well accepted. However, longer-range transitions leading up to the invertebrate chordates themselves are more controversial. Opinion is divided between the annelid and the enteropneust scenarios, predicting, respectively, a complex or a simple ancestor for bilaterian animals. Deciding between these ideas will be facilitated by further comparative studies of multicellular animals, including enigmatic taxa such as xenacoelomorphs.

  4. Complex osteotomies vertebral column resection and decancellation.

    PubMed

    Obeid, Ibrahim; Bourghli, Anouar; Boissière, Louis; Vital, Jean-Marc; Barrey, Cédric

    2014-07-01

    Pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) is nowadays widely used to treat sagittal imbalance. Some complex malalignment cases cannot be treated by a PSO, whereas the imbalance is coronal or mixed or the sagittal imbalance is major and cannot be treated by a single PSO. The aim of this article was to review these complex situations--coronal imbalance, mixed imbalance, two-level PSO, vertebral column resection, and vertebral column decancellation, and to focus on their specificities. It wills also to evoke the utility of navigation in these complex cases.

  5. Coupling between the spinal cord and cervical vertebral column under tensile loading.

    PubMed

    Kroeker, Shannon G; Ching, Randal P

    2013-02-22

    Current neck injury criteria are based on structural failure of the spinal (vertebral) column without consideration of injury to the spinal cord. Since one of the primary functions of the vertebral column is to protect the cord, it stands to reason that a more refined measure of neck injury threshold would be the onset of spinal cord injury (SCI). This study investigated the relationship between axial strains in the cervical vertebral column and the spinal cord using an in vitro primate model (n=10) under continuous tensile loading. Mean failure loads occurred at 1951.5±396N with failure strains in the vertebral column of 16±5% at the level of failure. Average tensile strains in the spinal cord at failure were 11±5% resulting in a mean coupling ratio of 0.54±0.17 between C1 and C7. The level of peak strain measured in the spinal cord did not always occur at the location of vertebral column failure. Spinal cord strains were less than spine strains and coupling ratios were not significantly different along the length of the spine. The largest coupling ratio was measured in the atlanto-occipital joint whereas the smallest coupling ratio occurred at the adjacent C1-C2 joint. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Prioritizing islands for the eradication of invasive vertebrates in the United Kingdom overseas territories.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Jeffrey; Oppel, Steffen; Cuthbert, Richard J; Holmes, Nick; Bird, Jeremy P; Butchart, Stuart H M; Spatz, Dena R; Tershy, Bernie

    2015-02-01

    Invasive alien species are one of the primary threats to native biodiversity on islands worldwide. Consequently, eradicating invasive species from islands has become a mainstream conservation practice. Deciding which islands have the highest priority for eradication is of strategic importance to allocate limited resources to achieve maximum conservation benefit. Previous island prioritizations focused either on a narrow set of native species or on a small geographic area. We devised a prioritization approach that incorporates all threatened native terrestrial vertebrates and all invasive terrestrial vertebrates occurring on 11 U.K. overseas territories, which comprise over 2000 islands ranging from the sub-Antarctic to the tropics. Our approach includes eradication feasibility and distinguishes between the potential and realistic conservation value of an eradication, which reflects the benefit that would accrue following eradication of either all invasive species or only those species for which eradication techniques currently exist. We identified the top 25 priority islands for invasive species eradication that together would benefit extant populations of 155 native species including 45 globally threatened species. The 5 most valuable islands included the 2 World Heritage islands Gough (South Atlantic) and Henderson (South Pacific) that feature unique seabird colonies, and Anegada, Little Cayman, and Guana Island in the Caribbean that feature a unique reptile fauna. This prioritization can be rapidly repeated if new information or techniques become available, and the approach could be replicated elsewhere in the world. © 2014 Crown copyright. Conservation Biology © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. gammaN-crystallin and the evolution of the betagamma-crystallin superfamily in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Wistow, Graeme; Wyatt, Keith; David, Larry; Gao, Chun; Bateman, Orval; Bernstein, Steven; Tomarev, Stanislav; Segovia, Lorenzo; Slingsby, Christine; Vihtelic, Thomas

    2005-05-01

    The beta and gamma crystallins are evolutionarily related families of proteins that make up a large part of the refractive structure of the vertebrate eye lens. Each family has a distinctive gene structure that reflects a history of successive gene duplications. A survey of gamma-crystallins expressed in mammal, reptile, bird and fish species (particularly in the zebrafish, Danio rerio) has led to the discovery of gammaN-crystallin, an evolutionary bridge between the beta and gamma families. In all species examined, gammaN-crystallins have a hybrid gene structure, half beta and half gamma, and thus appear to be the 'missing link' between the beta and gamma crystallin lineages. Overall, there are four major classes of gamma-crystallin: the terrestrial group (including mammalian gammaA-F); the aquatic group (the fish gammaM-crystallins); the gammaS group; and the novel gammaN group. Like the evolutionarily ancient beta-crystallins (but unlike the terrestrial gammaA-F and aquatic gammaM groups), both the gammaS and gammaN crystallins form distinct clades with members in fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. In rodents, gammaN is expressed in nuclear fibers of the lens and, perhaps hinting at an ancestral role for the gamma-crystallins, also in the retina. Although well conserved throughout vertebrate evolution, gammaN in primates has apparently undergone major changes and possible loss of functional expression.

  8. Long-term solar-terrestrial observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The results of an 18-month study of the requirements for long-term monitoring and archiving of solar-terrestrial data is presented. The value of long-term solar-terrestrial observations is discussed together with parameters, associated measurements, and observational problem areas in each of the solar-terrestrial links (the sun, the interplanetary medium, the magnetosphere, and the thermosphere-ionosphere). Some recommendations are offered for coordinated planning for long-term solar-terrestrial observations.

  9. Terrestrial hyperspectral image shadow restoration through fusion with terrestrial lidar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartzell, Preston J.; Glennie, Craig L.; Finnegan, David C.; Hauser, Darren L.

    2017-05-01

    Recent advances in remote sensing technology have expanded the acquisition and fusion of active lidar and passive hyperspectral imagery (HSI) from exclusively airborne observations to include terrestrial modalities. In contrast to airborne collection geometry, hyperspectral imagery captured from terrestrial cameras is prone to extensive solar shadowing on vertical surfaces leading to reductions in pixel classification accuracies or outright removal of shadowed areas from subsequent analysis tasks. We demonstrate the use of lidar spatial information for sub-pixel HSI shadow detection and the restoration of shadowed pixel spectra via empirical methods that utilize sunlit and shadowed pixels of similar material composition. We examine the effectiveness of radiometrically calibrated lidar intensity in identifying these similar materials in sun and shade conditions and further evaluate a restoration technique that leverages ratios derived from the overlapping lidar laser and HSI wavelengths. Simulations of multiple lidar wavelengths, i.e., multispectral lidar, indicate the potential for HSI spectral restoration that is independent of the complexity and costs associated with rigorous radiometric transfer models, which have yet to be developed for horizontal-viewing terrestrial HSI sensors. The spectral restoration performance of shadowed HSI pixels is quantified for imagery of a geologic outcrop through improvements in spectral shape, spectral scale, and HSI band correlation.

  10. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation for painful osteolytic vertebral metastasis: a case report

    PubMed Central

    Anselmetti, Giovanni C; Tutton, Sean M; Facchini, Francis R; Miller, Larry E; Block, Jon E

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Vertebral metastases are associated with significant pain, disability, and morbidity. Open surgery for fracture stabilization is often inappropriate in this population due to a poor risk-benefit profile, particularly if life expectancy is short. Percutaneous vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are appealing adjunctive procedures in patients with malignancy for alleviation of intractable pain. However, these patients have higher risk of serious complications, notably cement extravasation. Described in this report is a case of a painful osteolytic vertebral metastasis that was successfully treated by a novel percutaneous vertebral augmentation system. Case presentation A 42-year-old Caucasian female presented with a history of metastatic lung cancer unresponsive to radiation and chemotherapy with symptoms inadequately controlled by opiates over the previous 6 months. Magnetic resonance imaging and spiral computed tomography with two-dimensional reconstruction showed an osteolytic vertebral metastasis with complete involvement of the T10 vertebral body, extending to the cortical vertebral wall anteriorly and posteriorly. The patient was treated with percutaneous vertebral augmentation (Kiva® VCF Treatment System, Benvenue Medical, Inc, Santa Clara, CA) utilizing a novel coil-shaped polyetheretherketone implant designed to minimize the risk of cement extravasation. After the minimally invasive procedure, bone cement distribution within the vertebral body was ideal, with no observed cement extravasation. No complications were reported, pain completely resolved within 24 hours, and use of intravenous narcotics was progressively diminished within 1 week. Complete pain relief was maintained throughout 4 months of follow-up. Conclusion The Kiva System represents a novel and effective minimally invasive treatment option for patients suffering from severe pain due to osteolytic vertebral metastasis. PMID:23754917

  11. Global patterns in post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Peco, Begoña; Laffan, Shawn W; Moles, Angela T

    2014-01-01

    It is commonly accepted that species interactions such as granivory are more intense in the tropics. However, this has rarely been tested. A global dataset of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates for 79 native plant species from semi-natural and natural terrestrial habitats ranging from 55° N to 45° S, was compiled from the global literature to test the hypothesis that post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates is more intense at lower latitudes. We also quantified the relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates and by invertebrates to global climatic features including temperature, actual evapotranspiration (AET) and rainfall seasonality. Linear mixed effect models were applied to describe the relationships between seed removal and latitude, hemisphere and climatic variables controlling for the effect of seed mass. Post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates was negatively related to latitude. In contrast, post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates was positively but weakly related to latitude. Mean annual temperature and actual evapotranspiration were positively related to post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates, but not to post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates, which was only marginally negatively related to rainfall seasonality. The inclusion of seed mass improved the fit of all models, but the term for seed mass was not significant in any model. Although a good climatic model for predicting post-dispersal seed predation by vertebrates at the global level was not found, our results suggest different and opposite latitudinal patterns of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates vs vertebrates. This is the first time that a negative relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and latitude, and a positive relationship with temperature and AET have been documented at a global-scale. These results have important implications for understanding global patterns in plant

  12. Global Patterns in Post-Dispersal Seed Removal by Invertebrates and Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Peco, Begoña; Laffan, Shawn W.; Moles, Angela T.

    2014-01-01

    It is commonly accepted that species interactions such as granivory are more intense in the tropics. However, this has rarely been tested. A global dataset of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates for 79 native plant species from semi-natural and natural terrestrial habitats ranging from 55° N to 45° S, was compiled from the global literature to test the hypothesis that post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates is more intense at lower latitudes. We also quantified the relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates and by invertebrates to global climatic features including temperature, actual evapotranspiration (AET) and rainfall seasonality. Linear mixed effect models were applied to describe the relationships between seed removal and latitude, hemisphere and climatic variables controlling for the effect of seed mass. Post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates was negatively related to latitude. In contrast, post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates was positively but weakly related to latitude. Mean annual temperature and actual evapotranspiration were positively related to post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates, but not to post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates, which was only marginally negatively related to rainfall seasonality. The inclusion of seed mass improved the fit of all models, but the term for seed mass was not significant in any model. Although a good climatic model for predicting post-dispersal seed predation by vertebrates at the global level was not found, our results suggest different and opposite latitudinal patterns of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates vs vertebrates. This is the first time that a negative relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and latitude, and a positive relationship with temperature and AET have been documented at a global-scale. These results have important implications for understanding global patterns in plant

  13. Climate change and body size trends in aquatic and terrestrial endotherms: Does habitat matter?

    PubMed

    Naya, Daniel E; Naya, Hugo; Cook, Joseph

    2017-01-01

    Several studies have claimed that reduction in body size comprises a nearly universal response to global warming; however, doubts about the validity of this pattern for endothermic species have been raised recently. Accordingly, we assessed temporal changes in body mass for 27 bird and 17 mammal species, to evaluate if a reduction in body size during the 20th century is a widespread phenomenon among endothermic vertebrates. In addition, we tested if there are differences in the temporal change in size between birds and mammals, aquatic and terrestrial species, and the first and second half of the 20th century. Overall, six species increased their body mass, 21 species showed no significant changes in size, and 17 species decreased their body mass during the 20th century. Temporal changes in body mass were similar for birds and mammals, but strongly differ between aquatic and terrestrial species: while most of the aquatic species increased or did not change in body mass, most terrestrial species decreased in size. In addition, we found that, at least in terrestrial birds, the mean value of the correlation between body mass and year of collection differs between the first half and the second half of the 20th century, being close to zero for the former period but negative for the later one. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing that temporal changes in body mass differ between aquatic and terrestrial species in both mammals and birds.

  14. Climate change and body size trends in aquatic and terrestrial endotherms: Does habitat matter?

    PubMed Central

    Naya, Hugo; Cook, Joseph

    2017-01-01

    Several studies have claimed that reduction in body size comprises a nearly universal response to global warming; however, doubts about the validity of this pattern for endothermic species have been raised recently. Accordingly, we assessed temporal changes in body mass for 27 bird and 17 mammal species, to evaluate if a reduction in body size during the 20th century is a widespread phenomenon among endothermic vertebrates. In addition, we tested if there are differences in the temporal change in size between birds and mammals, aquatic and terrestrial species, and the first and second half of the 20th century. Overall, six species increased their body mass, 21 species showed no significant changes in size, and 17 species decreased their body mass during the 20th century. Temporal changes in body mass were similar for birds and mammals, but strongly differ between aquatic and terrestrial species: while most of the aquatic species increased or did not change in body mass, most terrestrial species decreased in size. In addition, we found that, at least in terrestrial birds, the mean value of the correlation between body mass and year of collection differs between the first half and the second half of the 20th century, being close to zero for the former period but negative for the later one. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing that temporal changes in body mass differ between aquatic and terrestrial species in both mammals and birds. PMID:28813491

  15. Percutaneous ethanol embolization and cement augmentation of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas at two adjacent vertebral levels.

    PubMed

    Cianfoni, Alessandro; Massari, Francesco; Dani, Genta; Lena, Jonathan R; Rumboldt, Zoran; Vandergrift, William A; Bonaldi, Giuseppe

    2014-10-01

    This report describes a case of successful percutaneous direct-puncture ethanol embolization, followed by vertebroplasty, of an aggressive vertebral hemangioma (VH) involving two adjacent thoracic vertebral levels. In this case, the 78-year-old male patient presented with a 6-month history of progressive paraparesis due to spinal cord compression by a T8-T9 VH with an extensive epidural component. Follow-up demonstrated epidural component shrinkage with complete regression of symptoms at 3 months. This case suggests that exclusive percutaneous treatment may be considered for symptomatic VH even when two adjacent vertebral levels are affected.

  16. Repeated vertebral augmentation for new vertebral compression fractures of postvertebral augmentation patients: a nationwide cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Cheng-Loong; Wang, Hao-Kwan; Syu, Fei-Kai; Wang, Kuo-Wei; Lu, Kang; Liliang, Po-Chou

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Postvertebral augmentation vertebral compression fractures are common; repeated vertebral augmentation is usually performed for prompt pain relief. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence and risk factors of repeat vertebral augmentation. Methods We performed a retrospective, nationwide, population-based longitudinal observation study, using the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) of Taiwan. All patients who received vertebral augmentation for vertebral compression fractures were evaluated. The collected data included patient characteristics (demographics, comorbidities, and medication exposure) and repeat vertebral augmentation. Kaplan–Meier and stratified Cox proportional hazard regressions were performed for analyses. Results The overall incidence of repeat vertebral augmentation was 11.3% during the follow-up until 2010. Patients with the following characteristics were at greater risk for repeat vertebral augmentation: female sex (AOR=1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–2.36), advanced age (AOR=1.60; 95% CI: 1.32–2.08), diabetes mellitus (AOR=4.31; 95% CI: 4.05–5.88), cerebrovascular disease (AOR=4.09; 95% CI: 3.44–5.76), dementia (AOR=1.97; 95% CI: 1.69–2.33), blindness or low vision (AOR=3.72; 95% CI: 2.32–3.95), hypertension (AOR=2.58; 95% CI: 2.35–3.47), and hyperlipidemia (AOR=2.09; 95% CI: 1.67–2.22). Patients taking calcium/vitamin D (AOR=2.98; 95% CI: 1.83–3.93), bisphosphonates (AOR=2.11; 95% CI: 1.26–2.61), or calcitonin (AOR=4.59; 95% CI: 3.40–5.77) were less likely to undergo repeat vertebral augmentation; however, those taking steroids (AOR=7.28; 95% CI: 6.32–8.08), acetaminophen (AOR=3.54; 95% CI: 2.75–4.83), or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (AOR=6.14; 95% CI: 5.08–7.41) were more likely to undergo repeat vertebral augmentation. Conclusion We conclude that the incidence of repeat vertebral augmentation is rather high. An understanding of risk factors predicting repeat

  17. Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines

    PubMed Central

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2017-01-01

    The population extinction pulse we describe here shows, from a quantitative viewpoint, that Earth’s sixth mass extinction is more severe than perceived when looking exclusively at species extinctions. Therefore, humanity needs to address anthropogenic population extirpation and decimation immediately. That conclusion is based on analyses of the numbers and degrees of range contraction (indicative of population shrinkage and/or population extinctions according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature) using a sample of 27,600 vertebrate species, and on a more detailed analysis documenting the population extinctions between 1900 and 2015 in 177 mammal species. We find that the rate of population loss in terrestrial vertebrates is extremely high—even in “species of low concern.” In our sample, comprising nearly half of known vertebrate species, 32% (8,851/27,600) are decreasing; that is, they have decreased in population size and range. In the 177 mammals for which we have detailed data, all have lost 30% or more of their geographic ranges and more than 40% of the species have experienced severe population declines (>80% range shrinkage). Our data indicate that beyond global species extinctions Earth is experiencing a huge episode of population declines and extirpations, which will have negative cascading consequences on ecosystem functioning and services vital to sustaining civilization. We describe this as a “biological annihilation” to highlight the current magnitude of Earth’s ongoing sixth major extinction event. PMID:28696295

  18. Quaternary vertebrate faunas from Sumba, Indonesia: implications for Wallacean biogeography and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Crees, Jennifer J.; Hansford, James; Jeffree, Timothy E.; Crumpton, Nick; Kurniawan, Iwan; Setiyabudi, Erick; Paranggarimu, Umbu; Dosseto, Anthony; van den Bergh, Gerrit D.

    2017-01-01

    Historical patterns of diversity, biogeography and faunal turnover remain poorly understood for Wallacea, the biologically and geologically complex island region between the Asian and Australian continental shelves. A distinctive Quaternary vertebrate fauna containing the small-bodied hominin Homo floresiensis, pygmy Stegodon proboscideans, varanids and giant murids has been described from Flores, but Quaternary faunas are poorly known from most other Lesser Sunda Islands. We report the discovery of extensive new fossil vertebrate collections from Pleistocene and Holocene deposits on Sumba, a large Wallacean island situated less than 50 km south of Flores. A fossil assemblage recovered from a Pleistocene deposit at Lewapaku in the interior highlands of Sumba, which may be close to 1 million years old, contains a series of skeletal elements of a very small Stegodon referable to S. sumbaensis, a tooth attributable to Varanus komodoensis, and fragmentary remains of unidentified giant murids. Holocene cave deposits at Mahaniwa dated to approximately 2000–3500 BP yielded extensive material of two new genera of endemic large-bodied murids, as well as fossils of an extinct frugivorous varanid. This new baseline for reconstructing Wallacean faunal histories reveals that Sumba's Quaternary vertebrate fauna, although phylogenetically distinctive, was comparable in diversity and composition to the Quaternary fauna of Flores, suggesting that similar assemblages may have characterized Quaternary terrestrial ecosystems on many or all of the larger Lesser Sunda Islands. PMID:28855367

  19. Quaternary vertebrate faunas from Sumba, Indonesia: implications for Wallacean biogeography and evolution.

    PubMed

    Turvey, Samuel T; Crees, Jennifer J; Hansford, James; Jeffree, Timothy E; Crumpton, Nick; Kurniawan, Iwan; Setiyabudi, Erick; Guillerme, Thomas; Paranggarimu, Umbu; Dosseto, Anthony; van den Bergh, Gerrit D

    2017-08-30

    Historical patterns of diversity, biogeography and faunal turnover remain poorly understood for Wallacea, the biologically and geologically complex island region between the Asian and Australian continental shelves. A distinctive Quaternary vertebrate fauna containing the small-bodied hominin Homo floresiensis, pygmy Stegodon proboscideans, varanids and giant murids has been described from Flores, but Quaternary faunas are poorly known from most other Lesser Sunda Islands. We report the discovery of extensive new fossil vertebrate collections from Pleistocene and Holocene deposits on Sumba, a large Wallacean island situated less than 50 km south of Flores. A fossil assemblage recovered from a Pleistocene deposit at Lewapaku in the interior highlands of Sumba, which may be close to 1 million years old, contains a series of skeletal elements of a very small Stegodon referable to S. sumbaensis, a tooth attributable to Varanus komodoensis, and fragmentary remains of unidentified giant murids. Holocene cave deposits at Mahaniwa dated to approximately 2000-3500 BP yielded extensive material of two new genera of endemic large-bodied murids, as well as fossils of an extinct frugivorous varanid. This new baseline for reconstructing Wallacean faunal histories reveals that Sumba's Quaternary vertebrate fauna, although phylogenetically distinctive, was comparable in diversity and composition to the Quaternary fauna of Flores, suggesting that similar assemblages may have characterized Quaternary terrestrial ecosystems on many or all of the larger Lesser Sunda Islands. © 2017 The Authors.

  20. Did Language Evolve Like the Vertebrate Eye?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botha, Rudolf P.

    2002-01-01

    Offers a critical appraisal of the way in which the idea that human language or some of its features evolved like the vertebrate eye by natural selection is articulated in Pinker and Bloom's (1990) selectionist account of language evolution. Argues that this account is less than insightful because it fails to draw some of the conceptual…

  1. Why can't vertebrates synthesize trehalose?

    PubMed

    Argüelles, Juan-Carlos

    2014-10-01

    The non-reducing disaccharide trehalose is a singular molecule, which has been strictly conserved throughout evolution in prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea), lower eukaryotes, plants, and invertebrates, but is absent in vertebrates and-more specifically-in mammals. There are notable differences regarding the pivotal roles played by trehalose among distantly related organisms as well as in the specific metabolic pathways of trehalose biosynthesis and/or hydrolysis, and the regulatory mechanisms that control trehalose expression genes and enzymatic activities. The success of trehalose compared with that of other structurally related molecules is attributed to its exclusive set of physical properties, which account for its physiological roles and have also promoted important biotechnological applications. However, an intriguing question still remains: why are vertebrates in general, and mammals in particular, unable (or have lost the capacity) to synthesize trehalose? The search for annotated genomes of vertebrates reveals the absence of any functional trehalose synthase gene. Indeed, this is also true for the human genome, which contains, however, two genes encoding for isoforms of the hydrolytic activity (trehalase). Although we still lack a convincing answer, this striking difference might reflect the divergent evolutionary lineages followed by invertebrates and vertebrates. Alternatively, some clinical data point to trehalose as a toxic molecule when stored inside the human body.

  2. Vertebrate Pest Control. Sale Publication 4077.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stimmann, M. W.; Clark, Dell O.

    This guide gives descriptions of common vertebrate pests and guidelines for using some common pesticides. The pests discussed are rats, mice, bats, moles, muskrats, ground squirrels, and gophers. Information is given for each pest on the type of damage the pest can do, the habitat and biology of the pest, and the most effective control methods.…

  3. Control of Vertebrate Pests of Agricultural Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wingard, Robert G.; Studholme, Clinton R.

    This agriculture extension service publication of Pennsylvania State University discusses the damage from and control of vertebrate pests. Specific discussions describe the habits, habitat, and various control measures for blackbirds and crows, deer, meadow and pine mice, European starlings, and woodchucks. Where confusion with non-harmful species…

  4. Ancestral vertebrate complexity of the opioid system.

    PubMed

    Larhammar, Dan; Bergqvist, Christina; Sundström, Görel

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of the opioid peptides and nociceptin/orphanin as well as their receptors has been difficult to resolve due to variable evolutionary rates. By combining sequence comparisons with information on the chromosomal locations of the genes, we have deduced the following evolutionary scenario: The vertebrate predecessor had one opioid precursor gene and one receptor gene. The two genome doublings before the vertebrate radiation resulted in three peptide precursor genes whereupon a fourth copy arose by a local gene duplication. These four precursors diverged to become the prepropeptides for endorphin (POMC), enkephalins, dynorphins, and nociceptin, respectively. The ancestral receptor gene was quadrupled in the genome doublings leading to delta, kappa, and mu and the nociceptin/orphanin receptor. This scenario is corroborated by new data presented here for coelacanth and spotted gar, representing two basal branches in the vertebrate tree. A third genome doubling in the ancestor of teleost fishes generated additional gene copies. These results show that the opioid system was quite complex already in the first vertebrates and that it has more components in teleost fishes than in mammals. From an evolutionary point of view, nociceptin and its receptor can be considered full-fledged members of the opioid system.

  5. Late development of hagfish vertebral elements.

    PubMed

    Ota, Kinya G; Fujimoto, Satoko; Oisi, Yasuhiro; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2013-05-01

    It has been demonstrated recently that hagfishes, one of two groups of extant jawless vertebrates, have cartilaginous vertebral elements. Embryological and gene expression analyses have also shown that this group of animals develops a sclerotome, the potential primordium of the axial skeleton. However, it has not been shown unequivocally that the hagfish sclerotome truly differentiates into cartilage, because access to late-stage embryos and information about the cartilaginous extracellular matrix (ECM) are lacking for these animals. Here we investigated the expression patterns of the biglycan/decorin (BGN/DCN) gene in the inshore hagfish, Eptatretus burgeri. The homologue of this gene encodes the major noncollagenous component of the cartilaginous ECM among gnathostomes. We clearly identified the expression of this gene in adult vertebral tissues and in embryonic mesenchymal cells on the ventral aspect of the notochord. Taking into account that the sclerotome in the gnathostomes expresses BGN/DCN gene during the chondrogenesis, it is highly expected the hagfish BGN/DCN-positive mesenchymal cells are derived from the sclerotomes. We propose that hagfishes and gnathostomes share conserved developmental mechanisms not only in their somite differentiation, but also in chondrogenesis of their vertebral elements. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. A Cambrian origin for vertebrate rods

    PubMed Central

    Asteriti, Sabrina; Grillner, Sten; Cangiano, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates acquired dim-light vision when an ancestral cone evolved into the rod photoreceptor at an unknown stage preceding the last common ancestor of extant jawed vertebrates (∼420 million years ago Ma). The jawless lampreys provide a unique opportunity to constrain the timing of this advance, as their line diverged ∼505 Ma and later displayed high-morphological stability. We recorded with patch electrodes the inner segment photovoltages and with suction electrodes the outer segment photocurrents of Lampetra fluviatilis retinal photoreceptors. Several key functional features of jawed vertebrate rods are present in their phylogenetically homologous photoreceptors in lamprey: crucially, the efficient amplification of the effect of single photons, measured by multiple parameters, and the flow of rod signals into cones. These results make convergent evolution in the jawless and jawed vertebrate lines unlikely and indicate an early origin of rods, implying strong selective pressure toward dim-light vision in Cambrian ecosystems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07166.001 PMID:26095697

  7. Diagnosis and Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Jason; Davis, Amy

    2016-07-01

    Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are the most common complication of osteoporosis, affecting more than 700,000 Americans annually. Fracture risk increases with age, with four in 10 white women older than 50 years experiencing a hip, spine, or vertebral fracture in their lifetime. VCFs can lead to chronic pain, disfigurement, height loss, impaired activities of daily living, increased risk of pressure sores, pneumonia, and psychological distress. Patients with an acute VCF may report abrupt onset of back pain with position changes, coughing, sneezing, or lifting. Physical examination findings are often normal, but can demonstrate kyphosis and midline spine tenderness. More than two-thirds of patients are asymptomatic and diagnosed incidentally on plain radiography. Acute VCFs may be treated with analgesics such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, and calcitonin. Physicians must be mindful of medication adverse effects in older patients. Other conservative therapeutic options include limited bed rest, bracing, physical therapy, nerve root blocks, and epidural injections. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation, including vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, is controversial, but can be considered in patients with inadequate pain relief with nonsurgical care or when persistent pain substantially affects quality of life. Family physicians can help prevent vertebral fractures through management of risk factors and the treatment of osteoporosis.

  8. Vertebrate Pest Control. Sale Publication 4077.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stimmann, M. W.; Clark, Dell O.

    This guide gives descriptions of common vertebrate pests and guidelines for using some common pesticides. The pests discussed are rats, mice, bats, moles, muskrats, ground squirrels, and gophers. Information is given for each pest on the type of damage the pest can do, the habitat and biology of the pest, and the most effective control methods.…

  9. Did Language Evolve Like the Vertebrate Eye?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botha, Rudolf P.

    2002-01-01

    Offers a critical appraisal of the way in which the idea that human language or some of its features evolved like the vertebrate eye by natural selection is articulated in Pinker and Bloom's (1990) selectionist account of language evolution. Argues that this account is less than insightful because it fails to draw some of the conceptual…

  10. Late Development of Hagfish Vertebral Elements

    PubMed Central

    Ota, Kinya G; Fujimoto, Satoko; Oisi, Yasuhiro; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2013-01-01

    It has been demonstrated recently that hagfishes, one of two groups of extant jawless vertebrates, have cartilaginous vertebral elements. Embryological and gene expression analyses have also shown that this group of animals develops a sclerotome, the potential primordium of the axial skeleton. However, it has not been shown unequivocally that the hagfish sclerotome truly differentiates into cartilage, because access to late-stage embryos and information about the cartilaginous extracellular matrix (ECM) are lacking for these animals. Here we investigated the expression patterns of the biglycan/decorin (BGN/DCN) gene in the inshore hagfish, Eptatretus burgeri. The homologue of this gene encodes the major noncollagenous component of the cartilaginous ECM among gnathostomes. We clearly identified the expression of this gene in adult vertebral tissues and in embryonic mesenchymal cells on the ventral aspect of the notochord. Taking into account that the sclerotome in the gnathostomes expresses BGN/DCN gene during the chondrogenesis, it is highly expected the hagfish BGN/DCN-positive mesenchymal cells are derived from the sclerotomes. We propose that hagfishes and gnathostomes share conserved developmental mechanisms not only in their somite differentiation, but also in chondrogenesis of their vertebral elements. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 320B:129–139, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:23401412

  11. Mast cells in nonmammalian vertebrates: an overview.

    PubMed

    Baccari, Gabriella Chieffi; Pinelli, Claudia; Santillo, Alessandra; Minucci, Sergio; Rastogi, Rakesh Kumar

    2011-01-01

    Mast cells are best known as multifunctional entities that may confer a benefit on immune system. This review presents the known facts on mast-cell system and breakthroughs in mast-cell biology in fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. As compared to mammals, there are relatively few data available on mast cells in many nonmammalian vertebrates. Nevertheless, like in mammals, mast cells in nonmammalian vertebrates contain a wide range of bioactive compounds including histamine, heparin, neuropeptides, and neutral proteases. In bony fishes, these cells secrete antimicrobial peptides as well. Mast cells have a widespread distribution in the brain, endocrine glands, intestine, liver, kidney, skin, tongue, and lungs, the highest concentration occurring in different tissues in the different taxa. Currently, researchers are grappling with the nature of scientific support to substantiate the functional importance of mast cells in nonmammalian vertebrates. Ultimately, the origin and evolution of vertebrate mast cell is of great interest to comparative immunologists seeking an underlying trend in the phylogenetic development of immunity.

  12. VerSeDa: vertebrate secretome database

    PubMed Central

    Cortazar, Ana R.; Oguiza, José A.

    2017-01-01

    Based on the current tools, de novo secretome (full set of proteins secreted by an organism) prediction is a time consuming bioinformatic task that requires a multifactorial analysis in order to obtain reliable in silico predictions. Hence, to accelerate this process and offer researchers a reliable repository where secretome information can be obtained for vertebrates and model organisms, we have developed VerSeDa (Vertebrate Secretome Database). This freely available database stores information about proteins that are predicted to be secreted through the classical and non-classical mechanisms, for the wide range of vertebrate species deposited at the NCBI, UCSC and ENSEMBL sites. To our knowledge, VerSeDa is the only state-of-the-art database designed to store secretome data from multiple vertebrate genomes, thus, saving an important amount of time spent in the prediction of protein features that can be retrieved from this repository directly. Database URL: VerSeDa is freely available at http://genomics.cicbiogune.es/VerSeDa/index.php PMID:28365718

  13. VerSeDa: vertebrate secretome database.

    PubMed

    Cortazar, Ana R; Oguiza, José A; Aransay, Ana M; Lavín, José L

    2017-01-01

    Based on the current tools, de novo secretome (full set of proteins secreted by an organism) prediction is a time consuming bioinformatic task that requires a multifactorial analysis in order to obtain reliable in silico predictions. Hence, to accelerate this process and offer researchers a reliable repository where secretome information can be obtained for vertebrates and model organisms, we have developed VerSeDa (Vertebrate Secretome Database). This freely available database stores information about proteins that are predicted to be secreted through the classical and non-classical mechanisms, for the wide range of vertebrate species deposited at the NCBI, UCSC and ENSEMBL sites. To our knowledge, VerSeDa is the only state-of-the-art database designed to store secretome data from multiple vertebrate genomes, thus, saving an important amount of time spent in the prediction of protein features that can be retrieved from this repository directly. VerSeDa is freely available at http://genomics.cicbiogune.es/VerSeDa/index.php.

  14. Pleistocene vertebrates of the Yukon Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harington, C. R.

    2011-08-01

    Unglaciated parts of the Yukon constitute one of the most important areas in North America for yielding Pleistocene vertebrate fossils. Nearly 30 vertebrate faunal localities are reviewed spanning a period of about 1.6 Ma (million years ago) to the close of the Pleistocene some 10 000 BP (radiocarbon years before present, taken as 1950). The vertebrate fossils represent at least 8 species of fishes, 1 amphibian, 41 species of birds and 83 species of mammals. Dominant among the large mammals are: steppe bison ( Bison priscus), horse ( Equus sp.), woolly mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius), and caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) - signature species of the Mammoth Steppe fauna ( Fig. 1), which was widespread from the British Isles, through northern Europe, and Siberia to Alaska, Yukon and adjacent Northwest Territories. The Yukon faunas extend from Herschel Island in the north to Revenue Creek in the south and from the Alaskan border in the west to Ketza River in the east. The Yukon holds evidence of the earliest-known people in North America. Artifacts made from bison, mammoth and caribou bones from Bluefish Caves, Old Crow Basin and Dawson City areas show that people had a substantial knowledge of making and using bone tools at least by 25 000 BP, and possibly as early as 40 000 BP. A suggested chronological sequence of Yukon Pleistocene vertebrates ( Table 1) facilitates comparison of selected faunas and indicates the known duration of various taxa.

  15. Control of Vertebrate Pests of Agricultural Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wingard, Robert G.; Studholme, Clinton R.

    This agriculture extension service publication of Pennsylvania State University discusses the damage from and control of vertebrate pests. Specific discussions describe the habits, habitat, and various control measures for blackbirds and crows, deer, meadow and pine mice, European starlings, and woodchucks. Where confusion with non-harmful species…

  16. NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coulter, Daniel R.

    2004-01-01

    NASA has decided to move forward with two complementary Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) missions, a visible coronagraph and an infrared formation flying interferometer. These missions are major missions in the NASA Office of Space Science Origins Theme. The primary science objectives of the TPF missions are to search for, detect, and characterize planets and planetary systems beyond our own Solar System, including specifically Earth-like planets.

  17. Oceanic role in terrestrial climate

    SciTech Connect

    Ellsaesser, H.W.

    1984-11-01

    A review is given of the role of the oceans in terrestrial climatogenesis. The review leads to development of a criterion for recognizing areas of potential climatogenesis through atmosphere-oceanic interaction and to speculations as to the causes of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation events, the Medieval Little Optimum, Little Ice Age and 20th Century Arctic Warming of the North Atlantic and the glacial-interglacial cycles. 29 references, 6 figures.

  18. Physiological vagility and its relationship to dispersal and neutral genetic heterogeneity in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Hedrick, Michael S; Hancock, Thomas V

    2014-09-15

    Vagility is the inherent power of movement by individuals. Vagility and the available duration of movement determine the dispersal distance individuals can move to interbreed, which affects the fine-scale genetic structure of vertebrate populations. Vagility and variation in population genetic structure are normally explained by geographic variation and not by the inherent power of movement by individuals. We present a new, quantitative definition for physiological vagility that incorporates aerobic capacity, body size, body temperature and the metabolic cost of transport, variables that are independent of the physical environment. Physiological vagility is the speed at which an animal can move sustainably based on these parameters. This meta-analysis tests whether this definition of physiological vagility correlates with empirical data for maximal dispersal distances and measured microsatellite genetic differentiation with distance {[F(ST)/[1-F(ST))]/ln distance} for amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals utilizing three locomotor modes (running, flying, swimming). Maximal dispersal distance and physiological vagility increased with body mass for amphibians, reptiles and mammals utilizing terrestrial movement. The relative slopes of these relationships indicate that larger individuals require longer movement durations to achieve maximal dispersal distances. Both physiological vagility and maximal dispersal distance were independent of body mass for flying vertebrates. Genetic differentiation with distance was greatest for terrestrial locomotion, with amphibians showing the greatest mean and variance in differentiation. Flying birds, flying mammals and swimming marine mammals showed the least differentiation. Mean physiological vagility of different groups (class and locomotor mode) accounted for 98% of the mean variation in genetic differentiation with distance in each group. Genetic differentiation with distance was not related to body mass. The physiological

  19. Estrogen-dependent, extrahepatic synthesis of vitellogenin in male vertebrates: A mini-review.

    PubMed

    Verderame, Mariailaria; Scudiero, Rosaria

    2017-03-01

    In the last years, the hormonal balance is threatened by the interferences of substances with hormone-like action (endocrine disruptor chemicals, EDCs) that may harm animal reproduction. Most EDCs are resistant to environmental degradation and are considered ubiquitous contaminants. EDCs may have synthetic or natural origins. Pesticides used in intensive agriculture contain large amounts of chemicals with estrogenic properties, such as the alkylphenol nonylphenol (NP). Besides, animal feeding operations are important sources of natural estrogen metabolites introduced into the environment through manure application in organic farming. In both cases, EDCs can reach animals, including humans particularly at risk due to their position in the food chain. This is the reason for which it is important to use terrestrial vertebrates as sentinels in soil biomonitoring programmes. Today, the most validated biomarker of estrogenic exposure is the expression in male liver of the vitellogenin (VTG), an estrogen-dependent glycolipophosphoprotein naturally expressed only in the liver of oviparous females during the reproductive season. This report summarizes the data available on the EDC-dependent expression and the synthesis of VTG in male vertebrates, highlighting our latest studies that demonstrate the ability of testis and epididymis of the lacertid Podarcis sicula to synthesize VTG following estrogenic exposure. These findings provide, for the first time, evidence on an extrahepatic expression and synthesis of VTG in a terrestrial vertebrate and lay the groundwork for a new value of the VTG as a biomarker of environmental contamination. In addition, the results open a new scenario on the role of VTG in cells other than oocytes. Copyright © 2017 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  20. Arsenic Speciation of Terrestrial Invertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Moriarty, M.M.; Koch, I.; Gordon, R.A.; Reimer, K.J. ); )

    2009-07-01

    The distribution and chemical form (speciation) of arsenic in terrestrial food chains determines both the amount of arsenic available to higher organisms, and the toxicity of this metalloid in affected ecosystems. Invertebrates are part of complex terrestrial food webs. This paper provides arsenic concentrations and arsenic speciation profiles for eight orders of terrestrial invertebrates collected at three historical gold mine sites and one background site in Nova Scotia, Canada. Total arsenic concentrations, determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), were dependent upon the classification of invertebrate. Arsenic species were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) ICP-MS and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Invertebrates were found by HPLC ICP-MS to contain predominantly arsenite and arsenate in methanol/water extracts, while XAS revealed that most arsenic is bound to sulfur in vivo. Examination of the spatial distribution of arsenic within an ant tissue highlighted the differences between exogenous and endogenous arsenic, as well as the extent to which arsenic is transformed upon ingestion. Similar arsenic speciation patterns for invertebrate groups were observed across sites. Trace amounts of arsenobetaine and arsenocholine were identified in slugs, ants, and spiders.

  1. Spatial Vision in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Chakravarthi, Aravin; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie; Kelber, Almut

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg−1 of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana) and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens). We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.090 cycles deg−1 and 1.26 for 0.18 cycles deg−1. PMID:26912998

  2. The Evolution of Line-1 in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Boissinot, Stéphane; Sookdeo, Akash

    2016-10-19

    The abundance and diversity of the LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposon differ greatly among vertebrates. Mammalian genomes contain hundred of thousands L1s that have accumulated since the origin of mammals. A single group of very similar elements is active at a time in mammals, thus a single lineage of active families has evolved in this group. In contrast, non-mammalian genomes (fish, amphibians, reptiles) harbor a large diversity of concurrently transposing families, which are all represented by very small number of recently inserted copies. Why the pattern of diversity and abundance of L1 is so different among vertebrates remains unknown. To address this issue, we performed a detailed analysis of the evolution of active L1 in 14 mammals and in three non-mammalian vertebrate model species. We examined the evolution of base composition and codon bias, the general structure, and the evolution of the different domains of L1 (5'UTR, ORF1, ORF2, 3'UTR). L1s differ substantially in length, base composition and structure among vertebrates. The most variation is found in the 5'UTR, which is longer in amniotes, and in the ORF1, which tend to evolve faster in mammals. The highly divergent L1 families of lizard, frog and fish share species-specific features suggesting they are subjected to the same functional constraints imposed by their host. The relative conservation of the 5'UTR and ORF1 in non-mammalian vertebrates suggests that the repression of transposition by the host does not act in a sequence specific manner and did not result in an arms race, as is observed in mammals.

  3. The Evolution of LINE-1 in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sookdeo, Akash

    2016-01-01

    The abundance and diversity of the LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposon differ greatly among vertebrates. Mammalian genomes contain hundreds of thousands L1s that have accumulated since the origin of mammals. A single group of very similar elements is active at a time in mammals, thus a single lineage of active families has evolved in this group. In contrast, non-mammalian genomes (fish, amphibians, reptiles) harbor a large diversity of concurrently transposing families, which are all represented by very small number of recently inserted copies. Why the pattern of diversity and abundance of L1 is so different among vertebrates remains unknown. To address this issue, we performed a detailed analysis of the evolution of active L1 in 14 mammals and in 3 non-mammalian vertebrate model species. We examined the evolution of base composition and codon bias, the general structure, and the evolution of the different domains of L1 (5′UTR, ORF1, ORF2, 3′UTR). L1s differ substantially in length, base composition, and structure among vertebrates. The most variation is found in the 5′UTR, which is longer in amniotes, and in the ORF1, which tend to evolve faster in mammals. The highly divergent L1 families of lizard, frog, and fish share species-specific features suggesting that they are subjected to the same functional constraints imposed by their host. The relative conservation of the 5′UTR and ORF1 in non-mammalian vertebrates suggests that the repression of transposition by the host does not act in a sequence-specific manner and did not result in an arms race, as is observed in mammals. PMID:28175298

  4. Insect-transmitted vertebrate viruses: flaviviridae.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, G V; Iacono-Connors, L C

    1993-04-01

    The Flaviviridae include almost 70 viruses, nearly half of which have been associated with human disease. These viruses are among the most important arthropod-borne viruses worldwide and include dengue, yellow fever, and Japanese encephalitis viruses. Morbidity and mortality caused by these viruses vary, but collectively they account for millions of encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever, arthralgia, rash, and fever cases per year. Most of the members of this family are transmitted between vertebrate hosts by arthropod vectors, most commonly mosquitoes or ticks. Transmission cycles can be simple or complex depending on the hosts, vectors, the virus, and the environmental factors affecting both hosts and viruses. Replication of virus in invertebrate hosts does not seem to result in any significant pathology, which suggests a close evolutionary relationship between virus and vector. Another example of this relationship is the ability of these viruses to grow in invertebrate cell culture, where replication usually results in a steady state, persistent infection, often without cytopathic effect. Yields of virus from insect cell culture vary but are generally similar to yields in vertebrate cells. Replication kinetics are comparable between insect and vertebrate cell lines, despite differences in incubation temperature. Both vertebrate and insect cell culture systems continue to play a significant role in flavivirus isolation and the diagnosis of disease caused by these agents. Additionally, these culture systems permit the study of flavivirus attachment, penetration, replication, and release from cells and have been instrumental in the production and characterization of live-attenuated vaccines. Both vertebrate and insect cell culture systems will continue to play a significant role in basic and applied flavivirus research in the future.

  5. Terrestrial hydrological Research and Geophysics: Quo Vadis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vereecken, H.; Huisman, J. A.; van der Kruk, J.; Bogena, H.; Pohlmeier, A.; Koestel, J.; Lambot, S.; Vanderborght, J.

    2009-04-01

    Geophysical methods may play an important role in managing our terrestrial environment and in maintaining ecosystem functioning and services. Especially, the application and further development of hydrogeophysical methods seem very promising to maintain and protect soil and groundwater quality. Hydrogeophysical methods may help to improve our control on storage, filter and buffer functions of soils and groundwater systems. Moreover, methods are needed that will help us to bridge the gap between the scale of measurements and observations and the scale at which management of terrestrial systems takes place. In this presentation several examples will be presented showing how hydrogeophysical research can contribute in meeting these challenges. Recent progress in the field of magnetic resonance imaging, electrical resistivity tomography and spectral induced polarisation to investigate flow and transport processes in soils will be presented. In the field of high frequency hydrogeophysics, advanced full-waveform forward and inverse modelling procedures have been developed for ground penetrating radar technology, which are now routinely used for high-resolution, real-time mapping of surface soil moisture at the field scale. Integrated inversion and data fusion strategies, where both geophysical and hydrological models are coupled, further extend information retrieval capabilities also in real-time, and permits advanced interpretation of time-lapse data for hydrological process identification, water dynamics monitoring and soil hydraulic properties determination. Advances in wireless and sensor technologies are increasing the feasibility of using distributed sensor networks for observing soil water and hydrological processes at the intermediate scale, bridging the gap between ground-based sensors and remote sensing platforms.

  6. Future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss.

    PubMed

    Visconti, Piero; Pressey, Robert L; Giorgini, Daniele; Maiorano, Luigi; Bakkenes, Michel; Boitani, Luigi; Alkemade, Rob; Falcucci, Alessandra; Chiozza, Federica; Rondinini, Carlo

    2011-09-27

    Current levels of endangerment and historical trends of species and habitats are the main criteria used to direct conservation efforts globally. Estimates of future declines, which might indicate different priorities than past declines, have been limited by the lack of appropriate data and models. Given that much of conservation is about anticipating and responding to future threats, our inability to look forward at a global scale has been a major constraint on effective action. Here, we assess the geography and extent of projected future changes in suitable habitat for terrestrial mammals within their present ranges. We used a global earth-system model, IMAGE, coupled with fine-scale habitat suitability models and parametrized according to four global scenarios of human development. We identified the most affected countries by 2050 for each scenario, assuming that no additional conservation actions other than those described in the scenarios take place. We found that, with some exceptions, most of the countries with the largest predicted losses of suitable habitat for mammals are in Africa and the Americas. African and North American countries were also predicted to host the most species with large proportional global declines. Most of the countries we identified as future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss have little or no overlap with the present global conservation priorities, thus confirming the need for forward-looking analyses in conservation priority setting. The expected growth in human populations and consumption in hotspots of future mammal loss mean that local conservation actions such as protected areas might not be sufficient to mitigate losses. Other policies, directed towards the root causes of biodiversity loss, are required, both in Africa and other parts of the world.

  7. Future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss

    PubMed Central

    Visconti, Piero; Pressey, Robert L.; Giorgini, Daniele; Maiorano, Luigi; Bakkenes, Michel; Boitani, Luigi; Alkemade, Rob; Falcucci, Alessandra; Chiozza, Federica; Rondinini, Carlo

    2011-01-01

    Current levels of endangerment and historical trends of species and habitats are the main criteria used to direct conservation efforts globally. Estimates of future declines, which might indicate different priorities than past declines, have been limited by the lack of appropriate data and models. Given that much of conservation is about anticipating and responding to future threats, our inability to look forward at a global scale has been a major constraint on effective action. Here, we assess the geography and extent of projected future changes in suitable habitat for terrestrial mammals within their present ranges. We used a global earth-system model, IMAGE, coupled with fine-scale habitat suitability models and parametrized according to four global scenarios of human development. We identified the most affected countries by 2050 for each scenario, assuming that no additional conservation actions other than those described in the scenarios take place. We found that, with some exceptions, most of the countries with the largest predicted losses of suitable habitat for mammals are in Africa and the Americas. African and North American countries were also predicted to host the most species with large proportional global declines. Most of the countries we identified as future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss have little or no overlap with the present global conservation priorities, thus confirming the need for forward-looking analyses in conservation priority setting. The expected growth in human populations and consumption in hotspots of future mammal loss mean that local conservation actions such as protected areas might not be sufficient to mitigate losses. Other policies, directed towards the root causes of biodiversity loss, are required, both in Africa and other parts of the world. PMID:21844048

  8. Mammalian mesopredators on islands directly impact both terrestrial and marine communities.

    PubMed

    Suraci, Justin P; Clinchy, Michael; Zanette, Liana Y; Currie, Christopher M A; Dill, Lawrence M

    2014-12-01

    Medium-sized mammalian predators (i.e. mesopredators) on islands are known to have devastating effects on the abundance and diversity of terrestrial vertebrates. Mesopredators are often highly omnivorous, and on islands, may have access not only to terrestrial prey, but to marine prey as well, though impacts of mammalian mesopredators on marine communities have rarely been considered. Large apex predators are likely to be extirpated or absent on islands, implying a lack of top-down control of mesopredators that, in combination with high food availability from terrestrial and marine sources, likely exacerbates their impacts on island prey. We exploited a natural experiment--the presence or absence of raccoons (Procyon lotor) on islands in the Gulf Islands, British Columbia, Canada--to investigate the impacts that this key mesopredator has on both terrestrial and marine prey in an island system from which all native apex predators have been extirpated. Long-term monitoring of song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) nests showed raccoons to be the predominant nest predator in the Gulf Islands. To identify their community-level impacts, we surveyed the distribution of raccoons across 44 Gulf Islands, and then compared terrestrial and marine prey abundances on six raccoon-present and six raccoon-absent islands. Our results demonstrate significant negative effects of raccoons on terrestrial, intertidal, and shallow subtidal prey abundance, and point to additional community-level effects through indirect interactions. Our findings show that mammalian mesopredators not only affect terrestrial prey, but that, on islands, their direct impacts extend to the surrounding marine community.

  9. Osteoporosis, vertebral fractures and metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.

    PubMed

    El Maghraoui, Abdellah; Rezqi, Asmaa; El Mrahi, Salwa; Sadni, Siham; Ghozlani, Imad; Mounach, Aziza

    2014-12-10

    The combined effect of the metabolic syndrome (MS) risk factors on bone health has led to controversial results and it is still not clear whether this effect is protective or detrimental. The study aimed to examine the association between MS and bone mineral density (BMD), osteoporosis, and vertebral fractures (VFs) among ambulatory older postmenopausal women. 270 post-menopausal women with a mean age of 61.0 years ± 7.8 (50 to 90) with no prior known diagnosis of osteoporosis were recruited. BMD and Lateral vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) images were obtained using a GE Healthcare Lunar Prodigy densitometer. VFs were defined using a combination of Genant semiquantitative approach and morphometry. The MS as defined by the NCEP-ATP III was present in 62 women (23.0%). According to the WHO classification, 82 had osteoporosis at any site (30.4%). VFs were identified in 116 (43.0%): 80 (29.6%) had grade 1 and 36 (13.3%) had grade 2 or 3. Women with MS had a significantly higher BMD and lower prevalence of osteoporosis (17.7% vs. 34.1%) than those without MS. No significant statistical difference was noted in prevalence of VFs (14.5 vs. 13.0%). There were significantly less women with MS among the group of osteoporotic women (13% vs. 27%; p = 0.018). Conditional regression binary analysis assessing the presence of osteoporosis as the dependent variable showed that women with a MS had a significant 71% decrease in the odds of being osteoporotic by BMD compared with women who had not MS accounting for age, BMI, number of parities and years since menopause. Women with MS had higher BMD at the hip and spine, suggesting a protective effect of MS on bone. However, the prevalence of VFs was similar between women with or without MS.

  10. [Hunting and animal protection].

    PubMed

    Herling, A W

    1993-04-01

    In the Federal Republic of Germany the handling of animals during hunting is governed more by the animal protection law than by the corresponding hunting law. Points of the animal protection law which directly affect hunting are (1) the release of wild animals, (2) the training and examination of animals concerning attacking other animals, (3) the setting of animals on other animals, and (4) the killing of vertebrates. Guiding principles for killing wild animals during hunting according to the animal protection law are formulated and discussed in relation to the traditional German understanding of hunting ethics. It can be expected that hunting will increasingly become a topic of public discussion on animal protection, in which the ethics of hunting in relation to the wild animal will be dominant.

  11. Cement Leakage in Percutaneous Vertebral Augmentation for Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fractures: Analysis of Risk Factors.

    PubMed

    Xie, Weixing; Jin, Daxiang; Ma, Hui; Ding, Jinyong; Xu, Jixi; Zhang, Shuncong; Liang, De

    2016-05-01

    The risk factors for cement leakage were retrospectively reviewed in 192 patients who underwent percutaneous vertebral augmentation (PVA). To discuss the factors related to the cement leakage in PVA procedure for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. PVA is widely applied for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral fractures. Cement leakage is a major complication of this procedure. The risk factors for cement leakage were controversial. A retrospective review of 192 patients who underwent PVA was conducted. The following data were recorded: age, sex, bone density, number of fractured vertebrae before surgery, number of treated vertebrae, severity of the treated vertebrae, operative approach, volume of injected bone cement, preoperative vertebral compression ratio, preoperative local kyphosis angle, intraosseous clefts, preoperative vertebral cortical bone defect, and ratio and type of cement leakage. To study the correlation between each factor and cement leakage ratio, bivariate regression analysis was employed to perform univariate analysis, whereas multivariate linear regression analysis was employed to perform multivariate analysis. The study included 192 patients (282 treated vertebrae), and cement leakage occurred in 100 vertebrae (35.46%). The vertebrae with preoperative cortical bone defects generally exhibited higher cement leakage ratio, and the leakage is typically type C. Vertebrae with intact cortical bones before the procedure tend to experience type S leakage. Univariate analysis showed that patient age, bone density, number of fractured vertebrae before surgery, and vertebral cortical bone were associated with cement leakage ratio (P<0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that the main factors influencing bone cement leakage are bone density and vertebral cortical bone defect, with standardized partial regression coefficients of -0.085 and 0.144, respectively. High bone density and vertebral cortical bone defect are

  12. The CW domain, a structural module shared amongst vertebrates, vertebrate-infecting parasites and higher plants.

    PubMed

    Perry, Jason; Zhao, Yunde

    2003-11-01

    A previously undetected domain, named CW for its conserved cysteine and tryptophan residues, appears to be a four-cysteine zinc-finger motif found exclusively in vertebrates, vertebrate-infecting parasites and higher plants. Of the twelve distinct nuclear protein families that comprise the CW domain-containing superfamily, only the microrchida (MORC) family has begun to be characterized. However, several families contain other domains suggesting a relationship between the CW domain and either chromatin methylation status or early embryonic development.

  13. Evolution of the vertebrate claudin gene family: insights from a basal vertebrate, the sea lamprey.

    PubMed

    Mukendi, Christian; Dean, Nicholas; Lala, Rushil; Smith, Jeramiah; Bronner, Marianne E; Nikitina, Natalya V

    2016-01-01

    Claudins are major constituents of tight junctions, contributing both to their intercellular sealing and selective permeability properties. While claudins and claudin-like molecules are present in some invertebrates, the association of claudins with tight junctions has been conclusively documented only in vertebrates. Here we report the sequencing, phylogenetic analysis and comprehensive spatiotemporal expression analysis of the entire claudin gene family in the basal extant vertebrate, the sea lamprey. Our results demonstrate that clear orthologues to about half of all mammalian claudins are present in the lamprey, suggesting that at least one round of whole genome duplication contributed to the diversification of this gene family. Expression analysis revealed that claudins are expressed in discrete and specific domains, many of which represent vertebrate-specific innovations, such as in cranial ectodermal placodes and the neural crest; whereas others represent structures characteristic of chordates, e.g. pronephros, notochord, somites, endostyle and pharyngeal arches. By comparing the embryonic expression of claudins in the lamprey to that of other vertebrates, we found that ancestral expression patterns were often preserved in higher vertebrates. Morpholino mediated loss of Cldn3b demonstrated a functional role for this protein in placode and pharyngeal arch morphogenesis. Taken together, our data provide novel insights into the origins and evolution of the claudin gene family and the significance of claudin proteins in the evolution of vertebrates.

  14. Vertebrate richness and biogeography in the Big Thicket of Texas

    Treesearch

    Michael H MacRoberts; Barbara R. MacRoberts; D. Craig Rudolph

    2010-01-01

    The Big Thicket of Texas has been described as rich in species and a “crossroads:” a place where organisms from many different regions meet. We examine the species richness and regional affiliations of Big Thicket vertebrates. We found that the Big Thicket is neither exceptionally rich in vertebrates nor is it a crossroads for vertebrates. Its vertebrate fauna is...

  15. The incidence of secondary vertebral fracture of vertebral augmentation techniques versus conservative treatment for painful osteoporotic vertebral fractures: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Song, Dawei; Meng, Bin; Gan, Minfeng; Niu, Junjie; Li, Shiyan; Chen, Hao; Yuan, Chenxi; Yang, Huilin

    2015-08-01

    Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) and balloon kyphoplasty (BKP) are minimally invasive and effective vertebral augmentation techniques for managing osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs). Recent meta-analyses have compared the incidence of secondary vertebral fractures between patients treated with vertebral augmentation techniques or conservative treatment; however, the inclusions were not thorough and rigorous enough, and the effects of each technique on the incidence of secondary vertebral fractures remain unclear. To perform an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the studies with more rigorous inclusion criteria on the effects of vertebral augmentation techniques and conservative treatment for OVCF on the incidence of secondary vertebral fractures. PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, SpringerLink, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library database were searched for relevant original articles comparing the incidence of secondary vertebral fractures between vertebral augmentation techniques and conservative treatment for patients with OVCFs. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective non-randomized controlled trials (NRCTs) were identified. The methodological qualities of the studies were evaluated, relevant data were extracted and recorded, and an appropriate meta-analysis was conducted. A total of 13 articles were included. The pooled results from included studies showed no statistically significant differences in the incidence of secondary vertebral fractures between patients treated with vertebral augmentation techniques and conservative treatment. Subgroup analysis comparing different study designs, durations of symptoms, follow-up times, races of patients, and techniques were conducted, and no significant differences in the incidence of secondary fractures were identified (P > 0.05). No obvious publication bias was detected by either Begg's test (P = 0.360 > 0.05) or Egger's test (P = 0.373 > 0.05). Despite current thinking in the

  16. Pneumococcal Vertebral Osteomyelitis after Epidural Injection: A Rare Event

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Tamara M; Chitturi, Chandrika; Lange, Michael; Suh, Jin S; Slim, Jihad

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae vertebral infections have rarely been reported. Herein, we report a case of pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis with paraspinal and epidural abscesses as well as concomitant bacteremia following epidural injection. This will be the second case in the literature reporting pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis related to epidural manipulation. PMID:27621563

  17. The Variety of Vertebrate Mechanisms of Sex Determination

    PubMed Central

    Trukhina, Antonina V.; Lukina, Natalia A.; Wackerow-Kouzova, Natalia D.; Smirnov, Alexander F.

    2013-01-01

    The review deals with features of sex determination in vertebrates. The mechanisms of sex determination are compared between fishes, amphibians, reptilians, birds, and mammals. We focus on structural and functional differences in the role of sex-determining genes in different vertebrates. Special attention is paid to the role of estrogens in sex determination in nonmammalian vertebrates. PMID:24369014

  18. The variety of vertebrate mechanisms of sex determination.

    PubMed

    Trukhina, Antonina V; Lukina, Natalia A; Wackerow-Kouzova, Natalia D; Smirnov, Alexander F

    2013-01-01

    The review deals with features of sex determination in vertebrates. The mechanisms of sex determination are compared between fishes, amphibians, reptilians, birds, and mammals. We focus on structural and functional differences in the role of sex-determining genes in different vertebrates. Special attention is paid to the role of estrogens in sex determination in nonmammalian vertebrates.

  19. Bone creep can cause progressive vertebral deformity.

    PubMed

    Pollintine, Phillip; Luo, Jin; Offa-Jones, Ben; Dolan, Patricia; Adams, Michael A

    2009-09-01

    Vertebral deformities in elderly people are conventionally termed "fractures", but their onset is often insidious, suggesting that time-dependent (creep) processes may also be involved. Creep has been studied in small samples of bone, but nothing is known about creep deformity of whole vertebrae, or how it might be influenced by bone mineral density (BMD). We hypothesise that sustained compressive loading can cause progressive and measurable creep deformity in elderly human vertebrae. 27 thoracolumbar "motion segments" (two vertebrae and the intervening disc and ligaments) were dissected from 20 human cadavers aged 42-91 yrs. A constant compressive force of approximately 1.0 kN was applied to each specimen for either 0.5 h or 2 h, while the anterior, middle and posterior heights of each of the 54 vertebral bodies were measured at 1 Hz using a MacReflex 2D optical tracking system. This located 6 reflective markers attached to the lateral cortex of each vertebral body, with resolution better than 10 microm. Experiments were at laboratory temperature, and polythene film was used to minimise water loss. Volumetric BMD was calculated for each vertebral body, using DXA to measure mineral content, and water immersion for volume. In the 0.5 h tests, creep deformation in the anterior, middle and posterior vertebral cortex averaged 4331, 1629 and 614 micro-strains respectively, where 10,000 micro-strains represents 1% loss in height. Anterior creep strains exceeded posterior (P<0.01) so that anterior wedging of the vertebral bodies increased, by an average 0.08 degrees (STD 0.14 degrees ). Similar results were obtained after 2 h, indicating that creep rate slowed considerably with time. Less than 40% of the creep strain was recovered after 2 h. Increases in anterior wedging during the 0.5 h creep test were inversely proportional to BMD, but only in a selected sub-set of 20 specimens with average BMD<0.15 g/cm3 (P=0.042). Creep deformation caused more than 5% height loss in

  20. Vertebrate trackways in Pleistocene eolianites on Antiparos (Cyclades, Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bickel, L.; Draganits, E.; Gier, S.; Zuschin, M.

    2010-05-01

    Yellowish calcarenites have been mapped at many localities along the NW coast of Antiparos. These sandstones, which form dm to 5 m thick layers unconformably resting on greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphic rocks of the Attic-Cycladic Crystalline of the Central Hellenides, have been traced from below sea-level up to an elevation of approximately 80 m. Generally, the bedding and internal laminae are oriented parallel to the slope of the underlying crystalline rocks without forming any morphological terraces. Cross-bedding, with dip-angles >35°, has only rarely been recorded. Petrographically, the rocks are dominated by marine bioclasts including mainly corallinacean red algae, benthic foraminifers and fragments of gastropods and bivalves with siliciclastic components forming less than 20% of the rock, cemented by calcite. Grains are well-rounded and well-sorted, with grain sizes ranging from medium sand to granule sizes. Based on the areal distribution of the sedimentary structures (e.g. pin-stripe lamination, high-angle cross-bedding), the occurrence of terrestrial gastropod shells and the correlation with almost identical sandstones elsewhere in the Mediterranean, they most likely have both an eolian origin and a Pleistocene age. At several localities, vertebrate tracks and trackways have been found in the sandstones; this is the first report of vertebrate trackways in Pleistocene sandstones of the Aegean. However, comparable trackways, both in age and size, have been reported on Mallorca and Sardinia. Tracks have been found on both exposed bedding surfaces and in cross-section, where tracks are concentrated along certain horizons; the tracks are about 11 cm wide and 4 cm deep. On bedding surfaces, at least two distinguishable trackways have been observed but, due to their overlapping and weathering, the differentiation between manus and pes impressions is challenging. This, and the relatively short length of individual trackways - the longest traceable

  1. Allometry and Scaling of the Intraocular Pressure and Aqueous Humour Flow Rate in Vertebrate Eyes.

    PubMed

    Zouache, Moussa A; Eames, Ian; Samsudin, Amir

    2016-01-01

    In vertebrates, intraocular pressure (IOP) is required to maintain the eye into a shape allowing it to function as an optical instrument. It is sustained by the balance between the production of aqueous humour by the ciliary body and the resistance to its outflow from the eye. Dysregulation of the IOP is often pathological to vision. High IOP may lead to glaucoma, which is in man the second most prevalent cause of blindness. Here, we examine the importance of the IOP and rate of formation of aqueous humour in the development of vertebrate eyes by performing allometric and scaling analyses of the forces acting on the eye during head movement and the energy demands of the cornea, and testing the predictions of the models against a list of measurements in vertebrates collated through a systematic review. We show that the IOP has a weak dependence on body mass, and that in order to maintain the focal length of the eye, it needs to be an order of magnitude greater than the pressure drop across the eye resulting from gravity or head movement. This constitutes an evolutionary constraint that is common to all vertebrates. In animals with cornea-based optics, this constraint also represents a condition to maintain visual acuity. Estimated IOPs were found to increase with the evolution of terrestrial animals. The rate of formation of aqueous humour was found to be adjusted to the metabolic requirements of the cornea, scaling as Vac(0.67), where Vac is the volume of the anterior chamber. The present work highlights an interdependence between IOP and aqueous flow rate crucial to ocular function that must be considered to understand the evolution of the dioptric apparatus. It should also be taken into consideration in the prevention and treatment of glaucoma.

  2. Allometry and Scaling of the Intraocular Pressure and Aqueous Humour Flow Rate in Vertebrate Eyes

    PubMed Central

    Zouache, Moussa A.; Eames, Ian; Samsudin, Amir

    2016-01-01

    In vertebrates, intraocular pressure (IOP) is required to maintain the eye into a shape allowing it to function as an optical instrument. It is sustained by the balance between the production of aqueous humour by the ciliary body and the resistance to its outflow from the eye. Dysregulation of the IOP is often pathological to vision. High IOP may lead to glaucoma, which is in man the second most prevalent cause of blindness. Here, we examine the importance of the IOP and rate of formation of aqueous humour in the development of vertebrate eyes by performing allometric and scaling analyses of the forces acting on the eye during head movement and the energy demands of the cornea, and testing the predictions of the models against a list of measurements in vertebrates collated through a systematic review. We show that the IOP has a weak dependence on body mass, and that in order to maintain the focal length of the eye, it needs to be an order of magnitude greater than the pressure drop across the eye resulting from gravity or head movement. This constitutes an evolutionary constraint that is common to all vertebrates. In animals with cornea-based optics, this constraint also represents a condition to maintain visual acuity. Estimated IOPs were found to increase with the evolution of terrestrial animals. The rate of formation of aqueous humour was found to be adjusted to the metabolic requirements of the cornea, scaling as Vac0.67, where Vac is the volume of the anterior chamber. The present work highlights an interdependence between IOP and aqueous flow rate crucial to ocular function that must be considered to understand the evolution of the dioptric apparatus. It should also be taken into consideration in the prevention and treatment of glaucoma. PMID:26990431

  3. A review of the direct and indirect effects of neonicotinoids and fipronil on vertebrate wildlife.

    PubMed

    Gibbons, David; Morrissey, Christy; Mineau, Pierre

    2015-01-01

    and indirect effects on terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate wildlife, thus warranting further review of their environmental safety.

  4. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Pron, Gaylene; Holubowich, Corinne; Kaulback, Kellee

    2016-01-01

    Background Cancers that metastasize to the spine and primary cancers such as multiple myeloma can result in vertebral compression fractures or instability. Conservative strategies, including bed rest, bracing, and analgesic use, can be ineffective, resulting in continued pain and progressive functional disability limiting mobility and self-care. Surgery is not usually an option for cancer patients in advanced disease states because of their poor medical health or functional status and limited life expectancy. The objectives of this review were to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of percutaneous image-guided vertebral augmentation techniques, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, for palliation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures. Methods We performed a systematic literature search for studies on vertebral augmentation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures published from January 1, 2000, to October 2014; abstracts were screened by a single reviewer. For those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Owing to the heterogeneity of the clinical reports, we performed a narrative synthesis based on an analytical framework constructed for the type of cancer-related vertebral fractures and the diversity of the vertebral augmentation interventions. Results The evidence review identified 3,391 citations, of which 111 clinical reports (4,235 patients) evaluated the effectiveness of vertebroplasty (78 reports, 2,545 patients) or kyphoplasty (33 reports, 1,690 patients) for patients with mixed primary spinal metastatic cancers, multiple myeloma, or hemangiomas. Overall the mean pain intensity scores often reported within 48 hours of vertebral augmentation (kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty), were significantly reduced. Analgesic use, although variably reported, usually involved parallel decreases, particularly in opioids, and mean pain-related disability scores were also significantly improved. In a randomized controlled

  5. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    2016-01-01

    Cancers that metastasize to the spine and primary cancers such as multiple myeloma can result in vertebral compression fractures or instability. Conservative strategies, including bed rest, bracing, and analgesic use, can be ineffective, resulting in continued pain and progressive functional disability limiting mobility and self-care. Surgery is not usually an option for cancer patients in advanced disease states because of their poor medical health or functional status and limited life expectancy. The objectives of this review were to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of percutaneous image-guided vertebral augmentation techniques, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, for palliation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures. We performed a systematic literature search for studies on vertebral augmentation of cancer-related vertebral