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Sample records for reptiles marinos elasmosauridae

  1. Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Shine, Richard

    2013-03-18

    Most small children can tell you that 'reptiles' are the snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles (perhaps with the dinosaurs thrown in) - suggesting that it's easy to tell the difference between reptiles and other animals. Unfortunately, evolutionary biologists struggle with the same task, because phylogenetic analysis tells us loud and clear that these different types of what we loosely call 'reptiles' are not particularly closely related to each other (Figure 1). On the evolutionary tree, some of them (dinosaurs, crocodiles) are much more closely related to birds than to the other animals that we call reptiles. Other reptiles are the descendants of very ancient lineages; for example, turtles separated from the other reptiles, including the now-dominant Squamata (lizards and snakes), at least 200 million years ago. And another 200-million-year-old lineage has left just a single survivor, a lizard-like creature (the tuatara), on a few islands in New Zealand.

  2. Reptiles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Describes some of the characteristics of various reptiles. Contains teaching activities including making reptile number books and identification keys, flip-ups about cobras, puzzles involving graphing, and group presentations. Includes reproducible handouts to be used with some of the activities. (TW)

  3. San Marino.

    PubMed

    1985-02-01

    San Marino, an independent republic located in north central Italy, in 1983 had a population of 22,206 growing at an annual rate of .9%. The literacy rate is 97% and the infant mortality rate is 9.6/1000. The terrain is mountainous and the climate is moderate. According to local tradition, San Marino was founded by a Christian stonecutter in the 4th century A.D. as a refuge against religious persecution. Its recorded history began in the 9th century, and it has survived assaults on its independence by the papacy, the Malatesta lords of Rimini, Cesare Borgia, Napoleon, and Mussolini. An 1862 treaty with the newly formed Kingdom of Italy has been periodically renewed and amended. The present government is an alliance between the socialists and communists. San Marino has had its own statutes and governmental institutions since the 11th century. Legislative authority at present is vested in a 60-member unicameral parliament. Executive authority is exercised by the 11-member Congress of State, the members of which head the various administrative departments of the goverment. The posts are divided among the parties which form the coalition government. Judicial authority is partly exercised by Italian magistrates in civil and criminal cases. San Marino's policies are tied to Italy's and political organizations and labor unions active in Italy are also active in San Marino. Since World War II, there has been intense rivalry between 2 political coalitions, the Popular Alliance composed of the Christian Democratic Party and the Independent Social Democratic Party, and the Liberty Committee, coalition of the Communist Party and the Socialist Party. San Marino's gross domestic product was $137 million and its per capita income was $6290 in 1980. The principal economic activities are farming and livestock raising, along with some light manufacturing. Foreign transactions are dominated by tourism. The government derives most of its revenue from the sale of postage stamps to

  4. Reptile Facts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinheimer, Margaret

    1993-01-01

    Describes an award-winning bulletin board for introducing a unit on reptiles. This interactive bulletin board contains fun facts and counters common misconceptions about reptiles. Twelve true-false statements are hidden behind pull-up flaps. Four pictures ask students to identify the difference between often-confused animals. (PR)

  5. Project Reptile!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diffily, Deborah

    2001-01-01

    Integrating curriculum is important in helping children make connections within and among areas. Presents a class project for kindergarten children which came out of the students' interests and desire to build a reptile exhibit. (ASK)

  6. Reptile geriatrics.

    PubMed

    Paré, Jean A; Lentini, Andrew M

    2010-01-01

    Although basic notions, such as life expectancy, and thus what constitutes old age, remain to be determined in the vast majority of reptile species, there is a tendency at least for captive reptiles to live longer now than in the past. Clinicians are expected to recognize signs of senescence or old age in reptile patients, to acquire a heightened index of suspicion for diseases likely to affect older individuals of a given species or taxon, and to provide sound advice on geriatric care of such patients. Reptiles are stoic and show few signs of aging, but subtle changes in behavior, mobility, reproduction, weight, or appetite may all signal the onset of senescence to the vigilant caregiver. Serial, for example, yearly or biannual physical examination, blood sampling, and imaging initiated at maturity or earlier are probably the most powerful tools in diagnosing, monitoring, and managing geriatric issues.

  7. Reptile hematology.

    PubMed

    Sykes, John M; Klaphake, Eric

    2015-01-01

    The basic principles of hematology used in mammalian medicine can be applied to reptiles. The appearances of the blood cells are significantly different from those seen in most mammals, and vary with taxa and staining method used. Many causes for abnormalities of the reptilian hemogram are similar to those for mammals, although additional factors such as venipuncture site, season, hibernation status, captivity status, and environmental factors can also affect values, making interpretation of hematologic results challenging. Values in an individual should be compared with reference ranges specific to that species, gender, and environmental conditions when available.

  8. Reptile Hematology.

    PubMed

    Sykes, John M; Klaphake, Eric

    2015-09-01

    The basic principles of hematology used in mammalian medicine can be applied to reptiles. The appearances of the blood cells are significantly different from those seen in most mammals, and vary with taxa and staining method used. Many causes for abnormalities of the reptilian hemogram are similar to those for mammals, although additional factors such as venipuncture site, season, hibernation status, captivity status, and environmental factors can also affect values, making interpretation of hematologic results challenging. Values in an individual should be compared with reference ranges specific to that species, gender, and environmental conditions when available.

  9. Dan Marino Helping Those with Autism Spectrum Disorders | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

    MedlinePlus

    ... Marino Foundation. Photo: Dan Marino Foundation Former NFL star quarterback Dan Marino and his wife Claire experienced ... to succeed in life,'" says the former NFL star. "That's where the focus for The Dan Marino ...

  10. Viruses infecting reptiles.

    PubMed

    Marschang, Rachel E

    2011-11-01

    A large number of viruses have been described in many different reptiles. These viruses include arboviruses that primarily infect mammals or birds as well as viruses that are specific for reptiles. Interest in arboviruses infecting reptiles has mainly focused on the role reptiles may play in the epidemiology of these viruses, especially over winter. Interest in reptile specific viruses has concentrated on both their importance for reptile medicine as well as virus taxonomy and evolution. The impact of many viral infections on reptile health is not known. Koch's postulates have only been fulfilled for a limited number of reptilian viruses. As diagnostic testing becomes more sensitive, multiple infections with various viruses and other infectious agents are also being detected. In most cases the interactions between these different agents are not known. This review provides an update on viruses described in reptiles, the animal species in which they have been detected, and what is known about their taxonomic positions.

  11. Reptiles in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gantert, Robert L.

    1972-01-01

    Discusses the advantages of using reptiles in biology and elementary school classes, describes demonstration techniques used by the author, and suggests some student activities using reptiles, especially snakes and lizards. (AL)

  12. Viruses Infecting Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Marschang, Rachel E.

    2011-01-01

    A large number of viruses have been described in many different reptiles. These viruses include arboviruses that primarily infect mammals or birds as well as viruses that are specific for reptiles. Interest in arboviruses infecting reptiles has mainly focused on the role reptiles may play in the epidemiology of these viruses, especially over winter. Interest in reptile specific viruses has concentrated on both their importance for reptile medicine as well as virus taxonomy and evolution. The impact of many viral infections on reptile health is not known. Koch’s postulates have only been fulfilled for a limited number of reptilian viruses. As diagnostic testing becomes more sensitive, multiple infections with various viruses and other infectious agents are also being detected. In most cases the interactions between these different agents are not known. This review provides an update on viruses described in reptiles, the animal species in which they have been detected, and what is known about their taxonomic positions. PMID:22163336

  13. Reptile Soft Tissue Surgery.

    PubMed

    Di Girolamo, Nicola; Mans, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    The surgical approach to reptiles can be challenging. Reptiles have unique physiologic, anatomic, and pathologic differences. This may result in frustrating surgical experiences. However, recent investigations provided novel, less invasive, surgical techniques. The purpose of this review was to describe the technical aspects behind soft tissue surgical techniques that have been used in reptiles, so as to provide a general guideline for veterinarians working with reptiles.

  14. Diagnostic hematology of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Stacy, Nicole I; Alleman, A Rick; Sayler, Katherine A

    2011-03-01

    The hematologic evaluation of reptiles is an indispensable diagnostic tool in exotic veterinary practice. The diversity of reptile species, their characteristic physiologic features, and effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors present unique challenges for accurate interpretation of the hemogram. Combining the clinical presentation with hematologic findings provides valuable information in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease and helps guide the clinician toward therapy and further diagnostic testing. This article outlines the normal and pathologic morphology of blood cells of reptile species. The specific comparative aspects of reptiles are emphasized, and structural and functional abnormalities in the reptilian hemogram are described.

  15. Reptile wellness management.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Stacey Leonatti

    2015-05-01

    Proper care and husbandry are the most important factors in keeping captive reptiles healthy. Improper nutrition, supplementation, caging, lighting, substrate, temperature, and humidity can all lead to stress and development of disease. Presented here are current recommendations for keeping captive reptiles. Care has moved away from sterile, spartan enclosures to larger, more naturalistic habitats. These habitats provide more space and choices for the reptile, leading to higher activity levels, reduced stress, and more opportunities to exhibit natural behaviors. Reptiles benefit from enrichment and are amenable to training in order to reduce stress and allow easier handling and veterinary care.

  16. Internal parasites of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Raś-Noryńska, Małgorzata; Sokół, Rajmund

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays a growing number of exotic reptiles are kept as pets. The aim of this study was to determine the species of parasites found in reptile patients of veterinary practices in Poland. Fecal samples obtained from 76 lizards, 15 turtles and 10 snakes were examined by flotation method and direct smear stained with Lugol's iodine. In 63 samples (62.4%) the presence of parasite eggs and oocysts was revealed. Oocysts of Isospora spp. (from 33% to 100% of the samples, depending on the reptilian species) and Oxyurids eggs (10% to 75%) were predominant. In addition, isolated Eimeria spp. oocysts and Giardia intestinalis cysts were found, as well as Strongylus spp. and Hymenolepis spp. eggs. Pet reptiles are often infected with parasites, some of which are potentially dangerous to humans. A routine parasitological examination should be done in such animals.

  17. Internal parasites of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Raś-Noryńska, Małgorzata; Sokół, Rajmund

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays a growing number of exotic reptiles are kept as pets. The aim of this study was to determine the species of parasites found in reptile patients of veterinary practices in Poland. Fecal samples obtained from 76 lizards, 15 turtles and 10 snakes were examined by flotation method and direct smear stained with Lugol's iodine. In 63 samples (62.4%) the presence of parasite eggs and oocysts was revealed. Oocysts of Isospora spp. (from 33% to 100% of the samples, depending on the reptilian species) and Oxyurids eggs (10% to 75%) were predominant. In addition, isolated Eimeria spp. oocysts and Giardia intestinalis cysts were found, as well as Strongylus spp. and Hymenolepis spp. eggs. Pet reptiles are often infected with parasites, some of which are potentially dangerous to humans. A routine parasitological examination should be done in such animals. PMID:26342508

  18. Invasive reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P

    2010-08-01

    Although they are frequently lumped together, reptiles and amphibians belong to two very different zoological groups. Nevertheless, one fact is clear: while numerous reptile and amphibian species on Earth are in decline, others have taken advantage of trade or human movements to become established in new lands, adopting different, and sometimes unusual, strategies. The authors have taken a few examples from these two zoological groups that illustrate the majority of cases. A brief analysis of the causes and effects of their introductions into new areas reveals connections with economic interests, trade in companion animals, medical research and public health.

  19. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

    Rainforest reptiles and amphibians are a vibrantly colored, multimedia art experience. To complete the entire project one may need to dedicate many class periods to production, yet in each aspect of the project a new and important skill, concept, or element is being taught or reinforced. This project incorporates the study of warm and cool color…

  20. Antimicrobial Peptides in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    van Hoek, Monique L.

    2014-01-01

    Reptiles are among the oldest known amniotes and are highly diverse in their morphology and ecological niches. These animals have an evolutionarily ancient innate-immune system that is of great interest to scientists trying to identify new and useful antimicrobial peptides. Significant work in the last decade in the fields of biochemistry, proteomics and genomics has begun to reveal the complexity of reptilian antimicrobial peptides. Here, the current knowledge about antimicrobial peptides in reptiles is reviewed, with specific examples in each of the four orders: Testudines (turtles and tortosises), Sphenodontia (tuataras), Squamata (snakes and lizards), and Crocodilia (crocodilans). Examples are presented of the major classes of antimicrobial peptides expressed by reptiles including defensins, cathelicidins, liver-expressed peptides (hepcidin and LEAP-2), lysozyme, crotamine, and others. Some of these peptides have been identified and tested for their antibacterial or antiviral activity; others are only predicted as possible genes from genomic sequencing. Bioinformatic analysis of the reptile genomes is presented, revealing many predicted candidate antimicrobial peptides genes across this diverse class. The study of how these ancient creatures use antimicrobial peptides within their innate immune systems may reveal new understandings of our mammalian innate immune system and may also provide new and powerful antimicrobial peptides as scaffolds for potential therapeutic development. PMID:24918867

  1. Parasites in pet reptiles

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Exotic reptiles originating from the wild can be carriers of many different pathogens and some of them can infect humans. Reptiles imported into Slovenia from 2000 to 2005, specimens of native species taken from the wild and captive bred species were investigated. A total of 949 reptiles (55 snakes, 331 lizards and 563 turtles), belonging to 68 different species, were examined for the presence of endoparasites and ectoparasites. Twelve different groups (Nematoda (5), Trematoda (1), Acanthocephala (1), Pentastomida (1) and Protozoa (4)) of endoparasites were determined in 26 (47.3%) of 55 examined snakes. In snakes two different species of ectoparasites were also found. Among the tested lizards eighteen different groups (Nematoda (8), Cestoda (1), Trematoda (1), Acanthocephala (1), Pentastomida (1) and Protozoa (6)) of endoparasites in 252 (76.1%) of 331 examined animals were found. One Trombiculid ectoparasite was determined. In 563 of examined turtles eight different groups (Nematoda (4), Cestoda (1), Trematoda (1) and Protozoa (2)) of endoparasites were determined in 498 (88.5%) animals. In examined turtles three different species of ectoparasites were seen. The established prevalence of various parasites in reptiles used as pet animals indicates the need for examination on specific pathogens prior to introduction to owners. PMID:21624124

  2. Viruses in reptiles

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The etiology of reptilian viral diseases can be attributed to a wide range of viruses occurring across different genera and families. Thirty to forty years ago, studies of viruses in reptiles focused mainly on the zoonotic potential of arboviruses in reptiles and much effort went into surveys and challenge trials of a range of reptiles with eastern and western equine encephalitis as well as Japanese encephalitis viruses. In the past decade, outbreaks of infection with West Nile virus in human populations and in farmed alligators in the USA has seen the research emphasis placed on the issue of reptiles, particularly crocodiles and alligators, being susceptible to, and reservoirs for, this serious zoonotic disease. Although there are many recognised reptilian viruses, the evidence for those being primary pathogens is relatively limited. Transmission studies establishing pathogenicity and cofactors are likewise scarce, possibly due to the relatively low commercial importance of reptiles, difficulties with the availability of animals and permits for statistically sound experiments, difficulties with housing of reptiles in an experimental setting or the inability to propagate some viruses in cell culture to sufficient titres for transmission studies. Viruses as causes of direct loss of threatened species, such as the chelonid fibropapilloma associated herpesvirus and ranaviruses in farmed and wild tortoises and turtles, have re-focused attention back to the characterisation of the viruses as well as diagnosis and pathogenesis in the host itself. 1. Introduction 2. Methods for working with reptilian viruses 3. Reptilian viruses described by virus families 3.1. Herpesviridae 3.2. Iridoviridae 3.2.1 Ranavirus 3.2.2 Erythrocytic virus 3.2.3 Iridovirus 3.3. Poxviridae 3.4. Adenoviridae 3.5. Papillomaviridae 3.6. Parvoviridae 3.7. Reoviridae 3.8. Retroviridae and inclusion body disease of Boid snakes 3.9. Arboviruses 3.9.1. Flaviviridae 3.9.2. Togaviridae 3.10. Caliciviridae

  3. Approach to Reptile Emergency Medicine.

    PubMed

    Long, Simon Y

    2016-05-01

    This article summarizes the physiology and anatomy of reptiles, highlighting points relevant for emergency room veterinarians. Other systems, such as the endocrine and immune systems, have not been covered. The many other aspects of reptile species variation are too numerous to be covered. This article provides an overview but encourages clinicians to seek additional species-specific information to better medically diagnose and treat their reptile patients.

  4. Nutritional support of reptile patients.

    PubMed

    De Voe, Ryan S

    2014-05-01

    Providing nutritional support to reptile patients is a challenging and often misunderstood task. Ill reptiles are frequently anorexic and can benefit greatly from appropriate nutrition delivered via a variety of assist-feeding techniques. Neonatal reptiles can also be very challenging patients because many fail to thrive without significant efforts to establish normal feeding behaviors. This article presents ideas supporting the benefit of timely nutritional support as well as specific recommendations for implementation of assist feeding. Also discussed are a few nutritional issues that affect captive reptile species.

  5. Common procedures with venomous reptiles.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Thomas H

    2006-05-01

    Venomous reptiles should be handled in a safe and consistent man-ner, even after death. Owners and staff should be warned not to handle the venomous reptile, and one should have emergency protocols in place before the properly bagged and encased reptile is presented. It is important to know what one is treating as well as one's limitations. After being carefully removed from the bag, the venomous reptile may be transferred to a handling container, tubed, or squeezed with the appropriate equipment. The author usually induces injectable or gas anesthesia at this point. Veterinarians who are inexperienced with venomous reptiles should learn how to handle them through a reputable seminar or class before electing to see them in their practice.

  6. Clinical aspects of reptile behavior.

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Divers, S J

    2001-09-01

    At first glance, the abstract world of reptile ethology may seem remote to clinicians dealing with the health and disease of captive animals. By delving a little deeper, however, veterinarians can learn to appreciate the reasons for certain behaviors and actually use these behaviors as indicators of various biologic states. Close scrutiny of subtle changes in behavior can further help assess reptile well-being and judge captive welfare. In the future, it is hoped that improved ethologic understanding will result in behavioral enrichment for reptiles, as is already promoted for many nondomestic mammals and birds.

  7. DNA barcoding amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Vences, Miguel; Nagy, Zoltán T; Sonet, Gontran; Verheyen, Erik

    2012-01-01

    Only a few major research programs are currently targeting COI barcoding of amphibians and reptiles (including chelonians and crocodiles), two major groups of tetrapods. Amphibian and reptile species are typically old, strongly divergent, and contain deep conspecific lineages which might lead to problems in species assignment with incomplete reference databases. As far as known, there is no single pair of COI primers that will guarantee a sufficient rate of success across all amphibian and reptile taxa, or within major subclades of amphibians and reptiles, which means that the PCR amplification strategy needs to be adjusted depending on the specific research question. In general, many more amphibian and reptile taxa have been sequenced for 16S rDNA, which for some purposes may be a suitable complementary marker, at least until a more comprehensive COI reference database becomes available. DNA barcoding has successfully been used to identify amphibian larval stages (tadpoles) in species-rich tropical assemblages. Tissue sampling, DNA extraction, and amplification of COI is straightforward in amphibians and reptiles. Single primer pairs are likely to have a failure rate between 5 and 50% if taxa of a wide taxonomic range are targeted; in such cases the use of primer cocktails or subsequent hierarchical usage of different primer pairs is necessary. If the target group is taxonomically limited, many studies have followed a strategy of designing specific primers which then allow an easy and reliable amplification of all samples.

  8. Preserving reptiles for research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gotte, Steve W.; Jacobs, Jeremy F.; Zug, George R.; Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2016-01-01

    What are voucher specimens and why do we collect them? Voucher specimens are animals and/or their parts that are deposited in a research museum to document the occurrence of a taxon at a specific location in space and time (Pleijel et al., 2008; Reynolds and McDiarmid, 2012). For field biologists, vouchers are the repeatable element of a field study as they allow other biologists, now and in the future, to confirm the identity of species that were studied. The scientific importance of a voucher specimen or series of specimens is that other people are afforded the opportunity to examine the entire animal and confirm or correct identifications. A photographic record is somewhat useful for recording the occurrence of a species, but such records can be insufficient for reliable confirmation of specific identity. Even if a photo shows diagnostic characters of currently recognized taxa, it may not show characters that separate taxa that may be described in the future. Substantial cryptic biodiversity is being found in even relatively well-known herpetofaunas (Crawford et al., 2010), and specimens allow researchers to retroactively evaluate the true diversity in a study as understanding of taxonomy evolves. They enable biologists to study the systematic relationships of populations by quantifying variation in different traits. Specimens are also a source of biological data such as behaviour, ecology, epidemiology, and reproduction through examination of their anatomy, reproductive and digestive tracts, and parasites (Suarez and Tsutsui, 2004). Preserving reptiles as vouchers is not difficult, although doing it properly requires care, effort, and time. Poorly preserved vouchers can invalidate the results and conclusions of your study because of the inability to confirm the identity of your study animals. Good science requires repeatability of observations, and the absence of vouchers or poorly preserved ones prevents such confirmation. Due to space restrictions, we are

  9. Paramyxoviruses in reptiles: a review.

    PubMed

    Hyndman, Timothy H; Shilton, Cathy M; Marschang, Rachel E

    2013-08-30

    In 1972, an outbreak of neurorespiratory disease in a Swiss serpentarium formed the basis for the first description of a paramyxovirus isolated from a reptile. In the forty years since this outbreak, there have been over 50 published reports about reptilian paramyxoviruses from all over the world. The majority of these investigations have concerned themselves with ferlaviruses (sometimes previously referred to as ophidian paramyxoviruses, or OPMV). The biology of these viruses is reviewed and this is followed by a review of the clinical findings that are associated with ferlaviral infection and the various diagnostic tests that are used to identify infected reptiles. Recently, a second, and highly divergent, reptilian paramyxovirus, Sunshine virus, was described in Australian pythons, so it is an opportune time to reflect on the paramyxoviruses that infect reptiles.

  10. Covering the Plane with Rep-Tiles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fosnaugh, Linda S.; Harrell, Marvin E.

    1996-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students use geometric figures, rep-tiles, to design a tile floor. Rep-tiles are geometric figures of which copies can fit together to form a larger similar figure. Includes reproducible student worksheet. (MKR)

  11. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2000-01-01

    For many years, ecological research on amphibians and reptiles has lagged behind that of other vertebrates such as fishes, birds, and mammals, despite the known importance of these animals in their environments. The lack of study has been particularly acute in the he area of ecotoxicology where the number of published scientific papers is a fraction of that found for the other vertebrate classes. Recently, scientists have become aware of severe crises among amphibian populations, including unexplained and sudden extinctions, worldwide declines, and hideous malformations. In many of these instances, contaminants have been listed as probable contributors. Data on the effects of contaminants on reptiles are so depauperate that even the most elementary interpretations are difficult. This state-of-the-science review and synthesis of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicology demonstrates the inter-relationships among distribution, ecology, physiology, and contaminant exposure, and interprets these topics as they pertain to comparative toxicity, population declines, malformations, and risk assessment . In this way, the book identifies and serves as a basis for the most pressing research needs in the coming years. The editors have invited 27 other internationally respected experts to examine the state of existing data in specific areas, interpret it in light of current problems, and identify research gaps and needs. Through its emphasis on recent research, extensive reviews and synthesis, Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles will remain a definitive reference work well into the new century.

  12. [Echinoderms from Marino Ballena National Park, Pacific, Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Alvarado, Juan José; Fernández, Cindy

    2005-12-01

    A total of 25 species of echinoderms (four asteroids, six ophiuroids, five echinoids and ten holothurians) were recorded at Marino Ballena National Park, using 25 m2 quadrants, parallel to the coast, at seven sites. The ophiuroids were the most abundant group with 581 individuals and the asteroids the less abundant (48 individuals). Echinoderms densities were low, with the exception of the ophiuroids. Diversity, density and the number of groups were higher where sedimentation was lower. We suggest that sedimentation is having a negative effect on the diversity of echinoderms and on the development of the coral reefs in this park.

  13. Future directions in reptile medical education.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Elliott; Heard, Darryl; Isaza, Ramiro

    2006-01-01

    Reptile medicine has emerged as a specialty area within the broader field of zoological medicine. It encompasses the medical needs of approximately 7,500 vertebrate species. This vertebrate class is highly diversified, having biological and medical peculiarities that differ both between and within major groups. Historically, veterinarians who have become recognized specialists with reptiles have had limited formal training in their medical management. The pet reptile trade is a multi-million-dollar business, and the popularity of reptiles as pets has resulted in a need for more veterinarians with training in their medical management. While few private practices have high volumes of reptile cases, many small-animal practices will have the opportunity to see a significant number of reptiles on an annual basis. Most practitioners with reptile medical expertise have merged their experiences as reptile pet owners with the principles of veterinary medicine taught in veterinary college. Several North American veterinary colleges have reptile medicine courses, and most have didactic and clinical courses in exotic and zoo animal medicine that include lectures and practical experience. Most accredited zoological medicine residency training programs include training in reptile medicine. The case load and interest in reptile medicine will probably never be sufficient to lead the average veterinary college to develop much more than what is currently offered. Consequently, those few colleges having more extensive course offerings, both didactic and clinical, will serve as educational centers for this discipline. Future Web-based teaching programs in reptile medicine will allow students nationally and internationally to have access to instructional material that can be continually updated.

  14. Epidemiology of headache in the Republic of San Marino.

    PubMed Central

    D'Alessandro, R; Benassi, G; Lenzi, P L; Gamberini, G; Sacquegna, T; De Carolis, P; Lugaresi, E

    1988-01-01

    An epidemiological survey on headache was performed in the Republic of San Marino, which is the smallest independent State in the world, located near the Adriatic Coast, within Italy. Among a random sample of 1500 inhabitants over 7 years of age the frequency of headache, severe headache and migraine in the previous year was 35.3%, 12.2%, 9.3% respectively for men, and 46.2%, 20.6%, 18% for women. The most common factors reported to provoke headache were emotional stress, physical strain, lack of sleep, particular foods or drinks and for women menstruation. Migraine patients differed from people without headache in that they had a higher consumption of coffee, more frequently reported bad sleep, allergic disease and previous appendectomy. Furthermore, migraine patients and severe headache sufferers had a higher diastolic blood pressure than non headache subjects. PMID:3258357

  15. Update on common nutritional disorders of captive reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mans, Christoph; Braun, Jana

    2014-09-01

    Nutritional disorders of captive reptiles remain very common despite the increasing knowledge about reptile husbandry and nutrition. Many nutritional disorders are diagnosed late in the disease process; often secondary complications, such as pathologic fractures in reptiles suffering from nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism have occurred. Therefore, every attempt should be made to educate reptile owners and keepers about the proper care and dietary needs of reptiles under their care because all nutritional disorders seen in captive reptiles are preventable.

  16. Melanophoromas and iridophoromas in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Heckers, K O; Aupperle, H; Schmidt, V; Pees, M

    2012-01-01

    Chromatophoromas are tumours of pigment-producing cells of the skin and are rarely reported in reptiles. These tumours are subclassified on the basis of the type of pigment. The present study characterizes chromatophoromas arising in 26 reptiles, including six snakes, 19 lizards and a tortoise. These include the first reports of melanophoromas in a yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), pigmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus spp.), southern water snake (Nerodia fasciata), veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) and leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius); the first reports of benign iridophoromas in a savannah monitor (Varanus exanthematicus), veiled chameleon and bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps); and the first description of a malignant iridophoroma in a bearded dragon. Additionally, in three bearded dragons a 'mucinous' type of melanophoroma is described for the first time. Chromatophoromas generally arose from the skin of the body and head and ranged in size from 0.2 to 2.0cm in diameter. In six cases the animals were humanely destroyed immediately after diagnosis. Three further animals were humanely destroyed following recurrence of their tumour. Six of these nine reptiles had visceral metastases. Grossly, melanophoromas (n=20) were grey or black, while iridophoromas (n=6) were white in colour. Microscopically, most of the tumours were composed of spindle cells with varying pigmentation and 0-2 mitoses per 10 high power fields. Six of the 20 melanophoromas were classified as malignant due to the presence of intravascular tumour cells, visceral metastases, high pleomorphism and/or mitotic figures. Five of the six iridophoromas were classified as benign and the one malignant tumour was defined by the presence of intravascular tumour cells and visceral metastases. Immunohistochemically, melan A and S100 were coexpressed by all of the chromatophoromas. PMID:21864845

  17. Vesicular, ulcerative, and necrotic dermatitis of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Maas, Adolf K

    2013-09-01

    Vesicular, ulcerative, and necrotic dermatologic conditions are common in captive reptiles. Although these conditions have distinct differences histologically, they are commonly sequelae to each other. This article examines the anatomy and physiology of reptile skin; discusses reported causes of vesicular, ulcerative, and necrotic dermatologic conditions; and reviews various management options.

  18. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    PubMed

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

    Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole.

  19. Laboratory Reptile Surgery: Principles and Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Alworth, Leanne C; Hernandez, Sonia M; Divers, Stephen J

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles used for research and instruction may require surgical procedures, including biopsy, coelomic device implantation, ovariectomy, orchidectomy, and esophogostomy tube placement, to accomplish research goals. Providing veterinary care for unanticipated clinical problems may require surgical techniques such as amputation, bone or shell fracture repair, and coeliotomy. Although many principles of surgery are common between mammals and reptiles, important differences in anatomy and physiology exist. Veterinarians who provide care for these species should be aware of these differences. Most reptiles undergoing surgery are small and require specific instrumentation and positioning. In addition, because of the wide variety of unique physiologic and anatomic characteristics among snakes, chelonians, and lizards, different techniques may be necessary for different reptiles. This overview describes many common reptile surgery techniques and their application for research purposes or to provide medical care to research subjects. PMID:21333158

  20. Laboratory reptile surgery: principles and techniques.

    PubMed

    Alworth, Leanne C; Hernandez, Sonia M; Divers, Stephen J

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles used for research and instruction may require surgical procedures, including biopsy, coelomic device implantation, ovariectomy, orchidectomy, and esophogostomy tube placement, to accomplish research goals. Providing veterinary care for unanticipated clinical problems may require surgical techniques such as amputation, bone or shell fracture repair, and coeliotomy. Although many principles of surgery are common between mammals and reptiles, important differences in anatomy and physiology exist. Veterinarians who provide care for these species should be aware of these differences. Most reptiles undergoing surgery are small and require specific instrumentation and positioning. In addition, because of the wide variety of unique physiologic and anatomic characteristics among snakes, chelonians, and lizards, different techniques may be necessary for different reptiles. This overview describes many common reptile surgery techniques and their application for research purposes or to provide medical care to research subjects.

  1. Ticks imported to Europe with exotic reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2015-09-30

    It is known that traded exotic animals carry with them an immense number of associated symbionts, including parasites. Reptiles are no exception. Most of the imported reptiles originate from tropical countries and their possibility to carry potentially dangerous pathogens is high. According to CITES, Europe is currently the main reptile importer in the world. Despite this, there is no review or analysis available for the risk related to the importation of tick-borne diseases with traded reptile to the EU. The main aim of the manuscript is to provide a review on the available literature on ticks introduced to and exchanged between European countries via the live reptile trade. So far, the published reports of ticks imported on reptiles are limited to few European countries: Italy, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Slovenia and UK. The following species have been reported: Hyalomma aegyptium, Amblyomma dissimile, Amblyomma exornatum, Amblyomma flavomaculatum, Amblyomma fuscolineatum, Amblyomma latum, Amblyomma quadricavum, Amblyomma marmoreum, Amblyomma nuttalli, Amblyomma sparsum, Amblyomma sphenodonti, Amblyomma transversale and Amblyomma varanense. The majority of species are of African origin, followed by American and Asian species. All groups of reptiles (chelonians, snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tuataras) were involved. However, it seems that certain groups (i.e. tortoises of genus Testudo, monitor lizards of genus Varanus, snakes of genus Python) are more important as host for imported ticks, but this may be related to higher levels of international trade. Even fewer are the reports of tick-borne pathogens associated with imported reptile ticks. Despite the diversity of tick species reported on imported reptiles, the situations of truly invasive species are atypical and are limited in natural environments to maximum two cases where H. aegyptium was involved. Otherwise, the risk associated with reptile trade for introduction of invasive tick to Europe is low

  2. Ticks imported to Europe with exotic reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2015-09-30

    It is known that traded exotic animals carry with them an immense number of associated symbionts, including parasites. Reptiles are no exception. Most of the imported reptiles originate from tropical countries and their possibility to carry potentially dangerous pathogens is high. According to CITES, Europe is currently the main reptile importer in the world. Despite this, there is no review or analysis available for the risk related to the importation of tick-borne diseases with traded reptile to the EU. The main aim of the manuscript is to provide a review on the available literature on ticks introduced to and exchanged between European countries via the live reptile trade. So far, the published reports of ticks imported on reptiles are limited to few European countries: Italy, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Slovenia and UK. The following species have been reported: Hyalomma aegyptium, Amblyomma dissimile, Amblyomma exornatum, Amblyomma flavomaculatum, Amblyomma fuscolineatum, Amblyomma latum, Amblyomma quadricavum, Amblyomma marmoreum, Amblyomma nuttalli, Amblyomma sparsum, Amblyomma sphenodonti, Amblyomma transversale and Amblyomma varanense. The majority of species are of African origin, followed by American and Asian species. All groups of reptiles (chelonians, snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tuataras) were involved. However, it seems that certain groups (i.e. tortoises of genus Testudo, monitor lizards of genus Varanus, snakes of genus Python) are more important as host for imported ticks, but this may be related to higher levels of international trade. Even fewer are the reports of tick-borne pathogens associated with imported reptile ticks. Despite the diversity of tick species reported on imported reptiles, the situations of truly invasive species are atypical and are limited in natural environments to maximum two cases where H. aegyptium was involved. Otherwise, the risk associated with reptile trade for introduction of invasive tick to Europe is low

  3. Environmentally cued hatching in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Doody, J S

    2011-07-01

    Evidence is accumulating for the widespread occurrence of environmentally cued hatching (ECH) in animals, but its diversity and distribution across taxa are unknown. Herein I review three types of ECH in reptiles: early hatching, delayed hatching, and synchronous hatching. ECH is currently known from 43 species, including turtles, crocodilians, lizards, snakes, tuatara, and possibly worm lizards. Early hatching caused by physical disturbance (e.g., vibrations) is the most commonly reported ECH across all groups; although it apparently serves an antipredator function in some species, its adaptive value is unknown in most. Delayed hatching, characterized by metabolic depression or embryonic aestivation, and sometimes followed by a hypoxic cue (flooding), occurs in some turtles and possibly in monitor lizards and crocodilians; in some of these species delayed hatching serves to defer hatching from the dry season until the more favorable conditions of the wet season. Synchronous hatching, whereby sibling eggs hatch synchronously despite vertical thermal gradients in the nest, occurs in some turtles and crocodilians. Although vibrations and vocalizations in hatching-competent embryos can stimulate synchronous hatching, cues promoting developmentally less advanced embryos to catch up with more advanced embryos have not been confirmed. Synchronous hatching may serve to dilute predation risk by promoting synchronous emergence or reduce the period in which smells associated with hatching can attract predators to unhatched eggs. Within species, advancing our understanding of ECH requires three types of studies: (1) experiments identifying hatching cues and the plastic hatching period, (2) experiments disentangling hypotheses about multiple hatching cues, and (3) investigations into the environmental context in which ECH might evolve in different species (major predators or abiotic influences on the egg, embryo, and hatchling). Among species and groups, surveys for ECH are

  4. Global taxonomic diversity of living reptiles.

    PubMed

    Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel; Bauer, Aaron M; Meiri, Shai; Uetz, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Reptiles are one of the most ecologically and evolutionarily remarkable groups of living organisms, having successfully colonized most of the planet, including the oceans and some of the harshest and more environmentally unstable ecosystems on earth. Here, based on a complete dataset of all the world's diversity of living reptiles, we analyse lineage taxonomic richness both within and among clades, at different levels of the phylogenetic hierarchy. We also analyse the historical tendencies in the descriptions of new reptile species from Linnaeus to March 2012. Although (non-avian) reptiles are the second most species-rich group of amniotes after birds, most of their diversity (96.3%) is concentrated in squamates (59% lizards, 35% snakes, and 2% amphisbaenians). In strong contrast, turtles (3.4%), crocodilians (0.3%), and tuataras (0.01%) are far less diverse. In terms of species discoveries, most turtles and crocodilians were described early, while descriptions of lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians are multimodal with respect to time. Lizard descriptions, in particular, have reached unprecedented levels during the last decade. Finally, despite such remarkably asymmetric distributions of reptile taxonomic diversity among groups, we found that the distributions of lineage richness are consistently right-skewed, with most clades (monophyletic families and genera) containing few lineages (monophyletic genera and species, respectively), while only a few have radiated greatly (notably the families Colubridae and Scincidae, and the lizard genera Anolis and Liolaemus). Therefore, such consistency in the frequency distribution of richness among clades and among phylogenetic levels suggests that the nature of reptile biodiversity is fundamentally fractal (i.e., it is scale invariant). We then compared current reptile diversity with the global reptile diversity and taxonomy known in 1980. Despite substantial differences in the taxonomies (relative to 2012), the patterns of

  5. Global Taxonomic Diversity of Living Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel; Bauer, Aaron M.; Meiri, Shai; Uetz, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Reptiles are one of the most ecologically and evolutionarily remarkable groups of living organisms, having successfully colonized most of the planet, including the oceans and some of the harshest and more environmentally unstable ecosystems on earth. Here, based on a complete dataset of all the world’s diversity of living reptiles, we analyse lineage taxonomic richness both within and among clades, at different levels of the phylogenetic hierarchy. We also analyse the historical tendencies in the descriptions of new reptile species from Linnaeus to March 2012. Although (non-avian) reptiles are the second most species-rich group of amniotes after birds, most of their diversity (96.3%) is concentrated in squamates (59% lizards, 35% snakes, and 2% amphisbaenians). In strong contrast, turtles (3.4%), crocodilians (0.3%), and tuataras (0.01%) are far less diverse. In terms of species discoveries, most turtles and crocodilians were described early, while descriptions of lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians are multimodal with respect to time. Lizard descriptions, in particular, have reached unprecedented levels during the last decade. Finally, despite such remarkably asymmetric distributions of reptile taxonomic diversity among groups, we found that the distributions of lineage richness are consistently right-skewed, with most clades (monophyletic families and genera) containing few lineages (monophyletic genera and species, respectively), while only a few have radiated greatly (notably the families Colubridae and Scincidae, and the lizard genera Anolis and Liolaemus). Therefore, such consistency in the frequency distribution of richness among clades and among phylogenetic levels suggests that the nature of reptile biodiversity is fundamentally fractal (i.e., it is scale invariant). We then compared current reptile diversity with the global reptile diversity and taxonomy known in 1980. Despite substantial differences in the taxonomies (relative to 2012), the patterns of

  6. Reptile Critical Care and Common Emergencies.

    PubMed

    Music, Meera Kumar; Strunk, Anneliese

    2016-05-01

    Reptile emergencies are an important part of exotic animal critical care, both true emergencies and those perceived as emergencies by owners. The most common presentations for reptile emergencies are addressed here, with information on differential diagnoses, helpful diagnostics, and approach to treatment. In many cases, reptile emergencies are actually acute presentations originating from a chronic problem, and the treatment plan must include both clinical treatment and addressing husbandry and dietary deficiencies at home. Accurate owner expectations must be set in order to have owner compliance to long-term treatment plans. PMID:27131163

  7. Reptile Critical Care and Common Emergencies.

    PubMed

    Music, Meera Kumar; Strunk, Anneliese

    2016-05-01

    Reptile emergencies are an important part of exotic animal critical care, both true emergencies and those perceived as emergencies by owners. The most common presentations for reptile emergencies are addressed here, with information on differential diagnoses, helpful diagnostics, and approach to treatment. In many cases, reptile emergencies are actually acute presentations originating from a chronic problem, and the treatment plan must include both clinical treatment and addressing husbandry and dietary deficiencies at home. Accurate owner expectations must be set in order to have owner compliance to long-term treatment plans.

  8. New country records of reptiles from Laos

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Four species of reptiles, of which one is represented by one of its subspecies, are recorded for the first time from Laos: Cyrtodactylus phongnhakebangensis, Lycodon futsingensis, and Lycodon ruhstrati, as Lycodon ruhstrati abditus, from limestone forests in Khammouane Province and Cyrtodactylus pseudoquadrivirgatus from hill evergreen forest in Salavan Province. These discoveries of lizards and snakes bring the total species number of reptiles to 189 in Laos. PMID:24723754

  9. Amphibians and Reptiles of Los Alamos County

    SciTech Connect

    Teralene S. Foxx; Timothy K. Haarmann; David C. Keller

    1999-10-01

    Recent studies have shown that amphibians and reptiles are good indicators of environmental health. They live in terrestrial and aquatic environments and are often the first animals to be affected by environmental change. This publication provides baseline information about amphibians and reptiles that are present on the Pajarito Plateau. Ten years of data collection and observations by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and hobbyists are represented.

  10. Blood parasites in reptiles imported to Germany.

    PubMed

    Halla, Ursula; Ursula, Halla; Korbel, Rüdiger; Rüdiger, Korbel; Mutschmann, Frank; Frank, Mutschmann; Rinder, Monika; Monika, Rinder

    2014-12-01

    Though international trade is increasing, the significance of imported reptiles as carriers of pathogens with relevance to animal and human health is largely unknown. Reptiles imported to Germany were therefore investigated for blood parasites using light microscopy, and the detected parasites were morphologically characterized. Four hundred ten reptiles belonging to 17 species originating from 11 Asian, South American and African countries were included. Parasites were detected in 117 (29%) of individual reptiles and in 12 species. Haemococcidea (Haemogregarina, Hepatozoon, Schellackia) were found in 84% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus), 20% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Kinyongia fischeri, Gekko gecko) and 50% of turtles (Pelusios castaneus). Infections with Hematozoea (Plasmodium, Sauroplasma) were detected in 14% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Furcifer pardalis, Xenagama batillifera, Acanthosaura capra, Physignathus cocincinus), while those with Kinetoplastea (Trypanosoma) were found in 9% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus) and 25 % of lizards (K. fischeri, Acanthosaura capra, G. gecko). Nematoda including filarial larvae parasitized in 10% of lizards (Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Fu. pardalis, Physignathus cocincinus). Light microscopy mostly allowed diagnosis of the parasites' genus, while species identification was not possible because of limited morphological characteristics available for parasitic developmental stages. The investigation revealed a high percentage of imported reptiles being carriers of parasites while possible vectors and pathogenicity are largely unknown so far. The spreading of haemoparasites thus represents an incalculable risk for pet reptiles, native herpetofauna and even human beings.

  11. Renal flagellate infections in reptiles: 29 cases.

    PubMed

    Juan-Sallés, Caries; Garner, Michael M; Nordhausen, Robert W; Valls, Xavier; Gallego, Miguel; Soto, Sara

    2014-03-01

    Renal infection with flagellated protozoa was retrospectively evaluated in 29 reptiles, including 12 turtles, 7 tortoises, and 6 chameleons; overall, 20 species of reptiles were represented. Most cases presented with nonspecific clinical signs or a combination of several concurrent diseases. Nineteen of 29 reptiles had tubulointerstitial nephritis associated with flagellates, and this lesion was considered contributory to death in 15 cases, although concurrent diseases were frequent. Infection was invasive into the renal interstitium in three reptiles due to tubular rupture and in one chameleon also spread to adjacent tissues, coelomic cavity, and blood vessels due to renal rupture. Cytologic or ultrastructural evaluation of trophozoites in two cases was consistent with diplomonad flagellates. Renal disease was often complicated with soft-tissue mineralization and/or gout. Gastrointestinal and cloacal infection with flagellates and inflammation were frequent in reptiles in which the digestive tract was available for histopathologic examination, and this supports the possibility of infections ascending the urinary tract from the cloaca. Renal disease associated with flagellate protozoa is rare in vertebrates but appears to be relevant in reptiles, particularly chelonians and chameleons.

  12. Blood parasites in reptiles imported to Germany.

    PubMed

    Halla, Ursula; Ursula, Halla; Korbel, Rüdiger; Rüdiger, Korbel; Mutschmann, Frank; Frank, Mutschmann; Rinder, Monika; Monika, Rinder

    2014-12-01

    Though international trade is increasing, the significance of imported reptiles as carriers of pathogens with relevance to animal and human health is largely unknown. Reptiles imported to Germany were therefore investigated for blood parasites using light microscopy, and the detected parasites were morphologically characterized. Four hundred ten reptiles belonging to 17 species originating from 11 Asian, South American and African countries were included. Parasites were detected in 117 (29%) of individual reptiles and in 12 species. Haemococcidea (Haemogregarina, Hepatozoon, Schellackia) were found in 84% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus), 20% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Kinyongia fischeri, Gekko gecko) and 50% of turtles (Pelusios castaneus). Infections with Hematozoea (Plasmodium, Sauroplasma) were detected in 14% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Furcifer pardalis, Xenagama batillifera, Acanthosaura capra, Physignathus cocincinus), while those with Kinetoplastea (Trypanosoma) were found in 9% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus) and 25 % of lizards (K. fischeri, Acanthosaura capra, G. gecko). Nematoda including filarial larvae parasitized in 10% of lizards (Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Fu. pardalis, Physignathus cocincinus). Light microscopy mostly allowed diagnosis of the parasites' genus, while species identification was not possible because of limited morphological characteristics available for parasitic developmental stages. The investigation revealed a high percentage of imported reptiles being carriers of parasites while possible vectors and pathogenicity are largely unknown so far. The spreading of haemoparasites thus represents an incalculable risk for pet reptiles, native herpetofauna and even human beings. PMID:25324132

  13. Insights into reptile dermal contaminant exposure: Reptile skin permeability to pesticides.

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2016-07-01

    There is growing interest in improving ecological risk assessment exposure estimation, specifically by incorporating dermal exposure. At the same time, there is a growing interest in amphibians and reptiles as receptors in ecological risk assessment, despite generally receiving less research than more traditional receptors. Previous research has suggested that dermal exposure may be more important than previously considered for reptiles. We measured reptile skin permeability to four pesticides (thiamethoxam, malathion, tebuthiuron, trifluralin) using ventral skin samples. All four pesticides penetrated the skin but generally had low permeability. There was no apparent relationship between physicochemical properties and permeability coefficients. Malathion had a significantly greater permeability rate at all time points compared to the other pesticides. Tebuthiuron had a greater permeability than thiamethoxam. Reptiles and mammals appear to have similar skin permeability suggesting that dermal exposure estimates for mammals may be representative of reptiles.

  14. Insights into reptile dermal contaminant exposure: Reptile skin permeability to pesticides.

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2016-07-01

    There is growing interest in improving ecological risk assessment exposure estimation, specifically by incorporating dermal exposure. At the same time, there is a growing interest in amphibians and reptiles as receptors in ecological risk assessment, despite generally receiving less research than more traditional receptors. Previous research has suggested that dermal exposure may be more important than previously considered for reptiles. We measured reptile skin permeability to four pesticides (thiamethoxam, malathion, tebuthiuron, trifluralin) using ventral skin samples. All four pesticides penetrated the skin but generally had low permeability. There was no apparent relationship between physicochemical properties and permeability coefficients. Malathion had a significantly greater permeability rate at all time points compared to the other pesticides. Tebuthiuron had a greater permeability than thiamethoxam. Reptiles and mammals appear to have similar skin permeability suggesting that dermal exposure estimates for mammals may be representative of reptiles. PMID:27037770

  15. Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Mendenhall, Chase D; Frishkoff, Luke O; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesús; Mesfun, Eyobed; Mendoza Quijano, Fernando; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Pringle, Robert M

    2014-04-01

    The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services depends largely on the capacity of human-dominated ecosystems to support them, yet this capacity remains largely unknown. Using the framework of countryside biogeography, and working in the Las Cruces system of Coto Brus, Costa Rica, we assessed reptile and amphibian assemblages within four habitats that typify much of the Neotropics: sun coffee plantations (12 sites), pasture (12 sites), remnant forest elements (12 sites), and a larger, contiguous protected forest (3 sites in one forest). Through analysis of 1678 captures of 67 species, we draw four primary conclusions. First, we found that the majority of reptile (60%) and amphibian (70%) species in this study used an array of habitat types, including coffee plantations and actively grazed pastures. Second, we found that coffee plantations and pastures hosted rich, albeit different and less dense, reptile and amphibian biodiversity relative to the 326-ha Las Cruces Forest Reserve and neighboring forest elements. Third, we found that the small ribbons of "countryside forest elements" weaving through farmland collectively increased the effective size of a 326-ha local forest reserve 16-fold for reptiles and 14-fold for amphibians within our 236-km2 study area. Therefore, countryside forest elements, often too small for most remote sensing techniques to identify, are contributing -95% of the available habitat for forest-dependent reptiles and amphibians in our largely human-dominated study region. Fourth, we found large and pond-reproducing amphibians to prefer human-made habitats, whereas small, stream-reproducing, and directly developing species are more dependent on forest elements. Our investigation demonstrates that tropical farming landscapes can support substantial reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Our approach provides a framework for estimating the conservation value of the complex working landscapes that constitute roughly half of the global land surface

  16. Science: What Reptiles Are and Aren't

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Axelrod, Gerry S.

    1978-01-01

    Many children have an enormous fascination for reptiles of all kinds--snakes, turtles, tortoises, crocodiles, alligators and lizards. Whatever the reason for their interest, you can channel the enthusiasm of reptile fans and build the interest of curious students with a few simple activities, e.g., getting acquainted with reptile characteristics…

  17. Campylobacter iguaniorum sp. nov., isolated from reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During samplings of reptiles for Epsilonproteobacteria, Campylobacter strains were isolated from lizards and chelonians not belonging to any of the established taxa. Initial AFLP, PCR, and 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that these strains were most closely related to Campylobacter fetus and Campy...

  18. CONTAMINANT-ASSOCIATED ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION IN REPTILES.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The data presented suggest that contaminants can alter the endocrine and reproductive system of reptiles by mimicking hormones and by various mechanisms other than direct hormonal mimicry. However, these data indicate, as do many other studies using various vertebrates, that a fo...

  19. Reptile-associated salmonellosis in Minnesota, 1996-2011.

    PubMed

    Whitten, T; Bender, J B; Smith, K; Leano, F; Scheftel, J

    2015-05-01

    Reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) occurs when Salmonella is transmitted from a reptile to a human. This study describes the epidemiology of RAS in Minnesota during 1996-2011. All Minnesotans with confirmed Salmonella infections are reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Case patients are interviewed about illness characteristics and risk factors, including foods eaten, drinking and recreational water exposures, contact with ill people, and animal contact. Willing RAS case patients can submit stool from the reptile for culture. Serotype and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) subtype of Salmonella isolates from reptiles and case patients are compared. Of 8389 sporadic (not associated with an outbreak) non-typhoidal salmonellosis case patients in Minnesotans during 1996-2011, 290 (3.5%) reported reptile exposure. The median age of case patients with reptile exposure was 11 years, 31% were under the age of 5 years and 67% were under the age of 20 years; 50% were female. The median illness duration was 8 days; 23% required hospitalization. The most commonly reported reptile exposures were lizard (47%), snake (20%), turtle (19%) and a combination of reptile types (14%). Eighty-four per cent of isolates from case patients who reported reptile exposure were Salmonella enterica subspecies I. The three most common serotypes were Typhimurium (15%), Enteritidis (7%) and subspecies IV serotypes (7%). Of 60 reptiles testing positive for Salmonella, 36 (60%) yielded the same Salmonella serotype as the human isolate. Twenty-six of 27 reptile isolates that were subtyped by PFGE were indistinguishable from the human isolate. Of these, 88% were subspecies I; the most common serotypes were Enteritidis (12%), Typhimurium (8%), and Bareilly (8%). RAS accounts for approximately 3.5% of salmonellosis cases in Minnesota, primarily affecting children. The majority of isolates from case patients and reptiles belonged to Salmonella subspecies I, suggesting that

  20. Responses of riparian reptile communities to damming and urbanization

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunt, Stephanie D.; Guzy, Jacquelyn C.; Price, Steven J.; Halstead, Brian J.; Eskew, Evan A.; Dorcas, Michael E.

    2013-01-01

    Various anthropogenic pressures, including habitat loss, threaten reptile populations worldwide. Riparian zones are critical habitat for many reptile species, but these habitats are also frequently modified by anthropogenic activities. Our study investigated the effects of two riparian habitat modifications-damming and urbanization-on overall and species-specific reptile occupancy patterns. We used time-constrained search techniques to compile encounter histories for 28 reptile species at 21 different sites along the Broad and Pacolet Rivers of South Carolina. Using a hierarchical Bayesian analysis, we modeled reptile occupancy responses to a site's distance upstream from dam, distance downstream from dam, and percent urban land use. The mean occupancy response by the reptile community indicated that reptile occupancy and species richness were maximized when sites were farther upstream from dams. Species-specific occupancy estimates showed a similar trend of lower occupancy immediately upstream from dams. Although the mean occupancy response of the reptile community was positively related to distance downstream from dams, the occupancy response to distance downstream varied among species. Percent urban land use had little effect on the occupancy response of the reptile community or individual species. Our results indicate that the conditions of impoundments and subsequent degradation of the riparian zones upstream from dams may not provide suitable habitat for a number of reptile species.

  1. Diversity and distribution of reptiles in Romania

    PubMed Central

    Cogălniceanu, Dan; Rozylowicz, Laurentiu; Székely, Paul; Samoilă, Ciprian; Stănescu, Florina; Tudor, Marian; Székely, Diana; Iosif, Ruben

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The reptile fauna of Romania comprises 23 species, out of which 12 species reach here the limit of their geographic range. We compiled and updated a national database of the reptile species occurrences from a variety of sources including our own field surveys, personal communication from specialists, museum collections and the scientific literature. The occurrence records were georeferenced and stored in a geodatabase for additional analysis of their spatial patterns. The spatial analysis revealed a biased sampling effort concentrated in various protected areas, and deficient in the vast agricultural areas of the southern part of Romania. The patterns of species richness showed a higher number of species in the warmer and drier regions, and a relatively low number of species in the rest of the country. Our database provides a starting point for further analyses, and represents a reliable tool for drafting conservation plans. PMID:24146598

  2. Ticks parasitizing reptiles in the Bahamas.

    PubMed

    Durden, L A; Knapp, C R

    2005-09-01

    Two species of reptile ticks, Amblyomma dissimile Koch and Amblyomma torrei Pérez Vigueras (Acari: Ixodidae), are reported from the Bahama Islands for the first time. The widespread neotropical (including the Caribbean and southern Florida) A. dissimile was recovered on Andros Island from three species of reptiles all for the first time: the Andros iguana Cyclura cychlura cychlura Cuvier, the Andros curly tail lizard Leiocephalus carinatus coryi Schmidt, and the Andros boa Epicrates striatus fowleri Sheplan and Schwartz. The iguana tick A. torrei, previously known only from Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands, was recovered in the Exuma Islands from the Exuma iguana Cyclura cychlura figginsi Barbour. Mean numbers of ticks per host were as high as 36.6 on Mangrove Cay, Andros Island, and 25.8 on Pasture Cay in the Exuma Islands.

  3. Bent's Old Fort: Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.

    2008-01-01

    Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site sits along the Arkansas River in the semi-desert prairie of southeastern Colorado. The USGS provided assistance in designing surveys to assess the variety of herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) resident at this site. This brochure is the results of those efforts and provides visitors with information on what frogs, toads, snakes and salamanders might be seen and heard at Bent's Old Fort.

  4. Coprological survey in pet reptiles in Italy.

    PubMed

    Papini, R; Manetti, C; Mancianti, F

    2011-08-20

    Faecal samples were collected from 324 pet reptiles showing no clinical signs, including 28 saurian species (n=192), three ophidian species (n=74) and three chelonian species (n=58). Samples were examined for the presence of intestinal parasites by direct smear and faecal flotation, while direct immunofluorescence assays were used to reveal the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts. Overall, 57.4 per cent of the reptiles were harbouring intestinal parasites. These included oxyurids (16 per cent), coccidia (12.3 per cent), flagellates (9.3 per cent), strongyles (6.8 per cent), coccidia plus oxyurids (4.9 per cent), coccidia plus flagellates (1.8 per cent), coccidia plus strongyles (1.8 per cent), oxyurids plus strongyles (1.2 per cent), oxyurids plus flagellates (1.2 per cent), Cryptosporidium species (1.2 per cent) and strongyles plus flagellates (0.6 per cent). Intestinal parasites were more prevalent in saurians than in ophidians and chelonians, in insectivores than in carnivores, omnivores and herbivores, and in wild-caught than in captive-born reptiles. A highly significant difference was observed for saurians versus chelonians (odds ratio [OR]=2.20, 95 per cent confidence interval [CI] 1.21 to 3.99), insectivores versus herbivores (OR=2.38, 95 per cent CI 1.26 to 4.49) and in wild-caught versus captive-born pet reptiles (OR=2.36, 95 per cent CI 1.27 to 4.40).

  5. Molecular evidence of Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection in reptiles in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Frutos, María C; Monetti, Marina S; Ré, Viviana E; Cuffini, Cecilia G

    2014-01-01

    In the central area of Argentina, the epidemiological and molecular characteristics of Chlamydophila pneumoniae infections in reptiles are still unknown. A nested polymerase chain reaction of the rpoB gene was used to detect C. pneumoniae in cloacal swab samples from 19 reptiles at a recreational area. Eleven (57.89%) reptiles were positive; the sequencing and phylogenetic analysis confirmed the presence of this bacterium. Neither C. pneumoniae DNA in the caregivers pharynges nor IgM antibodies anti-C. pneumoniae in their serum samples were detected; however, caregivers presented very high titers of IgG anti-C. pneumoniae. The detection of C. pneumoniae DNA in reptiles demonstrated the circulation of this agent in the recreational area and could be responsible for the exacerbated immune response of the personnel handling the reptiles, which suggests a potential zoonotic cycle. This is the first report of the detection of C. pneumoniae in reptiles in Argentina.

  6. Salmonella infection and carriage in reptiles in a zoological collection.

    PubMed

    Clancy, Meredith M; Davis, Meghan; Valitutto, Marc T; Nelson, Kenrad; Sykes, John M

    2016-05-01

    OBJECTIVE To identify important subspecies and serovars of Salmonella enterica in a captive reptile population and clinically relevant risk factors for and signs of illness in Salmonella-positive reptiles. DESIGN Retrospective cross-sectional study. ANIMALS 11 crocodilians (4 samples), 78 snakes (91 samples), 59 lizards (57 samples), and 34 chelonians (23 samples) at the Bronx Zoo from 2000 through 2012. PROCEDURES Data pertaining to various types of biological samples obtained from reptiles with positive Salmonella culture results and the reptiles themselves were analyzed to determine period prevalence of and risk factors for various Salmonella-related outcomes. RESULTS Serovar distribution differences were identified for sample type, reptile phylogenetic family, and reptile origin and health. Salmonella enterica subsp enterica was the most common subspecies in Salmonella cultures (78/175 [45%]), identified across all reptilian taxa. Salmonella enterica subsp diarizonae was also common (42/175 [24%]) and was recovered almost exclusively from snakes (n = 33), many of which had been clinically ill (17). Clinically ill reptiles provided 37% (64) of Salmonella cultures. Factors associated with an increased risk of illness in reptiles with a positive culture result were carnivorous diet and prior confiscation. Snakes had a higher risk of illness than other reptile groups, whereas lizards had a lower risk. Bony changes, dermatitis, and anorexia were the most common clinical signs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE This study provided new information on Salmonella infection or carriage and associated clinical disease in reptiles. Associations identified between serovars or subspecies and reptile groups or clinical disease can guide management of Salmonella-positive captive reptiles.

  7. VizieR Online Data Catalog: NGC 2808 HB stars abundances (Marino+, 2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marino, A. F.; Milone, A. P.; Przybilla, N.; Bergemann, M.; Lind, K.; Asplund, M.; Cassisi, S.; Catelan, M.; Casagrande, L.; Valcarce, A. A. R.; Bedin, L. R.; Cortes, C.; D'Antona, F.; Jerjen, H.; Piotto, G.; Schlesinger, K.; Zoccali, M.; Angeloni, R.

    2014-11-01

    To identify our stellar sample, we use the photometric catalogue of Momany et al. (2004), which has been obtained from U, B and V images collected with the Wide-Field Imager (WFI) mounted at the 2.2m ESO-MPI (Max-Planck-Institut) telescope at La Silla observatory, Chile. Our spectroscopic data consist of FLAMES/GIRAFFE and FLAMES/UVES data collected under the ESO programme 086.D-0141 (PI: Marino). The GIRAFFE fibres were used with the HR12 setup, covering the spectral range from ~5820 to ~6140Å with a resolution of ~18700. (6 data files).

  8. All about Reptiles. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    Dinosaurs may be extinct, but reptiles are distant cousins to the beasts that once walked the earth. From snakes and lizards to iguanas and tuataras, children learn what factors make them different from other animals. In this videotape, students explore the mysterious, often misunderstood, world of reptiles and learn about their characteristics…

  9. Amphibians and Reptiles from Paramakatoi and Kato, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    We report the herpetofauna of two neighboring upland locations in west-central Guyana. Twenty amphibian and 24 reptile species were collected. Only 40% of amphibians and 12.5% of reptiles were collected in both locations. This is one of the few collections made at upland (750–800 m) locations in the Guiana Shield.

  10. Seven new species of helminths for reptiles from Armenia.

    PubMed

    Nelli, Sargsyan; Felix, Danielyan; Marine, Arakelyan

    2014-09-01

    Helminthic infections of reptiles habiting in the territory of Armenia are examined. Seven species of helminths new for reptiles from Armenia are registered: Parapharyngodon skrjabini, Oswaldocruzia goezei, Neoxysomatium sp., Telorchis assula, Nematotaenia tarentolae, Mesocestoides lineatus and Spirometra erinacei europea. Descriptions and pictures of them are given.

  11. A review on human attitudes towards reptiles in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; Vieira, Kleber Silva; Santana, Gindomar Gomes; Vieira, Washington Luiz Silva; Almeida, Waltécio Oliveira; Souto, Wedson Medeiros Silva; Montenegro, Paulo Fernando Guedes Pereira; Pezzuti, Juarez Carlos Brito

    2012-11-01

    For many millennia humans and reptiles have interacted, but the attitude of humans towards these animals has depended on culture, environment, and personal experience. At least 719 reptile species are known to occur in Brazil and about 11% of this fauna has been exploited for many different purposes, including bushmeat, leather, ornamental and magic/religious uses, and as folk medicines. Brazil can therefore serve as an interesting case study for better understanding reptile use by human societies, and the present paper catalogues some of the reptile species being used in Brazil and discusses implications for their conservation. A literature review indicated that 81 reptile species are culturally important in this country, with 47 (58%) species having multiple uses, 54 being used for medicinal purposes, 38 as food, 28 for ornamental or decorative purposes, 20 used in magic/religious practices, 18 as pets, and 40 are commonly killed when they come into contact with humans. Regarding their conservation status, 30 (37.5%) are included on State's Red List, Brazilian Red List or the IUCN Red List. There are many forms of interaction between reptiles and humans in Brazil-although most of them are quite negative in terms of wildlife conservation-which reinforces the importance of understanding such uses and interactions in the context of protecting reptiles in Brazil. A better understanding of the cultural, social, and traditional roles of these reptiles is fundamental to establishing management plans for their sustainable use.

  12. Congenital ocular and adnexal disorders in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Sabater, Mikel; Pérez, Marisa

    2013-01-01

    Ocular and adnexal congenital disorders are those that manifest at birth and could involve single or multiple tissues. Several abnormalities have been reported in literature affecting reptilian ocular and/or adnexal tissues. The objectives of this review are: (i) review those disorders previously reported in reptile literature; (ii) present new cases; (iii) provide a basic classification of them according to the moment of occurrence and (iv) indirectly, encourage the clinician dealing with these cases to go further in their diagnosis. The authors consider that categorizing ocular and adnexal congenital disorders could help the clinician to deal with them. The categorization of these disorders required an intense review of cases previously reported in literature and allows the authors suspect that some of them could not have been accurately diagnosed according to the definitions of the anomalies and/or not accurately described. The authors consider that ocular and adnexal congenital disorders could have been underestimated in reptiles and further studies could be helpful to promote the description of new disorders and to expand the knowledge about those previously reported. The review will first describe abnormalities reported during organogenesis (describing possible etiopathogenesis, cases reported, an approach to their diagnosis and recommended therapeutic options).Then a mention of the ocular disorders occurring after organogenesis is made. These disorders are divided when possible in those affecting all or most part of the globe and those affecting only specific tissues (surface ectoderm, neurocrest and mesenchyma and neuroectoderm).

  13. Molecular Mechanisms of Sex Determination in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Rhen, T.; Schroeder, A.

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques. PMID:20145384

  14. Campylobacter iguaniorum sp. nov., isolated from reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Kik, Marja; Miller, William G; Duim, Birgitta; Wagenaar, Jaap A

    2015-03-01

    During sampling of reptiles for members of the class Epsilonproteobacteria, strains representing a member of the genus Campylobacter not belonging to any of the established taxa were isolated from lizards and chelonians. Initial amplified fragment length polymorphism, PCR and 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that these strains were most closely related to Campylobacter fetus and Campylobacter hyointestinalis. A polyphasic study was undertaken to determine the taxonomic position of five strains. The strains were characterized by 16S rRNA and atpA sequence analysis, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and conventional phenotypic testing. Whole-genome sequences were determined for strains 1485E(T) and 2463D, and the average nucleotide and amino acid identities were determined for these strains. The strains formed a robust phylogenetic clade, divergent from all other species of the genus Campylobacter. In contrast to most currently known members of the genus Campylobacter, the strains showed growth at ambient temperatures, which might be an adaptation to their reptilian hosts. The results of this study clearly show that these strains isolated from reptiles represent a novel species within the genus Campylobacter, for which the name Campylobacter iguaniorum sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is 1485E(T) ( = LMG 28143(T) = CCUG 66346(T)).

  15. Molecular mechanisms of sex determination in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Rhen, T; Schroeder, A

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques.

  16. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conrad, Paulette M.; Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2014-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effect from overexploitation; these animals are also challenged by the perception that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural an cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation of these animals has never been more important.

  17. Salmonella prevalence among reptiles in a zoo education setting.

    PubMed

    Hydeskov, H B; Guardabassi, L; Aalbaek, B; Olsen, K E P; Nielsen, S S; Bertelsen, M F

    2013-06-01

    Clinically healthy reptiles may shed Salmonella and therefore act as a potential zoonotic threat. Most people in Northern European countries are rarely exposed to reptiles, but many zoos have education departments where children have direct contact with this group of animals. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence and serotype distribution of Salmonella among reptiles in the Education Department (n = 55) at Copenhagen Zoo and compare it to the Zoo's main reptile collection (n = 145) to evaluate the zoonotic risk. Salmonella was isolated from cloacal swabs by selective enrichment, and a single isolate from each positive sample was further identified by biochemical tests and serotyped. The overall prevalence was 35% (69/200) with significant difference between the Education Department (64%, 35/55) and the main reptile collection (23%, 34/145). A total of 28 serotypes were detected. Ten serotypes were isolated from more than one specimen and four from more than one species. Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Eastbourne was the predominant serotype (32%, 22/69) and was also the serotype isolated from most reptile species (n = 7). Transmission of serotypes from one department to another was very limited indicated by the serotype distribution. Despite the relative high prevalence observed among the reptiles in the Zoo's Education Department compared to the reptiles in the Zoo's main reptile collection, no Salmonella cases have been linked to the Zoo, and Salmonella ser. Eastbourne is very rarely isolated from humans in Denmark. Simple hygienic procedures such as hand washing which is consistently carried out following handling of reptiles at the Education Department may reduce the risk and therefore contribute to this low prevalence.

  18. Pentastomiasis and other parasitic zoonoses from reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Pantchev, Nikola; Tappe, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles are growing in popularity as pets.The colonization of reptiles and amphibians by parasites and the resulting disease conditions are the most common problems seen in captive animals.This review focuses on pentastomiasis and sparganosis, important parasitic zoonoses of reptiles and amphibians, respectively, and free living-amoebae. Humans are suitable accidental hosts for some pentastomid species (particularly Armillifer and Porocephalus). In geographical areas with special ethnics, such as in West and Central Africa, and East Asia, 8-45% of the human population can be affected. Usually the larvae are coincidentally found during abdominal surgeries. However, fatalities have been described. Extreme caution is necessary when handling infected reptiles. Ocular or cerebral sparganosis is not uncommonly found in humans in East Asia. This disease is caused by spargana, tapeworm larvae (plerocercoids) of Spirometra sp. The infection occurs when uncooked meat from reptiles or amphibians is applied to wounds or eyes and the parasites migrate directly to human tissue, or by consumption of contaminated food or water. As a consequence of the reptile's predatory behaviour, the full spectrum of endo- and ectoparasites from potential prey animals can be found as transiting parasites in the intestinal tract, e. g. Hymenolepis nana, Cryptosporidium (C.) muris, C parvum or Capillaria hepatica. Occasionally, free-living amoebae are also found in reptile faeces (Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Hartmanella, Vahlkampfia or Echinamoeba sp.).

  19. Caution: Reptile pets shuttle grasshopper allergy and asthma into homes.

    PubMed

    Jensen-Jarolim, Erika; Pali-Schöll, Isabella; Jensen, Sebastian A F; Robibaro, Bruno; Kinaciyan, Tamar

    2015-01-01

    The numbers of reptiles in homes has at least doubled in the last decade in Europe and the USA. Reptile purchases are increasingly triggered by the attempt to avoid potentially allergenic fur pets like dogs and cats. Consequently, reptiles are today regarded as surrogate pets initiating a closer relationship with the owner than ever previously observed. Reptile pets are mostly fed with insects, especially grasshoppers and/or locusts, which are sources for aggressive airborne allergens, best known from occupational insect breeder allergies. Exposure in homes thus introduces a new form of domestic allergy to grasshoppers and related insects. Accordingly, an 8-year old boy developed severe bronchial hypersensitivity and asthma within 4 months after purchase of a bearded dragon. The reptile was held in the living room and regularly fed with living grasshoppers. In the absence of a serological allergy diagnosis test, an IgE immunoblot on grasshopper extract and prick-to-prick test confirmed specific sensitization to grasshoppers. After 4 years of allergen avoidance, a single respiratory exposure was sufficient to trigger a severe asthma attack again in the patient. Based on literature review and the clinical example we conclude that reptile keeping is associated with introducing potent insect allergens into home environments. Patient interviews during diagnostic procedure should therefore by default include the question about reptile pets in homes. PMID:26322151

  20. Caution: Reptile pets shuttle grasshopper allergy and asthma into homes.

    PubMed

    Jensen-Jarolim, Erika; Pali-Schöll, Isabella; Jensen, Sebastian A F; Robibaro, Bruno; Kinaciyan, Tamar

    2015-01-01

    The numbers of reptiles in homes has at least doubled in the last decade in Europe and the USA. Reptile purchases are increasingly triggered by the attempt to avoid potentially allergenic fur pets like dogs and cats. Consequently, reptiles are today regarded as surrogate pets initiating a closer relationship with the owner than ever previously observed. Reptile pets are mostly fed with insects, especially grasshoppers and/or locusts, which are sources for aggressive airborne allergens, best known from occupational insect breeder allergies. Exposure in homes thus introduces a new form of domestic allergy to grasshoppers and related insects. Accordingly, an 8-year old boy developed severe bronchial hypersensitivity and asthma within 4 months after purchase of a bearded dragon. The reptile was held in the living room and regularly fed with living grasshoppers. In the absence of a serological allergy diagnosis test, an IgE immunoblot on grasshopper extract and prick-to-prick test confirmed specific sensitization to grasshoppers. After 4 years of allergen avoidance, a single respiratory exposure was sufficient to trigger a severe asthma attack again in the patient. Based on literature review and the clinical example we conclude that reptile keeping is associated with introducing potent insect allergens into home environments. Patient interviews during diagnostic procedure should therefore by default include the question about reptile pets in homes.

  1. [Strategies for Conservation of Endangered Amphibian and Reptile Species].

    PubMed

    Anan'eva, N B; Uteshev, V K; Orlova, N L; Gakhova, E N

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for conservation of endangered amphibian and reptile species are discussed. One-fifth of all vertebrates belongs to the category of "endangered species," and amphibians are first on the list (41%). Every fifth reptile species is in danger of extinction, and insufficient information is characteristic of every other fifth. As has been demonstrated, efficient development of a network of nature conservation areas, cryopreservation, and methods for laboratory breeding and reintroduction play.the key roles in adequate strategies for preservation of amphibians and reptiles. PMID:26638239

  2. Zoonotic diseases associated with reptiles and amphibians: an update.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2011-09-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are popular as pets. There are increased concerns among public health officials because of the zoonotic potential associated with these animals. Encounters with reptiles and amphibians are also on the rise in the laboratory setting and with wild animals; in both of these practices, there is also an increased likelihood for exposure to zoonotic pathogens. It is important that veterinarians remain current with the literature as it relates to emerging and reemerging zoonotic diseases attributed to reptiles and amphibians so that they can protect themselves, their staff, and their clients from potential problems.

  3. Integrating developmental biology and the fossil record of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

    Numerous new discoveries and new research techniques have influenced our understanding of reptile development from a palaeontological perspective. They suggest for example that transition from mineralized to leathery eggshells and from oviparity to viviparity appeared much more often in the evolution of reptiles than was previously thought. Most marine reptiles evolved from viviparous terrestrial ancestors and had probably genetic sex determination. Fossil forms often display developmental traits absent or rare among modern ones such as polydactyly, hyperphalangy, the presence of ribcage armour, reduction of head ornamentation during ontogeny, extreme modifications of vertebral count or a wide range of feather-like structures. Thus, they provide an empirical background for many morphogenetic considerations.

  4. [Helminthofauna of reptiles in the Republic of Belarus].

    PubMed

    Shimalov, V V

    2010-01-01

    Analysis of original long-term investigation (1980-2006) and literary data on the helminthofauna of reptiles in the Republic of Belarus is carried out. Seven species of reptiles were examined on Southern Belarus, 32 species of helminthes were found with total infestation 72.7%. It is established that the helminthofauna of reptiles in the Republic of Belarus includes 33 species (18 trematodes, two cestodes, 12 nematodes, and one acanthocephalan). The largest number of helminth species (26) was recorded in the common water snake Natrix natrix, and the least number of species (four) was recorded in the turtle Emys orbicularis and snake Coronella austriaca.

  5. [Strategies for Conservation of Endangered Amphibian and Reptile Species].

    PubMed

    Anan'eva, N B; Uteshev, V K; Orlova, N L; Gakhova, E N

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for conservation of endangered amphibian and reptile species are discussed. One-fifth of all vertebrates belongs to the category of "endangered species," and amphibians are first on the list (41%). Every fifth reptile species is in danger of extinction, and insufficient information is characteristic of every other fifth. As has been demonstrated, efficient development of a network of nature conservation areas, cryopreservation, and methods for laboratory breeding and reintroduction play.the key roles in adequate strategies for preservation of amphibians and reptiles.

  6. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.; Mader, Douglas R.; Divers, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    Why is there a section on introduced amphibians and reptiles in this volume, and why should veterinarians care about this issue? Globally, invasive species are a major threat to the stability of native ecosystems,1,2 and amphibians and reptiles are attracting increased attention as potential invaders. Some introduced amphibians and reptiles have had a major impact (e.g., Brown Tree Snakes [Boiga irregularis] wiping out the native birds of Guam3 or Cane Toads [Rhinella marina] poisoning native Australian predators).4 For the vast majority of species, however, the ecological, economic, and sociopolitical effects of introduced amphibians and reptiles are generally poorly quantified, largely because of a lack of focused research effort rather than because such effects are nonexistent. This trend is alarming given that rates of introduction have increased exponentially in recent decades.

  7. Salmonella serotypes in reptiles and humans, French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Gay, Noellie; Le Hello, Simon; Weill, François-Xavier; de Thoisy, Benoit; Berger, Franck

    2014-05-14

    In French Guiana, a French overseas territory located in the South American northern coast, nearly 50% of Salmonella serotypes isolated from human infections belong to serotypes rarely encountered in metropolitan France. A reptilian source of contamination has been investigated. Between April and June 2011, in the area around Cayenne, 151 reptiles were collected: 38 lizards, 37 snakes, 32 turtles, 23 green iguanas and 21 caimans. Cloacal swab samples were collected and cultured. Isolated Salmonella strains were identified biochemically and serotyped. The overall carriage frequency of carriage was 23.2% (95% confidence interval: 16.7-30.4) with 23 serotyped strains. The frequency of Salmonella carriage was significantly higher for wild reptiles. Near two-thirds of the Salmonella serotypes isolated from reptiles were also isolated from patients in French Guiana. Our results highlight the risk associated with the handling and consumption of reptiles and their role in the spread of Salmonella in the environment.

  8. The current status of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Bishop, C.A.; Linder, G.; Sparling, Donald W.; Linder, Greg L.; Bishop, Christine A.

    2000-01-01

    The extent of research conducted on the effects of contaminants on reptiles and amphibians has been scant compared to that of other vertebrate classes including fishes, birds and mammals. In a review of literature from 1972 until 1998 we found that only about 2.7% of the papers published on ecotoxicology in vertebrates concerned amphibians and 1.4% for reptiles. Most studies on amphibian ecotoxicology were on metals, pesticides, and acid deposition. For reptiles the greatest frequency of papers included metals, organochlorines, and others. In proportion to the taxonomic importance, far more papers were written on turtles than on other reptile orders. Most of the papers dealt with residues and very few dealt with effects of contaminant exposure.

  9. FLOTAC can detect parasitic and pseudoparasitic elements in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Rinaldi, L; Mihalca, A D; Cirillo, R; Maurelli, M P; Montesano, M; Capasso, M; Cringoli, G

    2012-03-01

    Reptiles have increased in popularity worldwide; snakes and lizards are frequently used as pets. As a consequence of their popularity, the interest of the scientific community in these animals has increased. In order to acquire epidemiological data on the parasitic infections affecting reptiles in Italy a survey was carried out in 125 snakes and 25 lizards bred in the Campania region of southern Italy. Individual fecal samples were collected and FLOTAC was used for copromicroscopic diagnosis. Eimeriidae, oxyurids, strongylids, other gastro-intestinal nematodes and pulmonary nematodes were the most representative parasites found. Eggs of pseudoparasites (mites, oxyurids and trichurids affecting rodents) were also found. The use of FLOTAC for diagnosis of parasitic infections in reptiles has demonstrated to be a rapid and sensitive test to improve diagnosis and acquire new information on the parasitological fauna of reptiles. PMID:22306152

  10. Reptile scale paradigm: Evo-Devo, pattern formation and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Chang, Cheng; Wu, Ping; Baker, Ruth E; Maini, Philip K; Alibardi, Lorenzo; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this perspective is to highlight the merit of the reptile integument as an experimental model. Reptiles represent the first amniotes. From stem reptiles, extant reptiles, birds and mammals have evolved. Mammal hairs and feathers evolved from Therapsid and Sauropsid reptiles, respectively. The early reptilian integument had to adapt to the challenges of terrestrial life, developing a multi-layered stratum corneum capable of barrier function and ultraviolet protection. For better mechanical protection, diverse reptilian scale types have evolved. The evolution of endothermy has driven the convergent evolution of hair and feather follicles: both form multiple localized growth units with stem cells and transient amplifying cells protected in the proximal follicle. This topological arrangement allows them to elongate, molt and regenerate without structural constraints. Another unique feature of reptile skin is the exquisite arrangement of scales and pigment patterns, making them testable models for mechanisms of pattern formation. Since they face the constant threat of damage on land, different strategies were developed to accommodate skin homeostasis and regeneration. Temporally, they can be under continuous renewal or sloughing cycles. Spatially, they can be diffuse or form discrete localized growth units (follicles). To understand how gene regulatory networks evolved to produce increasingly complex ectodermal organs, we have to study how prototypic scale-forming pathways in reptiles are modulated to produce appendage novelties. Despite the fact that there are numerous studies of reptile scales, molecular analyses have lagged behind. Here, we underscore how further development of this novel experimental model will be valuable in filling the gaps of our understanding of the Evo-Devo of amniote integuments.

  11. The conservation status of the world’s reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Böhm, Monika; Reynolds, Robert P.; ,

    2013-01-01

    Effective and targeted conservation action requires detailed information about species, their distribution, systematics and ecology as well as the distribution of threat processes which affect them. Knowledge of reptilian diversity remains surprisingly disparate, and innovative means of gaining rapid insight into the status of reptiles are needed in order to highlight urgent conservation cases and inform environmental policy with appropriate biodiversity information in a timely manner. We present the first ever global analysis of extinction risk in reptiles, based on a random representative sample of 1500 species (16% of all currently known species). To our knowledge, our results provide the first analysis of the global conservation status and distribution patterns of reptiles and the threats affecting them, highlighting conservation priorities and knowledge gaps which need to be addressed urgently to ensure the continued survival of the world’s reptiles. Nearly one in five reptilian species are threatened with extinction, with another one in five species classed as Data Deficient. The proportion of threatened reptile species is highest in freshwater environments, tropical regions and on oceanic islands, while data deficiency was highest in tropical areas, such as Central Africa and Southeast Asia, and among fossorial reptiles. Our results emphasise the need for research attention to be focussed on tropical areas which are experiencing the most dramatic rates of habitat loss, on fossorial reptiles for which there is a chronic lack of data, and on certain taxa such as snakes for which extinction risk may currently be underestimated due to lack of population information. Conservation actions specifically need to mitigate the effects of human-induced habitat loss and harvesting, which are the predominant threats to reptiles.

  12. Extinction Risks and the Conservation of Madagascar's Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Richard K. B.; Tognelli, Marcelo F.; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L.; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R.; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D.; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F.; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H.; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A.; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J. Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H.; Randrianirina, Jasmin E.; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P.; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M.; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P.; Yoder, Anne D.; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Background An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Methodology/Principal Findings Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. Conclusions/Significance With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and

  13. Reptile scale paradigm: Evo-Devo, pattern formation and regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Cheng; Wu, Ping; Baker, Ruth E.; Maini, Philip K.; Alibardi, Lorenzo; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this perspective is to highlight the merit of the reptile integument as an experimental model. Reptiles represent the first amniotes. From stem reptiles, extant reptiles, birds and mammals have evolved. Mammal hairs and feathers evolved from Therapsid and Sauropsid reptiles, respectively. The early reptilian integument had to adapt to the challenges of terrestrial life, developing a multi-layered stratum corneum capable of barrier function and ultraviolet protection. For better mechanical protection, diverse reptilian scale types have evolved. The evolution of endothermy has driven the convergent evolution of hair and feather follicles: both form multiple localized growth units with stem cells and transient amplifying cells protected in the proximal follicle. This topological arrangement allows them to elongate, molt and regenerate without structural constraints. Another unique feature of reptile skin is the exquisite arrangement of scales and pigment patterns, making them testable models for mechanisms of pattern formation. Since they face the constant threat of damage on land, different strategies were developed to accommodate skin homeostasis and regeneration. Temporally, they can be under continuous renewal or sloughing cycles. Spatially, they can be diffuse or form discrete localized growth units (follicles). To understand how gene regulatory networks evolved to produce increasingly complex ectodermal organs, we have to study how prototypic scale-forming pathways in reptiles are modulated to produce appendage novelties. Despite the fact that there are numerous studies of reptile scales, molecular analyses have lagged behind. Here, we underscore how further development of this novel experimental model will be valuable in filling the gaps of our understanding of the Evo-Devo of amniote integuments. PMID:19557687

  14. Stable isotopes may provide evidence for starvation in reptiles.

    PubMed

    McCue, Marshall D; Pollock, Erik D

    2008-08-01

    Previous studies have attempted to correlate stable isotope signatures of tissues with the nutritional condition of birds, mammals, fishes, and invertebrates. Unfortunately, very little is known about the relationship between food limitation and the isotopic composition of reptiles. We examined the effects that starvation has on delta13C and delta15N signatures in the tissues (excreta, carcass, scales, and claws) of six, distantly related squamate reptiles (gaboon vipers, Bitis gabonica; ball pythons, Python regius; ratsnakes, Elaphe obsoleta; boa constrictors, Boa constrictor; western diamondback rattlesnakes, Crotalus atrox, and savannah monitor lizards, Varanus exanthematicus). Analyses revealed that the isotopic composition of reptile carcasses did not change significantly in response to bouts of starvation lasting up to 168 days. In contrast, the isotopic signatures of reptile excreta became significantly enriched in 15N and depleted in 13C during starvation. The isotopic signatures of reptile scales and lizard claws were less indicative of starvation time than those of excreta. We discuss the physiological mechanisms that might be responsible for the starvation-induced changes in 13C and 15N signatures in the excreta, and present a mixing model to describe the shift in excreted nitrogen source pools (i.e. from a labile source pool to a nonlabile source pool) that apparently occurs during starvation in these animals. The results of this study suggest that naturally occurring stable isotopes might ultimately have some utility for characterizing nitrogen and carbon stress among free-living reptiles.

  15. PREVALENCE OF SALMONELLA IN CAPTIVE REPTILES FROM CROATIA.

    PubMed

    Lukac, Maja; Pedersen, Karl; Prukner-Radovcic, Estella

    2015-06-01

    Salmonellosis transmitted by pet reptiles is an increasing public health issue worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Salmonella strains from captive reptiles in Croatia. From November 2009 to November 2011 a total of 292 skin, pharyngeal, cloacal, and fecal samples from 200 apparently healthy reptiles were tested for Salmonella excretions by bacteriologic culture and serotyping. These 200 individual reptiles included 31 lizards, 79 chelonians, and 90 snakes belonging to private owners or housed at the Zagreb Zoo, Croatia. Salmonella was detected in a total of 13% of the animals, among them 48.4% lizards, 8.9% snakes, and 3.8% turtles. Representatives of five of the six Salmonella enterica subspecies were identified with the following proportions in the total number of isolates: Salmonella enterica enterica 34.6%, Salmonella enterica houtenae 23.1%, Salmonella enterica arizonae 23.1%, Salmonella enterica diarizonae 15.4%, and Salmonella enterica salamae 3.8%. The 14 different serovars isolated included several rarely occurring serovars such as Salmonella Apapa, Salmonella Halle, Salmonella Kisarawe, and Salmonella Potengi. These findings confirm that the prevalence of Salmonella is considerable in captive reptiles in Croatia, indicating that these animals may harbor serovars not commonly seen in veterinary or human microbiologic practice. This should be addressed in the prevention and diagnostics of human reptile-transmitted infections.

  16. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats.

  17. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  18. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Alroy, John

    2015-01-01

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  19. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jason L; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800-1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount of

  20. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jason L.; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R.; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800–1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount

  1. Annual Report: 2014: Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, P.; Apodaca, J. J.; Williams, J.

    2015-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effects from overexploitation; these animals are also burdened by humans attitudes – that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural and cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation to ensure healthy populations of these animals has never been more important. As you will see herein, PARC’s 15th anniversary has been marked with major accomplishments and an ever-increasing momentum. With your help, PARC can continue to build on its successes and protect these vital species.

  2. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; McKenzie, D J; Wang, T

    2010-05-01

    Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG) located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  3. [Reptile-associated salmonellosis as an important epidemiological problem].

    PubMed

    Pawlak, Aleksandra

    2014-11-17

    of food poisoning. One of the reservoirs of Salmonella are reptiles, which are increasingly kept as pets. Most reptiles are asymptomatic carriers of Salmonella. These strains, isolated from reptiles, can cause serious infections, especially in infants, young children and people with immunodeficiencies. The disease called reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) may manifest with bloody diarrhea, meningitis, and arthritis, and consequently can cause bacteremia and sepsis. Among the strains described in the literature, Salmonella strains possessing the O48 antigen are an important group. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Salmonella O48 contains sialic acid (NeuAc) in an O-specific-chain. LPS containing NeuAc exhibits antigenic similarity to antigens found in the human body, including blood serum, and therefore is correlated with the occurrence of the dangerous phenomenon of molecular mimicry. Bacteria containing NeuAc in their outer structures can evade the immunological response of the host, which significantly increases their virulence. Most data about RAS come from the USA, but in recent years cases from European countries are more frequent in the literature. Unfortunately, the occurrence of RAS in Poland has not been monitored so far. There is also no campaign to inform the public about the health risks connected with contact of people with reptiles.

  4. Use of tricaine methanesulfonate (MS222) for euthanasia of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Conroy, C J; Papenfuss, T; Parker, J; Hahn, N E

    2009-01-01

    Tricaine methanesulfonate (MS222) injected into the intracoelomic cavity of reptiles was evaluated as a chemical euthanasia method. Three western fence lizards, 2 desert iguanas, 4 garter snakes, and 6 geckos were euthanized by intracoelomic injection of 250 to 500 mg/kg of 0.7% to 1% sodium-bicarbonate-buffered MS222 solution followed by intracoelomic injection of 0.1 to 1.0 ml unbuffered 50% (v/v) MS222 solution. A simple 2-stage protocol for euthanasia of reptiles by using MS222 is outlined. In addition, the conditions for safe use of MS222 are discussed. MS222 offers an alternative to sodium pentobarbital for euthanasia of reptiles. PMID:19245747

  5. Effects of environmental contaminants on reptiles: A review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.

    1980-01-01

    The literature relating to the effects of environmental contaminants on reptiles is reviewed and certain generalizations based on studies of other kinds of vertebrates are presented. Reports of reptilian mortality from pesticide applications are numerous enough to establish the sensitivity of reptiles to these materials. Reports of residue analyses demonstrate the ability of reptiles to accumulate various contaminants. but the significance of the residues to reptilian populations is unknown. A few authors have reported the distribution of residues in reptilian tissues; others have investigated uptake or loss rates. Physiological studies have shown that organochlorines may inhibit enzymes involved in active transport and have correlated the activity of potential detoxifying enzymes with residue levels. There is some suggestion that pesticide residues may interfere with reproduction in oviparous snakes. Needs for future research are discussed.

  6. Reptiles: a new model for brain evo-devo research.

    PubMed

    Nomura, Tadashi; Kawaguchi, Masahumi; Ono, Katsuhiko; Murakami, Yasunori

    2013-03-01

    Vertebrate brains exhibit vast amounts of anatomical diversity. In particular, the elaborate and complex nervous system of amniotes is correlated with the size of their behavioral repertoire. However, the evolutionary mechanisms underlying species-specific brain morphogenesis remain elusive. In this review we introduce reptiles as a new model organism for understanding brain evolution. These animal groups inherited ancestral traits of brain architectures. We will describe several unique aspects of the reptilian nervous system with a special focus on the telencephalon, and discuss the genetic mechanisms underlying reptile-specific brain morphology. The establishment of experimental evo-devo approaches to studying reptiles will help to shed light on the origin of the amniote brains.

  7. Risk factors for invasive reptile-associated salmonellosis in children.

    PubMed

    Meyer Sauteur, Patrick M; Relly, Christa; Hug, Martina; Wittenbrink, Max M; Berger, Christoph

    2013-06-01

    Reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) in children has been reported primarily due to direct contact with turtles, but recently also due to indirect contact with more exotic reptiles, causing disease in infants. To evaluate risk factors for RAS, we reviewed the RAS cases published in the literature since 1965. A case was defined as a child ≤18 years of age with an epidemiological link by identification of Salmonella enterica in cultures from both the affected child and the exposed reptile. We identified a total of 177 otherwise healthy children (median age 1.0 years, range 2 days to 17.0 years). RAS manifested mainly with gastrointestinal disease, but 15% presented with invasive RAS, including septicemia, meningitis, and bone and joint infection. The children with invasive RAS were significantly younger than children with noninvasive disease (median age 0.17 and 2.0 years, p<0.0001). RAS is most frequently seen after exposure to turtles (42%). However, children with invasive RAS had been exposed more often (p≤0.001) to reptiles other than turtles, including iguanas, bearded dragons, snakes, chameleons, and geckos. Children exposed to those latter reptiles usually kept indoors were younger than children exposed to turtles mostly kept outdoors (p<0.0001). RAS in children is significantly associated with invasive disease at young age, in particular infants <6 months of age. Exposure to reptiles, other than turtles, kept indoors is associated with RAS at younger age and more invasive disease. This finding is helpful for recognizing or even preventing invasive RAS in young infants that are at highest risk.

  8. Removing forest canopy cover restores a reptile assemblage.

    PubMed

    Pike, David A; Webb, Jonathan K; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Humans are rapidly altering natural systems, leading to changes in the distribution and abundance of species. However, so many changes are occurring simultaneously (e.g., climate change, habitat fragmentation) that it is difficult to determine the cause of population fluctuations from correlational studies. We used a manipulative field experiment to determine whether forest canopy cover directly influences reptile assemblages on rock outcrops in southeastern Australia. Our experimental design consisted of three types of rock outcrops: (1) shady sites in which overgrown vegetation was manually removed (n = 25); (2) overgrown controls (n = 30); and (3) sun-exposed controls (n = 20). Following canopy removal, we monitored reptile responses over 30 months. Canopy removal increased reptile species richness, the proportion of shelter sites used by reptiles, and relative abundances of five species that prefer sun-exposed habitats. Our manipulation also decreased the abundances of two shade-tolerant species. Canopy cover thus directly influences this reptile assemblage, with the effects of canopy removal being dependent on each species' habitat preferences (i.e., selection or avoidance of sun-exposed habitat). Our study suggests that increases in canopy cover can cause declines of open-habitat specialists, as previously suggested by correlative studies from a wide range of taxa. Given that reptile colonization of manipulated outcrops occurred rapidly, artificially opening the canopy in ecologically informed ways could help to conserve imperiled species with patchy distributions and low vagility that are threatened by vegetation overgrowth. One such species is Australia's most endangered snake, the broadheaded snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides).

  9. Temperature sex reversal implies sex gene dosage in a reptile.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Alexander E; Georges, Arthur; Sarre, Stephen D; Guarino, Fiorenzo; Ezaz, Tariq; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall

    2007-04-20

    Sex in reptiles is determined by genes on sex chromosomes or by incubation temperature. Previously these two modes were thought to be distinct, yet we show that high incubation temperatures reverse genotypic males (ZZ) to phenotypic females in a lizard with ZZ and ZW sex chromosomes. Thus, the W chromosome is not necessary for female differentiation. Sex determination is probably via a dosage-sensitive male-determining gene on the Z chromosome that is inactivated by extreme temperatures. Our data invite a novel hypothesis for the evolution of temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and suggest that sex chromosomes may exist in many TSD reptiles.

  10. Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Oliveira-Filho, Edmilson F; Soares, Fábio Angelo M; Souza, Bruno O F; Valença, Raul Baltazar P; Sá, Fabrício B

    2008-01-01

    Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in the State of Pernambuco are reviewed, based on the current literature and new collections recently carried out by the authors. To date, three tick species have been found on amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco. Amblyomma fuscum appears to be exclusively associated with Boa constrictor, its type host. Amblyomma rotundatum has a relatively low host-specificity, being found on toads, snakes, and iguana. Amblyomma dissimile has been found on a lizard and also small mammals (i.e., rodents and marsupials). New tick-host associations and locality records are given.

  11. Biological risks associated with consumption of reptile products.

    PubMed

    Magnino, Simone; Colin, Pierre; Dei-Cas, Eduardo; Madsen, Mogens; McLauchlin, Jim; Nöckler, Karsten; Maradona, Miguel Prieto; Tsigarida, Eirini; Vanopdenbosch, Emmanuel; Van Peteghem, Carlos

    2009-09-15

    The consumption of a wide variety of species of reptiles caught from the wild has been an important source of protein for humans world-wide for millennia. Terrapins, snakes, lizards, crocodiles and iguanas are now farmed and the consumption and trade of their meat and other edible products have recently increased in some areas of the world. Biological risks associated with the consumption of products from both farmed and wild reptile meat and eggs include infections caused by bacteria (Salmonella spp., Vibrio spp.), parasites (Spirometra, Trichinella, Gnathostoma, pentastomids), as well as intoxications by biotoxins. For crocodiles, Salmonella spp. constitute a significant public health risk due to the high intestinal carrier rate which is reflected in an equally high contamination rate in their fresh and frozen meat. There is a lack of information about the presence of Salmonella spp. in meat from other edible reptilians, though captive reptiles used as pets (lizards or turtles) are frequently carriers of these bacteria in Europe. Parasitic protozoa in reptiles represent a negligible risk for public health compared to parasitic metazoans, of which trichinellosis, pentastomiasis, gnathostomiasis and sparganosis can be acquired through consumption of contaminated crocodile, monitor lizard, turtle and snake meat, respectively. Other reptiles, although found to harbour the above parasites, have not been implicated with their transmission to humans. Freezing treatment inactivates Spirometra and Trichinella in crocodile meat, while the effectiveness of freezing of other reptilian meat is unknown. Biotoxins that accumulate in the flesh of sea turtles may cause chelonitoxism, a type of food poisoning with a high mortality rate in humans. Infections by fungi, including yeasts, and viruses widely occur in reptiles but have not been linked to a human health risk through the contamination of their meat. Currently there are no indications that natural transmissible spongiform

  12. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition of any live specimen..., all other species of live reptiles or their eggs may be imported, transported, and possessed...

  13. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition is prohibited of any... of live reptiles or their eggs may be imported, transported, and possessed in captivity, without...

  14. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition of any live specimen..., all other species of live reptiles or their eggs may be imported, transported, and possessed...

  15. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition of any live specimen..., all other species of live reptiles or their eggs may be imported, transported, and possessed...

  16. Using Amphibians and Reptiles To Learn the Process of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Janice Schnake; Greene, Brian D.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses using amphibians and reptiles as an excellent resource for students to observe and gain an understanding of the process of science. These animals are easy to maintain in the classroom and play important roles in ecosystems as the prey for many birds and mammals and as the predators of various organisms. (SAH)

  17. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.

    2008-01-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are a diverse and interesting group of organisms. The four activities described in this article take students' curiosity into the realm of scientific understanding. The activities involve the concepts of species identification; animal adaptations, communication, and habitat; and conservation. (Contains 1 table and 2…

  18. Are reptiles predisposed to temperature-dependent sex determination?

    PubMed

    Georges, A; Ezaz, T; Quinn, A E; Sarre, S D

    2010-01-01

    Vertebrates show an astonishing array of sex determining mechanisms, including male and female heterogamety, multiple sex chromosome systems, environmental sex determination, parthenogenesis and hermaphroditism. Sex determination in mammals and birds is extraordinarily conservative compared to that of reptiles, amphibians and fish. In this paper, we explore possible explanations for the diversity of sex determining modes in reptiles, and in particular, address the prevalence of reptilian temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and its almost haphazard distribution across the reptile phylogeny. We suggest that reptiles are predisposed to evolving TSD from genotypic sex determination (GSD) by virtue of the uniquely variable thermal environment experienced by their embryos during the critical period in which sex is determined. Explicit mechanisms for canalization of sexual phenotype in the face of high thermal variation during development provide a context for thermolability in sex determination at extremes and the raw material for natural selection to move this thermolability into the developmental mainstream when there is a selective advantage to do so. Release of cryptic variation when canalization is challenged and fails at extremes may accelerate evolutionary transitions between GSD and TSD.

  19. Multiple factors in the reptile extinctions of the Cretaceous period.

    PubMed

    Cloudsley-Thompson, J

    2001-08-01

    The selective extinction of the dinosaurs and other giant reptiles has long been a topic of speculation and controversy. Everyone is familiar with the theory of the giant bollide colliding with Earth. But, would it not be more likely that that multiple factors acted over a relatively long period of time to produce this mass extinction?

  20. Preliminary checklist of amphibians and reptiles from Baramita, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, R.P.; MacCulloch, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    We provide an initial checklist of the herpetofauna of Baramita, a lowland rainforest site in the Northwest Region of Guyana. Twenty-five amphibian and 28 reptile species were collected during two separate dry-season visits. New country records for two species of snakes are documented, contributing to the knowledge on the incompletely known herpetofauna of Guyana.

  1. Mitigating reptile road mortality: fence failures compromise ecopassage effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Baxter-Gilbert, James H; Riley, Julia L; Lesbarrères, David; Litzgus, Jacqueline D

    2015-01-01

    Roadways pose serious threats to animal populations. The installation of roadway mitigation measures is becoming increasingly common, yet studies that rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of these conservation tools remain rare. A highway expansion project in Ontario, Canada included exclusion fencing and ecopassages as mitigation measures designed to offset detrimental effects to one of the most imperial groups of vertebrates, reptiles. Taking a multispecies approach, we used a Before-After-Control-Impact study design to compare reptile abundance on the highway before and after mitigation at an Impact site and a Control site from 1 May to 31 August in 2012 and 2013. During this time, radio telemetry, wildlife cameras, and an automated PIT-tag reading system were used to monitor reptile movements and use of ecopassages. Additionally, a willingness to utilize experiment was conducted to quantify turtle behavioral responses to ecopassages. We found no difference in abundance of turtles on the road between the un-mitigated and mitigated highways, and an increase in the percentage of both snakes and turtles detected dead on the road post-mitigation, suggesting that the fencing was not effective. Although ecopassages were used by reptiles, the number of crossings through ecopassages was lower than road-surface crossings. Furthermore, turtle willingness to use ecopassages was lower than that reported in previous arena studies, suggesting that effectiveness of ecopassages may be compromised when alternative crossing options are available (e.g., through holes in exclusion structures). Our rigorous evaluation of reptile roadway mitigation demonstrated that when exclusion structures fail, the effectiveness of population connectivity structures is compromised. Our project emphasizes the need to design mitigation measures with the biology and behavior of the target species in mind, to implement mitigation designs in a rigorous fashion, and quantitatively evaluate road

  2. Mitigating Reptile Road Mortality: Fence Failures Compromise Ecopassage Effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Baxter-Gilbert, James H.; Riley, Julia L.; Lesbarrères, David; Litzgus, Jacqueline D.

    2015-01-01

    Roadways pose serious threats to animal populations. The installation of roadway mitigation measures is becoming increasingly common, yet studies that rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of these conservation tools remain rare. A highway expansion project in Ontario, Canada included exclusion fencing and ecopassages as mitigation measures designed to offset detrimental effects to one of the most imperial groups of vertebrates, reptiles. Taking a multispecies approach, we used a Before-After-Control-Impact study design to compare reptile abundance on the highway before and after mitigation at an Impact site and a Control site from 1 May to 31 August in 2012 and 2013. During this time, radio telemetry, wildlife cameras, and an automated PIT-tag reading system were used to monitor reptile movements and use of ecopassages. Additionally, a willingness to utilize experiment was conducted to quantify turtle behavioral responses to ecopassages. We found no difference in abundance of turtles on the road between the un-mitigated and mitigated highways, and an increase in the percentage of both snakes and turtles detected dead on the road post-mitigation, suggesting that the fencing was not effective. Although ecopassages were used by reptiles, the number of crossings through ecopassages was lower than road-surface crossings. Furthermore, turtle willingness to use ecopassages was lower than that reported in previous arena studies, suggesting that effectiveness of ecopassages may be compromised when alternative crossing options are available (e.g., through holes in exclusion structures). Our rigorous evaluation of reptile roadway mitigation demonstrated that when exclusion structures fail, the effectiveness of population connectivity structures is compromised. Our project emphasizes the need to design mitigation measures with the biology and behavior of the target species in mind, to implement mitigation designs in a rigorous fashion, and quantitatively evaluate road

  3. Mitigating reptile road mortality: fence failures compromise ecopassage effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Baxter-Gilbert, James H; Riley, Julia L; Lesbarrères, David; Litzgus, Jacqueline D

    2015-01-01

    Roadways pose serious threats to animal populations. The installation of roadway mitigation measures is becoming increasingly common, yet studies that rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of these conservation tools remain rare. A highway expansion project in Ontario, Canada included exclusion fencing and ecopassages as mitigation measures designed to offset detrimental effects to one of the most imperial groups of vertebrates, reptiles. Taking a multispecies approach, we used a Before-After-Control-Impact study design to compare reptile abundance on the highway before and after mitigation at an Impact site and a Control site from 1 May to 31 August in 2012 and 2013. During this time, radio telemetry, wildlife cameras, and an automated PIT-tag reading system were used to monitor reptile movements and use of ecopassages. Additionally, a willingness to utilize experiment was conducted to quantify turtle behavioral responses to ecopassages. We found no difference in abundance of turtles on the road between the un-mitigated and mitigated highways, and an increase in the percentage of both snakes and turtles detected dead on the road post-mitigation, suggesting that the fencing was not effective. Although ecopassages were used by reptiles, the number of crossings through ecopassages was lower than road-surface crossings. Furthermore, turtle willingness to use ecopassages was lower than that reported in previous arena studies, suggesting that effectiveness of ecopassages may be compromised when alternative crossing options are available (e.g., through holes in exclusion structures). Our rigorous evaluation of reptile roadway mitigation demonstrated that when exclusion structures fail, the effectiveness of population connectivity structures is compromised. Our project emphasizes the need to design mitigation measures with the biology and behavior of the target species in mind, to implement mitigation designs in a rigorous fashion, and quantitatively evaluate road

  4. Inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2006-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in the Mojave Network, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park in 2002-04. Objectives for this inventory were to: 1) Inventory and document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species occurring at DEVA, primarily within priority sampling areas, with the goal of documenting at least 90% of the species present; 2) document (through collection or museum specimen and literature review) one voucher specimen for each species identified; 3) provide a GIS-referenced list of sensitive species that are federally or state listed, rare, or worthy of special consideration that occur within priority sampling locations; 4) describe park-wide distribution of federally- or state-listed, rare, or special concern species; 5) enter all species data into the National Park Service NPSpecies database; and 6) provide all deliverables as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Methods included daytime and nighttime visual encounter surveys, road driving, and pitfall trapping. Survey effort was concentrated in predetermined priority sampling areas, as well as in areas with a high potential for detecting undocumented species. We recorded 37 species during our surveys, including two species new to the park. During literature review and museum specimen database searches, we recorded three additional species from DEVA, elevating the documented species list to 40 (four amphibians and 36 reptiles). Based on our surveys, as well as literature and museum specimen review, we estimate an overall inventory completeness of 92% for Death Valley and an inventory completeness of 73% for amphibians and 95% for reptiles. Key Words: Amphibians, reptiles, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, San Bernardino County, Esmeralda County, Nye County, California, Nevada, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, inventory, NPSpecies.

  5. Ecological risk of anthropogenic pollutants to reptiles: Evaluating assumptions of sensitivity and exposure.

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Suski, Jamie G; Salice, Christopher J

    2010-12-01

    A large data gap for reptile ecotoxicology still persists; therefore, ecological risk assessments of reptiles usually incorporate the use of surrogate species. This necessitates that (1) the surrogate is at least as sensitive as the target taxon and/or (2) exposures to the surrogate are greater than that of the target taxon. We evaluated these assumptions for the use of birds as surrogates for reptiles. Based on a survey of the literature, birds were more sensitive than reptiles in less than 1/4 of the chemicals investigated. Dietary and dermal exposure modeling indicated that exposure to reptiles was relatively high, particularly when the dermal route was considered. We conclude that caution is warranted in the use of avian receptors as surrogates for reptiles in ecological risk assessment and emphasize the need to better understand the magnitude and mechanism of contaminant exposure in reptiles to improve exposure and risk estimation.

  6. Northward shifts of the distributions of Spanish reptiles in association with climate change.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio; Pleguezuelos, Juan M; Pizarro, Manuel; Montori, Albert

    2012-04-01

    It is predicted that climate change will drive extinctions of some reptiles and that the number of these extinctions will depend on whether reptiles are able to change their distribution. Whether the latitudinal distribution of reptiles may change in response to increases in temperature is unknown. We used data on reptile distributions collected during the 20th century to analyze whether changes in the distributions of reptiles in Spain are associated with increases in temperature. We controlled for biases in sampling effort and found a mean, statistically significant, northward shift of the northern extent of reptile distributions of about 15.2 km from 1940-1975 to 1991-2005. The southern extent of the distributions did not change significantly. Thus, our results suggest that the latitudinal distributions of reptiles may be changing in response to climate change.

  7. Conservation genetics and genomics of amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Shaffer, H Bradley; Gidiş, Müge; McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Neal, Kevin M; Oyamaguchi, Hilton M; Tellez, Marisa; Toffelmier, Erin M

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles as a group are often secretive, reach their greatest diversity often in remote tropical regions, and contain some of the most endangered groups of organisms on earth. Particularly in the past decade, genetics and genomics have been instrumental in the conservation biology of these cryptic vertebrates, enabling work ranging from the identification of populations subject to trade and exploitation, to the identification of cryptic lineages harboring critical genetic variation, to the analysis of genes controlling key life history traits. In this review, we highlight some of the most important ways that genetic analyses have brought new insights to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles. Although genomics has only recently emerged as part of this conservation tool kit, several large-scale data sources, including full genomes, expressed sequence tags, and transcriptomes, are providing new opportunities to identify key genes, quantify landscape effects, and manage captive breeding stocks of at-risk species.

  8. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus.

    PubMed

    Chun, Li; Rieppel, Olivier; Long, Cheng; Fraser, Nicholas C

    2016-05-01

    Newly discovered fossils of the Middle Triassic reptile Atopodentatus unicus call for a radical reassessment of its feeding behavior. The skull displays a pronounced hammerhead shape that was hitherto unknown. The long, straight anterior edges of both upper and lower jaws were lined with batteries of chisel-shaped teeth, whereas the remaining parts of the jaw rami supported densely packed needle-shaped teeth forming a mesh. The evidence indicates a novel feeding mechanism wherein the chisel-shaped teeth were used to scrape algae off the substrate, and the plant matter that was loosened was filtered from the water column through the more posteriorly positioned tooth mesh. This is the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles.

  9. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus

    PubMed Central

    Chun, Li; Rieppel, Olivier; Long, Cheng; Fraser, Nicholas C.

    2016-01-01

    Newly discovered fossils of the Middle Triassic reptile Atopodentatus unicus call for a radical reassessment of its feeding behavior. The skull displays a pronounced hammerhead shape that was hitherto unknown. The long, straight anterior edges of both upper and lower jaws were lined with batteries of chisel-shaped teeth, whereas the remaining parts of the jaw rami supported densely packed needle-shaped teeth forming a mesh. The evidence indicates a novel feeding mechanism wherein the chisel-shaped teeth were used to scrape algae off the substrate, and the plant matter that was loosened was filtered from the water column through the more posteriorly positioned tooth mesh. This is the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles. PMID:27386529

  10. Evolution of viviparous reproduction in Paleozoic and Mesozoic reptiles.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Daniel G; Sidor, Christian A

    2014-01-01

    Although viviparity (live-bearing reproduction) is widely distributed among lizards and snakes, it is entirely absent from other extant Reptilia and many extinct forms. However, paleontological evidence reveals that viviparity was present in at least nine nominal groups of pre-Cenozoic reptiles, representing a minimum of six separate evolutionary origins of this reproductive mode. Two viviparous clades (sauropterygians and ichthyopterygians) lasted more than 155 million years, a figure that rivals the duration of mammalian viviparity. Circumstantial evidence indicates that extinct viviparous reptiles had internal fertilization, amniotic fetal membranes, and placentas that sustained developing embryos via provision of respiratory gases, water, calcium, and possibly organic nutrients. Production of offspring via viviparity facilitated the invasion of marine habitats in at least five reptilian lineages. Thus, this pattern of embryonic development and reproduction was central to the ecology and evolution of these ancient animals, much as it is to numerous extant species of vertebrates.

  11. On the helminth fauna of some Iraqi reptiles.

    PubMed

    Al-Barwari, Shlemon E; Saeed, Isam

    2007-01-01

    A study on the parasitofauna of 7 species of Iraqi reptiles revealed the presence of at least 8 adult helminth species and some tentatively identified larvae. The reptiles were Hemidactylus flaviviridis, H. persicus, Asaccus elisae, Spalerosophis d. cliffordi, Testudo g. terrestris, Mauremys c. caspica and Trionyx euphraticus. The helminths found comprised 1 species of digenetic trematodes (Telorchis stunkardi), cysticercoids of Diplopylidium nolleri and 7 nematode species (Thelandros sp., Microtetrameres sp., Angusticaecum holopterum, Atractis dactyluris, Tachygonetria nicolleri, Camallanus microcephalus, and Falcaustra japonensis). Information about the locality of collection, infection site and rate and parasite burden is provided. Although similar cysticercoid larvae and adults of Thelandros sp. and Microtetrameres sp. were previously recorded from Iraq, the scope of the relevant data is considerably extended. In the researchers' judgment, the rest of the parasite species represents a new addition to the Iraq list.

  12. Investigating kleptothermy: a reptile-seabird association with thermal benefits.

    PubMed

    Corkery, Ilse; Bell, Ben D; Nelson, Nicola J

    2014-01-01

    Studies on interspecific interactions between vertebrates based on thermal benefits are poorly represented in the literature. Ecologists know little about a category of thermoregulation termed kleptothermy. We provide evidence that a close association between a medium-sized reptile (tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus) and a small seabird (fairy prion, Pachyptila turtur) enables the reptile to maintain higher-than-average body temperatures. This is the first multiyear data set to reveal that the presence of an endotherm within a burrow has direct, transferable thermal benefits to an ectotherm. It is possible that such positive interspecific interactions may alleviate thermal stress across the range of a single species. Currently, we know little about the evolutionary consequences of such interactions, and future work should focus on whether these thermal benefits increase fitness through increased growth rates or reproductive output.

  13. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus.

    PubMed

    Chun, Li; Rieppel, Olivier; Long, Cheng; Fraser, Nicholas C

    2016-05-01

    Newly discovered fossils of the Middle Triassic reptile Atopodentatus unicus call for a radical reassessment of its feeding behavior. The skull displays a pronounced hammerhead shape that was hitherto unknown. The long, straight anterior edges of both upper and lower jaws were lined with batteries of chisel-shaped teeth, whereas the remaining parts of the jaw rami supported densely packed needle-shaped teeth forming a mesh. The evidence indicates a novel feeding mechanism wherein the chisel-shaped teeth were used to scrape algae off the substrate, and the plant matter that was loosened was filtered from the water column through the more posteriorly positioned tooth mesh. This is the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles. PMID:27386529

  14. Yolk steroid hormones and sex determination in reptiles with TSD.

    PubMed

    Elf, P K

    2003-07-01

    In reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), the temperature at which the eggs are incubated determines the sex of the offspring. The molecular switch responsible for determining sex in these species has not yet been elucidated. We have examined the dynamics of yolk steroid hormones during embryonic development in the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina, and the alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, and have found that yolk estradiol (E(2)) responds differentially to incubation temperature in both of these reptiles. Based upon recently reported roles for E(2) in modulation of steroidogenic factor 1, a transcription factor known to be significant in the sex differentiation process, we hypothesize that yolk E(2) is a link between temperature and the gene expression pathway responsible for sex determination and differentiation in at least some of these species. Here we review the evidence that supports our hypothesis. PMID:12849957

  15. Heterospecific alarm call recognition in a non-vocal reptile.

    PubMed

    Vitousek, Maren N; Adelman, James S; Gregory, Nathan C; Clair, James J H St

    2007-12-22

    The ability to recognize and respond to the alarm calls of heterospecifics has previously been described only in species with vocal communication. Here we provide evidence that a non-vocal reptile, the Galápagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), can eavesdrop on the alarm call of the Galápagos mockingbird (Nesomimus parvulus) and respond with anti-predator behaviour. Eavesdropping on complex heterospecific communications demonstrates a remarkable degree of auditory discrimination in a non-vocal species.

  16. Molecular characterisation of Cryptosporidium isolates from pet reptiles.

    PubMed

    Pedraza-Díaz, Susana; Ortega-Mora, Luis M; Carrión, Beatriz A; Navarro, Vanesa; Gómez-Bautista, Mercedes

    2009-03-23

    In this study, we investigated the presence of Cryptosporidium in 171 faecal samples from reptiles commonly used as pet animals. These include lizards belonging to the genera Eublepharis, Pogona, Chlamydosaurus, Hemiteconyx, Teratoscincus, Tiliqua, Iguana, and Chamaeleo, snakes of the genera Lampropeltis, Elaphe, Python, Boa and Corallus, and tortoises belonging to the genera Testudo and Kinixys. Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected by immunofluorescence using a commercially available kit and cryptosporidial DNA by amplification of a polymorphic fragment of the 18S rDNA and the HSP70 locus. Cryptosporidium was detected in 38.6% and 25.1% of the samples analysed by immunofluorescence and PCR, respectively. Molecular characterisation of the isolates confirmed that C. serpentis and C. varanii (syn. C. saurophilum) are the main species involved in infection in pet reptiles but also showed the presence of C. parvum and C. muris, as well as other species or genotypes of this parasite including the Cryptosporidium mouse genotype and Cryptosporidium tortoise genotype previously described in reptiles. In addition, a Cryptosporidium sp. was isolated from a chameleon and a python.

  17. Cretaceous choristoderan reptiles gave birth to live young

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Qiang; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Cheng, Yen-Nien

    2010-04-01

    Viviparity (giving birth to live young) in fossil reptiles has been known only in a few marine groups: ichthyosaurs, pachypleurosaurs, and mosasaurs. Here, we report a pregnant specimen of the Early Cretaceous Hyphalosaurus baitaigouensis, a species of Choristodera, a diapsid group known from unequivocal fossil remains from the Middle Jurassic to the early Miocene (about 165 to 20 million years ago). This specimen provides the first evidence of viviparity in choristoderan reptiles and is also the sole record of viviparity in fossil reptiles which lived in freshwater ecosystems. This exquisitely preserved specimen contains up to 18 embryos arranged in pairs. Size comparison with small free-living individuals and the straight posture of the posterior-most pair suggest that those embryos were at term and had probably reached parturition. The posterior-most embryo on the left side has the head positioned toward the rear, contrary to normal position, suggesting a complication that may have contributed to the mother’s death. Viviparity would certainly have freed species of Hyphalosaurus from the need to return to land to deposit eggs; taking this advantage, they would have avoided intense competition with contemporaneous terrestrial carnivores such as dinosaurs.

  18. Genomic V exons from whole genome shotgun data in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Olivieri, D N; von Haeften, B; Sánchez-Espinel, C; Faro, J; Gambón-Deza, F

    2014-08-01

    Reptiles and mammals diverged over 300 million years ago, creating two parallel evolutionary lineages amongst terrestrial vertebrates. In reptiles, two main evolutionary lines emerged: one gave rise to Squamata, while the other gave rise to Testudines, Crocodylia, and Aves. In this study, we determined the genomic variable (V) exons from whole genome shotgun sequencing (WGS) data in reptiles corresponding to the three main immunoglobulin (IG) loci and the four main T cell receptor (TR) loci. We show that Squamata lack the TRG and TRD genes, and snakes lack the IGKV genes. In representative species of Testudines and Crocodylia, the seven major IG and TR loci are maintained. As in mammals, genes of the IG loci can be grouped into well-defined IMGT clans through a multi-species phylogenetic analysis. We show that the reptilian IGHV and IGLV genes are distributed amongst the established mammalian clans, while their IGKV genes are found within a single clan, nearly exclusive from the mammalian sequences. The reptilian and mammalian TRAV genes cluster into six common evolutionary clades (since IMGT clans have not been defined for TR). In contrast, the reptilian TRBV genes cluster into three clades, which have few mammalian members. In this locus, the V exon sequences from mammals appear to have undergone different evolutionary diversification processes that occurred outside these shared reptilian clans. These sequences can be obtained in a freely available public repository (http://vgenerepertoire.org).

  19. Analysis of the reptile CD1 genes: evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhi; Wang, Chunyan; Wang, Tao; Bai, Jianhui; Zhao, Yu; Liu, Xuhan; Ma, Qingwei; Wu, Xiaobing; Guo, Ying; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2015-06-01

    CD1, as the third family of antigen-presenting molecules, is previously only found in mammals and chickens, which suggests that the chicken and mammalian CD1 shared a common ancestral gene emerging at least 310 million years ago. Here, we describe CD1 genes in the green anole lizard and Crocodylia, demonstrating that CD1 is ubiquitous in mammals, birds, and reptiles. Although the reptilian CD1 protein structures are predicted to be similar to human CD1d and chicken CD1.1, CD1 isotypes are not found to be orthologous between mammals, birds, and reptiles according to phylogenetic analyses, suggesting an independent diversification of CD1 isotypes during the speciation of mammals, birds, and reptiles. In the green anole lizard, although the single CD1 locus and MHC I gene are located on the same chromosome, there is an approximately 10-Mb-long sequence in between, and interestingly, several genes flanking the CD1 locus belong to the MHC paralogous region on human chromosome 19. The CD1 genes in Crocodylia are located in two loci, respectively linked to the MHC region and MHC paralogous region (corresponding to the MHC paralogous region on chromosome 19). These results provide new insights for studying the origin and evolution of CD1.

  20. Red List of amphibians and reptiles of the Wadden Sea area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fog, K.; Podloucky, R.; Dierking, U.; Stumpel, A. H. P.

    1996-10-01

    In the Wadden Sea, in total, 8 species of amphibians and 4 species of reptiles are threatened in at least one subregion. Of these, 7 species of amphibians and all 4 species of reptiles are threatened in the entire area and are therefore placed on the trilateral Red List. 1 species of the listed reptiles is (probably) extinct in the entire Wadden Sea area. The status of 1 species of amphibians is endangered, the status of (probably) 4 species of amphibians and 3 species of reptiles are vulnerable and of 2 species of amphibians susceptible.

  1. Using operant conditioning and desensitization to facilitate veterinary care with captive reptiles.

    PubMed

    Hellmuth, Heidi; Augustine, Lauren; Watkins, Barbara; Hope, Katharine

    2012-09-01

    In addition to being a large component of most zoological collections, reptile species are becoming more popular as family pets. Reptiles have the cognitive ability to be trained to facilitate daily husbandry and veterinary care. Desensitization and operant conditioning can alleviate some of the behavioral and physiological challenges of treating these species. A survey of reptile training programs at zoos in the United States and worldwide reveals that there are many successful training programs to facilitate veterinary care and minimize stress to the animal. Many of the techniques being used to train reptiles in zoological settings are transferable to the exotic pet clinician.

  2. A zoological catalogue of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nóbrega Alves, Rômulo Romeu; Pereira Filho, Gentil Alves; Silva Vieira, Kleber; Silva Souto, Wedson Medeiros; Mendonça, Lívia Emanuelle Tavares; Montenegro, Paulofernandoguedespereira; Almeida, Waltécio de Oliveira; Silva Vieira, Washington Luiz

    2012-07-30

    The variety of interactions between human cultures and herpetofauna is the subject matter of Ethnoherpetology, a subdivision of Ethnozoology. In the semi-arid region of Brazil, many reptiles interact with human communities because of their utility or because of the risks they represent. These interactions have obvious implications for the conservation of reptiles from this region. In this context, ethnoherpetology studies are crucial because they serve as subsidies for guiding strategies for the handling and conservation of reptiles. This paper presents ethnozoological and taxonomic informations of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil and analyse the implications on conservation that are related to the interactions between people and reptiles in this region. Taxonomic keys to identifying recorded reptiles are provided. Records of humans interacting with 38 reptile species that belong to 31 genuses and 16 families have been found. The groups with the largest numbers of recorded species were snakes (18 species), and this group was followed in number by lizards (13), chelonians (4), and crocodilians (3). The reptiles that were recorded may be used for the following purposes: medicinal purposes (24 species), food (13 species), ornamental or decorative purposes (11 species), in magical/religious practices (10 species), and as pets (10 species). Some species (n = 16) may have multiple uses. Furthermore, more than half of the species (n = 19) are commonly killed because they are considered potentially dangerous. Strategies for conserving the reptiles of the Brazilian semi-arid region must reconcile and integrate human and conservation needs.

  3. Using operant conditioning and desensitization to facilitate veterinary care with captive reptiles.

    PubMed

    Hellmuth, Heidi; Augustine, Lauren; Watkins, Barbara; Hope, Katharine

    2012-09-01

    In addition to being a large component of most zoological collections, reptile species are becoming more popular as family pets. Reptiles have the cognitive ability to be trained to facilitate daily husbandry and veterinary care. Desensitization and operant conditioning can alleviate some of the behavioral and physiological challenges of treating these species. A survey of reptile training programs at zoos in the United States and worldwide reveals that there are many successful training programs to facilitate veterinary care and minimize stress to the animal. Many of the techniques being used to train reptiles in zoological settings are transferable to the exotic pet clinician. PMID:22998960

  4. Mycobacterium marinum infection following contact with reptiles: vivarium granuloma.

    PubMed

    Bouricha, Mehdi; Castan, Bernard; Duchene-Parisi, Elisabeth; Drancourt, Michel

    2014-04-01

    A 19-year-old man presented with a 1.5-cm nodule on the first dorsal metacarpal ray. The patient denied having contact with fish tanks or fish, but recalled handling many reptiles without gloves in the vivarium where he worked. A culture of a skin biopsy specimen yielded Mycobacterium marinum. The clinical outcome was favourable after a 2-week course of intramuscular gentamicin (180 mg daily) combined with a 6-week course of oral clarithromycin (500 mg twice a day). Doctors should be aware that vivariums, in addition to fish tanks, can be sources of M. marinum exposure. PMID:24530276

  5. Baseline Inventory of amphibians and reptiles of Kurupukari, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2013-01-01

    The habitat in the vicinity of Kurupukari, on the Essequibo River in central Guyana, is tall evergreen lowland forest. The area has suffered some human disturbance from agriculture, road construction and ferry activity. The area was sampled for 10 days in 1990 and 12 days in 1997; seven days in rainy season and 15 in dry season. During this sampling 23 anuran and 17 reptile species were collected. Some differences exist between species collected on either side of the river. Comparisons are made with collections from other locations in Guyana.

  6. Mycobacterium marinum infection following contact with reptiles: vivarium granuloma.

    PubMed

    Bouricha, Mehdi; Castan, Bernard; Duchene-Parisi, Elisabeth; Drancourt, Michel

    2014-04-01

    A 19-year-old man presented with a 1.5-cm nodule on the first dorsal metacarpal ray. The patient denied having contact with fish tanks or fish, but recalled handling many reptiles without gloves in the vivarium where he worked. A culture of a skin biopsy specimen yielded Mycobacterium marinum. The clinical outcome was favourable after a 2-week course of intramuscular gentamicin (180 mg daily) combined with a 6-week course of oral clarithromycin (500 mg twice a day). Doctors should be aware that vivariums, in addition to fish tanks, can be sources of M. marinum exposure.

  7. What's Slithering around on Your School Grounds? Transforming Student Awareness of Reptile & Amphibian Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomasek, Terry M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hall, Jeff

    2005-01-01

    The protocols used in a research project on amphibian and reptile diversity at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center near New Bern, North Carolina is described. An increasing or stable number of amphibians and reptiles would indicate that the forest has a balance of invertebrates, leaf litter, moisture, pH, debris, burrows and habitat…

  8. Prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility of salmonellae isolates from reptiles in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Yu; Chen, Wan-Ching; Chin, Shih-Chien; Lai, Yen-Hsueh; Tung, Kwong-Chung; Chiou, Chien-Shun; Hsu, Yuan-Man; Chang, Chao-Chin

    2010-01-01

    Pets, including reptiles, have been shown to be a source of Salmonella infection in humans. Due to increasing popularity and variety of exotic reptiles as pets in recent years, more human clinical cases of reptile-associated Salmonella infection have been identified. However, limited information is available with regard to serotypes in different reptiles (turtles, snakes, and lizards) and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella in pet reptiles. The current study was thus conducted to determine the prevalence of Salmonella colonization in pet reptiles. Salmonella organisms were isolated from 30.9% of 476 reptiles investigated. The isolation prevalences were 69.7% (23/33), 62.8% (27/43), and 24.3% (97/400) in snakes, lizards, and turtles, respectively. A total of 44 different Salmonella serovars were identified. Compared with S. Heron, Bredeney, Treforest, and 4,[5],12:i:-, S. Typhimurium isolates were resistant to many antimicrobials tested, and notably 61.1% of the isolates were resistant to cephalothin. The results indicated that raising reptiles as pets could be a possible source of Salmonella infection in humans, particularly zoonotic Salmonella serovars such as S. Typhimurium that may be resistant to antimicrobials.

  9. Response of a reptile guild to forest harvesting.

    PubMed

    Todd, Brian D; Andrews, Kimberly M

    2008-06-01

    Despite the growing concern over reptile population declines, the effects of modern industrial silviculture on reptiles have been understudied, particularly for diminutive and often overlooked species such as small-bodied snakes. We created 4 replicated forest-management landscapes to determine the response of small snakes to forest harvesting in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States. We divided the replicated landscapes into 4 treatments that represented a range of disturbed habitats: clearcut with coarse woody debris removed; clearcut with coarse woody debris retained; thinned pine stand; and control (unharvested second-growth planted pines). Canopy cover and ground litter were significantly reduced in clearcuts, intermediate in thinned forests, and highest in unharvested controls. Bare soil, maximum air temperatures, and understory vegetation all increased with increasing habitat disturbance. Concomitantly, we observed significantly reduced relative abundance of all 6 study species (scarletsnake[Cemophora coccinea], ring-neck snake[Diadophis punctatus], scarlet kingsnake[Lampropeltis triangulum], red-bellied snake[Storeria occipitomaculata], southeastern crowned snake[Tantilla coronata], and smooth earthsnake[Virginia valeriae]) in clearcuts compared with unharvested or thinned pine stands. In contrast, the greatest relative snake abundance occurred in thinned forest stands. Our results demonstrate that at least one form of forest harvesting is compatible with maintaining snake populations. Our results also highlight the importance of open-canopy structure and ground litter to small snakes in southeastern forests and the negative consequences of forest clearcutting for small snakes.

  10. Autonomic control of cardiorespiratory interactions in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; Skovgaard, N

    2010-07-01

    Control of the heart rate and cardiorespiratory interactions (CRI) is predominantly parasympathetic in all jawed vertebrates, with the sympathetic nervous system having some influence in tetrapods. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) has been described as a solely mammalian phenomenon but respiration-related beat-to-beat control of the heart has been described in fish and reptiles. Though they are both important, the relative roles of feed-forward central control and peripheral reflexes in generating CRI vary between groups of fishes and probably between other vertebrates. CRI may relate to two locations for the vagal preganglionic neurons (VPN) and in particular cardiac VPN in the brainstem. This has been described in representatives from all vertebrate groups, though the proportion in each location is variable. Air-breathing fishes, amphibians and reptiles breathe discontinuously and the onset of a bout of breathing is characteristically accompanied by an immediate increase in heart rate plus, in the latter two groups, a left-right shunting of blood through the pulmonary circuit. Both the increase in heart rate and opening of a sphincter on the pulmonary artery are due to withdrawal of vagal tone. An increase in heart rate following a meal in snakes is related to withdrawal of vagal tone plus a non-adrenergic-non-cholinergic effect that may be due to humoral factors released by the gut. Histamine is one candidate for this role.

  11. The oldest parareptile and the early diversification of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Modesto, Sean P; Scott, Diane M; MacDougall, Mark J; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Evans, David C; Reisz, Robert R

    2015-02-22

    Amniotes, tetrapods that evolved the cleidoic egg and thus independence from aquatic larval stages, appeared ca 314 Ma during the Coal Age. The rapid diversification of amniotes and other tetrapods over the course of the Late Carboniferous period was recently attributed to the fragmentation of coal-swamp rainforests ca 307 Ma. However, the amniote fossil record during the Carboniferous is relatively sparse, with ca 33% of the diversity represented by single specimens for each species. We describe here a new species of reptilian amniote that was collected from uppermost Carboniferous rocks of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Erpetonyx arsenaultorum gen. et sp. nov. is a new parareptile distinguished by 29 presacral vertebrae and autapomorphies of the carpus. Phylogenetic analyses of parareptiles reveal E. arsenaultorum as the closest relative of bolosaurids. Stratigraphic calibration of our results indicates that parareptiles began their evolutionary radiation before the close of the Carboniferous Period, and that the diversity of end-Carboniferous reptiles is 80% greater than suggested by previous work. Latest Carboniferous reptiles were still half as diverse as synapsid amniotes, a disparity that may be attributable to preservational biases, to collecting biases, to the origin of herbivory in tetrapods or any combination of these factors.

  12. The oldest parareptile and the early diversification of reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Modesto, Sean P.; Scott, Diane M.; MacDougall, Mark J.; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Evans, David C.; Reisz, Robert R.

    2015-01-01

    Amniotes, tetrapods that evolved the cleidoic egg and thus independence from aquatic larval stages, appeared ca 314 Ma during the Coal Age. The rapid diversification of amniotes and other tetrapods over the course of the Late Carboniferous period was recently attributed to the fragmentation of coal-swamp rainforests ca 307 Ma. However, the amniote fossil record during the Carboniferous is relatively sparse, with ca 33% of the diversity represented by single specimens for each species. We describe here a new species of reptilian amniote that was collected from uppermost Carboniferous rocks of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Erpetonyx arsenaultorum gen. et sp. nov. is a new parareptile distinguished by 29 presacral vertebrae and autapomorphies of the carpus. Phylogenetic analyses of parareptiles reveal E. arsenaultorum as the closest relative of bolosaurids. Stratigraphic calibration of our results indicates that parareptiles began their evolutionary radiation before the close of the Carboniferous Period, and that the diversity of end-Carboniferous reptiles is 80% greater than suggested by previous work. Latest Carboniferous reptiles were still half as diverse as synapsid amniotes, a disparity that may be attributable to preservational biases, to collecting biases, to the origin of herbivory in tetrapods or any combination of these factors. PMID:25589601

  13. Triassic marine reptiles gave birth to live young.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Yen-Nien; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Ji, Qiang

    2004-11-18

    Sauropterygians form the largest and most diverse group of ancient marine reptiles that lived throughout nearly the entire Mesozoic era (from 250 to 65 million years ago). Although thousands of specimens of this group have been collected around the world since the description of the first plesiosaur in 1821 (ref. 3), no direct evidence has been found to determine whether any sauropterygians came on shore to lay eggs (oviparity) like sea turtles, or gave birth in the water to live young (viviparity) as ichthyosaurs and mosasauroids (marine lizards) did. Viviparity has been proposed for plesiosaur, pachypleurosaur and nothosaur sauropterygians, but until now no concrete evidence has been advanced. Here we report two gravid specimens of Keichousaurus hui Young from the Middle Triassic of China. These exquisitely preserved specimens not only provide the first unequivocal evidence of reproductive mode and sexual dimorphism in sauropterygians, but also indicate that viviparity could have been expedited by the evolution of a movable pelvis in pachypleurosaurs. By extension, this has implications for the reproductive pattern of other sauropterygians and Mesozoic marine reptiles that possessed a movable pelvis.

  14. Shedding subspecies: The influence of genetics on reptile subspecies taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Torstrom, Shannon M; Pangle, Kevin L; Swanson, Bradley J

    2014-07-01

    The subspecies concept influences multiple aspects of biology and management. The 'molecular revolution' altered traditional methods (morphological traits) of subspecies classification by applying genetic analyses resulting in alternative or contradictory classifications. We evaluated recent reptile literature for bias in the recommendations regarding subspecies status when genetic data were included. Reviewing characteristics of the study, genetic variables, genetic distance values and noting the species concepts, we found that subspecies were more likely elevated to species when using genetic analysis. However, there was no predictive relationship between variables used and taxonomic recommendation. There was a significant difference between the median genetic distance values when researchers elevated or collapsed a subspecies. Our review found nine different concepts of species used when recommending taxonomic change, and studies incorporating multiple species concepts were more likely to recommend a taxonomic change. Since using genetic techniques significantly alter reptile taxonomy there is a need to establish a standard method to determine the species-subspecies boundary in order to effectively use the subspecies classification for research and conservation purposes.

  15. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states.

    PubMed

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna.

  16. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states

    PubMed Central

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna. PMID:27408554

  17. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states.

    PubMed

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna. PMID:27408554

  18. Energetics of free-ranging mammals, reptiles, and birds.

    PubMed

    Nagy, K A; Girard, I A; Brown, T K

    1999-01-01

    We summarize the recent information on field metabolic rates (FMR) of wild terrestrial vertebrates as determined by the doubly labeled water technique. Allometric (scaling) relationships are calculated for mammals (79 species), reptiles (55 species), and birds (95 species) and for various taxonomic, dietary, and habitat groups within these categories. Exponential equations based on body mass are offered for predicting rates of daily energy expenditure and daily food requirements of free-ranging mammals, reptiles, and birds. Significant scaling differences between various taxa, dietary, and habitat groups (detected by analysis of covariance with P < or = 0.05) include the following: (a) The allometric slope for reptiles (0.889) is greater than that for mammals (0.734), which is greater than that for birds (0.681); (b) the slope for eutherian mammals (0.772) is greater than that for marsupial mammals (0.590); (c) among families of birds, slopes do not differ but elevations (intercepts) do, with passerine and procellariid birds having relatively high FMRs and gallinaceous birds having low FMRs; (d) Scleroglossan lizards have a higher slope (0.949) than do Iguanian lizards (0.793); (e) desert mammals have a higher slope (0.785) than do nondesert mammals; (f) marine birds have relatively high FMRs and desert birds have low FMRs; and (g) carnivorous mammals have a relatively high slope and carnivorous, insectivorous, and nectarivorous birds have relatively higher FMRs than do omnivores and granivores. The difference detected between passerine and nonpasserine birds reported in earlier reviews is not evident in the larger data set analyzed here. When the results are adjusted for phylogenetic effects using independent contrasts analysis, the difference between allometric slopes for marsupials and eutherians is no longer significant and the slope difference between Scleroglossan and Iguanian lizards disappears as well, but other taxonomic differences remain significant

  19. Novel Insights into Chromosome Evolution in Birds, Archosaurs, and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Farré, Marta; Narayan, Jitendra; Slavov, Gancho T.; Damas, Joana; Auvil, Loretta; Li, Cai; Jarvis, Erich D.; Burt, David W.; Griffin, Darren K.; Larkin, Denis M.

    2016-01-01

    Homologous synteny blocks (HSBs) and evolutionary breakpoint regions (EBRs) in mammalian chromosomes are enriched for distinct DNA features, contributing to distinct phenotypes. To reveal HSB and EBR roles in avian evolution, we performed a sequence-based comparison of 21 avian and 5 outgroup species using recently sequenced genomes across the avian family tree and a newly-developed algorithm. We identified EBRs and HSBs in ancestral bird, archosaurian (bird, crocodile, and dinosaur), and reptile chromosomes. Genes involved in the regulation of gene expression and biosynthetic processes were preferably located in HSBs, including for example, avian-specific HSBs enriched for genes involved in limb development. Within birds, some lineage-specific EBRs rearranged genes were related to distinct phenotypes, such as forebrain development in parrots. Our findings provide novel evolutionary insights into genome evolution in birds, particularly on how chromosome rearrangements likely contributed to the formation of novel phenotypes. PMID:27401172

  20. Novel Insights into Chromosome Evolution in Birds, Archosaurs, and Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Farré, Marta; Narayan, Jitendra; Slavov, Gancho T; Damas, Joana; Auvil, Loretta; Li, Cai; Jarvis, Erich D; Burt, David W; Griffin, Darren K; Larkin, Denis M

    2016-01-01

    Homologous synteny blocks (HSBs) and evolutionary breakpoint regions (EBRs) in mammalian chromosomes are enriched for distinct DNA features, contributing to distinct phenotypes. To reveal HSB and EBR roles in avian evolution, we performed a sequence-based comparison of 21 avian and 5 outgroup species using recently sequenced genomes across the avian family tree and a newly-developed algorithm. We identified EBRs and HSBs in ancestral bird, archosaurian (bird, crocodile, and dinosaur), and reptile chromosomes. Genes involved in the regulation of gene expression and biosynthetic processes were preferably located in HSBs, including for example, avian-specific HSBs enriched for genes involved in limb development. Within birds, some lineage-specific EBRs rearranged genes were related to distinct phenotypes, such as forebrain development in parrots. Our findings provide novel evolutionary insights into genome evolution in birds, particularly on how chromosome rearrangements likely contributed to the formation of novel phenotypes. PMID:27401172

  1. High incubation temperatures enhance mitochondrial energy metabolism in reptile embryos

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Bao-Jun; Li, Teng; Gao, Jing; Ma, Liang; Du, Wei-Guo

    2015-01-01

    Developmental rate increases exponentially with increasing temperature in ectothermic animals, but the biochemical basis underlying this thermal dependence is largely unexplored. We measured mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities of turtle embryos (Pelodiscus sinensis) incubated at different temperatures to identify the metabolic basis of the rapid development occurring at high temperatures in reptile embryos. Developmental rate increased with increasing incubation temperatures in the embryos of P. sinensis. Correspondingly, in addition to the thermal dependence of mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities, high-temperature incubation further enhanced mitochondrial respiration and COX activities in the embryos. This suggests that embryos may adjust mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities in response to developmental temperature to achieve high developmental rates at high temperatures. Our study highlights the importance of biochemical investigations in understanding the proximate mechanisms by which temperature affects embryonic development. PMID:25749301

  2. A zoological catalogue of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The variety of interactions between human cultures and herpetofauna is the subject matter of Ethnoherpetology, a subdivision of Ethnozoology. In the semi-arid region of Brazil, many reptiles interact with human communities because of their utility or because of the risks they represent. These interactions have obvious implications for the conservation of reptiles from this region.In this context, ethnoherpetology studies are crucial because they serve as subsidies for guiding strategies for the handling and conservation of reptiles. This paper presents ethnozoological and taxonomic informations of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil and analyse the implications on conservation that are related to the interactions between people and reptiles in this region. Taxonomic keys to identifying recorded reptiles are provided. Records of humans interacting with 38 reptile species that belong to 31 genuses and 16 families have been found. The groups with the largest numbers of recorded species were snakes (18 species), and this group was followed in number by lizards (13), chelonians (4), and crocodilians (3). The reptiles that were recorded may be used for the following purposes: medicinal purposes (24 species), food (13 species), ornamental or decorative purposes (11 species), in magical/religious practices (10 species), and as pets (10 species). Some species (n = 16) may have multiple uses. Furthermore, more than half of the species (n = 19) are commonly killed because they are considered potentially dangerous. Strategies for conserving the reptiles of the Brazilian semi-arid region must reconcile and integrate human and conservation needs. PMID:22846258

  3. Mass population screening for celiac disease in children: the experience in Republic of San Marino from 1993 to 2009

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Prevalence of celiac disease in developed countries is assessed about 1:100–1:150. The real prevalence is unknown because mass screenings are expensive and difficult to organize. Moreover celiac disease can affect people at every age and studies on asymptomatic subjects at different ages are not comparable. In this study we wanted to know the real prevalence of celiac disease in children in the Republic of San Marino. We also analysed concordance of different tests used and costs of mass screening. Methods The study started in 1993. From 1993 to 1997 children aged 6, 10 and 14 were screened. Since 1997 only children aged 6 were monitored, in order to have a homogeneous population. In fact, every child born since 1980 was taken into account. Children were recruited by classroom lists of students for general paediatric examination. Until 2005 the screening test was based on dosage of antibodies anti-gliadin (AGA) IgA and IgG on venous blood. Since 2006 these tests were replaced by anti-transglutaminase IgA antibodies (ATTG). Anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA) were performed if result of any between either AGA or ATTG tests was positive or borderline; if EMA was positive, then an endoscopy with histological examination was performed to confirm the final diagnosis. Results Attendance to paediatric examination was 96%, submission to blood test was 87%. 42 on 5092 (0,8%; 1:125) children resulted affected by celiac disease. Histology always confirmed diagnosis by serology except for two cases. AGA test (until 2005) yielded 28 on 4304 (0,7% 1:143); ATTG test (since 2006) revealed 14 positive cases on 788 (1,8%; 1:55) leading to a larger percentage of diagnosis. EMA antibodies always confirmed positivity of ATTG. Conclusions Prevalence of celiac disease in children of Republic of San Marino is comparable to other North-European Countries. Sensitivity of ATTG proved much higher than that of anti-gliadin antibodies. Concordance between ATTG and EMA was 100

  4. Transient Receptor Potential Ion Channels Control Thermoregulatory Behaviour in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Seebacher, Frank; Murray, Shauna A.

    2007-01-01

    Biological functions are governed by thermodynamics, and animals regulate their body temperature to optimise cellular performance and to avoid harmful extremes. The capacity to sense environmental and internal temperatures is a prerequisite for the evolution of thermoregulation. However, the mechanisms that enable ectothermic vertebrates to sense heat remain unknown. The recently discovered thermal characteristics of transient receptor potential ion channels (TRP) render these proteins suitable to act as temperature sensors. Here we test the hypothesis that TRPs are present in reptiles and function to control thermoregulatory behaviour. We show that the hot-sensing TRPV1 is expressed in a crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), an agamid (Amphibolurus muricatus) and a scincid (Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii) lizard, as well as in the quail and zebrafinch (Coturnix chinensis and Poephila guttata). The TRPV1 genes from all reptiles form a unique clade that is delineated from the mammalian and the ancestral Xenopus sequences by an insertion of two amino acids. TRPV1 and the cool-sensing TRPM8 are expressed in liver, muscle (transversospinalis complex), and heart tissues of the crocodile, and have the potential to act as internal thermometer and as external temperatures sensors. Inhibition of TRPV1 and TRPM8 in C. porosus abolishes the typically reptilian shuttling behaviour between cooling and heating environments, and leads to significantly altered body temperature patterns. Our results provide the proximate mechanism of thermal selection in terrestrial ectotherms, which heralds a fundamental change in interpretation, because TRPs provide the mechanism for a tissue-specific input into the animals' thermoregulatory response. PMID:17356692

  5. Genetics and evolution of colour patterns in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Mats; Stuart-Fox, Devi; Ballen, Cissy

    2013-01-01

    The study of coloration in the polyphyletic reptilians has flourished in the last two decades, in particular with respect to the underlying genetics of colour traits, the function of colours in social interactions, and ongoing selection on these traits in the wild. The taxonomic bias, however, is profound: at this level of resolution almost all available information is for diurnal lizards. Therefore, we focus on case studies, for which there are as complete causal sequences of colour evolution as possible, from phenotypic expression of variation in colour, to ongoing selection in the wild. For work prior to 1992 and for a broader coverage of reptilian coloration we refer the readers to Cooper and Greenburg's (Biology of the Reptilia, 1992) review. There are seven major conclusions we would like to emphasise: (a) visual systems in diurnal lizards are broadly conserved but among the wider range of reptiles in general, there is functionally important variation in the number and type of photoreceptors, spectral tuning of photopigments and optical properties of the eye; (b) coloration in reptiles is a function of complex interactions between structural and pigmentary components, with implications for both proximate control and condition dependence of colour expression; (c) studies of colour-variable species have enabled estimates of heritability of colour and colour patterns, which often show a simple Mendelian pattern of inheritance; (d) colour-polymorphic lizard species sometimes, but not always, show striking differences in genetically encoded reproductive tactics and provide useful models for studying the evolution and maintenance of polymorphism; (e) both male and female colours are sometimes, but not always, a significant component of socio-sexual signalling, often based on multiple traits; (f) evidence for effects of hormones and condition on colour expression, and trade-offs with immunocompetence and parasite load, is variable; (g) lizards show fading of colours

  6. Rickettsial infections in ticks from reptiles, birds and humans in Honduras.

    PubMed

    Novakova, Marketa; Literak, Ivan; Chevez, Luis; Martins, Thiago F; Ogrzewalska, Maria; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2015-09-01

    Ticks were collected from captive reptiles, wild birds, and incidentally from humans at two locations in Honduras and part of these were tested for the presence of Rickettsia using polymerase chain reaction. The following species of ticks were found: Amblyomma dissimile on Iguanidae reptiles, Amblyomma longirostre and Amblyomma nodosum on birds, and Amblyomma mixtum (Amblyomma cajennense complex) on humans. A. dissimile was infected with Rickettsia sp. strain Colombianensi. Both A. longirostre and A. mixtum were infected with Candidatus 'Rickettsia amblyommii'. This study provides the first report of rickettsial infections in ticks from reptiles, birds and humans in Honduras. New host - Amblyomma tick associations are documented.

  7. [Nested species subsets of amphibians and reptiles in Thousand Island Lake].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xi; Wang, Yan-Ping; Ding, Ping

    2012-10-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a main cause for the loss of biological diversity. Combining line-transect methods to survey the amphibians and reptiles on 23 islands on Thousand Island Lake in Zhejiang province, along with survey data on nearby plant species and habitat variables collected by GIS, we used the"BINMATNEST (binary matrix nestedness temperature calculator)" software and the Spearman rank correlation to examine whether amphibians and reptiles followed nested subsets and their influencing factors. The results showed that amphibians and reptiles were significantly nested, and that the island area and habitat type were significantly associated with their nested ranks. Therefore, to effectively protect amphibians and reptiles in the Thousand Islands Lake area we should pay prior attention to islands with larger areas and more habitat types.

  8. The ends of a continuum: genetic and temperature-dependent sex determination in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Sarre, Stephen D; Georges, Arthur; Quinn, Alex

    2004-06-01

    Two prevailing paradigms explain the diversity of sex-determining modes in reptiles. Many researchers, particularly those who study reptiles, consider genetic and environmental sex-determining mechanisms to be fundamentally different, and that one can be demonstrated experimentally to the exclusion of the other. Other researchers, principally those who take a broader taxonomic perspective, argue that no clear boundaries exist between them. Indeed, we argue that genetic and environmental sex determination in reptiles should be seen as a continuum of states represented by species whose sex is determined primarily by genotype, species where genetic and environmental mechanisms coexist and interact in lesser or greater measure to bring about sex phenotypes, and species where sex is determined primarily by environment. To do otherwise limits the scope of investigations into the transition between the two and reduces opportunities to use studies of reptiles to advance understanding of vertebrate sex determination generally.

  9. Species List of Alaskan Birds, Mammals, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Invertebrates. Alaska Region Report Number 82.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Tamra Faris

    This publication contains a detailed list of the birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates found in Alaska. Part I lists the species by geographical regions. Part II lists the species by the ecological regions of the state. (CO)

  10. Occurrence, diversity, and host association of intestinal Campylobacter, Arcobacter, and Helicobacter in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Kik, Marja; Timmerman, Arjen J; Severs, Tim T; Kusters, Johannes G; Duim, Birgitta; Wagenaar, Jaap A

    2014-01-01

    Campylobacter, Arcobacter, and Helicobacter species have been isolated from many vertebrate hosts, including birds, mammals, and reptiles. Multiple studies have focused on the prevalence of these Epsilonproteobacteria genera in avian and mammalian species. However, little focus has been given to the presence within reptiles, and their potential zoonotic and pathogenic roles. In this study, occurrence, diversity, and host association of intestinal Epsilonproteobacteria were determined for a large variety of reptiles. From 2011 to 2013, 444 cloacal swabs and fecal samples originating from 417 predominantly captive-held reptiles were screened for Epsilonproteobacteria. Campylobacter, Arcobacter, and Helicobacter genus specific PCRs were performed directly on all samples. All samples were also cultured on selective media and screened for the presence of Epsilonproteobacteria. Using a tiered approach of AFLP, atpA, and 16S rRNA sequencing, 432 Epsilonproteobacteria isolates were characterized at the species level. Based on PCR, Campylobacter, Arcobacter, and Helicobacter were detected in 69.3% of the reptiles; 82.5% of the chelonians, 63.8% of the lizards, and 58.0% of the snakes were positive for one or more of these genera. Epsilonproteobacteria were isolated from 22.1% of the reptiles and were isolated most frequently from chelonians (37.0%), followed by lizards (19.6%) and snakes (3.0%). The most commonly isolated taxa were Arcobacter butzleri, Arcobacter skirrowii, reptile-associated Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum, and a putative novel Campylobacter taxon. Furthermore, a clade of seven related putative novel Helicobacter taxa was isolated from lizards and chelonians. This study shows that reptiles carry various intestinal Epsilonproteobacteria taxa, including several putative novel taxa.

  11. Evidence for the transmission of Salmonella from reptiles to children in Germany, July 2010 to October 2011.

    PubMed

    Pees, M; Rabsch, W; Plenz, B; Fruth, A; Prager, R; Simon, S; Schmidt, V; Munch, S; Braun, Pg

    2013-11-14

    This study examines the Salmonella status in reptiles kept in households with children suffering from gastroenteritis due to an exotic Salmonella serovar, to obtain information on possible transmission paths. A number of affected households (n=79) were contacted, and almost half (34/79) comprised at least one reptile in the home. Of the households, 19 were further studied, whereby a total of 36 reptiles were investigated. Samples were taken from the reptiles including the oral cavity, the cloaca, the skin and, in the case of lizards, the stomach, and isolation of Salmonella strains was performed using repeated enrichment and typing. Where the Salmonella serovars of the infected child and the reptile were identical, typing was followed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) constituted 19 of 36 examined reptiles. Altogether 319 Salmonella isolates were investigated and 24 different serovars identified in the reptiles. In 15 of 19 households, an identical serovar to the human case was confirmed in at least one reptile (including 16 of all 19 bearded dragons examined). The results demonstrate that reptiles and especially bearded dragons shed various Salmonella serovars including those isolated from infected children in the respective households. Hygiene protocols and parents' education are therefore highly necessary to reduce the risk of transmission. From a terminological point of view, we propose to call such infections 'Reptile-Exotic-Pet-Associated-Salmonellosis' (REPAS).

  12. Assessing effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles: status and needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.; Henry, P.F.P.

    1992-01-01

    Growing concern about the decline of certain amphibian populations and for conservation of amphibians and reptiles has led to renewed awareness of problems from pesticides. Testing amphibians and reptiles as a requirement for chemical registration has been proposed but is difficult because of the phylogenetic diversity of these groups. Information from the literature and research may determine whether amphibians and reptiles are adequately protected by current tests for mammals, birds, and fish. Existing information indicates that amphibians are unpredictably more resistant to certain cholinesterase inhibitors, and more sensitive to two chemicals used in fishery applications than could have been predicted. A single study on one species of lizard suggests that reptiles may be close in sensitivity to mammals and birds. Research on effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles should compare responses to currently tested groups and should seek to delineate those taxa and chemicals for which cross-group prediction is not possible. New tests for amphibians and reptiles should rely to the greatest extent possible on existing data bases, and should be designed for maximum economy and minimum harm to test animals. A strategy for developing the needed information is proposed. Good field testing and surveillance of chemicals in use may compensate for failures of predictive evaluations and may ultimately lead to improved tests.

  13. Reptile assemblage response to restoration of fire-suppressed longleaf pine sandhills.

    PubMed

    Steen, David A; Smith, Lora L; Conner, L M; Litt, Andrea R; Provencher, Louis; Hiers, J Kevin; Pokswinski, Scott; Guyer, Craig

    2013-01-01

    Measuring the effects of ecological restoration on wildlife assemblages requires study on broad temporal and spatial scales. Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests are imperiled due to fire suppression and subsequent invasion by hardwood trees. We employed a landscape-scale, randomized-block design to identify how reptile assemblages initially responded to restoration treatments including removal of hardwood trees via mechanical methods (felling and girdling), application of herbicides, or prescribed burning alone. Then, we examined reptile assemblages after all sites experienced more than a decade of prescribed burning at two- to thee-year return intervals. Data were collected concurrently at reference sites chosen to represent target conditions for restoration. Reptile assemblages changed most rapidly in response to prescribed burning, but reptile assemblages at all sites, including reference sites, were generally indistinguishable by the end of the study. Thus, we suggest that prescribed burning in longleaf pine forests over long time periods is an effective strategy for restoring reptile assemblages to the reference condition. Application of herbicides or mechanical removal of hardwood trees provided no apparent benefit to reptiles beyond what was achieved by prescribed fire alone.

  14. To chew or not to chew: fecal particle size in herbivorous reptiles and mammals.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Julia; Hummel, Jürgen; Kienzle, Ellen; Streich, W Jürgen; Clauss, Marcus

    2010-11-01

    A major difference between reptile and mammalian herbivores is that the former do not masticate their food. Actually, food particle size reduction by chewing is usually considered one of the adaptations facilitating the higher metabolic rates of mammals. However, quantitative comparisons of ingesta particle size between the clades have, to our knowledge, not been performed so far. We measured mean fecal particle size (MPS) in 79 captive individuals of 14 reptile herbivore species (tortoises, lizards, and Corucia zebrata) by wet sieving and compared the results with a mammalian dataset. MPS increased with body mass in both clades, but at a significantly higher level in reptiles. Limited evidence in free-ranging and captive individuals of Testudo hermanni indicates that in reptiles, the ability to crop food and food particle size significantly influence fecal particle size. The opportunistic observation of a drastic particle size difference between stomach and intestinal contents corroborates findings that in reptiles, in contrast to terrestrial mammals, significant ingesta particle size reduction does occur in the gastrointestinal tract, most likely owing to microbial action during very long ingesta retention. Whether behavioral adaptations to controlling ingesta particle size, such as deliberate small bite sizes, are adaptive strategies in reptiles remains to be investigated.

  15. Phylogenomic investigation of CR1 LINE diversity in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Shedlock, Andrew M

    2006-12-01

    It is unlikely that taxonomically diverse phylogenetic studies will be completed rapidly in the near future for nonmodel organisms on a whole-genome basis. However, one approach to advancing the field of "phylogenomics" is to estimate the structure of poorly known genomes by mining libraries of clones from suites of taxa, rather than from single species. The present analysis adopts this approach by taking advantage of megabase-scale end-sequence scanning of reptilian genomic clones to characterize diversity of CR1-like LINEs, the dominant family of transposable elements (TEs) in the sister group of mammals. As such, it helps close an important gap in the literature on the molecular systematics and evolution of retroelements in nonavian reptiles. Results from aligning more than 14 Mb of sequence from the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), painted turtle (Chrysemys picta), Bahamian green anole (Anolis smaragdinus), Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), and Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) against a comprehensive library approximately 3000 TE-encoding peptides reflect an increasing abundance of LINE and non-long-terminal-repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposon repeat types with the age of common ancestry among exemplar reptilian clades. The hypothesis that repeat diversity is correlated with basal metabolic rate was tested using comparative methods and a significant nonlinear relationship was indicated. This analysis suggests that the age of divergence between an exemplary clade and its sister group as well as metabolic correlates should be considered in addition to genome size in explaining patterns of retroelement diversity. The first phylogenetic analysis of the largely unexplored chicken repeat 1 (CR1) 3' reverse transcriptase (RT) conserved domains 8 and 9 in nonavian reptiles reveals a pattern of multiple lineages with variable branch lengths, suggesting presence of both old and young elements and the existence of several

  16. Origin of tropical American burrowing reptiles by transatlantic rafting.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Nicolas; Azvolinsky, Anna; Cruaud, Corinne; Hedges, S Blair

    2008-02-23

    Populations of terrestrial or freshwater taxa that are separated by oceans can be explained by either oceanic dispersal or fragmentation of a previously contiguous land mass. Amphisbaenians, the worm lizards (approx. 165 species), are small squamate reptiles that are uniquely adapted to a burrowing lifestyle and inhabit Africa, South America, Caribbean Islands, North America, Europe and the Middle East. All but a few species are limbless and they rarely leave their subterranean burrows. Given their peculiar habits, the distribution of amphisbaenians has been assumed to be primarily the result of two land-mass fragmentation events: the split of the supercontinent Pangaea starting 200 Myr ago, separating species on the northern land mass (Laurasia) from those on the southern land mass (Gondwana), and the split of South America from Africa 100 Myr ago. Here we show with molecular evidence that oceanic dispersal-on floating islands-played a more prominent role, and that amphisbaenians crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the Eocene (40 Myr ago) resulting in a tropical American radiation representing one-half of all known amphisbaenian species. Until now, only four or five transatlantic dispersal events were known in terrestrial vertebrates. Significantly, this is the first such dispersal event to involve a group that burrows, an unexpected lifestyle for an oceanic disperser.

  17. Body temperatures of selected amphibian and reptile species.

    PubMed

    Raske, Matthew; Lewbart, Gregory A; Dombrowski, Daniel S; Hale, Peyton; Correa, Maria; Christian, Larry S

    2012-09-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates are a diverse group of animals that rely on external sources to maintain a preferred body temperature. Amphibians and reptiles have a preferred optimal temperature zone that allows for optimal biological function. Physiologic processes in ectotherms are influenced by temperature; these animals have capabilities in which they make use of behavioral and physiologic mechanisms to thermoregulate. Core body, ambient air, body surface, and surface/water temperatures were obtained from six ectothermic species including one anuran, two snakes, two turtles, and one alligator. Clinically significant differences between core body temperature and ambient temperature were noted in the black rat snake, corn snake, and eastern box turtle. No significant differences were found between core body and ambient temperature for the American alligator, bullfrog, mata mata turtle, dead spotted turtle, or dead mole king snake. This study indicates some ectotherms are able to regulate their body temperatures independent of their environment. Body temperature of ectotherms is an important component that clinicians should consider when selecting and providing therapeutic care. Investigation of basic physiologic parameters (heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature) from a diverse population of healthy ectothermic vertebrates may provide baseline data for a systematic health care approach. PMID:23082515

  18. Y fuse? Sex chromosome fusions in fishes and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Pennell, Matthew W; Kirkpatrick, Mark; Otto, Sarah P; Vamosi, Jana C; Peichel, Catherine L; Valenzuela, Nicole; Kitano, Jun

    2015-05-01

    Chromosomal fusion plays a recurring role in the evolution of adaptations and reproductive isolation among species, yet little is known of the evolutionary drivers of chromosomal fusions. Because sex chromosomes (X and Y in male heterogametic systems, Z and W in female heterogametic systems) differ in their selective, mutational, and demographic environments, those differences provide a unique opportunity to dissect the evolutionary forces that drive chromosomal fusions. We estimate the rate at which fusions between sex chromosomes and autosomes become established across the phylogenies of both fishes and squamate reptiles. Both the incidence among extant species and the establishment rate of Y-autosome fusions is much higher than for X-autosome, Z-autosome, or W-autosome fusions. Using population genetic models, we show that this pattern cannot be reconciled with many standard explanations for the spread of fusions. In particular, direct selection acting on fusions or sexually antagonistic selection cannot, on their own, account for the predominance of Y-autosome fusions. The most plausible explanation for the observed data seems to be (a) that fusions are slightly deleterious, and (b) that the mutation rate is male-biased or the reproductive sex ratio is female-biased. We identify other combinations of evolutionary forces that might in principle account for the data although they appear less likely. Our results shed light on the processes that drive structural changes throughout the genome.

  19. Gonadal differentiation in reptiles exhibiting environmental sex determination.

    PubMed

    Kohno, Satomi; Parrott, Benjamin B; Yatsu, Ryohei; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Moore, Brandon C; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis

    2014-01-01

    As temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and homozygote or heterozygote genetic sex determination (GSD) exist in multiple reptilian taxa, they represent sex determination systems that have emerged de novo. Current investigations have revealed that the genetic mechanisms used by various reptilian species are similar to those used by other vertebrates. However, the recent completion or near completion of various reptilian genome projects suggests that new studies examining related species with and without TSD could begin to provide additional insight into the evolution of TSD and GSD in vertebrate ancestors. Major questions still remain concerning germ cell migration and specification, the differentiation of gonadal accessory cells, such as the Sertoli cells and granulosa cells of the developing testis and ovary, respectively, and the mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated during TSD events. Further, reptilian sentinels and their mechanisms of gonadogenesis will likely remain important indicator species for environmental health. Thus, ongoing and new investigations need to tie molecular information to gonadal morphogenesis and function in reptiles. Such data will not only provide important information for an understanding of the evolution of these phenomena in vertebrates, but could also provide an important understanding of the health of the environment around us.

  20. Y fuse? Sex chromosome fusions in fishes and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Pennell, Matthew W; Kirkpatrick, Mark; Otto, Sarah P; Vamosi, Jana C; Peichel, Catherine L; Valenzuela, Nicole; Kitano, Jun

    2015-05-01

    Chromosomal fusion plays a recurring role in the evolution of adaptations and reproductive isolation among species, yet little is known of the evolutionary drivers of chromosomal fusions. Because sex chromosomes (X and Y in male heterogametic systems, Z and W in female heterogametic systems) differ in their selective, mutational, and demographic environments, those differences provide a unique opportunity to dissect the evolutionary forces that drive chromosomal fusions. We estimate the rate at which fusions between sex chromosomes and autosomes become established across the phylogenies of both fishes and squamate reptiles. Both the incidence among extant species and the establishment rate of Y-autosome fusions is much higher than for X-autosome, Z-autosome, or W-autosome fusions. Using population genetic models, we show that this pattern cannot be reconciled with many standard explanations for the spread of fusions. In particular, direct selection acting on fusions or sexually antagonistic selection cannot, on their own, account for the predominance of Y-autosome fusions. The most plausible explanation for the observed data seems to be (a) that fusions are slightly deleterious, and (b) that the mutation rate is male-biased or the reproductive sex ratio is female-biased. We identify other combinations of evolutionary forces that might in principle account for the data although they appear less likely. Our results shed light on the processes that drive structural changes throughout the genome. PMID:25993542

  1. Vertebral evolution and the diversification of squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Bergmann, Philip J; Irschick, Duncan J

    2012-04-01

    Taxonomic, morphological, and functional diversity are often discordant and independent components of diversity. A fundamental and largely unanswered question in evolutionary biology is why some clades diversify primarily in some of these components and not others. Dramatic variation in trunk vertebral numbers (14 to >300) among squamate reptiles coincides with different body shapes, and snake-like body shapes have evolved numerous times. However, whether increased evolutionary rates or numbers of vertebrae underlie body shape and taxonomic diversification is unknown. Using a supertree of squamates including 1375 species, and corresponding vertebral and body shape data, we show that increased rates of evolution in vertebral numbers have coincided with increased rates and disparity in body shape evolution, but not changes in rates of taxonomic diversification. We also show that the evolution of many vertebrae has not spurred or inhibited body shape or taxonomic diversification, suggesting that increased vertebral number is not a key innovation. Our findings demonstrate that lineage attributes such as the relaxation of constraints on vertebral number can facilitate the evolution of novel body shapes, but that different factors are responsible for body shape and taxonomic diversification.

  2. Y Fuse? Sex Chromosome Fusions in Fishes and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Vamosi, Jana C.; Peichel, Catherine L.; Valenzuela, Nicole; Kitano, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Chromosomal fusion plays a recurring role in the evolution of adaptations and reproductive isolation among species, yet little is known of the evolutionary drivers of chromosomal fusions. Because sex chromosomes (X and Y in male heterogametic systems, Z and W in female heterogametic systems) differ in their selective, mutational, and demographic environments, those differences provide a unique opportunity to dissect the evolutionary forces that drive chromosomal fusions. We estimate the rate at which fusions between sex chromosomes and autosomes become established across the phylogenies of both fishes and squamate reptiles. Both the incidence among extant species and the establishment rate of Y-autosome fusions is much higher than for X-autosome, Z-autosome, or W-autosome fusions. Using population genetic models, we show that this pattern cannot be reconciled with many standard explanations for the spread of fusions. In particular, direct selection acting on fusions or sexually antagonistic selection cannot, on their own, account for the predominance of Y-autosome fusions. The most plausible explanation for the observed data seems to be (a) that fusions are slightly deleterious, and (b) that the mutation rate is male-biased or the reproductive sex ratio is female-biased. We identify other combinations of evolutionary forces that might in principle account for the data although they appear less likely. Our results shed light on the processes that drive structural changes throughout the genome. PMID:25993542

  3. Gonadal differentiation in reptiles exhibiting environmental sex determination.

    PubMed

    Kohno, Satomi; Parrott, Benjamin B; Yatsu, Ryohei; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Moore, Brandon C; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis

    2014-01-01

    As temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and homozygote or heterozygote genetic sex determination (GSD) exist in multiple reptilian taxa, they represent sex determination systems that have emerged de novo. Current investigations have revealed that the genetic mechanisms used by various reptilian species are similar to those used by other vertebrates. However, the recent completion or near completion of various reptilian genome projects suggests that new studies examining related species with and without TSD could begin to provide additional insight into the evolution of TSD and GSD in vertebrate ancestors. Major questions still remain concerning germ cell migration and specification, the differentiation of gonadal accessory cells, such as the Sertoli cells and granulosa cells of the developing testis and ovary, respectively, and the mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated during TSD events. Further, reptilian sentinels and their mechanisms of gonadogenesis will likely remain important indicator species for environmental health. Thus, ongoing and new investigations need to tie molecular information to gonadal morphogenesis and function in reptiles. Such data will not only provide important information for an understanding of the evolution of these phenomena in vertebrates, but could also provide an important understanding of the health of the environment around us. PMID:24642710

  4. Evaluating thermoregulation in reptiles: an appropriate null model.

    PubMed

    Christian, Keith A; Tracy, Christopher R; Tracy, C Richard

    2006-09-01

    Established indexes of thermoregulation in ectotherms compare body temperatures of real animals with a null distribution of operative temperatures from a physical or mathematical model with the same size, shape, and color as the actual animal but without mass. These indexes, however, do not account for thermal inertia or the effects of inertia when animals move through thermally heterogeneous environments. Some recent models have incorporated body mass, to account for thermal inertia and the physiological control of warming and cooling rates seen in most reptiles, and other models have incorporated movement through the environment, but none includes all pertinent variables explaining body temperature. We present a new technique for calculating the distribution of body temperatures available to ectotherms that have thermal inertia, random movements, and different rates of warming and cooling. The approach uses a biophysical model of heat exchange in ectotherms and a model of random interaction with thermal environments over the course of a day to create a null distribution of body temperatures that can be used with conventional thermoregulation indexes. This new technique provides an unbiased method for evaluating thermoregulation in large ectotherms that store heat while moving through complex environments, but it can also generate null models for ectotherms of all sizes.

  5. A population based study of Helicobacter pylori infection in a European country: the San Marino Study. Relations with gastrointestinal diseases.

    PubMed Central

    Gasbarrini, G; Pretolani, S; Bonvicini, F; Gatto, M R; Tonelli, E; Mégraud, F; Mayo, K; Ghironzi, G; Giulianelli, G; Grassi, M

    1995-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori is present worldwide but few large population studies exist on the epidemiology of the infection. A random cross sectional study was performed of H pylori infection in the adult population of San Marino, a European country with high gastric cancer rate, to assess its prevalence and to evaluate its relations with gastrointestinal disease. In 2237 subjects (77% of the initial sample) H pylori IgG antibodies were detected with enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunoblotting. A questionnaire including questions about occupation, place of birth, and smoking was given to all subjects. Dyspepsia, peptic ulcer, and gastric cancer in the subjects, relatives, and partners as well as use of drug, dental treatment/prostheses, and gastrointestinal endoscopies, were evaluated by multivariate analysis. H pylori prevalence was of 51%, increased with age from 23% (20-29 years) to 68% (> or = 70 years), and was higher among manual workers. H pylori was independently associated with ulcer (OR = 1.63, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 1.16 to 2.27), H2 antagonists (OR = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.21 to 3.10), and benzodiazepines (OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.02 to 2.42), dental prostheses (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.05 to 1.49), gastroscopy in the past five years (OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.05 to 2.14), peptic ulcer in siblings (OR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.09 to 2.12), gastric cancer in father (OR = 1.61, 95% CI = 1.02 to 2.52). The association of seropositivity with history of ulcer, gastric cancer in family, gastroscopy, and H2 antagonists suggests that H pylori is an epidemiological key factor in the pathogenesis of gastroduodenal diseases in this area. PMID:7615270

  6. Reptile neoplasia at the Philadelphia Zoological Garden, 1901-2002.

    PubMed

    Sykes, John M; Trupkiewicz, John G

    2006-03-01

    A retrospective study of neoplasia in reptiles held at the Philadelphia Zoological Garden was conducted. A total of 3,684 original necropsy reports for the period 1901-2002 were reviewed and revealed 86 cases of neoplasia. Original glass slides or re-cuts from paraffin-embedded tissue blocks were examined for confirmation of the original diagnosis. At necropsy, a total of six neoplasms were identified in six of 490 chelonians (1.2%), 22 neoplasms in 19 of 736 lizards (3.0%), and 58 neoplasms in 53 of 1,835 snakes (2.9%). An additional 12 neoplasms were found in biopsies of one turtle and 10 snakes. In the chelonians, all the neoplasms were seen in turtles, four of six tumors were malignant (66%) and no organ predilection was noted. For lizards, the liver was the most commonly affected organ, with 7 of 22 primary neoplasms (31%). Multiple tumor types were identified in three lizards (15%), metastasis occurred in five cases (25%), and malignant tumors were identified in 16 cases (73%). In snakes, the liver was most frequently affected by neoplasia at necropsy, with 13 of 58 primary neoplasms (22%); multiple types of neoplasm were identified in five cases (10%) and metastasis in six (9%); and 42 tumors (80%) were diagnosed as malignant. When biopsies were included for snakes, however, the skin was the most commonly affected organ, with 17 of 69 neoplasms (24%). One of five lizards (20%) and four of six snakes (66%) with metastasis also had a second primary neoplasm. Since 1967, the incidence of lizard neoplasia has increased from 0.7% to 5.9%, and snake neoplasia has increased from 2.6% to 9.3%.

  7. Evolution of the hippocampus in reptiles and birds.

    PubMed

    Striedter, Georg F

    2016-02-15

    Although the hippocampus is structurally quite different among reptiles, birds, and mammals, its function in spatial memory is said to be highly conserved. This is surprising, given that structural differences generally reflect functional differences. Here I review this enigma in some detail, identifying several evolutionary changes in hippocampal cytoarchitecture and connectivity. I recognize a lepidosaurid pattern of hippocampal organization (in lizards, snakes, and the tuatara Sphenodon) that differs substantially from the pattern of organization observed in the turtle/archosaur lineage, which includes crocodilians and birds. Although individual subdivisions of the hippocampus are difficult to homologize between these two patterns, both lack a clear homolog of the mammalian dentate gyrus. The strictly trilaminar organization of the ancestral amniote hippocampus was gradually lost in the lineage leading to birds, and birds expanded the system of intrahippocampal axon collaterals, relative to turtles and lizards. These expanded collateral axon branches resemble the extensive collaterals in CA3 of the mammalian hippocampus but probably evolved independently of them. Additional examples of convergent evolution between birds and mammals are the loss of direct inputs to the hippocampus from the primary olfactory cortex and the general expansion of telencephalic regions that communicate reciprocally with the hippocampus. Given this structural convergence, it seems likely that some similarities in the function of the hippocampus between birds and mammals, notably its role in the ability to remember many different locations without extensive training, likewise evolved convergently. The currently available data do not allow for a strong test of this hypothesis, but the hypothesis itself suggests some promising new research directions.

  8. Telomeres, Age and Reproduction in a Long-Lived Reptile

    PubMed Central

    Plot, Virginie; Criscuolo, François; Zahn, Sandrine; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2012-01-01

    A major interest has recently emerged in understanding how telomere shortening, mechanism triggering cell senescence, is linked to organism ageing and life history traits in wild species. However, the links between telomere length and key history traits such as reproductive performances have received little attention and remain unclear to date. The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is a long-lived species showing rapid growth at early stages of life, one of the highest reproductive outputs observed in vertebrates and a dichotomised reproductive pattern related to migrations lasting 2 or 3 years, supposedly associated with different environmental conditions. Here we tested the prediction of blood telomere shortening with age in this species and investigated the relationship between blood telomere length and reproductive performances in leatherback turtles nesting in French Guiana. We found that blood telomere length did not differ between hatchlings and adults. The absence of blood telomere shortening with age may be related to an early high telomerase activity. This telomere-restoring enzyme was formerly suggested to be involved in preventing early telomere attrition in early fast-growing and long-lived species, including squamate reptiles. We found that within one nesting cycle, adult females having performed shorter migrations prior to the considered nesting season had shorter blood telomeres and lower reproductive output. We propose that shorter blood telomeres may result from higher oxidative stress in individuals breeding more frequently (i.e., higher costs of reproduction) and/or restoring more quickly their body reserves in cooler feeding areas during preceding migration (i.e., higher foraging costs). This first study on telomeres in the giant leatherback turtle suggests that blood telomere length predicts not only survival chances, but also reproductive performances. Telomeres may therefore be a promising new tool to evaluate individual reproductive

  9. Rampant Horizontal Transfer of SPIN Transposons in Squamate Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Clément; Hernandez, Sharon S.; Flores-Benabib, Jaime; Smith, Eric N.; Feschotte, Cédric

    2012-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are highly abundant in the genome and capable of mobility, two properties that make them particularly prone to transfer horizontally between organisms. Although the impact of horizontal transfer (HT) of TEs is well recognized in prokaryotes, the frequency of this phenomenon and its contribution to genome evolution in eukaryotes remain poorly appreciated. Here, we provide evidence that a DNA transposon called SPIN has colonized the genome of 17 species of reptiles representing nearly every major lineage of squamates, including 14 families of lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians. Slot blot analyses indicate that SPIN has amplified to high copy numbers in most of these species, ranging from 2,000–28,000 copies per haploid genome. In contrast, we could not detect the presence of SPIN in any of the turtles (seven species from seven families) and crocodiles (four species) examined. Genetic distances between SPIN sequences from species belonging to different squamate families are consistently very low (average = 0.1), considering the deep evolutionary divergence of the families investigated (most are >100 My diverged). Furthermore, these distances fall below interfamilial distances calculated for two genes known to have evolved under strong functional constraint in vertebrates (RAG1, average = 0.24 and C-mos, average = 0.27). These data, combined with phylogenetic analyses, indicate that the widespread distribution of SPIN among squamates is the result of at least 13 independent events of HTs. Molecular dating and paleobiogeographical data suggest that these transfers took place during the last 50 My on at least three different continents (North America, South America and, Africa). Together, these results triple the number of known SPIN transfer events among tetrapods, provide evidence for a previously hypothesized transoceanic movement of SPIN transposons during the Cenozoic, and further underscore the role of HT in the evolution of

  10. Telomeres, age and reproduction in a long-lived reptile.

    PubMed

    Plot, Virginie; Criscuolo, François; Zahn, Sandrine; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2012-01-01

    A major interest has recently emerged in understanding how telomere shortening, mechanism triggering cell senescence, is linked to organism ageing and life history traits in wild species. However, the links between telomere length and key history traits such as reproductive performances have received little attention and remain unclear to date. The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is a long-lived species showing rapid growth at early stages of life, one of the highest reproductive outputs observed in vertebrates and a dichotomised reproductive pattern related to migrations lasting 2 or 3 years, supposedly associated with different environmental conditions. Here we tested the prediction of blood telomere shortening with age in this species and investigated the relationship between blood telomere length and reproductive performances in leatherback turtles nesting in French Guiana. We found that blood telomere length did not differ between hatchlings and adults. The absence of blood telomere shortening with age may be related to an early high telomerase activity. This telomere-restoring enzyme was formerly suggested to be involved in preventing early telomere attrition in early fast-growing and long-lived species, including squamate reptiles. We found that within one nesting cycle, adult females having performed shorter migrations prior to the considered nesting season had shorter blood telomeres and lower reproductive output. We propose that shorter blood telomeres may result from higher oxidative stress in individuals breeding more frequently (i.e., higher costs of reproduction) and/or restoring more quickly their body reserves in cooler feeding areas during preceding migration (i.e., higher foraging costs). This first study on telomeres in the giant leatherback turtle suggests that blood telomere length predicts not only survival chances, but also reproductive performances. Telomeres may therefore be a promising new tool to evaluate individual reproductive

  11. The evolution of chemoreception in squamate reptiles: a phylogenetic approach.

    PubMed

    Schwenk, K

    1993-01-01

    Recent advances in the field of squamate reptile chemoreception have been paralleled by the growth and preeminence of cladistics in the field of systematics, but for the most part, workers in the former have failed to incorporate the conceptual and informational advances of the latter. In this paper, I attempt a preliminary rapprochement by combining the methods of phylogenetic systematics and current hypotheses of squamate relationships with an overview of squamate chemosensory biology. This purely phylogenetic approach leads to a number of falsifiable generalizations about the evolution of chemoreception in squamates: 1) Evolution of this system is conservative rather than plastic, reflecting to a large extent suprafamilial attributes rather than adaptation to local conditions; 2) Anguimorphs are highly chemosensory and teiids show convergence with this group; 3) Tongue-flicking, a bifurcated tongue tip, a vomeronasal (VNO) mushroom body, and a complete circular muscle system in the tongue are a correlated character complex associated with the attainment, in squamates, of a direct VNO-oral connection and the loss of a VNO-nasal connection; 4) There is little support for a visual-chemosensory dichotomy within Squamata; 5) Gekkotans are allied with Autarchoglossa, both phylogenetically and in terms of chemosensory biology; 6) Iguania are highly variable in chemosensory development; iguanids represent the primitive iguanian condition, while agamids and chamaeleonids have secondarily reduced or lost their chemosensory abilities; 7) Apparent contradictions in chemosensory behavior among iguanids probably represent intrafamilial divergence; 8) Ecological correlates within Iguanidae and other taxa might be spurious, resulting from historical factors unrelated to the adaptations in question; 9) The mechanical demands of lingual food prehension have constrained chemosensory evolution in Iguania; chemosensory evolution within Scleroglossa was permitted by the liberation of

  12. Salmonella isolated from individual reptiles and environmental samples from terraria in private households in Sweden

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background This study investigates Salmonella spp. isolated from privately kept reptiles and from environmental samples such as bedding materials or water from the floor of the enclosures (terraria). It also compares isolation of Salmonella using Modified Semisolid Rappaport-Vassiliadis (MSRV) medium or selective enrichment in Rappaport-Vassiliadis-Soya (RVS) pepton broth. Cloacal swabs or swabs from the cloacal area were collected from 63 individual reptiles belonging to 14 households. All reptiles were from different terraria and from 62 of these, environmental samples were also collected. Sampling were done by the reptile owners according to written instructions and sent by mail immediately after sampling. All but three samples were analyzed within 24 h after collection. Colonies suspected for Salmonella were tested for agglutination and serotyped using the White-Kauffmann-Le Minor scheme. The relative sensitivity (se) and specificity (sp) for MSRV compared with RVS, and the agreement coefficient kappa (κ) were calculated. Results Salmonella was isolated from 50/63 (80%) terraria, either from the reptiles (31/63; 49%) or from bedding material (39/62; 63%). The most common subspecies was Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica followed by S. enterica subspecies diarizonae. In reptiles, the most common S. enterica subspecies enterica serovars were Java (n = 4) and Fluntern (n = 4), compared with the serovars Tennessee (n = 10) and Fluntern (n = 10) in the environmental samples. The exact same set of Salmonella subspecies and serovars were not isolated from the individual reptiles and the environmental samples from any of the households. Isolation using MSRV yielded more Salmonella isolates 61/113 (54%) than enrichment in RVS 57/125 (46%). The se was 97.9% (95% Confidence Interval 93.9-100), the sp 78.5% (95% CI 68.5-88.5) and the κ 0.74, indicating substantial agreement between the tests. Conclusions Salmonella can be expected to be present in

  13. Reptile Toll-like receptor 5 unveils adaptive evolution of bacterial flagellin recognition.

    PubMed

    Voogdt, Carlos G P; Bouwman, Lieneke I; Kik, Marja J L; Wagenaar, Jaap A; van Putten, Jos P M

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are ancient innate immune receptors crucial for immune homeostasis and protection against infection. TLRs are present in mammals, birds, amphibians and fish but have not been functionally characterized in reptiles despite the central position of this animal class in vertebrate evolution. Here we report the cloning, characterization, and function of TLR5 of the reptile Anolis carolinensis (Green Anole lizard). The receptor (acTLR5) displays the typical TLR protein architecture with 22 extracellular leucine rich repeats flanked by a N- and C-terminal leucine rich repeat domain, a membrane-spanning region, and an intracellular TIR domain. The receptor is phylogenetically most similar to TLR5 of birds and most distant to fish TLR5. Transcript analysis revealed acTLR5 expression in multiple lizard tissues. Stimulation of acTLR5 with TLR ligands demonstrated unique responsiveness towards bacterial flagellin in both reptile and human cells. Comparison of acTLR5 and human TLR5 using purified flagellins revealed differential sensitivity to Pseudomonas but not Salmonella flagellin, indicating development of species-specific flagellin recognition during the divergent evolution of mammals and reptiles. Our discovery of reptile TLR5 fills the evolutionary gap regarding TLR conservation across vertebrates and provides novel insights in functional evolution of host-microbe interactions.

  14. The behavioral responses of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity on parabolic flights.

    PubMed

    Wassersug, Richard J; Roberts, Lesley; Gimian, Jenny; Hughes, Elizabeth; Saunders, Ryan; Devison, Darren; Woodbury, Jonathan; O'Reilly, James C

    2005-01-01

    In the present study, we exposed 53 animals from 23 different species of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity (mug). This nearly doubles the number of amphibians and reptiles observed so far in mug. The animals were flown on a parabolic flight, which provided 20-25s of mug, to better characterize behavioral reactions to abrupt exposure to mug. Highly fossorial limbless caecilians and amphisbaenians showed relatively limited movement in mug. Limbed quadrupedal reptiles that were non-arboreal in the genera Leiocephalus, Anolis, and Scincella showed the typical righting response and enormous amounts of body motion and tail rotation, which we interpreted as both righting responses and futile actions to grasp the substrate. Both arboreal and non-arboreal geckos in the genera Uroplatus, Palmatogecko, Stenodactylus, Tarentola, and Eublepharis instead showed a skydiving posture previously reported for highly arboreal anurans. Some snakes, in the genera Thamnophis and Elaphe, which typically thrashed and rolled in mug, managed to knot their own bodies with their tails and immediately became quiescent. This suggests that these reptiles gave stable physical contact, which would indicate that they were not falling, primacy over vestibular input that indicated that they were in freefall. The fact that they became quiet upon self-embrace further suggests a failure to distinguish self from non-self. The patterns of behavior seen in amphibians and reptiles in mug can be explained in light of their normal ecology and taxonomic relations.

  15. Pyrosequencing of prey DNA in reptile faeces: analysis of earthworm consumption by slow worms.

    PubMed

    Brown, David S; Jarman, Simon N; Symondson, William O C

    2012-03-01

    Little quantitative ecological information exists on the diets of most invertebrate feeding reptiles, particularly nocturnal or elusive species that are difficult to observe. In the UK and elsewhere, reptiles are legally required to be relocated before land development can proceed, but without knowledge of their dietary requirements, the suitability of receptor sites cannot be known. Here, we tested the ability of non-invasive DNA-based molecular diagnostics (454 pyrosequencing) to analyse reptile diets, with the specific aims of determining which earthworm species are exploited by slow worms (the legless lizard Anguis fragilis) and whether they feed on the deeper-living earthworm species that only come to the surface at night. Slow worm faecal samples from four different habitats were analysed using earthworm-specific PCR primers. We found that 86% of slow worms (N=80) had eaten earthworms. In lowland heath and marshy/acid grassland, Lumbricus rubellus, a surface-dwelling epigeic species, dominated slow worm diet. In two other habitats, riverside pasture and calciferous coarse grassland, diet was dominated by deeper-living anecic and endogeic species. We conclude that all species of earthworm are exploited by these reptiles and lack of specialization allows slow worms to thrive in a wide variety of habitats. Pyrosequencing of prey DNA in faeces showed promise as a practical, rapid and relatively inexpensive means of obtaining detailed and valuable ecological information on the diets of reptiles. PMID:22176947

  16. Sylvatic Infestation of Oklahoma Reptiles with Immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Garvin, Stephen D; Noden, Bruce H; Dillwith, Jack W; Fox, Stanley F; Payton, Mark E; Barker, Robert W

    2015-09-01

    Reptiles were collected in nine counties in Oklahoma from September 2002 to May 2004 and examined for Ixodes scapularis (Say) larvae and nymphs to determine seasonal incidence and prevalence of these ticks. In total, 209 reptile specimens consisting of nine species of lizards and seven species of snakes were collected. Plestiodon fasciatus (L.) was the most numerous species collected (55%) followed by Sceloporus undulatus (Latreille) (17%) and Scincella lateralis (Say) (11%). Less than 10 individuals were collected for all remaining reptile species. The infestation prevalence of I. scapularis on all reptile specimens collected was 14% for larvae and 25% for nymphs. Larvae were found on lizards from April until September and peaked in May, while nymphs were found from March until September and peaked in April. I. scapularis larvae (84%) and nymphs (73%) preferentially attached to the axillae/front leg of P. fasciatus. Two chigger species, Eutrombicula splendens (Ewing) and Eutrombicula cinnabaris (Ewing), were found on 2% of the reptiles collected. No ectoparasites, including ticks, were obtained from the seven species of snakes collected.

  17. Pyrosequencing of prey DNA in reptile faeces: analysis of earthworm consumption by slow worms.

    PubMed

    Brown, David S; Jarman, Simon N; Symondson, William O C

    2012-03-01

    Little quantitative ecological information exists on the diets of most invertebrate feeding reptiles, particularly nocturnal or elusive species that are difficult to observe. In the UK and elsewhere, reptiles are legally required to be relocated before land development can proceed, but without knowledge of their dietary requirements, the suitability of receptor sites cannot be known. Here, we tested the ability of non-invasive DNA-based molecular diagnostics (454 pyrosequencing) to analyse reptile diets, with the specific aims of determining which earthworm species are exploited by slow worms (the legless lizard Anguis fragilis) and whether they feed on the deeper-living earthworm species that only come to the surface at night. Slow worm faecal samples from four different habitats were analysed using earthworm-specific PCR primers. We found that 86% of slow worms (N=80) had eaten earthworms. In lowland heath and marshy/acid grassland, Lumbricus rubellus, a surface-dwelling epigeic species, dominated slow worm diet. In two other habitats, riverside pasture and calciferous coarse grassland, diet was dominated by deeper-living anecic and endogeic species. We conclude that all species of earthworm are exploited by these reptiles and lack of specialization allows slow worms to thrive in a wide variety of habitats. Pyrosequencing of prey DNA in faeces showed promise as a practical, rapid and relatively inexpensive means of obtaining detailed and valuable ecological information on the diets of reptiles.

  18. Terrestrial origin of viviparity in mesozoic marine reptiles indicated by early triassic embryonic fossils.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction.

  19. Terrestrial origin of viviparity in mesozoic marine reptiles indicated by early triassic embryonic fossils.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction. PMID:24533127

  20. The behavioral responses of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity on parabolic flights.

    PubMed

    Wassersug, Richard J; Roberts, Lesley; Gimian, Jenny; Hughes, Elizabeth; Saunders, Ryan; Devison, Darren; Woodbury, Jonathan; O'Reilly, James C

    2005-01-01

    In the present study, we exposed 53 animals from 23 different species of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity (mug). This nearly doubles the number of amphibians and reptiles observed so far in mug. The animals were flown on a parabolic flight, which provided 20-25s of mug, to better characterize behavioral reactions to abrupt exposure to mug. Highly fossorial limbless caecilians and amphisbaenians showed relatively limited movement in mug. Limbed quadrupedal reptiles that were non-arboreal in the genera Leiocephalus, Anolis, and Scincella showed the typical righting response and enormous amounts of body motion and tail rotation, which we interpreted as both righting responses and futile actions to grasp the substrate. Both arboreal and non-arboreal geckos in the genera Uroplatus, Palmatogecko, Stenodactylus, Tarentola, and Eublepharis instead showed a skydiving posture previously reported for highly arboreal anurans. Some snakes, in the genera Thamnophis and Elaphe, which typically thrashed and rolled in mug, managed to knot their own bodies with their tails and immediately became quiescent. This suggests that these reptiles gave stable physical contact, which would indicate that they were not falling, primacy over vestibular input that indicated that they were in freefall. The fact that they became quiet upon self-embrace further suggests a failure to distinguish self from non-self. The patterns of behavior seen in amphibians and reptiles in mug can be explained in light of their normal ecology and taxonomic relations. PMID:16351959

  1. Reptile Toll-like receptor 5 unveils adaptive evolution of bacterial flagellin recognition

    PubMed Central

    Voogdt, Carlos G. P.; Bouwman, Lieneke I.; Kik, Marja J. L.; Wagenaar, Jaap A.; van Putten, Jos P. M.

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are ancient innate immune receptors crucial for immune homeostasis and protection against infection. TLRs are present in mammals, birds, amphibians and fish but have not been functionally characterized in reptiles despite the central position of this animal class in vertebrate evolution. Here we report the cloning, characterization, and function of TLR5 of the reptile Anolis carolinensis (Green Anole lizard). The receptor (acTLR5) displays the typical TLR protein architecture with 22 extracellular leucine rich repeats flanked by a N- and C-terminal leucine rich repeat domain, a membrane-spanning region, and an intracellular TIR domain. The receptor is phylogenetically most similar to TLR5 of birds and most distant to fish TLR5. Transcript analysis revealed acTLR5 expression in multiple lizard tissues. Stimulation of acTLR5 with TLR ligands demonstrated unique responsiveness towards bacterial flagellin in both reptile and human cells. Comparison of acTLR5 and human TLR5 using purified flagellins revealed differential sensitivity to Pseudomonas but not Salmonella flagellin, indicating development of species-specific flagellin recognition during the divergent evolution of mammals and reptiles. Our discovery of reptile TLR5 fills the evolutionary gap regarding TLR conservation across vertebrates and provides novel insights in functional evolution of host-microbe interactions. PMID:26738735

  2. Thermoregulatory behavior is widespread in the embryos of reptiles and birds.

    PubMed

    Li, Teng; Zhao, Bo; Zhou, Yong-Kang; Hu, Rui; Du, Wei-Guo

    2014-03-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that thermoregulatory behavior occurs not only in posthatching turtles but also in turtles prior to hatching. Does thermoregulatory behavior also occur in the embryos of other reptile and bird species? Our experiments show that such behavior is widespread but not universal in reptile and bird embryos. We recorded repositioning within the egg, in response to thermal gradients, in the embryos of three species of snakes (Xenochrophis piscator, Elaphe bimaculata, and Zaocys dhumnades), two turtles (Chelydra serpentina and Ocadia sinensis), one crocodile (Alligator sinensis), and four birds (Coturnix coturnix, Gallus gallus domesticus, Columba livia domestica, and Anas platyrhynchos domestica). However, we detected no significant thermoregulation by the embryos of two lizard species (Takydromus septentrionalis and Phrynocephalus frontalis). Overall, embryonic thermoregulatory behavior is widespread in reptile as well as bird species but may be unimportant in the small eggs laid by most lizards.

  3. Challenges in evaluating the impact of the trade in amphibians and reptiles on wild populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Hoover, Craig; Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are taken from the wild and sold commercially as food, pets, and traditional medicines. The overcollecting of some species highlights the need to assess the trade and ensure that it is not contributing to declines in wild populations. Unlike most countries, the United States tracks the imports and exports of all amphibians and reptiles. Records from 1998 to 2002 reveal a US trade of several million wild-caught amphibians and reptiles each year, although many shipments are not recorded at the species level. The magnitude and content of the global commercial trade carries even greater unknowns. The absence of accurate trade and biological information for most species makes it difficult to establish whether current take levels are sustainable. The void of information also implies that population declines due to overcollecting could be going undetected. Policy changes to acquire baseline biological information and ensure a sustainable trade are urgently needed.

  4. Effects of weed-management burning on reptile assemblages in Australian tropical savannas.

    PubMed

    Valentine, Leonie E; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2009-02-01

    Fire is frequently used for land management purposes and may be crucial for effective control of invasive non-native plants. Nevertheless, fire modifies environments and may affect nontarget native biodiversity, which can cause conflicts for conservation managers. Native Australian reptiles avoid habitat invaded by the alien plant rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) and may be susceptible to the impacts of burning, a situation that provides a model system in which to examine possible conservation trade-offs between managing invasive plants and maintaining native biodiversity. We used replicated, experimental fire treatments (unburned, dry-season burned, and wet-season burned) in 2 habitats (riparian and adjacent open woodland) to examine the short- (within 12 months of fire) and longer-term (within 3 years of fire) changes of reptile assemblages in response to wet- and dry-season burning for weed management in tropical savannas of northern Australia. Within 12 months of fire, abundances of the skink Carlia munda (Scincidae) were higher in the burned sites, but overall reptile composition was structured by habitat type rather than by effects of burning. Within 3 years of a fire, the effects of fire were evident. Reptiles, especially the gecko Heteronotia binoei (Gekkonidae), were least abundant in dry-season burned sites; litter-associated species, including Carlia pectoralis (Scincidae), were rarely observed in burned habitat; and there were fewer species in the wet-season burned sites. Reptile abundance was associated with vegetation structure, which suggests that fire-induced changes detrimentally altered the availability of resources for some reptiles, particularly leaf-litter species. Invasive alien plants, such as rubber vine, have severe effects on native biodiversity, and control of such species is a fundamental land management objective. Nevertheless, fire management of invasive alien plants may adversely affect native biodiversity, creating a

  5. Captive Reptile Mortality Rates in the Home and Implications for the Wildlife Trade.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Janine E; St John, Freya A V; Griffiths, Richard A; Roberts, David L

    2015-01-01

    The trade in wildlife and keeping of exotic pets is subject to varying levels of national and international regulation and is a topic often attracting controversy. Reptiles are popular exotic pets and comprise a substantial component of the live animal trade. High mortality of traded animals raises welfare concerns, and also has implications for conservation if collection from the wild is required to meet demand. Mortality of reptiles can occur at any stage of the trade chain from collector to consumer. However, there is limited information on mortality rates of reptiles across trade chains, particularly amongst final consumers in the home. We investigated mortality rates of reptiles amongst consumers using a specialised technique for asking sensitive questions, additive Randomised Response Technique (aRRT), as well as direct questioning (DQ). Overall, 3.6% of snakes, chelonians and lizards died within one year of acquisition. Boas and pythons had the lowest reported mortality rates of 1.9% and chameleons had the highest at 28.2%. More than 97% of snakes, 87% of lizards and 69% of chelonians acquired by respondents over five years were reported to be captive bred and results suggest that mortality rates may be lowest for captive bred individuals. Estimates of mortality from aRRT and DQ did not differ significantly which is in line with our findings that respondents did not find questions about reptile mortality to be sensitive. This research suggests that captive reptile mortality in the home is rather low, and identifies those taxa where further effort could be made to reduce mortality rates.

  6. Captive Reptile Mortality Rates in the Home and Implications for the Wildlife Trade

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Janine E.; St. John, Freya A. V.; Griffiths, Richard A.; Roberts, David L.

    2015-01-01

    The trade in wildlife and keeping of exotic pets is subject to varying levels of national and international regulation and is a topic often attracting controversy. Reptiles are popular exotic pets and comprise a substantial component of the live animal trade. High mortality of traded animals raises welfare concerns, and also has implications for conservation if collection from the wild is required to meet demand. Mortality of reptiles can occur at any stage of the trade chain from collector to consumer. However, there is limited information on mortality rates of reptiles across trade chains, particularly amongst final consumers in the home. We investigated mortality rates of reptiles amongst consumers using a specialised technique for asking sensitive questions, additive Randomised Response Technique (aRRT), as well as direct questioning (DQ). Overall, 3.6% of snakes, chelonians and lizards died within one year of acquisition. Boas and pythons had the lowest reported mortality rates of 1.9% and chameleons had the highest at 28.2%. More than 97% of snakes, 87% of lizards and 69% of chelonians acquired by respondents over five years were reported to be captive bred and results suggest that mortality rates may be lowest for captive bred individuals. Estimates of mortality from aRRT and DQ did not differ significantly which is in line with our findings that respondents did not find questions about reptile mortality to be sensitive. This research suggests that captive reptile mortality in the home is rather low, and identifies those taxa where further effort could be made to reduce mortality rates. PMID:26556237

  7. Genetic lineages of Salmonella enterica serovar Kentucky spreading in pet reptiles.

    PubMed

    Zając, Magdalena; Wasyl, Dariusz; Hoszowski, Andrzej; Le Hello, Simon; Szulowski, Krzysztof

    2013-10-25

    The purpose of the study was to define genetic diversity of reptilian Salmonella enterica serovar (S.) Kentucky isolates and their epidemiological relations to the ones from poultry, food, and environmental origin in Poland. Between 2010 and 2012 twenty-four S. Kentucky isolates derived from snakes (N=8), geckos (N=7), chameleons (N=4), agamas (N=1), lizard (N=1), and environmental swabs taken from reptile exhibition (N=3) were identified. They were characterized with antimicrobial minimal inhibitory concentration testing, XbaI-PFGE and MLST typing. The profiles compared to S. Kentucky available in BioNumerics local laboratory database (N=40) showed 67.3% of relatedness among reptile isolates. Three genetic lineages were defined. The first lineage gathered 20 reptile isolates with 83.4% of similarity and wild-type MICs for all antimicrobials tested but streptomycin in single case. The remaining three reptilian and one post-exhibition environment S. Kentucky isolates were clustered (87.2%) with isolates originating from poultry, mainly turkey, food, and environment and presented variable non-wild type MICs to numerous antimicrobials. The third S. Kentucky lineage was composed of two isolates from feed (96.3%). The results suggest diverse sources and independent routes of infection. Most of the isolates belonged to reptile-associated clones spread both horizontally and vertically. Simultaneously, PFGE profiles and MLST type indistinguishable from the ones observed in poultry point out carnivore reptiles as possible vector of infection with multidrug and high-level ciprofloxacin resistant (MIC≥8 mg/L) S. Kentucky. Public awareness and education are required to prevent potential reptile-associated S. Kentucky infections in humans.

  8. Mine spoil prairies expand critical habitat for endangered and threatened amphibian and reptile species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.

  9. Chrysosporium anamorph Nannizziopsis vriesii: an emerging fungal pathogen of captive and wild reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Mark A; Walden, Michael R

    2013-09-01

    Chrysosporium anamorph Nannizziopsis vriesii is a recent pathogen associated with infections in lizards, snakes, and crocodilians. It seems to be an obligate pathogen. It has been isolated from wild reptiles in addition to captive animals. Affected animals often present with aggressive, pyogranulomatous lesions that can affect the integument and musculoskeletal systems. Diagnosis can be done using culture, histopathology, and polymerase chain reaction assay. Ancillary diagnostic tests can be useful in characterizing the health status of the affected reptile and aid in planning supportive care and therapy. Treatment using antifungals has shown mixed results.

  10. Effects of a combinations of emodepside and praziquantel on parasites of reptiles and rodents.

    PubMed

    Mehlhorn, H; Schmahl, G; Frese, M; Mevissen, I; Harder, A; Krieger, K

    2005-10-01

    A new combination of two anthelmintic compounds containing emodepside and praziquantel (Profender, Bayer AG, Levekusen, Germany) was tested in pet rodents and reptiles. Topical application of the two compounds led to the quick disappearance of nematodes and cestodes from a broad spectrum of hosts including mice, jirds, snakes, anole lizards, turtles, monitor lizards, etc. In reptiles the dosage had to be increased, since the thick outer layer of the epidermis hinders the penetration of the compounds. In animals with an extremely thick epidermis (e.g. monitor lizards, leguans) the new product was applied under the armpits. PMID:16228277

  11. From fins to limbs to fins: limb evolution in fossil marine reptiles.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, Michael W

    2002-10-15

    Limb osteology and ontogenetic patterns of limb ossification are reviewed for extinct lineages of aquatically adapted diapsid reptiles. Phylogenies including these fossil taxa show that paddle-like limbs were independently derived, and that the varied limb morphologies were produced by evolutionary modifications to different aspects of the limb skeleton. Ancient marine reptiles modify the limb by reducing the relative size of the epipodials, modifying the perichondral and periosteal surface of elements distal to the propodials, and evolving extremes of hyperphalangy and hyperdactyly. Developmental genetic models illuminate gene systems that may have controlled limb evolution in these animals. PMID:12357467

  12. Alternative Conceptions in Animal Classification Focusing on Amphibians and Reptiles: A Cross-Age Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yen, Chiung-Fen; Yao, Tsung-Wei; Chiu, Yu-Chih

    2004-01-01

    This study examined students' alternative conceptions of reptiles and amphibians and the extent to which these conceptions remain intact through the elementary (grades 4 and 6), junior, and senior high school years. We administered multiple-choice and free-response instruments to a total of 513 students and interviewed at least 20 students at each…

  13. Fatty acid analyses may provide insight into the progression of starvation among squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    McCue, Marshall D

    2008-10-01

    Fasting-induced changes in fatty acid composition have been reported to occur within the body lipids of several types of animals; however, little is known about the changes in fatty acid profiles exhibited by reptiles subjected to prolonged fasting. This study characterizes the fatty acid profiles of six reptile species subjected to sublethal periods of fasting lasting 0, 56, 112, and 168 days. Analyses of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) conducted on the total body lipids of rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox), ratsnakes (Elaphe obsoleta), pythons (Python regius), boas (Boa constrictor), true vipers (Bitis gabonica), and monitor lizards (Varanus exanthematicus) revealed that all of the species exhibited similar characteristic changes in their fatty acid profiles during starvation stress. According to ANOVAs, the four most effective indicators of the onset of starvation were significant increases in the [1] fatty acid unsaturation index as well as ratios of [2] linoleic to palmitoleic acid, [3] oleic to palmitic, and [4] arachidonic to total fatty acid concentrations. The results of this study suggest that FAME analyses might be useful for identifying nutritional stress and/or starvation among squamate reptiles; however, forthcoming studies will be required to validate the generality of these responses. I also review the potential limitations of this approach, and suggest experiments that will be important for future applications of FAME analyses. Ultimately, it is hoped that FAME analyses can be used in conjunction with current practices as an additional tool to characterize the prevalence of starvation experienced by free-living reptiles.

  14. Rapid Recovery of an Urban Remnant Reptile Community following Summer Wildfire

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Reptiles in urban remnants are threatened with extinction by increased fire frequency, habitat fragmentation caused by urban development, and competition and predation from exotic species. Understanding how urban reptiles respond to and recover from such disturbances is key to their conservation. We monitored the recovery of an urban reptile community for five years following a summer wildfire at Kings Park in Perth, Western Australia, using pitfall trapping at five burnt and five unburnt sites. The reptile community recovered rapidly following the fire. Unburnt sites initially had higher species richness and total abundance, but burnt sites rapidly converged, recording a similar total abundance to unburnt areas within two years, and a similar richness within three years. The leaf-litter inhabiting skink Hemiergis quadrilineata was strongly associated with longer unburnt sites and may be responding to the loss of leaf litter following the fire. Six rarely-captured species were also strongly associated with unburnt areas and were rarely or never recorded at burnt sites, whereas two other rarely-captured species were associated with burnt sites. We also found that one lizard species, Ctenotus fallens, had a smaller average body length in burnt sites compared to unburnt sites for four out of the five years of monitoring. Our study indicates that fire management that homogenises large areas of habitat through frequent burning may threaten some species due to their preference for longer unburnt habitat. Careful management of fire may be needed to maximise habitat suitability within the urban landscape. PMID:25992802

  15. Reptile and arboreal marsupial response to replanted vegetation in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Ross B; Lindenmayer, David B; Crane, Mason; Michael, Damian; MacGregor, Christopher

    2007-03-01

    We report reptile and arboreal marsupial responses to vegetation planting and remnant native vegetation in agricultural landscapes in southeastern Australia. We used a hierarchical survey to select 23 landscapes that varied in the amounts of remnant native vegetation and planted native vegetation. We selected two farms within each landscape. In landscapes with plantings, we selected one farm with and one farm without plantings. We surveyed arboreal marsupials and reptiles on four sites on each farm that encompassed four vegetation types (plantings 7-20 years old, old-growth woodland, naturally occurring seedling regrowth woodland, and coppice [i.e., multistemmed] regrowth woodland). Reptiles and arboreal marsupials were less likely to occur on farms and in landscapes with comparatively large areas of plantings. Such farms and landscapes had less native vegetation, fewer paddock trees, and less woody debris within those areas of natural vegetation. The relatively large area of planting on these farms was insufficient to overcome the lack of these key structural attributes. Old-growth woodland, coppice regrowth, seedling regrowth, and planted areas had different habitat values for different reptiles and arboreal marsupials. We conclude that, although plantings may improve habitat conditions for some taxa, they may not effectively offset the negative effects of native vegetation clearing for all species, especially those reliant on old-growth woodland. Restoring suitable habitat for such species may take decades to centuries.

  16. Reptiles. Animal Life in Action[TM]. Schlessinger Science Library. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

    This 23-minute videotape for grades 5-8, presents the myriad of animal life that exists on the planet. Students can view and perform experiments and investigations that help explain animal traits and habits. The ancestors of reptiles date back to the dinosaurs. After the dinosaurs died out, it was one of the best-adapted species that survived and…

  17. Considering native and exotic terrestrial reptiles in island invasive species eradication programmes in the Tropical Pacific

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Richard N.; Veitch, C.R.; Clout, Mike N.; Towns, D. R.

    2010-01-01

    Most island restoration projects with reptiles, either as direct beneficiaries of conservation or as indicators of recovery responses, have been on temperate or xeric islands. There have been decades of research, particularly on temperate islands in New Zealand, on the responses of native reptiles to mammal eradications but very few studies in tropical insular systems. Recent increases in restoration projects involving feral mammal eradications in the tropical Pacific have led to several specific challenges related to native and invasive reptiles. This paper reviews these challenges and discusses some potential solutions to them. The first challenge is that the tropical Pacific herpetofauna is still being discovered, described and understood. There is thus incomplete knowledge of how eradication activities may affect these faunas and the potential risks facing critical populations of these species from these eradication actions. The long term benefit of the removal of invasives is beneficial, but the possible short term impacts to small populations on small islands might be significant. The second challenge is that protocols for monitoring the responses of these species are not well documented but are often different from those used in temperate or xeric habitats. Lizard monitoring techniques used in the tropical Pacific are discussed. The third challenge involves invasive reptiles already in the tropical Pacific, some of which could easily spread accidentally through eradication and monitoring operations. The species posing the greatest threats in this respect are reviewed, and recommendations for biosecurity concerning these taxa are made.

  18. Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles at Mojave National Preserve: Final Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2007-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in the Mojave Network, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Mojave National Preserve in 2004-2005. Objectives for this inventory were to use fieldwork, museum collections, and literature review to document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species occurring at MOJA. Our goals were to document at least 90% of the species present, provide one voucher specimen for each species identified, provide GIS-referenced distribution information for sensitive species, and provide all deliverables, including NPSpecies entries, as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Methods included daytime and nighttime visual encounter surveys and nighttime road driving. Survey effort was concentrated in predetermined priority sampling areas, as well as in areas with a high potential for detecting undocumented species. We recorded 31 species during our surveys. During literature review and museum specimen database searches, we found records for seven additional species from MOJA, elevating the documented species list to 38 (two amphibians and 36 reptiles). Based on our surveys, as well as literature and museum specimen review, we estimate an overall inventory completeness of 95% for Mojave National Preserve herpetofauna; 67% for amphibians and 97% for reptiles.

  19. Blood flow to long bones indicates activity metabolism in mammals, reptiles and dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Seymour, Roger S; Smith, Sarah L; White, Craig R; Henderson, Donald M; Schwarz-Wings, Daniela

    2012-02-01

    The cross-sectional area of a nutrient foramen of a long bone is related to blood flow requirements of the internal bone cells that are essential for dynamic bone remodelling. Foramen area increases with body size in parallel among living mammals and non-varanid reptiles, but is significantly larger in mammals. An index of blood flow rate through the foramina is about 10 times higher in mammals than in reptiles, and even higher if differences in blood pressure are considered. The scaling of foramen size correlates well with maximum whole-body metabolic rate during exercise in mammals and reptiles, but less well with resting metabolic rate. This relates to the role of blood flow associated with bone remodelling during and following activity. Mammals and varanid lizards have much higher aerobic metabolic rates and exercise-induced bone remodelling than non-varanid reptiles. Foramen areas of 10 species of dinosaur from five taxonomic groups are generally larger than from mammals, indicating a routinely highly active and aerobic lifestyle. The simple measurement holds possibilities offers the possibility of assessing other groups of extinct and living vertebrates in relation to body size, behaviour and habitat.

  20. A new marine reptile from the Triassic of China, with a highly specialized feeding adaptation.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Long; Chen, Xiao-Hong; Shang, Qing-Hua; Wu, Xiao-Chun

    2014-03-01

    The Luoping fauna (Anisian, Middle Triassic) is probably the oldest of Triassic faunas in Guizhou-Yunnan area, China. The reptilian assemblage is comprised of ichthyosaurs, a number of sauropterygians (pachypleurosaur-like forms), saurosphargids, protorosaurs, and archosauriforms. Here, we report on a peculiar reptile, newly found in this fauna. Its dentition is fence or comb-like and bears more than 175 pleurodont teeth in each ramus of the upper and lower jaws, tooth crown is needle-like distally and blade-shaped proximally; its rostrum strongly bends downward and the anterior end of its mandible expands both dorsally and ventrally to form a shovel-headed structure; and its ungual phalanges are hoof-shaped. The specializations of the jaws and dentition indicate that the reptile may have been adapted to a way of bottom-filter feeding in water. It is obvious that such delicate teeth are not strong enough to catch prey, but were probably used as a barrier to filter microorganisms or benthic invertebrates such as sea worms. These were collected by the specialized jaws, which may have functioned as a shovel or pushdozer (the mandible) and a grasper or scratcher (the rostrum). Our preliminary analysis suggests that the new reptile might be more closely related to the Sauropterygia than to other marine reptiles.

  1. Design and Management Criteria for Fish, Amphibian, and Reptile Communities Within Created Agricultural Wetlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Design and management criteria for created agricultural wetlands in the midwestern United States typically focus on maximizing the ability to process agricultural runoff. Ecological benefits for fish, amphibian, and reptiles are often secondary considerations. One example of this water quality focu...

  2. Description of Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum subsp. nov., isolated from humans and reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A polyphasic study was undertaken to determine the taxonomic position of 13 Campylobacter fetus-like isolates from humans (n=8) and reptiles (n=5). Phenotypic characterization, Genusgenus-specific and sap insertion-PCR initially identified all human isolates as type A Campylobacter fetus. Phylogenet...

  3. Rapid Recovery of an Urban Remnant Reptile Community following Summer Wildfire.

    PubMed

    Davis, Robert A; Doherty, Tim S

    2015-01-01

    Reptiles in urban remnants are threatened with extinction by increased fire frequency, habitat fragmentation caused by urban development, and competition and predation from exotic species. Understanding how urban reptiles respond to and recover from such disturbances is key to their conservation. We monitored the recovery of an urban reptile community for five years following a summer wildfire at Kings Park in Perth, Western Australia, using pitfall trapping at five burnt and five unburnt sites. The reptile community recovered rapidly following the fire. Unburnt sites initially had higher species richness and total abundance, but burnt sites rapidly converged, recording a similar total abundance to unburnt areas within two years, and a similar richness within three years. The leaf-litter inhabiting skink Hemiergis quadrilineata was strongly associated with longer unburnt sites and may be responding to the loss of leaf litter following the fire. Six rarely-captured species were also strongly associated with unburnt areas and were rarely or never recorded at burnt sites, whereas two other rarely-captured species were associated with burnt sites. We also found that one lizard species, Ctenotus fallens, had a smaller average body length in burnt sites compared to unburnt sites for four out of the five years of monitoring. Our study indicates that fire management that homogenises large areas of habitat through frequent burning may threaten some species due to their preference for longer unburnt habitat. Careful management of fire may be needed to maximise habitat suitability within the urban landscape.

  4. A new marine reptile from the Triassic of China, with a highly specialized feeding adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Long; Chen, Xiao-Hong; Shang, Qing-Hua; Wu, Xiao-Chun

    2014-03-01

    The Luoping fauna (Anisian, Middle Triassic) is probably the oldest of Triassic faunas in Guizhou-Yunnan area, China. The reptilian assemblage is comprised of ichthyosaurs, a number of sauropterygians (pachypleurosaur-like forms), saurosphargids, protorosaurs, and archosauriforms. Here, we report on a peculiar reptile, newly found in this fauna. Its dentition is fence or comb-like and bears more than 175 pleurodont teeth in each ramus of the upper and lower jaws, tooth crown is needle-like distally and blade-shaped proximally; its rostrum strongly bends downward and the anterior end of its mandible expands both dorsally and ventrally to form a shovel-headed structure; and its ungual phalanges are hoof-shaped. The specializations of the jaws and dentition indicate that the reptile may have been adapted to a way of bottom-filter feeding in water. It is obvious that such delicate teeth are not strong enough to catch prey, but were probably used as a barrier to filter microorganisms or benthic invertebrates such as sea worms. These were collected by the specialized jaws, which may have functioned as a shovel or pushdozer (the mandible) and a grasper or scratcher (the rostrum). Our preliminary analysis suggests that the new reptile might be more closely related to the Sauropterygia than to other marine reptiles.

  5. Reptiles from Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Maranhão, northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Miranda, Jivanildo Pinheiro; Costa, João Carlos Lopes; Rocha, Carlos Frederico D.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract We are presenting a list of the reptile species from Lençóis Maranhenses National Park (LMNP), Maranhão, Brazil, obtained during 235 days of field work. The study area is located in the contact zone between three major Neotropical ecosystems: Amazonia, Caatinga, and Cerrado. The PNLM encompasses the largest dune fields in Brazil, wide shrubby areas (restingas), lakes, mangroves, and many freshwater lagoons. We have recorded 42 species of reptiles in the area: 24 snakes, 12 lizards, two worm lizards, three turtles, and one alligator. About 81 % of the recorded species occurred only in restinga areas. Our data highlights the uniqueness of the PNLM in the context of the biomes that surround it and shows the importance of efforts to improve the conservation of reptiles living in the restinga, which currently comprise only about 20 % of the total area protected by the park, but which are the mesohabitat containing most of the reptile species in the Lençóis Maranhenses complex of habitats. PMID:23275751

  6. Diagnosis of gastrointestinal parasites in reptiles: comparison of two coprological methods

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Exotic reptiles have become increasingly common domestic pets worldwide and are well known to be carriers of different parasites including some with zoonotic potential. The need of accurate diagnosis of gastrointestinal endoparasite infections in domestic reptiles is therefore essential, not only for the well-being of captive reptiles but also for the owners. Here, two different approaches for the detection of parasite stages in reptile faeces were compared: a combination of native and iodine stained direct smears together with a flotation technique (CNF) versus the standard SAF-method. Results A total of 59 different reptile faeces (20 lizards, 22 snakes, 17 tortoises) were coprologically analyzed by the two methods for the presence of endoparasites. Analyzed reptile faecal samples contained a broad spectrum of parasites (total occurence 93.2%, n = 55) including different species of nematodes (55.9%, n = 33), trematodes (15.3%, n = 9), pentastomids (3.4%, n = 2) and protozoans (47.5%, n = 28). Associations between the performances of both methods to detect selected single parasite stages or groups of such were evaluated by Fisher's exact test and marginal homogeneity was tested by the McNemar test. In 88.1% of all examined samples (n = 52, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 77.1 - 95.1%) the two diagnostic methods rendered differing results, and the McNemar test for paired observations showed highly significant differences of the detection frequency (P < 0.0001). Conclusion The combination of direct smears/flotation proved superior in the detection of flagellates trophozoites, coccidian oocysts and nematode eggs, especially those of oxyurids. SAF-technique was superior in detecting larval stages and trematode eggs, but this advantage failed to be statistically significant (P = 0.13). Therefore, CNF is the recommended method for routine faecal examination of captive reptiles while the SAF-technique is advisable as

  7. On an open question of V. Colao and G. Marino presented in the paper "Krasnoselskii-Mann method for non-self mappings".

    PubMed

    Guo, Meifang; Li, Xia; Su, Yongfu

    2016-01-01

    Let H be a Hilbert space and let C be a closed convex nonempty subset of H and [Formula: see text] a non-self nonexpansive mapping. A map [Formula: see text] defined by [Formula: see text]. Then, for a fixed [Formula: see text] and for [Formula: see text], Krasnoselskii-Mann algorithm is defined by [Formula: see text] where [Formula: see text]. Recently, Colao and Marino (Fixed Point Theory Appl 2015:39, 2015) have proved both weak and strong convergence theorems when C is a strictly convex set and T is an inward mapping. Meanwhile, they proposed a open question for a countable family of non-self nonexpansive mappings. In this article, authors will give an answer and will prove the further generalized results with the examples to support them. PMID:27563523

  8. Fire mosaics and reptile conservation in a fire-prone region.

    PubMed

    Nimmo, D G; Kelly, L T; Spence-Bailey, L M; Watson, S J; Taylor, R S; Clarke, M F; Bennett, A F

    2013-04-01

    Fire influences the distribution of fauna in terrestrial biomes throughout the world. Use of fire to achieve a mosaic of vegetation in different stages of succession after burning (i.e., patch-mosaic burning) is a dominant conservation practice in many regions. Despite this, knowledge of how the spatial attributes of vegetation mosaics created by fire affect fauna is extremely scarce, and it is unclear what kind of mosaic land managers should aim to achieve. We selected 28 landscapes (each 12.6 km(2) ) that varied in the spatial extent and diversity of vegetation succession after fire in a 104,000 km(2) area in the semiarid region of southeastern Australia. We surveyed for reptiles at 280 sites nested within the 28 landscapes. The landscape-level occurrence of 9 of the 22 species modeled was associated with the spatial extent of vegetation age classes created by fire. Biogeographic context and the extent of a vegetation type influenced 7 and 4 species, respectively. No species were associated with the diversity of vegetation ages within a landscape. Negative relations between reptile occurrence and both extent of recently burned vegetation (≤10 years postfire, n = 6) and long unburned vegetation (>35 years postfire, n = 4) suggested that a coarse-grained mosaic of areas (e.g. >1000 ha) of midsuccessional vegetation (11-35 years postfire) may support the fire-sensitive reptile species we modeled. This age class coincides with a peak in spinifex cover, a keystone structure for reptiles in semiarid and arid Australia. Maintaining over the long term a coarse-grained mosaic of large areas of midsuccessional vegetation in mallee ecosystems will need to be balanced against the short-term negative effects of large fires on many reptile species and a documented preference by species from other taxonomic groups, particularly birds, for older vegetation.

  9. Reptiles as potential vectors and hosts of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Panama.

    PubMed

    Kilburn, Vanessa L; Ibáñez, Roberto; Green, David M

    2011-12-01

    Chytridiomycosis, the disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is considered to be a disease exclusively of amphibians. However, B. dendrobatidis may also be capable of persisting in the environment, and non-amphibian vectors or hosts may contribute to disease transmission. Reptiles living in close proximity to amphibians and sharing similar ecological traits could serve as vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis, harbouring the organism on their skin without succumbing to disease. We surveyed for the presence of B. dendrobatidis DNA among 211 lizards and 8 snakes at 8 sites at varying elevations in Panama where the syntopic amphibians were at pre-epizootic, epizootic or post-epizootic stages of chytridiomycosis. Detection of B. dendrobatidis DNA was done using qPCR analysis. Evidence of the amphibian pathogen was present at varying intensities in 29 of 79 examined Anolis humilis lizards (32%) and 9 of 101 A. lionotus lizards (9%), and in one individual each of the snakes Pliocercus euryzonus, Imantodes cenchoa, and Nothopsis rugosus. In general, B. dendrobatidis DNA prevalence among reptiles was positively correlated with the infection prevalence among co-occurring anuran amphibians at any particular site (r = 0.88, p = 0.004). These reptiles, therefore, may likely be vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis and could serve as disease transmission agents. Although there is no evidence of B. dendrobatidis disease-induced declines in reptiles, cases of coincidence of reptile and amphibian declines suggest this potentiality. Our study is the first to provide evidence of non-amphibian carriers for B. dendrobatidis in a natural Neotropical environment.

  10. Climatic Inferences from Extant and Fossil Reptiles: Toward a Metabolic Paleothermometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, J. J.

    2010-12-01

    The fossil record of Cenozoic reptiles represents an underutilized dataset for estimating paleoclimate. Maximum body sizes in poikilothermic taxa are ultimately limited by a critical minimum ambient temperature below which metabolism cannot be maintained for a given mass-specific metabolic rate, and the relationship between environmental temperature and body size in extant reptiles provides a model for inferring paleotemperatures from sizes of fossil taxa. Body size changes with latitude in modern reptiles, consistent with a model that predicts proportionality of size with temperature. The model is derived to calculate past temperatures by comparing body sizes in fossil reptiles with maximum sizes in extant reptiles at a given Mean Annual Temperatures (MAT), assuming similar ecologies and appropriate mass-specific metabolic rates for both modern and fossil taxa. Phylogenetic constraint minimizes such assumptions, and multi-taxon sampling increases the robustness of estimates for a given ecology or depositional environment. This metabolic paleothermometer was used to estimate past temperatures through the Cenozoic by comparing maximum body sizes of extant turtles, crocodilians, and snakes from aquatic environments at known mass- specific metabolic rates for modern MATs with Paleogene and Neogene herpetofaunas from North American and equatorial South America. Maximum body sizes of Paleogene equatorial snakes and turtles demonstrate high Neotropical MATs, and stratigraphic histories of sizes change in North American trionychid turtles reflect MAT changes during the Paleogene Thermal Maximum. Multi-taxon temperature estimates of the Neotropics during the late Miocene indicate high MATs equivalent to Paleogene values, and suggest that hot equatorial climates persisted during the beginning of the late Neogene global cooling event.

  11. Eaten Out of House and Home: Impacts of Grazing on Ground-Dwelling Reptiles in Australian Grasslands and Grassy Woodlands

    PubMed Central

    Howland, Brett; Stojanovic, Dejan; Gordon, Iain J.; Manning, Adrian D.; Fletcher, Don; Lindenmayer, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1) density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2) grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence) across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure) significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata) were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis) was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata) did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing. PMID:25501680

  12. Eaten out of house and home: impacts of grazing on ground-dwelling reptiles in Australian grasslands and grassy woodlands.

    PubMed

    Howland, Brett; Stojanovic, Dejan; Gordon, Iain J; Manning, Adrian D; Fletcher, Don; Lindenmayer, David B

    2014-01-01

    Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1) density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2) grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence) across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure) significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata) were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis) was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata) did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing.

  13. Eaten out of house and home: impacts of grazing on ground-dwelling reptiles in Australian grasslands and grassy woodlands.

    PubMed

    Howland, Brett; Stojanovic, Dejan; Gordon, Iain J; Manning, Adrian D; Fletcher, Don; Lindenmayer, David B

    2014-01-01

    Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1) density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2) grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence) across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure) significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata) were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis) was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata) did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing. PMID:25501680

  14. Identifying bird and reptile vulnerabilities to climate change in the southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatten, James R.; Giermakowski, J. Tomasz; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Nowak, Erika M.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Ironside, Kirsten E.; Van Riper, Charles, III; Peters, Michael; Truettner, Charles; Cole, Kenneth L.

    2016-01-01

    Current and future breeding ranges of 15 bird and 16 reptile species were modeled in the Southwestern United States. Rather than taking a broad-scale, vulnerability-assessment approach, we created a species distribution model (SDM) for each focal species incorporating climatic, landscape, and plant variables. Baseline climate (1940–2009) was characterized with Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) data and future climate with global-circulation-model data under an A1B emission scenario. Climatic variables included monthly and seasonal temperature and precipitation; landscape variables included terrain ruggedness, soil type, and insolation; and plant variables included trees and shrubs commonly associated with a focal species. Not all species-distribution models contained a plant, but if they did, we included a built-in annual migration rate for more accurate plant-range projections in 2039 or 2099. We conducted a group meta-analysis to (1) determine how influential each variable class was when averaged across all species distribution models (birds or reptiles), and (2) identify the correlation among contemporary (2009) habitat fragmentation and biological attributes and future range projections (2039 or 2099). Projected changes in bird and reptile ranges varied widely among species, with one-third of the ranges predicted to expand and two-thirds predicted to contract. A group meta-analysis indicated that climatic variables were the most influential variable class when averaged across all models for both groups, followed by landscape and plant variables (birds), or plant and landscape variables (reptiles), respectively. The second part of the meta-analysis indicated that numerous contemporary habitat-fragmentation (for example, patch isolation) and biological-attribute (for example, clutch size, longevity) variables were significantly correlated with the magnitude of projected range changes for birds and reptiles. Patch isolation was

  15. Identifying bird and reptile vulnerabilities to climate change in the southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatten, James R.; Giermakowski, J. Tomasz; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Nowak, Erika M.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Ironside, Kirsten E.; Van Riper, Charles; Peters, Michael; Truettner, Charles; Cole, Kenneth L.

    2016-07-06

    Current and future breeding ranges of 15 bird and 16 reptile species were modeled in the Southwestern United States. Rather than taking a broad-scale, vulnerability-assessment approach, we created a species distribution model (SDM) for each focal species incorporating climatic, landscape, and plant variables. Baseline climate (1940–2009) was characterized with Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) data and future climate with global-circulation-model data under an A1B emission scenario. Climatic variables included monthly and seasonal temperature and precipitation; landscape variables included terrain ruggedness, soil type, and insolation; and plant variables included trees and shrubs commonly associated with a focal species. Not all species-distribution models contained a plant, but if they did, we included a built-in annual migration rate for more accurate plant-range projections in 2039 or 2099. We conducted a group meta-analysis to (1) determine how influential each variable class was when averaged across all species distribution models (birds or reptiles), and (2) identify the correlation among contemporary (2009) habitat fragmentation and biological attributes and future range projections (2039 or 2099). Projected changes in bird and reptile ranges varied widely among species, with one-third of the ranges predicted to expand and two-thirds predicted to contract. A group meta-analysis indicated that climatic variables were the most influential variable class when averaged across all models for both groups, followed by landscape and plant variables (birds), or plant and landscape variables (reptiles), respectively. The second part of the meta-analysis indicated that numerous contemporary habitat-fragmentation (for example, patch isolation) and biological-attribute (for example, clutch size, longevity) variables were significantly correlated with the magnitude of projected range changes for birds and reptiles. Patch isolation was

  16. Contrasts in short- and long-term responses of Mediterranean reptile species to fire and habitat structure.

    PubMed

    Santos, Xavier; Badiane, Arnaud; Matos, Cátia

    2016-01-01

    Changes in habitat structure constitute a major factor explaining responses of reptiles to fire. However, few studies have examined habitat factors that covary with fire-history variables to explain reptile responses. We hypothesise that more complex habitats should support richer reptile communities, and that species-specific relative abundance should be related to particular habitat features. From spring 2012-2014, twenty-five transects were surveyed in the Albera Region (north-east Iberia). The vegetation structure was measured and the extent of habitat types in a 1000-m buffer around each transect calculated. Reptile-community metrics (species richness and reptile abundance) were related to fire history, vegetation structure, and habitat types, using generalized additive models. These metrics correlated with habitat-structure variables but not with fire history. The number of species increased with more complex habitats but decreased with pine-plantation abundance in the 1000-m buffer. We found contrasting responses among reptiles in terms of time since fire and those responses differed according to vegetation variables and habitat types. An unplanned fire in August 2012 provided the opportunity to compare reptile abundance values between pre-fire and the short term (1-2 years) after the fire. Most species exhibited a negative short-term response to the 2012 fire except Tarentola mauritanica, a gecko that inhabits large rocks, as opposed to other ground-dwelling species. In the reptiles studied, contrasting responses to time since fire are consistent with the habitat-accommodation model of succession. These differences are linked to specific microhabitat preferences and suggest that functional traits can be used to predict species-specific responses to fire.

  17. Contrasts in short- and long-term responses of Mediterranean reptile species to fire and habitat structure.

    PubMed

    Santos, Xavier; Badiane, Arnaud; Matos, Cátia

    2016-01-01

    Changes in habitat structure constitute a major factor explaining responses of reptiles to fire. However, few studies have examined habitat factors that covary with fire-history variables to explain reptile responses. We hypothesise that more complex habitats should support richer reptile communities, and that species-specific relative abundance should be related to particular habitat features. From spring 2012-2014, twenty-five transects were surveyed in the Albera Region (north-east Iberia). The vegetation structure was measured and the extent of habitat types in a 1000-m buffer around each transect calculated. Reptile-community metrics (species richness and reptile abundance) were related to fire history, vegetation structure, and habitat types, using generalized additive models. These metrics correlated with habitat-structure variables but not with fire history. The number of species increased with more complex habitats but decreased with pine-plantation abundance in the 1000-m buffer. We found contrasting responses among reptiles in terms of time since fire and those responses differed according to vegetation variables and habitat types. An unplanned fire in August 2012 provided the opportunity to compare reptile abundance values between pre-fire and the short term (1-2 years) after the fire. Most species exhibited a negative short-term response to the 2012 fire except Tarentola mauritanica, a gecko that inhabits large rocks, as opposed to other ground-dwelling species. In the reptiles studied, contrasting responses to time since fire are consistent with the habitat-accommodation model of succession. These differences are linked to specific microhabitat preferences and suggest that functional traits can be used to predict species-specific responses to fire. PMID:26408003

  18. Osteomyelitis in a Paleozoic reptile: ancient evidence for bacterial infection and its evolutionary significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reisz, Robert R.; Scott, Diane M.; Pynn, Bruce R.; Modesto, Sean P.

    2011-06-01

    We report on dental and mandibular pathology in Labidosaurus hamatus, a 275 million-year-old terrestrial reptile from North America and associate it with bacterial infection in an organism that is characterized by reduced tooth replacement. Analysis of the surface and internal mandibular structure using mechanical and CT-scanning techniques permits the reconstruction of events that led to the pathology and the possible death of the individual. The infection probably occurred as a result of prolonged exposure of the dental pulp cavity to oral bacteria, and this exposure was caused by injury to the tooth in an animal that is characterized by reduced tooth replacement cycles. In these early reptiles, the reduction in tooth replacement is an evolutionary innovation associated with strong implantation and increased oral processing. The dental abscess observed in L. hamatus, the oldest known infection in a terrestrial vertebrate, provides clear evidence of the ancient association between terrestrial vertebrates and their oral bacteria.

  19. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz-Silva, W; Oliveira, R M; Gonzaga, A F N; Pinto, K C; Poli, F C; Bilce, T M; Penhacek, M; Wronski, L; Martins, J X; Junqueira, T G; Cesca, L C C; Guimarães, V Y; Pinheiro, R D

    2015-08-01

    The region of Volta Grande do Xingu River, in the state of Pará, presents several kinds of land use ranging from extensive cattle farming to agroforestry, and deforestation. Currently, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant affects the region. We present a checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region and discuss information regarding the spatial distribution of the assemblies based on results of Environmental Programmes conducted in the area. We listed 109 amphibian (Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona) and 150 reptile (Squamata, Testudines, and Crocodylia) species. The regional species richness is still considered underestimated, considering the taxonomic uncertainty, complexity and cryptic diversity of various species, as observed in other regions of the Amazon biome. Efforts for scientific collection and studies related to integrative taxonomy are needed to elucidate uncertainties and increase levels of knowledge of the local diversity.

  20. Serosurveillance of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus in Amphibians and Reptiles from Alabama, USA

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Sean P.; Hassan, Hassan K.; Chapman, Taryn; White, Gregory; Guyer, Craig; Unnasch, Thomas R.

    2012-01-01

    Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is among the most medically important arboviruses in North America, and studies suggest a role for amphibians and reptiles in its transmission cycle. Serum samples collected from 351 amphibians and reptiles (27 species) from Alabama, USA, were tested for the presence of antibodies against EEEV. Frogs, turtles, and lizards showed little or no seropositivity, and snakes had high seropositivity rates. Most seropositive species were preferred or abundant hosts of Culex spp. mosquitoes at Tuskegee National Forest, that target ectothermic hosts. The cottonmouth, the most abundant ectotherm sampled, displayed a high prevalence of seropositivity, indicating its possible role as an amplification and/or over-wintering reservoir for EEEV. PMID:22403333

  1. Cranial sutures work collectively to distribute strain throughout the reptile skull

    PubMed Central

    Curtis, Neil; Jones, M. E. H.; Evans, S. E.; O'Higgins, P.; Fagan, M. J.

    2013-01-01

    The skull is composed of many bones that come together at sutures. These sutures are important sites of growth, and as growth ceases some become fused while others remain patent. Their mechanical behaviour and how they interact with changing form and loadings to ensure balanced craniofacial development is still poorly understood. Early suture fusion often leads to disfiguring syndromes, thus is it imperative that we understand the function of sutures more clearly. By applying advanced engineering modelling techniques, we reveal for the first time that patent sutures generate a more widely distributed, high level of strain throughout the reptile skull. Without patent sutures, large regions of the skull are only subjected to infrequent low-level strains that could weaken the bone and result in abnormal development. Sutures are therefore not only sites of bone growth, but could also be essential for the modulation of strains necessary for normal growth and development in reptiles. PMID:23804444

  2. Classics revisited. History of reptile placentology: Studiati's early account of placentation in a viviparous lizard.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Daniel G; Avanzati, Anna Marie; Paulesu, Luana

    2015-11-01

    Although placental diversity in mammals received growing attention in the 1600s through the early 1800s, placentation was not documented in reptiles until the mid-19th century. In his classic 1855 study on a viviparous lizard, Cesare Studiati (University of Pisa) described a structural/functional arrangement of fetal and maternal tissues that meets contemporary criteria for recognition of placentation. Through the fortuitous selection of a highly placentotrophic species, Chalcides chalcides, Studiati recognized the functional role of placental tissues in provision of oxygen as well as nutrients. Although Studiati worked in a pre-evolutionary milieu and without the benefits of histological techniques, his findings revealed that viviparous reptiles could exhibit placental specializations that paralleled those of mammals. Accordingly, his classic paper initiated a highly productive body of research that has continued to the present and highlighted specializations of a species that has figured importantly in placental research.

  3. Classics revisited. History of reptile placentology: Studiati's early account of placentation in a viviparous lizard.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Daniel G; Avanzati, Anna Marie; Paulesu, Luana

    2015-11-01

    Although placental diversity in mammals received growing attention in the 1600s through the early 1800s, placentation was not documented in reptiles until the mid-19th century. In his classic 1855 study on a viviparous lizard, Cesare Studiati (University of Pisa) described a structural/functional arrangement of fetal and maternal tissues that meets contemporary criteria for recognition of placentation. Through the fortuitous selection of a highly placentotrophic species, Chalcides chalcides, Studiati recognized the functional role of placental tissues in provision of oxygen as well as nutrients. Although Studiati worked in a pre-evolutionary milieu and without the benefits of histological techniques, his findings revealed that viviparous reptiles could exhibit placental specializations that paralleled those of mammals. Accordingly, his classic paper initiated a highly productive body of research that has continued to the present and highlighted specializations of a species that has figured importantly in placental research. PMID:26474917

  4. Occurrence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. in mammals and reptiles at the Lisbon Zoo.

    PubMed

    Alves, Margarida; Xiao, Lihua; Lemos, Vanessa; Zhou, Ling; Cama, Vitaliano; da Cunha, Margarida Barão; Matos, Olga; Antunes, Francisco

    2005-09-01

    The presence of Cryptosporidium parasites in mammals and reptiles kept at the Lisbon Zoo was investigated. A total of 274 stool samples were collected from 100 mammals and 29 reptiles. The species and genotype of the isolates identified by light microscopy were determined by nested PCR and sequence analysis of a fragment of the small subunit rRNA gene. Cryptosporidium oocysts were found in one black wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou), one Prairie bison (Bison bison bison) and in one Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans). The PCR and sequence analysis of these three isolates showed that those excreted by the Prairie bison were Cryptosporidium mouse genotype, those from the black wildebeest were from a new Cryptosporidium genotype and those infecting the Indian star tortoise were Cryptosporidium tortoise genotype. The present work reports a new Cryptosporidium genotype in a black wildebeest and the first finding of the Cryptosporidium mouse genotype in a ruminant.

  5. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz-Silva, W; Oliveira, R M; Gonzaga, A F N; Pinto, K C; Poli, F C; Bilce, T M; Penhacek, M; Wronski, L; Martins, J X; Junqueira, T G; Cesca, L C C; Guimarães, V Y; Pinheiro, R D

    2015-08-01

    The region of Volta Grande do Xingu River, in the state of Pará, presents several kinds of land use ranging from extensive cattle farming to agroforestry, and deforestation. Currently, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant affects the region. We present a checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region and discuss information regarding the spatial distribution of the assemblies based on results of Environmental Programmes conducted in the area. We listed 109 amphibian (Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona) and 150 reptile (Squamata, Testudines, and Crocodylia) species. The regional species richness is still considered underestimated, considering the taxonomic uncertainty, complexity and cryptic diversity of various species, as observed in other regions of the Amazon biome. Efforts for scientific collection and studies related to integrative taxonomy are needed to elucidate uncertainties and increase levels of knowledge of the local diversity. PMID:26691094

  6. In situ cardiac perfusion reveals interspecific variation of intraventricular flow separation in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Joyce, William; Axelsson, Michael; Altimiras, Jordi; Wang, Tobias

    2016-07-15

    The ventricles of non-crocodilian reptiles are incompletely divided and provide an opportunity for mixing of oxygen-poor blood and oxygen-rich blood (intracardiac shunting). However, both cardiac morphology and in vivo shunting patterns exhibit considerable interspecific variation within reptiles. In the present study, we develop an in situ double-perfused heart approach to characterise the propensity and capacity for shunting in five reptile species: the turtle Trachemys scripta, the rock python Python sebae, the yellow anaconda Eunectes notaeus, the varanid lizard Varanus exanthematicus and the bearded dragon Pogona vitticeps To simulate changes in vascular bed resistance, pulmonary and systemic afterloads were independently manipulated and changes in blood flow distribution amongst the central outflow tracts were monitored. As previously demonstrated in Burmese pythons, rock pythons and varanid lizards exhibited pronounced intraventricular flow separation. As pulmonary or systemic afterload was raised, flow in the respective circulation decreased. However, flow in the other circulation, where afterload was constant, remained stable. This correlates with the convergent evolution of intraventricular pressure separation and the large intraventricular muscular ridge, which compartmentalises the ventricle, in these species. Conversely, in the three other species, the pulmonary and systemic flows were strongly mutually dependent, such that the decrease in pulmonary flow in response to elevated pulmonary afterload resulted in redistribution of perfusate to the systemic circuit (and vice versa). Thus, in these species, the muscular ridge appeared labile and blood could readily transverse the intraventricular cava. We conclude that relatively minor structural differences between non-crocodilian reptiles result in the fundamental changes in cardiac function. Further, our study emphasises that functionally similar intracardiac flow separation evolved independently in

  7. Hepatic cholesteryl ester metabolism in reptiles. A comparative study of three species of Brazilian lizards.

    PubMed

    Gillett, M P; Maia, M M

    1984-01-01

    Cholesterol esterase (CEase) and acylcoenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase (ACATase) activities were identified in liver cytoplasmatic extracts from Tropidurus torquatos (Iguanidae), Ameiva ameiva (Teiidae) and Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae). Optimum conditions were established to measure the hydrolytic activity of CEase and esterifying activities of CEase and ACATase. The activities of both enzymes were generally similar in all three species of reptiles, and did not differ greatly from values reported for a variety of mammalian species. PMID:6518764

  8. Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles at Manzanar National Historic Site, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.; Hillard, Scott

    2006-01-01

    We conducted a baseline inventory for amphibians and reptiles at Manzanar National Historic Site (MANZ), Inyo County, California, in 2002-3. Objectives for this inventory were to: 1) inventory and document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species at MANZ, with the goal of documenting at least 90% of the species present; 2) provide one voucher specimen for each species identified; 3) provide a GIS-referenced list of sensitive species that are known to be federally- or state-listed, rare, or worthy of special consideration that occur at MANZ; 4) describe park-wide distribution of federally- or state-listed, rare, or special concern species; 5) enter all species data into the National Park Service NPSpecies database; and 6) provide all deliverables as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Survey methods included time-area constrained searches, lizard line transects, general surveys, nighttime road driving, and pitfall trapping. We documented the occurrence of ten reptile species (seven lizards and three snakes), but found no amphibians. Based on our findings, as well as literature review and searches for museum specimen records, we estimate inventory completeness for Manzanar to be 50%. Although the distribution and relative abundance of common lizard species is now known well enough to begin development of a monitoring protocol for that group, additional inventory work is needed in order to establish a baseline of species occurrence of amphibians and snakes at Manzanar. Key Words: amphibians, reptiles, Manzanar National Historic Site, Inyo County, California, Owens Valley, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, inventory.

  9. In situ cardiac perfusion reveals interspecific variation of intraventricular flow separation in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Joyce, William; Axelsson, Michael; Altimiras, Jordi; Wang, Tobias

    2016-07-15

    The ventricles of non-crocodilian reptiles are incompletely divided and provide an opportunity for mixing of oxygen-poor blood and oxygen-rich blood (intracardiac shunting). However, both cardiac morphology and in vivo shunting patterns exhibit considerable interspecific variation within reptiles. In the present study, we develop an in situ double-perfused heart approach to characterise the propensity and capacity for shunting in five reptile species: the turtle Trachemys scripta, the rock python Python sebae, the yellow anaconda Eunectes notaeus, the varanid lizard Varanus exanthematicus and the bearded dragon Pogona vitticeps To simulate changes in vascular bed resistance, pulmonary and systemic afterloads were independently manipulated and changes in blood flow distribution amongst the central outflow tracts were monitored. As previously demonstrated in Burmese pythons, rock pythons and varanid lizards exhibited pronounced intraventricular flow separation. As pulmonary or systemic afterload was raised, flow in the respective circulation decreased. However, flow in the other circulation, where afterload was constant, remained stable. This correlates with the convergent evolution of intraventricular pressure separation and the large intraventricular muscular ridge, which compartmentalises the ventricle, in these species. Conversely, in the three other species, the pulmonary and systemic flows were strongly mutually dependent, such that the decrease in pulmonary flow in response to elevated pulmonary afterload resulted in redistribution of perfusate to the systemic circuit (and vice versa). Thus, in these species, the muscular ridge appeared labile and blood could readily transverse the intraventricular cava. We conclude that relatively minor structural differences between non-crocodilian reptiles result in the fundamental changes in cardiac function. Further, our study emphasises that functionally similar intracardiac flow separation evolved independently in

  10. Burning in banksia woodlands: how does the fire-free period influence reptile communities?

    PubMed

    Valentine, Leonie E; Reaveley, Alice; Johnson, Brent; Fisher, Rebecca; Wilson, Barbara A

    2012-01-01

    Fire is an important management tool for both hazard reduction burning and maintenance of biodiversity. The impact of time since last fire on fauna is an important factor to understand as land managers often aim for prescribed burning regimes with specific fire-free intervals. However, our current understanding of the impact of time since last fire on fauna is largely unknown and likely dependent on vegetation type. We examined the responses of reptiles to fire age in banksia woodlands, and the interspersed melaleuca damplands among them, north of Perth, Western Australia, where the current prescribed burning regime is targeting a fire-free period of 8-12 years. The response of reptiles to fire was dependent on vegetation type. Reptiles were generally more abundant (e.g. Lerista elegans and Ctenophorus adelaidensis) and specious in banksia sites. Several species (e.g. Menetia greyii, Cryptoblepharus buchananii) preferred long unburnt melaleuca sites (>16 years since last fire, YSLF) compared to recently burnt sites (<12 YSLF). Several of the small elapids (e.g. the WA priority listed species Neelaps calonotus) were only detected in older-aged banksia sites (>16 YSLF). The terrestrial dragon C. adelaidensis and the skink Morethia obscura displayed a strong response to fire in banksia woodlands only. Highest abundances of the dragon were detected in the recently burnt (<7 YSLF) and long unburnt (>35 YSLF) banksia woodlands, while the skink was more abundant in older sites. Habitats from a range of fire ages are required to support the reptiles we detected, especially the longer unburnt (>16 YSLF) melaleuca habitat. Current burning prescriptions are reducing the availability of these older habitats.

  11. Pathogenicity in six Australian reptile species following experimental inoculation with Bohle iridovirus.

    PubMed

    Ariel, E; Wirth, W; Burgess, G; Scott, J; Owens, L

    2015-08-20

    Ranaviruses are able to infect multiple species of fish, amphibian and reptile, and some strains are capable of interclass transmission. These numerous potential carriers and reservoir species compound efforts to control and contain infections in cultured and wild populations, and a comprehensive knowledge of susceptible species and life stage is necessary to inform such processes. Here we report on the challenge of 6 water-associated reptiles with Bohle iridovirus (BIV) to investigate its potential pathogenicity in common native reptiles of the aquatic and riparian fauna of northern Queensland, Australia. Adult tortoises Elseya latisternum and Emydura krefftii, snakes Boiga irregularis, Dendrelaphis punctulatus and Amphiesma mairii, and yearling crocodiles Crocodylus johnstoni were exposed via intracoelomic inoculation or co-habitation with infected con-specifics, but none were adversely affected by the challenge conditions applied here. Bohle iridovirus was found to be extremely virulent in hatchling tortoises E. latisternum and E. krefftii via intracoelomic challenge, as demonstrated by distinct lesions in multiple organs associated with specific immunohistochemistry staining and a lethal outcome (10/17) of the challenge. Virus was re-isolated from 2/5 E. latisternum, 4/12 E. krefftii and 1/3 brown tree snakes B. irregularis. Focal necrosis, haemorrhage and infiltration of granulocytes were frequently observed histologically in the pancreas, liver and sub-mucosa of the intestine of challenged tortoise hatchlings. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated the presence of ranavirus antigens in the necrotic lesions and in individual cells of the vascular endothelium, the connective tissue and in granulocytes associated with necrosis or present along serosal surfaces. The outcome of this study confirms hatchling tortoises are susceptible to BIV, thereby adding Australian reptiles to the host range of ranaviruses. Additionally, given that BIV was originally isolated from an

  12. The importance of defining focal assemblages when evaluating amphibian and reptile responses to land use.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Michelle E; Nowakowski, A Justin; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2016-04-01

    Habitat loss and degradation are primary threats to amphibians and reptiles, but the relative effects of common land uses on assemblages and the mechanisms that underlie faunal responses are poorly studied. We reviewed the effects of four prevalent types of habitat alteration (urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, and silviculture) on amphibian and reptile species richness and abundance by summarizing reported responses in the literature and by estimating effect sizes across studies for species richness in each land-use type. We then used a multinomial model to classify species as natural habitat specialists, generalists, and disturbed habitat specialists and examined variation in effect sizes for each land-use type according to habitat specialization categories. There were mixed conclusions from individual studies, some reporting negative, neutral, or positive effects of land use on species richness and total abundance. A large proportion of studies reported species-specific effects of individual species abundance. However, in our analysis of effect sizes, we found a general trend of negative effects of land use on species richness. We also demonstrate that habitat associations of common species and species turnover can explain variation in the effect of land use on herpetofauna. Our review highlights the pervasive negative effects of common land uses on amphibians and reptiles, the importance of identifying groups vulnerable to land-use change (e.g., forest-associated species) in conservation studies, and the potential influence of disturbance-associated species on whole assemblage analyses.

  13. The importance of defining focal assemblages when evaluating amphibian and reptile responses to land use.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Michelle E; Nowakowski, A Justin; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2016-04-01

    Habitat loss and degradation are primary threats to amphibians and reptiles, but the relative effects of common land uses on assemblages and the mechanisms that underlie faunal responses are poorly studied. We reviewed the effects of four prevalent types of habitat alteration (urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, and silviculture) on amphibian and reptile species richness and abundance by summarizing reported responses in the literature and by estimating effect sizes across studies for species richness in each land-use type. We then used a multinomial model to classify species as natural habitat specialists, generalists, and disturbed habitat specialists and examined variation in effect sizes for each land-use type according to habitat specialization categories. There were mixed conclusions from individual studies, some reporting negative, neutral, or positive effects of land use on species richness and total abundance. A large proportion of studies reported species-specific effects of individual species abundance. However, in our analysis of effect sizes, we found a general trend of negative effects of land use on species richness. We also demonstrate that habitat associations of common species and species turnover can explain variation in the effect of land use on herpetofauna. Our review highlights the pervasive negative effects of common land uses on amphibians and reptiles, the importance of identifying groups vulnerable to land-use change (e.g., forest-associated species) in conservation studies, and the potential influence of disturbance-associated species on whole assemblage analyses. PMID:26416506

  14. Plasticity and genetic adaptation mediate amphibian and reptile responses to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L; Freidenfelds, Nicole A

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation are predicted to mitigate some of the negative biotic consequences of climate change. Here, we evaluate evidence for plastic and evolutionary responses to climate variation in amphibians and reptiles via a literature review and meta-analysis. We included studies that either document phenotypic changes through time or space. Plasticity had a clear and ubiquitous role in promoting phenotypic changes in response to climate variation. For adaptive evolution, we found no direct evidence for evolution of amphibians or reptiles in response to climate change over time. However, we found many studies that documented adaptive responses to climate along spatial gradients. Plasticity provided a mixture of adaptive and maladaptive responses to climate change, highlighting that plasticity frequently, but not always, could ameliorate climate change. Based on our review, we advocate for more experiments that survey genetic changes through time in response to climate change. Overall, plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change, but large uncertainties remain owing to limited data. PMID:24454550

  15. Reptile Embryos Lack the Opportunity to Thermoregulate by Moving within the Egg.

    PubMed

    Telemeco, Rory S; Gangloff, Eric J; Cordero, Gerardo A; Mitchell, Timothy S; Bodensteiner, Brooke L; Holden, Kaitlyn G; Mitchell, Sarah M; Polich, Rebecca L; Janzen, Fredric J

    2016-07-01

    Historically, egg-bound reptile embryos were thought to passively thermoconform to the nest environment. However, recent observations of thermal taxis by embryos of multiple reptile species have led to the widely discussed hypothesis that embryos behaviorally thermoregulate. Because temperature affects development, such thermoregulation could allow embryos to control their fate far more than historically assumed. We assessed the opportunity for embryos to behaviorally thermoregulate in nature by examining thermal gradients within natural nests and eggs of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina; which displays embryonic thermal taxis) and by simulating thermal gradients within nests across a range of nest depths, egg sizes, and soil types. We observed little spatial thermal variation within nests, and thermal gradients were poorly transferred to eggs. Furthermore, thermal gradients sufficiently large and constant for behavioral thermoregulation were not predicted to occur in our simulations. Gradients of biologically relevant magnitude have limited global occurrence and reverse direction twice daily when they do exist, which is substantially faster than embryos can shift position within the egg. Our results imply that reptile embryos will rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to behaviorally thermoregulate by moving within the egg. We suggest that embryonic thermal taxis instead represents a play behavior, which may be adaptive or selectively neutral, and results from the mechanisms for behavioral thermoregulation in free-living stages coming online prior to hatching. PMID:27322129

  16. Reptiles as Reservoirs of Bacterial Infections: Real Threat or Methodological Bias?

    PubMed

    Zancolli, Giulia; Mahsberg, Dieter; Sickel, Wiebke; Keller, Alexander

    2015-10-01

    Bacterial infections secondary to snakebites and human pathogens (e.g., Salmonella) have been linked to the oral microbiota of snakes and pet reptiles. Based on culture-dependent studies, it is speculated that snakes' oral microbiota reflects the fecal flora of their ingested preys. However, cultured-based techniques have been shown to be limited as they fail to identify unculturable microorganisms which represent the vast majority of the microbial diversity. Here, we used culture-independent high-throughput sequencing to identify reptile-associated pathogens and to characterize the oral microbial community of five snakes, one gecko, and two terrapins. Few potential human pathogens were detected at extremely low frequencies. Moreover, bacterial taxa represented in the snake's oral cavity bore little resemblance to their preys' fecal microbiota. Overall, we found distinct, highly diverse microbial communities with consistent, species-specific patterns contrary to previous culture-based studies. Our study does not support the widely held assumption that reptiles' oral cavity acts as pathogen reservoir and provides important insights for future research. PMID:25921519

  17. Sleep in amphibians and reptiles: a review and a preliminary analysis of evolutionary patterns.

    PubMed

    Libourel, Paul-Antoine; Herrel, Anthony

    2016-08-01

    Despite the ubiquitous nature of sleep, its functions remain a mystery. In an attempt to address this, many researchers have studied behavioural and electrophysiological phenomena associated with sleep in a diversity of animals. The great majority of vertebrates and invertebrates display a phase of immobility that could be considered as a sort of sleep. Terrestrial mammals and birds, both homeotherms, show two sleep states with distinct behavioural and electrophysiological features. However, whether these features have evolved independently in each clade or were inherited from a common ancestor remains unknown. Unfortunately, amphibians and reptiles, key taxa in understanding the evolution of sleep given their position at the base of the tetrapod and amniote tree, respectively, remain poorly studied in the context of sleep. This review presents an overview of what is known about sleep in amphibians and reptiles and uses the existing data to provide a preliminary analysis of the evolution of behavioural and electrophysiological features of sleep in amphibians and reptiles. We also discuss the problems associated with analysing existing data, as well as the difficulty in inferring homologies of sleep stages based on limited data in the context of an essentially mammalian-centric definition of sleep. Finally, we highlight the importance of developing comparative approaches to sleep research that may benefit from the great diversity of species with different ecologies and morphologies in order to understand the evolution and functions of sleep.

  18. Amphibians and Reptiles of the state of Nuevo León, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.; Cruz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We compiled a check list of the herpetofauna of Nuevo León. We documented 132 species (23 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 30 families (11 amphibians, 19 reptiles) and 73 genera (17 amphibians, 56 reptiles). Only two species are endemic to Nuevo León. Nuevo León contains a relatively high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Nuevo León and states it borders is fairly extensive. Of 130 native species, 102 are considered species of Least Concern in the IUCN red list, four are listed as Vulnerable, five are listed as Near Threatened, and four are listed as Endangered. According to SEMARNAT, 78 species are not of conservation concern, 25 are subject to Special Protection, 27 are Threatened, and none are listed as in Danger of Extinction. Given current threats to the herpetofauna, additional efforts to understand the ecology and status of populations in Nuevo León are needed. PMID:27408562

  19. Amphibians and Reptiles of the state of Nuevo León, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R; Cruz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a check list of the herpetofauna of Nuevo León. We documented 132 species (23 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 30 families (11 amphibians, 19 reptiles) and 73 genera (17 amphibians, 56 reptiles). Only two species are endemic to Nuevo León. Nuevo León contains a relatively high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Nuevo León and states it borders is fairly extensive. Of 130 native species, 102 are considered species of Least Concern in the IUCN red list, four are listed as Vulnerable, five are listed as Near Threatened, and four are listed as Endangered. According to SEMARNAT, 78 species are not of conservation concern, 25 are subject to Special Protection, 27 are Threatened, and none are listed as in Danger of Extinction. Given current threats to the herpetofauna, additional efforts to understand the ecology and status of populations in Nuevo León are needed. PMID:27408562

  20. Reptiles as Reservoirs of Bacterial Infections: Real Threat or Methodological Bias?

    PubMed

    Zancolli, Giulia; Mahsberg, Dieter; Sickel, Wiebke; Keller, Alexander

    2015-10-01

    Bacterial infections secondary to snakebites and human pathogens (e.g., Salmonella) have been linked to the oral microbiota of snakes and pet reptiles. Based on culture-dependent studies, it is speculated that snakes' oral microbiota reflects the fecal flora of their ingested preys. However, cultured-based techniques have been shown to be limited as they fail to identify unculturable microorganisms which represent the vast majority of the microbial diversity. Here, we used culture-independent high-throughput sequencing to identify reptile-associated pathogens and to characterize the oral microbial community of five snakes, one gecko, and two terrapins. Few potential human pathogens were detected at extremely low frequencies. Moreover, bacterial taxa represented in the snake's oral cavity bore little resemblance to their preys' fecal microbiota. Overall, we found distinct, highly diverse microbial communities with consistent, species-specific patterns contrary to previous culture-based studies. Our study does not support the widely held assumption that reptiles' oral cavity acts as pathogen reservoir and provides important insights for future research.

  1. Reptile genomes open the frontier for comparative analysis of amniote development and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Tollis, Marc; Hutchins, Elizabeth D; Kusumi, Kenro

    2014-01-01

    Developmental genetic studies of vertebrates have focused primarily on zebrafish, frog and mouse models, which have clear application to medicine and well-developed genomic resources. In contrast, reptiles represent the most diverse amniote group, but have only recently begun to gather the attention of genome sequencing efforts. Extant reptilian groups last shared a common ancestor ?280 million years ago and include lepidosaurs, turtles and crocodilians. This phylogenetic diversity is reflected in great morphological and behavioral diversity capturing the attention of biologists interested in mechanisms regulating developmental processes such as somitogenesis and spinal patterning, regeneration, the evolution of "snake-like" morphology, the formation of the unique turtle shell, and the convergent evolution of the four-chambered heart shared by mammals and archosaurs. The complete genome of the first non-avian reptile, the green anole lizard, was published in 2011 and has provided insights into the origin and evolution of amniotes. Since then, the genomes of multiple snakes, turtles, and crocodilians have also been completed. Here we will review the current diversity of available reptile genomes, with an emphasis on their evolutionary relationships, and will highlight how these genomes have and will continue to facilitate research in developmental and regenerative biology.

  2. Are reptile and amphibian species younger in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere?

    PubMed

    Dubey, Sylvain; Shine, R

    2012-01-01

    A previous analysis of molecular phylogenies suggested that intraspecific diversification had occurred more recently in temperate-zone Northern Hemisphere reptiles and amphibians than in Southern Hemisphere taxa. Here, we test potential explanations for this pattern. We examined published phylogenetic analyses, derived from genetic sequence data, to generate two estimates of the age of species: (i) the oldest intraspecific diversification event within each taxon and (ii) the inferred timing of the split between two sister species. The timing of splits between species shows the same pattern as splits within species, and thus may be due to climatically driven cladogenic and extinction events or may be an artefact of differing levels of taxonomic knowledge about the fauna. Current rates of species descriptions suggest that many more taxa remain to be described in the Southern Hemisphere than the Northern Hemisphere; for that bias to fully explain our results on species age differences, the proportion of undescribed Southern taxa would need to be ≥ 12% in reptiles and ≥ 51% in anurans. For reptiles, taxonomic ignorance plausibly explains the apparent difference in mean age of species between the Southern and Northern Hemispheres; but this explanation can apply to amphibians only if a vast number of Southern taxa remain to be described.

  3. Plasticity and genetic adaptation mediate amphibian and reptile responses to climate change.

    PubMed

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L; Freidenfelds, Nicole A

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation are predicted to mitigate some of the negative biotic consequences of climate change. Here, we evaluate evidence for plastic and evolutionary responses to climate variation in amphibians and reptiles via a literature review and meta-analysis. We included studies that either document phenotypic changes through time or space. Plasticity had a clear and ubiquitous role in promoting phenotypic changes in response to climate variation. For adaptive evolution, we found no direct evidence for evolution of amphibians or reptiles in response to climate change over time. However, we found many studies that documented adaptive responses to climate along spatial gradients. Plasticity provided a mixture of adaptive and maladaptive responses to climate change, highlighting that plasticity frequently, but not always, could ameliorate climate change. Based on our review, we advocate for more experiments that survey genetic changes through time in response to climate change. Overall, plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change, but large uncertainties remain owing to limited data.

  4. Morbidity and mortality of reptiles admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, 1991 to 2000.

    PubMed

    Brown, Justin D; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2002-10-01

    Medical records from 694 reptiles admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV; Waynesboro, Virginia, USA) from 1991 to 2000 were reviewed to determine causes of morbidity and mortality. Eighteen species were represented but the majority of cases were four species; eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) (66%), eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) (11%), common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) (10%), and rat snake (Elaphe sp.) (6%). There was a significant increase in reptile cases during the study period both in absolute number and in proportion to the total caseload. Trauma (74%) was the most frequent cause of morbidity and mortality followed by unknown or undetermined (13%), aural abscessation (7%), infectious diseases (2%), and one nutritional disorder (0.1%). In addition, 3% of the cases were healthy animals that had been removed from the wild and consequently brought to the WCV. Causes of morbidity and mortality differed between the four most numerous species. Impact with a motor vehicle was the most frequent cause of trauma for eastern box turtles, eastern painted turtles, and common snapping turtles; however, garden-equipment-related trauma was the most frequent cause for rat snakes. Aural abscessation was only seen in eastern box turtles. Eighty percent of cases occurred between May and September and 65% occurred within the five counties closest to the WCV. The majority of morbidity and mortality was the result of human activities. The expanding human population in Virginia likely will continue to have an impact on the health of wild reptiles. PMID:12528435

  5. Evolution and Function of the Insulin and Insulin-like Signaling Network in Ectothermic Reptiles: Some Answers and More Questions.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Tonia S; Bronikowski, Anne M

    2016-08-01

    The insulin and insulin-like signaling (IIS) molecular network regulates cellular growth and division, and influences organismal metabolism, growth and development, reproduction, and lifespan. As a group, reptiles have incredible diversity in the complex life history traits that have been associated with the IIS network, yet the research on the IIS network in ectothermic reptiles is sparse. Here, we review the IIS network and synthesize what is known about the function and evolution of the IIS network in ectothermic reptiles. The primary hormones of this network-the insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGFs) likely function in reproduction in ectothermic reptiles, but the precise mechanisms are unclear, and likely range from influencing mating and ovulation to maternal investment in embryonic development. In general, plasma levels of IGF1 increase with food intake in ectothermic reptiles, but the magnitude of the response to food varies across species or populations and the ages of animals. Long-term temperature treatments as well as thermal stress can alter expression of genes within the IIS network. Although relatively little work has been done on IGF2 in ectothermic reptiles, IGF2 is consistently expressed at higher levels than IGF1 in juvenile ectothermic reptiles. Furthermore, in contrast to mammals that have genetic imprinting that silences the maternal IGF2 allele, in reptiles IGF2 is bi-allelically expressed (based on findings in chickens, a snake, and a lizard). Evolutionary analyses indicate some members of the IIS network are rapidly evolving across reptile species, including IGF1, insulin (INS), and their receptors. In particular, IGF1 displays extensive nucleotide variation across lizards and snakes, which suggests that its functional role may vary across this group. In addition, genetic variation across families and populations in the response of the IIS network to environmental conditions illustrates that components of this network may be evolving in

  6. Improving reptile ecological risk assessment: oral and dermal toxicity of pesticides to a common lizard species (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Yu, Shuangying; Talent, Larry G; Maul, Jonathan D; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    Reptiles have been understudied in ecotoxicology, which limits consideration in ecological risk assessments. The goals of the present study were 3-fold: to improve oral and dermal dosing methodologies for reptiles, to generate reptile toxicity data for pesticides, and to correlate reptile and avian toxicity. The authors first assessed the toxicity of different dosing vehicles: 100 μL of water, propylene glycol, and acetone were not toxic. The authors then assessed the oral and dermal toxicity of 4 pesticides following the up-and-down procedure. Neither brodifacoum nor chlorothalonil caused mortality at doses ≤ 1750 μg/g. Under the "neat pesticide" oral exposure, endosulfan (median lethal dose [LD50] = 9.8 μg/g) was more toxic than λ-cyhalothrin (LD50 = 916.5 μg/g). Neither chemical was toxic via dermal exposure. An acetone dosing vehicle increased λ-cyhalothrin toxicity (oral LD50 = 9.8 μg/g; dermal LD50 = 17.5 μg/g), but not endosulfan. Finally, changes in dosing method and husbandry significantly increased dermal λ-cyhalothrin LD50s, which highlights the importance of standardized methods. The authors combined data from the present study with other reptile LD50s to correlate with available avian data. When only definitive LD50s were used in the analysis, a strong correlation was found between avian and reptile toxicity. The results suggest it is possible to build predictive relationships between avian and reptile LD50s. More research is needed, however, to understand trends associated with chemical classes and modes of action. PMID:25760295

  7. Improving reptile ecological risk assessment: oral and dermal toxicity of pesticides to a common lizard species (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Yu, Shuangying; Talent, Larry G; Maul, Jonathan D; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    Reptiles have been understudied in ecotoxicology, which limits consideration in ecological risk assessments. The goals of the present study were 3-fold: to improve oral and dermal dosing methodologies for reptiles, to generate reptile toxicity data for pesticides, and to correlate reptile and avian toxicity. The authors first assessed the toxicity of different dosing vehicles: 100 μL of water, propylene glycol, and acetone were not toxic. The authors then assessed the oral and dermal toxicity of 4 pesticides following the up-and-down procedure. Neither brodifacoum nor chlorothalonil caused mortality at doses ≤ 1750 μg/g. Under the "neat pesticide" oral exposure, endosulfan (median lethal dose [LD50] = 9.8 μg/g) was more toxic than λ-cyhalothrin (LD50 = 916.5 μg/g). Neither chemical was toxic via dermal exposure. An acetone dosing vehicle increased λ-cyhalothrin toxicity (oral LD50 = 9.8 μg/g; dermal LD50 = 17.5 μg/g), but not endosulfan. Finally, changes in dosing method and husbandry significantly increased dermal λ-cyhalothrin LD50s, which highlights the importance of standardized methods. The authors combined data from the present study with other reptile LD50s to correlate with available avian data. When only definitive LD50s were used in the analysis, a strong correlation was found between avian and reptile toxicity. The results suggest it is possible to build predictive relationships between avian and reptile LD50s. More research is needed, however, to understand trends associated with chemical classes and modes of action.

  8. Increase in reptile-associated human salmonellosis and shift toward adulthood in the age groups at risk, the Netherlands, 1985 to 2014.

    PubMed

    Mughini-Gras, Lapo; Heck, Max; van Pelt, Wilfrid

    2016-08-25

    While the contribution of the main food-related sources to human salmonellosis is well documented, knowledge on the contribution of reptiles is limited. We quantified and examined trends in reptile-associated salmonellosis in the Netherlands during a 30-year period, from 1985 to 2014. Using source attribution analysis, we estimated that 2% (95% confidence interval: 1.3-2.8) of all sporadic/domestic human salmonellosis cases reported in the Netherlands during the study period (n = 63,718) originated from reptiles. The estimated annual fraction of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases ranged from a minimum of 0.3% (corresponding to 11 cases) in 1988 to a maximum of 9.3% (93 cases) in 2013. There was a significant increasing trend in reptile-associated salmonellosis cases (+ 19% annually) and a shift towards adulthood in the age groups at highest risk, while the proportion of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases among those up to four years-old decreased by 4% annually and the proportion of cases aged 45 to 74 years increased by 20% annually. We hypothesise that these findings may be the effect of the increased number and variety of reptiles that are kept as pets, calling for further attention to the issue of safe reptile-human interaction and for reinforced hygiene recommendations for reptile owners.

  9. Increase in reptile-associated human salmonellosis and shift toward adulthood in the age groups at risk, the Netherlands, 1985 to 2014.

    PubMed

    Mughini-Gras, Lapo; Heck, Max; van Pelt, Wilfrid

    2016-08-25

    While the contribution of the main food-related sources to human salmonellosis is well documented, knowledge on the contribution of reptiles is limited. We quantified and examined trends in reptile-associated salmonellosis in the Netherlands during a 30-year period, from 1985 to 2014. Using source attribution analysis, we estimated that 2% (95% confidence interval: 1.3-2.8) of all sporadic/domestic human salmonellosis cases reported in the Netherlands during the study period (n = 63,718) originated from reptiles. The estimated annual fraction of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases ranged from a minimum of 0.3% (corresponding to 11 cases) in 1988 to a maximum of 9.3% (93 cases) in 2013. There was a significant increasing trend in reptile-associated salmonellosis cases (+ 19% annually) and a shift towards adulthood in the age groups at highest risk, while the proportion of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases among those up to four years-old decreased by 4% annually and the proportion of cases aged 45 to 74 years increased by 20% annually. We hypothesise that these findings may be the effect of the increased number and variety of reptiles that are kept as pets, calling for further attention to the issue of safe reptile-human interaction and for reinforced hygiene recommendations for reptile owners. PMID:27589037

  10. Combined effects of climatic gradient and domestic livestock grazing on reptile community structure in a heterogeneous agroecosystem.

    PubMed

    Rotem, Guy; Gavish, Yoni; Shacham, Boaz; Giladi, Itamar; Bouskila, Amos; Ziv, Yaron

    2016-01-01

    Grazing plays an important role in shaping ecological communities in human-related ecosystems. Although myriad studies have explored the joint effect of grazing and climate on plant communities, this interactive effect has rarely been studied in animals. We hypothesized that the effect of grazing on the reptile community varies along a climatic gradient in relation to the effect of grazing on habitat characteristics, and that grazing differentially affects reptiles of different biogeographic regions. We tested our hypotheses by collecting data on environmental characteristics and by trapping reptiles in four heterogeneous landscapes experiencing differing grazing intensities and distributed along a sharp climatic gradient. We found that while reptile diversity increased with grazing intensity at the mesic end of the gradient, it decreased with grazing intensity at the arid end. Moreover, the proportion of reptile species of differing biogeographic origins varied with the interactive effect of climate and grazing. The representation of species originating in arid biogeographic zones was highest at the arid end of the climatic gradient, and representation increased with grazing intensity within this area. Regardless of the climatic context, increased grazing pressure results in a reduction in vegetation cover and thus in changes in habitat characteristics. By reducing vegetation cover, grazing increased habitat heterogeneity in the dense mesic sites and decreased habitat heterogeneity in the arid sites. Thus, our results suggest that the same direction of habitat alteration caused by grazing may have opposite effects on biodiversity and community composition in different climatic contexts.

  11. Amphibian and reptile community response to coarse woody debris manipulations in upland loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forests.

    SciTech Connect

    Owens, Audrey, K.; Moseley, Kurtis, R.; McCay, Timothy, S.; Castleberry, Steven, B .; Kilgo, John, C.; Ford, W., Mark

    2008-07-01

    Coarse woody debris (CWD) has been identified as a key microhabitat component for groups that are moisture and temperature sensitive such as amphibians and reptiles. However, few experimental manipulations have quantitatively assessed amphibian and reptile response to varying CWD volumes within forested environments. We assessed amphibian and reptile response to large-scale, CWD manipulation within managed loblolly pine stands in the southeastern Coastal Plain of the United States from 1998 to 2005. Our study consisted of two treatment phases: Phase I treatments included downed CWD removal (removal of all downed CWD), all CWD removal (removal of all downed and standing CWD), pre-treatment snag, and control; Phase II treatments included downed CWD addition (downed CWD volume increased 5-fold), snag addition (standing CWD volume increased 10-fold), all CWD removal (all CWD removed), and control. Amphibian and anuran capture rates were greater in control than all CWD removal plots during study Phase I. In Phase II, reptile diversity and richness were greater in downed CWD addition and all CWD removal than snag addition treatments. Capture rate of Rana sphenocephala was greater in all CWD removal treatment than downed CWD addition treatment. The dominant amphibian and snake species captured are adapted to burrowing in sandy soil or taking refuge under leaf litter. Amphibian and reptile species endemic to upland southeastern Coastal Plain pine forests may not have evolved to rely on CWD because the humid climate and short fire return interval have resulted in historically low volumes of CWD.

  12. Absence of detectable Salmonella cloacal shedding in free-living reptiles on admission to the wildlife center of Virginia.

    PubMed

    Richards, Jean M; Brown, Justin D; Kelly, Terra R; Fountain, Andrea L; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2004-12-01

    Salmonellosis is an important reptile-associated zoonotic infection in the United States. Cloacal swabs were collected from reptiles admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, Virginia, cultured for Salmonella using Hektoen and xylose lysine deoxycholate agars, and inoculated in selenite broth. All three were incubated at 37 degrees C for 18-24 hr. Seventy-five animals were included in the study, representing eight species, 34 eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), 14 eastern painted turtles (Chrysemys picta picta), 14 snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), 6 black rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta), 2 redbelly turtles (Pseudemys rubriventris), 2 yellowbelly sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta), 2 eastern garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis), and 1 eastern river cooter (Pseudemys concinna concinna). All cultures were negative for Salmonella spp., which is in contrast to the high prevalence of Salmonella cloacal shedding reported in captive reptiles but similar to previous reports in free-living North American reptiles. We recommend, nonetheless, practicing proper hygiene methods when handling and housing all reptiles. PMID:15732603

  13. Projecting climate effects on birds and reptiles of the Southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Riper, Charles; Hatten, James R.; Giermakowski, J. Tomasz; Mattson, David; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Nowak, Erika M.; Ironside, Kirsten; Peters, Michael; Heinrich, Paul; Cole, K.L.; Truettner, C.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.

    2014-01-01

    We modeled the current and future breeding ranges of seven bird and five reptile species in the Southwestern United States with sets of landscape, biotic (plant), and climatic global circulation model (GCM) variables. For modeling purposes, we used PRISM data to characterize the climate of the Western United States between 1980 and 2009 (baseline for birds) and between 1940 and 2009 (baseline for reptiles). In contrast, we used a pre-selected set of GCMs that are known to be good predictors of southwestern climate (five individual and one ensemble GCM), for the A1B emission scenario, to characterize future climatic conditions in three time periods (2010–39; 2040–69; and, 2070–99). Our modeling approach relied on conceptual models for each target species to inform selection of candidate explanatory variables and to interpret the ecological meaning of developed probabilistic distribution models. We employed logistic regression and maximum entropy modeling techniques to create a set of probabilistic models for each target species. We considered climatic, landscape, and plant variables when developing and testing our probabilistic models. Climatic variables included the maximum and minimum mean monthly and seasonal temperature and precipitation for three time periods. Landscape features included terrain ruggedness and insolation. We also considered plant species distributions as candidate explanatory variables where prior ecological knowledge implicated a strong association between a plant and animal species. Projected changes in range varied widely among species, from major losses to major gains. Breeding bird ranges exhibited greater expansions and contractions than did reptile species. We project range losses for Williamson’s sapsucker and pygmy nuthatch of a magnitude that could move these two species close to extinction within the next century. Although both species currently have a relatively limited distribution, they can be locally common, and neither

  14. Assessing DNA Barcodes for Species Identification in North American Reptiles and Amphibians in Natural History Collections

    PubMed Central

    Chambers, E. Anne; Hebert, Paul D. N.

    2016-01-01

    Background High rates of species discovery and loss have led to the urgent need for more rapid assessment of species diversity in the herpetofauna. DNA barcoding allows for the preliminary identification of species based on sequence divergence. Prior DNA barcoding work on reptiles and amphibians has revealed higher biodiversity counts than previously estimated due to cases of cryptic and undiscovered species. Past studies have provided DNA barcodes for just 14% of the North American herpetofauna, revealing the need for expanded coverage. Methodology/Principal Findings This study extends the DNA barcode reference library for North American herpetofauna, assesses the utility of this approach in aiding species delimitation, and examines the correspondence between current species boundaries and sequence clusters designated by the BIN system. Sequences were obtained from 730 specimens, representing 274 species (43%) from the North American herpetofauna. Mean intraspecific divergences were 1% and 3%, while average congeneric sequence divergences were 16% and 14% in amphibians and reptiles, respectively. BIN assignments corresponded with current species boundaries in 79% of amphibians, 100% of turtles, and 60% of squamates. Deep divergences (>2%) were noted in 35% of squamate and 16% of amphibian species, and low divergences (<2%) occurred in 12% of reptiles and 23% of amphibians, patterns reflected in BIN assignments. Sequence recovery declined with specimen age, and variation in recovery success was noted among collections. Within collections, barcodes effectively flagged seven mislabeled tissues, and barcode fragments were recovered from five formalin-fixed specimens. Conclusions/Significance This study demonstrates that DNA barcodes can effectively flag errors in museum collections, while BIN splits and merges reveal taxa belonging to deeply diverged or hybridizing lineages. This study is the first effort to compile a reference library of DNA barcodes for herpetofauna

  15. Soil ingestion may be an important route for the uptake of contaminants by some reptiles.

    PubMed

    Rich, C Nelson; Talent, Larry G

    2009-02-01

    Some species of reptiles regularly ingest soil in the wild. Therefore, we evaluated the importance of soil ingestion as a route for the uptake of contaminants in lizards. We used sand as a substitute for soil during the present study. Different groups of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) were provided with a control and five sodium selenite-spiked sand mixtures during a 28-d study. Twenty lizards were assigned to a control group and to each of five selenium-spiked sand mixtures that consisted of nominal selenium (Se) concentrations of 0.05, 0.46, 4.57, 11.41, and 22.83 mg Se/kg dry sand. Leopard geckos readily ingested the Se-spiked sand. We observed concentration-related effects in several endpoints. Overall growth in body mass was the most sensitive endpoint and was significantly (p < 0.05) lower in lizards that ingested the 4.57, 11.41, and 22.83 mg Se/kg sand mixtures compared to controls. Growth in snout-vent length, mean daily food ingestion, and food conversion efficiency were less sensitive and were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in lizards that ingested the 11.41 and 22.83 mg Se/kg sand mixtures compared to controls. Although our results are based on nominal amounts of Se ingested, leopard geckos appear to be as sensitive to sodium selenite as birds and mammals. The present study suggests that ingestion of soil could be an important potential route for the uptake of soil contaminants in some reptiles and should be evaluated in ecotoxicological studies and risk analyses of reptiles.

  16. Do mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have similar nitrogen conserving systems?

    PubMed

    Singer, Michael A

    2003-04-01

    Comparative physiological studies are a powerful tool for revealing common animal adaptations. Amino acid catabolism produces ammonia which is detoxified through the synthesis of urea (mammals, some fish), uric acid (birds), or urea and uric acid (reptiles). In mammalian herbivores and omnivores, urea nitrogen is salvaged by a series of steps involving urea transfer into the intestine, microbial mediated urea hydrolysis with synthesis of amino acids utilizing the liberated ammonia and transfer of the amino acids back to the host. A similar series of steps occur in omnivorous/granivorous and herbivorous birds, although in this case urine, containing uric acid, is refluxed directly into the intestine where microbes degrade the uric acid and utilize the liberated ammonia for amino acid synthesis. These amino acids are transferred back to the host. In reptiles and ureotelic fish not all of these steps have been experimentally confirmed. Reptiles like birds, reflux urine into the intestine where it is exposed to the microflora. However, the capacity of these microbes to breakdown the uric acid and urea and utilize ammonia for amino acid synthesis has not been documented. Ureotelic fish transfer urea into the intestine where urease (presumably of bacterial origin) hydrolyzes the urea. However, the amino acid synthesizing capacity of the intestinal microflora has not been studied. The series of steps, as outlined, would define the prevailing nitrogen conservation system for herbivores and omnivores at least. However, it would appear that some animals, in particular the fruit-eating bat and perhaps the fruit-eating bird, may have evolved alternative, as yet uncharacterized, adaptations to a very limited nitrogen intake.

  17. Reptile and amphibian responses to large-scale wildfires in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rochester, C.J.; Brehme, C.S.; Clark, D.R.; Stokes, D.C.; Hathaway, S.A.; Fisher, R.N.

    2010-01-01

    In 2003, southern California experienced several large fires that burned thousands of hectares of wildlife habitats and conserved lands. To investigate the effects of these fires on the reptile and amphibian communities, we compared the results from prefire herpetofauna and vegetation sampling to two years of postfire sampling across 38 burned and 17 unburned plots. The sampling plots were spread over four vegetation types and four open space areas within San Diego County. Our capture results indicated that burned chaparral and coastal sage scrub plots lost herpetofaunal species diversity after the fires and displayed a significant shift in overall community structure. Shrub and tree cover at the burned plots, averaged across the second and third postfire years, had decreased by 53 in chaparral and 75 in coastal sage scrub. Additionally, postfire herpetofauna community structure at burned plots was more similar to that found in unburned grasslands. In grassland and woodland/riparian vegetation plots, where shrub and tree cover was not significantly affected by fires, we found no differences in the herpetofaunal species diversity or community composition. At the individual species level, Sceloporus occidentalis was the most abundant reptile in these areas both before and after the fires. We saw increases in the net capture rates for several lizard species, including Aspidoscelis tigris, Phrynosoma coronatum, and Uta stansburiana in burned chaparral plots and Aspidoscelis hyperythra and U. stansburiana in burned coastal sage scrub plots. The toad, Bufo boreas, was detected at significantly fewer burned plots in chaparral after the fires. Additionally, we documented decreases in the number of plots occupied by lizards (Elgaria multicarinata), salamanders (Batrachoseps major), and snakes (Coluber constrictor, Lampropeltis getula, Pituophis catenifer, and Masticophis lateralis) in coastal sage scrub and chaparral after the fires. We discuss the individual species

  18. A fresh look at metabolic bone diseases in reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Klaphake, Eric

    2010-09-01

    Metabolic bone diseases (MBDs) are a common presenting complaint in reptiles and amphibians to veterinarians; however, understanding of the causes and diagnostic and treatment options is often extrapolated from human or other mammalian medicine models. Although the roles of UV-B, calcium, phosphorus, and cholecalciferol are better understood in some MBDs, there remain many X factors that are not. Likewise, quantitative diagnosis of MBDs has been difficult not only in terms of staging a disease but also regarding whether or not a condition is present. Treatment options also present challenges in corrective husbandry and diet modifications, medication/modality selection, and dosing/regimen parameters. PMID:20682425

  19. Seasonal acclimatisation of muscle metabolic enzymes in a reptile (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Guderley, Helga; Elsey, Ruth M; Trosclair, Phillip L

    2003-04-01

    Reptiles living in heterogeneous thermal environments are often thought to show behavioural thermoregulation or to become inactive when environmental conditions prevent the achievement of preferred body temperatures. By contrast, thermally homogeneous environments preclude behavioural thermoregulation, and ectotherms inhabiting these environments (particularly fish in which branchial respiration requires body temperature to follow water temperature) modify their biochemical capacities in response to long-term seasonal temperature fluctuations. Reptiles may also be active at seasonally varying body temperatures and could, therefore, gain selective advantages from regulating biochemical capacities. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that a reptile (the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis) that experiences pronounced seasonal fluctuations in body temperature will show seasonal acclimatisation in the activity of its metabolic enzymes. We measured body temperatures of alligators in the wild in winter and summer (N=7 alligators in each season), and we collected muscle samples from wild alligators (N=31 in each season) for analysis of metabolic enzyme activity (lactate dehydrogenase, citrate synthase and cytochrome c oxidase). There were significant differences in mean daily body temperatures between winter (15.66+/-0.43 degrees C; mean +/- S.E.M.) and summer (29.34+/-0.21 degrees C), and daily body temperatures fluctuated significantly more in winter compared with summer. Alligators compensated for lower winter temperatures by increasing enzyme activities, and the activities of cytochrome c oxidase and lactate dehydrogenase were significantly greater in winter compared with summer at all assay temperatures. The activity of citrate synthase was significantly greater in the winter samples at the winter body temperature (15 degrees C) but not at the summer body temperature (30 degrees C). The thermal sensitivity (Q(10)) of mitochondrial enzymes decreased

  20. The Role of Thailand in the International Trade in CITES-Listed Live Reptiles and Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Nijman, Vincent; Shepherd, Chris R.

    2011-01-01

    Background International wildlife trade is one of the leading threats to biodiversity conservation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is the most important initiative to monitor and regulate the international trade of wildlife but its credibility is dependent on the quality of the trade data. We report on the performance of CITES reporting by focussing on the commercial trade in non-native reptiles and amphibians into Thailand as to illustrate trends, species composition and numbers of wild-caught vs. captive-bred specimens. Methodology/Principal Findings Based on data in the WCMC-CITES trade database, we establish that a total of 75,594 individuals of 169 species of reptiles and amphibians (including 27 globally threatened species) were imported into Thailand in 1990–2007. The majority of individuals (59,895, 79%) were listed as captive-bred and a smaller number (15,699, 21%) as wild-caught. In the 1990s small numbers of individuals of a few species were imported into Thailand, but in 2003 both volumes and species diversity increased rapidly. The proportion of captive-bred animals differed greatly between years (from 0 to >80%). Wild-caught individuals were mainly sourced from African countries, and captive-bred individuals from Asian countries (including from non-CITES Parties). There were significant discrepancies between exports and imports. Thailand reports the import of >10,000 individuals (51 species) originating from Kazakhstan, but Kazakhstan reports no exports of these species. Similar discrepancies, involving smaller numbers (>100 individuals of 9 species), can be seen in the import of reptiles into Thailand via Macao. Conclusion/Significance While there has been an increase in imports of amphibian and reptiles into Thailand, erratic patterns in proportions of captive-bred specimens and volumes suggests either capricious markets or errors in reporting. Large discrepancies with respect to origin

  1. [Transfer of exotic ticks (Acari: ixodida) on reptiles (Reptilia) imported to Poland].

    PubMed

    2009-01-01

    In the of period 2003-2007, a total of 382 specimens of reptiles belonging to the following genera were investigated: Testudo, Iguana, Varanus, Gongylophis, Python, Spalerosophis, Psammophis. The material for the present study was a collection of reptiles owned by the "Animals" Ltd from Swietochłowice (Upper Silesia, Poland), specialising in import of exotic animals to Poland, as well as the reptile collections of private breeders. The reptiles that turned out to be the most heavily infected with ticks were the commonly bred terrarium reptiles: Varanus exanthematicus and Python regius and they were imported to Poland from Ghana, Africa. Exotic reptiles are also imported from Southern Europe, Asia and Central America. The presently reported study helped to confirm the fact of transfer of exotic ticks on reptiles to Poland. A total of 2104 tick specimens, representing all stages of development (males, females, nymphs, larvae), were collected. They represented species of the genera Amblyomma and Hyalomma. The following species were found: Amblyomma exornatum Koch, 1844, Amblyomma flavomaculatum (Lucas, 1846), Amblyomma latum Koch, 1844, Amblyomma nuttalli Dönitz, 1909, Amblyomma quadricavum Schulze, 1941, Amblyomma transversale (Lucas, 1844), Amblyomma varanense (Supino, 1897), Amblyomma spp. Koch, 1844, Hyalomma aegyptium (Linnaeus, 1758). All the species of ticks of genus Ambylomma revealed have been discovered in Poland for the first time. The overall prevalence of infection was 77.6%. The highest prevalence value (81.2%) was observed on pythons (Python regius) and (78.7%) on monitor lizards (Varanus exanthematicus). The highest number of ticks was collected from Python regius and Varanus exanthematicus. The mean infection intensity for V. exanthematicus was 7.6 ticks per host, while for P. regius the intensity reached 4.7 ticks. The most abundant tick transferred to Poland on a host was an African tick, Amblyomma latum. Fifty eight specimens of monitor lizards

  2. Anatomy and Disorders of the Oral Cavity of Reptiles and Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Hedley, Joanna

    2016-09-01

    A wide variety of disorders may be seen affecting the reptile and amphibian oral cavity. Owners can easily miss problems until they are at an advanced stage because of the difficulty of examining the oral cavity at home. Because many problems are secondary to an inappropriate environment or diet and may be related to systemic disease, a full history and clinical examination is always required. Treatment of oral disorders also requires a holistic approach including correction of any predisposing factors in order for long-term successful resolution of the problem. PMID:27497202

  3. Reinvasion of small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects on a reclaimed coal strip-mine

    SciTech Connect

    Ireland, T.T.; Schemnitz, S.D.; Wolters, G.L.

    1990-12-31

    We conducted wildlife and vegetation sampling on sites reclaimed in 1979, 1982, and 1986, as well as unmined sites, on The Pittsburgh & Midway (P&M) Coal Mining Co.`s McKinley Mine in McKinley County, New Mexico. In June, July, and August 1988 and 1989 we samples small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Soil and vegetation sampling was conducted in July and September 1988, respectively. We found several significant differences (P < 0.05) among plant and animal data that may have suggested differences between study sites. Recent reclamation procedures conducted or proposed by P&M promise increased wildlife value of reclaimed sites.

  4. Geochemical Methods of Inference the Thermoregulatory Strategies in Middle Triassic Marine Reptiles - A Pilot Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surmik, Dawid; Pelc, Andrzej

    2012-01-01

    The oxygen stable isotopes investigation to elucidate thermoregulatory strategies in Middle Triassic basal sauropterygians is currently ongoing at University of Silesia and University of Maria Curie-Skłodowska. The results of similar studies on Late Mesozoic marine reptiles indicate that some of fully aquatic reptiles like plesiosaurs or ichthyosaurs could be warm-blooded animals. Our investigation is an important part of the aim of the research project "The Marine and Terrestrial reptiles in the Middle Triassic environmental background of Southern Poland" to solve the thermoregulation issue in basal marine reptiles and show how, and when did homoiothermy evolve in Sauropterygia.. Homeothermy and gigantothermy were important physiological adaptations which allowed sauropterygian ancestors to leave the shores and conquer the open seas and oceans. Badania nad paleofizjologią kopalnych kręgowców ostatnimi laty stały się niezwykle modne. Polegają one na kompilacji danych uzyskanych wieloma komplementarnymi metodami z zakresu fizjologii (badania współczesnych form, zgodnie z zasadą aktualizmu) i geochemii izotopowej. Szczególnie interesujące stały się kwestie gospodarki termicznej u gadów kopalnych, które silnie dyskutowane są w kręgach badaczy dinozaurów (Reid, 1997; Ruben i in., 1996). Badania na izotopach stabilnych tlenu szkliwa zębowego przeprowadzone na obligatoryjnie morskich gadach okresu jurajskiego i kredowego (Bernard i in., 2010; zob. także Motani, 2010) wskazują, że ichtiozaury i plezjozaury późniejszego mezozoiku mogły być zwierzętami stałocieplnymi. Brak obecnie jednoznacznych danych dotyczących gospodarki termicznej bazalnych przedstawicieli gadów morskich z triasu, choć przyjmuje się, że te zamieszkujące nadbrzeżne i marginalne strefy mórz zwierzęta były gadami zmiennocieplnymi (pojkilotermicznymi), podobnie jak współczesny legwan morski, czy też smok z Komodo. Czy przejście z pojkilo- do homojotermii by

  5. Comparative Genomics of Campylobacter fetus from Reptiles and Mammals Reveals Divergent Evolution in Host-Associated Lineages

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Maarten J.; Miller, William G.; Yee, Emma; Zomer, Aldert L.; van der Graaf-van Bloois, Linda; Fitzgerald, Collette; Forbes, Ken J.; Méric, Guillaume; Sheppard, Samuel K.; Wagenaar, Jaap A.; Duim, Birgitta

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter fetus currently comprises three recognized subspecies, which display distinct host association. Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus and C. fetus subsp. venerealis are both associated with endothermic mammals, primarily ruminants, whereas C. fetus subsp. testudinum is primarily associated with ectothermic reptiles. Both C. fetus subsp. testudinum and C. fetus subsp. fetus have been associated with severe infections, often with a systemic component, in immunocompromised humans. To study the genetic factors associated with the distinct host dichotomy in C. fetus, whole-genome sequencing and comparison of mammal- and reptile-associated C. fetus was performed. The genomes of C. fetus subsp. testudinum isolated from either reptiles or humans were compared with elucidate the genetic factors associated with pathogenicity in humans. Genomic comparisons showed conservation of gene content and organization among C. fetus subspecies, but a clear distinction between mammal- and reptile-associated C. fetus was observed. Several genomic regions appeared to be subspecies specific, including a putative tricarballylate catabolism pathway, exclusively present in C. fetus subsp. testudinum strains. Within C. fetus subsp. testudinum, sapA, sapB, and sapAB type strains were observed. The recombinant locus iamABC (mlaFED) was exclusively associated with invasive C. fetus subsp. testudinum strains isolated from humans. A phylogenetic reconstruction was consistent with divergent evolution in host-associated strains and the existence of a barrier to lateral gene transfer between mammal- and reptile-associated C. fetus. Overall, this study shows that reptile-associated C. fetus subsp. testudinum is genetically divergent from mammal-associated C. fetus subspecies. PMID:27333878

  6. A predictive framework and review of the ecological impacts of exotic plant invasions on reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Martin, Leigh J; Murray, Brad R

    2011-05-01

    The invasive spread of exotic plants in native vegetation can pose serious threats to native faunal assemblages. This is of particular concern for reptiles and amphibians because they form a significant component of the world's vertebrate fauna, play a pivotal role in ecosystem functioning and are often neglected in biodiversity research. A framework to predict how exotic plant invasion will affect reptile and amphibian assemblages is imperative for conservation, management and the identification of research priorities. Here, we present a new predictive framework that integrates three mechanistic models. These models are based on exotic plant invasion altering: (1) habitat structure; (2) herbivory and predator-prey interactions; (3) the reproductive success of reptile and amphibian species and assemblages. We present a series of testable predictions from these models that arise from the interplay over time among three exotic plant traits (growth form, area of coverage, taxonomic distinctiveness) and six traits of reptiles and amphibians (body size, lifespan, home range size, habitat specialisation, diet, reproductive strategy). A literature review provided robust empirical evidence of exotic plant impacts on reptiles and amphibians from each of the three model mechanisms. Evidence relating to the role of body size and diet was less clear-cut, indicating the need for further research. The literature provided limited empirical support for many of the other model predictions. This was not, however, because findings contradicted our model predictions but because research in this area is sparse. In particular, the small number of studies specifically examining the effects of exotic plants on amphibians highlights the pressing need for quantitative research in this area. There is enormous scope for detailed empirical investigation of interactions between exotic plants and reptile and amphibian species and assemblages. The framework presented here and further testing of

  7. Comparative Genomics of Campylobacter fetus from Reptiles and Mammals Reveals Divergent Evolution in Host-Associated Lineages.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Miller, William G; Yee, Emma; Zomer, Aldert L; van der Graaf-van Bloois, Linda; Fitzgerald, Collette; Forbes, Ken J; Méric, Guillaume; Sheppard, Samuel K; Wagenaar, Jaap A; Duim, Birgitta

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter fetus currently comprises three recognized subspecies, which display distinct host association. Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus and C fetus subsp. venerealis are both associated with endothermic mammals, primarily ruminants, whereas C fetus subsp. testudinum is primarily associated with ectothermic reptiles. Both C. fetus subsp. testudinum and C. fetus subsp. fetus have been associated with severe infections, often with a systemic component, in immunocompromised humans. To study the genetic factors associated with the distinct host dichotomy in C. fetus, whole-genome sequencing and comparison of mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was performed. The genomes of C fetus subsp. testudinum isolated from either reptiles or humans were compared with elucidate the genetic factors associated with pathogenicity in humans. Genomic comparisons showed conservation of gene content and organization among C fetus subspecies, but a clear distinction between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was observed. Several genomic regions appeared to be subspecies specific, including a putative tricarballylate catabolism pathway, exclusively present in C fetus subsp. testudinum strains. Within C fetus subsp. testudinum, sapA, sapB, and sapAB type strains were observed. The recombinant locus iamABC (mlaFED) was exclusively associated with invasive C fetus subsp. testudinum strains isolated from humans. A phylogenetic reconstruction was consistent with divergent evolution in host-associated strains and the existence of a barrier to lateral gene transfer between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus Overall, this study shows that reptile-associated C fetus subsp. testudinum is genetically divergent from mammal-associated C fetus subspecies. PMID:27333878

  8. Comparative Genomics of Campylobacter fetus from Reptiles and Mammals Reveals Divergent Evolution in Host-Associated Lineages.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Miller, William G; Yee, Emma; Zomer, Aldert L; van der Graaf-van Bloois, Linda; Fitzgerald, Collette; Forbes, Ken J; Méric, Guillaume; Sheppard, Samuel K; Wagenaar, Jaap A; Duim, Birgitta

    2016-07-02

    Campylobacter fetus currently comprises three recognized subspecies, which display distinct host association. Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus and C fetus subsp. venerealis are both associated with endothermic mammals, primarily ruminants, whereas C fetus subsp. testudinum is primarily associated with ectothermic reptiles. Both C. fetus subsp. testudinum and C. fetus subsp. fetus have been associated with severe infections, often with a systemic component, in immunocompromised humans. To study the genetic factors associated with the distinct host dichotomy in C. fetus, whole-genome sequencing and comparison of mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was performed. The genomes of C fetus subsp. testudinum isolated from either reptiles or humans were compared with elucidate the genetic factors associated with pathogenicity in humans. Genomic comparisons showed conservation of gene content and organization among C fetus subspecies, but a clear distinction between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was observed. Several genomic regions appeared to be subspecies specific, including a putative tricarballylate catabolism pathway, exclusively present in C fetus subsp. testudinum strains. Within C fetus subsp. testudinum, sapA, sapB, and sapAB type strains were observed. The recombinant locus iamABC (mlaFED) was exclusively associated with invasive C fetus subsp. testudinum strains isolated from humans. A phylogenetic reconstruction was consistent with divergent evolution in host-associated strains and the existence of a barrier to lateral gene transfer between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus Overall, this study shows that reptile-associated C fetus subsp. testudinum is genetically divergent from mammal-associated C fetus subspecies.

  9. Biodiversity and Ecology of Amphibians and Reptiles of the Kennedy Space Center: 1998 Close-Out Report to NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sigel, Richard A.

    1999-01-01

    Since 1992, there have been researchers have been studying the population ecology and conservation biology of the amphibians and reptiles of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) This research is an outgrowth of my Master's work in the late 1970's under Lew Ehrhart at UCF. The primary emphasis of our studies are (1) examination of long-term changes in the abundance of amphibians and reptile populations, (2) occurrence and effects of Upper Respiratory Tract Disease (URTD) in gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus), and (3) ecological studies of selected species.

  10. Adult sex ratio, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection in a Mesozoic reptile.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier; Xue, Yi-fan; Tintori, Andrea

    2015-09-22

    The evolutionary history of sexual selection in the geologic past is poorly documented based on quantification, largely because of difficulty in sexing fossil specimens. Even such essential ecological parameters as adult sex ratio (ASR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) are rarely quantified, despite their implications for sexual selection. To enable their estimation, we propose a method for unbiased sex identification based on sexual shape dimorphism, using size-independent principal components of phenotypic data. We applied the method to test sexual selection in Keichousaurus hui, a Middle Triassic (about 237 Ma) sauropterygian with an unusually large sample size for a fossil reptile. Keichousaurus hui exhibited SSD biased towards males, as in the majority of extant reptiles, to a minor degree (sexual dimorphism index -0.087). The ASR is about 60% females, suggesting higher mortality of males over females. Both values support sexual selection of males in this species. The method may be applied to other fossil species. We also used the Gompertz allometric equation to study the sexual shape dimorphism of K. hui and found that two sexes had largely homogeneous phenotypes at birth except in the humeral width, contrary to previous suggestions derived from the standard allometric equation.

  11. Isolation and characterization of melanopsin and pinopsin expression within photoreceptive sites of reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frigato, Elena; Vallone, Daniela; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Foulkes, Nicholas S.

    2006-08-01

    Non-mammalian vertebrates have multiple extraocular photoreceptors, mainly localised in the pineal complex and the brain, to mediate irradiance detection. In this study, we report the full-length cDNA cloning of ruin lizard melanopsin and pinopsin. The high level of identity with opsins in both the transmembrane regions, where the chromophore binding site is located, and the intracellular loops, where the G-proteins interact, suggests that both melanopsin and pinopsin should be able to generate a stable photopigment, capable of triggering a transduction cascade mediated by G-proteins. Phylogenetic analysis showed that both opsins are located on the expected branches of the corresponding sequences of ortholog proteins. Subsequently, using RT-PCR and RPA analysis, we verified the expression of ruin lizard melanopsin and pinopsin in directly photosensitive organs, such as the lateral eye, brain, pineal gland and parietal eye. Melanopsin expression was detected in the lateral eye and all major regions of the brain. However, different from the situation in Xenopus and chicken, melanopsin is not expressed in the ruin lizard pineal. Pinopsin mRNA expression was only detected in the pineal complex. As a result of their phylogenetic position and ecology, reptiles provide the circadian field with some of the most interesting models for understanding the evolution of the vertebrate circadian timing system and its response to light. This characterization of melanopsin and pinopsin expression in the ruin lizard will be important for future studies aimed at understanding the molecular basis of circadian light detection in reptiles.

  12. A Quantitative Climate-Match Score for Risk-Assessment Screening of Reptile and Amphibian Introductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wilgen, Nicola J.; Roura-Pascual, Núria; Richardson, David M.

    2009-09-01

    Assessing climatic suitability provides a good preliminary estimate of the invasive potential of a species to inform risk assessment. We examined two approaches for bioclimatic modeling for 67 reptile and amphibian species introduced to California and Florida. First, we modeled the worldwide distribution of the biomes found in the introduced range to highlight similar areas worldwide from which invaders might arise. Second, we modeled potentially suitable environments for species based on climatic factors in their native ranges, using three sources of distribution data. Performance of the three datasets and both approaches were compared for each species. Climate match was positively correlated with species establishment success (maximum predicted suitability in the introduced range was more strongly correlated with establishment success than mean suitability). Data assembled from the Global Amphibian Assessment through NatureServe provided the most accurate models for amphibians, while ecoregion data compiled by the World Wide Fund for Nature yielded models which described reptile climatic suitability better than available point-locality data. We present three methods of assigning a climate-match score for use in risk assessment using both the mean and maximum climatic suitabilities. Managers may choose to use different methods depending on the stringency of the assessment and the available data, facilitating higher resolution and accuracy for herpetofaunal risk assessment. Climate-matching has inherent limitations and other factors pertaining to ecological interactions and life-history traits must also be considered for thorough risk assessment.

  13. Patterns and biases in climate change research on amphibians and reptiles: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Climate change probably has severe impacts on animal populations, but demonstrating a causal link can be difficult because of potential influences by additional factors. Assessing global impacts of climate change effects may also be hampered by narrow taxonomic and geographical research foci. We review studies on the effects of climate change on populations of amphibians and reptiles to assess climate change effects and potential biases associated with the body of work that has been conducted within the last decade. We use data from 104 studies regarding the effect of climate on 313 species, from 464 species–study combinations. Climate change effects were reported in 65% of studies. Climate change was identified as causing population declines or range restrictions in half of the cases. The probability of identifying an effect of climate change varied among regions, taxa and research methods. Climatic effects were equally prevalent in studies exclusively investigating climate factors (more than 50% of studies) and in studies including additional factors, thus bolstering confidence in the results of studies exclusively examining effects of climate change. Our analyses reveal biases with respect to geography, taxonomy and research question, making global conclusions impossible. Additional research should focus on under-represented regions, taxa and questions. Conservation and climate policy should consider the documented harm climate change causes reptiles and amphibians. PMID:27703684

  14. Grassland Fire and Cattle Grazing Regulate Reptile and Amphibian Assembly Among Patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Danelle M.

    2014-12-01

    Fire and grazing are common management schemes of grasslands globally and are potential drivers of reptilian and amphibian (herpetofauna) metacommunity dynamics. Few studies have assessed the impacts of fire and cattle grazing on herpetofauna assemblages in grasslands. A patch-burn grazing study at Osage Prairie, MO, USA in 2011-2012 created landscape patches with treatments of grazing, fire, and such legacies. Response variables were measured before and after the application of treatments, and I used robust-design occupancy modeling to estimate patch occupancy and detection rate within patches, and recolonization and extinction (i.e., dispersal) across patches. I conducted redundancy analysis and a permuted multivariate analysis of variance to determine if patch type and the associated environmental factors explained herpetofauna assemblage. Estimates for reptiles indicate that occupancy was seasonally constant in Control patches ( ψ ~ 0.5), but declined to ψ ~ 0.15 in patches following the applications of fire and grazing. Local extinctions for reptiles were higher in patches with fire or light grazing ( ɛ ~ 0.7) compared to the controls. For the riparian herpetofaunal community, patch type and grass height were important predictors of abundance; further, the turtles, lizards, snakes, and adult amphibians used different patch types. The aquatic amphibian community was predicted by watershed and in-stream characteristics, irrespective of fire or grazing. The varying responses from taxonomic groups demonstrate habitat partitioning across multiple patch types undergoing fire, cattle grazing, and legacy effects. Prairies will need an array of patch types to accommodate multiple herpetofauna species.

  15. Adult sex ratio, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection in a Mesozoic reptile

    PubMed Central

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier; Xue, Yi-fan; Tintori, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionary history of sexual selection in the geologic past is poorly documented based on quantification, largely because of difficulty in sexing fossil specimens. Even such essential ecological parameters as adult sex ratio (ASR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) are rarely quantified, despite their implications for sexual selection. To enable their estimation, we propose a method for unbiased sex identification based on sexual shape dimorphism, using size-independent principal components of phenotypic data. We applied the method to test sexual selection in Keichousaurus hui, a Middle Triassic (about 237 Ma) sauropterygian with an unusually large sample size for a fossil reptile. Keichousaurus hui exhibited SSD biased towards males, as in the majority of extant reptiles, to a minor degree (sexual dimorphism index −0.087). The ASR is about 60% females, suggesting higher mortality of males over females. Both values support sexual selection of males in this species. The method may be applied to other fossil species. We also used the Gompertz allometric equation to study the sexual shape dimorphism of K. hui and found that two sexes had largely homogeneous phenotypes at birth except in the humeral width, contrary to previous suggestions derived from the standard allometric equation. PMID:26378218

  16. Reptile-associated ticks from Dominica and the Bahamas with notes on hyperparasitic erythraeid mites.

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Knapp, Charles R; Beati, Lorenza; Dold, Stephanie

    2015-02-01

    Ticks were collected or recorded from 522 individual reptiles on Dominica and from 658 reptiles from the Bahamas. Two species of ticks were collected on Dominica: Amblyomma antillorum and Amblyomma rotundatum. Similarly, 2 species were collected in the Bahamas: Amblyomma albopictum and Amblyomma torrei. On Dominica, A. antillorum was recorded from 517 Lesser Antillean iguanas (Iguana delicatissima), 2 boa constrictors (Boa nebulosa), 1 Antilles snake (Alsophis sibonius), and 1 Dominican ground lizard (Ameiva fuscata), whereas A. rotundatum was recorded from 1 Lesser Antillean skink (Mabuya mabouya). In the Bahamas, A. albopictum was recorded from 131 Andros iguanas (Cyclura cychlura cychlura), 271 Exuma Island iguanas (Cyclura cychlura figginsi), and 1 Andros curlytail lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus coryi), whereas A. torrei was recorded from 255 Exuma Island iguanas. In the Bahamas, A. albopictum parasitized iguanas on Andros Island and the central Exuma Islands, and A. torrei parasitized iguanas in the southern Exumas. An exception to this trend was that A. torrei was collected from iguanas on Pasture Cay in the central Exumas, an anomaly that is explained by the fact that iguanas (with attached ticks) on Pasture Cay were introduced by humans in the past from islands further south. External hyperparasitic larval erythraeid mites ( Leptus sp.) were recorded from A. torrei in the Bahamas. PMID:25274575

  17. Inner ear anatomy is a proxy for deducing auditory capability and behaviour in reptiles and birds

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Stig A.; Barrett, Paul M.; Milner, Angela C.; Manley, Geoffrey; Witmer, Lawrence M.

    2009-01-01

    Inferences of hearing capabilities and audition-related behaviours in extinct reptiles and birds have previously been based on comparing cochlear duct dimensions with those of living species. However, the relationship between inner-ear bony anatomy and hearing ability or vocalization has never been tested rigorously in extant or fossil taxa. Here, micro-computed tomographic analysis is used to investigate whether simple endosseous cochlear duct (ECD) measurements can be fitted to models of hearing sensitivity, vocalization, sociality and environmental preference in 59 extant reptile and bird species, selected based on their vocalization ability. Length, rostrocaudal/mediolateral width and volume measurements were taken from ECD virtual endocasts and scaled to basicranial length. Multiple regression of these data with measures of hearing sensitivity, vocal complexity, sociality and environmental preference recovered positive correlations between ECD length and hearing range/mean frequency, vocal complexity, the behavioural traits of pair bonding and living in large aggregations, and a negative correlation between ECD length/rostrocaudal width and aquatic environments. No other dimensions correlated with these variables. Our results suggest that ECD length can be used to predict mean hearing frequency and range in fossil taxa, and that this measure may also predict vocal complexity and large group sociality given comprehensive datasets. PMID:19141427

  18. Amphibian and reptile declines over 35 years at La Selva, Costa Rica

    PubMed Central

    Whitfield, Steven M.; Bell, Kristen E.; Philippi, Thomas; Sasa, Mahmood; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; Savage, Jay M.; Donnelly, Maureen A.

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians stand at the forefront of a global biodiversity crisis. More than one-third of amphibian species are globally threatened, and over 120 species have likely suffered global extinction since 1980. Most alarmingly, many rapid declines and extinctions are occurring in pristine sites lacking obvious adverse effects of human activities. The causes of these “enigmatic” declines remain highly contested. Still, lack of long-term data on amphibian populations severely limits our understanding of the distribution of amphibian declines, and therefore the ultimate causes of these declines. Here, we identify a systematic community-wide decline in populations of terrestrial amphibians at La Selva Biological Station, a protected old-growth lowland rainforest in lower Central America. We use data collected over 35 years to show that population density of all species of terrestrial amphibians has declined by ≈75% since 1970, and we show identical trends for all species of common reptiles. The trends we identify are neither consistent with recent emergence of chytridiomycosis nor the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis, two leading putative causes of enigmatic amphibian declines. Instead, our data suggest that declines are due to climate-driven reductions in the quantity of standing leaf litter, a critical microhabitat for amphibians and reptiles in this assemblage. Our results raise further concerns about the global persistence of amphibian populations by identifying widespread declines in species and habitats that are not currently recognized as susceptible to such risks. PMID:17449638

  19. Amphibian and reptile declines over 35 years at La Selva, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, Steven M; Bell, Kristen E; Philippi, Thomas; Sasa, Mahmood; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; Savage, Jay M; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2007-05-15

    Amphibians stand at the forefront of a global biodiversity crisis. More than one-third of amphibian species are globally threatened, and over 120 species have likely suffered global extinction since 1980. Most alarmingly, many rapid declines and extinctions are occurring in pristine sites lacking obvious adverse effects of human activities. The causes of these "enigmatic" declines remain highly contested. Still, lack of long-term data on amphibian populations severely limits our understanding of the distribution of amphibian declines, and therefore the ultimate causes of these declines. Here, we identify a systematic community-wide decline in populations of terrestrial amphibians at La Selva Biological Station, a protected old-growth lowland rainforest in lower Central America. We use data collected over 35 years to show that population density of all species of terrestrial amphibians has declined by approximately 75% since 1970, and we show identical trends for all species of common reptiles. The trends we identify are neither consistent with recent emergence of chytridiomycosis nor the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis, two leading putative causes of enigmatic amphibian declines. Instead, our data suggest that declines are due to climate-driven reductions in the quantity of standing leaf litter, a critical microhabitat for amphibians and reptiles in this assemblage. Our results raise further concerns about the global persistence of amphibian populations by identifying widespread declines in species and habitats that are not currently recognized as susceptible to such risks.

  20. A new Early Permian reptile and its significance in early diapsid evolution.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Modesto, Sean P; Scott, Diane M

    2011-12-22

    The initial stages of evolution of Diapsida (the large clade that includes not only snakes, lizards, crocodiles and birds, but also dinosaurs and numerous other extinct taxa) is clouded by an exceedingly poor Palaeozoic fossil record. Previous studies had indicated a 38 Myr gap between the first appearance of the oldest diapsid clade (Araeoscelidia), ca 304 million years ago (Ma), and that of its sister group in the Middle Permian (ca 266 Ma). Two new reptile skulls from the Richards Spur locality, Lower Permian of Oklahoma, represent a new diapsid reptile: Orovenator mayorum n. gen. et sp. A phylogenetic analysis identifies O. mayorum as the oldest and most basal member of the araeoscelidian sister group. As Richards Spur has recently been dated to 289 Ma, the new diapsid neatly spans the above gap by appearing 15 Myr after the origin of Diapsida. The presence of O. mayorum at Richards Spur, which records a diverse upland fauna, suggests that initial stages in the evolution of non-araeoscelidian diapsids may have been tied to upland environments. This hypothesis is consonant with the overall scant record for non-araeoscelidian diapsids during the Permian Period, when the well-known terrestrial vertebrate communities are preserved almost exclusively in lowland deltaic, flood plain and lacustrine sedimentary rocks.

  1. Reptiles of Chubut province, Argentina: richness, diversity, conservation status and geographic distribution maps

    PubMed Central

    Minoli, Ignacio; Morando, Mariana; Avila, Luciano Javier

    2015-01-01

    Abstract An accurate estimation of species and population geographic ranges is essential for species-focused studies and conservation and management plans. Knowledge of the geographic distributions of reptiles from Patagonian Argentina is in general limited and dispersed over manuscripts from a wide variety of topics. We completed an extensive review of reptile species of central Patagonia (Argentina) based on information from a wide variety of sources. We compiled and checked geographic distribution records from published literature and museum records, including extensive new data from the LJAMM-CNP (CENPAT-CONICET) herpetological collection. Our results show that there are 52 taxa recorded for this region and the highest species richness was seen in the families Liolaemidae and Dipsadidae with 31 and 10 species, respectively. The Patagónica was the phytogeographic province most diverse in species and Phymaturus was the genus of conservation concern most strongly associated with it. We present a detailed species list with geographical information, richness species, diversity analyses with comparisons across phytogeographical provinces, conservation status, taxonomic comments and distribution maps for all of these taxa. PMID:25931966

  2. Morbidity and mortality of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals at a major exotic companion animal wholesaler.

    PubMed

    Ashley, Shawn; Brown, Susan; Ledford, Joel; Martin, Janet; Nash, Ann-Elizabeth; Terry, Amanda; Tristan, Tim; Warwick, Clifford

    2014-01-01

    The authors formally investigated a major international wildlife wholesaler and subsequently confiscated more than 26,400 nonhuman animals of 171 species and types. Approximately 80% of the nonhuman animals were identified as grossly sick, injured, or dead, with the remaining in suspected suboptimal condition. Almost 3,500 deceased or moribund animals (12% of stock), mostly reptiles, were being discarded on a weekly basis. Mortality during the 6-week "stock turnover" period was determined to be 72%. During a 10-day period after confiscation, mortality rates (including euthanasia for humane reasons) for the various taxa were 18% for invertebrates, 44.5% for amphibians, 41.6% for reptiles, and 5.5% for mammals. Causes of morbidity and mortality included cannibalism, crushing, dehydration, emaciation, hypothermic stress, infection, parasite infestation, starvation, overcrowding, stress/injuries, euthanasia on compassionate grounds, and undetermined causes. Contributing factors for disease and injury included poor hygiene; inadequate, unreliable, or inappropriate provision of food, water, heat, and humidity; presumed high levels of stress due to inappropriate housing leading to intraspecific aggression; absent or minimal environmental enrichment; and crowding. Risks for introduction of invasive species through escapes and/or spread of pathogens to naive populations also were identified.

  3. Reptile-associated ticks from Dominica and the Bahamas with notes on hyperparasitic erythraeid mites.

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Knapp, Charles R; Beati, Lorenza; Dold, Stephanie

    2015-02-01

    Ticks were collected or recorded from 522 individual reptiles on Dominica and from 658 reptiles from the Bahamas. Two species of ticks were collected on Dominica: Amblyomma antillorum and Amblyomma rotundatum. Similarly, 2 species were collected in the Bahamas: Amblyomma albopictum and Amblyomma torrei. On Dominica, A. antillorum was recorded from 517 Lesser Antillean iguanas (Iguana delicatissima), 2 boa constrictors (Boa nebulosa), 1 Antilles snake (Alsophis sibonius), and 1 Dominican ground lizard (Ameiva fuscata), whereas A. rotundatum was recorded from 1 Lesser Antillean skink (Mabuya mabouya). In the Bahamas, A. albopictum was recorded from 131 Andros iguanas (Cyclura cychlura cychlura), 271 Exuma Island iguanas (Cyclura cychlura figginsi), and 1 Andros curlytail lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus coryi), whereas A. torrei was recorded from 255 Exuma Island iguanas. In the Bahamas, A. albopictum parasitized iguanas on Andros Island and the central Exuma Islands, and A. torrei parasitized iguanas in the southern Exumas. An exception to this trend was that A. torrei was collected from iguanas on Pasture Cay in the central Exumas, an anomaly that is explained by the fact that iguanas (with attached ticks) on Pasture Cay were introduced by humans in the past from islands further south. External hyperparasitic larval erythraeid mites ( Leptus sp.) were recorded from A. torrei in the Bahamas.

  4. A new Early Permian reptile and its significance in early diapsid evolution.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Modesto, Sean P; Scott, Diane M

    2011-12-22

    The initial stages of evolution of Diapsida (the large clade that includes not only snakes, lizards, crocodiles and birds, but also dinosaurs and numerous other extinct taxa) is clouded by an exceedingly poor Palaeozoic fossil record. Previous studies had indicated a 38 Myr gap between the first appearance of the oldest diapsid clade (Araeoscelidia), ca 304 million years ago (Ma), and that of its sister group in the Middle Permian (ca 266 Ma). Two new reptile skulls from the Richards Spur locality, Lower Permian of Oklahoma, represent a new diapsid reptile: Orovenator mayorum n. gen. et sp. A phylogenetic analysis identifies O. mayorum as the oldest and most basal member of the araeoscelidian sister group. As Richards Spur has recently been dated to 289 Ma, the new diapsid neatly spans the above gap by appearing 15 Myr after the origin of Diapsida. The presence of O. mayorum at Richards Spur, which records a diverse upland fauna, suggests that initial stages in the evolution of non-araeoscelidian diapsids may have been tied to upland environments. This hypothesis is consonant with the overall scant record for non-araeoscelidian diapsids during the Permian Period, when the well-known terrestrial vertebrate communities are preserved almost exclusively in lowland deltaic, flood plain and lacustrine sedimentary rocks. PMID:21525061

  5. The monotreme genome: a patchwork of reptile, mammal and unique features?

    PubMed

    Grützner, Frank; Deakin, Janine; Rens, Willem; El-Mogharbel, Nisrine; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A

    2003-12-01

    The first specimen of platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) that reached Britain in the late 18th century was regarded a scientific hoax. Over decades the anatomical characteristics of these unique mammals, such as egg laying and the existence of mammary glands, were hotly debated before they were accepted. Within the last 40 years, more and more details of monotreme physiology, histology, reproduction and genetics have been revealed. Some show similarities with birds or reptiles, some with therian mammals, but many are very specific to monotremes. The genome is no exception to monotreme uniqueness. An early opinion was that the karyotype, composed of a few large chromosomes and many small ones, resembled bird and reptile macro- and micro-chromosomes. However, the platypus genome also features characteristics that are not present in other mammals, such as a complex translocation system. The sex chromosome system is still not resolved. Nothing is known about dosage compensation and, unlike in therian mammals, there seems to be no genomic imprinting. In this article we will recount the mysteries of the monotreme genome and describe how we are using recently developed technology to identify chromosomes in mitosis, meiosis and sperm, to map genes to chromosomes, to unravel the sex chromosome system and the translocation chain and investigate X inactivation and genomic imprinting in monotremes. PMID:14667850

  6. Inner ear anatomy is a proxy for deducing auditory capability and behaviour in reptiles and birds.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Stig A; Barrett, Paul M; Milner, Angela C; Manley, Geoffrey; Witmer, Lawrence M

    2009-04-01

    Inferences of hearing capabilities and audition-related behaviours in extinct reptiles and birds have previously been based on comparing cochlear duct dimensions with those of living species. However, the relationship between inner-ear bony anatomy and hearing ability or vocalization has never been tested rigorously in extant or fossil taxa. Here, micro-computed tomographic analysis is used to investigate whether simple endosseous cochlear duct (ECD) measurements can be fitted to models of hearing sensitivity, vocalization, sociality and environmental preference in 59 extant reptile and bird species, selected based on their vocalization ability. Length, rostrocaudal/mediolateral width and volume measurements were taken from ECD virtual endocasts and scaled to basicranial length. Multiple regression of these data with measures of hearing sensitivity, vocal complexity, sociality and environmental preference recovered positive correlations between ECD length and hearing range/mean frequency, vocal complexity, the behavioural traits of pair bonding and living in large aggregations, and a negative correlation between ECD length/rostrocaudal width and aquatic environments. No other dimensions correlated with these variables. Our results suggest that ECD length can be used to predict mean hearing frequency and range in fossil taxa, and that this measure may also predict vocal complexity and large group sociality given comprehensive datasets.

  7. Adult sex ratio, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection in a Mesozoic reptile.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier; Xue, Yi-fan; Tintori, Andrea

    2015-09-22

    The evolutionary history of sexual selection in the geologic past is poorly documented based on quantification, largely because of difficulty in sexing fossil specimens. Even such essential ecological parameters as adult sex ratio (ASR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) are rarely quantified, despite their implications for sexual selection. To enable their estimation, we propose a method for unbiased sex identification based on sexual shape dimorphism, using size-independent principal components of phenotypic data. We applied the method to test sexual selection in Keichousaurus hui, a Middle Triassic (about 237 Ma) sauropterygian with an unusually large sample size for a fossil reptile. Keichousaurus hui exhibited SSD biased towards males, as in the majority of extant reptiles, to a minor degree (sexual dimorphism index -0.087). The ASR is about 60% females, suggesting higher mortality of males over females. Both values support sexual selection of males in this species. The method may be applied to other fossil species. We also used the Gompertz allometric equation to study the sexual shape dimorphism of K. hui and found that two sexes had largely homogeneous phenotypes at birth except in the humeral width, contrary to previous suggestions derived from the standard allometric equation. PMID:26378218

  8. Conservation of spatial memory function in the pallial forebrain of reptiles and ray-finned fishes.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Fernando; López, J Carlos; Vargas, J Pedro; Gómez, Yolanda; Broglio, Cristina; Salas, Cosme

    2002-04-01

    The hippocampus of mammals and birds is critical for spatial memory. Neuroanatomical evidence indicates that the medial cortex (MC) of reptiles and the lateral pallium (LP) of ray-finned fishes could be homologous to the hippocampus of mammals and birds. In this work, we studied the effects of lesions to the MC of turtles and to the LP of goldfish in spatial memory. Lesioned animals were trained in place, and cue maze tasks and crucial probe and transfer tests were performed. In experiment 1, MC-lesioned turtles in the place task failed to locate the goal during trials in which new start positions were used, whereas sham animals navigated directly to the goal independently of start location. In contrast, no deficit was observed in cue learning. In experiment 2, LP lesion produced a dramatic impairment in goldfish trained in the place task, whereas medial and dorsal pallium lesions did not decrease accuracy. In addition, none of these pallial lesions produced deficits in cue learning. These results indicate that lesions to the MC of turtles and to the LP of goldfish, like hippocampal lesions in mammals and birds, selectively impair map-like memory representations of the environmental space. Thus, the forebrain structures of reptiles and teleost fish neuroanatomically equivalent to the mammalian and avian hippocampus also share a central role in spatial cognition. Present results suggest that the presence of a hippocampus-dependent spatial memory system is a primitive feature of the vertebrate forebrain that has been conserved through evolution.

  9. The life cycle of the reptile-inhabiting nematode Abbreviata hastaspicula (Spirurida: Physalopteridae: Physalopterinae) in Australia.

    PubMed

    King, C; Jones, H I

    2016-12-01

    This study elucidates the life-cycle of the reptile inhabiting nematode Abbreviata hastaspicula (Spirurida: Physalopteridae: Physalopterinae) in Australia. Eight Varanus gouldii (Lacertilia: Varanidae), and two Christinus marmoratus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) lizards were captured in the wild. Two V. gouldii were used as controls and no experimental procedures were carried out on them. Another six V. gouldii (final host) and the two C. marmoratus (paratenic host) were treated with oral anthelmintics to remove all parasitic worms and were fed with infected live arthropods containing third stage larvae of Abbreviata hastaspicula. Faeces of V. gouldii were examined under the microscope weekly to determine whether the third stage larvae had developed into adults. Two months later, a total of 30 larvae and adults of A. hastaspicula were found in the stomachs of four experimentally-infected V. gouldii lizards. No cysts or larva were found in the C. marmoratus. This is the first study to demonstrate the life-cycle of this genus of nematode in their definitive reptile hosts. PMID:27668177

  10. A new captorhinid reptile, Gansurhinus qingtoushanensis, gen. et sp. nov., from the Permian of China.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Liu, Jun; Li, Jin-Ling; Müller, Johannes

    2011-05-01

    Captorhinids, a clade of Paleozoic reptiles, are represented by a rich fossil record that extends from the Late Carboniferous into the Late Permian. Representatives of this clade dispersed from the equatorial regions of Laurasia into the temperate regions of Pangea during the Middle and Late Permian. This rich fossil record shows that there was an evolutionary trend from faunivorous to omnivorous and herbivorous feeding habits within this clade. The discovery of well-preserved captorhinid materials in the Middle Permian of China allows us to determine that the new taxon, Gansurhinus qingtoushanensis, gen. et sp. nov, is a member of Moradisaurinae, a clade of captorhinids with multiple tooth rows arranged in parallel. The presence of this moradisaurine in the Middle Permian of south central Asia leads us to suggest that paleogeographic changes during the Permian, with part of what is today China becoming a large peninsula of Pangea, allowed these early reptiles as well as other terrestrial vertebrates to extend their geographic ranges to this region of the Late Paleozoic supercontinent.

  11. A longitudinal study of Escherichia coli strains isolated from captive mammals, birds, and reptiles in Trinidad.

    PubMed

    Gopee, N V; Adesiyun, A A; Caesar, K

    2000-09-01

    A longitudinal study was conducted of the prevalence and characteristics of Escherichia coli in mammals, birds, and reptiles housed at the Emperor Valley Zoo, Trinidad. During a 6-mo study period, swabs were obtained from fecal samples that were randomly collected from the enclosures of animals from these three taxonomic groups every 3 wk. With snakes, both cloacal and fecal swabs were obtained. Fecal and cloacal swabs were cultured for E. coli on eosin methylene blue agar. The production of mucoid colonies and hemolytic colonies and non-sorbitol fermenter status were identified. The occurrence of O157 strains was determined amongst E. coli isolates that were non-sorbitol fermenters, and the disc diffusion method was used to determine the antibiograms of isolates. The frequency of E. coli isolation was significantly higher in mammals compared with birds and reptiles. Overall, the frequencies of isolation of E. coli from omnivores. herbivores, and carnivores, 87.2%, 70.0%, and 57.3%, respectively, regardless of animal class, were significantly different. Most (99.6%) of the E. coli isolates tested for antibiotic sensitivity exhibited resistance to one or more of the eight antimicrobial agents used. The possession of phenotypic virulence markers by the E. coli isolates studied and the generally high resistance to antimicrobial agents may have health implications for the zoological collection.

  12. Grassland fire and cattle grazing regulate reptile and amphibian assembly among patches.

    PubMed

    Larson, Danelle M

    2014-12-01

    Fire and grazing are common management schemes of grasslands globally and are potential drivers of reptilian and amphibian (herpetofauna) metacommunity dynamics. Few studies have assessed the impacts of fire and cattle grazing on herpetofauna assemblages in grasslands. A patch-burn grazing study at Osage Prairie, MO, USA in 2011-2012 created landscape patches with treatments of grazing, fire, and such legacies. Response variables were measured before and after the application of treatments, and I used robust-design occupancy modeling to estimate patch occupancy and detection rate within patches, and recolonization and extinction (i.e., dispersal) across patches. I conducted redundancy analysis and a permuted multivariate analysis of variance to determine if patch type and the associated environmental factors explained herpetofauna assemblage. Estimates for reptiles indicate that occupancy was seasonally constant in Control patches (ψ ~ 0.5), but declined to ψ ~ 0.15 in patches following the applications of fire and grazing. Local extinctions for reptiles were higher in patches with fire or light grazing (ε ~ 0.7) compared to the controls. For the riparian herpetofaunal community, patch type and grass height were important predictors of abundance; further, the turtles, lizards, snakes, and adult amphibians used different patch types. The aquatic amphibian community was predicted by watershed and in-stream characteristics, irrespective of fire or grazing. The varying responses from taxonomic groups demonstrate habitat partitioning across multiple patch types undergoing fire, cattle grazing, and legacy effects. Prairies will need an array of patch types to accommodate multiple herpetofauna species.

  13. Tooth development in a model reptile: functional and null generation teeth in the gecko Paroedura picta.

    PubMed

    Zahradnicek, Oldrich; Horacek, Ivan; Tucker, Abigail S

    2012-09-01

    This paper describes tooth development in a basal squamate, Paroedura picta. Due to its reproductive strategy, mode of development and position within the reptiles, this gecko represents an excellent model organism for the study of reptile development. Here we document the dental pattern and development of non-functional (null generation) and functional generations of teeth during embryonic development. Tooth development is followed from initiation to cytodifferentiation and ankylosis, as the tooth germs develop from bud, through cap to bell stages. The fate of the single generation of non-functional (null generation) teeth is shown to be variable, with some teeth being expelled from the oral cavity, while others are incorporated into the functional bone and teeth, or are absorbed. Fate appears to depend on the initiation site within the oral cavity, with the first null generation teeth forming before formation of the dental lamina. We show evidence for a stratum intermedium layer in the enamel epithelium of functional teeth and show that the bicuspid shape of the teeth is created by asymmetrical deposition of enamel, and not by folding of the inner dental epithelium as observed in mammals.

  14. Morbidity and mortality of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals at a major exotic companion animal wholesaler.

    PubMed

    Ashley, Shawn; Brown, Susan; Ledford, Joel; Martin, Janet; Nash, Ann-Elizabeth; Terry, Amanda; Tristan, Tim; Warwick, Clifford

    2014-01-01

    The authors formally investigated a major international wildlife wholesaler and subsequently confiscated more than 26,400 nonhuman animals of 171 species and types. Approximately 80% of the nonhuman animals were identified as grossly sick, injured, or dead, with the remaining in suspected suboptimal condition. Almost 3,500 deceased or moribund animals (12% of stock), mostly reptiles, were being discarded on a weekly basis. Mortality during the 6-week "stock turnover" period was determined to be 72%. During a 10-day period after confiscation, mortality rates (including euthanasia for humane reasons) for the various taxa were 18% for invertebrates, 44.5% for amphibians, 41.6% for reptiles, and 5.5% for mammals. Causes of morbidity and mortality included cannibalism, crushing, dehydration, emaciation, hypothermic stress, infection, parasite infestation, starvation, overcrowding, stress/injuries, euthanasia on compassionate grounds, and undetermined causes. Contributing factors for disease and injury included poor hygiene; inadequate, unreliable, or inappropriate provision of food, water, heat, and humidity; presumed high levels of stress due to inappropriate housing leading to intraspecific aggression; absent or minimal environmental enrichment; and crowding. Risks for introduction of invasive species through escapes and/or spread of pathogens to naive populations also were identified. PMID:24875063

  15. [Blood supply of the compact and spongy myocardium of fish, amphibia and reptiles].

    PubMed

    Romenskiĭ, O Iu

    1978-07-01

    Coronal arteries were injected with lead carbonate suspension and with Indian ink and cleared preparations 150--300 mkm thick were made in 195 hearts of fish, amphibians and reptiles and studied roentgenographically. It was stated that in Chondrichthyes (shark, skate) and in Chondrostei (beluga, stellate sturgeon, sturgeon), as well as in alligator both compact and spongy myocardium of the cardiac ventricle possess blood vessels. In teleostei, amphibians and reptiles (except alligator) spongy myocardium is avascular and receives its nutrition from the ventricle. In view of the data on the presence of blood vessels in the spongy myocardium in some vertebrates, it is impossible to accept the theory suggested by Grant and Regnier according to which vessels in the heart walls appear only in connection with compactization of the myocardium. Vascularization of the spongy myocardium is closely connected with oxygen saturation of the blood flowing through the heart. When this saturation is not satisfactory, the spongy myocardium has blood vessels. In alligator, vascularization of the spongy myocardium is connected with the fact that the heart has four chambers and there are arterial and venous blood streams.

  16. The restart of meteorological observations in the 19th century in Lisbon: the contribution of Marino Miguel FRANZINI (1779-1861)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcoforado, Maria-Joao; Nunes, Fatima

    2013-04-01

    After the early meteorological observations of the 1770s to the 1790s in continental Portugal (including a 5 year daily series by J. Velho), there were hardly any until 1815. In December 1815, a meteorological station was set up in Lisbon by Marino Miguel Franzini (1779-1861), an engineer who was also actively involved in Politics (liberal party). Following the tradition of the 18th century enlightenment movement, he took a keen interest in Nature and Sciences, particularly in the "influence" of weather and climate on health and agriculture. Franzini started his observations by request of a physician who sought to understand the reasons why the maximum mortality occurred on the summer months, unlike in northern countries of Europe where maximum mortality occurred in winter (as it happens nowadays in Portugal). The deterministic background of the two scientists is clear. Franzini was a member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences (founded in 1799) and had contact with foreign Academies and foreign scientists. His instruments were carefully constructed and described, including graduation scales, and stations' location was indicated. Data from two years observations (several meteorological variables) was published in the Academy of Sciences Memoirs. From 1818 until 1826 and from 1835 until 1856 data was divulged in journals and newspapers, such as the "Journal of Medical Sciences", together with data on necrology in some of Lisbon parishes (illustrating the interest of physicians on weather); meteorological data and information about agriculture was also published in the "Lisbon Gazette". Unfortunately, there are hardly any daily data, as Franzini grouped his records according to weather types, as will be explained. Franzini's series will be presented in our talk. The gap between 1826 and 1835 was due to the political activities in which Franzini was involved: the civil war (liberals against absolutist) disruptedscientific research in Portugal. Official meteorological

  17. Testing the Toxicofera: comparative transcriptomics casts doubt on the single, early evolution of the reptile venom system.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Adam D; Swain, Martin T; Logan, Darren W; Mulley, John F

    2014-12-15

    The identification of apparently conserved gene complements in the venom and salivary glands of a diverse set of reptiles led to the development of the Toxicofera hypothesis - the single, early evolution of the venom system in reptiles. However, this hypothesis is based largely on relatively small scale EST-based studies of only venom or salivary glands and toxic effects have been assigned to only some putative Toxicoferan toxins in some species. We set out to examine the distribution of these proposed venom toxin transcripts in order to investigate to what extent conservation of gene complements may reflect a bias in previous sampling efforts. Our quantitative transcriptomic analyses of venom and salivary glands and other body tissues in five species of reptile, together with the use of available RNA-Seq datasets for additional species, shows that the majority of genes used to support the establishment and expansion of the Toxicofera are in fact expressed in multiple body tissues and most likely represent general maintenance or "housekeeping" genes. The apparent conservation of gene complements across the Toxicofera therefore reflects an artefact of incomplete tissue sampling. We therefore conclude that venom has evolved multiple times in reptiles.

  18. Effects of land-use change on community composition of tropical amphibians and reptiles in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Wanger, Thomas C; Iskandar, Djoko T; Motzke, Iris; Brook, Barry W; Sodhi, Navjot S; Clough, Yann; Tscharntke, Teja

    2010-06-01

    Little is known about the effects of anthropogenic land-use change on the amphibians and reptiles of the biodiverse tropical forests of Southeast Asia. We studied a land-use modification gradient stretching from primary forest, secondary forest, natural-shade cacao agroforest, planted-shade cacao agroforest to open areas in central Sulawesi, Indonesia. We determined species richness, abundance, turnover, and community composition in all habitat types and related these to environmental correlates, such as canopy heterogeneity and thickness of leaf litter. Amphibian species richness decreased systematically along the land-use modification gradient, but reptile richness and abundance peaked in natural-shade cacao agroforests. Species richness and abundance patterns across the disturbance gradient were best explained by canopy cover and leaf-litter thickness in amphibians and by canopy heterogeneity and cover in reptiles. Amphibians were more severely affected by forest disturbance in Sulawesi than reptiles. Heterogeneous canopy cover and thick leaf litter should be maintained in cacao plantations to facilitate the conservation value for both groups. For long-term and sustainable use of plantations, pruned shade trees should be permanently kept to allow rejuvenation of cacao and, thus, to prevent repeated forest encroachment. PMID:20151989

  19. Is naïveté forever? Alien predator and aggressor recognition by two endemic island reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gérard, A; Jourdan, H; Cugnière, C; Millon, A; Vidal, E

    2014-11-01

    The disproportionate impacts of invasive predators are often attributed to the naïveté (i.e., inefficient or non-existing anti-predator behavior) of island native species having evolved without such predators. Naïveté has long been regarded as a fixed characteristic, but a few recent studies indicate a capacity for behavioral adaptation in native species in contact with alien predators. Here, we tested whether two reptiles endemic to New Caledonia, a skink, Caledoniscincus austrocaledonicus, and a gecko, Bavayia septuiclavis, recognized and responded to the odor of six introduced species (two rodents, the feral cat, and three species of ants). We used an experimental design in which reptiles had a choice of retreat sites with or without the odor of predators or aggressors. Skinks avoided two or three of the predators, whereas geckos avoided at most one. These results suggest that diurnal skinks are more responsive than nocturnal geckos to the odor of introduced predators. Neither skinks nor geckos avoided the three species of ants. Thus, the odors of alien predators are shown to influence retreat site selection by two native island reptiles. Moreover, the study suggests that this loss of naïveté varies among native species, probably as a consequence of the intensity of the threat and of time since introduction. These findings argue for re-thinking the behavioral flexibility of ectothermic reptiles in terms of their responses to biological invasion.

  20. Evolutionary and cellular mechanisms regulating intestinal performance of amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Secor, Stephen M

    2005-04-01

    Vertebrate intestinal tracts possess an array of structural and functional adaptations to the wide diversity of food and feeding habits. In addition to well-described differences in form and function between herbivores and carnivores, the intestine exhibits adaptive plasticity to variation in digestive demand. The capacity to which intestinal performance responds to changes in digestive demands is a product of evolutionary and cellular mechanisms. In this report, I have taken an integrative approach to exploring the mechanisms responsible for the regulation of intestinal performance with feeding and fasting among amphibians and reptiles. Intestinal performance is presented as the total small intestinal capacity to absorb nutrients, quantified as a product of small intestinal mass and mass-specific rates of nutrient uptake. For sit-and-wait foraging snakes and estivating anurans, both of which naturally experience long episodes of fasting, the dramatic downregulation of intestinal morphology and function with fasting reduces energy expenditure during extended fasts. In contrast, frequently-feeding species modestly regulate intestinal performance with fasting and feeding, trading higher basal rates of metabolism during fasting for the frequent expense of upregulating the gut with feeding. Surveying the magnitude by which intestinal uptake capacity is regulated among 26 families of amphibians and reptiles has revealed potentially five lineages that have independently evolved the capacity to widely regulate intestinal performance. The extent to which intestinal performance is downregulated with fasting among amphibians and reptiles, ranging from 0 to 90%, is largely a function of the degree by which mass-specific rates of nutrient transport are depressed, given that loss of intestinal mass with fasting is a common characteristic of vertebrates. In exploring the underlying mechanisms regulating intestinal nutrient uptake, use of the Burmese python has revealed a

  1. [Amphibians and reptiles in the swamps dominated by the palm Raphia taedigera (Arecaceae) in northeastern Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Bonilla-Murillo, Fabian; Beneyto, Davinia; Sasa, Mahmood

    2013-09-01

    The herpetofauna that inhabits Caribbean Costa Rica has received considerable attention in the last two decades. This assemblage includes a total of 141 species of reptiles and 95 amphibians mostly distributed in tropical wet and moist lowland forests. While most information available came from primary and secondary forest sites, little is known about the amphibians and reptiles that inhabit more open habitats, such as wetlands and swamps. For instances, swaps dominated by the yolillo palm Raphia taedigera extend through much of the northeastern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and eastern Nicaragua, but information about the herpetological community that uses such environments remains practically unknown. This situation reflects the little research conducted in such inhospitable environments. Here, we report the results of an intensive survey conducted to assess the herpetological community that inhabit R. taedigera palm-swamps. A total of 14 species of amphibians and 17 of reptiles have been recorded from these swamps. Amphibians and reptiles that inhabit yolillo swamps have wide distributions along much of Middle America and are considered common species throughout their range. In general, yolillo swamps are poor environments for herpetofauna: richness of reptiles and amphibians is almost two times higher in the adjacent forest than in the palm dominated swamps. Furthermore, most species observed in this swamps can be considered habitat generalists that are well adapted to the extreme conditions imposed by the changes in hydroperiods, reduce understory cover, low tree diversity and simple forest architecture of these environments. Despite similarities in the herpetofauna, it is clear that not all forest species use yolillo habitat, a characteristic that is discussed in terms of physical stress driven by the prolonged hydroperiod and reduced leaflitter in the ground, as these features drive habitat structure and herpetofaunal complexity. Our list of species using

  2. Reptiles with dermatological lesions: a retrospective study of 301 cases at two university veterinary teaching hospitals (1992-2008).

    PubMed

    White, Stephen D; Bourdeau, Patrick; Bruet, Vincent; Kass, Philip H; Tell, Lisa; Hawkins, Michelle G

    2011-04-01

    This retrospective study reviews the medical records of 301 reptiles with dermatological lesions that were examined at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California at Davis (VMTH-UCD) and the Unité de Dermatologie-Parasitologie-Mycologie, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Nantes (UDPM-ENVN) from 1 January 1992 to 1 July 2008. The most common reptile groups differed between the two hospitals, with lizards being the most common at the VMTH-UCD and chelonians at the UDPM-ENVN. At the VMTH-UCD, boa constrictors (Boa constrictor), ball pythons (Python regius) and other Python species were over-represented, and box turtles (Terrapene carolina) were under-represented in the dermatological lesion caseload. When institutional data were combined, 47% of all reptiles at both institutions with confirmed or suspected cases of sepsis had petechiae, with the highest association seen in chelonians at 82%. Dependent on institution and reptile group, from 29% to 64% of the cases had underlying husbandry issues. Sixty-two per cent of all cases were alive at final status. Veterinarians treating reptiles with skin disease should be aware of the following: (i) that boa constrictors and Python species may be predisposed to dermatological lesions; (ii) that client education is important for proper husbandry; and (iii) that there is a possible association between petechiae and sepsis, especially in chelonians. The conjectural association between certain skin lesions and sepsis remains to be confirmed by systematically derived data that demonstrate a causal relationship between the two.

  3. [Amphibians and reptiles in the swamps dominated by the palm Raphia taedigera (Arecaceae) in northeastern Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Bonilla-Murillo, Fabian; Beneyto, Davinia; Sasa, Mahmood

    2013-09-01

    The herpetofauna that inhabits Caribbean Costa Rica has received considerable attention in the last two decades. This assemblage includes a total of 141 species of reptiles and 95 amphibians mostly distributed in tropical wet and moist lowland forests. While most information available came from primary and secondary forest sites, little is known about the amphibians and reptiles that inhabit more open habitats, such as wetlands and swamps. For instances, swaps dominated by the yolillo palm Raphia taedigera extend through much of the northeastern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and eastern Nicaragua, but information about the herpetological community that uses such environments remains practically unknown. This situation reflects the little research conducted in such inhospitable environments. Here, we report the results of an intensive survey conducted to assess the herpetological community that inhabit R. taedigera palm-swamps. A total of 14 species of amphibians and 17 of reptiles have been recorded from these swamps. Amphibians and reptiles that inhabit yolillo swamps have wide distributions along much of Middle America and are considered common species throughout their range. In general, yolillo swamps are poor environments for herpetofauna: richness of reptiles and amphibians is almost two times higher in the adjacent forest than in the palm dominated swamps. Furthermore, most species observed in this swamps can be considered habitat generalists that are well adapted to the extreme conditions imposed by the changes in hydroperiods, reduce understory cover, low tree diversity and simple forest architecture of these environments. Despite similarities in the herpetofauna, it is clear that not all forest species use yolillo habitat, a characteristic that is discussed in terms of physical stress driven by the prolonged hydroperiod and reduced leaflitter in the ground, as these features drive habitat structure and herpetofaunal complexity. Our list of species using

  4. Evolution of Fish-Shaped Reptiles (reptilia: Ichthyopterygia) in Their Physical Environments and Constraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motani, Ryosuke

    2005-01-01

    Ichthyosaurs were a group of Mesozoic marine reptiles that evolved fish-shaped body outlines. They are unique in several anatomical characters, including the possession of enormous eyeballs sometimes exceeding 25 cm and an enlarged manus with sometimes up to 20 bones in a single digit, or 10 digits per manus. They are also unique in that their biology has been studied from the perspective of physical constraints, which allowed estimation of such characteristics as optimal cruising speed, visual sensitivity, and even possible basal metabolic rate ranges. These functional inferences, although based on physical principles, obviously contain errors arising from the limitations of fossilized data, but are necessarily stronger than the commonly made inferences based on superficial correlations among quantities without mechanical or optical explanations for why such correlations exist.

  5. A necessarily complex model to explain the biogeography of the amphibians and reptiles of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jason L; Cameron, Alison; Yoder, Anne D; Vences, Miguel

    2014-10-09

    Pattern and process are inextricably linked in biogeographic analyses, though we can observe pattern, we must infer process. Inferences of process are often based on ad hoc comparisons using a single spatial predictor. Here, we present an alternative approach that uses mixed-spatial models to measure the predictive potential of combinations of hypotheses. Biodiversity patterns are estimated from 8,362 occurrence records from 745 species of Malagasy amphibians and reptiles. By incorporating 18 spatially explicit predictions of 12 major biogeographic hypotheses, we show that mixed models greatly improve our ability to explain the observed biodiversity patterns. We conclude that patterns are influenced by a combination of diversification processes rather than by a single predominant mechanism. A 'one-size-fits-all' model does not exist. By developing a novel method for examining and synthesizing spatial parameters such as species richness, endemism and community similarity, we demonstrate the potential of these analyses for understanding the diversification history of Madagascar's biota.

  6. The reptile type specimens preserved in the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC) of Madrid, Spain.

    PubMed

    García-Díez, Teresa; González-Fernández, José E

    2013-01-01

    A first complete list of the reptile type specimens preserved in the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC) of Madrid (updated until 15 July 2012) is provided. The collection houses a total of 319 type specimens representing 24 taxa belonging to 6 families and 12 genera. There are 22 taxa represented by primary types (19 holotypes, 2 neotypes and 1lectotype) and at least one paratype, and only two taxa are exclusively represented by one secondary type (paratype). The collection is specially rich in Spanish endemisms. Special attention is deserved by the type series of many subspecies of Podarcis lilfordi described by A. Salvador and V. Pdéez-Mellado. All type specimens are housed in the Herpetological collection except Blanus mariae and Psaimodroims occidentalis type series and Psammodroims hispanicus (neotype) which are preserved in the DNA/Tissues Collection.

  7. A review of ghost gear entanglement amongst marine mammals, reptiles and elasmobranchs.

    PubMed

    Stelfox, Martin; Hudgins, Jillian; Sweet, Michael

    2016-10-15

    This review focuses on the effect that ghost gear entanglement has on marine megafauna, namely mammals, reptiles and elasmobranchs. A total of 76 publications and other sources of grey literature were assessed, and these highlighted that over 5400 individuals from 40 different species were recorded as entangled in, or associated with, ghost gear. Interestingly, there appeared to be a deficit of research in the Indian, Southern, and Arctic Oceans; and so, we recommend that future studies focus efforts on these areas. Furthermore, studies assessing the effects of ghost gear on elasmobranchs, manatees, and dugongs should also be prioritised, as these groups were underrepresented in the current literature. The development of regional databases, capable of recording entanglement incidences following a minimum global set of criteria, would be a logical next step in order to analyse the effect that ghost gear has on megafauna populations worldwide. PMID:27345709

  8. Competition and constraint drove Cope's rule in the evolution of giant flying reptiles.

    PubMed

    Benson, Roger B J; Frigot, Rachel A; Goswami, Anjali; Andres, Brian; Butler, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    The pterosaurs, Mesozoic flying reptiles, attained wingspans of more than 10 m that greatly exceed the largest birds and challenge our understanding of size limits in flying animals. Pterosaurs have been used to illustrate Cope's rule, the influential generalization that evolutionary lineages trend to increasingly large body sizes. However, unambiguous examples of Cope's rule operating on extended timescales in large clades remain elusive, and the phylogenetic pattern and possible drivers of pterosaur gigantism are uncertain. Here we show 70 million years of highly constrained early evolution, followed by almost 80 million years of sustained, multi-lineage body size increases in pterosaurs. These results are supported by maximum-likelihood modelling of a comprehensive new pterosaur data set. The transition between these macroevolutionary regimes is coincident with the Early Cretaceous adaptive radiation of birds, supporting controversial hypotheses of bird-pterosaur competition, and suggesting that evolutionary competition can act as a macroevolutionary driver on extended geological timescales. PMID:24694584

  9. [Reptiles from Cerro Colorado and its surroundings, Cumana, Sucre State, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Oliveros, O; Prieto, A; Comejo, P

    2000-01-01

    An inventory of the reptiles that inhabit in Cerro Colorado and its surroundings, was performed from March, 1994 to March, 1995. There were reported 8 species of snakes and 7 of lizards enclosed in 4 and 5 families repectively. Aspects observed were ecolology as habitat, activity, reproduction and relative abundance. The more abundant species of lizards were: Cnemidophorus femniscatus, Ameiva bifrontata, (Teiidae), Tropidurus hispidus (Tropiduridae), Gonatodes vittatus and Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae) and the ophidians: Leptodeira annulata and Mastigodryas amarali (Colubridae). It is believed that the changes occurred in the zone influenced the increase of the relative abundance of the species Leptotyphlops goudotii (Leptotyphlopidae) arid Gymnophthalmus speciosus(Gymnophthalmidae) and perhaps in the disappearance of others that have been reported at the xerophitic or semixerophitic zones of the Sucre State of Venezuela. PMID:11220219

  10. Interstitial Telomeric Motifs in Squamate Reptiles: When the Exceptions Outnumber the Rule

    PubMed Central

    Rovatsos, Michail; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Altmanová, Marie; Johnson Pokorná, Martina

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes protecting the physical ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes and therefore helping to ensure their stability and integrity. Additionally, telomeric sequences can be localized in non-terminal regions of chromosomes, forming so-called interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs). ITSs are traditionally considered to be relics of chromosomal rearrangements and thus very informative in the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of karyotype formation. We examined the distribution of the telomeric motifs (TTAGGG)n using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in 30 species, representing 17 families of squamate reptiles, and compared them with the collected data from another 38 species from literature. Out of the 68 squamate species analyzed, 35 possess ITSs in pericentromeric regions, centromeric regions and/or within chromosome arms. We conclude that the occurrence of ITSs is rather common in squamates, despite their generally conserved karyotypes, suggesting frequent and independent cryptic chromosomal rearrangements in this vertebrate group. PMID:26252002

  11. Amniote yolk sacs: diversity in reptiles and a hypothesis on their origin.

    PubMed

    Elinson, Richard P; Stewart, James R; Bonneau, Laurie J; Blackburn, Daniel G

    2014-01-01

    Oviparous amniotes produce a large yolky egg that gives rise to a free-living hatchling. Structural characteristics and functional attributes of the egg are best known for birds, which have a large mass of fluid yolk surrounded by an extraembryonic yolk sac. Yolk nutrients are delivered to the embryo via the vascular yolk sac. This developmental pattern and nutrient transport mechanism is thought to be representative of all other lineages of amniotes. Recent discovery of a snake with cellularized yolk organized around a meshwork of blood vessels reveals an additional pattern for yolk mobilization, which may also occur in other squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). This complex yolk sac raises interesting questions about developmental mechanisms and suggests a possible model for the transition between the egg of anamniotes and that of amniotes.

  12. Interstitial Telomeric Motifs in Squamate Reptiles: When the Exceptions Outnumber the Rule.

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, Michail; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Altmanová, Marie; Johnson Pokorná, Martina

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes protecting the physical ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes and therefore helping to ensure their stability and integrity. Additionally, telomeric sequences can be localized in non-terminal regions of chromosomes, forming so-called interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs). ITSs are traditionally considered to be relics of chromosomal rearrangements and thus very informative in the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of karyotype formation. We examined the distribution of the telomeric motifs (TTAGGG)n using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in 30 species, representing 17 families of squamate reptiles, and compared them with the collected data from another 38 species from literature. Out of the 68 squamate species analyzed, 35 possess ITSs in pericentromeric regions, centromeric regions and/or within chromosome arms. We conclude that the occurrence of ITSs is rather common in squamates, despite their generally conserved karyotypes, suggesting frequent and independent cryptic chromosomal rearrangements in this vertebrate group.

  13. Competition and constraint drove Cope's rule in the evolution of giant flying reptiles.

    PubMed

    Benson, Roger B J; Frigot, Rachel A; Goswami, Anjali; Andres, Brian; Butler, Richard J

    2014-04-02

    The pterosaurs, Mesozoic flying reptiles, attained wingspans of more than 10 m that greatly exceed the largest birds and challenge our understanding of size limits in flying animals. Pterosaurs have been used to illustrate Cope's rule, the influential generalization that evolutionary lineages trend to increasingly large body sizes. However, unambiguous examples of Cope's rule operating on extended timescales in large clades remain elusive, and the phylogenetic pattern and possible drivers of pterosaur gigantism are uncertain. Here we show 70 million years of highly constrained early evolution, followed by almost 80 million years of sustained, multi-lineage body size increases in pterosaurs. These results are supported by maximum-likelihood modelling of a comprehensive new pterosaur data set. The transition between these macroevolutionary regimes is coincident with the Early Cretaceous adaptive radiation of birds, supporting controversial hypotheses of bird-pterosaur competition, and suggesting that evolutionary competition can act as a macroevolutionary driver on extended geological timescales.

  14. Alfredo Dugès' type specimens of amphibians and reptiles revisited.

    PubMed

    Flores-Villela, Oscar; Ríos-Muñoz, César A; Magaña-Cota, Gloria E; Quezadas-Tapia, Néstor L

    2016-03-14

    The type specimens of amphibians and reptiles of the Museo de Historia Natural Alfredo Dugès, at the University of Guanajuato (MADUG) were reviewed following Smith & Necker's (1943) summary. Owing to this collection's eventful history and its historical importance as the oldest herpetological collection in Mexico, a review of its conservation status was needed. After many years, the collection has received proper recognition at the University of Guanajuato with a portion of the herpetological types considered "Precious Assets" of the university. We found 34 type specimens pertaining to 18 taxa; six are additional specimens to those previously reported; six herpetological types are missing, including the body of the type of Adelophis copei. All specimens are in good to reasonable condition except for the type of Rhinocheilus antonii, which has dried out completely. All specimens are illustrated to show their condition.

  15. Alfredo Dugès' type specimens of amphibians and reptiles revisited.

    PubMed

    Flores-Villela, Oscar; Ríos-Muñoz, César A; Magaña-Cota, Gloria E; Quezadas-Tapia, Néstor L

    2016-01-01

    The type specimens of amphibians and reptiles of the Museo de Historia Natural Alfredo Dugès, at the University of Guanajuato (MADUG) were reviewed following Smith & Necker's (1943) summary. Owing to this collection's eventful history and its historical importance as the oldest herpetological collection in Mexico, a review of its conservation status was needed. After many years, the collection has received proper recognition at the University of Guanajuato with a portion of the herpetological types considered "Precious Assets" of the university. We found 34 type specimens pertaining to 18 taxa; six are additional specimens to those previously reported; six herpetological types are missing, including the body of the type of Adelophis copei. All specimens are in good to reasonable condition except for the type of Rhinocheilus antonii, which has dried out completely. All specimens are illustrated to show their condition. PMID:27394365

  16. Management of riparian habitat for mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Appendix C

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Ribic, C.

    1999-01-01

    Melinda Knutson (USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center) and Christine Ribic (USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit) contributed to a recent report published by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The report summarizes a workshop held 8 December 1999 in Chicago, IL. Highlights of the report include resources and land management recommendations for riparian zones in the Midwest. The full report will soon be available at the USDA NRCS Wildlife Habitat Management Institute website: http://www.ms.nrcs.usda.gov/whmi/habitat.htm Knutson, M., and C. Ribic. 2000. Management of riparian habitat for mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Pages 22-24, Appendix C in W. Hohman, ed. NRCS Management and Restoration of Midwestern Riparian Systems Workshop Report. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Chicago, IL.

  17. Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles in Southern Colorado Plateau National Parks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2006-01-01

    In fiscal year 2000, the National Park Service (NPS) initiated a nationwide program to inventory vertebrates andvascular plants within the National Parks, and an inventory plan was developed for the 19 park units in the Southern Colorado Plateau Inventory & Monitoring Network. We surveyed 12 parks in this network for reptiles and amphibians between 2001 and 2003. The overall goals of our herpetofaunal inventories were to document 90% of the species present, identify park-specific species of special concern, and, based on the inventory results, make recommendations for the development of an effective monitoring program. We used the following standardized herpetological methods to complete the inventories: time-area constrained searches, visual encounter ('general') surveys, and nighttime road cruising. We also recorded incidental species sightings and surveyed existing literature and museum specimen databases. We found 50 amphibian and reptile species during fieldwork. These included 1 salamander, 11 anurans, 21 lizards, and 17 snakes. Literature reviews, museum specimen data records, and personal communications with NPS staff added an additional eight species, including one salamander, one turtle, one lizard, and five snakes. It was necessary to use a variety of methods to detect all species in each park. Randomly-generated 1-ha time-area constrained searches and night drives produced the fewest species and individuals of all the methods, while general surveys and randomly-generated 10-ha time-areas constrained searches produced the most. Inventory completeness was likely compromised by a severe drought across the region during our surveys. In most parks we did not come close to the goal of detecting 90% of the expected species present; however, we did document several species range extensions. Effective monitoring programs for herpetofauna on the Colorado Plateau should use a variety of methods to detect species, and focus on taxa-specific methods. Randomly

  18. Carriage of antibiotic-resistant enteric bacteria varies among sites in Galapagos reptiles.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Emily; Hong, Pei-Ying; Bedon, Lenin Cruz; Mackie, Roderick I

    2012-01-01

    Increased overlap between humans and wildlife populations has increased the risk for novel disease emergence. Detecting contacts with a high risk for transmission of pathogens requires the identification of dependable measures of microbial exchange. We evaluated antibiotic resistance as a molecular marker for the intensity of human-wildlife microbial connectivity in the Galápagos Islands. We isolated Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica from the feces of land iguanas (Conolophus sp.), marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), giant tortoises (Geochelone nigra), and seawater, and tested these bacteria with the use of the disk diffusion method for resistance to 10 antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found in reptile feces from two tourism sites (Isla Plaza Sur and La Galapaguera on Isla San Cristóbal) and from seawater close to a public use beach near Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on Isla San Cristóbal. No resistance was detected at two protected beaches on more isolated islands (El Miedo on Isla Santa Fe and Cape Douglas on Isla Fernandina) and at a coastal tourism site (La Lobería on Isla San Cristóbal). Eighteen E. coli isolates from three locations, all sites relatively proximate to a port town, were resistant to ampicillin, doxycycline, tetracycline, and trimethoprin/sulfamethoxazole. In contrast, only five S. enterica isolates showed a mild decrease in susceptibility to doxycycline and tetracycline from these same sites (i.e., an intermediate resistance phenotype), but no clinical resistance was detected in this bacterial species. These findings suggest that reptiles living in closer proximity to humans potentially have higher exposure to bacteria of human origin; however, it is not clear from this study to what extent this potential exposure translates to ongoing exchange of bacterial strains or genetic traits. Resistance patterns and bacterial exchange in this system warrant further investigation to understand better how human associations

  19. Effects of atrazine in fish, amphibians, and reptiles: an analysis based on quantitative weight of evidence.

    PubMed

    Van Der Kraak, Glen J; Hosmer, Alan J; Hanson, Mark L; Kloas, Werner; Solomon, Keith R

    2014-12-01

    A quantitative weight of evidence (WoE) approach was developed to evaluate studies used for regulatory purposes, as well as those in the open literature, that report the effects of the herbicide atrazine on fish, amphibians, and reptiles. The methodology for WoE analysis incorporated a detailed assessment of the relevance of the responses observed to apical endpoints directly related to survival, growth, development, and reproduction, as well as the strength and appropriateness of the experimental methods employed. Numerical scores were assigned for strength and relevance. The means of the scores for relevance and strength were then used to summarize and weigh the evidence for atrazine contributing to ecologically significant responses in the organisms of interest. The summary was presented graphically in a two-dimensional graph which showed the distributions of all the reports for a response. Over 1290 individual responses from studies in 31 species of fish, 32 amphibians, and 8 reptiles were evaluated. Overall, the WoE showed that atrazine might affect biomarker-type responses, such as expression of genes and/or associated proteins, concentrations of hormones, and biochemical processes (e.g. induction of detoxification responses), at concentrations sometimes found in the environment. However, these effects were not translated to adverse outcomes in terms of apical endpoints. The WoE approach provided a quantitative, transparent, reproducible, and robust framework that can be used to assist the decision-making process when assessing environmental chemicals. In addition, the process allowed easy identification of uncertainty and inconsistency in observations, and thus clearly identified areas where future investigations can be best directed.

  20. Does ecophysiology mediate reptile responses to fire regimes? Evidence from Iberian lizards

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Catarina C.; Santos, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Background. Reptiles are sensitive to habitat disturbance induced by wildfires but species frequently show opposing responses. Functional causes of such variability have been scarcely explored. In the northernmost limit of the Mediterranean bioregion, lizard species of Mediterranean affinity (Psammodromus algirus and Podarcis guadarramae) increase in abundance in burnt areas whereas Atlantic species (Lacerta schreiberi and Podarcis bocagei) decrease. Timon lepidus, the largest Mediterranean lizard in the region, shows mixed responses depending on the locality and fire history. We tested whether such interspecific differences are of a functional nature, namely, if ecophysiological traits may determine lizard response to fire. Based on the variation in habitat structure between burnt and unburnt sites, we hypothesise that Mediterranean species, which increase density in open habitats promoted by frequent fire regimes, should be more thermophile and suffer lower water losses than Atlantic species. Methods. We submitted 6–10 adult males of the five species to standard experiments for assessing preferred body temperatures (Tp) and evaporativewater loss rates (EWL), and examined the variation among species and along time by means of repeated-measures AN(C)OVAs. Results. Results only partially supported our initial expectations, since the medium-sized P. algirus clearly attained higher Tp and lower EWL. The two small wall lizards (P. bocagei and P. guadarramae) displayed low Tp and high EWL while the two large green lizards (T. lepidus and L. schreiberi) displayed intermediate values for both parameters. Discussion. The predicted differences according to the biogeographic affinities within each pair were not fully confirmed. We conclude that ecophysiology may help to understand functional reptile responses to fire but other biological traits are also to be considered. PMID:27330864

  1. Biased Gene Conversion and GC-Content Evolution in the Coding Sequences of Reptiles and Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Figuet, Emeric; Ballenghien, Marion; Romiguier, Jonathan; Galtier, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian and avian genomes are characterized by a substantial spatial heterogeneity of GC-content, which is often interpreted as reflecting the effect of local GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC), a meiotic repair bias that favors G and C over A and T alleles in high-recombining genomic regions. Surprisingly, the first fully sequenced nonavian sauropsid (i.e., reptile), the green anole Anolis carolinensis, revealed a highly homogeneous genomic GC-content landscape, suggesting the possibility that gBGC might not be at work in this lineage. Here, we analyze GC-content evolution at third-codon positions (GC3) in 44 vertebrates species, including eight newly sequenced transcriptomes, with a specific focus on nonavian sauropsids. We report that reptiles, including the green anole, have a genome-wide distribution of GC3 similar to that of mammals and birds, and we infer a strong GC3-heterogeneity to be already present in the tetrapod ancestor. We further show that the dynamic of coding sequence GC-content is largely governed by karyotypic features in vertebrates, notably in the green anole, in agreement with the gBGC hypothesis. The discrepancy between third-codon positions and noncoding DNA regarding GC-content dynamics in the green anole could not be explained by the activity of transposable elements or selection on codon usage. This analysis highlights the unique value of third-codon positions as an insertion/deletion-free marker of nucleotide substitution biases that ultimately affect the evolution of proteins. PMID:25527834

  2. Dynamics of yolk steroid hormones during development in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Elf, P K; Lang, J W; Fivizzani, A J

    2002-06-01

    Many oviparous reptiles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD); i.e., the temperature at which the egg is incubated determines the sex of the offspring. In TSD reptiles, yolk steroids not only may influence sex determination, but also may mediate hormonal effects on subsequent growth and behavior, as in some avian species. We investigated changes in the levels of estradiol (E(2)) and testosterone (T) during development in yolks of snapping turtle eggs, examined how incubation temperature affects hormone levels, and determined how hormones in turtle eggs are influenced by individual females (=clutch effects). Results indicate significant decreases in both hormones (>50% decline) by the end of the sex-determining period, when two-thirds of the development is complete. The declines in both E(2) and T were significantly affected by incubation temperature, but in different ways. Eggs incubated at female-producing temperatures maintained high levels, those incubated at male-producing temperatures had low E(2) values, and eggs incubated at pivotal temperatures had intermediate levels of E(2). At all three temperatures, T values underwent significant but approximately equal declines, except during the developmental stages just after the sex-determining period, when T levels decreased more at the male-producing temperature than at either of the other two temperatures. Initially, there were significant clutch effects in both hormones, but such differences, attributable to individual females, were maintained only for E(2) later in development. Here we report for the first time that incubation temperature significantly affects the hormonal environment of the developing embryo of a turtle with temperature-dependent sex determination. Based on this and related findings, we propose that yolk sex steroids influence sexual differentiation in these TSD species and play a role in sex determination at pivotal temperatures.

  3. Phylogenetic relationships among amphisbaenian reptiles based on complete mitochondrial genomic sequences.

    PubMed

    Macey, J Robert; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Kuehl, Jennifer V; Fourcade, H Mathew; Boore, Jeffrey L

    2004-10-01

    Complete mitochondrial genomic sequences are reported from 12 members in the four families of the reptile group Amphisbaenia. Analysis of 11,946 aligned nucleotide positions (5797 informative) produces a robust phylogenetic hypothesis. The family Rhineuridae is basal and Bipedidae is the sister taxon to the Amphisbaenidae plus Trogonophidae. Amphisbaenian reptiles are surprisingly old, predating the breakup of Pangaea 200 million years before present, because successive basal taxa (Rhineuridae and Bipedidae) are situated in tectonic regions of Laurasia and nested taxa (Amphisbaenidae and Trogonophidae) are found in Gondwanan regions. Thorough sampling within the Bipedidae shows that it is not tectonic movement of Baja California away from the Mexican mainland that is primary in isolating Bipes species, but rather that primary vicariance occurred between northern and southern groups. Amphisbaenian families show parallel reduction in number of limbs and Bipes species exhibit parallel reduction in number of digits. A measure is developed for comparing the phylogenetic information content of various genes. A synapomorphic trait defining the Bipedidae is a shift from the typical vertebrate mitochondrial gene arrangement to the derived state of trnE and nad6. In addition, a tandem duplication of trnT and trnP is observed in Bipes biporus with a pattern of pseudogene formation that varies among populations. The first case of convergent rearrangement of the mitochondrial genome among animals demonstrated by complete genomic sequences is reported. Relative to most vertebrates, the Rhineuridae has the block nad6, trnE switched in order with the block cob, trnT, trnP, as they are in birds.

  4. Grassland fire and cattle grazing regulate reptile and amphibian assembly among patches.

    PubMed

    Larson, Danelle M

    2014-12-01

    Fire and grazing are common management schemes of grasslands globally and are potential drivers of reptilian and amphibian (herpetofauna) metacommunity dynamics. Few studies have assessed the impacts of fire and cattle grazing on herpetofauna assemblages in grasslands. A patch-burn grazing study at Osage Prairie, MO, USA in 2011-2012 created landscape patches with treatments of grazing, fire, and such legacies. Response variables were measured before and after the application of treatments, and I used robust-design occupancy modeling to estimate patch occupancy and detection rate within patches, and recolonization and extinction (i.e., dispersal) across patches. I conducted redundancy analysis and a permuted multivariate analysis of variance to determine if patch type and the associated environmental factors explained herpetofauna assemblage. Estimates for reptiles indicate that occupancy was seasonally constant in Control patches (ψ ~ 0.5), but declined to ψ ~ 0.15 in patches following the applications of fire and grazing. Local extinctions for reptiles were higher in patches with fire or light grazing (ε ~ 0.7) compared to the controls. For the riparian herpetofaunal community, patch type and grass height were important predictors of abundance; further, the turtles, lizards, snakes, and adult amphibians used different patch types. The aquatic amphibian community was predicted by watershed and in-stream characteristics, irrespective of fire or grazing. The varying responses from taxonomic groups demonstrate habitat partitioning across multiple patch types undergoing fire, cattle grazing, and legacy effects. Prairies will need an array of patch types to accommodate multiple herpetofauna species. PMID:25156864

  5. Risk of pesticide exposure for reptile species in the European Union.

    PubMed

    Mingo, Valentin; Lötters, Stefan; Wagner, Norman

    2016-08-01

    Environmental pollution has an especially high impact on wildlife. This is especially the case in industrialized countries. Although, many species within the European Union benefit from protection by the Habitats Directive, no special consideration is given to possible detrimental effects of pesticides. This is in particular remarkable as negative effects, which may lead to a regional diversity loss, have already been identified in laboratory and mesocosm studies. We conducted a pesticide exposure risk evaluation for all European reptile species with sufficient literature data on the considered biological and ecological aspects and occurrence data within agricultural areas with regular pesticide applications (102 out of 141). By using three evaluation factors - (i) pesticide exposure, (ii) physiology and (iii) life history - a taxon-specific pesticide exposure risk factor (ERF) was created. The results suggest that about half of all evaluated species, and thus at least 1/3 of all European species exhibited a high exposure risk. At the same time, two of them (Mauremys leprosa and Testudo graeca) are globally classified as threatened with extinction in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Variation regarding species occurrence in exposed landscapes between pesticide admission zones within the EU is rather large. This variation is mainly caused by differing land use and species abundances between zones. At the taxonomic level, significant differences in exposure risk can be observed between threatened and non-threatened species, which can be explained by the formers remote distribution areas. Lizards display the highest sensitivity toward pesticides, although no differences in overall ERFs can be observed between taxonomic groups. By identifying species at above-average risk to pesticide exposure, species-based risk evaluations can improve conservation actions for reptiles from cultivated landscapes. PMID:27182977

  6. Short interspersed elements (SINEs) of squamate reptiles (Squam1 and Squam2): structure and phylogenetic significance.

    PubMed

    Grechko, Vernata V; Kosushkin, Sergei A; Borodulina, Olga R; Butaeva, Fatima G; Darevsky, Ilya S

    2011-05-15

    Short interspersed elements (SINEs) are important nuclear molecular markers of the evolution of many eukaryotes. However, the SINEs of squamate reptile genomes have been little studied. We first identified two families of SINEs, termed Squam1 and Squam2, in the DNA of meadow lizard Darevskia praticola (Lacertidae) by performing DNA hybridization and PCR. Later, the same families of retrotransposons were found using the same methods in members of another 25 lizard families (from Iguania, Scincomorpha, Gekkota, Varanoidea, and Diploglossa infraorders) and two snake families, but their abundances in these taxa varied greatly. Both SINEs were Squamata-specific and were absent from mammals, birds, crocodiles, turtles, amphibians, and fish. Squam1 possessed some characteristics common to tRNA-related SINEs from fish and mammals, while Squam2 belonged to the tRNA(Ala) group of SINEs and had a more unusual and divergent structure. Squam2-related sequences were found in several unannotated GenBank sequences of squamate reptiles. Squam1 abundance in the Polychrotidae, Agamidae, Leiolepididae, Chamaeleonidae, Scincidae, Lacertidae, Gekkonidae, Varanidae, Helodermatidae, and two snake families were 10(2) -10(4) times higher than those in other taxa (Corytophanidae, Iguanidae, Anguidae, Cordylidae, Gerrhosauridae, Pygopodidae, and Eublepharidae). A less dramatic degree of copy number variation was observed for Squam2 in different taxa. Several Squam1 copies from Lacertidae, Chamaeleonidae, Gekkonidae, Varanidae, and Colubridae were sequenced and found to have evident orthologous features, as well as taxa-specific autapomorphies. Squam1 from Lacertidae and Chamaeleonidae could be divided into several subgroups based on sequence differences. Possible applications of these SINEs as Squamata phylogeny markers are discussed. PMID:21462315

  7. Biased gene conversion and GC-content evolution in the coding sequences of reptiles and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Figuet, Emeric; Ballenghien, Marion; Romiguier, Jonathan; Galtier, Nicolas

    2014-12-19

    Mammalian and avian genomes are characterized by a substantial spatial heterogeneity of GC-content, which is often interpreted as reflecting the effect of local GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC), a meiotic repair bias that favors G and C over A and T alleles in high-recombining genomic regions. Surprisingly, the first fully sequenced nonavian sauropsid (i.e., reptile), the green anole Anolis carolinensis, revealed a highly homogeneous genomic GC-content landscape, suggesting the possibility that gBGC might not be at work in this lineage. Here, we analyze GC-content evolution at third-codon positions (GC3) in 44 vertebrates species, including eight newly sequenced transcriptomes, with a specific focus on nonavian sauropsids. We report that reptiles, including the green anole, have a genome-wide distribution of GC3 similar to that of mammals and birds, and we infer a strong GC3-heterogeneity to be already present in the tetrapod ancestor. We further show that the dynamic of coding sequence GC-content is largely governed by karyotypic features in vertebrates, notably in the green anole, in agreement with the gBGC hypothesis. The discrepancy between third-codon positions and noncoding DNA regarding GC-content dynamics in the green anole could not be explained by the activity of transposable elements or selection on codon usage. This analysis highlights the unique value of third-codon positions as an insertion/deletion-free marker of nucleotide substitution biases that ultimately affect the evolution of proteins.

  8. Molecular characterization of insulin from squamate reptiles reveals sequence diversity and possible adaptive evolution.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Genki; Yoshida, Ayaka; Kobayashi, Aya; Park, Min Kyun

    2016-01-01

    The Squamata are the most adaptive and prosperous group among ectothermic amniotes, reptiles, due to their species-richness and geographically wide habitat. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying their prosperity remain largely unknown, unique features have been reported from hormones that regulate energy metabolism. Insulin, a central anabolic hormone, is one such hormone, as its roles and effectiveness in regulation of blood glucose levels remain to be examined in squamates. In the present study, cDNAs coding for insulin were isolated from multiple species that represent various groups of squamates. The deduced amino acid sequences showed a high degree of divergence, with four lineages showing obviously higher number of amino acid substitutions than most of vertebrates, from teleosts to mammals. Among 18 sites presented to comprise the two receptor binding surfaces (one with 12 sites and the other with 6 sites), substitutions were observed in 13 sites. Among them was the substitution of HisB10, which results in the loss of the ability to hexamerize. Furthermore, three of these substitutions were reported to increase mitogenicity in human analogues. These substitutions were also reported from insulin of hystricomorph rodents and agnathan fishes, whose mitogenic potency have been shown to be increased. The estimated value of the non-synonymous-to-synonymous substitution ratio (ω) for the Squamata clade was larger than those of the other reptiles and aves. Even higher values were estimated for several lineages among squamates. These results, together with the regulatory mechanisms of digestion and nutrient assimilation in squamates, suggested a possible adaptive process through the molecular evolution of squamate INS. Further studies on the roles of insulin, in relation to the physiological and ecological traits of squamate species, will provide an insight into the molecular mechanisms that have led to the adaptivity and prosperity of squamates.

  9. Contrasted Evolution of the Vomeronasal Receptor Repertoires in Mammals and Squamate Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Brykczynska, Urszula; Tzika, Athanasia C.; Rodriguez, Ivan; Milinkovitch, Michel C.

    2013-01-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is an olfactory structure that detects pheromones and environmental cues. It consists of sensory neurons that express evolutionary unrelated groups of transmembrane chemoreceptors. The predominant V1R and V2R receptor repertoires are believed to detect airborne and water-soluble molecules, respectively. It has been suggested that the shift in habitat of early tetrapods from water to land is reflected by an increase in the ratio of V1R/V2R genes. Snakes, which have a very large VNO associated with a sophisticated tongue delivery system, are missing from this analysis. Here, we use RNA-seq and RNA in situ hybridization to study the diversity, evolution, and expression pattern of the corn snake vomeronasal receptor repertoires. Our analyses indicate that snakes and lizards retain an extremely limited number of V1R genes but exhibit a large number of V2R genes, including multiple lineages of reptile-specific and snake-specific expansions. We finally show that the peculiar bigenic pattern of V2R vomeronasal receptor gene transcription observed in mammals is conserved in squamate reptiles, hinting at an important but unknown functional role played by this expression strategy. Our results do not support the hypothesis that the shift to a vomeronasal receptor repertoire dominated by V1Rs in mammals reflects the evolutionary transition of early tetrapods from water to land. This study sheds light on the evolutionary dynamics of the vomeronasal receptor families in vertebrates and reveals how mammals and squamates differentially adapted the same ancestral vomeronasal repertoire to succeed in a terrestrial environment. PMID:23348039

  10. Phylogenetic relationships among amphisbaenian reptiles based on complete mitochondrial genomic sequences

    SciTech Connect

    Macey, J. Robert; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Kuehl, Jennifer V.; Fourcade, H. Matthew; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-05-19

    Complete mitochondrial genomic sequences are reported from 12 members in the four families of the reptile group Amphisbaenia. Analysis of 11,946 aligned nucleotide positions (5,797 informative) produces a robust phylogenetic hypothesis. The family Rhineuridae is basal and Bipedidae is the sister taxon to the Amphisbaenidae plus Trogonophidae. Amphisbaenian reptiles are surprisingly old, predating the breakup of Pangaea 200 million years before present, because successive basal taxa (Rhineuridae and Bipedidae) are situated in tectonic regions of Laurasia and nested taxa (Amphisbaenidae and Trogonophidae) are found in Gondwanan regions. Thorough sampling within the Bipedidae shows that it is not tectonic movement of Baja California away from the Mexican mainland that is primary in isolating Bipes species, but rather that primary vicariance occurred between northern and southern groups. Amphisbaenian families show parallel reduction in number of limbs and Bipes species exhibit parallel reduction in number of digits. A measure is developed for comparing the phylogenetic information content of various genes. A synapomorphic trait defining the Bipedidae is a shift from the typical vertebrate mitochondrial gene arrangement to the derived state of trnE and nad6. In addition, a tandem duplication of trnT and trnP is observed in B. biporus with a pattern of pseudogene formation that varies among populations. The first case of convergent rearrangement of the mitochondrial genome among animals demonstrated by complete genomic sequences is reported. Relative to most vertebrates, the Rhineuridae has the block nad6, trnE switched in order with cob, trnT, trnP, as they are in birds.

  11. Behaviour and buoyancy regulation in the deepest-diving reptile: the leatherback turtle.

    PubMed

    Fossette, Sabrina; Gleiss, Adrian C; Myers, Andy E; Garner, Steve; Liebsch, Nikolai; Whitney, Nicholas M; Hays, Graeme C; Wilson, Rory P; Lutcavage, Molly E

    2010-12-01

    In the face of the physical and physiological challenges of performing breath-hold deep dives, marine vertebrates have evolved different strategies. Although behavioural strategies in marine mammals and seabirds have been investigated in detail, little is known about the deepest-diving reptile - the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Here, we deployed tri-axial accelerometers on female leatherbacks nesting on St Croix, US Virgin Islands, to explore their diving strategy. Our results show a consistent behavioural pattern within dives among individuals, with an initial period of active swimming at relatively steep descent angles (∼-40 deg), with a stroke frequency of 0.32 Hz, followed by a gliding phase. The depth at which the gliding phase began increased with the maximum depth of the dives. In addition, descent body angles and vertical velocities were higher during deeper dives. Leatherbacks might thus regulate their inspired air-volume according to the intended dive depth, similar to hard-shelled turtles and penguins. During the ascent, turtles actively swam with a stroke frequency of 0.30 Hz but with a low vertical velocity (∼0.40 ms(-1)) and a low pitch angle (∼+26 deg). Turtles might avoid succumbing to decompression sickness ('the bends') by ascending slowly to the surface. In addition, we suggest that the low body temperature of this marine ectotherm compared with that of endotherms might help reduce the risk of bubble formation by increasing the solubility of nitrogen in the blood. This physiological advantage, coupled with several behavioural and physical adaptations, might explain the particular ecological niche the leatherback turtle occupies among marine reptiles. PMID:21075949

  12. Ca2+ cycling in cardiomyocytes from a high-performance reptile, the varanid lizard (Varanus exanthematicus)

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Daniel E.; Shiels, Holly A.

    2009-01-01

    The varanid lizard possesses one of the largest aerobic capacities among reptiles with maximum rates of oxygen consumption that are twice that of other lizards of comparable sizes at the same temperature. To support this aerobic capacity, the varanid heart possesses morphological adaptations that allow the generation of high heart rates and blood pressures. Specializations in excitation-contraction coupling may also contribute to the varanids superior cardiovascular performance. Therefore, we investigated the electrophysiological properties of the l-type Ca2+ channel and the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) and the contribution of the sarcoplasmic reticulum to the intracellular Ca2+ transient (Δ[Ca2+]i) in varanid lizard ventricular myocytes. Additionally, we used confocal microscopy to visualize myocytes and make morphological measurements. Lizard ventricular myocytes were found to be spindle-shaped, lack T-tubules, and were ∼190 μm in length and 5–7 μm in width and depth. Cardiomyocytes had a small cell volume (∼2 pL), leading to a large surface area-to-volume ratio (18.5), typical of ectothermic vertebrates. The voltage sensitivity of the l-type Ca2+ channel current (ICa), steady-state activation and inactivation curves, and the time taken for recovery from inactivation were also similar to those measured in other reptiles and teleosts. However, transsarcolemmal Ca2+ influx via reverse mode Na+/Ca2+ exchange current was fourfold higher than most other ectotherms. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of the sarcoplasmic reticulum led to a 40% reduction in the Δ[Ca2+]i amplitude, and slowed the time course of decay. In aggregate, our results suggest varanids have an enhanced capacity to transport Ca2+ through the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger, and sarcoplasmic reticulum suggesting specializations in excitation-contraction coupling may provide a means to support high cardiovascular performance. PMID:19812356

  13. Dynamics of yolk steroid hormones during development in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Elf, P K; Lang, J W; Fivizzani, A J

    2002-06-01

    Many oviparous reptiles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD); i.e., the temperature at which the egg is incubated determines the sex of the offspring. In TSD reptiles, yolk steroids not only may influence sex determination, but also may mediate hormonal effects on subsequent growth and behavior, as in some avian species. We investigated changes in the levels of estradiol (E(2)) and testosterone (T) during development in yolks of snapping turtle eggs, examined how incubation temperature affects hormone levels, and determined how hormones in turtle eggs are influenced by individual females (=clutch effects). Results indicate significant decreases in both hormones (>50% decline) by the end of the sex-determining period, when two-thirds of the development is complete. The declines in both E(2) and T were significantly affected by incubation temperature, but in different ways. Eggs incubated at female-producing temperatures maintained high levels, those incubated at male-producing temperatures had low E(2) values, and eggs incubated at pivotal temperatures had intermediate levels of E(2). At all three temperatures, T values underwent significant but approximately equal declines, except during the developmental stages just after the sex-determining period, when T levels decreased more at the male-producing temperature than at either of the other two temperatures. Initially, there were significant clutch effects in both hormones, but such differences, attributable to individual females, were maintained only for E(2) later in development. Here we report for the first time that incubation temperature significantly affects the hormonal environment of the developing embryo of a turtle with temperature-dependent sex determination. Based on this and related findings, we propose that yolk sex steroids influence sexual differentiation in these TSD species and play a role in sex determination at pivotal temperatures. PMID:12161199

  14. Results of Surveys for Special Status Reptiles at the Site 300 Facilities of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Woollett, J J

    2008-09-18

    The purpose of this report is to present the results of a live-trapping and visual surveys for special status reptiles at the Site 300 Facilities of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The survey was conducted under the authority of the Federal recovery permit of Swaim Biological Consulting (PRT-815537) and a Memorandum of Understanding issued from the California Department of Fish and Game. Site 300 is located between Livermore and Tracy just north of Tesla road (Alameda County) and Corral Hollow Road (San Joaquin County) and straddles the Alameda and San Joaquin County line (Figures 1 and 2). It encompasses portions of the USGS 7.5 minute Midway and Tracy quadrangles (Figure 2). Focused surveys were conducted for four special status reptiles including the Alameda whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus), the San Joaquin Whipsnake (Masticophis Hagellum ruddock), the silvery legless lizard (Anniella pulchra pulchra), and the California horned lizard (Phrynosoma coronanum frontale).

  15. Studies of annual and seasonal variations in four species of reptiles and amphibians at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, E.I.; Haarmann, T.; Keller, D.C.; Foxx, T.

    1998-11-01

    Baseline studies of reptiles and amphibians of the Pajarito wetlands at Los Alamos National Laboratory have been conducted by the Ecology group since 1990. With the gathered data from 1990--1997 (excluding 1992), they plan to determine if patterns can be found in the annual and seasonal population changes of four species of reptiles and amphibians over the past seven years. The four species studied are the Woodhouse toad, the western chorus frog, the many-linked skink, and the plateau striped whiptail lizard. Statistical analysis results show that significant changes occurred on a seasonal basis for the western chorus frog and the many-lined skink. Results indicate a significant difference in the annual population of the Woodhouse toad.

  16. Studies of Annual and Seasonal Variations in Four Species of Reptiles and Amphibians at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, D.C.; Nelson, E.I.; Mullen, M.A.; Foxx, T.S.; Haarmann, T.K.

    1998-07-01

    Baseline studies of reptiles and amphibians of the Pajarito wetlands at Los Alamos National Laboratory have been conducted by the Ecology group since 1990. With the data gathered from 1990-1997 (excluding 1992), we examined the annual and seasonal population changes of four species of reptiles and amphibians over the past seven years. The four species studied are the Woodhouse toad (Bufo woodhousii), the western chorus frog (Pseudacris triseriata), the many-lined skink (Eunzeces nudtivirgatus), and the plateau striped whiptail lizard (Cnemidophorus velox). Statistical analyses indicate a significant change on a seasonal basis for the western chorus frog and the many-lined skink. Results indicate a significant difference in the annual population of the Woodhouse toad.

  17. A new captorhinid reptile from the Lower Permian of Oklahoma showing remarkable dental and mandibular convergence with microsaurian tetrapods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reisz, R. R.; LeBlanc, Aaron R. H.; Sidor, Christian A.; Scott, Diane; May, William

    2015-10-01

    The Lower Permian fossiliferous infills of the Dolese Brothers Limestone Quarry, near Richards Spur, Oklahoma, have preserved the most diverse assemblage of Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrates, including small-bodied reptiles and lepospondyl anamniotes. Many of these taxa were previously known only from fragmentary remains, predominantly dentigerous jaw elements and numerous isolated skeletal elements. The recent discovery of articulated skulls and skeletons of small reptiles permits the recognition that dentigerous elements, previously assigned at this locality to the anamniote lepospondyl Euryodus primus, belong to a new captorhinid eureptile, Opisthodontosaurus carrolli gen. et sp. nov. This mistaken identity points to a dramatic level of convergence in mandibular and dental anatomy in two distantly related and disparate clades of terrestrial tetrapods and sheds light on the earliest instance of durophagy in eureptiles.

  18. A new captorhinid reptile from the Lower Permian of Oklahoma showing remarkable dental and mandibular convergence with microsaurian tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Reisz, R R; LeBlanc, Aaron R H; Sidor, Christian A; Scott, Diane; May, William

    2015-10-01

    The Lower Permian fossiliferous infills of the Dolese Brothers Limestone Quarry, near Richards Spur, Oklahoma, have preserved the most diverse assemblage of Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrates, including small-bodied reptiles and lepospondyl anamniotes. Many of these taxa were previously known only from fragmentary remains, predominantly dentigerous jaw elements and numerous isolated skeletal elements. The recent discovery of articulated skulls and skeletons of small reptiles permits the recognition that dentigerous elements, previously assigned at this locality to the anamniote lepospondyl Euryodus primus, belong to a new captorhinid eureptile, Opisthodontosaurus carrolli gen. et sp. nov. This mistaken identity points to a dramatic level of convergence in mandibular and dental anatomy in two distantly related and disparate clades of terrestrial tetrapods and sheds light on the earliest instance of durophagy in eureptiles.

  19. Community- and landscape-level responses of reptiles and small mammals to feral-horse grazing in the Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik A.; Brussard, P.F.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated species- and community-level responses of squamate reptiles and granivorous small mammals to feral-horse grazing in two elevational strata across nine mountain ranges of the western Great Basin, USA. Although mammal species richness did not differ between horse-occupied and horse-removed sites, occupied sites possessed less community completeness (biotic integrity) and 1.1–7.4 times greater deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) than removed sites. In opposite fashion, horse-removed sites possessed greater reptile species richness and tended towards greater abundance for seven of nine species, yet unequal species pools across sites dictated that community completeness did not differ statistically between horse-removed and -occupied sites.

  20. The Value of Comparative Approaches to our Understanding of Puberty as Illustrated by Investigations in Birds and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Ball, Gregory F.; Wade, Juli

    2013-01-01

    Studies of birds and reptiles have provided many basic insights into the neuroendocrine control of reproductive processes. This research has elucidated mechanisms regulating both early development, including sexual differentiation, and adult neuroendocrine function and behavior. However, phenomena associated with the transition into sexual maturation (puberty) have not been a focus of investigators working on species in these taxonomic classes. Research is complicated in birds and reptiles by a variety of factors, including what can be extended times to maturation, the need to reach particular body size regardless of age, and environmental conditions that can support or inhibit endocrine responses. However, careful selection of model systems, particularly those with available genetic tools, will lead to important comparative studies that can elucidate both generalizability and diversity of mechanisms regulating the onset of reproductive maturity. PMID:23998665

  1. The biology of some intraerythrocytic parasites of fishes, amphibia and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Davies, A J; Johnston, M R

    2000-01-01

    Fishes, amphibia and reptiles, the ectothermic vertebrates, are hosts for a variety of intraerythrocytic parasites including protists, prokaryotes, viruses and structures of uncertain status. These parasites may experience host temperature fluctuations, host reproductive strategies, population genetics, host habitat and migratory behaviour quite unlike those of endothermic hosts. Few blood infections of fishes, amphibia and reptiles have proven pathogenicity, in contrast to the many intraerythrocytic parasites of mammals and some birds which harm their hosts. Although not given the attention afforded to intraerythrocytic parasites of endotherms, those of ectotherms have been studied for more than a century. This review reports on the diversity, general biology and phylogeny of intraerythrocytic parasites of ectotherms. The existence of taxonomic confusion is emphasized and the main taxonomic features of most of the 23 better characterized genera, particularly the kinetoplastid and apicomplexan protists, are summarized. Transmission of protistan infections of aquatic ectotherms is also discussed. Leeches can transfer sporozoties or merozoites to the vertebrate host during feeding. Dormant sporozoites of Lankesterella may permit transmission of species of this genus between vertebrates by predation. The fish haemogregarine, Haemogregarina bigemina, probably has gnathiid isopods, rather than leeches, as its definitive hosts. Hepatozoon spp. in aquatic hosts, and Progarnia of caiman, may also use invertebrate hosts other than leeches. Protistan infections of terrestrial or semi-terrestrial hosts are transmitted by a variety of arthropods, or, in some cases, leeches, contaminated paratenic hosts, or sporocysts free in water. Transfer of protists between vertebrates by predation and congenitally may also occur. The biology of the host cells of these infections, the red blood cells of ectotherm vertebrates, is summarized and compared with that of mammalian erythrocytes

  2. Evolutionary diversity of bile salts in reptiles and mammals, including analysis of ancient human and extinct giant ground sloth coprolites

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Bile salts are the major end-metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion and in influencing the intestinal microflora. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt diversity in both reptiles and mammals, including analysis of 8,000 year old human coprolites and coprolites from the extinct Shasta ground sloth (Nothrotherium shastense). Results While there is significant variation of bile salts across species, bile salt profiles are generally stable within families and often within orders of reptiles and mammals, and do not directly correlate with differences in diet. The variation of bile salts generally accords with current molecular phylogenies of reptiles and mammals, including more recent groupings of squamate reptiles. For mammals, the most unusual finding was that the Paenungulates (elephants, manatees, and the rock hyrax) have a very different bile salt profile from the Rufous sengi and South American aardvark, two other mammals classified with Paenungulates in the cohort Afrotheria in molecular phylogenies. Analyses of the approximately 8,000 year old human coprolites yielded a bile salt profile very similar to that found in modern human feces. Analysis of the Shasta ground sloth coprolites (approximately 12,000 years old) showed the predominant presence of glycine-conjugated bile acids, similar to analyses of bile and feces of living sloths, in addition to a complex mixture of plant sterols and stanols expected from an herbivorous diet. Conclusions The bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution, with some bile salt modifications only found within single groups such as marsupials. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt structures in different species provides a potentially rich model system for the evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates. Our results also demonstrate the stability of bile salts in coprolites preserved in arid climates

  3. Major Histocompatibility Complex Genes Map to Two Chromosomes in an Evolutionarily Ancient Reptile, the Tuatara Sphenodon punctatus

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Hilary C.; O’Meally, Denis; Ezaz, Tariq; Amemiya, Chris; Marshall-Graves, Jennifer A.; Edwards, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are a central component of the vertebrate immune system and usually exist in a single genomic region. However, considerable differences in MHC organization and size exist between different vertebrate lineages. Reptiles occupy a key evolutionary position for understanding how variation in MHC structure evolved in vertebrates, but information on the structure of the MHC region in reptiles is limited. In this study, we investigate the organization and cytogenetic location of MHC genes in the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), the sole extant representative of the early-diverging reptilian order Rhynchocephalia. Sequencing and mapping of 12 clones containing class I and II MHC genes from a bacterial artificial chromosome library indicated that the core MHC region is located on chromosome 13q. However, duplication and translocation of MHC genes outside of the core region was evident, because additional class I MHC genes were located on chromosome 4p. We found a total of seven class I sequences and 11 class II β sequences, with evidence for duplication and pseudogenization of genes within the tuatara lineage. The tuatara MHC is characterized by high repeat content and low gene density compared with other species and we found no antigen processing or MHC framework genes on the MHC gene-containing clones. Our findings indicate substantial differences in MHC organization in tuatara compared with mammalian and avian MHCs and highlight the dynamic nature of the MHC. Further sequencing and annotation of tuatara and other reptile MHCs will determine if the tuatara MHC is representative of nonavian reptiles in general. PMID:25953959

  4. Major Histocompatibility Complex Genes Map to Two Chromosomes in an Evolutionarily Ancient Reptile, the Tuatara Sphenodon punctatus.

    PubMed

    Miller, Hilary C; O'Meally, Denis; Ezaz, Tariq; Amemiya, Chris; Marshall-Graves, Jennifer A; Edwards, Scott

    2015-05-07

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are a central component of the vertebrate immune system and usually exist in a single genomic region. However, considerable differences in MHC organization and size exist between different vertebrate lineages. Reptiles occupy a key evolutionary position for understanding how variation in MHC structure evolved in vertebrates, but information on the structure of the MHC region in reptiles is limited. In this study, we investigate the organization and cytogenetic location of MHC genes in the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), the sole extant representative of the early-diverging reptilian order Rhynchocephalia. Sequencing and mapping of 12 clones containing class I and II MHC genes from a bacterial artificial chromosome library indicated that the core MHC region is located on chromosome 13q. However, duplication and translocation of MHC genes outside of the core region was evident, because additional class I MHC genes were located on chromosome 4p. We found a total of seven class I sequences and 11 class II β sequences, with evidence for duplication and pseudogenization of genes within the tuatara lineage. The tuatara MHC is characterized by high repeat content and low gene density compared with other species and we found no antigen processing or MHC framework genes on the MHC gene-containing clones. Our findings indicate substantial differences in MHC organization in tuatara compared with mammalian and avian MHCs and highlight the dynamic nature of the MHC. Further sequencing and annotation of tuatara and other reptile MHCs will determine if the tuatara MHC is representative of nonavian reptiles in general.

  5. Biology of amphibians and reptiles in old-growth forests in the Pacific northwest. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Blaustein, A.R.; Beatty, J.J.; Olson, D.H.; Storm, R.M.

    1995-03-01

    The amphibian and reptile fauna of older forest ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest includes several endemic species, species with unique behavioral and ecological characteristics, and species whose populations have been in decline in recent years. The authors review the biology of these species and include information on their distinguishing characteristics, behavior, and ecology. Herpetofaunal associations with forest characteristic and the impact of habitat loss are addressed.

  6. Moving into protected areas? Setting conservation priorities for Romanian reptiles and amphibians at risk from climate change.

    PubMed

    Popescu, Viorel D; Rozylowicz, Laurenţiu; Cogălniceanu, Dan; Niculae, Iulian Mihăiţă; Cucu, Adina Livia

    2013-01-01

    Rapid climate change represents one of the top threats to biodiversity, causing declines and extinctions of many species. Range shifts are a key response, but in many cases are incompatible with the current extent of protected areas. In this study we used ensemble species distribution models to identify range changes for 21 reptile and 16 amphibian species in Romania for the 2020s and 2050s time horizons under three emission scenarios (A1B = integrated world, rapid economic growth, A2A = divided world, rapid economic growth [realistic scenario], B2A = regional development, environmentally-friendly scenario) and no- and limited-dispersal assumptions. We then used irreplaceability analysis to test the efficacy of the Natura 2000 network to meet conservation targets. Under all scenarios and time horizons, 90% of the species suffered range contractions (greatest loses under scenarios B2A for 2020s, and A1B for 2050s), and four reptile species expanded their ranges. Two reptile and two amphibian species are predicted to completely lose climate space by 2050s. Currently, 35 species do not meet conservation targets (>40% representation in protected areas), but the target is predicted to be met for 4 - 14 species under future climate conditions, with higher representation under the limited-dispersal scenario. The Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions have the highest irreplaceability value, and act as climate refugia for many reptiles and amphibians. The Natura 2000 network performs better for achieving herpetofauna conservation goals in the future, owing to the interaction between drastic range contractions, and range shifts towards existing protected areas. Thus, conservation actions for herpetofauna in Romania need to focus on: (1) building institutional capacity of protected areas in the Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions, and (2) facilitating natural range shifts by improving the conservation status of herpetofauna outside protected areas

  7. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  8. Variation in testosterone and corticosterone in amphibians and reptiles: relationships with latitude, elevation, and breeding season length.

    PubMed

    Eikenaar, Cas; Husak, Jerry; Escallón, Camilo; Moore, Ignacio T

    2012-11-01

    Latitudinal variation in life-history traits has been the focus of numerous investigations, but underlying hormonal mechanisms have received much less attention. Steroid hormones play a central role in vertebrate reproduction and may be associated with life-history trade-offs. Consequently, circulating concentrations of these hormones vary tremendously across vertebrates, yet interspecific geographic variation in male hormone concentrations has been studied in detail only in birds. We here report on such variation in amphibians and reptiles, confirming patterns observed in birds. Using phylogenetic comparative analyses, we found that in amphibians, but not in reptiles, testosterone and baseline corticosterone were positively related to latitude. Baseline corticosterone was negatively related to elevation in amphibians but not in reptiles. For both groups, testosterone concentrations were negatively related to breeding-season length. In addition, testosterone concentrations were positively correlated with baseline corticosterone in both groups. Our findings may best be explained by the hypothesis that shorter breeding seasons increase male-male competition, which may favor increased testosterone concentrations that modulate secondary sexual traits. Elevated energetic demands resulting from greater reproductive intensity may require higher baseline corticosterone. Thus, the positive relationship between testosterone and corticosterone in both groups suggests an energetic demand for testosterone-regulated behavior that is met with increased baseline glucocorticoid concentrations.

  9. Unexpectedly High Levels of Cryptic Diversity Uncovered by a Complete DNA Barcoding of Reptiles of the Socotra Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Raquel; Montero-Mendieta, Santiago; Simó-Riudalbas, Marc; Sindaco, Roberto; Santos, Xavier; Fasola, Mauro; Llorente, Gustavo; Razzetti, Edoardo; Carranza, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Few DNA barcoding studies of squamate reptiles have been conducted. Due to the significance of the Socotra Archipelago (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and a biodiversity hotspot) and the conservation interest of its reptile fauna (94% endemics), we performed the most comprehensive DNA barcoding study on an island group to date to test its applicability to specimen identification and species discovery. Reptiles constitute Socotra's most important vertebrate fauna, yet their taxonomy remains under-studied. We successfully DNA-barcoded 380 individuals of all 31 presently recognized species. The specimen identification success rate is moderate to high, and almost all species presented local barcoding gaps. The unexpected high levels of intra-specific variability found within some species suggest cryptic diversity. Species richness may be under-estimated by 13.8-54.4%. This has implications in the species' ranges and conservation status that should be considered for conservation planning. Other phylogenetic studies using mitochondrial and nuclear markers are congruent with our results. We conclude that, despite its reduced length (663 base pairs), cytochrome c oxidase 1, COI, is very useful for specimen identification and for detecting intra-specific diversity, and has a good phylogenetic signal. We recommend DNA barcoding to be applied to other biodiversity hotspots for quickly and cost-efficiently flagging species discovery, preferentially incorporated into an integrative taxonomic framework.

  10. Unexpectedly High Levels of Cryptic Diversity Uncovered by a Complete DNA Barcoding of Reptiles of the Socotra Archipelago

    PubMed Central

    Simó-Riudalbas, Marc; Sindaco, Roberto; Santos, Xavier; Fasola, Mauro; Llorente, Gustavo; Razzetti, Edoardo; Carranza, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Few DNA barcoding studies of squamate reptiles have been conducted. Due to the significance of the Socotra Archipelago (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and a biodiversity hotspot) and the conservation interest of its reptile fauna (94% endemics), we performed the most comprehensive DNA barcoding study on an island group to date to test its applicability to specimen identification and species discovery. Reptiles constitute Socotra’s most important vertebrate fauna, yet their taxonomy remains under-studied. We successfully DNA-barcoded 380 individuals of all 31 presently recognized species. The specimen identification success rate is moderate to high, and almost all species presented local barcoding gaps. The unexpected high levels of intra-specific variability found within some species suggest cryptic diversity. Species richness may be under-estimated by 13.8–54.4%. This has implications in the species’ ranges and conservation status that should be considered for conservation planning. Other phylogenetic studies using mitochondrial and nuclear markers are congruent with our results. We conclude that, despite its reduced length (663 base pairs), cytochrome c oxidase 1, COI, is very useful for specimen identification and for detecting intra-specific diversity, and has a good phylogenetic signal. We recommend DNA barcoding to be applied to other biodiversity hotspots for quickly and cost-efficiently flagging species discovery, preferentially incorporated into an integrative taxonomic framework. PMID:26930572

  11. Unexpectedly High Levels of Cryptic Diversity Uncovered by a Complete DNA Barcoding of Reptiles of the Socotra Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Raquel; Montero-Mendieta, Santiago; Simó-Riudalbas, Marc; Sindaco, Roberto; Santos, Xavier; Fasola, Mauro; Llorente, Gustavo; Razzetti, Edoardo; Carranza, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Few DNA barcoding studies of squamate reptiles have been conducted. Due to the significance of the Socotra Archipelago (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and a biodiversity hotspot) and the conservation interest of its reptile fauna (94% endemics), we performed the most comprehensive DNA barcoding study on an island group to date to test its applicability to specimen identification and species discovery. Reptiles constitute Socotra's most important vertebrate fauna, yet their taxonomy remains under-studied. We successfully DNA-barcoded 380 individuals of all 31 presently recognized species. The specimen identification success rate is moderate to high, and almost all species presented local barcoding gaps. The unexpected high levels of intra-specific variability found within some species suggest cryptic diversity. Species richness may be under-estimated by 13.8-54.4%. This has implications in the species' ranges and conservation status that should be considered for conservation planning. Other phylogenetic studies using mitochondrial and nuclear markers are congruent with our results. We conclude that, despite its reduced length (663 base pairs), cytochrome c oxidase 1, COI, is very useful for specimen identification and for detecting intra-specific diversity, and has a good phylogenetic signal. We recommend DNA barcoding to be applied to other biodiversity hotspots for quickly and cost-efficiently flagging species discovery, preferentially incorporated into an integrative taxonomic framework. PMID:26930572

  12. Human attitudes towards herpetofauna: The influence of folklore and negative values on the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Portugal

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Human values and folklore of wildlife strongly influence the effectiveness of conservation efforts. These values and folklore may also vary with certain demographic characteristics such as gender, age, or education. Reptiles and amphibians are among the least appreciated of vertebrates and are victims of many negative values and wrong ideas resulting from the direct interpretation of folklore. We try to demonstrate how these values and folklore can affect the way people relate to them and also the possible conservation impacts on these animals. Methods A questionnaire survey distributed to 514 people in the district of Évora, Portugal, was used to obtain data regarding the hypothesis that the existence of wrong ideas and negative values contributes to the phenomenon of human-associated persecution of these animals. A structural equation model was specified in order to confirm the hypothesis about the possible relationships between the presence of perceptions and negative values about amphibians and reptiles and persecution and anti-conservation attitudes. Sociodemographic variables were also added. Results The results of the model suggest that the presence of folklore and negative values clearly predicts persecution and anti-conservation attitudes towards amphibians and reptiles. Also, the existence of folklore varies sociodemographically, but negative values concerning these animals are widespread in the population. Conclusions With the use of structural equation models, this work is a contribution to the study of how certain ideas and values can directly influence human attitudes towards herpetofauna and how they can be a serious conservation issue. PMID:22316318

  13. Sox2 marks epithelial competence to generate teeth in mammals and reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Juuri, Emma; Jussila, Maria; Seidel, Kerstin; Holmes, Scott; Wu, Ping; Richman, Joy; Heikinheimo, Kristiina; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Arnold, Katrin; Hochedlinger, Konrad; Klein, Ophir; Michon, Frederic; Thesleff, Irma

    2013-01-01

    Tooth renewal is initiated from epithelium associated with existing teeth. The development of new teeth requires dental epithelial cells that have competence for tooth formation, but specific marker genes for these cells have not been identified. Here, we analyzed expression patterns of the transcription factor Sox2 in two different modes of successional tooth formation: tooth replacement and serial addition of primary teeth. We observed specific Sox2 expression in the dental lamina that gives rise to successional teeth in mammals with one round of tooth replacement as well as in reptiles with continuous tooth replacement. Sox2 was also expressed in the dental lamina during serial addition of mammalian molars, and genetic lineage tracing indicated that Sox2+ cells of the first molar give rise to the epithelial cell lineages of the second and third molars. Moreover, conditional deletion of Sox2 resulted in hyperplastic epithelium in the forming posterior molars. Our results indicate that the Sox2+ dental epithelium has competence for successional tooth formation and that Sox2 regulates the progenitor state of dental epithelial cells. The findings imply that the function of Sox2 has been conserved during evolution and that tooth replacement and serial addition of primary teeth represent variations of the same developmental process. The expression patterns of Sox2 support the hypothesis that dormant capacity for continuous tooth renewal exists in mammals. PMID:23462476

  14. Pilot Inventory of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, 1990-1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Semenoff-Irving, M.; Howell, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    The United States Geological Survey Golden Gate Field Station conducted a baseline inventory of terrestrial vertebrates within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, California between 1990 and 1997. We established 456 permanent study plots in 6 major park habitats, including grassland, coastal scrub, riparian woodland, coastal wetland, broad-leaved evergreen forest, and needle-leaved evergreen forest. We tested multiple inventory methods, including live traps, track plate stations, and artificial cover boards, across all years and habitats. In most years, sampling occurred in 3?4 primary sampling sessions between July and September. In 1994, additional sampling occurred in February and May in conjunction with an assessment of Hantavirus exposure in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Overall, we detected 32 mammal, 14 reptile, and 6 amphibian species during 25,222 trap-nights of effort. The deer mouse?the most abundant species detected--accounted for 67% of total captures. We detected the Federal Endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) at one coastal wetland plot in 1992. This project represents the first phase in the development of a comprehensive terrestrial vertebrate inventory and monitoring program for GGNRA. This report summarizes data on relative abundance, frequency of occurrence, distribution across habitat types, and trap success for terrestrial vertebrates detected during this 7-year effort. It includes comprehensive descriptions of the inventory methods and sampling strategies employed during this survey and is intended to help guide the park in the implementation of future longterm ecological monitoring programs.

  15. Pilot Inventory of Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, 1990-1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Semenoff-Irving, Marcia; Howell, Judd A.

    2005-01-01

    The United States Geological Survey Golden Gate Field Station conducted a baseline inventory of terrestrial vertebrates within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, California between 1990 and 1997. We established 456 permanent study plots in 6 major park habitats, including grassland, coastal scrub, riparian woodland, coastal wetland, broad-leaved evergreen forest, and needle-leaved evergreen forest. We tested multiple inventory methods, including live traps, track plate stations, and artificial cover boards, across all years and habitats. In most years, sampling occurred in 3-4 primary sampling sessions between July and September. In 1994, additional sampling occurred in February and May in conjunction with an assessment of Hantavirus exposure in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Overall, we detected 32 mammal, 14 reptile, and 6 amphibian species during 25,222 trap-nights of effort. The deer mouse-the most abundant species detected--accounted for 67% of total captures. We detected the Federal Endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) at one coastal wetland plot in 1992. This project represents the first phase in the development of a comprehensive terrestrial vertebrate inventory and monitoring program for GGNRA. This report summarizes data on relative abundance, frequency of occurrence, distribution across habitat types, and trap success for terrestrial vertebrates detected during this 7-year effort. It includes comprehensive descriptions of the inventory methods and sampling strategies employed during this survey and is intended to help guide the park in the implementation of future longterm ecological monitoring programs.

  16. Gonadal morphogenesis and gene expression in reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Merchant-Larios, H; Díaz-Hernández, V; Marmolejo-Valencia, A

    2010-01-01

    In reptiles with temperature-dependent sexual determination, the thermosensitive period (TSP) is the interval in which the sex is defined during gonadal morphogenesis. One-shift experiments in a group of eggs define the onset and the end of the TSP as all and none responses, respectively. Timing for sex-undetermined (UG) and -determined gonads (DG) differs at male- (MPT) or female-producing temperatures (FPT). During the TSP a decreasing number of embryos respond to temperature shifts indicating that in this period embryos with both UG and DG exist. Although most UG correspond to undifferentiated gonads, some embryos extend UG after the onset of histological differentiation. Thus, temperature affects gonadal cells during the process of morphogenesis, but timing of commitment depends on individual embryos. A correlation between gonadal morphogenesis, TSP, and gene expression suggests that determination of the molecular pathways modulated by temperature in epithelial cells (surface epithelium and medullary cords) holds the key for a unifying hypothesis on temperature-dependent sex determination.

  17. Competition and constraint drove Cope's rule in the evolution of giant flying reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Benson, Roger B. J.; Frigot, Rachel A.; Goswami, Anjali; Andres, Brian; Butler, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    The pterosaurs, Mesozoic flying reptiles, attained wingspans of more than 10 m that greatly exceed the largest birds and challenge our understanding of size limits in flying animals. Pterosaurs have been used to illustrate Cope’s rule, the influential generalization that evolutionary lineages trend to increasingly large body sizes. However, unambiguous examples of Cope’s rule operating on extended timescales in large clades remain elusive, and the phylogenetic pattern and possible drivers of pterosaur gigantism are uncertain. Here we show 70 million years of highly constrained early evolution, followed by almost 80 million years of sustained, multi-lineage body size increases in pterosaurs. These results are supported by maximum-likelihood modelling of a comprehensive new pterosaur data set. The transition between these macroevolutionary regimes is coincident with the Early Cretaceous adaptive radiation of birds, supporting controversial hypotheses of bird–pterosaur competition, and suggesting that evolutionary competition can act as a macroevolutionary driver on extended geological timescales. PMID:24694584

  18. Discovery of a rare arboreal forest-dwelling flying reptile (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaolin; Kellner, Alexander W A; Zhou, Zhonghe; Campos, Diogenes de Almeida

    2008-02-12

    A previously undescribed toothless flying reptile from northeastern China, Nemicolopterus crypticus gen. et sp. nov., was discovered in the lacustrine sediments of the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation, western Liaoning, China. The specimen consists of an almost complete articulated skeleton (IVPP V14377) and, despite representing an immature individual, based on the ossification of the skeleton, it is not a hatchling or newborn, making it one of the smallest pterosaurs known so far (wing span approximately 250 mm). It can be distinguished from all other pterosaurs by the presence of a short medial nasal process, an inverted "knife-shaped" deltopectoral crest of the humerus, and the presence of a well developed posterior process on the femur above the articulation with the tibia. It further shows the penultimate phalanges of the foot curved in a degree not reported in any pterosaur before, strongly indicating that it had an arboreal lifestyle, more than any other pterodactyloid pterosaur known so far. It is the sister-group of the Ornithocheiroidea and indicates that derived pterosaurs, including some gigantic forms of the Late Cretaceous with wingspans of >6 m, are closely related to small arboreal toothless creatures that likely were living in the canopies of the ancient forests feeding on insects.

  19. Identification and characterization of amelogenin genes in monotremes, reptiles, and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Toyosawa, S; O'hUigin, C; Figueroa, F; Tichy, H; Klein, J

    1998-10-27

    Two features make the tooth an excellent model in the study of evolutionary innovations: the relative simplicity of its structure and the fact that the major tooth-forming genes have been identified in eutherian mammals. To understand the nature of the innovation at the molecular level, it is necessary to identify the homologs of tooth-forming genes in other vertebrates. As a first step toward this goal, homologs of the eutherian amelogenin gene have been cloned and characterized in selected species of monotremes (platypus and echidna), reptiles (caiman), and amphibians (African clawed toad). Comparisons of the homologs reveal that the amelogenin gene evolves quickly in the repeat region, in which numerous insertions and deletions have obliterated any similarity among the genes, and slowly in other regions. The gene organization, the distribution of hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments in the encoded protein, and several other features have been conserved throughout the evolution of the tetrapod amelogenin gene. Clones corresponding to one locus only were found in caiman, whereas the clawed toad possesses at least two amelogenin-encoding loci.

  20. Bone-eating Osedax worms lived on Mesozoic marine reptile deadfalls

    PubMed Central

    Danise, Silvia; Higgs, Nicholas D.

    2015-01-01

    We report fossil traces of Osedax, a genus of siboglinid annelids that consume the skeletons of sunken vertebrates on the ocean floor, from early-Late Cretaceous (approx. 100 Myr) plesiosaur and sea turtle bones. Although plesiosaurs went extinct at the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (66 Myr), chelonioids survived the event and diversified, and thus provided sustenance for Osedax in the 20 Myr gap preceding the radiation of cetaceans, their main modern food source. This finding shows that marine reptile carcasses, before whales, played a key role in the evolution and dispersal of Osedax and confirms that its generalist ability of colonizing different vertebrate substrates, like fishes and marine birds, besides whale bones, is an ancestral trait. A Cretaceous age for unequivocal Osedax trace fossils also dates back to the Mesozoic the origin of the entire siboglinid family, which includes chemosynthetic tubeworms living at hydrothermal vents and seeps, contrary to phylogenetic estimations of a Late Mesozoic–Cenozoic origin (approx. 50–100 Myr). PMID:25878047

  1. Environmental contaminants in Texas, USA, wetland reptiles: Evaluation using blood samples

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.R.; Bickham, J.W.; Baker, D.L.; Cowman, D.F.

    2000-01-01

    Four species of reptiles (diamondback water snake [Nerodia rhombifer], blotched water snake [N. erythrogaster], cottonmouth [Agkistrodon piscivorus], and red-eared slider [Trachemys scripta]) were collected at two contaminated and three reference sites in Texas, USA. Old River Slough has received intensive applications of agricultural chemicals since the 1950s. Municipal Lake received industrial arsenic wastes continuously from 1940 to 1993. Blood samples were analyzed for organochlorines, potentially toxic elements, genetic damage, and plasma cholinesterase (ChE). Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) concentrations reached as high as 3.0 ppm (wet weight) in whole blood of a diamondback water snake at Old River Slough, a level probably roughly equivalent to the maximum concentration found in plasma of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) in 1978 to 1979 when DDE peaked in this sensitive species. Possible impacts on diamondback water snakes are unknown, but at least one diamondback water snake was gravid when captured, indicating active reproduction. Arsenic was not found in red-eared sliders (only species sampled) from Municipal Lake. Red-eared sliders of both sexes at Old River Slough showed declining levels of ChE with increasing mass, suggesting a life-long decrease of ChE levels. Possible negative population consequences are unknown, but no evidence was found in body condition (mass relative to carapace length) that red-eared sliders at either contaminated site were harmed.

  2. Reptile infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis.

    PubMed

    Nieto, Nathan C; Foley, Janet E; Bettaso, Jamie; Lane, Robert S

    2009-10-01

    Granulocytic anaplasmosis (GA) is a potentially fatal tick-borne rickettsial disease that occurs sporadically in the far western United States. We evaluated the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in multiple species of lizards and snakes from enzootic sites in northern California, described the infestation prevalence of its tick vector Ixodes pacificus on reptiles, and conducted an experimental challenge of western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) and Pacific gopher snakes (Pituophis catenifer) with A. phagocytophilum delivered via needle inoculation or tick bite. Both serologically and polymerase-chain reaction (PCR)-positive lizards (seroprevalence = 10.8%, PCR prevalence = 10.2%) and snakes (seroprevalence = 5.8%, PCR prevalence = 11.7%) were detected among wild-caught animals. A DNA sequence of the A. phagocytophilum groESL gene from a PCR-positive snake was 100% homologous to that of the human-derived A. phagocytophilum. Experimental attempts to infect naïve animals were unsuccessful for snakes (n = 2), but 1 of 12 lizards became infected for 1 wk only by tick bite. Xenodiagnostic I. pacificus larvae that fed on a PCR-positive lizard did not acquire or transmit rickettsiae. Our findings suggest that lizards and snakes are exposed to A. phagocytophilum by infected ticks, but that they do not serve as primary reservoir hosts of this rickettsia. PMID:19281295

  3. Integrated analyses resolve conflicts over squamate reptile phylogeny and reveal unexpected placements for fossil taxa.

    PubMed

    Reeder, Tod W; Townsend, Ted M; Mulcahy, Daniel G; Noonan, Brice P; Wood, Perry L; Sites, Jack W; Wiens, John J

    2015-01-01

    Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) are a pivotal group whose relationships have become increasingly controversial. Squamates include >9000 species, making them the second largest group of terrestrial vertebrates. They are important medicinally and as model systems for ecological and evolutionary research. However, studies of squamate biology are hindered by uncertainty over their relationships, and some consider squamate phylogeny unresolved, given recent conflicts between molecular and morphological results. To resolve these conflicts, we expand existing morphological and molecular datasets for squamates (691 morphological characters and 46 genes, for 161 living and 49 fossil taxa, including a new set of 81 morphological characters and adding two genes from published studies) and perform integrated analyses. Our results resolve higher-level relationships as indicated by molecular analyses, and reveal hidden morphological support for the molecular hypothesis (but not vice-versa). Furthermore, we find that integrating molecular, morphological, and paleontological data leads to surprising placements for two major fossil clades (Mosasauria and Polyglyphanodontia). These results further demonstrate the importance of combining fossil and molecular information, and the potential problems of estimating the placement of fossil taxa from morphological data alone. Thus, our results caution against estimating fossil relationships without considering relevant molecular data, and against placing fossils into molecular trees (e.g. for dating analyses) without considering the possible impact of molecular data on their placement.

  4. Could controlling mammalian carnivores lead to mesopredator release of carnivorous reptiles?

    PubMed

    Sutherland, Duncan R; Glen, Alistair S; de Tores, Paul J

    2011-03-01

    Emerging evidence increasingly illustrates the importance of a holistic, rather than taxon-specific, approach to the study of ecological communities. Considerable resources are expended to manage both introduced and native mammalian carnivores to improve conservation outcomes; however, management can result in unforeseen and sometimes catastrophic outcomes. Varanid lizards are likely to be apex- or mesopredators, but being reptiles are rarely considered by managers and researchers when investigating the impacts of mammalian carnivore management. Instances of mesopredator release have been described for Varanus gouldii as a result of fox and cat management in Australia, with cascading effects on faunal community structure. A meta-analysis showing extensive dietary niche overlap between varanids, foxes and cats plus a review of experimental and circumstantial evidence suggests mesopredator release of V. gouldii and about five other medium to large species of varanid lizard is likely in other regions. This highlights the need for managers to adopt a whole-of-community approach when attempting to manage predators for sustained fauna conservation, and that additional research is required to elucidate whether mesopredator release of varanids is a widespread consequence of carnivore management, altering the intended faunal responses.

  5. What you get is what they have? Detectability of intestinal parasites in reptiles using faeces.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Fátima; Carretero, Miguel A; Roca, Vicente; Poulin, Robert; Perera, Ana

    2013-12-01

    Parasitological analyses are often based on invasive methodologies, involving host sacrifice, raising ethical and conservation issues. However, alternative non-invasive approaches may not be always applicable due to the location of the parasite in the host tissue or the quality and reliability of the non-invasive sample per se. In this study, we compare the differences in detectability of intestinal parasites in reptiles using the classical invasive approach (intestine dissection), versus a non-invasive procedure (faecal examination), collected from the same individual host. Our results showed significantly lower detectability of helminths in faeces versus the intestine. Moreover, the number of parasites found in faeces was not explained either by the intensities found in the respective intestine or by the host identity. Several factors may explain the lack of association between the two types of samples, but more importantly, our results highlight the randomness of the presence of parasites in faeces. Even if it is not recommended that comparative studies of either parasite abundance or parasite communities be conducted on the basis of faecal samples, there are other types of studies (i.e. genetic) that can be performed with this source of information, thus avoiding the sacrifice of the host. Due to their wide spectrum of life stages and localization in the host tissue, parasites are challenging candidates for non-invasive sampling and consequently, parasitological methodologies should be carefully selected according to the objective of the study.

  6. Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum subsp. nov., isolated from humans and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Collette; Tu, Zheng Chao; Patrick, Mary; Stiles, Tracy; Lawson, Andy J; Santovenia, Monica; Gilbert, Maarten J; van Bergen, Marcel; Joyce, Kevin; Pruckler, Janet; Stroika, Steven; Duim, Birgitta; Miller, William G; Loparev, Vladimir; Sinnige, Jan C; Fields, Patricia I; Tauxe, Robert V; Blaser, Martin J; Wagenaar, Jaap A

    2014-09-01

    A polyphasic study was undertaken to determine the taxonomic position of 13 Campylobacter fetus-like strains from humans (n = 8) and reptiles (n = 5). The results of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) MS and genomic data from sap analysis, 16S rRNA gene and hsp60 sequence comparison, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis, DNA-DNA hybridization and whole genome sequencing demonstrated that these strains are closely related to C. fetus but clearly differentiated from recognized subspecies of C. fetus. Therefore, this unique cluster of 13 strains represents a novel subspecies within the species C. fetus, for which the name Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum subsp. nov. is proposed, with strain 03-427(T) ( = ATCC BAA-2539(T) = LMG 27499(T)) as the type strain. Although this novel taxon could not be differentiated from C. fetus subsp. fetus and C. fetus subsp. venerealis using conventional phenotypic tests, MALDI-TOF MS revealed the presence of multiple phenotypic biomarkers which distinguish Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum subsp. nov. from recognized subspecies of C. fetus.

  7. Skin pigmentation provides evidence of convergent melanism in extinct marine reptiles.

    PubMed

    Lindgren, Johan; Sjövall, Peter; Carney, Ryan M; Uvdal, Per; Gren, Johan A; Dyke, Gareth; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Shawkey, Matthew D; Barnes, Kenneth R; Polcyn, Michael J

    2014-02-27

    Throughout the animal kingdom, adaptive colouration serves critical functions ranging from inconspicuous camouflage to ostentatious sexual display, and can provide important information about the environment and biology of a particular organism. The most ubiquitous and abundant pigment, melanin, also has a diverse range of non-visual roles, including thermoregulation in ectotherms. However, little is known about the functional evolution of this important biochrome through deep time, owing to our limited ability to unambiguously identify traces of it in the fossil record. Here we present direct chemical evidence of pigmentation in fossilized skin, from three distantly related marine reptiles: a leatherback turtle, a mosasaur and an ichthyosaur. We demonstrate that dark traces of soft tissue in these fossils are dominated by molecularly preserved eumelanin, in intimate association with fossilized melanosomes. In addition, we suggest that contrary to the countershading of many pelagic animals, at least some ichthyosaurs were uniformly dark-coloured in life. Our analyses expand current knowledge of pigmentation in fossil integument beyond that of feathers, allowing for the reconstruction of colour over much greater ranges of extinct taxa and anatomy. In turn, our results provide evidence of convergent melanism in three disparate lineages of secondarily aquatic tetrapods. Based on extant marine analogues, we propose that the benefits of thermoregulation and/or crypsis are likely to have contributed to this melanisation, with the former having implications for the ability of each group to exploit cold environments.

  8. Arrested embryonic development: a review of strategies to delay hatching in egg-laying reptiles.

    PubMed

    Rafferty, Anthony R; Reina, Richard D

    2012-06-22

    Arrested embryonic development involves the downregulation or cessation of active cell division and metabolic activity, and the capability of an animal to arrest embryonic development results in temporal plasticity of the duration of embryonic period. Arrested embryonic development is an important reproductive strategy for egg-laying animals that provide no parental care after oviposition. In this review, we discuss each type of embryonic developmental arrest used by oviparous reptiles. Environmental pressures that might have directed the evolution of arrest are addressed and we present previously undiscussed environmentally dependent physiological processes that may occur in the egg to bring about arrest. Areas for future research are proposed to clarify how ecology affects the phenotype of developing embryos. We hypothesize that oviparous reptilian mothers are capable of providing their embryos with a level of phenotypic adaptation to local environmental conditions by incorporating maternal factors into the internal environment of the egg that result in different levels of developmental sensitivity to environmental conditions after they are laid.

  9. Lunge feeding in early marine reptiles and fast evolution of marine tetrapod feeding guilds.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Chen, Xiao-hong; Jiang, Da-yong; Cheng, Long; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier

    2015-03-10

    Traditional wisdom holds that biotic recovery from the end-Permian extinction was slow and gradual, and was not complete until the Middle Triassic. Here, we report that the evolution of marine predator feeding guilds, and their trophic structure, proceeded faster. Marine reptile lineages with unique feeding adaptations emerged during the Early Triassic (about 248 million years ago), including the enigmatic Hupehsuchus that possessed an unusually slender mandible. A new specimen of this genus reveals a well-preserved palate and mandible, which suggest that it was a rare lunge feeder as also occurs in rorqual whales and pelicans. The diversity of feeding strategies among Triassic marine tetrapods reached their peak in the Early Triassic, soon after their first appearance in the fossil record. The diet of these early marine tetrapods most likely included soft-bodied animals that are not preserved as fossils. Early marine tetrapods most likely introduced a new trophic mechanism to redistribute nutrients to the top 10 m of the sea, where the primary productivity is highest. Therefore, a simple recovery to a Permian-like trophic structure does not explain the biotic changes seen after the Early Triassic.

  10. Living without DAT: Loss and compensation of the dopamine transporter gene in sauropsids (birds and reptiles).

    PubMed

    Lovell, P V; Kasimi, B; Carleton, J; Velho, T A; Mello, C V

    2015-09-14

    The dopamine transporter (DAT) is a major regulator of synaptic dopamine (DA) availability. It plays key roles in motor control and motor learning, memory formation, and reward-seeking behavior, is a major target of cocaine and methamphetamines, and has been assumed to be conserved among vertebrates. We have found, however, that birds, crocodiles, and lizards lack the DAT gene. We also found that the unprecedented loss of this important gene is compensated for by the expression of the noradrenaline transporter (NAT) gene, and not the serotonin transporter genes, in dopaminergic cells, which explains the peculiar pharmacology of the DA reuptake activity previously noted in bird striatum. This unexpected pattern contrasts with that of ancestral vertebrates (e.g. fish) and mammals, where the NAT gene is selectively expressed in noradrenergic cells. DA circuits in birds/reptiles and mammals thus operate with an analogous reuptake mechanism exerted by different genes, bringing new insights into gene expression regulation in dopaminergic cells and the evolution of a key molecular player in reward and addiction pathways.

  11. Could controlling mammalian carnivores lead to mesopredator release of carnivorous reptiles?

    PubMed Central

    Sutherland, Duncan R.; Glen, Alistair S.; de Tores, Paul J.

    2011-01-01

    Emerging evidence increasingly illustrates the importance of a holistic, rather than taxon-specific, approach to the study of ecological communities. Considerable resources are expended to manage both introduced and native mammalian carnivores to improve conservation outcomes; however, management can result in unforeseen and sometimes catastrophic outcomes. Varanid lizards are likely to be apex- or mesopredators, but being reptiles are rarely considered by managers and researchers when investigating the impacts of mammalian carnivore management. Instances of mesopredator release have been described for Varanus gouldii as a result of fox and cat management in Australia, with cascading effects on faunal community structure. A meta-analysis showing extensive dietary niche overlap between varanids, foxes and cats plus a review of experimental and circumstantial evidence suggests mesopredator release of V. gouldii and about five other medium to large species of varanid lizard is likely in other regions. This highlights the need for managers to adopt a whole-of-community approach when attempting to manage predators for sustained fauna conservation, and that additional research is required to elucidate whether mesopredator release of varanids is a widespread consequence of carnivore management, altering the intended faunal responses. PMID:21123272

  12. Living without DAT: Loss and compensation of the dopamine transporter gene in sauropsids (birds and reptiles)

    PubMed Central

    Lovell, P. V.; Kasimi, B.; Carleton, J.; Velho, T. A.; Mello, C. V.

    2015-01-01

    The dopamine transporter (DAT) is a major regulator of synaptic dopamine (DA) availability. It plays key roles in motor control and motor learning, memory formation, and reward-seeking behavior, is a major target of cocaine and methamphetamines, and has been assumed to be conserved among vertebrates. We have found, however, that birds, crocodiles, and lizards lack the DAT gene. We also found that the unprecedented loss of this important gene is compensated for by the expression of the noradrenaline transporter (NAT) gene, and not the serotonin transporter genes, in dopaminergic cells, which explains the peculiar pharmacology of the DA reuptake activity previously noted in bird striatum. This unexpected pattern contrasts with that of ancestral vertebrates (e.g. fish) and mammals, where the NAT gene is selectively expressed in noradrenergic cells. DA circuits in birds/reptiles and mammals thus operate with an analogous reuptake mechanism exerted by different genes, bringing new insights into gene expression regulation in dopaminergic cells and the evolution of a key molecular player in reward and addiction pathways. PMID:26364979

  13. Is “cooling then freezing” a humane way to kill amphibians and reptiles?

    PubMed Central

    Shine, Richard; Amiel, Joshua; Munn, Adam J.; Stewart, Mathew; Vyssotski, Alexei L.; Lesku, John A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT What is the most humane way to kill amphibians and small reptiles that are used in research? Historically, such animals were often killed by cooling followed by freezing, but this method was outlawed by ethics committees because of concerns that ice-crystals may form in peripheral tissues while the animal is still conscious, putatively causing intense pain. This argument relies on assumptions about the capacity of such animals to feel pain, the thermal thresholds for tissue freezing, the temperature-dependence of nerve-impulse transmission and brain activity, and the magnitude of thermal differentials within the bodies of rapidly-cooling animals. A review of published studies casts doubt on those assumptions, and our laboratory experiments on cane toads (Rhinella marina) show that brain activity declines smoothly during freezing, with no indication of pain perception. Thus, cooling followed by freezing can offer a humane method of killing cane toads, and may be widely applicable to other ectotherms (especially, small species that are rarely active at low body temperatures). More generally, many animal-ethics regulations have little empirical basis, and research on this topic is urgently required in order to reduce animal suffering. PMID:26015533

  14. Amphibians and reptiles of Guyana, South America: illustrated keys, annotated species accounts, and a biogeographic synopsis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cole, Charles J.; Townsend, Carol R.; Reynolds, Robert P.; MacCulloch, Ross D.; Lathrop, Amy

    2013-01-01

    Guyana has a very distinctive herpetofauna. In this first ever detailed modern accounting, based on voucher specimens, we document the presence of 324 species of amphibians and reptiles in the country; 148 amphibians, 176 reptiles. Of these, we present species accounts for 317 species and color photographs of about 62% (Plates 1–40). At the rate that new species are being described and distributional records are being found for the first time, we suspect that at least 350 species will be documented in a few decades. The diverse herpetofauna includes 137 species of frogs and toads, 11 caecilians, 4 crocodylians, 4 amphisbaenians, 56 lizards, 97 snakes, and 15 turtles. Endemic species, which occur nowhere else in the world, comprise 15% of the herpetofauna. Most of the endemics are amphibians, comprising 27% of the amphibian fauna. Type localities (where the type specimens or scientific name-bearers of species were found) are located within Guyana for 24% of the herpetofauna, or 36% of the amphibians. This diverse fauna results from the geographic position of Guyana on the Guiana Shield and the isolated highlands or tepuis of the eastern part of the Pantepui Region, which are surrounded by lowland rainforest and savannas. Consequently, there is a mixture of local endemic species and widespread species characteristic of Amazonia and the Guianan Region. Although the size of this volume may mislead some people into thinking that a lot is known about the fauna of Guyana, the work has just begun. Many of the species are known from fewer than five individuals in scientific collections; for many the life history, distribution, ecology, and behavior remain poorly known; few resources in the country are devoted to developing such knowledge; and as far as we are aware, no other group of animals in the fauna of Guyana has been summarized in a volume such as this to document the biological resources. We briefly discuss aspects of biogeography, as reflected in samples collected

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Spectroscopic Studies on Organic Matter from Triassic Reptile Bones, Upper Silesia, Poland

    PubMed Central

    Surmik, Dawid; Boczarowski, Andrzej; Balin, Katarzyna; Dulski, Mateusz; Szade, Jacek; Kremer, Barbara; Pawlicki, Roman

    2016-01-01

    Fossil biomolecules from an endogenous source were previously identified in Cretaceous to Pleistocene fossilized bones, the evidence coming from molecular analyses. These findings, however, were called into question and an alternative hypothesis of the invasion of the bone by bacterial biofilm was proposed. Herewith we report a new finding of morphologically preserved blood-vessel-like structures enclosing organic molecules preserved in iron-oxide-mineralized vessel walls from the cortical region of nothosaurid and tanystropheid (aquatic and terrestrial diapsid reptiles) bones. These findings are from the Early/Middle Triassic boundary (Upper Roetian/Lowermost Muschelkalk) strata of Upper Silesia, Poland. Multiple spectroscopic analyses (FTIR, ToF-SIMS, and XPS) of the extracted "blood vessels" showed the presence of organic compounds, including fragments of various amino acids such as hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine as well as amides, that may suggest the presence of collagen protein residues. Because these amino acids are absent from most proteins other than collagen, we infer that the proteinaceous molecules may originate from endogenous collagen. The preservation of molecular signals of proteins within the "blood vessels" was most likely made possible through the process of early diagenetic iron oxide mineralization. This discovery provides the oldest evidence of in situ preservation of complex organic molecules in vertebrate remains in a marine environment. PMID:26977600

  17. Skin pigmentation provides evidence of convergent melanism in extinct marine reptiles.

    PubMed

    Lindgren, Johan; Sjövall, Peter; Carney, Ryan M; Uvdal, Per; Gren, Johan A; Dyke, Gareth; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Shawkey, Matthew D; Barnes, Kenneth R; Polcyn, Michael J

    2014-02-27

    Throughout the animal kingdom, adaptive colouration serves critical functions ranging from inconspicuous camouflage to ostentatious sexual display, and can provide important information about the environment and biology of a particular organism. The most ubiquitous and abundant pigment, melanin, also has a diverse range of non-visual roles, including thermoregulation in ectotherms. However, little is known about the functional evolution of this important biochrome through deep time, owing to our limited ability to unambiguously identify traces of it in the fossil record. Here we present direct chemical evidence of pigmentation in fossilized skin, from three distantly related marine reptiles: a leatherback turtle, a mosasaur and an ichthyosaur. We demonstrate that dark traces of soft tissue in these fossils are dominated by molecularly preserved eumelanin, in intimate association with fossilized melanosomes. In addition, we suggest that contrary to the countershading of many pelagic animals, at least some ichthyosaurs were uniformly dark-coloured in life. Our analyses expand current knowledge of pigmentation in fossil integument beyond that of feathers, allowing for the reconstruction of colour over much greater ranges of extinct taxa and anatomy. In turn, our results provide evidence of convergent melanism in three disparate lineages of secondarily aquatic tetrapods. Based on extant marine analogues, we propose that the benefits of thermoregulation and/or crypsis are likely to have contributed to this melanisation, with the former having implications for the ability of each group to exploit cold environments. PMID:24402224

  18. Integrated Analyses Resolve Conflicts over Squamate Reptile Phylogeny and Reveal Unexpected Placements for Fossil Taxa

    PubMed Central

    Reeder, Tod W.; Townsend, Ted M.; Mulcahy, Daniel G.; Noonan, Brice P.; Wood, Perry L.; Sites, Jack W.; Wiens, John J.

    2015-01-01

    Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) are a pivotal group whose relationships have become increasingly controversial. Squamates include >9000 species, making them the second largest group of terrestrial vertebrates. They are important medicinally and as model systems for ecological and evolutionary research. However, studies of squamate biology are hindered by uncertainty over their relationships, and some consider squamate phylogeny unresolved, given recent conflicts between molecular and morphological results. To resolve these conflicts, we expand existing morphological and molecular datasets for squamates (691 morphological characters and 46 genes, for 161 living and 49 fossil taxa, including a new set of 81 morphological characters and adding two genes from published studies) and perform integrated analyses. Our results resolve higher-level relationships as indicated by molecular analyses, and reveal hidden morphological support for the molecular hypothesis (but not vice-versa). Furthermore, we find that integrating molecular, morphological, and paleontological data leads to surprising placements for two major fossil clades (Mosasauria and Polyglyphanodontia). These results further demonstrate the importance of combining fossil and molecular information, and the potential problems of estimating the placement of fossil taxa from morphological data alone. Thus, our results caution against estimating fossil relationships without considering relevant molecular data, and against placing fossils into molecular trees (e.g. for dating analyses) without considering the possible impact of molecular data on their placement. PMID:25803280

  19. Bone-eating Osedax worms lived on Mesozoic marine reptile deadfalls.

    PubMed

    Danise, Silvia; Higgs, Nicholas D

    2015-04-01

    We report fossil traces of Osedax, a genus of siboglinid annelids that consume the skeletons of sunken vertebrates on the ocean floor, from early-Late Cretaceous (approx. 100 Myr) plesiosaur and sea turtle bones. Although plesiosaurs went extinct at the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (66 Myr), chelonioids survived the event and diversified, and thus provided sustenance for Osedax in the 20 Myr gap preceding the radiation of cetaceans, their main modern food source. This finding shows that marine reptile carcasses, before whales, played a key role in the evolution and dispersal of Osedax and confirms that its generalist ability of colonizing different vertebrate substrates, like fishes and marine birds, besides whale bones, is an ancestral trait. A Cretaceous age for unequivocal Osedax trace fossils also dates back to the Mesozoic the origin of the entire siboglinid family, which includes chemosynthetic tubeworms living at hydrothermal vents and seeps, contrary to phylogenetic estimations of a Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic origin (approx. 50-100 Myr).

  20. Spectroscopic Studies on Organic Matter from Triassic Reptile Bones, Upper Silesia, Poland.

    PubMed

    Surmik, Dawid; Boczarowski, Andrzej; Balin, Katarzyna; Dulski, Mateusz; Szade, Jacek; Kremer, Barbara; Pawlicki, Roman

    2016-01-01

    Fossil biomolecules from an endogenous source were previously identified in Cretaceous to Pleistocene fossilized bones, the evidence coming from molecular analyses. These findings, however, were called into question and an alternative hypothesis of the invasion of the bone by bacterial biofilm was proposed. Herewith we report a new finding of morphologically preserved blood-vessel-like structures enclosing organic molecules preserved in iron-oxide-mineralized vessel walls from the cortical region of nothosaurid and tanystropheid (aquatic and terrestrial diapsid reptiles) bones. These findings are from the Early/Middle Triassic boundary (Upper Roetian/Lowermost Muschelkalk) strata of Upper Silesia, Poland. Multiple spectroscopic analyses (FTIR, ToF-SIMS, and XPS) of the extracted "blood vessels" showed the presence of organic compounds, including fragments of various amino acids such as hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine as well as amides, that may suggest the presence of collagen protein residues. Because these amino acids are absent from most proteins other than collagen, we infer that the proteinaceous molecules may originate from endogenous collagen. The preservation of molecular signals of proteins within the "blood vessels" was most likely made possible through the process of early diagenetic iron oxide mineralization. This discovery provides the oldest evidence of in situ preservation of complex organic molecules in vertebrate remains in a marine environment.

  1. Toward consilience in reptile phylogeny: miRNAs support an archosaur, not lepidosaur, affinity for turtles.

    PubMed

    Field, Daniel J; Gauthier, Jacques A; King, Benjamin L; Pisani, Davide; Lyson, Tyler R; Peterson, Kevin J

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the phylogenetic position of crown turtles (Testudines) among amniotes has been a source of particular contention. Recent morphological analyses suggest that turtles are sister to all other reptiles, whereas the vast majority of gene sequence analyses support turtles as being inside Diapsida, and usually as sister to crown Archosauria (birds and crocodilians). Previously, a study using microRNAs (miRNAs) placed turtles inside diapsids, but as sister to lepidosaurs (lizards and Sphenodon) rather than archosaurs. Here, we test this hypothesis with an expanded miRNA presence/absence dataset, and employ more rigorous criteria for miRNA annotation. Significantly, we find no support for a turtle + lepidosaur sister-relationship; instead, we recover strong support for turtles sharing a more recent common ancestor with archosaurs. We further test this result by analyzing a super-alignment of precursor miRNA sequences for every miRNA inferred to have been present in the most recent common ancestor of tetrapods. This analysis yields a topology that is fully congruent with our presence/absence analysis; our results are therefore in accordance with most gene sequence studies, providing strong, consilient molecular evidence from diverse independent datasets regarding the phylogenetic position of turtles.

  2. Ancestral state reconstruction, rate heterogeneity, and the evolution of reptile viviparity.

    PubMed

    King, Benedict; Lee, Michael S Y

    2015-05-01

    Virtually all models for reconstructing ancestral states for discrete characters make the crucial assumption that the trait of interest evolves at a uniform rate across the entire tree. However, this assumption is unlikely to hold in many situations, particularly as ancestral state reconstructions are being performed on increasingly large phylogenies. Here, we show how failure to account for such variable evolutionary rates can cause highly anomalous (and likely incorrect) results, while three methods that accommodate rate variability yield the opposite, more plausible, and more robust reconstructions. The random local clock method, implemented in BEAST, estimates the position and magnitude of rate changes on the tree; split BiSSE estimates separate rate parameters for pre-specified clades; and the hidden rates model partitions each character state into a number of rate categories. Simulations show the inadequacy of traditional models when characters evolve with both asymmetry (different rates of change between states within a character) and heterotachy (different rates of character evolution across different clades). The importance of accounting for rate heterogeneity in ancestral state reconstruction is highlighted empirically with a new analysis of the evolution of viviparity in squamate reptiles, which reveal a predominance of forward (oviparous-viviparous) transitions and very few reversals.

  3. Effects of atrazine on fish, amphibians, and aquatic reptiles: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Keith R; Carr, James A; Du Preez, Louis H; Giesy, John P; Kendall, Ronald J; Smith, Ernest E; Van Der Kraak, Glen J

    2008-01-01

    The herbicide atrazine is widely used in agriculture for the production of corn and other crops. Because of its physical and chemical properties, atrazine is found in small concentrations in surface waters--habitats for some species. A number of reports on the effects of atrazine on aquatic vertebrates, mostly amphibians, have been published, yet there is inconsistency in the effects reported, and inconsistency between studies in different laboratories. We have brought the results and conclusions of all of the relevant laboratory and field studies together in this critical review and assessed causality using procedures for the identification of causative agents of disease and ecoepidemiology derived from Koch's postulates and the Bradford-Hill guidelines. Based on a weight of evidence analysis of all of the data, the central theory that environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine affect reproduction and/or reproductive development in fish, amphibians, and reptiles is not supported by the vast majority of observations. The same conclusions also hold for the supporting theories such as induction of aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estradiol. For other responses, such as immune function, stress endocrinology, parasitism, or population-level effects, there are no indications of effects or there is such a paucity of good data that definitive conclusions cannot be made.

  4. Salmonella infection in healthy pet reptiles: Bacteriological isolation and study of some pathogenic characters.

    PubMed

    Bertelloni, Fabrizio; Chemaly, Marianne; Cerri, Domenico; Gall, Françoise Le; Ebani, Valentina Virginia

    2016-06-01

    The fecal samples from 213 captive reptiles were examined, and 29 (13.61%) Salmonella enterica isolates were detected: 14/62 (22.58%) from chelonians, 14/135 (10.37%) from saurians, and 1/16 (6.25%) from ophidians. The isolates were distributed among 14 different serotypes: Miami, Ebrie, Hermannsweder, Tiergarten, Tornov, Pomona, Poona, Goteborg, Abaetetube, Nyanza, Kumasi, Typhimurium, 50:b:z6, 9,12:z29:1,5, and a non-motile serotype with antigenic formula 1,4,[5],12:-:-. Salmonella typhimurium and 50:b:z6 isolates showed the spv plasmid virulence genes, responsible of the capability to induce extra-intestinal infections. In some cases, pulsed field gel electrophoresis revealed different profiles for the strains of the same serotypes, showing different origins, whereas a common source of infection was supposed when one pulsotype had been observed for isolates of a serovar. Twenty-seven (93.10%) isolates showed resistance to one or more antibiotics. Ceftazidime was active to all the tested isolates, whereas the highest percentages of strains were no susceptible to tigecycline (93.10%), streptomycin (89.66%), and sulfonamide (86.21%). PMID:27352973

  5. Identification and characterization of amelogenin genes in monotremes, reptiles, and amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Toyosawa, Satoru; O’hUigin, Colm; Figueroa, Felipe; Tichy, Herbert; Klein, Jan

    1998-01-01

    Two features make the tooth an excellent model in the study of evolutionary innovations: the relative simplicity of its structure and the fact that the major tooth-forming genes have been identified in eutherian mammals. To understand the nature of the innovation at the molecular level, it is necessary to identify the homologs of tooth-forming genes in other vertebrates. As a first step toward this goal, homologs of the eutherian amelogenin gene have been cloned and characterized in selected species of monotremes (platypus and echidna), reptiles (caiman), and amphibians (African clawed toad). Comparisons of the homologs reveal that the amelogenin gene evolves quickly in the repeat region, in which numerous insertions and deletions have obliterated any similarity among the genes, and slowly in other regions. The gene organization, the distribution of hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments in the encoded protein, and several other features have been conserved throughout the evolution of the tetrapod amelogenin gene. Clones corresponding to one locus only were found in caiman, whereas the clawed toad possesses at least two amelogenin-encoding loci. PMID:9789040

  6. First evidence of unicellular glands in the general epidermis of terrestrial reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiller, Uwe; Werner, Yehudah L.

    2008-03-01

    The general integument of reptiles is traditionally defined as being dry, but we report here the discovery of unicellular mucoid glands (UCMG) in the dorsal skin of lizards of the genus Phelsuma (Gekkonidae). To this end, the skin of these lizards and of some others for comparison was studied by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. These photographs showed that the development and function of the UCMGs are related to the skin’s sloughing cycle. The UCMGs differentiate at scattered locations from Oberhäutchen cells of the inner (new) epidermal generation, above the differentiating β-keratin layer. While the inner generation matures, the UCMG increases in size; unlike the surrounding Oberhäutchen cells, it does not develop the spinules that characterize gecko skin. When, upon sloughing, the inner generation becomes the new outer generation, and the Oberhäutchen forms the skin surface, the UCMGs, several per scale, dot the surface as mucus-inflated “blebs” projecting from the surrounding spinulate Oberhäutchen, each nesting in a shallow pit of the underlying β-keratin. On the surface, the UCMGs rupture and the mucus appears to dissipate in cords, flowing over the tips of the spinules, and incorporating minute foreign bodies. It is concluded that, due to the low wettability of the spinulate surface (derived from the spacing of the spinules), the cords brush off easily, with the mucus functioning as a cleaning agent.

  7. Differentiation of steroidogenic cells in the developing adrenal gland of Testudo hermanni Gmelin, 1789 (chelonian reptiles).

    PubMed

    Chimenti, C; Accordi, F

    2013-08-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the development and differentiation of steroidogenic cells in the embryonic adrenal gland of Testudo hermanni using histological, histochemical, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural methods. The 26 developmental stages were divided into three periods: early (stages 1-18, up to 20 days of incubation), intermediate (stages 19-22, incubation days 21-35) and advanced (stages 23-26, from incubation day 36 to hatching). A small presumptive bud of steroidogenic cells was visible at the end of the early period, protruding into the coelom from the lateral wall of intermediate mesoderm. Ultrastructural characteristics suggested that young and scarcely differentiated cells could already be able to perform steroidogenic activity: lipid droplets, large amount of SER and RER, small rounded mitochondria with variously shaped cristae and dense matrix. The cell membrane showed microvilli and coated pits. During the intermediate period, the interrenal bud deepened into the haemopoietic tissue, close to the mesonephros and the newly formed metanephros. The ultrastructural, immunohistochemical and immunocytochemical characteristics pointed to enhanced steroidogenic activity. The contact with both kidney types (mesonephros and metanephros) continued in the advanced period, and chromaffin cells were also extensively mixed with steroidogenic cells. This is a peculiar feature of chelonian adrenal gland, in comparison with that of other reptiles. The variable cytological characteristics of embryonic steroidogenic cells in the advanced period suggest a four-phase cycle of steroidogenic activity.

  8. Morphology and ultrastructure of the pronephros of Testudo hermanni Gmelin, 1789 (chelonian reptiles).

    PubMed

    Chimenti, C; Accordi, F

    2011-04-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the morphology and ultrastructure of the pronephros of Testudo hermanni as observed in the earlier part of its development. This paired structure appears during renal ontogenesis and originates from the first somites localised in the cephalic part of the embryo. The first pronephric evidence is noted at stage 12. The kidney is composed of large glomeruli that are devoid of a capsule and protrude into the coelomic cavity. A ciliated nephrostome provides access to short renal tubules, lined with a well-developed brush border. Two nephric ducts on the lateral sides of the embryo are connected to the tubules. The cytological characteristics of the pronephric structure suggest that it might be functional, at least in the first part of development. The pronephros of Testudo hermanni regresses after a short time around stage 18, while the mesonephros is already well differentiated. Its plesiomorphic characteristics, similar to those observed in amphibians, might be related to the phyletic position of chelonians within the reptiles.

  9. Arrested embryonic development: a review of strategies to delay hatching in egg-laying reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Rafferty, Anthony R.; Reina, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Arrested embryonic development involves the downregulation or cessation of active cell division and metabolic activity, and the capability of an animal to arrest embryonic development results in temporal plasticity of the duration of embryonic period. Arrested embryonic development is an important reproductive strategy for egg-laying animals that provide no parental care after oviposition. In this review, we discuss each type of embryonic developmental arrest used by oviparous reptiles. Environmental pressures that might have directed the evolution of arrest are addressed and we present previously undiscussed environmentally dependent physiological processes that may occur in the egg to bring about arrest. Areas for future research are proposed to clarify how ecology affects the phenotype of developing embryos. We hypothesize that oviparous reptilian mothers are capable of providing their embryos with a level of phenotypic adaptation to local environmental conditions by incorporating maternal factors into the internal environment of the egg that result in different levels of developmental sensitivity to environmental conditions after they are laid. PMID:22438503

  10. Lunge feeding in early marine reptiles and fast evolution of marine tetrapod feeding guilds.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Chen, Xiao-hong; Jiang, Da-yong; Cheng, Long; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Traditional wisdom holds that biotic recovery from the end-Permian extinction was slow and gradual, and was not complete until the Middle Triassic. Here, we report that the evolution of marine predator feeding guilds, and their trophic structure, proceeded faster. Marine reptile lineages with unique feeding adaptations emerged during the Early Triassic (about 248 million years ago), including the enigmatic Hupehsuchus that possessed an unusually slender mandible. A new specimen of this genus reveals a well-preserved palate and mandible, which suggest that it was a rare lunge feeder as also occurs in rorqual whales and pelicans. The diversity of feeding strategies among Triassic marine tetrapods reached their peak in the Early Triassic, soon after their first appearance in the fossil record. The diet of these early marine tetrapods most likely included soft-bodied animals that are not preserved as fossils. Early marine tetrapods most likely introduced a new trophic mechanism to redistribute nutrients to the top 10 m of the sea, where the primary productivity is highest. Therefore, a simple recovery to a Permian-like trophic structure does not explain the biotic changes seen after the Early Triassic. PMID:25754468

  11. Bone-eating Osedax worms lived on Mesozoic marine reptile deadfalls.

    PubMed

    Danise, Silvia; Higgs, Nicholas D

    2015-04-01

    We report fossil traces of Osedax, a genus of siboglinid annelids that consume the skeletons of sunken vertebrates on the ocean floor, from early-Late Cretaceous (approx. 100 Myr) plesiosaur and sea turtle bones. Although plesiosaurs went extinct at the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (66 Myr), chelonioids survived the event and diversified, and thus provided sustenance for Osedax in the 20 Myr gap preceding the radiation of cetaceans, their main modern food source. This finding shows that marine reptile carcasses, before whales, played a key role in the evolution and dispersal of Osedax and confirms that its generalist ability of colonizing different vertebrate substrates, like fishes and marine birds, besides whale bones, is an ancestral trait. A Cretaceous age for unequivocal Osedax trace fossils also dates back to the Mesozoic the origin of the entire siboglinid family, which includes chemosynthetic tubeworms living at hydrothermal vents and seeps, contrary to phylogenetic estimations of a Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic origin (approx. 50-100 Myr). PMID:25878047

  12. Lunge feeding in early marine reptiles and fast evolution of marine tetrapod feeding guilds

    PubMed Central

    Motani, Ryosuke; Chen, Xiao-hong; Jiang, Da-yong; Cheng, Long; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Traditional wisdom holds that biotic recovery from the end-Permian extinction was slow and gradual, and was not complete until the Middle Triassic. Here, we report that the evolution of marine predator feeding guilds, and their trophic structure, proceeded faster. Marine reptile lineages with unique feeding adaptations emerged during the Early Triassic (about 248 million years ago), including the enigmatic Hupehsuchus that possessed an unusually slender mandible. A new specimen of this genus reveals a well-preserved palate and mandible, which suggest that it was a rare lunge feeder as also occurs in rorqual whales and pelicans. The diversity of feeding strategies among Triassic marine tetrapods reached their peak in the Early Triassic, soon after their first appearance in the fossil record. The diet of these early marine tetrapods most likely included soft-bodied animals that are not preserved as fossils. Early marine tetrapods most likely introduced a new trophic mechanism to redistribute nutrients to the top 10 m of the sea, where the primary productivity is highest. Therefore, a simple recovery to a Permian-like trophic structure does not explain the biotic changes seen after the Early Triassic. PMID:25754468

  13. Sox2 marks epithelial competence to generate teeth in mammals and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Juuri, Emma; Jussila, Maria; Seidel, Kerstin; Holmes, Scott; Wu, Ping; Richman, Joy; Heikinheimo, Kristiina; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Arnold, Katrin; Hochedlinger, Konrad; Klein, Ophir; Michon, Frederic; Thesleff, Irma

    2013-04-01

    Tooth renewal is initiated from epithelium associated with existing teeth. The development of new teeth requires dental epithelial cells that have competence for tooth formation, but specific marker genes for these cells have not been identified. Here, we analyzed expression patterns of the transcription factor Sox2 in two different modes of successional tooth formation: tooth replacement and serial addition of primary teeth. We observed specific Sox2 expression in the dental lamina that gives rise to successional teeth in mammals with one round of tooth replacement as well as in reptiles with continuous tooth replacement. Sox2 was also expressed in the dental lamina during serial addition of mammalian molars, and genetic lineage tracing indicated that Sox2(+) cells of the first molar give rise to the epithelial cell lineages of the second and third molars. Moreover, conditional deletion of Sox2 resulted in hyperplastic epithelium in the forming posterior molars. Our results indicate that the Sox2(+) dental epithelium has competence for successional tooth formation and that Sox2 regulates the progenitor state of dental epithelial cells. The findings imply that the function of Sox2 has been conserved during evolution and that tooth replacement and serial addition of primary teeth represent variations of the same developmental process. The expression patterns of Sox2 support the hypothesis that dormant capacity for continuous tooth renewal exists in mammals.

  14. Discovery of a rare arboreal forest-dwelling flying reptile (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaolin; Kellner, Alexander W A; Zhou, Zhonghe; Campos, Diogenes de Almeida

    2008-02-12

    A previously undescribed toothless flying reptile from northeastern China, Nemicolopterus crypticus gen. et sp. nov., was discovered in the lacustrine sediments of the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation, western Liaoning, China. The specimen consists of an almost complete articulated skeleton (IVPP V14377) and, despite representing an immature individual, based on the ossification of the skeleton, it is not a hatchling or newborn, making it one of the smallest pterosaurs known so far (wing span approximately 250 mm). It can be distinguished from all other pterosaurs by the presence of a short medial nasal process, an inverted "knife-shaped" deltopectoral crest of the humerus, and the presence of a well developed posterior process on the femur above the articulation with the tibia. It further shows the penultimate phalanges of the foot curved in a degree not reported in any pterosaur before, strongly indicating that it had an arboreal lifestyle, more than any other pterodactyloid pterosaur known so far. It is the sister-group of the Ornithocheiroidea and indicates that derived pterosaurs, including some gigantic forms of the Late Cretaceous with wingspans of >6 m, are closely related to small arboreal toothless creatures that likely were living in the canopies of the ancient forests feeding on insects. PMID:18268340

  15. Reliable DNA Barcoding Performance Proved for Species and Island Populations of Comoran Squamate Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Hawlitschek, Oliver; Nagy, Zoltán T.; Berger, Johannes; Glaw, Frank

    2013-01-01

    In the past decade, DNA barcoding became increasingly common as a method for species identification in biodiversity inventories and related studies. However, mainly due to technical obstacles, squamate reptiles have been the target of few barcoding studies. In this article, we present the results of a DNA barcoding study of squamates of the Comoros archipelago, a poorly studied group of oceanic islands close to and mostly colonized from Madagascar. The barcoding dataset presented here includes 27 of the 29 currently recognized squamate species of the Comoros, including 17 of the 18 endemic species. Some species considered endemic to the Comoros according to current taxonomy were found to cluster with non-Comoran lineages, probably due to poorly resolved taxonomy. All other species for which more than one barcode was obtained corresponded to distinct clusters useful for species identification by barcoding. In most species, even island populations could be distinguished using barcoding. Two cryptic species were identified using the DNA barcoding approach. The obtained barcoding topology, a Bayesian tree based on COI sequences of 5 genera, was compared with available multigene topologies, and in 3 cases, major incongruences between the two topologies became evident. Three of the multigene studies were initiated after initial screening of a preliminary version of the barcoding dataset presented here. We conclude that in the case of the squamates of the Comoros Islands, DNA barcoding has proven a very useful and efficient way of detecting isolated populations and promising starting points for subsequent research. PMID:24069192

  16. Detection of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. in Ticks Associated with Exotic Reptiles and Amphibians Imported into Japan.

    PubMed

    Andoh, Masako; Sakata, Akiko; Takano, Ai; Kawabata, Hiroki; Fujita, Hiromi; Une, Yumi; Goka, Koichi; Kishimoto, Toshio; Ando, Shuji

    2015-01-01

    One of the major routes of transmission of rickettsial and ehrlichial diseases is via ticks that infest numerous host species, including humans. Besides mammals, reptiles and amphibians also carry ticks that may harbor Rickettsia and Ehrlichia strains that are pathogenic to humans. Furthermore, reptiles and amphibians are exempt from quarantine in Japan, thus facilitating the entry of parasites and pathogens to the country through import. Accordingly, in the current study, we examined the presence of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. genes in ticks associated with reptiles and amphibians originating from outside Japan. Ninety-three ticks representing nine tick species (genera Amblyomma and Hyalomma) were isolated from at least 28 animals spanning 10 species and originating from 12 countries (Ghana, Jordan, Madagascar, Panama, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Uzbekistan, and Zambia). None of the nine tick species are indigenous in Japan. The genes encoding the common rickettsial 17-kDa antigen, citrate synthase (gltA), and outer membrane protein A (ompA) were positively detected in 45.2% (42/93), 40.9% (38/93), and 23.7% (22/93) of the ticks, respectively, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The genes encoding ehrlichial heat shock protein (groEL) and major outer membrane protein (omp-1) were PCR-positive in 7.5% (7/93) and 2.2% (2/93) of the ticks, respectively. The p44 gene, which encodes the Anaplasma outer membrane protein, was not detected. Phylogenetic analysis showed that several of the rickettsial and ehrlichial sequences isolated in this study were highly similar to human pathogen genes, including agents not previously detected in Japan. These data demonstrate the global transportation of pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia through reptile- and amphibian-associated ticks. These imported animals have potential to transfer pathogens into human life. These results highlight the need to control the international transportation of known and

  17. Detection of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. in Ticks Associated with Exotic Reptiles and Amphibians Imported into Japan

    PubMed Central

    Andoh, Masako; Sakata, Akiko; Takano, Ai; Kawabata, Hiroki; Fujita, Hiromi; Une, Yumi; Goka, Koichi; Kishimoto, Toshio; Ando, Shuji

    2015-01-01

    One of the major routes of transmission of rickettsial and ehrlichial diseases is via ticks that infest numerous host species, including humans. Besides mammals, reptiles and amphibians also carry ticks that may harbor Rickettsia and Ehrlichia strains that are pathogenic to humans. Furthermore, reptiles and amphibians are exempt from quarantine in Japan, thus facilitating the entry of parasites and pathogens to the country through import. Accordingly, in the current study, we examined the presence of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. genes in ticks associated with reptiles and amphibians originating from outside Japan. Ninety-three ticks representing nine tick species (genera Amblyomma and Hyalomma) were isolated from at least 28 animals spanning 10 species and originating from 12 countries (Ghana, Jordan, Madagascar, Panama, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Uzbekistan, and Zambia). None of the nine tick species are indigenous in Japan. The genes encoding the common rickettsial 17-kDa antigen, citrate synthase (gltA), and outer membrane protein A (ompA) were positively detected in 45.2% (42/93), 40.9% (38/93), and 23.7% (22/93) of the ticks, respectively, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The genes encoding ehrlichial heat shock protein (groEL) and major outer membrane protein (omp-1) were PCR-positive in 7.5% (7/93) and 2.2% (2/93) of the ticks, respectively. The p44 gene, which encodes the Anaplasma outer membrane protein, was not detected. Phylogenetic analysis showed that several of the rickettsial and ehrlichial sequences isolated in this study were highly similar to human pathogen genes, including agents not previously detected in Japan. These data demonstrate the global transportation of pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia through reptile- and amphibian-associated ticks. These imported animals have potential to transfer pathogens into human life. These results highlight the need to control the international transportation of known and

  18. Thermal niche predicts tolerance to habitat conversion in tropical amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Frishkoff, Luke O; Hadly, Elizabeth A; Daily, Gretchen C

    2015-11-01

    Habitat conversion is a major driver of the biodiversity crisis, yet why some species undergo local extinction while others thrive under novel conditions remains unclear. We suggest that focusing on species' niches, rather than traits, may provide the predictive power needed to forecast biodiversity change. We first examine two Neotropical frog congeners with drastically different affinities to deforestation and document how thermal niche explains deforestation tolerance. The more deforestation-tolerant species is associated with warmer macroclimates across Costa Rica, and warmer microclimates within landscapes. Further, in laboratory experiments, the more deforestation-tolerant species has critical thermal limits, and a jumping performance optimum, shifted ~2 °C warmer than those of the more forest-affiliated species, corresponding to the ~3 °C difference in daytime maximum temperature that these species experience between habitats. Crucially, neither species strictly specializes on either habitat - instead habitat use is governed by regional environmental temperature. Both species track temperature along an elevational gradient, and shift their habitat use from cooler forest at lower elevations to warmer deforested pastures upslope. To generalize these conclusions, we expand our analysis to the entire mid-elevational herpetological community of southern Costa Rica. We assess the climatological affinities of 33 amphibian and reptile species, showing that across both taxonomic classes, thermal niche predicts presence in deforested habitat as well as or better than many commonly used traits. These data suggest that warm-adapted species carry a significant survival advantage amidst the synergistic impacts of land-use conversion and climate change.

  19. Patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness along elevational gradients in Mt. Kenya

    PubMed Central

    MALONZA, Patrick Kinyatta

    2015-01-01

    Faunal species richness is traditionally assumed to decrease with increasing elevation and decreasing primary productivity. Species richness is reported to peak at mid-elevation. This survey examines the herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Mt. Kenya (central Kenya) by testing the hypothesis that changes in species richness with elevation relate to elevation-dependent changes in climate. Sampling along transects from an elevation of approximately 1 700 m in Chogoria forest block (wind-ward side) and approximately 2 600 m in Sirimon block (rain shadow zone) upwards in March 2009. This starts from the forest to montane alpine zones. Sampling of reptiles and amphibians uses pitfall traps associated with drift fences, time-limited searches and visual encounter surveys. The results show that herpetofaunal richness differs among three vegetation zones along the elevation gradient. Chogoria has higher biodiversity than Sirimon. More species occur at low and middle elevations and few exist at high elevations. The trends are consistent with expected optimum water and energy variables. The lower alpine montane zone has high species richness but low diversity due to dominance of some high elevations species. Unambiguous data do not support a mid-domain effect (mid-elevation peak) because the observed trend better fits a model in which climatic variables (rainfall and temperature) control species richness, which indirectly measures productivity. It is important to continue protection of all indigenous forests, especially at low to mid elevations. These areas are vulnerable to human destruction yet are home to some endemic species. Firebreaks can limit the spread of the perennial wildfires, especially on the moorlands. PMID:26646571

  20. Thermal acclimation, mitochondrial capacities and organ metabolic profiles in a reptile (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Guderley, Helga; Seebacher, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles thermoregulate behaviourally, but change their preferred temperature and the optimal temperature for performance seasonally. We evaluated whether the digestive and locomotor systems of the alligator show parallel metabolic adjustments during thermal acclimation. To this end, we allowed juvenile alligators to grow under thermal conditions typical of winter and summer, providing them with seasonally appropriate basking opportunities. Although mean body temperatures of alligators in these groups differed by approximately 10°C, their growth and final anatomic status was equivalent. While hepatic mitochondria isolated from cold-acclimated alligators had higher oxidative capacities at 30°C than those from warm-acclimated alligators, the capacities did not differ at 20°C. Cold acclimation decreased maximal oxidative capacities of muscle mitochondria. For mitochondria from both organs and acclimation groups, palmitate increased oligomycin-inhibited respiration. GDP addition reduced palmitate-uncoupled rates more in liver mitochondria from warm- than cold-acclimated alligators. In muscle mitochondria, carboxyatractyloside significantly reduced palmitate-uncoupled rates. This effect was not changed by thermal acclimation. The aerobic capacity of liver, skeletal muscle and duodenum, as estimated by activities of cytochrome c oxidase (COX), increased with cold acclimation. At acclimation temperatures, the activities of COX and citrate synthase (CS) in these organs were equivalent. By measuring COX and CS in isolated mitochondria and tissue extracts, we estimated that cold acclimation did not change the mitochondrial content in liver, but increased that of muscle. The thermal compensation of growth rates and of the aerobic capacity of the locomotor and digestive systems suggests that alligators optimised metabolic processes for the seasonally altered, preferred body temperature. The precision of this compensatory response exceeds that typically shown by aquatic

  1. Phylogeny of chrysosporia infecting reptiles: proposal of the new family Nannizziopsiaceae and five new species.

    PubMed

    Stchigel, A M; Sutton, D A; Cano-Lira, J F; Cabañes, F J; Abarca, L; Tintelnot, K; Wickes, B L; García, D; Guarro, J

    2013-12-01

    We have performed a phenotypic and phylogenetic study of a set of fungi, mostly of veterinary origin, morphologically similar to the Chrysosporium asexual morph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (Onygenales, Eurotiomycetidae, Eurotiomycetes, Ascomycota). The analysis of sequences of the D1-D2 domains of the 28S rDNA, including representatives of the different families of the Onygenales, revealed that N. vriesii and relatives form a distinct lineage within that order, which is proposed as the new family Nannizziopsiaceae. The members of this family show the particular characteristic of causing skin infections in reptiles and producing hyaline, thin- and smooth-walled, small, mostly sessile 1-celled conidia and colonies with a pungent skunk-like odour. The phenotypic and multigene study results, based on ribosomal ITS region, actin and β-tubulin sequences, demonstrated that some of the fungi included in this study were different from the known species of Nannizziopsis and Chrysosporium and are described here as new. They are N. chlamydospora, N. draconii, N. arthrosporioides, N. pluriseptata and Chrysosporium longisporum. Nannizziopsis chlamydospora is distinguished by producing chlamydospores and by its ability to grow at 5 °C. Nannizziopsis draconii is able to grow on bromocresol purple-milk solids-glucose (BCP-MS-G) agar alkalinizing the medium, is resistant to 0.2 % cycloheximide but does not grow on Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) with 3 % NaCl. Nannizziopsis arthrosporioides is characterised by the production of very long arthroconidia. Nannizziopsis pluriseptata produces 1- to 5-celled sessile conidia, alkalinizes the BCP-MS-G agar and grows on SDA supplemented with 5 % NaCl. Chrysosporium longisporum shows long sessile conidia (up to 13 μm) and does not produce lipase. PMID:24761037

  2. Patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness along elevational gradients in Mt. Kenya.

    PubMed

    Malonza, Patrick Kinyatta

    2015-11-18

    Faunal species richness is traditionally assumed to decrease with increasing elevation and decreasing primary productivity. Species richness is reported to peak at mid-elevation. This survey examines the herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Mt. Kenya (central Kenya) by testing the hypothesis that changes in species richness with elevation relate to elevation-dependent changes in climate. Sampling along transects from an elevation of approximately 1 700 m in Chogoria forest block (wind-ward side) and approximately 2 600 m in Sirimon block (rain shadow zone) upwards in March 2009. This starts from the forest to montane alpine zones. Sampling of reptiles and amphibians uses pitfall traps associated with drift fences, time-limited searches and visual encounter surveys. The results show that herpetofaunal richness differs among three vegetation zones along the elevation gradient. Chogoria has higher biodiversity than Sirimon. More species occur at low and middle elevations and few exist at high elevations. The trends are consistent with expected optimum water and energy variables. The lower alpine montane zone has high species richness but low diversity due to dominance of some high elevations species. Unambiguous data do not support a mid-domain effect (mid-elevation peak) because the observed trend better fits a model in which climatic variables (rainfall and temperature) control species richness, which indirectly measures productivity. It is important to continue protection of all indigenous forests, especially at low to mid elevations. These areas are vulnerable to human destruction yet are home to some endemic species. Firebreaks can limit the spread of the perennial wildfires, especially on the moorlands. PMID:26646571

  3. Comparing Methods for Prioritising Protected Areas for Investment: A Case Study Using Madagascar's Dry Forest Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Charlie J; Raxworthy, Christopher J; Metcalfe, Kristian; Raselimanana, Achille P; Smith, Robert J; Davies, Zoe G

    2015-01-01

    There are insufficient resources available to manage the world's existing protected area portfolio effectively, so the most important sites should be prioritised in investment decision-making. Sophisticated conservation planning and assessment tools developed to identify locations for new protected areas can provide an evidence base for such prioritisations, yet decision-makers in many countries lack the institutional support and necessary capacity to use the associated software. As such, simple heuristic approaches such as species richness or number of threatened species are generally adopted to inform prioritisation decisions. However, their performance has never been tested. Using the reptile fauna of Madagascar's dry forests as a case study, we evaluate the performance of four site prioritisation protocols used to rank the conservation value of 22 established and candidate protected areas. We compare the results to a benchmark produced by the widely-used systematic conservation planning software Zonation. The four indices scored sites on the basis of: i) species richness; ii) an index based on species' Red List status; iii) irreplaceability (a key metric in systematic conservation planning); and, iv) a novel Conservation Value Index (CVI), which incorporates species-level information on endemism, representation in the protected area system, tolerance of habitat degradation and hunting/collection pressure. Rankings produced by the four protocols were positively correlated to the results of Zonation, particularly amongst high-scoring sites, but CVI and Irreplaceability performed better than Species Richness and the Red List Index. Given the technological capacity constraints experienced by decision-makers in the developing world, our findings suggest that heuristic metrics can represent a useful alternative to more sophisticated analyses, especially when they integrate species-specific information related to extinction risk. However, this can require access to

  4. From descriptive to predictive distribution models: a working example with Iberian amphibians and reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Arntzen, JW

    2006-01-01

    Background Aim of the study was to identify the conditions under which spatial-environmental models can be used for the improved understanding of species distributions, under the explicit criterion of model predictive performance. I constructed distribution models for 17 amphibian and 21 reptile species in Portugal from atlas data and 13 selected ecological variables with stepwise logistic regression and a geographic information system. Models constructed for Portugal were extrapolated over Spain and tested against range maps and atlas data. Results Descriptive model precision ranged from 'fair' to 'very good' for 12 species showing a range border inside Portugal ('edge species', kappa (k) 0.35–0.89, average 0.57) and was at best 'moderate' for 26 species with a countrywide Portuguese distribution ('non-edge species', k = 0.03–0.54, average 0.29). The accuracy of the prediction for Spain was significantly related to the precision of the descriptive model for the group of edge species and not for the countrywide species. In the latter group data were consistently better captured with the single variable search-effort than by the panel of environmental data. Conclusion Atlas data in presence-absence format are often inadequate to model the distribution of species if the considered area does not include part of the range border. Conversely, distribution models for edge-species, especially those displaying high precision, may help in the correct identification of parameters underlying the species range and assist with the informed choice of conservation measures. PMID:16674803

  5. Patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness along elevational gradients in Mt. Kenya.

    PubMed

    Malonza, Patrick Kinyatta

    2015-11-18

    Faunal species richness is traditionally assumed to decrease with increasing elevation and decreasing primary productivity. Species richness is reported to peak at mid-elevation. This survey examines the herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Mt. Kenya (central Kenya) by testing the hypothesis that changes in species richness with elevation relate to elevation-dependent changes in climate. Sampling along transects from an elevation of approximately 1 700 m in Chogoria forest block (wind-ward side) and approximately 2 600 m in Sirimon block (rain shadow zone) upwards in March 2009. This starts from the forest to montane alpine zones. Sampling of reptiles and amphibians uses pitfall traps associated with drift fences, time-limited searches and visual encounter surveys. The results show that herpetofaunal richness differs among three vegetation zones along the elevation gradient. Chogoria has higher biodiversity than Sirimon. More species occur at low and middle elevations and few exist at high elevations. The trends are consistent with expected optimum water and energy variables. The lower alpine montane zone has high species richness but low diversity due to dominance of some high elevations species. Unambiguous data do not support a mid-domain effect (mid-elevation peak) because the observed trend better fits a model in which climatic variables (rainfall and temperature) control species richness, which indirectly measures productivity. It is important to continue protection of all indigenous forests, especially at low to mid elevations. These areas are vulnerable to human destruction yet are home to some endemic species. Firebreaks can limit the spread of the perennial wildfires, especially on the moorlands.

  6. Comparing Methods for Prioritising Protected Areas for Investment: A Case Study Using Madagascar's Dry Forest Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Charlie J; Raxworthy, Christopher J; Metcalfe, Kristian; Raselimanana, Achille P; Smith, Robert J; Davies, Zoe G

    2015-01-01

    There are insufficient resources available to manage the world's existing protected area portfolio effectively, so the most important sites should be prioritised in investment decision-making. Sophisticated conservation planning and assessment tools developed to identify locations for new protected areas can provide an evidence base for such prioritisations, yet decision-makers in many countries lack the institutional support and necessary capacity to use the associated software. As such, simple heuristic approaches such as species richness or number of threatened species are generally adopted to inform prioritisation decisions. However, their performance has never been tested. Using the reptile fauna of Madagascar's dry forests as a case study, we evaluate the performance of four site prioritisation protocols used to rank the conservation value of 22 established and candidate protected areas. We compare the results to a benchmark produced by the widely-used systematic conservation planning software Zonation. The four indices scored sites on the basis of: i) species richness; ii) an index based on species' Red List status; iii) irreplaceability (a key metric in systematic conservation planning); and, iv) a novel Conservation Value Index (CVI), which incorporates species-level information on endemism, representation in the protected area system, tolerance of habitat degradation and hunting/collection pressure. Rankings produced by the four protocols were positively correlated to the results of Zonation, particularly amongst high-scoring sites, but CVI and Irreplaceability performed better than Species Richness and the Red List Index. Given the technological capacity constraints experienced by decision-makers in the developing world, our findings suggest that heuristic metrics can represent a useful alternative to more sophisticated analyses, especially when they integrate species-specific information related to extinction risk. However, this can require access to

  7. Determination of antimicrobial and heavy metal resistance profiles of some bacteria isolated from aquatic amphibian and reptile species.

    PubMed

    Hacioglu, Nurcihan; Tosunoglu, Murat

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the level of antibiotic resistance patterns and distribution of heavy metal resistance of bacterial isolates from aquatic animals (Lissotriton vulgaris, Pelophylax ridibundus, Emys orbicularis, Mauremys rivulata, and Natrix natrix) in Turkey (Kavak Delta). A total of 153 bacteria have been successfully isolated from cloaca and oral samples of the aquatic amphibians and reptilians which were found, namely, Aeromonas sp. (n = 29), Plesiomonas sp. (n = 7), Vibrio sp. (n = 12), Citrobacter sp. (n = 12), Enterobacter sp. (n = 11), Escherichia sp. (n = 22), Klebsiella sp. (n = 22), Edwardsiella sp. (n = 6), Hafnia sp. (n = 1), Proteus sp. (n = 19), Providencia sp. (n = 8), and Pseudomonas sp. (n = 4). In terms of antibiotic and heavy metal susceptibility testing, each isolate was tested against 12 antibiotics and 4 metals. There was a high incidence of resistance to cefoxitin (46.40 %), ampicillin (44.44 %), erythromycin (35.29 %), and a low incidence of resistance to gentamicin (6.53 %), kanamycin (8.49 %), chloramphenicol (9.15 %), and cefotaxime (10.45 %). The multiple antibiotic resistance index of each bacterial species indicated that bacteria from raised amphibians and reptiles have been exposed to tested antibiotics, with results ranging from 0 to 0.58. Most isolates showed tolerance to different concentrations of heavy metals, and minimal inhibition concentrations ranged from100 to >3,200 μg/mL. According to these results, a significant occurrence of bacteria in the internal organs of reptiles and amphibians, with a high incidence of resistance against antibiotics and heavy metals, may risk aquatic animals and the public health. These data appoint the importance of epidemiological surveillance and microbiological monitoring and reinforce the need to implement environment protection programs for amphibian and reptile species. PMID:23959346

  8. Determination of antimicrobial and heavy metal resistance profiles of some bacteria isolated from aquatic amphibian and reptile species.

    PubMed

    Hacioglu, Nurcihan; Tosunoglu, Murat

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the level of antibiotic resistance patterns and distribution of heavy metal resistance of bacterial isolates from aquatic animals (Lissotriton vulgaris, Pelophylax ridibundus, Emys orbicularis, Mauremys rivulata, and Natrix natrix) in Turkey (Kavak Delta). A total of 153 bacteria have been successfully isolated from cloaca and oral samples of the aquatic amphibians and reptilians which were found, namely, Aeromonas sp. (n = 29), Plesiomonas sp. (n = 7), Vibrio sp. (n = 12), Citrobacter sp. (n = 12), Enterobacter sp. (n = 11), Escherichia sp. (n = 22), Klebsiella sp. (n = 22), Edwardsiella sp. (n = 6), Hafnia sp. (n = 1), Proteus sp. (n = 19), Providencia sp. (n = 8), and Pseudomonas sp. (n = 4). In terms of antibiotic and heavy metal susceptibility testing, each isolate was tested against 12 antibiotics and 4 metals. There was a high incidence of resistance to cefoxitin (46.40 %), ampicillin (44.44 %), erythromycin (35.29 %), and a low incidence of resistance to gentamicin (6.53 %), kanamycin (8.49 %), chloramphenicol (9.15 %), and cefotaxime (10.45 %). The multiple antibiotic resistance index of each bacterial species indicated that bacteria from raised amphibians and reptiles have been exposed to tested antibiotics, with results ranging from 0 to 0.58. Most isolates showed tolerance to different concentrations of heavy metals, and minimal inhibition concentrations ranged from100 to >3,200 μg/mL. According to these results, a significant occurrence of bacteria in the internal organs of reptiles and amphibians, with a high incidence of resistance against antibiotics and heavy metals, may risk aquatic animals and the public health. These data appoint the importance of epidemiological surveillance and microbiological monitoring and reinforce the need to implement environment protection programs for amphibian and reptile species.

  9. The enigmatic marine reptile nanchangosaurus from the lower triassic of Hubei, China and the phylogenetic affinities of Hupehsuchia.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    The study of the holotype and of a new specimen of Nanchangosaurus suni (Reptilia; Diapsida; Hupehsuchia) revealed a suite of hitherto unrecognized characters. For example, Nanchangosaurus has bipartite neural spines and its vertebral count is nearly identical to that of Hupehsuchus. It differs from the latter in having poorly developed forelimbs despite the advanced ossification in the rest of the skeleton. Other differences all pertain to hupehsuchian plesiomorphies retained in Nanchangosaurus, such as low neural spines. The relationship of Hupehsuchia within Diapsida was analyzed based on a data matrix containing 41 taxa coded for 213 characters, of which 18 were identified as aquatic adaptations from functional inferences. These aquatic adaptations may be vulnerable to the argumentation of character homology because expectation for homoplasy is high. There is an apparent incongruence between phylogenetic signals from aquatic adaptations and the rest of the data, with aquatic adaptations favoring all marine reptiles but Helveticosaurus to form a super-clade. However, this super-clade does not obtain when aquatic adaptations were deleted, whereas individual marine reptile clades are all derived without them. We examined all possible combinations of the 18 aquatic adaptations (n = 262143) and found that four lineages of marine reptiles are recognized almost regardless of which of these features were included in the analysis: Hupehsuchia-Ichthyopterygia clade, Sauropterygia-Saurosphargidae clade, Thalattosauria, and Helveticosaurus. The interrelationships among these four depended on the combination of aquatic adaptations to be included, i.e., assumed to be homologous a priori by bypassing character argumentation. Hupehsuchia always appeared as the sister taxon of Ichthyopterygia.

  10. A carapace-like bony 'body tube' in an early triassic marine reptile and the onset of marine tetrapod predation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Parahupehsuchus longus is a new species of marine reptile from the Lower Triassic of Yuan'an County, Hubei Province, China. It is unique among vertebrates for having a body wall that is completely surrounded by a bony tube, about 50 cm long and 6.5 cm deep, comprising overlapping ribs and gastralia. This tube and bony ossicles on the back are best interpreted as anti-predatory features, suggesting that there was predation pressure upon marine tetrapods in the Early Triassic. There is at least one sauropterygian that is sufficiently large to feed on Parahupehsuchus in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna, together with six more species of potential prey marine reptiles with various degrees of body protection. Modern predators of marine tetrapods belong to the highest trophic levels in the marine ecosystem but such predators did not always exist through geologic time. The indication of marine-tetrapod feeding in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna suggests that such a trophic level emerged for the first time in the Early Triassic. The recovery from the end-Permian extinction probably proceeded faster than traditionally thought for marine predators. Parahupehsuchus has superficially turtle-like features, namely expanded ribs without intercostal space, very short transverse processes, and a dorsal outgrowth from the neural spine. However, these features are structurally different from their turtle counterparts. Phylogeny suggests that they are convergent with the condition in turtles, which has a fundamentally different body plan that involves the folding of the body wall. Expanded ribs without intercostal space evolved at least twice and probably even more among reptiles.

  11. A carapace-like bony 'body tube' in an early triassic marine reptile and the onset of marine tetrapod predation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Parahupehsuchus longus is a new species of marine reptile from the Lower Triassic of Yuan'an County, Hubei Province, China. It is unique among vertebrates for having a body wall that is completely surrounded by a bony tube, about 50 cm long and 6.5 cm deep, comprising overlapping ribs and gastralia. This tube and bony ossicles on the back are best interpreted as anti-predatory features, suggesting that there was predation pressure upon marine tetrapods in the Early Triassic. There is at least one sauropterygian that is sufficiently large to feed on Parahupehsuchus in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna, together with six more species of potential prey marine reptiles with various degrees of body protection. Modern predators of marine tetrapods belong to the highest trophic levels in the marine ecosystem but such predators did not always exist through geologic time. The indication of marine-tetrapod feeding in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna suggests that such a trophic level emerged for the first time in the Early Triassic. The recovery from the end-Permian extinction probably proceeded faster than traditionally thought for marine predators. Parahupehsuchus has superficially turtle-like features, namely expanded ribs without intercostal space, very short transverse processes, and a dorsal outgrowth from the neural spine. However, these features are structurally different from their turtle counterparts. Phylogeny suggests that they are convergent with the condition in turtles, which has a fundamentally different body plan that involves the folding of the body wall. Expanded ribs without intercostal space evolved at least twice and probably even more among reptiles. PMID:24718682

  12. The enigmatic marine reptile nanchangosaurus from the lower triassic of Hubei, China and the phylogenetic affinities of Hupehsuchia.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    The study of the holotype and of a new specimen of Nanchangosaurus suni (Reptilia; Diapsida; Hupehsuchia) revealed a suite of hitherto unrecognized characters. For example, Nanchangosaurus has bipartite neural spines and its vertebral count is nearly identical to that of Hupehsuchus. It differs from the latter in having poorly developed forelimbs despite the advanced ossification in the rest of the skeleton. Other differences all pertain to hupehsuchian plesiomorphies retained in Nanchangosaurus, such as low neural spines. The relationship of Hupehsuchia within Diapsida was analyzed based on a data matrix containing 41 taxa coded for 213 characters, of which 18 were identified as aquatic adaptations from functional inferences. These aquatic adaptations may be vulnerable to the argumentation of character homology because expectation for homoplasy is high. There is an apparent incongruence between phylogenetic signals from aquatic adaptations and the rest of the data, with aquatic adaptations favoring all marine reptiles but Helveticosaurus to form a super-clade. However, this super-clade does not obtain when aquatic adaptations were deleted, whereas individual marine reptile clades are all derived without them. We examined all possible combinations of the 18 aquatic adaptations (n = 262143) and found that four lineages of marine reptiles are recognized almost regardless of which of these features were included in the analysis: Hupehsuchia-Ichthyopterygia clade, Sauropterygia-Saurosphargidae clade, Thalattosauria, and Helveticosaurus. The interrelationships among these four depended on the combination of aquatic adaptations to be included, i.e., assumed to be homologous a priori by bypassing character argumentation. Hupehsuchia always appeared as the sister taxon of Ichthyopterygia. PMID:25014493

  13. A new Triassic procolophonoid reptile and its implications for procolophonoid survivorship during the Permo-Triassic extinction event.

    PubMed

    Modesto, S; Sues, H D; Damiani, R

    2001-10-01

    A reptile specimen from the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone of the Beaufort Group, lowermost Triassic of South Africa, represents a new procolophonoid parareptile. Sauropareion anoplus gen. et sp. nov. is identified as the sister taxon of Procolophonidae in a phylogenetic analysis of procolophonoids. Stratigraphic calibration of the most parsimonious tree reveals that four of the six procolophonoid lineages originating in the Permian Period extended into the succeeding Triassic Period. This relatively high taxic survivorship (67%) across the Permo-Triassic boundary strongly suggests that procolophonoids were little if at all affected by the mass extinction event that punctuated the end of the Palaeozoic Era (ca. 251 million years ago).

  14. A new Triassic procolophonoid reptile and its implications for procolophonoid survivorship during the Permo-Triassic extinction event.

    PubMed Central

    Modesto, S.; Sues, H. D.; Damiani, R.

    2001-01-01

    A reptile specimen from the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone of the Beaufort Group, lowermost Triassic of South Africa, represents a new procolophonoid parareptile. Sauropareion anoplus gen. et sp. nov. is identified as the sister taxon of Procolophonidae in a phylogenetic analysis of procolophonoids. Stratigraphic calibration of the most parsimonious tree reveals that four of the six procolophonoid lineages originating in the Permian Period extended into the succeeding Triassic Period. This relatively high taxic survivorship (67%) across the Permo-Triassic boundary strongly suggests that procolophonoids were little if at all affected by the mass extinction event that punctuated the end of the Palaeozoic Era (ca. 251 million years ago). PMID:11571052

  15. A new Triassic procolophonoid reptile and its implications for procolophonoid survivorship during the Permo-Triassic extinction event.

    PubMed

    Modesto, S; Sues, H D; Damiani, R

    2001-10-01

    A reptile specimen from the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone of the Beaufort Group, lowermost Triassic of South Africa, represents a new procolophonoid parareptile. Sauropareion anoplus gen. et sp. nov. is identified as the sister taxon of Procolophonidae in a phylogenetic analysis of procolophonoids. Stratigraphic calibration of the most parsimonious tree reveals that four of the six procolophonoid lineages originating in the Permian Period extended into the succeeding Triassic Period. This relatively high taxic survivorship (67%) across the Permo-Triassic boundary strongly suggests that procolophonoids were little if at all affected by the mass extinction event that punctuated the end of the Palaeozoic Era (ca. 251 million years ago). PMID:11571052

  16. Molecular Characterization of Reptile Pathogens Currently Known as Members of the Chrysosporium Anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii Complex and Relationship with Some Human-Associated Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Hambleton, Sarah; Paré, Jean A.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV), Chrysosporium guarroi, Chrysosporium ophiodiicola, and Chrysosporium species have been reported as the causes of dermal or deep lesions in reptiles. These infections are contagious and often fatal and affect both captive and wild animals. Forty-nine CANV isolates from reptiles and six isolates from human sources were compared with N. vriesii based on their cultural characteristics and DNA sequence data. Analyses of the sequences of the internal transcribed spacer and small subunit of the nuclear ribosomal gene revealed that the reptile pathogens and human isolates belong in well-supported clades corresponding to three lineages that are distinct from all other taxa within the family Onygenaceae of the order Onygenales. One lineage represents the genus Nannizziopsis and comprises N. vriesii, N. guarroi, and six additional species encompassing isolates from chameleons and geckos, crocodiles, agamid and iguanid lizards, and humans. Two other lineages comprise the genus Ophidiomyces, with the species Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola occurring only in snakes, and Paranannizziopsis gen. nov., with three new species infecting squamates and tuataras. The newly described species are Nannizziopsis dermatitidis, Nannizziopsis crocodili, Nannizziopsis barbata, Nannizziopsis infrequens, Nannizziopsis hominis, Nannizziopsis obscura, Paranannizziopsis australasiensis, Paranannizziopsis californiensis, and Paranannizziopsis crustacea. Chrysosporium longisporum has been reclassified as Paranannizziopsis longispora. N. guarroi causes yellow fungus disease, a common infection in bearded dragons and green iguanas, and O. ophiodiicola is an emerging pathogen of captive and wild snakes. Human-associated species were not recovered from reptiles, and reptile-associated species were recovered only from reptiles, thereby mitigating concerns related to zoonosis. PMID:23926168

  17. Molecular characterization of reptile pathogens currently known as members of the chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii complex and relationship with some human-associated isolates.

    PubMed

    Sigler, Lynne; Hambleton, Sarah; Paré, Jean A

    2013-10-01

    In recent years, the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV), Chrysosporium guarroi, Chrysosporium ophiodiicola, and Chrysosporium species have been reported as the causes of dermal or deep lesions in reptiles. These infections are contagious and often fatal and affect both captive and wild animals. Forty-nine CANV isolates from reptiles and six isolates from human sources were compared with N. vriesii based on their cultural characteristics and DNA sequence data. Analyses of the sequences of the internal transcribed spacer and small subunit of the nuclear ribosomal gene revealed that the reptile pathogens and human isolates belong in well-supported clades corresponding to three lineages that are distinct from all other taxa within the family Onygenaceae of the order Onygenales. One lineage represents the genus Nannizziopsis and comprises N. vriesii, N. guarroi, and six additional species encompassing isolates from chameleons and geckos, crocodiles, agamid and iguanid lizards, and humans. Two other lineages comprise the genus Ophidiomyces, with the species Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola occurring only in snakes, and Paranannizziopsis gen. nov., with three new species infecting squamates and tuataras. The newly described species are Nannizziopsis dermatitidis, Nannizziopsis crocodili, Nannizziopsis barbata, Nannizziopsis infrequens, Nannizziopsis hominis, Nannizziopsis obscura, Paranannizziopsis australasiensis, Paranannizziopsis californiensis, and Paranannizziopsis crustacea. Chrysosporium longisporum has been reclassified as Paranannizziopsis longispora. N. guarroi causes yellow fungus disease, a common infection in bearded dragons and green iguanas, and O. ophiodiicola is an emerging pathogen of captive and wild snakes. Human-associated species were not recovered from reptiles, and reptile-associated species were recovered only from reptiles, thereby mitigating concerns related to zoonosis.

  18. Estimating divergence dates and evaluating dating methods using phylogenomic and mitochondrial data in squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mulcahy, Daniel G; Noonan, Brice P; Moss, Travis; Townsend, Ted M; Reeder, Tod W; Sites, Jack W; Wiens, John J

    2012-12-01

    Recently, phylogenetics has expanded to routinely include estimation of clade ages in addition to their relationships. Various dating methods have been used, but their relative performance remains understudied. Here, we generate and assemble an extensive phylogenomic data set for squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) and evaluate two widely used dating methods, penalized likelihood in r8s (r8s-PL) and Bayesian estimation with uncorrelated relaxed rates among lineages (BEAST). We obtained sequence data from 25 nuclear loci (∼500-1,000 bp per gene; 19,020bp total) for 64 squamate species and nine outgroup taxa, estimated the phylogeny, and estimated divergence dates using 14 fossil calibrations. We then evaluated how well each method approximated these dates using random subsets of the nuclear loci (2, 5, 10, 15, and 20; replicated 10 times each), and using ∼1 kb of the mitochondrial ND2 gene. We find that estimates from r8s-PL based on 2, 5, or 10 loci can differ considerably from those based on 25 loci (mean absolute value of differences between 2-locus and 25-locus estimates were 9.0 Myr). Estimates from BEAST are somewhat more consistent given limited sampling of loci (mean absolute value of differences between 2 and 25-locus estimates were 5.0 Myr). Most strikingly, age estimates using r8s-PL for ND2 were ∼68-82 Myr older (mean=73.1) than those using 25 nuclear loci with r8s-PL. These results show that dates from r8s-PL with a limited number of loci (and especially mitochondrial data) can differ considerably from estimates derived from a large number of nuclear loci, whereas estimates from BEAST derived from fewer nuclear loci or mitochondrial data alone can be surprisingly similar to those from many nuclear loci. However, estimates from BEAST using relatively few loci and mitochondrial data could still show substantial deviations from the full data set (>50 Myr), suggesting the benefits of sampling many nuclear loci. Finally, we found that confidence

  19. A Single Residue in Ebola Virus Receptor NPC1 Influences Cellular Host Range in Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Ndungo, Esther; Herbert, Andrew S; Raaben, Matthijs; Obernosterer, Gregor; Biswas, Rohan; Miller, Emily Happy; Wirchnianski, Ariel S; Carette, Jan E; Brummelkamp, Thijn R; Whelan, Sean P; Dye, John M; Chandran, Kartik

    2016-01-01

    Filoviruses are the causative agents of an increasing number of disease outbreaks in human populations, including the current unprecedented Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in western Africa. One obstacle to controlling these epidemics is our poor understanding of the host range of filoviruses and their natural reservoirs. Here, we investigated the role of the intracellular filovirus receptor, Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) as a molecular determinant of Ebola virus (EBOV) host range at the cellular level. Whereas human cells can be infected by EBOV, a cell line derived from a Russell's viper (Daboia russellii) (VH-2) is resistant to infection in an NPC1-dependent manner. We found that VH-2 cells are resistant to EBOV infection because the Russell's viper NPC1 ortholog bound poorly to the EBOV spike glycoprotein (GP). Analysis of panels of viper-human NPC1 chimeras and point mutants allowed us to identify a single amino acid residue in NPC1, at position 503, that bidirectionally influenced both its binding to EBOV GP and its viral receptor activity in cells. Significantly, this single residue change perturbed neither NPC1's endosomal localization nor its housekeeping role in cellular cholesterol trafficking. Together with other recent work, these findings identify sequences in NPC1 that are important for viral receptor activity by virtue of their direct interaction with EBOV GP and suggest that they may influence filovirus host range in nature. Broader surveys of NPC1 orthologs from vertebrates may delineate additional sequence polymorphisms in this gene that control susceptibility to filovirus infection. IMPORTANCE Identifying cellular factors that determine susceptibility to infection can help us understand how Ebola virus is transmitted. We asked if the EBOV receptor Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) could explain why reptiles are resistant to EBOV infection. We demonstrate that cells derived from the Russell's viper are not susceptible to infection because EBOV cannot bind to

  20. Comparative phylogeography of woodland reptiles in California: repeated patterns of cladogenesis and population expansion.

    PubMed

    Feldman, Chris R; Spicer, Greg S

    2006-07-01

    The ultimate goal of comparative phylogeographical analyses is to infer processes of diversification from contemporary geographical patterns of genetic diversity. When such studies are employed across diverse groups in an array of communities, it may be difficult to discover common evolutionary and ecological processes associated with diversification. In order to identify taxa that have responded in a similar fashion to historical events, we conducted comparative phylogeographical analyses on a phylogenetically and ecologically limited set of taxa. Here, we focus on a group of squamate reptiles (snakes and lizards) that share similar ecological requirements and generally occupy the same communities in the western USA. At a gross level, deep genetic division in Contia tenuis, Diadophis punctatus, Elgaria multicarinata, the Charina bottae complex, and Lampropeltis zonata are often concordant in the Transverse Ranges, the Monterey Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region, and the southern Sierra Nevada in California. Molecular clock estimates suggest that major phyletic breaks within many of these taxa roughly coincide temporally, and may correspond to important geological events. Furthermore, significant congruence between the phylogeographies of E. multicarinata and L. zonata suggests that the succession of vicariance and dispersal events in these species progressed in concert. Such congruence suggests that E. multicarinata and L. zonata have occupied the same communities through time. However, across our entire multi-taxon data set, the sequence of branching events rarely match between sympatric taxa, indicating the importance of subtle differences in life history features as well as random processes in creating unique genetic patterns. Lastly, coalescent and noncoalescent estimates of population expansion suggest that populations in the more southerly distributed clades of C. tenuis, D. punctatus, E. multicarinata, and L. zonata have been stable, while

  1. A Single Residue in Ebola Virus Receptor NPC1 Influences Cellular Host Range in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Ndungo, Esther; Herbert, Andrew S.; Raaben, Matthijs; Obernosterer, Gregor; Biswas, Rohan; Miller, Emily Happy; Wirchnianski, Ariel S.; Carette, Jan E.; Brummelkamp, Thijn R.; Whelan, Sean P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Filoviruses are the causative agents of an increasing number of disease outbreaks in human populations, including the current unprecedented Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in western Africa. One obstacle to controlling these epidemics is our poor understanding of the host range of filoviruses and their natural reservoirs. Here, we investigated the role of the intracellular filovirus receptor, Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) as a molecular determinant of Ebola virus (EBOV) host range at the cellular level. Whereas human cells can be infected by EBOV, a cell line derived from a Russell’s viper (Daboia russellii) (VH-2) is resistant to infection in an NPC1-dependent manner. We found that VH-2 cells are resistant to EBOV infection because the Russell’s viper NPC1 ortholog bound poorly to the EBOV spike glycoprotein (GP). Analysis of panels of viper-human NPC1 chimeras and point mutants allowed us to identify a single amino acid residue in NPC1, at position 503, that bidirectionally influenced both its binding to EBOV GP and its viral receptor activity in cells. Significantly, this single residue change perturbed neither NPC1’s endosomal localization nor its housekeeping role in cellular cholesterol trafficking. Together with other recent work, these findings identify sequences in NPC1 that are important for viral receptor activity by virtue of their direct interaction with EBOV GP and suggest that they may influence filovirus host range in nature. Broader surveys of NPC1 orthologs from vertebrates may delineate additional sequence polymorphisms in this gene that control susceptibility to filovirus infection. IMPORTANCE Identifying cellular factors that determine susceptibility to infection can help us understand how Ebola virus is transmitted. We asked if the EBOV receptor Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) could explain why reptiles are resistant to EBOV infection. We demonstrate that cells derived from the Russell’s viper are not susceptible to infection because EBOV

  2. [Rudimentary stages of the extremities of Scelotes gronovii (Daudin) embryos, a South African Scincidea reptile].

    PubMed

    Raynaud, A; Van den Elzen, P

    1976-01-01

    The development of the limbs has been studied in 15 embryos of Scelotes gronovii, found in 8 ovoviviparous females collected at Saldanha Bay, in South Africa, Cape Province. This study leads to the following constatations: In all the young embryos of this species, their appears anlagen of anterior and of posterior limb-buds. The primordia of forelimb-buds retrogress early and disappear, whereas the primordia of hind limb-buds transform into rudimentary limbs which persist in adult. Histological study of the anlagen of fore limb buds establish that 7 somites (S6 to S12, S1 being the first post-otic somite) send ventral processes in the mesoblast of the anlage. These processes follow a sinuous pathway in the limb-bud, and are bent towards the basal cell layer of the somatopleural mesoderm. On the apical part of the limb-bud lie a wholly rudimentary epiblastic ridge, which disappears early. On the apical part of the hind limb-bud an ectodermic ridge is present, well differentiated which transforms soon in an apical fold; and the anlage of the hind limb produced a short conical appendage with short femur, tibia and fibula and one terminal finger. A comparison was made of the main steps of the development of the limbs in three species of Scelotes with rudimentary limbs. Scelotes inornatus, Scelotes brevipes and Scelotes gronovii. In these three species the ectodermal apical ridge of the fore limb-buds is rudimentary or incompletely differentiated; it never transforms into an ectodermal fold and its retrogresses rapidly; and in these species an early arrest of development and an involution of the primordia of the limb-buds occurs. These fact corroborate the anterior observations made on embryos of Anguis fragilis and of Ophisaurus apodus and they strengthen the interpretation postulating that the spontaneous retrogression of the apical ridge is an essential factor in the morphogenetic events involved in the arrest of development of the limb bud in the snake-like Reptiles.

  3. A Single Residue in Ebola Virus Receptor NPC1 Influences Cellular Host Range in Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Ndungo, Esther; Herbert, Andrew S; Raaben, Matthijs; Obernosterer, Gregor; Biswas, Rohan; Miller, Emily Happy; Wirchnianski, Ariel S; Carette, Jan E; Brummelkamp, Thijn R; Whelan, Sean P; Dye, John M; Chandran, Kartik

    2016-01-01

    Filoviruses are the causative agents of an increasing number of disease outbreaks in human populations, including the current unprecedented Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in western Africa. One obstacle to controlling these epidemics is our poor understanding of the host range of filoviruses and their natural reservoirs. Here, we investigated the role of the intracellular filovirus receptor, Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) as a molecular determinant of Ebola virus (EBOV) host range at the cellular level. Whereas human cells can be infected by EBOV, a cell line derived from a Russell's viper (Daboia russellii) (VH-2) is resistant to infection in an NPC1-dependent manner. We found that VH-2 cells are resistant to EBOV infection because the Russell's viper NPC1 ortholog bound poorly to the EBOV spike glycoprotein (GP). Analysis of panels of viper-human NPC1 chimeras and point mutants allowed us to identify a single amino acid residue in NPC1, at position 503, that bidirectionally influenced both its binding to EBOV GP and its viral receptor activity in cells. Significantly, this single residue change perturbed neither NPC1's endosomal localization nor its housekeeping role in cellular cholesterol trafficking. Together with other recent work, these findings identify sequences in NPC1 that are important for viral receptor activity by virtue of their direct interaction with EBOV GP and suggest that they may influence filovirus host range in nature. Broader surveys of NPC1 orthologs from vertebrates may delineate additional sequence polymorphisms in this gene that control susceptibility to filovirus infection. IMPORTANCE Identifying cellular factors that determine susceptibility to infection can help us understand how Ebola virus is transmitted. We asked if the EBOV receptor Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) could explain why reptiles are resistant to EBOV infection. We demonstrate that cells derived from the Russell's viper are not susceptible to infection because EBOV cannot bind to

  4. Use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index as an Assessment Tool for Reptiles and Amphibians: Lessons Learned.

    PubMed

    Tuberville, Tracey D; Andrews, Kimberly M; Sperry, Jinelle H; Grosse, Andrew M

    2015-10-01

    Climate change threatens biodiversity globally, yet it can be challenging to predict which species may be most vulnerable. Given the scope of the problem, it is imperative to rapidly assess vulnerability and identify actions to decrease risk. Although a variety of tools have been developed to assess climate change vulnerability, few have been evaluated with regard to their suitability for certain taxonomic groups. Due to their ectothermic physiology, low vagility, and strong association with temporary wetlands, reptiles and amphibians may be particularly vulnerable relative to other groups. Here, we evaluate use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to assess a large suite of herpetofauna from the Sand Hills Ecoregion of the southeastern United States. Although data were frequently lacking for certain variables (e.g., phenological response to climate change, genetic variation), sufficient data were available to evaluate all 117 species. Sensitivity analyses indicated that results were highly dependent on size of assessment area and climate scenario selection. In addition, several ecological traits common in, but relatively unique to, herpetofauna are likely to contribute to their vulnerability and need special consideration during the scoring process. Despite some limitations, the NatureServe CCVI was a useful tool for screening large numbers of reptile and amphibian species. We provide general recommendations as to how the CCVI tool's application to herpetofauna can be improved through more specific guidance to the user regarding how to incorporate unique physiological and behavioral traits into scoring existing sensitivity factors and through modification to the assessment tool itself.

  5. Use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index as an Assessment Tool for Reptiles and Amphibians: Lessons Learned

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuberville, Tracey D.; Andrews, Kimberly M.; Sperry, Jinelle H.; Grosse, Andrew M.

    2015-10-01

    Climate change threatens biodiversity globally, yet it can be challenging to predict which species may be most vulnerable. Given the scope of the problem, it is imperative to rapidly assess vulnerability and identify actions to decrease risk. Although a variety of tools have been developed to assess climate change vulnerability, few have been evaluated with regard to their suitability for certain taxonomic groups. Due to their ectothermic physiology, low vagility, and strong association with temporary wetlands, reptiles and amphibians may be particularly vulnerable relative to other groups. Here, we evaluate use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to assess a large suite of herpetofauna from the Sand Hills Ecoregion of the southeastern United States. Although data were frequently lacking for certain variables (e.g., phenological response to climate change, genetic variation), sufficient data were available to evaluate all 117 species. Sensitivity analyses indicated that results were highly dependent on size of assessment area and climate scenario selection. In addition, several ecological traits common in, but relatively unique to, herpetofauna are likely to contribute to their vulnerability and need special consideration during the scoring process. Despite some limitations, the NatureServe CCVI was a useful tool for screening large numbers of reptile and amphibian species. We provide general recommendations as to how the CCVI tool's application to herpetofauna can be improved through more specific guidance to the user regarding how to incorporate unique physiological and behavioral traits into scoring existing sensitivity factors and through modification to the assessment tool itself.

  6. Correlation between the habitats productivity and species richness (amphibians and reptiles) in Portugal through remote sensed data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teodoro, A. C.; Sillero, N.; Alves, S.; Duarte, L.

    2013-10-01

    Several biogeographic theories propose that the species richness depends on the structure and ecosystems diversity. The habitat productivity, a surrogate for these variables, can be evaluated through satellite imagery, namely using vegetation indexes (e.g. NDVI). We analyzed the correlation between species richness (from the Portuguese Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles) and NDVI (from Landsat, MODIS, and Vegetation images). The species richness database contains more than 80000 records, collected from bibliographic sources (at 1 or 10 km of spatial resolution) and fieldwork sampling stations (recorded with GPS devices). Several study areas were chosen for Landsat images (three subsets), and all Portugal for MODIS and Vegetation images. The Landsat subareas had different climatic and habitat characteristics, located in the north, center and south of Portugal. Different species richness datasets were used depending on the image spatial resolution: data with metric resolution were used for Landsat, and with 1 km resolution, for MODIS and Vegetation images. The NDVI indexes and all the images were calculated/processed in an open source software (Quantum GIS). Several plug-ins were applied in order to automatize several procedures. We did not find any correlation between the species richness of amphibians and reptiles (not even after separating both groups by species of Atlantic and Mediterranean affinity) and the NDVI calculated with Landsat, MODIS and Vegetation images. Our results may fail to find a relationship because as the species richness is not correlated with only one variable (NDVI), and thus other environmental variables must be considered.

  7. Evaluation of western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) and eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) as laboratory reptile models for toxicological investigations.

    PubMed

    Talent, Larry G; Dumont, James N; Bantle, John A; Janz, David M; Talent, Scott G

    2002-05-01

    A need is recognized for one or more laboratory reptile models for use in ecotoxicological studies and risk assessments. Maintenance of breeding populations of most reptile species under laboratory conditions is not practical because of their size and slow maturation rate. However, a number of species of spiny lizards (Sceloporus sp.) are small, mature quickly, and reproduce under laboratory conditions. We evaluated three populations of western fence lizards (S. occidentalis) and four populations of eastern fence lizards (S. undulatus) for their performance under laboratory conditions. We reared an F1 generation of each population and compared their performance relative to survival, growth, maturation rate, and reproductive output. A population from the San Joaquin Valley (CA. USA) performed especially well under laboratory conditions and is a good candidate for a laboratory model. We also examined the sensitivity of developing fence lizard embryos to an estrogenic chemical to determine if male secondary sex characteristics were affected. Microinjecting eggs with an estrogenic chemical (17alpha-ethinylestradiol) feminized males and prevented development of embryonic secondary sex characteristics. Therefore, embryonic fence lizards may be useful for studying the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. PMID:12013135

  8. Morbidity and Mortality of Reptiles Admitted to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, Healesville Sanctuary, Australia, 2000-13.

    PubMed

    Scheelings, T Franciscus

    2015-07-01

    Medical records of 931 reptiles admitted to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville, Victoria, Australia, from 2000 to 2013 were reviewed to determine the causes of morbidity and mortality. Thirty-nine species were presented; the most common were the common long-neck turtle (Chelodina longicollis; n = 311, 33.4%), the eastern bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua scincoides; n = 224, 4.1%), the blotched bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua nigrolutea; n = 136, 14.6%), and the lowland copperhead (Austrelaps superbus; n = 55, 5.9%). Trauma was the most significant reason for admissions, accounting for 73.0% of cases. This was followed by not injured (11.7%), displacement (6.4%), snake removal (4.2%), human interference (3.1%), introduced species (1.1%), sick/diseased (0.2%), and illegal pet (0.2%). Within the category of trauma, impact with motor vehicle (41.0% of trauma cases) and domestic animal attack (33.2% of trauma cases) were the most common subcategories. Our results indicate that indirect anthropogenic factors are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in Australian reptiles.

  9. Evolutionary rates of mitochondrial genomes correspond to diversification rates and to contemporary species richness in birds and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Eo, Soo Hyung; DeWoody, J Andrew

    2010-12-01

    Rates of biological diversification should ultimately correspond to rates of genome evolution. Recent studies have compared diversification rates with phylogenetic branch lengths, but incomplete phylogenies hamper such analyses for many taxa. Herein, we use pairwise comparisons of confamilial sauropsid (bird and reptile) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome sequences to estimate substitution rates. These molecular evolutionary rates are considered in light of the age and species richness of each taxonomic family, using a random-walk speciation-extinction process to estimate rates of diversification. We find the molecular clock ticks at disparate rates in different families and at different genes. For example, evolutionary rates are relatively fast in snakes and lizards, intermediate in crocodilians and slow in turtles and birds. There was also rate variation across genes, where non-synonymous substitution rates were fastest at ATP8 and slowest at CO3. Family-by-gene interactions were significant, indicating that local clocks vary substantially among sauropsids. Most importantly, we find evidence that mitochondrial genome evolutionary rates are positively correlated with speciation rates and with contemporary species richness. Nuclear sequences are poorly represented among reptiles, but the correlation between rates of molecular evolution and species diversification also extends to 18 avian nuclear genes we tested. Thus, the nuclear data buttress our mtDNA findings.

  10. Does sex-ratio selection influence nest-site choice in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination?

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Timothy S.; Maciel, Jessica A.; Janzen, Fredric J.

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that dioecious species should produce a balanced primary sex ratio maintained by frequency-dependent selection. Organisms with environmental sex determination, however, are vulnerable to maladaptive sex ratios, because environmental conditions vary spatio-temporally. For reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination, nest-site choice is a behavioural maternal effect that could respond to sex-ratio selection, as mothers could adjust offspring sex ratios by choosing nest sites that will have particular thermal properties. This theoretical prediction has generated decades of empirical research, yet convincing evidence that sex-ratio selection is influencing nesting behaviours remains absent. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence from nature that sex-ratio selection, rather than only viability selection, is probably an important component of nest-site choice in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination. We compare painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) neonates from maternally selected nest sites with those from randomly selected nest sites, observing no substantive difference in hatching success or survival, but finding a profound difference in offspring sex ratio in the direction expected based on historical records. Additionally, we leverage long-term data to reconstruct our sex ratio results had the experiment been repeated in multiple years. As predicted by theory, our results suggest that sex-ratio selection has shaped nesting behaviour in ways likely to enhance maternal fitness. PMID:24266033

  11. Climate change is predicted to negatively influence Moroccan endemic reptile richness. Implications for conservation in protected areas.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Freiría, Fernando; Argaz, Hamida; Fahd, Soumía; Brito, José C

    2013-09-01

    The identification of species-rich areas and their prognosticated turnover under climate change are crucial for the conservation of endemic taxa. This study aims to identify areas of reptile endemicity richness in a global biodiversity hot spot (Morocco) under current and future climatic conditions and to investigate the role of protected areas in biodiversity conservation under climate change. Species distribution models (SDM) were performed over the distribution of 21 endemic reptiles, combined to estimate current species richness at 1 × 1 km resolution and projected to years 2050 and 2080 according to distinct story lines and ensemble global circulation models, assuming unlimited and null dispersion ability. Generalized additive models were performed between species richness and geographic characteristics of 43 protected areas. SDM found precipitation as the most important factor related to current species distributions. Important reductions in future suitable areas were predicted for 50 % of species, and four species were identified as highly vulnerable to extinction. Drastic reductions in species-rich areas were predicted for the future, with considerable variability between years and dispersal scenarios. High turnover rates of species composition were predicted for eastern Morocco, whereas low values were forecasted for the Northern Atlantic coast and mountains. Species richness for current and future conditions was significantly related to the altitude and latitude of protected areas. Protected areas located in mountains and/or in the Northern Atlantic coast were identified as refugia, where population monitoring and conservation management is needed.

  12. Morbidity and Mortality of Reptiles Admitted to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, Healesville Sanctuary, Australia, 2000-13.

    PubMed

    Scheelings, T Franciscus

    2015-07-01

    Medical records of 931 reptiles admitted to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville, Victoria, Australia, from 2000 to 2013 were reviewed to determine the causes of morbidity and mortality. Thirty-nine species were presented; the most common were the common long-neck turtle (Chelodina longicollis; n = 311, 33.4%), the eastern bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua scincoides; n = 224, 4.1%), the blotched bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua nigrolutea; n = 136, 14.6%), and the lowland copperhead (Austrelaps superbus; n = 55, 5.9%). Trauma was the most significant reason for admissions, accounting for 73.0% of cases. This was followed by not injured (11.7%), displacement (6.4%), snake removal (4.2%), human interference (3.1%), introduced species (1.1%), sick/diseased (0.2%), and illegal pet (0.2%). Within the category of trauma, impact with motor vehicle (41.0% of trauma cases) and domestic animal attack (33.2% of trauma cases) were the most common subcategories. Our results indicate that indirect anthropogenic factors are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in Australian reptiles. PMID:26161722

  13. Climate change is predicted to negatively influence Moroccan endemic reptile richness. Implications for conservation in protected areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Freiría, Fernando; Argaz, Hamida; Fahd, Soumía; Brito, José C.

    2013-09-01

    The identification of species-rich areas and their prognosticated turnover under climate change are crucial for the conservation of endemic taxa. This study aims to identify areas of reptile endemicity richness in a global biodiversity hot spot (Morocco) under current and future climatic conditions and to investigate the role of protected areas in biodiversity conservation under climate change. Species distribution models (SDM) were performed over the distribution of 21 endemic reptiles, combined to estimate current species richness at 1 × 1 km resolution and projected to years 2050 and 2080 according to distinct story lines and ensemble global circulation models, assuming unlimited and null dispersion ability. Generalized additive models were performed between species richness and geographic characteristics of 43 protected areas. SDM found precipitation as the most important factor related to current species distributions. Important reductions in future suitable areas were predicted for 50 % of species, and four species were identified as highly vulnerable to extinction. Drastic reductions in species-rich areas were predicted for the future, with considerable variability between years and dispersal scenarios. High turnover rates of species composition were predicted for eastern Morocco, whereas low values were forecasted for the Northern Atlantic coast and mountains. Species richness for current and future conditions was significantly related to the altitude and latitude of protected areas. Protected areas located in mountains and/or in the Northern Atlantic coast were identified as refugia, where population monitoring and conservation management is needed.

  14. Biotic Response in Aquatic Reptiles (Testudines) during Earliest Eocene Climatic Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holroyd, P. A.; Hutchison, J. H.

    2010-12-01

    The earliest Eocene is marked by significant events of global warming: the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) at ~55.8 Ma and two short-lived events (ETM2 or Elmo and H2) approximately 2 Ma later. These environmental changes induced strong responses in the continental biota. Noteworthy changes in North American mid-latitude faunas and floras that are temporally correlated with earliest Eocene warming events include: increased diversity; turnover; and significant range changes, comprising both northward shifts in ranges of North American taxa as well as intercontinental dispersal across Holarctica. Evidence for these biotic changes comes directly from the fossil record and indirectly from phylogeographic analyses of molecular phylogenies of extant biota. To date, the stratigraphic record of biotic change has only been examined for the flora and terrestrial mammals. Data on reptiles and for continental aquatic systems are particularly lacking. In order to assess the impact of climate-mediated faunal change in aquatic systems during early Paleogene warming, we have focused on developing a detailed record of fossil turtles (Testudines) from the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming, where these records can be directly compared to similarly studied mammalian and floral data and to isotopic studies that provide independent proxies of climate change. Using genus-level occurrence data from more than 450 stratigraphically-constrained localities spanning ~2.5 Ma, we calculated first and last appearances, taxonomic richness, and relative abundance as measured by presence-absence (site occupancy). Among turtles, taxonomic richness increased episodically through the earliest Eocene with two new taxa appearing at the PETM, two immediately following it, and two at Biohorizon B, an interval associated with the younger hyperthermals. These new, immigrant taxa eventually comprised 40% of known generic richness. Phylogenetically, the inferred biogeographic source regions are southern North

  15. Diversity of pulsed field gel electrophoresis pulsotypes, serovars and antibiotic resistance among Salmonella isolates from wild amphibians and reptiles in the California central coast

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A survey of cold-blooded vertebrates and associated surface waters in a produce-growing region on the Central California Coast was done between May and September, 2011 to determine the diversity of Salmonella strains in these habitats and individuals. Samples from 460 amphibians and reptiles and 119...

  16. Initial sequence characterization of the rhabdoviruses of squamate reptiles, including a novel rhabdovirus from a caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis)

    PubMed Central

    Wellehan, James F.X.; Pessier, Allan P.; Archer, Linda L.; Childress, April L.; Jacobson, Elliott R.; Tesh, Robert B.

    2012-01-01

    Rhabdoviruses infect a variety of hosts, including non-avian reptiles. Consensus PCR techniques were used to obtain partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene sequence from five rhabdoviruses of South American lizards; Marco, Chaco, Timbo, Sena Madureira, and a rhabdovirus from a caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis). The caiman lizard rhabdovirus formed inclusions in erythrocytes, which may be a route for infecting hematophagous insects. This is the first information on behavior of a rhabdovirus in squamates. We also obtained sequence from two rhabdoviruses of Australian lizards, confirming previous Charleville virus sequence and finding that, unlike a previous sequence report but in agreement with serologic reports, Almpiwar virus is clearly distinct from Charleville virus. Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis revealed that most known rhabdoviruses of squamates cluster in the Almpiwar subgroup. The exception is Marco virus, which is found in the Hart Park group. PMID:22397930

  17. Initial sequence characterization of the rhabdoviruses of squamate reptiles, including a novel rhabdovirus from a caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis).

    PubMed

    Wellehan, James F X; Pessier, Allan P; Archer, Linda L; Childress, April L; Jacobson, Elliott R; Tesh, Robert B

    2012-08-17

    Rhabdoviruses infect a variety of hosts, including non-avian reptiles. Consensus PCR techniques were used to obtain partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene sequence from five rhabdoviruses of South American lizards; Marco, Chaco, Timbo, Sena Madureira, and a rhabdovirus from a caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis). The caiman lizard rhabdovirus formed inclusions in erythrocytes, which may be a route for infecting hematophagous insects. This is the first information on behavior of a rhabdovirus in squamates. We also obtained sequence from two rhabdoviruses of Australian lizards, confirming previous Charleville virus sequence and finding that, unlike a previous sequence report but in agreement with serologic reports, Almpiwar virus is clearly distinct from Charleville virus. Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis revealed that most known rhabdoviruses of squamates cluster in the Almpiwar subgroup. The exception is Marco virus, which is found in the Hart Park group.

  18. Toward consilience in reptile phylogeny: microRNAs support an archosaur, not a lepidosaur affinity for turtles

    PubMed Central

    Field, Daniel J.; Gauthier, Jacques A.; King, Benjamin L.; Pisani, Davide; Lyson, Tyler R.; Peterson, Kevin J.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the phylogenetic placement of crown turtles (Testudines) among amniotes has been a source of particular contention. Recent morphological analyses suggest that turtles are sister to all other reptiles, whereas virtually all analyses of gene sequences support turtles as being inside Diapsida, and usually as sister to crown Archosauria (birds and crocodylians). Previously, a study using microRNAs (miRNAs) placed turtles inside diapsids, but as sister to lepidosaurs (lizards and Sphenodon) rather than archosaurs. Here, we test this result with an expanded dataset, and employ proper criteria for miRNA annotation. Significantly, we find no support for a turtle + lepidosaur sister-relationship; intstead, we recover strong support for turtles sharing a more recent common ancestor with archosaurs as the living sister group to birds + crocodylians. These results are in accordance with most gene sequence studies, providing strong, consilient evidence from diverse independent datasets for the phylogenetic position of turtles. PMID:24798503

  19. Transition from embryonic to adult epidermis in reptiles occurs by the production of corneous beta-proteins.

    PubMed

    Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    The adaptation of the epidermis in amniote vertebrates to life on land took place by a drastic change from an embryonic epidermis made of two-four periderm layers to a terrestrial-proof epidermis. This transition occurred by the increase in types and number of specialized corneous proteins coded by genes of the Epidermal Differentiation Complex. The prevalent types of corneous proteins produced in the reptilian epidermis contain a beta-sheet region of high amino acid homology which allows their polymerization into a meshwork of filaments forming the hard corneous material of scales and claws. The present immunogold ultrastructural study shows that this transition occurs with the synthesis of glycine-rich corneous beta-proteins (formerly indicated as beta-keratins) that are added to the initial framework of acidic intermediate filaments produced in the embryonic epidermis of lizards, snake, alligator and turtle. These corneous beta-proteins are accumulated in the transitional and definitive layers of reptilian epidermis formed underneath the transitory two-four layered embryonic epidermis. In the more specialized reptiles capable of shedding the epidermis as a single unit, such as lizards and snakes, special glycine-cysteine rich beta-proteins are initially produced in a single layer immediately formed beneath the embryonic epidermis, the oberhautchen. The latter layer allows the in ovo shedding of the embryonic epidermis in preparation for hatching, and in the following shedding cycles of the adult epidermis. The production of specialized corneous-specific beta-proteins in addition to intermediate filament keratins was probably an essential addition for terrestrial life during the evolution of reptiles into different lineages, including birds. The increase of glycine and cysteine in epidermal proteins enhanced the hydrophobicity, insolubility and mechanical strength of the stratum corneum in these amniotes.

  20. Uterine Gene Expression in the Live-Bearing Lizard, Chalcides ocellatus, Reveals Convergence of Squamate Reptile and Mammalian Pregnancy Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Brandley, Matthew C.; Young, Rebecca L.; Warren, Dan L.; Thompson, Michael B.; Wagner, Günter P.

    2012-01-01

    Although the morphological and physiological changes involved in pregnancy in live-bearing reptiles are well studied, the genetic mechanisms that underlie these changes are not known. We used the viviparous African Ocellated Skink, Chalcides ocellatus, as a model to identify a near complete gene expression profile associated with pregnancy using RNA-Seq analyses of uterine transcriptomes. Pregnancy in C. ocellatus is associated with upregulation of uterine genes involved with metabolism, cell proliferation and death, and cellular transport. Moreover, there are clear parallels between the genetic processes associated with pregnancy in mammals and Chalcides in expression of genes related to tissue remodeling, angiogenesis, immune system regulation, and nutrient provisioning to the embryo. In particular, the pregnant uterine transcriptome is dominated by expression of proteolytic enzymes that we speculate are involved both with remodeling the chorioallantoic placenta and histotrophy in the omphaloplacenta. Elements of the maternal innate immune system are downregulated in the pregnant uterus, indicating a potential mechanism to avoid rejection of the embryo. We found a downregulation of major histocompatability complex loci and estrogen and progesterone receptors in the pregnant uterus. This pattern is similar to mammals but cannot be explained by the mammalian model. The latter finding provides evidence that pregnancy is controlled by different endocrinological mechanisms in mammals and reptiles. Finally, 88% of the identified genes are expressed in both the pregnant and the nonpregnant uterus, and thus, morphological and physiological changes associated with C. ocellatus pregnancy are likely a result of regulation of genes continually expressed in the uterus rather than the initiation of expression of unique genes. PMID:22333490

  1. Microscopic and molecular characterization of Hepatozoon domerguei (Apicomplexa) and Foleyella furcata (Nematoda) in wild endemic reptiles from Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Maia, João P.; Crottini, Angelica; Harris, David James

    2014-01-01

    Madagascar is one of the world’s top twelve “megadiversity” hot spots hosting unique and threatened flora and fauna. Parasites are a major component of biodiversity but remain largely uncharacterized in wildlife. In this study we combine microscopic and molecular assessment of hemoparasites in endemic reptile species from Madagascar. We detected three distinct parasites: the apicomplexans Hepatozoon and Sarcocystis, and filarial nematodes. The prevalence and intensity of these apicomplexans were low overall, while microfilarial infections in chameleons were relatively high. We detected mixed infections of two Hepatozoon haplotypes in Madagascarophis colubrinus, and of Hepatozoon and microfilariae in a Furcifer sp. Phylogenetic analyses of Hepatozoon showed evidence of prey-predator transmission, with identical sequences found in the snakes M. colubrinus and Ithycyphus oursi, and their prey Furcifer sp. Based on previous studies regarding the life cycle of Hepatozoon domerguei Landau, Chabaud, Michel, and Brygoo, 1970 in these hosts and due to their morphological similarity, we propose that this Hepatozoon haplotype is Hepatozoon domerguei. Future studies, including the examination of invertebrate hosts, are needed to verify this preliminary taxonomic identification. A distinct hemogregarine haplotype was found in Oplurus sp., which displayed morphologically different gametocytes, some of which were apparently inside leukocytes. The Sarcocystis identified from Tracheloptychus petersi was identical to that reported in a North African snake, indicating that the same lineage is found in geographically distinct regions. By combining morphological and genetic information, Foleyella furcata (Linstow, 1899) filarial nematodes were identified in several Furcifer chameleons. This study provides insights into the distribution, diversity and host-parasite interactions of hemoparasites in wild reptile populations from Madagascar. PMID:25224723

  2. Microscopic and molecular characterization of Hepatozoon domerguei (Apicomplexa) and Foleyella furcata (Nematoda) in wild endemic reptiles from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Maia, João P; Crottini, Angelica; Harris, David James

    2014-01-01

    Madagascar is one of the world's top twelve "megadiversity" hot spots hosting unique and threatened flora and fauna. Parasites are a major component of biodiversity but remain largely uncharacterized in wildlife. In this study we combine microscopic and molecular assessment of hemoparasites in endemic reptile species from Madagascar. We detected three distinct parasites: the apicomplexans Hepatozoon and Sarcocystis, and filarial nematodes. The prevalence and intensity of these apicomplexans were low overall, while microfilarial infections in chameleons were relatively high. We detected mixed infections of two Hepatozoon haplotypes in Madagascarophis colubrinus, and of Hepatozoon and microfilariae in a Furcifer sp. Phylogenetic analyses of Hepatozoon showed evidence of prey-predator transmission, with identical sequences found in the snakes M. colubrinus and Ithycyphus oursi, and their prey Furcifer sp. Based on previous studies regarding the life cycle of Hepatozoon domerguei Landau, Chabaud, Michel, and Brygoo, 1970 in these hosts and due to their morphological similarity, we propose that this Hepatozoon haplotype is Hepatozoon domerguei. Future studies, including the examination of invertebrate hosts, are needed to verify this preliminary taxonomic identification. A distinct hemogregarine haplotype was found in Oplurus sp., which displayed morphologically different gametocytes, some of which were apparently inside leukocytes. The Sarcocystis identified from Tracheloptychus petersi was identical to that reported in a North African snake, indicating that the same lineage is found in geographically distinct regions. By combining morphological and genetic information, Foleyella furcata (Linstow, 1899) filarial nematodes were identified in several Furcifer chameleons. This study provides insights into the distribution, diversity and host-parasite interactions of hemoparasites in wild reptile populations from Madagascar. PMID:25224723

  3. Local-scale models reveal ecological niche variability in amphibian and reptile communities from two contrasting biogeographic regions

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Xavier; Felicísimo, Ángel M.

    2016-01-01

    Ecological Niche Models (ENMs) are widely used to describe how environmental factors influence species distribution. Modelling at a local scale, compared to a large scale within a high environmental gradient, can improve our understanding of ecological species niches. The main goal of this study is to assess and compare the contribution of environmental variables to amphibian and reptile ENMs in two Spanish national parks located in contrasting biogeographic regions, i.e., the Mediterranean and the Atlantic area. The ENMs were built with maximum entropy modelling using 11 environmental variables in each territory. The contributions of these variables to the models were analysed and classified using various statistical procedures (Mann–Whitney U tests, Principal Components Analysis and General Linear Models). Distance to the hydrological network was consistently the most relevant variable for both parks and taxonomic classes. Topographic variables (i.e., slope and altitude) were the second most predictive variables, followed by climatic variables. Differences in variable contribution were observed between parks and taxonomic classes. Variables related to water availability had the larger contribution to the models in the Mediterranean park, while topography variables were decisive in the Atlantic park. Specific response curves to environmental variables were in accordance with the biogeographic affinity of species (Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean species) and taxonomy (amphibians and reptiles). Interestingly, these results were observed for species located in both parks, particularly those situated at their range limits. Our findings show that ecological niche models built at local scale reveal differences in habitat preferences within a wide environmental gradient. Therefore, modelling at local scales rather than assuming large-scale models could be preferable for the establishment of conservation strategies for herptile species in natural parks. PMID

  4. The development of the Middle Triassic tectonical controlled Germanic Basin of Central Europe and the palaeoenvironmental related distribution of marine and terrestrial reptiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2010-05-01

    Nine Middle Triassic paleogeographical maps comprising the uppermost Upper Bunter, Lower to Middle Muschelkalk and Upper Muschelkalk to Lower Keuper time frame (Diedrich 2008b) show the marine ingression and regression cycle of the Middle Triassic Germanic Basin (Diedrich 2010c). For bathymetrical and palaeoenvironmental interpretations especially reptiles and their footprints are used. This Germanic Basin as analogon for the Arabian Gulf (Knaust 1997), north of the Tethys, was under marine and finally terrestrial influenced sediments in a time frame (after Kozur and Bachmann 2008) between 247.2 My (Myophoria Fm, Aegean, Lower Anisian) to 237.9 My (Grabfeld Fm, Longobardian, Lower Ladinian). In a duration of 9.3 My the Germanic Basin was filled up mainly with marine carbonates and at the end by siliciclastics influenced by the northern Tethys through the Silesian, Carpathian and later the Burgundian Gates which connected the Germanic Basin to the Northern Tethys. With the marine ingression from the East via the Silesian Gate (Poland) a ten to hundred kilometers extended intertidal flat to sabkha facies belt surrounded first only the central and then the Western Germanic Basin (Winterswijk, Netherlands). Those intertidal zones were used mainly by two different small reptiles as their primary habitat. Hereby they left Millions of the small tom medium sized footprints of the ichnogenera Rhynchosauroides and Procolophonichnium (Diedrich 2005, 2008a). Larger terrestrial and beach and sabkha adapted reptiles were Tanystrophaeus antiquus and unknown archosaurs, which are recorded only by their footprints. At the beginning of the ingression at the uppermost Bunter a shallow marine invertebrate fauna and coastal reptiles appeared in the Germanic Basin which must have originated mainly from the Northern Tethys. Especially all marine reptiles immigrated from the Tethys which is proven not only by assamblaged Tethyan cephalopod Ceratite species (cf. Diedrich 2008a). The

  5. The ZW sex microchromosomes of an Australian dragon lizard share no homology with those of other reptiles or birds.

    PubMed

    Ezaz, Tariq; Moritz, Benjamin; Waters, Paul; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A; Georges, Arthur; Sarre, Stephen D

    2009-01-01

    Reptiles show a diverse array of sex chromosomal systems but, remarkably, the Z sex chromosomes of chicken are homologous to the ZW sex chromosomes of a species of gecko, Gekko hokouensis, suggesting an ancient but common origin. This is in contrast to the ZW sex chromosomes of snakes and a species of soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis, which are nonhomologous to those of chicken or each other and appear to have been independently derived. In this paper, we determine what homology, if any, the sex chromosomes of the Australian dragon lizard Pogona vitticeps shares with those of snake and chicken by mapping the dragon homologs of five snake Z chromosome genes (WAC, KLF6, TAX1BP1, RAB5A, and CTNNB1) and five chicken Z chromosome genes (ATP5A1, GHR, DMRT1, CHD1, and APTX) to chromosomes in the dragon. The dragon homologs of snake and chicken sex chromosome genes map to chromosomes 6 and chromosome 2, respectively, in the dragon and that DMRT1, the bird sex-determining gene, is not located on the sex chromosomes of P. vitticeps. Indeed, our data show that the dragon homolog to the chicken Z chromosome is likely to be wholly contained within chromosome 2 in P. vitticeps, which suggests that the sex-determining factor in P. vitticeps is not the sex-determining gene of chicken. Homology between chicken Z chromosome and G. hokouensis ZW chromosome pairs has been interpreted as retention of ancient ZW sex chromosomes in which case the nonhomologous sex chromosomes of snake and dragons would be independently derived. Our data add another case of independently derived sex chromosomes in a squamate reptile, which makes retention of ancient sex chromosome homology in the squamates less plausible. Alternatively, the conservation between the bird Z chromosome and the G. hokouensis ZW chromosomes pairs is coincidental, may be an example of convergent evolution, its status as the Z chromosome having been independently derived in birds and G. hokouensis.

  6. Unraveling the relative importance of oral and dermal contaminant exposure in reptiles: insights from studies using the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    Despite widespread recognition of significant data deficiencies, reptiles remain a relatively understudied taxon in ecotoxicology. To conduct ecological risk assessments on reptiles frequently requires using surrogate taxa such as birds, but recent research suggests that reptiles have significantly different exposure profiles and toxicant sensitivity. We exposed western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, to the same quantities of three model chemicals via oral (gavage) and dermal (ventral skin application) exposure for either 24 or 48 hours. Three phthalate esters (di-methyl phthalate [DMP], di-iso-butyl phthalate [DIBP], and di-n-octyl phthalate [DNOP]) were chosen as model chemicals because they represent a gradient of lipophilicity but are otherwise structurally similar. Overall, the more lipophilic phthalates (DIBP and DNOP) were found to have higher concentrations in tissues than the less lipophilic DMP. Significant differences in tissue concentrations between DIBP and DNOP were tissue-dependent, suggesting that delivery to a site of action following exposure is not only a simple function of lipophilicity. In dermal treatments, DMP usually had fewer detections (except in ventral skin samples), suggesting that lipophilicity (log Kow>2) is a requirement for uptake across the skin. In general, tissue residues were greater in oral treatments than dermal treatments (significant in adipose and liver tissue), but differences were driven strongly by differences in DMP which did not appear to be absorbed well across skin. When differences in tissue residue concentrations between oral and dermal exposure did occur, the difference was not drastic. Taken together these results suggest that dermal exposure should be considered in risk assessments for reptilian receptors. Dermal exposure may be an especially important route for reptiles as their ectothermic physiology translates to lower energetic demands and dietary exposure compared to birds and mammals. PMID

  7. Unraveling the Relative Importance of Oral and Dermal Contaminant Exposure in Reptiles: Insights from Studies Using the Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

    PubMed Central

    Weir, Scott M.; Talent, Larry G.; Anderson, Todd A.; Salice, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Despite widespread recognition of significant data deficiencies, reptiles remain a relatively understudied taxon in ecotoxicology. To conduct ecological risk assessments on reptiles frequently requires using surrogate taxa such as birds, but recent research suggests that reptiles have significantly different exposure profiles and toxicant sensitivity. We exposed western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, to the same quantities of three model chemicals via oral (gavage) and dermal (ventral skin application) exposure for either 24 or 48 hours. Three phthalate esters (di-methyl phthalate [DMP], di-iso-butyl phthalate [DIBP], and di-n-octyl phthalate [DNOP]) were chosen as model chemicals because they represent a gradient of lipophilicity but are otherwise structurally similar. Overall, the more lipophilic phthalates (DIBP and DNOP) were found to have higher concentrations in tissues than the less lipophilic DMP. Significant differences in tissue concentrations between DIBP and DNOP were tissue-dependent, suggesting that delivery to a site of action following exposure is not only a simple function of lipophilicity. In dermal treatments, DMP usually had fewer detections (except in ventral skin samples), suggesting that lipophilicity (log Kow>2) is a requirement for uptake across the skin. In general, tissue residues were greater in oral treatments than dermal treatments (significant in adipose and liver tissue), but differences were driven strongly by differences in DMP which did not appear to be absorbed well across skin. When differences in tissue residue concentrations between oral and dermal exposure did occur, the difference was not drastic. Taken together these results suggest that dermal exposure should be considered in risk assessments for reptilian receptors. Dermal exposure may be an especially important route for reptiles as their ectothermic physiology translates to lower energetic demands and dietary exposure compared to birds and mammals. PMID

  8. Unraveling the relative importance of oral and dermal contaminant exposure in reptiles: insights from studies using the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis).

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    Despite widespread recognition of significant data deficiencies, reptiles remain a relatively understudied taxon in ecotoxicology. To conduct ecological risk assessments on reptiles frequently requires using surrogate taxa such as birds, but recent research suggests that reptiles have significantly different exposure profiles and toxicant sensitivity. We exposed western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, to the same quantities of three model chemicals via oral (gavage) and dermal (ventral skin application) exposure for either 24 or 48 hours. Three phthalate esters (di-methyl phthalate [DMP], di-iso-butyl phthalate [DIBP], and di-n-octyl phthalate [DNOP]) were chosen as model chemicals because they represent a gradient of lipophilicity but are otherwise structurally similar. Overall, the more lipophilic phthalates (DIBP and DNOP) were found to have higher concentrations in tissues than the less lipophilic DMP. Significant differences in tissue concentrations between DIBP and DNOP were tissue-dependent, suggesting that delivery to a site of action following exposure is not only a simple function of lipophilicity. In dermal treatments, DMP usually had fewer detections (except in ventral skin samples), suggesting that lipophilicity (log Kow>2) is a requirement for uptake across the skin. In general, tissue residues were greater in oral treatments than dermal treatments (significant in adipose and liver tissue), but differences were driven strongly by differences in DMP which did not appear to be absorbed well across skin. When differences in tissue residue concentrations between oral and dermal exposure did occur, the difference was not drastic. Taken together these results suggest that dermal exposure should be considered in risk assessments for reptilian receptors. Dermal exposure may be an especially important route for reptiles as their ectothermic physiology translates to lower energetic demands and dietary exposure compared to birds and mammals.

  9. Reptile and rodent parasites in raptor pellets in an archaeological context: the case of Epullán Chica (northwestern Patagonia, Argentina)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beltrame, María Ornela; Fernández, Fernando Julián; Sardella, Norma Haydeé

    2015-07-01

    Paleoparasitology is the study of parasite remains from archaeological and paleontological sites. Raptor pellets can be used as source for paleoparasitological information in archaeological sites. However, this zooarchaeological material has been scarcely studied. Epullán Chica (ECh) is an archaeological site in northwestern Patagonia. This cave yielded remains from more than 2000 years before present. The aim of this paper was to study the parasite remains found in owl pellets from the archaeological site ECh, and to discuss the paleoparasitological findings in an archaeological context. Twenty two raptor pellets were examined for parasites. The pellets were whole processed by rehydration in a 0.5% water solution of trisodium phosphate, followed by homogenization, filtered and processed by spontaneous sedimentation. Eight out of 22 bird pellets examined were positive for parasites from reptiles and rodents. Representatives of 12 parasite taxa were recorded; nine of this parasitic species were reported for the first time from ancient samples from Patagonia. This is the first time that pellets give evidences of ancient reptile parasites from archaeological contexts. It is noteworthy that Late Holocene hunter-gatherers of the upper Limay River basin, could have been exposed to some of these zoonotic parasites. Future paleoparasitological studies on owl pellets may reflect even more the parasitological diversity of all micromammal and reptile species presents in ancient times.

  10. Mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon: efficient sequencing method with reptile-oriented primers and novel gene rearrangements.

    PubMed

    Kumazawa, Yoshinori; Endo, Hideki

    2004-04-30

    The mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) was nearly completely sequenced, except for two highly repetitive noncoding regions. An efficient sequencing method for squamate mitochondrial genomes was established by combining the long polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology and a set of reptile-oriented primers designed for nested PCR amplifications. It was found that the mitochondrial genome had novel gene arrangements in which genes from NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6 to proline tRNA were extensively shuffled with duplicate control regions. These control regions had 99% sequence similarity over 700 bp. Although snake mitochondrial genomes are also known to possess duplicate control regions with nearly identical sequences, the location of the second control region suggested independent occurrence of the duplication on lineages leading to snakes and the Komodo dragon. Another feature of the mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon was the considerable number of tandem repeats, including sequences with a strong secondary structure, as a possible site for the slipped-strand mispairing in replication. These observations are consistent with hypotheses that tandem duplications via the slipped-strand mispairing may induce mitochondrial gene rearrangements and may serve to maintain similar copies of the control region.

  11. Discovery of a Rare Pterosaur Bone Bed in a Cretaceous Desert with Insights on Ontogeny and Behavior of Flying Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Manzig, Paulo C.; Kellner, Alexander W. A.; Weinschütz, Luiz C.; Fragoso, Carlos E.; Vega, Cristina S.; Guimarães, Gilson B.; Godoy, Luiz C.; Liccardo, Antonio; Ricetti, João H. Z.; de Moura, Camila C.

    2014-01-01

    A pterosaur bone bed with at least 47 individuals (wing spans: 0.65–2.35 m) of a new species is reported from southern Brazil from an interdunal lake deposit of a Cretaceous desert, shedding new light on several biological aspects of those flying reptiles. The material represents a new pterosaur, Caiuajara dobruskii gen. et sp. nov., that is the southermost occurrence of the edentulous clade Tapejaridae (Tapejarinae, Pterodactyloidea) recovered so far. Caiuajara dobruskii differs from all other members of this clade in several cranial features, including the presence of a ventral sagittal bony expansion projected inside the nasoantorbital fenestra, which is formed by the premaxillae; and features of the lower jaw, like a marked rounded depression in the occlusal concavity of the dentary. Ontogenetic variation of Caiuajara dobruskii is mainly reflected in the size and inclination of the premaxillary crest, changing from small and inclined (∼115°) in juveniles to large and steep (∼90°) in adults. No particular ontogenetic features are observed in postcranial elements. The available information suggests that this species was gregarious, living in colonies, and most likely precocial, being able to fly at a very young age, which might have been a general trend for at least derived pterosaurs. PMID:25118592

  12. Searching Before It Is Too Late: A Survey of Blood Parasites in Ctenosaura melanosterna, a Critically Endangered Reptile of Honduras

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Andrew K.; Benz, Andrew C.; Ruyle, Leslie E.; Kistler, Whitney M.; Shock, Barbara C.; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    For species at risk of extinction, any parasites they have would be expected to face a similar fate. In such cases, time is running out for efforts to identify and study their parasitic fauna before they are gone. We surveyed the hemoparasite fauna of 50 black-chested, spiny-tailed iguanas (Ctenosaura melanosterna), a critically-endangered species, on an island off the coast of Honduras. Blood samples from captured animals were tested for hemoparasites by thin blood smear and molecular analyses. Based on microscopy, two parasites were identified, a Plasmodium sp. in 14% of iguanas and a Hepatozoon sp. in 32%. For both parasites, parasitemia levels were <0.1%. Prevalence and parasitemias of Hepatozoon declined with increasing host size, a pattern differing from most prior studies of saurian reptiles. From a subset of iguanas with microscopy-confirmed Plasmodium infections, sequence analysis of 454 bp of the cytochrome b gene indicated that the Plasmodium species was distinct from known Plasmodium and was most closely related to P. chiricahuae (96.5% similarity) followed by P. mexicanum (95.8% similarity). Efforts to amplify the Hepatozoon parasite using PCR were not successful. Additional surveys and studies of this host-parasite system would be valuable, both to science and to the management of this endangered animal. PMID:27335849

  13. Combining phylogenomics and fossils in higher-level squamate reptile phylogeny: molecular data change the placement of fossil taxa.

    PubMed

    Wiens, John J; Kuczynski, Caitlin A; Townsend, Ted; Reeder, Tod W; Mulcahy, Daniel G; Sites, Jack W

    2010-12-01

    Molecular data offer great potential to resolve the phylogeny of living taxa but can molecular data improve our understanding of relationships of fossil taxa? Simulations suggest that this is possible, but few empirical examples have demonstrated the ability of molecular data to change the placement of fossil taxa. We offer such an example here. We analyze the placement of snakes among squamate reptiles, combining published morphological data (363 characters) and new DNA sequence data (15,794 characters, 22 nuclear loci) for 45 living and 19 fossil taxa. We find several intriguing results. First, some fossil taxa undergo major changes in their phylogenetic position when molecular data are added. Second, most fossil taxa are placed with strong support in the expected clades by the combined data Bayesian analyses, despite each having >98% missing cells and despite recent suggestions that extensive missing data are problematic for Bayesian phylogenetics. Third, morphological data can change the placement of living taxa in combined analyses, even when there is an overwhelming majority of molecular characters. Finally, we find strong but apparently misleading signal in the morphological data, seemingly associated with a burrowing lifestyle in snakes, amphisbaenians, and dibamids. Overall, our results suggest promise for an integrated and comprehensive Tree of Life by combining molecular and morphological data for living and fossil taxa.

  14. Comparative Phylogeography Reveals Cryptic Diversity and Repeated Patterns of Cladogenesis for Amphibians and Reptiles in Northwestern Ecuador

    PubMed Central

    Pyron, R. Alexander; Peñafiel, Nicolás; Romero-Barreto, Paulina; Culebras, Jaime; Bustamante, Lucas; Yánez-Muñoz, Mario H.; Guayasamin, Juan M.

    2016-01-01

    Comparative phylogeography allow us to understand how shared historical circumstances have shaped the formation of lineages, by examining a broad spectrum of co-distributed populations of different taxa. However, these types of studies are scarce in the Neotropics, a region that is characterized by high diversity, complex geology, and poorly understood biogeography. Here, we investigate the diversification patterns of five lineages of amphibians and reptiles, co-distributed across the Choco and Andes ecoregions in northwestern Ecuador. Mitochondrial DNA and occurrence records were used to determine the degree of geographic genetic divergence within species. Our results highlight congruent patterns of parapatric speciation and common geographical barriers for distantly related taxa. These comparisons indicate similar biological and demographic characteristics for the included clades, and reveal the existence of two new species of Pristimantis previously subsumed under P. walkeri, which we describe herein. Our data supports the hypothesis that widely distributed Chocoan taxa may generally experience their greatest opportunities for isolation and parapatric speciation across thermal elevational gradients. Finally, our study provides critical information to predict which unstudied lineages may harbor cryptic diversity, and how geology and climate are likely to have shaped their evolutionary history. PMID:27120100

  15. [Inventory of reptiles in 2 semi-arid zones from Northeastern of the Peninsula de Araya, Sucre State, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Pablo Cornejo, E; Antulio Prieto, A

    2001-01-01

    The fauna of reptiles in two localities from Northeastern Peninsula de Araya (Guayacán and El Morahal), Sucre State, Venezuela, was evaluated. Both zones are characterized by a vegetation of thorny tropical mount type, and semiarid climate of scarce precipitations (less than 700 mm). Field trips were made between june 1997 and june 1998. The samples were collected both during day and night, with the aid of conventional accessories. The information was complemented with visual registrations and bibliography revision. A total of 21 species were captured and/or observed, distributed in 10 families belonging to 2 of the 3 orders present in Venezuela. The most important families from the point of view of the diversity of species, were the Gekkonidae (2.00 bits/species) for the lizards and the Colubridae (2.33 bits/species) among the snakes. It was also reported one species of tortoises and three of cinegetic interest, being Cnemidophorus lemniscatus, Ameiva bifrontata y Tropidurus hispidus the only species of constant presence during the study. PMID:11915444

  16. Mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon: efficient sequencing method with reptile-oriented primers and novel gene rearrangements.

    PubMed

    Kumazawa, Yoshinori; Endo, Hideki

    2004-04-30

    The mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) was nearly completely sequenced, except for two highly repetitive noncoding regions. An efficient sequencing method for squamate mitochondrial genomes was established by combining the long polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology and a set of reptile-oriented primers designed for nested PCR amplifications. It was found that the mitochondrial genome had novel gene arrangements in which genes from NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6 to proline tRNA were extensively shuffled with duplicate control regions. These control regions had 99% sequence similarity over 700 bp. Although snake mitochondrial genomes are also known to possess duplicate control regions with nearly identical sequences, the location of the second control region suggested independent occurrence of the duplication on lineages leading to snakes and the Komodo dragon. Another feature of the mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon was the considerable number of tandem repeats, including sequences with a strong secondary structure, as a possible site for the slipped-strand mispairing in replication. These observations are consistent with hypotheses that tandem duplications via the slipped-strand mispairing may induce mitochondrial gene rearrangements and may serve to maintain similar copies of the control region. PMID:15449544

  17. Discovery of a rare pterosaur bone bed in a cretaceous desert with insights on ontogeny and behavior of flying reptiles.

    PubMed

    Manzig, Paulo C; Kellner, Alexander W A; Weinschütz, Luiz C; Fragoso, Carlos E; Vega, Cristina S; Guimarães, Gilson B; Godoy, Luiz C; Liccardo, Antonio; Ricetti, João H Z; de Moura, Camila C

    2014-01-01

    A pterosaur bone bed with at least 47 individuals (wing spans: 0.65-2.35 m) of a new species is reported from southern Brazil from an interdunal lake deposit of a Cretaceous desert, shedding new light on several biological aspects of those flying reptiles. The material represents a new pterosaur, Caiuajara dobruskii gen. et sp. nov., that is the southermost occurrence of the edentulous clade Tapejaridae (Tapejarinae, Pterodactyloidea) recovered so far. Caiuajara dobruskii differs from all other members of this clade in several cranial features, including the presence of a ventral sagittal bony expansion projected inside the nasoantorbital fenestra, which is formed by the premaxillae; and features of the lower jaw, like a marked rounded depression in the occlusal concavity of the dentary. Ontogenetic variation of Caiuajara dobruskii is mainly reflected in the size and inclination of the premaxillary crest, changing from small and inclined (∼ 115°) in juveniles to large and steep (∼ 90°) in adults. No particular ontogenetic features are observed in postcranial elements. The available information suggests that this species was gregarious, living in colonies, and most likely precocial, being able to fly at a very young age, which might have been a general trend for at least derived pterosaurs.

  18. Unique method of tooth replacement in durophagous placodont marine reptiles, with new data on the dentition of Chinese taxa.

    PubMed

    Neenan, James M; Li, Chun; Rieppel, Olivier; Bernardini, Federico; Tuniz, Claudio; Muscio, Giuseppe; Scheyer, Torsten M

    2014-05-01

    The placodonts of the Triassic period (~252-201 mya) represent one of the earliest and most extreme specialisations to a durophagous diet of any known reptile group. Exceptionally enlarged crushing tooth plates on the maxilla, dentary and palatine cooperated to form functional crushing areas in the buccal cavity. However, the extreme size of these teeth, combined with the unusual way they occluded, constrained how replacement occurred. Using an extensive micro-computed tomographic dataset of 11 specimens that span all geographic regions and placodont morphotypes, tooth replacement patterns were investigated. In addition, the previously undescribed dental morphologies and formulae of Chinese taxa are described for the first time and incorporated into the analysis. Placodonts have a unique tooth replacement pattern and results follow a phylogenetic trend. The plesiomorphic Placodus species show many replacement teeth at various stages of growth, with little or no discernible pattern. On the other hand, the more derived cyamodontoids tend to have fewer replacement teeth growing at any one time, replacing teeth unilaterally and/or in functional units, thus maintaining at least one functional crushing area at all times. The highly derived placochelyids have fewer teeth and, as a result, only have one or two replacement teeth in the upper jaw. This supports previous suggestions that these taxa had an alternative diet to other placodonts. Importantly, all specimens show at least one replacement tooth growing at the most posterior palatine tooth plates, indicating increased wear at this point and thus the most efficient functional crushing area. PMID:24517163

  19. Comparative Phylogeography Reveals Cryptic Diversity and Repeated Patterns of Cladogenesis for Amphibians and Reptiles in Northwestern Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Arteaga, Alejandro; Pyron, R Alexander; Peñafiel, Nicolás; Romero-Barreto, Paulina; Culebras, Jaime; Bustamante, Lucas; Yánez-Muñoz, Mario H; Guayasamin, Juan M

    2016-01-01

    Comparative phylogeography allow us to understand how shared historical circumstances have shaped the formation of lineages, by examining a broad spectrum of co-distributed populations of different taxa. However, these types of studies are scarce in the Neotropics, a region that is characterized by high diversity, complex geology, and poorly understood biogeography. Here, we investigate the diversification patterns of five lineages of amphibians and reptiles, co-distributed across the Choco and Andes ecoregions in northwestern Ecuador. Mitochondrial DNA and occurrence records were used to determine the degree of geographic genetic divergence within species. Our results highlight congruent patterns of parapatric speciation and common geographical barriers for distantly related taxa. These comparisons indicate similar biological and demographic characteristics for the included clades, and reveal the existence of two new species of Pristimantis previously subsumed under P. walkeri, which we describe herein. Our data supports the hypothesis that widely distributed Chocoan taxa may generally experience their greatest opportunities for isolation and parapatric speciation across thermal elevational gradients. Finally, our study provides critical information to predict which unstudied lineages may harbor cryptic diversity, and how geology and climate are likely to have shaped their evolutionary history. PMID:27120100

  20. Acanthocephala in amphibians (Anura) and reptiles (Squamata) from Brazil and Paraguay with description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Smales, Lesley R

    2007-04-01

    In a survey of 1,732 amphibians and reptiles collected across São Paulo Province, Brazil, and 7 provinces in Paraguay, 26 species were found infected with acanthocephalans. Of 1,510 anurans, 14 anurans, representing 11 species, were infected with cystacanths of Centrorhynchus spp. and 1 anuran with cystacanths of Oligacanthorhynchus sp. Of 107 lizards, 1 lizard was infected with cystacanths of Centrorhynchus sp. and 1 lizard with cystacanths of Oligacanthorhynchus sp. Acanthocephalus caspanensis was found in 3 anurans (3 species) and Acanthocephalus lutzi in 3 anurans (2 species) and 2 snakes (2 species). The systematic position of A. lutzi cannot be resolved using presently available morphological data. Acanthocephalus saopaulensis n. sp. was found in a single individual of Bufo ictericus. The new species can be differentiated from all its congeners except A. caspanensis in having a sigmoid-shaped male posterior end and from A. caspanensis in having a proboscis armature of 16 rows of 5-7 hooks rather than 18-19 rows of 6-7 hooks and larger eggs. The status of Acanthocephalus and Pseudoacanthocephalus continues to be problematic.

  1. Comparative Phylogeography Reveals Cryptic Diversity and Repeated Patterns of Cladogenesis for Amphibians and Reptiles in Northwestern Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Arteaga, Alejandro; Pyron, R Alexander; Peñafiel, Nicolás; Romero-Barreto, Paulina; Culebras, Jaime; Bustamante, Lucas; Yánez-Muñoz, Mario H; Guayasamin, Juan M

    2016-01-01

    Comparative phylogeography allow us to understand how shared historical circumstances have shaped the formation of lineages, by examining a broad spectrum of co-distributed populations of different taxa. However, these types of studies are scarce in the Neotropics, a region that is characterized by high diversity, complex geology, and poorly understood biogeography. Here, we investigate the diversification patterns of five lineages of amphibians and reptiles, co-distributed across the Choco and Andes ecoregions in northwestern Ecuador. Mitochondrial DNA and occurrence records were used to determine the degree of geographic genetic divergence within species. Our results highlight congruent patterns of parapatric speciation and common geographical barriers for distantly related taxa. These comparisons indicate similar biological and demographic characteristics for the included clades, and reveal the existence of two new species of Pristimantis previously subsumed under P. walkeri, which we describe herein. Our data supports the hypothesis that widely distributed Chocoan taxa may generally experience their greatest opportunities for isolation and parapatric speciation across thermal elevational gradients. Finally, our study provides critical information to predict which unstudied lineages may harbor cryptic diversity, and how geology and climate are likely to have shaped their evolutionary history.

  2. Unique method of tooth replacement in durophagous placodont marine reptiles, with new data on the dentition of Chinese taxa.

    PubMed

    Neenan, James M; Li, Chun; Rieppel, Olivier; Bernardini, Federico; Tuniz, Claudio; Muscio, Giuseppe; Scheyer, Torsten M

    2014-05-01

    The placodonts of the Triassic period (~252-201 mya) represent one of the earliest and most extreme specialisations to a durophagous diet of any known reptile group. Exceptionally enlarged crushing tooth plates on the maxilla, dentary and palatine cooperated to form functional crushing areas in the buccal cavity. However, the extreme size of these teeth, combined with the unusual way they occluded, constrained how replacement occurred. Using an extensive micro-computed tomographic dataset of 11 specimens that span all geographic regions and placodont morphotypes, tooth replacement patterns were investigated. In addition, the previously undescribed dental morphologies and formulae of Chinese taxa are described for the first time and incorporated into the analysis. Placodonts have a unique tooth replacement pattern and results follow a phylogenetic trend. The plesiomorphic Placodus species show many replacement teeth at various stages of growth, with little or no discernible pattern. On the other hand, the more derived cyamodontoids tend to have fewer replacement teeth growing at any one time, replacing teeth unilaterally and/or in functional units, thus maintaining at least one functional crushing area at all times. The highly derived placochelyids have fewer teeth and, as a result, only have one or two replacement teeth in the upper jaw. This supports previous suggestions that these taxa had an alternative diet to other placodonts. Importantly, all specimens show at least one replacement tooth growing at the most posterior palatine tooth plates, indicating increased wear at this point and thus the most efficient functional crushing area.

  3. Mining-caused changes to habitat structure affect amphibian and reptile population ecology more than metal pollution.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Kiyoshi; Lesbarrères, David; Watson, Glen; Litzgus, Jacqueline

    2015-12-01

    Emissions from smelting not only contaminate water and soil with metals, but also induce extensive forest dieback and changes in resource availability and microclimate. The relative effects of such co-occurring stressors are often unknown, but this information is imperative in developing targeted restoration strategies. We assessed the role and relative effects of structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and metal pollution caused by century-long smelting operations on amphibian and reptile communities by collecting environmental and time- and area-standardized multivariate abundance data along three spatially replicated impact gradients. Overall, species richness, diversity, and abundance declined progressively with increasing levels of metals (As, Cu, and Ni) and soil temperature (T(s)) and decreasing canopy cover, amount of coarse woody debris (CWD), and relative humidity (RH). The composite habitat variable (which included canopy cover, CWD, T(s), and RH) was more strongly associated with most response metrics than the composite metal variable (As, Cu, and Ni), and canopy cover alone explained 19-74% of the variance. Moreover, species that use terrestrial habitat for specific behaviors (e.g., hibernation, dispersal), especially forest-dependent species, were more severely affected than largely aquatic species. These results suggest that structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and concomitant changes in the resource availability and microclimate have stronger effects than metal pollution per se. Furthermore, much of the variation in response metrics was explained by the joint action of several environmental variables, implying synergistic effects (e.g., exacerbation of metal toxicity by elevated temperatures in sites with reduced canopy cover). We thus argue that the restoration of terrestrial habitat conditions is a key to successful recovery of herpetofauna communities in smelting-altered landscapes. PMID:26910952

  4. Tooth counts through growth in diapsid reptiles: implications for interpreting individual and size-related variation in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Brown, Caleb Marshall; VanBuren, Collin S; Larson, Derek W; Brink, Kirstin S; Campione, Nicolás E; Vavrek, Matthew J; Evans, David C

    2015-04-01

    Tooth counts are commonly recorded in fossil diapsid reptiles and have been used for taxonomic and phylogenetic purposes under the assumption that differences in the number of teeth are largely explained by interspecific variation. Although phylogeny is almost certainly one of the greatest factors influencing tooth count, the relative role of intraspecific variation is difficult, and often impossible, to test in the fossil record given the sample sizes available to palaeontologists and, as such, is best investigated using extant models. Intraspecific variation (largely manifested as size-related or ontogenetic variation) in tooth counts has been examined in extant squamates (lizards and snakes) but is poorly understood in archosaurs (crocodylians and dinosaurs). Here, we document tooth count variation in two species of extant crocodylians (Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus) as well as a large varanid lizard (Varanus komodoensis). We test the hypothesis that variation in tooth count is driven primarily by growth and thus predict significant correlations between tooth count and size, as well as differences in the frequency of deviation from the modal tooth count in the premaxilla, maxilla, and dentary. In addition to tooth counts, we also document tooth allometry in each species and compare these results with tooth count change through growth. Results reveal no correlation of tooth count with size in any element of any species examined here, with the exception of the premaxilla of C. porosus, which shows the loss of one tooth position. Based on the taxa examined here, we reject the hypothesis, as it is evident that variation in tooth count is not always significantly correlated with growth. However, growth trajectories of smaller reptilian taxa show increases in tooth counts and, although current samples are small, suggest potential correlates between tooth count trajectories and adult size. Nevertheless, interspecific variation in growth patterns

  5. Fitness consequences of maternal and embryonic responses to environmental variation: using reptiles as models for studies of developmental plasticity.

    PubMed

    Warner, Daniel A

    2014-11-01

    Environmental factors strongly influence phenotypic variation within populations. The environment contributes to this variation in two ways: (1) by acting as a determinant of phenotypic variation (i.e., plastic responses) and (2) as an agent of selection that "chooses" among existing phenotypes. Understanding how these two environmental forces contribute to phenotypic variation is a major goal in the field of evolutionary biology and a primary objective of my research program. The objective of this article is to provide a framework to guide studies of environmental sources of phenotypic variation (specifically, developmental plasticity and maternal effects, and their adaptive significance). Two case studies from my research on reptiles are used to illustrate the general approaches I have taken to address these conceptual topics. Some key points for advancing our understanding of environmental influences on phenotypic variation include (1) merging laboratory-based research that identifies specific environmental effects with field studies to validate ecological relevance; (2) using controlled experimental approaches that mimic complex environments found in nature; (3) integrating data across biological fields (e.g., genetics, morphology, physiology, behavior, and ecology) under an evolutionary framework to provide novel insights into the underlying mechanisms that generate phenotypic variation; (4) assessing fitness consequences using measurements of survival and/or reproductive success across ontogeny (from embryos to adults) and under multiple ecologically-meaningful contexts; and (5) quantifying the strength and form of natural selection in multiple populations over multiple periods of time to understand the spatial and temporal consistency of phenotypic selection. Research programs that focus on organisms that are amenable to these approaches will provide the most promise for advancing our understanding of the environmental factors that generate the remarkable

  6. Rivaling the World's Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Glaw, Frank; Köhler, Jörn; Townsend, Ted M.; Vences, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    Background One clade of Malagasy leaf chameleons, the Brookesia minima group, is known to contain species that rank among the smallest amniotes in the world. We report on a previously unrecognized radiation of these miniaturized lizards comprising four new species described herein. Methodology/Principal Findings The newly discovered species appear to be restricted to single, mostly karstic, localities in extreme northern Madagascar: Brookesia confidens sp. n. from Ankarana, B. desperata sp. n. from Forêt d'Ambre, B. micra sp. n. from the islet Nosy Hara, and B. tristis sp. n. from Montagne des Français. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on one mitochondrial and two nuclear genes of all nominal species in the B. minima group congruently support that the four new species, together with B. tuberculata from Montagne d'Ambre in northern Madagascar, form a strongly supported clade. This suggests that these species have diversified in geographical proximity in this small area. All species of the B. minima group, including the four newly described ones, are characterized by very deep genetic divergences of 18–32% in the ND2 gene and >6% in the 16S rRNA gene. Despite superficial similarities among all species of this group, their status as separate evolutionary lineages is also supported by moderate to strong differences in external morphology, and by clear differences in hemipenis structure. Conclusion/Significance The newly discovered dwarf chameleon species represent striking cases of miniaturization and microendemism and suggest the possibility of a range size-body size relationship in Malagasy reptiles. The newly described Brookesia micra reaches a maximum snout-vent length in males of 16 mm, and its total length in both sexes is less than 30 mm, ranking it among the smallest amniote vertebrates in the world. With a distribution limited to a very small islet, this species may represent an extreme case of island dwarfism. PMID:22348069

  7. Detrimental influence on performance of high temperature incubation in a tropical reptile: is cooler better in the tropics?

    PubMed

    Bell, Kris; Blomberg, Simon; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2013-01-01

    Global temperatures have risen over the last century, and are forecast to continue rising. Ectotherms may be particularly sensitive to changes in thermal regimes, and tropical ectotherms are more likely than temperate species to be influenced by changes in environmental temperature, because they may have evolved narrow thermal tolerances. Keelback snakes (Tropidonophis mairii) are tropical, oviparous reptiles. To quantify the effects of temperature on the morphology and physiology of hatchling keelbacks, clutches laid by wild-caught females were split and incubated at three temperatures, reflecting the average minimum, overall average and average maximum temperatures recorded at our study site. Upon hatching, the performance of neonates was examined at all three incubation temperatures in a randomized order over consecutive days. Hatchlings from the 'hot' treatment had slower burst swim speeds and swam fewer laps than hatchlings from the cooler incubation temperatures in all three test temperatures, indicating a low thermal optimum for incubation of this tropical species. There were no significant interactions between test temperature and incubation temperature across performance variables, suggesting phenotypic differences caused by incubation temperature did not acclimate this species to post-hatching conditions. Thus, keelback embryos appear evolutionarily adapted to development at cooler temperatures (relative to what is available in their habitat). The considerable reduction in hatchling viability and performance associated with a 3.5 °C increase in incubation temperature, suggests climate change may have significant population-level effects on this species. However, the offspring of three mothers exposed to the hottest incubation temperature were apparently resilient to high temperature, suggesting that this species may respond to selection imposed by thermal regime.

  8. Mining-caused changes to habitat structure affect amphibian and reptile population ecology more than metal pollution.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Kiyoshi; Lesbarrères, David; Watson, Glen; Litzgus, Jacqueline

    2015-12-01

    Emissions from smelting not only contaminate water and soil with metals, but also induce extensive forest dieback and changes in resource availability and microclimate. The relative effects of such co-occurring stressors are often unknown, but this information is imperative in developing targeted restoration strategies. We assessed the role and relative effects of structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and metal pollution caused by century-long smelting operations on amphibian and reptile communities by collecting environmental and time- and area-standardized multivariate abundance data along three spatially replicated impact gradients. Overall, species richness, diversity, and abundance declined progressively with increasing levels of metals (As, Cu, and Ni) and soil temperature (T(s)) and decreasing canopy cover, amount of coarse woody debris (CWD), and relative humidity (RH). The composite habitat variable (which included canopy cover, CWD, T(s), and RH) was more strongly associated with most response metrics than the composite metal variable (As, Cu, and Ni), and canopy cover alone explained 19-74% of the variance. Moreover, species that use terrestrial habitat for specific behaviors (e.g., hibernation, dispersal), especially forest-dependent species, were more severely affected than largely aquatic species. These results suggest that structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and concomitant changes in the resource availability and microclimate have stronger effects than metal pollution per se. Furthermore, much of the variation in response metrics was explained by the joint action of several environmental variables, implying synergistic effects (e.g., exacerbation of metal toxicity by elevated temperatures in sites with reduced canopy cover). We thus argue that the restoration of terrestrial habitat conditions is a key to successful recovery of herpetofauna communities in smelting-altered landscapes.

  9. Tooth counts through growth in diapsid reptiles: implications for interpreting individual and size-related variation in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Brown, Caleb Marshall; VanBuren, Collin S; Larson, Derek W; Brink, Kirstin S; Campione, Nicolás E; Vavrek, Matthew J; Evans, David C

    2015-04-01

    Tooth counts are commonly recorded in fossil diapsid reptiles and have been used for taxonomic and phylogenetic purposes under the assumption that differences in the number of teeth are largely explained by interspecific variation. Although phylogeny is almost certainly one of the greatest factors influencing tooth count, the relative role of intraspecific variation is difficult, and often impossible, to test in the fossil record given the sample sizes available to palaeontologists and, as such, is best investigated using extant models. Intraspecific variation (largely manifested as size-related or ontogenetic variation) in tooth counts has been examined in extant squamates (lizards and snakes) but is poorly understood in archosaurs (crocodylians and dinosaurs). Here, we document tooth count variation in two species of extant crocodylians (Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus) as well as a large varanid lizard (Varanus komodoensis). We test the hypothesis that variation in tooth count is driven primarily by growth and thus predict significant correlations between tooth count and size, as well as differences in the frequency of deviation from the modal tooth count in the premaxilla, maxilla, and dentary. In addition to tooth counts, we also document tooth allometry in each species and compare these results with tooth count change through growth. Results reveal no correlation of tooth count with size in any element of any species examined here, with the exception of the premaxilla of C. porosus, which shows the loss of one tooth position. Based on the taxa examined here, we reject the hypothesis, as it is evident that variation in tooth count is not always significantly correlated with growth. However, growth trajectories of smaller reptilian taxa show increases in tooth counts and, although current samples are small, suggest potential correlates between tooth count trajectories and adult size. Nevertheless, interspecific variation in growth patterns

  10. The phylogeny of squamate reptiles (lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians) inferred from nine nuclear protein-coding genes.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Nicolas; Hedges, S Blair

    2005-01-01

    Squamate reptiles number approximately 8000 living species and are a major component of the world's terrestrial vertebrate diversity. However, the established relationships of the higher-level groups have been questioned in recent molecular analyses. Here we expand the molecular data to include DNA sequences, totaling 6192 base pairs (bp), from nine nuclear protein-coding genes (C-mos, RAG1, RAG2, R35, HOXA13, JUN, alpha-enolase, amelogenin and MAFB) for 19 taxa representing all major lineages. Our phylogenetic analyses yield a largely resolved phylogeny that challenges previous morphological analyses and requires a new classification. The limbless dibamids are the most basal squamates. Of the remaining taxa (Bifurcata), the gekkonids form a basal lineage. The Unidentata, squamates that are neither dibamids nor gekkonids, are divided into the Scinciformata (scincids, xantusiids, and cordylids) and the Episquamata (remaining taxa). Episquamata includes Laterata (Teiformata, Lacertiformata, and Amphisbaenia, with the latter two joined in Lacertibaenia) and Toxicofera (iguanians, anguimorphs and snakes). Our results reject several previous hypotheses that identified either the varanids, or a burrowing lineage such as amphisbaenians or dibamids, as the closest relative of snakes. Our study also rejects the monophyly of both Scleroglossa and Autarchoglossa, because Iguania, a species-rich lineage (ca. 1440 sp.), is in a highly nested position rather than being basal among Squamata. Thus iguanians should not be viewed as representing a primitive state of squamate evolution but rather a specialized and successful clade combining lingual prehension, dependence on visual cues, and ambush foraging mode, and which feeds mainly on prey avoided by other squamates. Molecular time estimates show that the Triassic and Jurassic (from 250 to 150 Myr) were important times for squamate evolution and diversification. PMID:16286089

  11. Effect of species rarity on the accuracy of species distribution models for reptiles and amphibians in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franklin, J.; Wejnert, K.E.; Hathaway, S.A.; Rochester, C.J.; Fisher, R.N.

    2009-01-01

    Aim: Several studies have found that more accurate predictive models of species' occurrences can be developed for rarer species; however, one recent study found the relationship between range size and model performance to be an artefact of sample prevalence, that is, the proportion of presence versus absence observations in the data used to train the model. We examined the effect of model type, species rarity class, species' survey frequency, detectability and manipulated