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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. Reptile Perinatology.

    PubMed

    Keller, Krista A

    2017-02-04

    Reptile perinatology refers to the time period surrounding hatching, for oviparous species, and immediately after birth, for viviparous species. Veterinarians working in myriad conservation and breeding programs require knowledge in this area. This article reviews anatomy and physiology of the amniotic egg, the basics of artificial incubation, when manual pipping is indicated, and basic medicine of the reptile hatchling or neonate.

  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 cardiology.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2009-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease in reptiles generally is considered an uncommon finding in captive animals, but no large-scale, cross-sectional studies have been performed to determine its prevalence. It is possible that cardiovascular disease is more common than is generally accepted and that the current belief results from limited clinical and diagnostic experience. This article offers guidance drawn from the author's clinical experience and the available literature. It is important that veterinarians pursue a thorough history, physical examination, and diagnostic work-up when managing cardiovascular disease in a reptile case. Veterinarians working with these cases should document their findings and share them with their colleagues to build an evidence-based foundation for reptile medicine.

  8. Reptile embryology.

    PubMed

    Vickaryous, Matthew K; McLean, Katherine E

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles (lizards, snakes, turtles and crocodylians) are becoming increasing popular as models for developmental investigations. In this review the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, is presented as a reptilian model for embryonic studies. We provide details of husbandry, breeding and modifications to two popular histological techniques (whole-mount histochemistry and immunohistochemistry). In addition, we provide a summary of basic reptilian husbandry requirements and discuss important details of embryonic nutrition, egg anatomy and sex determination.

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Respiratory medicine of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Juergen

    2011-05-01

    Noninfectious and infectious causes have been implicated in the development of respiratory tract disease in reptiles. Treatment modalities in reptiles have to account for species differences in response to therapeutic agents as well as interpretation of diagnostic findings. Data on effective drugs and dosages for the treatment of respiratory diseases are often lacking in reptiles. Recently, advances have been made on the application of advanced imaging modalities, especially computed tomography for the diagnosis and treatment monitoring of reptiles. This article describes common infectious and noninfectious causes of respiratory disease in reptiles, including diagnostic and therapeutic regimen.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Take Care with Pet Reptiles

    MedlinePlus

    ... CDC Features Take Care with Pet Reptiles and Amphibians Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend on Facebook Tweet ... helpful resources. Safe Handling Tips for Reptiles and Amphibians Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling reptiles ...

  20. Renal pathology in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Zwart, Peernel

    2006-01-01

    The class of Reptilia varies widely. Both the gross morphology and microscopic anatomy of the kidneys are specific for each species. In each species of reptile, the physiology of the renal system has adapted to the specific conditions of life, including, among other factors, the type of food, environmental temperature, and the availability of water. The pathology of the kidneys in reptiles has been poorly studied, but in recent years a number of investigators have specifically studied reptilian renal pathology.

  1. Radionuclide transfer to reptiles.

    PubMed

    Wood, Michael D; Beresford, Nicholas A; Semenov, Dmitry V; Yankovich, Tamara L; Copplestone, David

    2010-11-01

    Reptiles are an important, and often protected, component of many ecosystems but have rarely been fully considered within ecological risk assessments (ERA) due to a paucity of data on contaminant uptake and effects. This paper presents a meta-analysis of literature-derived environmental media (soil and water) to whole-body concentration ratios (CRs) for predicting the transfer of 35 elements (Am, As, B, Ba, Ca, Cd, Ce, Cm, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, La, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, Pb, Po, Pu, Ra, Rb, Sb, Se, Sr, Th, U, V, Y, Zn, Zr) to reptiles in freshwater ecosystems and 15 elements (Am, C, Cs, Cu, K, Mn, Ni, Pb, Po, Pu, Sr, Tc, Th, U, Zn) to reptiles in terrestrial ecosystems. These reptile CRs are compared with CRs for other vertebrate groups. Tissue distribution data are also presented along with data on the fractional mass of bone, kidney, liver and muscle in reptiles. Although the data were originally collected for use in radiation dose assessments, many of the CR data presented in this paper will also be useful for chemical ERA and for the assessments of dietary transfer in humans for whom reptiles constitute an important component of the diet, such as in Australian aboriginal communities.

  2. Viruses in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Ariel, Ellen

    2011-09-21

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Clinical evaluation of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Divers, S J

    1999-05-01

    A detailed history and physical examination usually provides the veterinarian with a list of possible differential diagnoses and indicates which further investigations may be necessary to make a definitive diagnosis. Radiography, ultrasonography, endoscopy, hematology, blood biochemistry, and microbiological and parasitologic investigations are all proven techniques that are used extensively in reptile medicine. A logical case workup enables the clinician to make a previously elusive reptile diagnosis and offers this interesting group of animals veterinary services comparable with that already expected for more domesticated pets.

  5. 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.

  6. Parasites in pet reptiles.

    PubMed

    Rataj, Aleksandra Vergles; Lindtner-Knific, Renata; Vlahović, Ksenija; Mavri, Urška; Dovč, Alenka

    2011-05-30

    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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. [Jaws of amphibians and reptiles].

    PubMed

    Tanimoto, Masahiro

    2005-04-01

    Big jaws of amphibians and reptiles are mainly treated in this article. In amphibians enlarged skulls are for the big jaw in contrast with human's skulls for the brain. For example, famous fossils of Homo diluvii testis are ones of salamanders in fact. In reptiles, mosasaur jaws and teeth and their ecology are introduced for instance.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The earliest known reptile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smithson, T. R.

    1989-12-01

    AMNIOTES (reptiles, birds and mammals) are distinguished from non-amniote tetrapods (amphibians) by the presence of complex embryonic membranes. One of these, the amnion, gives its name to the group. Very few skeletal characters distinguish amniotes from amphibians1, making it difficult to recognize early amniotes in the fossil record. The earliest amniote fossil identified so far is Hylonomus from the Westphalian (Upper Carboniferous) of Joggins, Nova Scotia2,3, (~300 Myr). I report here the discovery of a much earlier amniote skeleton from the Brigantian (Lower Carboniferous) of Scotland (~338 Myr) 4, which thus represents the earliest occurrence of amniotes in the fossil record. The specimen was collected from the East Kirkton Limestone, near Bathgate, West Lothian4-8, and is part of a unique terrestrial fauna that includes eurypterids, myriapods, scorpions and the earliest-known harvestman spider7,9, together with the earliest known temno-spondyls, a group that may include the ancestors of all living amphibians10. It will make an important contribution to our knowledge of early amniote morphology and the interrelationships of tetrapods.

  17. [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.

  18. [Enterobacteria of reptiles (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Roggendorf, M; Müller, H E

    1976-10-01

    The aerobic gram-negative faecal flora of 78 reptiles consisting of 46 species (39 lizards of 23 species, 15 tortoises of 9 species, 24 snakes of 14 species) was studied. Salmonella was found to be present in 50% of lizards, in 16% of tortoises and in 16% of snakes. There were all together 15 different serotypes. Edwardsiella tarda was isolated in 20% of tortoises, in 12% of snakes but only in 3% of lizards. Tortoises represent therefore the possible normal habitat of Edwardsiella tarda. We isolated Arizona specially from snakes as was described by many authors. A new serotype (Arizona 26a, 26b:27 - 21 = S. arizonae 61:Z10:Z35) was found in a rattlesnake. There were found also much amounts of Citrobacter (52%), E. coli (50%), Proteus mirabilis (49%), Proteus morganii (18%), Proteus rettgeri (26%), Proteus vulgaris (32%). Klebsiella and Enterobacter seem to prefere the lizards. The overwhelming majority of the studied bacteria were lactose-negative, corresponding to the inability of reptiles producing lactose. The normal habitat of Salmonellae in reptiles and the high phylogenetic age of reptiles allows the hypothesis that salmonellae could have a similar old age as their host animals, because the ecological niche, i.e. the bowel of reptiles, has no changed for some hundred million years.

  19. Reptiles and amphibians as laboratory animals.

    PubMed

    O'Rourke, Dorcas P

    2002-06-01

    Although reptiles and amphibians have long been used in biomedical research, few in the arena understand their health and husbandry needs. The author provides an introduction to the successful maintenance of reptiles and amphibians in the laboratory environment.

  20. 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)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Prevalence of Salmonella in Australian reptiles.

    PubMed

    Scheelings, T Franciscus; Lightfoot, Dianne; Holz, Peter

    2011-01-01

    From January 2007 until June 2008, 504 reptiles of four families and 57 species were examined for Salmonella by using cloacal or intestinal swabs. Salmonella was identified in 139 (28%) of the 504 animals tested. Of the 504 reptiles examined, 210 were captive and 294 were wild. Ninety-eight (47%) of the captive reptiles were shedding Salmonella at the time of sampling. In contrast, only 41 (14%) of the wild reptiles were shedding Salmonella. The higher prevalence of Salmonella in captive reptiles was statistically significant (P<0.0001). No Salmonella was found in 60 wild, freshwater chelonians or 48 wild southern water skinks (Eulamprus heatwolei). Our results suggest that some species of wild reptiles in Australia are not natural carriers of Salmonella and that diet and captivity may influence Salmonella excretion in other species.

  5. Diagnosis and management of reptile orthopedic injuries.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2002-01-01

    As veterinarians expand their understanding of the specific husbandry requirements for captive reptiles, nutritionally associated orthopedic injuries should decrease. Orthopedic injuries in wild reptiles, however, will continue to increase as new infrastructure encroaches on the habitats of these animals. Research should be pursued that focuses on improving our understanding of pain management in reptiles, on developing techniques to expedite bone healing, and on creating new orthopedic techniques that provide rigid stabilization without the use of temperature-sensitive materials.

  6. 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.

  7. Oncology of Reptiles: Diseases, Diagnosis, and Treatment.

    PubMed

    Christman, Jane; Devau, Michael; Wilson-Robles, Heather; Hoppes, Sharman; Rech, Raquel; Russell, Karen E; Heatley, J Jill

    2017-01-01

    Based on necropsy review, neoplasia in reptiles has a comparable frequency to that of mammals and birds. Reptile neoplasia is now more frequently diagnosed in clinical practice based on increased use of advanced diagnostic techniques and improvements in reptilian husbandry allowing greater longevity of these species. This article reviews the current literature on neoplasia in reptiles, and focuses on advanced diagnostics and therapeutic options for reptilian patientssuffering neoplastic disease. Although most applied clinical reptile oncology is translated from dog and cat oncology, considerations specific to reptilian patients commonly encountered in clinical practice (turtles, tortoises, snakes, and lizards) are presented.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Estivation in South American amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Abe, A S

    1995-01-01

    A number of amphibians and reptiles have cyclic behavior, becoming inactive with the coming of the dry season. In South America this pattern of activity is common, particularly in savannah-like vegetation. During the dry season amphibians burrow into the mud or soil, and either form a cocoon or increase the osmotic concentration of body fluids to reduce evaporative water loss. Some phyllomedusid tree frogs coat their body surface with skin secretion and excrete uric acid to minimize water loss. Reptiles also retreat into shelter deep enough to avoid temperature fluctuation during estivation or reduce metabolic response to temperature. Reduction of temperature sensitivity of the metabolism seems to be a strategy common to estivating amphibians and reptiles. Despite seasonal change of the environment, some species of reptiles are active all year round.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Common procedures in reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    de la Navarre, Byron J S

    2006-05-01

    Reptiles and amphibians continue to be popular as pets in the United States and throughout the world. It therefore behooves veterinarians interested in caring for these exotic species to continually gather knowledge concerning both their proper husbandry and the conditions that require medical and/or surgical intervention. This article covers husbandry, physical examination, and clinical and diagnostic techniques in an effort to present guidelines for the evaluation of the reptile or amphibian patient. Gathering clinical data will aid veterinarians in arriving at the proper diagnosis,increasing the chances of success with treatment protocols, and educating the clients in proper nutrition and husbandry for their pets.

  4. 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…

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. Quantitative abilities in a reptile (Podarcis sicula).

    PubMed

    Miletto Petrazzini, Maria Elena; Fraccaroli, Isabel; Gariboldi, Francesco; Agrillo, Christian; Bisazza, Angelo; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Foà, Augusto

    2017-04-01

    The ability to identify the largest amount of prey available is fundamental for optimizing foraging behaviour in several species. To date, this cognitive skill has been observed in all vertebrate groups except reptiles. In this study we investigated the spontaneous ability of ruin lizards to select the larger amount of food items. In Experiment 1, lizards proved able to select the larger food item when presented with two alternatives differing in size (0.25, 0.50, 0.67 and 0.75 ratio). In Experiment 2 lizards presented with two groups of food items (1 versus 4, 2 versus 4, 2 versus 3 and 3 versus 4 items) were unable to select the larger group in any contrast. The lack of discrimination in the presence of multiple items represents an exception in numerical cognition studies, raising the question as to whether reptiles' quantitative abilities are different from those of other vertebrate groups.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Multiple sclerosis in the Republic of San Marino: a prevalence and incidence study.

    PubMed

    Granieri, E; Monaldini, C; De Gennaro, R; Guttmann, S; Volpini, M; Stumpo, M; Fazio, P; Casetta, I

    2008-04-01

    Studies on the distribution of multiple sclerosis (MS) carried out in Southern Europe in the last years have shown a significant increase in the frequency of the disease. A previous descriptive survey in the Republic of San Marino, northern Italian peninsula, published in 1984 established that this area is at high risk for MS. We updated the frequency estimates of the disease by adopting a complete enumeration approach. On 31 December 2005, 50 MS patients (36 women and 14 men) yielded a crude prevalence rate of 166.7 per 100, 000 (95% CI 123.7-220), 235.3 (95% CI 165-327.4) for women and 95.2 (95% CI 52-160) for men. The average incidence from 1990 to 2005 was 7.9 (95% CI 5.3-11.1) per 100,000, 11.7 (95% CI 7.6-17.3) for women and 3.9 (95% CI 1.7-7.7) for men. We did not detect any significant temporal trend over the study period. These results confirm that in San Marino the disease occurs more frequently than that suggested in the past and support the data on MS frequency in continental Italy. The marked increase in MS prevalence ratio is partly due to the increasing survival of patients and the accumulation of new incidence cases owing to the reduction in diagnostic latency for better quality of neurological diagnostic procedures. However, an increased incidence of the disease could be considered.

  18. An interview with Kate Storey and Silvia Marino. Interview by Eva Amsen.

    PubMed

    Storey, Kate; Marino, Silvia

    2010-06-01

    In February 2010, in the beautiful setting of Wiston House, nestled at the foot of the hilly South Downs in Sussex, UK, The Company of Biologists, the not-for-profit organisation that publishes Development, held the inaugural meeting of their new workshop series dedicated to biological research (for more information on these meetings, please go to http://workshops.biologists.com/). The meeting was titled 'Neural Stem Cells in Development and Disease', and was organised by Kate Storey, Professor of Neural Development at the College of Life Sciences of the University of Dundee, and Silvia Marino, Professor of Neuropathology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. They were also assisted by the workshop chairman, François Guillemot, Programme Leader of the Division of Molecular Neurobiology at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. The scientific scope and themes of this workshop are covered in more detail in a meeting review published in this issue (see p. 1933) but, to get a glimpse behind the scenes, we talked to Kate Storey and Silvia Marino and asked them about the organisation of the 'Neural Stem Cells in Development and Disease' workshop.

  19. Energy and nutrient utilisation by embryonic reptiles.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Michael B; Speake, Brian K

    2002-11-01

    Most reptiles are oviparous, with the developing embryos relying on the contents of the yolk to sustain development until hatching (lecithotrophy). The yolk is composed primarily of lipid and protein, which act as an energy source and the essential components to build embryonic tissue. Nevertheless, yolk and the resulting embryos contain many other nutrients, including inorganic ions, vitamins, carotenoids, water and hormones. Apart from water and oxygen, which may be taken up by eggs, and some inorganic ions that can come from the eggshell or even from outside the egg, everything required by the embryo must be in the egg when it is laid. Approximately 20% of squamate reptiles are viviparous, exhibiting a variety of placental complexities. Species with complex placentae have reduced yolk volumes, with the mother augmenting embryonic nutrition by provision across the placenta (placentotrophy). Despite assumed advantages of placentotrophy, only 5 out of approximately 100 lineages of viviparous squamates exhibit substantial placentotrophy. This paper reviews available and recent information on the yolk contents of a variety of squamate reptiles to ask the question, how are nutrients transported from the yolk to the embryo or across the placenta? Although, current available data suggest that, in broad terms, yolk is taken up by embryos without discrimination of the nutrients, there are some apparent exceptions, including the very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. In addition, fundamental differences in the patterns of energy utilisation in lizards and snakes suggest fundamental differences in lipid profiles in these taxa, which appear to reflect the differences between placentotrophic and lecithotrophic viviparous lizards.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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)).

  8. 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.

  9. Objects and mappings: incompatible principles of display design - a critique of Marino and Mahan.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Kevin B

    2005-01-01

    Representation aiding (and similar approaches that share the general orientation) has a great deal of utility, predictive ability, and explanatory power. Marino and Mahan (2005) discuss principles that are critical to the RA approach (configurality, emergent features, and mappings) in a reasonable fashion. However, the application of these principles is far from reasonable. The authors explicitly realize the potential for interactions between nutrients: "The nutritional quality of a food product is a multidimensional concept, and higher order interactions between nutrients may exist" (p. 126). However, they made no effort to discover the nature of these interactions: "No attempt was made to identify contingent interactions between nutrients" (p. 126). Despite not knowing the nature of the interactions between nutrients, they purposely chose a highly configural display that produced numerous emergent features dependent upon these interactions: "A radial spoke display was selected because of the strong configural properties of such display formats (Bennett & Flach, 1992)" (p. 124). Finally, the authors show apparent disdain for the specific mappings among domain, agent, and display that are fundamental to the RA approach: "[O]ther configural display formats could have been used" (p. 124). It is impossible to reconcile these statements and the RA approach to display design. However, these statements make perfect sense if a perceptual object is a guiding principle in one's approach to display design. Marino and Mahan (2005) draw heavily upon the principle of a perceptual object in their design justifications, experimental predictions, and interpretations of results. As we have indicated here and elsewhere (Bennett & Flach, 1992), we believe that these two sets of organizing principles for display design (i.e., objects and mappings) are incompatible. Display design will never be an exact science; there will always be elements of art and creativity. However, the guiding

  10. Analysis of Reptile Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services within ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    A focus for resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis has been mapping and quantifying biodiversity and ecosystem services. The challenge has been to integrate ecology with economics to better understand the effects of human policies and actions and their subsequent impacts on human well-being and ecosystem function. Biodiversity is valued by humans in varied ways, and thus is an important input to include in assessing the benefits of ecosystems to humans. Some biodiversity metrics more clearly reflect ecosystem services (e.g., game species, threatened and endangered species), whereas others may indicate indirect and difficult to quantify relationships to services (e.g., taxa richness and cultural value). In the present study, we identify and map reptile biodiversity and ecosystem services metrics. The importance of reptiles to biodiversity and ecosystems services is not often described. We used species distribution models for reptiles in the conterminous United States from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Gap Analysis Program. We focus on species richness metrics including all reptile species richness, taxa groupings of lizards, snakes and turtles, NatureServe conservation status (G1, G2, G3) species, IUCN listed reptiles, threatened and endangered species, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation listed reptiles, and rare species. These metrics were analyzed with the Protected Areas Database of the United States to

  11. 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.).

  12. 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.

  13. Live birth in an archosauromorph reptile

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jun; Organ, Chris L.; Benton, Michael J.; Brandley, Matthew C.; Aitchison, Jonathan C.

    2017-01-01

    Live birth has evolved many times independently in vertebrates, such as mammals and diverse groups of lizards and snakes. However, live birth is unknown in the major clade Archosauromorpha, a group that first evolved some 260 million years ago and is represented today by birds and crocodilians. Here we report the discovery of a pregnant long-necked marine reptile (Dinocephalosaurus) from the Middle Triassic (∼245 million years ago) of southwest China showing live birth in archosauromorphs. Our discovery pushes back evidence of reproductive biology in the clade by roughly 50 million years, and shows that there is no fundamental reason that archosauromorphs could not achieve live birth. Our phylogenetic models indicate that Dinocephalosaurus determined the sex of their offspring by sex chromosomes rather than by environmental temperature like crocodilians. Our results provide crucial evidence for genotypic sex determination facilitating land-water transitions in amniotes. PMID:28195584

  14. Oral, dental, and beak disorders of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Mehler, Stephen J; Bennett, R Avery

    2003-09-01

    Each species of reptile has evolved unique characteristics that are associated with their oral cavity, dentition, tongue, glands, and methods of mastication. These developments have provided each with an opportunity to interact with their surroundings. In captivity, the developmental relationship is often severed by the introduction of artificial surroundings and inappropriate husbandry. These changes predispose the animals to many stresses and disorders. Disorders of the oral cavity are often a representation of what is occurring systemically. Bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic, neoplastic, and nutritional causes of disorders of the oral cavity in reptilian species are probably underestimated and likely cause a higher incidence of morbidity and mortality than has been reported. The misinformation that clients receive regarding husbandry may directly correlate with the frequency of oral diseases seen in a clinical setting. Prevention of disease of the oral cavity is primarily through providing appropriate environmental conditions and diet.

  15. Marine reptiles from the Late Cretaceous of northern Patagonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasparini, Z.; Casadio, S.; Fernández, M.; Salgado, L.

    2001-04-01

    During the Campanian-Maastrichtian, Patagonia was flooded by the Atlantic and reduced to an archipelago. Several localities of northern Patagonia have yielded marine reptiles. Analysis of several assemblages suggests that the diversity and abundance of pelagic marine reptiles in northern Patagonia was higher by the end of the Cretaceous than previously thought. Several plesiosaurids, including Aristonectes parvidens and the polycotylid Sulcusuchus, and the first remains of mosasaurinae have been found. The Cretaceous marine reptile record from South America is scanty. Nevertheless, materials described here suggest that Tethyan and Weddelian forms converged in northern Patagonia, as seen with invertebrates.

  16. Organochlorine pesticides in squamate reptiles from southern Arizona, USA.

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Dobrovolny, Marianne; Torres, Chelsea; Torres, Cassie; Goode, Matt; Rainwater, Thomas R; Salice, Christopher J; Anderson, Todd A

    2013-06-01

    Despite recognition of the lack of reptile ecotoxicology data, the taxon remains poorly studied. Contaminant body burdens are useful in demonstrating exposures to contaminants do occur and may provide insight regarding risks. The purpose of this study was to determine organochlorine pesticide burdens in various tissues of terrestrial reptiles opportunistically collected in Arizona. Heptachlor, DDE, and endrin were the most common analytes detected in fat samples. Liver samples contained methoxychlor and heptachlor at greater frequency than other organochlorines. Investigations into chronic low-level exposures are rare for reptiles and research is needed to determine critical body residues associated with adverse impacts.

  17. [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.

  18. 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.

  19. [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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Transitions between sex-determining systems in reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Sarre, Stephen D; Ezaz, Tariq; Georges, Arthur

    2011-01-01

    Important technological advances in genomics are driving a new understanding of the evolution of sex determination in vertebrates. In particular, comparative chromosome mapping in reptiles has shown an intriguing distribution of homology in sex chromosomes across reptile groups. When this new understanding is combined with the widespread distribution of genetic and temperature-dependent sex-determination mechanisms among reptiles, it is apparent that transitions between modes have occurred many times, as they have for amphibians (particularly between male and female heterogamety). It is also likely that thermosensitivity in sex determination is a key factor in those transitions in reptiles, and possibly in amphibians too. New models of sex determination involving temperature thresholds are providing the framework for the investigation of transitions and making possible key predictions about the homologies and sex-determination patterns expected among taxa in these groups. Molecular cytogenetics and other genomic approaches are essential to providing the fundamental material necessary to make advances in this field.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. [Reptile-associated Salmonellosis in Infants in Germany].

    PubMed

    Böhme, H; Fruth, A; Rabsch, W

    2009-01-01

    Salmonellosis is an important disease in childhood. Increasing infections caused by meat and raw egg consumption starts in the second year of life. The transmission from reptiles to infants is an alternative route. Reptile-associated salmonellosis is becoming more significant for pediatricians and microbiologists due to the increasing numbers of household exotic pets. Investigations of routes of infections in connection with the local health authorities including microbiological, serological and molecular biological tests is possible in case of atypical salmonellosis. During recent years (2006-2008) an increasing number of salmonellosis cases caused by reptiles. Most of the 26 patients were infants of less than one year of age. Also Salmonella strains of subspecies II, IIIa, IIIb and IV play an important role. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published recommendations which includes washing hands with soap and water after handling reptiles or the cages and keeping reptiles out of food preparation areas. The CDC has also adviced that children less than five years should not have reptiles as pets.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Placental specializations in lecithotrophic viviparous squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Stewart, James R

    2015-09-01

    Squamate reptiles have been thought to be predisposed to evolution of viviparity because embryos of most oviparous species undergo considerable development in the uterus prior to oviposition. A related hypothesis proposes that prolonged intrauterine gestation, an intermediate condition leading to viviparity, requires little or no physiological adjustment, other than reduction in thickness of the eggshell. This logical framework is often accompanied by an assumption that mode of parity (oviparity, viviparity) and pattern of embryonic nutrition (lecithotrophy, placentotrophy) are independent traits that evolve in sequence. Thus, specializations for viviparity should be absent in some lecithotrophic viviparous species. Studies of species of lizards with geographic variation in mode of parity challenge this scenario by demonstrating that placental specializations are correlated with viviparity. Uterine specializations for placental transport of calcium to viviparous embryos alter uterine physiology compared to oviparous females. In addition, comparative studies of oviparous and viviparous species, i.e., in which gene flow is disrupted, reveal that both uterine and embryonic structural modifications are commonly associated with viviparity, suggesting relatively rapid evolution of placental specializations. Studies of squamate reproductive biology support two hypotheses: 1) evolution of viviparity requires physiological adjustments of the uterine environment, and 2) evolution of viviparity promotes relatively rapid adaptations for placentation. Models for the evolution of viviparity from oviparity, or for reversals from viviparity to oviparity, should reflect current understanding of squamate reproductive biology and future studies should be designed to challenge these models.

  13. Reptile thermogenesis and the origins of endothermy.

    PubMed

    Tattersall, Glenn J

    2016-10-01

    Extant endotherms have high rates of metabolism, elevated body temperatures, usually tight control over body temperature, and a reasonable scope for further increases in metabolism through locomotor activity. Vertebrate ectotherms, on the other hand, rely on behavioural thermoregulation and cardiovascular adjustments to facilitate warming, and generally lack specific biochemical and cellular mechanisms for sustained, elevated metabolism. Nevertheless, the ancestral condition to endothermy is thought to resemble that of many extant reptiles, which raises the question of the origins and selection pressures relevant to the transitional state. Numerous hypotheses have emerged to explain the multiple origins of endothermy in vertebrates, including thermoregulatory, locomotory, and reproductive activity as possible drivers for these sustained and elevated metabolic rates. In this article, I discuss recent evidence for facultative endothermy in an extant lepidosaur, the tegu lizard. Since lepidosaurs are a sister group to the archosaurs, understanding how a novel form of endothermy evolved will open up opportunities to test the compatibility or incompatibility of the various endothermy hypotheses, with potential to elucidate and resolve long contentious ideas in evolutionary physiology.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The physiology of lipid storage and use in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Price, Edwin R

    2016-06-27

    Lipid metabolism is central to understanding whole-animal energetics. Reptiles store most excess energy in lipid form, mobilise those lipids when needed to meet energetic demands, and invest lipids in eggs to provide the primary source of energy to developing embryos. Here, I review the mechanisms by which non-avian reptiles store, transport, and use lipids. Many aspects of lipid absorption, transport, and storage appear to be similar to birds, including the hepatic synthesis of lipids from glucose substrates, the transport of triglycerides in lipoproteins, and the storage of lipids in adipose tissue, although adipose tissue in non-avian reptiles is usually concentrated in abdominal fat bodies or the tail. Seasonal changes in fat stores suggest that lipid storage is primarily for reproduction in most species, rather than for maintenance during aphagic periods. The effects of fasting on plasma lipid metabolites can differ from mammals and birds due to the ability of non-avian reptiles to reduce their metabolism drastically during extended fasts. The effect of fasting on levels of plasma ketones is species specific: β-hydroxybutyrate concentration may rise or fall during fasting. I also describe the process by which the bulk of lipids are deposited into oocytes during vitellogenesis. Although this process is sometimes ascribed to vitellogenin-based transport in reptiles, the majority of lipid deposition occurs via triglycerides packaged in very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDLs), based on physiological, histological, biochemical, comparative, and genomic evidence. I also discuss the evidence for non-avian reptiles using 'yolk-targeted' VLDLs during vitellogenesis. The major physiological states - feeding, fasting, and vitellogenesis - have different effects on plasma lipid metabolites, and I discuss the possibilities and potential problems of using plasma metabolites to diagnose feeding condition in non-avian reptiles.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. [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.

  2. 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.

  3. Physiological, behavioral, and ecological aspects of migration in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Southwood, Amanda; Avens, Larisa

    2010-01-01

    Seasonal movements between foraging, breeding, and overwintering sites occur in a wide variety of reptile species. Terrestrial snakes, lizards, and turtles migrate short distances (\\20 km) between seasonal habitats, whereas fully aquatic marine turtles migrate hundreds to thousands of kilometers between foraging and breeding areas. The purpose of this article is to summarize aspects of migratory physiology and behavior in reptiles, particularly with regards to energetics and sensory mechanisms for navigation and orientation. We discuss the influence of aerobic scope, endurance, and cost of transport on migratory capacity, the effects of temperature and circulating hormones on activity and behavior, and mechanisms of detecting and transducing environmental cues to successfully navigate and orient toward a goal during migration. Topics worthy of further research are highlighted in the text, and we conclude with a discussion of how information on migration patterns of reptiles may be used to manage and conserve threatened populations.

  4. Competency of reptiles and amphibians for eastern equine encephalitis virus.

    PubMed

    White, Gregory; Ottendorfer, Christy; Graham, Sean; Unnasch, Thomas R

    2011-09-01

    Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is endemic throughout most of the eastern United States. Although it is transmitted year round in Florida, transmission elsewhere is seasonal. The mechanism that enables EEEV to overwinter in seasonal foci remains obscure. In previous field studies, early season EEEV activity was detected in mosquito species that feed primarily upon ectothermic hosts, suggesting that reptiles and amphibians might represent overwintering reservoir hosts for EEEV. To determine if this might be possible, two commonly fed upon amphibian and reptile species were evaluated as hosts for the North American subtype I strain of EEEV. Neither amphibian species was a competent host. However, circulating viremias were detected in both reptile species examined. Hibernating infected garter snakes remained viremic after exiting hibernation. These data suggest that snakes may represent an overwintering host for North American EEEV.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. Updates and practical approaches to reproductive disorders in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Sykes, John M

    2010-09-01

    Reproductive biology and disorders are important facets of captive reptile management and are relatively common reasons for reptiles to present to the veterinarian. Although the factors and conditions for normal reproduction differ between species depending on their natural histories, the general principles and common approaches to disorders are presented in this article. Frequently seen disorders addressed in this review include infertility or lack of conception, follicular stasis, dystocia, and reproductive organ prolapse. This article is divided into sections based on the taxonomic groups, although many of the predisposing factors for and the approaches to these conditions are similar for all the groups.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Parasitic helminths of reptiles (Reptilia) in South Moravia (Czech Republic).

    PubMed

    Borkovcová, M; Kopriva, J

    2005-01-01

    An helminthological investigation of 104 reptile species was carried out in south Moravia (Czech Republic). We examined Lacerta viridis, L. agilis, Anguis fragilis, Natrix natrix, Coronella austriaca and Vipera berus. Twelve species of parasites were found. Among these, Nematoda occurred most often, followed by Trematoda and Cestoda. No Acanthocephala were detected.

  13. Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-05-10

    Chrysemys picta None (S5) (Pigmy) Short- horned lizard Phrynosoma douglassii None (S3) Western (Skilton’s) skink Eumeces skiltonianus None (S5...vii 1 Introduction ...the Director of ERDC is Dr. Jeffery P. Holland. ERDC/CERL TR-13-5 viii ERDC/CERL TR-13-5 1 1 Introduction 1.1 Background Many reptile and

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  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. The development of complex tooth shape in reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Zahradnicek, Oldrich; Buchtova, Marcela; Dosedelova, Hana; Tucker, Abigail S.

    2014-01-01

    Reptiles have a diverse array of tooth shapes, from simple unicuspid to complex multicuspid teeth, reflecting functional adaptation to a variety of diets and eating styles. In addition to cusps, often complex longitudinal labial and lingual enamel crests are widespread and contribute to the final shape of reptile teeth. The simplest shaped unicuspid teeth have been found in piscivorous or carnivorous ancestors of recent diapsid reptiles and they are also present in some extant carnivores such as crocodiles and snakes. However, the ancestral tooth shape for squamate reptiles is thought to be bicuspid, indicating an insectivorous diet. The development of bicuspid teeth in lizards has recently been published, indicating that the mechanisms used to create cusps and crests are very distinct from those that shape cusps in mammals. Here, we introduce the large variety of tooth shapes found in lizards and compare the morphology and development of bicuspid, tricuspid, and pentacuspid teeth, with the aim of understanding how such tooth shapes are generated. Next, we discuss whether the processes used to form such morphologies are conserved between divergent lizards and whether the underlying mechanisms share similarities with those of mammals. In particular, we will focus on the complex teeth of the chameleon, gecko, varanus, and anole lizards using SEM and histology to compare the tooth crown morphology and embryonic development. PMID:24611053

  18. 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?

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Regulation of body temperature by some Mesozoic marine reptiles.

    PubMed

    Bernard, Aurélien; Lécuyer, Christophe; Vincent, Peggy; Amiot, Romain; Bardet, Nathalie; Buffetaut, Eric; Cuny, Gilles; Fourel, François; Martineau, François; Mazin, Jean-Michel; Prieur, Abel

    2010-06-11

    What the body temperature and thermoregulation processes of extinct vertebrates were are central questions for understanding their ecology and evolution. The thermophysiologic status of the great marine reptiles is still unknown, even though some studies have suggested that thermoregulation may have contributed to their exceptional evolutionary success as apex predators of Mesozoic aquatic ecosystems. We tested the thermal status of ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs by comparing the oxygen isotope compositions of their tooth phosphate to those of coexisting fish. Data distribution reveals that these large marine reptiles were able to maintain a constant and high body temperature in oceanic environments ranging from tropical to cold temperate. Their estimated body temperatures, in the range from 35 degrees +/- 2 degrees C to 39 degrees +/- 2 degrees C, suggest high metabolic rates required for predation and fast swimming over large distances offshore.

  4. 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.

  5. Development of the plerocercoid I of Ophiotaenia europaea in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Biserkov, V; Kostadinova, A

    1997-12-01

    The existence of a two-host life-cycle in ophiotaeniid proteocephalideans was tested experimentally using Ophiotaenia europaea as a model. Three species of reptiles, Natrix natrix, Natrix tessellata and Lacerta viridis, were fed with experimentally infected copepods containing a large number of infective plerocercoids I. A few plerocercoids, most of which were dead, corresponding morphologically to the plerocercoid II developmental stage of O. europaea, were found encysted in the intestinal wall of N. natrix (8 days p.i.), N. tessellata (5 and 150 days p.i.) and L. viridis (40 days p.i.), while no plerocercoids or adult worms were recovered from their intestines. The results indicate that the infective plerocercoid I of O. europaea cannot undergo further development when ingested directly by the final host (a reptile), and that environmental temperature stimuli cannot initiate a reverse plerocercoid migration to the gut followed by strobilization.

  6. 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

  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. Dynamic evolution of venom proteins in squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R; Huttley, Gavin A; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses of toxin gene families have revolutionised our understanding of the origin and evolution of reptile venoms, leading to the current hypothesis that venom evolved once in squamate reptiles. However, because of a lack of homologous squamate non-toxin sequences, these conclusions rely on the implicit assumption that recruitments of protein families into venom are both rare and irreversible. Here we use sequences of homologous non-toxin proteins from two snake species to test these assumptions. Phylogenetic and ancestral-state analyses revealed frequent nesting of 'physiological' proteins within venom toxin clades, suggesting early ancestral recruitment into venom followed by reverse recruitment of toxins back to physiological roles. These results provide evidence that protein recruitment into venoms from physiological functions is not a one-way process, but dynamic, with reversal of function and/or co-expression of toxins in different tissues. This requires a major reassessment of our previous understanding of how animal venoms evolve.

  9. 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.

  10. Contrasting models of parity-mode evolution in squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Burbrink, Frank T

    2015-09-01

    Recent analyses using large-scale phylogenies suggest a radically different history for the evolution of live birth and egg laying in squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) than traditionally understood. What is the ancestral condition for lizards and snakes? How frequently does live bearing evolve in egg-laying lineages? Can the eggshell ever re-evolve in live-bearing lineages? Answering these fundamental questions about the evolution of key physiological processes will require additional data from genomic, developmental, and fossil data.

  11. 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.

  12. Discrimination of flicker frequency rates in the reptile tuatara ( Sphenodon )

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woo, Kevin L.; Hunt, Maree; Harper, David; Nelson, Nicola J.; Daugherty, Charles H.; Bell, Ben D.

    2009-03-01

    By investigating the mechanisms that underlie the perception of environmental cues, we may begin to understand how the sensory system governs behavioral responses. This is the first empirical study to examine learning and visual sensitivity in a reptile species, the tuatara ( Sphenodon punctatus). We established a non-intrusive psychophysical method by employing an instrumental paradigm in order to examine discrimination learning and the ability to distinguish different flicker frequencies in the tuatara. Seventeen tuatara were trained under an operant conditioning task to respond to various discriminative stimuli flickering between 2.65 and 65.09 Hz. Tuatara were able to learn the operant task and discriminate between a constant light and flicker frequency rates between 2.65 and 45.61 Hz, but not at 65.09 Hz. We demonstrated a reliable psychophysical method where these reptiles could learn a basic operant task and discriminate visual stimuli in the form of flicker frequency rates. The tuatara’s ability to perceive flickering light is comparable to that of avian, mammalian, and other reptilian species. This method is thus suitable for more comprehensive examinations of vision and additional sensory abilities in other reptiles.

  13. 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.

  14. Salmonella diversity associated with wild reptiles and amphibians in Spain.

    PubMed

    Briones, Víctor; Téllez, Sonia; Goyache, Joaquín; Ballesteros, Cristina; del Pilar Lanzarot, María; Domínguez, Lucas; Fernández-Garayzábal, José F

    2004-08-01

    During the spring and summer of 2001, faeces from 166 wild reptiles (94 individuals) and amphibians (72 individuals) from 21 different species found in central Spain were examined for the presence of Salmonella. Thirty-nine reptiles (41.5%) yielded 48 Salmonella isolates, whereas all the amphibians examined were negative. Subspecies Salmonella enterica enterica (I) accounted for up to 50% of isolates. Fourteen isolates (29.2%) belonged to subspecies diarizonae (IIIb), six isolates (12.5%) to subspecies salamae (II), and four isolates (8.3%) to subspecies arizonae (IIIa). Twenty-seven different serotypes were identified. Serotypes Anatum (12.5%), Herzliya (8.3%), Abony, 18:l,v:z, 9,12:z29:1,5 and 38:z10:z53 (6.2%/each) were the most frequently isolated. A high percentage (39.6%) of isolates belonged to serotypes previously associated with environmental sources. Also, 37.5% of isolates belonged to serotypes which had been related to human cases of salmonellosis. From these data, it is concluded that wild reptiles, but apparently not amphibians, may represent an important reservoir of Salmonella in nature and have potential implications for public health.

  15. Social learning by imitation in a reptile (Pogona vitticeps).

    PubMed

    Kis, Anna; Huber, Ludwig; Wilkinson, Anna

    2015-01-01

    The ability to learn through imitation is thought to be the basis of cultural transmission and was long considered a distinctive characteristic of humans. There is now evidence that both mammals and birds are capable of imitation. However, nothing is known about these abilities in the third amniotic class-reptiles. Here, we use a bidirectional control procedure to show that a reptile species, the bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), is capable of social learning that cannot be explained by simple mechanisms such as local enhancement or goal emulation. Subjects in the experimental group opened a trap door to the side that had been demonstrated, while subjects in the ghost control group, who observed the door move without the intervention of a conspecific, were unsuccessful. This, together with differences in behaviour between experimental and control groups, provides compelling evidence that reptiles possess cognitive abilities that are comparable to those observed in mammals and birds and suggests that learning by imitation is likely to be based on ancient mechanisms.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular cloning of natriuretic peptides from the heart of reptiles: loss of ANP in diapsid reptiles and birds.

    PubMed

    Trajanovska, Sofie; Donald, John A

    2008-04-01

    Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and B-type NP (BNP) are hormones involved in homeostatic control of body fluid and cardiovascular regulation. Both ANP and BNP have been cloned from the heart of mammals, amphibians, and teleost fishes, while an additional cardiac peptide, ventricular NP, has been found in selected species of teleost fish. However, in chicken, BNP is the primary cardiac peptide identified thus far. In contrast, the types of NP/s present in the reptilian heart are unknown, representing a considerable gap in our understanding of NP evolution. In the present study, we cloned and sequenced a BNP cDNA from the atria of representative species of reptile, including crocodile, lizard, snake, and tortoise. In addition, we cloned BNP from the pigeon atria. The reptilian and pigeon BNP cDNAs had ATTTA repeats in the 3' untranslated region, as observed in all vertebrate BNP mRNAs. A high sequence homology was evident when comparing reptile and pigeon preproBNP with the previously identified chicken preproBNP. In particular, the predicted mature BNP-29 was identical between crocodile, tortoise, and chicken, with pigeon having a single amino acid substitution; lizard and snake BNP had seven and nine substitutions, respectively. Furthermore, an ANP cDNA could only be cloned from the tortoise atria. Since ANP was not isolated from the heart of any non-chelonian reptile and appears to be absent in birds, we propose that the ANP gene has been lost after branching of the turtles in the amniote line. This data provides new avenues for research on NP function in reptiles.

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. Afferent connections of the cerebellum in various types of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Bangma, G C; ten Donkelaar, H

    1982-05-20

    The origin of cerebellar afferents was studied in various types of reptiles, viz., the turtles Pseudemys scripta elegans and Testudo hermanni, the lizard Varanus exanthematicus, and the snake Python regius, with retrograde tracers (the enzyme horseradish peroxidase and the fluorescent tracer "Fast Blue"). Projections to the cerebellum were demonstrated from the nucleus of the basal optic root, the interstitial nucleus of the fasciculus longitudinalis medialis, the vestibular ganglion, and the vestibular nuclear complex, two somatosensory nuclei, viz., the descending nucleus of the trigeminal nerve and the nucleus of the dorsal funiculus, the nucleus of the solitary tract, the reticular formation, and throughout the spinal cord. A distinct bilateral projection to the cerebellum was found to arise in a nucleus previously called nucleus parvocellularis medialis (Ebbesson, '67). In the present study this cell mass is termed the perihypoglossal nuclear complex, considering its comparable position and fiber connections to the perihypoglossal nuclei in mammals. In all reptilian species studied a contralateral cerebellar projection of a cell mass located in the caudal brainstem adjacent to the nucleus raphes inferior was observed. It seems likely that this cell mass represents the reptilian homologue of the mammalian inferior olive. Most of the spinocerebellar fibers appeared to arise in neurons located in area VII-VIII of the gray matter. In this respect the origin of the spinocerebellar projection in reptiles resembles the origin of the rostral and ventral spinocerebellar tracts in mammals. No indications for the existence of a column of Clarke or a central cervical nucleus in the reptilian spinal cord were obtained. On comparison of the cerebellum afferents in reptiles with the known connections of the cerebellum in amphibians, birds, and mammals, a basic pattern of cerebellar afferent projections appears to exist in these vertebrate classes, including retinal

  3. The respiratory consequences of feeding in amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Wang, T; Busk, M; Overgaard, J

    2001-03-01

    Many ectothermic vertebrates ingest very large meals at infrequent intervals. The digestive processes associated with these meals, often coupled with an extensive hypertrophy of the gastrointestinal organs, are energetically expensive and metabolic rate, therefore, increases substantially after feeding (specific dynamic action, SDA). Here, we review the cardio-respiratory consequences of SDA in amphibians and reptiles. For some snakes, the increased oxygen uptake during SDA is of similar magnitude to that of muscular exercise, and the two physiological states, therefore, exert similar and profound demands on oxygen transport by the cardiorespiratory systems. In several species, SDA is attended by increases in heart rate and overall systemic blood flows, but changes in blood flow distribution remain to be investigated. In snakes, the regulation of heart rate appears to involve a non-adrenergic-non-cholinergic mechanism, which may be a regulatory peptide released from the gastrointestinal system during digestion. Digestion is also associated with a net acid secretion to the stomach that causes an increase in plasma HCO3- concentration (the 'alkaline tide'). Experiments on chronically cannulated amphibians and reptiles, show that this metabolic alkalosis is countered by an increased P(CO2), so that the change in arterial pH is reduced. This respiratory compensation of arterial pH is accomplished through a reduction in ventilation relative to metabolism, but the estimated reductions in lung P(O2) are relatively small. The SDA response is also associated with haematological changes, but large interspecific differences exist. The studies on cardiorespiratory responses to digestion may allow for a further understanding of the physiological and structural constraints that limits the ability of reptiles and amphibians to sustain high metabolic rates.

  4. Evolution and diversification of the Toxicofera reptile venom system.

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Vidal, Nicolas; van der Weerd, Louise; Kochva, Elazar; Renjifo, Camila

    2009-03-06

    The diversification of the reptile venom system has been an area of major research but of great controversy. In this review we examine the historical and modern-day efforts of all aspects of the venom system including dentition, glands and secreted toxins and highlight areas of future research opportunities. We use multidisciplinary techniques, including magnetic resonance imaging of venom glands through to molecular phylogenetic reconstruction of toxin evolutionary history, to illustrate the diversity within this integrated weapons system and map the timing of toxin recruitment events over the toxicoferan organismal evolutionary tree.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Distribution pattern of reptiles along an eastern Himalayan elevation gradient, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chettri, Basundhara; Bhupathy, Subramanian; Acharya, Bhoj Kumar

    2010-01-01

    We examined the spatial distribution pattern of reptiles in an eastern Himalayan elevation gradient. The factors governing the distribution have been assessed with emphasis on the mid-domain effect. We surveyed reptiles along the elevation gradient (300-4800 m) of the Teesta valley in Sikkim, Eastern Himalaya, India using time constrained visual encounter survey. A total of 42 species of reptiles were observed during the study, and the species richness peaked at 500-1000 m with no species beyond 3000 m. The observed pattern was consistent with estimated richness, both showing significant negative relation with elevation. Lizards showed a linear decline with elevation, whereas snakes followed a non-linear relation with peak at 500-1000 m. Observed species richness deviated significantly from that predicted by a mid-domain null model. The regression between empirical and simulated richness was not significant for total reptiles as well as lizards and snakes separately. Most species distributed in the high elevation extended towards lower elevation, but low elevation species (around 50%) were restricted below 1000 m. Deviation of empirical from predicted richness indicates that the distributions of reptile species were least governed by geographic hard boundaries. Climatic factors especially temperature explained much variation of reptiles along the Himalayan elevation gradient. Most reptiles were narrowly distributed, especially those found in low elevation indicating the importance of tropical low-land forests in the conservation of reptiles in Eastern Himalayas.

  8. [The species composition and ecological characteristics of trematodes from reptiles in the Volga delta].

    PubMed

    Ivanov, V M; Semenova, N N

    2000-01-01

    In the result of parasitological researches of reptiles of the Volga delta, 17 species of trematodes belonging to 10 families and 5 orders have been recovered. The dynamics of trematodes in reptiles is regulated by transformations of biocenoses of the delta depending on fluctuations of the Caspian sea level.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Heat shock protein expression enhances heat tolerance of reptile embryos.

    PubMed

    Gao, Jing; Zhang, Wen; Dang, Wei; Mou, Yi; Gao, Yuan; Sun, Bao-Jun; Du, Wei-Guo

    2014-09-22

    The role of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in heat tolerance has been demonstrated in cultured cells and animal tissues, but rarely in whole organisms because of methodological difficulties associated with gene manipulation. By comparing HSP70 expression patterns among representative species of reptiles and birds, and by determining the effect of HSP70 overexpression on embryonic development and hatchling traits, we have identified the role of HSP70 in the heat tolerance of amniote embryos. Consistent with their thermal environment, and high incubation temperatures and heat tolerance, the embryos of birds have higher onset and maximum temperatures for induced HSP70 than do reptiles, and turtles have higher onset and maximum temperatures than do lizards. Interestingly, the trade-off between benefits and costs of HSP70 overexpression occurred between life-history stages: when turtle embryos developed at extreme high temperatures, HSP70 overexpression generated benefits by enhancing embryo heat tolerance and hatching success, but subsequently imposed costs by decreasing heat tolerance of surviving hatchlings. Taken together, the correlative and causal links between HSP70 and heat tolerance provide, to our knowledge, the first unequivocal evidence that HSP70 promotes thermal tolerance of embryos in oviparous amniotes.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Prostaglandins are important in thermoregulation of a reptile (Pogona vitticeps).

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Franklin, Craig E

    2003-08-07

    The effectiveness of behavioural thermoregulation in reptiles is amplified by cardiovascular responses, particularly by differential rates of heart beat in response to heating and cooling (heart-rate hysteresis). Heart-rate hysteresis is ecologically important in most lineages of ectothermic reptile, and we demonstrate that heart-rate hysteresis in the lizard Pogona vitticeps is mediated by prostaglandins. In a control treatment (administration of saline), heart rates during heating were significantly faster than during cooling at any given body temperature. When cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 enzymes were inhibited, heart rates during heating were not significantly different from those during cooling. Administration of agonists showed that thromboxane B(2) did not have a significant effect on heart rate, but prostacyclin and prostaglandin F(2alpha) caused a significant increase (3.5 and 13.6 beats min(-1), respectively) in heart rate compared with control treatments. We speculate that heart-rate hysteresis evolved as a thermoregulatory mechanism that may ultimately be controlled by neurally induced stimulation of nitric oxide production, or maybe via photolytically induced production of vitamin D.

  19. 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.

  20. Nematode parasites of some reptiles (Sauria: Testudines: Ophidia) from the northern and Western Cape Provinces, South Africa.

    PubMed

    McAllister, Chris T; Bursey, Charles R; Freed, Paul S

    2010-10-01

    One hundred and seven reptiles (11 families, 32 species) from the Northern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa were examined for helminths. Twenty-three (22%) individual reptiles were found to harbor at least 1 species of nematode; 3 (7%) reptiles harbored multiple infections of 2 nematode species. Eight species within 5 families of Nematoda were found in the reptiles surveyed including 1 atractid, 1 diaphanocephalid, 1 heterakid, 3 pharyngodonids, and 2 physalopterans. Ten new host records are reported. A summary of the nematode parasites identified from South African reptiles is provided.

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. Tikiguania and the antiquity of squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes).

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, Mark N; Skinner, Adam; Lee, Michael S Y

    2012-08-23

    Tikiguania estesi is widely accepted to be the earliest member of Squamata, the reptile group that includes lizards and snakes. It is based on a lower jaw from the Late Triassic of India, described as a primitive lizard related to agamids and chamaeleons. However, Tikiguania is almost indistinguishable from living agamids; a combined phylogenetic analysis of morphological and molecular data places it with draconines, a prominent component of the modern Asian herpetofauna. It is unlikely that living agamids have retained the Tikiguania morphotype unchanged for over 216 Myr; it is much more conceivable that Tikiguania is a Quaternary or Late Tertiary agamid that was preserved in sediments derived from the Triassic beds that have a broad superficial exposure. This removes the only fossil evidence for lizards in the Triassic. Studies that have employed Tikiguana for evolutionary, biogeographical and molecular dating inferences need to be reassessed.

  5. Genetic Diversity of Cryptosporidium spp. in Captive Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Lihua; Ryan, Una M.; Graczyk, Thaddeus K.; Limor, Josef; Li, Lixia; Kombert, Mark; Junge, Randy; Sulaiman, Irshad M.; Zhou, Ling; Arrowood, Michael J.; Koudela, Břetislav; Modrý, David; Lal, Altaf A.

    2004-01-01

    The genetic diversity of Cryptosporidium in reptiles was analyzed by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequence analysis of the small subunit rRNA gene. A total of 123 samples were analyzed, of which 48 snake samples, 24 lizard samples, and 3 tortoise samples were positive for Cryptosporidium. Nine different types of Cryptosporidium were found, including Cryptosporidium serpentis, Cryptosporidium desert monitor genotype, Cryptosporidium muris, Cryptosporidium parvum bovine and mouse genotypes, one C. serpentis-like parasite in a lizard, two new Cryptosporidium spp. in snakes, and one new Cryptosporidium sp. in tortoises. C. serpentis and the desert monitor genotype were the most common parasites and were found in both snakes and lizards, whereas the C. muris and C. parvum parasites detected were probably the result of ingestion of infected rodents. Sequence and biologic characterizations indicated that the desert monitor genotype was Cryptosporidium saurophilum. Two host-adapted C. serpentis genotypes were found in snakes and lizards. PMID:14766569

  6. Genetic diversity of Cryptosporidium spp. in captive reptiles.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Lihua; Ryan, Una M; Graczyk, Thaddeus K; Limor, Josef; Li, Lixia; Kombert, Mark; Junge, Randy; Sulaiman, Irshad M; Zhou, Ling; Arrowood, Michael J; Koudela, Bretislav; Modrý, David; Lal, Altaf A

    2004-02-01

    The genetic diversity of Cryptosporidium in reptiles was analyzed by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequence analysis of the small subunit rRNA gene. A total of 123 samples were analyzed, of which 48 snake samples, 24 lizard samples, and 3 tortoise samples were positive for Cryptosporidium: Nine different types of Cryptosporidium were found, including Cryptosporidium serpentis, Cryptosporidium desert monitor genotype, Cryptosporidium muris, Cryptosporidium parvum bovine and mouse genotypes, one C. serpentis-like parasite in a lizard, two new Cryptosporidium spp. in snakes, and one new Cryptosporidium sp. in tortoises. C. serpentis and the desert monitor genotype were the most common parasites and were found in both snakes and lizards, whereas the C. muris and C. parvum parasites detected were probably the result of ingestion of infected rodents. Sequence and biologic characterizations indicated that the desert monitor genotype was Cryptosporidium saurophilum. Two host-adapted C. serpentis genotypes were found in snakes and lizards.

  7. 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

  8. Courant-sharp eigenvalues of Neumann 2-rep-tiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Band, Ram; Bersudsky, Michael; Fajman, David

    2016-11-01

    We find the Courant-sharp Neumann eigenvalues of the Laplacian on some 2-rep-tile domains. In {R}2 , the domains we consider are the isosceles right triangle and the rectangle with edge ratio √{2} (also known as the A4 paper). In {R}n , the domains are boxes which generalize the mentioned planar rectangle. The symmetries of those domains reveal a special structure of their eigenfunctions, which we call folding/unfolding. This structure affects the nodal set of the eigenfunctions, which, in turn, allows to derive necessary conditions for Courant-sharpness. In addition, the eigenvalues of these domains are arranged as a lattice which allows for a comparison between the nodal count and the spectral position. The Courant-sharpness of most eigenvalues is ruled out using those methods. In addition, this analysis allows to estimate the nodal deficiency—the difference between the spectral position and the nodal count.

  9. The immunoglobulin heavy chain locus in the reptile Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Gambón Deza, Francisco; Sánchez Espinel, Christian; Magadán Mompó, Susana

    2009-05-01

    We describe the entire immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) locus from the reptile Anolis carolinensis. The heavy chain constant (C(H)) region includes C mu, C delta and C upsilon genes. This is the first description of a C upsilon gene in the reptilian class. Variable (V(H)), diversity (D(H)) and joining (J(H)) genes are located 5' from the constant (C(H)) chain complex locus. The C mu and C upsilon genes encode antibodies with four immunoglobulin domains. The C delta gene encoded an 11 domain delta heavy chain as in Eublepharis macularius. Seventy V(H) genes, belonging to 28 families, were identified, and they can be sorted into five broader groups. The similarity of the organization of the reptilian genes with those of amphibians and mammals suggests the existence of a process of heavy chain genomic reorganization before the radiation of tetrapod vertebrates.

  10. 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

  11. IgD in the reptile leopard gecko.

    PubMed

    Gambón-Deza, Francisco; Espinel, Christian Sánchez

    2008-07-01

    Immunoglobulin D (IgD) has been a mysterious antibody ever since it was discovered in mammals 40 years ago. It shares with IgM the role of antigen-receptor in the membrane of mature B cells. The absence of IgD in birds and its description in bony fishes contributed to the confusion about its evolutionary origins. Recent studies have established the presence of IgD in the amphibian Xenopus tropicalis. It is essential to study IgD genes in reptiles in order to better understand the evolution of this immunoglobulin in vertebrates. We describe in this report the IgM and IgD genes of the reptile Eublepharis macularius. The IgM gene has characteristics that are similar to those described in other species whereas IgD gene departs from the normal structure described for this antibody class in other species. It is made up of 11 immunoglobulins domains without evidence of recent intragenic duplications of exons as described in IgD genes of fish and X.tropicalis. It is possible that the immunoglobulin is comprised of domains inherited from earlier species and that this form of IgD is close to that present in animals that left the sea to live on land. Furthermore, domains CH7 and CH8 of E. macularius IgD are orthologues to domains CH2 and CH3 of mammalian IgD. The present study also describes a second IgD (IgD2) which must have appeared recently by duplication of an older immunoglobulin gene and recombination with the IgA-like gene described in this specie. Tissue expression of IgD and IgD2 mRNA is similar to that of IgM mRNA, suggesting a functional role of reptilian IgD.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Helminth parasites of amphibians and reptiles from the Ucayali Region, Peru.

    PubMed

    McAllister, Chris T; Bursey, Charles R; Freed, Paul S

    2010-04-01

    Twenty individual amphibians representing 9 species within 6 families and 44 individual reptiles representing 15 species within 8 families from the Ucayali Region, Peru, were examined for helminths. Seven (35%) of the amphibian species and 15 (34%) of the reptiles were found to harbor at least 1 species of helminth; 5 (25%) of the amphibians and 4 (9%) of the reptiles harbored multiple infections. A cyclophyllidean cestode and 14 taxa of nematodes within 7 families were found in the herpetofauna surveyed. Thirteen new host and 6 new geographic distribution records are documented.

  15. 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

  16. Can Reptile Embryos Influence Their Own Rates of Heating and Cooling?

    PubMed Central

    Du, Wei-Guo; Tu, Ming-Chung; Shine, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Previous investigations have assumed that embryos lack the capacity of physiological thermoregulation until they are large enough for their own metabolic heat production to influence nest temperatures. Contrary to intuition, reptile embryos may be capable of physiological thermoregulation. In our experiments, egg-sized objects (dead or infertile eggs, water-filled balloons, glass jars) cooled down more rapidly than they heated up, whereas live snake eggs heated more rapidly than they cooled. In a nest with diel thermal fluctuations, that hysteresis could increase the embryo’s effective incubation temperature. The mechanisms for controlling rates of thermal exchange are unclear, but may involve facultative adjustment of blood flow. Heart rates of snake embryos were higher during cooling than during heating, the opposite pattern to that seen in adult reptiles. Our data challenge the view of reptile eggs as thermally passive, and suggest that embryos of reptile species with large eggs can influence their own rates of heating and cooling. PMID:23826200

  17. [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.

  18. 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)

  19. Ticks (Acarina: Ixodida) infesting five reptile species in Sri Lanka with sixteen new host records.

    PubMed

    Liyanaarachchi, Dilrukshi R; Rajakaruna, Rupika S; Dikkumbura, Anil W; De Silva, Anslem; Rajapakse, R P V Jayantha

    2015-05-29

    The first study on ticks on reptiles of Sri Lanka dates back to Seneviratna (1965) who reported ticks from five reptiles. Later studies were either limited to one reptile (Fernando & Fernando 2012), or captive animals in zoos (Fernando & Randeniaya 2009) and household pets (Nathanael et al. 2004). According to the current classification (Guglielmone et al. 2010), all the tick species previously recorded on reptiles belong to five species of Amblyomma: A. clypeolatum Neumann, A. gervaisi (Lucas), A. pattoni (Neumann), A. trimaculatum (Lucas) and A. varanense (Supino). Some of the species listed by Seneviratna (1965) were either synonyms or invalid in respect to the present classification. For example Amblyomma laeve sensu Warburton (1910) is a junior synonym of A. pattoni and A. gervaisii var. lucasi is considered a junior synonym of A. varanense (Guglielmone et al. 2010; D. Apanaskevich pers. comm.).

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Viviparous placentotrophy in reptiles and the parent-offspring conflict.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Daniel G

    2015-09-01

    In placentotrophic viviparous reptiles, pregnant females deliver nutrients to their developing fetuses by diverse morphological specializations that reflect independent evolutionary origins. A survey of these specializations reveals a major emphasis on histotrophy (uterine secretion and fetal absorption) rather than hemotrophy (transfer between maternal and fetal blood streams). Of available hypotheses for the prevalence of histotrophic transfer, the most promising derives insights from the theoretical parent-offspring conflict over nutrient investment. I suggest that histotrophy gives pregnant females greater control over nutrient synthesis, storage, and delivery than hemotrophic transfer, reflecting maternal preeminence in any potential parent-offspring competition over nutrient investment. One lizard species shows invasive ovo-implantation and direct contact between fetal tissues and maternal blood vessels, potentially conferring control over nutrient transfer to the embryo. Future research on squamates will benefit from application of parent-offspring conflict theory to the transition from incipient to substantial matrotrophy, as well as by testing theory-derived predictions on both facultatively and highly placentotrophic forms.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Post-Jurassic mammal-like reptile from the Palaeocene.

    PubMed

    Fox, R C; Youzwyshyn, G P; Krause, D W

    1992-07-16

    Mammal-like reptiles of the order Therapsida document the emergence of mammals from more primitive synapsids and are of unique zoological and palaeontological interest on that account. Therapsids, first appearing in the Early Permian, were thought to become extinct in the Middle Jurassic, soon after the Late Triassic origin of mammals. Here, however, we report the discovery of a therapsid from the late Palaeocene, 100 million years younger than the youngest previous occurrence of the order. This discovery nearly doubles the stratigraphic range of therapsids and furnishes their first record from the Cenozoic. The documenting fossils, an incomplete dentary containing three teeth, and four isolated teeth from other, conspecific individuals (Fig. 1), are from the Paskapoo Formation, at Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, from beds yielding a diverse mammalian fauna of early Tiffanian age. These specimens are catalogued in the collections of the University of Alberta Laboratory for Vertebrate Paleontology (UALVP) and provide the basis for a new taxon, as named and described below: (see text)

  10. Stress, reproduction, and adrenocortical modulation in amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Moore, Ignacio T; Jessop, Tim S

    2003-01-01

    While the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) response to stress appears to be conserved in vertebrates, the manner in which it is activated and its actions vary. We examine two trends in the stress biology literature that have been addressed in amphibian and reptilian species: (1). variable interactions among stress, corticosterone, and reproduction and (2). adrenocortical modulation. In the first topic we examine context-dependent interactions among stress, corticosterone, and reproduction. An increasing number of studies report positive associations between reproduction and corticosterone that contradict the generalization that stress inhibits reproduction. Moderately elevated levels of stress hormones appear to facilitate reproduction by mobilizing energy stores. In contrast, pronounced activation of the HPA axis and extremely elevated levels of stress hormones appear to inhibit reproduction. Much of these contrasting effects of stress and reproduction can be explained by expanding the Energetics-Hormone Vocalization Model, proposed for anuran calling behavior, to other taxa. In the second topic, a number of amphibians and reptiles modulate their HPA stress response. Adrenocortical modulation can occur at multiple levels and due to a variety of factors. However, we have little information as to the physiological basis for the variability. We suggest that several ecologically based ideas, such as variability in the length of the breeding season and lifetime reproductive opportunities, can be used to explain the utility of adrenocortical modulation in these taxa.

  11. Cryptosporidium parvum is not transmissible to fish, amphibians, or reptiles.

    PubMed

    Graczyk, T K; Fayer, R; Cranfield, M R

    1996-10-01

    A recent report suggested that an isolate of Cryptosporidium parvum had established infections in fish, amphibians, and reptiles and raises concern that animals other than mammals might be a potential source of waterborne Cryptosporidium oocysts. To test this possibility, viable C. parvum oocysts, infectious for neonatal BALB/c mice, were delivered by gastric intubation to bluegill sunfish, poison-dart frogs, African clawed frogs, bearded dragon lizards, and corn snakes. Histological sections of the stomach, jejunum, ileum, and cloaca prepared from tissues collected on days 7 and 14 postinoculation (PI) were negative for Cryptosporidium developmental stages. However, inoculum-derived oocysts were detectable by fluorescein-labeled monoclonal antibody in feces of inoculated animals from day 1 to day 12 PI in fish and frogs, and up to day 14 PI in lizards. Snakes did not defecate for 14 days PI. Impression smears taken at necropsy on days 7 and 14 PI revealed C. parvum oocysts in the lumen of the cloaca of 2 fish and 1 lizard on day 7 PI only. Because tissue stages of the pathogen were not found, it appears that C. parvum was not heterologously transmitted to lower vertebrates. Under certain circumstances, however, such as after the ingestion of C. parvum-infected prey, lower vertebrates may disseminate C. parvum oocysts in the environment.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Genotypic sex determination enabled adaptive radiations of extinct marine reptiles.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris L; Janes, Daniel E; Meade, Andrew; Pagel, Mark

    2009-09-17

    Adaptive radiations often follow the evolution of key traits, such as the origin of the amniotic egg and the subsequent radiation of terrestrial vertebrates. The mechanism by which a species determines the sex of its offspring has been linked to critical ecological and life-history traits but not to major adaptive radiations, in part because sex-determining mechanisms do not fossilize. Here we establish a previously unknown coevolutionary relationship in 94 amniote species between sex-determining mechanism and whether a species bears live young or lays eggs. We use that relationship to predict the sex-determining mechanism in three independent lineages of extinct Mesozoic marine reptiles (mosasaurs, sauropterygians and ichthyosaurs), each of which is known from fossils to have evolved live birth. Our results indicate that each lineage evolved genotypic sex determination before acquiring live birth. This enabled their pelagic radiations, where the relatively stable temperatures of the open ocean constrain temperature-dependent sex determination in amniote species. Freed from the need to move and nest on land, extreme physical adaptations to a pelagic lifestyle evolved in each group, such as the fluked tails, dorsal fins and wing-shaped limbs of ichthyosaurs. With the inclusion of ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs and sauropterygians, genotypic sex determination is present in all known fully pelagic amniote groups (sea snakes, sirenians and cetaceans), suggesting that this mode of sex determination and the subsequent evolution of live birth are key traits required for marine adaptive radiations in amniote lineages.

  15. Developmental sequences of squamate reptiles are taxon specific.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Robin M; Brandley, Matthew C; Greene, Virginia W

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies in comparative vertebrate embryology have focused on two related questions. One concerns the existence of a phylotypic period, or indeed any period, during development in which sequence variation among taxa is constrained. The second question concerns the degree to which developmental characters exhibit a phylogenetic signal. These questions are important because they underpin attempts to understand the evolution of developmental characters and their links to adult morphology. To address these questions, we compared the sequence of developmental events spanning the so-called phylotypic period of vertebrate development in squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes), from the formation of the primary optic placode to the first appearance of scale anlagen. We used Bayesian phylogenetic ancestral state reconstruction analyses and estimates of Bayesian posterior probabilities of the rank order of developmental events to determine the level of support for phylogenetically associated variation in development. We assessed the amount of variation in event sequences by plotting the proportions of reconstructed ranks (excluding unlikely events, PP < 0.05) associated with each event. Sequence variability was the lowest towards the middle of the phylotypic period and involved three events (allantois contacts chorion, maximum number of pharyngeal slits, and appearance of the apical epidermal ridge [AER]); these events each had only two reconstructed ranks. Squamate clades also differed in the rank order of developmental events. Of the 20 events in our analyses, 12 had strongly supported (PP ≥ 0.95) sequence ranks that differed at two or more internal nodes of the tree. For example, gekkotans are distinguished by the late appearance of the allantois bud compared to all other squamates (ranks 7 and 8 vs. rank 3, respectively) and Serpentes are distinguished by the earlier completion of torsion (rank 3) compared to acrodonts and pleurodonts (ranks 7 and 5

  16. Rampant horizontal transfer of SPIN transposons in squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

    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 vertebrate

  17. 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

  18. 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%.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Parasitism of immature stages of Haemaphysalis sulcata (Acari: Ixodidae) on some reptiles in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Keskin, Adem; Bursali, Ahmet; Kumlutas, Yusuf; Ilgaz, Cetin; Tekin, Saban

    2013-10-01

    Reptiles may contribute to maintaining tick populations by feeding larvae, nymphs, and adults. The life cycles and tick-host associations of many Turkish ticks are still poorly known, and only 3 ixodid tick species have been reported on 7 reptile species in Turkey. In this study, we performed a tick survey on reptiles in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. In 2005, 57 reptiles (52 lizards and 5 snakes) comprising 10 species from 5 families were captured and examined for tick infestation. A total of 427 ticks was collected. The majority of ticks found on lizards was the immature stages of Haemaphysalis sulcata, 420 larvae and 4 nymphs. The only adult ticks recorded on the agamid lizard, Laudakia stellio, were Hyalomma aegyptium (1 ♂, 2 ♀). The highest tick infestation rate was recorded on specimens of Timon princeps. This study is the first detailed investigation on ticks infesting reptiles in Turkey. To the best of our knowledge, these tick-host associations have never been documented in the literature.

  2. 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.

  3. Reptiles, amphibians, and human Salmonella infection: a population-based, case-control study.

    PubMed

    Mermin, Jonathan; Hutwagner, Lori; Vugia, Duc; Shallow, Sue; Daily, Pamela; Bender, Jeffrey; Koehler, Jane; Marcus, Ruthanne; Angulo, Frederick J

    2004-04-15

    To estimate the burden of reptile- and amphibian-associated Salmonella infections, we conducted 2 case-control studies of human salmonellosis occurring during 1996-1997. The studies took place at 5 Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) surveillance areas: all of Minnesota and Oregon and selected counties in California, Connecticut, and Georgia. The first study included 463 patients with serogroup B or D Salmonella infection and 7618 population-based controls. The second study involved 38 patients with non-serogroup B or D Salmonella infection and 1429 controls from California only. Patients and controls were interviewed about contact with reptiles and amphibians. Reptile and amphibian contact was associated both with infection with serogroup B or D Salmonella (multivariable odds ratio [OR], 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-2.2; P<.009) and with infection with non-serogroup B or D Salmonella (OR, 4.2; CI, 1.8-9.7; P<.001). The population attributable fraction for reptile or amphibian contact was 6% for all sporadic Salmonella infections and 11% among persons <21 years old. These data suggest that reptile and amphibian exposure is associated with approximately 74,000 Salmonella infections annually in the United States.

  4. 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.

  5. Hygienic evaluation of terraria inhabited by amphibians and reptiles: cryptosporidia, free-living amebas, salmonella.

    PubMed

    Hassl, Andreas; Benyr, Gerald

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are popular pet animals in about 90.000 Austrian households despite their frequently debated capacity to transmit diseases associated with animal keeping. We studied the epidemiological significance of the triangle animal keeper, exotic pet animal, and feed mice by investigating the frequency of three intestinal infestations, caused by cryptosporidia, opportunistic free-living amebas and salmonella, in amphibians and reptiles living in a public vivarium. In addition to recording the first known occurrence of Naegleria australiensis in Austria, and of this species and of Acanthamoeba polyphaga in the feces of reptiles worldwide, we also detected a strong association between Salmonella subspecies I and captive reptiles and between S. sub-species III and free-living lizards. Thus, animal keeper, the exotic animals kept, and the feed mice may constitute an epidemiological pool for the interchange of these infectious agents. This new epidemiological situation may cause an increase of some opportunistic and exotic diseases such as reptile-borne salmonellosis. Despite the perceived benefits of keeping exotic animals in a household, the general public and especially those who have an immunodeficiency must be made aware of the danger of infectious diseases possibly being spread by their pets.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Terrestrial Origin of Viviparity in Mesozoic Marine Reptiles Indicated by Early Triassic Embryonic Fossils

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2016-01-07

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Larval feeding performance of two Neotropical Ornithodoros ticks (Acari: Argasidae) on reptiles.

    PubMed

    Venzal, José M; Estrada-Peña, Agustín

    2006-01-01

    This paper determines the feeding performance of the larvae of two Neotropical soft tick species namely Ornithodoros rostratus Aragão, 1911 and O. puertoricensis Fox, 1947 on reptiles (Gekkonidae) using rabbits, mice and guinea pigs to provide comparisons with feeding features on mammals. O. puertoricensis produced a larval feeding rate of 63% on reptiles, while that of O. rostratus was only 20%. But the final success (attaching + feeding) was similar, 12.4% for O. puertoricensis and 10.4% for O. rostratus. The feeding time was also very different for both species. In O. puertoricensis, detachment begins at 16th day and lasts until day 27. In O. rostratus detachment begins at 1.5 h and lasts until day 10. These values of feeding on reptiles are different from those obtained on mammals (average 5.6 days for O. puertoricensis and 2.9 for O. rostratus).

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Lung collapse among aquatic reptiles and amphibians during long-term diving.

    PubMed

    Ultsch, Gordon R; Brainerd, Elizabeth L; Jackson, Donald C

    2004-09-01

    Numerous aquatic reptiles and amphibians that typically breathe both air and water can remain fully aerobic in normoxic (aerated) water by taking up oxygen from the water via extrapulmonary avenues. Nevertheless, if air access is available, these animals do breathe air, however infrequently. We suggest that such air breathing does not serve an immediate gas exchange function under these conditions, nor is it necessarily related to buoyancy requirements, but serves to keep lungs inflated that would otherwise collapse during prolonged submergence. We also suggest that lung deflation is routine in hibernating aquatic reptiles and amphibians in the northern portions of their ranges, where ice cover prevents surfacing for extended periods.

  18. Plasticity and Adult Neurogenesis in Amphibians and Reptiles: More Questions than Answers.

    PubMed

    Powers, Alice Schade

    2016-08-24

    Studies of the relationship between behavioral plasticity and new cells in the adult brain in amphibians and reptiles are sparse but demonstrate that environmental and hormonal variables do have an effect on the amount of cell proliferation and/or migration. The variables that are reviewed here are: enriched environment, social stimulation, spatial area use, season, photoperiod and temperature, and testosterone. Fewer data are available for amphibians than for reptiles, but for both groups many issues are still to be resolved. It is to be hoped that the questions raised here will generate more answers in future studies.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Assessment of the husbandry problems of reptiles on the basis of pathophysiological findings: a review.

    PubMed

    Zwart, P

    2001-11-01

    Many health problems in animals are related to management and feeding. A large number of husbandry problems in reptiles lead to pathophysiological situations. Assessment of the husbandry problems of reptiles involves detective work that can only be achieved as a result of close cooperation and exchange of information between the owner and the pathologist. Reptiles, being ectothermic, depend for their physiological functioning largely on the quality of their surroundings. There are a large number of factors which influence the normal functioning of a reptile both in nature and in captivity. These factors can be described in terms of primary and secondary factors. Primary factors are the construction of terraria, light, heat, food, and water, and grouping of animals. Secondary factors are daylight regimen, arrangement of heating elements, type and composition of food, quality of water, and freedom from stress. Also important are ventilation, humidity, sites for resting and/or hiding, structure of the floor and of rocks, and branches for climbing activities. Hygiene is also an important aspect because poor hygiene often is directly related to problems. All these factors are dealt with in this review.

  3. 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…

  4. Framework for assessment and monitoring of amphibians and reptiles in the Lower Urubamba region, Peru.

    PubMed

    Icochea, Javier; Quispitupac, Eliana; Portilla, Alfredo; Ponce, Elias

    2002-05-01

    Populations of amphibians and reptiles are experiencing new or increasing threats to their survival. Many of these threats are directly attributable to human activity and resource development. This presents the increasing need for worldwide amphibian and reptile assessments and effective, standardized monitoring protocols. Adaptive management techniques can assist managers in identifying and mitigating threats to amphibian and reptile populations. In 1996, Shell Prospecting and Development, Peru initiated a natural gas exploration project in the rainforest of southeastern Peru. The Smithsonian Institution's Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program worked closely with Shell engineers and managers to establish an adaptive management program to protect the region's biodiversity. In this manuscript, we discuss the steps we took to establish an adaptive management program for amphibian and reptile communities in the region. We define and outline the conceptual issues involved in establishing an assessment and monitoring program, including setting objectives, evaluating the results and making appropriate decisions. We also provide results from the assessment and discuss the appropriateness and effectiveness of protocols and criteria used for selecting species to monitor.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. Energy, water and large-scale patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, Miguel Á.; Belmontes, Juan Alfonso; Hawkins, Bradford A.

    2005-07-01

    We used regression analyses to examine the relationships between reptile and amphibian species richness in Europe and 11 environmental variables related to five hypotheses for geographical patterns of species richness: (1) productivity; (2) ambient energy; (3) water-energy balance, (4) habitat heterogeneity; and (5) climatic variability. For reptiles, annual potential evapotranspiration (PET), a measure of the amount of atmospheric energy, explained 71% of the variance, with variability in log elevation explaining an additional 6%. For amphibians, annual actual evapotranspiration (AET), a measure of the joint availability of energy and water in the environment, and the global vegetation index, an estimate of plant biomass generated through satellite remote sensing, both described similar proportions of the variance (61% and 60%, respectively) and had partially independent effects on richness as indicated by multiple regression. The two-factor environmental models successfully removed most of the statistically detectable spatial autocorrelation in the richness data of both groups. Our results are consistent with reptile and amphibian environmental requirements, where the former depend strongly on solar energy and the latter require both warmth and moisture for reproduction. We conclude that ambient energy explains the reptile richness pattern, whereas for amphibians a combination of water-energy balance and productivity best explain the pattern.

  8. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Importation of live reptiles or their eggs. 16.15 Section 16.15 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE... WILDLIFE AND PLANTS INJURIOUS WILDLIFE Importation or Shipment of Injurious Wildlife § 16.15 Importation...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:21733896

  10. 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

  11. Isolation of free-living amoebas from the intestinal contents of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Sesma, M J; Ramos, L Z

    1989-04-01

    A total of 508 reptiles captured at Canary Islands (Spain) was examined for free-living amoebas. Two hundred seventy-three clones of amoebas were isolated by culture of gut contents, 157 of them belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba and 12 to the genus Naegleria.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    2012-02-07

    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.

  14. Additions to the reptile fauna of Paraguay with notes on a small herpetological collection from Amambay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McDiarmid, Roy W.; Foster, Mercedes S.

    1987-01-01

    Specimens in a small collections of reptiles and amphibians from Parque Nacional Cerro Cora, Departamento Amambay, Paraguay are reported. Included are the first records of Bachia bresslaui, Phrynops gibbus, and Ololygon fuscomarginata for that country. Brief notes on morphology, distribution, and natural history of species collected are included. The systematic status of Phrynops tuberculatus vanderhaegei is evaluated.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Effectiveness of Reptile Species Identification--A Comparison of a Dichotomous Key with an Identification Book

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Randler, Christoph; Zehender, Irene

    2006-01-01

    Species identification tasks are a prerequisite for an understanding of biodiversity. Here, we focused on different educational materials to foster the identification of six European reptile species. Our educational training unit was based on natural plastic models of six species and pupils either used an illustrated identification book or a…

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-06

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Serosurveillance of eastern equine encephalitis virus in amphibians and reptiles from Alabama, USA.

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Flavor aversion learning induced by lithium chloride in reptiles but not in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Paradis, Sébastien; Cabanac, Michel

    2004-07-30

    Flavor aversion learning occurs when digestive illness follows ingestion of a novel food. Such learning has been shown to exist in mammals and birds. In this experiment, we looked for flavor aversion learning in amphibians (Bufo paracnemis, Pachytriton breviceps) and reptiles (Basiliscus vitattus, B. basiliscus, Eumeces schneideri, Mabuya multifasciata). After intake of the novel food, the animals received i.p. injection of either lithium chloride (LiCl), an effective illness inducer, or a saline solution. A week later, the LiCl injection had not affected the food intake of the amphibians whereas in the lizards it had produced a strong aversion to the flavor of the novel food. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that specific mental capacities emerged with reptiles.

  15. 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

  16. The international trade in reptiles (Reptilia)--the cause of the transfer of exotic ticks (Acari: Ixodida) to Poland.

    PubMed

    Nowak, Magdalena

    2010-05-11

    The problem of the unnatural transfer of exotic ticks (Acari: Ixodida) on reptiles (Reptilia) imported to Poland is presented. In the period from 2003 to 2007, 382 specimens of reptiles belonging to the following genera were investigated: Testudo, Iguana, Varanus, Gongylophis, Python, Spalerosophis, Psammophis. The reptiles most infested with ticks are imported to Poland from Ghana in Africa, and are the commonly bred terrarium reptiles: Varanus exanthematicus and Python regius. As a result of the investigations, the transfer of exotic ticks on reptiles to Poland was confirmed. There were 2104 specimens 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 Donitz, 1909, Amblyomma quadricavum (Schulze, 1941), Amblyomma transversale (Lucas, 1844), Amblyomma varanense (Supino, 1897), Amblyomma sp. Koch, 1844, Hyalomma aegyptium (Linnaeus, 1758). All the species of ticks of genus Amblyomma revealed have been discovered in Poland for the first time. During the research, 13 cases of anomalies of morphological structure were confirmed in the ticks A. flavomaculatum, A. latum and H. aegyptium. The expanding phenomenon of the import of exotic reptiles in Poland and Central Europe is important for parasitological and epidemiological considerations, and therefore requires monitoring and wide-ranging prophylactic activities to prevent the inflow of exotic parasites to Poland.

  17. 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.

  18. The role of nitric oxide in regulation of the cardiovascular system in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Skovgaard, Nini; Galli, Gina; Abe, Augusto; Taylor, Edwin W; Wang, Tobias

    2005-10-01

    The roles that nitric oxide (NO) plays in the cardiovascular system of reptiles are reviewed, with particular emphasis on its effects on central vascular blood flows in the systemic and pulmonary circulations. New data is presented that describes the effects on hemodynamic variables in varanid lizards of exogenously administered NO via the nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) by l-nitroarginine methyl ester (l-NAME). Furthermore, preliminary data on the effects of SNP on hemodynamic variables in the tegu lizard are presented. The findings are compared with previously published data from our laboratory on three other species of reptiles: pythons (), rattlesnakes () and turtles (). These five species of reptiles possess different combinations of division of the heart and structural complexity of the lungs. Comparison of their responses to NO donors and NOS inhibitors may reveal whether the potential contribution of NO to vascular tone correlates with pulmonary complexity and/or with blood pressure. All existing studies on reptiles have clearly established a potential role for NO in regulating vascular tone in the systemic circulation and NO may be important for maintaining basal systemic vascular tone in varanid lizards, pythons and turtles, through a continuous release of NO. In contrast, the pulmonary circulation is less responsive to NO donors or NOS inhibitors, and it was only in pythons and varanid lizards that the lungs responded to SNP. Both species have a functionally separated heart, so it is possible that NO may exert a larger role in species with low pulmonary blood pressures, irrespective of lung complexity.

  19. Experimental transmission of Cryptosporidium oocyst isolates from mammals, birds and reptiles to captive snakes.

    PubMed

    Graczyk, T K; Cranfield, M R

    1998-01-01

    Groups of four to five, 3-month-old rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) were separately gastrically inoculated with 2.0 x 10(6) viable oocysts of Cryptosporidium muris (mice and calves), C. muris-like (Bactrian camels), C. wrairi (guinea pigs), C. baileyi (chickens), C. meleagridis (turkeys), Cryptosporidium sp. (turtles, tortoises, chameleons and lizards) and C. serpentis from clinically (fatal case) and subclinically infected snakes. None of the snakes inoculated with oocysts originating from homothermous vertebrates developed infection as determined by histology and serology, whereas all snakes challenged with reptilian oocyst isolates were infected with Cryptosporidium on weeks 6 and 10 post-inoculation (PI). One week 10 PI, the snakes displayed mild to serve, multifocal to widespread, thinning and disorganization of gastric epithelium and nine out of twelve snakes infected by oocysts originating from reptiles other than snakes displayed severe gastric hyperplasia. Three out of ten snakes infected oocysts originating from snakes had ELISA-detectable Cryptosporidium-specific antibody (Ab) titers on week 6 PI; all snakes were Cryptosporidium-seroconverted on week 10 PI and their serum Ab titer significantly increased. The study demonstrated that Cryptosporidium infections in snakes maintained on the diet of rodents or birds cannot be initiated via ingestion of an infected food item; however, snakes can void ingested oocysts. Lack of host specificity among reptiles to this pathogen, demonstrated for the first time in the present study, indicates that snake-attributed C. serpentis is not distinct from Cryptosporidium sp. infecting reptiles other than snakes, and that clinical manifestations and virulence of Cryptosporidium in snakes in modulated by the species of the host. Housing of snakes with other reptiles can enhance transmission of Cryptosporidium to snakes, and therefore should be avoided.

  20. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Reptiles, Rodents, and Lagomorphs for Clinical Diagnosis and Animal Research

    PubMed Central

    Głodek, Joanna; Adamiak, Zbigniew; Przeworski, Adam

    2016-01-01

    MRI is a great diagnostic tool for evaluating exotic animals, particularly in clinical practice and in research with animal models. Here we review various aspects of MRI of reptiles, rodents, and lagomorphs, including the indications for this modality, the preparation of subjects, and protocols for imaging various organs and the musculoskeletal system. Protocols for the anesthesia and immobilization of subjects to facilitate their imaging are discussed also. PMID:27298246

  1. [Neonatal infection with Salmonella apapa after contact with a reptile in the home].

    PubMed

    Haase, R; Beier, T; Bernstädt, M; Merkel, N; Bartnicki, J

    2011-04-01

    Salmonella apapa is transmitted by reptiles, e.g., bearded dragons. To date only few cases of S. apapa-related human infections have been reported. Because the bacteria are transmitted through the feces of animals or direct contact with low infection doses, infection in early infancy is possible. We report an 18-day-old newborn with sepsis caused by Salmonella apapa. Salmonella apapa was isolated from the feces of a bearded dragon living along with the family.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Lithium secretion in kidneys of amphibians and reptiles under hydrated conditions.

    PubMed

    Fleishman, D G; Nikiforov, V A; Saulus, A A; Vasilieva, V F; Borkin, L Y

    1997-12-01

    Renal lithium transport was studied at different hydration levels in five species of anuran amphibians (Bufo bufo, B. danatensis, B. viridis, Rana ridibunda, and R. temporaria), two species of urodeles (Triturus vulgaris and T. cristatus) and four species of reptiles (lizards Eremias multiocellata, Lacerta vivipara, Trapelus sanguinolentus, and Teratoscincus scincus). Under dehydration conditions, Li+ was reabsorbed in the kidneys of amphibians ans reptiles, but to a lesser degree than in mammalian kidneys: the ratio of lithium clearance (CLi) to glomerular filtration rate (GFR)--fractional lithium excretion--in dehydrated animals was in the range 0.5-0.8. The transition to the hydrated state resulted in a cessation of net renal lithium reabsorption. Under condition of high hydration, all the animals studied, except for urodeles, showed net renal secretion of Li+, i.e., CLi exceeded GFR. The ratio CLi/GFR was 1.2-1.3 in hydrated anurans and 1.7-2.3 in hydrated lizards. In urodeles, this ratio was approximately unity. It is suggested that renal lithium secretion in hydrated amphibians and reptiles reflects fluid secretion in the proximal tubule, which is additional to the glomerular filtration mechanism of fluid delivery to nephron under water loading.

  6. First reports of ectoparasites collected from wild-caught exotic reptiles in Florida.

    PubMed

    Corn, Joseph L; Mertins, James W; Hanson, Britta; Snow, Skip

    2011-01-01

    We collected ectoparasites from 27 of 51 wild-caught, free-ranging exotic reptiles examined in Florida from 2003 to 2008. Sampled animals represented eight species, five of which yielded ectoparasites. Reported new parasite distribution records for the United States include the following: the first collection of the African tick Amblyomma latum (Koch) from a wild-caught animal [ball python, Python regius (Shaw)] in the United States; the first collection of the lizard scale mite Hirstiella stamii (Jack) from any wild-caught animal [green iguana, Iguana iguana (L.)]; and the first collection of the lizard scale mite Geckobia hemidactyli (Lawrence) in the continental United States from a wild-caught tropical house gecko, Hemidactylus mabouia (Moreau de Jonnès). We also report the first collections of the Neotropical ticks Amblyomma rotundatum (Koch) and Amblyomma dissimile (Koch) from wild-caught Burmese pythons, Python molurus bivittatus (Kuhl); the first collections of A. dissimile from a wild-caught African savannah monitor, Varanus exanthematicus (Bosc); and from wild-caught green iguanas in the United States; and the first collections of the native chiggers Eutrombicula splendens (Ewing) and Eutrombicula cinnabaris (Ewing) from wild-caught Burmese pythons. These reports may only suggest the diversity of reptile ectoparasites introduced and established in Florida and the new host-parasite relationships that have developed among exotic and native ectoparasites and established exotic reptiles.

  7. Phylogenomics of nonavian reptiles and the structure of the ancestral amniote genome.

    PubMed

    Shedlock, Andrew M; Botka, Christopher W; Zhao, Shaying; Shetty, Jyoti; Zhang, Tingting; Liu, Jun S; Deschavanne, Patrick J; Edwards, Scott V

    2007-02-20

    We report results of a megabase-scale phylogenomic analysis of the Reptilia, the sister group of mammals. Large-scale end-sequence scanning of genomic clones of a turtle, alligator, and lizard reveals diverse, mammal-like landscapes of retroelements and simple sequence repeats (SSRs) not found in the chicken. Several global genomic traits, including distinctive phylogenetic lineages of CR1-like long interspersed elements (LINEs) and a paucity of A-T rich SSRs, characterize turtles and archosaur genomes, whereas higher frequencies of tandem repeats and a lower global GC content reveal mammal-like features in Anolis. Nonavian reptile genomes also possess a high frequency of diverse and novel 50-bp unit tandem duplications not found in chicken or mammals. The frequency distributions of approximately 65,000 8-mer oligonucleotides suggest that rates of DNA-word frequency change are an order of magnitude slower in reptiles than in mammals. These results suggest a diverse array of interspersed and SSRs in the common ancestor of amniotes and a genomic conservatism and gradual loss of retroelements in reptiles that culminated in the minimalist chicken genome. The sequences reported in this paper have been deposited in the GenBank database (accession nos. CZ 250707-CZ 257443 and DX 390731-DX 389174).

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Communal egg-laying in reptiles and amphibians: evolutionary patterns and hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Doody, J Sean; Freedberg, Steve; Keogh, J Scott

    2009-09-01

    Communal egg-laying is widespread among animals, occurring in insects, mollusks, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds, just to name a few. While some benefits of communal egg-laying may be pervasive (e.g., it saves time and energy and may ensure the survival of mothers and their offspring), the remarkable diversity in the life histories of the animals that exhibit this behavior presents a great challenge to discovering any general explanation. Reptiles and amphibians offer ideal systems for investigating communal egg-laying because they generally lack parental care--a simplification that brings nest site choice behavior into sharp focus. We exhaustively reviewed the published literature for data on communal egg-laying in reptiles and amphibians. Our analysis demonstrates that the behavior is much more common than previously recognized (occurring in 481 spp.), especially among lizards (N = 255 spp.), where the behavior has evolved multiple times. Our conceptual review strongly suggests that different forces may be driving the evolution and maintenance of communal egg-laying in different taxa. Using a game theory approach, we demonstrate how a stable equilibrium may occur between solitary and communal layers, thus allowing both strategies to co-exist in some populations, and we discuss factors that may influence these proportions. We conclude by outlining future research directions for determining the proximate and ultimate causes of communal egg-laying.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Cryopreservation and other assisted reproductive technologies for the conservation of threatened amphibians and reptiles: bringing the ARTs up to speed.

    PubMed

    Clulow, John; Clulow, Simon

    2016-06-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are experiencing serious declines, with the number of threatened species and extinctions growing rapidly as the modern biodiversity crisis unfolds. For amphibians, the panzootic of chytridiomycosis is a major driver. For reptiles, habitat loss and harvesting from the wild are key threats. Cryopreservation and other assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) could play a role in slowing the loss of amphibian and reptile biodiversity and managing threatened populations through genome storage and the production of live animals from stored material. These vertebrate classes are at different stages of development in cryopreservation and other ARTs, and each class faces different technical challenges arising from the separate evolutionary end-points of their reproductive biology. For amphibians, the generation of live offspring from cryopreserved spermatozoa has been achieved, but the cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos remains elusive. With reptiles, spermatozoa have been cryopreserved in a few species, but no offspring from cryopreserved spermatozoa have been reported, and the generation of live young from AI has only occurred in a small number of species. Cryopreservation and ARTs are more developed and advanced for amphibians than reptiles. Future work on both groups needs to concentrate on achieving proof of concept examples that demonstrate the use of genome storage and ARTs in successfully recovering threatened species to increase awareness and support for this approach to conservation.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Evolutionary Fate of the Genes Encoding the Purine Catabolic Enzymes in Hominoids, Birds, and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Keebaugh, Alaine C.; Thomas, James W.

    2010-01-01

    Gene loss has been proposed to play a major role in adaptive evolution, and recent studies are beginning to reveal its importance in human evolution. However, the potential consequence of a single gene-loss event upon the fates of functionally interrelated genes is poorly understood. Here, we use the purine metabolic pathway as a model system in which to explore this important question. The loss of urate oxidase (UOX) activity, a necessary step in this pathway, has occurred independently in the hominoid and bird/reptile lineages. Because the loss of UOX would have removed the functional constraint upon downstream genes in this pathway, these downstream genes are generally assumed to have subsequently deteriorated. In this study, we used a comparative genomics approach to empirically determine the fate of UOX itself and the downstream genes in five hominoids, two birds, and a reptile. Although we found that the loss of UOX likely triggered the genetic deterioration of the immediate downstream genes in the hominoids, surprisingly in the birds and reptiles, the UOX locus itself and some of the downstream genes were present in the genome and predicted to encode proteins. To account for the variable pattern of gene retention and loss after the inactivation of UOX, we hypothesize that although gene loss is a common fate for genes that have been rendered obsolete due to the upstream loss of an enzyme a metabolic pathway, it is also possible that same lack of constraint will foster the evolution of new functions or allow the optimization of preexisting alternative functions in the downstream genes, thereby resulting in gene retention. Thus, adaptive single-gene losses have the potential to influence the long-term evolutionary fate of functionally interrelated genes. PMID:20106906

  11. 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

  12. [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

  13. 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

  14. Reptile trade and the risk of exotic tick introductions into southern South American countries.

    PubMed

    González-Acuña, D; Beldoménico, P M; Venzal, J M; Fabry, M; Keirans, J E; Guglielmone, A A

    2005-01-01

    Ticks exotic for the Neotropical region were found on Python regius imported into Argentina and Chile. All ticks (7 males and 3 females) were classified as Amblyomma latum Koch, 1844 ( = Aponomma latum). Additionally, four lots comprising 18 males of the Argentinean tortoise tick, Amblyomma argentinae Neumann, 1904, were found on a terrestrial tortoise, Chelonoidis chilensis, and on three terrestrial tortoises (probably C. chilensis) imported to Uruguay presumably from Argentina). These findings alert us to the risk of expanding the distribution of reptile parasites and their diseases into regions previously free of these parasites.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. Phylogeny, genomic organization and expression of lambda and kappa immunoglobulin light chain genes in a reptile, Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qian; Wei, Zhiguo; Yang, Zhi; Wang, Tao; Ren, Liming; Hu, Xiaoxiang; Meng, Qingyong; Guo, Ying; Zhu, Qinghong; Robert, Jacques; Hammarström, Lennart; Li, Ning; Zhao, Yaofeng

    2010-05-01

    The reptiles are the last major taxon of jawed vertebrates in which immunoglobulin light chain isotypes have not been well characterized. Using the recently released genome sequencing data, we show in this study that the reptile Anolis carolinensis expresses both lambda and kappa light chain genes. The genomic organization of both gene loci is structurally similar to their respective counterparts in mammals. The identified lambda locus contains three constant region genes each preceded by a joining gene segment, and a total of 37 variable gene segments. In contrast, the kappa locus contains only a single constant region gene, and two joining gene segments with a single family of 14 variable gene segments located upstream. Analysis of junctions of the recombined VJ transcripts reveals a paucity of N and P nucleotides in both expressed lambda and kappa sequences. These results help us to understand the generation of the immunoglobulin repertoire in reptiles and immunoglobulin evolution in vertebrates.

  20. Parasitism by larval tapeworms genus Spirometra in South American amphibians and reptiles: new records from Brazil and Uruguay, and a review of current knowledge in the region.

    PubMed

    Oda, Fabrício H; Borteiro, Claudio; da Graça, Rodrigo J; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo R; Crampet, Alejandro; Guerra, Vinicius; Lima, Flávia S; Bellay, Sybelle; Karling, Letícia C; Castro, Oscar; Takemoto, Ricardo M; Pavanelli, Gilberto C

    2016-12-01

    Spargana are plerocercoid larvae of cestode tapeworms of the genus Spirometra, Family Diphyllobothriidae, parasitic to frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals. This parasitic disease in humans can be transmitted through the use and consumption of amphibians and reptiles. The available knowledge about Spirometra in South America is scarce, and there are only a few reports on the occurrence of sparganum in amphibians and reptiles, many of them published in old papers not easily available to researchers. In this work we present a review on this topic, provide new records in two species of amphibians and 7 species of reptiles from Brazil and Uruguay respectively. We also summarize current knowledge of Spirometra in the continent, along with an updated of host taxonomy. We could gather from the literature a total of 15 studies about amphibian and reptile hosts, published between 1850 and 2016, corresponding to 43 case reports, mostly from Brazil (29) and Uruguay (8), Argentina (3), Peru (2), and Venezuela (1); the majority of them related to reptiles (five lizards and 26 snake species), and 14 corresponded to amphibians (9 anurans). Plerocercoid larvae were located in different organs of the hosts, such as subcutaneous tissue, coelomic cavity, peritoneum, and musculature. The importance of amphibians and reptiles in the transmission of the disease to humans in South America is discussed. Relevant issues to be studied in the near future are the taxonomic characterization of Spirometra in the region and the biological risk of reptile meat for aboriginal and other rural communities.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with additions, comments on taxonomy, some recent taxonomic decisions, and areas of further studies needed.

    PubMed

    Mccranie, James R

    2015-03-13

    An updated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras is provided. The list includes three amphibian species (Ptychohyla euthysanota, Bolitoglossa odonnelli, Oedipina chortiorum) and two reptile species (Laemanctus waltersi [elevated from subspecies status], Epictia phenops) not included in the most recent checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the country. Also, one amphibian genus and species (Triprion petasatus) is removed from the country list and one Honduran lizard (Ctenosaura praeocularis) is synonymized with an older name. Comments where more study is needed are also included where pertinent. Authors, dates, and original spellings of the higher-level taxonomy of all taxa covered herein are also given. A total of 401 species (137 amphibians and 264 reptiles) are now known from the country with 111 species (27.7%) being Honduran endemics (52 amphibians and 59 reptiles).

  7. Salmonella infections in reptiles--prevalence, serovar spectrum and impact on animal health.

    PubMed

    Sting, Reinhard; Ackermann, Dorothee; Blazey, Birgit; Rabsch, Wolfgang; Szabo, Istvan

    2013-01-01

    In a seven year study, 235 lizards, 193 snakes and 111 chelonians were tested for the occurrence of Salmonella enterica. The material for analysis consisted of 251 faecal samples from reptiles suffering from diarrhoea and 288 carcasses of perished or euthanized reptiles. The carcasses were dissected and examined pathohistologically. A total of 35.3% of the lizards, 47.2% of the snakes and 11.7% of the chelonians were found to be Salmonella-positive. Systemic Salmonella infection was detected in 56.1% of the Salmonella-positive lizards and snakes carcasses; 67.4% of these were found to have pathohistological changes of varying severity in the affected organs. The relationship between the systemic Salmonella infection and pathohistological changes was highly significant. Furthermore, systemic Salmonella infections were accompanied by debilitating factors such as parasitic disease, husbandry-associated metabolic or degenerative diseases or viral infection in 63% of the cases. A total of 83 different serovars could be detected, of which 49 occurred in lizards, 36 in snakes and ten in chelonians. Infections with two Salmonella serovars were found in seven cases and in one case with three Salmonella serovars. One infection was associated with a previously undocumented Salmonella serovar in the faecal sample of a water dragon (Subsp. lllb,18:l,v,z13:z).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Arthropod remains in the oral cavities of fossil reptiles support inference of early insectivory.

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-23

    Inference of feeding preferences in fossil terrestrial vertebrates (tetrapods) has been drawn predominantly from craniodental morphology, and less so from fossil specimens preserving conclusive evidence of diet in the form of oral and/or gut contents. Recently, the pivotal role of insectivory in tetrapod evolution was emphasized by the identification of putative insectivores as the closest relatives of the oldest known herbivorous amniotes. We provide the first compelling evidence for insectivory among early tetrapods on the basis of two 280-million-year-old (late Palaeozoic) fossil specimens of a new species of acleistorhinid parareptile with preserved arthropod cuticle on their toothed palates. Their dental morphology, consisting of homodont marginal dentition with cutting edges and slightly recurved tips, is consistent with an insectivorous diet. The intimate association of arthropod cuticle with the oral region of two small reptiles, from a rich fossil locality that has otherwise not produced invertebrate remains, strongly supports the inference of insectivory in the reptiles. These fossils lend additional support to the hypothesis that the origins and earliest stages of higher vertebrate evolution are associated with relatively small terrestrial insectivores.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Defensins and the convergent evolution of platypus and reptile venom genes.

    PubMed

    Whittington, Camilla M; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Bansal, Paramjit; Torres, Allan M; Wong, Emily S W; Deakin, Janine E; Graves, Tina; Alsop, Amber; Schatzkamer, Kyriena; Kremitzki, Colin; Ponting, Chris P; Temple-Smith, Peter; Warren, Wesley C; Kuchel, Philip W; Belov, Katherine

    2008-06-01

    When the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) was first discovered, it was thought to be a taxidermist's hoax, as it has a blend of mammalian and reptilian features. It is a most remarkable mammal, not only because it lays eggs but also because it is venomous. Rather than delivering venom through a bite, as do snakes and shrews, male platypuses have venomous spurs on each hind leg. The platypus genome sequence provides a unique opportunity to unravel the evolutionary history of many of these interesting features. While searching the platypus genome for the sequences of antimicrobial defensin genes, we identified three Ornithorhynchus venom defensin-like peptide (OvDLP) genes, which produce the major components of platypus venom. We show that gene duplication and subsequent functional diversification of beta-defensins gave rise to these platypus OvDLPs. The OvDLP genes are located adjacent to the beta-defensins and share similar gene organization and peptide structures. Intriguingly, some species of snakes and lizards also produce venoms containing similar molecules called crotamines and crotamine-like peptides. This led us to trace the evolutionary origins of other components of platypus and reptile venom. Here we show that several venom components have evolved separately in the platypus and reptiles. Convergent evolution has repeatedly selected genes coding for proteins containing specific structural motifs as templates for venom molecules.

  18. Molecular mechanisms of TSD in reptiles: a search for the magic bullet.

    PubMed

    Spotila, J R; Spotila, L D; Kaufer, N F

    1994-09-15

    Significant progress has been made in understanding mechanisms of genetic sex determination. The ZFY gene encodes a zinc finger protein but is not the primary signal in sex determination. The SRY gene is the testis determining gene in man, mouse, rabbit, and probably marsupial mouse and wallaby. Temperature dependent sex determination probably involves a modification of development of the indifferent gonad due to differential expression of one or more specific DNA sequences whose behavior is controlled by some temperature sensitive process or to differential action of a gene product such as a protein. There are ZFY and SRY-like genes in reptiles. We cloned and sequenced a portion of the ZFY gene (Zft) from snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) that is found in both sexes. We cloned and sequenced portions of SRY-like genes (Sra for SRY-related-autosomal) from snapping turtle. Similar genes are found in alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and lizards. Cladistic analysis suggests that there are two or three major families of SRY-like genes in vertebrates in addition to sex specific SRY genes located on the Y chromosome of eutherian and marsupial mammals. When placed on a phylogenetic tree these data indicate that Sras were present in early tetrapods. Sequestering of the SRY gene on the Y chromosome probably happened only once and this may have been the defining moment that set the mammalian line of Therapsid reptiles apart from other reptilian groups.

  19. 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.

  20. The Evolutionary Economics of Embryonic-Sac Fluids in Squamate Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Bonnet, Xavier; Naulleau, Guy; Shine, Richard

    2017-03-01

    The parchment-shelled eggs of squamate reptiles take up substantial water from the nest environment, enabling the conversion of yolk into neonatal tissue and buffering the embryo against the possibility of subsequent dry weather. During development, increasing amounts of water are stored in the embryonic sacs (i.e., membranes around the embryo: amnion, allantois, and chorion). The evolution of viviparity (prolonged uterine retention of developing embryos) means that embryonic-sac fluid storage now imposes a cost (increased maternal burdening), confers less benefit (because the mother buffers fetal water balance), and introduces a potential conflict among uterine siblings (for access to finite water supplies). Our data on nine species of squamate reptiles and published information on three species show that the embryonic-sac fluids comprise around 33% of neonatal mass in viviparous species versus 94% in full-term eggs of oviparous squamates. Data on parturition in 149 vipers (Vipera aspis, a viviparous species) show that larger offspring store more fluids in their fetal sacs and that an increase in litter size is associated with a decrease in fluid-sac mass per offspring. Overall, the evolutionary transition from oviparity to viviparity may have substantially altered selective forces on offspring packaging and created competition among offspring for access to water reserves during embryonic development.

  1. 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.

  2. Smart Moves: Effects of Relative Brain Size on Establishment Success of Invasive Amphibians and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Amiel, Joshua J.; Tingley, Reid; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Brain size relative to body size varies considerably among animals, but the ecological consequences of that variation remain poorly understood. Plausibly, larger brains confer increased behavioural flexibility, and an ability to respond to novel challenges. In keeping with that hypothesis, successful invasive species of birds and mammals that flourish after translocation to a new area tend to have larger brains than do unsuccessful invaders. We found the same pattern in ectothermic terrestrial vertebrates. Brain size relative to body size was larger in species of amphibians and reptiles reported to be successful invaders, compared to species that failed to thrive after translocation to new sites. This pattern was found in six of seven global biogeographic realms; the exception (where relatively larger brains did not facilitate invasion success) was Australasia. Establishment success was also higher in amphibian and reptile families with larger relative brain sizes. Future work could usefully explore whether invasion success is differentially associated with enlargement of specific parts of the brain (as predicted by the functional role of the forebrain in promoting behavioural flexibility), or with a general size increase (suggesting that invasion success is facilitated by enhanced perceptual and motor skills, as well as cognitive ability). PMID:21494328

  3. Infrared mapping resolves soft tissue preservation in 50 million year-old reptile skin.

    PubMed

    Edwards, N P; Barden, H E; van Dongen, B E; Manning, P L; Larson, P L; Bergmann, U; Sellers, W I; Wogelius, R A

    2011-11-07

    Non-destructive Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) mapping of Eocene aged fossil reptile skin shows that biological control on the distribution of endogenous organic components within fossilized soft tissue can be resolved. Mapped organic functional units within this approximately 50 Myr old specimen from the Green River Formation (USA) include amide and sulphur compounds. These compounds are most probably derived from the original beta keratin present in the skin because fossil leaf- and other non-skin-derived organic matter from the same geological formation do not show intense amide or thiol absorption bands. Maps and spectra from the fossil are directly comparable to extant reptile skin. Furthermore, infrared results are corroborated by several additional quantitative methods including Synchrotron Rapid Scanning X-Ray Fluorescence (SRS-XRF) and Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). All results combine to clearly show that the organic compound inventory of the fossil skin is different from the embedding sedimentary matrix and fossil plant material. A new taphonomic model involving ternary complexation between keratin-derived organic molecules, divalent trace metals and silicate surfaces is presented to explain the survival of the observed compounds. X-ray diffraction shows that suitable minerals for complex formation are present. Previously, this study would only have been possible with major destructive sampling. Non-destructive FTIR imaging methods are thus shown to be a valuable tool for understanding the taphonomy of high-fidelity preservation, and furthermore, may provide insight into the biochemistry of extinct organisms.

  4. Smart moves: effects of relative brain size on establishment success of invasive amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Amiel, Joshua J; Tingley, Reid; Shine, Richard

    2011-04-06

    Brain size relative to body size varies considerably among animals, but the ecological consequences of that variation remain poorly understood. Plausibly, larger brains confer increased behavioural flexibility, and an ability to respond to novel challenges. In keeping with that hypothesis, successful invasive species of birds and mammals that flourish after translocation to a new area tend to have larger brains than do unsuccessful invaders. We found the same pattern in ectothermic terrestrial vertebrates. Brain size relative to body size was larger in species of amphibians and reptiles reported to be successful invaders, compared to species that failed to thrive after translocation to new sites. This pattern was found in six of seven global biogeographic realms; the exception (where relatively larger brains did not facilitate invasion success) was Australasia. Establishment success was also higher in amphibian and reptile families with larger relative brain sizes. Future work could usefully explore whether invasion success is differentially associated with enlargement of specific parts of the brain (as predicted by the functional role of the forebrain in promoting behavioural flexibility), or with a general size increase (suggesting that invasion success is facilitated by enhanced perceptual and motor skills, as well as cognitive ability).

  5. Evolutionary insights into the regulation of courtship behavior in male amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Woolley, Sarah C; Sakata, Jon T; Crews, David

    2004-11-15

    Comparative studies of species differences and similarities in the regulation of courtship behavior afford an understanding of evolutionary pressures and constraints shaping reproductive processes and the relative contributions of hormonal, genetic, and ecological factors. Here, we review species differences and similarities in the control of courtship and copulatory behaviors in male amphibians and reptiles, focusing on the role of sex steroid hormones, the neurohormone arginine vasotocin (AVT), and catecholamines. We discuss species differences in the sensory modalities used during courtship and in the neural correlates of these differences, as well as the value of particular model systems for neural evolution studies with regard to reproductive processes. For example, in some genera of amphibians (e.g., Ambystoma) and reptiles (e.g., Cnemidophorus), interspecific hybridizations occur, making it possible to compare the ancestral with the descendant species, and these systems provide a window into the process of behavioral and neural evolution as well as the effect of genome size. Though our understanding of the hormonal and neural correlates of mating behavior in a variety of amphibian and reptilian species has advanced substantially, more studies that manipulate hormone or neurotransmitter systems are required to assess the functions of these systems.

  6. Pattern of Salmonella excretion in amphibians and reptiles in a vivarium.

    PubMed

    Pfleger, Silvia; Benyr, Gerald; Sommer, Regina; Hassl, Andreas

    2003-01-01

    During a period of about three years the faeces of five species of amphibians (35 individuals) and of 23 species of reptiles (103 individuals) living in one vivarium with terrariums imitating different types of ecosystems were examined for salmonellae. From 54 out of 376 faecal samples Salmonella spp. was isolated (= 14%). Twenty-one different Salmonella strains were found. Salmonellae could be isolated about twice as often from animals kept under arid or mesic conditions than from animals living in humid or aquatic environments although this was not statistically significant. Statistically significant for the rate of Salmonella excretion was the animals' diet and the class the animals are belonging to. Animals feeding on mice (p = 0.04) and reptiles in general (p = 0.04) were more commonly excreting Salmonella. Duration of stay was also a significant factor (p = 0.0005), whereby the relative risk for Salmonella excretion increased with the factor 2.91 per year during the investigation period. Salmonella strains were not necessarily transferred among animals living in the same terrarium or among the inhabitants of different terrariums. The pattern of Salmonella excretion was generally fragmentary. The outsides as well as the insides of the walls of the terrariums were also tested for salmonellae several times, but salmonellae have never been isolated.

  7. 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

    2009-04-07

    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.

  8. Does viviparity evolve in cold climate reptiles because pregnant females maintain stable (not high) body temperatures?

    PubMed

    Shine, Richard

    2004-08-01

    Viviparity (live bearing) has evolved from egg laying (oviparity) in many lineages of lizards and snakes, apparently in response to occupancy of cold climates. Explanations for this pattern have focused on the idea that behaviorally thermoregulating (sun-basking) pregnant female reptiles can maintain higher incubation temperatures for their embryos than would be available in nests under the soil surface. This is certainly true at very high elevations, where only viviparous species occur. However, comparisons of nest and lizard temperatures at sites close to the upper elevational limit for oviparous reptiles (presumably, the selective environment where the transition from oviparity to viviparity actually occurs) suggest that reproductive mode has less effect on mean incubation temperatures than on the diel distribution of those temperatures. Nests of the oviparous scincid lizard Bassiana duperreyi showed smooth diel cycles of heating and cooling. In contrast, body temperatures of the viviparous scincid Eulamprus heatwolei rose abruptly in the morning, were high and stable during daylight hours, and fell abruptly at night. Laboratory incubation experiments mimicking these patterns showed that developmental rates of eggs and phenotypic traits of hatchling B. duperreyi were sensitive to this type of thermal variance as well as to mean temperature. Hence, diel distributions as well as mean incubation temperatures may have played an important role in the selective forces for viviparity. More generally, variances as well as mean values of abiotic factors may constitute significant selective forces on life-history evolution.

  9. A novel IgA-like immunoglobulin in the reptile Eublepharis macularius.

    PubMed

    Deza, Francisco Gambón; Espinel, Christian Sánchez; Beneitez, Julio Valdueza

    2007-01-01

    The appearance of antibody genes over evolution coincided with the origin of the vertebrates. Reptiles are of great interest in evolution since they are the link between the amphibians, birds, and mammals. This work describes the presence of a gene in the reptile leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) where phylogenetic studies suggest that it is the gene orthologue of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin X (IgX) in Xenopus. Messenger RNA samples taken from different tissues showed expression of this antibody in intestinal tissue. Data on the structure deduced from the sequence of nucleotides showed an antibody with four domains in the constant region. There is a sequence of 20 amino acids in the C terminus similar to the secretory tail of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgA. A detailed analysis of the sequence of amino acids displayed a paradox, i.e., domains CH1 and CH2 showed a clear homology with domains CH1 and CH2 of immunoglobulin Y (IgY) while domains CH3 and CH4 were homologous with domains CH3 and CH4 of IgM. This homology pattern is also seen in Xenopus IgX and bird IgA. The most logical explanation for this phenomenon is that a recombination between the IgM and IgY gave rise to the IgA.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22780101

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Winter, Maiken; Fiedler, Wolfgang; Hochachka, Wesley M; Koehncke, Arnulf; Meiri, Shai; De la Riva, Ignacio

    2016-09-01

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  15. The impact of egg incubation temperature on the personality of oviparous reptiles.

    PubMed

    Siviter, Harry; Charles Deeming, D; Rosenberger, Joanna; Burman, Oliver H P; Moszuti, Sophie A; Wilkinson, Anna

    2017-01-01

    Personality traits, defined as differences in the behavior of individual animals of the same species that are consistent over time and context, such as 'boldness,' have been shown to be both heritable and be influenced by external factors, such as predation pressure. Currently, we know very little about the role that early environmental factors have upon personality. Thus, we investigated the impact of incubation temperature upon the boldness on an oviparous reptile, the bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Eggs, from one clutch, were incubated at two different average temperatures within the normal range. After hatching the lizards were raised under the same environmental conditions. Novel object and novel environment tests were used to assess personality. Each test was repeated in both the short term and the long term. The results revealed that incubation temperature did impact upon 'boldness' but only in the short term and suggests that, rather than influencing personality, incubation temperature may have an effect on the development of behavioral of oviparous reptiles at different stages across ontogeny.

  16. Deleterious mutations of a claw keratin in multiple taxa of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Dalla Valle, Luisa; Benato, Francesca; Rossi, Chiara; Alibardi, Lorenzo; Tschachler, Erwin; Eckhart, Leopold

    2011-03-01

    We have recently shown that homologs of mammalian hair keratins are expressed in the claws of the green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. To test whether reptilian hair keratin homologs are functionally associated with claws, we investigated the conservation of the prototypical reptilian hair keratin homolog, hard acidic keratin 1 (HA1), in representative species from all main clades of reptiles. A complete cDNA of HA1 was cloned from the claw-forming epidermis of the lacertid lizard Podarcis sicula, and partial HA1 gene sequences could be amplified from genomic DNA of tuatara, lizards, gekkos, turtles, and crocodiles. In contrast, the HA1 gene of the limbless slow worm, Anguis fragilis, and of two species of turtles contained at least one deleterious mutation. Moreover, an HA1 gene was undetectable in the softshell turtle, snakes, and birds. Mapping the presence and absence of HA1 onto the phylogenetic tree of sauropsids suggested that the HA1 gene has been lost independently in several lineages of reptiles. The species distribution of HA1 is compatible with the hypothesis of a primary function of HA1 in claws but also shows that the formation of reptilian claws does not strictly depend on this keratin.

  17. 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

  18. Low incidence of N-glycolylneuraminic acid in birds and reptiles and its absence in the platypus.

    PubMed

    Schauer, Roland; Srinivasan, G Vinayaga; Coddeville, Bernadette; Zanetta, Jean-Pierre; Guérardel, Yann

    2009-08-17

    The sialic acids of the platypus, birds, and reptiles were investigated with regard to the occurrence of N-glycolylneuraminic (Neu5Gc) acid. They were released from tissues, eggs, or salivary mucin samples by acid hydrolysis, and purified and analyzed by thin-layer chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry. In muscle and liver of the platypus only N-acetylneuraminic (Neu5Ac) acid was found. The nine bird species studied also did not express N-glycolylneuraminic acid with the exception of an egg, but not tissues, from the budgerigar and traces in poultry. Among nine reptiles, including one turtle, N-glycolylneuraminic acid was only found in the egg and an adult basilisk, but not in a freshly hatched animal. BLAST analysis of the genomes of the platypus, the chicken, and zebra finch against the CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylase did not reveal the existence of a similar protein structure. Apparently monotremes (platypus) and sauropsids (birds and reptiles) cannot synthesize Neu5Gc. The few animals where Neu5Gc was found, especially in eggs, may have acquired this from the diet or by an alternative pathway. Since Neu5Gc is antigenic to man, the observation that this monosaccharide does not or at least only rarely occur in birds and reptiles, may be of nutritional and clinical significance.

  19. 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.

  20. T-HERPS Version 1.0 User's Guide for Risk to Amphibians and Reptiles from Pesticides

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    T-HERPS estimates dietary exposure and risk to terrestrial-phase amphibians and reptiles from pesticide use. Currently approved for assessing exposure and risk to the California red-legged frog and terrestrial-phase herptiles with similar dietary behavior

  1. 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.

  2. [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

  3. Epidermal differentiation in embryos of the tuatara Sphenodon punctatus (Reptilia, Sphenodontidae) in comparison with the epidermis of other reptiles.

    PubMed

    Alibardi, L; Gill, B J

    2007-07-01

    Studying the epidermis in primitive reptiles can provide clues regarding evolution of the epidermis during land adaptation in vertebrates. With this aim, the development of the skin of the relatively primitive reptile Sphenodon punctatus in representative embryonic stages was studied by light and electron microscopy and compared with that of other reptiles previously studied. The dermis organizes into a superficial and deep portion when the epidermis starts to form the first layers. At embryonic stages comparable with those of lizards, only one layer of the inner periderm is formed beneath the outer periderm. This also occurs in lizards and snakes so far studied. The outer and inner periderm form the embryonic epidermis and accumulate thick, coarse filaments (25-30 nm thick) and sparse alpha-keratin filaments as in other reptiles. Beneath the embryonic epidermis an oberhautchen and beta-cells form small horny tips that represent overlapping borders along the margin of beta-cells that overlap other beta-cells (in a tile-like arrangement). The tips resemble those of agamine lizards but at a small scale, forming a lamellate-spinulated pattern as previously described in adult epidermis. The embryonic epidermis matures by the dispersion of coarse filaments among keratin at the end of embryonic development and is shed around hatching. The presence of these matrix organelles in the embryonic epidermis of this primitive reptile further indicates that amniote epidermis acquired interkeratin matrix proteins early for land adaptation. Unlike the condition in lizards and snakes, a shedding complex is not formed in the epidermis of embryonic S. punctatus that is like that of the adult. Therefore, as in chelonians and crocodilians, the epidermis of S. punctatus also represents an initial stage that preceded the evolution of the shedding complex for moulting.

  4. The yield and nutritional value of meat from African ungulates, camelidae, rodents, ratites and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, L C

    2008-09-01

    The current knowledge of the yield and nutritional (proximate and fatty acid) composition of meat derived from African ungulates, camelidae, rodents, ratites and reptiles is reviewed. Although most of the species discussed give low cholesterol levels consistent with their low meat lipid contents, the tegu lizard gives a very low level (18.2mg/100g tissue). The fatty acid profiles of the various species all have low saturated fatty acids and high polyunsaturated fatty acids resulting in favourable saturated to polyunsaturated fatty acid ratios. Although the springbok, camel, ostrich and crocodile are marketed and exported to sophisticated markets, the rodents are the species that show most promise in becoming large commercial commodities. Not only is their meat desirable and nutritional, but they are also highly adaptable to extensive and intensive production systems.

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Ribic, C.; Hohman, William

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Is thermoregulation really unimportant for tropical reptiles? Comparative study of four sympatric snake species from Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luiselli, Luca; Akani, Godfrey C.

    2002-05-01

    Most of the studies concerning the thermal and reproductive relationships of snakes have been conducted in temperate regions, whereas very few data are available for African tropical species. In the present study, aspects of the comparative thermal and reproductive ecology of four sympatric freshwater snakes from tropical Africa (the colubrids Natriciteres fuliginoides, N. variegata, Afronatrix anoscopus, and Grayia smythii) are studied with emphasis on exploring whether their thermal ecology relations with reproduction biology may indicate a substantial influence of thermoregulation on their life-history traits (as shown in several studies from temperate-zone reptiles), or whether thermoregulatory biology is less important in tropical reptiles (as suggested in some recent experimental studies). The present study showed that, with minor species-specific differences, thermoregulation certainly has some relevance for the activity and life-history attributes of the studied species, as (i) the females tended to show body temperatures inversely related to their size (snout-vent length), and (ii) gravid specimens tended to maintain higher body temperatures than non-gravid specimens. However, other sets of our data (e.g., the high and constant Tb exhibited during night-time) strongly indicate that these four species of tropical water snakes can maintain high and stable Tb with little overt thermoregulatory behaviour. As is the rule in most of the other snake species studied to date, the maternal size of the females strongly influenced the number of eggs produced, and testifies that reproductive biology models linking reproductive performance to thermal ecology, highlighted in other snakes from temperate and cool regions, may well apply at least to some extent also to these Afrotropical species.

  16. 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

  17. Oestrogens and temperature-dependent sex determination in reptiles: all is in the gonads.

    PubMed

    Pieau, C; Dorizzi, M

    2004-06-01

    In many species of oviparous reptiles, the first steps of gonadal sex differentiation depend on the incubation temperature of the eggs. Feminization of gonads by exogenous oestrogens at a male-producing temperature and masculinization of gonads by antioestrogens and aromatase inhibitors at a female-producing temperature have irrefutably demonstrated the involvement of oestrogens in ovarian differentiation. Nevertheless, several studies performed on the entire gonad/adrenal/mesonephros complex failed to find differences between male- and female-producing temperatures in oestrogen content, aromatase activity and aromatase gene expression during the thermosensitive period for sex determination. Thus, the key role of aromatase and oestrogens in the first steps of ovarian differentiation has been questioned, and extragonadal organs or tissues, such as adrenal, mesonephros, brain or yolk, were considered as possible targets of temperature and sources of the oestrogens acting on gonadal sex differentiation. In disagreement with this view, experiments and assays carried out on the gonads alone, i.e. separated from the adrenal/mesonephros, provide evidence that the gonads themselves respond to temperature shifts by modifying their sexual differentiation and are the site of aromatase activity and oestrogen synthesis during the thermosensitive period. Oestrogens act locally on both the cortical and the medullary part of the gonad to direct ovarian differentiation. We have concluded that there is no objective reason to search for the implication of other organs in the phenomenon of temperature-dependent sex determination in reptiles. From the comparison with data obtained in other vertebrates, we propose two main directions for future research: to examine how transcription of the aromatase gene is regulated and to identify molecular and cellular targets of oestrogens in gonads during sex differentiation, in species with strict genotypic sex determination and species with

  18. The terrestrial reptile fauna of the Abrolhos Archipelago: species list and ecological aspects.

    PubMed

    Rocha, C F D; Dutra, G F; Vrcibradic, D; Menezes, V A

    2002-05-01

    We have studied the terrestrial reptile fauna of the Abrolhos Archipelago (a group of five islands located ca. 70 km off the southern coast of the State of Bahia, Brazil) and analyze here some of its ecological aspects such as diet, thermal ecology, activity, and some reproductive parameters. Three lizards comprise the archipelago's terrestrial reptile fauna: Tropidurus torquatus (Tropiduridae), Mabuya agilis (Scincidae), and Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae). The first two are diurnal and the latter is crepuscular/nocturnal (initiating activity at ca. 17:30). The activity period of T. torquatus extended from 5:30 to 18:30 h. Mean field body temperatures of active T. torquatus, M. agilis, and H. mabouia were, respectively, 34.0 +/- 3.7 degrees C (range 23.8-38.0 degrees C; N = 75), 34.5 +/- 2.2 degrees C (range 30.8-37.0 degrees C; N = 6), and 26.3 +/- 1.1 degrees C (range 24.8-28.0 degrees C; N = 8). The predominant prey items in the diet of T. torquatus were ants, coleopterans, and hemipterans. In the diet of M. agilis, coleopterans were the most frequent prey items. For H. mabouia, the most important dietary items were orthopterans. Clutch size of T. torquatus averaged 4.1 +/- 1.1 (range 2-6; N = 15) and was significantly related to female size (R2 = 0.618; p = 0.001; N = 15). Clutch size for H. mabouia was fixed (two) and mean litter size of the viviparous M. agilis was 3.3 +/- 0.6 (range 3-4; N = 3). Tropidurus torquatus and H. mabouia deposit their eggs under rocks in the study area, with the former burying them but not the latter; in both species, more than one female often oviposit under the same rock.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Reptiles: a group of transition in the evolution of genome size and of the nucleotypic effect.

    PubMed

    Olmo, E

    2003-01-01

    A comparison between genome size and some phenotypic parameters, such as developmental length and metabolic rate, showed in reptiles a nucleotypic correlation similar to the one observed in birds and mammals. Indeed, like homeotherms, reptiles exhibit a highly significant, inverse correlation of genome size with metabolic rate but unlike amphibians, no relationship with developmental length. Several lines of evidence suggest that these nucleotypic correlations are influenced by body temperature, which also affects the guanine + cytosine nuclear percentage, and that they play an important role in the adaptation of these amniotes. However, the reptilian suborders exhibit differences in the quantitative and compositional characters of the genome that do not completely correspond to differences in the phenotypic parameters commonly involved in the nucleotypic effect. Thus, additional factors could have influenced genome size in this class. These data could be explained with the model of Hartl and Petrov, who observed an inverse correlation between genome size, non-coding portion of the genome and rate of DNA loss and hypothesized a strong role for different spectra of spontaneous insertions and deletions (indels) in the variations of genome size. It is thus reasonable to surmise that variations in the reptilian genome were initially influenced by different indels spectra typical of the diverse lineages, possibly related to different chromosome compartmentalizations. The consequent size increases or decreases would have influenced various morphological and functional cell parameters, and through these some phenotypic characteristics of the whole organism, especially the metabolic rate, very important for environmental adaptation and thus subject to natural selection. Through this "nucleotypic" bond, natural selection would also have controlled genome size variations.

  2. 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.

  3. Infrared mapping resolves soft tissue preservation in 50 million year-old reptile skin

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, N. P.; Barden, H. E.; van Dongen, B. E.; Manning, P. L.; Larson, P. L.; Bergmann, U.; Sellers, W. I.; Wogelius, R. A.

    2011-01-01

    Non-destructive Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) mapping of Eocene aged fossil reptile skin shows that biological control on the distribution of endogenous organic components within fossilized soft tissue can be resolved. Mapped organic functional units within this approximately 50 Myr old specimen from the Green River Formation (USA) include amide and sulphur compounds. These compounds are most probably derived from the original beta keratin present in the skin because fossil leaf- and other non-skin-derived organic matter from the same geological formation do not show intense amide or thiol absorption bands. Maps and spectra from the fossil are directly comparable to extant reptile skin. Furthermore, infrared results are corroborated by several additional quantitative methods including Synchrotron Rapid Scanning X-Ray Fluorescence (SRS-XRF) and Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). All results combine to clearly show that the organic compound inventory of the fossil skin is different from the embedding sedimentary matrix and fossil plant material. A new taphonomic model involving ternary complexation between keratin-derived organic molecules, divalent trace metals and silicate surfaces is presented to explain the survival of the observed compounds. X-ray diffraction shows that suitable minerals for complex formation are present. Previously, this study would only have been possible with major destructive sampling. Non-destructive FTIR imaging methods are thus shown to be a valuable tool for understanding the taphonomy of high-fidelity preservation, and furthermore, may provide insight into the biochemistry of extinct organisms. PMID:21429928

  4. Reptiles and mammals have differentially retained long conserved noncoding sequences from the amniote ancestor.

    PubMed

    Janes, D E; Chapus, C; Gondo, Y; Clayton, D F; Sinha, S; Blatti, C A; Organ, C L; Fujita, M K; Balakrishnan, C N; Edwards, S V

    2011-01-01

    Many noncoding regions of genomes appear to be essential to genome function. Conservation of large numbers of noncoding sequences has been reported repeatedly among mammals but not thus far among birds and reptiles. By searching genomes of chicken (Gallus gallus), zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), and green anole (Anolis carolinensis), we quantified the conservation among birds and reptiles and across amniotes of long, conserved noncoding sequences (LCNS), which we define as sequences ≥500 bp in length and exhibiting ≥95% similarity between species. We found 4,294 LCNS shared between chicken and zebra finch and 574 LCNS shared by the two birds and Anolis. The percent of genomes comprised by LCNS in the two birds (0.0024%) is notably higher than the percent in mammals (<0.0003% to <0.001%), differences that we show may be explained in part by differences in genome-wide substitution rates. We reconstruct a large number of LCNS for the amniote ancestor (ca. 8,630) and hypothesize differential loss and substantial turnover of these sites in descendent lineages. By contrast, we estimated a small role for recruitment of LCNS via acquisition of novel functions over time. Across amniotes, LCNS are significantly enriched with transcription factor binding sites for many developmental genes, and 2.9% of LCNS shared between the two birds show evidence of expression in brain expressed sequence tag databases. These results show that the rate of retention of LCNS from the amniote ancestor differs between mammals and Reptilia (including birds) and that this may reflect differing roles and constraints in gene regulation.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Contrasted evolution of the vomeronasal receptor repertoires in mammals and squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Reptiles and Mammals Have Differentially Retained Long Conserved Noncoding Sequences from the Amniote Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Janes, D.E.; Chapus, C.; Gondo, Y.; Clayton, D.F.; Sinha, S.; Blatti, C.A.; Organ, C.L.; Fujita, M.K.; Balakrishnan, C.N.; Edwards, S.V.

    2011-01-01

    Many noncoding regions of genomes appear to be essential to genome function. Conservation of large numbers of noncoding sequences has been reported repeatedly among mammals but not thus far among birds and reptiles. By searching genomes of chicken (Gallus gallus), zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), and green anole (Anolis carolinensis), we quantified the conservation among birds and reptiles and across amniotes of long, conserved noncoding sequences (LCNS), which we define as sequences ≥500 bp in length and exhibiting ≥95% similarity between species. We found 4,294 LCNS shared between chicken and zebra finch and 574 LCNS shared by the two birds and Anolis. The percent of genomes comprised by LCNS in the two birds (0.0024%) is notably higher than the percent in mammals (<0.0003% to <0.001%), differences that we show may be explained in part by differences in genome-wide substitution rates. We reconstruct a large number of LCNS for the amniote ancestor (ca. 8,630) and hypothesize differential loss and substantial turnover of these sites in descendent lineages. By contrast, we estimated a small role for recruitment of LCNS via acquisition of novel functions over time. Across amniotes, LCNS are significantly enriched with transcription factor binding sites for many developmental genes, and 2.9% of LCNS shared between the two birds show evidence of expression in brain expressed sequence tag databases. These results show that the rate of retention of LCNS from the amniote ancestor differs between mammals and Reptilia (including birds) and that this may reflect differing roles and constraints in gene regulation. PMID:21183607

  12. 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.

  13. [Book review] A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians (Second Edition, Revised), by Robert C. Stebbins and Roger Tory Peterson

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jennings, M.R.

    1987-01-01

    Review of: A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians (Peterson Field Guides, No. 16). Robert C. Stebbins and Roger Tory Peterson. Houghton Mifflin; 2nd Revised edition (June 10, 1985). 448 pages. ISBN: 978-0395382530.

  14. 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.

  15. Diversity, natural history and conservation of amphibians and reptiles from the San Vito Region, southwestern Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesus; Mendoza-Quijano, Fernando; Bolaños, Federico; Cháves, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2008-06-01

    We present an inventory of the amphibians and reptiles of the San Vito de Coto Brus region, including the Las Cruces Biological Station, in southern Costa Rica, which is the result of a survey of the herpetofauna occurring in mountain forest fragments, pastures, coffee plantations, and other disturbed areas. We found 67 species, included 26 species of amphibians and of 41 of reptiles. We describe the distribution patterns of the community on the basis of the life zones, elevation, fragmentation, and degree of anthropogenic impact. We also provide some nouvelle data on the systematics of some select taxa, their geographical ranges, microhabitats, activity, and other relevant ecological and natural history features. Finally, we comment on the present conservation status of the herpetofauna in the region. Previous literature and collection records indicate a higher number of species occurring in this area, which suggests that some declines have occurred, especially of amphibians, in last decades.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Modeling thermal influence on animal growth and sex determination in reptiles: being closer to the target gives new views.

    PubMed

    Girondot, M; Ben Hassine, S; Sellos, C; Godfrey, M; Guillon, J-M

    2010-01-01

    Many species of oviparous reptiles, including crocodilians, a majority of turtles, some lizards and the 2 closely related species of Sphenodon have been shown to display temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Whereas it has been demonstrated very early that TSD also occurs in natural conditions, the relationship between a time series of changing temperatures and sex ratio remains a challenging problem for reptiles. We describe how a physiological model of embryo growth, gonadal development and aromatase activity can produce outputs that mimic well TSD. We provide an enhancement of a previously published model taking into account direct effect of temperature on aromatase activity. The comparison between the original model and the new one suggests that aromatase expression is controlled by a repressor factor expressed at masculinizing temperatures rather than its enhancement at feminizing temperatures.

  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. Evaluation of an 18-micron filter for use in reptile blood transfusions using blood from American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Nevarez, Javier G; Cockburn, Jennifer; Kearney, Michael T; Mayer, Joerg

    2011-06-01

    Blood transfusions are a common therapeutic procedure in small animal medicine and have been investigated in some exotic species but little information is available about their safety and efficacy in reptiles. In human pediatrics and small animal practice, the Hemo-Nate18-micro filter is used to prevent embolic clots and particulate waste from entering the recipient during a transfusion. The goal of this study was to determine the hemolytic effect of an 18-micro Hemo-Nate filter for whole blood cell transfusions in reptiles using the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) as a reptilian model. Results revealed no significant difference in free plasma hemoglobin between the unfiltered and filtered samples (P = 0.21). There was no difference in the prefiltration and postfiltration packed cell volume (PCV) (P = 0.41). Results suggest that an 18-micro Hemo-Nate filter does not cause hemolysis or decrease the PCV of small quantities of alligator blood.

  2. The value of comparative approaches to our understanding of puberty as illustrated by investigations in birds and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Ball, Gregory F; Wade, Juli

    2013-07-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Puberty and Adolescence". 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. Moving into Protected Areas? Setting Conservation Priorities for Romanian Reptiles and Amphibians at Risk from Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. 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.

  7. Descending pathways from the brain stem to the spinal cord in some reptiles. II. Course and site of termination.

    PubMed

    Ten Donkelaar, H J

    1976-06-15

    The course and termination of the pathways descending from the brain stem to the spinal cord have been studied by tracing the ensuing anterograde fiber degeneration, following appropriate lesions in the reptiles Testudo hermanni, Tupinambis nigropunctatus and Python reticulatus. In these reptiles the presence of interstitiospinal, vestibulospinal and reticulospinal pathways has been demonstrated. A crossed rubrospinal tract has been shown in the turtle and lizard, but could not be demonstrated in the Python. The presence of a tectospinal pathway of any importance could not be shown. However, the tectum mesencephali has been found to project profusely to the brain stem reticular formation. The interstitiospinal tract projects predominantly to the ipsilateral side of the spinal cord. The vestibulospinal projection, arising from the large-celled nucleus vestibularis ventrolateralis, comprises a large uncrossed and a small decussating component. The rubrospinal pathway terminates in a particular area of the spinal gray, i.e., the intermediate zone, whereas the interstitiospainal, reticulospinal and vestibulospinal tracts all terminate in the medial part of the ventral horn. It appeared that the classification of descending pathways as advocated in mammals by Kuypers ('64) into lateral and medial systems can be readily applied to reptiles. The lateral system terminates in the dorsal and lateral parts of the intermediate zone, the medial system predominantely in the dorsomedial part of the ventral horn. This classification renders it likely that the absence of a lateral focus of termination as well as the absence of a rubrospinal tract in the Python, is correlated to the absence of limbs. A comparison of experimental data concerning the systems descending from the brain stem to the spinal cord in amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals suggests that these systems with regard to origin, course and termination have a basic pattern in common.

  8. The ecology and evolution of temperature-dependent reaction norms for sex determination in reptiles: a mechanistic conceptual model.

    PubMed

    Pezaro, Nadav; Doody, J Sean; Thompson, Michael B

    2016-06-14

    Sex-determining mechanisms are broadly categorised as being based on either genetic or environmental factors. Vertebrate sex determination exhibits remarkable diversity but displays distinct phylogenetic patterns. While all eutherian mammals possess XY male heterogamety and female heterogamety (ZW) is ubiquitous in birds, poikilothermic vertebrates (fish, amphibians and reptiles) exhibit multiple genetic sex-determination (GSD) systems as well as environmental sex determination (ESD). Temperature is the factor controlling ESD in reptiles and temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) in reptiles has become a focal point in the study of this phenomenon. Current patterns of climate change may cause detrimental skews in the population sex ratios of reptiles exhibiting TSD. Understanding the patterns of variation, both within and among populations and linking such patterns with the selection processes they are associated with, is the central challenge of research aimed at predicting the capacity of populations to adapt to novel conditions. Here we present a conceptual model that innovates by defining an individual reaction norm for sex determination as a range of incubation temperatures. By deconstructing individual reaction norms for TSD and revealing their underlying interacting elements, we offer a conceptual solution that explains how variation among individual reaction norms can be inferred from the pattern of population reaction norms. The model also links environmental variation with the different patterns of TSD and describes the processes from which they may arise. Specific climate scenarios are singled out as eco-evolutionary traps that may lead to demographic extinction or a transition to either male or female heterogametic GSD. We describe how the conceptual principles can be applied to interpret TSD data and to explain the adaptive capacity of TSD to climate change as well as its limits and the potential applications for conservation and management

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Adaptation to the land: The skin of reptiles in comparison to that of amphibians and endotherm amniotes.

    PubMed

    Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2003-08-15

    The adaptation to land from amphibians to amniotes was accompanied by drastic changes of the integument, some of which might be reconstructed by studying the formation of the stratum corneum during embryogenesis. As the first amniotes were reptiles, the present review focuses on past and recent information on the evolution of reptilian epidermis and the stratum corneum. We aim to generalize the discussion on the evolution of the skin in amniotes. Corneous cell envelopes were absent in fish, and first appeared in adult amphibian epidermis. Stem reptiles evolved a multilayered stratum corneum based on a programmed cell death, intensified the production of matrix proteins (e.g., HRPs), corneous cell envelope proteins (e.g., loricrine-like, sciellin-like, and transglutaminase), and complex lipids to limit water loss. Other proteins were later produced in association to the soft or hairy epidermis in therapsids (e.g., involucrin, profilaggrin-filaggrin, trichohyalin, trichocytic keratins), or to the hard keratin of hairs, quills, horns, claws (e.g., tyrosine-rich, glycine-rich, sulphur-rich matrix proteins). In sauropsids special proteins associated to hard keratinization in scales (e.g., scale beta-keratins, cytokeratin associated proteins) or feathers (feather beta-keratins and HRPs) were originated. The temporal deposition of beta-keratin in lepidosaurian reptiles originated a vertical stratified epidermis and an intraepidermal shedding layer. The evolutions of the horny layer in Therapsids (mammals) and Saurospids (reptiles and birds) are discussed. The study of the molecules involved in the dermo-epidermal interactions in reptilian skin and the molecular biology of epidermal proteins are among the most urgent future areas of research in the biology of reptilian skin.

  12. 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

  13. Herbivorous reptiles and body mass: effects on food intake, digesta retention, digestibility and gut capacity, and a comparison with mammals.

    PubMed

    Franz, Ragna; Hummel, Jürgen; Müller, Dennis W H; Bauert, Martin; Hatt, Jean-Michel; Clauss, Marcus

    2011-01-01

    Differences in the allometric scaling between gut capacity (with body mass, BM¹·⁰⁰) and food intake (with BM⁰·⁷⁵) should theoretically result in a scaling of digesta retention time with BM⁰·²⁵ and therefore a higher digestive efficiency in larger herbivores. This concept is an important part of the so-called 'Jarman-Bell principle' (JBP) that explains niche differentiation along a body size gradient in terms of digestive physiology. Empirical data in herbivorous mammals, however, do not confirm the scaling of retention time, or of digestive efficiency, with body mass. Here, we test these concepts in herbivorous reptiles, adding data of an experiment that measured food intake, digesta retention, digestibility and gut capacity in 23 tortoises (Testudo graeca, T. hermanni , Geochelone nigra, G. sulcata, Dipsochelys dussumieri) across a large BM range (0.5-180 kg) to a literature data collection. While dry matter gut fill scaled to BM¹·⁰⁷ and dry matter intake to BM⁰·⁷⁶, digesta mean retention time (MRT) scaled to BM⁰·¹⁷; the scaling exponent was not significantly different from zero for species > 1 kg. Food intake level was a major determinant of MRT across reptiles and mammals. In contrast to dietary fibre level, BM was not a significant contributor to dry matter digestibility in a General Linear Model. Digestibility coefficients in reptiles depended on diet nutrient composition in a similar way as described in mammals. Although food intake is generally lower and digesta retention longer in reptiles than in mammals, digestive functions scale in a similar way in both clades, indicating universal principles in herbivore digestive physiology. The reasons why the theoretically derived JBP has little empirical support remain to be investigated. Until then, the JBP should not be evoked to explain niche differentiation along a body size axis in terms of digestive physiology.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Molecular and morphological description of a Hepatozoon species in reptiles and their ticks in the Northern Territory, Australia.

    PubMed

    Vilcins, Inger-Marie E; Ujvari, Beata; Old, Julie M; Deane, Elizabeth

    2009-04-01

    Ticks, representing 3 species of Amblyomma, were collected from the water python (Liasis fuscus) and 3 additional reptile species in the Northern Territory, Australia, and tested for the presence of Hepatozoon sp., the most common blood parasites of snakes. In addition, blood smears were collected from 5 reptiles, including the water python, and examined for the presence of the parasite. Hepatozoon sp. DNA was detected in all tick and reptile species, with 57.7% of tick samples (n = 187) and 35.6% of blood smears (n=35) showing evidence of infection. Phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rRNA gene demonstrated that half of the sequences obtained from positive tick samples matched closest with a Hepatozoon species previously identified in the water python population. The remaining sequences were found to be more closely related to mammalian and amphibian Hepatozoon species. This study confirms that species of Amblyomma harbor DNA of the same Hepatozoon species detected in the water pythons. The detection of an additional genotype suggests the ticks may be exposed to 2 Hepatozoon species, providing further opportunity to study multiple host-vector-parasite relationships.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Growth and metabolism in the embryonic white-spotted bamboo shark, Chiloscyllium plagiosum: comparison with embryonic birds and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Tullis, A; Peterson, G

    2000-01-01

    Birds and reptiles have been important models for studying the energetics of embryonic development. Studies on these groups reveal three metabolic patterns: an exponential increase in metabolism with embryo age, a sigmoidal increase with age, or a sigmoidal increase followed by a decrease before hatching. Models developed to explain avian metabolic patterns and developmental costs partition total costs between growth and maintenance. To test the generality of these models, we examined embryonic energetics of the oviparous white-spotted bamboo shark Chiloscyllium plagiosum. Oviparous sharks must actively ventilate during development, which could increase their development costs relative to birds and reptiles. Our results demonstrated that bamboo shark embryos have a peaked metabolic pattern and sigmoidal increase in body mass similar to ratites, crocodilians, and some turtles. The total cost of development was higher in bamboo sharks than in reptiles and many birds. However, calculations reveal that the high cost of bamboo shark development can be explained by the relatively long incubation time rather than the additional cost of muscular movement. Finally, an avian model can reasonably describe shark embryonic metabolism, suggesting that movement costs do not significantly alter the metabolic pattern during development.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Patterns of Interspecific Variation in the Heart Rates of Embryonic Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Du, Wei-Guo; Ye, Hua; Zhao, Bo; Pizzatto, Ligia; Ji, Xiang; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    New non-invasive technologies allow direct measurement of heart rates (and thus, developmental rates) of embryos. We applied these methods to a diverse array of oviparous reptiles (24 species of lizards, 18 snakes, 11 turtles, 1 crocodilian), to identify general influences on cardiac rates during embryogenesis. Heart rates increased with ambient temperature in all lineages, but (at the same temperature) were faster in lizards and turtles than in snakes and crocodilians. We analysed these data within a phylogenetic framework. Embryonic heart rates were faster in species with smaller adult sizes, smaller egg sizes, and shorter incubation periods. Phylogenetic changes in heart rates were negatively correlated with concurrent changes in adult body mass and residual incubation period among the lizards, snakes (especially within pythons) and crocodilians. The total number of embryonic heart beats between oviposition and hatching was lower in squamates than in turtles or the crocodilian. Within squamates, embryonic iguanians and gekkonids required more heartbeats to complete development than did embryos of the other squamate families that we tested. These differences plausibly reflect phylogenetic divergence in the proportion of embryogenesis completed before versus after laying. PMID:22174948

  4. 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.

  5. Skin of the Cretaceous mosasaur Plotosaurus: implications for aquatic adaptations in giant marine reptiles.

    PubMed

    Lindgren, Johan; Alwmark, Carl; Caldwell, Michael W; Fiorillo, Anthony R

    2009-08-23

    The physical nature of water and the environment it presents to an organism have long been recognized as important constraints on aquatic adaptation and evolution. Little is known about the dermal cover of mosasauroids (a group of secondarily aquatic reptiles that occupied a wide array of predatory niches in the Cretaceous marine ecosystems 92-65 Myr ago), a lack of information that has hindered inferences about the nature and level of their aquatic adaptations. A newly discovered Plotosaurus skeleton with integument preserved in three dimensions represents not only the first documented squamation in a mosasaurine mosasaur but also the first record of skin in an advanced member of the Mosasauroidea. The dermal cover comprises keeled and possibly osteoderm-reinforced scales that presumably contributed to an anterior-posterior channelling of the water flow and a reduction of microturbulent burst activities along the surface of the skin. Thus, hydrodynamic requirements of life in the water might have influenced the evolution of multiple-keeled body scales in advanced mosasauroids.

  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. 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).

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Influence of major histocompatibility complex genotype on mating success in a free-ranging reptile population

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Hilary C.; Moore, Jennifer A.; Nelson, Nicola J.; Daugherty, Charles H.

    2009-01-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are highly polymorphic components of the vertebrate immune system, which play a key role in pathogen resistance. MHC genes may also function as odour-related cues for mate choice, thus ensuring optimal MHC diversity in offspring. MHC-associated mate choice has been demonstrated in some fish, bird and mammal species but it is not known whether this is a general vertebrate phenomenon. We investigated whether MHC-associated mate choice occurs in a wild population of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), a territorial and sexually dimorphic reptile. We found weak evidence for MHC-disassortative mating, based on amino acid genotypic distance between pairs, when mated pairs were directly compared with potential pairs in close spatial proximity. No significant association was found between male mating success, number of MHC sequences, microsatellite heterozygosity or MHC lineage. The major determinant of mating success in tuatara was male body size, which was not related to MHC lineage or microsatellite heterozygosity. Our results suggest that male competitive ability is the primary driver of mating success in tuatara. However, MHC-associated preferences also appear to play a role, possibly as a kin avoidance mechanism during territory formation. PMID:19324833

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Morphology, development, and evolution of fetal membranes and placentation in squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Daniel G; Flemming, Alexander F

    2009-09-15

    Current studies on fetal membranes of reptiles are providing insight into three major historical transformations: evolution of the amniote egg, evolution of viviparity, and evolution of placentotrophy. Squamates (lizards and snakes) are ideal for such studies because their fetal membranes sustain embryos in oviparous species and contribute to placentas in viviparous species. Ultrastructure of the fetal membranes in oviparous corn snakes (Pituophis guttatus) shows that the chorioallantois is specialized for gas exchange and the omphalopleure, for water absorption. Transmission and scanning electron microscopic studies of viviparous thamnophine snakes (Thamnophis, Storeria) have revealed morphological specializations for gas exchange and absorption in the intra-uterine environment that represent modifications of features found in oviparous species. Thus, fetal membranes in oviparous species show morphological differentiation for distinct functions that have been recruited and enhanced under viviparous conditions. The ultimate in specialization of fetal membranes is found in viviparous skinks of South America (Mabuya) and Africa (Trachylepis, Eumecia), in which placentotrophy accounts for nearly all of the nutrients for development. Ongoing research on these lizards has revealed morphological specializations of the chorioallantoic placenta through which nutrient transfer is accomplished. In addition, African Trachylepis show an invasive form of implantation, in which uterine epithelium is replaced by invading chorionic cells. Ongoing analysis of these lizards shows how integration of multiple lines of evidence can provide insight into the evolution of developmental and reproductive specializations once thought to be confined to eutherian mammals.

  15. Two waves of diversification in mammals and reptiles of Baja California revealed by hierarchical Bayesian analysis.

    PubMed

    Leaché, Adam D; Crews, Sarah C; Hickerson, Michael J

    2007-12-22

    Many species inhabiting the Peninsular Desert of Baja California demonstrate a phylogeographic break at the mid-peninsula, and previous researchers have attributed this shared pattern to a single vicariant event, a mid-peninsular seaway. However, previous studies have not explicitly considered the inherent stochasticity associated with the gene-tree coalescence for species preceding the time of the putative mid-peninsular divergence. We use a Bayesian analysis of a hierarchical model to test for simultaneous vicariance across co-distributed sister lineages sharing a genealogical break at the mid-peninsula. This Bayesian method is advantageous over traditional phylogenetic interpretations of biogeography because it considers the genetic variance associated with the coalescent and mutational processes, as well as the among-lineage demographic differences that affect gene-tree coalescent patterns. Mitochondrial DNA data from six small mammals and six squamate reptiles do not support the perception of a shared vicariant history among lineages exhibiting a north-south divergence at the mid-peninsula, and instead support two events differentially structuring genetic diversity in this region.

  16. 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

  17. Spatial memory and hippocampal pallium through vertebrate evolution: insights from reptiles and teleost fish.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, F; López, J C; Vargas, J P; Broglio, C; Gómez, Y; Salas, C

    The forebrain of vertebrates shows great morphological variation and specialized adaptations. However, an increasing amount of neuroanatomical and functional data reveal that the evolution of the vertebrate forebrain could have been more conservative than previously realized. For example, the pallial region of the teleost telencephalon contains subdivisions presumably homologous with various pallial areas in amniotes, including possibly a homologue of the medial pallium or hippocampus. In mammals and birds, the hippocampus is critical for encoding complex spatial information to form map-like cognitive representations of the environment. Here, we present data showing that the pallial areas of reptiles and fish, previously proposed as homologous to the hippocampus of mammals and birds on an anatomical basis, are similarly involved in spatial memory and navigation by map-like or relational representations of the allocentric space. These data suggest that early in vertebrate evolution, the medial pallium of an ancestral fish group that gave rise to the extant vertebrates became specialized for processing and encoding complex spatial information, and that this functional trait has been retained through the evolution of each independent vertebrate lineage.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Evidence and mapping of extinction debts for global forest-dwelling reptiles, amphibians and mammals

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Youhua; Peng, Shushi

    2017-01-01

    Evidence of extinction debts for the global distributions of forest-dwelling reptiles, mammals and amphibians was tested and the debt magnitude was estimated and mapped. By using different correlation tests and variable importance analysis, the results showed that spatial richness patterns for the three forest-dwelling terrestrial vertebrate groups had significant and stronger correlations with past forest cover area and other variables in the 1500 s, implying the evidence for extinction debts. Moreover, it was likely that the extinction debts have been partially paid, given that their global richness patterns were also significantly correlated with contemporary forest variables in the 2000 s (but the absolute magnitudes of the correlation coefficients were usually smaller than those calculated for historical forest variables). By utilizing species-area relationships, spatial extinction-debt magnitudes for the three vertebrate groups at the global scale were estimated and the hotspots of extinction debts were identified. These high-debt hotspots were generally situated in areas that did not spatially overlap with hotspots of species richness or high extinction-risk areas based on IUCN threatened status to a large extent. This spatial mismatch pattern suggested that necessary conservation efforts should be directed toward high-debt areas that are still overlooked. PMID:28300200

  2. Evidence and mapping of extinction debts for global forest-dwelling reptiles, amphibians and mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Youhua; Peng, Shushi

    2017-03-01

    Evidence of extinction debts for the global distributions of forest-dwelling reptiles, mammals and amphibians was tested and the debt magnitude was estimated and mapped. By using different correlation tests and variable importance analysis, the results showed that spatial richness patterns for the three forest-dwelling terrestrial vertebrate groups had significant and stronger correlations with past forest cover area and other variables in the 1500 s, implying the evidence for extinction debts. Moreover, it was likely that the extinction debts have been partially paid, given that their global richness patterns were also significantly correlated with contemporary forest variables in the 2000 s (but the absolute magnitudes of the correlation coefficients were usually smaller than those calculated for historical forest variables). By utilizing species-area relationships, spatial extinction-debt magnitudes for the three vertebrate groups at the global scale were estimated and the hotspots of extinction debts were identified. These high-debt hotspots were generally situated in areas that did not spatially overlap with hotspots of species richness or high extinction-risk areas based on IUCN threatened status to a large extent. This spatial mismatch pattern suggested that necessary conservation efforts should be directed toward high-debt areas that are still overlooked.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Hypoxia tolerance in reptiles, amphibians, and fishes: life with variable oxygen availability.

    PubMed

    Bickler, Philip E; Buck, Leslie T

    2007-01-01

    The ability of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles to survive extremes of oxygen availability derives from a core triad of adaptations: profound metabolic suppression, tolerance of ionic and pH disturbances, and mechanisms for avoiding free-radical injury during reoxygenation. For long-term anoxic survival, enhanced storage of glycogen in critical tissues is also necessary. The diversity of body morphologies and habitats and the utilization of dormancy have resulted in a broad array of adaptations to hypoxia in lower vertebrates. For example, the most anoxia-tolerant vertebrates, painted turtles and crucian carp, meet the challenge of variable oxygen in fundamentally different ways: Turtles undergo near-suspended animation, whereas carp remain active and responsive in the absence of oxygen. Although the mechanisms of survival in both of these cases include large stores of glycogen and drastically decreased metabolism, other mechanisms, such as regulation of ion channels in excitable membranes, are apparently divergent. Common themes in the regulatory adjustments to hypoxia involve control of metabolism and ion channel conductance by protein phosphorylation. Tolerance of decreased energy charge and accumulating anaerobic end products as well as enhanced antioxidant defenses and regenerative capacities are also key to hypoxia survival in lower vertebrates.

  7. 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.

  8. Is "cooling then freezing" a humane way to kill amphibians and reptiles?

    PubMed

    Shine, Richard; Amiel, Joshua; Munn, Adam J; Stewart, Mathew; Vyssotski, Alexei L; Lesku, John A

    2015-05-26

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Evolution of placentation among squamate reptiles: recent research and future directions.

    PubMed

    Stewart, J R; Thompson, M B

    2000-12-01

    Squamate reptiles are uniquely suited to study of evolution of reproductive mode and pattern of embryonic nutrition. Viviparous species have evolved from oviparous ancestors on numerous occasions, patterns of nutritional provision to embryos range widely from lecithotrophy, at one end of a continuum, to placentotrophy at the other, and structure and function of the maternal-embryonic relationship is highly constrained resulting in parallel evolutionary trajectories among taxa. Embryos of oviparous species primarily receive nourishment from yolk, but also mobilize a significant quantity of calcium from the eggshell. Most viviparous species also are predominantly lecithotrophic, yet all viviparous species are placentotrophic to some degree. Similarities in embryonic development and nutritional pattern between oviparous species and most viviparous species suggest that the pattern of nutrition of oviparous squamates is an exaptation for the evolution of viviparity and that placentotrophy and viviparity evolve concomitantly. The few species of squamates that rely substantially on placentotrophy have structural modifications of the interface between the embryo and mother that are interpreted as adaptations to enhance nutritional exchange. Recent studies have extended understanding of the diversity of embryonic nutrition and placental structure and have resulted in hypotheses for transitions in the evolution of placentotrophy, yet data are available for few species. Indirect tests of these hypotheses, by comparison of structural-functional relationships among clades in which viviparity has evolved, awaits further study of the reproductive biology of squamates.

  11. Implications of flexible-shelled eggs in a Cretaceous choristoderan reptile

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Lian-Hai; Li, Pi-Peng; Ksepka, Daniel T.; Gao, Ke-Qin; Norell, Mark A.

    2010-01-01

    Flexible, or soft-shelled, eggs are almost unknown in the fossil record, leaving large gaps in our knowledge of the reproductive biology of many tetrapod clades. Here, we report two flexible-shelled eggs of the hyphalosaurid choristodere Hyphalosaurus baitaigouensis from the Early Cretaceous of China, one containing an embryo and the second associated with a neonate. Choristoderes are an enigmatic group of aquatic reptiles that survived the K–T extinction but died out in the Miocene. Hyphalosaurids, a specialized clade of Choristodera, resemble miniature plesiosaurs and are considered to be primarily aquatic in habit. Scanning electron microscopy of samples from the eggs reveals a thin, non-columnar external mineralized layer characterized by rounded nodes and tentatively identified poorly structured irregular pores, with an underlying amorphous layer presumably representing decomposed protein fibrils. While the relationships of Choristodera remain controversial, eggshell microstructure more closely resembles that of Lepidosauromorpha (the lineage including lizards) as opposed to that of Archosauromorpha (the lineage including birds and crocodiles). PMID:20018793

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Evidence and mapping of extinction debts for global forest-dwelling reptiles, amphibians and mammals.

    PubMed

    Chen, Youhua; Peng, Shushi

    2017-03-16

    Evidence of extinction debts for the global distributions of forest-dwelling reptiles, mammals and amphibians was tested and the debt magnitude was estimated and mapped. By using different correlation tests and variable importance analysis, the results showed that spatial richness patterns for the three forest-dwelling terrestrial vertebrate groups had significant and stronger correlations with past forest cover area and other variables in the 1500 s, implying the evidence for extinction debts. Moreover, it was likely that the extinction debts have been partially paid, given that their global richness patterns were also significantly correlated with contemporary forest variables in the 2000 s (but the absolute magnitudes of the correlation coefficients were usually smaller than those calculated for historical forest variables). By utilizing species-area relationships, spatial extinction-debt magnitudes for the three vertebrate groups at the global scale were estimated and the hotspots of extinction debts were identified. These high-debt hotspots were generally situated in areas that did not spatially overlap with hotspots of species richness or high extinction-risk areas based on IUCN threatened status to a large extent. This spatial mismatch pattern suggested that necessary conservation efforts should be directed toward high-debt areas that are still overlooked.

  15. Temperature and the respiratory properties of whole blood in two reptiles, Pogona barbata and Emydura signata.

    PubMed

    Stawski, Clare Y; Grigg, Gordon C; Booth, David T; Beard, Lyn A

    2006-02-01

    We investigated the capacity of two reptiles, an agamid lizard Pogona barbata and a chelid turtle Emydura signata, to compensate for the effects of temperature by making changes in their whole blood respiratory properties. This was accomplished by measuring the P50 (at 10, 20 and 30 degrees C), hematocrit (Hct), haemoglobin concentration ([Hb]) and mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) in field acclimatised and laboratory acclimated individuals. The acute effect of temperature on P50 in P. barbata, expressed as heat of oxygenation (deltaH), ranged from -16.8+/-1.84 to -28.5+/-2.73 kJ/mole. P50 of field acclimatised P. barbata increased significantly from early spring to summer at the test temperatures of 20 degrees C (43.1+/-1.2 to 48.8+/-2.1 mmHg) and 30 degrees C (54.7+/-1.2 to 65.2+/-2.3 mmHg), but showed no acclimation under laboratory conditions. For E. signata, deltaH ranged from -31.1+/-6.32 to -48.2+/-3.59 kJ/mole. Field acclimatisation and laboratory acclimation of P50 did not occur. However, in E. signata, there was a significant increase in [Hb] and MCHC from early spring to summer in turtles collected from the wild (1.0+/-0.1 to 1.7+/-0.2 mmol/L and 4.0+/-0.3 to 6.7+/-0.7 mmol/L, respectively).

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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%).

  20. Reliable DNA barcoding performance proved for species and island populations of comoran squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Extreme Modification of the Tetrapod Forelimb in a Triassic Diapsid Reptile.

    PubMed

    Pritchard, Adam C; Turner, Alan H; Irmis, Randall B; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Smith, Nathan D

    2016-10-24

    The tetrapod forelimb is one of the most versatile structures in vertebrate evolution, having been co-opted for an enormous array of functions. However, the structural relationships between the bones of the forelimb have remained largely unchanged throughout the 375 million year history of Tetrapoda, with a radius and ulna made up of elongate, paralleling shafts contacting a series of shorter carpal bones. These features are consistent across nearly all known tetrapods, suggesting that the morphospace encompassed by these taxa is limited by some sort of constraint(s). Here, we report on a series of three-dimensionally preserved fossils of the small-bodied (<1 m) Late Triassic diapsid reptile Drepanosaurus, from the Chinle Formation of New Mexico, USA, which dramatically diverge from this pattern. Along with the crushed type specimen from Italy, these specimens have a flattened, crescent-shaped ulna with a long axis perpendicular to that of the radius and hyperelongate, shaft-like carpal bones contacting the ulna that are proximodistally longer than the radius. The second digit supports a massive, hooked claw. This condition has similarities to living "hook-and-pull" digging mammals and demonstrates that specialized, modern ecological roles had developed during the Triassic Period, over 200 million years ago. The forelimb bones in Drepanosaurus represent previously unknown morphologies for a tetrapod and, thus, a dramatic expansion of known tetrapod forelimb morphospace.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. First Large-Scale DNA Barcoding Assessment of Reptiles in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar, Based on Newly Designed COI Primers

    PubMed Central

    Nagy, Zoltán T.; Sonet, Gontran; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    Background DNA barcoding of non-avian reptiles based on the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene is still in a very early stage, mainly due to technical problems. Using a newly developed set of reptile-specific primers for COI we present the first comprehensive study targeting the entire reptile fauna of the fourth-largest island in the world, the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar. Methodology/Principal Findings Representatives of the majority of Madagascan non-avian reptile species (including Squamata and Testudines) were sampled and successfully DNA barcoded. The new primer pair achieved a constantly high success rate (72.7–100%) for most squamates. More than 250 species of reptiles (out of the 393 described ones; representing around 64% of the known diversity of species) were barcoded. The average interspecific genetic distance within families ranged from a low of 13.4% in the Boidae to a high of 29.8% in the Gekkonidae. Using the average genetic divergence between sister species as a threshold, 41–48 new candidate (undescribed) species were identified. Simulations were used to evaluate the performance of DNA barcoding as a function of completeness of taxon sampling and fragment length. Compared with available multi-gene phylogenies, DNA barcoding correctly assigned most samples to species, genus and family with high confidence and the analysis of fewer taxa resulted in an increased number of well supported lineages. Shorter marker-lengths generally decreased the number of well supported nodes, but even mini-barcodes of 100 bp correctly assigned many samples to genus and family. Conclusions/Significance The new protocols might help to promote DNA barcoding of reptiles and the established library of reference DNA barcodes will facilitate the molecular identification of Madagascan reptiles. Our results might be useful to easily recognize undescribed diversity (i.e. novel taxa), to resolve taxonomic problems, and to monitor the international pet trade

  9. Effects of life-history requirements on the distribution of a threatened reptile.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Denise M; Ligon, Day B; Patton, Jason C; Papeş, Monica

    2017-04-01

    Survival and reproduction are the two primary life-history traits essential for species' persistence; however, the environmental conditions that support each of these traits may not be the same. Despite this, reproductive requirements are seldom considered when estimating species' potential distributions. We sought to examine potentially limiting environmental factors influencing the distribution of an oviparous reptile of conservation concern with respect to the species' survival and reproduction and to assess the implications of the species' predicted climatic constraints on current conservation practices. We used ecological niche modeling to predict the probability of environmental suitability for the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii). We built an annual climate model to examine survival and a nesting climate model to examine reproduction. We combined incubation temperature requirements, products of modeled soil temperature data, and our estimated distributions to determine whether embryonic development constrained the northern distribution of the species. Low annual precipitation constrained the western distribution of alligator snapping turtles, whereas the northern distribution was constrained by thermal requirements during embryonic development. Only a portion of the geographic range predicted to have a high probability of suitability for alligator snapping turtle survival was estimated to be capable of supporting successful embryonic development. Historic occurrence records suggest adult alligator snapping turtles can survive in regions with colder climes than those associated with consistent and successful production of offspring. Estimated egg-incubation requirements indicated that current reintroductions at the northern edge of the species' range are within reproductively viable environmental conditions. Our results highlight the importance of considering survival and reproduction when estimating species' ecological niches, implicating

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. A survey of hemoparasite infections in free-ranging mammals and reptiles in French Guiana.

    PubMed

    de Thoisy, B; Michel, J C; Vogel, I; Vié, J C

    2000-10-01

    Blood smears of 1,353 free-ranging mammals (35 species) and 112 reptiles (31 species) from French Guiana were examined for hemoparasites. Parasites from 3 major groups were recorded: Apicomplexa (including hemogregarines, piroplasms, and Plasmodium spp.), Trypanosomatidae, and Filaroidea. Fifty percent of the individuals (86% of the species) were infected by parasites from at least 1 group. Hemogregarines, identified as Hepatozoon sp., infected numerous snakes with high prevalences (30-100%); infection is reported for the first time in 5 host genera of snakes: Clelia, Oxybelis, Pseustes, Rhinobotryum, and Bothriopsis. Infections were also observed in 4 marsupial species and 1 rodent. Hepatozoon spp. recorded in Didelphis albiventris (Marsupialia) and Coendou prehensilis (Rodentia) may be new species. Plasmodium sp. were observed in 2 snake species, Dipsas indica (Colubridae) and Bothrops atrox (Viperidae). Plasmodium brasilianum was recorded in all 5 primate species examined. Piroplasms were observed in all mammal orders except primates. Large terrestrial rodents were the main hosts of members of the Babesidae; 42% of Myoprocta acouchy, 36% of Dasyprocta agouti, and 44% of Agouti paca were infected. Trypanosomes were common in mammals and were recorded in 70% of the examined genera. Trypanosoma cruzi-like infections were reported in 21 mammal species, including sloths, rodents, carnivores, and primates. Microfilariae were also widespread, with higher prevalences in sloths, anteaters, and porcupines (>40% of the individuals infected) and in tamarins (95% infected). This survey highlights some potential anthropozoonotic risks due to the recent further evidence of Plasmodium brasilianum and P. malariae as a single species and to the increased diversity of hosts for Trypanosoma cruzi.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Fetal nutrition in lecithotrophic squamate reptiles: toward a comprehensive model for evolution of viviparity and placentation.

    PubMed

    Stewart, James R

    2013-07-01

    The primary pattern of embryonic nutrition for squamate reptiles is lecithotrophy; with few exceptions, all squamate embryos mobilize nutrients from yolk. The evolution of viviparity presents an opportunity for an additional source of embryonic nutrition through delivery of uterine secretions, or placentotrophy. This pattern of embryonic nutrition is thought to evolve through placental supplementation of lecithotrophy, followed by increasing dependence on placentotrophy. This review analyzes the relationship between reproductive mode and pattern of embryonic nutrition in three lecithotrophic viviparous species, and oviparous counterparts, for concordance with a current model for the evolution of viviparity and placentation. The assumptions of the model, that nutrients for oviparous embryos are mobilized from yolk, and that this source is not disrupted in the transition to viviparity, are supported for most nutrients. In contrast, calcium, an essential nutrient for embryonic development, is mobilized from both yolk and eggshell by oviparous embryos and reduction of eggshell calcium is correlated with viviparity. If embryonic fitness is compromised by disruption of a primary source of calcium, selection may not favor evolution of viviparity, yet viviparity has arisen independently in numerous squamate lineages. Studies of fetal nutrition in reproductively bimodal species suggest a resolution to this paradox. If uterine calcium secretion occurs during prolonged intrauterine egg retention, calcium placentotrophy evolves prior to viviparity as a replacement for eggshell calcium and embryonic nutrition will not be compromised. This hypothesis is integrated into the current model for evolution of viviparity and placentation to address the unique attributes of calcium nutrition. The sequence of events requires a shift in timing of uterine calcium secretion and the embryonic mechanism of calcium retrieval to be responsive to calcium availability. Regulation of uterine

  16. 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.

  17. The impact of land use intensity and associated pesticide applications on fitness and enzymatic activity in reptiles-A field study.

    PubMed

    Mingo, Valentin; Lötters, Stefan; Wagner, Norman

    2017-03-01

    Environmental pollution and habitat loss are described as underlying causes for population declines in reptiles and especially affect species in agricultural landscapes. Studies dealing with effects of pesticide exposure on reptiles are limited, mainly addressing the orders Testudines and Crocodylia, but largely neglecting the most diverse reptile order Squamata (lizards and snakes). As a consequence, information regarding effects on their organisms, as well as exposure probability and pesticide uptake in the Reptilia has to be considered rather uncharted. We here ask how pesticide applications affect a widely distributed, synanthropic squamate species in Europe. We studied the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) with regard to enzymatic biomarkers of pesticide exposure (Glutathione-S-Transferase, Glutathione Reductase, Acetylcholinesterase) and body condition. Lizards were sampled from wild populations, along an exposure gradient (three exposed sites with differing land use intensity and one reference site). Our results suggest both dermal and oral uptake of pesticide formulations, with the former being especially relevant during the first two days after a pesticide application. Enzymatic activity slightly differed between exposure gradients, while showing overall similar patterns. Body condition of lizards decreased with increasing pesticide exposure. Furthermore, gender distribution was particularly skewed in favor to males within exposed sample sites. Although reptiles are not target organisms of pesticide applications, many species do come into contact with them, and most probably suffer from dermal and oral uptake. Thus, we believe it is indispensable for reptiles to be integrated in risk assessments in order to improve conservation practice.

  18. 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.

  19. Immunohistochemical localization of insulin-like growth factor I and II in the endocrine pancreas of birds, reptiles, and amphibia.

    PubMed

    Reinecke, M; Broger, I; Brun, R; Zapf, J; Maake, C

    1995-12-01

    Immunoreactive insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGF-I, IGF-II) were sought in the endocrine pancreas of representative birds, reptiles, and amphibia using antisera specific for mammalian IGF-I and IGF-II and the classical islet hormones insulin (INS), glucagon (GLUC), somatostatin (SOM), and pancreatic polypeptide (PP) in double immunofluorescence. Both IGF-I and IGF-II immunoreactivities were present in the endocrine pancreas of all species. IGF-II immunoreactivity was exclusively found in INS-immunoreactive (-IR) cells, indicating evolutionary conservation of the islet IGF-II system. In contrast, IGF-I immunoreactivity was distributed differently among the species and never occurred in INS-IR cells. In the anuran Xenopus laevis, IGF-I immunoreactivity was present in islet cells showing coexistence of GLUC and PP immunoreactivities. In reptiles, the lizards (Lacerta viridis, Scincus officinalis) exhibited IGF-I immunoreactivity in PP-IR and SOM-IR cells and the snakes (Psamophis leniolatum, Coluber ravergieri) in SOM-IR and GLUC-IR cells. In birds, IGF-I immunoreactivity was located either in SOM-IR cells only (Gallus g. domesticus, Streptopelia roseogrisea) or in PP-IR and SOM-IR cells (Coturnix c. japonica). Thus, the distribution patterns of islet IGF-I immunoreactivities in birds, reptiles, and amphibia are equivalent to those in mammals and most bony fish. They differ, however, from those found in cartilaginous fish, cyclostomes, and protochordates, where a total or partial coexistence of IGF-I and INS immunoreactivities has been obtained. Therefore, the divergence of IGF-I and INS seems to have occurred early in vertebrate phylogeny. Furthermore, the existence of IGF-I immunoreactivity likely is common in the islets of all vertebrates. Finally, no phylogenetic trend to concentrate IGF-I immunoreactivity in a particular islet cell type is apparent.

  20. Globin gene structure in a reptile supports the transpositional model for amniote α- and β-globin gene evolution.

    PubMed

    Patel, Vidushi S; Ezaz, Tariq; Deakin, Janine E; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall

    2010-12-01

    The haemoglobin protein, required for oxygen transportation in the body, is encoded by α- and β-globin genes that are arranged in clusters. The transpositional model for the evolution of distinct α-globin and β-globin clusters in amniotes is much simpler than the previously proposed whole genome duplication model. According to this model, all jawed vertebrates share one ancient region containing α- and β-globin genes and several flanking genes in the order MPG-C16orf35-(α-β)-GBY-LUC7L that has been conserved for more than 410 million years, whereas amniotes evolved a distinct β-globin cluster by insertion of a transposed β-globin gene from this ancient region into a cluster of olfactory receptors flanked by CCKBR and RRM1. It could not be determined whether this organisation is conserved in all amniotes because of the paucity of information from non-avian reptiles. To fill in this gap, we examined globin gene organisation in a squamate reptile, the Australian bearded dragon lizard, Pogona vitticeps (Agamidae). We report here that the α-globin cluster (HBK, HBA) is flanked by C16orf35 and GBY and is located on a pair of microchromosomes, whereas the β-globin cluster is flanked by RRM1 on the 3' end and is located on the long arm of chromosome 3. However, the CCKBR gene that flanks the β-globin cluster on the 5' end in other amniotes is located on the short arm of chromosome 5 in P. vitticeps, indicating that a chromosomal break between the β-globin cluster and CCKBR occurred at least in the agamid lineage. Our data from a reptile species provide further evidence to support the transpositional model for the evolution of β-globin gene cluster in amniotes.

  1. The Enigmatic Marine Reptile Nanchangosaurus from the Lower Triassic of Hubei, China and the Phylogenetic Affinities of Hupehsuchia

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Neogene amphibians and reptiles (Caudata, Anura, Gekkota, Lacertilia, and Testudines) from the south of Western Siberia, Russia, and Northeastern Kazakhstan

    PubMed Central

    Zazhigin, Vladimir S.

    2017-01-01

    Background The present-day amphibian and reptile fauna of Western Siberia are the least diverse of the Palaearctic Realm, as a consequence of the unfavourable climatic conditions that predominate in this region. The origin and emergence of these herpetofaunal groups are poorly understood. Aside from the better-explored European Neogene localities yielding amphibian and reptile fossil remains, the Neogene herpetofauna of Western Asia is understudied. The few available data need critical reviews and new interpretations, taking into account the more recent records of the European herpetofauna. The comparison of this previous data with that of European fossil records would provide data on palaeobiogeographic affiliations of the region as well as on the origin and emergence of the present-day fauna of Western Siberia. An overview of the earliest occurrences of certain amphibian lineages is still needed. In addition, studies that address such knowledge gaps can be useful for molecular biologists in their calibration of molecular clocks. Methods and Results In this study, we considered critically reviewed available data from amphibian and reptile fauna from over 40 Western Siberian, Russian and Northeastern Kazakhstan localities, ranging from the Middle Miocene to Early Pleistocene. Herein, we provided new interpretations that arose from our assessment of the previously published and new data. More than 50 amphibians and reptile taxa were identified belonging to families Hynobiidae, Cryptobranchidae, Salamandridae, Palaeobatrachidae, Bombinatoridae, Pelobatidae, Hylidae, Bufonidae, Ranidae, Gekkonidae, Lacertidae, and Emydidae. Palaeobiogeographic analyses were performed for these groups and palaeoprecipitation values were estimated for 12 localities, using the bioclimatic analysis of herpetofaunal assemblages. Conclusion The Neogene assemblage of Western Siberia was found to be dominated by groups of European affinities, such as Palaeobatrachidae, Bombina, Hyla, Bufo

  5. 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

    2001-10-07

    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).

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Brain organization in a reptile lacking sex chromosomes: effects of gonadectomy and exogenous testosterone.

    PubMed

    Crews, D; Coomber, P; Baldwin, R; Azad, N; Gonzalez-Lima, F

    1996-12-01

    In mammals, males and females differ both genetically and hormonally, making it difficult to assess the relative contributions of genetic constitution and fetal environment in the process of sexual differentiation. Many reptiles lack sex chromosomes, relying instead on the temperature of incubation to determine sex. In the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), an incubation temperature of 26 degrees C produces all females, whereas 32.5 degrees C results in mostly males. Incubation temperature is the primary determinant of differences both within and between the sexes in growth, physiology, and sociosexual behavior, as well as the volume and metabolic capacity of specific brain nuclei. To determine if incubation temperature organizes the brain directly rather than via gonadal sex hormones, the gonads of male and female leopard geckos from the two incubation temperatures were removed and, in some instances, animals were given exogenous testosterone. In vertebrates with sex chromosomes, the size of sexually dimorphic nuclei are sensitive to hormone levels in adulthood, but in all species studied to date, these changes are restricted to the male. Therefore, after behavior tests, morphometrics of certain limbic and nonlimbic brain areas were determined. Because nervous system tissue depends on oxidative metabolism for energy production and the level of cytochrome oxidase activity is coupled to the functional level of neuronal activity, cytochrome oxidase histochemistry also was performed on the same brains. Hormonal manipulation had little effect on the volume of the preoptic area or ventromedial hypothalamus in geckos from the all-female incubation temperature, but significantly influenced the volumes of these brain areas in males and females from the male-biased incubation temperature. A similar relationship was found for cytochrome oxidase activity of the anterior hypothalamus, amygdala, dorsal ventricular ridge, and septum. The only sex difference observed was

  11. 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

  12. The amphibians and reptiles of Mindanao Island, southern Philippines, II: the herpetofauna of northeast Mindanao and adjacent islands

    PubMed Central

    Sanguila, Marites B.; Cobb, Kerry A.; Siler, Cameron D.; Diesmos, Arvin C.; Alcala, Angel C.; Brown, Rafe M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We summarize all available amphibian and reptile species distribution data from the northeast Mindanao faunal region, including small islands associated with this subcenter of endemic vertebrate biodiversity. Together with all publicly available historical information from biodiversity repositories, we present new data from several major herpetological surveys, including recently conducted inventories on four major mountains of northeast Mindanao, and adjacent islands of Camiguin Sur, Dinagat, and Siargao. We present species accounts for all taxa, comment on unresolved taxonomic problems, and provide revisions to outdated IUCN conservation status assessments in cases where our new data significantly alter earlier classification status summaries. Together, our comprehensive analysis of this fauna suggests that the greater Mindanao faunal region possesses distinct subcenters of amphibian and reptile species diversity, and that until this area is revisited and its fauna and actually studied, with on-the-ground field work including targeted surveys of species distributions coupled to the study their natural history, our understanding of the diversity and conservation status of southern Philippine herpetological fauna will remain incomplete. Nevertheless, the northeast Mindanao geographical area (Caraga Region) appears to have the highest herpetological species diversity (at least 126 species) of any comparably-sized Philippine faunal subregion. PMID:27833422

  13. The immunohistochemical localization of synaptophysin protein (p38) in the gastro-entero-pancreatic (GEP) system of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Trandaburu, Tiberiu; Trandaburu, Ioana

    2009-01-01

    The gastro-entero-pancreatic (GEP) system of four reptilian species: turtle (Emys orbicularis), lizards (Lacerta viridis and Lacerta agilis) and snake (Natrix natrix) has been investigated immunohistochemically for the presence and topographic distribution of synaptophysin. Among the studied reptiles, only in turtles were neural, glial and neuroendocrine elements labelled for this marker protein. Semi-quantitative evaluation of the immunolabelled neural struc