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Sample records for ring-tailed lemurs lemur

  1. Implicit sequence learning in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Drucker, Caroline B; Baghdoyan, Talia; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2016-01-01

    Implicit learning involves picking up information from the environment without explicit instruction or conscious awareness of the learning process. In nonhuman animals, conscious awareness is impossible to assess, so we define implicit learning as occurring when animals acquire information beyond what is required for successful task performance. While implicit learning has been documented in some nonhuman species, it has not been explored in prosimian primates. Here we ask whether ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) learn sequential information implicitly. We tested lemurs in a modified version of the serial reaction time task on a touch screen computer. Lemurs were required to respond to any picture within a 2 × 2 grid of pictures immediately after its surrounding border flickered. Over 20 training sessions, both the locations and the identities of the images remained constant and response times gradually decreased. Subsequently, the locations and/or the identities of the images were disrupted. Response times indicated that the lemurs had learned the physical location sequence required in original training but did not learn the identity of the images. Our results reveal that ring-tailed lemurs can implicitly learn spatial sequences, and raise questions about which scenarios and evolutionary pressures give rise to perceptual versus motor-implicit sequence learning.

  2. Hepatic capillariasis in captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Zordan, Martin; Tirado, Marcela; López, Claudia

    2012-06-01

    A female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and her two cubs held in a zoo in Chile exhibited signs of severe hepatic insufficiency. In spite of supportive treatment, the three animals died a few days after the onset of signs. Postmortem examination revealed ascites and fibrotic lesions in the liver of all the individuals. Histologically, the liver of two of them showed a severe parasitic ova infection and lipidosis, the morphologic characteristics of the parasitic ovas were consistent with Capillaria hepatica (syn. Calodium hepatica) eggs. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first clinical case report of hepatic capillariasis in prosimians, and its implications are discussed.

  3. Solitary Osteochondroma in a Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Hope, Katharine L; Boedeker, Nancy C; Gordon, Sebastian S; Walsh, Timothy F

    2015-01-01

    A 20-y-old, male, ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) presented with a large, firm mass on the proximal caudolateral left femur. The animal displayed no clinical signs associated with the mass. Radiographs revealed a mineralized mass protruding from the femur, with an intact femoral cortex. Histopathology diagnosed osteochondroma in view of the presence of a peripheral layer of cartilage with progressive endochondral ossification and typical remodeling of bony trabeculae. The mass grew quickly after the initial biopsy, and a second surgery to debulk 95% of the tumor was performed. Histopathologic features of the larger samples were similar to those of the initial biopsies, with the cartilage layer being discontinuous and development of bone from some borders progressing directly from a periost-like layer. Nineteen months after the second surgery, the mass had regrown and extended further proximally on the femur toward the epiphysis, but the animal remained asymptomatic, and additional debulking was not attempted. This report is the first description of an osteochondroma in a prosimian and describes unique behavior of the tumor compared with osteochondromas found in humans, dogs, and cats. PMID:26310465

  4. Solitary Osteochondroma in a Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Hope, Katharine L; Boedeker, Nancy C; Gordon, Sebastian S; Walsh, Timothy F

    2015-08-01

    A 20-y-old, male, ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) presented with a large, firm mass on the proximal caudolateral left femur. The animal displayed no clinical signs associated with the mass. Radiographs revealed a mineralized mass protruding from the femur, with an intact femoral cortex. Histopathology diagnosed osteochondroma in view of the presence of a peripheral layer of cartilage with progressive endochondral ossification and typical remodeling of bony trabeculae. The mass grew quickly after the initial biopsy, and a second surgery to debulk 95% of the tumor was performed. Histopathologic features of the larger samples were similar to those of the initial biopsies, with the cartilage layer being discontinuous and development of bone from some borders progressing directly from a periost-like layer. Nineteen months after the second surgery, the mass had regrown and extended further proximally on the femur toward the epiphysis, but the animal remained asymptomatic, and additional debulking was not attempted. This report is the first description of an osteochondroma in a prosimian and describes unique behavior of the tumor compared with osteochondromas found in humans, dogs, and cats.

  5. Rapid Decrease in Populations of Wild Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta) in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    LaFleur, Marni; Clarke, Tara A; Reuter, Kim; Schaeffer, Toby

    2016-01-01

    Lemurs are the most threatened group of mammals on earth. Lemur catta (ring-tailed lemur) represents one of the most iconic lemur species and faces numerous anthropogenic threats in the wild. In this study, we present population estimates from 32 sites across the range of L. catta, collected from primary and secondary data sources, to assess the number of ring-tailed lemurs left in the wild. We estimate that there are approximately 2,220 individual L. catta remaining in the 32 sites considered. We note local extinctions of populations of L. catta in at least 12 of the 32 sites examined, and that significantly more extinctions occurred in areas without some form of protection. This decrease in extant populations could represent a decrease of more than 95% of all ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar since the year 2000. While these results should be considered preliminary, we stress the rapid decline of the species and note that habitat loss, bushmeat hunting and the illegal pet trade are driving populations to local extinction. Based on the data presented here, urgent and immediate funding and conservation action are crucial to ensure the viability of the remaining wild populations of ring-tailed lemurs.

  6. Evaluation of modified techniques for immobilization of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Larsen, R Scott; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2011-12-01

    Wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) can be anesthetized with Telazol via blow dart, but improved techniques are needed so that each lemur is reliably induced with a single dart. Medetomidine-butorphanol (MB) is a good supplemental protocol to be administered once the lemurs are captured, but other protocols may provide longer periods of sedation and immobility. One possible way of increasing the efficacy of each dart is to increase the time it is retained in the leg. In this investigation, a "double-sleeve" technique was used to try to increase the time of dart retention. This technique used a standard silicone sleeve on the needle, along with a second sleeve at the needle hub. Induction values were compared between lemurs darted with double-sleeve needles and those induced with needles that each had a single silicone sleeve. Once the lemurs were induced, supplementation with MB (0.04 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg) was compared with supplementation with ketamine-medetomidine (KM) (10 mg/ kg and 0.04 mg/kg). Twenty-three lemurs were darted with Telazol by using single-sleeve needles, and 24 were darted with double-sleeve needles. The number of darts per lemur and number of escapes were not different between animals darted with a single sleeve compared with a double-sleeve; thus, there were no significant improvements in induction success with the double-sleeve technique. Adequate sedation and muscle relaxation were achieved with both MB and KM; however, lemurs that received MB were more relaxed and needed fewer additional supplements that those that received KM. Single-sleeve dart needles are recommended for Telazol induction of ring-tailed lemurs via blow dart and MB is preferable to KM for supplemental sedation and muscle relaxation.

  7. Male-specific use of the purr in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M

    2014-01-01

    In mammals, purring has been described in mostly affiliative contexts. In the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), both males and females purr, but only males were observed purring in agonistic contexts. In order to determine whether male ring-tailed lemurs purr as aggressive displays during intrasexual agonistic encounters, 480 h of focal data were collected on 25 adult males from Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, from March to July 2010. The male purring rate increased during periods of male-male agonism when compared to times without intrasexual agonism, and the purring rate was positively correlated with male dominance rank. However, the purring rate was not significantly higher during winning agonistic interactions when compared with losing encounters. My results indicate that the male ring-tailed lemur purr is used most frequently as an agonistic vocalization in male-male encounters, in addition to being used less frequently in other social contexts, including during tail-waving at females, resting, scent-marking, feeding and copulation. Dominant males have higher purring rates across social situations, suggesting that the purring rate may be driven by intrinsic male qualities rather than functioning as a meaningful signal in each disparate social context. Male purring in intrasexual agonistic encounters can be added to previously described social contexts for ring-tailed lemur purring.

  8. RADIOGRAPHIC AND ULTRASONOGRAPHIC ABDOMINAL ANATOMY IN CAPTIVE RING-TAILED LEMURS (LEMUR CATTA).

    PubMed

    Makungu, Modesta; du Plessis, Wencke M; Barrows, Michelle; Groenewald, Hermanus B; Koeppel, Katja N

    2016-06-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is primarily distributed in south and southwestern Madagascar. It is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Various abdominal diseases, such as hepatic lipidosis, intestinal ulcers, cystitis, urinary tract obstruction, and neoplasia (e.g., colonic adenocarcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma), have been reported in this species. The aim of this study was to describe the normal radiographic and ultrasonographic abdominal anatomy in captive ring-tailed lemurs to provide guidance for clinical use. Radiography of the abdomen and ultrasonography of the liver, spleen, kidneys, and urinary bladder were performed in 13 and 9 healthy captive ring-tailed lemurs, respectively, during their annual health examinations. Normal radiographic and ultrasonographic reference ranges for abdominal organs were established and ratios were calculated. The majority (12/13) of animals had seven lumbar vertebrae. The sacrum had mainly (12/13) three segments. Abdominal serosal detail was excellent in all animals, and hypaxial muscles were conspicuous in the majority (11/13) of animals. The spleen was frequently (12/13) seen on the ventrodorsal (VD) view and rarely (3/13) on the right lateral (RL) view. The liver was less prominent and well contained within the ribcage. The pylorus was mostly (11/13) located to the right of the midline. The right and left kidneys were visible on the RL and VD views, with the right kidney positioned more cranial and dorsal to the left kidney. On ultrasonography, the kidneys appeared ovoid on transverse and longitudinal views. The medulla was hypoechoic to the renal cortex. The renal cortex was frequently (8/9) isoechoic and rarely (1/9) hyperechoic to the splenic parenchyma. The liver parenchyma was hypoechoic (5/5) to the renal cortex. Knowledge of the normal radiographic and ultrasonographic abdominal anatomy of ring-tailed lemurs may be useful in the diagnosis of diseases and in

  9. Surgical correction of an arteriovenous fistula in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Boedeker, Nancy C; Guzzetta, Philip; Rosenthal, Steven L; Padilla, Luis R; Murray, Suzan; Newman, Kurt

    2014-02-01

    A 10-y-old ovariohysterectomized ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented for exacerbation of respiratory signs. The lemur had a history of multiple examinations for various problems, including traumatic lacerations and recurrent perivulvar dermatitis. Examination revealed abnormal lung sounds and a femoral arteriovenous fistula with a palpable thrill and auscultable bruit in the right inguinal area. A diagnosis of congestive heart failure was made on the basis of exam findings, radiography, abdominal ultrasonography, and echocardiography. The lemur was maintained on furosemide until surgical ligation of the fistula was performed. Postoperative examination confirmed successful closure of the fistula and resolution of the signs of heart failure. Arteriovenous fistulas are abnormal connections between an artery and a vein that bypass the capillary bed. Large arteriovenous fistulas may result in decreased peripheral resistance and an increase in cardiac output with consequent cardiomegaly and high output heart failure. This lemur's high-flow arteriovenous fistula with secondary heart failure may have been iatrogenically induced during blood collection by prior femoral venipuncture. To our knowledge, this report is the first description of an arteriovenous fistula in a prosimian. Successful surgical correction of suspected iatrogenic femoral arteriovenous fistulas in a cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) and a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) have been reported previously. Arteriovenous fistula formation should be considered as a rare potential complication of venipuncture and as a treatable cause of congestive heart failure in lemurs.

  10. Genetic Diversity of the Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) in South-Central Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Tara A; Gray, Olivia; Gould, Lisa; Burrell, Andrew S

    2015-01-01

    Madagascar's lemurs, now deemed the most endangered group of mammals, represent the highest primate conservation priority in the world. Due to anthropogenic disturbances, an estimated 10% of Malagasy forest cover remains. The endangered Lemur catta is endemic to the southern regions of Madagascar and now occupies primarily fragmented forest habitats. We examined the influence of habitat fragmentation and isolation on the genetic diversity of L. catta across 3 different forest fragments in south-central Madagascar. Our analysis revealed moderate levels of genetic diversity. Genetic differentiation among the sites ranged from 0.05 to 0.11. These data suggest that the L. catta populations within south-central Madagascar have not yet lost significant genetic variation. However, due to ongoing anthropogenic threats faced by ring-tailed lemurs, continued conservation and research initiatives are imperative for long-term viability of the species.

  11. Taenia crassiceps cysticercosis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Luzón, Mónica; de la Fuente-López, Concepción; Martínez-Nevado, Eva; Fernández-Morán, Jesús; Ponce-Gordo, Francisco

    2010-06-01

    Subcutaneous and intraperitoneal cysticercosis due to Taenia crassiceps was diagnosed in a 5-yr-old male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) in the Madrid Zoo-Aquarium (Madrid, Spain). Under laparoscopic examination, several septated fibrous cystic structures and numerous masses of small transparent vesicles (ca. 3 mm in diameter) were observed subcutaneously and inside the peritoneal cavity. Most of the structures were extirpated but, after 2 days of postsurgical intensive care, the animal died. The loss of body weight of the animal after surgical extirpation (566 g) represented 22% of the total weight (body weight before mass removal, 2582 g). The vesicles were identified under light microscopic examination as cysticerci and by molecular diagnosis as Cysticercus longicollis, the larval form of T. crassiceps. The present report represents the first detection of T. crassiceps in the prosimian genus Lemur.

  12. External genital morphology of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta): females are naturally "masculinized".

    PubMed

    Drea, Christine M; Weil, Anne

    2008-04-01

    The extravagance and diversity of external genitalia have been well characterized in male primates; however, much less is known about sex differences or variation in female form. Our study represents a departure from traditional investigations of primate reproductive anatomy because we 1) focus on external rather than internal genitalia, 2) measure both male and female structures, and 3) examine a strepsirrhine rather than an anthropoid primate. The subjects for morphological study were 21 reproductively intact, adult ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), including 10 females and 11 males, two of which (one per sex) subsequently died of natural causes and also served as specimens for gross anatomical dissection. Male external genitalia presented a typical masculine configuration, with a complex distal penile morphology. In contrast, females were unusual among mammals, presenting an enlarged, pendulous external clitoris, tunneled by the urethra. Females had a shorter anogenital distance and a larger urethral meatus than did males, but organ diameter and circumference showed no sex differences. Dissection confirmed these characterizations. Noteworthy in the male were the presence of a "levator penis" muscle and discontinuity in the corpus spongiosum along the penile shaft; noteworthy in the female were an elongated clitoral shaft and glans clitoridis. The female urethra, while incorporated within the clitoral body, was not surrounded by erectile tissue, as we detected no corpus spongiosum. The os clitoridis was 43% the length and 24% the height of the os penis. On the basis of these first detailed descriptions of strepsirrhine external genitalia (for either sex), we characterize those of the female ring-tailed lemur as moderately "masculinized." Our results highlight certain morphological similarities and differences between ring-tailed lemurs and the most male-like of female mammals, the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), and call attention to a potential hormonal

  13. Squealing rate indicates dominance rank in the male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M

    2013-12-01

    Squeals are sharp and forceful short-range vocalizations used as aggressive and submissive agonistic signals by many mammalian species. The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), a female-dominant strepsirhine primate, has a male-specific squeal call with proposed male-male agonistic functions and male-female courtship functions that have never been empirically tested. The goal of my study is to clarify why ring-tailed lemur males squeal at other males and females by applying the handicap hypothesis to this male-specific vocalization. This hypothesis has rarely been tested in primates, and this study elucidates how the rate of a male-specific call relates to male-male and male-female behavior in a Malagasy strepsirhine. To test whether males squeal towards other males to assert dominance, I predict that male squealing rate is positively correlated with dominance rank. I further predict that male ring-tailed lemurs squeal at other males while engaged in agonistic interactions, and that squealing during an interaction is positively correlated with winning that encounter. To test whether males squeal towards females as a mate attraction signal, I predict that male squealing rate is higher on estrus days, and that estrous females indicate attraction by approaching squealing males. From March to July 2010, 480 hr of focal data were collected on 25 males aged three and older at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. I continuously observed each male for 30 min at a time and recorded all agonistic interactions and squeal vocalizations using 1-0 sampling at 2.5-min intervals. Squealing rate was higher during times of male-male agonism when compared to times without male-male agonism, and males with higher dominance ranks had higher squealing rates. In contrast, the mate attraction hypothesis was not supported. My results suggest that the male squeal is an agonistic signal when used in male-male interaction in ring-tailed lemurs, but does not specifically indicate aggression

  14. Well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Nemeth, N M; Blas-Machado, U; Cazzini, P; Oguni, J; Camus, M S; Dockery, K K; Butler, A M

    2013-02-01

    A 16-year-old male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented with severe cachexia and an abdominal mass. The encapsulated, multilobular mass replaced the right medial lobe of the liver and compressed the adjacent gall bladder. Multiple haemorrhages and necrotic foci were found within the mass. Microscopically, neoplastic cells formed cords of moderately pleomorphic, polygonal cells with mild to moderate anaplasia. Immunohistochemical markers used for diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinomas in man were used to characterize the neoplastic cells, which expressed hepatocyte-specific antigen, but not glypican-3 or polyclonal carcinoembryonic antigen. Gross, microscopical and immunohistochemical features of the tumour were most consistent with a well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma. Although this tumour is common among prosimians, to the authors' knowledge this is the first documented case in a ring-tailed lemur. Hepatocellular carcinomas have been associated with hepatitis virus infections and excessive hepatic iron in man; however, no association was established between this tumour and viral infection or hepatic iron storage disease in the present case.

  15. Sex ratios provide evidence for monozygotic twinning in the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    St Clair, John; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Lathe, Richard

    2014-02-01

    Monozygotic (MZ) twinning is generally considered to be rare in species other than human. We inspected sex ratios in European zoo-bred ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), revealing a significant excess of same-sex twins. Of 94 pairs, 60 (64%) were either both males or both females (p = .004). Application of the Weinberg differential rule argues that 27% of all twins in this species are MZ pairs. In this protected species, where twinning is commonplace (~50% of newborns are twins), the probable existence of frequent MZ twinning has ramifications for breeding programs aimed to maximize genetic diversity, and suggests that twin studies in a species other than human could have potential as a medical research tool.

  16. A Comparative Analysis of Serial Ordering in Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Merritt, Dustin; MacLean, Evan L.; Jaffe, Sarah; Brannon, Elizabeth M.

    2010-01-01

    Research over the last 25 years has demonstrated that animals are able to organize sequences in memory and retrieve ordered sequences without language. Qualitative differences have been found between the serial organization of behavior in pigeons and monkeys. Here the authors test serial ordering abilities in ring-tailed lemurs, a strepsirrhine primate whose ancestral lineage diverged from that of monkeys, apes, and humans approximately 63 million years ago. Lemurs’ accuracy and response times were similar to monkeys, thus suggesting that they may share mechanisms for serial organization that dates to a common primate ancestor. PMID:18085919

  17. Draft Genome Sequence of Bifidobacterium lemurum DSM 28807T Isolated from the Gastrointestinal Tracts of Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Toh, Hidehiro; Matsubara, Takehiro; Tomida, Shuta; Mimura, Iyo; Arakawa, Kensuke; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bifidobacterium lemurum DSM 28807T was isolated from the gastrointestinal tracts of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of this organism. PMID:28232445

  18. Field anesthesia of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) using tiletamine-zolazepam, medetomidine, and butorphanol.

    PubMed

    Larsen, R Scott; Moresco, Anneke; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2011-03-01

    Telazol has been commonly used for field anesthesia of wild lemurs, including ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Telazol alone provides good induction, but doesn't cause adequate muscle relaxation and sedation for collecting consistent somatic measurements and high-quality dental impressions that are sometimes needed. Variability in induction response has been seen between individuals that have received similar dosages, with young lemurs seeming to need more anesthetic than mature lemurs. This investigation evaluated Telazol induction in young (2.0-4.9 yr) and mature (> or = 5.0 yr) ring-tailed lemurs and compared postinduction supplementation with medetomidine or medetomidine-butorphanol. Forty-eight lemurs were anesthetized with Telazol administered via blow dart; then, 20 min after darting, they were supplemented via hand injection with either medetomidine (0.04 mg/ kg) or medetomidine-butorphanol (0.04 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg, respectively). The odds ratio for young lemurs to need more than one dart for induction, relative to mature lemurs, was 3.8, even though the initial dose of Telazol received by young lemurs (19 +/- 7 mg/kg) was significantly higher than the initial dose administered to mature lemurs (12 +/- 5 mg/kg). The total Telazol dosage was also significantly different between young lemurs (33 +/- 15 mg/kg) and mature lemurs (18 +/- 9 mg/kg). Both medetomidine and medetomidine-butorphanol provided good muscle relaxation and sedation for all procedures. Physiologic values were similar between the two protocols. Oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry was generally good, although there were a few SaO2 values < 90%. Recoveries were smooth, but long. Time to head up was correlated with total Telazol dosage in mature lemurs. In young lemurs, time to standing was correlated with Telazol induction dosage and time of last Telazol administration. Lemurs that received hand injections of Telazol took longer to recover than those that did not. Further refinements are

  19. Evaluating ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from southwestern Madagascar for a genetic population bottleneck.

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Jacky, Ibrahim Antho Youssouf; Lawler, Richard R

    2012-01-01

    In light of historical and recent anthropogenic influences on Malagasy primate populations, in this study ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) samples from two sites in southwestern Madagascar, Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR) and Tsimanampetsotsa National Park (TNP), were evaluated for the genetic signature of a population bottleneck. A total of 45 individuals (20 from BMSR and 25 from TNP) were genotyped at seven microsatellite loci. Three methods were used to evaluate these populations for evidence of a historical bottleneck: M-ratio, mode-shift, and heterozygosity excess tests. Three mutation models were used for heterozygosity excess tests: the stepwise mutation model (SMM), two-phase model (TPM), and infinite allele model (IAM). M-ratio estimations indicated a potential bottleneck in both populations under some conditions. Although mode-shift tests did not strongly indicate a population bottleneck in the recent historical past when samples from all individuals were included, a female-only analysis indicated a potential bottleneck in TNP. Heterozygosity excess was indicated under two of the three mutation models (IAM and TPM), with TNP showing stronger evidence of heterozygosity excess than BMSR. Taken together, these results suggest that a bottleneck may have occurred among L. catta in southwestern Madagascar in the recent past. Given knowledge of how current major stochastic climatic events and human-induced change can negatively impact extant lemur populations, it is reasonable that comparable events in the historical past could have caused a population bottleneck. This evaluation additionally functions to highlight the continuing environmental and anthropogenic challenges faced by lemurs in southwestern Madagascar.

  20. Cuterebrid myiasis (Diptera: Oestridae) in captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at a South Carolina zoo.

    PubMed

    Tuten, Holly C; Miller, Heather C; Ellis, Angela E

    2011-09-01

    In September 2008, two ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), comprising a mother-daughter pair, at the Greenville Zoo, Greenville, South Carolina, USA, were diagnosed with cuterebrid myiasis (Diptera: Oestridae) subsequent to sudden death of the adult lemur. On necropsy, a single bot warble was discovered in the subcutis of the axillary region. Histopathology revealed a severe eosinophilic bronchopneumonia. The juvenile lemur was inspected and found to have warbles on three separate dates in late September. One representative bot fly larva was identified as a Cuterebra sp. that normally infests lagomorphs in the southeastern United States. Cuterebrid myiasis is rarely reported in lemurs and has not been previously associated with pneumonia or death in these animals.

  1. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) exploit information about what others can see but not what they can hear.

    PubMed

    Bray, Joel; Krupenye, Christopher; Hare, Brian

    2014-05-01

    Studies suggest that haplorhine primates are sensitive to what others can see and hear. Using two experimental designs, we tested the hypothesis that ring-tailed lemurs (N = 16) are also sensitive to the visual and auditory perception of others. In the first task, we used a go/no-go design that required lemurs to exploit only auditory information. In the second task, we used a forced-choice design where lemurs competed against a human who would prevent them from obtaining food if their approaches were detected. Subjects were given the choice of obtaining food silently or noisily when the competitor's back was turned. They were also given the choice to obtain food when the competitor could either see them or not. Here, we replicate the findings of previous studies indicating that ring-tailed lemurs are sensitive to whether they can be seen; however, we found no evidence that subjects are sensitive to whether others can hear them. Our findings suggest that ring-tailed lemurs converge with haplorhine primates only in their sensitivity to the visual information of others. The results emphasize the importance of investigating social cognition across sensory domains in order to elucidate the cognitive mechanisms that underlie apparently complex social behavior. These findings also suggest that the social dynamics of haplorhine groups impose greater cognitive demands than lemur groups, despite similarities in total group size.

  2. Localized toxoplasmosis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) causing placentitis, stillbirths, and disseminated fetal infection.

    PubMed

    Juan-Sallés, Carles; Mainez, Mireia; Marco, Alberto; Sanchís, Ana M Malabia

    2011-09-01

    Localized, myocardial toxoplasmosis contributed to the death of a female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) 1 week after the delivery of 4 stillborn offspring with disseminated toxoplasmosis; the diagnosis was obtained by histopathology and immunohistochemistry in all 5 lemurs. Varying degrees of placentitis and placental edema with intralesional Toxoplasma gondii immunolabeling were observed in the 3 available placentas. The dam had severe myocarditis, and T. gondii antigen was only detected in the myocardial lesions. Disseminated toxoplasmosis with mild encephalitis was noted in all 4 fetuses, and 2 of the fetuses had mild acute multifocal hepatic necrosis. Fetal death was attributed to placental insufficiency with subsequent hypoxia and amniotic fluid aspiration.

  3. Assessment of organochlorine pesticides and metals in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Rainwater, Thomas R; Sauther, Michelle L; Rainwater, Katherine A E; Mills, Rachel E; Cuozzo, Frank P; Zhang, Baohong; McDaniel, Les N; Abel, Michael T; Marsland, Eric J; Weber, Martha A; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Platt, Steven G; Cobb, George P; Anderson, Todd A

    2009-12-01

    Like most of Madagascar's endemic primates, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) face a number of threats to their survival. Although habitat loss is of greatest concern, other anthropogenic factors including environmental contamination may also affect lemur health and survival. In this study, we examined ring-tailed lemurs from the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), southern Madagascar for exposure to organochlorine (OC) pesticides and metals and examined differences in contaminant concentrations between sexes and among age groups, troops, and habitats. A total of 14 pesticides and 13 metals was detected in lemur blood (24 individuals) and hair (65 individuals) samples, respectively. p,p'-DDT, heptachlor, aldrin, heptachlor epoxide, endrin aldehyde, and endrin were among the most prevalent pesticides detected. Surprisingly, the persistent metabolite of p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, was not detected. The most commonly detected metals were aluminum, zinc, boron, phosphorus, silicon, and copper, whereas metals considered more hazardous to wildlife (e.g. arsenic, cadmium, lead, selenium, vanadium) were not found above detection limits. Overall, concentrations of OC pesticides and metals were low and similar to those considered to be background concentrations in other studies examining the ecotoxicology of wild mammals. Few inter-sex, -age, -troop, and -habitat differences in contaminant concentrations were observed, suggesting a uniform distribution of contaminants within the reserve. Several statistically significant relationships between lemur body size and contaminant concentrations were observed, but owing to the lack of supportive data regarding contaminant exposure in wild primates, the biological significance of these findings remains uncertain. Results of this study document exposure of ring-tailed lemurs at BMSR to multiple OC pesticides and metals and provide essential baseline data for future health and toxicological evaluations of lemurs and other wild primates

  4. Nocturnal ranging by a diurnal primate: are ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) cathemeral?

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A

    2011-07-01

    Cathemerality, an activity pattern comprised of distinct periods of diurnal and nocturnal activity, is a trait found among several of the Malagasy strepsirhines and one species of Aotus. Because occasional anecdotal reports suggest that some diurnal primates can be active at night, I investigated the possibility of nocturnal ranging behavior in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) by using global positioning system (GPS) collars programmed to collect data across a 24-h period. Five individuals in a provisioned, free-ranging L. catta colony on St. Catherines Island, Georgia, USA, wore GPS collars across 1 week of the mating season. Results revealed that night ranging behavior occurred between the h of 1900 and 0530. An evaluation of the effect of moonlight on nocturnal activity showed that a greater rate of travel occurred during moonlit periods as opposed to periods when the moon had not yet risen. Distance travelled at night decreased across the deployment period, likely because of a decrease in available moonlight over time, as the lemurs were collared during a waning moon. Fewer mating opportunities over time may have also been responsible for the decrease in night ranging, because the number of females in estrus declined across the deployment period. Future research is needed to separate the effects of moonlight and mating activity on night ranging in this species, as well as to evaluate whether L. catta in Madagascar show night ranging similar to L. catta on SCI. These data raise the possibility that L. catta may be cathemeral, with an activity pattern fluctuating between diurnality and cathemerality in accordance with shifts in environmental conditions.

  5. Dispersal among male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) on St. Catherines Island.

    PubMed

    Parga, J A; Lessnau, R G

    2008-07-01

    Male dispersal patterns were analyzed across a nine-year period in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) on St. Catherines Island (SCI), USA, to evaluate two ultimate explanations for male dispersal: inbreeding avoidance and intrasexual mating competition. As part of this analysis, we also compared patterns of dispersal at this site with data from wild populations. Overall, we found that patterns of male intertroop movement on SCI are similar to the wild with respect to the frequency and seasonality of male transfer. In Madagascar, males move between groups every 3.1-3.5 years [Sussman, International Journal of Primatol 13:395-413, 1992; Koyama et al., Primates 43:291-314, 2002] as compared with every 3.2 years on SCI. The majority of transfers on SCI occurred during the birth season, as occurs at one site in Madagascar, Berenty [Budnitz & Dainis, Lemur biology. New York: Plenum Press, p 219-235, 1975; Jones, Folia Primatologica 40:145-160, 1983]. One difference is that males perform natal transfers 1-2 years earlier on SCI than in the wild, which may be related to food provisioning on SCI. Males never transferred back into their natal troops, which is remarkable given the small number of groups on SCI. Although this pattern of movement can indicate inbreeding avoidance by males, the fact that male troop tenure was in many cases long enough to overlap with the sexual maturation of potential daughters did not support the inbreeding avoidance hypothesis for male secondary dispersal. Instead, the intrasexual competition hypothesis was strongly supported, because males were significantly more likely to transfer into groups having fewer adult males and a more favorable sex ratio than their pretransfer groups. Males therefore appear to be bypassing groups in which they would experience a greater degree of intrasexual mating competition during the breeding season.

  6. Bifidobacterium lemurum sp. nov., from faeces of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Modesto, Monica; Michelini, Samanta; Stefanini, Ilaria; Sandri, Camillo; Spiezio, Caterina; Pisi, Annamaria; Filippini, Gianfranco; Biavati, Bruno; Mattarelli, Paola

    2015-06-01

    Four Gram-positive-staining, microaerophilic, non-spore-forming, fructose-6-phosphate phosphoketolase-positive bacterial strains were isolated from a faecal sample of a 5-year-old ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). The strains showed a peculiar morphology, resembling a small coiled snake, a ring shape, or forming a little 'Y' shape. The isolated strains appeared identical, and LMC 13T was chosen as a representative strain and characterized further. Strain LMC 13T showed an A3β peptidoglycan type, similar to that found in Bifidobacterium longum. The DNA base composition was 57.2 mol% G+C. Almost-complete 16S rRNA, hsp60, rpoB, dnaJ, dnaG, purF, clpC and rpoC gene sequences were obtained, and phylogenetic relationships were determined. Comparative analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain LMC 13T showed the highest similarity to B. longum subsp. suis ATCC 27533T (96.65 %) and Bifidobacterium saguini DSM 23967T (96.64 %). Strain LMC 13T was located in an actinobacterial cluster and was more closely related to the genus Bifidobacteriumthan to other genera in the Bifidobacteriaceae. On the basis of these results, strain LMC 13T represents a novel species within the genus Bifidobacterium, for which the name Bifidobacterium lemurum sp. nov. is proposed; the type strain is LMC 13T ( = DSM 28807T = JCM 30168T).

  7. Antipredator Vocalization Usage in the Male Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bolt, Laura M; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a group-living strepsirrhine primate endemic to Madagascar that faces considerable predation pressure from aerial and terrestrial predators. This species engages in mobbing and vigilance behavior in response to predators, and has referential alarm vocalizations. Because L. catta is female dominant, less is known about the alarm calls of males. We tested 3 hypotheses for male antipredator vocalization behavior on L. catta at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve in Madagascar: the predator confusion, group maintenance, and predation risk allocation hypotheses. We found support for 2 hypotheses. When a male L. catta made an antipredator call, other group members vocalized in response. Dominant males did not make alarm calls at higher rates than subordinate males. Predators were more abundant on the western side of Parcel 1, but an even greater number of antipredator vocalizations occurred in this area than predator abundance warranted. We show that male L. catta consistently participated in group-level antipredator vocalization usage in high-risk locations. Although female L. catta are known to hold the primary role in group defense, male L. catta are also key participants in group-wide behaviors that may confuse or drive away predators.

  8. Endocrine correlates of pregnancy in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta): implications for the masculinization of daughters.

    PubMed

    Drea, Christine M

    2011-04-01

    Female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are Malagasy primates that are size monomorphic with males, socially dominate males, and exhibit a long, pendulous clitoris, channeled by the urethra. These masculine traits evoke certain attributes of female spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and draw attention to the potential role of androgens in lemur sexual differentiation. Here, hormonal correlates of prenatal development were assessed to explore the possibility that maternal androgens may shape the masculine morphological and behavioral features of developing female lemurs. Maternal serum 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), ∆⁴ androstenedione (androst-4-ene-3,17,dione), testosterone, and 17β-estradiol were charted throughout the 19 pregnancies of 11 ring-tailed lemurs. As in spotted hyenas, lemur pregnancies were associated with an immediate increase in androgen concentrations (implicating early maternal derivation), followed by continued increases across stages of gestation. Pregnancies that produced singleton males, twin males, or mixed-sex twins were marked by greater androgen and estrogen concentrations than were pregnancies that produced singleton or twin females, especially in the third trimester, implicating the fetal testes in late-term steroid profiles. Concentrations of DHEA-S were mostly below detectable limits, suggesting a minor role for the adrenals in androgen biosynthesis. Androgen concentrations of pregnant lemurs bearing female fetuses, although less than those of pregnant hyenas, exceeded preconception and postpartum values and peaked in the third trimester. Although a maternal (and, on occasion, fraternal) source of androgen may exist for fetal lemurs, further research is required to confirm that these steroids would reach the developing female and contribute to her masculinization.

  9. Seasonality, sociality, and reproduction: Long-term stressors of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Starling, Anne P; Charpentier, Marie J E; Fitzpatrick, Courtney; Scordato, Elizabeth S; Drea, Christine M

    2010-01-01

    Fecal glucocorticoid (fGC) concentrations are reliable, non-invasive indices of physiological stress that provide insight into an animal's energetic and social demands. To better characterize the long-term stressors in adult members of a female-dominant, seasonally breeding species - the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) - we first validated fecal samples against serum samples and then examined the relationship between fGC concentrations and seasonal, social, demographic, genetic, and reproductive variables. Between 1999 and 2006, we collected 1386 fecal samples from 32 adult, semi-free-ranging animals of both sexes. In males and non-pregnant, non-lactating females, fGC concentrations were significantly elevated during the breeding season, specifically during periods surrounding known conceptions. Moreover, group composition (e.g., multi-male versus one-male) significantly predicted the fGC concentrations of males and females in all reproductive states. In particular, the social instability introduced by intra-male competition likely created a stressor for all animals. We found no relationship, however, between fGC and the sex, age, or heterozygosity of animals. In reproducing females, fGC concentrations were significantly greater during lactation than during the pre-breeding period. During pregnancy, fGC concentrations were elevated in mid-ranking dams, relative to dominant or subordinate dams, and significantly greater during the third trimester than during the first or second trimesters. Thus, in the absence of nutritional stressors, social dominance was a relatively poor predictor of fGC in this female-dominant species. Instead, the animals were maximally challenged by their social circumstances and reproductive events-males by competition for mating opportunities and females by late-term gestation and lactation.

  10. Thoracic Limb Morphology of the Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Evidenced by Gross Osteology and Radiography.

    PubMed

    Makungu, M; Groenewald, H B; du Plessis, W M; Barrows, M; Koeppel, K N

    2015-08-01

    There is limited information available on the morphology of the thoracic limb of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). This study describes the morphology of the thoracic limb of captive ring-tailed lemurs evidenced by gross osteology and radiography as a guide for clinical use. Radiographic findings of 12 captive ring-tailed lemurs are correlated with bone specimens of three adult animals. The clavicle is well developed. The scapula has a large area for the origin of the m. teres major. The coracoid and hamate processes are well developed. The lateral supracondylar crest and medial epicondyle are prominent. The metacarpal bones are widely spread, and the radial tuberosity is prominent. These features indicate the presence of strong flexor muscles and flexibility of thoracic limb joints, which are important in arboreal quadrupedal locomotion. Furthermore, an ovoid ossicle is always seen at the inter-phalangeal joint of the first digit. Areas of increased soft tissue opacity are superimposed over the proximal half of the humerus and distal half of the antebrachium in male animals as a result of the scent gland. Knowledge of the morphology of the thoracic limb of individual species is important for accurate interpretation and diagnosis of musculoskeletal diseases.

  11. Occurrence of Encephalitozoon intestinalis in the Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) and the Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) housed in the Poznan Zoological Garden, Poland.

    PubMed

    Słodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna; Majewska, Anna C; Trzesowska, Ewa; Skrzypczak, Łukasz

    2012-01-01

    Encephalitozoon intestinalis is one of the most common microsporidial species found in humans worldwide but it has rarely been identified in animals. The presence of this pathogen has been detected in a few species of domestic, captive and wild mammals as well as in three species of birds. The aim of the present study was to examine fecal samples obtained from mammals housed in the Poznan Zoological Garden, Poland, for the presence of potentially human-infectious microsporidia. A total of 339 fresh fecal samples collected from 75 species of mammals belonging to 27 families and 8 orders were examined for the presence of microsporidian spores. Microsporidian spores were identified in 3 out of 339 (0.9%) examined fecal samples. All samples identified as positive by chromotrope 2R and calcofluor white M2R were also positive by the FISH assay. Using multiplex FISH in all 3 fecal samples, only spores of E. intestinalis were identified in 2 out of 14 Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and in one out of 17 Red ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata rubra). To our knowledge this is the first diagnosis of E. intestinalis in Ring-tailed and Red ruffed lemurs. It should be mentioned that both lemur species are listed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Although the lemurs were asymptomatically infected, the possibility of widespread infection or death of these animals remains in the event of an elevated stress or a decrease in their immunological functions.

  12. Host age, social group, and habitat type influence the gut microbiota of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Bennett, Genevieve; Malone, Matthew; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; White, Bryan; Nelson, Karen E; Stumpf, Rebecca M; Knight, Rob; Leigh, Steven R; Amato, Katherine R

    2016-08-01

    The gut microbiota contributes to host health by maintaining homeostasis, increasing digestive efficiency, and facilitating the development of the immune system. The composition of the gut microbiota can change dramatically within and between individuals of a species as a result of diet, age, or habitat. Therefore, understanding the factors determining gut microbiota diversity and composition can contribute to our knowledge of host ecology as well as to conservation efforts. Here we use high-throughput sequencing to describe variation in the gut microbiota of the endangered ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR) in southwestern Madagascar. Specifically, we measured the diversity and composition of the gut microbiota in relation to social group, age, sex, tooth wear and loss, and habitat disturbance. While we found no significant variation in the diversity of the ring-tailed lemur gut microbiota in response to any variable tested, the taxonomic composition of the gut microbiota was influenced by social group, age, and habitat disturbance. However, effect sizes were small and appear to be driven by the presence or absence of relatively low abundance taxa. These results suggest that habitat disturbance may not impact the lemur gut microbiota as strongly as it impacts the gut microbiota of other primate species, highlighting the importance of distinct host ecological and physiological factors on host-gut microbe relationships. Am. J. Primatol. 78:883-892, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Osteology and radiographic anatomy of the pelvis and hind limb of healthy ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Makungu, M; Groenewald, H B; du Plessis, W M; Barrows, M; Koeppel, K N

    2014-06-01

    In family Lemuridae, anatomical variations exist. Considering its conservation status (near threatened) and presence of similarities between strepsirrhines and primitive animals, it was thought to be beneficial to describe the gross osteology and radiographic anatomy of the pelvis and hind limb of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) as a reference for clinical use and species identification. Radiography was performed in 14 captive adult ring-tailed lemurs. The radiographic findings were correlated with bone specimens from two adult animals. Additionally, computed tomography of the hind limbs was performed in one animal. The pelvic bone has a well-developed caudal ventral iliac spine. The patella has a prominent tuberosity on the cranial surface. The first metatarsal bone and digit 1 are markedly stouter than the other metatarsal bones and digits with medial divergence from the rest of the metatarsal bones and digits. Ossicles were seen in the lateral meniscus, inter-phalangeal joint of digit 1 and in the infrapatellar fat pad. Areas of mineral opacity were seen within the external genitalia, which are believed to be the os penis and os clitoris. Variations exist in the normal osteology and radiographic appearance of the pelvis and hind limb of different animal species. The use of only atlases from domestic cats and dogs for interpretative purposes may be misleading.

  14. Echinococcus multilocularis infection of a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and a nutria (Myocastor coypus) in a French zoo.

    PubMed

    Umhang, Gérald; Lahoreau, Jennifer; Nicolier, Alexandra; Boué, Franck

    2013-12-01

    Echinococcus multilocularis is a tapeworm responsible in its larval stage for alveolar echinococcosis, a disease which is lethal when left untreated. Multivesiculated parasitic lesions in the liver were diagnosed at necropsy in a captive-born nutria (Myocastor coypus) and in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) which had been in a French zoo for 16months. Molecular analyses confirmed the diagnosis of E. multilocularis obtained by histological analyses. These were the first cases of infection by E. multilocularis reported in lemurs in Europe, and the first case in nutria in European enclosures. Lemurs are confirmed to be particularly sensitive to E. multilocularis with a massive infection. In both cases, the infection appears to have been contracted in the zoo indirectly via environmental contamination by feces from roaming foxes. Due to the large endemic area for E. multilocularis, the increasing prevalence in foxes in France, and an increase in awareness of the disease, other cases of infection in captive animals will probably be recorded in France in the coming years.

  15. Coprophagy by wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in human-disturbed locations adjacent to the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Fish, Krista D; Sauther, Michelle L; Loudon, James E; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2007-06-01

    Coprophagy occurs in a number of animal species, including nonhuman primates. During the 2003-2004 dry seasons at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, we observed wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) consuming dried fecal matter from three different species. Ring-tailed lemurs consumed human feces on 12 occasions, cattle feces twice, and feral dog feces once. Coprophagy in this population may be a behavioral adaptation that provides animals access to energy and nutrients and may be an important nutritional source for older, and/or dentally impaired individuals during the dry season.

  16. Mebendazole in the treatment of Hymenolepis nana infections in the captive ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), China.

    PubMed

    Li, Bo; Zhao, Bo; Yang, Guang-You; Wang, Qiang; Niu, Li-Li; Deng, Jia-Bo; Gu, Xiao-Bin; Wang, Shu-Xian

    2012-08-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of mebendazole in the treatment of Hymenolepis nana infection in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Ten (L. catta) from the Chengdu Zoological Garden in China, which were naturally infected with H. nana, were treated with mebendazole (10 mg/kg for 5 days). A posttreatment fecal examination was conducted 10 and 20 days after the start of treatment. All treatments resulted in a decrease in the number of eggs per gram in the posttreatment sample compared with the pretreatment sample. Reduction of mean egg count was 97.6% and 100% on days 10 and 20, respectively. The results indicated that mebendazole has marked efficacy against H. nana infections in L. catta.

  17. Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Health Parameters across Two Habitats with Varied Levels of Human Disturbance at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Singleton, Cora L; Norris, Aimee M; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    The health of 36 wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve was assessed across 2 habitats of varied human impact: a reserve riverine gallery forest, and a degraded mixed dry deciduous and Alluaudia-dominated spiny forest. While there were no statistically significant differences in leukocyte count or differential between habitats, female lemurs in the reserve gallery forest had significantly higher percentages of monocytes and eosinophils than male lemurs in the gallery forest. Lemurs from the degraded spiny habitat had significantly higher mean packed cell volume, hematocrit, hemoglobin, total protein, blood urea nitrogen, chloride, ionized calcium and urine specific gravity than lemurs from the reserve gallery forest. These findings may reflect lower hydration levels in lemurs living in degraded habitat, providing evidence that environmental degradation has identifiable impacts on the physiology and health of wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs living in nearby habitats. Given the greater evidence of human impact in the mixed dry deciduous/spiny forest habitat, a pattern seen throughout southern Madagascar, biomedical markers suggestive of decreased hydration can provide empirical data to inform new conservation policies facilitating the long-term survival of this lemur community.

  18. The gaits of primates: center of mass mechanics in walking, cantering and galloping ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Matthew C; Schmitt, Daniel

    2012-05-15

    Most primates, including lemurs, have a broad range of locomotor capabilities, yet much of the time, they walk at slow speeds and amble, canter or gallop at intermediate and fast speeds. Although numerous studies have investigated limb function during primate quadrupedalism, how the center of mass (COM) moves is not well understood. Here, we examined COM energy, work and power during walking, cantering and galloping in ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta (N=5), over a broad speed range (0.43-2.91 m s(-1)). COM energy recoveries were substantial during walking (35-71%) but lower during canters and gallops (10-51%). COM work, power and collisional losses increased with speed. The positive COM works were 0.625 J kg(-1) m(-1) for walks and 1.661 J kg(-1) m(-1) for canters and gallops, which are in the middle range of published values for terrestrial animals. Although some discontinuities in COM mechanics were evident between walking and cantering, there was no apparent analog to the trot-gallop transition across the intermediate and fast speed range (dimensionless v>0.75, Fr>0.5). A phenomenological model of a lemur cantering and trotting at the same speed shows that canters ensure continuous contact of the body with the substrate while reducing peak vertical COM forces, COM stiffness and COM collisions. We suggest that cantering, rather than trotting, at intermediate speeds may be tied to the arboreal origins of the Order Primates. These data allow us to better understand the mechanics of primate gaits and shed new light on primate locomotor evolution.

  19. Biomedical evaluation of free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in three habitats at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Miller, David S; Sauther, Michelle L; Hunter-Ishikawa, Mandala; Fish, Krista; Culbertson, Heather; Cuozzo, P Frank; Campbell, Terry W; Andrews, Gordon A; Chavey, Patricia Sue; Nachreiner, Raymond; Rumbeiha, Wilson; Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, Maria; Lappin, Michael R

    2007-06-01

    Complete physical examinations and biomedical sample collection were performed on 70 free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from three different habitats in the Beza Mahfaly Special Reserve (BMSR), in southern Madagascar, to assess the impact of humans and habitat on lemur health. Lemurs were chemically immobilized with ketamine and diazepam administered via blow darts for concurrent biomedical, morphometric, and behavioral studies. Subsets of the animals had blood analyzed for hematology, serum chemistry, micronutrients, fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, and E), measures of iron metabolism, and polymerase chain reaction assays (PCR) for Toxoplasma gondii, Hemoplasma spp., Bartonella spp., Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Neorickettsia risticii. Results were compared on the basis of gender and the habitats at the study site: reserve (intact gallery forest), degraded (human inhabited and altered), and marginal (dry didieracea forest with heavy grazing and tree cutting). Levels of vitamin D, triglycerides, and cholesterol, and measures of iron metabolism for BMSR lemurs were greater than those previously reported for a free-ranging lemur population (Tsimanampetsotsa Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar) with less access to foods of anthropogenic origin. BMSR ring-tailed lemurs from a habitat with less water (marginal) had higher sodium (P = 0.051), chloride (P = 0.045), osmolality (P = 0.010), and amylase (P = 0.05) levels than lemurs from other BMSR habitats, suggesting that these lemurs were less hydrated. Vitamin D levels of male lemurs were higher (P = 0.011) than those of females at BMSR, possibly because of differences in sunning behavior or differential selection of food items. The biological significance is uncertain for other parameters with statistically significant differences. All samples tested (n = 20) were negative for the pathogens tested using PCR assays. Continued concurrent biomedical and ecological research is needed at BMSR

  20. Variation in dental wear and tooth loss among known-aged, older ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta): a comparison between wild and captive individuals.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Gould, Lisa; Sussman, Robert W; Villers, Lynne M; Lent, Cheryl

    2010-11-01

    Tooth wear is generally an age-related phenomenon, often assumed to occur at similar rates within populations of primates and other mammals, and has been suggested as a correlate of reduced offspring survival among wild lemurs. Few long-term wild studies have combined detailed study of primate behavior and ecology with dental analyses. Here, we present data on dental wear and tooth loss in older (>10 years old) wild and captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Among older ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar (n=6), the percentage of severe dental wear and tooth loss ranges from 6 to 50%. Among these six individuals, the oldest (19 years old) exhibits the second lowest frequency of tooth loss (14%). The majority of captive lemurs at the Indianapolis Zoo (n=7) are older than the oldest BMSR lemur, yet display significantly less overall tooth wear for 19 of 36 tooth positions, with only two individuals exhibiting antemortem tooth loss. Among the captive lemurs, only one lemur (a nearly 29 year old male) has lost more than one tooth. This individual is only missing anterior teeth, in contrast to lemurs at BMSR, where the majority of lost teeth are postcanine teeth associated with processing specific fallback foods. Postcanine teeth also show significantly more overall wear at BMSR than in the captive sample. At BMSR, degree of severe wear and tooth loss varies in same aged, older individuals, likely reflecting differences in microhabitat, and thus the availability and use of different foods. This pattern becomes apparent before "old age," as seen in individuals as young as 7 years. Among the four "older" female lemurs at BMSR, severe wear and/or tooth loss do not predict offspring survival.

  1. Somatic variation in living, wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2008-01-01

    While understanding somatic variability among wild primates can provide insight into natural patterns of developmental plasticity, published data for living populations are rare. Here we provide such information for two distinct wild populations of Lemur catta. Variants observed include microtia, athelia, and female virilization. Dental variants observed include individuals with supernumerary teeth, rotated teeth, maxillary incisor agenesis, and severe malocclusion. There was a sex bias in incisor agenesis, with 5 of 7 examples (71%) found in males. The frequency of dental variants in our sample is lower than that seen in many other lemuriformes, as well as other primates. This may be a product of their less derived dental formula and/or their relatively fast dental development. Amassing such data is a critical first step to assess if wild primate populations are exhibiting normal variability or are being affected by potential inbreeding and/or environmental effects.

  2. Ecological risk aversion and juvenile ring-tailed lemur feeding and foraging.

    PubMed

    O'Mara, M Teague

    2015-01-01

    The extended primate juvenile period has been linked to interactions between feeding ecology and sociality. However, accumulating field data on juvenile primates suggest variation in the linkages between foraging efficiency, group foraging and social behaviour. In many non-human primates, juvenile ability (strength, coordination and motor skills) does not limit foraging success. If predicted limitations in feeding are not found in juvenile monkeys, it is possible that the gregarious strepsirrhines may show foraging patterns similar to those implicated in the evolution of a life history where long juvenile periods are advantageous. To test these behavioural predictions, I present a mixed longitudinal sample of observations on feeding and foraging behaviour from ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. Like several platyrrhine species, close proximity during foraging, low feeding efficiency and low dietary diversity are not typical of ring-tailed lemurs. The lack of ecological trade-offs in these species may indicate stronger common roles of sociality and social complexity in structuring the elongation of the primate juvenile period.

  3. Sources of tooth wear variation early in life among known-aged wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Head, Brian R; Sauther, Michelle L; Ungar, Peter S; O'Mara, M Teague

    2014-11-01

    Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar display a high frequency of individuals with notable and sometimes extreme tooth wear. Adult lemurs display a range of tooth wear even among individuals of the same age, but we do not know at what age this variation first appears. This study's goal was to determine whether wear variation occurs in younger wild lemurs. Based on the decade-long study of ring-tailed lemur feeding and dental ecology at BMSR, we hypothesized that younger, natal lemurs (under 5 years of age), would display variation in their degree of tooth wear that would correspond to microhabitat differences, given differences in food availability in different troops' home ranges. We also hypothesized that wear would differ between sexes at this young age, given differences in feeding between males and females in this population. Hypotheses were tested using dental topographic analyses using dental impressions collected from known-aged lemurs across 10 years at BMSR. Results illustrate significant differences in wear-related tooth topography (i.e., relief and slope, presented here as "occlusal lift") for microhabitat, sex and troop affiliation among lemurs under 5 years of age in this population. Although, all lemurs in this population consume mechanically challenging tamarind fruit, those in more disturbed habitats eat additional introduced foods, some of which are also mechanically challenging. Thus, dietary variation is the likely cause of variation in tooth wear. The wear variation we show at a young age suggests caution when assigning age based on tooth wear in living and fossil primates. These wear-related tooth shape changes early in life, which reflects sex, habitat variation and levels of anthropogenic disturbance, may potentially impact reproductive fitness later in life.

  4. Fatal infection with Taenia martis metacestodes in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) living in an Italian zoological garden.

    PubMed

    De Liberato, Claudio; Berrilli, Federica; Meoli, Roberta; Friedrich, Klaus G; Di Cerbo, Pilar; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Eleni, Claudia

    2014-10-01

    A case of fatal infection caused by larval forms of Taenia martis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) living in the Rome zoological garden is described. The animal, living in a semi-natural pen with other 15 conspecific individuals and being fed with fresh fruit and vegetables, yoghurt and eggs, was transported to the Istituto Zooprofilattico of Rome for post-mortem examination. The anamnesis included, ten days before the death, apathy, lack of appetite, abdominal distension and diarrhoea. A severe exudative fibrinous-purulent peritonitis with numerous adhesions between the abdominal wall and the bowel loops was detected. After intestine removal, two free and viable, 4 cm long, whitish, leaf-like parasitic forms were pinpointed. Macroscopic examination of the two parasites allowed their identification as larval stages of cestodes, identified via molecular analysis as T. martis metacestodes. This report represents the first record of T. martis infection in the host species and in a zoological garden and for the pathological relevance of the infection.

  5. Lifespan and Reproductive Senescence in a Free-Ranging Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Population at Berenty, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ichino, Shinichiro; Soma, Takayo; Miyamoto, Naomi; Chatani, Kaoru; Sato, Hiroki; Koyama, Naoki; Takahata, Yukio

    2015-01-01

    The lifespan and age-specific fecundity of female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) were estimated from a 24-year longitudinal dataset based on individual identification at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. The mean lifespan of females in 10-year (1989-1998) birth cohorts was 4.9 ± 4.9 years (n = 77), and the longest recorded lifespan in the population was 20 years. The mortality rate of adult females increased to ≥20% at 10-11 years old and reached 33-50% at 12-15 years old. Although the birth rate of old females (12-17 years old) was 72.0%, slightly lower than that of prime adult females (4-11 years old), i.e. 80.2%, no significant difference was found between them. Half of the females who reached the age of 12 years gave birth in the last year of their life. The oldest mother to give birth was 17 years old. These results suggest that most females can maintain reproductive performance in their later life and that there is no evidence for a postreproductive lifespan in this species.

  6. Relaxed open mouth as a playful signal in wild ring-tailed lemurs.

    PubMed

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan; Spada, Giulia

    2014-11-01

    Play signals are commonly used by animals to communicate their playful motivation and to limit the risk that rough acts are misunderstood by playmates. The relaxed open mouth is the most common facial expression performed during play in many mammals and represents the ritualized version of the movement anticipating a play bite. The signaling nature of this expression has been proven in many haplorrhine species but never demonstrated in strepsirrhines. Our purpose was assessing whether, also in strepsirrhines, the relaxed open mouth has an actual communicative function. We studied wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), characterized by highly social habits including intense playful interactions. They largely use playful signals, mostly performed with the black and white tail. The signaling function of the tail (tail play) has been widely demonstrated. We analyzed both tail play and the relaxed open mouth to verify how their distribution is affected by different play variables (e.g., play session symmetry, number of play mates, previous use of the same pattern). Indeed, ring-tailed lemurs use the relaxed open mouth as a communicative signal during play. Relaxed open mouth was more frequent during unbalanced interactions showing the highest asymmetry in the patterns performed by the two players (offensive/neutral). Compared to tail play, relaxed open mouth was more frequent during dyadic than polyadic interactions and, as a highly directional signal, it was more frequently replicated by the play mate. Therefore, the relaxed open mouth needs to be performed face-to-face so that signal detection can be optimized. Similar to previous findings in monkeys and apes, the relaxed open mouth in lemurs seems to be a ritualized signal used to engage and, perhaps, sustain playful interaction.

  7. Mix it and fix it: functions of composite olfactory signals in ring-tailed lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Lydia K.; Grogan, Kathleen E.; Smyth, Kendra N.; Adams, Christine A.; Klager, Skylar A.; Drea, Christine M.

    2016-01-01

    Animals communicating via scent often deposit composite signals that incorporate odorants from multiple sources; however, the function of mixing chemical signals remains understudied. We tested both a ‘multiple-messages’ and a ‘fixative’ hypothesis of composite olfactory signalling, which, respectively, posit that mixing scents functions to increase information content or prolong signal longevity. Our subjects—adult, male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)—have a complex scent-marking repertoire, involving volatile antebrachial (A) secretions, deposited pure or after being mixed with a squalene-rich paste exuded from brachial (B) glands. Using behavioural bioassays, we examined recipient responses to odorants collected from conspecific strangers. We concurrently presented pure A, pure B and mixed A + B secretions, in fresh or decayed conditions. Lemurs preferentially responded to mixed over pure secretions, their interest increasing and shifting over time, from sniffing and countermarking fresh mixtures, to licking and countermarking decayed mixtures. Substituting synthetic squalene (S)—a well-known fixative—for B secretions did not replicate prior results: B secretions, which contain additional chemicals that probably encode salient information, were preferred over pure S. Whereas support for the ‘multiple-messages’ hypothesis underscores the unique contribution from each of an animal's various secretions, support for the ‘fixative’ hypothesis highlights the synergistic benefits of composite signals. PMID:27152222

  8. Patterns of Behaviour, Group Structure and Reproductive Status Predict Levels of Glucocorticoid Metabolites in Zoo-Housed Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tessa E; McCusker, Cara M; Stevens, Jeroen M G; Elwood, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    In ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta, the factors modulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity differ between wild and semi-free-ranging populations. Here we assess factors modulating HPA activity in ring-tailed lemurs housed in a third environment: the zoo. First we validate an enzyme immunoassay to quantify levels of glucocorticoid (GC) metabolites in the faeces of L. catta. We determine the nature of the female-female dominance hierarchies within each group by computing David's scores and examining these in relation to faecal GC (fGC). Relationships between female age and fGC are assessed to evaluate potential age-related confounds. The associations between fGC, numbers of males in a group and reproductive status are explored. Finally, we investigate the value of 7 behaviours in predicting levels of fGC. The study revealed stable linear dominance hierarchies in females within each group. The number of males in a social group together with reproductive status, but not age, influenced fGC. The 7 behavioural variables accounted for 68% of the variance in fGC. The amounts of time an animal spent locomoting and in the inside enclosure were both negative predictors of fGC. The study highlights the flexibility and adaptability of the HPA system in ring-tailed lemurs.

  9. Gait-specific metabolic costs and preferred speeds in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), with implications for the scaling of locomotor costs.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Matthew C

    2012-11-01

    Metabolic costs of resting and locomotion have been used to gain novel insights into the behavioral ecology and evolution of a wide range of primates; however, most previous studies have not considered gait-specific effects. Here, metabolic costs of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) walking, cantering and galloping are used to test for gait-specific effects and a potential correspondence between costs and preferred speeds. Metabolic costs, including the net cost of locomotion (COL) and net cost of transport (COT), change as a curvilinear function of walking speed and (at least provisionally) as a linear function of cantering and galloping speeds. The baseline quantity used to calculate net costs had a significant effect on the magnitude of speed-specific estimates of COL and COT, especially for walking. This is because non-locomotor metabolism constitutes a substantial fraction (41-61%, on average) of gross metabolic rate at slow speeds. The slope-based estimate of the COT was 5.26 J kg(-1) m(-1) for all gaits and speeds, while the gait-specific estimates differed between walking (0.5 m s(-1) : 6.69 J kg(-1) m(-1) ) and cantering/galloping (2.0 m s(-1) : 5.61 J kg(-1) m(-1) ). During laboratory-based overground locomotion, ring-tailed lemurs preferred to walk at ~0.5 m s(-1) and canter/gallop at ~2.0 m s(-1) , with the preferred walking speed corresponding well to the COT minima. Compared with birds and other mammals, ring-tailed lemurs are relatively economical in walking, cantering, and galloping. These results support the view that energetic optima are an important movement criterion for locomotion in ring-tailed lemurs, and other terrestrial animals.

  10. The impact of fallback foods on wild ring-tailed lemur biology: a comparison of intact and anthropogenically disturbed habitats.

    PubMed

    Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2009-12-01

    Fallback foods are often viewed as central in shaping primate morphology, and influencing adaptive shifts in hominin and other primate evolution. Here we argue that fruit of the tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) qualifies as a fallback food of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar. Contrary to predictions that fallback foods may select for dental and masticatory morphologies adapted to processing these foods, consumption of tamarind fruit by these lemurs leaves a distinct pattern of dental pathology among ring-tailed lemurs at BMSR. Specifically, the physical and mechanical properties of tamarind fruit likely result in a high frequency of severe tooth wear, and subsequent antemortem tooth loss, in this lemur population. This pattern of dental pathology is amplified among lemurs living in disturbed areas at Beza Mahafaly, resulting from a disproportionate emphasis on challenging tamarind fruit, due to few other fruits being available. This is in part caused by a reduction in ground cover and other plants due to livestock grazing. As such, tamarind trees remain one of the few food resources in many areas. Dental pathologies are also associated with the use of a nonendemic leaf resource Argemone mexicana, an important food during the latter part of the dry season when overall food availability is reduced. Such dental pathologies at Beza Mahafaly, resulting from the use or overemphasis of fallback foods for which they are not biologically adapted, indicate that anthropogenic factors must be considered when examining fallback foods.

  11. The impact of dental impairment on ring-tailed lemur food processing performance.

    PubMed

    Millette, James B; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Ness, Jenifer L

    2012-06-01

    During mastication, foods are reduced into particles suitable for swallowing and digestion. Smaller particles possess a greater surface area per unit of volume on which digestive enzymes and bacteria may work than relatively larger particles, and are thus more readily digested. As dental morphology facilitates the breakdown of diets with specific mechanical properties, extensive dental wear and/or tooth loss may impede an individual's ability to break down and exploit foods. We present data demonstrating a relationship between dental impairment and particle size in 43 fecal samples from 33 ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar. All fecal samples were sifted through three sieves of decreasing size (11.2 mm, 4.75 mm, and 1.0 mm). The resulting fraction in each sieve was then weighed and assessed in relation to individual dental impairment status. With increasing wear, the percentage of each sample within the 1.0 mm sieve decreases, whereas that in the 11.2 mm sieve increases with increasing postcanine wear, although these effects are not present when limited to individuals without tooth loss. Individuals with tooth loss also demonstrate larger proportions of fecal material 1.0-4.75 mm in size. Dental impairment results in larger food particles and potentially less efficient utilization of foods. When fecal material was examined by leaf vs. fruit content, individuals with tooth loss demonstrated reduced proportions of fruit in the 1.0 mm and 11.2 mm sieves. These data suggest individuals with tooth loss consume less fruit than those without loss, potentially reflecting a reduced ability to process tamarind fruit, a key fallback resource at BMSR.

  12. Cathemerality in wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in the spiny forest of Tsimanampetsotsa National Park: camera trap data and preliminary behavioral observations.

    PubMed

    LaFleur, Marni; Sauther, Michelle; Cuozzo, Frank; Yamashita, Nayuta; Jacky Youssouf, Ibrahim Antho; Bender, Richard

    2014-04-01

    Cathemerality consists of discrete periods of activity during both the day and night. Though uncommon within Primates, cathemerality is prevalent in some lemur genera, such as Eulemur, Hapalemur, and Prolemur. Several researchers have also reported nighttime activity in Lemur catta, yet these lemurs are generally considered "strictly diurnal". We used behavioral observations and camera traps to examine cathemerality of L. catta at the Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, Madagascar. Nighttime activity occurred throughout the study period (September 2010-April 2011), and correlated with warm overnight temperatures but not daytime temperatures. Animals spent 25% of their daytime active behaviors on the ground, but appeared to avoid the ground at night, with only 5% of their time on the ground. Furthermore, at night, animals spent the majority of their active time feeding (53% nighttime, 43% daytime). These findings imply that both thermoregulation and diet play a role in the adaptive significance of cathemerality. Additionally, predator avoidance may have influenced cathemerality here, in that L. catta may limit nighttime activity as a result of predation threat by forest cats (Felis sp.) or fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox). Further data are needed on cathemeral lemurs generally, but particularly in L. catta if we are to fully understand the evolutionary mechanisms of cathemerality in the Lemuridae.

  13. Feeding behavior and nutrient intake in spiny forest-dwelling ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods: compensating in a harsh environment.

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Power, Michael L; Ellwanger, Nicholas; Rambeloarivony, Hajamanitra

    2011-07-01

    Strong resource seasonality in Madagascar has led to the evolution of female feeding priority and weaning synchrony in most lemur species. For these taxa, pregnancy/early lactation periods coincide with low food availability, and weaning of infants is timed with increased resources at the onset of the rainy season. Reproductive females experience high metabolic requirements, which they must accommodate, particularly when food resources are scarce. Female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) residing in spiny forest habitat must deal with resource scarcity, high temperatures (∼36-40°C) and little shade in early to mid-lactation periods. Considered "income breeders," these females must use resources obtained from the environment instead of relying on fat stores; thus, we expected they would differ from same-sized males in time spent on feeding and in the intake of food and nutrients. We investigated these variables in two groups (N = 11 and 12) of Lemur catta residing in spiny forest habitat during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods. Focal animal data and food plant samples were collected, and plants were analyzed for protein, kcal, and fiber. We found no sex differences for any feeding or nutrient intake variable for the top five food species consumed. Females in early gestation spent more time feeding compared with early/mid-lactation. Physiological compensation for spiny forest-dwelling females may be tied to greater time spent resting compared with gallery forest conspecifics, consuming foods high in protein, calories, and water, reduced home range defense in a sparsely populated habitat, and for Lemur catta females in general, production of relatively dilute milk compared with many strepsirrhines.

  14. Social inhibitory control in five lemur species.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Rachna B; MacLean, Evan L; Sandel, Aaron A; Hare, Brian

    2015-07-01

    We tested five lemur species-ring-tailed lemurs, ruffed lemurs, mongoose lemurs, black lemurs, and Coquerel's sifakas-(N = 52) in an experiment that evaluated skills for inhibitory control in a social context. First, two human experimenters presented identical food rewards; the "generous" experimenter allowed the subject to eat from her hand, whereas the "competitive" experimenter always withheld the reward. Lemurs quickly learned to approach the generous experimenter and avoid the competitive one. In the inhibition test phase, we endowed the competitive experimenter with a more valuable food reward but the competitive experimenter continued to withhold food from the subject. Thus, lemurs were required to inhibit approaching the more desirable reward in favor of the lesser but obtainable reward presented by the generous experimenter. In test trials, lemurs' tendency to approach the competitive experimenter increased from the reputation phase, demonstrating sensitivity to the experimental manipulation. However, subjects approached the larger reward less frequently in test trials compared with pretest food-preference trials, evidencing some capacity for inhibitory control in this context. Despite differences in sociality and ecology, the five lemur species did not differ in this ability. Although the study did not uncover species differences, this experimental task may provide a useful measure of social inhibition in broader comparative studies.

  15. No evidence for contagious yawning in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Rachna B; Krupenye, Christopher; MacLean, Evan L; Hare, Brian

    2016-09-01

    Among some haplorhine primates, including humans, relaxed yawns spread contagiously. Such contagious yawning has been linked to social bonds and empathy in some species. However, no studies have investigated contagious yawning in strepsirhines. We conducted an experimental study of contagious yawning in strepsirhines, testing ring-tailed and ruffed lemurs (n = 24) in a paradigm similar to one that has induced contagious yawning in haplorhines. First, in a control experiment, we investigated whether lemurs responded to projected video content in general (experiment 1). We showed them two videos to which we expected differential responses: one featured a terrestrial predator and the other a caretaker holding food. Next, to test for yawn contagion, we showed individual lemurs life-size video projections of groupmates and conspecific strangers yawning, and control footage of the same individuals at rest (experiment 2). Then, to examine whether a group context might enhance or allow for contagion, we exposed subjects to the same videos in a group setting (experiment 3). Lemurs produced alarm vocalizations and moved upward while viewing the predator, but not the caretaker, demonstrating that they do perceive video content meaningfully. However, lemurs did not yawn in response to yawning stimuli when tested alone, or with their groupmates. This study provides preliminary evidence that lemurs do not respond to yawning stimuli similarly to haplorhines, and suggests that this behavior may have evolved or become more exaggerated in haplorhines after the two major primate lineages split.

  16. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis neurona, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in three species of lemurs from St. Catherines Island, GA, USA.

    PubMed

    Yabsley, Michael J; Jordan, Carly N; Mitchell, Sheila M; Norton, Terry M; Lindsay, David S

    2007-03-15

    In the current study, we determined the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis neurona, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in three species of lemurs from St. Catherines Island, Georgia. Serum samples were tested from 52 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), six blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), and four black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) using an agglutination assay. Three ring-tailed lemurs (5.8%) were positive for T. gondii (titer of 1:50); one ring-tailed lemur (1.9%) and one black and white ruffed lemur (25%) were positive for S. neurona (titers of 1:1000); and one ring-tailed lemur (1.9%) was positive for E. cuniculi (titer of 1:400). All blue-eyed black lemurs were negative for antibodies to T. gondii, S. neurona, and E. cuniculi. This is the first detection of antibodies to T. gondii in ring-tailed lemurs and antibodies to S. neurona and E. cuniculi in any species of prosimian.

  17. Feeding outside the forest: the importance of crop raiding and an invasive weed in the diet of gallery forest ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) following a cyclone at the Beza Mahafaly special reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    LaFleur, M; Gould, L

    2009-01-01

    In January 2005, a cyclone hit southern Madagascar, including the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, disrupting the flowering/fruiting cycle of Tamarindus indica, leaving Lemur catta without its major food resource during reproductive periods. We studied two adjacent groups of L. catta during the late gestation period, and both groups ventured outside the reserve to feed. The Red group (RG) fed daily on cultivated sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaves in a nearby field, and both groups consumed leaves and stems of the invasive terrestrial flowering herb Mexican prickly poppy (Argemone mexicana), growing outside the reserve. The Green group (GG) spent significantly more time feeding than did RG, and more time feeding inside the forest compared to outside. The members of RG spent half of their time feeding in the crops, and nearly half of their diet consisted of easy-to-process sweet potato leaves. Additionally, RG defended and restricted GG's access to the crop territory. Of the two non-forest foods, A. mexicana leaves were higher in protein and most minerals (P, Mg, K and Na, but not Ca) and lower in fiber than sweet potato leaves, but sweet potato leaves were preferred by RG. L. catta is a markedly flexible primate with respect to diet, and switches to fallback foods from outside the forest during periods of low food availability. In the highly seasonal and unpredictable climate of southern Madagascar, such behavioral adaptations are important to the survival of this species.

  18. Evidence for social learning in wild lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Kendal, Rachel L; Custance, Deborah M; Kendal, Jeremy R; Vale, Gillian; Stoinski, Tara S; Rakotomalala, Nirina Lalaina; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina

    2010-08-01

    Interest in social learning has been fueled by claims of culture in wild animals. These remain controversial because alternative explanations to social learning, such as asocial learning or ecological differences, remain difficult to refute. Compared with laboratory-based research, the study of social learning in natural contexts is in its infancy. Here, for the first time, we apply two new statistical methods, option-bias analysis and network-based diffusion analysis, to data from the wild, complemented by standard inferential statistics. Contrary to common thought regarding the cognitive abilities of prosimian primates, our evidence is consistent with social learning within subgroups in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), supporting the theory of directed social learning (Coussi-Korbel & Fragaszy, 1995). We also caution that, as the toolbox for capturing social learning in natural contexts grows, care is required in ensuring that the methods employed are appropriate-in particular, regarding social dynamics among study subjects. Supplemental materials for this article may be downloaded from http://lb.psychonomic-journals.org/content/supplemental.

  19. The ecology of spatial memory in four lemur species.

    PubMed

    Rosati, Alexandra G; Rodriguez, Kerri; Hare, Brian

    2014-07-01

    Evolutionary theories suggest that ecology is a major factor shaping cognition in primates. However, there have been few systematic tests of spatial memory abilities involving multiple primate species. Here, we examine spatial memory skills in four strepsirrhine primates that vary in level of frugivory: ruffed lemurs (Varecia sp.), ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz), and Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli). We compare these species across three studies targeting different aspects of spatial memory: recall after a long-delay, learning mechanisms supporting memory and recall of multiple locations in a complex environment. We find that ruffed lemurs, the most frugivorous species, consistently showed more robust spatial memory than the other species across tasks-especially in comparison with sifakas, the most folivorous species. We discuss these results in terms of the importance of considering both ecological and social factors as complementary explanations for the evolution of primate cognitive skills.

  20. Use of Mangroves by Lemurs.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Charlie J

    Despite an increasing recognition of the ecosystem services provided by mangroves, we know little about their role in maintaining terrestrial biodiversity, including primates. Madagascar's lemurs are a top global conservation priority, with 94 % of species threatened with extinction, but records of their occurrence in mangroves are scarce. I used a mixed-methods approach to collect published and unpublished observations of lemurs in mangroves: I carried out a systematic literature search and supplemented this with a targeted information request to 1243 researchers, conservation and tourism professionals, and others who may have visited mangroves in Madagascar. I found references to, or observations of, at least 23 species in 5 families using mangroves, representing >20% of lemur species and >50% of species whose distributions include mangrove areas. Lemurs used mangroves for foraging, sleeping, and traveling between terrestrial forest patches, and some were observed as much as 3 km from the nearest permanently dry land. However, most records were anecdotal and thus tell us little about lemur ecology in this habitat. Mangroves are more widely used by lemurs than has previously been recognized and merit greater attention from primate researchers and conservationists in Madagascar.

  1. Can zoo records help answer behavioral research questions? The case of the left-handed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Hosey, Geoff; Hill, Sonya P; Lherbier, Mary L

    2012-01-01

    Most zoos keep comprehensive records, which potentially form a database for use in answering some research questions, such as in veterinary and population management research. They have not, however, been widely used to answer questions about animal behavior and welfare. Here we try to assess the usefulness to behavioral research of two sorts of zoo records (ARKS, the Animal Records Keeping System, and student dissertations held on file) to test the hypothesis that ring-tailed lemurs with a left limb preference experience more negative social lives. We found that, as predicted, lemurs with a left limb preference (LH) received more aggression and were involved in less grooming than nonleft-preferent lemurs (NLH), though the differences were not statistically significant. Contrary to prediction, LH lemurs had fewer reported woundings than NLH lemurs, but again the difference was not statistically significant. We found that the ARKS reports did not contain sufficient quantified and systematic behavioral data for our purposes, although otherwise they provided an excellent context for interpreting results. The student dissertations were also of limited use, primarily because of the small time frame in which they were carried out. Because of these shortcomings we were unable to distinguish whether our inability to find significant effects was due to biological (perhaps hand preference had no consequences for the lemurs) or data reasons. We suggest that closer liaison between zoo research staff, zoo record keepers and academic supervisors could help to improve the usefulness of zoo records for behavioral research.

  2. Captive Conditions of Pet Lemurs in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Kim E; Schaefer, Melissa S

    2016-01-01

    Live extraction of wildlife is a threat to biodiversity and can compromise animal welfare standards. Studies of the captive environments and welfare of pet primates are known, but none has focused on Madagascar. We aimed to expand knowledge about the captive conditions of pet lemurs in Madagascar. We hypothesized that captive lemurs would often be kept in restrictive settings, including small cages, would be fed foods inconsistent with their natural diets and, as a result, would be in bad physical or psychological health. Data were collected via a web-based survey (n = 253 reports) and from the websites and social media pages of 25 hotels. Most lemurs seen by respondents were either kept on a rope/leash/chain or in a cage (67%), though some lemurs were habituated and were not restrained (28%). Most of the time (72%) cages were considered small, and lemurs were rarely kept in captivity together with other lemurs (81% of lemurs were caged alone). Pet lemurs were often fed foods inconsistent with their natural diets, and most (53%) were described as being in bad health. These findings point to a need to undertake outreach to pet lemur owners in Madagascar about the captivity requirements of primates.

  3. Interpreting food processing through dietary mechanical properties: a Lemur catta case study.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Knowledge of dietary mechanical properties can be informative about physical consequences to consumers during ingestion and mastication. In this article, we examine how Tamarindus indica fruits can affect dental morphology in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly special reserve in southwestern Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs in tamarind dominated gallery forests exhibit extreme wear and tooth loss on their postcanine dentition that has been related to processing T. indica fruits. We measured and compared mechanical properties of individual food parts in the diet of ring-tailed lemurs in different seasons in 1999-2000, 2008, and 2010. Fracture toughness, hardness, and modulus of foods were measured with a portable mechanical tester. The ripe fruits of T. indica are indeed the toughest and hardest foods ingested by the lemurs. In addition, they are among the largest foods consumed, require high numbers of ingestive bites to process, and are the most frequently eaten by volume. During controlled cutting tests of the ripe fruit shell, multiple runaway side cracks form alongside the cut. Similarly, the lemurs repeatedly bite the ripe shell during feeding and thereby introduce multiple cracks that eventually fragment the shell. Studies of enamel microstructure (e.g., Lucas et al.: BioEssays 30 (2008) 374-385; Campbell et al., 2011) advance the idea that the thin enamel of ring-tailed lemur teeth is susceptible to substantial micro-cracking that rapidly erodes the teeth. We conclude that micro-cracking from repeated loads, in combination with the mechanical and physical properties of the fruit, is primarily responsible for the observed dental damage.

  4. Scent marking as resource defense by female Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Mertl-Millhollen, Anne S

    2006-06-01

    Because ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are a female-dominant, female-philopatric species in which the females provide the majority of parental care and troop defense, resource defense is a possible function of female lemur scent marking. To test this hypothesis, I conducted three studies. First, I presented captive, individually housed females with a series of samples of female scent, each from a different female, to determine whether they would respond to those samples and discriminate between them. Second, I reanalyzed data from a focal animal study of four females in two adjacent troops in Berenty Reserve, Madagascar, to determine female marking rates before, during, and after the mating season, and to clarify the relationship among positions of feeding, intertroop defense, and scent marking. The third study was based on ad libitum observations of the sniffing and marking behavior of a troop in Berenty Reserve during a year when they traveled far out of their home range. The females in study 1 investigated female scent samples but provided no evidence that they discriminated between them. In study 2 the wild females marked throughout the study and did not limit their marking to the mating season. They deposited significantly more of their marks in a zone of confrontation with adjacent troops, where they also did the majority of their feeding, and they increased their rate of marking during agonistic intertroop confrontations. The females determined the positions of their scent marks and deposited the first mark in the majority of countermarking sequences. When the females traveled out of their defended range in study 3, they significantly decreased their rate of marking and increased their rate of sniffing spots but not marking them. All evidence gathered so far supports the hypothesis that one function of female ring-tailed lemur scent marking is to provide intergroup information that is then used to reinforce the border of the defended resource.

  5. Total Energy Expenditure and Body Composition in Two Free-Living Sympatric Lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Simmen, Bruno; Bayart, Françoise; Rasamimanana, Hanta; Zahariev, Alexandre; Blanc, Stéphane; Pasquet, Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Background Evolutionary theories that account for the unusual socio-ecological traits and life history features of group-living prosimians, compared with other primates, predict behavioral and physiological mechanisms to conserve energy. Low energy output and possible fattening mechanisms are expected, as either an adaptive response to drastic seasonal fluctuations of food supplies in Madagascar, or persisting traits from previously nocturnal hypometabolic ancestors. Free ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and brown lemurs (Eulemur sp.) of southern Madagascar have different socio-ecological characteristics which allow a test of these theories: Both gregarious primates have a phytophagous diet but different circadian activity rhythms, degree of arboreality, social systems, and slightly different body size. Methodology and Results Daily total energy expenditure and body composition were measured in the field with the doubly labeled water procedure. High body fat content was observed at the end of the rainy season, which supports the notion that individuals need to attain a sufficient physical condition prior to the long dry season. However, ring-tailed lemurs exhibited lower water flux rates and energy expenditure than brown lemurs after controlling for body mass differences. The difference was interpreted to reflect higher efficiency for coping with seasonally low quality foods and water scarcity. Daily energy expenditure of both species was much less than the field metabolic rates predicted by various scaling relationships found across mammals. Discussion We argue that low energy output in these species is mainly accounted for by low basal metabolic rate and reflects adaptation to harsh, unpredictable environments. The absence of observed sex differences in body weight, fat content, and daily energy expenditure converge with earlier investigations of physical activity levels in ring-tailed lemurs to suggest the absence of a relationship between energy

  6. Beyond the Gallery Forest: Contrasting Habitat and Diet in Lemur catta Troops at Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    Ring-tailed lemurs have been studied intensively in the Parcel 1 gallery forest of Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve. Here, we report on lemur groups in a mixture of deciduous dry forest and spiny forest just 5 km to the west. Compared to Parcel 1, Parcel 2 (P2) has a lower density of Tamarindus indica, a major dietary plant species for gallery forest lemurs. Recent studies in drier habitats have called into question the association of lemur density and tamarind presence. In order to address this question, we measured forest structure and composition of plant plots between parcels and conducted lemur feeding observations. The trees and shrubs within the parcels did not differ in height or diameter at breast height, but the frequencies of plant species that were common between parcels were significantly different. Numbers of feeding observations on foods common to both parcels did not differ, but their relative rankings within parcels did. Frequencies of food plants corresponded to earlier reports of lemur population densities. However, we found that the ring-tailed lemur diet is a mixture of plants that are eaten in abundance regardless of frequency and those that are locally available. In terms of their reliance on Tamarindus, P2 animals appear intermediate between those in gallery forests and nontamarind sites.

  7. Blue eyes in lemurs and humans: same phenotype, different genetic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Brenda J; Pedersen, Anja; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2009-06-01

    Almost all mammals have brown or darkly-pigmented eyes (irises), but among primates, there are some prominent blue-eyed exceptions. The blue eyes of some humans and lemurs are a striking example of convergent evolution of a rare phenotype on distant branches of the primate tree. Recent work on humans indicates that blue eye color is associated with, and likely caused by, a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs12913832) in an intron of the gene HERC2, which likely regulates expression of the neighboring pigmentation gene OCA2. This raises the immediate question of whether blue eyes in lemurs might have a similar genetic basis. We addressed this by sequencing the homologous genetic region in the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons; N = 4) and the closely-related black lemur (Eulemur macaco macaco; N = 4), which has brown eyes. We then compared a 166-bp segment corresponding to and flanking the human eye-color-associated region in these lemurs, as well as other primates (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, macaque, ring-tailed lemur, mouse lemur). Aligned sequences indicated that this region is strongly conserved in both Eulemur macaco subspecies as well as the other primates (except blue-eyed humans). Therefore, it is unlikely that this regulatory segment plays a major role in eye color differences among lemurs as it does in humans. Although convergent phenotypes can sometimes come about via the same or similar genetic changes occurring independently, this does not seem to be the case here, as we have shown that the genetic basis of blue eyes in lemurs differs from that of humans.

  8. Lemur Biorhythms and Life History Evolution.

    PubMed

    Hogg, Russell T; Godfrey, Laurie R; Schwartz, Gary T; Dirks, Wendy; Bromage, Timothy G

    2015-01-01

    Skeletal histology supports the hypothesis that primate life histories are regulated by a neuroendocrine rhythm, the Havers-Halberg Oscillation (HHO). Interestingly, subfossil lemurs are outliers in HHO scaling relationships that have been discovered for haplorhine primates and other mammals. We present new data to determine whether these species represent the general lemur or strepsirrhine condition and to inform models about neuroendocrine-mediated life history evolution. We gathered the largest sample to date of HHO data from histological sections of primate teeth (including the subfossil lemurs) to assess the relationship of these chronobiological measures with life history-related variables including body mass, brain size, age at first female reproduction, and activity level. For anthropoids, these variables show strong correlations with HHO conforming to predictions, though body mass and endocranial volume are strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in this group. However, lemurs (possibly excepting Daubentonia) do not follow this pattern and show markedly less variability in HHO periodicity and lower correlation coefficients and slopes. Moreover, body mass is uncorrelated, and brain size and activity levels are more strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in these animals. We argue that lemurs evolved this pattern due to selection for risk-averse life histories driven by the unpredictability of the environment in Madagascar. These results reinforce the idea that HHO influences life history evolution differently in response to specific ecological selection regimes.

  9. Relatedness communicated in lemur scent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morelli, Toni Lyn; Hayes, R. Andrew; Nahrung, Helen F.; Goodwin, Thomas E.; Harelimana, Innocent H.; MacDonald, Laura J.; Wright, Patricia C.

    2013-08-01

    Lemurs are the most olfactory-oriented of primates, yet there is still only a basic level of understanding of what their scent marks communicate. We analyzed scent secretions from Milne-Edwards' sifakas ( Propithecus edwardsi) collected in their natural habitat of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We sought to test whether the scent mark could signal genetic relatedness in addition to species, sex, season, and individuality. We not only found correlations ( r 2 = 0.38, P = 0.017) between the total olfactory fingerprint and genetic relatedness but also between relatedness and specific components of the odor, despite the complex environmental signals from differences in diet and behavior in a natural setting. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of an association between genetic relatedness and chemical communication in a wild primate population. Furthermore, we found a variety of compounds that were specific to each sex and each sampling period. This research shows that scent marks could act as a remote signal to avoid inbreeding, optimize mating opportunities, and potentially aid kin selection.

  10. Relatedness communicated in lemur scent.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Toni Lyn; Hayes, R Andrew; Nahrung, Helen F; Goodwin, Thomas E; Harelimana, Innocent H; Macdonald, Laura J; Wright, Patricia C

    2013-08-01

    Lemurs are the most olfactory-oriented of primates, yet there is still only a basic level of understanding of what their scent marks communicate. We analyzed scent secretions from Milne-Edwards' sifakas (Propithecus edwardsi) collected in their natural habitat of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We sought to test whether the scent mark could signal genetic relatedness in addition to species, sex, season, and individuality. We not only found correlations (r (2) = 0.38, P = 0.017) between the total olfactory fingerprint and genetic relatedness but also between relatedness and specific components of the odor, despite the complex environmental signals from differences in diet and behavior in a natural setting. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of an association between genetic relatedness and chemical communication in a wild primate population. Furthermore, we found a variety of compounds that were specific to each sex and each sampling period. This research shows that scent marks could act as a remote signal to avoid inbreeding, optimize mating opportunities, and potentially aid kin selection.

  11. Scratching around mating: factors affecting anxiety in wild Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Sclafani, Valentina; Norscia, Ivan; Antonacci, Daniela; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2012-07-01

    Scratching has been successfully used to detect anxiety, a proxy for stress, in primates, from strepsirrhines to Homo sapiens. Here, we investigated the fluctuation of scratching in Lemur catta during the mating season. In particular we evaluated whether scratching (1) varied according to sex and rank differences, (2) increased in the period of maximum stress (around the mating days), and (3) was reduced by grooming. At Berenty (South Madagascar), we followed two lemur groups (23 adult/subadult individuals) and gathered data on self-scratching, aggression, and grooming. Based on perineal area features, we recognized two periods: low swelling (LS), with no estrus female, and high swelling (HS), when at least one female was in estrus. We predicted that aggressive behaviors and anxiety-related scratching would covary. Indeed, scratching peaked in HS, when aggression was also highest. In agreement with previous literature, this result suggests that conflicts around estrus days may raise anxiety levels in the social group. We expected scratching levels to be highest in males because they aggressively compete for females and are subject to mate choice and repeated attacks by dominant females. Instead, the scratching rates were similar in males and females, probably because the high competition, which involves both sexes, dampened intersexual differences. In contrast to our prediction, scratching was not rank dependent, probably because animal ranking positions changed from LS to HS. Finally, we showed that, in ring-tailed lemurs, as well as in other primates, scratching decreases after reciprocal grooming in both periods. This finding provides the first evidence that grooming could assist in reducing anxiety in strepsirrhines.

  12. A mixed epithelial and stromal tumor of the kidney in a ringtail lemur (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Muller, S; Oevermann, A; Wenker, C; Altermatt, H J; Robert, N

    2007-03-01

    Primary renal tumors are rare neoplasms in nonhuman primates. This report describes a mixed epithelial and stromal tumor of the kidney (MESTK) in a 14.5-year-old female ringtail lemur. The well-demarcated, solid, and cystic mass was located in the pelvis of the left kidney and consisted histologically of both epithelial and mesenchymal components. The mesenchymal cells were arranged in fascicles around cysts lined by a well-differentiated epithelium. Neither the mesenchymal nor the epithelial parts showed significant nuclear atypia or mitotic figures. To our knowledge, only 1 similar case, classified as adenoleiomyofibromatous hamartoma, has been reported in a ringtail lemur. In humans this tumor affects predominantly perimenopausal women and can express estrogen and progesterone receptors. However, neither estrogen nor progesterone receptors could be identified by immunohistochemistry in the tumor of the present ringtail lemur. Therefore, a hormonal mechanism could not be demonstrated in this case.

  13. Coevolution of Cyanogenic Bamboos and Bamboo Lemurs on Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Ballhorn, Daniel J.; Rakotoarivelo, Fanny Patrika; Kautz, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Feeding strategies of specialist herbivores often originate from the coevolutionary arms race of plant defenses and counter-adaptations of herbivores. The interaction between bamboo lemurs and cyanogenic bamboos on Madagascar represents a unique system to study diffuse coevolutionary processes between mammalian herbivores and plant defenses. Bamboo lemurs have different degrees of dietary specialization while bamboos show different levels of chemical defense. In this study, we found variation in cyanogenic potential (HCNp) and nutritive characteristics among five sympatric bamboo species in the Ranomafana area, southeastern Madagascar. The HCNp ranged from 209±72 μmol cyanide*g-1 dwt in Cathariostachys madagascariensis to no cyanide in Bambusa madagascariensis. Among three sympatric bamboo lemur species, the greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) has the narrowest food range as it almost exclusively feeds on the highly cyanogenic C. madagascariensis. Our data suggest that high HCNp is the derived state in bamboos. The ancestral state of lemurs is most likely "generalist" while the ancestral state of bamboo lemurs was determined as equivocal. Nevertheless, as recent bamboo lemurs comprise several "facultative specialists" and only one "obligate specialist" adaptive radiation due to increased flexibility is likely. We propose that escaping a strict food plant specialization enabled facultative specialist bamboo lemurs to inhabit diverse geographical areas. PMID:27532127

  14. Dental topography indicates ecological contraction of lemur communities.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Laurie R; Winchester, Julia M; King, Stephen J; Boyer, Doug M; Jernvall, Jukka

    2012-06-01

    Understanding the paleoecology of extinct subfossil lemurs requires reconstruction of dietary preferences. Tooth morphology is strongly correlated with diet in living primates and is appropriate for inferring dietary ecology. Recently, dental topographic analysis has shown great promise in reconstructing diet from molar tooth form. Compared with traditionally used shearing metrics, dental topography is better suited for the extraordinary diversity of tooth form among subfossil lemurs and has been shown to be less sensitive to phylogenetic sources of shape variation. Specifically, we computed orientation patch counts rotated (OPCR) and Dirichlet normal energy (DNE) of molar teeth belonging to 14 species of subfossil lemurs and compared these values to those of an extant lemur sample. The two metrics succeeded in separating species in a manner that provides insights into both food processing and diet. We used them to examine the changes in lemur community ecology in Southern and Southwestern Madagascar that accompanied the extinction of giant lemurs. We show that the poverty of Madagascar's frugivore community is a long-standing phenomenon and that extinction of large-bodied lemurs in the South and Southwest resulted not merely in a loss of guild elements but also, most likely, in changes in the ecology of extant lemurs.

  15. Coevolution of Cyanogenic Bamboos and Bamboo Lemurs on Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ballhorn, Daniel J; Rakotoarivelo, Fanny Patrika; Kautz, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Feeding strategies of specialist herbivores often originate from the coevolutionary arms race of plant defenses and counter-adaptations of herbivores. The interaction between bamboo lemurs and cyanogenic bamboos on Madagascar represents a unique system to study diffuse coevolutionary processes between mammalian herbivores and plant defenses. Bamboo lemurs have different degrees of dietary specialization while bamboos show different levels of chemical defense. In this study, we found variation in cyanogenic potential (HCNp) and nutritive characteristics among five sympatric bamboo species in the Ranomafana area, southeastern Madagascar. The HCNp ranged from 209±72 μmol cyanide*g-1 dwt in Cathariostachys madagascariensis to no cyanide in Bambusa madagascariensis. Among three sympatric bamboo lemur species, the greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) has the narrowest food range as it almost exclusively feeds on the highly cyanogenic C. madagascariensis. Our data suggest that high HCNp is the derived state in bamboos. The ancestral state of lemurs is most likely "generalist" while the ancestral state of bamboo lemurs was determined as equivocal. Nevertheless, as recent bamboo lemurs comprise several "facultative specialists" and only one "obligate specialist" adaptive radiation due to increased flexibility is likely. We propose that escaping a strict food plant specialization enabled facultative specialist bamboo lemurs to inhabit diverse geographical areas.

  16. Sight or Scent: Lemur Sensory Reliance in Detecting Food Quality Varies with Feeding Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Rushmore, Julie; Leonhardt, Sara D.; Drea, Christine M.

    2012-01-01

    Visual and olfactory cues provide important information to foragers, yet we know little about species differences in sensory reliance during food selection. In a series of experimental foraging studies, we examined the relative reliance on vision versus olfaction in three diurnal, primate species with diverse feeding ecologies, including folivorous Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli), frugivorous ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata spp), and generalist ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). We used animals with known color-vision status and foods for which different maturation stages (and hence quality) produce distinct visual and olfactory cues (the latter determined chemically). We first showed that lemurs preferentially selected high-quality foods over low-quality foods when visual and olfactory cues were simultaneously available for both food types. Next, using a novel apparatus in a series of discrimination trials, we either manipulated food quality (while holding sensory cues constant) or manipulated sensory cues (while holding food quality constant). Among our study subjects that showed relatively strong preferences for high-quality foods, folivores required both sensory cues combined to reliably identify their preferred foods, whereas generalists could identify their preferred foods using either cue alone, and frugivores could identify their preferred foods using olfactory, but not visual, cues alone. Moreover, when only high-quality foods were available, folivores and generalists used visual rather than olfactory cues to select food, whereas frugivores used both cue types equally. Lastly, individuals in all three of the study species predominantly relied on sight when choosing between low-quality foods, but species differed in the strength of their sensory biases. Our results generally emphasize visual over olfactory reliance in foraging lemurs, but we suggest that the relative sensory reliance of animals may vary with their feeding ecology. PMID:22870229

  17. Sight or scent: lemur sensory reliance in detecting food quality varies with feeding ecology.

    PubMed

    Rushmore, Julie; Leonhardt, Sara D; Drea, Christine M

    2012-01-01

    Visual and olfactory cues provide important information to foragers, yet we know little about species differences in sensory reliance during food selection. In a series of experimental foraging studies, we examined the relative reliance on vision versus olfaction in three diurnal, primate species with diverse feeding ecologies, including folivorous Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli), frugivorous ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata spp), and generalist ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). We used animals with known color-vision status and foods for which different maturation stages (and hence quality) produce distinct visual and olfactory cues (the latter determined chemically). We first showed that lemurs preferentially selected high-quality foods over low-quality foods when visual and olfactory cues were simultaneously available for both food types. Next, using a novel apparatus in a series of discrimination trials, we either manipulated food quality (while holding sensory cues constant) or manipulated sensory cues (while holding food quality constant). Among our study subjects that showed relatively strong preferences for high-quality foods, folivores required both sensory cues combined to reliably identify their preferred foods, whereas generalists could identify their preferred foods using either cue alone, and frugivores could identify their preferred foods using olfactory, but not visual, cues alone. Moreover, when only high-quality foods were available, folivores and generalists used visual rather than olfactory cues to select food, whereas frugivores used both cue types equally. Lastly, individuals in all three of the study species predominantly relied on sight when choosing between low-quality foods, but species differed in the strength of their sensory biases. Our results generally emphasize visual over olfactory reliance in foraging lemurs, but we suggest that the relative sensory reliance of animals may vary with their feeding ecology.

  18. Pathogenic Enterobacteria in Lemurs Associated With Anthropogenic Disturbance

    PubMed Central

    BUBLITZ, DEANNA C.; WRIGHT, PATRICIA C.; RASAMBAINARIVO, FIDISOA T.; ARRIGO-NELSON, SUMMER J.; BODAGER, JONATHAN R.; GILLESPIE, THOMAS R.

    2015-01-01

    As human population density continues to increase exponentially, speeding the reduction and fragmentation of primate habitat, greater human-primate contact is inevitable, making higher rates of pathogen transmission likely. Anthropogenic effects are particularly evident in Madagascar, where a diversity of endemic lemur species are threatened by rapid habitat loss. Despite these risks, knowledge of how anthropogenic activities affect lemur exposure to pathogens is limited. To improve our understanding of this interplay, we non-invasively examined six species of wild lemurs in Ranomafana National Park for enteric bacterial pathogens commonly associated with diarrheal disease in human populations in Madagascar. Patterns of infection with Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., Salmonella enterica, Vibrio cholerae, and Yersinia spp. (enterocolitica and pseudotuberculosis) were compared between lemurs inhabiting intact forest and lemurs inhabiting degraded habitat with frequent exposure to tourism and other human activity. Fecal samples acquired from humans, livestock, and rodents living near the degraded habitat were also screened for these bacteria. Remarkably, only lemurs living in disturbed areas of the park tested positive for these pathogens. Moreover, all of these pathogens were present in the human, livestock, and/or rodent populations. These data suggest that lemurs residing in forests altered or frequented by people, livestock, or peridomestic rodents, are at risk for infection by these diarrhea-causing enterobacteria and other similarly transmitted pathogens. PMID:25328106

  19. Testing the adaptive radiation hypothesis for the lemurs of Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Lemurs, the diverse, endemic primates of Madagascar, are thought to represent a classic example of adaptive radiation. Based on the most complete phylogeny of living and extinct lemurs yet assembled, I tested predictions of adaptive radiation theory by estimating rates of speciation, extinction and adaptive phenotypic evolution. As predicted, lemur speciation rate exceeded that of their sister clade by nearly twofold, indicating the diversification dynamics of lemurs and mainland relatives may have been decoupled. Lemur diversification rates did not decline over time, however, as predicted by adaptive radiation theory. Optimal body masses diverged among dietary and activity pattern niches as lineages diversified into unique multidimensional ecospace. Based on these results, lemurs only partially fulfil the predictions of adaptive radiation theory, with phenotypic evolution corresponding to an ‘early burst’ of adaptive differentiation. The results must be interpreted with caution, however, because over the long evolutionary history of lemurs (approx. 50 million years), the ‘early burst’ signal of adaptive radiation may have been eroded by extinction. PMID:28280597

  20. Novel opsin gene variation in large-bodied, diurnal lemurs.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Rachel L; MacFie, Tammie S; Spriggs, Amanda N; Baden, Andrea L; Morelli, Toni Lyn; Irwin, Mitchell T; Lawler, Richard R; Pastorini, Jennifer; Mayor, Mireya; Lei, Runhua; Culligan, Ryan; Hawkins, Melissa T R; Kappeler, Peter M; Wright, Patricia C; Louis, Edward E; Mundy, Nicholas I; Bradley, Brenda J

    2017-03-01

    Some primate populations include both trichromatic and dichromatic (red-green colour blind) individuals due to allelic variation at the X-linked opsin locus. This polymorphic trichromacy is well described in day-active New World monkeys. Less is known about colour vision in Malagasy lemurs, but, unlike New World monkeys, only some day-active lemurs are polymorphic, while others are dichromatic. The evolutionary pressures underlying these differences in lemurs are unknown, but aspects of species ecology, including variation in activity pattern, are hypothesized to play a role. Limited data on X-linked opsin variation in lemurs make such hypotheses difficult to evaluate. We provide the first detailed examination of X-linked opsin variation across a lemur clade (Indriidae). We sequenced the X-linked opsin in the most strictly diurnal and largest extant lemur, Indri indri, and nine species of smaller, generally diurnal indriids (Propithecus). Although nocturnal Avahi (sister taxon to Propithecus) lacks a polymorphism, at least eight species of diurnal indriids have two or more X-linked opsin alleles. Four rainforest-living taxa-I. indri and the three largest Propithecus species-have alleles not previously documented in lemurs. Moreover, we identified at least three opsin alleles in Indri with peak spectral sensitivities similar to some New World monkeys.

  1. Distribution of caveolin isoforms in the lemur retina.

    PubMed

    Berta, Agnes I; Kiss, Anna L; Lukáts, Akos; Szabó, Arnold; Szél, Agoston

    2007-09-01

    The distribution of caveolin isoforms was previously evaluated in the retinas of different species, but has not yet been described in the primate retina. In this study, the distribution of caveolins was assessed via immunochemistry using isoform-specific antibodies in the retina of the black-and-white ruffed lemur. Here, we report the presence of a variety of caveolin isoforms in many layers of the lemur retina. As normal human retinas were not available for research and the retinas of primates are fairly similar to those of humans, the lemur retina can be utilized as a model for caveolin distribution in normal humans.

  2. The vomeronasal organ of Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Smith, Timothy D; Muchlinski, Magdalena N; Bhatnagar, Kunwar P; Durham, Emily L; Bonar, Christopher J; Burrows, Anne M

    2015-02-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO), also known as the Jacobson's organ, is a bilateral chemosensory organ found at the base of the nasal cavity specialized for the detection of higher-molecular weight (non-volatile) chemostimuli. It has been linked to pheromone detection. The VNO has been well studied in nocturnal lemurs and lorises, but poorly studied in diurnal/cathemeral species despite the large repertoire of olfactory behaviors noted in species such as Lemur catta. Here, the VNO and associated structures were studied microanatomically in one adult female and one adult male L. catta. Traditional and immunohistochemical procedures demonstrate the VNO epithelium consists of multiple rows of sensory neurons. Immunoreactivity to Growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43) indicates the VNO is postnatally neurogenic. In volume, the VNO neuroepithelium scales similarly to palatal length compared to nocturnal strepsirrhines. Numerous taste buds present at the oral opening to the nasopalatine duct, with which the VNO communicates, provide an additional (or alternative) explanation for the flehmen behavior that has been observed in this species. The VNO of L. catta is shown to be microanatomically comparable to that of nocturnal strepsirrhines. Like nocturnal strepsirrhines, the VNO of L. catta may be functional in the reception of high-molecular weight secretions.

  3. Systemic effects of Leucaena leucocephala ingestion on ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Graham; Puschner, Birgit; Affolter, Verena; Stalis, Ilse; Davidson, Autumn; Baker, Tomas; Tahara, John; Jolly, Alison; Ostapak, Susan

    2015-06-01

    Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) is a leguminous tree that is nutritious forage for domestic livestock when ingested in limited amounts. Unfortunately, leucaena contains mimosine, a plant amino acid, that can be toxic when ingested at higher concentrations. Reported toxic effects include alopecia (fur loss), poor body condition, infertility, low birth weight, thyroid gland dysfunction, and organ toxicity. Originally native to Mexico and Central America, leucaena has been introduced throughout the tropics, including Berenty Reserve, Madagascar where it was planted as supplemental browse for livestock. In Berenty, a seasonal syndrome of alopecia in ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) is associated with eating leucaena. Although much is known about the toxic effects of leucaena and mimosine on domestic animals and humans, the systemic effects on wildlife had not been studied. In a comparison of lemurs that include leucaena in their diet and those that do not, we found that animals that ingest leucaena absorb mimosine but that ingestion does not affect body condition, cause kidney or liver toxicity, or affect the intestinal tract. Alopecia is due to mimosine's interference of the hair follicle cycle. Leucaena ingestion is associated with higher serum albumin, α-tocopherol, and thyroxine concentrations, suggesting that leucaena may provide some nutritional benefit and that lemurs can detoxify and convert mimosine to a thyroid stimulating metabolite. The primary conservation consequence of leucaena ingestion at Berenty may be increased infant mortality due to the infants' inability cling to their alopecic mothers. The widespread introduction of leucaena throughout the tropics and its rapid spread in secondary forest conditions mean that many other leaf-eating mammals may be including this tree in their diet. Thus, exposure to leucaena should be considered when wildlife health is being evaluated, and the potential effects on wildlife health should be considered when

  4. Lemur traits and Madagascar ecology: coping with an island environment.

    PubMed

    Wright, P C

    1999-01-01

    The last decade's lemur research includes successes in discovering new living and extinct species and learning about the distribution, biogeography, physiology, behavior, and ecology of previously little-studied species. In addition, in both the dry forest and rain forest, long-term studies of lemur demography, life history, and reproduction, have been completed in conjunction with data on tree productivity, phenology, and climate. Lemurs contrast with anthropoids in several behavioral features, including female dominance, targeted female-female aggression, lack of sexual dimorphism regardless of mating system, sperm competition coupled with male-male aggression, high infant mortality, cathemerality, and strict seasonal breeding. Hypotheses to explain these traits include the "energy conservation hypothesis" (ECH) suggesting that harsh and unpredictable climate factors on the island of Madagascar have affected the evolution of female dominance, and the "evolutionary disequilibrium hypotheses" (EVDH) suggesting that the recent megafauna extinctions have influenced lemurs to become diurnal. These hypotheses are compared and contrasted in light of recent empirical data on climate, subfossils, and lemur behavior. New data on life histories of the rain forest lemurs at Ranomafana National Park give further support to the ECH. Birth seasons are synchronized within each species, but there is a 6-month distribution of births among species. Gestation and lactation lengths vary among sympatric lemurs, but all lemur species in the rain forest wean in synchrony at the season most likely to have abundant resources. Across-species weaning synchrony seen in Ranomafana corroborates data from the dry forest that late lactation and weaning is the life history event that is the primary focus of the annual schedule. Lemur adaptations may assure maximum offspring survival in this environment with an unpredictable food supply and heavy predation. In conclusion, a more comprehensive

  5. Daily activity and light exposure levels for five species of lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center.

    PubMed

    Rea, Mark S; Figueiro, Mariana G; Jones, Geoffrey E; Glander, Kenneth E

    2014-01-01

    Light is the primary synchronizer of all biological rhythms, yet little is known about the role of the 24-hour luminous environment on nonhuman primate circadian patterns, making it difficult to understand the photic niche of the ancestral primate. Here we present the first data on proximate light-dark exposure and activity-rest patterns in free-ranging nonhuman primates. Four individuals each of five species of lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center (Eulemur mongoz, Lemur catta, Propithecus coquereli, Varecia rubra, and Varecia variegata variegata) were fitted with a Daysimeter-D pendant that contained light and accelerometer sensors. Our results reveal common as well as species-specific light exposure and behavior patterns. As expected, all five species were more active between sunrise and sunset. All five species demonstrated an anticipatory increase in their pre-sunrise activity that peaked at sunrise with all but V. rubra showing a reduction within an hour. All five species reduced activity during mid-day. Four of the five stayed active after sunset, but P. coquereli began reducing their activity about 2 hours before sunset. Other subtle differences in the recorded light exposure and activity patterns suggest species-specific photic niches and behaviors. The eventual application of the Daysimeter-D in the wild may help to better understand the adaptive evolution of ancestral primates.

  6. The Gut Microbiome of Wild Lemurs: A Comparison of Sympatric Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi.

    PubMed

    Fogel, Andrew T

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian gut microbes are invaluable to the host's metabolism, but few researchers have examined gut microbial dynamics under natural conditions in wild mammals. This study aims to help fill this knowledge gap with a survey of the natural variation of the gut microbiome in 2 wild lemur species, Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi. The wild L. catta were also compared to a captive population to discern the effect of habitat within a species. Gut microbial DNA was extracted from fecal samples collected in Madagascar and the Vienna Zoo and sequenced. The wild and captive L. catta had distinct microbial communities, likely due to differences in diet and development between their populations. The wild L. catta and P. verreauxi also had distinct gut microbiomes, due to a change in microbial abundance, not composition. Within each lemur species, there was abundant variation between individuals and from the dry to the wet season. The intraspecific and temporal microbial variation requires more investigation, with changes in diet a likely contributor.

  7. (Un-)expected nocturnal activity in "Diurnal" Lemur catta supports cathemerality as one of the key adaptations of the lemurid radiation.

    PubMed

    Donati, Giuseppe; Santini, Luca; Razafindramanana, Josia; Boitani, Luigi; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana

    2013-01-01

    The ability to operate during the day and at night (i.e., cathemerality) is common among mammals but has rarely been identified in primates. Adaptive hypotheses assume that cathemerality represents a stable adaptation in primates, while nonadaptive hypotheses propose that it is the result of an evolutionary disequilibrium arising from human impacts on natural habitats. Madagascar offers a unique opportunity to study the evolution of activity patterns as there we find a monophyletic primate radiation that shows nocturnal, diurnal, and cathemeral patterns. However, when and why cathemeral activity evolved in lemurs is the subject of intense debate. Thus far, this activity pattern has been regularly observed in only three lemurid genera but the actual number of lemur species exhibiting this activity is as yet unknown. Here we show that the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta, a species previously considered to be diurnal, can in fact be cathemeral in the wild. In neighboring but distinct forest areas these lemurs exhibited either mainly diurnal or cathemeral activity. We found that, as in other cathemeral lemurs, activity was entrained by photoperiod and masked by nocturnal luminosity. Our results confirm the relationship between transitional eye anatomy and physiology and 24-h activity, thus supporting the adaptive scenario. Also, on the basis of the most recent strepsirrhine phylogenetic reconstruction, using parsimony criterion, our findings suggest pushing back the emergence of cathemerality to stem lemurids. Flexible activity over 24-h could thus have been one of the key adaptations of the early lemurid radiation possibly driven by Madagascar's island ecology.

  8. Osteoblastic osteosarcoma in a Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus) - short communication.

    PubMed

    Liptovszky, Mátyás; Perge, Edina; Molnár, Viktor; Sós, Endre

    2011-12-01

    The Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a nocturnal lemur species that lives only in Madagascar. It is one of the most abundant lemur species and its native populations are not endangered, but animals belonging to this species are rarely exhibited in zoos. While tumours are quite frequently described in other primates, there are very few publications about neoplasia in lemurs. In this case report we describe a mandibular osteoblastic osteosarcoma in a Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus). To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first scientific article describing osteosarcoma in a prosimian and also reporting a tumour in the mandible in this taxon.

  9. Prevention of urethral blockage following semen collection in two species of lemur, Varecia variegata variegata and Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Chatfield, Jenifer; Penfold, Linda

    2007-06-01

    Lemurs are a diverse group of primates comprised of five families, all of which are found only on Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. Of the 60 known species, 17 are endangered and 5 of these are considered critically endangered. The effects of inbreeding on population health and viability have been well described; though negative inbreeding effects can be ameliorated through the introduction of new genetic material. Introduction of new individuals into a population can be extremely challenging because of the highly social nature of lemurs. Semen collection in lemur species is notoriously challenging, as the ejaculate forms a coagulum. During normal breeding, the coagulum forms a copulatory plug in the female. However, this coagulum can present a life-threatening situation when retained in the urethra abnormally following electroejaculation. This study investigates the use of ascorbic acid in preventing urethral blockage in two lemur species during semen collection, demonstrates successful collection of semen by electroejaculation from two species of lemur during the breeding season, and discusses removal of urethral plugs subsequent to semen collection. Semen was collected successfully from all animals. Urethral plugs formed during each collection and were abnormally retained in 2/11 collections. Both plugs were successfully and immediately removed with the use of retropulsion through a urethral catheter. Although the results of this study are encouraging, more investigation is required to establish whether or not this procedure can be safely performed in the field.

  10. Variance-sensitive choice in lemurs: constancy trumps quantity.

    PubMed

    MacLean, Evan L; Mandalaywala, Tara M; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated that animals' tolerance for risk when foraging can be affected by changes in metabolic state. Specifically, animals on a negative energy budget increase their preferences for risk, while animals on a positive energy budget are typically risk-averse. The malleability of these preferences may be evolutionarily advantageous, and important for maximizing chances of survival during brief periods of energetic stress. However, animals adapted to living in unpredictable conditions are unlikely to benefit from risk-seeking strategies, and instead are expected to reduce energetic demands while maintaining risk-aversion. We measured risk preferences in lemurs, a group of primates restricted to the island of Madagascar. Lemurs have evolved diverse anatomical and behavioral traits for survival in a harsh and unpredictable ecology, and these traits have been explained as forms of anatomical and behavioral risk reduction. We therefore predicted that lemurs would also be risk-averse in a behavioral task that offered subjects a choice between a small certain reward, and an uncertain but potentially large reward. In Experiment 1, the average rewards associated with the constant and variable options were equal and lemurs exhibited high levels of risk-aversion, replicating a phenomenon that has been demonstrated in dozens of taxa. In Experiment 2, we gradually increased the average value of the variable option relative to the constant option. Lemurs' preferences tracked these changes and subjects became more risk-seeking as the risk premium increased. However, many subjects maintained high levels of risk-aversion even when the average payout of the variable option yielded double that of the constant option. These results are consistent with the notion that lemur cognition has evolved to minimize risk in an unpredictable island environment.

  11. Unusual sleeping site selection by southern bamboo lemurs.

    PubMed

    Eppley, Timothy M; Donati, Giuseppe; Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    2016-04-01

    Selection of sleeping sites has consequences for individual fitness. Non-human primates often bias their selection towards arboreal sites, and the lemurs of Madagascar typically rest/sleep in trees, tree holes, and/or constructed nests. Three non-mutually exclusive hypotheses to explain sleeping site selection include protection from predators, avoidance of parasitic vectors, and improved thermoregulation. Here, we examine these hypotheses for the unusual sleeping site selections by the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). Within the Mandena littoral forest of southeast Madagascar, the southern bamboo lemur is known for its ecological flexibility compared to other bamboo lemur species, including a dietary niche expansion to feeding on the ground. Between October 2012 and December 2013, we observed bamboo lemurs from three social groups for 1778.67 h, conducting full-day focal follows on 11 adult individuals (five males, six females). During this period, all three groups were observed to sleep on the ground, with one of these groups also using an abandoned nest of a Madagascar crested ibis (Lophotibis cristata). We collected habitat and temperature data to examine whether selection was influenced by environmental variables. Terrestrial sleeping (N = 17) was observed in all individuals but one adult female, with individuals burrowing under thick vegetation more often during the hot austral summer. While difficult to rigorously test, it is possible that terrestrial sleep sites and/or sleeping in a bird nest may impair visual detection by some aerial and terrestrial predators. Neither of these sites (i.e., terrestrial sleeping or use of a bird nest), however, is likely to minimize exposure to parasites/vectors. Terrestrial sleeping appears to support a thermoregulatory strategy, whereas the use of a bird nest could not be empirically tested. Our observations of unique sleeping site locations used by southern bamboo lemurs further the complexity of their

  12. Genetic analysis of hybridization and introgression between wild mongoose and brown lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Pastorini, Jennifer; Zaramody, Alphonse; Curtis, Deborah J; Nievergelt, Caroline M; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2009-01-01

    Background Hybrid zones generally represent areas of secondary contact after speciation. The nature of the interaction between genes of individuals in a hybrid zone is of interest in the study of evolutionary processes. In this study, data from nuclear microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA sequences were used to genetically characterize hybridization between wild mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz) and brown lemurs (E. fulvus) at Anjamena in west Madagascar. Results Two segments of mtDNA have been sequenced and 12 microsatellite loci screened in 162 brown lemurs and mongoose lemurs. Among the mongoose lemur population at Anjamena, we identified two F1 hybrids (one also having the mtDNA haplotype of E. fulvus) and six other individuals with putative introgressed alleles in their genotype. Principal component analysis groups both hybrids as intermediate between E. mongoz and E. fulvus and admixture analyses revealed an admixed genotype for both animals. Paternity testing proved one F1 hybrid to be fertile. Of the eight brown lemurs genotyped, all have either putative introgressed microsatellite alleles and/or the mtDNA haplotype of E. mongoz. Conclusion Introgression is bidirectional for the two species, with an indication that it is more frequent in brown lemurs than in mongoose lemurs. We conclude that this hybridization occurs because mongoose lemurs have expanded their range relatively recently. Introgressive hybridization may play an important role in the unique lemur radiation, as has already been shown in other rapidly evolving animals. PMID:19196458

  13. Interspecific semantic alarm call recognition in the solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis.

    PubMed

    Seiler, Melanie; Schwitzer, Christoph; Gamba, Marco; Holderied, Marc W

    2013-01-01

    As alarm calls indicate the presence of predators, the correct interpretation of alarm calls, including those of other species, is essential for predator avoidance. Conversely, communication calls of other species might indicate the perceived absence of a predator and hence allow a reduction in vigilance. This "eavesdropping" was demonstrated in birds and mammals, including lemur species. Interspecific communication between taxonomic groups has so far been reported in some reptiles and mammals, including three primate species. So far, neither semantic nor interspecific communication has been tested in a solitary and nocturnal lemur species. The aim of this study was to investigate if the nocturnal and solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis, is able to access semantic information of sympatric species. During the day, this species faces the risk of falling prey to aerial and terrestrial predators and therefore shows high levels of vigilance. We presented alarm calls of the crested coua, the Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial, terrestrial and agitation alarm calls of the blue-eyed black lemur to 19 individual Sahamalaza sportive lemurs resting in tree holes. Songs of both bird species' and contact calls of the blue-eyed black lemur were used as a control. After alarm calls of crested coua, Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial alarm of the blue-eyed black lemur, the lemurs scanned up and their vigilance increased significantly. After presentation of terrestrial alarm and agitation calls of the blue-eyed black lemur, the animals did not show significant changes in scanning direction or in the duration of vigilance. Sportive lemur vigilance decreased after playbacks of songs of the bird species and contact calls of blue-eyed black lemurs. Our results indicate that the Sahamalaza sportive lemur is capable of using information on predator presence as well as predator type of different sympatric species, using their referential signals to detect

  14. Paternity in wild ring‐tailed lemurs (Lemur catta): Implications for male mating strategies

    PubMed Central

    Sauther, Michelle L.; Cuozzo, Frank P.; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Lawler, Richard R.; Sussman, Robert W.; Gould, Lisa; Pastorini, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    1 In group‐living species with male dominance hierarchies where receptive periods of females do not overlap, high male reproductive skew would be predicted. However, the existence of female multiple mating and alternative male mating strategies can call into question single‐male monopolization of paternity in groups. Ring‐tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are seasonally breeding primates that live in multi‐male, multi‐female groups. Although established groups show male dominance hierarchies, male dominance relationships can break down during mating periods. In addition, females are the dominant sex and mate with multiple males during estrus, including group residents, and extra‐group males—posing the question of whether there is high or low male paternity skew in groups. In this study, we analyzed paternity in a population of wild L. catta from the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve in southwestern Madagascar. Paternity was determined with 80–95% confidence for 39 offspring born to nine different groups. We calculated male reproductive skew indices for six groups, and our results showed a range of values corresponding to both high and low reproductive skew. Between 21% and 33% of offspring (3 of 14 or three of nine, counting paternity assignments at the 80% or 95% confidence levels, respectively) were sired by extra‐troop males. Males siring offspring within the same group during the same year appear to be unrelated. Our study provides evidence of varying male reproductive skew in different L. catta groups. A single male may monopolize paternity across one or more years, while in other groups, >1 male can sire offspring within the same group, even within a single year. Extra‐group mating is a viable strategy that can result in extra‐group paternity for L. catta males. PMID:27391113

  15. LEMUR: Large European Module for Solar Ultraviolet Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teriaca, Luca; Vincenzo, Andretta; Auchere, Frederic; Brown, Charles M.; Buchlin, Eric; Cauzzi, Gianna; Culhane, J. Len; Curdt, Werner; Davila, Joseph M.; Del Zanna, Giulio; Doschek, George A.; Fineschi, Silvano; Fludra, Andrzej; Gallagher, Peter T.; Green, Lucie; Harra, Louise K.; Imada, Shinsuke; Innes, Davina; Kliem, Bernhard; Korendyke, Clarence; Mariska, John T.; Martinez-Pillet, Valentin; Parenti, Susanna; Patsourakos, Spiros; Peter, Hardi; Poletto, Luca; Rutten, Robert J.; Schuhle, Udo; Siemer, Martin; Shimizu, Toshifumi; Socas-Navarro, Hector; Solanki, Sami K.; Spadaro, Daniele; Trujillo-Bueno, Javier; Tsuneta, Saku; Dominguez, Santiago Vargas; Vial, Jean-Claude; Walsh, Robert; Warren, Harry P.; Wiegelmann, Thomas; Winter, Berend; Young, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The solar outer atmosphere is an extremely dynamic environment characterized by the continuous interplay between the plasma and the magnetic field that generates and permeates it. Such interactions play a fundamental role in hugely diverse astrophysical systems, but occur at scales that cannot be studied outside the solar system. Understanding this complex system requires concerted, simultaneous solar observations from the visible to the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and soft X-rays, at high spatial resolution (between 0.1'' and 0.3''), at high temporal resolution (on the order of 10 s, i.e., the time scale of chromospheric dynamics), with a wide temperature coverage (0.01 MK to 20 MK, from the chromosphere to the flaring corona), and the capability of measuring magnetic fields through spectropolarimetry at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Simultaneous spectroscopic measurements sampling the entire temperature range are particularly important. These requirements are fulfilled by the Japanese Solar-C mission (Plan B), composed of a spacecraft in a geosynchronous orbit with a payload providing a significant improvement of imaging and spectropolarimetric capabilities in the UV, visible, and near-infrared with respect to what is available today and foreseen in the near future. The Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research (LEMUR), described in this paper, is a large VUV telescope feeding a scientific payload of high-resolution imaging spectrographs and cameras. LEMUR consists of two major components: a VUV solar telescope with a 30 cm diameter mirror and a focal length of 3.6 m, and a focal-plane package composed of VUV spectrometers covering six carefully chosen wavelength ranges between 170 Angstrom and 1270 Angstrom. The LEMUR slit covers 280'' on the Sun with 0.14'' per pixel sampling. In addition, LEMUR is capable of measuring mass flows velocities (line shifts) down to 2 km s - 1 or better. LEMUR has been proposed to ESA as the European contribution

  16. The lack of female dominance in golden-brown mouse lemurs suggests alternative routes in lemur social evolution.

    PubMed

    Eichmueller, Pia; Thorén, Sandra; Radespiel, Ute

    2013-01-01

    Female dominance is a well-known trait of lemurs, although it has not been reported from all species and is still often unexplored, especially in the nocturnal species. We examined the intersexual dominance relationships in Microcebus ravelobensis, a congener of M. murinus who is well known for its female dominance. Given the many similarities in biology, it was predicted that M. ravelobensis should also possess female dominance. Seventeen unfamiliar male-female pairs were formed with animals captured in northwestern Madagascar and kept in a two-cage setting (one cage for each animal) for up to 1 week. Four encounter experiments were conducted with each pair. In contrast to the expectations, females were not consistently dominant over their male partners. Only 3 of 17 dyads developed a clear agonistic asymmetry, among which were two cases of male dominance and only one case of female dominance. Because body mass differences did not explain the findings, various other possible explanations are discussed. It is suggested that food may not be the driving factor of female dominance in mouse lemurs. Instead, it is hypothesized that species-specific differences in the quality of sleeping sites (i.e., tree holes) and in social grouping patterns may better explain why some mouse lemur species have female dominance, whereas others like the golden-brown mouse lemur do not. It is concluded thatthese arguments and hypotheses may even hold true for other solitary foragers and may thereby lead to a better understanding of the variable social evolution in lemurs and primates in general.

  17. A 12-month survey of gastrointestinal helminth infections of lemurs kept in two zoos in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Junge, Randall E

    2010-12-01

    Infections with gastrointestinal parasites may be a major threat to lemurs kept in captivity, as they are a common cause of diarrhea. In this study, fecal egg count patterns and clinical signs associated with gastrointestinal nematodes were assessed for 12 mo in 40 lemurs kept under different husbandry and climatic conditions at two sites in Madagascar. Involved species were black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata), eastern grey bamboo lemurs (Hapalemur griseus), greater bamboo lemurs (Prolemur simus), red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer), common brown lemurs (Eulemurfulvus), crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus), and Sclater's black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons). At site 1 (Tsimbazaza Zoological Park), lemurs were kept in small enclosures with daily cleaning of the cement soiling and without routine anthelmintic program, whereas at site 2 (Ivoloina Zoological Park), lemurs received routine anthelmintic prophylaxis and were housed in small enclosure with daily cleaning of sandy soil enclosures. A total of five genera of nematode eggs from the orders Strongylida, Oxyurida, and Enoplida were recovered and identified from 198 out of 240 samples (83%) at site 1 and 79% (189 out of 240) at site 2 with the use of a modified McMaster technique. Significant differences were found for parasites from the order Strongylida between the two sites. The differences may be due to climate conditions and the presumed life cycle of these parasites. No significant differences were found for parasites from the other orders. No significant differences were noted between sexes or between seasons. No clinical signs of parasitic gastroenteritis were seen in either lemur collection.

  18. Interspecific Semantic Alarm Call Recognition in the Solitary Sahamalaza Sportive Lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis

    PubMed Central

    Seiler, Melanie; Schwitzer, Christoph; Gamba, Marco; Holderied, Marc W.

    2013-01-01

    As alarm calls indicate the presence of predators, the correct interpretation of alarm calls, including those of other species, is essential for predator avoidance. Conversely, communication calls of other species might indicate the perceived absence of a predator and hence allow a reduction in vigilance. This “eavesdropping” was demonstrated in birds and mammals, including lemur species. Interspecific communication between taxonomic groups has so far been reported in some reptiles and mammals, including three primate species. So far, neither semantic nor interspecific communication has been tested in a solitary and nocturnal lemur species. The aim of this study was to investigate if the nocturnal and solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis, is able to access semantic information of sympatric species. During the day, this species faces the risk of falling prey to aerial and terrestrial predators and therefore shows high levels of vigilance. We presented alarm calls of the crested coua, the Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial, terrestrial and agitation alarm calls of the blue-eyed black lemur to 19 individual Sahamalaza sportive lemurs resting in tree holes. Songs of both bird species’ and contact calls of the blue-eyed black lemur were used as a control. After alarm calls of crested coua, Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial alarm of the blue-eyed black lemur, the lemurs scanned up and their vigilance increased significantly. After presentation of terrestrial alarm and agitation calls of the blue-eyed black lemur, the animals did not show significant changes in scanning direction or in the duration of vigilance. Sportive lemur vigilance decreased after playbacks of songs of the bird species and contact calls of blue-eyed black lemurs. Our results indicate that the Sahamalaza sportive lemur is capable of using information on predator presence as well as predator type of different sympatric species, using their referential signals to detect

  19. Evidence of prolonged torpor in Goodman's mouse lemurs at Ankafobe forest, central Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Marina B; Andriantsalohimisantatra, Andon'ny A; Rivoharison, Tahiry V; Andriambeloson, Jean-Basile

    2017-01-01

    The small-bodied mouse lemurs of Madagascar (Microcebus) are capable of heterothermy (i.e., torpor or hibernation). The expression of these energy-saving strategies has been physiologically demonstrated in three species: M. berthae, the pygmy mouse lemur (daily torpor), M. murinus, the gray mouse lemur (daily torpor and hibernation), and M. griseorufus, the reddish-gray mouse lemur (daily, prolonged torpor and hibernation). Additional evidence, based on radiotracking and seasonal body mass changes, indicated that mouse lemur capabilities for heterothermy extended to M. lehilahytsara, the Goodman's mouse lemur. In this study, we confirm the use of hibernation in Goodman's mouse lemurs at a new location, a high-plateau forest fragment in Ankafobe, central Madagascar. Our evidence is based on sleeping site monitoring of radiocollared individuals and the retrieval of three mouse lemurs from inside a tree hole, all of which displayed a lethargic state. Though our data are preliminary and scant, we show that hibernation occurs in high-plateau mouse lemurs, and suggest that a buffered environment (i.e., tree holes instead of nests) may be crucial to avoiding potentially extreme ambient temperatures.

  20. Comparison of conservation metrics in a case study of lemurs.

    PubMed

    Gudde, Renske; Venditti, Chris

    2016-12-01

    Conservation planning is important to protect species from going extinct now that natural habitats are decreasing owing to human activity and climate change. However, there is considerable controversy in choosing appropriate metrics to weigh the value of species and geographic regions. For example, the added value of phylogenetic conservation-selection criteria remains disputed because high correlations between them and the nonphylogenetic criteria of species richness have been reported. We evaluated the commonly used conservation metrics species richness, endemism, phylogenetic diversity (PD), and phylogenetic endemism (PE) in a case study on lemurs of Madagascar. This enabled us to identify the conservation target of each metric and consider how they may be used in future conservation planning. We also devised a novel metric that uses a phylogeny scaled according to the rate of phenotypic evolution as a proxy for a species' ability to adapt to change. High rates of evolution may indicate generalization or specialization. Both specialization and low rates of evolution may result in an inability to adapt to changing environments. We examined conservation priorities by using the inverse of the rate of body mass evolution to account for species with low rates of evolution. In line with previous work, we found high correlations among species richness and PD (r = 0.96), and endemism and PE (r = 0.82) in Malagasy lemurs. Phylogenetic endemism in combination with rates of evolution and their inverse prioritized grid cells containing highly endemic and specialized lemurs at risk of extinction, such as Avahi occidentalis and Lepilemur edwardsi, 2 endangered lemurs with high rates of phenotypic evolution and low-quality diets, and Hapalemur aureus, a critically endangered species with a low rate of body mass evolution and a diet consisting of very high doses of cyanide.

  1. Lemur behaviour informs the evolution of social monogamy.

    PubMed

    Kappeler, Peter M

    2014-11-01

    Recent comparative analyses reached contradictory conclusions about the evolutionary origins of social monogamy in primates and other mammals, but they ignored variation in social bond quality between pair-partners. Recent field studies of Malagasy primates (lemurs) with variable intersexual bonds indicate independent evolutionary transitions to pair-living from solitary and group-living ancestors, respectively, as well as four cumulative steps in evolutionary transitions from a solitary life style to pair-living that resolve some contradictory results of previous studies.

  2. New wrist bones of the Malagasy giant subfossil lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hamrick, M W; Simons, E L; Jungers, W L

    2000-05-01

    Recently discovered wrist bones of the Malagasy subfossil lemurs Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus ingens, Mesopropithecus dolichobrachion, and Megaladapis madagascariensis shed new light on the postcranial morphologies and positional behaviors that characterized these extinct primates. Wrist bones of P. ingens resemble those of certain modern hominoids in having a relatively enlarged ulnar head and dorsally extended articular surface on the hamate, features related to a large range of rotation at the inferior radioulnar and midcarpal joints. The scaphoid of P. ingens is also similar to that of the extant tree sloth Choloepus in having an elongate, palmarly directed tubercle forming a deep radial margin of the carpal tunnel for the passage of large digital flexors. In contrast, wrist remains of Megaladapis edwardsi and M. madagascariensis exhibit traits observed in the hands of extant pronograde, arboreal primates; these include a dorsopalmarly expanded pisiform and well-developed "spiral" facet on the hamate. Moreover, Megaladapis spp. and Mesopropithecus dolichobrachion possess bony tubercles (e.g., scaphoid tubercle and hamate hamulus) forming the carpal tunnel that are relatively similar in length to those of modern pronograde lemurs. Babakotia and Mesopropithecus differ from Megaladapis in exhibiting features of the midcarpal joint related to frequent supination and radioulnar deviation of the hand characteristic of animals that use vertical and quadrumanous climbing in their foraging behaviors. Comparative analysis of subfossil lemur wrist morphology complements and expands upon prior inferences based on other regions of the postcranial skeleton, and suggests a considerable degree of locomotor and postural heterogeneity among these recently extinct primates.

  3. Optional strategies for reduced metabolism in gray mouse lemurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid, J.; Ganzhorn, J. U.

    2009-06-01

    Among the order of primates, torpor has been described only for the small Malagasy cheirogaleids Microcebus and Cheirogaleus. The nocturnal, gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus (approx. 60 g), is capable of entering into and spontaneously arousing from apparently daily torpor during the dry season in response to reduced temperatures and low food and water sources. Mark-recapture studies indicated that this primate species might also hibernate for several weeks, although physiological evidence is lacking. In the present study, we investigated patterns of body temperature in two free-ranging M. murinus during the austral winter using temperature-sensitive data loggers implanted subdermally. One lemur hibernated and remained inactive for 4 weeks. During this time, body temperature followed the ambient temperature passively with a minimum body temperature of 11.5°C, interrupted by irregular arousals to normothermic levels. Under the same conditions, the second individual displayed only short bouts of torpor in the early morning hours but maintained stable normothermic body temperatures throughout its nocturnal activity. Reduction of body temperature was less pronounced in the mouse lemur that utilized short bouts of torpor with a minimum value of 27°C. Despite the small sample size, our findings provide the first physiological confirmation that free-ranging individuals of M. murinus from the humid evergreen littoral rain forest have the option to utilize short torpor bouts or hibernation under the same conditions as two alternative energy-conserving physiological solutions to environmental constraints.

  4. Discovery of an island population of dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus) on Nosy Hara, far northern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Charlie J; Jasper, Louise D

    2015-10-01

    The species-level diversity of Madagascar's lemurs has increased hugely over the last two decades, growing from 32 species in 1994 to 102 species in 2014. This growth is primarily due to the application of molecular phylogenetic analyses and the phylogenetic species concept to known populations, and few previously unknown lemur populations have been discovered during this time. We report on a new population of dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus sp.) from Nosy Hara, a 312-ha island in far northern Madagascar, which constitutes the northernmost distribution record for the genus. The dwarf lemurs appeared to show two characteristics of island populations-insular dwarfism and predator naïveté-that suggest a long isolation, and may thus represent an undescribed taxon. If this is the case, the dwarf lemurs of Nosy Hara are probably one of the rarest primate taxa on Earth.

  5. Analog number representations in mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz): evidence from a search task.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Kerrie P; Jaffe, Sarah; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2005-10-01

    A wealth of data demonstrating that monkeys and apes represent number have been interpreted as suggesting that sensitivity to number emerged early in primate evolution, if not before. Here we examine the numerical capacities of the mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz), a member of the prosimian suborder of primates that split from the common ancestor of monkeys, apes and humans approximately 47-54 million years ago. Subjects observed as an experimenter sequentially placed grapes into an opaque bucket. On half of the trials the experimenter placed a subset of the grapes into a false bottom such that they were inaccessible to the lemur. The critical question was whether lemurs would spend more time searching the bucket when food should have remained in the bucket, compared to when they had retrieved all of the food. We found that the amount of time lemurs spent searching was indicative of whether grapes should have remained in the bucket, and furthermore that lemur search time reliably differentiated numerosities that differed by a 1:2 ratio, but not those that differed by a 2:3 or 3:4 ratio. Finally, two control conditions determined that lemurs represented the number of food items, and neither the odor of the grapes, nor the amount of grape (e.g., area) in the bucket. These results suggest that mongoose lemurs have numerical representations that are modulated by Weber's Law.

  6. Jumping Stand Apparatus Reveals Rapidly Specific Age-Related Cognitive Impairments in Mouse Lemur Primates.

    PubMed

    Picq, Jean-Luc; Villain, Nicolas; Gary, Charlotte; Pifferi, Fabien; Dhenain, Marc

    2015-01-01

    The mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a promising primate model for investigating normal and pathological cerebral aging. The locomotor behavior of this arboreal primate is characterized by jumps to and from trunks and branches. Many reports indicate insufficient adaptation of the mouse lemur to experimental devices used to evaluate its cognition, which is an impediment to the efficient use of this animal in research. In order to develop cognitive testing methods appropriate to the behavioral and biological traits of this species, we adapted the Lashley jumping stand apparatus, initially designed for rats, to the mouse lemur. We used this jumping stand apparatus to compare performances of young (n = 12) and aged (n = 8) adults in acquisition and long-term retention of visual discriminations. All mouse lemurs completed the tasks and only 25 trials, on average, were needed to master the first discrimination problem with no age-related differences. A month later, all mouse lemurs made progress for acquiring the second discrimination problem but only the young group reached immediately the criterion in the retention test of the first discrimination problem. This study shows that the jumping stand apparatus allows rapid and efficient evaluation of cognition in mouse lemurs and demonstrates that about half of the old mouse lemurs display a specific deficit in long-term retention but not in acquisition of visual discrimination.

  7. Transitive inference in two lemur species (Eulemur macaco and Eulemur fulvus).

    PubMed

    Tromp, D; Meunier, H; Roeder, J J

    2015-03-01

    When confronted with tasks involving reasoning instead of simple learning through trial and error, lemurs appeared to be less competent than simians. Our study aims to investigate lemurs' capability for transitive inference, a form of deductive reasoning in which the subject deduces logical conclusions from preliminary information. Transitive inference may have an adaptative function, especially in species living in large, complex social groups and is proposed to play a major role in rank estimation and establishment of dominance hierarchies. We proposed to test the capacities of reasoning using transitive inference in two species of lemurs, the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus) and the black lemur (Eulemur macaco), both living in multimale-multifemale societies. For that purpose, we designed an original setup providing, for the first time in this kind of cognitive task, pictures of conspecifics' faces as stimuli. Subjects were trained to differentiate six photographs of unknown conspecifics named randomly from A to F to establish the order A > B > C > D > E > F and select consistently the highest-ranking photograph in five adjacent pairs AB, BC, CD, DE, and EF. Then lemurs were presented with the same adjacent pairs and three new and non-adjacent pairs BD, BE, CE. The results showed that all subjects correctly selected the highest-ranking photograph in every non-adjacent pair, reflecting lemurs' capacity for transitive inference. Our results are discussed in the context of the still debated current theories about the mechanisms underlying this specific capacity.

  8. Synthetic smooth muscle in the outer blood plexus of the rhinarium skin of Lemur catta L.

    PubMed Central

    Elofsson, Rolf; Kröger, Ronald H H

    2017-01-01

    The skin of the lemur nose tip (rhinarium) has arterioles in the outer vascular plexus that are endowed with an unusual coat of smooth muscle cells. Comparison with the arterioles of the same area in a number of unrelated mammalians shows that the lemur pattern is unique. The vascular smooth muscle cells belong to the synthetic type. The function of synthetic smooth muscles around the terminal vessels in the lemur rhinarium is unclear but may have additional functions beyond regulation of vessel diameter. PMID:28260706

  9. A comparison of auditory brainstem responses and behavioral estimates of hearing sensitivity in Lemur catta and Nycticebus coucang.

    PubMed

    Ramsier, Marissa A; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2010-03-01

    Primates depend on acoustic signals and cues to avoid predators, locate food, and share information. Accordingly, the structure and function of acoustic stimuli have long been emphasized in studies of primate behavioral and cognitive ecology. Yet, few studies have addressed how well primates hear such stimuli; indeed, the auditory thresholds of most primate species are unknown. This empirical void is due in part to the logistic and economic challenges attendant on traditional behavioral testing methods. Technological advances have produced a safe and cost-effective alternative-the auditory brainstem response (ABR) method, which can be utilized in field conditions, on virtually any animal species, and without subject training. Here we used the ABR and four methods of threshold determination to construct audiograms for two strepsirrhine primates: the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and slow loris (Nycticebus coucang). Next, to verify the general efficacy of the ABR method, we compared our results to published behaviorally-derived audiograms. We found that the four ABR threshold detection methods produced similar results, including relatively elevated thresholds but similarly shaped audiograms compared to those derived behaviorally. The ABR and behavioral absolute thresholds were significantly correlated, and the frequencies of best sensitivity and high-frequency limits were comparable. However, at frequencies < or =2 kHz, ABR thresholds were especially elevated, resulting in decreased agreement with behavioral thresholds and, in Lemur, the ABR 10-dB range starting points were more than 2 octaves higher than the behavioral points. Finally, a comparison of ABR- and behaviorally-derived audiograms from various animal taxa demonstrates the widespread efficacy of the ABR for estimating frequency of best sensitivity, but otherwise suggests caution; factors such as stimulus properties and threshold definition affect results. We conclude that the ABR method is a promising

  10. Innovation and behavioral flexibility in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons).

    PubMed

    Huebner, Franziska; Fichtel, Claudia

    2015-05-01

    Innovations and problem-solving abilities can provide animals with important ecological advantages as they allow individuals to deal with novel social and ecological challenges. Innovation is a solution to a novel problem or a novel solution to an old problem, with the latter being especially difficult. Finding a new solution to an old problem requires individuals to inhibit previously applied solutions to invent new strategies and to behave flexibly. We examined the role of experience on cognitive flexibility to innovate and to find new problem-solving solutions with an artificial feeding task in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons). Four groups of lemurs were tested with feeding boxes, each offering three different techniques to extract food, with only one technique being available at a time. After the subjects learned a technique, this solution was no longer successful and subjects had to invent a new technique. For the first transition between task 1 and 2, subjects had to rely on their experience of the previous technique to solve task 2. For the second transition, subjects had to inhibit the previously learned technique to learn the new task 3. Tasks 1 and 2 were solved by most subjects, whereas task 3 was solved by only a few subjects. In this task, besides behavioral flexibility, especially persistence, i.e., constant trying, was important for individual success during innovation. Thus, wild strepsirrhine primates are able to innovate flexibly, suggesting a general ecological relevance of behavioral flexibility and persistence during innovation and problem solving across all primates.

  11. The asymmetric scent: ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) have distinct chemical signatures in left and right brachial glands.

    PubMed

    Dapporto, Leonardo

    2008-10-01

    Distinctive cues are predicted to evolve when the benefits obtained by the recognition process overcome its costs. When individual recognition is particularly beneficial for both senders and receivers, the expression of strongly distinctive signals is predicted to evolve. On the other hand, it could be predicted that each individual should show a very stable individual signature. In the same perspective, a great stability of the individual signatures could be expected. Lemur catta is the first non-human primate in which olfactory individual recognition has been demonstrated on the basis of the specialized brachial gland secretions. In this paper, I performed gas chromatograph analyses of right and left gland samples collected in two different periods (breeding and non-breeding seasons) from seven males. The aim was to verify if a diversification in such cues, already demonstrated at the inter-individual level, also occurs at the intra-individual level between left and right glands. I verified, by discriminant analysis and chemical distance comparisons, that each gland of each lemur has its particular signature that is maintained through time. Moreover, such diversification resulted so marked to make the overall intra-individual chemical differences similar to/as strong as the inter-individual ones. Since in rodents several odors from different glands may be integrated in individual recognition, I suggest that bilateral diversification in L. catta scents may offer an enhanced distinctiveness that could provide benefits in mate choice and social relationships.

  12. The asymmetric scent: ringtailed lemurs ( Lemur catta) have distinct chemical signatures in left and right brachial glands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dapporto, Leonardo

    2008-10-01

    Distinctive cues are predicted to evolve when the benefits obtained by the recognition process overcome its costs. When individual recognition is particularly beneficial for both senders and receivers, the expression of strongly distinctive signals is predicted to evolve. On the other hand, it could be predicted that each individual should show a very stable individual signature. In the same perspective, a great stability of the individual signatures could be expected. Lemur catta is the first non-human primate in which olfactory individual recognition has been demonstrated on the basis of the specialized brachial gland secretions. In this paper, I performed gas chromatograph analyses of right and left gland samples collected in two different periods (breeding and non-breeding seasons) from seven males. The aim was to verify if a diversification in such cues, already demonstrated at the inter-individual level, also occurs at the intra-individual level between left and right glands. I verified, by discriminant analysis and chemical distance comparisons, that each gland of each lemur has its particular signature that is maintained through time. Moreover, such diversification resulted so marked to make the overall intra-individual chemical differences similar to/as strong as the inter-individual ones. Since in rodents several odors from different glands may be integrated in individual recognition, I suggest that bilateral diversification in L. catta scents may offer an enhanced distinctiveness that could provide benefits in mate choice and social relationships.

  13. Daily energy expenditure of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus): a small primate that uses torpor.

    PubMed

    Schmid, J; Speakman, J R

    2000-12-01

    We aimed to investigate the pattern of utilisation of torpor and its impact on energy budgets in free-living grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus), a small nocturnal primate endemic to Madagascar. We measured daily energy expenditure (DEE) and water turnover using doubly labelled water, and we used temperature-sensitive radio collars to measure skin temperature (Tsk) and home range. Our results showed that male and female mouse lemurs in the wild enter torpor spontaneously over a wide range of ambient temperatures (Ta) during the dry season, but not during the rainy season. Mouse lemurs remained torpid between 1.7-8.9 h with a daily mean of 3.4 h, and their Tsk s fell to a minimum of 18.8 degrees C. Mean home ranges of mouse lemurs which remained normothermic were similar in the rainy and dry season. During the dry season, the mean home range of mouse lemurs showing daily torpor was significantly smaller than that of animals remaining normothermic. The DEE of M. murinus remaining normothermic in the rainy season (122 +/- 65.4 kJ x day(-1)) was about the same of that of normothermic mouse lemurs in the dry season (115.5 +/- 27.3 kJ x day(-1)). During the dry season, the mean DEE of M. murinus that utilised daily torpor was 103.4 +/- 32.7 kJ x day(-1) which is not significantly different from the mean DEE of animals remaining normothermic. We found that the DEE of mouse lemurs using daily torpor was significantly correlated with the mean temperature difference between Tsk and Ta (r2 = 0.37) and with torpor bout length (r2 = 0.46), while none of these factors explained significant amounts of variation in the DEE of the mouse lemurs remaining normothermic. The mean water flux rate of mouse lemurs using daily torpor (13.0 +/- 4.1 ml x day(-1)) was significantly lower than that of mouse lemurs remaining normothermic (19.4 +/- 3.8 ml x day(-1)), suggesting the lemurs conserve water by entering torpor. Thus, this first study on the energy budget of free-ranging M. murinus

  14. Functional analysis of aggression in a black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata).

    PubMed

    Farmer-Dougan, Valeri

    2014-01-01

    A functional analysis was conducted to assess the antecedent and reinforcing conditions underlying aggressive behavior in a female lemur in captivity. Results showed that her aggression was primarily the result of human attention. A replacement behavior-training program was introduced, and the lemur's aggression was successfully eliminated. These results demonstrate the utility of using functional assessment and analyses in zoos with captive wild nonhuman animals.

  15. Better Few than Hungry: Flexible Feeding Ecology of Collared Lemurs Eulemur collaris in Littoral Forest Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Donati, Giuseppe; Kesch, Kristina; Ndremifidy, Kelard; Schmidt, Stacey L.; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana M.; Ganzhorn, Joerg U.

    2011-01-01

    Background Frugivorous primates are known to encounter many problems to cope with habitat degradation, due to the fluctuating spatial and temporal distribution of their food resources. Since lemur communities evolved strategies to deal with periods of food scarcity, these primates are expected to be naturally adapted to fluctuating ecological conditions and to tolerate a certain degree of habitat changes. However, behavioral and ecological strategies adopted by frugivorous lemurs to survive in secondary habitats have been little investigated. Here, we compared the behavioral ecology of collared lemurs (Eulemur collaris) in a degraded fragment of littoral forest of south-east Madagascar, Mandena, with that of their conspecifics in a more intact habitat, Sainte Luce. Methodology/Principal Findings Lemur groups in Mandena and in Sainte Luce were censused in 2004/2007 and in 2000, respectively. Data were collected via instantaneous sampling on five lemur groups totaling 1,698 observation hours. The Shannon index was used to determine dietary diversity and nutritional analyses were conducted to assess food quality. All feeding trees were identified and measured, and ranging areas determined via the minimum convex polygon. In the degraded area lemurs were able to modify several aspects of their feeding strategies by decreasing group size and by increasing feeding time, ranging areas, and number of feeding trees. The above strategies were apparently able to counteract a clear reduction in both food quality and size of feeding trees. Conclusions/Significance Our findings indicate that collared lemurs in littoral forest fragments modified their behavior to cope with the pressures of fluctuating resource availability. The observed flexibility is likely to be an adaptation to Malagasy rainforests, which are known to undergo periods of fruit scarcity and low productivity. These results should be carefully considered when relocating lemurs or when selecting suitable areas for

  16. Rate of digesta passage in the philippine flying lemur, Cynocephalus volans.

    PubMed

    Wischusen, E W; Ingle, N; Richmond, M E

    1994-01-01

    The rate of digesta passage was measured in five captive Philippine flying lemurs (Cynocephalus volans). These animals were force fed capsules containing known quantities of either particulate or soluble markers. The volumes of the gastrointestinal tracts of three flying lemurs were determined based on the wet weight of the contents of each section of the gut. The mean rate of digesta passage was 14.37 +/- 3.31 h when determined using the particulate marker and 21.9 +/- 0.03 h when determined using the soluble marker. The values based on the particulate marker are between 2% and 10% of similar values for other arboreal folivores. The morphology of the gastrointestinal system of the Philippine flying lemur is similar to that of other hindgut fermenters. Flying lemurs have a simple stomach and a large caecum. The total gut capacity of the Philippine flying lemur is similar to that of other herbivores, but is slightly smaller than that of either the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), a hindgut fermenter, or the three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus), a foregut fermenter. These data suggest that flying lemurs deal with the problems of a folivorous diet very differently than some other arboreal mammals. Phascolarctos cinereus and Bradypus variegatus may represent one extreme with Cynocephalus volans representing the other extreme along a continuum of foraging strategies that are compatible with the arboreal folivore lifestyle.

  17. Mechanical food properties and dental topography differentiate three populations of Lemur catta in southwest Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Fitzgerald, Emily; Riemenschneider, Andrea; Ungar, Peter S

    2016-09-01

    Determining the proximate causes of tooth wear remains a major focus of dental study. Here we compare the diets of three ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) populations and examine how different dietary components may contribute to patterns of wear-related tooth shape. Casts were made from dental impressions collected between 2003 and 2010 from lemurs in the gallery and spiny/mixed forests of the Bezá Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR; Parcels 1 and 2) and the spiny/mixed forests of Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP), Madagascar. Tooth shape variables (occlusal relief and slope, angularity) were analyzed using dental topographic analysis. Focal observations and food mechanical properties (FMPs: toughness, hardness, elastic modulus) were conducted and tested, respectively, during wet and dry seasons from 2008 to 2012. We found that FMPs correlate with patterns of dental topography in these three populations. Specifically, food toughness and elastic modulus correlate with the dental variables, but hardness does not. Average food toughness and elastic modulus, but not hardness, are highest in BMSR Parcel 2, followed by BMSR Parcel 1 and TNP. Occlusal relief and slope, which serve as proxies for tooth wear, show the greatest wear in Parcel 2 and the least in TNP. Angularity is also more pronounced in TNP. Further, dental topographic patterns correspond to reliance on Tamarindus indica (tamarind) fruit. Both BMSR populations consume tamarind at high frequencies in the dry season, but the fruits are rare at TNP and only occasionally consumed. Thus, high seasonal tamarind consumption and its mechanical values help explain the low dental relief and slope among BMSR lemurs. By investigating the ecology of a single widespread species across a variety of habitats, we have been able to link specific components of diet to patterns of dental topography in this species. This provides a context for interpreting wear-related tooth shape changes more generally, illustrating that

  18. SYSTEMIC BLASTOMYCOSIS IN A CAPTIVE RED RUFFED LEMUR (VARECIA RUBRA).

    PubMed

    Rosser, Michael F; Lindemann, Dana M; Barger, Anne M; Allender, Matthew C; Hsiao, Shih-Hsuan; Howes, Mark E

    2016-09-01

    A 5-yr-old, intact male red ruffed lemur ( Varecia rubra ) presented for evaluation as the result of a 1-wk history of lethargy and hyporexia. Physical examination findings included thin body condition, muffled heart sounds, harsh lung sounds, and liquid brown diarrhea. Complete blood count and serum biochemistry showed an inflammatory leukogram, mild hyponatremia, and mild hypochloremia. Orthogonal trunk radiographs revealed a severe alveolar pattern in the right cranial lung lobes with cardiac silhouette effacement. Thoracic ultrasound confirmed a large, hypoechoic mass in the right lung lobes. Fine-needle aspiration of the lung mass and cytology revealed fungal yeast organisms, consistent with Blastomyces dermatitidis. Blastomyces Quantitative EIA Test on urine was positive. Postmortem examination confirmed systemic blastomycosis involving the lung, tracheobronchial lymph nodes, spleen, kidney, liver, cerebrum, and eye. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of blastomycosis in a prosimian species.

  19. Behavioral thermoregulation in a gregarious lemur, Eulemur collaris: effects of climatic and dietary-related factors.

    PubMed

    Donati, Giuseppe; Ricci, Eva; Baldi, Nicoletta; Morelli, Valentina; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana M

    2011-03-01

    Primates deal with fluctuations of the thermal environment by both physiological and behavioral mechanisms of thermoregulation. In this article we focus on non-hibernating lemurs, which are hypometabolic and have to cope with a seasonal environment. Behavioral thermoregulation has received little attention compared with specific physiological adaptations to seasonality, i.e., hibernation and torpor, which characterize a number of lemurs. We investigated the role of seasonality and dietary-related factors in determining frequencies of resting, social and postural thermoregulation, and microhabitat selection in collared lemurs, Eulemur collaris. We observed two groups of collared lemurs over a 14-month period in the littoral forest of Sainte Luce, Southern Madagascar. Frequencies of total resting and time spent in huddling, prone, and curled postures were collected via 5-min instantaneous sampling. Microhabitat selection was evaluated as the proportion of time spent in the upper canopy as compared with other layers. Climatic variables were recorded by automatic data loggers, while dietary variables were derived from phenological data and nutritional analyses of the ingested food items. We weighted the combined effects of climatic and dietary variables on the different types of behavioral thermoregulation by means of canonical correlation analysis. The model with the strongest canonical correlation included a first root representing mainly feeding time, day length, and ambient temperature and a second root representing diet quality and height of feeding trees. The output indicated that collared lemurs adapt to thermal and dietary-related metabolic stress by adjusting resting time, social, and postural thermoregulation.

  20. Human-introduced long-term traditions in wild redfronted lemurs?

    PubMed

    Schnoell, Anna Viktoria; Dittmann, Marie T; Fichtel, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    Behavioural traditions have only been described for a small subset of species, and the factors responsible for the maintenance of traditions over time are unclear. Redfronted lemurs are known to learn socially but traditions have not been described in the wild. We conducted a social diffusion experiment over three experimental years with artificial feeding boxes that could be opened in two different ways (pushing or pulling a door). Six out of 14 individuals that participated in at least 2 years exhibited a stable preference: five lemurs maintained a pull and one lemur a push preference, suggesting that habit formation and reinforcement learning may have lead to preferences over time. The remaining individuals exhibited fluctuating preferences and switched between showing a preference or no preference, but never switched between preferences. This instability might have been due to the low level of difficulty and/or the low object specificity of the task. The majority of lemurs additionally scrounged. Scrounging was not influenced by age, sex or success in manipulating the boxes. Thus, redfronted lemurs appear to use the two techniques flexibly but also scrounged opportunistically to get access to the rewards, indicating that traditions might be stabilized by multiple factors.

  1. First direct evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species (Cheirogaleus crossleyi) from the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Marina B; Rahalinarivo, Vololonirina

    2010-10-01

    The nocturnal dwarf lemurs of Madagascar (genus Cheirogaleus) are the only primates known to be obligate hibernators. Although the physiology of hibernation has been studied widely in the western, small-bodied species, Cheirogaleus medius, no direct evidence of hibernation, i.e., body temperature recordings, has been reported for any of the three recognized eastern dwarf lemur species. We present skin temperature data collected by external collar transmitters from two eastern dwarf lemur individuals (Cheirogaleus crossleyi) captured in the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar. Our study species is larger in body size than western dwarf lemurs and inhabits much colder environments. We present the first evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species, and we compare the results with data available for the western species. Although the hibernation period is shorter in dwarf lemurs from Tsinjoarivo, minimum body temperatures are lower than those reported for C. medius. Both individuals at Tsinjoarivo showed limited passive and extended deep hibernation during which they did not track ambient temperature as observed in most western dwarf lemurs. Because ambient temperatures at Tsinjoarivo never exceed 30°C, dwarf lemurs have to experience arousals to maintain homeostasis during periods of hibernation. We show that large dwarf lemurs (>400 g) are capable of undergoing deep hibernation and suggest that cold, high-altitude forests may render hibernation highly advantageous during periods of food scarcity. This study has implications for understanding the physiology of hibernation in small-bodied lemurs.

  2. First direct evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species ( Cheirogaleus crossleyi) from the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanco, Marina B.; Rahalinarivo, Vololonirina

    2010-10-01

    The nocturnal dwarf lemurs of Madagascar (genus Cheirogaleus) are the only primates known to be obligate hibernators. Although the physiology of hibernation has been studied widely in the western, small-bodied species, Cheirogaleus medius, no direct evidence of hibernation, i.e., body temperature recordings, has been reported for any of the three recognized eastern dwarf lemur species. We present skin temperature data collected by external collar transmitters from two eastern dwarf lemur individuals ( Cheirogaleus crossleyi) captured in the high-altitude forest of Tsinjoarivo, central-eastern Madagascar. Our study species is larger in body size than western dwarf lemurs and inhabits much colder environments. We present the first evidence of hibernation in an eastern dwarf lemur species, and we compare the results with data available for the western species. Although the hibernation period is shorter in dwarf lemurs from Tsinjoarivo, minimum body temperatures are lower than those reported for C. medius. Both individuals at Tsinjoarivo showed limited passive and extended deep hibernation during which they did not track ambient temperature as observed in most western dwarf lemurs. Because ambient temperatures at Tsinjoarivo never exceed 30°C, dwarf lemurs have to experience arousals to maintain homeostasis during periods of hibernation. We show that large dwarf lemurs (>400 g) are capable of undergoing deep hibernation and suggest that cold, high-altitude forests may render hibernation highly advantageous during periods of food scarcity. This study has implications for understanding the physiology of hibernation in small-bodied lemurs.

  3. Coat condition of ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar: II. Coat and tail alopecia associated with Leucaena leucocepahala, 2001-2006.

    PubMed

    Jolly, Alison

    2009-03-01

    Fur condition in wild ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, was recorded during September-November birth seasons 2001-2006 at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. Body coat condition was scored on a scale from BS 0: full, smooth coat with guard hairs, to BS5: half or more of back and limbs hairless. Tail condition was scored from TS 0: full, to TS 5: half or more hairless. Where troop core areas included stands of Leucaena leucocephala, alopecia was dramatically more frequent than in similar areas without leucaena, including many animals with score BS5 or TS5, "bald lemur syndrome." Females' coats were worse than males', possibly related to female dominance and access to this preferred food. Tails in non-leucaena-feeding females tend to remain full, even if coats deteriorate, but with leucaena-feeding female tails are highly correlated with coat condition and equally bare. Coat and tail condition in L. catta reflected not only the dietary toxin but individual differences as well as differences between adjacent troops that may result from territorially mediated access to the environment. Leucaena contains the non-protein amino acid mimosine, a known cause of alopecia, wasting, and organ damage in livestock, although the effects are usually reversible. This is the first case of its effect in wildlife. Leucaena is an agroforestry tree introduced throughout the tropics. In high dietary concentrations leucaena might potentially affect any browsing mammal.

  4. Phylogeny and Divergence Times of Lemurs Inferred with Recent and Ancient Fossils in the Tree.

    PubMed

    Herrera, James P; Dávalos, Liliana M

    2016-09-01

    Paleontological and neontological systematics seek to answer evolutionary questions with different data sets. Phylogenies inferred for combined extant and extinct taxa provide novel insights into the evolutionary history of life. Primates have an extensive, diverse fossil record and molecular data for living and extinct taxa are rapidly becoming available. We used two models to infer the phylogeny and divergence times for living and fossil primates, the tip-dating (TD) and fossilized birth-death process (FBD). We collected new morphological data, especially on the living and extinct endemic lemurs of Madagascar. We combined the morphological data with published DNA sequences to infer near-complete (88% of lemurs) time-calibrated phylogenies. The results suggest that primates originated around the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, slightly earlier than indicated by the fossil record and later than previously inferred from molecular data alone. We infer novel relationships among extinct lemurs, and strong support for relationships that were previously unresolved. Dates inferred with TD were significantly older than those inferred with FBD, most likely related to an assumption of a uniform branching process in the TD compared with a birth-death process assumed in the FBD. This is the first study to combine morphological and DNA sequence data from extinct and extant primates to infer evolutionary relationships and divergence times, and our results shed new light on the tempo of lemur evolution and the efficacy of combined phylogenetic analyses.

  5. Two New Species of Sucking Lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura: Polyplacidae) From Endangered, Hibernating Lemurs (Primates: Cheirogaleidae).

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Blanco, Marina B; Seabolt, Matthew H

    2017-02-15

    Lemurpediculus robbinsi sp. nov. is described from Crossley's dwarf lemur, Cheirogaleus crossleyi A. Grandidier, and Lemurpediculus claytoni sp. nov. is described from Sibree's dwarf lemur, Cheirogaleus sibreei Forsyth Major, from Madagascar. Both sexes of each new louse species are illustrated and distinguished from the two previously known species of Lemurpediculus: L. verruculosus (Ward) and L. petterorum Paulian. With the addition of two new species to the genus, an amended description of Lemurpediculus is provided. The two hosts of the new louse species are morphologically similar, endangered, obligately hibernating lemurs. These two species of lemurs are sometimes sympatric in rainforests in eastern Madagascar. Despite the morphological similarity of the two host species, their lice are morphologically distinct and are easiest to identify based on the shape of the subgenital plate of the female and the shape of the genitalia in the male. Both new species of lice should be considered to be endangered because their hosts are endangered. It is not known if either of the new species of lice are vectors of pathogens or parasites to their hosts.

  6. Diurnal resting in brown lemurs in a dry deciduous forest, northwestern Madagascar: implications for seasonal thermoregulation.

    PubMed

    Sato, Hiroki

    2012-07-01

    Decreased activity has been reported in both nocturnal and diurnal primates during the prolonged dry season in western Madagascar, and this has been interpreted as a reaction to the severe environment, with its food scarcity and/or thermal stress. Several day-active lemurs rest more as trees defoliate, although the reason for this is unclear. To understand the mechanism underpinning the diurnal resting of lemurs in seasonal deciduous forests, I observed common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) for one year in Ankarafantsika National Park, northwestern Madagascar. In Ankarafantsika, despite high fruit availability during the dry season, brown lemurs are known to engage in diurnal resting. To examine the effects of thermal factors and defoliation on lemur inactivity, I recorded the activity of a troop at 1 min intervals, hourly ambient temperature, daily rainfall, and weather during observations (06:00-18:00). I quantified the amount of leaves biweekly for 680 trees. I tested correlations between percentages of resting time and each factor across hours during the day and across seasons. During the rainy season, resting time did not differ between sunny and cloudy days, and lemurs were active throughout the daytime. At the hourly level during the dry season, lemurs rested exclusively at midday, apparently at peak sunlight intensity rather than at peak ambient temperature. At seasonal level, percentages of total resting time from 08:00 to 16:00 were greater during dry season (81.9%) than during rainy season (62.6%), and percentages increased as ambient temperatures increased. Defoliation was related to seasonal decrease in weekly rainfall, which served as an index of water retained in the forest. Defoliation probably reflected aridification as well as the penetration of sunlight into the forest. Diurnal resting increased as both the amount of leaves and weekly rainfall decreased seasonally. These results suggest that heat stress under dry conditions may promote

  7. Niche separation of seven lemur species in the eastern rainforest of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    1989-05-01

    This study examines segregation of seven lemur species in an eastern rainforest of Madagascar by a numerical analysis of microhabitats using structural and phenological data. These data are combined with the results of a previous study on food selection by these species in relation to plant chemistry. Description of some 441 10×10 m(2) microhabitats yields clear separation of the frugivorous from the more folivorous guild of lemurs. Within each guild there are subgroups of two species each, which use similar microhabitats. The two species of the subgroups are separated by their different reactions towards food chemicals. Thus food chemistry and microhabitat structure are two complementary axes sufficient to separate lemur species in the Malagasy rainforest. Species using the same microhabitats choose food items with different chemical properties and species eating the same food differ in their utilization of microhabitats. Only Cheirogaleus major can not be separated from the other lemur species based on habitat utilization and the chemical composition of their food. This species, however, is active only at times of food abundance and reduces its activity at times of scarcity thus avoiding potential competition. The folivorous species Avahi laniger and Indri indri use similar micro habitats for feeding and for resting, reflecting the strategy of low energy cost and fow energy return. A more folivorous species, Lemur fulvus, discriminates between feeding and resting sites based on phenological and structural variables, representing an example for behavior shaped by high cost and high energy return. Feeding sites of this species are linked to fruit abundance but the need to see but not to be seen seems to determine their choice of resting sites. This discrimination is similar to habitat choices of frugivorous primates in other tropical rainforests which have been linked to anti-predator behavior and suggests convergent evolution due to similar evolutionary selection

  8. LEMUR: Large European module for solar Ultraviolet Research. European contribution to JAXA's Solar-C mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teriaca, Luca; Andretta, Vincenzo; Auchère, Frédéric; Brown, Charles M.; Buchlin, Eric; Cauzzi, Gianna; Culhane, J. Len; Curdt, Werner; Davila, Joseph M.; Del Zanna, Giulio; Doschek, George A.; Fineschi, Silvano; Fludra, Andrzej; Gallagher, Peter T.; Green, Lucie; Harra, Louise K.; Imada, Shinsuke; Innes, Davina; Kliem, Bernhard; Korendyke, Clarence; Mariska, John T.; Martínez-Pillet, Valentin; Parenti, Susanna; Patsourakos, Spiros; Peter, Hardi; Poletto, Luca; Rutten, Robert J.; Schühle, Udo; Siemer, Martin; Shimizu, Toshifumi; Socas-Navarro, Hector; Solanki, Sami K.; Spadaro, Daniele; Trujillo-Bueno, Javier; Tsuneta, Saku; Dominguez, Santiago Vargas; Vial, Jean-Claude; Walsh, Robert; Warren, Harry P.; Wiegelmann, Thomas; Winter, Berend; Young, Peter

    2012-10-01

    The solar outer atmosphere is an extremely dynamic environment characterized by the continuous interplay between the plasma and the magnetic field that generates and permeates it. Such interactions play a fundamental role in hugely diverse astrophysical systems, but occur at scales that cannot be studied outside the solar system. Understanding this complex system requires concerted, simultaneous solar observations from the visible to the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and soft X-rays, at high spatial resolution (between 0.1'' and 0.3''), at high temporal resolution (on the order of 10 s, i.e., the time scale of chromospheric dynamics), with a wide temperature coverage (0.01 MK to 20 MK, from the chromosphere to the flaring corona), and the capability of measuring magnetic fields through spectropolarimetry at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Simultaneous spectroscopic measurements sampling the entire temperature range are particularly important. These requirements are fulfilled by the Japanese Solar-C mission (Plan B), composed of a spacecraft in a geosynchronous orbit with a payload providing a significant improvement of imaging and spectropolarimetric capabilities in the UV, visible, and near-infrared with respect to what is available today and foreseen in the near future. The Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research (LEMUR), described in this paper, is a large VUV telescope feeding a scientific payload of high-resolution imaging spectrographs and cameras. LEMUR consists of two major components: a VUV solar telescope with a 30 cm diameter mirror and a focal length of 3.6 m, and a focal-plane package composed of VUV spectrometers covering six carefully chosen wavelength ranges between 170 Å and 1270 Å. The LEMUR slit covers 280'' on the Sun with 0.14'' per pixel sampling. In addition, LEMUR is capable of measuring mass flows velocities (line shifts) down to 2 km s - 1 or better. LEMUR has been proposed to ESA as the European contribution to the Solar

  9. Nutrient composition of plants consumed by black and white ruffed lemurs, Varecia variegata, in the Betampona Natural Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Debra A; Iambana, R Bernard; Britt, Adam; Junge, Randall E; Welch, Charles R; Porton, Ingrid J; Kerley, Monty S

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to quantify the concentrations of crude protein, fat, ash, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, lignin, nonstructural carbohydrates, and gross energy in plant foods consumed by wild black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata). Calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and selenium concentrations were also determined. A total of 122 samples from 33 plant families and more than 60 species were collected and analyzed for their nutritional content. The specific nutrient needs of black and white ruffed lemurs are unknown, but quantifying the nutritional composition of the foods they consume in the wild will help nutritionists and veterinarians formulate more appropriate diets for captive ruffed lemurs. This information will also supply information on how man-induced habitat changes affect the nutritional composition of foods consumed by free-ranging lemurs.

  10. A glance to the past: subfossils, stable isotopes, seed dispersal, and lemur species loss in Southern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Crowley, Brooke E; Godfrey, Laurie R; Irwin, Mitchell T

    2011-01-01

    The Spiny Thicket Ecoregion (STE) of Southern and southwestern Madagascar was recently home to numerous giant lemurs and other "megafauna," including pygmy hippopotamuses, giant tortoises, elephant birds, and large euplerid carnivores. Following the arrival of humans more than 2,000 years ago, dramatic extinctions occurred. Only one-third of the lemur species which earlier occupied the STE survive today; other taxa suffered even greater losses. We use stable isotope biogeochemistry to reconstruct past diets and habitat preferences of the recently extinct lemurs of the STE. We show that the extinct lemurs occupied a wide range of niches, often distinct from those filled by coeval non-primates. Many of the now-extinct lemurs regularly exploited habitats that were drier than the gallery forests in which the remaining lemurs of this ecoregion are most often protected and studied. Most fed predominantly on C3 plants and some were likely the main dispersers of the large seeds of native C3 trees; others included CAM and/or C4 plants in their diets. These new data suggest that the recent extinctions have likely had significant ecological ramifications for the communities and ecosystems of Southern and southwestern Madagascar.

  11. Evolutionary history inferred from the de novo assembly of a nonmodel organism, the blue-eyed black lemur.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Wynn K; Venkat, Aarti; Kermany, Amir R; van de Geijn, Bryce; Zhang, Sidi; Przeworski, Molly

    2015-09-01

    Lemurs, the living primates most distantly related to humans, demonstrate incredible diversity in behaviour, life history patterns and adaptive traits. Although many lemur species are endangered within their native Madagascar, there is no high-quality genome assembly from this taxon, limiting population and conservation genetic studies. One critically endangered lemur is the blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur flavifrons. This species is fixed for blue irises, a convergent trait that evolved at least four times in primates and was subject to positive selection in humans, where 5' regulatory variation of OCA2 explains most of the brown/blue eye colour differences. We built a de novo genome assembly for E. flavifrons, providing the most complete lemur genome to date, and a high confidence consensus sequence for close sister species E. macaco, the (brown-eyed) black lemur. From diversity and divergence patterns across the genomes, we estimated a recent split time of the two species (160 Kya) and temporal fluctuations in effective population sizes that accord with known environmental changes. By looking for regions of unusually low diversity, we identified potential signals of directional selection in E. flavifrons at MITF, a melanocyte development gene that regulates OCA2 and has previously been associated with variation in human iris colour, as well as at several other genes involved in melanin biosynthesis in mammals. Our study thus illustrates how whole-genome sequencing of a few individuals can illuminate the demographic and selection history of nonmodel species.

  12. Dietary modification by common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus) during seasonal drought conditions in western Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Sato, Hiroki; Ichino, Shinichiro; Hanya, Goro

    2014-04-01

    Primates often modify dietary composition in relation to seasonal changes in food availability or climate conditions. We studied the feeding patterns of a troop of common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus), a semi-frugivorous strepsirhine, in a dry forest in northwestern Madagascar. To understand the mechanism of dietary modification, we recorded daily feeding times of diet items during 101 full-day observations over 1 year, and then conducted a linear model analysis to examine the effects of fruiting tree density in the forest, daily ambient temperature, and weekly rainfall (index of water retained in the forest) on the lemurs' daily feeding time. The lemurs spent dramatically more time on leaf-eating as well as total feeding time, and less time on fruit-eating during the late dry season (total 152 min/day, frugivory 56 min/day, folivory 77 min/day), as compared with other seasons when the diet was highly frugivorous (total 96 min/day, frugivory 81 min/day, folivory 8 min/day). Folivory increased as temperatures rose under the condition of low weekly rainfall, whereas frugivory was unrelated to fruiting tree density. Most (97.4%) diurnal folivory during the late dry season was spent consuming Lissochilus rutenbergianus, chewing the succulent leaves and licking the juice. Because the nutritional analysis showed that L. rutenbergianus is rich in water (80.1% of fresh weight) but poor in protein and nonstructural carbohydrates, its increased use was probably for rehydration. We conducted 13 full-night observations, because brown lemurs increase nocturnal activities during the dry season. At nighttime, the lemurs tended to spend more time eating fruit in the late dry season (32 min/night) than in the early dry season (14 min/night), and never consumed L. rutenbergianus. Fruits rich in nonstructural carbohydrates can be energy sources for Eulemur. They likely engaged in additional nocturnal frugivory for energy compensation. Brown lemurs have a flexible strategy of

  13. Shifting ranges and conservation challenges for lemurs in the face of climate change

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jason L; Yoder, Anne D

    2015-01-01

    Geospatial modeling is one of the most powerful tools available to conservation biologists for estimating current species ranges of Earth's biodiversity. Now, with the advantage of predictive climate models, these methods can be deployed for understanding future impacts on threatened biota. Here, we employ predictive modeling under a conservative estimate of future climate change to examine impacts on the future abundance and geographic distributions of Malagasy lemurs. Using distribution data from the primary literature, we employed ensemble species distribution models and geospatial analyses to predict future changes in species distributions. Current species distribution models (SDMs) were created within the BIOMOD2 framework that capitalizes on ten widely used modeling techniques. Future and current SDMs were then subtracted from each other, and areas of contraction, expansion, and stability were calculated. Model overprediction is a common issue associated Malagasy taxa. Accordingly, we introduce novel methods for incorporating biological data on dispersal potential to better inform the selection of pseudo-absence points. This study predicts that 60% of the 57 species examined will experience a considerable range of reductions in the next seventy years entirely due to future climate change. Of these species, range sizes are predicted to decrease by an average of 59.6%. Nine lemur species (16%) are predicted to expand their ranges, and 13 species (22.8%) distribution sizes were predicted to be stable through time. Species ranges will experience severe shifts, typically contractions, and for the majority of lemur species, geographic distributions will be considerably altered. We identify three areas in dire need of protection, concluding that strategically managed forest corridors must be a key component of lemur and other biodiversity conservation strategies. This recommendation is all the more urgent given that the results presented here do not take into

  14. Multifocal pyogranulomatous osteomyelitis resembling chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis in a lemur.

    PubMed

    Backues, K A; Hoover, J P; Bahr, R J; Confer, A W; Chalman, J A; Larry, M L

    2001-01-15

    Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis is a rare inflammatory bone disease of children and adolescents that is characterized by localized swelling and pain in the clavicles and long bones of the limbs. Diagnosis of chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis is made from clinical signs, characteristic radiographic and histopathologic findings, and negative results of microbial cultures. Treatment of chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis in humans includes administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or immune modulators, which may be effective in lemurs.

  15. Illegal captive lemurs in Madagascar: Comparing the use of online and in-person data collection methods.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Kim E; Schaefer, Melissa S

    2016-02-29

    Although it is illegal to capture, sell, and trade lemurs, the live capture of lemurs in Madagascar is ongoing and may have impacted over 28,000 lemurs between 2010 and 2013. Only one study has examined this trade and did so using in-person interviews in northern Madagascar. The current study sought to expand this existing dataset and examine the comparability of online surveys to more traditional on-location data collection methods. In this study, we collected data through a web-based survey resulting in 302 sightings of 685 captive lemurs. We also collected data from 171 hotel and 43 restaurant websites and social media profiles. Survey submissions included sightings of 30 species from 10 genera, nearly twice as many species as identified via the in-person interviews. Lemur catta, Varecia variegata, and Eulemur fulvus were the most common species sighted in captivity. Captive lemurs were reported in 19 of Madagascar's 22 administrative regions and most were seen in urban areas near their habitat ranges. This represents a wider geographic distribution of captive lemurs than previously found through in-person interviews. The online survey results were broadly similar to those of the in-person surveys though greater in species and geographic diversity demonstrating advantages to the use of online surveys. The online research methods were low in cost (USD $100) compared to on-location data collection (USD $12,000). Identified disadvantages included sample bias; most of the respondents to the online survey were researchers and many captive sightings were near study sites. The results illustrate the benefits of incorporating a social science approach using online surveys as a complement to traditional fieldwork. Am. J. Primatol. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Does habitat disturbance affect stress, body condition and parasitism in two sympatric lemurs?

    PubMed Central

    Rakotoniaina, Josué H.; Kappeler, Peter M.; Ravoniarimbinina, Pascaline; Pechouskova, Eva; Hämäläinen, Anni M.; Grass, Juliane; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Kraus, Cornelia

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how animals react to human-induced changes in their environment is a key question in conservation biology. Owing to their potential correlation with fitness, several physiological parameters are commonly used to assess the effect of habitat disturbance on animals’ general health status. Here, we studied how two lemur species, the fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius) and the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), respond to changing environmental conditions by comparing their stress levels (measured as hair cortisol concentration), parasitism and general body condition across four habitats ordered along a gradient of human disturbance at Kirindy Forest, Western Madagascar. These two species previously revealed contrasting responses to human disturbance; whereas M. murinus is known as a resilient species, C. medius is rarely encountered in highly disturbed habitats. However, neither hair cortisol concentrations nor parasitism patterns (prevalence, parasite species richness and rate of multiple infections) and body condition varied across the gradient of anthropogenic disturbance. Our results indicate that the effect of anthropogenic activities at Kirindy Forest is not reflected in the general health status of both species, which may have developed a range of behavioural adaptations to deal with suboptimal conditions. Nonetheless, a difference in relative density among sites suggests that the carrying capacity of disturbed habitat is lower, and both species respond differently to environmental changes, with C. medius being more negatively affected. Thus, even for behaviourally flexible species, extended habitat deterioration could hamper long-term viability of populations. PMID:27656285

  17. Different competitive potential in two coexisting mouse lemur species in northwestern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Thorén, Sandra; Linnenbrink, Miriam; Radespiel, Ute

    2011-05-01

    Interspecific competition has been suggested to influence the biogeographic distribution patterns of species. A high competitive potential could entail species-specific advantages during resource acquisition that could translate into a higher potential for range expansion. We investigated whether differences in the competitive potential of the morphologically similar and partially sympatric gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) and golden-brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis) may help to explain differences in their geographic range sizes. We carried out encounter experiments with 14 pairs of captured female mouse lemurs of both species. The experimental dyads were tested in a two-cage arrangement, with individuals being separated from each other outside the experiments. Two days of habituation and four subsequent days of 1-h encounter experiments were conducted, before releasing the animals again in the wild. In general, the M. murinus individuals won significantly more conflicts than their partners. In eight of 14 tested pairs, there was a significant species bias in winning conflicts, and in 87.5% of these dyads, M. murinus was the "dyad winner". A high competitive potential did not depend on body mass. Furthermore, "dyad winners" spent more time feeding (P < 0.05) and were less spatially restricted than "dyad losers". To conclude, our results suggest that the widely distributed M. murinus may indeed have a higher competitive potential than the regional endemic M. ravelobensis, which may, among other possible factors, have enabled this species to expand geographically, despite the presence of other competing congeners.

  18. Cytokine and Antioxidant Regulation in the Intestine of the Gray Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus) During Torpor.

    PubMed

    Tessier, Shannon N; Katzenback, Barbara A; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    During food shortages, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) of Madagascar experiences daily torpor thereby reducing energy expenditures. The present study aimed to understand the impacts of torpor on the immune system and antioxidant response in the gut of these animals. This interaction may be of critical importance given the trade-off between the energetically costly immune response and the need to defend against pathogen entry during hypometabolism. The protein levels of cytokines and antioxidants were measured in the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum) and large intestine of aroused and torpid lemurs. While there was a significant decrease of some pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) in the duodenum and jejunum during torpor as compared to aroused animals, there was no change in anti-inflammatory cytokines. We observed decreased levels of cytokines (IL-12p70 and M-CSF), and several chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-2) but an increase in MIP-1α in the jejunum of the torpid animals. In addition, we evaluated antioxidant response by examining the protein levels of antioxidant enzymes and total antioxidant capacity provided by metabolites such as glutathione (and others). Our results indicated that levels of antioxidant enzymes did not change between torpor and aroused states, although antioxidant capacity was significantly higher in the ileum during torpor. These data suggest a suppression of the immune response, likely as an energy conservation measure, and a limited role of antioxidant defenses in supporting torpor in lemur intestine.

  19. Telomere regulation during ageing and tumorigenesis of the grey mouse lemur.

    PubMed

    Trochet, Delphine; Mergui, Xénia; Ivkovic, Ivana; Porreca, Rosa Maria; Gerbault-Seureau, Michèle; Sidibe, Assitan; Richard, Florence; Londono-Vallejo, Arturo; Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne; Riou, Jean-François

    2015-06-01

    Telomere erosion leading to replicative senescence has been well documented in human and anthropoid primates, and provides a clue against tumorigenesis. In contrast, other mammals, such as laboratory mice, with short lifespan and low body weight mass have different telomere biology without replicative senescence. We analyzed telomere biology in the grey mouse lemur, a small prosimian model with a relative long lifespan currently used in ageing research. We report an average telomere length by telomere restriction fragment (TRF) among the longest reported so far for a primate species (25-30 kb), but without detectable overall telomere shortening with ageing on blood samples. However, we demonstrate using universal STELA (Single Telomere Length Amplification) the existence of short telomeres, the increase of which, while correlating with ageing might be related to another mechanism than replicative senescence. We also found a low stringency of telomerase restriction in tissues and an ease to immortalize fibroblasts in vitro upon spontaneous telomerase activation. Finally, we describe the first grey mouse lemur cancer cell line showing a dramatic telomere shortening and high telomerase activity associated with polyploidy. Our overall results suggest that telomere biology in grey mouse lemur is an exception among primates, with at best a physiologically limited replicative telomere ageing and closest to that observed in small rodents.

  20. Lemur responses to edge effects in the Vohibola III classified forest, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Lehman, Shawn M; Rajaonson, Andry; Day, Sabine

    2006-03-01

    Forest edges are dynamic zones characterized by the penetration (to varying depths and intensities) of conditions from the surrounding environment (matrix) into the forest interior. Although edge effects influence many tropical organisms, they have not been studied directly in primates. Edge effects are particularly relevant to lemurs because of the highly fragmented forest landscapes found in Madagascar. In this study, data are presented regarding how the densities of six lemur species (Avahi laniger, Cheirogaleus major, Eulemur rubriventer, Hapalemur griseus griseus, Microcebus rufus, and Propithecus diadema edwardsi) varied between six 500-m interior transects and six 500-m edge transects in the Vohibola III Classified Forest in SE Madagascar. Diurnal (n = 433) and nocturnal (n = 128) lemur surveys were conducted during June-October 2003 and May-November 2004. A. laniger, E. rubriventer, and H. g. griseus exhibited a neutral edge response (no differences in densities between habitats). M. rufus and P. d. edwardsi had a positive edge response (higher densities in edge habitats), which may be related to edge-related variations in food abundance and quality. Positive edge responses by M. rufus and P. d. edwardsi may ultimately be detrimental due to edge-related anthropogenic factors (e.g., hunting by local people). The negative edge response exhibited by C. major (lower densities in edge habitats) may result from heightened ambient temperatures that inhibit torpor in edge habitats.

  1. Diversity of photoreceptor arrangements in nocturnal, cathemeral and diurnal Malagasy lemurs.

    PubMed

    Peichl, Leo; Kaiser, Alexander; Rakotondraparany, Felix; Dubielzig, Richard R; Goodman, Steven M; Kappeler, Peter M

    2017-01-05

    The lemurs of Madagascar (Primates: Lemuriformes) are a monophyletic group that has lived in isolation from other primates for about 50 million years. Lemurs have diversified into species with diverse daily activity patterns and correspondingly different visual adaptations. We assessed the arrangements of retinal cone and rod photoreceptors in six nocturnal, three cathemeral and two diurnal lemur species and quantified different parameters in six of the species. The analysis revealed lower cone densities and higher rod densities in the nocturnal than in the cathemeral and diurnal species. The photoreceptor densities in the diurnal Propithecus verreauxi indicate a less "diurnal" retina than found in other diurnal primates. Immunolabeling for cone opsins showed the presence of both middle-to-longwave sensitive (M/L) and shortwave sensitive (S) cones in most species, indicating at least dichromatic color vision. S cones were absent in Allocebus trichotis and Cheirogaleus medius, indicating cone monochromacy. In the Microcebus species, the S cones had an inverse topography with very low densities in the central retina and highest densities in the peripheral retina. The S cones in the other species and the M/L cones in all species had a conventional topography with peak densities in the central area. With the exception of the cathemeral Eulemur species, the eyes of all studied taxa, including the diurnal Propithecus, possessed a tapetum lucidum, a feature only found among nocturnal and crepuscular mammals.

  2. Hybridization between mouse lemurs in an ecological transition zone in southern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Gligor, M; Ganzhorn, J U; Rakotondravony, D; Ramilijaona, O R; Razafimahatratra, E; Zischler, H; Hapke, A

    2009-02-01

    Hybrid zones in ecotones can be useful model systems for the study of evolutionary processes that shape the distribution and discreteness of species. Such studies could be important for an improved understanding of the complex biogeography of Madagascar, which is renowned for its outstanding degree of small-scale endemism. Certain forest remnants in central Madagascar indicate that transitional corridors across the island could have connected microendemics in different forest types in the past. Evolutionary processes in such corridors are difficult to study because most of these corridors have disappeared due to deforestation in central Madagascar. We studied a hybrid zone in one of the few remaining ecotonal corridors between dry and humid forests in Madagascar, which connects two species of mouse lemurs, Microcebus griseorufus in dry spiny forest and Microcebus murinus in humid littoral forest. We sampled 162 mouse lemurs at nine sites across this boundary. Morphometric analyses revealed intermediate morphotypes of many individuals in transitional habitat. Bayesian clustering of microsatellite genotypes and assignment tests yielded evidence for a mixed ancestry of mouse lemurs in the ecotone, where we also observed significant linkage disequilibria and heterozygote deficiency. In contrast to these observations, mitochondrial haplotypes displayed a sharply delimited boundary at the eastern edge of spiny forest, which was noncoincident with the signals from microsatellite data. Among several alternative scenarios, we propose asymmetric nuclear introgression due to male-biased dispersal, divergent environmental selection, and an expansion of dry spiny forest in the course of aridification as a probable explanation of our observations.

  3. AMS 14C Dates for Extinct Lemurs from Caves in the Ankarana Massif, Northern Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simons, Elwyn L.; Burney, David A.; Chatrath, Prithijit S.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Jungers, William L.; Rakotosamimanana, Berthe

    1995-03-01

    An extensive late Quaternary fauna, including many extinct giant lemurs, has been collected recently in a 110+-km system of caves in the Ankarana Massif of northern Madagascar. AMS 14C dates for the acid-insoluble (collagen/gelatin) fraction of bones of the giant lemur Megaladapis (26,150 ± 400 and 12,760 ± 70 yr B.P.) confirm its presence in the area during the late Pleistocene and provide the first Pleistocene 14 C ages from bones of the extinct megafauna of the island. The first date from bones of the recently described extinct Babakotia radofilai (4400 ± 60 yr B.P.) shows that it was present in northern Madagascar in mid-Holocene times. A comparatively recent age of 1020 ± 50 yr B.P. for the extinct Archaeolemur indicates survival of this genus for at least a millennium after the first direct evidence for humans in Madagascar. This suggests that the island's "extinction window" may have represented a longer time span than would have been expected under the Blitzkrieg model of late Quaternary extinctions. A mid-Holocene age (4560 ± 70 yr B.P.) for a bone sample of the small extant lemur Hapalemur simus indicates that the disappearance of this now-restricted species from the Ankarana occurred after this date. New data from the Ankarana and other sites on the island add to the consensus that major biotic changes occurred on Madagascar in the late Holocene.

  4. Diet and nutrition in wild mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz) and their implications for the evolution of female dominance and small group size in lemurs.

    PubMed

    Curtis, Deborah J

    2004-07-01

    Data collected on the feeding behavior, food intake, and chemical analyses of plant foods were used to document seasonal variation in diet and nutrition in Eulemur mongoz in northwestern Madagascar. E. mongoz conforms to the general Eulemur dietary pattern, with a predominantly frugivorous diet supplemented mainly by leaves, flowers, and nectar. Phytochemical analysis revealed high water contents in all the main plant foods; mature fruit and flowers contained the most water-soluble carbohydrates; immature leaves were richest in protein and essential amino acids; the limiting amino acids in all plant foods were methionine and cystine; ash (mineral) content was highest in petioles and mature leaves; crude lipid content was highest in seeds; and crude fiber content was indistinguishable between immature and mature fruit and leaves. High-fiber foods were eaten during both seasons; the wet season diet was dominated by high-energy foods (mature fruit, nectar, and seeds), while the dry season diet contained foods high in energy (mature fruit and flowers) and high in protein (immature leaves) and minerals (mature leaves and petioles). However, nutrient intake did not vary between seasons, implying that nutrient requirements are met throughout the year. These results suggest we draw more conservative conclusions when interpreting dietary variability in the absence of chemical analysis, and also draw into question the idea that nutritional stress is a factor in the timing of reproduction in lemurs and, by extension, is linked to the prevalence of female dominance and small group size in lemurs.

  5. Modeling the origins of mammalian sociality: moderate evidence for matrilineal signatures in mouse lemur vocalizations

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Maternal kin selection is a driving force in the evolution of mammalian social complexity and it requires that kin are distinctive from nonkin. The transition from the ancestral state of asociality to the derived state of complex social groups is thought to have occurred via solitary foraging, in which individuals forage alone, but, unlike the asocial ancestors, maintain dispersed social networks via scent-marks and vocalizations. We hypothesize that matrilineal signatures in vocalizations were an important part of these networks. We used the solitary foraging gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) as a model for ancestral solitary foragers and tested for matrilineal signatures in their calls, thus investigating whether such signatures are already present in solitary foragers and could have facilitated the kin selection thought to have driven the evolution of increased social complexity in mammals. Because agonism can be very costly, selection for matrilineal signatures in agonistic calls should help reduce agonism between unfamiliar matrilineal kin. We conducted this study on a well-studied population of wild mouse lemurs at Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar. We determined pairwise relatedness using seven microsatellite loci, matrilineal relatedness by sequencing the mitrochondrial D-loop, and sleeping group associations using radio-telemetry. We recorded agonistic calls during controlled social encounters and conducted a multi-parametric acoustic analysis to determine the spectral and temporal structure of the agonistic calls. We measured 10 calls for each of 16 females from six different matrilineal kin groups. Results Calls were assigned to their matriline at a rate significantly higher than chance (pDFA: correct = 47.1%, chance = 26.7%, p = 0.03). There was a statistical trend for a negative correlation between acoustic distance and relatedness (Mantel Test: g = -1.61, Z = 4.61, r = -0.13, p = 0.058). Conclusions

  6. Eco-evo-devo of the lemur syndrome: did adaptive behavioral plasticity get canalized in a large primate radiation?

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Comprehensive explanations of behavioral adaptations rarely invoke all levels famously admonished by Niko Tinbergen. The role of developmental processes and plasticity, in particular, has often been neglected. In this paper, we combine ecological, physiological and developmental perspectives in developing a hypothesis to account for the evolution of ‘the lemur syndrome’, a combination of reduced sexual dimorphism, even adult sex ratios, female dominance and mild genital masculinization characterizing group-living species in two families of Malagasy primates. Results We review the different components of the lemur syndrome and compare it with similar adaptations reported for other mammals. We find support for the assertion that the lemur syndrome represents a unique set of integrated behavioral, demographic and morphological traits. We combine existing hypotheses about underlying adaptive function and proximate causation by adding a potential developmental mechanism linking maternal stress and filial masculinization, and outline an evolutionary scenario for its canalization. Conclusions We propose a new hypothesis linking ecological, physiological, developmental and evolutionary processes to adumbrate a comprehensive explanation for the evolution of the lemur syndrome, whose assumptions and predictions can guide diverse future research on lemurs. This hypothesis should also encourage students of other behavioral phenomena to consider the potential role of developmental plasticity in evolutionary innovation. PMID:26816515

  7. Torpor and energetic consequences in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus): a comparison of dry and wet forests.

    PubMed

    Schmid, J; Speakman, J R

    2009-05-01

    Many endotherms save energy during food and water shortage or unpredictable environment using controlled reductions in body temperature and metabolism called torpor. In this study, we measured energy metabolism and water turnover in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs Microcebus murinus (approximately 60 g) using doubly labelled water during the austral winter in the rain forest of southeastern Madagascar. We then compared patterns of thermal biology between grey mouse lemurs from the rain forest and a population from the dry forest. M. murinus from the rain forest, without a distinct dry season, entered daily torpor independent of ambient temperature (T (a)). There were no differences in torpor occurrence, duration and depth between M. murinus from the rain and dry forest. Mouse lemurs using daily torpor reduced their energy expenditure by 11% in the rain forest and by 10.5% in the dry forest, respectively. There was no significant difference in the mean water flux rates of mouse lemurs remaining normothermic between populations of both sites. In contrast, mean water flux rate of individuals from the dry forest that used torpor was significantly lower than those from the rain forest. This study represents the first account of energy expenditure, water flux and skin temperature (T (sk)) in free-ranging M. murinus from the rain forest. Our comparative findings suggest that water turnover and therefore water requirement during the austral winter months plays a more restricting role on grey mouse lemurs from the dry forest than on those from the rain forest.

  8. Torpor and energetic consequences in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs ( Microcebus murinus): a comparison of dry and wet forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid, J.; Speakman, J. R.

    2009-05-01

    Many endotherms save energy during food and water shortage or unpredictable environment using controlled reductions in body temperature and metabolism called torpor. In this study, we measured energy metabolism and water turnover in free-ranging grey mouse lemurs Microcebus murinus (approximately 60 g) using doubly labelled water during the austral winter in the rain forest of southeastern Madagascar. We then compared patterns of thermal biology between grey mouse lemurs from the rain forest and a population from the dry forest. M. murinus from the rain forest, without a distinct dry season, entered daily torpor independent of ambient temperature ( T a). There were no differences in torpor occurrence, duration and depth between M. murinus from the rain and dry forest. Mouse lemurs using daily torpor reduced their energy expenditure by 11% in the rain forest and by 10.5% in the dry forest, respectively. There was no significant difference in the mean water flux rates of mouse lemurs remaining normothermic between populations of both sites. In contrast, mean water flux rate of individuals from the dry forest that used torpor was significantly lower than those from the rain forest. This study represents the first account of energy expenditure, water flux and skin temperature ( T sk) in free-ranging M. murinus from the rain forest. Our comparative findings suggest that water turnover and therefore water requirement during the austral winter months plays a more restricting role on grey mouse lemurs from the dry forest than on those from the rain forest.

  9. 78 FR 65352 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-31

    ... period. Species: Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) Black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) Crowned lemur (Eulemur coronatus) Black lemur (Eulemur macaco) Brown lemur... (Bettongia penicillata) Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) Black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata)...

  10. Modulation of Gene Expression in Key Survival Pathways During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    PubMed Central

    Biggar, Kyle K.; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Tessier, Shannon N.; Zhang, Jing; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    A variety of mammals employ torpor as an energy-saving strategy in environments of marginal or severe stress either on a daily basis during their inactive period or on a seasonal basis during prolonged multi-day hibernation. Recently, a few Madagascar lemur species have been identified as the only primates that exhibit torpor; one of these is the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie daily torpor in a primate, we analyzed the expression of 28 selected genes that represent crucial survival pathways known to be involved in squirrel and bat hibernation. Array-based real-time PCR was used to compare gene expression in control (aroused) versus torpid lemurs in five tissues including the liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, heart, and brown adipose tissue. Significant differences in gene expression during torpor were revealed among genes involved in glycolysis, fatty acid metabolism, antioxidant defense, apoptosis, hypoxia signaling, and protein protection. The results showed upregulation of select genes primarily in liver and brown adipose tissue. For instance, both tissues showed elevated gene expression of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (ppargc), ferritin (fth1), and protein chaperones during torpor. Overall, the data show that the expression of only a few genes changed during lemur daily torpor, as compared with the broader expression changes reported for hibernation in ground squirrels. These results provide an indication that the alterations in gene expression required for torpor in lemurs are not as extensive as those needed for winter hibernation in squirrel models. However, identification of crucial genes with altered expression that support lemur torpor provides key targets to be explored and manipulated toward a goal of translational applications of inducible torpor as a treatment option in human biomedicine. PMID:26093281

  11. Modulation of Gene Expression in Key Survival Pathways During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Biggar, Kyle K; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Tessier, Shannon N; Zhang, Jing; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    A variety of mammals employ torpor as an energy-saving strategy in environments of marginal or severe stress either on a daily basis during their inactive period or on a seasonal basis during prolonged multi-day hibernation. Recently, a few Madagascar lemur species have been identified as the only primates that exhibit torpor; one of these is the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie daily torpor in a primate, we analyzed the expression of 28 selected genes that represent crucial survival pathways known to be involved in squirrel and bat hibernation. Array-based real-time PCR was used to compare gene expression in control (aroused) versus torpid lemurs in five tissues including the liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, heart, and brown adipose tissue. Significant differences in gene expression during torpor were revealed among genes involved in glycolysis, fatty acid metabolism, antioxidant defense, apoptosis, hypoxia signaling, and protein protection. The results showed upregulation of select genes primarily in liver and brown adipose tissue. For instance, both tissues showed elevated gene expression of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (ppargc), ferritin (fth1), and protein chaperones during torpor. Overall, the data show that the expression of only a few genes changed during lemur daily torpor, as compared with the broader expression changes reported for hibernation in ground squirrels. These results provide an indication that the alterations in gene expression required for torpor in lemurs are not as extensive as those needed for winter hibernation in squirrel models. However, identification of crucial genes with altered expression that support lemur torpor provides key targets to be explored and manipulated toward a goal of translational applications of inducible torpor as a treatment option in human biomedicine.

  12. Daily torpor in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) in Madagascar: energetic consequences and biological significance.

    PubMed

    Schmid, J

    2000-05-01

    Patterns and energetic consequences of spontaneous daily torpor were measured in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) under natural conditions of ambient temperature and photoperiod in a dry deciduous forest in western Madagascar. Over a period of two consecutive dry seasons, oxygen consumption (VO2) and body temperature (T b) were measured on ten individuals kept in outdoor enclosures. In all animals, spontaneous daily torpor occurred on a daily basis with torpor bouts lasting from 3.6 to 17.6 h, with a mean torpor bout duration of 9.3 h. On average, body temperatures in torpor were 17.3±4.9°C with a recorded minimum value of 7.8°C. Torpor was not restricted to the mouse lemurs' diurnal resting phase: entries occurred throughout the night and arousals mainly around midday, coinciding with the daily ambient temperature maximum. Arousal from torpor was a two-phase process with a first passive, exogenous heating where the T b of animals increased from the torpor T b minimum to a mean value of 27.1°C before the second, endogenous heat production commenced to further raise T b to normothermic values. Metabolic rate during torpor (28.6±13.2 ml O2 h(-1)) was significantly reduced by about 76% compared to resting metabolic rate (132.6±50.5 ml O2 h(-1)). On average, for all M. murinus individuals measured, hypometabolism during daily torpor reduced daily energy expenditure by about 38%. In conclusion, all these energy-conserving mechanisms of the nocturnal mouse lemurs, with passive exogenous heating during arousal from torpor, low minimum torpor T bs, and extended torpor bouts into the activity phase, comprise an important and highly adapted mechanism to minimize energetic costs in response to unfavorable environmental conditions and may play a crucial role for individual fitness.

  13. Geogenetic patterns in mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) reveal the ghosts of Madagascar's forests past

    PubMed Central

    Yoder, Anne D.; Campbell, C. Ryan; Blanco, Marina B.; dos Reis, Mario; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.; Goodman, Steven M.; Hunnicutt, Kelsie E.; Larsen, Peter A.; Kappeler, Peter M.; Rasoloarison, Rodin M.; Ralison, José M.; Swofford, David L.; Weisrock, David W.

    2016-01-01

    Phylogeographic analysis can be described as the study of the geological and climatological processes that have produced contemporary geographic distributions of populations and species. Here, we attempt to understand how the dynamic process of landscape change on Madagascar has shaped the distribution of a targeted clade of mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) and, conversely, how phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in these small primates can reciprocally advance our understanding of Madagascar's prehuman environment. The degree to which human activity has impacted the natural plant communities of Madagascar is of critical and enduring interest. Today, the eastern rainforests are separated from the dry deciduous forests of the west by a large expanse of presumed anthropogenic grassland savanna, dominated by the Family Poaceae, that blankets most of the Central Highlands. Although there is firm consensus that anthropogenic activities have transformed the original vegetation through agricultural and pastoral practices, the degree to which closed-canopy forest extended from the east to the west remains debated. Phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in a five-species clade of mouse lemurs suggest that longitudinal dispersal across the island was readily achieved throughout the Pleistocene, apparently ending at ∼55 ka. By examining patterns of both inter- and intraspecific genetic diversity in mouse lemur species found in the eastern, western, and Central Highland zones, we conclude that the natural environment of the Central Highlands would have been mosaic, consisting of a matrix of wooded savanna that formed a transitional zone between the extremes of humid eastern and dry western forest types. PMID:27432945

  14. Characterisation of urinary WFDC12 in small nocturnal basal primates, mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.)

    PubMed Central

    Unsworth, Jennifer; Loxley, Grace M.; Davidson, Amanda; Hurst, Jane L.; Gómez-Baena, Guadalupe; Mundy, Nicholas I.; Beynon, Robert J.; Zimmermann, Elke; Radespiel, Ute

    2017-01-01

    Mouse lemurs are basal primates that rely on chemo- and acoustic signalling for social interactions in their dispersed social systems. We examined the urinary protein content of two mouse lemurs species, within and outside the breeding season, to assess candidates used in species discrimination, reproductive or competitive communication. Urine from Microcebus murinus and Microcebus lehilahytsara contain a predominant 10 kDa protein, expressed in both species by some, but not all, males during the breeding season, but at very low levels by females. Mass spectrometry of the intact proteins confirmed the protein mass and revealed a 30 Da mass difference between proteins from the two species. Tandem mass spectrometry after digestion with three proteases and sequencing de novo defined the complete protein sequence and located an Ala/Thr difference between the two species that explained the 30 Da mass difference. The protein (mature form: 87 amino acids) is an atypical member of the whey acidic protein family (WFDC12). Seasonal excretion of this protein, species difference and male-specific expression during the breeding season suggest that it may have a function in intra- and/or intersexual chemical signalling in the context of reproduction, and could be a cue for sexual selection and species recognition. PMID:28225021

  15. A novel feeding behaviour in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons): depletion of spider nests.

    PubMed

    Schnoell, Anna Viktoria; Fichtel, Claudia

    2013-10-01

    Reports on behavioural innovations in wild primate populations as well as on their transmission are rare. Here, we report observations suggesting that redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) invent new behaviours in the wild. We observed a novel feeding behaviour in redfronted lemurs in Kirindy Forest, western Madagascar. The feeding behaviour consisted of depletion of nests of a social spider species (Stegodyphus sp.). The behaviour was observed in only one out of four study groups, although spider nests were present in the home ranges of all four groups. The behaviour was exhibited in three different years (2009, 2011, 2012) and appears to be re-invented from time to time. Interestingly, in 2011 this behaviour was shown by four individuals and probably spread within the group. This feeding behaviour has only been observed between the middle of June and early August (i.e. the early dry season), and nests were found to be empty later on, suggesting that these nests are available as a food source only seasonally. Our observation contributes a rare case of behavioural innovations in a wild primate population.

  16. Morphological characterization of a brown lemur hybrid zone (Eulemur rufifrons × E. cinereiceps).

    PubMed

    Delmore, Kira E; Louis, Edward E; Johnson, Steig E

    2011-05-01

    Hybridization has recently been identified as a pervasive force in the evolution of primates. In this study, we characterized a hybrid zone between two species of brown lemur (Eulemur rufifrons and E. cinereiceps) in the Andringitra region of southeastern Madagascar using morphological traits. We immobilized animals along a north-south transect (∼80 km), scored them for their degree of hybridity using pelage traits and measured standard morphometric variables. Results from our study suggest that hybridization between E. rufifrons and E. cinereiceps is extensive, with the hybrid zone extending over 42.6 km and being composed mostly of later generation hybrids. We also identified significant variation between ancestral groups in our study: hybrid males exhibited longer tails than both parental species and sexual dimorphism in upper canine height favoring males was documented in E. rufifrons. These patterns could suggest that gene flow between parental and hybrid populations is relatively limited. Finally, significant differences between ancestral groups in relative body mass and skin-fold thickness were absent in our study, indicating that, as measured by these proxies, hybrids are equally as fit as parental forms. Based on these preliminary findings, the Andringitra hybrid zone could conform to the bounded superiority model of hybrid zone stability (i.e., it could be being maintained by selection favoring hybrids within transitional habitats). Accordingly, hybrids in Andringitra may be an unusual case among primates, representing a stable recombinant but distinct lineage. This conclusion has important implications for evolutionary processes within the brown lemur species complex.

  17. Phylogenomic Reconstruction of Sportive Lemurs (genus Lepilemur) Recovered from Mitogenomes with Inferences for Madagascar Biogeography.

    PubMed

    Lei, Runhua; Frasier, Cynthia L; Hawkins, Melissa T R; Engberg, Shannon E; Bailey, Carolyn A; Johnson, Steig E; McLain, Adam T; Groves, Colin P; Perry, George H; Nash, Stephen D; Mittermeier, Russell A; Louis, Edward E

    2016-10-03

    The family Lepilemuridae includes 26 species of sportive lemurs, most of which were recently described. The cryptic morphological differences confounded taxonomy until recent molecular studies; however, some species' boundaries remain uncertain. To better understand the genus Lepilemur, we analyzed 35 complete mitochondrial genomes representing all recognized 26 sportive lemur taxa and estimated divergence dates. With our dataset we recovered 25 reciprocally monophyletic lineages, as well as an admixed clade containing Lepilemur mittermeieri and Lepilemur dorsalis Using modern distribution data, an ancestral area reconstruction and an ecological vicariance analysis were performed to trace the history of diversification and to test biogeographic hypotheses. We estimated the initial split between the eastern and western Lepilemur clades to have occurred in the Miocene. Divergence of most species occurred from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene. The biogeographic patterns recovered in this study were better addressed with a combinatorial approach including climate, watersheds, and rivers. Generally, current climate and watershed hypotheses performed better for western and eastern clades, while speciation of northern clades was not adequately supported using the ecological factors incorporated in this study. Thus, multiple mechanisms likely contributed to the speciation and distribution patterns in Lepilemur.

  18. Extreme individual flexibility of heterothermy in free-ranging Malagasy mouse lemurs (Microcebus griseorufus).

    PubMed

    Kobbe, Susanne; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Dausmann, Kathrin H

    2011-01-01

    Flexibility in physiological processes is essential to adequately respond to changes in environmental conditions. Madagascar is a particularly challenging environment because climatic conditions seem less predictable than in comparative ecosystems in other parts of the world. We used the reddish-gray mouse lemur (Microcebus griseorufus) from the most unpredictable environment in Madagascar as a model to investigate the flexibility of energy saving strategies to cope with the unpredictability of their habitat. For this we measured T (sk) of free-ranging mouse lemurs throughout the year using temperature data loggers. M. griseorufus showed a very strong seasonal as well as an individual flexibility in thermoregulation. During the rainy season all M. griseorufus remained normothermic. At the beginning of the dry season individuals started to exhibit different energy saving strategies: irregular short torpor bouts, regular daily torpor, prolonged torpor of a few days, and hibernation over several weeks. The accumulation of sufficient seasonal body fat was the crucial factor determining the thermal behavior of individuals. The observed intraspecific and sex independent variation in thermoregulatory patterns within one population inhabiting the same small geographical area is exceptional and gives M. griseorufus the ability to respond to current environmental as well as individual conditions. This thermal plasticity might be seen as a key to success and survival for M. griseorufus in an extremely unpredictable environment.

  19. Hibernation in Malagasy mouse lemurs as a strategy to counter environmental challenge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobbe, Susanne; Dausmann, Kathrin H.

    2009-10-01

    The spiny forest of southwestern Madagascar is the driest and most unpredictable region of the island. It is characterized by a pronounced seasonality with high fluctuations in ambient temperature, low availability of food, and a lack of water during the cool dry season and, additionally, by changes in environmental conditions between years. One of the few mammalian species that manages to inhabit this challenging habitat is the reddish-gray mouse lemur ( Microcebus griseorufus). The aim of our study was to determine whether this small primate uses continuous hibernation as an energy saving strategy, and if so, to characterize its physiological properties. We measured skin temperature of 16 free-ranging individuals continuously over 3 months during the cool dry season using collar temperature data loggers. Prolonged hibernation was found in three mouse lemurs and was not sex dependent (one male, two females). Skin temperature of hibernating individuals tracked ambient temperature passively with a minimum skin temperature of 6.5°C and fluctuated strongly each day (up to 20°C), depending on the insulation capacity of the hibernacula. Individuals remained in continuous hibernation even at an ambient temperature of 37°C. The animals hibernated continuously during the dry season, and hibernation bouts were only interrupted by short spontaneous arousals. The study emphasizes that hibernation is an important measure to counter environmental challenge for more tropical species than previously thought, including primates. It furthermore provides evidence that tropical hibernation is functionally similar among tropical species.

  20. Hibernation in Malagasy mouse lemurs as a strategy to counter environmental challenge.

    PubMed

    Kobbe, Susanne; Dausmann, Kathrin H

    2009-10-01

    The spiny forest of southwestern Madagascar is the driest and most unpredictable region of the island. It is characterized by a pronounced seasonality with high fluctuations in ambient temperature, low availability of food, and a lack of water during the cool dry season and, additionally, by changes in environmental conditions between years. One of the few mammalian species that manages to inhabit this challenging habitat is the reddish-gray mouse lemur (Microcebus griseorufus). The aim of our study was to determine whether this small primate uses continuous hibernation as an energy saving strategy, and if so, to characterize its physiological properties. We measured skin temperature of 16 free-ranging individuals continuously over 3 months during the cool dry season using collar temperature data loggers. Prolonged hibernation was found in three mouse lemurs and was not sex dependent (one male, two females). Skin temperature of hibernating individuals tracked ambient temperature passively with a minimum skin temperature of 6.5 degrees C and fluctuated strongly each day (up to 20 degrees C), depending on the insulation capacity of the hibernacula. Individuals remained in continuous hibernation even at an ambient temperature of 37 degrees C. The animals hibernated continuously during the dry season, and hibernation bouts were only interrupted by short spontaneous arousals. The study emphasizes that hibernation is an important measure to counter environmental challenge for more tropical species than previously thought, including primates. It furthermore provides evidence that tropical hibernation is functionally similar among tropical species.

  1. Nanoindentation of lemur enamel: an ecological investigation of mechanical property variations within and between sympatric species.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Sara E; Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Sponheimer, Matt; Ferguson, Virginia L

    2012-06-01

    The common morphological metrics of size, shape, and enamel thickness of teeth are believed to reflect the functional requirements of a primate's diet. However, the mechanical and material properties of enamel also contribute to tooth function, yet are rarely studied. Substantial wear and tooth loss previously documented in Lemur catta at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve suggests that their dental morphology, structure, and possibly their enamel are not adapted for their current fallback food (the mechanically challenging tamarind fruit). In this study, we investigate the nanomechanical properties, mineralization, and microstructure of the enamel of three sympatric lemur species to provide insight into their dietary functional adaptations. Mechanical properties measured by nanoindentation were compared to measurements of mineral content, prism orientation, prism size, and enamel thickness using electron microscopy. Mechanical properties of all species were similar near the enamel dentin junction and variations correlated with changes in microstructure (e.g., prism size) and mineral content. Severe wear and microcracking within L. catta's enamel were associated with up to a 43% reduction in nanomechanical properties in regions of cracking versus intact enamel. The mechanical and material properties of L. catta's enamel are similar to those of sympatric folivores and suggest that they are not uniquely mechanically adapted to consume the physically challenging tamarind fruit. An understanding of the material and mechanical properties of enamel is required to fully elucidate the functional and ecological adaptations of primate teeth.

  2. Edge effects on morphometrics and body mass in two sympatric species of mouse lemurs in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Burke, Ryan J; Lehman, Shawn M

    2014-01-01

    Edge effects are an inevitable and important consequence of forest loss and fragmentation. These effects include changes in species biology and biogeography. Here we examine variations in body mass and morphometrics for 2 sympatric species of mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus and M. ravelobensis) between edge and interior habitats in the dry deciduous forest at Ankarafantsika National Park. Between May and August 2012, we conducted mark-recapture experiments on mouse lemurs trapped along edge and interior forest transects within continuous forest adjacent to a large savannah. Of the 34 M. murinus captured during our study, 82% (n = 28) were trapped in interior habitats. Conversely, 72% (n = 47) of M. ravelobensis were captured in edge habitats. We found that mean body mass of M. murinus and M. ravelobensis did not differ between edge and interior habitats. However, female M. ravelobensis weighed significantly more in edge habitats (56.09 ± 1.74 g) than in interior habitats (48.14 ± 4.44 g). Our study provides some of the first evidence of sex differences in edge responses for a primate species.

  3. A complex sensory organ in the nose skin of the prosimian primate Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Elofsson, Rolf; Tuminaite, Inga; Kröger, Ronald H H

    2015-06-01

    Most mammals have nose tips covered by glabrous skin, a labronasal area, or rhinarium. The surface of the rhinarium of Lemur catta has a dermatoglyphic pattern consisting of epidermal domes. Below the domes, epidermal pegs dip down into the dermis. In and below the tip of the epidermal peg, a complex sensory organ is found. It consists of an association of innervated Merkel cells, lamellate (Pacini-like) bodies with a central nerve, and a ring of unmyelinated nerve endings in the epidermis. The Merkel cells are situated basally in the epidermis and the lamellated bodies just below the epidermis. The unmyelinated nerve endings related to the organ ascend in a circle straight through the epidermis ending below the corneal layer. From these nerve terminals, horizontal spikes enter the keratinocytes. The three components occur together forming an organ and are innervated from a common nerve plexus. The morphology of the complex sensory organ of the lemur shares most crucial components with Eimer's organs in moles, echidna, and platypus, while some structures are lacking, for example, the specific central pillar of keratinocytes, the cuticular cap, and a central unmyelinated fiber. The presence of the essentials of an Eimer's organ in many mammals suggests that a wider definition is motivated.

  4. Testing yawning hypotheses in wild populations of two strepsirrhine species: Propithecus verreauxi and Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Zannella, Alessandra; Norscia, Ivan; Stanyon, Roscoe; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2015-11-01

    Yawning, although easily recognized, is difficult to explain. Traditional explanations stressed physiological mechanisms, but more recently, behavioral processes have received increasing attention. This is the first study to test a range of hypotheses on yawning in wild primate populations. We studied two sympatric strepsirrhine species, Lemur catta, and Propithecus verreauxi, of the Ankoba forest (24.99°S, 46.29°E, Berenty reserve) in southern Madagascar. Sexual dimorphism is lacking in both species. However, their differences in ecological and behavioral characteristics facilitate comparative tests of hypotheses on yawning. Our results show that within each species males and females yawned with similar frequencies supporting the Dimorphism Hypothesis, which predicts that low sexual dimorphism leads to little inter-sexual differences in yawning. In support of the State Changing Hypothesis yawning frequencies was linked to the sleep-wake cycle and punctuated transitions from one behavior to another. Accordingly, yawning frequencies were significantly higher in L. catta than in P. verreauxi, because L. catta has a higher basal level of activity and consequently a higher number of behavioral transitions. In agreement with the Anxiety Hypothesis, yawning increased significantly in the 10 min following predatory attacks or aggression. Our findings provide the first empirical evidence of a direct connection between anxiety and yawning in lemurs. Our results show that yawning in these two strepsirrhines occurs in different contexts, but more research will be necessary to determine if yawns are a single, unitary behavior.

  5. The influence of visitor interaction on the behavior of captive crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus) and implications for welfare.

    PubMed

    Jones, H; McGregor, P K; Farmer, H L A; Baker, K R

    2016-05-01

    Research suggests that zoo visitors can have positive, negative, and neutral impacts on captive primate welfare; however, research investigating the implications of visitor-animal feeding experiences is extremely limited. In the UK, a large proportion of BIAZA zoos that house lemur species offer visitor interaction experiences (16 out of 33). This study investigated the impact on the behavior of a family group of crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus) housed at Newquay Zoo, UK of visitors, accompanied by a keeper, entering the enclosure to feed the lemurs. Behavior was observed under four conditions: (i) during visitor feed; (ii) 30 min post-visitor feed; (iii) during a keeper feed; and (iv) 30 min post-keeper feed. Keeper feeds were conducted by keepers only, on the day after visitor feeds. The lemur group spent significantly less time performing aggressive behavior and was also significantly more interactive with keepers during visitor feeds compared with keeper-only feeds. There was no significant difference in behaviors performed immediately after interacting with visitors. Over the study period, there was a tendency for interactions with visitors to increase, and for interactions with keepers during visitor feeds to decrease. After a 28-day interval without visitor interaction, the lemurs' interaction with visitors had returned to the level recorded at the start of the study. In conclusion, visitor interaction did not compromise the welfare of the study subjects in either the short- or long-term, while an increase in visitor interactions over time has interesting implications for the enrichment properties of, or habituation to, unfamiliar humans. Zoo Biol. 35:222-227, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Colour and odour drive fruit selection and seed dispersal by mouse lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Valenta, Kim; Burke, Ryan J.; Styler, Sarah A.; Jackson, Derek A.; Melin, Amanda D.; Lehman, Shawn M.

    2013-01-01

    Animals and fruiting plants are involved in a complex set of interactions, with animals relying on fruiting trees as food resources, and fruiting trees relying on animals for seed dispersal. This interdependence shapes fruit signals such as colour and odour, to increase fruit detectability, and animal sensory systems, such as colour vision and olfaction to facilitate food identification and selection. Despite the ecological and evolutionary importance of plant-animal interactions for shaping animal sensory adaptations and plant characteristics, the details of the relationship are poorly understood. Here we examine the role of fruit chromaticity, luminance and odour on seed dispersal by mouse lemurs. We show that both fruit colour and odour significantly predict fruit consumption and seed dispersal by Microcebus ravelobensis and M. murinus. Our study is the first to quantify and examine the role of bimodal fruit signals on seed dispersal in light of the sensory abilities of the disperser. PMID:23939534

  7. A case of adult cannibalism in the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Anni

    2012-09-01

    Cannibalism, defined as the eating of conspecific flesh, has been observed in a number of primate species, although it is still a relatively rare phenomenon. In cases where primates were seen feeding on an individual of the same species, the victims have exclusively been infants or juveniles. Here, I report an event of a free-living, adult male gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, cannibalizing an adult conspecific female that died of an unknown cause. This observation has implications for the basic ecology of the species and highlights the potential for great flexibility in diet and behavior by a primate. This is, to my knowledge, the first communication of cannibalistic behavior in this species, as well as the first reported case of a nonhuman primate cannibalizing an adult conspecific.

  8. Determinants of Pair-Living in Red-Tailed Sportive Lemurs (Lepilemur ruficaudatus)

    PubMed Central

    Hilgartner, Roland; Fichtel, Claudia; Kappeler, Peter M; Zinner, Dietmar

    2012-01-01

    Pair-living and a monogamous mating strategy are rare and theoretically unexpected among mammals. Nevertheless, about 10% of primate species exhibit such a social system, which is difficult to explain in the absence of paternal care. In this study, we investigated the two major hypotheses proposed to explain the evolution of monogamy in mammals, the female defence hypothesis (FDH) and the resource defence hypothesis (RDH), in red-tailed sportive lemurs (Lepilemur ruficaudatus), a nocturnal primate from Madagascar. We analysed behavioural data from eight male–female pairs collected during a 24-mo field study to illuminate the determinants of pair-living in this species. Male and female L. ruficaudatus were found to live in dispersed pairs, which are characterised by low cohesion and low encounter rates within a common home range. Social interactions between pair partners were mainly agonistic and characterised by a complete absence of affiliative interactions – body contact was only observed during mating. During the short annual mating season, males exhibited elevated levels of aggression towards mates, as well as extensive mate guarding and increased locomotor activity. In addition, males were exclusively responsible for the maintenance of proximity between pair partners during this period, and they defended their territories against neighbouring males but not against females. Together, these results point towards the importance of female defence in explaining pair-living in L. ruficaudatus. We discuss the spatial and temporal distribution of receptive females in relation to the female defence strategies of males and suggest possible costs that prevent male red-tailed sportive lemurs from defending more than one female. PMID:23144523

  9. Regional, seasonal and interspecific variation in 15N and 13C in sympatric mouse lemurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rakotondranary, S. Jacques; Struck, Ulrich; Knoblauch, Christian; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.

    2011-11-01

    Madagascar provides some of the rare examples where two or more primate species of the same genus and with seemingly identical niche requirements occur in sympatry. If congeneric primate species co-occur in other parts of the world, they differ in size in a way that is consistent with Hutchinson's rule for coexisting species, or they occupy different ecological niches. In some areas of Madagascar, mouse lemurs do not follow these "rules" and thus seem to violate one of the principles of community ecology. In order to understand the mechanisms that allow coexistence of sympatric congeneric species without obvious niche differentiation, we studied food composition of two identical sized omnivorous mouse lemur species, Microcebus griseorufus and M. murinus with the help of stable isotope analyses ( δ 15N and δ 13C). The two species are closely related sister species. During the rich season, when food seems abundant, the two species do not differ in their nitrogen isotope composition, indicating that the two species occupy the same trophic level. But they differ in their δ 13C values, indicating that M. griseorufus feeds more on C4 and CAM (Crassulacean-acid-metabolism) plants than M. murinus. During the lean season, M. murinus has lower δ 15N values, indicating that the two species feed at different trophic levels during times of food shortage. Hybrids between the two species showed intermediate food composition. The results reflect subtle differences in foraging or metabolic adaptations that are difficult to quantify by traditional observations but that represent possibilities to allow coexistence of species.

  10. A genome sequence resource for the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a nocturnal lemur from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Perry, George H; Reeves, Darryl; Melsted, Páll; Ratan, Aakrosh; Miller, Webb; Michelini, Katelyn; Louis, Edward E; Pritchard, Jonathan K; Mason, Christopher E; Gilad, Yoav

    2012-01-01

    We present a high-coverage draft genome assembly of the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a highly unusual nocturnal primate from Madagascar. Our assembly totals ~3.0 billion bp (3.0 Gb), roughly the size of the human genome, comprised of ~2.6 million scaffolds (N50 scaffold size = 13,597 bp) based on short paired-end sequencing reads. We compared the aye-aye genome sequence data with four other published primate genomes (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, and rhesus macaque) as well as with the mouse and dog genomes as nonprimate outgroups. Unexpectedly, we observed strong evidence for a relatively slow substitution rate in the aye-aye lineage compared with these and other primates. In fact, the aye-aye branch length is estimated to be ~10% shorter than that of the human lineage, which is known for its low substitution rate. This finding may be explained, in part, by the protracted aye-aye life-history pattern, including late weaning and age of first reproduction relative to other lemurs. Additionally, the availability of this draft lemur genome sequence allowed us to polarize nucleotide and protein sequence changes to the ancestral primate lineage-a critical period in primate evolution, for which the relevant fossil record is sparse. Finally, we identified 293,800 high-confidence single nucleotide polymorphisms in the donor individual for our aye-aye genome sequence, a captive-born individual from two wild-born parents. The resulting heterozygosity estimate of 0.051% is the lowest of any primate studied to date, which is understandable considering the aye-aye's extensive home-range size and relatively low population densities. Yet this level of genetic diversity also suggests that conservation efforts benefiting this unusual species should be prioritized, especially in the face of the accelerating degradation and fragmentation of Madagascar's forests.

  11. The socio-matrix reloaded: from hierarchy to dominance profile in wild lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Dominance hierarchy influences the life quality of social animals, and its definition should in principle be based on the outcome of agonistic interactions. However, defining and comparing the dominance profile of social groups is difficult due to the different dominance measures used and because no one measure explains it all. We applied different analytical methods to winner-loser sociomatrices to determine the dominance profile of five groups of wild lemurs (species: Lemur catta, Propithecus verreauxi, and Eulemur rufus x collaris) from the Berenty forest (Madagascar). They are an excellent study model because they share the same habitat and an apparently similar dominance profile: linear hierarchy and female dominance. Data were collected over more than 1200 h of observation. Our approach included four steps: (1) by applying the binary dyadic dominance relationship method (I&SI) on either aggressions or supplant sociomatrices we verified whether hierarchy was aggression or submission based; (2) by calculating normalized David’s scores and measuring steepness from aggression sociomatrices we evaluated whether hierarchy was shallow or steep; (3) by comparing the ranking orders obtained with methods 1 and 2 we assessed whether hierarchy was consistent or not; and (4) by assessing triangle transitivity and comparing it with the linearity index and the level of group cohesion we determined if hierarchy was more or less cohesive. Our results show that L. catta groups have got a steep, consistent, highly transitive and cohesive hierarchy. P. verreauxi groups are characterized by a moderately steep and consistent hierarchy, with variable levels of triangle transitivity and cohesion. E. rufus x collaris group possesses a shallow and inconsistent hierarchy, with lower (but not lowest) levels of transitivity and cohesion. A multiple analytical approach on winner-loser sociomatrices other than leading to an in-depth description of the dominance profile, allows intergroup

  12. The socio-matrix reloaded: from hierarchy to dominance profile in wild lemurs.

    PubMed

    Norscia, Ivan; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Dominance hierarchy influences the life quality of social animals, and its definition should in principle be based on the outcome of agonistic interactions. However, defining and comparing the dominance profile of social groups is difficult due to the different dominance measures used and because no one measure explains it all. We applied different analytical methods to winner-loser sociomatrices to determine the dominance profile of five groups of wild lemurs (species: Lemur catta, Propithecus verreauxi, and Eulemur rufus x collaris) from the Berenty forest (Madagascar). They are an excellent study model because they share the same habitat and an apparently similar dominance profile: linear hierarchy and female dominance. Data were collected over more than 1200 h of observation. Our approach included four steps: (1) by applying the binary dyadic dominance relationship method (I&SI) on either aggressions or supplant sociomatrices we verified whether hierarchy was aggression or submission based; (2) by calculating normalized David's scores and measuring steepness from aggression sociomatrices we evaluated whether hierarchy was shallow or steep; (3) by comparing the ranking orders obtained with methods 1 and 2 we assessed whether hierarchy was consistent or not; and (4) by assessing triangle transitivity and comparing it with the linearity index and the level of group cohesion we determined if hierarchy was more or less cohesive. Our results show that L. catta groups have got a steep, consistent, highly transitive and cohesive hierarchy. P. verreauxi groups are characterized by a moderately steep and consistent hierarchy, with variable levels of triangle transitivity and cohesion. E. rufus x collaris group possesses a shallow and inconsistent hierarchy, with lower (but not lowest) levels of transitivity and cohesion. A multiple analytical approach on winner-loser sociomatrices other than leading to an in-depth description of the dominance profile, allows intergroup

  13. Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis in a Captive Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) Caused by Acanthamoeba T4 Genotype.

    PubMed

    Gaide, N; Pelandakis, M; Robveille, C; Albaric, O; Jouvion, G; Souchon, M; Risler, A; Abadie, J

    2015-11-01

    A mature male, black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) died in a zoological garden after a 4-day history of lethargy and non-responsive convulsions. Necropsy and histopathological examinations revealed acute necrotizing and haemorrhagic meningoencephalitis with intralesional amoebas confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Acanthamoeba T4 genotype was identified as the causative agent of the brain lesion, based on amplification and sequencing of 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The presence of free-living amoebas in water and mud from the lemur's environment was investigated by morphological and molecular analyses. The two predominant genera, representing 80% of isolated amoebas, were Naegleria spp. and Acanthamoeba spp. All Acanthamoeba isolates belonged to the T4 genotype. To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of a meningoencephalitis due to Acanthamoeba T4 genotype in Lemuridae with concurrent analysis of pathological tissues and environment.

  14. Resource seasonality and reproduction predict fission-fusion dynamics in black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata).

    PubMed

    Baden, Andrea L; Webster, Timothy H; Kamilar, Jason M

    2016-02-01

    Ruffed lemurs (genus Varecia) are often described as having a flexible social organization, such that both cohesive (low fission-fusion dynamics) and fluid (high fission-fusion dynamics) grouping patterns have been observed. In ruffed lemur communities with high fission-fusion dynamics, group members vary in their temporal and spatial dispersion throughout a communally defended territory. These patterns have been likened to those observed in several haplorrhine species that exhibit the most fluid types of fission-fusion social organization (e.g., Pan and Ateles). To substantiate and further refine these claims, we describe the fission-fusion dynamics of a black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) community at Mangevo, an undisturbed primary rainforest site in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We collected instantaneous group scan samples from August 2007-December 2008 (4,044 observation hours) to study and characterize patterns of subgroup size, composition, cohesion, and social association. In 16 consecutive months, we never found all members of the community together. In fact, individuals spent nearly half of their time alone. Subgroups were small, cohesive, and typically of mixed-sex composition. Mixed-sex subgroups were significantly larger, less cohesive, and more common than either male-only or female-only subgroups. Subgroup dynamics were related to shifts in climate, phenology of preferred fruit species, and female reproductive state. On average, association indices were low. Males and females were equally gregarious; however, adult male-male associations were significantly weaker than any other association type. Results presented herein document striking differences in fission-fusion dynamics between black-and-white ruffed lemurs and haplorrhines, while also demonstrating many broad-scale similarities to haplorrhine taxa that possess the most fluid fission-fusion societies.

  15. Characterization of blood biochemical markers during aging in the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus): impact of gender and season

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Hematologic and biochemical data are needed to characterize the health status of animal populations over time to determine the habitat quality and captivity conditions. Blood components and the chemical entities that they transport change predominantly with sex and age. The aim of this study was to utilize blood chemistry monitoring to establish the reference levels in a small prosimian primate, the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus). Method In the captive colony, mouse lemurs may live 10–12 years, and three age groups for both males and females were studied: young (1–3 years), middle-aged (4–5 years) and old (6–10 years). Blood biochemical markers were measured using the VetScan Comprehensive Diagnostic Profile. Because many life history traits of this primate are highly dependent on the photoperiod (body mass and reproduction), the effect of season was also assessed. Results The main effect of age was observed in blood markers of renal functions such as creatinine, which was higher among females. Additionally, blood urea nitrogen significantly increased with age and is potentially linked to chronic renal insufficiency, which has been described in captive mouse lemurs. The results demonstrated significant effects related to season, especially in blood protein levels and glucose rates; these effects were observed regardless of gender or age and were likely due to seasonal variations in food intake, which is very marked in this species. Conclusion These results were highly similar with those obtained in other primate species and can serve as references for future research of the Grey Mouse Lemur. PMID:23131178

  16. Nocturnal activity in the cathemeral red-fronted lemur (Eulemur fulvus rufus), with observations during a lunar eclipse.

    PubMed

    Donati, G; Lunardini, A; Kappeler, P M; Borgognini Tarli, S M

    2001-02-01

    Several ecological and physiological factors have been suggested to structure circadian activity in cathemeral primates, i.e., those that are regularly active both day and night, but their relative importance remains controversial. We studied the nocturnal activity of a group of cathemeral redfronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus) in Kirindy Forest in Western Madagascar to examine its relationship with one environmental factor, ambient light levels, in detail. To this end, nightly travel distances and moon luminosity were determined between March and June 1996. During this transitional period between the wet and dry seasons these red-fronted lemurs were regularly active at night, and traveled significantly larger distances during full-moon nights compared to new-moon nights. The importance of ambient luminosity for nocturnal activity was highlighted by observations during a total lunar eclipse (i.e., during a full-moon night), which caused abrupt cessation of the animal's activity. Our results support the hypothesis that nocturnal activity of these cathemeral lemurs is regulated also by changes in ambient light levels.

  17. The Use of an Invasive Species Habitat by a Small Folivorous Primate: Implications for Lemur Conservation in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Eppley, Timothy M.; Donati, Giuseppe; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriatafika, Faly; Andriamandimbiarisoa, Laza N.; Rabehevitra, David; Ravelomanantsoa, Robertin; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.

    2015-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar are among the most threatened mammalian taxa in the world, with habitat loss due to shifting cultivation and timber harvest heavily contributing to their precarious state. Deforestation often leads to fragmentation, resulting in mixed-habitat matrices throughout a landscape where disturbed areas are prone to invasion by exotic plants. Our study site, the Mandena littoral forest (southeast Madagascar), is a matrix of littoral forest, littoral swamp, and Melaleuca swamp habitats. Here, Melaleuca quinquenervia has invaded the wetland ecosystem, creating a mono-dominant habitat that currently provides the only potential habitat corridor between forest fragments. We sought to understand the role of this invasive Melaleuca swamp on the behavioral ecology of a threatened, small-bodied folivore, the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). We collected botanical and behavioral data on four groups of H. meridionalis between January and December 2013. Our results confirm Melaleuca swamp as an important part of their home range: while lemurs seasonally limited activities to certain habitats, all groups were capable of utilizing this invasive habitat for feeding and resting. Furthermore, the fact that Hapalemur use an invasive plant species as a dispersal corridor increases our knowledge of their ecological flexibility, and may be useful in the conservation management of remaining threatened populations. PMID:26536667

  18. Codominant autosomal inheritance of polymorphic red cell acid phosphates of lemurs and some properties of the enzymes.

    PubMed

    Mason, G A; Buettner-Janusch, J

    1977-06-01

    Red cell acid phosphatase phenotypes of 207 captive animals of the genera Lemur, Hapalemur, and Prophithecus were determined by starch gel electrophoresis and phosphatase-specific staining. In Lemur fulvus, three phenotypes, designated A, B, and AB, were observed. In each of the species L. catta, L. macaco, L. mongoz, and L. variegatus, a single phenotype was observed, In Hapalemur griseus, three phenotypes were found: A,B, and AB. In Propithecus verreauxi, a single phenotype was found. Examination of breeding records in conjunction with the results of the electrophoretic analyses supports the conclusion that the erythrocytic acid phosphatases in this group of nonhuman primates are the products of at least two codominant autosomal alleles. There is a wide range of specific activities of the acid phosphatases as determined by colorimetric assays. The values range from 60.6 micronmoles of p-nitrophenol released per gram of hemoglobin per 30 min in Lemur catta to 429.1 micronmoles in Propithecus verreauxi. The enzymes of L. fulvus and P. vereauxi were purified approximately 400-fold, and Michaelis-Menten constants were determined on the purified preparations. For L. fulvus phenotype A, Km = 0.8 mM; for L. fulvus phenotype B, Km = 0.8 mM; and for P. verreauxi, Km = 0.6 mM; the substrate in each case was p-nitrophenylphosphate.

  19. The Use of an Invasive Species Habitat by a Small Folivorous Primate: Implications for Lemur Conservation in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Eppley, Timothy M; Donati, Giuseppe; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriatafika, Faly; Andriamandimbiarisoa, Laza N; Rabehevitra, David; Ravelomanantsoa, Robertin; Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    2015-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar are among the most threatened mammalian taxa in the world, with habitat loss due to shifting cultivation and timber harvest heavily contributing to their precarious state. Deforestation often leads to fragmentation, resulting in mixed-habitat matrices throughout a landscape where disturbed areas are prone to invasion by exotic plants. Our study site, the Mandena littoral forest (southeast Madagascar), is a matrix of littoral forest, littoral swamp, and Melaleuca swamp habitats. Here, Melaleuca quinquenervia has invaded the wetland ecosystem, creating a mono-dominant habitat that currently provides the only potential habitat corridor between forest fragments. We sought to understand the role of this invasive Melaleuca swamp on the behavioral ecology of a threatened, small-bodied folivore, the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). We collected botanical and behavioral data on four groups of H. meridionalis between January and December 2013. Our results confirm Melaleuca swamp as an important part of their home range: while lemurs seasonally limited activities to certain habitats, all groups were capable of utilizing this invasive habitat for feeding and resting. Furthermore, the fact that Hapalemur use an invasive plant species as a dispersal corridor increases our knowledge of their ecological flexibility, and may be useful in the conservation management of remaining threatened populations.

  20. The influence of social organisation on leadership in brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) in a controlled environment.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, A; Maumy, M; Petit, O

    2008-10-01

    Studies on leadership during group movements in several lemur species showed that females were responsible for the travelling choices concerning time and direction. Interestingly, in these species females are dominant over males. We investigated the influence of social organisation upon leadership processes by studying a lemur species in which social organisation is characterized by the absence of female dominance: the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus fulvus). The study was conducted on a semi-free ranging group of 11 individuals and the analysis performed on 69 group movements showed that all the individuals could initiate a group movement. In 34 cases, the whole group moved. There was no significant difference in the number of start attempts or in the number of group members involved from one initiator to another. Moreover, there was no effect of sex or age of the initiator on the number of individuals following it or on the speed of the joining process. Therefore, the leadership observed is widely distributed to all group members. These results support the hypothesis of an influence of social organisation upon the decision-making processes but still remain to be studied in a more relevant ecological context.

  1. Stable isotopes complement focal individual observations and confirm dietary variability in reddish-gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus griseorufus) from southwestern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Crowley, Brooke E; Rasoazanabary, Emilienne; Godfrey, Laurie R

    2014-09-01

    We examine the ecology of reddish-gray mouse lemurs from three habitats at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve using focal follows and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope data. Focal observations indicate dietary differences among habitats as well as sexes and seasons. Both sexes consume more arthropods during the rainy season but overall, females consume more sugar-rich exudates and fruit than males, and individuals from riparian forest consume fewer arthropods and more fruit than those in xeric or dry forest. We ask whether these observations are isotopically detectable. Isotope data support differences between seasons and sexes. Nitrogen isotope values are higher during the rainy season when lemurs consume more arthropods, and higher in males than females, particularly during the dry season. However, differences among populations inferred from focal observations are not fully supported. Lemurs from riparian forest have lower isotope values than those in xeric scrub, but isotope data suggest that lemurs from the dry forest eat the least animal matter and that focal observations overestimated dry forest arthropod consumption. Overall, our results suggest that observational and isotopic data are complementary. Isotope data can be obtained from a larger number of individuals and can quantify ingestion of animal matter, but they apparently cannot quantify the relative consumption of different sugar-rich foods. Combined focal and isotope data provide valuable insight into the dietary constraints of reddish-grey mouse lemurs, with implications for their vulnerability to future habitat change.

  2. Touchscreen-based cognitive tasks reveal age-related impairment in a primate aging model, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Joly, Marine; Ammersdörfer, Sandra; Schmidtke, Daniel; Zimmermann, Elke

    2014-01-01

    Mouse lemurs are suggested to represent promising novel non-human primate models for aging research. However, standardized and cross-taxa cognitive testing methods are still lacking. Touchscreen-based testing procedures have proven high stimulus control and reliability in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to adapt these procedures to mouse lemurs, thereby exploring the effect of age. We measured appetitive learning and cognitive flexibility of two age groups by applying pairwise visual discrimination (PD) and reversal learning (PDR) tasks. On average, mouse lemurs needed 24 days of training before starting with the PD task. Individual performances in PD and PDR tasks correlate significantly, suggesting that individual learning performance is unrelated to the respective task. Compared to the young, aged mouse lemurs showed impairments in both PD and PDR tasks. They needed significantly more trials to reach the task criteria. A much higher inter-individual variation in old than in young adults was revealed. Furthermore, in the PDR task, we found a significantly higher perseverance in aged compared to young adults, indicating an age-related deficit in cognitive flexibility. This study presents the first touchscreen-based data on the cognitive skills and age-related dysfunction in mouse lemurs and provides a unique basis to study mechanisms of inter-individual variation. It furthermore opens exciting perspectives for comparative approaches in aging, personality, and evolutionary research.

  3. Lice and ticks of the eastern rufous mouse lemur, Microcebus rufus, with descriptions of the male and third instar nymph of Lemurpediculus verruculosus (Phthiraptera: Anoplura).

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Zohdy, Sarah; Laakkonen, Juha

    2010-10-01

    Sucking lice and ticks were collected from live-trapped eastern rufous mouse lemurs, Microcebus rufus Geoffroy, in and around the periphery of Ranomafana National Park, southeastern Madagascar, from 2007 to 2009. Samples of 53 sucking lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera: Anoplura) and 28 hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) were collected from 36 lemur captures representing 26 different host individuals. All of the lice were Lemurpediculus verruculosus (Ward) (6 males, 46 females, 1 third instar nymph). Only the holotype female was known previously for this louse and the host was stated to be a "mouse lemur." Therefore, we describe the male and third instar nymph of L. verruculosus and confirm M. rufus as a host (possibly the only host) of this louse. All of the ticks were nymphs and consisted of 16 Haemaphysalis lemuris Hoogstraal, 11 Haemaphysalis sp., and 1 Ixodes sp. The last 2 ticks listed did not morphologically match any of the Madagascar Haemaphysalis or Ixodes ticks for which nymphal stages have been described.

  4. Deficits of psychomotor and mnesic functions across aging in mouse lemur primates

    PubMed Central

    Languille, Solène; Liévin-Bazin, Agatha; Picq, Jean-Luc; Louis, Caroline; Dix, Sophie; De Barry, Jean; Blin, Olivier; Richardson, Jill; Bordet, Régis; Schenker, Esther; Djelti, Fathia; Aujard, Fabienne

    2015-01-01

    Owing to a similar cerebral neuro-anatomy, non-human primates are viewed as the most valid models for understanding cognitive deficits. This study evaluated psychomotor and mnesic functions of 41 young to old mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Psychomotor capacities and anxiety-related behaviors decreased abruptly from middle to late adulthood. However, mnesic functions were not affected in the same way with increasing age. While results of the spontaneous alternation task point to a progressive and widespread age-related decline of spatial working memory, both spatial reference and novel object recognition (NOR) memory tasks did not reveal any tendency due to large inter-individual variability in the middle-aged and old animals. Indeed, some of the aged animals performed as well as younger ones, whereas some others had bad performances in the Barnes maze and in the object recognition test. Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed that declarative-like memory was strongly impaired only in 7 out of 25 middle-aged/old animals. These results suggest that this analysis allows to distinguish elder populations of good and bad performers in this non-human primate model and to closely compare this to human aging. PMID:25620921

  5. Tree hole utilisation by the hairy-eared dwarf lemur (Allocebus trichotis) in Analamazaotra Special Reserve.

    PubMed

    Biebouw, Karla; Bearder, Simon; Nekaris, Anna

    2009-01-01

    In this study we describe tree hole characteristics and use by the hairy-eared dwarf lemur (Allocebus trichotis) to determine habitat needs, potential functions of tree holes and sleeping group composition. We radio-tracked 6 adult individuals between April and November 2007 in the Analamazaotra Special Reserve. Tree holes were 1-9 m high (median: 7 m), in living trees measuring 26-54 cm in diameter at breast height (median: 32 cm), and could be a limiting resource. Each individual used 4 or 5 tree holes and had high nest fidelity. Animals most often slept socially in mixed-sex groups of 2-6 individuals and occasionally shared a tree hole with white-tailed tree rats (Brachytarsomys albicauda). We identified two sleeping groups: one composed of 2 adult males, 2 adult females and 2 juveniles; one composed of at least 2 adult females and 2 juveniles. Although tree holes were generally group exclusive, some intergroup sleeping was observed. Tree holes could have antipredator and thermoregulatory functions. Further research into sleeping hole availability, nest use and the degree of niche separation or competition between sympatric Cheirogaleidae and other tree hole users (e.g. endemic rodents) is needed to assess better the conservation needs of these species.

  6. Need for speed: Sexual maturation precedes social maturation in gray mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hohenbrink, Sarah; Zimmermann, Elke; Radespiel, Ute

    2015-10-01

    The life history of mammals underlies a fast-slow continuum, ranging from "slow" species with large body size, delayed sexual maturation, low fertility, and long lifespan, to "fast" species showing the opposite traits. Primates fall into the "slow" category, considering their relatively low offspring numbers and delayed juvenile development. However, social and sexual maturation processes do not necessarily have to be completed simultaneously. The comparison of the timeframes for sexual and social maturation is largely lacking for primates, with the prominent exception of humans. Here, we compare both maturation processes in a basal primate, the gray mouse lemur, which ranges in many aspects at the fast end of the slow-fast life history continuum among primates. We compared the patterns and frequencies of various social and solitary behaviors in young adults (YA, 12-13 months old) and older individuals (A, ≥2 years) of both sexes outside estrus. Observations were conducted during mix-sexed dyadic encounter experiments under controlled captive conditions (eight dyads per age class). Results indicate that although all young adults were sexually mature, social maturation was not yet completed in all behavioral domains: Age-dependent differences were found in the number of playing dyads, female marking behavior, female aggression, and social tolerance. Thus, this study provides a first indication that social maturation lags behind sexual maturation in an ancestral nocturnal primate model, indicating that these two developmental schemes may have been decoupled early and throughout the primate lineage.

  7. Deficits of psychomotor and mnesic functions across aging in mouse lemur primates.

    PubMed

    Languille, Solène; Liévin-Bazin, Agatha; Picq, Jean-Luc; Louis, Caroline; Dix, Sophie; De Barry, Jean; Blin, Olivier; Richardson, Jill; Bordet, Régis; Schenker, Esther; Djelti, Fathia; Aujard, Fabienne

    2014-01-01

    Owing to a similar cerebral neuro-anatomy, non-human primates are viewed as the most valid models for understanding cognitive deficits. This study evaluated psychomotor and mnesic functions of 41 young to old mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Psychomotor capacities and anxiety-related behaviors decreased abruptly from middle to late adulthood. However, mnesic functions were not affected in the same way with increasing age. While results of the spontaneous alternation task point to a progressive and widespread age-related decline of spatial working memory, both spatial reference and novel object recognition (NOR) memory tasks did not reveal any tendency due to large inter-individual variability in the middle-aged and old animals. Indeed, some of the aged animals performed as well as younger ones, whereas some others had bad performances in the Barnes maze and in the object recognition test. Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed that declarative-like memory was strongly impaired only in 7 out of 25 middle-aged/old animals. These results suggest that this analysis allows to distinguish elder populations of good and bad performers in this non-human primate model and to closely compare this to human aging.

  8. True lemurs…true species - species delimitation using multiple data sources in the brown lemur complex

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Species are the fundamental units in evolutionary biology. However, defining them as evolutionary independent lineages requires integration of several independent sources of information in order to develop robust hypotheses for taxonomic classification. Here, we exemplarily propose an integrative framework for species delimitation in the “brown lemur complex” (BLC) of Madagascar, which consists of seven allopatric populations of the genus Eulemur (Primates: Lemuridae), which were sampled extensively across northern, eastern and western Madagascar to collect fecal samples for DNA extraction as well as recordings of vocalizations. Our data base was extended by including museum specimens with reliable identification and locality information for skull shape and pelage color analysis. Results Between-group analyses of principal components revealed significant heterogeneity in skull shape, pelage color variation and loud calls across all seven populations. Furthermore, post-hoc statistical tests between pairs of populations revealed considerable discordance among different data sets for different dyads. Despite a high degree of incomplete lineage sorting among nuclear loci, significant exclusive ancestry was found for all populations, except for E. cinereiceps, based on one mitochondrial and three nuclear genetic loci. Conclusions Using several independent lines of evidence, our results confirm the species status of the members of the BLC under the general lineage concept of species. More generally, the present analyses demonstrate the importance and value of integrating different kinds of data in delimiting recently evolved radiations. PMID:24159931

  9. Ecological divergence and speciation between lemur (Eulemur) sister species in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Blair, M E; Sterling, E J; Dusch, M; Raxworthy, C J; Pearson, R G

    2013-08-01

    Understanding ecological niche evolution over evolutionary timescales is crucial to elucidating the biogeographic history of organisms. Here, we used, for the first time, climate-based ecological niche models (ENMs) to test hypotheses about ecological divergence and speciation processes between sister species pairs of lemurs (genus Eulemur) in Madagascar. We produced ENMs for eight species, all of which had significant validation support. Among the four sister species pairs, we found nonequivalent niches between sisters, varying degrees of niche overlap in ecological and geographic space, and support for multiple divergence processes. Specifically, three sister-pair comparisons supported the null model that niches are no more divergent than the available background region. These findings are consistent with an allopatric speciation model, and for two sister pairs (E. collaris-E. cinereiceps and E. rufus-E. rufifrons), a riverine barrier has been previously proposed for driving allopatric speciation. However, for the fourth sister pair E. flavifrons-E. macaco, we found support for significant niche divergence, and consistent with their parapatric distribution on an ecotone and the lack of obvious geographic barriers, these findings most strongly support a parapatric model of speciation. These analyses thus suggest that various speciation processes have led to diversification among closely related Eulemur species.

  10. Lemur Tyrosine Kinase 2, a novel target in prostate cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Shah, Kalpit; Bradbury, Neil A

    2015-06-10

    Progression from early forms of prostate cancer to castration-resistant disease is associated with an increase in signal transduction activity. The majority of castration-resistance cancers persist in the expression of the androgen receptor (AR), as well as androgen-dependent genes. The AR is regulated not only by it associated steroid hormone, but also by manifold regulatory and signaling molecules, including several kinases. We undertook evaluation of the role of Lemur Tyrosine Kinase 2 (LMTK2) in modulating AR activity, as several Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have shown a marked association of LMTK2 activity with the development of prostate cancer. We confirm that not only is LMTK2 mRNA reduced in prostate cancer tissue, but also LMTK2 protein levels are markedly diminished. Knockdown of LMTK2 protein in prostate cell lines greatly increased the transcription of androgen-responsive genes. In addition, LMTK2 knockdown led to an increase in prostate cancer stem cell populations in LNCaP cells, indicative of increased tumorogenicity. Using multiple approaches, we also demonstrate that LMTK2 interacts with the AR, thus putting LMTK2 as a component of a signaling complex modulating AR activity. Our finding that LMTK2 is a negative regulator of AR activity defines a novel cellular pathway for activation of AR-responsive genes in castrate resistant-prostate cancer. Moreover, pharmacologic manipulation of LMTK2 activity will provide a novel therapeutic target for more effective treatments for patients with castrate-resistant prostate cancer.

  11. Large-scale MHC class II genotyping of a wild lemur population by next generation sequencing.

    PubMed

    Huchard, Elise; Albrecht, Christina; Schliehe-Diecks, Susanne; Baniel, Alice; Roos, Christian; Kappeler, Peter M; Peter, Peter M Kappeler; Brameier, Markus

    2012-12-01

    The critical role of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes in disease resistance, along with their putative function in sexual selection, reproduction and chemical ecology, make them an important genetic system in evolutionary ecology. Studying selective pressures acting on MHC genes in the wild nevertheless requires population-wide genotyping, which has long been challenging because of their extensive polymorphism. Here, we report on large-scale genotyping of the MHC class II loci of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) from a wild population in western Madagascar. The second exons from MHC-DRB and -DQB of 772 and 672 individuals were sequenced, respectively, using a 454 sequencing platform, generating more than 800,000 reads. Sequence analysis, through a stepwise variant validation procedure, allowed reliable typing of more than 600 individuals. The quality of our genotyping was evaluated through three independent methods, namely genotyping the same individuals by both cloning and 454 sequencing, running duplicates, and comparing parent-offspring dyads; each displaying very high accuracy. A total of 61 (including 20 new) and 60 (including 53 new) alleles were detected at DRB and DQB genes, respectively. Both loci were non-duplicated, in tight linkage disequilibrium and in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, despite the fact that sequence analysis revealed clear evidence of historical selection. Our results highlight the potential of 454 sequencing technology in attempts to investigate patterns of selection shaping MHC variation in contemporary populations. The power of this approach will nevertheless be conditional upon strict quality control of the genotyping data.

  12. Genetic Evidence for Male and Female Dispersal in Wild Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Gould, Lisa; Sussman, Robert W; Lawler, Richard R; Pastorini, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Lemur catta has traditionally been considered a species with male-biased dispersal; however, occasional female dispersal occurs. Using molecular data, we evaluated dispersal patterns in 2 L. catta populations in southwestern Madagascar: Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP) and Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR). We also investigated the genetic differentiation between the populations and dispersal partner relatedness. Results showed minor genetic differentiation between the populations (ϴ(ST) = 0.039), which may indicate gene flow historically occurring in this region, made possible by the presence of L. catta groups between the sites. Different patterns of sex-biased dispersal were found between the sites using corrected assignment indices: male-biased dispersal in TNP, and a lack of sex-biased dispersal in BMSR. Observational evidence of female dispersal in BMSR supports these results and may imply intense female resource competition in and around BMSR, because small groups of 2-3 females have been observed dispersing within BMSR and entering the reserve from outside. These dispersing groups largely consisted of mothers transferring with daughters, although we have an aunt-niece pair transferring together. Genetic data suggest that males also transfer with relatives. Our data demonstrate that dispersal partners consist of same-sexed kin for L. catta males and females, highlighting the importance of kin selection.

  13. Functional promiscuity in a mammalian chemosensory system: extensive expression of vomeronasal receptors in the main olfactory epithelium of mouse lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Hohenbrink, Philipp; Dempewolf, Silke; Zimmermann, Elke; Mundy, Nicholas I.; Radespiel, Ute

    2014-01-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is functional in most terrestrial mammals, though progressively reduced in the primate lineage, and is used for intraspecific communication and predator recognition. Vomeronasal receptor (VR) genes comprise two families of chemosensory genes (V1R and V2R) that have been considered to be specific for the VNO. However, recently a large number of VRs were reported to be expressed in the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) of mice, but there is little knowledge of the expression of these genes outside of rodents. To explore the function of VR genes in mammalian evolution, we analyzed and compared the expression of 64 V1R and 2 V2R genes in the VNO and the MOE of the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), the primate with the largest known VR repertoire. We furthermore compared expression patterns in adults of both sexes and seasons, and in an infant. A large proportion (83–97%) of the VR loci was expressed in the VNO of all individuals. The repertoire in the infant was as rich as in adults, indicating reliance on olfactory communication from early postnatal development onwards. In concordance with mice, we also detected extensive expression of VRs in the MOE, with proportions of expressed loci in individuals ranging from 29 to 45%. TRPC2, which encodes a channel protein crucial for signal transduction via VRs, was co-expressed in the MOE in all individuals indicating likely functionality of expressed VR genes in the MOE. In summary, the large VR repertoire in mouse lemurs seems to be highly functional. Given the differences in the neural pathways of MOE and VNO signals, which project to higher cortical brain centers or the limbic system, respectively, this raises the intriguing possibility that the evolution of MOE-expression of VRs enabled mouse lemurs to adaptively diversify the processing of VR-encoded olfactory information. PMID:25309343

  14. Species discovery and validation in a cryptic radiation of endangered primates: coalescent-based species delimitation in Madagascar's mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hotaling, Scott; Foley, Mary E; Lawrence, Nicolette M; Bocanegra, Jose; Blanco, Marina B; Rasoloarison, Rodin; Kappeler, Peter M; Barrett, Meredith A; Yoder, Anne D; Weisrock, David W

    2016-05-01

    Implementation of the coalescent model in a Bayesian framework is an emerging strength in genetically based species delimitation studies. By providing an objective measure of species diagnosis, these methods represent a quantitative enhancement to the analysis of multilocus data, and complement more traditional methods based on phenotypic and ecological characteristics. Recognized as two species 20 years ago, mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) now comprise more than 20 species, largely diagnosed from mtDNA sequence data. With each new species description, enthusiasm has been tempered with scientific scepticism. Here, we present a statistically justified and unbiased Bayesian approach towards mouse lemur species delimitation. We perform validation tests using multilocus sequence data and two methodologies: (i) reverse-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling to assess the likelihood of different models defined a priori by a guide tree, and (ii) a Bayes factor delimitation test that compares different species-tree models without a guide tree. We assess the sensitivity of these methods using randomized individual assignments, which has been used in bpp studies, but not with Bayes factor delimitation tests. Our results validate previously diagnosed taxa, as well as new species hypotheses, resulting in support for three new mouse lemur species. As the challenge of multiple researchers using differing criteria to describe diversity is not unique to Microcebus, the methods used here have significant potential for clarifying diversity in other taxonomic groups. We echo previous studies in advocating that multiple lines of evidence, including use of the coalescent model, should be trusted to delimit new species.

  15. The Season for Peace: Reconciliation in a Despotic Species (Lemur catta)

    PubMed Central

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    However despotic a social group may be, managing conflicts of interest is crucial to preserve group living benefits, mainly based on cooperation. In despotic groups, post-conflict management via reconciliation (the first post-conflict reunion between former opponents) can occur, even if conciliatory rates are considerably different. Lemur catta is defined as a despotic species because groups are characterized by a strict linear hierarchy maintained by the adult females (the dominant sex) mainly via aggression. Reconciliation was reported in one out of four captive groups of L. catta. Here we investigate which variables influence the occurrence of reconciliation in these despotic groups. We analyzed 2339 Post Conflict (PC)-Matched Control (MC) observation pairs, collected on eight groups (five in the Berenty forest, Madagascar; three hosted at the Pistoia Zoo, Italy). Since L. catta is characterized by steep female dominance but shows female-female coalitionary support, we expected to confirm the presence of reconciliation in the study species. Consistently, we found reconciliation in one captive group and two wild groups, thus providing the first evidence of the presence of this phenomenon in wild L. catta. Moreover, because this species is a seasonal breeder (with mating occurring once a year), we expected seasonal fluctuations in reconciliation levels. Via a GLMM analysis using data from all wild groups and on a captive group followed for more than one year, we found that season (but not rank; individuals’ identity, sex, and age; or group identity) significantly affected individual reconciliation rates, and such rates were lowest during the mating period. Thus, reconciliation can be present in groups in which dominants strongly influence and limit social relationships (steep dominance hierarchy) except when the advantages of intra-group cooperation are overcome by competition, as occurs in seasonal breeders when reproduction is at stake. We conclude that in

  16. The ranging behavior of Lemur catta in the region of Cap Sainte-Marie, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Elizabeth A

    2013-01-01

    Large home ranges and extreme flexibility in ranging behaviors characterize most subarid dwelling haplorhines. However, the most comparable extant strepsirhine, Lemur catta, is characterized as having small home ranges with consistent boundaries. Since ranging studies on this species have been limited to gallery forest habitat, the author's goal is to identify ecological factors that affect range use of L. catta in one of the most resource-limited environments of its distribution. To conduct this study, ranging and behavioral data were collected on two nonoverlapping groups through all-day follows in the semidesert scrub environment of Cap Sainte-Marie (CSM), Madagascar. Data were collected from August 2007 through July 2008. Home range areas and day range lengths were generated using ArcGIS(®) 9.3. Other variables measured were habitat composition, diet richness, daily activity, and microclimate. Home range areas of CSM L. catta were very large relative to those of gallery forest L. catta, and there was great monthly variation. In contrast, day range lengths at CSM were either smaller than or approximated the size of comparative gallery forest groups. Temperature, sunning, and diet richness were associated with day range length for one but not for both groups and appear to be related to energy management needs. Based on these findings, the author suggests that L. catta is capable of extensive behavioral and ranging flexibility in the extremes of its environment. However, physiological constraints impose limitations that can interfere with its ability to adapt to even seemingly minor variations in microclimate and habitat structure within the same site.

  17. The Season for Peace: Reconciliation in a Despotic Species (Lemur catta).

    PubMed

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    However despotic a social group may be, managing conflicts of interest is crucial to preserve group living benefits, mainly based on cooperation. In despotic groups, post-conflict management via reconciliation (the first post-conflict reunion between former opponents) can occur, even if conciliatory rates are considerably different. Lemur catta is defined as a despotic species because groups are characterized by a strict linear hierarchy maintained by the adult females (the dominant sex) mainly via aggression. Reconciliation was reported in one out of four captive groups of L. catta. Here we investigate which variables influence the occurrence of reconciliation in these despotic groups. We analyzed 2339 Post Conflict (PC)-Matched Control (MC) observation pairs, collected on eight groups (five in the Berenty forest, Madagascar; three hosted at the Pistoia Zoo, Italy). Since L. catta is characterized by steep female dominance but shows female-female coalitionary support, we expected to confirm the presence of reconciliation in the study species. Consistently, we found reconciliation in one captive group and two wild groups, thus providing the first evidence of the presence of this phenomenon in wild L. catta. Moreover, because this species is a seasonal breeder (with mating occurring once a year), we expected seasonal fluctuations in reconciliation levels. Via a GLMM analysis using data from all wild groups and on a captive group followed for more than one year, we found that season (but not rank; individuals' identity, sex, and age; or group identity) significantly affected individual reconciliation rates, and such rates were lowest during the mating period. Thus, reconciliation can be present in groups in which dominants strongly influence and limit social relationships (steep dominance hierarchy) except when the advantages of intra-group cooperation are overcome by competition, as occurs in seasonal breeders when reproduction is at stake. We conclude that in

  18. Life history profiles for 27 strepsirrhine primate taxa generated using captive data from the Duke Lemur Center

    PubMed Central

    Zehr, Sarah M; Roach, Richard G; Haring, David; Taylor, Julie; Cameron, Freda H; Yoder, Anne D

    2014-01-01

    Since its establishment in 1966, the Duke Lemur Center (DLC) has accumulated detailed records for nearly 4,200 individuals from over 40 strepsirrhine primate taxa—the lemurs, lorises, and galagos. Here we present verified data for 3,627 individuals of 27 taxa in the form of a life history table containing summarized species values for variables relating to ancestry, reproduction, longevity, and body mass, as well as the two raw data files containing direct and calculated variables from which this summary table is built. Large sample sizes, longitudinal data that in many cases span an animal’s entire life, exact dates of events, and large numbers of individuals from closely related yet biologically diverse primate taxa make these datasets unique. This single source for verified raw data and systematically compiled species values, particularly in combination with the availability of associated biological samples and the current live colony for research, will support future studies from an enormous spectrum of disciplines. PMID:25977776

  19. Patterns of Dental Macrowear in Subfossil Lemur catta from Ankilitelo Cave, Madagascar: Indications of Ecology and Habitat Use over Time.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    The Ankilitelo cave site, Madagascar, contains a large collection of extant and recently extinct subfossil lemurs including the extant taxa Lemur catta and Eulemur rufifrons, which today are rarely found in sympatry. Dates for this assemblage range from 300 to 13,000 BP, though known dates for extinct primate specimens range between ∼500 and ∼600 BP. Data from Ankilitelo L. catta and E. rufifrons were compared to assess tooth wear in sympatric, related forms. Wear was scored using an ordinal scale from 0 to 5. For P4, M1 and M2, E. rufifrons displays significantly more wear than L. catta. Ankilitelo represents one of the most southerly samples of E. rufifrons, and wear data suggest that in the recent (i.e. Holocene) past, their diet near the edges of their geographic range included mechanically challenging foods. In contrast, sympatric L. catta was using foods in this transitional humid-dry forest with succulent woodlands that were not significantly impacted by recent human actions, and for which they were dentally adapted. Results also suggest that this non-gallery forest habitat may be the 'adaptive home' of L. catta, given the lack of notable tooth wear when compared to populations currently living in tamarind-dominated riverine gallery forests.

  20. LEMUR (Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research): a VUV imaging spectrograph for the JAXA Solar-C Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korendyke, Clarence M.; Teriaca, Luca; Doschek, George A.; Harra, Louise K.; Schühle, Udo H.; Shimizu, Toshifumi

    2011-10-01

    LEMUR is a VUV imaging spectrograph with 0.28" resolution. Incident solar radiation is imaged onto the spectrograph slit by a single mirror telescope consisting of a 30-cm steerable f/12 off-axis paraboloid mirror. The spectrograph slit is imaged and dispersed by a highly corrected grating that focuses the solar spectrum over the detectors. The mirror is coated with a suitable multilayer with B4C top-coating providing a reflectance peak around 18.5 nm besides the usual B4C range above 500Å. The grating is formed by two halves, one optimized for performances around 185Å and the other above 500Å. Three intensified CCD cameras will record spectra above 50 nm while a large format CCD array with an aluminum filter will be used around 185Å.

  1. Metabolism and temperature regulation during daily torpor in the smallest primate, the pygmy mouse lemur (Microcebus myoxinus) in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Schmid, J; Ruf, T; Heldmaier, G

    2000-02-01

    Thermoregulation, energetics and patterns of torpor in the pygmy mouse lemur, Microcebus myoxinus, were investigated under natural conditions of photoperiod and temperature in the Kirindy/CFPF Forest in western Madagascar. M. myoxinus entered torpor spontaneously during the cool dry season. Torpor only occurred on a daily basis and torpor bout duration was on average 9.6 h, and ranged from 4.6 h to 19.2 h. Metabolic rates during torpor were reduced to about 86% of the normothermic value. Minimum body temperature during daily torpor was 6.8 degrees C at an ambient temperature of 6.3 degrees C. Entry into torpor occurred randomly between 2000 and 0620 hours, whereas arousals from torpor were clustered around 1300 hours within a narrow time window of less than 4 h. Arousal from torpor was a two-step process with a first passive climb of body temperature to a mean of 27 degrees C, carried by the daily increase of ambient temperature when oxygen consumption remained more or less constant, followed by a second active increase of oxygen consumption to further raise the body temperature to normothermic values. In conclusion, daily body temperature rhythms in M. myoxinus further reduce the energetic costs of daily torpor seen in other species: they extend to unusually low body temperatures and consequently low metabolic rates in torpor, and they employ passive warming to reduce the energetic costs of arousal. Thus, these energy-conserving adaptations may represent an important energetic aid to the pygmy mouse lemur and help to promote their individual fitness.

  2. Induction of Antioxidant and Heat Shock Protein Responses During Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Cheng-Wei; Biggar, Kyle K.; Zhang, Jing; Tessier, Shannon N.; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    A natural tolerance of various environmental stresses is typically supported by various cytoprotective mechanisms that protect macromolecules and promote extended viability. Among these are antioxidant defenses that help to limit damage from reactive oxygen species and chaperones that help to minimize protein misfolding or unfolding under stress conditions. To understand the molecular mechanisms that act to protect cells during primate torpor, the present study characterizes antioxidant and heat shock protein (HSP) responses in various organs of control (aroused) and torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. Protein expression of HSP70 and HSP90α was elevated to 1.26 and 1.49 fold, respectively, in brown adipose tissue during torpor as compared with control animals, whereas HSP60 in liver of torpid animals was 1.15 fold of that in control (P < 0.05). Among antioxidant enzymes, protein levels of thioredoxin 1 were elevated to 2.19 fold in white adipose tissue during torpor, whereas Cu–Zn superoxide dismutase 1 levels rose to 1.1 fold in skeletal muscle (P < 0.05). Additionally, total antioxidant capacity was increased to 1.6 fold in liver during torpor (P < 0.05), while remaining unchanged in the five other tissues. Overall, our data suggest that antioxidant and HSP responses are modified in a tissue-specific manner during daily torpor in gray mouse lemurs. Furthermore, our data also show that cytoprotective strategies employed during primate torpor are distinct from the strategies in rodent hibernation as reported in previous studies. PMID:26092183

  3. Primate genotyping via high resolution melt analysis: rapid and reliable identification of color vision status in wild lemurs.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Rachel L; Spriggs, Amanda N; MacFie, Tammie S; Baden, Andrea L; Irwin, Mitchell T; Wright, Patricia C; Louis, Edward E; Lawler, Richard R; Mundy, Nicholas I; Bradley, Brenda J

    2016-10-01

    Analyses of genetic polymorphisms can aid our understanding of intra- and interspecific variation in primate sociality, ecology, and behavior. Studies of primate opsin genes are prime examples of this, as single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in the X-linked opsin gene underlie variation in color vision. For primate species with polymorphic trichromacy, genotyping opsin SNVs can generally indicate whether individual primates are red-green color-blind (denoted homozygous M or homozygous L) or have full trichromatic color vision (heterozygous ML). Given the potential influence of color vision on behavior and fitness, characterizing the color vision status of study subjects is becoming commonplace for many primate field projects. Such studies traditionally involve a multi-step sequencing-based method that can be costly and time-consuming. Here we present a new reliable, rapid, and relatively inexpensive method for characterizing color vision in primate populations using high resolution melt analysis (HRMA). Using lemurs as a case study, we characterized variation at exons 3 and/or 5 of the X-linked opsin gene for 87 individuals representing nine species. We scored opsin genotypes and color vision status using both traditional sequencing-based methods as well as our novel melting-curve based HRMA protocol. For each species, the melting curves of varying genotypes (homozygous M, homozygous L, heterozygous ML) differed in melting temperature and/or shape. Melting curves for each sample were consistent across replicates, and genotype-specific melting curves were consistent across DNA sources (blood vs. feces). We show that opsin genotypes can be quickly and reliably scored using HRMA once lab-specific reference curves have been developed based on known genotypes. Although the protocol presented here focuses on genotyping lemur opsin loci, we also consider the larger potential for applying this approach to various types of genetic studies of primate populations.

  4. Unpredictable environments, opportunistic responses: Reproduction and population turnover in two wild mouse lemur species (Microcebus rufus and M. griseorufus) from eastern and western Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Marina B; Rasoazanabary, Emilienne; Godfrey, Laurie R

    2015-06-01

    Small-bodied, nocturnal mouse lemurs (Microcebus) are widespread across diverse forest habitats in Madagascar. They are strict seasonal breeders and can, depending on the habitat and species, undergo daily or prolonged torpor to minimize energy expenditure during periods of food and water scarcity. Duration of reproduction, number of litters per season and timing of births vary across individuals and species. The "polyestry-seasonality" hypothesis proposes that the duration of reproduction and number of litters per year are positively correlated with rainfall but negatively correlated with longevity, whereas the "hypervariability" hypothesis suggests that the duration of reproduction is negatively correlated with the degree of predictability of food resources. We test these hypotheses in two mouse lemur species inhabiting contrasting habitats, the brown mouse lemurs, Microcebus rufus, from Ranomafana (a less seasonal and more climatically predictable habitat) and the gray-brown mouse lemurs, M. griseorufus, from Beza Mahafaly (a more seasonal and less climatically predictable environment). We use capture/mark/recapture techniques and records of female reproductive status. We found evidence of polyestry at both study sites but faster population turnover and longer duration of the reproductive season at Beza Mahafaly. The "polyestry-seasonality" hypothesis is not supported but the "hypervariability" hypothesis could not be rejected. We conclude that reproductive output cannot be tied to climatic factors in a simple manner. Paradoxically, polyestry can be expressed in contrasting habitats: less seasonal forests where females can sustain multiple reproductive events, but also highly seasonal environments where females may not fatten sufficiently to sustain prolonged torpor but instead remain active throughout the year by relying on fallback resources. Am. J. Primatol. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Effects of dietary resveratrol on the sleep-wake cycle in the non-human primate gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    PubMed

    Pifferi, F; Rahman, A; Languille, S; Auffret, A; Babiloni, C; Blin, O; Lamberty, Y; Richardson, J C; Aujard, F

    2012-04-01

    Converging evidence shows that the non-human primate gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is ideal for the study of the aging process and for testing the effects of new therapies and dietary interventions on age-associated pathologies. One such dietary supplement is resveratrol (RSV), a dietary polyphenolic compound with several positive effects on metabolic functions and longevity. However, little is known about the effect of RSV on the lemur sleep-wake cycle, which reflects mammalian brain function and health. In the present study, the authors investigated this effect by comparing sleep-wake cycles in adult lemurs based on electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythms. The effect of short-term RSV supplementation on the sleep-wake cycle of mouse lemurs was evaluated in entrained conditions (long-day photoperiods, light:dark 14:10). After 3 wks of RSV supplementation, the animals exhibited a significantly increased proportion of active-wake time, occurring mainly during the resting phase of the sleep-wake cycle (+163%). The increase in active-wake time with RSV supplementation was accompanied by a significant reduction of both paradoxical sleep (-95%) and slow-wave sleep (-38%). These changes mainly occurred during the resting phase of the sleep-wake cycle (RSV supplementation induced negligible changes in active-wake time during the active phase of the sleep-wake cycle). The present data suggest that RSV may be a potent regulator of sleep-wake rhythms and could be of major interest in the study of sleep perturbations associated with aging and neuropathology.

  6. On-Going Frontal Alpha Rhythms Are Dominant in Passive State and Desynchronize in Active State in Adult Gray Mouse Lemurs

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Anisur; Lamberty, Yves; Bordet, Regis; Richardson, Jill C.; Forloni, Gianluigi; Drinkenburg, Wilhelmus; Lopez, Susanna; Aujard, Fabienne; Babiloni, Claudio; Pifferi, Fabien

    2015-01-01

    The gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is considered a useful primate model for translational research. In the framework of IMI PharmaCog project (Grant Agreement n°115009, www.pharmacog.org), we tested the hypothesis that spectral electroencephalographic (EEG) markers of motor and locomotor activity in gray mouse lemurs reflect typical movement-related desynchronization of alpha rhythms (about 8–12 Hz) in humans. To this aim, EEG (bipolar electrodes in frontal cortex) and electromyographic (EMG; bipolar electrodes sutured in neck muscles) data were recorded in 13 male adult (about 3 years) lemurs. Artifact-free EEG segments during active state (gross movements, exploratory movements or locomotor activity) and awake passive state (no sleep) were selected on the basis of instrumental measures of animal behavior, and were used as an input for EEG power density analysis. Results showed a clear peak of EEG power density at alpha range (7–9 Hz) during passive state. During active state, there was a reduction in alpha power density (8–12 Hz) and an increase of power density at slow frequencies (1–4 Hz). Relative EMG activity was related to EEG power density at 2–4 Hz (positive correlation) and at 8–12 Hz (negative correlation). These results suggest for the first time that the primate gray mouse lemurs and humans may share basic neurophysiologic mechanisms of synchronization of frontal alpha rhythms in awake passive state and their desynchronization during motor and locomotor activity. These EEG markers may be an ideal experimental model for translational basic (motor science) and applied (pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions) research in Neurophysiology. PMID:26618512

  7. First insights into the social organisation of Goodman's mouse lemur (Microcebus lehilahytsara)--testing predictions from socio-ecological hypotheses in the Masoala hall of Zurich Zoo.

    PubMed

    Jürges, Vivian; Kitzler, Johanne; Zingg, Robert; Radespiel, Ute

    2013-01-01

    Following current socio-ecological hypotheses, the social organisation of a species is mainly determined by resource quality and distribution. In the case of Microcebus spp., a taxon-specific socio-ecological model was formulated earlier to explain their variable social organisation. The aim of this study was to test predictions from this model in Goodman's mouse lemur based on a data set from animals living in the semi-free colony of Zurich Zoo. During a 2-month study, we observed 5 females and 5 males using radiotelemetry. We collected data on space use and social behaviour, on sleeping sites and on sleeping group composition. Predictions were only partly confirmed. As expected, Goodman's mouse lemurs were solitary foragers with an increased level of sociality due to crowding effects at the feeding stations. In contrast to the prediction, females and males formed unisexual sleeping groups, which were stable in females and of a fission-fusion type in males. Whereas the formation of sleeping groups by both sexes may be triggered by thermoregulatory benefits, the formation of unisexual sleeping groups may result from divergent interests of the sexes. We conclude that the existing model for the evolution of mouse lemur social organisation needs to be refined.

  8. Biomedical evaluation of two sympatric lemur species (Propithecus verreauxi deckeni and Eulemur fulvus rufus) in Tsiombokibo Classified Forest, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Junge, Randall E; Louis, Edward E

    2005-12-01

    Complete medical examinations were performed on 20 wild Decken's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi deckeni) and 20 wild red-fronted brown lemurs (Eulemurfulvus rufus) from western Madagascar. Each animal received a complete physical examination, and weight, body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate were recorded and ectoparasites collected. Blood samples were collected for complete blood cell count, differential white blood cell count, hemoparasite examination, serum biochemical profile, fat-soluble vitamin analysis, trace mineral analysis, and toxoplasmosis and viral serology. Fecal samples were collected for bacterial culture and endoparasite examination. Significant differences exist between the species for serum chemistry values for creatine phosphokinase, glucose, total protein, albumin, globulin, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, phosphorus, potassium, and chloride; for fat-soluble vitamins 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, retinol, retinyl palmitate, gamma-tocopherol, alpha-tocopherol, and lutein + zeaxanthin; and serum copper. Parasites detected include Lemurostrongylus spp., Lemuricola spp., Trichurus spp., and ectoparasites Haemaphysalis lemuris, Psoroptes, and mites identified to the family Laelapidae. Enteric bacterial flora included Escherichia coli, Citrobacter ssp., Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus cereus, Klebsiella ozaenae, Acinetobacter lwofii, and Enterobacter amnigenus.

  9. Clinal variation in a brown lemur (Eulemur spp.) hybrid zone: combining morphological, genetic and climatic data to examine stability.

    PubMed

    Delmore, K E; Brenneman, R A; Lei, R; Bailey, C A; Brelsford, A; Louis, E E; Johnson, S E

    2013-08-01

    Studies of hybrid zones can inform our understanding of reproductive isolation and speciation. Two species of brown lemur (Eulemur rufifrons and E. cinereiceps) form an apparently stable hybrid zone in the Andringitra region of southeastern Madagascar. The aim of this study was to identify factors that contribute to this stability. We sampled animals at 11 sites along a 90-km transect through the hybrid zone and examined variation in 26 microsatellites, the D-loop region of mitochondrial DNA, six pelage and nine morphological traits; we also included samples collected in more distant allopatric sites. Clines in these traits were noncoincident, and there was no increase in either inbreeding coefficients or linkage disequilibrium at the centre of the zone. These results could suggest that the hybrid zone is maintained by weak selection against hybrids, conforming to either the tension zone or geographical selection-gradient model. However, a closer examination of clines in pelage and microsatellites indicates that these clines are not sigmoid or stepped in shape but instead plateau at their centre. Sites within the hybrid zone also occur in a distinct habitat, characterized by greater seasonality in precipitation and lower seasonality in temperature. Together, these findings suggest that the hybrid zone may follow the bounded superiority model, with exogenous selection favouring hybrids within the transitional zone. These findings are noteworthy, as examples supporting the bounded superiority model are rare and may indicate a process of ecologically driven speciation without geographical isolation.

  10. The role of survival for the evolution of female philopatry in a solitary forager, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus)

    PubMed Central

    Lutermann, Heike; Schmelting, Barthel; Radespiel, Ute; Ehresmann, Petra; Zimmermann, Elke

    2006-01-01

    It is widely accepted that natal philopatry is a prerequisite for the evolution of sociality. The life-history hypothesis maintains that longevity of adults results in extended territory tenure and thus limits breeding vacancies for offspring, which makes natal philopatry more likely. Here, we tested the importance of longevity for natal philopatry in females of a basal primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). This species is regarded as being solitary due to its foraging habits but while males disperse, female offspring in this species forgo dispersal and form long-term sleeping groups with their mothers. We tested whether high adult survival could be a cause for natal philopatry of female offspring. In addition, we assessed costs and benefits associated with space sharing between mothers and daughters and whether mothers actively increase survival of daughters by beqeauthal of territories, information transfer about resources or thermoregulation. Contrary to our predictions, adult females had low-survival rates. Space sharing appeared to improve survival of both, mothers and daughters. This could be a result of information transfer about sleeping sites and thermoregulatory benefits. Our results cast doubt on the idea that longevity predisposes species for social traits and provide support for benefits of philopatry. PMID:16959645

  11. Cdk5/p35 phosphorylates lemur tyrosine kinase-2 to regulate protein phosphatase-1C phosphorylation and activity.

    PubMed

    Manser, Catherine; Vagnoni, Alessio; Guillot, Florence; Davies, Jennifer; Miller, Christopher C J

    2012-05-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (cdk5)/p35 and protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) are two major enzymes that control a variety of physiological processes within the nervous system including neuronal differentiation, synaptic plasticity and axonal transport. Defective cdk5/p35 and PP1 function are also implicated in several major human neurodegenerative diseases. Cdk5/p35 and the catalytic subunit of PP1 (PP1C) both bind to the brain-enriched, serine-threonine kinase lemur tyrosine kinase-2 (LMTK2). Moreover, LMTK2 phosphorylates PP1C on threonine-320 (PP1Cthr³²⁰) to inhibit its activity. Here, we demonstrate that LMTK2 is phosphorylated on serine-1418 (LMTK2ser¹⁴¹⁸) by cdk5/p35 and present evidence that this regulates its ability to phosphorylate PP1Cthr³²⁰. We thus describe a new signalling pathway within the nervous system that links cdk5/p35 with PP1C and which has implications for a number of neuronal functions and neuronal dysfunction.

  12. The grey mouse lemur uses season-dependent fat or protein sparing strategies to face chronic food restriction.

    PubMed

    Giroud, Sylvain; Perret, Martine; Stein, Peter; Goudable, Joëlle; Aujard, Fabienne; Gilbert, Caroline; Robin, Jean Patrice; Le Maho, Yvon; Zahariev, Alexandre; Blanc, Stéphane; Momken, Iman

    2010-01-21

    During moderate calorie restriction (CR) the heterotherm Microcebus murinus is able to maintain a stable energy balance whatever the season, even if only wintering animals enter into torpor. To understand its energy saving strategies to respond to food shortages, we assessed protein and energy metabolisms associated with wintering torpor expression or summering torpor avoidance. We investigated body composition, whole body protein turnover, and daily energy expenditure (DEE), during a graded (40 and 80%) 35-day CR in short-days (winter; SD40 and SD80, respectively) and long-days (summer; LD40 and LD80, respectively) acclimated animals. LD40 animals showed no change in fat mass (FM) but a 12% fat free mass (FFM) reduction. Protein balance being positive after CR, the FFM loss was early and rapid. The 25% DEE reduction, in LD40 group was mainly explained by FFM changes. LD80 animals showed a steady body mass loss and were excluded from the CR trial at day 22, reaching a survival-threatened body mass. No data were available for this group. SD40 animals significantly decreased their FM level by 21%, but maintained FFM. Protein sparing was achieved through a 35 and 39% decrease in protein synthesis and catabolism (protein turnover), respectively, overall maintaining nitrogen balance. The 21% reduction in energy requirement was explained by the 30% nitrogen flux drop but also by torpor as DEE FFM-adjusted remained 13% lower compared to ad-libitum. SD80 animals were unable to maintain energy and nitrogen balances, losing both FM and FFM. Thus summering mouse lemurs equilibrate energy balance by a rapid loss of active metabolic mass without using torpor, whereas wintering animals spare protein and energy through increased torpor expression. Both strategies have direct fitness implication: 1) to maintain activities at a lower body size during the mating season and 2) to preserve an optimal wintering muscle mass and function.

  13. The effect of habitat disturbance on the abundance of nocturnal lemur species on the Masoala Peninsula, northeastern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Sawyer, Rachel Mary; Fenosoa, Zo Samuel Ella; Andrianarimisa, Aristide; Donati, Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    Madagascar is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. The island's past and current rates of deforestation and habitat disturbance threaten its plethora of endemic biodiversity. On Madagascar, tavy (slash and burn agriculture), land conversion for rice cultivation, illegal hardwood logging and bushmeat hunting are the major contributors to habitat disturbance. Understanding species-specific responses to habitat disturbance across different habitat types is crucial when designing conservation strategies. We surveyed three nocturnal lemur species in four forest types of varying habitat disturbance on the Masoala Peninsula, northeastern Madagascar. We present here updated abundance and density estimates for the Endangered Avahi mooreorum and Lepilemur scottorum, and Microcebus sp. Distance sampling surveys were conducted on 11 transects, covering a total of 33 km after repeated transect walks. We collected data on tree height, bole height, diameter at breast height, canopy cover and tree density using point-quarter sampling to characterise the four forest types (primary lowland, primary littoral, selectively logged and agricultural mosaic). Median encounter rates by forest type ranged from 1 to 1.5 individuals (ind.)/km (Microcebus sp.), 0-1 ind./km (A. mooreorum) and 0-1 ind./km (L. scottorum). Species density estimates were calculated at 232.31 ind./km(2) (Microcebus sp.) and 121.21 ind./km(2) (A. mooreorum), while no density estimate is provided for L. scottorum due to a small sample size. Microcebus sp. was most tolerant to habitat disturbance, exhibiting no significant effect of forest type on abundance. Its small body size, omnivorous diet and generalised locomotion appear to allow it to tolerate a variety of habitat disturbance. Both A. mooreorum and L. scottorum showed significant effects of forest type on their respective abundance. This study suggests that the specialist locomotion and diet of A. mooreorum and L. scottorum make them susceptible to the

  14. Dominance rank reversals and rank instability among male Lemur catta: the effects of female behavior and ejaculation.

    PubMed

    Parga, Joyce A

    2009-03-01

    In this study, dominance rank instability among male Lemur catta during mating was investigated. Also, data on agonism and sexual behavior across five consecutive mating seasons in a population of L. catta on St. Catherines Island, USA, were collected. Instances of male rank instability were categorized into three types. Type 1 consisted of a temporary switch in the dominance ranks of two males, which lasted for a period of minutes or hours. Type 2 dyadic male agonistic interactions showed highly variable outcomes for a period of time during which wins and losses were neither predictable nor consistent. Type 3 interactions consisted of a single agonistic win by a lower-ranked male over a more dominant male. More Type 2 interactions (indicating greater dominance instability) occurred when males had not spent the previous mating season in the same group, but this trend was not statistically significant. The majority of periods of male rank instability were preceded by female proceptivity or receptivity directed to a lower-ranked male. As such, exhibition of female mate choice for a lower-ranking male appeared to incite male-male competition. Following receipt of female proceptivity or receptivity, males who were lower-ranking took significantly longer to achieve their first agonistic win over a more dominant male than did males who were higher-ranked. Ejaculation frequently preceded loss of dominance. In conclusion, temporary rank reversals and overall dominance rank instability commonly occur among male L. catta in mating contexts, and these temporary increases in dominance status appear to positively affect male mating success.

  15. Primate Torpor: Regulation of Stress-activated Protein Kinases During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    PubMed Central

    Biggar, Kyle K.; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Tessier, Shannon N.; Zhang, Jing; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2015-01-01

    Very few selected species of primates are known to be capable of entering torpor. This exciting discovery means that the ability to enter a natural state of dormancy is an ancestral trait among primates and, in phylogenetic terms, is very close to the human lineage. To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie primate torpor, we analyzed signal transduction cascades to discover those involved in coordinating tissue responses during torpor. The responses of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family members to primate torpor were compared in six organs of control (aroused) versus torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. The proteins examined include extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), c-jun NH2-terminal kinases (JNKs), MAPK kinase (MEK), and p38, in addition to stress-related proteins p53 and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27). The activation of specific MAPK signal transduction pathways may provide a mechanism to regulate the expression of torpor-responsive genes or the regulation of selected downstream cellular processes. In response to torpor, each MAPK subfamily responded differently during torpor and each showed organ-specific patterns of response. For example, skeletal muscle displayed elevated relative phosphorylation of ERK1/2 during torpor. Interestingly, adipose tissues showed the highest degree of MAPK activation. Brown adipose tissue displayed an activation of ERK1/2 and p38, whereas white adipose tissue showed activation of ERK1/2, p38, MEK, and JNK during torpor. Importantly, both adipose tissues possess specialized functions that are critical for torpor, with brown adipose required for non-shivering thermogenesis and white adipose utilized as the primary source of lipid fuel for torpor. Overall, these data indicate crucial roles of MAPKs in the regulation of primate organs during torpor. PMID:26093282

  16. Long-chain n-3 PUFAs from fish oil enhance resting state brain glucose utilization and reduce anxiety in an adult nonhuman primate, the grey mouse lemur

    PubMed Central

    Pifferi, Fabien; Dorieux, Olène; Castellano, Christian-Alexandre; Croteau, Etienne; Masson, Marie; Guillermier, Martine; Van Camp, Nadja; Guesnet, Philippe; Alessandri, Jean-Marc; Cunnane, Stephen; Dhenain, Marc; Aujard, Fabienne

    2015-01-01

    Decreased brain content of DHA, the most abundant long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA) in the brain, is accompanied by severe neurosensorial impairments linked to impaired neurotransmission and impaired brain glucose utilization. In the present study, we hypothesized that increasing n-3 LCPUFA intake at an early age may help to prevent or correct the glucose hypometabolism observed during aging and age-related cognitive decline. The effects of 12 months’ supplementation with n-3 LCPUFA on brain glucose utilization assessed by positron emission tomography was tested in young adult mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Cognitive function was tested in parallel in the same animals. Lemurs supplemented with n-3 LCPUFA had higher brain glucose uptake and cerebral metabolic rate of glucose compared with controls in all brain regions. The n-3 LCPUFA-supplemented animals also had higher exploratory activity in an open-field task and lower evidence of anxiety in the Barnes maze.jlr Our results demonstrate for the first time in a nonhuman primate that n-3 LCPUFA supplementation increases brain glucose uptake and metabolism and concomitantly reduces anxiety. PMID:26063461

  17. Phylogeographic analysis of the true lemurs (genus Eulemur) underlines the role of river catchments for the evolution of micro-endemism in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Due to its remarkable species diversity and micro-endemism, Madagascar has recently been suggested to serve as a biogeographic model region. However, hypothesis-based tests of various diversification mechanisms that have been proposed for the evolution of the island’s micro-endemic lineages are still limited. Here, we test the fit of several diversification hypotheses with new data on the broadly distributed genus Eulemur using coalescent-based phylogeographic analyses. Results Time-calibrated species tree analyses and population genetic clustering resolved the previously polytomic species relationships among eulemurs. The most recent common ancestor of eulemurs was estimated to have lived about 4.45 million years ago (mya). Divergence date estimates furthermore suggested a very recent diversification among the members of the “brown lemur complex”, i.e. former subspecies of E. fulvus, during the Pleistocene (0.33-1.43 mya). Phylogeographic model comparisons of past migration rates showed significant levels of gene flow between lineages of neighboring river catchments as well as between eastern and western populations of the redfronted lemur (E. rufifrons). Conclusions Together, our results are concordant with the centers of endemism hypothesis (Wilmé et al. 2006, Science 312:1063–1065), highlight the importance of river catchments for the evolution of Madagascar’s micro-endemic biota, and they underline the usefulness of testing diversification mechanisms using coalescent-based phylogeographic methods. PMID:24228694

  18. Structural characterization of neutral and acidic oligosaccharides in the milks of strepsirrhine primates: greater galago, aye-aye, Coquerel's sifaka and mongoose lemur.

    PubMed

    Taufik, Epi; Fukuda, Kenji; Senda, Akitsugu; Saito, Tadao; Williams, Cathy; Tilden, Chris; Eisert, Regina; Oftedal, Olav; Urashima, Tadasu

    2012-04-01

    The structures of milk oligosaccharides were characterized for four strepsirrhine primates to examine the extent to which they resemble milk oligosaccharides in other primates. Neutral and acidic oligosaccharides were isolated from milk of the greater galago (Galagidae: Otolemur crassicaudatus), aye-aye (Daubentoniidae: Daubentonia madagascariensis), Coquerel's sifaka (Indriidae: Propithecus coquereli) and mongoose lemur (Lemuridae: Eulemur mongoz), and their chemical structures were characterized by (1)H-NMR spectroscopy. The oligosaccharide patterns observed among strepsirrhines did not appear to correlate to phylogeny, sociality or pattern of infant care. Both type I and type II neutral oligosaccharides were found in the milk of the aye-aye, but type II predominate over type I. Only type II oligosaccharides were identified in other strepsirrhine milks. α3'-GL (isoglobotriose, Gal(α1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in the milks of Coquerel's sifaka and mongoose lemur, which is the first report of this oligosaccharide in the milk of any primate species. 2'-FL (Fuc(α1-2)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in the milk of an aye-aye with an ill infant. Oligosaccharides containing the Lewis x epitope were found in aye-aye and mongoose lemur milk. Among acidic oligosaccharides, 3'-N-acetylneuraminyllactose (3'-SL-NAc, Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in all studied species, whereas 6'-N-acetylneuraminyllactose (6'-SL-NAc, Neu5Ac(α2-6)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in all species except greater galago. Greater galago milk also contained 3'-N-glycolylneuraminyllactose (3'-SL-NGc, Neu5Gc(α2-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc). The finding of a variety of neutral and acidic oligosaccharides in the milks of strepsirrhines, as previously reported for haplorhines, suggests that such constituents are ancient rather than derived features, and are as characteristic of primate lactation is the classic disaccharide, lactose.

  19. Regulation of the PI3K/AKT Pathway and Fuel Utilization During Primate Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Tessier, Shannon N; Zhang, Jing; Biggar, Kyle K; Wu, Cheng-Wei; Pifferi, Fabien; Perret, Martine; Storey, Kenneth B

    2015-04-01

    Gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) from Madagascar present an excellent model for studies of torpor regulation in a primate species. In the present study, we analyzed the response of the insulin signaling pathway as well as controls on carbohydrate sparing in six different tissues of torpid versus aroused gray mouse lemurs. We found that the relative level of phospho-insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1) was significantly increased in muscle, whereas the level of phospho-insulin receptor (IR) was decreased in white adipose tissue (WAT) of torpid animals, both suggesting an inhibition of insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling during torpor in these tissues. By contrast, the level of phospho-IR was increased in the liver. Interestingly, muscle, WAT, and liver occupy central roles in whole body homeostasis and each displays regulatory controls operating at the plasma membrane. Changes in other tissues included an increase in phospho-glycogen synthase kinase 3α (GSK3α) and decrease in phospho-ribosomal protein S6 (RPS6) in the heart, and a decrease in phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in the kidney. Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) that gates carbohydrate entry into mitochondria is inhibited via phosphorylation by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (e.g., PDK4). In the skeletal muscle, the protein expression of PDK4 and phosphorylated PDH at Ser 300 was increased, suggesting inhibition during torpor. In contrast, there were no changes in levels of PDH expression and phosphorylation in other tissues comparing torpid and aroused animals. Information gained from these studies highlight the molecular controls that help to regulate metabolic rate depression and balance energetics during primate torpor.

  20. A peptide of the phylloseptin family from the skin of the frog Hylomantis lemur (Phyllomedusinae) with potent in vitro and in vivo insulin-releasing activity.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Wahab, Yasser H A; Power, Gavin J; Flatt, Peter R; Woodhams, Douglas C; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Conlon, J Michael

    2008-12-01

    A peptide with the ability to release insulin from the rat BRIN-BD11 clonal beta cell line was isolated from norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions of the Lemur leaf frog Hylomantis lemur Boulenger,1882. Determination of the primary structure (FLSLIPHVISALSSL.NH(2)) demonstrated that the peptide belongs to the phylloseptin family whose members have previously been identified in other Phyllomedusinae species. A synthetic replicate of the peptide, termed phylloseptin-L2, produced a significant stimulation of insulin release (134% of basal rate, P<0.01) from BRIN-BD11 cells at a concentration of 30 nM, with a maximum response (301% of basal rate, P<0.001) at a concentration of 3 microM. Phylloseptin-L2 did not stimulate release of the cytosolic enzyme, lactate dehydrogenase at concentrations up to 3 microM, indicating that the integrity of the plasma membrane had been preserved. The stimulatory action was maintained in the absence of extracellular Ca(2+) and in the presence of verapamil (50 microM) and diazoxide (300 microM) suggesting that mechanism of action of the peptide did not primarily involve influx of Ca(2+) or closure of ATP-sensitive K(+) channels. Administration of phylloseptin-L2 (50 nmol/kgbody weight) into mice significantly (P<0.05) increased total release of insulin and improved glucose tolerance during the 60 min period following an intraperitoneal injection of glucose (18 mmol/kgbody weight). It is concluded that the peptide shows potential for development into a therapeutically valuable agent for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

  1. Leaf chemistry as a predictor of primate biomass and the mediating role of food selection: a case study in a folivorous lemur (Propithecus verreauxi).

    PubMed

    Simmen, Bruno; Tarnaud, Laurent; Marez, André; Hladik, Annette

    2014-06-01

    Folivorous primate biomass has been shown to positively correlate with the average protein-to-fiber ratio in mature leaves of tropical forests. However, studies have failed to explain the mismatch between dietary selection and the role of the protein-to-fiber ratio on primate biomass; why do not folivores always favor mature leaves or leaves with the highest protein-to-fiber ratio? We examined the effect of leaf chemical characteristics and plant abundance (using transect censuses; 0.37 ha, 233 trees) on food choices and nutrient/toxin consumption in a folivorous lemur (Propithecus verreauxi) in a gallery forest in southern Madagascar. To assess the nutritional quality of the habitat, we calculated an abundance-weighted chemical index for each chemical variable. Food intake was quantified using a continuous count of mouthfuls during individual full-day follows across three seasons. We found a significant positive correlation between food ranking in the diet and plant abundance. The protein-to-fiber ratio and most other chemical variables tested had no statistical effect on dietary selection. Numerous chemical characteristics of the sifaka's diet were essentially by-products of generalist feeding and "low energy input/low energy crop" strategy. The examination of feeding behavior and plant chemistry in Old World colobines and folivorous prosimians in Madagascar suggests that relative lack of feeding selectivity and high primate biomass occur when the average protein-to-fiber ratio of mature leaves in the habitat exceeds a threshold at 0.4.

  2. Frugivory and seed dispersal patterns of the red-ruffed lemur, Varecia rubra, at a forest restoration site in Masoala National Park, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Barbara T; Razafindratsima, Onja H

    2014-01-01

    Frugivorous primates can play a critical role in the regeneration of degraded habitats by dispersing seeds of their food plants. We studied the diet and seed dispersal patterns of 3 groups of habituated red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra) in a rain forest restoration site in Masoala National Park, Madagascar, to assess the species' seed dispersal effectiveness. Fruits accounted for 61% of the diet, with an average foraging time of 10 min per fruit patch per day. Seeds from 75% of the consumed fruit species were recovered in the collected V. rubra feces. We traced the potential parent plants of 20 dispersed-seed species to calculate a gut passage range (63-423 min; mean = 225, n = 35). The median seed dispersal distance from the potential parent plant was 48 m (mean = 83 m, range 0-568 m, n = 194). The home ranges of 2 of the 3 groups overlapped with the regenerating forest parcels. Although 92% of fecal samples with seeds were dispersed into the undisturbed forest, V. rubra fed on the fruits of the non-native pioneer shrub Clidemia hirta, while also dispersing native and non-native seed species into the regenerating forest parcels.

  3. Reproductive Female Feeding Strategies in Spiny Forest-Dwelling Lemur catta in Southern and Southwestern Madagascar: How Do Females Meet the Challenges of Reproduction in this Harsh Habitat?

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Kelley, Elizabeth A; LaFleur, Marni

    2015-01-01

    The spiny forest ecoregion of southern and southwestern Madagascar is characterized by low annual rainfall, high temperatures, short-stature xeric vegetation and lack of canopy. Lemur catta is often the only diurnal primate persisting in this habitat. For reproductive females living in spiny forests, gestation and early-to-mid lactation periods occur during the dry season when food resources are limited. We conducted a between-site comparison of variables important to the feeding ecology of reproductive female L. catta inhabiting spiny forest at 3 sites: Berenty spiny forest (BSF), Cap Sainte-Marie (CSM) and Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP). We hypothesize that the ability for pregnant and lactating females to adequately obtain plant foods high in protein, low in fiber and with a high water content is crucial to their survival and successful reproduction in spiny habitat. We found favorable or relatively equal protein-to-fiber ratios in plant foods most frequently consumed by reproductive females, and preferred foods contained high water content. Some overlap in preferred plant species at the 3 sites suggests important plant foods for reproductive females inhabiting spiny forests. We suggest that choosing foods high in protein, relatively low in fiber and with high water content are behavioral adaptations allowing female L. catta to reproduce and survive in this habitat.

  4. Fecal inoculum can be used to determine the rate and extent of in vitro fermentation of dietary fiber sources across three lemur species that differ in dietary profile: Varecia variegata, Eulemur fulvus and Hapalemur griseus.

    PubMed

    Campbell, J L; Williams, C V; Eisemann, J H

    2002-10-01

    To estimate fermentative capacity among lemur species, four fiber substrates were tested across three species, Eulemur fulvus, Hapalemur griseus and Varecia variegata. The substrates, cellulose, beet pulp, citrus pulp and citrus pectin, ranged in composition from completely insoluble fiber (IF) to completely soluble fiber (SF), respectively. The lemurs consumed a nutritionally complete biscuit formulated for primates [85 g/100 g diet dry matter (DM)] and locally available produce (15 g/100 g diet DM). Feces were then collected and used to inoculate fermentation tubes prefilled with fiber substrates and an anaerobic growth medium. Dry matter disappearance (DMD), and acetate, propionate, butyrate, and total short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production were measured in tubes subjected to 6, 12, 24 or 48 h of fermentation. Results were fitted to a logistic growth model. The maximal production (MP) time at which production or disappearance is at one-half maximum (t(50)) and the fermentation rate at 3 h were calculated. The maximal disappearance of DM differed among substrates (citrus pectin > citrus pulp > beet pulp; P < 0.0001) and species (E. fulvus > H. griseus > V. variegata; P < 0.001). V. variegata reached t(50) for acetate and total SCFA production faster than H. griseus or E. fulvus (P < 0.02). Three-hour production rates of acetate and total SCFA were also greater for V. variegata for citrus pulp and citrus pectin (P < 0.01). Few species differences were observed for beet pulp. Results provide evidence for differences in fermentative capacity and suggest that fiber solubility and fermentability should be considered when assessing the nutritional management of lemurs.

  5. The effect of supplementation with vitamin A on serum and liver concentrations in Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur) and its lack of impact on brown skin disease.

    PubMed

    Dutton, Christopher; Lentini, Andrew; Berkvens, Charlene; Crawshaw, Graham

    2014-01-01

    "Brown skin disease" (BSD) is a clinical syndrome of dysecdysis, chronic weight loss and death, previously reported in Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur). Although vitamin A deficiency has been suggested, its cause remains unknown and multiple treatments have failed to prevent or reverse the condition. This study compared the efficacy of vitamin A supplementation, administered in different forms and by different routes, in 48 captive born Puerto Rican crested toads fed from metamorphosis on gut-loaded, dusted, commercially raised crickets. Forty-five toads started to show clinical signs of BSD at 9 months of age; all toads were treated orally with an oil-based vitamin A formulation twice weekly for 2 months but continued to deteriorate. Two treatment groups were then compared: Animals in one group (n=19) received 2 IU injectable vitamin A (Aquasol-A) per gram bodyweight subcutaneously twice weekly for 3 months with no change in diet. Toads in the other group (n=22) received a single oral dose of vitamins A, D3 , and E, and were fed on earthworms and crickets gut-loaded with produce and a finely-ground alfalfa-based pellet, dusted with the same vitamin/mineral supplement. All affected animals developed severe BSD equally and died during, or were euthanized at the end of, the treatment regimen, with no clinical improvement. Animals supplemented with Aquasol-A had significantly higher liver vitamin A concentrations compared with the other treatment group, whereas serum retinol concentrations showed no significant difference. Vitamin A supplementation does not appear a successful treatment once BSD symptoms have developed.

  6. The stress of growing old: sex- and season-specific effects of age on allostatic load in wild grey mouse lemurs.

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Anni; Heistermann, Michael; Kraus, Cornelia

    2015-08-01

    Chronic stress [i.e. long-term elevation of glucocorticoid (GC) levels] and aging have similar, negative effects on the functioning of an organism. Aged individuals' declining ability to regulate GC levels may therefore impair their ability to cope with stress, as found in humans. The coping of aged animals with long-term natural stressors is virtually unstudied, even though the ability to respond appropriately to stressors is likely integral to the reproduction and survival of wild animals. To assess the effect of age on coping with naturally fluctuating energetic demands, we measured stress hormone output via GC metabolites in faecal samples (fGCM) of wild grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in different ecological seasons. Aged individuals were expected to exhibit elevated fGCM levels under energetically demanding conditions. In line with this prediction, we found a positive age effect in the dry season, when food and water availability are low and mating takes place, suggesting impaired coping of aged wild animals. The age effect was significantly stronger in females, the longer-lived sex. Body mass of males but not females correlated positively with fGCM in the dry season. Age or body mass did not influence fGCM significantly in the rainy season. The sex- and season-specific predictors of fGCM may reflect the differential investment of males and females into reproduction and longevity. A review of prior research indicates contradictory aging patterns in GC regulation across and even within species. The context of sampling may influence the likelihood of detecting senescent declines in GC functioning.

  7. The anatomy and ontogeny of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of Lemur catta and Propithecus coquereli (primates): discussion on the parallelism between ontogeny and phylogeny and implications for evolutionary and developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui; Molnar, Julia L; Smith, Timothy D

    2014-08-01

    Most anatomical studies of primates focus on skeletal tissues, but muscular anatomy can provide valuable information about phylogeny, functional specializations, and evolution. Herein, we present the first detailed description of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of the fetal lemuriforms Lemur catta (Lemuridae) and Propithecus coquereli (Indriidae). These two species belong to the suborder Strepsirrhini, which is often presumed to possess some plesiomorphic anatomical features within primates. We compare the muscular anatomy of the fetuses with that of infants and adults and discuss the evolutionary and developmental implications. The fetal anatomy reflects a phylogenetically more plesiomorphic condition in nine of the muscles we studied and a more derived condition in only two, supporting a parallel between ontogeny and phylogeny. The derived exceptions concern muscles with additional insertions in the fetus which are lost in adults of the same species, that is, flexor carpi radialis inserts on metacarpal III and levator claviculae inserts on the clavicle. Interestingly, these two muscles are involved in movements of the pectoral girdle and upper limb, which are mainly important for activities in later stages of life, such as locomotion and prey capture, rather than activities in fetal life. Accordingly, our findings suggest that some exceptions to the "ontogeny parallels phylogeny" rule are probably driven more by ontogenetic constraints than by adaptive plasticity.

  8. Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Rover: LEMUR II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, B.; Aghazarian, H.; Cheng, Y.; Garrett, M.; Hutsberger, T.; Magnone, L.; Okon, A.; Robinson, M.

    2002-01-01

    The assembly inspection, and maintenance requirements of permanent installations in space demand robotic agents that provide a high level of operational flexibility relative to the mass and volume of the robotic system.

  9. Timing the origin of human malarias: the lemur puzzle

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Timing the origin of human malarias has been a focus of great interest. Previous studies on the mitochondrial genome concluded that Plasmodium in primates, including those parasitic to humans, radiated relatively recently during a process where host switches were common. Those investigations, however, assumed constant rate of evolution and tightly bound (fixed) calibration points based on host fossils or host distribution. We investigate the effect of such assumptions using different molecular dating methods. We include parasites from Lemuroidea since their distribution provides an external validation to time estimates allowing us to disregard scenarios that cannot explain their introduction in Madagascar. Results We reject the assumption that the Plasmodium mitochondrial genome, as a unit or each gene separately, evolves at a constant rate. Our analyses show that Lemuroidea parasites are a monophyletic group that shares a common ancestor with all Catarrhini malarias except those related to P. falciparum. However, we found no evidence that this group of parasites branched with their hosts early in the evolution of primates. We applied relaxed clock methods and different calibrations points to explore the origin of primate malarias including those found in African apes. We showed that previous studies likely underestimated the origin of malarial parasites in primates. Conclusions The use of fossils from the host as absolute calibration and the assumption of a strict clock likely underestimate time when performing molecular dating analyses on malarial parasites. Indeed, by exploring different calibration points, we found that the time for the radiation of primate parasites may have taken place in the Eocene, a time consistent with the radiation of African anthropoids. The radiation of the four human parasite lineages was part of such events. The time frame estimated in this investigation, together with our phylogenetic analyses, made plausible a scenario where gorillas and humans acquired malaria from a Pan lineage. PMID:21992100

  10. Phylogeography of the malagasy ring-tailed mongoose, Galidia elegans, from mtDNA sequence analysis.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Chanda E; Pastorini, Jennifer; Dollar, Luke; Hahn, William J

    2009-02-01

    The ring-tailed mongoose (Galidia elegans) represents one of the most widely distributed mongooses in Madagascar; however, we know little about the ecology of this seemingly ubiquitous species. Currently, G. elegans is divided into three recognized subspecies--G. e. elegans, G. e. dambrensis, and G. e. occidentalis--based on differences in pelage coloration between the distinct geographic locations. We used intraspecific DNA variation to describe the phylogenetic relationships among the described subspecies. Approximately 550 base pairs of the mitochondrial DNA control region were analyzed from 19 G. elegans specimens representing all three subspecies sampled from across the species' geographic range. Sequence data from outgroup taxa were included for comparison. Examination of the recovered sequences revealed a strongly supported distinct genetic signature in the western region of the island, but remained inconclusive with respect to supporting the designation of the northern and eastern 'subspecies' for treatment as divergent intraspecific units for management.

  11. Kinship Shapes Affiliative Social Networks but Not Aggression in Ring-Tailed Coatis

    PubMed Central

    Hirsch, Ben T.; Stanton, Margaret A.; Maldonado, Jesus E.

    2012-01-01

    Animal groups typically contain individuals with varying degrees of genetic relatedness, and this variation in kinship has a major influence on patterns of aggression and affiliative behaviors. This link between kinship and social behavior underlies socioecological models which have been developed to explain how and why different types of animal societies evolve. We tested if kinship and age-sex class homophily in two groups of ring-tailed coatis (Nasua nasua) predicted the network structure of three different social behaviors: 1) association, 2) grooming, and 3) aggression. Each group was studied during two consecutive years, resulting in four group-years available for analysis (total of 65 individuals). Association patterns were heavily influenced by agonistic interactions which typically occurred during feeding competition. Grooming networks were shaped by mother-offspring bonds, female-female social relationships, and a strong social attraction to adult males. Mother-offspring pairs were more likely to associate and groom each other, but relatedness had no effect on patterns of aggressive behavior. Additionally, kinship had little to no effect on coalitionary support during agonistic interactions. Adult females commonly came to the aid of juveniles during fights with other group members, but females often supported juveniles who were not their offspring (57% of coalitionary interactions). These patterns did not conform to predictions from socioecological models. PMID:22624010

  12. Genetically engineered Mengo virus vaccination of multiple captive wildlife species.

    PubMed

    Backues, K A; Hill, M; Palmenberg, A C; Miller, C; Soike, K F; Aguilar, R

    1999-04-01

    Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), has caused the deaths of many species of animals in zoological parks and research institutions. The Audubon Park Zoo, (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) attempted vaccination of several species with a killed EMCV vaccine with mixed results. This paper reports an attempt at vaccination against EMCV using a genetically engineered, live attenuated Mengo virus (vMC0) at the Audubon Park Zoo and Miami Metro Zoo, (Miami, Florida, USA) from December 1996 to June 1997. Several species of animals were vaccinated with vMC0, which is serologically indistinguishable from the field strain of EMCV. Serum samples were taken at the time of vaccination and again 21 days later, then submitted for serum neutralization titers against EMCV. The vaccinate species included red capped mangebey (Cercocebus torquatus), colobus (Colobus guereza), angolan colobus (Colobus angolensis), ruffed lemur (Lemur variegatus ruber and Lemur variegatus variegatus), back lemur (Lemur macaco), ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), siamang (Hylobates syndactylus), diana guenon (Cercopithicus diana), spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), talapoin monkey (Cercopithecus talapoin), Brazilian tapir (Tapirus terrestris), Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii), Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius), bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), gerenuk (Litocranius walleri), guanaco (Lama glama guanicoe), black duiker (Cephalophus niger), Vietnamese potbellied pig (Sus scrofa), babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa), collard peccary (Tayass tajacu), and African crested porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis). The vaccine response was variable, with high virus neutralizing antibody titer responses in some primate species and mixed to poor responses for other species. No ill effects were seen with vaccination.

  13. Dynamic vs. static social networks in models of parasite transmission: predicting Cryptosporidium spread in wild lemurs.

    PubMed

    Springer, Andrea; Kappeler, Peter M; Nunn, Charles L

    2016-12-14

    Social networks provide an established tool to implement heterogeneous contact structures in epidemiological models. Dynamic temporal changes in contact structure and ranging behaviour of wildlife may impact disease dynamics. A consensus has yet to emerge, however, concerning the conditions in which network dynamics impact model outcomes, as compared to static approximations that average contact rates over longer time periods. Furthermore, as many pathogens can be transmitted both environmentally and via close contact, it is important to investigate the relative influence of both transmission routes in real-world populations. Here, we use empirically derived networks from a population of wild primates, Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi), and simulated networks to investigate pathogen spread in dynamic vs. static social networks. First, we constructed a susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered model of Cryptosporidium spread in wild Verreaux's sifakas. We incorporated social and environmental transmission routes and parameterized the model for two different climatic seasons. Second, we used simulated networks and greater variation in epidemiological parameters to investigate the conditions in which dynamic networks produce larger outbreak sizes than static networks. We found that average outbreak size of Cryptosporidium infections in sifakas was larger when the disease was introduced in the dry season than in the wet season, driven by an increase in home range overlap towards the end of the dry season. Regardless of season, dynamic networks always produced larger average outbreak sizes than static networks. Larger outbreaks in dynamic models based on simulated networks occurred especially when the probability of transmission and recovery were low. Variation in tie strength in the dynamic networks also had a major impact on outbreak size, while network modularity had a weaker influence than epidemiological parameters that determine transmission and recovery. Our study adds to emerging evidence that dynamic networks can change predictions of disease dynamics, especially if the disease shows low transmissibility and a long infectious period, and when environmental conditions lead to enhanced between-group contact after an infectious agent has been introduced.

  14. Pilot survey of avahi population (woolly lemurs) in littoral forest fragments of southeast Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Norscia, Ivan

    2008-01-01

    This study presents a pilot survey of the avahis (pair-living, nocturnal prosimians) living in threatened littoral forest fragments of southeastern Madagascar. In the period of October-December 2004, I evaluated the density of adult and newborn avahis (carried by the mothers) by counting the individuals encountered during 58 night walks in seven fragments of Sainte Luce and Mandena forests, along one trail/fragment. Along each trail, I used random plots (5 m2) for a preliminary characterization of the vegetation. The density of the population was not correlated with fragment size and number of plant morphospecies, while it was correlated with large tree availability. Possibly due to a low energy diet based on leaves and to specialized and energetically expensive vertical leaping, the loss of large trees by selective logging seems to affect avahi populations more than other variables.

  15. Enumeration of Objects and Substances in Non-Human Primates: Experiments with Brown Lemurs ("Eulemur Fulvus")

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahajan, Neha; Barnes, Jennifer L.; Blanco, Marissa; Santos, Laurie R.

    2009-01-01

    Both human infants and adult non-human primates share the capacity to track small numbers of objects across time and occlusion. The question now facing developmental and comparative psychologists is whether similar mechanisms give rise to this capacity across the two populations. Here, we explore whether non-human primates' object tracking…

  16. Scramble or contest competition over food in solitarily foraging mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.): New insights from stable isotopes.

    PubMed

    Dammhahn, Melanie; Kappeler, Peter M

    2010-02-01

    The relationships between resource distribution, type of competition, and consequences for social organization have been formalized in the socioecological model (SEM) which predicts that ecological factors are the main determinants of female distribution. We tested this basic prediction in two solitary primates (Microcebus berthae and M. murinus) which differ in female association patterns. Using stable nitrogen and carbon isotope data of hair samples and food sources we quantified inter-specific differences in diet. delta(13)C in M. berthae reflected a diet composed mainly of insect secretions. Higher within-species as well as seasonal variation in delta(13)C of M. murinus indicated a wider trophic niche including plant and animal source food. Constantly elevated delta(15)N in M. murinus most likely reflected extended torpor during the lean season. This energy-saving strategy together with a wider, more opportunistic feeding niche might reduce female competition in this species, facilitating smaller female ranges, and a higher association potential. In contrast, delta(15)N fluctuated seasonally in M. berthae, most likely indicating varying amounts of arthropod food in the diet. Intense scramble competition over small and seasonally limited resources might lead to female spatial avoidance and a reduced association potential in M. berthae. Thus, differences in female association patterns between these two solitary foragers are due to different types of competition and overall intensities of intra-specific competition.

  17. Activity budgets and activity rhythms in red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra) on the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar: seasonality and reproductive energetics.

    PubMed

    Vasey, Natalie

    2005-05-01

    The activity budgets and daily activity rhythms of Varecia rubra were examined over an annual cycle according to season and reproductive stage. Given the relatively high reproductive costs and patchy food resources of this species, I predicted that V. rubra would 1) travel less and feed more during seasonal resource scarcity in an attempt to maintain energy balance, and 2) show sex differences in activity budgets due to differing reproductive investment. Contrary to the first prediction, V. rubra does not increase feeding time during seasonal food scarcity; rather, females feed for a consistent amount of time in every season, whereas males feed most during the resource-rich, hot dry season. The results are consistent with other predictions: V. rubra travels less in the resource-scarce cold rainy season, and there are some pronounced sex differences, with females feeding more and resting less than males in every season and in every reproductive stage except gestation. However, there are also some provocative similarities between the sexes when activity budgets are examined by reproductive stage. During gestation, female and male activity budgets do not differ and appear geared toward energy accumulation: both sexes feed and rest extensively and travel least during this stage. During lactation, activity budgets are geared toward high energy expenditure: both sexes travel most and in equal measure, and rest least, although it remains the case that females feed more and rest less than males. These similarities between female and male activity budgets appear related to cooperative infant care. The high energetic costs of reproduction in V. rubra females may require that they allot more time to feeding year round, and that their overall activity budget be more directly responsive to seasonal climate change, seasonal food distribution, and reproductive schedules.

  18. Hemoparasites in a wild primate: Infection patterns suggest interaction of Plasmodium and Babesia in a lemur species☆

    PubMed Central

    Springer, Andrea; Fichtel, Claudia; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Kappeler, Peter M.

    2015-01-01

    Hemoparasites can cause serious morbidity in humans and animals and often involve wildlife reservoirs. Understanding patterns of hemoparasite infections in natural populations can therefore inform about emerging disease risks, especially in the light of climate change and human disruption of natural ecosystems. We investigated the effects of host age, sex, host group size and season on infection patterns of Plasmodium sp., Babesia sp. and filarial nematodes in a population of wild Malagasy primates, Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi), as well as the effects of these infections on hematological variables. We tested 45 blood samples from 36 individuals and identified two species of Plasmodium, one species of Babesia and two species of filarial nematodes. Plasmodium spp. and Babesia sp. infections showed opposite patterns of age-dependency, with babesiosis being prevalent among young animals, while older animals were infected with Plasmodium sp. In addition, Babesia sp. infection was a statistically significant negative predictor of Plasmodium sp. infection. These results suggest that Plasmodium and Babesia parasites may interact within the host, either through cross-immunity or via resource competition, so that Plasmodium infections can only establish after babesiosis has resolved. We found no effects of host sex, host group size and season on hemoparasite infections. Infections showed high prevalences and did not influence hematological variables. This preliminary evidence supports the impression that the hosts and parasites considered in this study appear to be well-adapted to each other, resulting in persistent infections with low pathogenic and probably low zoonotic potential. Our results illustrate the crucial role of biodiversity in host-parasite relationships, specifically how within-host pathogen diversity may regulate the abundance of parasites. PMID:26767166

  19. Organization of cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic nuclei in three strepsirrhine primates: Galago demidoff, Perodicticus potto and Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Calvey, Tanya; Patzke, Nina; Kaswera-Kyamakya, Consolate; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Bertelsen, Mads F; Pettigrew, John D; Manger, Paul R

    2015-12-01

    The nuclear organization of the cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic systems in the brains of three species of strepsirrhine primates is presented. We aimed to investigate the nuclear complement of these neural systems in comparison to those of simian primates, megachiropterans and other mammalian species. The brains were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, serotonin and orexin-A. The nuclei identified were identical among the strepsirrhine species investigated and identical to previous reports in simian primates. Moreover, a general similarity to other mammals was found, but specific differences in the nuclear complement highlighted potential phylogenetic interrelationships. The central feature of interest was the structure of the locus coeruleus complex in the primates, where a central compactly packed core (A6c) of tyrosine hydroxylase immunopositive neurons was surrounded by a shell of less densely packed (A6d) tyrosine hydroxylase immunopositive neurons. This combination of compact and diffuse divisions of the locus coeruleus complex is only found in primates and megachiropterans of all the mammalian species studied to date. This neural character, along with variances in a range of other neural characters, supports the phylogenetic grouping of primates with megachiropterans as a sister group.

  20. Modification of a Limbed Robot to Favor Climbing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okon, Avi; Kennedy, Brett; Garrett, Michael; Magnone, Lee

    2006-01-01

    The figure shows the LEMUR IIb, which is a modified version of the LEMUR II the second generation of the Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot (LEMUR). Except as described below, the LEMUR IIb hardware is mostly the same as that of the LEMUR II. The IIb and II versions differ in their kinematic configurations and characteristics associated with their kinematic configurations. The differences are such that relative to the LEMUR II, the LEMUR IIb is simpler and is better suited to climbing on inclined surfaces. The first-generation LEMUR, now denoted the LEMUR I, was described in Six-Legged Experimental Robot (NPO-20897), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 25, No. 12 (December 2001), page 58. The LEMUR II was described in Second-Generation Six-Limbed Experimental Robot (NPO-35140) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 11 (November 2004), page 55. To recapitulate: the LEMUR I and LEMUR II were six-legged or sixlimbed robots for demonstrating robotic capabilities for assembly, maintenance, and inspection. They were designed to be capable of walking autonomously along a truss structure toward a mechanical assembly at a prescribed location. They were equipped with stereoscopic video cameras and image-data-processing circuitry for navigation and mechanical operations. They were also equipped with wireless modems, through which they could be commanded remotely. Upon arrival at a mechanical assembly, the LEMUR I would perform simple mechanical operations by use of one or both of its front legs (or in the case of the LEMUR II, any of its limbs could be used to perform mechanical operations). Either LEMUR could also transmit images to a host computer. The differences between the LEMUR IIb and the LEMUR II are the following: Whereas the LEMUR II had six limbs, the LEMUR IIb has four limbs. This change has reduced both the complexity and mass of the legs and of the overall robot. Whereas each limb of the LEMUR II had four degrees of freedom (DOFs), each limb of the LEMUR IIb has three DOFs

  1. Structural Analysis of a Repetitive Protein Sequence Motif in Strepsirrhine Primate Amelogenin

    PubMed Central

    Bromley, Keith M.; Hacia, Joseph G.; Bromage, Timothy G.; Snead, Malcolm L.; Moradian-Oldak, Janet; Paine, Michael L.

    2011-01-01

    Strepsirrhines are members of a primate suborder that has a distinctive set of features associated with the development of the dentition. Amelogenin (AMEL), the better known of the enamel matrix proteins, forms 90% of the secreted organic matrix during amelogenesis. Although AMEL has been sequenced in numerous mammalian lineages, the only reported strepsirrhine AMEL sequences are those of the ring-tailed lemur and galago, which contain a set of additional proline-rich tandem repeats absent in all other primates species analyzed to date, but present in some non-primate mammals. Here, we first determined that these repeats are present in AMEL from three additional lemur species and thus are likely to be widespread throughout this group. To evaluate the functional relevance of these repeats in strepsirrhines, we engineered a mutated murine amelogenin sequence containing a similar proline-rich sequence to that of Lemur catta. In the monomeric form, the MQP insertions had no influence on the secondary structure or refolding properties, whereas in the assembled form, the insertions increased the hydrodynamic radii. We speculate that increased AMEL nanosphere size may influence enamel formation in strepsirrhine primates. PMID:21437261

  2. 78 FR 7447 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-01

    ...-horned gazelle (Gazella leptoceros) Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) Eld's deer (Cervus eldii... and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) Cottontop tamarin... nasomaculatus) Red lechwe (Kobus leche) Applicant: Larry Johnson, Boerne, TX; PRT-89186A The applicant...

  3. Passage Retrieval and Evaluation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-02-01

    queries, is IDF(t) = log „ # docs. in corpus + 1 0.5 + # docs. t appears in « . (6) This rather ad hoc scoring formula is implemented in the Lemur ...problems with passage R-precision as an evaluation metric. Fernando was instrumental in extending the Lemur toolkit to make all of these experiments...and C. Zhai. The lemur toolkit for language modeling and information retrieval. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/∼ lemur /, 2003. [6] C. Buckley and E. M

  4. 50 CFR 14.151 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... Wild Mammals and Birds to the United States Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs... located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure. (b) No more than one sloth, bat, or flying lemur..., bats, or flying lemurs shall be large enough to ensure that each animal has sufficient space to...

  5. 50 CFR 14.151 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... Wild Mammals and Birds to the United States Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs... located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure. (b) No more than one sloth, bat, or flying lemur..., bats, or flying lemurs shall be large enough to ensure that each animal has sufficient space to...

  6. 50 CFR 14.151 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Wild Mammals and Birds to the United States Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs... located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure. (b) No more than one sloth, bat, or flying lemur..., bats, or flying lemurs shall be large enough to ensure that each animal has sufficient space to...

  7. 50 CFR 14.151 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Wild Mammals and Birds to the United States Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs... located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure. (b) No more than one sloth, bat, or flying lemur..., bats, or flying lemurs shall be large enough to ensure that each animal has sufficient space to...

  8. 77 FR 70457 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-26

    ... (Lemur catta) Black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) Black... registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for the barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii), Eld's deer (Rucervus eldii... (Nanger dama), and red lechwe (Kobus leche) to enhance the species' propagation or survival....

  9. Experiments with ClueWeb09: Relevance Feedback and Web Tracks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-11-01

    Lemur Project developers to index ClueWeb09. We built 30 separate indexes across 10 machines. Each machine was a modern (2-2.3 GHz CPU) 4 core machine... Lemur . Lemur Toolkit for Language Modeling and IR, 2003. http://www.lemurproject.org/. [7] D. Metzler and W. B. Croft. A markov random field model for

  10. Indri at TREC 2006: Lessons Learned From Three Terabyte Tracks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    2004. Indri was originally meant to be a small modification to the Lemur Project code. There were enough scalability is- sues with the original Lemur ...code that we built almost an entirely new system. The Indri system is now distributed as a component of the new, larger Lemur toolkit1. It is open

  11. Use of monitors in Pascal on the Lemur: a tutorial on the barrier, self-scheduling FOR-loop, and askfor monitors

    SciTech Connect

    Clausing, J.A.; Hagstrom, R.T.; Lusk, E.L.; Overbeek, R.A.

    1984-07-01

    A set of macro libraries has been developed that allows programmers to write portable Pascal code for multiprocessors. This document presents, in tutorial form, the macros used to implement three common synchronization patterns: self-scheduling FOR-loops, barrier synchronization, and the askfor monitor.

  12. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii in zoo animals in selected zoos in the midwestern United States.

    PubMed

    de Camps, Silvia; Dubey, J P; Saville, W J A

    2008-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infections in zoo animals are of interest because many captive animals die of clinical toxoplasmosis and because of the potential risk of exposure of children and elderly to T. gondii oocysts excreted by cats in the zoos. Seroprevalence of T. gondii antibodies in wild zoo felids, highly susceptible zoo species, and feral cats from 8 zoos of the midwestern United States was determined by using the modified agglutination test (MAT). A titer of 1:25 was considered indicative of T. gondii exposure. Among wild felids, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 6 (27.3%) of 22 cheetahs (Acynonyx jubatus jubatus), 2 of 4 African lynx (Caracal caracal), 1 of 7 clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), 1 of 5 Pallas cats (Otocolobus manul), 12 (54.5%) of 22 African lions (Panthera leo), 1 of 1 jaguar (Panthera onca), 1 of 1 Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), 1 of 1 Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor), 5 (27.8%) of 18 Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica), 1 of 4 fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus), 3 of 6 pumas (Puma concolor), 2 of 2 Texas pumas (Puma concolor stanleyana), and 5 (35.7%) of 14 snow leopards (Uncia uncia). Antibodies were found in 10 of 34 feral domestic cats (Felis domesticus) trapped in 3 zoos. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were not found in any of the 78 fecal samples from wild and domestic cats. Among the macropods, antibodies were detected in 1 of 3 Dama wallabies (Macropus eugenii), 1 of 1 western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus), 1 of 2 wallaroos (Macropus robustus), 6 of 8 Bennett's wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus), 21 (61.8%) of 34 red kangaroos (Macropus rufus), and 1 of 1 dusky pademelon (Thylogale brunii). Among prosimians, antibodies were detected in 1 of 3 blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), 1 of 21 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), 2 of 9 red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata rubra), and 2 of 4 black- and white-ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata). Among the avian species tested, 2 of 3 bald

  13. Victims of Infanticide and Conspecific Bite Wounding in a Female-Dominant Primate: A Long-Term Study

    PubMed Central

    Charpentier, Marie J. E.; Drea, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

    The aggression animals receive from conspecifics varies between individuals across their lifetime. As poignantly evidenced by infanticide, for example, aggression can have dramatic fitness consequences. Nevertheless, we understand little about the sources of variation in received aggression, particularly in females. Using a female-dominant species renowned for aggressivity in both sexes, we tested for potential social, demographic, and genetic patterns in the frequency with which animals were wounded by conspecifics. Our study included 243 captive, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), followed from infancy to adulthood over a 35-year time span. We extracted injury, social, and life-history information from colony records and calculated neutral heterozygosity for a subset of animals, as an estimate of genetic diversity. Focusing on victims rather than aggressors, we used General Linear Models to explain bite-wound patterns at different life stages. In infancy, maternal age best predicted wounds received, as infants born to young mothers were the most frequent infanticide victims. In adulthood, sex best predicted wounds received, as males were three times more likely than females to be seriously injured. No relation emerged between wounds received and the other variables studied. Beyond the generally expected costs of adult male intrasexual aggression, we suggest possible additive costs associated with female-dominant societies – those suffered by young mothers engaged in aggressive disputes and those suffered by adult males aggressively targeted by both sexes. We propose that infanticide in lemurs may be a costly by-product of aggressively mediated, female social dominance. Accordingly, the benefits of female behavioral ‘masculinization’ accrued to females through priority of access to resources, may be partially offset by early costs in reproductive success. Understanding the factors that influence lifetime patterns of conspecific wounding is critical to

  14. How Do Users Find Things with PubMed? Towards Automatic Utility Evaluation with User Simulations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-01

    experimental variable was the algorithm for suggesting related articles. We considered two: • Using language modeling retrieval, implemented with Lemur [16...similarity algorithm in PubMed, accessed through the PubMed eUtils API.5 Quite explicitly, our goal was not to compare Lemur with PubMed, but rather to...for the simulation (utility). The top graph shows the greedy browsing strategy and the bottom graph the breadth-like browsing strategy, both with Lemur

  15. UTDallas at TREC 2008 Blog Track

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-11-01

    finding. In the topic retrieval task, we applied Lemur IR toolkit and used various techniques for query expansion. In the opinion finding and...context, and extract content from the blog web pages. Second, we apply the Lemur Information Retrieval toolkit to retrieve 1000 relevant documents...process, we built index using the Lemur Information Retrieval Toolkit1 based on the preprocessed corpus. For each of the topic queries, the retrieval

  16. Delft University at the TREC 2009 Entity Track: Ranking Wikipedia Entities

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-11-01

    containing ClueWeb09 collection using Lemur Toolkit 4.10. We used no stemming and stop-word removal on the collection level. However, we applied a very...approach implemented in Lemur with Dirichlet smoothing (µ = 1500). In order to have some flexibility in development and also for the sake of better...consider them as the only entities allowed (actu- ally, using #scoreif directive of the Lemur query language). Since we still could not be sure that all

  17. PRIS at TREC 2010: Related Entity Finding Task of Entity Track

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-11-01

    constructing retrieval model and allocating homepages for entities. We also used some external resources, such as Stanford NER Tool, Indri1 & Lemur ...obtained less than 1,000 documents. This information was stored for the latter needs. In order to indexing by Indri or Lemur , we parsed the...priority to entities extracted manually PRIS3 Entity-Centered Model by Indri PRIS4 Entity-Centered Model by Lemur (BM25) Because the evaluation

  18. A Journey in Entity Related Retrieval for TREC 2009

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-11-01

    contains about 50 million English pages for the entity track, was used. For indexing, the Lemur tool kit in Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform and for...the entity related finding Base Run with Simple Query For indexing the Clueweb09 the Lemur Tool Kit version 10 was installed, since the...ClueWeb09 collection, which was indexed using the Lemur were also retrieved. In addition, the queries were defined according to the output required

  19. 77 FR 298 - Endangered Species Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-04

    ... Species: Lesser slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) White-naped crane (Grus... condor (Vultur gryphus), Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), black and white ruffed lemur...

  20. 50 CFR 14.151 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... Wild Mammals and Birds to the United States Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs... located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure. (b) No more than one sloth, bat, or flying lemur... together may be shipped in the same primary enclosure. (c) A primary enclosure used to transport...

  1. Overview of the TREC 2009 Entity Track

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-11-01

    ranking. (Wang et al., 2009) UALR CB We used Lemur tool kit version 4.10 to index the WARC format documents which were given on Red Hat Enterprise Linux...Technology employs Lemur toolkit to index and retrieve dataset stemmed by Krovetz stemmer and stopped using a standard list of 421 common terms; devised

  2. Northeastern University in TREC 2009. Million Query Track

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-11-01

    Methodology We indexed the GOV2 collection and the ClueWeb09 (category B) collection using the Indri Search Engine from the Lemur Toolkit [1]. The...predictions. References [1] The lemur toolkit. http://www.lemurproject.org. [2] Letor 4.0. http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/beijing/projects/letor/. [3

  3. Million Query Track 2008 Overview

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-11-01

    We used several standard Lemur built in systems (tfidf bm25, tfidf log, kl abs, kl dir, inquery, cos, okapi) and combined their output (metasearch...the Lemur implementations: a vector-space cosine similarity run (000cos), a language modeling run (000klabs), an Okapi formula run (000okapi), a BM25

  4. Universities of Avignon and Lyon III at TREC 2008: Enterprise Track

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-11-01

    this strategy. • In LiaIIcAuto run, a small set of documents was extracted and concatenated using Lemur and the query title field. • In LiaIcAuto run...address oc- curring in the corpus. These summaries were indexed using Lemur and addresses were ranked based on indri #combine operator applied to titles

  5. Million Query Track 2007 Overview

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-01

    Technology, China Used Lemur . IBM Haifa This year, the experiments of IBM Haifa were focused on the scoring function of Lucene, an Apache open-source...several standard Lemur built in systems (tfidf bm25, tfidf log, kl abs,kl dir,inquery,cos, okapi) and combined their output (metasearch) using the

  6. Conservation biology of Malagasy strepsirhines: a phylogenetic approach.

    PubMed

    Lehman, Shawn M

    2006-06-01

    The phylogenetic diversity of extant lemurs represents one of the most important but least studied aspects of the conservation biology of primates. The phylogenetic diversity of a species is inversely proportional to the relative number and closeness of its phylogenetic relatives. Phylogenetic diversity can then be used to determine conservation priorities for specific biogeographic regions. Although Malagasy strepsirhines represent the highest phylogenetic diversity among primates at the global level, there are few phylogenetic data on species-specific and regional conservation plans for lemurs in Madagascar. Therefore, in this paper the following questions are addressed for extant lemurs: 1) how does the measure of taxonomic uniqueness used by Mittermeier et al. (1992 Lemurs of Madagascar; Gland, Switzerland: IUCN) equate with an index of phylogenetic diversity, 2) what are the regional conservation priorities based on analyses of phylogenetic diversity in extant lemurs, and 3) what conservation recommendations can be made based on analyses of phylogenetic diversity in lemurs? Taxonomic endemicity standardized weight (TESW) indices of phylogenetic diversity were used to determine the evolutionary component of biodiversity and to prioritize regions for conserving lemur taxa. TESW refers to the standardization of phylogenetic diversity indices for widespread taxa and endemicity of species. The phylogenetic data came from recent genetic studies of Malagasy strepsirhines at the species level. Lemur species were assigned as being either present or absent in six biogeographic regions. TESW indices were combined with data on lemur complementarity and protected areas to assign conservation priorities at the regional level. Although there were no overall differences between taxonomic ranks and phylogenetic rankings, there were significant differences for the top-ranked taxa. The phylogenetic component of lemur diversity is greatest for Daubentonia madagascariensis

  7. Testing the Oxidative Stress Hypothesis of Aging in Primate Fibroblasts: Is There a Correlation Between Species Longevity and Cellular ROS Production?

    PubMed Central

    Csiszar, Anna; Podlutsky, Andrej; Podlutskaya, Natalia; Sonntag, William E.; Merlin, Steven Z.; Philipp, Eva E. R.; Doyle, Kristian; Davila, Antonio; Recchia, Fabio A.; Ballabh, Praveen; Pinto, John T.

    2012-01-01

    The present study was conducted to test predictions of the oxidative stress theory of aging assessing reactive oxygen species production and oxidative stress resistance in cultured fibroblasts from 13 primate species ranging in body size from 0.25 to 120 kg and in longevity from 20 to 90 years. We assessed both basal and stress-induced reactive oxygen species production in fibroblasts from five great apes (human, chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and orangutan), four Old World monkeys (baboon, rhesus and crested black macaques, and patas monkey), three New World monkeys (common marmoset, red-bellied tamarin, and woolly monkey), and one lemur (ring-tailed lemur). Measurements of cellular MitoSox fluorescence, an indicator of mitochondrial superoxide (O2·−) generation, showed an inverse correlation between longevity and steady state or metabolic stress–induced mitochondrial O2·− production, but this correlation was lost when the effects of body mass were removed, and the data were analyzed using phylogenetically independent contrasts. Fibroblasts from longer-lived primate species also exhibited superior resistance to H2O2-induced apoptotic cell death than cells from shorter-living primates. After correction for body mass and lack of phylogenetic independence, this correlation, although still discernible, fell short of significance by regression analysis. Thus, increased longevity in this sample of primates is not causally associated with low cellular reactive oxygen species generation, but further studies are warranted to test the association between increased cellular resistance to oxidative stressor and primate longevity. PMID:22219516

  8. Decoding an olfactory mechanism of kin recognition and inbreeding avoidance in a primate

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Like other vertebrates, primates recognize their relatives, primarily to minimize inbreeding, but also to facilitate nepotism. Although associative, social learning is typically credited for discrimination of familiar kin, discrimination of unfamiliar kin remains unexplained. As sex-biased dispersal in long-lived species cannot consistently prevent encounters between unfamiliar kin, inbreeding remains a threat and mechanisms to avoid it beg explanation. Using a molecular approach that combined analyses of biochemical and microsatellite markers in 17 female and 19 male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), we describe odor-gene covariance to establish the feasibility of olfactory-mediated kin recognition. Results Despite derivation from different genital glands, labial and scrotal secretions shared about 170 of their respective 338 and 203 semiochemicals. In addition, these semiochemicals encoded information about genetic relatedness within and between the sexes. Although the sexes showed opposite seasonal patterns in signal complexity, the odor profiles of related individuals (whether same-sex or mixed-sex dyads) converged most strongly in the competitive breeding season. Thus, a strong, mutual olfactory signal of genetic relatedness appeared specifically when such information would be crucial for preventing inbreeding. That weaker signals of genetic relatedness might exist year round could provide a mechanism to explain nepotism between unfamiliar kin. Conclusion We suggest that signal convergence between the sexes may reflect strong selective pressures on kin recognition, whereas signal convergence within the sexes may arise as its by-product or function independently to prevent competition between unfamiliar relatives. The link between an individual's genome and its olfactory signals could be mediated by biosynthetic pathways producing polymorphic semiochemicals or by carrier proteins modifying the individual bouquet of olfactory cues. In conclusion, we

  9. Mapping the social network: tracking lice in a wild primate (Microcebus rufus) population to infer social contacts and vector potential

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Studies of host-parasite interactions have the potential to provide insights into the ecology of both organisms involved. We monitored the movement of sucking lice (Lemurpediculus verruculosus), parasites that require direct host-host contact to be transferred, in their host population of wild mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus). These lemurs live in the rainforests of Madagascar, are small (40 g), arboreal, nocturnal, solitary foraging primates for which data on population-wide interactions are difficult to obtain. We developed a simple, cost effective method exploiting the intimate relationship between louse and lemur, whereby individual lice were marked, without removal from their host, with an individualized code, and tracked throughout the lemur population. We then tested the hypotheses that 1) the frequency of louse transfers, and thus interactions, would decrease with increasing distance between paired individual lemurs; 2) due to host polygynandry, social interactions and hence louse transfers would increase during the onset of the breeding season; and 3) individual mouse lemurs would vary in their contributions to the spread of lice. Results We show that louse transfers involved 43.75% of the studied lemur population, exclusively males. Louse transfers peaked during the breeding season, perhaps due to increased social interactions between lemurs. Although trap-based individual lemur ranging patterns are restricted, louse transfer rate does not correlate with the distance between lemur trapping locales, indicating wider host ranging behavior and a greater risk of rapid population-wide pathogen transmission than predicted by standard trapping data alone. Furthermore, relatively few lemur individuals contributed disproportionately to the rapid spread of lice throughout the population. Conclusions Using a simple method, we were able to visualize exchanges of lice in a population of cryptic wild primates. This method not only provided insight into the

  10. Evaluating a Novel Kind of Retrieval Models Based on Relevance Decision Making in a Relevance Feedback Environment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-11-01

    provided by the Lemur package [7] to generate the initial retrieval list. Stop word removal is not used. The porter stemmer [8] is used. The setting of...using the initial retrieval list generated by Lemur and re-ranked by our model 1 for feedback sets B-E. Set P@10 P@30 MAP R-precision A .3977...SIGIR ‘05, pp. 472-479. 7. Ogilvie, P. and Callan, J. (2002.) Experiments using the Lemur toolkit. In Proceedings of the 2001 Text REtrieval

  11. THE subfossil occurrence and paleoecological significance of small mammals at ankilitelo cave, southwestern Madagascar

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muldoon, K.M.; De Blieux, D. D.; Simons, E.L.; Chatrath, P.S.

    2009-01-01

    Small mammals are rarely reported from subfossil sites in Madagascar despite their importance for paleoenvironmental reconstruction, especially as it relates to recent ecological changes on the island. We describe the uniquely rich subfossil small mammal fauna from Ankilitelo Cave, southwestern Madagascar. The Ankilitelo fauna is dated to the late Holocene (???500 years ago), documenting the youngest appearances of the extinct giant lemur taxa Palaeopropithecus, Megaladapis, and Archaeolemur, in association with abundant remains of small vertebrates, including bats, tenrecs, carnivorans, rodents, and primates. The Ankilitelo fauna is composed of 34 mammalian species, making it one of the most diverse Holocene assemblages in Madagascar. The fauna comprises the 1 st report of the short-tailed shrew tenrec (Microgale brevicaudata) and the ring-tailed mongoose (Galidia elegans) in southwestern Madagascar. Further, Ankilitelo documents the presence of southwestern species that are rare or that have greatly restricted ranges today, such as Nasolo's shrew tenrec (M. nasoloi), Grandidier's mongoose (Galidictis grandidieri), the narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata), and the giant jumping rat (Hypogeomys antimena). A simple cause for the unusual small mammal occurrences at Ankilitelo is not obvious. Synergistic interactions between climate change, recent fragmentation and human-initiated degradation of forested habitats, and community-level processes, such as predation, most likely explain the disjunct distributions of the small mammals documented at Ankilitelo. ?? 2009 American Society of Mammalogists.

  12. Underground hibernation in a primate.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Marina B; Dausmann, Kathrin H; Ranaivoarisoa, Jean F; Yoder, Anne D

    2013-01-01

    Hibernation in mammals is a remarkable state of heterothermy wherein metabolic rates are reduced, core body temperatures reach ambient levels, and key physiological functions are suspended. Typically, hibernation is observed in cold-adapted mammals, though it has also been documented in tropical species and even primates, such as the dwarf lemurs of Madagascar. Western fat-tailed dwarf lemurs are known to hibernate for seven months per year inside tree holes. Here, we report for the first time the observation that eastern dwarf lemurs also hibernate, though in self-made underground hibernacula. Hence, we show evidence that a clawless primate is able to bury itself below ground. Our findings that dwarf lemurs can hibernate underground in tropical forests draw unforeseen parallels to mammalian temperate hibernation. We expect that this work will illuminate fundamental information about the influence of temperature, resource limitation and use of insulated hibernacula on the evolution of hibernation.

  13. Bi-directional Linkability From Wikipedia to Documents and Back Again: UMass at TREC 2012 Knowledge Base Acceleration Track

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-11-01

    part of the Lemur toolkit. Galago supports indexing of large scale data in a distributed cluster environment with a MapReduce -like framework called...english wikipedia concepts. In Con- ference on Language Resources and Evaluation.

  14. Underground hibernation in a primate

    PubMed Central

    Blanco, Marina B.; Dausmann, Kathrin H.; Ranaivoarisoa, Jean F.; Yoder, Anne D.

    2013-01-01

    Hibernation in mammals is a remarkable state of heterothermy wherein metabolic rates are reduced, core body temperatures reach ambient levels, and key physiological functions are suspended. Typically, hibernation is observed in cold-adapted mammals, though it has also been documented in tropical species and even primates, such as the dwarf lemurs of Madagascar. Western fat-tailed dwarf lemurs are known to hibernate for seven months per year inside tree holes. Here, we report for the first time the observation that eastern dwarf lemurs also hibernate, though in self-made underground hibernacula. Hence, we show evidence that a clawless primate is able to bury itself below ground. Our findings that dwarf lemurs can hibernate underground in tropical forests draw unforeseen parallels to mammalian temperate hibernation. We expect that this work will illuminate fundamental information about the influence of temperature, resource limitation and use of insulated hibernacula on the evolution of hibernation. PMID:23636180

  15. 78 FR 73877 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-09

    ... barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii), Eld's deer (Rucervus eldii), scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), addax (Addax nasomaculatus), dama gazelle (Nanger dama), and red lechwe (Kobus... variegata) Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) Mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) Japanese macaque (Macaca...

  16. A Study of Adaptive Relevance Feedback - UIUC TREC-2008 Relevance Feedback Experiments

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-11-01

    1− β)αf + βαd where if αd < αf , β = 1; otherwise β = 0. 5. EXPERIMENT RESULTS 5.1 Data Preprocessing We employ the Lemur toolkit (version 4.5) and... Lemur toolkit, we adopt the KL-Divergence retrieval model with mixture model feedback to do relevance feed- back experiments (related parameters are

  17. Extinction and ecological retreat in a community of primates

    SciTech Connect

    Crowley, B. E.; Godfrey, L. R.; Guilderson, T. P.; Zermeno, P.; Koch, P. L.; Dominy, N. J.

    2012-05-23

    The lemurs of Madagascar represent a prodigious adaptive radiation. At least 17 species ranging from 11 to 160 kg have become extinct during the past 2000 years. The effect of this loss on contemporary lemurs is unknown. The concept of competitive release favours the expansion of living species into vacant niches. Alternatively, factors that triggered the extinction of some species could have also reduced community-wide niche breadth. Here, we use radiocarbon and stable isotope data to examine temporal shifts in the niches of extant lemur species following the extinction of eight large-bodied species. We focus on southwestern Madagascar and report profound isotopic shifts, both from the time when now-extinct lemurs abounded and from the time immediately following their decline to the present. Unexpectedly, the past environments exploited by lemurs were drier than the protected (albeit often degraded) riparian habitats assumed to be ideal for lemurs today. Neither competitive release nor niche contraction can explain these observed trends. We develop an alternative hypothesis: ecological retreat, which suggests that factors surrounding extinction may force surviving species into marginal or previously unfilled niches.

  18. Highly Variable Streptococcus oralis Strains Are Common among Viridans Streptococci Isolated from Primates

    PubMed Central

    Denapaite, Dalia; Rieger, Martin; Köndgen, Sophie; Brückner, Reinhold; Ochigava, Irma; Kappeler, Peter; Mätz-Rensing, Kerstin; Leendertz, Fabian

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Viridans streptococci were obtained from primates (great apes, rhesus monkeys, and ring-tailed lemurs) held in captivity, as well as from free-living animals (chimpanzees and lemurs) for whom contact with humans is highly restricted. Isolates represented a variety of viridans streptococci, including unknown species. Streptococcus oralis was frequently isolated from samples from great apes. Genotypic methods revealed that most of the strains clustered on separate lineages outside the main cluster of human S. oralis strains. This suggests that S. oralis is part of the commensal flora in higher primates and evolved prior to humans. Many genes described as virulence factors in Streptococcus pneumoniae were present also in other viridans streptococcal genomes. Unlike in S. pneumoniae, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)–CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) gene clusters were common among viridans streptococci, and many S. oralis strains were type PI-2 (pilus islet 2) variants. S. oralis displayed a remarkable diversity of genes involved in the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan (penicillin-binding proteins and MurMN) and choline-containing teichoic acid. The small noncoding cia-dependent small RNAs (csRNAs) controlled by the response regulator CiaR might contribute to the genomic diversity, since we observed novel genomic islands between duplicated csRNAs, variably present in some isolates. All S. oralis genomes contained a β-N-acetyl-hexosaminidase gene absent in S. pneumoniae, which in contrast frequently harbors the neuraminidases NanB/C, which are absent in S. oralis. The identification of S. oralis-specific genes will help us to understand their adaptation to diverse habitats. IMPORTANCE Streptococcus pneumoniae is a rare example of a human-pathogenic bacterium among viridans streptococci, which consist of commensal symbionts, such as the close relatives Streptococcus mitis and S. oralis. We have shown that S. oralis can

  19. Seasonal variation in the abundance and distribution of ticks that parasitize Microcebus griseorufus at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, Idalia A.; Rasoazanabary, Emilienne; Godfrey, Laurie R.

    2015-01-01

    At Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar, mouse lemurs (Microcebus griseorufus) are parasitized by multiple species of haemaphysaline ticks. At present we know little about the role ticks play in wild lemur populations and how they can alter interspecies relationships within communities or impact host fitness. In order to better understand these dynamics at BMSR, we examined parasite-host interactions as well as the ecology of mouse lemurs and their infesting ticks, Haemaphysalis lemuris and H. sp. cf. simplex. We show that season, host sex, and habitat influence the relative abundance of ticks on mouse lemurs. Specifically, infestations occur only during the dry season (May–October), are higher in males, and are higher at the study site with the most ground cover and with greater density of large-bodied hosts. Microcebus likely experience decreased susceptibility to tick infestations during the wet season because at that time they rarely if ever descend to the ground. Similarly, male mouse lemurs have higher infestation rates than females because of the greater time they spend traveling and foraging on the ground. During the dry season, Microcebus likely serve as hosts for the tenrec tick, H. sp. cf. simplex, when tenrecs hibernate. In turn, during the wet season when mouse lemurs rarely descend to the ground, other small mammals at the reserve may serve as maintenance hosts for populations of immature ticks. The synchronous development of larvae and nymphs could present high risk for vector-borne disease in Microcebus. This study also provides a preliminary description of the ecology and life cycle of the most common lemur tick, H. lemuris. PMID:26767168

  20. Seasonal variation in the abundance and distribution of ticks that parasitize Microcebus griseorufus at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Idalia A; Rasoazanabary, Emilienne; Godfrey, Laurie R

    2015-12-01

    At Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar, mouse lemurs (Microcebus griseorufus) are parasitized by multiple species of haemaphysaline ticks. At present we know little about the role ticks play in wild lemur populations and how they can alter interspecies relationships within communities or impact host fitness. In order to better understand these dynamics at BMSR, we examined parasite-host interactions as well as the ecology of mouse lemurs and their infesting ticks, Haemaphysalis lemuris and H. sp. cf. simplex. We show that season, host sex, and habitat influence the relative abundance of ticks on mouse lemurs. Specifically, infestations occur only during the dry season (May-October), are higher in males, and are higher at the study site with the most ground cover and with greater density of large-bodied hosts. Microcebus likely experience decreased susceptibility to tick infestations during the wet season because at that time they rarely if ever descend to the ground. Similarly, male mouse lemurs have higher infestation rates than females because of the greater time they spend traveling and foraging on the ground. During the dry season, Microcebus likely serve as hosts for the tenrec tick, H. sp. cf. simplex, when tenrecs hibernate. In turn, during the wet season when mouse lemurs rarely descend to the ground, other small mammals at the reserve may serve as maintenance hosts for populations of immature ticks. The synchronous development of larvae and nymphs could present high risk for vector-borne disease in Microcebus. This study also provides a preliminary description of the ecology and life cycle of the most common lemur tick, H. lemuris.

  1. Second-Generation Six-Limbed Experimental Robot

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, Brett; Okon, Avi; Aghazarian, Hrand; Robinson, Matthew; Garrett, Michael; Magnone, Lee

    2004-01-01

    The figure shows the LEMUR II - the second generation of the Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot (LEMUR), which was described in "Six-Legged Experimental Robot" (NPO-20897), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 25, No. 12 (December 2001), page 58. The LEMUR II incorporates a number of improvements, including new features, that extend its capabilities beyond those of its predecessor, which is now denoted the LEMUR I. To recapitulate: the LEMUR I was a six-limbed robot for demonstrating robotic capabilities for assembly, maintenance, and inspection. The LEMUR I was designed to be capable of walking autonomously along a truss structure toward a mechanical assembly at a prescribed location and to perform other operations. The LEMUR I was equipped with stereoscopic video cameras and image-data-processing circuitry for navigation and mechanical operations. It was also equipped with a wireless modem, through which it could be commanded remotely. Upon arrival at a mechanical assembly, the LEMUR I would perform simple mechanical operations with one or both of its front limbs. It could also transmit images to a host computer. Each of the six limbs of the LEMUR I was operated independently. Each of the four rear limbs had three degrees of freedom (DOFs), while each of the front two limbs had four DOFs. The front two limbs were designed to hold, operate, and/or be integrated with tools. The LEMUR I included an onboard computer equipped with an assortment of digital control circuits, digital input/output circuits, analog-to-digital converters for input, and digital-to-analog (D/A) converters for output. Feedback from optical encoders in the limb actuators was utilized for closed-loop microcomputer control of the positions and velocities of the actuators. The LEMUR II incorporates the following improvements over the LEMUR I: a) The drive trains for the joints of the LEMUR II are more sophisticated, providing greater torque and accuracy. b) The six limbs are arranged symmetrically about

  2. Torpor is not the only option: seasonal variations of the thermoneutral zone in a small primate.

    PubMed

    Kobbe, Susanne; Nowack, Julia; Dausmann, Kathrin H

    2014-08-01

    The reddish-gray mouse lemur (Microcebus griseorufus) is one of only a few small mammals inhabiting the spiny forest of southwestern Madagascar. In this study we investigated the physiological adjustments which allow these small primates to persist under the challenging climatic conditions of their habitat. To this end we measured energy expenditure (metabolic rate) and body temperature of 24 naturally acclimatized mouse lemurs, kept in outdoor enclosures, during different seasons (summer, winter, and the transition period between the two seasons). Mouse lemurs displayed two main physiological strategies to compensate seasonal and diurnal fluctuations of ambient temperature. On the one hand, individuals entered hypometabolism with decreasing ambient temperature (T a) during the transition period and winter, enabling them to save up to 21 % energy per day (92 % per hour) compared with the normal resting metabolic rate at comparable T a. On the other hand, euthermic mouse lemurs also showed physiological adjustments to seasonality when resting: the lower critical temperature of the thermoneutral zone decreased from summer to winter by 7.5 °C, which allowed mouse lemurs to keep energy demands constant despite colder T as during winter. In addition, the basal metabolic rate was substantially lowered prior to the winter period, which facilitated accumulation of fat reserves. The combination of physiological modifications during euthermia in addition to hypometabolism, which can be individually adjusted according to external parameters and respective body condition, is important as it allows M. griseorufus to cope with the environmental variability of an energetically challenging habitat.

  3. Acoustic divergence in the communication of cryptic species of nocturnal primates (Microcebus ssp.)

    PubMed Central

    Braune, Pia; Schmidt, Sabine; Zimmermann, Elke

    2008-01-01

    Background A central question in evolutionary biology is how cryptic species maintain species cohesiveness in an area of sympatry. The coexistence of sympatrically living cryptic species requires the evolution of species-specific signalling and recognition systems. In nocturnal, dispersed living species, specific vocalisations have been suggested to act as an ideal premating isolation mechanism. We studied the structure and perception of male advertisement calls of three nocturnal, dispersed living mouse lemur species, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), the golden brown mouse lemur (M. ravelobensis) and the Goodman's mouse lemur (M. lehilahytsara). The first two species occur sympatrically, the latter lives allopatrically to them. Results A multi-parameter sound analysis revealed prominent differences in the frequency contour and in the duration of advertisement calls. To test whether mouse lemurs respond specifically to calls of the different species, we conducted a playback experiment with M. murinus from the field using advertisement calls and alarm whistle calls of all three species. Individuals responded significantly stronger to conspecific than to heterospecific advertisement calls but there were no differences in response behaviour towards statistically similar whistle calls of the three species. Furthermore, sympatric calls evoked weaker interest than allopatric advertisement calls. Conclusion Our results provide the first evidence for a specific relevance of social calls for speciation in cryptic primates. They furthermore support that specific differences in signalling and recognition systems represent an efficient premating isolation mechanism contributing to species cohesiveness in sympatrically living species. PMID:18462484

  4. Multi-locus analysis of Giardia duodenalis from nonhuman primates kept in zoos in China: geographical segregation and host-adaptation of assemblage B isolates.

    PubMed

    Karim, Md Robiul; Wang, Rongjun; Yu, Fuchang; Li, Tongyi; Dong, Haiju; Li, Dezhong; Zhang, Longxian; Li, Junqiang; Jian, Fuchun; Zhang, Sumei; Rume, Farzana Islam; Ning, Changshen; Xiao, Lihua

    2015-03-01

    Only a few studies based on single locus characterization have been conducted on the molecular epidemiology of Giardia duodenalis in nonhuman primates (NHPs). The present study was conducted to examine the occurrence and genotype identity of G. duodenalis in NHPs based on multi-locus analysis of the small-subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA), triose phosphate isomerase (tpi), glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh), and beta-giardin (bg) genes. Fecal specimens were collected from 496 animals of 36 NHP species kept in seven zoos in China and screened for G. duodenalis by tpi-based PCR. G. duodenalis was detected in 92 (18.6%) specimens from 18 NHP species, belonging to assemblage A (n=4) and B (n=88). In positive NHP species, the infection rates ranged from 4.8% to 100%. In tpi sequence analysis, the assemblage A included subtypes A1, A2 and one novel subtype. Multi-locus analysis of the tpi, gdh, and bg genes detected 11 (8 known and 3 new), 6 (3 known and 3 new) and 9 (2 known and 7 new) subtypes in 88, 47 and 35 isolates in assemblage B, respectively. Thirty-two assemblage B isolates with data at all three loci yielded 15 multi-locus genotypes (MLGs), including 2 known and 13 new MLGs. Phylogenetic analysis of concatenated sequences of assemblage B showed that MLGs found here were genetically different from those of humans, NHPs, rabbit and guinea pig in Italy and Sweden. It further indicated that assemblage B isolates in ring-tailed lemurs and squirrel monkeys might be genetically different from those in other NHPs. These data suggest that NHPs are mainly infected with G. duodenalis assemblage B and there might be geographical segregation and host-adaptation in assemblage B in NHPs.

  5. [Animal reservoirs of human virulent microsporidian species].

    PubMed

    Słodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna

    2009-01-01

    . It was demonstrated that the new hosts of E. hellem are the following bird species: mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos), greyleg goose (Anser anser), mute swan (Cygnus olor), black-necked swan (Cygnus melancoryphus), black swan (Cygnus atratus), coscoroba swan (Coscoroba coscoroba), black-crowned crane (Balearica pavonina), nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) and carrion crow (Corvus cornix). In addition, E. hellem was found for the first time in birds from the Anseriformes and Gruiformes orders. Whereas E. intestinalis was disclosed for the first time in the domestic goose (Anser anser f. domestica), red ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata rubra) and the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), while the black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz) and the Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons negrinus) were first found to carry E. bieneusi. The mammal species that were found to carry E. bieneusi and E. intestinalis are included in The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The results of the present study are significant from an epidemiological point of view. The wild, livestock and zoo animals that were found to carry microsporidia live in different conditions, and thus their role as animal reservoirs for these dangerous pathogens varies. Waterfowl birds may be the main source of contamination of surface waters with E. hellem spores and the protection of surface waters is virtually impossible. Moreover, isolates of E. hellem from mute swans have SSU rRNA sequences identical to E. hellem genotype reported 10 years ago in HIV-positive patient in USA (GenBank Accession no. L19070). This result indicate that E. hellem from mute swans can be a potential source of infection for humans. The contamination of the human environment with microsporidian spores infectious to humans is also facilitated by farm and synanthropic birds, because E. hellem and E. intestinalis were found in farms pigeons, domestic goose and the carrion crow. These birds can also be the source

  6. Population- and Individual-Level Dynamics of the Intestinal Microbiota of a Small Primate

    PubMed Central

    Laakkonen, Juha; Jernvall, Jukka

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Longitudinal sampling for intestinal microbiota in wild animals is difficult, leading to a lack of information on bacterial dynamics occurring in nature. We studied how the composition of microbiota communities changed temporally in free-ranging small primates, rufous mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus). We marked and recaptured mouse lemurs during their mating season in Ranomafana National Park in southeastern mountainous rainforests of Madagascar for 2 years and determined the fecal microbiota compositions of these mouse lemurs with MiSeq sequencing. We collected 160 fecal samples from 71 animals and had two or more samples from 39 individuals. We found small, but statistically significant, effects of site and age on microbiota richness and diversity and effects of sex, year, and site on microbiota composition, while the within-year temporal trends were less clear. Within-host microbiota showed pervasive variation in intestinal bacterial community composition, especially during the second study year. We hypothesize that the biological properties of mouse lemurs, including their small body size and fast metabolism, may contribute to the temporal intraindividual-level variation, something that should be testable with more-extensive sampling regimes. IMPORTANCE While microbiome research has blossomed in recent years, there is a lack of longitudinal studies on microbiome dynamics on free-ranging hosts. To fill this gap, we followed mouse lemurs, which are small heterothermic primates, for 2 years. Most studied animals have shown microbiota to be stable over the life span of host individuals, but some previous research also found ample within-host variation in microbiota composition. Our study used a larger sample size than previous studies and a study setting well suited to track within-host variation in free-ranging mammals. Despite the overall microbiota stability at the population level, the microbiota of individual mouse lemurs can show large-scale changes

  7. Enamel microstructure in Lemuridae (Mammalia, Primates): assessment of variability.

    PubMed

    Maas, M C

    1994-10-01

    This study describes the molar enamel microstructure of seven lemurid primates: Hapalemur griseus, Varecia variegata, Lemur catta, Lemur macaco, Lemur fulvus rufus, Lemur fulvus fulvus, and Lemur fulvus albifrons. Contrary to earlier accounts, which reported little or no prism decussation in lemurid enamel, both Lemur and Varecia molars contain a prominent inner layer of decussating prisms (Hunter-Schreger bands), in addition to an outer radial prism layer, and a thin, nonprismatic enamel surface layer. In contrast, Hapalemur enamel consists entirely of radial and, near the surface, nonprismatic enamel. In addition, for all species, prism packing patterns differ according to depth from the tooth surface, and for all species but Varecia (which also has the thinnest enamel of any lemurid), average prism area increases from the enamel-dentine junction to the surface; this may be a developmental solution to the problem of accommodating a larger outer surface area with enamel deposited from a fixed number of cells. Finally, contradicting some previous reports, Pattern 1 prisms predominate only in the most superficial prismatic enamel. In the deeper enamel, prism cross-sections include both closed (Pattern 1) and arc-shaped (Pattern 2 or, most commonly, Pattern 3). This sequence of depth-related pattern change is repeated in all taxa. It should also be emphasized that all taxa can exhibit all three prism patterns in their mature enamel. The high degree of quantitative and qualitative variation in prism size, shape, and packing suggests that these features should be used cautiously in phylogenetic studies. Hapalemur is distinguished from the other lemurids by unique, medially constricted or rectangular prism cross-sections at an intermediate depth and the absence of prism decussation, but, without further assessment of character polarity, these differences do not clarify lemurid phylogenetic relations. Some characters of enamel microstructure may represent synapomorphies

  8. Influence of abiotic factors on cathemeral activity: the case of Eulemur fulvus collaris in the littoral forest of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Donati, Giuseppe; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana M

    2006-01-01

    The role environmental factors play in influencing circadian rhythms in natural habitats is still poorly described in primates, especially for those taxa with an activity cycle extended over the 24-hour cycle. In this paper, we elucidate the importance of abiotic factors in entraining the activity of cathemeral primates, focussing on results from a long-term study of Eulemur fulvus collaris (collared brown lemur) in south-eastern Malagasy littoral forest. Two groups of lemurs were followed for 60 whole-day and 59 whole-night observation periods over 14 months. Diurnal and nocturnal observations were equally distributed among moon phases and seasons. Temperature and humidity were recorded hourly by automatic data loggers. The littoral forest has a climatic environment where rainfall and humidity are uncorrelated with temperature and photoperiod. Diurnal and nocturnal activity varied seasonally, with the former increasing significantly with extended day length and the latter increasing significantly with shortened day length. Dusk seemed to act as a primary zeitgeber for these lemurs, coordinating the onset of evening activity throughout the entire year. Lunar phase and the nocturnal luminosity index correlated positively with the duration of nocturnal activity and negatively with the length of diurnal activity. Temperature was positively associated with diurnal activity but did not seem to influence lemur rhythms at night. Finally, lemur nocturnal activity significantly decreased when levels of humidity and rainfall were high. Cathemeral biorhythm is triggered by zeitgebers and influenced by masking factors. The activity of collared brown lemurs appears to be seasonally influenced by photoperiod and directly modulated by nocturnal ambient luminosity. These results are discussed by comparing data from other cathemeral species living in various climatic situations.

  9. 50 CFR 14.142 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Primary enclosures. 14.142 Section 14.142 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR TAKING... outside the enclosure. Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs (Cynocephalidae)...

  10. 50 CFR 14.142 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Primary enclosures. 14.142 Section 14.142 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR TAKING... outside the enclosure. Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs (Cynocephalidae)...

  11. 50 CFR 14.142 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Primary enclosures. 14.142 Section 14.142 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR TAKING... outside the enclosure. Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs (Cynocephalidae)...

  12. 50 CFR 14.142 - Primary enclosures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Primary enclosures. 14.142 Section 14.142 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR TAKING... outside the enclosure. Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs (Cynocephalidae)...

  13. Monkeys, Apes and Other Primates. Young Discovery Library Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lucas, Andre

    This book is written for children 5 through 10. Part of a series designed to develop their curiosity, fascinate them and educate them, this volume introduces the primate family, their physiology, and habits. Topics described include: (1) kinds of monkeys, including lemur, chimpanzee, gorilla, squirrel monkey, and marmoset; (2) behaviors when…

  14. Implications of lemuriform extinctions for the Malagasy flora.

    PubMed

    Federman, Sarah; Dornburg, Alex; Daly, Douglas C; Downie, Alexander; Perry, George H; Yoder, Anne D; Sargis, Eric J; Richard, Alison F; Donoghue, Michael J; Baden, Andrea L

    2016-05-03

    Madagascar's lemurs display a diverse array of feeding strategies with complex relationships to seed dispersal mechanisms in Malagasy plants. Although these relationships have been explored previously on a case-by-case basis, we present here the first comprehensive analysis of lemuriform feeding, to our knowledge, and its hypothesized effects on seed dispersal and the long-term survival of Malagasy plant lineages. We used a molecular phylogenetic framework to examine the mode and tempo of diet evolution, and to quantify the associated morphological space occupied by Madagascar's lemurs, both extinct and extant. Using statistical models and morphometric analyses, we demonstrate that the extinction of large-bodied lemurs resulted in a significant reduction in functional morphological space associated with seed dispersal ability. These reductions carry potentially far-reaching consequences for Malagasy ecosystems, and we highlight large-seeded Malagasy plants that appear to be without extant animal dispersers. We also identify living lemurs that are endangered yet occupy unique and essential dispersal niches defined by our morphometric analyses.

  15. Implications of lemuriform extinctions for the Malagasy flora

    PubMed Central

    Federman, Sarah; Dornburg, Alex; Daly, Douglas C.; Downie, Alexander; Perry, George H.; Yoder, Anne D.; Sargis, Eric J.; Richard, Alison F.; Donoghue, Michael J.; Baden, Andrea L.

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar’s lemurs display a diverse array of feeding strategies with complex relationships to seed dispersal mechanisms in Malagasy plants. Although these relationships have been explored previously on a case-by-case basis, we present here the first comprehensive analysis of lemuriform feeding, to our knowledge, and its hypothesized effects on seed dispersal and the long-term survival of Malagasy plant lineages. We used a molecular phylogenetic framework to examine the mode and tempo of diet evolution, and to quantify the associated morphological space occupied by Madagascar’s lemurs, both extinct and extant. Using statistical models and morphometric analyses, we demonstrate that the extinction of large-bodied lemurs resulted in a significant reduction in functional morphological space associated with seed dispersal ability. These reductions carry potentially far-reaching consequences for Malagasy ecosystems, and we highlight large-seeded Malagasy plants that appear to be without extant animal dispersers. We also identify living lemurs that are endangered yet occupy unique and essential dispersal niches defined by our morphometric analyses. PMID:27071108

  16. Habitat Degradation and Seasonality Affect Physiological Stress Levels of Eulemur collaris in Littoral Forest Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Balestri, Michela; Barresi, Marta; Campera, Marco; Serra, Valentina; Ramanamanjato, Jean Baptiste; Heistermann, Michael; Donati, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    The littoral forest on sandy soil is among the most threatened habitats in Madagascar and, as such, it represents a hot-spot within a conservation hot-spot. Assessing the health of the resident lemur fauna is not only critical for the long-term viability of these populations, but also necessary for the future re-habilitation of this unique habitat. Since the Endangered collared brown lemur, Eulemur collaris, is the largest seed disperser of the Malagasy south-eastern littoral forest its survival in this habitat is crucial. In this study we compared fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) levels, a measure of physiological stress and potential early indicator of population health, between groups of collared brown lemurs living in a degraded forest fragment and groups occurring in a more preserved area. For this, we analysed 279 fecal samples collected year-round from 4 groups of collared brown lemurs using a validated 11-oxoetiocholanolone enzyme immunoassay and tested if fGCM levels were influenced by reproductive stages, phenological seasons, sex, and habitat degradation. The lemurs living in the degraded forest had significantly higher fGCM levels than those living in the more preserved area. In particular, the highest fGCM levels were found during the mating season in all animals and in females during gestation in the degraded forest. Since mating and gestation are both occurring during the lean season in the littoral forest, these results likely reflect a combination of ecological and reproductive pressures. Our findings provide a clear indication that habitat degradation has additive effects to the challenges found in the natural habitat. Since increased stress hormone output may have long-term negative effects on population health and reproduction, our data emphasize the need for and may add to the development of effective conservation plans for the species. PMID:25229944

  17. Habitat degradation and seasonality affect physiological stress levels of Eulemur collaris in littoral forest fragments.

    PubMed

    Balestri, Michela; Barresi, Marta; Campera, Marco; Serra, Valentina; Ramanamanjato, Jean Baptiste; Heistermann, Michael; Donati, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    The littoral forest on sandy soil is among the most threatened habitats in Madagascar and, as such, it represents a hot-spot within a conservation hot-spot. Assessing the health of the resident lemur fauna is not only critical for the long-term viability of these populations, but also necessary for the future re-habilitation of this unique habitat. Since the Endangered collared brown lemur, Eulemur collaris, is the largest seed disperser of the Malagasy south-eastern littoral forest its survival in this habitat is crucial. In this study we compared fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) levels, a measure of physiological stress and potential early indicator of population health, between groups of collared brown lemurs living in a degraded forest fragment and groups occurring in a more preserved area. For this, we analysed 279 fecal samples collected year-round from 4 groups of collared brown lemurs using a validated 11-oxoetiocholanolone enzyme immunoassay and tested if fGCM levels were influenced by reproductive stages, phenological seasons, sex, and habitat degradation. The lemurs living in the degraded forest had significantly higher fGCM levels than those living in the more preserved area. In particular, the highest fGCM levels were found during the mating season in all animals and in females during gestation in the degraded forest. Since mating and gestation are both occurring during the lean season in the littoral forest, these results likely reflect a combination of ecological and reproductive pressures. Our findings provide a clear indication that habitat degradation has additive effects to the challenges found in the natural habitat. Since increased stress hormone output may have long-term negative effects on population health and reproduction, our data emphasize the need for and may add to the development of effective conservation plans for the species.

  18. Temporalis function in anthropoids and strepsirrhines: an EMG study.

    PubMed

    Hylander, William L; Wall, Christine E; Vinyard, Christopher J; Ross, Callum; Ravosa, Mathew R; Williams, Susan H; Johnson, Kirk R

    2005-09-01

    The major purpose of this study is to analyze anterior and posterior temporalis muscle force recruitment and firing patterns in various anthropoid and strepsirrhine primates. There are two specific goals for this project. First, we test the hypothesis that in addition to transversely directed muscle force, the evolution of symphyseal fusion in primates may also be linked to vertically directed balancing-side muscle force during chewing (Hylander et al. [2000] Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 112:469-492). Second, we test the hypothesis of whether strepsirrhines retain the hypothesized primitive mammalian condition for the firing of the anterior temporalis, whereas anthropoids have the derived condition (Weijs [1994] Biomechanics of Feeding in Vertebrates; Berlin: Springer-Verlag, p. 282-320). Electromyographic (EMG) activities of the left and right anterior and posterior temporalis muscles were recorded and analyzed in baboons, macaques, owl monkeys, thick-tailed galagos, and ring-tailed lemurs. In addition, as we used the working-side superficial masseter as a reference muscle, we also recorded and analyzed EMG activity of the left and right superficial masseter in these primates. The data for the anterior temporalis provided no support for the hypothesis that symphyseal fusion in primates is linked to vertically directed jaw muscle forces during mastication. Thus, symphyseal fusion in primates is most likely mainly linked to the timing and recruitment of transversely directed forces from the balancing-side deep masseter (Hylander et al. [2000] Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 112:469-492). In addition, our data demonstrate that the firing patterns for the working- and balancing-side anterior temporalis muscles are near identical in both strepsirrhines and anthropoids. Their working- and balancing-side anterior temporalis muscles fire asynchronously and reach peak activity during the power stroke. Similarly, their working- and balancing-side posterior temporalis muscles also fire

  19. Moderate evidence for a Lombard effect in a phylogenetically basal primate

    PubMed Central

    Schopf, Christian; Schmidt, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    When exposed to enhanced background noise, humans avoid signal masking by increasing the amplitude of the voice, a phenomenon termed the Lombard effect. This auditory feedback-mediated voice control has also been found in monkeys, bats, cetaceans, fish and some frogs and birds. We studied the Lombard effect for the first time in a phylogenetically basal primate, the grey mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus. When background noise was increased, mouse lemurs were able to raise the amplitude of the voice, comparable to monkeys, but they did not show this effect consistently across context/individuals. The Lombard effect, even if representing a generic vocal communication system property of mammals, may thus be affected by more complex mechanisms. The present findings emphasize an effect of context, and individual, and the need for further standardized approaches to disentangle the multiple system properties of mammalian vocal communication, important for understanding the evolution of the unique human faculty of speech and language. PMID:27602292

  20. Crystalloid configuration in the adrenal cortex of the Siamese tree shrew (Tupaia glis).

    PubMed

    Hostetler, J R; Cannon, M S; Belt, W D

    1976-07-01

    Crystalloids of what appear to be smooth reticulum have been observed in the zona fasciculata and zona reticularis in both the stressed and nonstressed adrenal gland of the Siamese tree shrew (Tupaia glis). No crystalloids are observed in the zona glomerulosa. Similar crystalloids have been described in other steroid-secreting organs, including the antebrachial organ of the lemur (Lemur catta), the parotoid gland of Bufo alvarius and in sebaceous gland cells of the Galagos and Macaques. Moreover, the crystalloids in the present investigation resemble the paracrystalline arrays of smooth reticulum present in the adrenal cortex of the fetal guinea pig. The crystalloids show much variation in degree of organization, sometimes appearing as wavy tubules parallel with one another or as fused tubules having a "donut" configuration. In addition, the crystalloids are nearly identical to configurations which have been described in mitochondrial cristae of the protozoan, Pelomyxa carolinensis.

  1. TREC 2014 Web Track Overview

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-02-18

    presented in the proceedings of the Twenty-Third Text REtrieval Conference (TREC 2014) held in Gaithersburg, Maryland, November 19-21, 2014. The...and B corpora were created may be found on the Lemur project website2. We strongly encouraged participants to use the full Category A data set if...some information on the topic, which may be minimal; the relevant information must be on that page, not just promising-looking anchor text pointing

  2. Effects of forest structure and composition on food availability for Varecia variegata at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Balko, E.A.; Underwood, H.B.

    2005-01-01

    We present a summary of a long-term field study that examined the effects of forest disturbance on the availability of palatable fruit and its utilization by V. variegata. Forest structure and tree species composition were measured in three adjacent study areas, with different histories of disturbance, in Ranomafana National Park (RNP), Madagascar. V. variegata abundance was monitored by frequent encounters with resident groups and periodic censuses conducted along trails. Finally, the abundance of mature fruit in species used by V. variegata was scored monthly at representative trees at several locations. V. variegata abundance was most consistent in the least anthropogenically disturbed site, while no established lemur groups were observed in the heavily logged site for over a decade post-harvest. Lemur abundance was variable in the selectively logged site. The presence of select food trees, particularly specimens with voluminous crowns capable of producing abundant fruit crops, appears to be key to the establishment and expansion of V variegata groups. Our analysis of year-long fruit utilization revealed a high degree of preference for several species of trees. Two species exhibited mature fruit in a low percentage of stems but were available for a protracted period of time, while two additional species showed high intraspecific fruiting synchrony and were available for a shorter period of time. These contrasting phenologies, rather than the individual tree species, may be most important to V. variegata due to their coincident timing of fruit maturation with key lemur life-history events. Any disturbance-natural or anthropogenic-that disrupts the phenology cycles of food trees has the potential to impact lemur abundance and dispersion. Intense disturbances, such as heavy logging or severe cyclones, have long-lasting impacts on fruit production, while selective logging or moderate cyclonic windthrow cause more transient impacts. V. variegata is adapted to deal

  3. Atigeo at TREC 2014 Clinical Decision Support Task

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-11-01

    configurable suite of natural language processing ( NLP ) compo- nents, to compute a relevance score for each article and topic. We describe our ensemble...approach, the strategies and tools we use to create labeled data to support this approach, the components in our IR / NLP pipeline, and our results on...Indri/Lemur5 – and includes several text processing and natural lan- guage processing ( NLP ) modules, such as negation tagging, age grouping, and

  4. Considering the Influence of Nonadaptive Evolution on Primate Color Vision

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Rachel L.; Bradley, Brenda J.

    2016-01-01

    Color vision in primates is variable across species, and it represents a rare trait in which the genetic mechanisms underlying phenotypic variation are fairly well-understood. Research on primate color vision has largely focused on adaptive explanations for observed variation, but it remains unclear why some species have trichromatic or polymorphic color vision while others are red-green color blind. Lemurs, in particular, are highly variable. While some species are polymorphic, many closely-related species are strictly dichromatic. We provide the first characterization of color vision in a wild population of red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar) with a sample size (87 individuals; NX chromosomes = 134) large enough to detect even rare variants (0.95 probability of detection at ≥ 3% frequency). By sequencing exon 5 of the X-linked opsin gene we identified opsin spectral sensitivity based on known diagnostic sites and found this population to be dichromatic and monomorphic for a long wavelength allele. Apparent fixation of this long allele is in contrast to previously published accounts of Eulemur species, which exhibit either polymorphic color vision or only the medium wavelength opsin. This unexpected result may represent loss of color vision variation, which could occur through selective processes and/or genetic drift (e.g., genetic bottleneck). To indirectly assess the latter scenario, we genotyped 55 adult red-bellied lemurs at seven variable microsatellite loci and used heterozygosity excess and M-ratio tests to assess if this population may have experienced a recent genetic bottleneck. Results of heterozygosity excess but not M-ratio tests suggest a bottleneck might have occurred in this red-bellied lemur population. Therefore, while selection may also play a role, the unique color vision observed in this population might have been influenced by a recent genetic bottleneck. These results emphasize the need to

  5. The Convergent Evolution of Blue Iris Pigmentation in Primates Took Distinct Molecular Paths

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Wynn K; Zhang, Sidi; Hayakawa, Sachiko; Imai, Hiroo; Przeworski, Molly

    2013-01-01

    How many distinct molecular paths lead to the same phenotype? One approach to this question has been to examine the genetic basis of convergent traits, which likely evolved repeatedly under a shared selective pressure. We investigated the convergent phenotype of blue iris pigmentation, which has arisen independently in four primate lineages: humans, blue-eyed black lemurs, Japanese macaques, and spider monkeys. Characterizing the phenotype across these species, we found that the variation within the blue-eyed subsets of each species occupies strongly overlapping regions of CIE L*a*b* color space. Yet whereas Japanese macaques and humans display continuous variation, the phenotypes of blue-eyed black lemurs and their sister species (whose irises are brown) occupy more clustered subspaces. Variation in an enhancer of OCA2 is primarily responsible for the phenotypic difference between humans with blue and brown irises. In the orthologous region, we found no variant that distinguishes the two lemur species or associates with quantitative phenotypic variation in Japanese macaques. Given the high similarity between the blue iris phenotypes in these species and that in humans, this finding implies that evolution has used different molecular paths to reach the same end. Am J Phys Anthropol 151:398–407, 2013.© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:23640739

  6. Dead or alive? Viability of chytrid zoospores shed from live amphibian hosts.

    PubMed

    Maguire, Chelsea; DiRenzo, Graziella V; Tunstall, Tate S; Muletz, Carly R; Zamudio, Kelly R; Lips, Karen R

    2016-05-26

    Pathogens vary in virulence and rates of transmission because of many differences in the host, the pathogen, and their environment. The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), affects amphibian hosts differently, causing extinction and population declines in some species but having limited effects on others. Phenotypic differences in zoospore production rates among Bd lineages likely contribute to some of the variation observed among host responses, although no studies have quantified the viability of zoospores shed from live animals. We compared host survivorship, infection intensity, shedding rates, and zoospore viability between 2 species of endangered tropical frogs, Hylomantis lemur and Atelopus zeteki, when exposed to a highly virulent lineage of Bd (JEL 423). We applied a dye to zoospores 30 to 60 min following animal soaks, to estimate shedding rate and proportion of live zoospores shed by different species. The average infection intensity for A. zeteki was nearly 17 times higher (31,455 ± 10,103 zoospore genomic equivalents [ZGEs]) than that of H. lemur (1832 ± 1086 ZGEs), and A. zeteki died earlier than H. lemur. The proportion of viable zoospores was ~80% in both species throughout the experiment, although A. zeteki produced many more zoospores, suggesting it may play a disproportionate role in spreading disease in communities where it occurs, because the large number of viable zoospores they produce might increase infection in other species where they are reintroduced.

  7. Distribution and Abundance of the World's Smallest Primate, Microcebus berthae, in Central Western Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Schäffler, Livia; Kappeler, Peter M

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of most recently discovered or described lemur species remains poorly known, but many appear to have small geographical ranges, making them vulnerable to extinction. Research can contribute to future conservation actions on behalf of these species by providing accurate information on local distribution and abundance. The distribution of the world's smallest primate, the endangered Madame Berthe's mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae), is limited to the Menabe Central region of western Madagascar. This species was discovered in the 1990s, but many fundamental aspects of its ecology remain unknown. The aims of our study were therefore to determine the actual distribution of Microcebus berthae across the forests of this region, to estimate population density, and to examine the species' response to anthropogenic activities. We established 35 1-km line transects across Menabe Central, on which we surveyed mouse lemurs by distance sampling and live trapping. Microcebus berthae does not occur in all remaining forests of this small region and its population density is highly heterogeneous, both across its geographic range and locally. Within its area of occupancy, the population of Microcebus berthae not only was distributed according to spatial heterogeneities of the habitat, but also responded to anthropogenic disturbances and varied seasonally. Our results indicate that Microcebus berthae is susceptible to habitat degradation and avoids human environments spatially. As none of the forest remnants in which the species still occurs were officially protected until recently, immediate conservation actions should focus on effectively protecting Kirindy and Ambadira forests.

  8. Impaired fasting blood glucose is associated to cognitive impairment and cerebral atrophy in middle-aged non-human primates

    PubMed Central

    Djelti, Fathia; Dhenain, Marc; Terrien, Jérémy; Picq, Jean-Luc; Hardy, Isabelle; Champeval, Delphine; Perret, Martine; Schenker, Esther; Epelbaum, Jacques; Aujard, Fabienne

    2017-01-01

    Age-associated cognitive impairment is a major health and social issue because of increasing aged population. Cognitive decline is not homogeneous in humans and the determinants leading to differences between subjects are not fully understood. In middle-aged healthy humans, fasting blood glucose levels in the upper normal range are associated with memory impairment and cerebral atrophy. Due to a close evolutional similarity to Man, non-human primates may be useful to investigate the relationships between glucose homeostasis, cognitive deficits and structural brain alterations. In the grey mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, spatial memory deficits have been associated with age and cerebral atrophy but the origin of these alterations have not been clearly identified. Herein, we showed that, on 28 female grey mouse lemurs (age range 2.4-6.1 years-old), age correlated with impaired fasting blood glucose (rs=0.37) but not with impaired glucose tolerance or insulin resistance. In middle-aged animals (4.1-6.1 years-old), fasting blood glucose was inversely and closely linked with spatial memory performance (rs=0.56) and hippocampus (rs=−0.62) or septum (rs=−0.55) volumes. These findings corroborate observations in humans and further support the grey mouse lemur as a natural model to unravel mechanisms which link impaired glucose homeostasis, brain atrophy and cognitive processes. PMID:28039490

  9. Conservation education in Madagascar: three case studies in the biologically diverse island-continent.

    PubMed

    Dolins, Francine L; Jolly, Alison; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah; Feistner, Anna T C; Ravoavy, Florent

    2010-05-01

    Few Malagasy children and adults are aware of the rare and unique fauna and flora indigenous to their island-continent, including flagship lemur species. Even the Malagasy ancestral proverbs never mentioned lemurs, but these same proverbs talked about the now extinct hippopotamus. Madagascar's geography, history, and economic constraints contribute to severe biodiversity loss. Deforestation on Madagascar is reported to be over 100,000 ha/year, with only 10-15% of the island retaining natural forest [Green & Sussman, 1990]. Educating children, teacher-training, and community projects about environmental and conservation efforts to protect the remaining natural habitats of endangered lemur species provide a basis for long-term changes in attitudes and practices. Case studies of three conservation education projects located in different geographical regions of Madagascar, Centre ValBio, Madagacar Wildlife Conservation Alaotra Comic Book Project, and The Ako Book Project, are presented together with their ongoing stages of development, assessment, and outcomes. We argue that while nongovernmental organizational efforts are and will be very important, the Ministry of Education urgently needs to incorporate biodiversity education in the curriculum at all levels, from primary school to university.

  10. Optics detection and laser countermeasures on a combat vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sjöqvist, Lars; Allard, Lars; Pettersson, Magnus; Börjesson, Per; Lindskog, Nils; Bodin, Johan; Widén, Anders; Persson, Hâkan; Fredriksson, Jan; Edström, Sten

    2016-10-01

    Magnifying optical assemblies used for weapon guidance or rifle scopes may possess a threat for a combat vehicle and its personnel. Detection and localisation of optical threats is consequently of interest in military applications. Typically a laser system is used in optics detection, or optical augmentation, to interrogate a scene of interest to localise retroreflected laser radiation. One interesting approach for implementing optics detection on a combat vehicle is to use a continuous scanning scheme. In addition, optics detection can be combined with laser countermeasures, or a laser dazzling function, to efficiently counter an optical threat. An optics detection laser sensor demonstrator has been implemented on a combat vehicle. The sensor consists of a stabilised gimbal and was integrated together with a LEMUR remote electro-optical sight. A narrow laser slit is continuously scanned around the horizon to detect and locate optical threats. Detected threats are presented for the operator within the LEMUR presentation system, and by cueing a countermeasure laser installed in the LEMUR sensor housing threats can be defeated. Results obtained during a field demonstration of the optics detection sensor and the countermeasure laser will be presented. In addition, results obtained using a dual-channel optics detection system designed for false alarm reduction are also discussed.

  11. Primates as Predictors of Mammal Community Diversity in the Forest Ecosystems of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Muldoon, Kathleen M; Goodman, Steven M

    2015-01-01

    The geographic distribution of species is the typical metric for identifying priority areas for conservation. Since most biodiversity remains poorly studied, a subset of charismatic species, such as primates, often stand as surrogates for total biodiversity. A central question is therefore, how effectively do primates predict the pooled species richness of other mammalian taxa? We used lemurs as indicator species to predict total non-primate mammal community richness in the forest ecosystems of Madagascar. We combine environmental and species occurrence data to ascertain the extent to which primate diversity can predict (1) non-primate mammal α-diversity (species richness), (2) non-primate complementarity, and (3) non-primate β-diversity (species turnover). Our results indicate that primates are effective predictors of non-primate mammal community diversity in the forest ecosystems of Madagascar after controlling for habitat. When individual orders of mammals are considered, lemurs effectively predict the species richness of carnivorans and rodents (but not afrosoricids), complementarity of rodents (but not carnivorans or afrosoricids), and all individual components of β-diversity. We conclude that lemurs effectively predict total non-primate community richness. However, surrogate species alone cannot achieve complete representation of biodiversity.

  12. Primates as Predictors of Mammal Community Diversity in the Forest Ecosystems of Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Muldoon, Kathleen M.; Goodman, Steven M.

    2015-01-01

    The geographic distribution of species is the typical metric for identifying priority areas for conservation. Since most biodiversity remains poorly studied, a subset of charismatic species, such as primates, often stand as surrogates for total biodiversity. A central question is therefore, how effectively do primates predict the pooled species richness of other mammalian taxa? We used lemurs as indicator species to predict total non-primate mammal community richness in the forest ecosystems of Madagascar. We combine environmental and species occurrence data to ascertain the extent to which primate diversity can predict (1) non-primate mammal α-diversity (species richness), (2) non-primate complementarity, and (3) non-primate β-diversity (species turnover). Our results indicate that primates are effective predictors of non-primate mammal community diversity in the forest ecosystems of Madagascar after controlling for habitat. When individual orders of mammals are considered, lemurs effectively predict the species richness of carnivorans and rodents (but not afrosoricids), complementarity of rodents (but not carnivorans or afrosoricids), and all individual components of β-diversity. We conclude that lemurs effectively predict total non-primate community richness. However, surrogate species alone cannot achieve complete representation of biodiversity. PMID:26334525

  13. Large rivers do not always act as species barriers for Lepilemur sp.

    PubMed

    Craul, Mathias; Radespiel, Ute; Rasolofoson, David W; Rakotondratsimba, Gilbert; Rakotonirainy, Odon; Rasoloharijaona, Solofonirina; Randrianambinina, Blanchard; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah; Ratelolahy, Felix; Randrianamboavaonjy, Tahirihasina; Rakotozafy, Lucien

    2008-07-01

    Sportive lemurs constitute a highly diverse endemic lemur family (24 species) for which many biogeographic boundaries are not yet clarified. Based on recent phylogeographic models, this study aims to determine the importance of two large rivers (the Antainambalana and Rantanabe) in northeastern Madagascar as species barriers for Lepilemur seali. The Antainambalana River was previously assumed to act as the southern border of its distribution. A total of 1,038 bp of the mtDNA of four individuals stemming from two adjacent inter-river systems south of the Antainambalana River was sequenced and compared to sequences of 22 described Lepilemur species. The phylogenetic reconstruction did not find support for either of the two rivers as species barrier for Lepilemur, as all captured individuals clustered closely with and therefore belonged to L. seali. However, a previously published sequence of an individual from a site south of our study sites belongs to a separate species. The southern boundary of L. seali must therefore be one of two large rivers further south of our study sites. The results suggest that L. seali may possess a relatively large altitudinal range that enabled this species to migrate around the headwaters of the Antainambalana and Rantanabe Rivers. Previous phylogeographic models need to be refined in order to incorporate these findings, and more species-specific altitudinal range data are urgently needed in order to fully understand the biogeographic patterns of lemurs on Madagascar.

  14. Reproductive Resilience to Food Shortage in a Small Heterothermic Primate

    PubMed Central

    Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves

    2012-01-01

    The massive energetic costs entailed by reproduction in most mammalian females may increase the vulnerability of reproductive success to food shortage. Unexpected events of unfavorable climatic conditions are expected to rise in frequency and intensity as climate changes. The extent to which physiological flexibility allows organisms to maintain reproductive output constant despite energetic bottlenecks has been poorly investigated. In mammals, reproductive resilience is predicted to be maximal during early stages of reproduction, due to the moderate energetic costs of ovulation and gestation relative to lactation. We experimentally tested the consequences of chronic-moderate and short-acute food shortages on the reproductive output of a small seasonally breeding primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) under thermo-neutral conditions. These two food treatments were respectively designed to simulate the energetic constraints imposed by a lean year (40% caloric restriction over eight months) or by a sudden, severe climatic event occurring shortly before reproduction (80% caloric restriction over a month). Grey mouse lemurs evolved under the harsh, unpredictable climate of the dry forest of Madagascar and should thus display great potential for physiological adjustments to energetic bottlenecks. We assessed the resilience of the early stages of reproduction (mating success, fertility, and gestation) to these contrasted food treatments, and on the later stages (lactation and offspring growth) in response to the chronic food shortage only. Food deprived mouse lemurs managed to maintain constant most reproductive parameters, including oestrus timing, estrogenization level at oestrus, mating success, litter size, and litter mass as well as their overall number of surviving offspring at weaning. However, offspring growth was delayed in food restricted mothers. These results suggest that heterothermic, fattening-prone mammals display important reproductive

  15. Comparative aspects of trophoblast development and placentation.

    PubMed

    Carter, Anthony M; Enders, Allen C

    2004-07-05

    Based on the number of tissues separating maternal from fetal blood, placentas are classified as epitheliochorial, endotheliochorial or hemochorial. We review the occurrence of these placental types in the various orders of eutherian mammals within the framework of the four superorders identified by the techniques of molecular phylogenetics. The superorder Afrotheria diversified in ancient Africa and its living representatives include elephants, sea cows, hyraxes, aardvark, elephant shrews and tenrecs. Xenarthra, comprising armadillos, anteaters and sloths, diversified in South America. All placentas examined from members of these two oldest superorders are either endotheliochorial or hemochorial. The superorder Euarchontoglires includes two sister groups, Glires and Euarchonta. The former comprises rodents and lagomorphs, which typically have hemochorial placentas. The most primitive members of Euarchonta, the tree shrews, have endotheliochorial placentation. Flying lemurs and all higher primates have hemochorial placentas. However, the lemurs and lorises are exceptional among primates in having epitheliochorial placentation. Laurasiatheria, the last superorder to arise, includes several orders with epitheliochorial placentation. These comprise whales, camels, pigs, ruminants, horses and pangolins. In contrast, nearly all carnivores have endotheliochorial placentation, whilst bats have endotheliochorial or hemochorial placentas. Also included in Laurasiatheria are a number of insectivores that have many conserved morphological characters; none of these has epitheliochorial placentation. Consideration of placental type in relation to the findings of molecular phylogenetics suggests that the likely path of evolution in Afrotheria was from endotheliochorial to hemochorial placentation. This is also a likely scenario for Xenarthra and the bats. We argue that a definitive epitheliochorial placenta is a secondary specialization and that it evolved twice, once in the

  16. Reproductive resilience to food shortage in a small heterothermic primate.

    PubMed

    Canale, Cindy I; Huchard, Elise; Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves

    2012-01-01

    The massive energetic costs entailed by reproduction in most mammalian females may increase the vulnerability of reproductive success to food shortage. Unexpected events of unfavorable climatic conditions are expected to rise in frequency and intensity as climate changes. The extent to which physiological flexibility allows organisms to maintain reproductive output constant despite energetic bottlenecks has been poorly investigated. In mammals, reproductive resilience is predicted to be maximal during early stages of reproduction, due to the moderate energetic costs of ovulation and gestation relative to lactation. We experimentally tested the consequences of chronic-moderate and short-acute food shortages on the reproductive output of a small seasonally breeding primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) under thermo-neutral conditions. These two food treatments were respectively designed to simulate the energetic constraints imposed by a lean year (40% caloric restriction over eight months) or by a sudden, severe climatic event occurring shortly before reproduction (80% caloric restriction over a month). Grey mouse lemurs evolved under the harsh, unpredictable climate of the dry forest of Madagascar and should thus display great potential for physiological adjustments to energetic bottlenecks. We assessed the resilience of the early stages of reproduction (mating success, fertility, and gestation) to these contrasted food treatments, and on the later stages (lactation and offspring growth) in response to the chronic food shortage only. Food deprived mouse lemurs managed to maintain constant most reproductive parameters, including oestrus timing, estrogenization level at oestrus, mating success, litter size, and litter mass as well as their overall number of surviving offspring at weaning. However, offspring growth was delayed in food restricted mothers. These results suggest that heterothermic, fattening-prone mammals display important reproductive

  17. Species-level view of population structure and gene flow for a critically endangered primate (Varecia variegata)

    PubMed Central

    Baden, Andrea L; Holmes, Sheila M; Johnson, Steig E; Engberg, Shannon E; Louis, Edward E; Bradley, Brenda J

    2014-01-01

    Lemurs are among the world's most threatened mammals. The critically endangered black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata), in particular, has recently experienced rapid population declines due to habitat loss, ecological sensitivities to habitat degradation, and extensive human hunting pressure. Despite this, a recent study indicates that ruffed lemurs retain among the highest levels of genetic diversity for primates. Identifying how this diversity is apportioned and whether gene flow is maintained among remnant populations will help to diagnose and target conservation priorities. We sampled 209 individuals from 19 sites throughout the remaining V. variegata range. We used 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci and ∼550 bp of mtDNA sequence data to evaluate genetic structure and population dynamics, including dispersal patterns and recent population declines. Bayesian cluster analyses identified two distinct genetic clusters, which optimally partitioned data into populations occurring on either side of the Mangoro River. Localities north of the Mangoro were characterized by greater genetic diversity, greater gene flow (lower genetic differentiation) and higher mtDNA haplotype and nucleotide diversity than those in the south. Despite this, genetic differentiation across all sites was high, as indicated by high average FST (0.247) and ΦST (0.544), and followed a pattern of isolation-by-distance. We use these results to suggest future conservation strategies that include an effort to maintain genetic diversity in the north and restore connectivity in the south. We also note the discordance between patterns of genetic differentiation and current subspecies taxonomy, and encourage a re-evaluation of conservation management units moving forward. PMID:25077019

  18. Testing Bergmann's rule and the resource seasonality hypothesis in Malagasy primates using GIS-based climate data.

    PubMed

    Kamilar, Jason M; Muldoon, Kathleen M; Lehman, Shawn M; Herrera, James P

    2012-03-01

    We tested four major hypotheses on the ecological aspects of body mass variation in extant Malagasy strepsirrhines: thermoregulation, resource seasonality/scarcity, resource quality, and primary productivity. These biogeographic hypotheses focus on the ecological aspects of body mass variation, largely ignoring the role of phylogeny for explaining body mass variation within lineages. We tested the independent effects of climate and resource-related variables on variation in body mass among Malagasy primates using recently developed comparative methods that account for phylogenetic history and spatial autocorrelation. We extracted data on lemur body mass and climate variables for a total of 43 species from 39 sites. Climatic data were obtained from the WorldClim database, which is based on climate data from weather stations compiled around the world. Using generalized linear models that incorporate parameters to account for phylogenetic and spatial autocorrelation, we found that diet and climate variables were weak predictors of lemur body mass. Moreover, there was a strong phylogenetic effect relative to the effects of space on lemur body mass in all models. Thus, we failed to find support for any of the four hypotheses on patterns of geography and body mass in extant strepsirrhines. Our results indicate that body mass has been conserved since early in the evolutionary history of each genus, while species diversified into different environmental niches. Our findings are in contrast to some previous studies that have suggested resource and climate related effects on body mass, though these studies have examined this question at different taxonomic and/or geographic scales.

  19. The locomotion of Babakotia radofilai inferred from epiphyseal and diaphyseal morphology of the humerus and femur.

    PubMed

    Marchi, Damiano; Ruff, Christopher B; Capobianco, Alessio; Rafferty, Katherine L; Habib, Michael B; Patel, Biren A

    2016-09-01

    Palaeopropithecids, or "sloth lemurs," are a diverse clade of large-bodied Malagasy subfossil primates characterized by their inferred suspensory positional behavior. The most recently discovered genus of the palaeopropithecids is Babakotia, and it has been described as more arboreal than Mesopropithecus, but less than Palaeopropithecus. In this article, the within-bone and between-bones articular and cross-sectional diaphyseal proportions of the humerus and femur of Babakotia were compared to extant lemurs, Mesopropithecus and Palaeopropithecus in order to further understand its arboreal adaptations. Additionally, a sample of apes and sloths (Choloepus and Bradypus) are included as functional outgroups composed of suspensory adapted primates and non-primates. Results show that Babakotia and Mesopropithecus both have high humeral/femoral shaft strength proportions, similar to extant great apes and sloths and indicative of forelimb suspensory behavior, with Babakotia more extreme in this regard. All three subfossil taxa have relatively large femoral heads, also associated with suspension in modern taxa. However, Babakotia and Mesopropithecus (but not Palaeopropithecus) have relatively small femoral head surface area to shaft strength proportions suggesting that hind-limb positioning in these taxa during climbing and other behaviors was different than in extant great apes, involving less mobility. Knee and humeral articular dimensions relative to shaft strengths are small in Babakotia and Mesopropithecus, similar to those found in modern sloths and divergent from those in extant great apes and lemurs, suggesting more sloth-like use of these joints during locomotion. Mesopropithecus and Babakotia are more similar to Choloepus in humerofemoral head and length proportions while Palaeopropithecus is more similar to Bradypus. These results provide further evidence of the suspensory adaptations of Babakotia and further highlight similarities to both extant suspensory

  20. Visual acuity in the cathemeral strepsirrhine Eulemur macaco flavifrons.

    PubMed

    Veilleux, Carrie C; Kirk, E Christopher

    2009-04-01

    Studies of visual acuity in primates have shown that diurnal haplorhines have higher acuity (30-75 cycles per degree (c/deg)) than most other mammals. However, relatively little is known about visual acuity in non-haplorhine primates, and published estimates are only available for four strepsirrhine genera (Microcebus, Otolemur, Galago, and Lemur). We present here the first measurements of visual acuity in a cathemeral strepsirrhine species, the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons). Acuity in two subjects, a 3-year-old male and a 16-year-old female, was assessed behaviorally using a two-alternative forced choice discrimination task. Visual stimuli consisted of high contrast square wave gratings of seven spatial frequencies. Acuity threshold was determined using a 70% correct response criterion. Results indicate a maximum visual acuity of 5.1 c/deg for the female (1718 trials) and 3.8 c/deg for the male (846 trials). These values for E. macaco are slightly lower than those reported for diurnal Lemur catta, and are generally comparable to those reported for nocturnal Microcebus murinus and Otolemur crassicaudatus. To examine ecological sources of variation in primate visual acuity, we also calculated maximum theoretical acuity for Cheirogaleus medius (2.8 c/deg) and Tarsius syrichta (8.9 c/deg) using published data on retinal ganglion cell density and eye morphology. These data suggest that visual acuity in primates may be influenced by activity pattern, diet, and phylogenetic history. In particular, the relatively high acuity of T. syrichta and Galago senegalensis suggests that visual predation may be an important selective factor favoring high visual acuity in primates.

  1. Comparative RNA sequencing reveals substantial genetic variation in endangered primates.

    PubMed

    Perry, George H; Melsted, Páll; Marioni, John C; Wang, Ying; Bainer, Russell; Pickrell, Joseph K; Michelini, Katelyn; Zehr, Sarah; Yoder, Anne D; Stephens, Matthew; Pritchard, Jonathan K; Gilad, Yoav

    2012-04-01

    Comparative genomic studies in primates have yielded important insights into the evolutionary forces that shape genetic diversity and revealed the likely genetic basis for certain species-specific adaptations. To date, however, these studies have focused on only a small number of species. For the majority of nonhuman primates, including some of the most critically endangered, genome-level data are not yet available. In this study, we have taken the first steps toward addressing this gap by sequencing RNA from the livers of multiple individuals from each of 16 mammalian species, including humans and 11 nonhuman primates. Of the nonhuman primate species, five are lemurs and two are lorisoids, for which little or no genomic data were previously available. To analyze these data, we developed a method for de novo assembly and alignment of orthologous gene sequences across species. We assembled an average of 5721 gene sequences per species and characterized diversity and divergence of both gene sequences and gene expression levels. We identified patterns of variation that are consistent with the action of positive or directional selection, including an 18-fold enrichment of peroxisomal genes among genes whose regulation likely evolved under directional selection in the ancestral primate lineage. Importantly, we found no relationship between genetic diversity and endangered status, with the two most endangered species in our study, the black and white ruffed lemur and the Coquerel's sifaka, having the highest genetic diversity among all primates. Our observations imply that many endangered lemur populations still harbor considerable genetic variation. Timely efforts to conserve these species alongside their habitats have, therefore, strong potential to achieve long-term success.

  2. Exploiting SNOMED CT Concepts & Relationships for Clinical Information Retrieval: Australian e-Health Research Centre and Queensland University of Technology at the TREC 2012 Medical Track

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-11-01

    documents and queries not as bag-of- words but as bag-of-concepts. The overall process to translate from terms to concepts is as follows: 1. Original...ids. Each document and query is now represented as a list of UMLS concept ids (e.g. C0027051) rather than the original terms (e.g. heart attack...UMLS Metathesaurus. Queries and documents are now represented as a list of SNOMED CT concept ids. 3. Documents are indexed using the Indri Lemur

  3. Curb Mounting, Vertical Mobility, and Inverted Mobility on Rough Surfaces Using Microspine-Enabled Robots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parness, Aaron

    2012-01-01

    Three robots that extend microspine technology to enable advanced mobility are presented. First, the Durable Reconnaissance and Observation Platform (DROP) and the ReconRobotics Scout platform use a new rotary configuration of microspines to provide improved soldier-portable reconnaissance by moving rapidly over curbs and obstacles, transitioning from horizontal to vertical surfaces, climbing rough walls and surviving impacts. Next, the four-legged LEMUR robot uses new configurations of opposed microspines to anchor to both manmade and natural rough surfaces. Using these anchors as feet enables mobility in unstructured environments, from urban disaster areas to deserts and caves.

  4. Niche separation in Varecia variegata rubra and Eulemur fulvus albifrons: II. Intraspecific patterns.

    PubMed

    Vasey, Natalie

    2002-06-01

    Based on a year-long field study in northeastern Madagascar, I summarize annual patterns of niche use (food patch size, diet, forest height, and forest site) in two sympatric lemurs, Varecia variegata rubra and Eulemur fulvus albifrons. Furthermore, I examine intraspecific patterns of niche use according to sex, season, and reproductive stage in these two lemurs that differ in terms of energetic investment in reproduction. Lemurs as a group provide a special opportunity to test hypotheses concerning sex differences in niche use. Due to their body size monomorphism and seasonal, synchronous pattern of breeding, it is possible to directly evaluate whether sex differences in diet reflect high energetic investment in reproduction by females. Results confirm the hypothesis that intraspecific variation in niche use (e.g., sex differences, seasonal differences) would be more pronounced in V. v. rubra than in E. f. albifrons, due in large measure to the former's relatively high energetic investment in reproduction: 1a) Dietary sex differences in V. v. rubra are most pronounced during costly reproductive stages and involve acquisition of low-fiber, high-protein plant foods. Females of both species consume more seasonally available low-fiber protein (young leaves, flowers) relative to conspecific males during the hot dry season, but only in V. v. rubra females is this pattern also evident during gestation and lactation. 1b) The diets of female V. v. rubra and female E. f. albifrons are more similar to each other than are the diets of conspecific males and females in the case of V. v. rubra. This is not uniformly the case for female E. f. albifrons. This finding confirms a hypothesis put forward in Vasey ([2000] Am J Phys Anthropol 112:411-431) that energetic requirements of reproductive females drive niche separation more than do the energetic requirements of males. 1c) Both species synchronize most or all of lactation with seasonal food abundance and diversity. E. f

  5. Primates, computation, and the path to language. Reply to comments on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arbib, Michael A.

    2016-03-01

    The target article [6], henceforth TA, had as its main title Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology. This unpacks into three claims: Comparative Primatology: If one wishes to understand the behavior of any one primate species (whether monkey, ape or human - TA did not discuss, e.g., lemurs but that study could well be of interest), one will gain new insight by comparing behaviors across species, sharpening one's analysis of one class of behaviors by analyzing similarities and differences between two or more species.

  6. Convenience polyandry or convenience polygyny? Costly sex under female control in a promiscuous primate.

    PubMed

    Huchard, Elise; Canale, Cindy I; Le Gros, Chloé; Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves; Kappeler, Peter M

    2012-04-07

    Classic sex roles depict females as choosy, but polyandry is widespread. Empirical attempts to understand the evolution of polyandry have often focused on its adaptive value to females, whereas 'convenience polyandry' might simply decrease the costs of sexual harassment. We tested whether constraint-free female strategies favour promiscuity over mating selectivity through an original experimental design. We investigated variation in mating behaviour in response to a reversible alteration of sexual dimorphism in body mass in the grey mouse lemur, a small primate where female brief sexual receptivity allows quantifying polyandry. We manipulated body condition in captive females, predicting that convenience polyandry would increase when females are weaker than males, thus less likely to resist their solicitations. Our results rather support the alternative hypothesis of 'adaptive polyandry': females in better condition are more polyandrous. Furthermore, we reveal that multiple mating incurs significant energetic costs, which are strikingly symmetrical between the sexes. Our study shows that mouse lemur females exert tight control over mating and actively seek multiple mates. The benefits of remating are nevertheless not offset by its costs in low-condition females, suggesting that polyandry is a flexible strategy yielding moderate fitness benefits in this small mammal.

  7. Sex-specific asymmetries in communication sound perception are not related to hand preference in an early primate

    PubMed Central

    Scheumann, Marina; Zimmermann, Elke

    2008-01-01

    Background Left hemispheric dominance of language processing and handedness, previously thought to be unique to humans, is currently under debate. To gain an insight into the origin of lateralization in primates, we have studied gray mouse lemurs, suggested to represent the most ancestral primate condition. We explored potential functional asymmetries on the behavioral level by applying a combined handedness and auditory perception task. For testing handedness, we used a forced food-grasping task. For testing auditory perception, we adapted the head turn paradigm, originally established for exploring hemispheric specializations in conspecific sound processing in Old World monkeys, and exposed 38 subjects to control sounds and conspecific communication sounds of positive and negative emotional valence. Results The tested mouse lemur population did not show an asymmetry in hand preference or in orientation towards conspecific communication sounds. However, males, but not females, exhibited a significant right ear-left hemisphere bias when exposed to conspecific communication sounds of negative emotional valence. Orientation asymmetries were not related to hand preference. Conclusion Our results provide the first evidence for sex-specific asymmetries for conspecific communication sound perception in non-human primates. Furthermore, they suggest that hemispheric dominance for communication sound processing evolved before handedness and independently from each other. PMID:18199316

  8. Genetic data suggest a natural prehuman origin of open habitats in northern Madagascar and question the deforestation narrative in this region.

    PubMed

    Quéméré, Erwan; Amelot, Xavier; Pierson, Julie; Crouau-Roy, Brigitte; Chikhi, Lounès

    2012-08-07

    The impact of climate change and anthropogenic deforestation on biodiversity is of growing concern worldwide. Disentangling how past anthropogenic and natural factors contributed to current biome distribution is thus a crucial issue to understand their complex interactions on wider time scales and to improve predictions and conservation strategies. This is particularly important in biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar, dominated by large open habitats whose origins are increasingly debated. Although a dominant narrative argues that Madagascar was originally entirely covered by woodlands, which were destroyed by humans, a number of recent studies have suggested that past climatic fluctuations played a major role in shaping current biome distributions well before humans arrived. Here, we address the question of the origin of open habitats in the Daraina region in northern Madagascar, using a multiproxy approach combining population genetics modeling and remote-sensing analyses. We show that (i) contrary to most regions of Madagascar, the forest cover in Daraina remained remarkably stable over the past 60 y, and (ii) the golden-crowned sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli), a forest-dwelling lemur, underwent a strong population contraction before the arrival of the first humans, hence excluding an anthropogenic cause. Prehuman Holocene droughts may have led to a significant increase of grasslands and a reduction in the species' habitat. This contradicts the prevailing narrative that land cover changes are necessarily anthropogenic in Madagascar but does not preclude the later role played by humans in other regions in which recent lemur bottlenecks have been observed.

  9. Molecular phylogenetic evidence confirming the Eulipotyphla concept and in support of hedgehogs as the sister group to shrews.

    PubMed

    Douady, Christophe J; Chatelier, Pascale I; Madsen, Ole; de Jong, Wilfried W; Catzeflis, Francois; Springer, Mark S; Stanhope, Michael J

    2002-10-01

    For more than a century, living insectivore-like mammals have been viewed as little removed from the ancestral mammalian stock based on their retention of numerous primitive characteristics. This circumstance has made "insectivores" a group of special interest in the study of mammalian evolution. included hedgehogs, moles, shrews, solenodons, golden moles, tenrecs, flying lemurs, tree shrews, and elephant shrews in Insectivora. Subsequently, morphologists excluded flying lemurs, tree shrews, and elephant shrews from Insectivora and placed these taxa in the orders Dermoptera, Scandentia, and Macroscelidea, respectively. The remaining insectivores constitute Lipotyphla, which is monophyletic based on morphology. In contrast, molecular data suggest that lipotyphlans are polyphyletic, with golden moles and tenrecs placed in their own order (Afrosoricida) in the superordinal group Afrotheria. Studies based on nuclear genes support the monophyly of the remaining lipotyphlans (=Eulipotyphla) whereas mitochondrial genome studies dissociate hedgehogs from moles and place the former as the first offshoot on the placental tree. One shortcoming of previous molecular studies investigating lipotyphlan relationships is limited taxonomic sampling. Here, we evaluate lipotyphlan relationships using the largest and taxonomically most diverse data set yet assembled for Lipotyphla. Our results provide convincing support for both lipotyphlan diphyly and the monophyly of Eulipotyphla. More surprisingly, we find strong evidence for a sister-group relationship between shrews and hedgehogs to the exclusion of moles.

  10. Assessing the impacts of nonrandom seed dispersal by multiple frugivore partners on plant recruitment.

    PubMed

    Razafindratsima, Onja H; Dunham, Amy E

    2015-01-01

    Directed dispersal is defined as enhanced dispersal of seeds into suitable microhabitats, resulting in higher recruitment than if seeds were dispersed randomly. While this constitutes one of the main explanations for the adaptive value of frugivore-mediated seed dispersal, the generality of this advantage has received little study, particularly when multiple dispersers are involved. We used probability recruitment models of a long-lived rainforest tree in Madagascar to compare recruitment success under dispersal by multiple frugivores, no dispersal, and random dispersal. Models were parameterized using a three-year recruitment experiment and observational data of dispersal events by three frugivorous lemur species that commonly disperse its seeds. Frugivore-mediated seed dispersal was nonrandom with respect to canopy cover and increased modeled per-seed sapling recruitment fourfold compared to no dispersal. Seeds dispersed by one frugivore, Eulemur rubriventer, had higher modeled recruitment probability than seeds dispersed randomly. However, as a group, our models suggest that seeds dispersed by lemurs would have lower recruitment than if dispersal were random. Results demonstrate the importance of evaluating the contribution of multiple frugivores to plant recruitment for understanding plant population dynamics and the ecological and evolutionary significance of seed dispersal.

  11. Echinococcus and Taenia spp. from captive mammals in the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Boufana, B; Stidworthy, M F; Bell, S; Chantrey, J; Masters, N; Unwin, S; Wood, R; Lawrence, R P; Potter, A; McGarry, J; Redrobe, S; Killick, R; Foster, A P; Mitchell, S; Greenwood, A G; Sako, Y; Nakao, M; Ito, A; Wyatt, K; Lord, B; Craig, P S

    2012-11-23

    Taeniid tapeworms which include Echinococcus and Taenia spp. are obligatory parasites of mammals with pathogenicity usually related to the larval stages of the life cycle. Two species (or genotypes) of Echinococcus, E. granulosus sensu stricto and E. equinus, as well as several Taenia spp. are endemic in the UK. Here we report on the occurrence of larval cystic stages of Echinococcus and Taenia spp. in captive mammals in the UK. Using molecular techniques we have identified E. granulosus (G1 genotype) in a guenon monkey and a Philippine spotted deer; E. equinus in a zebra and a lemur; E. ortleppi in a Philippine spotted deer; E. multilocularis in a macaque monkey and Taenia polyacantha in jumping rats. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of E. multilocularis in a captive primate translocated to the UK. As far as we know these are the first reports of E. equinus in a primate (lemur) and in a zebra; as well as E. granulosus (G1 genotype) and E. ortleppi in a cervid translocated to the UK. These infections and implications of the potential establishment of exotic species of cestodes are discussed.

  12. Use of basic biological information for rapid prediction of the response of species to habitat loss.

    PubMed

    Hockey, Philip A R; Curtis, Odette E

    2009-02-01

    Much research has focused on identifying traits that can act as useful indicators of how habitat loss affects the extinction risk of species, and the results are mixed. We developed 2 simple, rapid-assessment models of the susceptibility of species to habitat loss. We based both on an index of range size, but one also incorporated an index of body mass and the other an index combining habitat and dietary specialization. We applied the models to samples of birds (Accipitridae and Bucerotidae) and to the lemurs of Madagascar and compared the models' classifications of risk with the IUCN's global threat status of each species. The model derived from ecological attributes was much more robust than the one derived from body mass. Ecological attributes identified threatened birds and lemurs with an average of 80% accuracy and endangered and critically endangered species with 100% accuracy and identified some species not currently listed as threatened that almost certainly warrant conservation consideration. Appropriate analysis of even fairly crude biological information can help raise early-warning flags to the relative susceptibilities of species to habitat loss and thus provide a useful and rapid technique for highlighting potential species-level conservation issues. Advantages of this approach to classifying risk include flexibility in the specialization parameters used as well as its applicability at a range of spatial scales.

  13. BSE infection of the small short-lived primate Microcebus murinus.

    PubMed

    Bons, Noëlle; Lehmann, Sylvain; Nishida, Noriyuki; Mestre-Frances, Nadine; Dormont, Dominique; Belli, Patrick; Delacourte, Andre; Grassi, Jacques; Brown, Paul

    2002-01-01

    Eleven Microcebus murinus (lemur) primates were intracerebrally or orally infected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or macaque-adapted BSE (MBSE) brain homogenates. In many BSE and MBSE infected lemurs, but not in animals inoculated with normal bovine brain, persistent behavioral changes occurred as early as 3 months, and neurological signs as early as 13 months after infection. Immunohistochemical examination of animals sacrificed during the incubation period revealed an abnormal accumulation of 'prion' protein (PrP) in the intestinal wall, intestinal nervous plexus, mesenteric lymph nodes and spleen, and in the clinical stage, also in the brain. In MBSE-inoculated animals, proteinase K resistance of the PrP (PrPres) was confirmed by Western blot in the spleen and the brain. Obvious signs of neurodegeneration were observed in all infected animals characterized by hyperaggregated and paired-helical filaments-immunoreactive Tau proteins, beta 42-amyloid plaques and astrogliosis. Additionally, PrPres was present in the ganglion cells of the retina in diseased animals after either intracerebrally or oral infection by the BSE or MBSE agent. These results show that the microcebe is susceptible to the BSE infectious agent via intracerebral and oral routes with comparatively short incubation periods compared to simians, and could be a useful animal model to study the pathophysiology of disease transmission in primates.

  14. On the application of mixed hidden Markov models to multiple behavioural time series

    PubMed Central

    Schliehe-Diecks, S.; Kappeler, P. M.; Langrock, R.

    2012-01-01

    Analysing behavioural sequences and quantifying the likelihood of occurrences of different behaviours is a difficult task as motivational states are not observable. Furthermore, it is ecologically highly relevant and yet more complicated to scale an appropriate model for one individual up to the population level. In this manuscript (mixed) hidden Markov models (HMMs) are used to model the feeding behaviour of 54 subadult grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus), small nocturnal primates endemic to Madagascar that forage solitarily. Our primary aim is to introduce ecologists and other users to various HMM methods, many of which have been developed only recently, and which in this form have not previously been synthesized in the ecological literature. Our specific application of mixed HMMs aims at gaining a better understanding of mouse lemur behaviour, in particular concerning sex-specific differences. The model we consider incorporates random effects for accommodating heterogeneity across animals, i.e. accounts for different personalities of the animals. Additional subject- and time-specific covariates in the model describe the influence of sex, body mass and time of night. PMID:23565332

  15. Next space solar observatory SOLAR-C: mission instruments and science objectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katsukawa, Y.; Watanabe, T.; Hara, H.; Ichimoto, K.; Kubo, M.; Kusano, K.; Sakao, T.; Shimizu, T.; Suematsu, Y.; Tsuneta, S.

    2012-12-01

    SOLAR-C, the fourth space solar mission in Japan, is under study with a launch target of fiscal year 2018. A key concept of the mission is to view the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona as one system coupled by magnetic fields along with resolving the size scale of fundamental physical processes connecting these atmospheric layers. It is especially important to study magnetic structure in the chromosphere as an interface layer between the photosphere and the corona. The SOLAR-C satellite is equipped with three telescopes, the Solar UV-Visible-IR Telescope (SUVIT), the EUV/FUV High Throughput Spectroscopic Telescope (EUVS/LEMUR), and the X-ray Imaging Telescope (XIT). Observations with SUVIT of photospheric and chromospheric magnetic fields make it possible to infer three dimensional magnetic structure extending from the photosphere to the chromosphere and corona.This helps to identify magnetic structures causing magnetic reconnection, and clarify how waves are propagated, reflected, and dissipated. Phenomena indicative of or byproducts of magnetic reconnection, such as flows and shocks, are to be captured by SUVIT and by spectroscopic observations using EUVS/LEMUR, while XIT observes rapid changes in temperature distribution of plasma heated by shock waves.

  16. Light pollution modifies the expression of daily rhythms and behavior patterns in a nocturnal primate.

    PubMed

    Le Tallec, Thomas; Perret, Martine; Théry, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Among anthropogenic pressures, light pollution altering light/dark cycles and changing the nocturnal component of the environment constitutes a threat for biodiversity. Light pollution is widely spread across the world and continuously growing. However, despite the efforts realized to describe and understand the effects of artificial lighting on fauna, few studies have documented its consequences on biological rhythms, behavioral and physiological functions in nocturnal mammals. To determine the impacts of light pollution on nocturnal mammals an experimental study was conducted on a nocturnal primate, the grey mouse lemur Microcebus murinus. Male mouse lemurs (N = 8) were exposed 14 nights to moonlight treatment and then exposed 14 nights to light pollution treatment. For both treatments, chronobiological parameters related to locomotor activity and core temperature were recorded using telemetric transmitters. In addition, at the end of each treatment, the 14(th) night, nocturnal and feeding behaviors were explored using an infrared camera. Finally, throughout the study, body mass and daily caloric food intake were recorded. For the first time in a nocturnal primate, light pollution was demonstrated to modify daily rhythms of locomotor activity and core temperature especially through phase delays and increases in core temperature. Moreover, nocturnal activity and feeding behaviors patterns were modified negatively. This study suggests that light pollution induces daily desynchronization of biological rhythms and could lead to seasonal desynchronization with potential deleterious consequences for animals in terms of adaptation and anticipation of environmental changes.

  17. Evolution of the placenta and fetal membranes seen in the light of molecular phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Carter, A M

    2001-11-01

    Recent analyses of nucleotide sequence data suggest that living placental mammals belong to one of four superorders. The early divergence of these groups was followed by long periods of geographical isolation, due to the break up of continental land masses, allowing for convergent evolution of similar traits in different superorders. As an example, the transition from epitheliochorial to haemochorial placentation occurred independently in bats, rodents, anthropoid primates, armadillos and others. A group of ancient African mammals is suggested by the molecular data, but is not fully supported by morphological evidence. The hypothesis is, however, consistent with some of the data on fetal membranes, suggesting that it would be worthwhile to study the early development of tenrecs, golden moles and elephant shrews. Analyses of fetal membrane traits that group the tarsiers with anthropoid primates, and separate them from the lemurs, are challenged by the molecular data. Other relatives of the primates seem to include tree shrews and flying lemurs, and little is known about the fetal membranes of the latter group. Comparative studies of placental function normally are confined to primates, rodents, lagomorphs and domestic animals: the biological diversity represented by mammals that evolved in ancient Africa and South America is not represented. Therefore, future comparative studies should strive to include species such as the rock hyrax and the armadillo.

  18. Genetic data suggest a natural prehuman origin of open habitats in northern Madagascar and question the deforestation narrative in this region

    PubMed Central

    Quéméré, Erwan; Amelot, Xavier; Pierson, Julie; Crouau-Roy, Brigitte; Chikhi, Lounès

    2012-01-01

    The impact of climate change and anthropogenic deforestation on biodiversity is of growing concern worldwide. Disentangling how past anthropogenic and natural factors contributed to current biome distribution is thus a crucial issue to understand their complex interactions on wider time scales and to improve predictions and conservation strategies. This is particularly important in biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar, dominated by large open habitats whose origins are increasingly debated. Although a dominant narrative argues that Madagascar was originally entirely covered by woodlands, which were destroyed by humans, a number of recent studies have suggested that past climatic fluctuations played a major role in shaping current biome distributions well before humans arrived. Here, we address the question of the origin of open habitats in the Daraina region in northern Madagascar, using a multiproxy approach combining population genetics modeling and remote-sensing analyses. We show that (i) contrary to most regions of Madagascar, the forest cover in Daraina remained remarkably stable over the past 60 y, and (ii) the golden-crowned sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli), a forest-dwelling lemur, underwent a strong population contraction before the arrival of the first humans, hence excluding an anthropogenic cause. Prehuman Holocene droughts may have led to a significant increase of grasslands and a reduction in the species’ habitat. This contradicts the prevailing narrative that land cover changes are necessarily anthropogenic in Madagascar but does not preclude the later role played by humans in other regions in which recent lemur bottlenecks have been observed. PMID:22826244

  19. Are personality differences in a small iteroparous mammal maintained by a life-history trade-off?

    PubMed Central

    Dammhahn, Melanie

    2012-01-01

    Despite increasing interest, animal personality is still a puzzling phenomenon. Several theoretical models have been proposed to explain intraindividual consistency and interindividual variation in behaviour, which have been primarily supported by qualitative data and simulations. Using an empirical approach, I tested predictions of one main life-history hypothesis, which posits that consistent individual differences in behaviour are favoured by a trade-off between current and future reproduction. Data on life-history were collected for individuals of a natural population of grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Using open-field and novel-object tests, I quantified variation in activity, exploration and boldness for 117 individuals over 3 years. I found systematic variation in boldness between individuals of different residual reproductive value. Young males with low current but high expected future fitness were less bold than older males with high current fecundity, and males might increase in boldness with age. Females have low variation in assets and in boldness with age. Body condition was not related to boldness and only explained marginal variation in exploration. Overall, these data indicate that a trade-off between current and future reproduction might maintain personality variation in mouse lemurs, and thus provide empirical support of this life-history trade-off hypothesis. PMID:22398164

  20. Teeth, Sex, and Testosterone: Aging in the World's Smallest Primate

    PubMed Central

    Zohdy, Sarah; Gerber, Brian D.; Tecot, Stacey; Blanco, Marina B.; Winchester, Julia M.; Wright, Patricia C.; Jernvall, Jukka

    2014-01-01

    Mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) are an exciting new primate model for understanding human aging and disease. In captivity, Microcebus murinus develops human-like ailments of old age after five years (e.g., neurodegeneration analogous to Alzheimer's disease) but can live beyond 12 years. It is believed that wild Microcebus follow a similar pattern of senescence observed in captive animals, but that predation limits their lifespan to four years, thus preventing observance of these diseases in the wild. Testing whether this assumption is true is informative about both Microcebus natural history and environmental influences on senescence, leading to interpretation of findings for models of human aging. Additionally, the study of Microcebus longevity provides an opportunity to better understand mechanisms of sex-biased longevity. Longevity is often shorter in males of species with high male-male competition, such as Microcebus, but mouse lemurs are sexually monomorphic, suggesting similar lifespans. We collected individual-based observations of wild brown mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus) from 2003–2010 to investigate sex-differences in survival and longevity. Fecal testosterone was measured as a potential mechanism of sex-based differences in survival. We used a combination of high-resolution tooth wear techniques, mark-recapture, and hormone enzyme immunoassays. We found no dental or physical signs of senescence in M. rufus as old as eight years (N = 189, ages 1–8, mean = 2.59±1.63 SE), three years older than captive, senescent congeners (M. murinus). Unlike other polygynandrous vertebrates, we found no sex difference in age-dependent survival, nor sex or age differences in testosterone levels. While elevated male testosterone levels have been implicated in shorter lifespans in several species, this is one of the first studies to show equivalent testosterone levels accompanying equivalent lifespans. Future research on captive aged individuals can determine

  1. Raptors and primate evolution.

    PubMed

    McGraw, W Scott; Berger, Lee R

    2013-01-01

    Most scholars agree that avoiding predators is a central concern of lemurs, monkeys, and apes. However, given uncertainties about the frequency with which primates actually become prey, the selective importance of predation in primate evolution continues to be debated. Some argue that primates are often killed by predators, while others maintain that such events are relatively rare. Some authors have contended that predation's influence on primate sociality has been trivial; others counter that predation need not occur often to be a powerful selective force. Given the challenges of documenting events that can be ephemeral and irregular, we are unlikely ever to amass the volume of systematic, comparative data we have on such topics as feeding, social dynamics, or locomotor behavior. Nevertheless, a steady accumulation of field observations, insight gained from natural experiments, and novel taphonomic analyses have enhanced understanding of how primates interact with several predators, especially raptors, the subject of this review.

  2. Demonstrations of Gravity-Independent Mobility and Drilling on Natural Rock using Microspines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parness, Aaron; Frost, Matthew; King, Jonathan P.; Thatte, Nitish

    2012-01-01

    The video presents microspine-based anchors be ing developed for gripping rocks on the surfaces of comets and asteroids, or for use on cliff faces and lava tubes on Mars. Two types of anchor prototypes are shown on supporting forces in all directions away from the rock; >160 N tangent, >150 N at 45?, and >180 N normal to the surface of the rock. A compliant robotic ankle with two active degrees of freedom interfaces these anchors to the Lemur IIB robot for future climbing trials. Finally, a rotary percussive drill is shown coring into rock regardless of gravitational orientation. As a harder- than-zero-g proof of concept, inverted drilling was performed creating 20mm diameter boreholes 83 mm deep in vesicular basalt samples while retaining 12 mm diameter rock cores in 3-6 pieces.

  3. Molecular phylogenetics and the origins of placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Murphy, W J; Eizirik, E; Johnson, W E; Zhang, Y P; Ryder, O A; O'Brien, S J

    2001-02-01

    The precise hierarchy of ancient divergence events that led to the present assemblage of modern placental mammals has been an area of controversy among morphologists, palaeontologists and molecular evolutionists. Here we address the potential weaknesses of limited character and taxon sampling in a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis of 64 species sampled across all extant orders of placental mammals. We examined sequence variation in 18 homologous gene segments (including nearly 10,000 base pairs) that were selected for maximal phylogenetic informativeness in resolving the hierarchy of early mammalian divergence. Phylogenetic analyses identify four primary superordinal clades: (I) Afrotheria (elephants, manatees, hyraxes, tenrecs, aardvark and elephant shrews); (II) Xenarthra (sloths, anteaters and armadillos); (III) Glires (rodents and lagomorphs), as a sister taxon to primates, flying lemurs and tree shrews; and (IV) the remaining orders of placental mammals (cetaceans, artiodactyls, perissodactyls, carnivores, pangolins, bats and core insectivores). Our results provide new insight into the pattern of the early placental mammal radiation.

  4. Natural hybridization between genera that diverged from each other approximately 60 million years ago.

    PubMed

    Rothfels, Carl J; Johnson, Anne K; Hovenkamp, Peter H; Swofford, David L; Roskam, Harry C; Fraser-Jenkins, Christopher R; Windham, Michael D; Pryer, Kathleen M

    2015-03-01

    A fern from the French Pyrenees-×Cystocarpium roskamianum-is a recently formed intergeneric hybrid between parental lineages that diverged from each other approximately 60 million years ago (mya; 95% highest posterior density: 40.2-76.2 mya). This is an extraordinarily deep hybridization event, roughly akin to an elephant hybridizing with a manatee or a human with a lemur. In the context of other reported deep hybrids, this finding suggests that populations of ferns, and other plants with abiotically mediated fertilization, may evolve reproductive incompatibilities more slowly, perhaps because they lack many of the premating isolation mechanisms that characterize most other groups of organisms. This conclusion implies that major features of Earth's biodiversity-such as the relatively small number of species of ferns compared to those of angiosperms-may be, in part, an indirect by-product of this slower "speciation clock" rather than a direct consequence of adaptive innovations by the more diverse lineages.

  5. Local Perspectives on Environmental Insecurity and Its Influence on Illegal Biodiversity Exploitation.

    PubMed

    Gore, Meredith L; Lute, Michelle L; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah H; Rajaonson, Andry

    2016-01-01

    Environmental insecurity is a source and outcome of biodiversity declines and social conflict. One challenge to scaling insecurity reduction policies is that empirical evidence about local attitudes is overwhelmingly missing. We set three objectives: determine how local people rank risk associated with different sources of environmental insecurity; assess perceptions of environmental insecurity, biodiversity exploitation, myths of nature and risk management preferences; and explore relationships between perceptions and biodiversity exploitation. We conducted interviews (N = 88) with residents of Madagascar's Torotorofotsy Protected Area, 2014. Risk perceptions had a moderate effect on perceptions of environmental insecurity. We found no effects of environmental insecurity on biodiversity exploitation. Results offer one if not the first exploration of local perceptions of illegal biodiversity exploitation and environmental security. Local people's perception of risk seriousness associated with illegal biodiversity exploitation such as lemur hunting (low overall) may not reflect perceptions of policy-makers (considered to be high). Discord is a key entry point for attention.

  6. Healthy Skin of Many Animal Species Harbors Papillomaviruses Which Are Closely Related to Their Human Counterparts

    PubMed Central

    Antonsson, Annika; Hansson, Bengt Göran

    2002-01-01

    Papillomaviruses associated with clinical symptoms have been found in many vertebrate species. In this study, we have used an L1 gene consensus PCR test designed to detect a broad spectrum of human skin papillomaviruses to analyze swab samples from healthy skin of 111 animals belonging to 19 vertebrate species. In eight of the species, papillomavirus DNA was found with the following prevalences: chimpanzees, 9 of 11 samples positive; gorillas, 3 of 4; long-tailed macaques, 14 of 16; spider monkeys, 2 of 2; ruffed lemurs, 1 of 2; cows, 6 of 10; European elks, 4 of 4; aurochs, 1 of 1. In total, 53 new putative animal papillomavirus types were found. The results show that skin papillomaviruses can be detected in healthy skin from many different animal species and are sufficiently related genetically to their human counterparts to be identified by a human skin papillomavirus primer set (FAP59 and FAP64). PMID:12438579

  7. Mammalian mitogenomic relationships and the root of the eutherian tree

    PubMed Central

    Arnason, Ulfur; Adegoke, Joseph A.; Bodin, Kristina; Born, Erik W.; Esa, Yuzine B.; Gullberg, Anette; Nilsson, Maria; Short, Roger V.; Xu, Xiufeng; Janke, Axel

    2002-01-01

    The strict orthology of mitochondrial (mt) coding sequences has promoted their use in phylogenetic analyses at different levels. Here we present the results of a mitogenomic study (i.e., analysis based on the set of protein-coding genes from complete mt genomes) of 60 mammalian species. This number includes 11 new mt genomes. The sampling comprises all but one of the traditional eutherian orders. The previously unrepresented order Dermoptera (flying lemurs) fell within Primates as the sister group of Anthropoidea, making Primates paraphyletic. This relationship was strongly supported. Lipotyphla (“insectivores”) split into three distinct lineages: Erinaceomorpha, Tenrecomorpha, and Soricomorpha. Erinaceomorpha was the basal eutherian lineage. Sirenia (dugong) and Macroscelidea (elephant shrew) fell within the African clade. Pholidota (pangolin) joined the Cetferungulata as the sister group of Carnivora. The analyses identified monophyletic Pinnipedia with Otariidae (sea lions, fur seals) and Odobenidae (walruses) as sister groups to the exclusion of Phocidae (true seals). PMID:12034869

  8. Cerebral complexity preceded enlarged brain size and reduced olfactory bulbs in Old World monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Gonzales, Lauren A.; Benefit, Brenda R.; McCrossin, Monte L.; Spoor, Fred

    2015-01-01

    Analysis of the only complete early cercopithecoid (Old World monkey) endocast currently known, that of 15-million-year (Myr)-old Victoriapithecus, reveals an unexpectedly small endocranial volume (ECV) relative to body size and a large olfactory bulb volume relative to ECV, similar to extant lemurs and Oligocene anthropoids. However, the Victoriapithecus brain has principal and arcuate sulci of the frontal lobe not seen in the stem catarrhine Aegyptopithecus, as well as a distinctive cercopithecoid pattern of gyrification, indicating that cerebral complexity preceded encephalization in cercopithecoids. Since larger ECVs, expanded frontal lobes, and reduced olfactory bulbs are already present in the 17- to 18-Myr-old ape Proconsul these features evolved independently in hominoids (apes) and cercopithecoids and much earlier in the former. Moreover, the order of encephalization and brain reorganization was apparently different in hominoids and cercopithecoids, showing that brain size and cerebral organization evolve independently. PMID:26138795

  9. Preliminary description of the cranium of Proteopithecus sylviae, an Egyptian late Eocene anthropoidean primate

    PubMed Central

    Simons, Elwyn L.

    1997-01-01

    Recent discovery of crania, dentitions, and postcrania of a primitive anthropoidean primate, Proteopithecus sylviae, at the late Eocene L-4l quarry in the Fayum, Egypt, provides evidence of a new taxonomic family of early African higher primates, the Proteopithecidae. This family could be part of the basal radiation that produced the New World platyrrhine primates, or it could be unrelated to any subsequent lineages. Although no larger than a small callitrichid or a dwarf lemur, this tiny primate already possessed many of the derived features of later anthropoids and was a diurnal and probably dimorphic species. In dental formula and other dental proportions, as well as in known postcranial features, Proteopithecus more nearly resembles platyrrhines than does any other Old World higher primate. The small size of the Proteopithecus cranium demonstrates that the defining cranial characteristics of Anthropoidea did not arise as a consequence of an increase in size during derivation from earlier prosimians. PMID:9405723

  10. Cerebral complexity preceded enlarged brain size and reduced olfactory bulbs in Old World monkeys.

    PubMed

    Gonzales, Lauren A; Benefit, Brenda R; McCrossin, Monte L; Spoor, Fred

    2015-07-03

    Analysis of the only complete early cercopithecoid (Old World monkey) endocast currently known, that of 15-million-year (Myr)-old Victoriapithecus, reveals an unexpectedly small endocranial volume (ECV) relative to body size and a large olfactory bulb volume relative to ECV, similar to extant lemurs and Oligocene anthropoids. However, the Victoriapithecus brain has principal and arcuate sulci of the frontal lobe not seen in the stem catarrhine Aegyptopithecus, as well as a distinctive cercopithecoid pattern of gyrification, indicating that cerebral complexity preceded encephalization in cercopithecoids. Since larger ECVs, expanded frontal lobes, and reduced olfactory bulbs are already present in the 17- to 18-Myr-old ape Proconsul these features evolved independently in hominoids (apes) and cercopithecoids and much earlier in the former. Moreover, the order of encephalization and brain reorganization was apparently different in hominoids and cercopithecoids, showing that brain size and cerebral organization evolve independently.

  11. Molecular evolutionary dynamics of cytochrome b in strepsirrhine primates: the phylogenetic significance of third-position transversions.

    PubMed

    Yoder, A D; Vilgalys, R; Ruvolo, M

    1996-12-01

    DNA sequences of the complete cytochrome b gene are shown to contain robust phylogenetic signal for the strepsirrhine primates (i.e., lemurs and lorises). The phylogeny derived from these data conforms to other molecular studies of strepsirrhine relationships despite the fact that uncorrected nucleotide distances are high for nearly all intrastrepsirrhine comparisons, with most in the 15%-20% range. Cytochrome b sequences support the hypothesis that Malagasy lemuriforms and Afro-Asian lorisiforms each comprise clades that share a sister-group relationship. A study (Adkins and Honeycutt 1994) of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (COII) gene placed one Malagasy primate (Daubentonia) at the base of the strepsirrhine clade, thereby suggesting a diphyletic Lemuriformes. The reanalysis of COII third-position transversions, either alone or in combination with cytochrome b third-position transversions, however, yields a tree that is congruent with phylogenetic hypotheses derived from cytochrome b and other genetic data sets.

  12. The oldest known primate skeleton and early haplorhine evolution.

    PubMed

    Ni, Xijun; Gebo, Daniel L; Dagosto, Marian; Meng, Jin; Tafforeau, Paul; Flynn, John J; Beard, K Christopher

    2013-06-06

    Reconstructing the earliest phases of primate evolution has been impeded by gaps in the fossil record, so that disagreements persist regarding the palaeobiology and phylogenetic relationships of the earliest primates. Here we report the discovery of a nearly complete and partly articulated skeleton of a primitive haplorhine primate from the early Eocene of China, about 55 million years ago, the oldest fossil primate of this quality ever recovered. Coupled with detailed morphological examination using propagation phase contrast X-ray synchrotron microtomography, our phylogenetic analysis based on total available evidence indicates that this fossil is the most basal known member of the tarsiiform clade. In addition to providing further support for an early dichotomy between the strepsirrhine and haplorhine clades, this new primate further constrains the age of divergence between tarsiiforms and anthropoids. It also strengthens the hypothesis that the earliest primates were probably diurnal, arboreal and primarily insectivorous mammals the size of modern pygmy mouse lemurs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  14. Parastrongylus (=Angiostrongylus) cantonensis now endemic in Louisiana wildlife.

    PubMed

    Kim, D Y; Stewart, T B; Bauer, R W; Mitchell, M

    2002-10-01

    Parastrongylus (=Angiostrongylus) cantonensis, a lung worm of rats, was first reported in the United States in 1987, with a probable introduction by infected rats from ships docking in New Orleans, Louisiana, during the mid-1980s. Since then, it has been reported in nonhuman primates and a boy from New Orleans, and in a horse from Picayune, Mississippi, a distance of 87 km from New Orleans. Parastrongylus cantonensis infection is herein reported in a lemur (Varencia variegata rubra) from New Iberia, Louisiana, a distance of 222 km from New Orleans, and in a wood rat (Neotomafloridanus) and in 4 opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a distance of 124 km from New Orleans. The potential of a great variety of gastropods serving as intermediate hosts in Louisiana may pose a threat to wildlife as well as to domesticated animals in the areas where infected Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are present.

  15. Fibre type composition in the lumbar perivertebral muscles of primates: implications for the evolution of orthogrady in hominoids

    PubMed Central

    Neufuss, J; Hesse, B; Thorpe, S K S; Vereecke, E E; D'Aout, K; Fischer, M S; Schilling, N

    2014-01-01

    The axial musculoskeletal system is important for the static and dynamic control of the body during both locomotor and non-locomotor behaviour. As a consequence, major evolutionary changes in the positional habits of a species are reflected by morpho-functional adaptations of the axial system. Because of the remarkable phenotypic plasticity of muscle tissue, a close relationship exists between muscle morphology and function. One way to explore major evolutionary transitions in muscle function is therefore by comparative analysis of fibre type composition. In this study, the three-dimensional distribution of slow and fast muscle fibres was analysed in the lumbar perivertebral muscles of two lemuriform (mouse lemur, brown lemur) and four hominoid primate species (white-handed gibbon, orangutan, bonobo, chimpanzee) in order to develop a plausible scenario for the evolution of the contractile properties of the axial muscles in hominoids and to discern possible changes in muscle physiology that were associated with the evolution of orthogrady. Similar to all previously studied quadrupedal mammals, the lemuriform primates in this study exhibited a morpho-functional dichotomy between deep slow contracting local stabilizer muscles and superficial fast contracting global mobilizers and stabilizers and thus retained the fibre distribution pattern typical for quadrupedal non-primates. In contrast, the hominoid primates showed no regionalization of the fibre types, similar to previous observations in Homo. We suggest that this homogeneous fibre composition is associated with the high functional versatility of the axial musculature that was brought about by the evolution of orthograde behaviours and reflects the broad range of mechanical demands acting on the trunk in orthograde hominoids. Because orthogrady is a derived character of euhominoids, the uniform fibre type distribution is hypothesized to coincide with the evolution of orthograde behaviours. PMID:24433382

  16. Comparison of bacterial culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica in wild animals.

    PubMed

    Sting, Reinhard; Runge, Martin; Eisenberg, Tobias; Braune, Silke; Müller, Wolfgang; Otto, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Detection of the zoonotic pathogen Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica (EF tularensis) in wild animals with culture techniques as well as polymerase chain reaction were compared and discussed on the basis of the investigation of 60 animals. The samples originated from 55 European brown hares (Lepus europaeus), two red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and one each from a wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), a European beaver (Castor fiber), and a lemur (Lemur catta). When comparing the growth of 28 F. tularensis isolates on the cysteine blood agar and the modified Martin-Lewis-agar used in this study, cultivation was successful for 26 isolates on both media, but for two isolates only on the cysteine blood agar. Out of 43 carcasses 19 tested positive in bacteriological culture and PCR. Two culture positive samples of tonsils originating from foxes could not be confirmed by PCR, although PCR was positive in 22 samples that missed growth of F. tularensis. Comparative studies on cultural detection of E. tularensis were performed on samples of 16 hares from lung, spleen, liver and gut and in one case with a peritoneal swab. In at least one of these localizations cultivation of the pathogen was successful. Detection rate was reduced to 94% (15 of 16 hares) considering only the results of the cultures of the lungs and spleens. For a sensitive and rapid detection of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica, the PCR is a suitable method thereby avoiding hazardous multiplying of the pathogen. However, cultivation of F. tularensis is often a prerequisite for further studies on antibiotic resistance patterns of the pathogen, molecular epidemiological and pathological analyses of tularaemia.

  17. Shallow hypothermia depends on the level of fatty acid unsaturation in adipose and liver tissues in a tropical heterothermic primate.

    PubMed

    Vuarin, Pauline; Henry, Pierre-Yves; Guesnet, Philippe; Alessandri, Jean-Marc; Aujard, Fabienne; Perret, Martine; Pifferi, Fabien

    2014-07-01

    Optimal levels of unsaturated fatty acids have positive impacts on the use of prolonged bouts of hypothermia in mammalian hibernators, which generally have to face low winter ambient temperatures. Unsaturated fatty acids can maintain the fluidity of fat and membrane phospholipids at low body temperatures. However, less attention has been paid to their role in the regulation of shallow hypothermia, and in tropical species, which may be challenged more by seasonal energetic and/or water shortages than by low temperatures. The present study assessed the relationship between the fatty acids content of white adipose and liver tissues and the expression of shallow hypothermia in a tropical heterothermic primate, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). The adipose tissue is the main tissue for fat storage and the liver is involved in lipid metabolism, so both tissues were expected to influence hypothermia dependence on fatty acids. As mouse lemurs largely avoid deep hypothermia (i.e. torpor) use under standard captive conditions, the expression of hypothermia was triggered by food-restricting experimental animals. Hypothermia depth increased with time, with a stronger increase for individuals that exhibited higher contents of unsaturated fatty acids suggesting that they were more flexible in their use of hypothermia. However these same animals delayed the use of long hypothermia bouts relative to individuals with a higher level of saturated fatty acids. This study evidences for the first time that body fatty acids unsaturation levels influence the regulation of body temperature not only in cold-exposed hibernators but also in tropical, facultative heterotherms.

  18. Gene Expression Profiling in the Hibernating Primate, Cheirogaleus Medius

    PubMed Central

    Faherty, Sheena L.; Villanueva-Cañas, José Luis; Klopfer, Peter H.; Albà, M. Mar; Yoder, Anne D.

    2016-01-01

    Hibernation is a complex physiological response that some mammalian species employ to evade energetic demands. Previous work in mammalian hibernators suggests that hibernation is activated not by a set of genes unique to hibernators, but by differential expression of genes that are present in all mammals. This question of universal genetic mechanisms requires further investigation and can only be tested through additional investigations of phylogenetically dispersed species. To explore this question, we use RNA-Seq to investigate gene expression dynamics as they relate to the varying physiological states experienced throughout the year in a group of primate hibernators—Madagascar’s dwarf lemurs (genus Cheirogaleus). In a novel experimental approach, we use longitudinal sampling of biological tissues as a method for capturing gene expression profiles from the same individuals throughout their annual hibernation cycle. We identify 90 candidate genes that have variable expression patterns when comparing two active states (Active 1 and Active 2) with a torpor state. These include genes that are involved in metabolic pathways, feeding behavior, and circadian rhythms, as might be expected to correlate with seasonal physiological state changes. The identified genes appear to be critical for maintaining the health of an animal that undergoes prolonged periods of metabolic depression concurrent with the hibernation phenotype. By focusing on these differentially expressed genes in dwarf lemurs, we compare gene expression patterns in previously studied mammalian hibernators. Additionally, by employing evolutionary rate analysis, we find that hibernation-related genes do not evolve under positive selection in hibernating species relative to nonhibernators. PMID:27412611

  19. Primate aging in the mammalian scheme: the puzzle of extreme variation in brain aging.

    PubMed

    Finch, Caleb E; Austad, Steven N

    2012-10-01

    At later ages, humans have high risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD) which may afflict up to 50% by 90 years. While prosimians and monkeys show more substantial changes, the great apes brains examined show mild neurodegenerative changes. Compared with rodents, primates develop and reproduce slowly and are long lived. The New World primates contain some of the shortest as well as some of the longest-lived monkey species, while the prosimians develop the most rapidly and are the shortest lived. Great apes have the largest brains, slowest development, and longest lives among the primates. All primates share some level of slowly progressive, age-related neurodegenerative changes. However, no species besides humans has yet shown regular drastic neuron loss or cognitive decline approaching clinical grade AD. Several primates accumulate extensive deposits of diffuse amyloid-beta protein (Aβ) but only a prosimian-the gray mouse lemur-regularly develops a tauopathy approaching the neurofibrillary tangles of AD. Compared with monkeys, nonhuman great apes display even milder brain-aging changes, a deeply puzzling observation. The genetic basis for these major species differences in brain aging remains obscure but does not involve the Aβ coding sequence which is identical in nonhuman primates and humans. While chimpanzees merit more study, we note the value of smaller, shorter-lived species such as marmosets and small lemurs for aging studies. A continuing concern for all aging studies employing primates is that relative to laboratory rodents, primate husbandry is in a relatively primitive state, and better husbandry to control infections and obesity is needed for brain aging research.

  20. Energetics of tropical hibernation.

    PubMed

    Dausmann, K H; Glos, J; Heldmaier, G

    2009-04-01

    In this field study, the energetic properties of tropical hibernation were investigated by measuring oxygen consumption and body temperature of the Malagasy primate Cheirogaleus medius in their natural hibernacula. These lemurs use tree holes with extremely varying insulation capacities as hibernacula. In poorly insulated tree holes, tree hole temperature and body temperature fluctuated strongly each day (between 12.8 and 34.4 degrees C). The metabolic rate under these conditions also showed large daily fluctuations between about 29.0 ml O(2)/h and 97.9 ml O(2)/h in parallel with changes in body temperature. In well insulated tree holes in very large trees on the other hand, tree hole temperature and body temperature remained relatively constant at about 25 degrees C. Lemurs hibernating in these tree holes showed a more constant metabolic rate at an intermediate level, but hibernation was interrupted by repeated arousals with peak metabolic rates up to 350 ml O(2)/h. The occurrence of these spontaneous arousals proved that the ability for thermoregulation persists during hibernation. Arousals were energetically costly, but much less so than in temperate and arctic hibernators. Despite the decisive influence of tree hole properties on the pattern of body temperature and metabolic rate during hibernation, the choice of the hibernaculum does not seem to be of energetic importance. The overall energetic savings by tropical hibernation amounted to about 70% as compared to the active season (31.5 vs. 114.3 kJ/d). Therefore, tropical hibernation in C. medius is an effective, well-regulated adaptive response to survive unfavourable seasons.

  1. Infant transport and mother-infant contact from 1 to 26 weeks postnatal in Coquerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) in northwestern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ross, Abigail C; Lehman, Shawn M

    2016-06-01

    Lactating females face energetic constraints absent in conspecifics and must compensate for higher energy requirements. Infant transport is the most energetically costly mammalian activity after lactation. Nonetheless, infant transport and mother-infant contact are seldom measured. The extreme seasonality characteristic of Madagascar coupled with lactation costs and infant transport is a trifold energetic challenge encountered by lemur mothers. We hypothesized that Coquerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) mothers spend more time caring for infants during the early/earlier-mid lactation period, coinciding with the resource depletive austral winter, relative to later-mid/late lactation. We tested this hypothesis by measuring infant carrier identity, transport position, and frequency of mother-infant contact for 678 focal hours over two consecutive birth seasons from 1 to 26 weeks postnatal (N = 10 infants, N = 10 mothers, N = 19 adult males, N = 8 adult females) in Ankarafantsika National Park (ANP), Madagascar. Quantifying P. coquereli postnatal care strategies demonstrates how a species with a "slow" life history lives in an energetically challenging environment, thereby providing data on maternal energetic responses and infant development in an endangered strepsirrhine. Mothers were the primary infant transporters. Adult males and non-lactating females participated in infant transport, but for significantly less time. Infants spent significantly more time in the ventral transport position than dorsally or independently. Infants were still transported 26% of the time at 6.5 months postnatal. Infants initiated and broke bodily contact with mothers more frequently than mothers initiated and broke contact with infants. Infants were dependent on their mothers for longer durations than suggested by previous studies and carried dorsally until later ages than in other comparably sized wild lemurs. Am. J. Primatol. 78:646-658, 2016. © 2016 Wiley

  2. Why "monogamy" isn't good enough.

    PubMed

    Tecot, Stacey R; Singletary, Britt; Eadie, Elizabeth

    2016-03-01

    Rare in mammals but more common in primates, there remains a considerable controversy concerning whether primate species traditionally described as monogamous actually express this highly specialized breeding pattern. Unfortunately the definition of "monogamy" varies greatly, inhibiting our understanding of this trait and two related traits with which monogamy is often conflated: pair-living and pair-bonding. Strepsirrhine primates are useful models to study factors that select for pair-living, pair-bonding, and monogamy because this taxon exhibits high incidences of each trait, in addition to species that exhibit behaviors that reflect combinations of these traits. Several hypotheses have been articulated to help explain the evolution of "monogamy," but again, these hypotheses often conflate pair-living, pair-bonding, and/or monogamy. In this review, we (1) propose clear, discrete, and logical definitions for each trait; (2) review variation in strepsirrhines with respect to these three traits; (3) clarify which of these traits can be explained by existing hypotheses; and (4) provide an example of the applicability of the Resource Defense Hypothesis (RDH) to understand two of these traits, pair-living and pair-bonding, in the red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer). Available data support the RDH for pair-living in red-bellied lemurs. They live in stable family groups with one adult pair. Both sexes actively codefend territories that overlap little with other pairs' territories. Agonism is extremely rare within groups and intergroup and interspecific agonism varies with food availability. Available data also support the RDH for pair-bonding. Pair-bonds are cohesive year-round. Pairs coordinate behaviors to defend territories with auditory and olfactory signals. Cohesion increases with food abundance and both sexes reinforce bonds. We indicate where additional data will help to more rigorously test the RDH for each trait and encourage others to test alternative

  3. Are tropical small mammals physiologically vulnerable to Arrhenius effects and climate change?

    PubMed

    Lovegrove, Barry G; Canale, Cindy; Levesque, Danielle; Fluch, Gerhard; Reháková-Petrů, Milada; Ruf, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    There is some urgency in the necessity to incorporate physiological data into mechanistic, trait-based, demographic climate change models. Physiological responses at the individual level provide the mechanistic link between environmental changes and individual performances and hence population dynamics. Here we consider the causal relationship between ambient temperature (Ta) and metabolic rate (MR), namely, the Arrhenius effect, which is directly affected by global warming through increases in average global air temperatures and the increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events. We measured and collated data for several small, free-ranging tropical arboreal mammals and evaluated their vulnerability to Arrhenius effects and putative heat stress associated with climate change. Skin temperatures (Tskin) were obtained from free-ranging tarsiers (Tarsius syrichta) on Bohol Island, Philippines. Core body temperature (Tb) was obtained from the greater hedgehog tenrec (Setifer setosus) and the gray brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis) from Ankarafantsika, Madagascar. Tskin for another mouse lemur, Microcebus griseorufus, was obtained from the literature. All four species showed evidence of hyperthermia during the daytime rest phase in the form of either Tskin or Tb that was higher than the normothermic Tb during the nighttime active phase. Potentially, tropical arboreal mammals with the lowest MRs and Tb, such as tarsiers, are the most vulnerable to sustained heat stress because their Tb is already close to Ta. Climate change may involve increases in MRs due to Arrhenius effects, especially during the rest phase or during torpor and hibernation. The most likely outcome of increased Arrhenius effects with climate change will be an increase in energy expenditure at the expense of other critical functions such as reproduction or growth and will thus affect fitness. However, we propose that these hypothetical Arrhenius costs can be, and in some

  4. Fibre type composition in the lumbar perivertebral muscles of primates: implications for the evolution of orthogrady in hominoids.

    PubMed

    Neufuss, J; Hesse, B; Thorpe, S K S; Vereecke, E E; D'Aout, K; Fischer, M S; Schilling, N

    2014-02-01

    The axial musculoskeletal system is important for the static and dynamic control of the body during both locomotor and non-locomotor behaviour. As a consequence, major evolutionary changes in the positional habits of a species are reflected by morpho-functional adaptations of the axial system. Because of the remarkable phenotypic plasticity of muscle tissue, a close relationship exists between muscle morphology and function. One way to explore major evolutionary transitions in muscle function is therefore by comparative analysis of fibre type composition. In this study, the three-dimensional distribution of slow and fast muscle fibres was analysed in the lumbar perivertebral muscles of two lemuriform (mouse lemur, brown lemur) and four hominoid primate species (white-handed gibbon, orangutan, bonobo, chimpanzee) in order to develop a plausible scenario for the evolution of the contractile properties of the axial muscles in hominoids and to discern possible changes in muscle physiology that were associated with the evolution of orthogrady. Similar to all previously studied quadrupedal mammals, the lemuriform primates in this study exhibited a morpho-functional dichotomy between deep slow contracting local stabilizer muscles and superficial fast contracting global mobilizers and stabilizers and thus retained the fibre distribution pattern typical for quadrupedal non-primates. In contrast, the hominoid primates showed no regionalization of the fibre types, similar to previous observations in Homo. We suggest that this homogeneous fibre composition is associated with the high functional versatility of the axial musculature that was brought about by the evolution of orthograde behaviours and reflects the broad range of mechanical demands acting on the trunk in orthograde hominoids. Because orthogrady is a derived character of euhominoids, the uniform fibre type distribution is hypothesized to coincide with the evolution of orthograde behaviours.

  5. Evolution of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 peroxisomal and mitochondrial targeting. A survey of its subcellular distribution in the livers of various representatives of the classes Mammalia, Aves and Amphibia.

    PubMed

    Danpure, C J; Fryer, P; Jennings, P R; Allsop, J; Griffiths, S; Cunningham, A

    1994-08-01

    As part of a wider study on the molecular evolution of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 (AGT1) intracellular compartmentalization, we have determined the subcellular distribution of immunoreactive AGT1, using postembedding protein A-gold immunoelectron microscopy, in the livers of various members of the classes Mammalia, Aves, and Amphibia. As far as organellar distribution is concerned, three categories could be distinguished. In members of the first category (type I), all, or nearly all, of the immunoreactive AGT1 was concentrated within the peroxisomes. In the second category (type II), AGT1 was found more evenly distributed in both peroxisomes and mitochondria. In the third category (type III), AGT1 was localized mainly within the mitochondria with much lower, but widely variable, amounts in the peroxisomes. Type I animals include the human, two great apes (gorilla, orangutan), two Old World monkeys (anubis baboon, Japanese macaque), a New World monkey (white-faced Saki monkey), a lago, morph (European rabbit), a bat (Seba's short-tailed fruit bat), two caviomorph rodents (guinea pig, orange-rumped agouti), and two Australian marsupials (koala, Bennett's wallaby). Type II animals include two New World monkeys (common marmoset, cotton-top tamarin), three prosimians (brown lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur, pygmy slow loris), five rodents (a hybrid crested porcupine, Colombian ground squirrel, laboratory rat, laboratory mouse, golden hamster), an American marsupial (grey short-tailed opossum), and a bird (raven). Type III animals include the large tree shrew, three insectivores (common Eurasian mole, European hedgehog, house shrew), four carnivores (domestic cat, ocelot, domestic dog, polecat ferret), and an amphibian (common frog). In addition to these categories, some animals (e.g. guinea pig, common frog) possessed significant amounts of cytosolic AGT1. Whereas the subcellular distribution of AGT1 in some orders (e.g. Insectivora and Carnivora) did not appear

  6. The dynamics of transmission and the dynamics of networks.

    PubMed

    Farine, Damien

    2017-05-01

    A toy example depicted here highlighting the results of a study in this issue of the Journal of Animal Ecology that investigates the impact of network dynamics on potential disease outbreaks. Infections (stars) that spread by contact only (left) reduce the predicted outbreak size compared to situations where individuals can become infected by moving through areas that previously contained infected individuals (right). This is potentially important in species where individuals, or in this case groups, have overlapping ranges (as depicted on the top right). Incorporating network dynamics that maintain information about the ordering of contacts (central blocks; including the ordering of spatial overlap as noted by the arrows that highlight the blue group arriving after the red group in top-right of the figure) is important for capturing how a disease might not have the opportunity to spread to all individuals. By contrast, a static or 'average' network (lower blocks) does not capture any of these dynamics. Interestingly, although static networks generally predict larger outbreak sizes, the authors find that in cases when transmission probability is low, this prediction can switch as a result of changes in the estimated intensity of contacts among individuals. [Colour figure can be viewed at wileyonlinelibrary.com]. Springer, A., Kappeler, P.M. & Nunn, C.L. (2017) Dynamic vs. static social networks in models of parasite transmission: Predicting Cryptosporidium spread in wild lemurs. Journal of Animal Ecology, 86, 419-433. The spread of disease or information through networks can be affected by several factors. Whether and how these factors are accounted for can fundamentally change the predicted impact of a spreading epidemic. Springer, Kappeler & Nunn () investigate the role of different modes of transmission and network dynamics on the predicted size of a disease outbreak across several groups of Verreaux's sifakas, a group-living species of lemur. While some factors

  7. A re-evaluation of the role of vision in the activity and communication of nocturnal primates.

    PubMed

    Bearder, S K; Nekaris, K A I; Curtis, D J

    2006-01-01

    This paper examines the importance of vision in the lives of nocturnal primates in comparison to diurnal and cathemeral species. Vision is the major sense in all primates and there is evidence that the eyesight of nocturnal species is more acute and variable than has previously been recognized. Case studies of the behaviour of a galago and a loris in open woodland habitats in relation to ambient light show that Galago moholi males are more likely to travel between clumps of vegetation along the ground when the moon is up, and during periods of twilight, whereas they retreat to more continuous vegetation and travel less when the moon sets. This is interpreted as a strategy for avoiding predators that hunt on the ground when it is dark. The travel distances of Loris lydekkerianus are not affected by moonlight but this species reduces its choice of food items from more mobile prey to mainly ants when the moon sets, indicating the importance of light when searching for high-energy supplements to its staple diet. Evidence is presented for the first time to indicate key aspects of nocturnal vision that would benefit from further research. It is suggested that the light and dark facial markings of many species convey information about species and individual identity when animals approach each other at night. Differences in the colour of the reflective eye-shine, and behavioural responses displayed when exposed to white torchlight, point to different kinds of nocturnal vision that are suited to each niche, including the possibility of some degree of colour discrimination. The ability of even specialist nocturnal species to see well in broad daylight demonstrates an inherent flexibility that would enable movement into diurnal niches. The major differences in the sensitivity and perceptual anatomy of diurnal lemurs compared to diurnal anthropoids, and the emergence of cathemerality in lemurs, is interpreted as a reflection of evolution from different ancestral stocks in very

  8. The human vomeronasal organ. Part II: prenatal development

    PubMed Central

    SMITH, TIMOTHY D.; BHATNAGAR, KUNWAR P.

    2000-01-01

    During the 20th century, the human vomeronasal organ (VNO) has been controversial regarding its structure, function, and even identity. Despite reports that provide evidence for its presence throughout prenatal and postnatal ontogeny, some studies and numerous textbooks declare its absence in late fetal and postnatal humans. To that end, the present study was designed to establish firmly whether the human VNO is homologous with that of other mammals and whether it degenerates (partially or completely) or persists throughout prenatal development. Fifty human embryos and fetuses (33 d to 32 wk fertilisation age) and 2 neonates were examined by light microscopy. Four embryonic primates (mouse lemurs) were examined for a comparison of VNO embryogenesis. The presence or absence and structural characteristics of the VNO and supporting tissues are described. The first appearance of the VNO was in the form of bilateral epithelial thickenings of the nasal septum, the vomeronasal primordium. The primordia invaginated between 37 and 43 d of age and formed the tubular VNO. The tubular VNO was located dorsally at a variable distance from, but was always spatially separated from the paraseptal cartilages. The mouse lemurs examined in this study and other reports from the literature indicate that the human VNO resembles that of primates having functional VNOs until just after a tubular VNO is formed. Examination of the VNO and adjacent tissues suggested that the VNO may lose receptor cells and corresponding vomeronasal nerves and become a ciliated, pseudostratified epithelium between ∼ 12 and 14 wk of age. Our findings indicate the prenatal human VNO goes through 3 successive stages: early morphogenesis, transformation (of the epithelium), and growth. These observations indicated that (1) all embryonic humans develop a vomeronasal organ which is homologous with the VNOs of other mammals, but which has become displaced and highly variable in relative location during

  9. Multi-step motion planning: Application to free-climbing robots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bretl, Timothy Wolfe

    distribution. Validation with real hardware was done with a four-limbed, free-climbing robot called LEMUR (developed by the Mechanical and Robotic Technologies Group at NASA-JPL). Using the multi-step planner presented in this dissertation, LEMUR free-climbed an indoor, near-vertical surface with artificial rock features. It did so with limited control and sensing, demonstrating that planning is absolutely critical.

  10. Hibernation in the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus): multiday torpor in primates is not restricted to Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Ruf, Thomas; Streicher, Ulrike; Stalder, Gabrielle L; Nadler, Tilo; Walzer, Chris

    2015-12-03

    Hibernation and short daily torpor are states of energy conservation with reduced metabolism and body temperature. Both hibernation, also called multiday torpor, and daily torpor are common among mammals and occur in at least 11 orders. Within the primates, there is a peculiar situation, because to date torpor has been almost exclusively reported for Malagasy lemurs. The single exception is the African lesser bushbaby, which is capable of daily torpor, but uses it only under extremely adverse conditions. For true hibernation, the geographical restriction was absolute. No primate outside of Madagascar was previously known to hibernate. Since hibernation is commonly viewed as an ancient, plesiomorphic trait, theoretically this could mean that hibernation as an overwintering strategy was lost in all other primates in mainland Africa, Asia, and the Americas. However, we hypothesized that a good candidate species for the use of hibernation, outside of Madagascar should be the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus), a small primate inhabiting tropical forests. Here, we show that pygmy slow lorises exposed to natural climatic conditions in northern Vietnam during winter indeed undergo torpor lasting up to 63 h, that is, hibernation. Thus, hibernation has been retained in at least one primate outside of Madagascar.

  11. Dental senescence in a long-lived primate links infant survival to rainfall.

    PubMed

    King, Stephen J; Arrigo-Nelson, Summer J; Pochron, Sharon T; Semprebon, Gina M; Godfrey, Laurie R; Wright, Patricia C; Jernvall, Jukka

    2005-11-15

    Primates tend to be long-lived, and, except for humans, most primate females are able to reproduce into old age. Although aging in most mammals is accompanied by dental senescence due to advanced wear, primates have low-crowned teeth that wear down before old age. Because tooth wear alters crown features gradually, testing whether early dental senescence causes reproductive senescence has been difficult. To identify whether and when low-crowned teeth compromise reproductive success, we used a 20-year field study of Propithecus edwardsi, a rainforest lemur from Madagascar with a maximum lifespan of >27 years. We analyzed tooth wear in three dimensions with dental topographic analysis by using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology. We report that tooth wear exposes compensatory shearing blades that maintain dental function for 18 years. Beyond this age, female fertility remains high; however infants survive only if lactation seasons have elevated rainfall. Therefore, low-crowned teeth accommodate wear to a point, after which reproductive success closely tracks environmental fluctuations. These results suggest a tooth wear-determined, but rainfall-mediated, onset of reproductive senescence. Additionally, our study indicates that even subtle changes in climate may affect reproductive success of rainforest species.

  12. Accelerated Diversification of Nonhuman Primate Malarias in Southeast Asia: Adaptive Radiation or Geographic Speciation?

    PubMed Central

    Muehlenbein, Michael P.; Pacheco, M. Andreína; Taylor, Jesse E.; Prall, Sean P.; Ambu, Laurentius; Nathan, Senthilvel; Alsisto, Sylvia; Ramirez, Diana; Escalante, Ananias A.

    2015-01-01

    Although parasitic organisms are found worldwide, the relative importance of host specificity and geographic isolation for parasite speciation has been explored in only a few systems. Here, we study Plasmodium parasites known to infect Asian nonhuman primates, a monophyletic group that includes the lineage leading to the human parasite Plasmodium vivax and several species used as laboratory models in malaria research. We analyze the available data together with new samples from three sympatric primate species from Borneo: The Bornean orangutan and the long-tailed and the pig-tailed macaques. We find several species of malaria parasites, including three putatively new species in this biodiversity hotspot. Among those newly discovered lineages, we report two sympatric parasites in orangutans. We find no differences in the sets of malaria species infecting each macaque species indicating that these species show no host specificity. Finally, phylogenetic analysis of these data suggests that the malaria parasites infecting Southeast Asian macaques and their relatives are speciating three to four times more rapidly than those with other mammalian hosts such as lemurs and African apes. We estimate that these events took place in approximately a 3–4-Ma period. Based on the genetic and phenotypic diversity of the macaque malarias, we hypothesize that the diversification of this group of parasites has been facilitated by the diversity, geographic distributions, and demographic histories of their primate hosts. PMID:25389206

  13. Estimating body size in early primates: The case of Archicebus and Teilhardina.

    PubMed

    Dagosto, Marian; Gebo, Daniel; Ni, Xijun; Smith, Thierry

    2017-03-19

    Obtaining accurate estimations of the body mass of fossil primates has always been a subject of interest in paleoanthropology because mass is an important determinant for so many other aspects of biology, ecology, and life history. This paper focuses on the issues involved in attempting to reconstruct the mass of two early Eocene haplorhine primates, Teilhardina and Archicebus, which pose particular problems due to their small size and temporal and phylogenetic distance from extant primates. In addition to a ranking of variables from more to less useful, the effect of using models of varying taxonomic and size compositions is examined. Phylogenetic correction is also applied to the primate database. Our results indicate that the choice of variable is more critical than the choice of model. The more reliable variables are the mediolateral breadth across the femoral condyles and the area of the calcaneocuboid facet of the calcaneus. These variables suggest a body mass of 39 g (range 33-46 g) for Archicebus and 48 g (range 44-56 g) for Teilhardina. The width of the distal femur is found to be the most consistent estimator across models of various composition and techniques. The effect of phylogenetic correction is small but the choice of branch length assumption affects point estimates for the fossils. The majority of variables and models predict the body mass of Archicebus and Teilhardina to be in the range of the smaller extant mouse lemurs, as expected.

  14. Stability in skipping gaits

    PubMed Central

    Blickhan, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    As an alternative to walking and running, humans are able to skip. However, adult humans avoid it. This fact seems to be related to the higher energetic costs associated with skipping. Still, children, some birds, lemurs and lizards use skipping gaits during daily locomotion. We combined experimental data on humans with numerical simulations to test whether stability and robustness motivate this choice. Parameters for modelling were obtained from 10 male subjects. They locomoted using unilateral skipping along a 12 m runway. We used a bipedal spring loaded inverted pendulum to model and to describe the dynamics of skipping. The subjects displayed higher peak ground reaction forces and leg stiffness in the first landing leg (trailing leg) compared to the second landing leg (leading leg). In numerical simulations, we found that skipping is stable across an amazing speed range from skipping on the spot to fast running speeds. Higher leg stiffness in the trailing leg permits longer strides at same system energy. However, this strategy is at the same time less robust to sudden drop perturbations than skipping with a stiffer leading leg. A slightly higher stiffness in the leading leg is most robust, but might be costlier. PMID:28018651

  15. When play is a family business: adult play, hierarchy, and possible stress reduction in common marmosets.

    PubMed

    Norscia, Ivan; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2011-04-01

    Easy to recognize but not easy to define, animal play is a baffling behavior because it has no obvious immediate benefits for the performers. However, the absence of immediate advantages, if true, would leave adult play (costly but maintained by evolution, spanning lemurs to Homo sapiens) unexplained. Although a commonly held view maintains that play is limited by stress, an emergent hypothesis states that play can regulate stress in the short term. Here we explored this hypothesis in a captive family group of New World monkeys, Callithrix jacchus (common marmoset). We observed six subjects and gathered data on aggressive, play, and scratching behavior via focal (6 h/individual) and all occurrences sampling (115 h). We found that play levels were highest during pre-feeding, the period of maximum anxiety due to the forthcoming competition over food. Scratching (the most reliable indicator of stress in primates) and play showed opposite trends along hierarchy, with dominants scratching more and playing less than subordinates. Finally, scratching decreased after play, whereas play appeared to be unrelated to previous scratching events, symptoms of a potential stressful state. In conclusion, both play timing and hierarchical distribution indicate that play limits stress, more than vice versa, at least in the short term.

  16. Hibernation in the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus): multiday torpor in primates is not restricted to Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Ruf, Thomas; Streicher, Ulrike; Stalder, Gabrielle L.; Nadler, Tilo; Walzer, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Hibernation and short daily torpor are states of energy conservation with reduced metabolism and body temperature. Both hibernation, also called multiday torpor, and daily torpor are common among mammals and occur in at least 11 orders. Within the primates, there is a peculiar situation, because to date torpor has been almost exclusively reported for Malagasy lemurs. The single exception is the African lesser bushbaby, which is capable of daily torpor, but uses it only under extremely adverse conditions. For true hibernation, the geographical restriction was absolute. No primate outside of Madagascar was previously known to hibernate. Since hibernation is commonly viewed as an ancient, plesiomorphic trait, theoretically this could mean that hibernation as an overwintering strategy was lost in all other primates in mainland Africa, Asia, and the Americas. However, we hypothesized that a good candidate species for the use of hibernation, outside of Madagascar should be the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus), a small primate inhabiting tropical forests. Here, we show that pygmy slow lorises exposed to natural climatic conditions in northern Vietnam during winter indeed undergo torpor lasting up to 63 h, that is, hibernation. Thus, hibernation has been retained in at least one primate outside of Madagascar. PMID:26633602

  17. Gravity-Independent Mobility and Drilling on Natural Rock using Microspines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parness, Aaron; Frost, Matthew; Thatte, Nitish; King, Jonathan P.

    2012-01-01

    To grip rocks on the surfaces of asteroids and comets, and to grip the cliff faces and lava tubes of Mars, a 250 mm diameter omni-directional anchor is presented that utilizes a hierarchical array of claws with suspension flexures, called microspines, to create fast, strong attachment. Prototypes have been demonstrated on vesicular basalt and a'a lava rock supporting forces in all directions away from the rock. Each anchor can support >160 N tangent, >150 N at 45?, and >180 N normal to the surface of the rock. A two-actuator selectively- compliant ankle interfaces these anchors to the Lemur IIB robot for climbing trials. A rotary percussive drill was also integrated into the anchor, demonstrating self-contained rock coring regardless of gravitational orientation. As a harder- than-zero-g proof of concept, 20mm diameter boreholes were drilled 83 mm deep in vesicular basalt samples, retaining a 12 mm diameter rock core in 3-6 pieces while in an inverted configuration, literally drilling into the ceiling.

  18. Peptide microarray analysis of substrate specificity of the transmembrane Ser/Thr kinase KPI-2 reveals reactivity with cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator and phosphorylase.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hong; Brautigan, David L

    2006-11-01

    Human lemur (Lmr) kinases are predicted to be Tyr kinases based on sequences and are related to neurotrophin receptor Trk kinases. This study used homogeneous recombinant KPI-2 (Lmr2, LMTK2, Cprk, brain-enriched protein kinase) kinase domain and a library of 1,154 peptides on a microarray to analyze substrate specificity. We found that KPI-2 is strictly a Ser/Thr kinase that reacts with Ser either preceded by or followed by Pro residues but unlike other Pro-directed kinases does not strictly require an adjacent Pro residue. The most reactive peptide in the library corresponds to Ser-737 of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, and the recombinant R domain of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator was a preferred substrate. Furthermore the KPI-2 kinase phosphorylated peptides corresponding to the single site in phosphorylase and purified phosphorylase b, making this only the second known phosphorylase b kinase. Phosphorylase was used as a specific substrate to show that KPI-2 is inhibited in living cells by addition of nerve growth factor or serum. The results demonstrate the utility of the peptide library to probe specificity and discover kinase substrates and offer a specific assay that reveals hormonal regulation of the activity of this unusual transmembrane kinase.

  19. Matching based on biological categories in Orangutans (Pongo abelii) and a Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla).

    PubMed

    Vonk, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Following a series of experiments in which six orangutans and one gorilla discriminated photographs of different animal species in a two-choice touch screen procedure, Vonk & MacDonald (2002) and Vonk & MacDonald (2004) concluded that orangutans, but not the gorilla, seemed to learn intermediate level category discriminations, such as primates versus non-primates, more rapidly than they learned concrete level discriminations, such as orangutans versus humans. In the current experiments, four of the same orangutans and the gorilla were presented with delayed matching-to-sample tasks in which they were rewarded for matching photos of different members of the same primate species; golden lion tamarins, Japanese macaques, and proboscis monkeys, or family; gibbons, lemurs (Experiment 1), and subsequently for matching photos of different species within the following classes: birds, reptiles, insects, mammals, and fish (Experiment 2). Members of both Great Ape species were rapidly able to match the photos at levels above chance. Orangutans matched images from both category levels spontaneously whereas the gorilla showed effects of learning to match intermediate level categories. The results show that biological knowledge is not necessary to form natural categories at both concrete and intermediate levels.

  20. The influence of body posture on the kinematics of prehension in humans and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla).

    PubMed

    Reghem, E; Chèze, L; Coppens, Y; Pouydebat, E

    2014-03-01

    Much of our current understanding of human prehension in a comparative context is based on macaque models in a sitting, constrained body posture. In a previous study, we clearly showed differences in the amplitude of the forelimb joints between five primate species (lemur, capuchin, chimpanzee, gorilla and human) during unconstrained grasping where the animals were free to choose their body posture. One of our interrogations was to know if these differences could be due to the body posture. To address this question, this study compares humans with new data for gorillas during an unconstrained food prehension task in two body postures, a sitting and a quadrupedal one. The objective is to determine the behavioral and kinematic strategies (amplitudes and patterns of evolution of the articular angles) as well as differences and invariants of trunk and forelimb motions between species. The subjects were recorded by five cameras, and landmarks were digitized frame by frame to reconstruct 3D movement. Our results show that (1) despite significant influences of body postures on ranges of motion in gorillas and humans, species preserve their specific forelimb joint and trunk contribution; (2) body posture has a limited effect on the basic pattern of wrist velocity. Our study indicates that different primate species have specific kinematic features of limb coordination during prehension, which dose not alter with changes in posture. Therefore, across varying species, it is possible to compare limb kinematics irrespective of postural constraints and unconstrained condition need to be explored in other primates to understand the evolution of primate prehension.

  1. Design of a Robotic Ankle Joint for a Microspine-Based Robot

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thatte, Nitish

    2011-01-01

    Successful robotic exploration of near-Earth asteroids necessitates a method of securely anchoring to the surface of these bodies without gravitational assistance. Microspine grip- per arrays that can grasp rock faces are a potential solution to this problem. A key component of a future microspine-based rover will be the ankle used to attach each microspine gripper to the robot. The ankle's purpose is twofold: 1) to allow the gripper to conform to the rock so a higher percentage of microspines attach to the surface, and 2) to neutralize torques that may dislodge the grippers from the wall. Parts were developed using computer aided design and manufactured using a variety of methods including selective laser sintering, CNC milling, and traditional manual machining techniques. Upon completion of the final prototype, the gripper and ankle system was tested to demonstrate robotic engagement and disengagement of the gripper and to determine load bearing ability. The immediate application of this project is to out t the Lemur IIb robot so it can climb and hang from rock walls.

  2. A diverse group of small circular ssDNA viral genomes in human and non-human primate stools

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Terry Fei Fan; Zhang, Wen; Sachsenröder, Jana; Kondov, Nikola O.; da Costa, Antonio Charlys; Vega, Everardo; Holtz, Lori R.; Wu, Guang; Wang, David; Stine, Colin O.; Antonio, Martin; Mulvaney, Usha S.; Muench, Marcus O.; Deng, Xutao; Ambert-Balay, Katia; Pothier, Pierre; Vinjé, Jan; Delwart, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Viral metagenomics sequencing of fecal samples from outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis from the US revealed the presence of small circular ssDNA viral genomes encoding a replication initiator protein (Rep). Viral genomes were ∼2.5 kb in length, with bi-directionally oriented Rep and capsid (Cap) encoding genes and a stem loop structure downstream of Rep. Several genomes showed evidence of recombination. By digital screening of an in-house virome database (1.04 billion reads) using BLAST, we identified closely related sequences from cases of unexplained diarrhea in France. Deep sequencing and PCR detected such genomes in 7 of 25 US (28 percent) and 14 of 21 French outbreaks (67 percent). One of eighty-five sporadic diarrhea cases in the Gambia was positive by PCR. Twenty-two complete genomes were characterized showing that viruses from patients in the same outbreaks were closely related suggesting common origins. Similar genomes were also characterized from the stools of captive chimpanzees, a gorilla, a black howler monkey, and a lemur that were more diverse than the human stool-associated genomes. The name smacovirus is proposed for this monophyletic viral clade. Possible tropism include mammalian enteric cells or ingested food components such as infected plants. No evidence of viral amplification was found in immunodeficient mice orally inoculated with smacovirus-positive stool supernatants. A role for smacoviruses in diarrhea, if any, remains to be demonstrated. PMID:27774288

  3. Compatibility counts: MHC-associated mate choice in a wild promiscuous primate.

    PubMed

    Schwensow, Nina; Eberle, Manfred; Sommer, Simone

    2008-03-07

    The mechanisms and temporal aspects of mate choice according to genetic constitution are still puzzling. Recent studies indicate that fitness is positively related to diversity in immune genes (MHC). Both sexes should therefore choose mates of high genetic quality and/or compatibility. However, studies addressing the role of MHC diversity in pre- and post-copulatory mate choice decisions in wild-living animals are few. We investigated the impact of MHC constitution and of neutral microsatellite variability on pre- and post-copulatory mate choice in both sexes in a wild population of a promiscuous primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). There was no support for pre-copulatory male or female mate choice, but our data indicate post-copulatory mate choice that is associated with genetic constitution. Fathers had a higher number of MHC supertypes different from those of the mother than randomly assigned males. Fathers also had a higher amino acid distance to the females' MHC as well as a higher total number of MHC supertypes and a higher degree of microsatellite heterozygosity than randomly assigned males. Female cryptic choice may be the underlying mechanism that operates towards an optimization of the genetic constitution of offspring. This is the first study that provides support for the importance of the MHC constitution in post-copulatory mate choice in non-human primates.

  4. The position of tree shrews in the mammalian tree: Comparing multi-gene analyses with phylogenomic results leaves monophyly of Euarchonta doubtful.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xuming; Sun, Fengming; Xu, Shixia; Yang, Guang; Li, Ming

    2015-03-01

    The well-accepted Euarchonta grandorder is a pruned version of Archonta nested within the Euarchontoglires (or Supraprimates) clade. At present, it includes tree shrews (Scandentia), flying lemurs (Dermoptera) and primates (Primates). Here, a phylogenomic dataset containing 1912 exons from 22 representative mammals was compiled to investigate the phylogenetic relationships within this group. Phylogenetic analyses and hypothesis testing suggested that tree shrews can be classified as a sister group to Primates or to Glires or even as a basal clade within Euarchontoglires. Further analyses of both modified and original previously published datasets found that the phylogenetic position of tree shrews is unstable. We also found that two of three exonic indels reported as synapomorphies of Euarchonta in a previous study do not unambiguously support the monophyly of such a clade. Therefore, the monophyly of both Euarchonta and Sundatheria (Dermoptera + Scandentia) are suspect. Molecular dating and divergence rate analyses suggested that the ancestor of Euarchontoglires experienced a rapid divergence, which may cause the unresolved position of tree shrews even using the whole genomic data.

  5. The head and neck muscles of the Philippine colugo (Dermoptera: Cynocephalus volans), with a comparison to tree-shrews, primates, and other mammals.

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui

    2009-01-01

    The colugos, or flying lemurs (Dermoptera), are arboreal gliding mammals that are commonly grouped with tree-shrews (Scandentia) and Primates in the superorder Euarchonta. However, little is known about the head and neck muscles of these gliding mammals. This raises difficulties for the discussion of not only the functional morphology and evolution of colugos, but also the origin, evolution, functional morphology, and phylogenetic relationships of the Euarchonta as a whole, and thus also of our own clade, the Primates. In this work, I describe the head and neck muscles of the colugo Cynocephalus volans, and compare these muscles with those of other mammals, either dissected by me or described in the literature. My observations and comparisons indicate that, with respect to the number of muscles, the plesiomorphic condition for euarchontans as well as for primates is more similar to that found in extant tree-shrews than in extant colugos. This is because various muscles that were probably plesiomorphically present in the euarchontan and primate clades, as, e.g., the stylohyoideus, mandibulo-auricularis, cleido-occipitalis, omohyoideus, and sternohyoideus, are not present as independent elements in extant colugos. These observations and comparisons also indicate that various laryngeal and facial muscles that are present in modern humans were absent in the last common ancestor of extant primates.

  6. [Molecular evidence on the phylogenetic position of tree shrews].

    PubMed

    Xu, Ling; Fan, Yu; Jiang, Xue-Long; Yao, Yong-Gang

    2013-04-01

    The tree shrew is currently located in the Order Scandentia and is widely distributed in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and South China. Due to its unique characteristics, such as small body size, high brain-to-body mass ratio, short reproductive cycle and life span, and low-cost of maintenance, the tree shrew has been proposed as an alternative experimental animal to primates in biomedical research. However, there is unresolved debate regarding the phylogenetic affinity of tree shrews to primates and their phylogenetic position in Euarchontoglires. To help settle this debate, we summarized the available molecular evidence on the phylogenetic position of the tree shrew. Most nuclear DNA data, including recent genome data, suggested that the tree shrew belongs to the Euarchonta clade harboring primates and flying lemurs (colugos). However, analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) data suggested a close relationship to lagomorphs and rodents. These different clustering patterns could be explained by nuclear gene data and mtDNA data discrepancies, as well as the different phylogenetic approaches used in previous studies. Taking all available conclusions together, the robust data from whole genome of this species supports tree shrews being genetically closely related to primates.

  7. Torpor use during gestation and lactation in a primate.

    PubMed

    Canale, Cindy I; Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves

    2012-02-01

    Torpor is an energy-saving mechanism that allows endotherms to overcome energetic challenges. Torpor should be avoided during reproduction because of potential incompatibility with offspring growth. To test if torpor can be used during gestation and lactation to compensate for food shortage, we exposed reproductive female grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus), a heterothermic primate, to different levels of food availability. Torpor use was characterised by daily skin temperature profiles, and its energetic outcome was assessed from changes in body mass. Food shortage triggered torpor during the end of the gestation period (n = 1), ranging from shallow in response to 40% food restriction to deep daily torpor in response to 80% restriction. During the early period of lactation, females fed ad libitum (n = 2) or exposed to a 40% restriction (n = 4) remained normothermic; but 80% food restricted females (n = 5) gave priority to energy saving, increasing the frequency and depth of torpor bouts. The use of torpor was insufficient to compensate for 80% energetic shortage during lactation resulting in loss of mass from the mother and delayed growth in the pups. This study provides the first evidence that a heterothermic primate can use torpor to compensate for food shortages even during reproduction. This physiological flexibility likely evolved as a response to climate-driven fluctuations in food availability in Madagascar.

  8. Mass change, environmental variability and female fertility in wild Propithecus verreauxi.

    PubMed

    Richard, A F; Dewar, R E; Schwartz, M; Ratsirarson, J

    2000-10-01

    Accurate estimates of mass and size are important in a wide range of research questions in population and evolutionary biology, and yet such data are still rare for wild primates. This study presents detailed longitudinal data from a large population of wild indriids, and demonstrates links between fluctuations in body mass, environmental cycles, and reproduction. Understanding these links is a necessary step toward explaining the function and evolution of distinctive features of lemur biology and behavior. During the first 12 years of an ongoing study of the sifaka, Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi, at Beza Mahafaly in southwest Madagascar, 320 animals were captured and weighed throughout the year. Adult males and females exhibit seasonal cycles of mass loss, with females losing significantly more mass than males. In 2 drought years this pattern was especially pronounced. Compared to lighter females, females who were heavier at the time of the mating season were more likely to give birth in the following birth season. By showing (1) seasonally greater mass loss in reproductive females compared to males, particularly in drought years, (2) a close link between female mass and fertility, and (3) an uncoupling of the periods of highest body mass and of gestation and lactation, these results suggest that energy acquisition and storage are critically important in the life history strategies of female sifaka, and that "capital breeding" may be a feature of sifaka reproductive strategies.

  9. The Nutritional Geometry of Resource Scarcity: Effects of Lean Seasons and Habitat Disturbance on Nutrient Intakes and Balancing in Wild Sifakas.

    PubMed

    Irwin, Mitchell T; Raharison, Jean-Luc; Raubenheimer, David R; Chapman, Colin A; Rothman, Jessica M

    2015-01-01

    Animals experience spatial and temporal variation in food and nutrient supply, which may cause deviations from optimal nutrient intakes in both absolute amounts (meeting nutrient requirements) and proportions (nutrient balancing). Recent research has used the geometric framework for nutrition to obtain an improved understanding of how animals respond to these nutritional constraints, among them free-ranging primates including spider monkeys and gorillas. We used this framework to examine macronutrient intakes and nutrient balancing in sifakas (Propithecus diadema) at Tsinjoarivo, Madagascar, in order to quantify how these vary across seasons and across habitats with varying degrees of anthropogenic disturbance. Groups in intact habitat experience lean season decreases in frugivory, amounts of food ingested, and nutrient intakes, yet preserve remarkably constant proportions of dietary macronutrients, with the proportional contribution of protein to the diet being highly consistent. Sifakas in disturbed habitat resemble intact forest groups in the relative contribution of dietary macronutrients, but experience less seasonality: all groups' diets converge in the lean season, but disturbed forest groups largely fail to experience abundant season improvements in food intake or nutritional outcomes. These results suggest that: (1) lemurs experience seasonality by maintaining nutrient balance at the expense of calories ingested, which contrasts with earlier studies of spider monkeys and gorillas, (2) abundant season foods should be the target of habitat management, even though mortality might be concentrated in the lean season, and (3) primates' within-group competitive landscapes, which contribute to variation in social organization, may vary in complex ways across habitats and seasons.

  10. Torpor use during gestation and lactation in a primate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canale, Cindy I.; Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves

    2012-02-01

    Torpor is an energy-saving mechanism that allows endotherms to overcome energetic challenges. Torpor should be avoided during reproduction because of potential incompatibility with offspring growth. To test if torpor can be used during gestation and lactation to compensate for food shortage, we exposed reproductive female grey mouse lemurs ( Microcebus murinus), a heterothermic primate, to different levels of food availability. Torpor use was characterised by daily skin temperature profiles, and its energetic outcome was assessed from changes in body mass. Food shortage triggered torpor during the end of the gestation period ( n = 1), ranging from shallow in response to 40% food restriction to deep daily torpor in response to 80% restriction. During the early period of lactation, females fed ad libitum ( n = 2) or exposed to a 40% restriction ( n = 4) remained normothermic; but 80% food restricted females ( n = 5) gave priority to energy saving, increasing the frequency and depth of torpor bouts. The use of torpor was insufficient to compensate for 80% energetic shortage during lactation resulting in loss of mass from the mother and delayed growth in the pups. This study provides the first evidence that a heterothermic primate can use torpor to compensate for food shortages even during reproduction. This physiological flexibility likely evolved as a response to climate-driven fluctuations in food availability in Madagascar.

  11. Brief communication: Effect of size biases in the coefficient of variation on assessing intraspecific variability in the prosimian skeleton.

    PubMed

    Fulwood, Ethan L; Kramer, Andrew

    2013-09-01

    This study examines the effect of a measurement size bias in coefficients of variation on the evaluation of intraspecific skeletal variability in a sample of eight prosimian species (Eulemur fulvus, Hapalemur griseus, Lemur catta, Varecia variegata, Galago senegalensis, Otolemur crassicaudatus, Nycticebus coucang, and Tarsius syrichta). Measurements with smaller means were expected to have higher coefficients of variation (CVs) due to the impact of instrumental precision on the ability to assess variability. This was evaluated by testing for a negative correlation between CVs and means in the total sample, within each species, and within each measurement, and by testing for the leveraging impact of small measurements on the significance of comparisons of variability between regions of the prosimian skeleton. Three comparisons were made: cranial versus postcranial variability, epiphysis versus diaphysis variability, and forelimb versus hindlimb variability. CVs were significantly negatively correlated with means within the total sample (r(2) = 0.208, P < 0.0001) and within each species. CVs and means were significantly correlated within only three of the measurements, which may reflect the relatively low body size range of the species studied. As predicted by the higher variability of smaller measurements, removing the smallest measurements from comparisons of variable classes containing measurements of different mean magnitudes pushed the comparisons below significance. These results indicate caution should be exercised when using CVs to assess variability across sets of measurements with different means.

  12. What is dental ecology?

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Teeth have long been used as indicators of primate ecology. Early work focused on the links between dental morphology, diet, and behavior, with more recent years emphasizing dental wear, microstructure, development, and biogeochemistry, to understand primate ecology. Our study of Lemur catta at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, has revealed an unusual pattern of severe tooth wear and frequent tooth loss, primarily the result of consuming a fallback food for which these primates are not dentally adapted. Interpreting these data was only possible by combining our areas of expertise (dental anatomy [FC] and primate ecology [MS]). By integrating theoretical, methodological, and applied aspects of both areas of research, we adopted the term "dental ecology"-defined as the broad study of how teeth respond to the environment. Specifically, we view dental ecology as an interpretive framework using teeth as a vehicle for understanding an organism's ecology, which builds upon earlier work, but creates a new synthesis of anatomy and ecology that is only possible with detailed knowledge of living primates. This framework includes (1) identifying patterns of dental pathology and tooth use-wear, within the context of feeding ecology, behavior, habitat variation, and anthropogenic change, (2) assessing ways in which dental development and biogeochemical signals can reflect habitat, environmental change and/or stress, and (3) how dental microstructure and macro-morphology are adapted to, and reflect feeding ecology. Here we define dental ecology, provide a short summary of the development of this perspective, and place our new work into this context.

  13. Torpor during reproduction in mammals and birds: dealing with an energetic conundrum.

    PubMed

    McAllan, B M; Geiser, Fritz

    2014-09-01

    Torpor and reproduction in mammals and birds are widely viewed as mutually exclusive processes because of opposing energetic and hormonal demands. However, the reported number of heterothermic species that express torpor during reproduction is ever increasing, to some extent because of recent work on free-ranging animals. We summarize current knowledge about those heterothermic mammals that do not express torpor during reproduction and, in contrast, examine those heterothermic birds and mammals that do use torpor during reproduction. Incompatibility between torpor and reproduction occurs mainly in high-latitude sciurid and cricetid rodents, which live in strongly seasonal, but predictably productive habitats in summer. In contrast, torpor during incubation, brooding, pregnancy, or lactation occurs in nightjars, hummingbirds, echidnas, several marsupials, tenrecs, hedgehogs, bats, carnivores, mouse lemurs, and dormice. Animals that enter torpor during reproduction often are found in unpredictable habitats, in which seasonal availability of food can be cut short by changes in weather, or are species that reproduce fully or partially during winter. Moreover, animals that use torpor during the reproductive period have relatively low reproductive costs, are largely insectivorous, carnivorous, or nectarivorous, and thus rely on food that can be unpredictable or strongly seasonal. These species with relatively unpredictable food supplies must gain an advantage by using torpor during reproduction because the main cost is an extension of the reproductive period; the benefit is increased survival of parent and offspring, and thus fitness.

  14. An early Oligocene fossil demonstrates treeshrews are slowly evolving "living fossils".

    PubMed

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-14

    Treeshrews are widely considered a "living model" of an ancestral primate, and have long been called "living fossils". Actual fossils of treeshrews, however, are extremely rare. We report a new fossil species of Ptilocercus treeshrew recovered from the early Oligocene (~34 Ma) of China that represents the oldest definitive fossil record of the crown group of treeshrews and nearly doubles the temporal length of their fossil record. The fossil species is strikingly similar to the living Ptilocercus lowii, a species generally recognized as the most plesiomorphic extant treeshrew. It demonstrates that Ptilocercus treeshrews have undergone little evolutionary change in their morphology since the early Oligocene. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analysis support the long-standing idea that Ptilocercus treeshrews are morphologically conservative and have probably retained many characters present in the common stock that gave rise to archontans, which include primates, flying lemurs, plesiadapiforms and treeshrews. This discovery provides an exceptional example of slow morphological evolution in a mammalian group over a period of 34 million years. The persistent and stable tropical environment in Southeast Asia through the Cenozoic likely played a critical role in the survival of such a morphologically conservative lineage.

  15. Local Perspectives on Environmental Insecurity and Its Influence on Illegal Biodiversity Exploitation

    PubMed Central

    Gore, Meredith L.; Lute, Michelle L.; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah H.; Rajaonson, Andry

    2016-01-01

    Environmental insecurity is a source and outcome of biodiversity declines and social conflict. One challenge to scaling insecurity reduction policies is that empirical evidence about local attitudes is overwhelmingly missing. We set three objectives: determine how local people rank risk associated with different sources of environmental insecurity; assess perceptions of environmental insecurity, biodiversity exploitation, myths of nature and risk management preferences; and explore relationships between perceptions and biodiversity exploitation. We conducted interviews (N = 88) with residents of Madagascar’s Torotorofotsy Protected Area, 2014. Risk perceptions had a moderate effect on perceptions of environmental insecurity. We found no effects of environmental insecurity on biodiversity exploitation. Results offer one if not the first exploration of local perceptions of illegal biodiversity exploitation and environmental security. Local people’s perception of risk seriousness associated with illegal biodiversity exploitation such as lemur hunting (low overall) may not reflect perceptions of policy-makers (considered to be high). Discord is a key entry point for attention. PMID:27082106

  16. The role of invasive trophoblast in implantation and placentation of primates.

    PubMed

    Carter, Anthony M; Enders, Allen C; Pijnenborg, Robert

    2015-03-05

    We here review the evolution of invasive placentation in primates towards the deep penetration of the endometrium and its arteries in hominoids. The strepsirrhine primates (lemurs and lorises) have non-invasive, epitheliochorial placentation, although this is thought to be derived from a more invasive type. In haplorhine primates, there is differentiation of trophoblast at the blastocyst stage into syncytial and cellular trophoblast. Implantation involves syncytiotrophoblast that first removes the uterine epithelium then consolidates at the basal lamina before continuing into the stroma. In later stages of pregnancy, especially in Old World monkeys and apes, cytotrophoblast plays a greater role in the invasive process. Columns of trophoblast cells advance to the base of the implantation site where they spread out to form a cytotrophoblastic shell. In addition, cytotrophoblasts advance into the lumen of the spiral arteries. They are responsible for remodelling these vessels to form wide, low-resistance conduits. In human and great apes, there is additional invasion of the endometrium and its vessels by trophoblasts originating from the base of the anchoring villi. Deep trophoblast invasion that extends remodelling of the spiral arteries to segments in the inner myometrium evolved in the common ancestor of gorilla, chimp and human.

  17. Compatibility counts: MHC-associated mate choice in a wild promiscuous primate

    PubMed Central

    Schwensow, Nina; Eberle, Manfred; Sommer, Simone

    2007-01-01

    The mechanisms and temporal aspects of mate choice according to genetic constitution are still puzzling. Recent studies indicate that fitness is positively related to diversity in immune genes (MHC). Both sexes should therefore choose mates of high genetic quality and/or compatibility. However, studies addressing the role of MHC diversity in pre- and post-copulatory mate choice decisions in wild-living animals are few. We investigated the impact of MHC constitution and of neutral microsatellite variability on pre- and post-copulatory mate choice in both sexes in a wild population of a promiscuous primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). There was no support for pre-copulatory male or female mate choice, but our data indicate post-copulatory mate choice that is associated with genetic constitution. Fathers had a higher number of MHC supertypes different from those of the mother than randomly assigned males. Fathers also had a higher amino acid distance to the females' MHC as well as a higher total number of MHC supertypes and a higher degree of microsatellite heterozygosity than randomly assigned males. Female cryptic choice may be the underlying mechanism that operates towards an optimization of the genetic constitution of offspring. This is the first study that provides support for the importance of the MHC constitution in post-copulatory mate choice in non-human primates. PMID:18089539

  18. The Nutritional Geometry of Resource Scarcity: Effects of Lean Seasons and Habitat Disturbance on Nutrient Intakes and Balancing in Wild Sifakas

    PubMed Central

    Irwin, Mitchell T.; Raharison, Jean-Luc; Raubenheimer, David R.; Chapman, Colin A.; Rothman, Jessica M.

    2015-01-01

    Animals experience spatial and temporal variation in food and nutrient supply, which may cause deviations from optimal nutrient intakes in both absolute amounts (meeting nutrient requirements) and proportions (nutrient balancing). Recent research has used the geometric framework for nutrition to obtain an improved understanding of how animals respond to these nutritional constraints, among them free-ranging primates including spider monkeys and gorillas. We used this framework to examine macronutrient intakes and nutrient balancing in sifakas (Propithecus diadema) at Tsinjoarivo, Madagascar, in order to quantify how these vary across seasons and across habitats with varying degrees of anthropogenic disturbance. Groups in intact habitat experience lean season decreases in frugivory, amounts of food ingested, and nutrient intakes, yet preserve remarkably constant proportions of dietary macronutrients, with the proportional contribution of protein to the diet being highly consistent. Sifakas in disturbed habitat resemble intact forest groups in the relative contribution of dietary macronutrients, but experience less seasonality: all groups’ diets converge in the lean season, but disturbed forest groups largely fail to experience abundant season improvements in food intake or nutritional outcomes. These results suggest that: (1) lemurs experience seasonality by maintaining nutrient balance at the expense of calories ingested, which contrasts with earlier studies of spider monkeys and gorillas, (2) abundant season foods should be the target of habitat management, even though mortality might be concentrated in the lean season, and (3) primates’ within-group competitive landscapes, which contribute to variation in social organization, may vary in complex ways across habitats and seasons. PMID:26061401

  19. Matching based on biological categories in Orangutans (Pongo abelii) and a Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Following a series of experiments in which six orangutans and one gorilla discriminated photographs of different animal species in a two-choice touch screen procedure, Vonk & MacDonald (2002) and Vonk & MacDonald (2004) concluded that orangutans, but not the gorilla, seemed to learn intermediate level category discriminations, such as primates versus non-primates, more rapidly than they learned concrete level discriminations, such as orangutans versus humans. In the current experiments, four of the same orangutans and the gorilla were presented with delayed matching-to-sample tasks in which they were rewarded for matching photos of different members of the same primate species; golden lion tamarins, Japanese macaques, and proboscis monkeys, or family; gibbons, lemurs (Experiment 1), and subsequently for matching photos of different species within the following classes: birds, reptiles, insects, mammals, and fish (Experiment 2). Members of both Great Ape species were rapidly able to match the photos at levels above chance. Orangutans matched images from both category levels spontaneously whereas the gorilla showed effects of learning to match intermediate level categories. The results show that biological knowledge is not necessary to form natural categories at both concrete and intermediate levels. PMID:24058886

  20. Phylogenetic correlates of extinction risk in mammals: species in older lineages are not at greater risk.

    PubMed

    Verde Arregoitia, Luis Darcy; Blomberg, Simon P; Fisher, Diana O

    2013-08-22

    Phylogenetic information is becoming a recognized basis for evaluating conservation priorities, but associations between extinction risk and properties of a phylogeny such as diversification rates and phylogenetic lineage ages remain unclear. Limited taxon-specific analyses suggest that species in older lineages are at greater risk. We calculate quantitative properties of the mammalian phylogeny and model extinction risk as an ordinal index based on International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List categories. We test for associations between lineage age, clade size, evolutionary distinctiveness and extinction risk for 3308 species of terrestrial mammals. We show no significant global or regional associations, and three significant relationships within taxonomic groups. Extinction risk increases for evolutionarily distinctive primates and decreases with lineage age when lemurs are excluded. Lagomorph species (rabbits, hares and pikas) that have more close relatives are less threatened. We examine the relationship between net diversification rates and extinction risk for 173 genera and find no pattern. We conclude that despite being under-represented in the frequency distribution of lineage ages, species in older, slower evolving and distinct lineages are not more threatened or extinction-prone. Their extinction, however, would represent a disproportionate loss of unique evolutionary history.

  1. LMTK1 regulates dendritic formation by regulating movement of Rab11A-positive endosomes

    PubMed Central

    Takano, Tetsuya; Urushibara, Tomoki; Yoshioka, Nozomu; Saito, Taro; Fukuda, Mitsunori; Tomomura, Mineko; Hisanaga, Shin-ichi

    2014-01-01

    Neurons extend two types of neurites—axons and dendrites—that differ in structure and function. Although it is well understood that the cytoskeleton plays a pivotal role in neurite differentiation and extension, the mechanisms by which membrane components are supplied to growing axons or dendrites is largely unknown. We previously reported that the membrane supply to axons is regulated by lemur kinase 1 (LMTK1) through Rab11A-positive endosomes. Here we investigate the role of LMTK1 in dendrite formation. Down-regulation of LMTK1 increases dendrite growth and branching of cerebral cortical neurons in vitro and in vivo. LMTK1 knockout significantly enhances the prevalence, velocity, and run length of anterograde movement of Rab11A-positive endosomes to levels similar to those expressing constitutively active Rab11A-Q70L. Rab11A-positive endosome dynamics also increases in the cell body and growth cone of LMTK1-deficient neurons. Moreover, a nonphosphorylatable LMTK1 mutant (Ser34Ala, a Cdk5 phosphorylation site) dramatically promotes dendrite growth. Thus LMTK1 negatively controls dendritic formation by regulating Rab11A-positive endosomal trafficking in a Cdk5-dependent manner, indicating the Cdk5-LMTK1-Rab11A pathway as a regulatory mechanism of dendrite development as well as axon outgrowth. PMID:24672056

  2. Marsupials and Eutherians reunited: genetic evidence for the Theria hypothesis of mammalian evolution.

    PubMed

    Killian, J K; Buckley, T R; Stewart, N; Munday, B L; Jirtle, R L

    2001-07-01

    The three living monophyletic divisions of Class Mammalia are the Prototheria (monotremes), Metatheria (marsupials), and Eutheria ('placental' mammals). Determining the sister relationships among these three groups is the most fundamental question in mammalian evolution. Phylogenetic comparison of these mammals by either anatomy or mitochondrial DNA has resulted in two conflicting hypotheses, Theria and Marsupionta, and has fueled a "genes versus morphology" controversy. We have cloned and analyzed a large nuclear gene, the mannose 6-phosphate/insulin-like growth factor II receptor (M6P/IGF2R), from representatives of all three mammalian groups, including platypus, echidna, opossum, wallaby, hedgehog, mouse, rat, rabbit, cow, pig, bat, tree shrew, colugo, ringtail lemur, and human. Statistical analysis of this nuclear gene unambiguously supports the morphology-based Theria hypothesis that excludes monotremes from a clade of marsupials and eutherians. The M6P/IGF2R was also able to resolve the finer structure of the eutherian mammalian family tree. In particular, our analyses support sister group relationships between lagomorphs and rodents, and between the primates and Dermoptera. Statistical support for the grouping of the hedgehog with Feruungulata and Chiroptera was also strong.

  3. The costs of risky male behaviour: sex differences in seasonal survival in a small sexually monomorphic primate

    PubMed Central

    Kraus, Cornelia; Eberle, Manfred; Kappeler, Peter M

    2008-01-01

    Male excess mortality is widespread among mammals and frequently interpreted as a cost of sexually selected traits that enhance male reproductive success. Sex differences in the propensity to engage in risky behaviours are often invoked to explain the sex gap in survival. Here, we aim to isolate and quantify the survival consequences of two potentially risky male behavioural strategies in a small sexually monomorphic primate, the grey mouse lemur Microcebus murinus: (i) most females hibernate during a large part of the austral winter, whereas most males remain active and (ii) during the brief annual mating season males roam widely in search of receptive females. Using a 10-year capture–mark–recapture dataset from a population of M. murinus in Kirindy Forest, western Madagascar, we statistically modelled sex-specific seasonal survival probabilities. Surprisingly, we did not find any evidence for direct survival benefits of hibernation—winter survival did not differ between males and females. By contrast, during the breeding season males survived less well than females (sex gap: 16%). Consistent with the ‘risky male behaviour’ hypothesis, the period for lowered male survival was restricted to the short mating season. Thus, sex differences in survival in a promiscuous mammal can be substantial even in the absence of sexual dimorphism. PMID:18426751

  4. Gripping Mechanisms for Microgravity and Extreme Terrain and Vertical Climbing Micro Ground Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKenzie, Clifford; Parness, Aaron

    2011-01-01

    Asteroids and comets may provide insight into the origins of our solar system and the precursors to life on our planet. Near Earth objects offer an accessible target of opportunity, but are small and lack the gravity necessary for conventional wheeled travel. Therefore, it is necessary to develop alternative methods for maneuvering in these environments. This project researched and developed a method for gripping rock surfaces. Work has been completed on the design and prototyping of several possible hooked gripping mechanisms. Future work includes quantitative testing, downselection to a final design, and attachment to the robotic platform, Lemur IIb. A second project focuses on the development of a 100g, crash-proof robot capable of climbing vertical surfaces using a novel silicone adhesive. Capable of carrying video/audio payloads the robot may serve as a surveillance tool for the Department of Defense or as a method of pre-flight spacecraft inspections. A specialized track was developed to provide the specific loading conditions necessary for proper engagement of the adhesive. Both of these projects rely heavily on the shape deposition manufacturing process, being researched at JPL, and 3D printing.

  5. An early Oligocene fossil demonstrates treeshrews are slowly evolving “living fossils”

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-01

    Treeshrews are widely considered a “living model” of an ancestral primate, and have long been called “living fossils”. Actual fossils of treeshrews, however, are extremely rare. We report a new fossil species of Ptilocercus treeshrew recovered from the early Oligocene (~34 Ma) of China that represents the oldest definitive fossil record of the crown group of treeshrews and nearly doubles the temporal length of their fossil record. The fossil species is strikingly similar to the living Ptilocercus lowii, a species generally recognized as the most plesiomorphic extant treeshrew. It demonstrates that Ptilocercus treeshrews have undergone little evolutionary change in their morphology since the early Oligocene. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analysis support the long-standing idea that Ptilocercus treeshrews are morphologically conservative and have probably retained many characters present in the common stock that gave rise to archontans, which include primates, flying lemurs, plesiadapiforms and treeshrews. This discovery provides an exceptional example of slow morphological evolution in a mammalian group over a period of 34 million years. The persistent and stable tropical environment in Southeast Asia through the Cenozoic likely played a critical role in the survival of such a morphologically conservative lineage. PMID:26766238

  6. Causes of mortality in anuran amphibians from an ex situ survival assurance colony in Panama.

    PubMed

    Pessier, Allan P; Baitchman, Eric J; Crump, Paul; Wilson, Brad; Griffith, Edgardo; Ross, Heidi

    2014-01-01

    The success of ex situ survival assurance populations as tools for amphibian conservation depends on the health and reproductive success of founder populations. Necropsy examination and histopathology of animals that die in assurance populations are useful for the identification of population-limiting disease problems and can help to direct applied research efforts in areas such as amphibian husbandry and nutrition. This study reviewed postmortem findings in 167 frogs from 13 species that died in a large Panamanian rescue and survival assurance population between 2006 and 2011. Common problems identified in long-term captive animals, especially in Atelopus species, were epithelial squamous metaplasia suggestive of vitamin A deficiency and a polycystic nephropathy resembling lesions seen in laboratory animals with electrolyte imbalances. Metabolic bone disease was a significant contributor to morbidity in captive-bred juvenile frogs of Gastrotheca cornuta, Hemiphractus fasciatus, and Hylomantis lemur. Findings common to multiple species included poor overall nutritional condition that was sometimes attributable to maladaptation to captive husbandry and epidermal hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis possibly reflecting environmental skin irritation. Infectious diseases and endoparasitism were most common in recently captured animals and included chytridiomycosis and Rhabdias sp. lungworms. Applied research efforts to improve sustainability of survival assurance populations should focus on elucidating optimal husbandry practices for diverse species, improving methods for nutritional supplementation of cultured insects and examination of the role of water composition in disease development.

  7. Paternal kin recognition in the high frequency / ultrasonic range in a solitary foraging mammal

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Kin selection is a driving force in the evolution of mammalian social complexity. Recognition of paternal kin using vocalizations occurs in taxa with cohesive, complex social groups. This is the first investigation of paternal kin recognition via vocalizations in a small-brained, solitary foraging mammal, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a frequent model for ancestral primates. We analyzed the high frequency/ultrasonic male advertisement (courtship) call and alarm call. Results Multi-parametric analyses of the calls’ acoustic parameters and discriminant function analyses showed that advertisement calls, but not alarm calls, contain patrilineal signatures. Playback experiments controlling for familiarity showed that females paid more attention to advertisement calls from unrelated males than from their fathers. Reactions to alarm calls from unrelated males and fathers did not differ. Conclusions 1) Findings provide the first evidence of paternal kin recognition via vocalizations in a small-brained, solitarily foraging mammal. 2) High predation, small body size, and dispersed social systems may select for acoustic paternal kin recognition in the high frequency/ultrasonic ranges, thus limiting risks of inbreeding and eavesdropping by predators or conspecific competitors. 3) Paternal kin recognition via vocalizations in mammals is not dependent upon a large brain and high social complexity, but may already have been an integral part of the dispersed social networks from which more complex, kin-based sociality emerged. PMID:23198727

  8. Dental senescence in a long-lived primate links infant survival to rainfall

    PubMed Central

    King, Stephen J.; Arrigo-Nelson, Summer J.; Pochron, Sharon T.; Semprebon, Gina M.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Wright, Patricia C.; Jernvall, Jukka

    2005-01-01

    Primates tend to be long-lived, and, except for humans, most primate females are able to reproduce into old age. Although aging in most mammals is accompanied by dental senescence due to advanced wear, primates have low-crowned teeth that wear down before old age. Because tooth wear alters crown features gradually, testing whether early dental senescence causes reproductive senescence has been difficult. To identify whether and when low-crowned teeth compromise reproductive success, we used a 20-year field study of Propithecus edwardsi, a rainforest lemur from Madagascar with a maximum lifespan of >27 years. We analyzed tooth wear in three dimensions with dental topographic analysis by using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology. We report that tooth wear exposes compensatory shearing blades that maintain dental function for 18 years. Beyond this age, female fertility remains high; however infants survive only if lactation seasons have elevated rainfall. Therefore, low-crowned teeth accommodate wear to a point, after which reproductive success closely tracks environmental fluctuations. These results suggest a tooth wear-determined, but rainfall-mediated, onset of reproductive senescence. Additionally, our study indicates that even subtle changes in climate may affect reproductive success of rainforest species. PMID:16260727

  9. Stable carbon isotope values document how a Late Holocene expansion in grasslands impacted vertebrates in northwestern Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowley, B. E.; Samonds, K.

    2012-12-01

    Madagascar is home to some of the world's most distinctive plants and animals. Unfortunately, forest loss and habitat degradation has had a dramatic impact on both floral and faunal communities. Here we use carbon isotope values in radiocarbon-dated bones to examine how the vertebrate community at Anjohibe Cave, northwestern Madagascar, responded to a Late Holocene increase in C4 grass abundance. Our data demonstrate that major changes in the vegetation and animal community are recent phenomena at Anjohibe. Extinct lemurs and hippopotamuses were present until ca. 1500 years ago. These taxa relied exclusively on C3 resources. Locally extirpated fauna were present until 300 years ago. The majority of these species also relied on C3 resources. Their presence strongly suggests that the region surrounding the cave was more wooded than it is now, possibly as recently as 300 years ago. All introduced individuals are modern. Rats (Rattus sp.), shrews (Suncus murinus), and the giant frog Hoplobatrachus cf. tigrinus, have remarkably high carbon isotope values, implicating substantial ingestion of C4 foods. It is possible that grass abundance has increased dramatically in the past 100 years. Alternatively, opportunistically granivorous rats and shrews may selectively consume seeds from C4 grasses. In agreement with previous studies, stable isotope data reveal details of vegetation and faunal turnover in Northwestern Madagascar. Grasses have increased, forest dwelling species have vanished, and introduced taxa are exploiting a novel niche.

  10. Stability in skipping gaits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrada, Emanuel; Müller, Roy; Blickhan, Reinhard

    2016-11-01

    As an alternative to walking and running, humans are able to skip. However, adult humans avoid it. This fact seems to be related to the higher energetic costs associated with skipping. Still, children, some birds, lemurs and lizards use skipping gaits during daily locomotion. We combined experimental data on humans with numerical simulations to test whether stability and robustness motivate this choice. Parameters for modelling were obtained from 10 male subjects. They locomoted using unilateral skipping along a 12 m runway. We used a bipedal spring loaded inverted pendulum to model and to describe the dynamics of skipping. The subjects displayed higher peak ground reaction forces and leg stiffness in the first landing leg (trailing leg) compared to the second landing leg (leading leg). In numerical simulations, we found that skipping is stable across an amazing speed range from skipping on the spot to fast running speeds. Higher leg stiffness in the trailing leg permits longer strides at same system energy. However, this strategy is at the same time less robust to sudden drop perturbations than skipping with a stiffer leading leg. A slightly higher stiffness in the leading leg is most robust, but might be costlier.

  11. Base-compositional biases and the bat problem. II. DNA-hybridization trees based on AT- and GC-enriched tracers.

    PubMed Central

    Kirsch, J A; Pettigrew, J D

    1998-01-01

    We conducted a series of parallel DNA-hybridization experiments on a small group of bats (species of Pteropus, Rhinolophus, Noctilio and Pteronotus) and outgroups (Lemur, Cynocephalus, Didelphis), using whole-genome labels and tracers made from extracts enriched with AT and two levels of GC content. FITCH (additive phylogenetic trees) topologies were constructed from the four sets of comparisons, indexed as both delta Tmode and delta NPHs (normalized percentage of hybridization). Based on our previous work showing that the shared AT bias of pteropodids and some microchiropterans may affect the rank-ordering of taxa based on either AT- or GC-rich labels, our expectation was that the resulting trees would show differing topologies when generated from tracers made with the variously enriched DNA extracts. Whereas there was some variation among the trees, most of them grouped the bats together, and almost all paired the representative megachiropteran and rhinolophoid microchiropteran as sister-taxa in contrast to the other microchiropterans. As the pteropodid-rhinolophoid relationship is an unexpected and unlikely one, we attribute this association to an AT bias that was not obviated even by our most GC-rich labels, and suggest that such a bias may compromise the truth of some molecular trees. Accordingly, we believe the broader issue of bat monophyly remains unresolved by DNA-hybridization and probably also by gene-sequencing studies. PMID:9569431

  12. Inner ear evolution in primates through the Cenozoic: implications for the evolution of hearing.

    PubMed

    Coleman, Mark N; Boyer, Doug M

    2012-04-01

    Mammals are unique in being the only group of amniotes that can hear sounds in the upper frequency range (>12 kHz), yet details about the evolutionary development of hearing patterns remain poorly understood. In this study, we used high resolution X-ray computed tomography to investigate several functionally relevant auditory structures of the inner ear in a sample of 21 fossil primate species (60 Ma to recent times) and 25 species of living euarchontans (primates, tree shrews, and flying lemurs). The structures examined include the length of the cochlea, development of bony spiral lamina and area of the oval window (or stapedial footplate when present). Using these measurements we predicted aspects of low-frequency and high-frequency sensitivity and show that hearing patterns in primates likely evolved in several stages through the first half of the Cenozoic. These results provide temporal boundaries for the development of hearing patterns in extant lineages and strongly suggest that the ancestral euarchontan hearing pattern was characterized by good high-frequency hearing but relatively poor low-frequency sensitivity. They also show that haplorhines are unique among primates (extant or extinct) in having relatively longer cochleae and increased low-frequency sensitivity. We combined these results with additional, older paleontological evidence to put these findings in a broader evolutionary context.

  13. Similarities in Leptospira Serogroup and Species Distribution in Animals and Humans in the Indian Ocean Island of Mayotte

    PubMed Central

    Desvars, Amélie; Naze, Florence; Vourc'h, Gwenaël; Cardinale, Eric; Picardeau, Mathieu; Michault, Alain; Bourhy, Pascale

    2012-01-01

    Our objective was to identify local animal reservoirs of leptospirosis to explain the unusual features of Leptospira strains recently described among patients on the island of Mayotte. By means of a microscopic agglutination test using local clinical isolates, we found that 11.2% of black rats were seropositive to Leptospira, whereas 10.2% of flying foxes, 2% of lemurs, 93.1% of domestic dogs, and 87.5% of stray dogs were seropositive. As observed in humans, Mini was the main serogroup circulating in animals, whereas serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae was absent. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we also showed that 29.8% of rats carried leptospires in their kidneys. The sequencing of 16S rRNA gene sequences of Leptospira found in black rat kidneys identified four genomospecies (Leptospira borgpetersenii, Leptospira interrogans, Leptospira kirschneri, and L. borgpetersenii group B), which established black rats as the major source of leptospirosis transmission to humans. The origins of such a genetic diversity in Leptospira strains are discussed. PMID:22764304

  14. Enamel prism morphology in molar teeth of small eutherian mammals.

    PubMed

    Dumont, E R

    1996-01-01

    Data summarizing enamel prism shape, size and spacing are reported for the molar enamel of 55 species of small eutherian mammals including primates, bats, tree shrews, flying lemurs, insectivorans and representatives of a variety of fossil families. Confocal photomicrographs reveal that the subsurface enamel of most species is characterized by arc-shaped prisms. The lack of a clear distinction between pattern 2 and pattern 3 prism configurations within single specimens suggests that the broad category "arc-shaped prisms" is the most appropriate descriptive grouping for these species. Of the total sample, three species exhibit only circular prisms while no evidence of prismatic enamel was found in two bats. Prism shape is not an informative phylogenetic character at the ordinal level for these morphologically primitive and relatively thin-enameled taxa. Significant differences between species in several prism size and spacing variables (central distance between prisms, prism diameter, prism area and the ratio of prism area to estimated ameloblast area) suggest the potential for further analyses of quantitative variation to document evolutionary relationships within or among family-level groups.

  15. MicroRNA-34a Suppresses Cell Proliferation by Targeting LMTK3 in Human Breast Cancer MCF-7 Cell Line

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Guoqing; Guo, Jun; Li, Dong; Jia, Chengyou; Yin, Wanzhong; Sun, Ran; Lv, Zhongwei

    2013-01-01

    Breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer mortality in females, and about 70% of the primary breast cancer patients are diagnosed ERα-positive, which is the most common type of breast cancer. MicroRNA-34a (miR-34a) has been shown to be a master regulator of tumor suppression in many types of cancers including breast cancer. However, the role of miR-34a in ERα-positive breast cancer has not been elucidated. Here, we find that in MCF-7, which is an ERα-positive breast cancer cell line, miR-34a is remarkably downregulated after E2 treatment. Overexpression of miR-34a by lentivirus suppresses cell proliferation, S phase ratio, and tumor formation in an E2-dependent manner in vitro. According to the mRNA sequence, lemur tyrosine kinase 3 (LMTK3), which is an important regulator of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), is a predicted target of miR-34a. This is confirmed by dual luciferase reporter assay and the decrease of LMTK3 mRNA and protein levels after overexpression of miR-34a. Moreover, miR-34a overexpression decreases AKT signaling pathway and increases ERα phosphorylation status. Taken together, these results suggest that miR-34a inhibits breast cancer proliferation by targeting LMTK3 and might be used as an anti-ERα agent in breast cancer therapy. PMID:24050776

  16. Phosphorylation of Rab-coupling protein by LMTK3 controls Rab14-dependent EphA2 trafficking to promote cell:cell repulsion.

    PubMed

    Gundry, Christine; Marco, Sergi; Rainero, Elena; Miller, Bryan; Dornier, Emmanuel; Mitchell, Louise; Caswell, Patrick T; Campbell, Andrew D; Hogeweg, Anna; Sansom, Owen J; Morton, Jennifer P; Norman, Jim C

    2017-03-15

    The Rab GTPase effector, Rab-coupling protein (RCP) is known to promote invasive behaviour in vitro by controlling integrin and receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) trafficking, but how RCP influences metastasis in vivo is unclear. Here we identify an RTK of the Eph family, EphA2, to be a cargo of an RCP-regulated endocytic pathway which controls cell:cell repulsion and metastasis in vivo. Phosphorylation of RCP at Ser(435) by Lemur tyrosine kinase-3 (LMTK3) and of EphA2 at Ser(897) by Akt are both necessary to promote Rab14-dependent (and Rab11-independent) trafficking of EphA2 which generates cell:cell repulsion events that drive tumour cells apart. Genetic disruption of RCP or EphA2 opposes cell:cell repulsion and metastasis in an autochthonous mouse model of pancreatic adenocarcinoma-whereas conditional knockout of another RCP cargo, α5 integrin, does not suppress pancreatic cancer metastasis-indicating a role for RCP-dependent trafficking of an Eph receptor to drive tumour dissemination in vivo.

  17. A new tarkadectine primate from the Eocene of Inner Mongolia, China: phylogenetic and biogeographic implications

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Xijun; Meng, Jin; Beard, K. Christopher; Gebo, Daniel L.; Wang, Yuanqing; Li, Chuankui

    2010-01-01

    Tarka and Tarkadectes are Middle Eocene mammals known only from the Rocky Mountains region of North America. Previous work has suggested that they are members of the Plagiomenidae, an extinct family often included in the order Dermoptera. Here we describe a new primate, Tarkops mckennai gen. et sp. nov., from the early Middle Eocene Irdinmanha Formation of Inner Mongolia, China. The new taxon is particularly similar to Tarka and Tarkadectes, but it also displays many features observed in omomyids. A phylogenetic analysis based on a data matrix including 59 taxa and 444 dental characters suggests that Tarkops, Tarka and Tarkadectes form a monophyletic group—the Tarkadectinae—that is nested within the omomyid clade. Within Omomyidae, tarkadectines appear to be closely related to Macrotarsius. Dermoptera, including extant and extinct flying lemurs and plagiomenids, is recognized as a clade nesting within the polyphyletic group of plesiadapiforms, therefore supporting the previous suggestion that the relationship between dermopterans and primates is as close as that between plesiadapiforms and primates. The distribution of tarkadectine primates on both sides of the Pacific Ocean basin suggests that palaeoenvironmental conditions appropriate to sustain primates occurred across a vast expanse of Asia and North America during the Middle Eocene. PMID:19386655

  18. SYNAPTOSOMAL LACTATE DEHYDROGENASE ISOENZYME COMPOSITION IS SHIFTED TOWARD AEROBIC FORMS IN PRIMATE BRAIN EVOLUTION

    PubMed Central

    Duka, Tetyana; Anderson, Sarah M.; Collins, Zachary; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Ely, John J.; Hof, Patrick R.; Wildman, Derek E.; Goodman, Morris; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2014-01-01

    With the evolution of a relatively large brain size in haplorhine primates (i.e., tarsiers, monkeys, apes and humans), there have been associated changes in the molecular machinery that delivers energy to the neocortex. Here we investigated variation in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) expression and isoenzyme composition of the neocortex and striatum in primates using quantitative Western blotting and isoenzyme analysis of total homogenates and synaptosomal fractions. Analysis of isoform expression revealed that LDH in the synaptosomal fraction from both forebrain regions shifted towards a predominance of the heart-type, aerobic isoforms, LDHB, among haplorhines as compared to strepsirrhines (i.e., lorises and lemurs), while in total homogenate of neocortex and striatum there was no significant difference in the LDH isoenzyme composition between the primate suborders. The largest increase occurred in synapse-associated LDH-B expression in the neocortex, displaying an especially remarkable elevation in the ratio of LDH-B to LDH-A in humans. The phylogenetic variation in LDH-B to LDH-A ratio was correlated with species typical brain mass, but not encephalization quotient. A significant LDHB increase in the sub-neuronal fraction from haplorhine neocortex and striatum suggests a relatively higher rate of aerobic glycolysis that is linked to synaptosomal mitochondrial metabolism. Our results indicate that there is differential composition of LDH isoenzymes and metabolism in synaptic terminals that evolved in primates to meet increased energy requirements in association with brain enlargement. PMID:24686273

  19. The cranium of Parapithecus grangeri, an Egyptian Oligocene anthropoidean primate

    PubMed Central

    Simons, Elwyn L.

    2001-01-01

    A nearly complete skull of Parapithecus grangeri from the early Oligocene of Egypt is described. The specimen is relatively undistorted and is undoubtedly the most complete higher primate skull yet found in the African Oligocene, which also makes it the most complete Oligocene primate cranium worldwide. Belonging in superfamily Parapithecoidea, a group regarded by some as the sister group to all other Anthropoidea, this skull reveals important information about the radiation of stem anthropoideans. This cranium is about 15% larger than size estimates based on a fragmentary cranium of its contemporary and close relative Apidium phiomense. It is about the same size as that of the gray gentle lemur, Hapalemur griseus, or of platyrrhines such as the owl monkey, Aotus trivirgatus, or the titi monkey, Callicebus torquatus. Comparatively small orbits and size differences in jaws and teeth show it was both diurnal and dimorphic. This is the only specimen of the species that shows (from sockets) that there were four small upper incisors. Several mandibular specimens of the species establish that there were no permanent lower incisors and that the symphysis was fused. Like other early anthropoideans this species possessed a lower encephalization quotient and less-developed orbital frontality than later anthropoideans. There is full postorbital closure and fusion of the metopic suture, and the ectotympanic forms a rim to the auditory aperture. A probable frontal/alisphenoid contact is a potentially derived resemblance to Catarrhini. A proposed separate genus for the species P. grangeri is not sustained. PMID:11438736

  20. Iron storage disorders in captive wild mammals: the comparative evidence.

    PubMed

    Clauss, Marcus; Paglia, Donald E

    2012-09-01

    Excessive burden of iron, or iron storage disease (ISD), has been reported in a large variety of captive mammal species, including browsing rhinoceroses; tapirs; fruit bats; lemurs; marmosets and some other primates; sugar gliders; hyraxes; some rodents and lagomorphs; dolphins; and some carnivores; including procyonids and pinnipeds. This report collates the comparative evidence for species' susceptibility, recognizing that the data for mammal species are limited. Differences reported in the occurrence of ISD between facilities, or within facilities over periods that span management changes, have been reported in individual cases but are underused in ISD research. Given the species composition, the hypothesis that evolutionary adaptations to the iron content and availability in the natural diet determine a species' susceptibility to ISD (in the face of deviating iron content and availability in diets offered in captivity) seems plausible in many cases. But exceptions, and additional species putatively susceptible based on this rationale, should be investigated. Whereas screening for ISD should be routine in zoo animal necropsy, screening of live individuals may be implemented for valuable species, to decide on therapeutic measures such as chelator application or phlebotomy. Whatever the reasons for ISD susceptibility, reducing dietary iron levels to maintenance requirements of the species in question seems to be a logical, preventive measure.

  1. The UCSC Genome Browser database: 2017 update.

    PubMed

    Tyner, Cath; Barber, Galt P; Casper, Jonathan; Clawson, Hiram; Diekhans, Mark; Eisenhart, Christopher; Fischer, Clayton M; Gibson, David; Gonzalez, Jairo Navarro; Guruvadoo, Luvina; Haeussler, Maximilian; Heitner, Steve; Hinrichs, Angie S; Karolchik, Donna; Lee, Brian T; Lee, Christopher M; Nejad, Parisa; Raney, Brian J; Rosenbloom, Kate R; Speir, Matthew L; Villarreal, Chris; Vivian, John; Zweig, Ann S; Haussler, David; Kuhn, Robert M; Kent, W James

    2017-01-04

    Since its 2001 debut, the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu/) team has provided continuous support to the international genomics and biomedical communities through a web-based, open source platform designed for the fast, scalable display of sequence alignments and annotations landscaped against a vast collection of quality reference genome assemblies. The browser's publicly accessible databases are the backbone of a rich, integrated bioinformatics tool suite that includes a graphical interface for data queries and downloads, alignment programs, command-line utilities and more. This year's highlights include newly designed home and gateway pages; a new 'multi-region' track display configuration for exon-only, gene-only and custom regions visualization; new genome browsers for three species (brown kiwi, crab-eating macaque and Malayan flying lemur); eight updated genome assemblies; extended support for new data types such as CRAM, RNA-seq expression data and long-range chromatin interaction pairs; and the unveiling of a new supported mirror site in Japan.

  2. The UCSC Genome Browser database: 2017 update

    PubMed Central

    Tyner, Cath; Barber, Galt P.; Casper, Jonathan; Clawson, Hiram; Diekhans, Mark; Eisenhart, Christopher; Fischer, Clayton M.; Gibson, David; Gonzalez, Jairo Navarro; Guruvadoo, Luvina; Haeussler, Maximilian; Heitner, Steve; Hinrichs, Angie S.; Karolchik, Donna; Lee, Brian T.; Lee, Christopher M.; Nejad, Parisa; Raney, Brian J.; Rosenbloom, Kate R.; Speir, Matthew L.; Villarreal, Chris; Vivian, John; Zweig, Ann S.; Haussler, David; Kuhn, Robert M.; Kent, W. James

    2017-01-01

    Since its 2001 debut, the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu/) team has provided continuous support to the international genomics and biomedical communities through a web-based, open source platform designed for the fast, scalable display of sequence alignments and annotations landscaped against a vast collection of quality reference genome assemblies. The browser's publicly accessible databases are the backbone of a rich, integrated bioinformatics tool suite that includes a graphical interface for data queries and downloads, alignment programs, command-line utilities and more. This year's highlights include newly designed home and gateway pages; a new ‘multi-region’ track display configuration for exon-only, gene-only and custom regions visualization; new genome browsers for three species (brown kiwi, crab-eating macaque and Malayan flying lemur); eight updated genome assemblies; extended support for new data types such as CRAM, RNA-seq expression data and long-range chromatin interaction pairs; and the unveiling of a new supported mirror site in Japan. PMID:27899642

  3. Losing grip: Senescent decline in physical strength in a small-bodied primate in captivity and in the wild.

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Anni; Dammhahn, Melanie; Aujard, Fabienne; Kraus, Cornelia

    2015-01-01

    Muscle strength reflects physical functioning, declines at old age and predicts health and survival in humans and laboratory animals. Age-associated muscle deterioration causes loss of strength and may impair fitness of wild animals. However, the effects of age and life-history characteristics on muscle strength in wild animals are unknown. We investigated environment- and sex-specific patterns of physical functioning by measuring grip strength in wild and captive gray mouse lemurs. We expected more pronounced strength senescence in captivity due to condition-dependent, extrinsic mortality found in nature. Males were predicted to be stronger but potentially experience more severe senescence than females as predicted by life history theory. We found similar senescent declines in captive males and females as well as wild females, whereas wild males showed little decline, presumably due to their early mortality. Captive animals were generally weaker and showed earlier declines than wild animals. Unexpectedly, females tended to be stronger than males, especially in the reproductive season. Universal intrinsic mechanisms (e.g. sarcopenia) likely cause the similar patterns of strength loss across settings. The female advantage in muscle strength merits further study; it may follow higher reproductive investment by males, or be an adaptation associated with female social dominance.

  4. Contrasting genetic diversity and population structure among three sympatric Madagascan shorebirds: parallels with rarity, endemism, and dispersal

    PubMed Central

    Eberhart-Phillips, Luke J; Hoffman, Joseph I; Brede, Edward G; Zefania, Sama; Kamrad, Martina J; Székely, Tamás; Bruford, Michael W

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the relative contributions of intrinsic and extrinsic factors to population structure and genetic diversity is a central goal of conservation and evolutionary genetics. One way to achieve this is through comparative population genetic analysis of sympatric sister taxa, which allows evaluation of intrinsic factors such as population demography and life history while controlling for phylogenetic relatedness and geography. We used ten conserved microsatellites to explore the population structure and genetic diversity of three sympatric and closely related plover species in southwestern Madagascar: Kittlitz's plover (Charadrius pecuarius), white-fronted plover (C. marginatus), and Madagascar plover (C. thoracicus). Bayesian clustering revealed strong population structure in the rare and endemic Madagascar plover, intermediate population structure in the white-fronted plover, and no detectable population structure in the geographically widespread Kittlitz's plover. In contrast, allelic richness and heterozygosity were highest for the Kittlitz's plover, intermediate for the white-fronted plover and lowest for the Madagascar plover. No evidence was found in support of the “watershed mechanism” proposed to facilitate vicariant divergence of Madagascan lemurs and reptiles, which we attribute to the vagility of birds. However, we found a significant pattern of genetic isolation by distance among populations of the Madagascar plover, but not for the other two species. These findings suggest that interspecific variation in rarity, endemism, and dispersal propensity may influence genetic structure and diversity, even in highly vagile species. PMID:25798218

  5. Anthropoid versus strepsirhine status of the African Eocene primates Algeripithecus and Azibius: craniodental evidence

    PubMed Central

    Tabuce, Rodolphe; Marivaux, Laurent; Lebrun, Renaud; Adaci, Mohammed; Bensalah, Mustapha; Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Fara, Emmanuel; Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Hautier, Lionel; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques; Lazzari, Vincent; Mebrouk, Fateh; Peigné, Stéphane; Sudre, Jean; Tafforeau, Paul; Valentin, Xavier; Mahboubi, Mahammed

    2009-01-01

    Recent fossil discoveries have demonstrated that Africa and Asia were epicentres for the origin and/or early diversification of the major living primate lineages, including both anthropoids (monkeys, apes and humans) and crown strepsirhine primates (lemurs, lorises and galagos). Competing hypotheses favouring either an African or Asian origin for anthropoids rank among the most hotly contested issues in paleoprimatology. The Afrocentric model for anthropoid origins rests heavily on the >45 Myr old fossil Algeripithecus minutus from Algeria, which is widely acknowledged to be one of the oldest known anthropoids. However, the phylogenetic position of Algeripithecus with respect to other primates has been tenuous because of the highly fragmentary fossils that have documented this primate until now. Recently recovered and more nearly complete fossils of Algeripithecus and contemporaneous relatives reveal that they are not anthropoids. New data support the idea that Algeripithecus and its sister genus Azibius are the earliest offshoots of an Afro–Arabian strepsirhine clade that embraces extant toothcombed primates and their fossil relatives. Azibius exhibits anatomical evidence for nocturnality. Algeripithecus has a long, thin and forwardly inclined lower canine alveolus, a feature that is entirely compatible with the long and procumbent lower canine included in the toothcomb of crown strepsirhines. These results strengthen an ancient African origin for crown strepsirhines and, in turn, strongly challenge the role of Africa as the ancestral homeland for anthropoids. PMID:19740889

  6. Stability in skipping gaits.

    PubMed

    Andrada, Emanuel; Müller, Roy; Blickhan, Reinhard

    2016-11-01

    As an alternative to walking and running, humans are able to skip. However, adult humans avoid it. This fact seems to be related to the higher energetic costs associated with skipping. Still, children, some birds, lemurs and lizards use skipping gaits during daily locomotion. We combined experimental data on humans with numerical simulations to test whether stability and robustness motivate this choice. Parameters for modelling were obtained from 10 male subjects. They locomoted using unilateral skipping along a 12 m runway. We used a bipedal spring loaded inverted pendulum to model and to describe the dynamics of skipping. The subjects displayed higher peak ground reaction forces and leg stiffness in the first landing leg (trailing leg) compared to the second landing leg (leading leg). In numerical simulations, we found that skipping is stable across an amazing speed range from skipping on the spot to fast running speeds. Higher leg stiffness in the trailing leg permits longer strides at same system energy. However, this strategy is at the same time less robust to sudden drop perturbations than skipping with a stiffer leading leg. A slightly higher stiffness in the leading leg is most robust, but might be costlier.

  7. Generic delimitations, biogeography and evolution in the tribe Coleeae (Bignoniaceae), endemic to Madagascar and the smaller islands of the western Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Callmander, Martin W; Phillipson, Peter B; Plunkett, Gregory M; Edwards, Molly B; Buerki, Sven

    2016-03-01

    This study presents the most complete generic phylogenetic framework to date for the tribe Coleeae (Bignoniaceae), which is endemic to Madagascar and the other smaller islands in the western part of the Indian Ocean. The study is based on plastid and nuclear DNA regions and includes 47 species representing the five currently recognized genera (including all the species occurring in the western Indian Ocean region). Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses supported (i) the monophyly of the tribe, (ii) the monophyly of Phylloctenium, Phyllarthron and Rhodocolea and (iii) the paraphyly of Colea due to the inclusion of species of Ophiocolea. The latter genus was also recovered paraphyletic due to the inclusion of two species of Colea (C. decora and C. labatii). The taxonomic implications of the mutual paraphyly of these two genera are discussed in light of morphological evidence, and it is concluded that the two genera should be merged, and the necessary new nomenclatural combinations are provided. The phylogenetic framework shows Phylloctenium, which is endemic to Madagascar and restricted to dry ecosystems, as basal and sister to the rest of the tribe, suggesting Madagascar to be the centre of origin of this clade. The remaining genera are diversified mostly in humid ecosystems, with evidence of multiple dispersals to the neighboring islands, including at least two to the Comoros, one to Mauritius and one to the Seychelles. Finally, we hypothesize that the ecological success of this tribe might have been triggered by a shift of fruit-dispersal mode from wind to lemur.

  8. First in Vivo Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Transcriptomes Reveal Mechanisms of Host Exploitation, Host-Specific Gene Expression, and Expressed Genotype Shifts

    PubMed Central

    Ellison, Amy R.; DiRenzo, Graziella V.; McDonald, Caitlin A.; Lips, Karen R.; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2016-01-01

    For generalist pathogens, host species represent distinct selective environments, providing unique challenges for resource acquisition and defense from host immunity, potentially resulting in host-dependent differences in pathogen fitness. Gene expression modulation should be advantageous, responding optimally to a given host and mitigating the costs of generalism. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a fungal pathogen of amphibians, shows variability in pathogenicity among isolates, and within-strain virulence changes rapidly during serial passages through artificial culture. For the first time, we characterize the transcriptomic profile of Bd in vivo, using laser-capture microdissection. Comparison of Bd transcriptomes (strain JEL423) in culture and in two hosts (Atelopus zeteki and Hylomantis lemur), reveals >2000 differentially expressed genes that likely include key Bd defense and host exploitation mechanisms. Variation in Bd transcriptomes from different amphibian hosts demonstrates shifts in pathogen resource allocation. Furthermore, expressed genotype variant frequencies of Bd populations differ between culture and amphibian skin, and among host species, revealing potential mechanisms underlying rapid changes in virulence and the possibility that amphibian community composition shapes Bd evolutionary trajectories. Our results provide new insights into how changes in gene expression and infecting population genotypes can be key to the success of a generalist fungal pathogen. PMID:27856699

  9. CAMPOUT: a control architecture for multirobot planetary outposts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirjanian, Paolo; Huntsberger, Terrance L.; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Aghazarian, Hrand; Das, Hari; Joshi, Sanjay S.; Schenker, Paul S.

    2000-10-01

    A manned Mars habitat will require a significant amount of infrastructure that can be deployed using robotic precursor missions. This infrastructure deployment will probably include the use of multiple, heterogeneous, mobile robotic platforms. Delays due to the long communication path to Mars limit the amount of teleoperation that is possible. A control architecture called CAMPOUT (Control Architecture for Multirobot Planetary Outposts) is currently under development at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA. It is a three layer behavior-based system that incorporates the low level control routines currently used on the JPL SRR/FIDO/LEMUR rovers. The middle behavior layer uses either the BISMARC (Biologically Inspired System for Map- based Autonomous Rover Control) or MOBC (Multi-Objective Behavior Control) action selection mechanisms. CAMPOUT includes the necessary group behaviors and communication mechanisms for coordinated/cooperative control of heterogeneous robotic platforms. We report the results of some ongoing work at the jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA on the transport phase of a photovoltaic (PV) tent deployment mission.

  10. Activities and operations of the Advanced Computing Research Facility, July-October 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Pieper, G.W.

    1986-01-01

    Research activities and operations of the Advanced Computing Research Facility (ACRF) at Argonne National Laboratory are discussed for the period from July 1986 through October 1986. The facility is currently supported by the Department of Energy, and is operated by the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne. Over the past four-month period, a new commercial multiprocessor, the Intel iPSC-VX/d4 hypercube was installed. In addition, four other commercial multiprocessors continue to be available for research - an Encore Multimax, a Sequent Balance 21000, an Alliant FX/8, and an Intel iPSC/d5 - as well as a locally designed multiprocessor, the Lemur. These machines are being actively used by scientists at Argonne and throughout the nation in a wide variety of projects concerning computer systems with parallel and vector architectures. A variety of classes, workshops, and seminars have been sponsored to train researchers on computing techniques for the advanced computer systems at the Advanced Computing Research Facility. For example, courses were offered on writing programs for parallel computer systems and hosted the first annual Alliant users group meeting. A Sequent users group meeting and a two-day workshop on performance evaluation of parallel computers and programs are being organized.

  11. Serum and hepatic vitamin A levels in captive and wild marine toads (Bufo marinus).

    PubMed

    Berkvens, Charlene N; Lentini, Andrew; Dutton, Christopher J; Pearl, David L; Barker, Ian K; Crawshaw, Graham J

    2014-01-01

    The captive breeding program for the endangered Puerto Rican crested toad (Peltophryne [Bufo] lemur) has been hampered by an undiagnosed condition called "Brown Skin Disease" (BSD). Toads develop widespread skin darkening, skin thickening and abnormal shedding and eventually succumb to a chronic loss of viability. This project evaluated the marine toad (Bufo marinus) as a model for the PRCT, examining vitamin A deficiency as a potential cause of BSD. Wild caught marine toads had significantly higher liver vitamin A concentrations (61.89 ± 63.49 µg/g) than captive born marine toads (0.58 ± 0.59 µg/g); P<0.001). A significant difference in serum vitamin A concentration was found between the captive and wild caught toads (P=0.013) and between the low vitamin A-fed and wild caught toads (P=0.004), when controlling for liver vitamin A concentrations. After captive toads were treated with topical and/or oral vitamin A, their hepatic vitamin A concentrations were similar to those of the wild toads, averaging 48.41 ± 37.03 µg/g. However, plasma vitamin A concentrations pre- and post-vitamin A supplementation did not differ statistically. We concluded that plasma vitamin A concentrations do not provide a linear indication of liver/body vitamin A status, and that both topical and oral supplementation with an oil-based vitamin A formulation can increase liver stores in amphibians. No evidence of BSD or other signs of deficiency were noted in the marine toads, although this feeding trial was relatively short (127 days). To date, clinical, pathological and research findings do not support vitamin A deficiency as a primary factor underlying BSD.

  12. The Indris Have Got Rhythm! Timing and Pitch Variation of a Primate Song Examined between Sexes and Age Classes

    PubMed Central

    Gamba, Marco; Torti, Valeria; Estienne, Vittoria; Randrianarison, Rose M.; Valente, Daria; Rovara, Paolo; Bonadonna, Giovanna; Friard, Olivier; Giacoma, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    A crucial, common feature of speech and music is that they show non-random structures over time. It is an open question which of the other species share rhythmic abilities with humans, but in most cases the lack of knowledge about their behavioral displays prevents further studies. Indris are the only lemurs who sing. They produce loud howling cries that can be heard at several kilometers, in which all members of a group usually sing. We tested whether overlapping and turn-taking during the songs followed a precise pattern by analysing the temporal structure of the individuals' contribution to the song. We found that both dominants (males and females) and non-dominants influenced the onset timing one another. We have found that the dominant male and the dominant female in a group overlapped each other more frequently than they did with the non-dominants. We then focused on the temporal and frequency structure of particular phrases occurring during the song. Our results show that males and females have dimorphic inter-onset intervals during the phrases. Moreover, median frequencies of the unit emitted in the phrases also differ between the sexes, with males showing higher frequencies when compared to females. We have not found an effect of age on the temporal and spectral structure of the phrases. These results indicate that singing in indris has a high behavioral flexibility and varies according to social and individual factors. The flexible spectral structure of the phrases given during the song may underlie perceptual abilities that are relatively unknown in other non-human primates, such as the ability to recognize particular pitch patterns. PMID:27378834

  13. Hibernation in a primate: does sleep occur?

    PubMed Central

    Dausmann, Kathrin H.; Faherty, Sheena L.; Klopfer, Peter; Krystal, Andrew D.; Schopler, Robert; Yoder, Anne D.

    2016-01-01

    During hibernation, critical physiological processes are downregulated and thermogenically induced arousals are presumably needed periodically to fulfil those physiological demands. Among the processes incompatible with a hypome tabolic state is sleep. However, one hibernating primate, the dwarf lemur Cheirogaleus medius, experiences rapid eye movement (REM)-like states during hibernation, whenever passively reaching temperatures above 30°C, as occurs when it hibernates in poorly insulated tree hollows under tropical conditions. Here, we report electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings, temperature data and metabolic rates from two related species (C. crossleyi and C. sibreei), inhabiting high-altitude rainforests and hibernating underground, conditions that mirror, to some extent, those experienced by temperate hibernators. We compared the physiology of hibernation and spontaneous arousals in these animals to C. medius, as well as the much more distantly related non-primate hibernators, such as Arctic, golden-mantled and European ground squirrels. We observed a number of commonalities with non-primate temperate hibernators including: (i) monotonous ultra-low voltage EEG during torpor bouts in these relatively cold-weather hibernators, (ii) the absence of sleep during torpor bouts, (iii) the occurrence of spontaneous arousals out of torpor, during which sleep regularly occurred, (iv) relatively high early EEG non-REM during the arousal, and (v) a gradual transition to the torpid EEG state from non-REM sleep. Unlike C. medius, our study species did not display sleep-like states during torpor bouts, but instead exclusively exhibited them during arousals. During these short euthermic periods, non-REM as well as REM sleep-like stages were observed. Differences observed between these two species and their close relative, C. medius, for which data have been published, presumably reflect differences in hibernaculum temperature. PMID:27853604

  14. The First Endogenous Herpesvirus, Identified in the Tarsier Genome, and Novel Sequences from Primate Rhadinoviruses and Lymphocryptoviruses

    PubMed Central

    Aswad, Amr; Katzourakis, Aris

    2014-01-01

    Herpesviridae is a diverse family of large and complex pathogens whose genomes are extremely difficult to sequence. This is particularly true for clinical samples, and if the virus, host, or both genomes are being sequenced for the first time. Although herpesviruses are known to occasionally integrate in host genomes, and can also be inherited in a Mendelian fashion, they are notably absent from the genomic fossil record comprised of endogenous viral elements (EVEs). Here, we combine paleovirological and metagenomic approaches to both explore the constituent viral diversity of mammalian genomes and search for endogenous herpesviruses. We describe the first endogenous herpesvirus from the genome of the Philippine tarsier, belonging to the Roseolovirus genus, and characterize its highly defective genome that is integrated and flanked by unambiguous host DNA. From a draft assembly of the aye-aye genome, we use bioinformatic tools to reveal over 100,000 bp of a novel rhadinovirus that is the first lemur gammaherpesvirus, closely related to Kaposi's sarcoma-associated virus. We also identify 58 genes of Pan paniscus lymphocryptovirus 1, the bonobo equivalent of human Epstein-Barr virus. For each of the viruses, we postulate gene function via comparative analysis to known viral relatives. Most notably, the evidence from gene content and phylogenetics suggests that the aye-aye sequences represent the most basal known rhadinovirus, and indicates that tumorigenic herpesviruses have been infecting primates since their emergence in the late Cretaceous. Overall, these data show that a genomic fossil record of herpesviruses exists despite their extremely large genomes, and expands the known diversity of Herpesviridae, which will aid the characterization of pathogenesis. Our analytical approach illustrates the benefit of intersecting evolutionary approaches with metagenomics, genetics and paleovirology. PMID:24945689

  15. Primate vaginal microbiomes exhibit species specificity without universal Lactobacillus dominance.

    PubMed

    Yildirim, Suleyman; Yeoman, Carl J; Janga, Sarath Chandra; Thomas, Susan M; Ho, Mengfei; Leigh, Steven R; White, Bryan A; Wilson, Brenda A; Stumpf, Rebecca M

    2014-12-01

    Bacterial communities colonizing the reproductive tracts of primates (including humans) impact the health, survival and fitness of the host, and thereby the evolution of the host species. Despite their importance, we currently have a poor understanding of primate microbiomes. The composition and structure of microbial communities vary considerably depending on the host and environmental factors. We conducted comparative analyses of the primate vaginal microbiome using pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA genes of a phylogenetically broad range of primates to test for factors affecting the diversity of primate vaginal ecosystems. The nine primate species included: humans (Homo sapiens), yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus), olive baboons (Papio anubis), lemurs (Propithecus diadema), howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra), red colobus (Piliocolobus rufomitratus), vervets (Chlorocebus aethiops), mangabeys (Cercocebus atys) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Our results indicated that all primates exhibited host-specific vaginal microbiota and that humans were distinct from other primates in both microbiome composition and diversity. In contrast to the gut microbiome, the vaginal microbiome showed limited congruence with host phylogeny, and neither captivity nor diet elicited substantial effects on the vaginal microbiomes of primates. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance and Wilcoxon tests revealed correlations among vaginal microbiota and host species-specific socioecological factors, particularly related to sexuality, including: female promiscuity, baculum length, gestation time, mating group size and neonatal birth weight. The proportion of unclassified taxa observed in nonhuman primate samples increased with phylogenetic distance from humans, indicative of the existence of previously unrecognized microbial taxa. These findings contribute to our understanding of host-microbe variation and coevolution, microbial biogeography, and disease risk, and have important

  16. Primate vaginal microbiomes exhibit species specificity without universal Lactobacillus dominance

    PubMed Central

    Yildirim, Suleyman; Yeoman, Carl J; Janga, Sarath Chandra; Thomas, Susan M; Ho, Mengfei; Leigh, Steven R; Consortium, Primate Microbiome; White, Bryan A; Wilson, Brenda A; Stumpf, Rebecca M

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial communities colonizing the reproductive tracts of primates (including humans) impact the health, survival and fitness of the host, and thereby the evolution of the host species. Despite their importance, we currently have a poor understanding of primate microbiomes. The composition and structure of microbial communities vary considerably depending on the host and environmental factors. We conducted comparative analyses of the primate vaginal microbiome using pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA genes of a phylogenetically broad range of primates to test for factors affecting the diversity of primate vaginal ecosystems. The nine primate species included: humans (Homo sapiens), yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus), olive baboons (Papio anubis), lemurs (Propithecus diadema), howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra), red colobus (Piliocolobus rufomitratus), vervets (Chlorocebus aethiops), mangabeys (Cercocebus atys) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Our results indicated that all primates exhibited host-specific vaginal microbiota and that humans were distinct from other primates in both microbiome composition and diversity. In contrast to the gut microbiome, the vaginal microbiome showed limited congruence with host phylogeny, and neither captivity nor diet elicited substantial effects on the vaginal microbiomes of primates. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance and Wilcoxon tests revealed correlations among vaginal microbiota and host species-specific socioecological factors, particularly related to sexuality, including: female promiscuity, baculum length, gestation time, mating group size and neonatal birth weight. The proportion of unclassified taxa observed in nonhuman primate samples increased with phylogenetic distance from humans, indicative of the existence of previously unrecognized microbial taxa. These findings contribute to our understanding of host–microbe variation and coevolution, microbial biogeography, and disease risk, and have important

  17. A scanning electron-microscopic study of in vitro abrasion of mammalian tooth enamel under compressive loads.

    PubMed

    Maas, M C

    1994-01-01

    Microscopic tooth-wear (microwear) patterns can be an important tool for assessing modes and rates of abrasive tooth wear, but their analysis and interpretation is complicated by the fact that microwear is influenced by many factors. Three of these factors were here tested under conditions of compressive loading: (1) species differences in enamel structure, (2) abrasive particle size and (3) magnitude of force. Teeth of four species (Homo sapiens, Lemur fulvus, Ovis aries and Crocodylus rhombifer) were abraded in vitro using three sizes of abrasive silicon-carbide grit (average diameters 73, 23 and 14 microns), at two loads (50 and 100 kg). Microwear features were assessed by scanning electron microscopy of lightly etched enamel surfaces and epoxy replicas. Microwear pits (length:width < 4:1) were the predominant feature type. Factorial analysis of variance of rank-transformed, feature-area measurements demonstrated that, under conditions of compressive loading, the size of abrasive particles was the primary determinant of microwear size. These results contrast with previous experimental tests of abrasion by predominantly shearing loads, where feature size was influenced by interaction among experimental factors, including the microscopic orientation of enamel crystallites. Although magnitude of compressive force was not a factor in microwear size variation, it may be a critical factor in explaining the presence or absence of microwear on tooth surfaces. The relatively small compressive bite force generated during typical chewing may not consistently produce abrasive pitting. These experiments demonstrate that, as the same abrasive regime can produce both large and small pits, the mechanism by which wear features are formed (i.e. compression or adhesion) cannot be determined from the size of features alone. Nevertheless, the dependence of pit size on abrasive particle size demonstrates that metrical variation in wear features can elucidate important attributes of

  18. Djebelemur, a Tiny Pre-Tooth-Combed Primate from the Eocene of Tunisia: A Glimpse into the Origin of Crown Strepsirhines

    PubMed Central

    Marivaux, Laurent; Ramdarshan, Anusha; Essid, El Mabrouk; Marzougui, Wissem; Ammar, Hayet Khayati; Lebrun, Renaud; Marandat, Bernard; Merzeraud, Gilles; Tabuce, Rodolphe; Vianey-Liaud, Monique

    2013-01-01

    Background Molecular clock estimates of crown strepsirhine origins generally advocate an ancient antiquity for Malagasy lemuriforms and Afro-Asian lorisiforms, near the onset of the Tertiary but most often extending back to the Late Cretaceous. Despite their inferred early origin, the subsequent evolutionary histories of both groups (except for the Malagasy aye-aye lineage) exhibit a vacuum of lineage diversification during most part of the Eocene, followed by a relative acceleration in diversification from the late Middle Eocene. This early evolutionary stasis was tentatively explained by the possibility of unrecorded lineage extinctions during the early Tertiary. However, this prevailing molecular view regarding the ancient origin and early diversification of crown strepsirhines must be viewed with skepticism due to the new but still scarce paleontological evidence gathered in recent years. Methodological/Principal Findings Here, we describe new fossils attributable to Djebelemur martinezi, a≈50 Ma primate from Tunisia (Djebel Chambi). This taxon was originally interpreted as a cercamoniine adapiform based on limited information from its lower dentition. The new fossils provide anatomical evidence demonstrating that Djebelemur was not an adapiform but clearly a distant relative of lemurs, lorises and galagos. Cranial, dental and postcranial remains indicate that this diminutive primate was likely nocturnal, predatory (primarily insectivorous), and engaged in a form of generalized arboreal quadrupedalism with frequent horizontal leaping. Djebelemur did not have an anterior lower dentition as specialized as that characterizing most crown strepsirhines (i.e., tooth-comb), but it clearly exhibited a transformed antemolar pattern representing an early stage of a crown strepsirhine-like adaptation (“pre-tooth-comb”). Conclusions/Significance These new fossil data suggest that the differentiation of the tooth-comb must postdate the djebelemurid divergence, a view

  19. Beware of Primate Life History Data: A Plea for Data Standards and a Repository

    PubMed Central

    Borries, Carola; Gordon, Adam D.; Koenig, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Life history variables such as the age at first reproduction and the interval between consecutive births are measures of investment in growth and reproduction in a particular population or species. As such they allow for meaningful comparisons of the speed of growth and reproduction between species and between larger taxa. Especially in primates such life history research has far reaching implications and has led for instance to the “grandmother hypothesis”. Other links have been proposed with respect to dietary adaptations: Because protein is essential for growth and one of the primary sources of protein, leaves, occurs much less seasonally than fruits, it has been predicted that folivorous primates should grow faster compared to frugivorous ones. However, when comparing folivorous Asian colobines with frugivorous Asian macaques we recently documented a longer, instead of a shorter gestation length in folivores while age at first reproduction and interbirth interval did not differ. This supports earlier findings for Malagasy lemurs in which all life history variables tested were significantly longer in folivores compared to frugivores. Wondering why these trends were not apparent sooner, we tried to reconstruct our results for Asian primates with data from four popular life history compilations. However, this attempt failed; even the basic, allometric relationship with adult female body mass that is typical for life history variables could not be recovered. This negative result hints at severe problems with data quality. Here we show that data quality can be improved significantly by standardizing the variables and by controlling for factors such as nutritional conditions or infant mortality. Ideally, in the future, revised primate life history data should be collated in a central database accessible to everybody. In the long run such an initiative should be expanded to include all mammalian species. PMID:23826232

  20. A Molecular Phylogeny of Plesiorycteropus Reassigns the Extinct Mammalian Order ‘Bibymalagasia’

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Madagascar is well known for its diverse fauna and flora, being home to many species not found anywhere else in the world. However, its biodiversity in the recent past included a range of extinct enigmatic fauna, such as elephant birds, giant lemurs and dwarfed hippopotami. The ‘Malagasy aardvark’ (Plesiorycteropus) has remained one of Madagascar’s least well-understood extinct species since its discovery in the 19th century. Initially considered a close relative of the aardvark (Orycteropus) within the order Tubulidentata, more recent morphological analyses challenged this placement on the grounds that the identifiably derived traits supporting this allocation were adaptations to digging rather than shared ancestry. Because the skeletal evidence showed many morphological traits diagnostic of different eutherian mammal orders, they could not be used to resolve its closest relatives. As a result, the genus was tentatively assigned its own taxonomic order ‘Bibymalagasia’, yet how this order relates to other eutherian mammal orders remains unclear despite numerous morphological investigations. This research presents the first known molecular sequence data for Plesiorycteropus, obtained from the bone protein collagen (I), which places the ‘Malagasy aardvark’ as more closely related to tenrecs than aardvarks. More specifically, Plesiorycteropus was recovered within the order Tenrecoidea (golden moles and tenrecs) within Afrotheria, suggesting that the taxonomic order ‘Bibymalagasia’ is obsolete. This research highlights the potential for collagen sequencing in investigating the phylogeny of extinct species as a viable alternative to ancient DNA (aDNA) sequencing, particularly in cases where aDNA cannot be recovered. PMID:23555726

  1. Leading ladies: leadership of group movements in a pair-living, co-dominant, monomorphic primate across reproductive stages and fruit availability seasons.

    PubMed

    Tecot, Stacey R; Romine, Natalie K

    2012-07-01

    For gregarious species, individuals must maintain cohesion while minimizing the costs of coordinated travel. Leaders of group movements potentially influence energy expenditure, energy intake, and predation risk for individuals in the group, which can have important fitness consequences. Models of pair-living species predict that energetic asymmetries lead to an emergent leader, with those in greater need leading. We investigated sex differences in leadership in pairs of red-bellied lemurs, Eulemur rubriventer, a monomorphic species with bisexual dispersal and no discernible hierarchy, to determine whether higher energetic requirements by adult females lead to female leadership. We collected leadership data in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar on six groups of habituated E. rubriventer for 13 consecutive months between 2004-2005. To determine whether females led group movements more than males, we examined the difference in leadership frequencies of progressions in adult males and adult females within each group (n = 1,346 progressions). We further investigated the behavioral context (i.e. travel followed by feeding or not) and seasonal contexts (fruit availability, reproduction) of leadership. Group leadership was distributed, with different individuals leading the group at different times. However, females led significantly more than males, a pattern which was consistent in both feeding and non-feeding contexts and throughout all fruiting seasons and reproductive stages. While disparities in energetic status among the sexes may impact leadership in this species, leadership did not differ with changes in food availability or reproductive stage, and thus we were unable to determine whether female leadership might be related to changes in energetic status. Females may have higher energetic needs than males at all times, not merely seasonally, or female leadership may be unrelated to immediate energetic need. Rather, female leadership may be a legacy of female

  2. Competition for food in a solitarily foraging folivorous primate (Lepilemur leucopus)?

    PubMed

    Dröscher, Iris; Kappeler, Peter M

    2014-09-01

    Group-living folivorous primates can experience competition for food, and feeding competition has also been documented for solitarily foraging gummivorous and omnivorous primates. However, little is known about the types and consequences of feeding competition in solitary folivorous foragers. We conducted this study in the spiny forest of Berenty Reserve, southern Madagascar, to characterize the competitive regime of the nocturnal solitarily foraging white-footed sportive lemur (Lepilemur leucopus), a species that lives in dispersed pairs. We analyzed 1,213 hr of behavioral observations recorded simultaneously for the male and female of each of seven social units and recorded seasonal changes in food availability over a complete annual cycle. Lepilemur leucopus exhibited low selectivity in its dietary choice and mainly included the most abundant plant species in its diet. Contrary to our predictions, we did not find evidence for increased rates of contest (i.e., displacement from food trees) or scramble competition (i.e., shared use of food patches) during the lean season, neither within nor between social units. Instead, conflict rates were low throughout the year, and, during these observations, any feeding stress may have been more related to food quality than quantity. The resource defense hypotheses may not explain pair-living in this species as there was no indication that males defend food resources for their female pair-partners. The observed lack of feeding competition may indicate that a cryptic anti-predator strategy is a better predictor of spatial avoidance of pair-partners than conflict over food. While anti-predator benefits of crypsis may explain, at least partly, female-female avoidance, studies on the relationship between territory size/quality and reproductive success are required to understand whether feeding competition reduces the potential for female association in L. leucopus.

  3. Impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on the activity budget, ranging ecology and habitat use of Bale monkeys (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) in the southern Ethiopian Highlands.

    PubMed

    Mekonnen, Addisu; Fashing, Peter J; Bekele, Afework; Hernandez-Aguilar, R Adriana; Rueness, Eli K; Nguyen, Nga; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2017-02-09

    Understanding the extent to which primates in forest fragments can adjust behaviorally and ecologically to changes caused by deforestation is essential to designing conservation management plans. During a 12-month period, we studied the effects of habitat loss and degradation on the Ethiopian endemic, bamboo specialist, Bale monkey (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) by comparing its habitat quality, activity budget, ranging ecology and habitat use in continuous forest and two fragments. We found that habitat loss and fragmentation resulted in major differences in vegetation composition and structure between forest types. We also found that Bale monkeys in continuous forest spent more time feeding and traveling and less time resting and socializing than monkeys in fragments. Bale monkeys in continuous forest also had higher movement rates (m/hr) than monkeys in fragments. Bale monkeys in continuous forest used exclusively bamboo and mixed bamboo forest habitats while conspecifics in fragments used a greater variety of habitats including human use areas (i.e., matrix). Our findings suggest that Bale monkeys in fragments use an energy minimization strategy to cope with the lower availability of the species' primary food species, bamboo (Arundinaria alpina). We contend that Bale monkeys may retain some of the ancestral ecological flexibility assumed to be characteristic of the genus Chlorocebus, within which all extant species except Bale monkeys are regarded as ecological generalists. Our results suggest that, like other bamboo eating primates (e.g., the bamboo lemurs of Madagascar), Bale monkeys can cope with a certain threshold of habitat destruction. However, the long-term conservation prospects for Bale monkeys in fragments remain unclear and will require further monitoring to be properly evaluated.

  4. The importance of taboos and social norms to conservation in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Jones, Julia P G; Andriamarovololona, Mijasoa M; Hockley, Neal

    2008-08-01

    Informal institutions governing the use of wild species are present in many societies. A system of prohibitions known as fady is central to Malagasy culture. We examined whether fady that relate to the use of natural resources in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar play an important conservation role. Prohibitions ranged from strict taboos in which a species or area was forbidden by the ancestors to social norms that concerned acceptable behavior when harvesting wild species. Strict taboos offered real protection to threatened species, such as the lemur Propithecus edwardsi and the carnivore Cryptoprocta ferox. Taboos also reduced pressure on some economically important endemic species by preventing their sale or limiting the harvest season. Despite their value for conservation, the taboos did not appear to originate from attempts to sustainably manage resources. Nevertheless, social norms, in which the sanction was social disapproval rather than supernatural retribution, encouraged sustainable harvesting practices for tenrecs (Tenrec ecudatus) and pandans (Pandanus spp.). Unfortunately, the social norms concerning methods of harvesting pandans appeared to be breaking down in villages surrounding Ranomafana National Park, and we suggest that the imposition of external conservation rules is weakening traditional management. Informal institutions are important to conservation because they suggest ways of improving cultural understanding and conservation communication. Food taboos influence societal preferences, which affect the wider demand for a species. Most important, where capacity to enforce external conservation rules is limited, informal institutions may provide the only effective regulations. Informal institutions should receive greater attention from conservation biologists so that local people's conservation roles can be acknowledged fairly and so that potential synergies with conservation objectives can be realized.

  5. The evolution of the natural killer complex; a comparison between mammals using new high-quality genome assemblies and targeted annotation.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, John C; Gibson, Mark S; Heimeier, Dorothea; Koren, Sergey; Phillippy, Adam M; Bickhart, Derek M; Smith, Timothy P L; Medrano, Juan F; Hammond, John A

    2017-04-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells are a diverse population of lymphocytes with a range of biological roles including essential immune functions. NK cell diversity is in part created by the differential expression of cell surface receptors which modulate activation and function, including multiple subfamilies of C-type lectin receptors encoded within the NK complex (NKC). Little is known about the gene content of the NKC beyond rodent and primate lineages, other than it appears to be extremely variable between mammalian groups. We compared the NKC structure between mammalian species using new high-quality draft genome assemblies for cattle and goat; re-annotated sheep, pig, and horse genome assemblies; and the published human, rat, and mouse lemur NKC. The major NKC genes are largely in the equivalent positions in all eight species, with significant independent expansions and deletions between species, allowing us to propose a model for NKC evolution during mammalian radiation. The ruminant species, cattle and goats, have independently evolved a second KLRC locus flanked by KLRA and KLRJ, and a novel KLRH-like gene has acquired an activating tail. This novel gene has duplicated several times within cattle, while other activating receptor genes have been selectively disrupted. Targeted genome enrichment in cattle identified varying levels of allelic polymorphism between the NKC genes concentrated in the predicted extracellular ligand-binding domains. This novel recombination and allelic polymorphism is consistent with NKC evolution under balancing selection, suggesting that this diversity influences individual immune responses and may impact on differential outcomes of pathogen infection and vaccination.

  6. Determinants and Outcomes of Decision-Making, Group Coordination and Social Interactions during a Foraging Experiment in a Wild Primate

    PubMed Central

    Pyritz, Lennart W.; Fichtel, Claudia; Huchard, Elise; Kappeler, Peter M.

    2013-01-01

    Social animals have to coordinate joint movements to maintain group cohesion, but the latter is often compromised by diverging individual interests. A widespread behavioral mechanism to achieve coordination relies on shared or unshared consensus decision-making. If consensus costs are high, group fission represents an alternative tactic. Exploring determinants and outcomes of spontaneous group decisions and coordination of free-ranging animals is methodologically challenging. We therefore conducted a foraging experiment with a group of wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) to study decision outcomes, coordination of movements, individual foraging benefits and social interactions in response to the presentation of drinking platforms with varying baiting patterns. Behavioral observations were complemented with data from recordings of motion detector cameras installed at the platforms. The animal's behavior in the experimental conditions was compared to natural group movements. We could not determine the type of consensus decision-making because the group visited platforms randomly. The group fissioned during 23.3% of platform visits, and fissioning resulted in more individuals drinking simultaneously. As under natural conditions, adult females initiated most group movements, but overtaking by individuals of different age and sex classes occurred in 67% of movements to platforms, compared to only 18% during other movements. As a result, individual resource intake at the platforms did not depend on departure position, age or sex, but on arrival order. Aggression at the platforms did not affect resource intake, presumably due to low supplanting rates. Our findings highlight the diversity of coordination processes and related consequences for individual foraging benefits in a primate group living under natural conditions. PMID:23326392

  7. DRD4 dopamine receptor allelic diversity in various primate species

    SciTech Connect

    Adamson, M.; Higley, D.; O`Brien, S.

    1994-09-01

    The DRD4 dopamine receptor is uniquely characterized by a 48 bp repeating segment within the coding region, located in exon III. Different DRD4 alleles are produced by the presence of additional 48 bp repeats, each of which adds 16 amino acids to the length of the 3rd intracytoplasmic loop of the receptor. The DRD4 receptor is therefore an intriguing candidate gene for behaviors which are influenced by dopamine function. In several human populations, DRD4 alleles with 2-8 and 10 repeats have previously been identified, and the 4 and 7 repeat alleles are the most abundant. We have determined DRD4 genotypes in the following nonhuman primate species: chimpanzee N=2, pygmy chimpanzee N=2, gorilla N=4, siamang N=2, Gelada baboon N=1, gibbon N=1, orangutan (Bornean and Sumatran) N=62, spider monkey N=4, owl monkey N=1, Colobus monkey N=1, Patas monkey N=1, ruffed lemur N=1, rhesus macaque N=8, and vervet monkey N=28. The degree of DRD4 polymorphism and which DRD4 alleles were present both showed considerable variation across primate species. In contrast to the human, rhesus macaque monkeys were monomorphic. The 4 and 7 repeat allels, highly abundant in the human, may not be present in certain other primates. For example, the four spider monkeys we studied showed the 7, 8 and 9 repeat length alleles and the only gibbon we analyzed was homozygous for the 9 repeat allele (thus far not observed in the human). Genotyping of other primate species and sequencing of the individual DRD4 repeat alleles in different species may help us determine the ancestral DRD4 repeat length and identify connections between DRD4 genotype and phenotype.

  8. Foramen of Civinini: A New Anatomical Guide for Maxillofacial Surgeons

    PubMed Central

    Saran, R Sharmila; Ananthi, K Suba; Subramaniam, Aruna; Balaji, MS Thotakura; Vinaitha, D; Vaithianathan, G

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: Study on Morphometric and radiological aspect on existence of foramen of civinini. Sphenoid bone comprises of some rare ossified ligaments, may encounter difficulty in surgical procedures. Incidence of Pterygospinous bars various with different racial groups and they are genetically controlled. Complete ossification of pterygospinous ligament form foramen of civinini. Entrapments of vessels or nerves may occur due to existence of pterygospinous bar. The bar may locate medially or inferiorly to formen ovale as seen in Hawaiian and lemurs. Co – existence of bar with the wide lateral pterygoid plate exhibits development of the bar from herbivore, carnivore and old world monkeys. Comparatively absence or small spine of civinini noted in new world monkeys, rodents and platyrrhines. Pterygospinousbar represents the phylogenetic remnant of Human beings. Material and Methods: By using digital vernier caliper, the measurements of length, width of the pterygospinous bar and area of foramen of civinini including the length and breadth of lateral pterygoid plate were measured. Using X rays the radiological view was determined. Results: In this study from 160 cases of skull and sphenoid bones revealed that complete and incomplete foramen of civinini in 1.25% and 7.5% of cases respectively. Peculiarly accessory foramen of civinini noticed in 1.25% of cases. Maximum area of foramen of civinini was 94.2mm2. The maximum width of lateral pterygoid was noted as 19.6mm respectively. Mentocoronal view of skiagram clearly shows the bar. Conclusion: During Anaesthesia for trigeminal neuralgia may encounter difficult to pass the needle. The bar compress the mandibular nerve branches can cause lingual numbness, pain and speech impairment. Conductive anaesthesia on the mandibular nerve through the lateral subzygomatic route may be difficult to approach. Exploring the anatomical and clinical updates of pterygospinous bar may guide the surgeons and radiologists to overcome any

  9. Competition for dead trees between humans and aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis) in central eastern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Miller, Rose T; Raharison, Jean-Luc; Irwin, Mitchell T

    2017-04-01

    The destruction and degradation of forest habitats are major threats to the sustainability of lemur populations in Madagascar. Madagascan landscapes often contain forest fragments that represent refuges for native fauna, while also being used for firewood and timber by local human populations. As undisturbed forest becomes increasingly scarce, understanding resource competition between humans and wildlife in disturbed habitats will be increasingly important. We tested the hypothesis that Malagasy and aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis) compete for the limited number of dead trees in rainforest fragments at Tsinjoarivo, Madagascar. We surveyed 2.16 ha within five fragments (range 5-228 ha) surrounding human settlements to quantify the density of dead trees and traces of both human and aye-aye activity. Neither aye-aye nor human traces were distributed according to the availability of particular trees species, and aye-ayes and Malagasy apparently preferred several different species. Although overlap was recorded in tree species used, human use tended to be positively correlated with a species' desirability as firewood, while a negative relationship was seen for aye-ayes. Both consumers used trees of similar diameter at breast height, but those used by aye-ayes tended to be older, suggesting that human use might precede usefulness for aye-ayes. Finally, the density of dead trees and aye-aye traces were highest in smaller fragments, but human traces did not vary across fragment size. Although further study is needed to better quantify the aye-aye diet in this region, these data suggest that aye-ayes and local people compete for dead trees, and this competition could constitute a pressure on aye-aye populations.

  10. Base-compositional biases and the bat problem. III. The questions of microchiropteran monophyly.

    PubMed Central

    Hutcheon, J M; Kirsch, J A; Pettigrew, J D

    1998-01-01

    Using single-copy DNA hybridization, we carried out a whole genome study of 16 bats (from ten families) and five outgroups (two primates and one each dermopteran, scandentian, and marsupial). Three of the bat species represented as many families of Rhinolophoidea, and these always associated with the two representatives of Pteropodidae. All other microchiropterans, however, formed a monophyletic unit displaying interrelationships largely in accord with current opinion. Thus noctilionoids comprised one clade, while vespertilionids, emballonurids, and molossids comprised three others, successively more closely related in that sequence. The unexpected position of rhinolophoids may be due either to the high AT bias they share with pteropodids, or it may be phylogenetically authentic. Reanalysis of the data with varying combinations of the five outgroups does not indicate a rooting problem, and the inclusion of many bat lineages divided at varying levels similarly discounts long branch attraction as an explanation for the pteropodid-rhinolophoid association. If rhinolophoids are indeed specially related to pteropodids, many synapomorphies of Microchiroptera are called into question, not least the unitary evolution of echolocation (although this feature may simply have been lost in pteropodids). Further, a rhinolophoid-pteropodid relationship--if true--has serious implications for the classification of bats. Finally, among the outgroups, an apparent sister-group relation of Dermoptera and Primates suggests that flying lemurs do not represent the ancestors of some or all bats; yet, insofar as gliding of the type implemented in dermopterans is an appropriate model for the evolution of powered mammalian flying, the position of Cynocephalus in our tree indirectly strengthens the argument that true flight could have evolved more than once among bats. PMID:9602535

  11. Significance of the evolutionary α1,3-galactosyltransferase (GGTA1) gene inactivation in preventing extinction of apes and old world monkeys.

    PubMed

    Galili, Uri

    2015-01-01

    The α1,3-galactosyltransferase (α1,3GT or GGTA1) gene displays unique evolutionary characteristics. This gene appeared early in mammalian evolution and is absent in other vertebrates. The α1,3GT gene is active in marsupials, nonprimate placental mammals, lemurs (prosimians) and New World monkeys, encoding the α1,3GT enzyme that synthesizes a carbohydrate antigen called "α-gal epitope." The α-gal epitope is present in large numbers on cell membrane glycolipids and glycoproteins. The α1,3GT gene was inactivated in ancestral Old World monkeys and apes by frameshift single-base deletions forming premature stop codons. Because of this gene inactivation, humans, apes, and Old World monkeys lack α-gal epitopes and naturally produce an antibody called the "anti-Gal antibody" which binds specifically to α-gal epitopes and which is the most abundant antibody in humans. The evolutionary event that resulted in the inactivation of the α1,3GT gene in ancestral Old World primates could have been mediated by a pathogen endemic to Eurasia-Africa landmass that exerted pressure for selection of primate populations lacking the α-gal epitope. Once the α-gal epitope was eliminated, primates could produce the anti-Gal antibody, possibly as means of defense against pathogens expressing this epitope. This assumption is supported by the fossil record demonstrating an almost complete extinction of apes in the late Miocene and failure of Old World monkeys to radiate into multiple species before that period. A present outcome of this evolutionary event is the anti-Gal-mediated rejection of mammalian xenografts expressing α-gal epitopes in humans, apes, and Old World monkeys.

  12. Olfactory bulbectomy modifies photic entrainment and circadian rhythms of body temperature and locomotor activity in a nocturnal primate.

    PubMed

    Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne; Séguy, Maud; Schilling, Alain

    2003-10-01

    Studies on rodents have emphasized that removal of the olfactory bulbs modulates circadian rhythmicity. Using telemetric recordings of both body temperature (Tb) and locomotor activity (LA) in a male nocturnal primate, the gray mouse lemur, the authors investigated the effects of olfactory bulbectomy on (1) the circadian periods of Tb and LA in constant dim light condition, and (2) photic re-entrainment rates of circadian rhythms following 6-h phase shifts of entrained light-dark cycle (LD 12:12). Under free-running condition, bulbectomized males had significantly shorter circadian periods of Tb and LA rhythms than those of control males. However, the profiles of Tb rhythms, characterized by a phase of hypothermia at the beginning of the subjective day, and Tb parameters were not modified by olfactory bulbectomy. Under a light-dark cycle, olfactory bulbectomy significantly modified the expression of daily hypothermia, especially by an increase in the latency to reach minimal daily Tb, suggesting a delayed response to induction of daily hypothermia by light onset. Reentrainment rates following both a 6-h phase advance and a 6-h phase delay of entrained LD were also delayed in bulbectomized males. Olfactory bulbectomy led to significant fragmentation of locomotor activity and increased locomotor activity levels during the resting period. The shortening of circadian periods in bulbectomized males could partly explain the delayed responses to photic stimuli since in control males, the longer the circadian period, the better the response to light entrainment. This experiment shows for the 1st time that olfactory bulbs can markedly modify the circadian system in a primate.

  13. Stranger to Familiar: Wild Strepsirhines Manage Xenophobia by Playing

    PubMed Central

    Antonacci, Daniela; Norscia, Ivan; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2010-01-01

    The power of play in limiting xenophobia is a well-known phenomenon in humans. Yet, the evidence in social animals remains meager. Here, we aim to determine whether play promotes social tolerance toward strangers in one of the most basal group of primates, the strepsirhines. We observed two groups of wild lemurs (Propithecus verreauxi, Verreaux's sifaka) during the mating season. Data were also collected on nine visiting, outgroup males. We compared the distribution of play, grooming, and aggressive interactions across three conditions: OUT (resident/outgroup interactions), IN (resident/resident interactions in presence of outgroups) and BL-IN (baseline of resident/resident interactions in absence of outgroups). Play frequency between males was higher in OUT than in IN and BL-IN conditions; whereas, grooming was more frequent in IN than in OUT and BL-IN conditions. Aggression rates between resident and outgroup males were significantly higher than those between residents. However, aggressions between resident and outgroup males significantly decreased after the first play session and became comparable with resident-resident aggression levels. The presence of strangers in a well-established group implies the onset of novel social circumstances, which sifaka males cope with by two different tactics: grooming with ingroup males and playing with outgroup ones. The grooming peak, concurrently with the visit of outgroups, probably represents a social shield adopted by resident males to make their pre-existing affiliation more evident to the stranger “audience”. Being mostly restricted to unfamiliar males, adult play in sifaka appears to have a role in managing new social situations more than in maintaining old relationships. In particular, our results indicate not only that play is the interface between strangers but also that it has a specific function in reducing xenophobia. In conclusion, play appears to be an ice-breaker mechanism in the critical process that

  14. Base-compositional biases and the bat problem. III. The questions of microchiropteran monophyly.

    PubMed

    Hutcheon, J M; Kirsch, J A; Pettigrew, J D

    1998-04-29

    Using single-copy DNA hybridization, we carried out a whole genome study of 16 bats (from ten families) and five outgroups (two primates and one each dermopteran, scandentian, and marsupial). Three of the bat species represented as many families of Rhinolophoidea, and these always associated with the two representatives of Pteropodidae. All other microchiropterans, however, formed a monophyletic unit displaying interrelationships largely in accord with current opinion. Thus noctilionoids comprised one clade, while vespertilionids, emballonurids, and molossids comprised three others, successively more closely related in that sequence. The unexpected position of rhinolophoids may be due either to the high AT bias they share with pteropodids, or it may be phylogenetically authentic. Reanalysis of the data with varying combinations of the five outgroups does not indicate a rooting problem, and the inclusion of many bat lineages divided at varying levels similarly discounts long branch attraction as an explanation for the pteropodid-rhinolophoid association. If rhinolophoids are indeed specially related to pteropodids, many synapomorphies of Microchiroptera are called into question, not least the unitary evolution of echolocation (although this feature may simply have been lost in pteropodids). Further, a rhinolophoid-pteropodid relationship--if true--has serious implications for the classification of bats. Finally, among the outgroups, an apparent sister-group relation of Dermoptera and Primates suggests that flying lemurs do not represent the ancestors of some or all bats; yet, insofar as gliding of the type implemented in dermopterans is an appropriate model for the evolution of powered mammalian flying, the position of Cynocephalus in our tree indirectly strengthens the argument that true flight could have evolved more than once among bats.

  15. Determinants and outcomes of decision-making, group coordination and social interactions during a foraging experiment in a wild primate.

    PubMed

    Pyritz, Lennart W; Fichtel, Claudia; Huchard, Elise; Kappeler, Peter M

    2013-01-01

    Social animals have to coordinate joint movements to maintain group cohesion, but the latter is often compromised by diverging individual interests. A widespread behavioral mechanism to achieve coordination relies on shared or unshared consensus decision-making. If consensus costs are high, group fission represents an alternative tactic. Exploring determinants and outcomes of spontaneous group decisions and coordination of free-ranging animals is methodologically challenging. We therefore conducted a foraging experiment with a group of wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) to study decision outcomes, coordination of movements, individual foraging benefits and social interactions in response to the presentation of drinking platforms with varying baiting patterns. Behavioral observations were complemented with data from recordings of motion detector cameras installed at the platforms. The animal's behavior in the experimental conditions was compared to natural group movements. We could not determine the type of consensus decision-making because the group visited platforms randomly. The group fissioned during 23.3% of platform visits, and fissioning resulted in more individuals drinking simultaneously. As under natural conditions, adult females initiated most group movements, but overtaking by individuals of different age and sex classes occurred in 67% of movements to platforms, compared to only 18% during other movements. As a result, individual resource intake at the platforms did not depend on departure position, age or sex, but on arrival order. Aggression at the platforms did not affect resource intake, presumably due to low supplanting rates. Our findings highlight the diversity of coordination processes and related consequences for individual foraging benefits in a primate group living under natural conditions.

  16. Genetic population structure of the white sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, southwest Madagascar (1992-2001).