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Sample records for shrews mammalia soricidae

  1. Functional skeletal morphology and its implications for locomotory behavior among three genera of myosoricine shrews (Mammalia: Eulipotyphla: Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Stabile, Frank A.

    2015-01-01

    Myosoricinae is a small clade of shrews (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) that is currently restricted to the African continent. Individual species have limited distributions that are often associated with higher elevations. Although the majority of species in the subfamily are considered ambulatory in their locomotory behavior, species of the myosoricine genus Surdisorex are known to be semifossorial. To better characterize variation in locomotory behaviors among myosoricines, we calculated 32 morphological indices from skeletal measurements from nine species representing all three genera that comprise the subfamily (i.e., Congosorex, Myosorex, Surdisorex) and compared them to indices calculated for two species with well-documented locomotory behaviors: the ambulatory talpid Uropsilus soricipes and the semifossorial talpid Neurotrichus gibbsii. We summarized the 22 most complete morphological variables by 1) calculating a mean percentile rank for each species and 2) using the first principal component from principal component analysis of the indices. The two methods yielded similar results and indicate grades of adaptations reflecting a range of potential locomotory behaviors from ambulatory to semifossorial that exceeds the range represented by the two talpids. Morphological variation reflecting grades of increased semifossoriality among myosoricine shrews is similar in many respects to that seen for soricines, but some features are unique to the Myosoricinae.

  2. Can they dig it? Functional morphology and semifossoriality among small-eared shrews, genus Cryptotis (Mammalia, Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Woodman, Neal; Gaffney, Sarah A

    2014-07-01

    Small-eared shrews (Mammalia: Soricidae: Cryptotis), exhibit modifications of the forelimb skeleton that have been interpreted as adaptations for semifossoriality. Most species inhabit remote regions, however, and their locomotory and foraging behaviors remain mostly speculative. To better understand the morphological modifications in the absence of direct observations, we quantified variation in these species by measuring 151 individuals representing 18 species and populations of Cryptotis and two species of moles (Talpidae) for comparison. From our measurements, we calculated 22 indices, most of which have been used previously to characterize substrate use among rodents and other taxa. We analyzed the indices using 1) average percentile ranks, 2) principal components analysis, and 3) cluster analysis. From these analyses, we determined that three basic modes of substrate adaptation are present within Cryptotis: 1) a primarily terrestrial mode, with species that are capable of burrowing, but lack adaptations to increase digging efficiency, 2) a semifossorial mode, with species whose forelimbs bones show strong muscle attachment areas and increased mechanical advantage, and 3) an intermediate mode. In addition to identifying new morphological characters and contributing to our understanding of the functional morphology of soricids, these analyses provide additional insight into the ecology of the species of interest.

  3. Can they dig it? Functional morphology and semifossoriality among small-eared shrews, genus Cryptotis (Mammalia, Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Gaffney, Sarah A.

    2014-01-01

    Small-eared shrews (Mammalia: Soricidae: Cryptotis), exhibit modifications of the forelimb skeleton that have been interpreted as adaptations for semifossoriality. Most species inhabit remote regions, however, and their locomotory and foraging behaviors remain mostly speculative. To better understand the morphological modifications in the absence of direct observations, we quantified variation in these species by measuring 151 individuals representing 18 species and populations of Cryptotis and two species of moles (Talpidae) for comparison. From our measurements, we calculated 22 indices, most of which have been used previously to characterize substrate use among rodents and other taxa. We analyzed the indices using 1) average percentile ranks, 2) principal components analysis, and 3) cluster analysis. From these analyses, we determined that three basic modes of substrate adaptation are present within Cryptotis: 1) a primarily terrestrial mode, with species that are capable of burrowing, but lack adaptations to increase digging efficiency, 2) a semifossorial mode, with species whose forelimbs bones show strong muscle attachment areas and increased mechanical advantage, and 3) an intermediate mode. In addition to identifying new morphological characters and contributing to our understanding of the functional morphology of soricids, these analyses provide additional insight into the ecology of the species of interest.

  4. Skeletal morphology of the forefoot in shrews (Mammalia: Soricidae) of the genus Cryptotis, as revealed by digital x-rays

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.; Morgan, J.P.J.

    2005-01-01

    Variation in the forefoot skeleton of small-eared shrews (family Soricidae, genus Cryptotis) has been previously documented, but the paucity of available skeletons for most taxa makes assessment of the degrees of intraspecific and interspecific variation difficult. We used a digital X-ray system to extract images of the forefoot skeleton from 101 dried skins of eight taxa (seven species, including two subspecies of one species) of these shrews. Lengths and widths of each of the four bones of digit III were measured directly from the digital images, and we used these data to quantify variation within and among taxa. Analysis of the images and measurements showed that interspecific variation exceeds intraspecific variation. In fact, most taxa could be distinguished in multivariate and some bivariate plots. Our quantitative data helped us define a number of specific forefoot characters that we subsequently used to hypothesize evolutionary relationships among the taxa using the exhaustive search option in PAUP, a computer program for phylogenetic analysis. The resulting trees generally concur with previously published evolutionary hypotheses for small-eared shrews. Cryptotis meridensis, a taxon not previously examined in recent phylogenies, is rooted at the base of the branch leading to the C. mexicana group of species. The position of this species suggests that the mostly South American C. thomasi group shares an early ancestor with the C. mexicana group.

  5. Patterns of morphological variation amongst semifossorial shrews in the highlands of Guatemala, with the description of a new species (Mammalia, Soricomorpha, Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2011-01-01

    Members of the Cryptotis goldmani group of small-eared shrews (Mammalia, Soricomorpha, Soricidae) represent a clade within the genus that is characterized by modifications of the forelimb that include broadened forefeet, elongated and broadened foreclaws, and massive humeri with enlarged processes. These modifications are consistent with greater adaptation to their semifossorial habits than other members of the genus. The species in this group occur discontinuously in temperate highlands from southern Tamaulipas, Mexico, to Honduras. In Guatemala, there are three species: the relatively widespread Cryptotis goodwini and two species (Cryptotis lacertosus, Cryptotis mam) endemic to highland forests in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes of western Guatemala. Ongoing studies focusing on the relationships of variation in cranial and postcranial skeletal morphology have revealed a fourth species from remnant cloud forest in the Sierra de Yalijux, central Guatemala. In this paper, I describe this new species and characterize its morphology relative to other species in the C. goldmani group and to other species of Cryptotis in Guatemala. In addition, I summarize available details of its habitat and ecology.

  6. At the foot of the shrew: manus morphology distinguishes closely-related Cryptotis goodwini and Cryptotis griseoventris (Mammalia: Soricidae) in Central America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Stephens, Ryan B.

    2010-01-01

    Small-eared shrews (Mammalia, Soricidae) of the New World genus Cryptotis are distributed from eastern North America to the northern Andes of South America. One well-defined clade in this genus is the Central American Cryptotis mexicana group, whose members are set off from other species in the genus by their variably broader fore feet and more elongate and broadened fore claws. Two species in the C. mexicana group, Cryptotis goodwini Jackson and Cryptotis griseoventris Jackson, inhabit highlands in Guatemala and southern Mexico and are presumed to be sister species whose primary distinguishing feature is the larger body size of C. goodwini. To better characterize these species and confirm the identification of recently-collected specimens, we obtained digital X-ray images of the manus from large series of dried skins of both species. Measurements of the metacarpals and phalanges successfully separated most specimens of C. goodwini and C. griseoventris. These measurements also show that the fore feet of C. griseoventris from Chiapas, Mexico, are morphologically distinct from those of members of the species inhabiting Guatemala. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses indicate that fore foot characters are more conservative within species of the C. mexicana group than are cranio-mandibular characters. Patterns of evolution of fore foot characters that superficially appear to be linear gradations are actually more complex, illustrating individual evolutionary trajectories.

  7. A new species of small-eared shrew from Colombia and Venezuela (Mammalia: Soricomorpha: Soricidae: Genus Cryptotis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.

    2002-01-01

    Populations of small-eared shrews inhabiting the northern Cordillera Oriental of Colombia and adjoining Venezuelan highlands in the vicinity of Paramo de Tama have been referred alternatively to Cryptotis thomssi or Cryptotis meridensis. Morphological and morphometrical study of this population indicates that it belongs to neither taxon, but represents a distinct, previously unrecognized species. I describe this new species as Cryptotis tamensis and redescribe C. meridensis. Recognition of the population at Paramo de Tama as a separate taxon calls into question the identities of populations of shrews currently represented only by single specimens from Cerro Pintado in the Sierra de Perija, Colombia, and near El Junquito in the coastal highlands of Venezuela.

  8. A new small-eared shrew of the Cryptotis nigrescens-group from Colombia (Mammalia: Soricomorpha: Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.

    2003-01-01

    Cryptotis colombiana Woodman & Timm, 1993 previously was known from few specimens from two isolated regions in the Cordillera Central and Cordillera Oriental of Colombia. Recent collecting in the northern Cordillera Central and review of older collections from the central Cordillera Oriental in the vicinity of Bogota yielded additional specimens that permit reevaluation of the two geographic populations of these small-eared shrews. Morphological and morphometrical studies indicate that the population inhabiting the Cordillera Oriental represents a distinct, previously unrecognized species that I describe herein as Cryptotis brachyonyx. Study of 54 specimens of shrews from the Cordillera Oriental in systematic collections in North America, South America, and Europe yielded only four specimens of the new species, all collected before 1926. The paucity of modern specimens suggests that C. brachyonyx may be extremely restricted in distribution, or possibly extinct.

  9. Fossil shrews from Honduras and their significance for late glacial evolution in body size (Mammalia: Soricidae: Cryptotis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.; Croft, D.A.

    2005-01-01

    Our study of mammalian remains excavated in the 1940s from McGrew Cave, north of Copan, Honduras, yielded an assemblage of 29 taxa that probably accumulated predominantly as the result of predation by owls. Among the taxa present are three species of small-eared shrews, genus Cryptotis. One species, Cryptotis merriami, is relatively rare among the fossil remains. The other two shrews, Cryptotis goodwini and Cryptotis orophila, are abundant and exhibit morpho metrical variation distinguishing them from modern populations. Fossils of C. goodwini are distinctly and consistently smaller than modern members of the species. To quantify the size differences, we derived common measures of body size for fossil C. goodwini using regression models based on modern samples of shrews in the Cryptotis mexicana-group. Estimated mean length of head and body for the fossil sample is 72-79 mm, and estimated mean mass is 7.6-9.6 g. These numbers indicate that the fossil sample averaged 6-14% smaller in head and body length and 39-52% less in mass than the modern sample and that increases of 6-17% in head and body length and 65-108% in mass occurred to achieve the mean body size of the modern sample. Conservative estimates of fresh (wet) food intake based on mass indicate that such a size increase would require a 37-58% increase in daily food consumption. In contrast to C. goodwini, fossil C. orophila from the cave is not different in mean body size from modern samples. The fossil sample does, however, show slightly greater variation in size than is currently present throughout the modern geographical distribution of the taxon. Moreover, variation in some other dental and mandibular characters is more constrained, exhibiting a more direct relationship to overall size. Our study of these species indicates that North American shrews have not all been static in size through time, as suggested by some previous work with fossil soricids. Lack of stratigraphic control within the site and our

  10. Distributional records of shrews (Mammalia, Soricomorpha, Soricidae) from Northern Central America with the first record of Sorex from Honduras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Matson, John O.; McCarthy, Timothy J.; Eckerlin, Ralph P.; Bulmer, Walter; Ordonez-Garza, Nicte

    2012-01-01

    Short term surveys for small mammals in Guatemala and Honduras during 1992–2009 provided important new records for 12 taxa of shrews from 24 localities. These locality records expand the known geographic distributions for five species and for the genus Sorex Linnaeus, 1758: the geographic range of Cryptotis goodwini Jackson, 1933, now includes the Sierra de las Minas, Guatemala, and several isolated highlands in western Honduras; the known distribution of Cryptotis mayensis (Merriam, 1901) is increased with the first definite modern record for this shrew from Guatemala; Cryptotis merriami Choate, 1970, is now known to occur in the Sierra de las Minas and the Sierra del Merendon, Guatemala, as well as the isolated Sierra de Omoa and Montana de La Muralla in Honduras, and its documented elevational range (600–1720 m) is expanded; records of Sorex veraepacis Alston, 1877, expand the known distribution of this species to include the Sierra de Yalijux, Guatemala; and discovery of Sorex salvini Merriam, 1897, at Celaque, Honduras (1825–3110 m), represents a considerable extension of the geographic range of the species, and it is the first record of the genus Sorex from Honduras. In addition, the first record of potential syntopy among C. goodwini, C merriami, and Cryptotis orophilus (J.A. Allen, 1895), is reported at an elevation of 1430 m in the Sierra de Celaque, Honduras. Information associated with these records contributes substantially to knowledge of habitat use, elevational distributions, reproductive patterns, diet, and parasites of the species encountered. General patterns include the first evidence that Neotropical species of soricids have smaller litters than their temperate congeners.

  11. A new species of Cryptotis (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) from the Sierra de Perijá, Venezuelan-Colombian Andes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quiroga-Carmona, Marcial; Woodman, Neal

    2015-01-01

    The Sierra de Perijá is the northern extension of the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes and includes part of the border between Colombia and Venezuela. The population of small-eared shrews (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Soricidae, Cryptotis) inhabiting the Sierra de Perijá previously was known from only a single skull from an individual collected in Colombia in 1989. This specimen had been referred to alternatively as C. thomasi and C. meridensis, but more precise definition of the known Colombian and Venezuelan species of Cryptotis has since excluded the Sierra de Perijá population from any named species. The recent collection of a specimen from the Venezuelan slope of Sierra de Perijá, prompted us to re-evaluate the taxonomic status of this population and determine its relationship with other Andean shrews. Our examination of the available specimens revealed that they possess a unique suite of morphological and morphometrical characters, and we describe the Sierra de Perijá population as a new species in the South American C. thomasi species group. Recognition of this new species adds to our knowledge of this genus in South America and to the biodiversity of the Sierra de Perijá.

  12. This shrew is a jumping mouse (Mammalia, Dipodidae): Sorex dichrurus Rafinesque 1833 is a synonym of Zapus hudsonius (Zimmermann 1780)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Carleton, Michael D.

    2012-01-01

    Constantine S. Rafinesque described Sorex dichrurus as a shrew in 1833, based on a specimen he found in a proprietary museum near Niagara Falls on the New York/Ontario border. The name subsequently has been ignored by the scientific community. By describing this specimen as a shrew and ascribing it to the genus Sorex, Rafinesque clearly indicated that his species should be considered a member of the taxonomic family now recognized as the Soricidae (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla). Yet, the description of the animal, and its comparison to ‘‘Gerbillus,’’ clearly identify it as a dipodid rodent, specifically Zapus hudsonius (Zimmermann, 1780); S. dichrurus should be treated as a junior subjective synonym of that taxon. Based on its type locality of Goat Island, New York, this name is also a junior synonym of the subspecies Z. hudsonius canadensis (Davies, 1798).

  13. The complete mitogenome of Hodgson's Red-Toothed Shrew, Episoriculus caudatus (Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Fu, Changkun; Wei, Haixue; Zong, Hao; Chen, Guiying; Wang, Qiong; Yong, Bin; Chen, Shunde

    2016-05-01

    The Hodgson's Red-Toothed Shrew, Episoriculus caudatus belongs to the family Soricidae, and is widely distributed in northern South Asia, central and southern China and present in parts of northern Southeast Asia. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Episoriculus caudatus was determined. The mitogenome was 17,129 base pairs in length and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, and 1 control region, with a base composition of 33.1% A, 29.2% T, 24.7% C, and 13.0% G. The genome organization, nucleotide composition and codon usage did not differ significantly from those of other shrews. The study contributes to illuminating taxonomic status of Hodgson's Red-Toothed Shrew, Episoriculus caudatus. PMID:25259449

  14. The Stephen H. Long Expedition (1819?1820), Titian R. Peale?s field illustrations, and the lost holotypes of the North American shrews Sorex brevicaudus Say and Sorex parvus Say (Mammalia: Soricidae) from the Philadelphia Museum

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.

    2009-01-01

    While encamped for the winter of 1819?1820 at Engineer Cantonment along the Missouri River in present-day eastern Nebraska, members of Major Stephen Harriman Long?s Expedition to the Rocky Mountains collected a number of animals that were previously unknown. Among the mammals were two soricids that were subsequently described by Thomas Say as Sorex brevicaudus (Northern Short-tailed Shrew, Blarina brevicauda) and Sorex parvus (Least Shrew, Cryptotis parvus). The holotypes of these species were deposited and placed on public exhibit in the Philadelphia Museum, the predominant North American systematic collection of the early nineteenth century. Like most private museums of that era, the Philadelphia Museum eventually went out of business, and its collections were dispersed and, for the most part, lost. Fortunately, Titian R. Peale made a detailed field sketch of the two specimens soon after their capture and subsequently executed a watercolor based on that sketch. In addition, an engraving of the holotypes was published in the decade following the discovery of the two species. Illustrations of holotypes are taxonomically useful when they depict diagnostic characters of species. They take on added taxonomic significance in the absence of the holotypes. In the cases of Sorex brevicaudus and Sorex parvus, pictures provide strong confirmation of the taxonomic identities of these two species, as well as recording the early history of the specimens.

  15. Identification and distribution of the Olympic Shrew (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae), Sorex rohweriRausch et al., 2007 in Oregon and Washington, based on USNM specimens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Fisher, Robert D.

    2016-01-01

    Review of specimens of long-tailed shrews (Mammalia, Soricidae, Sorex) from the northwestern United States in the National Museum of Natural History (USNM), Washington, DC, has revealed the presence of the Olympic Shrew, Sorex rohweri Rausch et al., 2007, in the Coastal Range west of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. This determination nearly doubles the documented distribution for this species and increases the species diversity of soricids in Oregon to eleven. Sorex rohweri is relatively uncommon, but it occurs in a variety of forest successional stages and even clear cuts, as long as there is nearby forest and trees are allowed to regenerate. All USNM specimens from Washington formerly identified as S. cinereus streatori Merriam, 1895 are instead referable to the Olympic Shrew. The distribution of S. c. streatori is thereby restricted to the Pacific coasts of British Columbia north of the lower Frasier River and south central Alaska. Our study highlights the importance of taking and preserving high-quality voucher specimens in a collection where they are readily available for re-study.

  16. Two new species of shrews (Soricidae) from the western highlands of Guatemala

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2010-01-01

    The broad-clawed shrews (Soricomorpha: Soricidae: Cryptotis) encompass a clade of 5 species—Cryptotis alticolus (Merriam), C. goldmani (Merriam), C. goodwini Jackson, C. griseoventris Jackson, and C. peregrinus (Merriam)—that is known collectively as the Cryptotis goldmani group and is characterized by broadened forefeet, elongated and broadened fore claws, and broadened humeri. These shrews are distributed in highland regions from central Mexico to Honduras. Two broad-clawed shrews, C. goodwini and C. griseoventris, occur in southern Mexico and Guatemala and are presumed sister species whose primary distinguishing feature is the larger size of C. goodwini. In an investigation of variation within and between these 2 species, I studied characteristics of the postcranial skeleton. Statistical analyses of a variety of character suites indicate that the forelimb morphology in this group exhibits less intraspecific variation and greater interspecific variation than cranio-mandibular morphology, although most skull characters support groupings based on forelimb characters. Together, these characters define 4 distinct groups among the specimens examined. C. griseoventris is restricted to the northern highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, and C. goodwini occurs in the southern highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala. Herein, I describe 2 new species of broad-clawed shrews from the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Guatemala.

  17. Molecular phylogeny of short-tailed shrews, Blarina (Insectivora: Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Brant, Sara V; Ortí, Guillermo

    2002-02-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among the three described species of short-tailed shrews (genus Blarina) were inferred based on mitochondrial DNA sequences of 16S rRNA (506 bp) and cytochrome b (1137 bp) from 38 specimens representing B. brevicauda, B. hylophaga, and B. carolinensis, from across their range in North America. Phylogenetic analyses of both data sets combined followed tests showing lack of incongruence between these fragments. Analysis of substitution patterns indicated saturation of transitions at third codon positions in cytochrome b when Blarina sequences were compared to those of Sorex and Cryptotis, used as outgroups. Maximum-likelihood and weighted parsimony supported the monophyly of the genus and placed B. hylophaga as its basal branch, sister to B. brevicauda + B. carolinensis. Phylogeographic analysis revealed a significant partition between eastern and western populations of B. carolinensis and B. brevicauda, on either side of the Mississippi basin. These results are discussed in relation to cytogenetic, morphological, and fossil data. PMID:11820838

  18. Fine structure of the submandibular salivary gland of the venomous short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda Say (Insectivora: Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Carson, K A; Rose, R K

    1993-01-01

    Adult male short-tailed shrews, Blarina brevicauda, (Insectivora: Soricidae) were trapped in Virginia and Pennsylvania, anesthetized, and perfused via the left ventricle of the heart with fixative. The submandibular glands were dissected free and prepared for transmission electron microscopy. The lobular, compound tubuloacinar glands had secretory endpieces consisting of seromucous acini and serous tubules connected to intercalated ducts, granular ducts, striated ducts, and excretory ducts. The general cytology of the submandibular gland of Blarina shared morphological characters with individuals in several other mammalian orders and yet differed in many ways from another Insectivore, the European hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus. PMID:8398545

  19. Molecular Phylogeny Supports Repeated Adaptation to Burrowing within Small-Eared Shrews Genus of Cryptotis (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae).

    PubMed

    He, Kai; Woodman, Neal; Boaglio, Sean; Roberts, Mariel; Supekar, Sunjana; Maldonado, Jesús E

    2015-01-01

    Small-eared shrews of the New World genus Cryptotis (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) comprise at least 42 species that traditionally have been partitioned among four or more species groups based on morphological characters. The Cryptotis mexicana species group is of particular interest, because its member species inhibit a subtly graded series of forelimb adaptations that appear to correspond to locomotory behaviors that range from more ambulatory to more fossorial. Unfortunately, the evolutionary relationships both among species in the C. mexicana group and among the species groups remain unclear. To better understand the phylogeny of this group of shrews, we sequenced two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes. To help interpret the pattern and direction of morphological changes, we also generated a matrix of morphological characters focused on the evolutionarily plastic humerus. We found significant discordant between the resulting molecular and morphological trees, suggesting considerable convergence in the evolution of the humerus. Our results indicate that adaptations for increased burrowing ability evolved repeatedly within the genus Cryptotis. PMID:26489020

  20. Molecular Phylogeny Supports Repeated Adaptation to Burrowing within Small-Eared Shrews Genus of Cryptotis (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae)

    PubMed Central

    He, Kai; Woodman, Neal; Boaglio, Sean; Roberts, Mariel; Supekar, Sunjana; Maldonado, Jesús E.

    2015-01-01

    Small-eared shrews of the New World genus Cryptotis (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) comprise at least 42 species that traditionally have been partitioned among four or more species groups based on morphological characters. The Cryptotis mexicana species group is of particular interest, because its member species inhibit a subtly graded series of forelimb adaptations that appear to correspond to locomotory behaviors that range from more ambulatory to more fossorial. Unfortunately, the evolutionary relationships both among species in the C. mexicana group and among the species groups remain unclear. To better understand the phylogeny of this group of shrews, we sequenced two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes. To help interpret the pattern and direction of morphological changes, we also generated a matrix of morphological characters focused on the evolutionarily plastic humerus. We found significant discordant between the resulting molecular and morphological trees, suggesting considerable convergence in the evolution of the humerus. Our results indicate that adaptations for increased burrowing ability evolved repeatedly within the genus Cryptotis. PMID:26489020

  1. The complete mitogenome of Asiatic Short-tailed Shrew Blarinella quadraticauda (Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Qiong; Fu, Changkun; Chen, Shunde; Yong, Bin; Chen, Guiying; Zong, Hao

    2016-01-01

    The Asiatic Short-tailed Shrew, Blarinella quadraticauda, is an endemic shrew to China, and is only distributed in Sichuan. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of B. quadraticauda was determined. The mitogenome is 17,014 base pairs in length and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 1 control region, with a base composition of 33.3 % A, 31.8% T, 22.3% C and 12.6% G. This study contributes to illuminating taxonomic status of the Asiatic Short-tailed Shrew, B. quadraticauda. PMID:24660918

  2. Persistence and diversification of the Holarctic shrew, Sorex tundrensis (Family Soricidae), in response to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hope, A.G.; Waltari, Eric; Fedorov, V.B.; Goropashnaya, A.V.; Talbot, S.L.; Cook, J.A.

    2011-01-01

    Environmental processes govern demography, species movements, community turnover and diversification and yet in many respects these dynamics are still poorly understood at high latitudes. We investigate the combined effects of climate change and geography through time for a widespread Holarctic shrew, Sorex tundrensis. We include a comprehensive suite of closely related outgroup taxa and three independent loci to explore phylogeographic structure and historical demography. We then explore the implications of these findings for other members of boreal communities. The tundra shrew and its sister species, the Tien Shan shrew (Sorex asper), exhibit strong geographic population structure across Siberia and into Beringia illustrating local centres of endemism that correspond to Late Pleistocene refugia. Ecological niche predictions for both current and historical distributions indicate a model of persistence through time despite dramatic climate change. Species tree estimation under a coalescent process suggests that isolation between populations has been maintained across timeframes deeper than the periodicity of Pleistocene glacial cycling. That some species such as the tundra shrew have a history of persistence largely independent of changing climate, whereas other boreal species shifted their ranges in response to climate change, highlights the dynamic processes of community assembly at high latitudes. ?? 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  3. Persistence and diversification of the Holarctic shrew, Sorex tundrensis (Family Soricidae), in response to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hope, Andrew G.; Waltari, Eric; Fedorov, V.B.; Goropashnaya, A.V.; Talbot, Sandra; Cook, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental processes govern demography, species movements, community turnover and diversification and yet in many respects these dynamics are still poorly understood at high latitudes. We investigate the combined effects of climate change and geography through time for a widespread Holarctic shrew, Sorex tundrensis. We include a comprehensive suite of closely related outgroup taxa and three independent loci to explore phylogeographic structure and historical demography. We then explore the implications of these findings for other members of boreal communities. The tundra shrew and its sister species, the Tien Shan shrew (Sorex asper), exhibit strong geographic population structure across Siberia and into Beringia illustrating local centres of endemism that correspond to Late Pleistocene refugia. Ecological niche predictions for both current and historical distributions indicate a model of persistence through time despite dramatic climate change. Species tree estimation under a coalescent process suggests that isolation between populations has been maintained across timeframes deeper than the periodicity of Pleistocene glacial cycling. That some species such as the tundra shrew have a history of persistence largely independent of changing climate, whereas other boreal species shifted their ranges in response to climate change, highlights the dynamic processes of community assembly at high latitudes.

  4. [Description of Hymenolepis cerberensis n. sp. (Cestoda: Hymenolepididae) and first general considerations on the fauna of cestode parasites of the pygmy shrew Suncus etruscus (Savi, 1822) (Insectivora: Soricidae)].

    PubMed

    Mas-Coma, S; Fons, R; Galan-Puchades, M T; Valero, M A

    1986-01-01

    Description and differentiation of the adult stage of Hymenolepis cerberensis n. sp. (Cestoda: Hymenolepididae), an intestinal parasite of the Pygmy white-toothed shrew, Suncus etruscus (Savi, 1822) (Insectivora: Soricidae: Crocidurinae) in the region of Banyuls-sur-Mer and Cerbère (Oriental Pyrenees, France). The new species is characterized by the size of the gravid specimens and by the presence of 18-21 rostellar hooks of 18.5-20 micron and of filaments around the embryophore. The general composition of the fauna of Cyclophyllidea parasitizing S. etruscus is analysed. There are three less specialised Hymenolepis species with a scolex of the same type and one Pseudhymenolepis species, with the absence of unarmed species lacking a rostrum. The oioxenous character of the Cestodes parasitizing Suncus species sustains the validity of the genus Suncus. The resemblance of the Cestodefaunas suggests a narrow phyletic relationship between the genera Suncus and Crocidura.

  5. A new species of small-eared shrew (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Cryptotis) from the Lacandona rain forest, Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guevara, Lázaro; Sánchez-Cordero, Víctor; León-Paniagua, Livia; Woodman, Neal

    2014-01-01

    The diversity and distribution of mammals in the American tropics remain incompletely known. We describe a new species of small-eared shrew (Soricidae, Cryptotis) from the Lacandona rain forest, Chiapas, southern Mexico. The new species is distinguished from other species of Cryptotis on the basis of a unique combination of pelage coloration, size, dental, cranial, postcranial, and external characters, and genetic distances. It appears most closely related to species in the Cryptotis nigrescens species group, which occurs from southern Mexico to montane regions of Colombia. This discovery is particularly remarkable because the new species is from a low-elevation habitat (approximately 90 m), whereas most shrews in the region are restricted to higher elevations, typically > 1,000 m. The only known locality for the new shrew is in one of the last areas in southern Mexico where relatively undisturbed tropical vegetation is still found. The type locality is protected by the Mexican government as part of the Yaxchilán Archaeological Site on the border between Mexico and Guatemala.

  6. Phylogeography of the dusky shrew, Sorex monticolus (Insectivora, Soricidae): insight into deep and shallow history in northwestern North America.

    PubMed

    Demboski, J R; Cook, J A

    2001-05-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among the dusky shrew (Sorexmonticolus) and eight related species (S. bairdi, S. bendirii, S. neomexicanus, S.ornatus, S. pacificus, S. palustris, S. sonomae and S.vagrans) were assessed using sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (801 bp). Analyses using parsimony and maximum likelihood revealed significant molecular variation not reflected in previous morphological studies of these species. Conversely, three morphologically defined species (S.bairdi, S.neomexicanus and S.pacificus) were poorly differentiated. Sorexornatus and S.vagrans represented basal taxa for a more inclusive group that included: (i) a widespread Continental clade containing S.monticolus (Arizona to Alaska, including S. neomexicanus); (ii) a Coastal clade containing S.monticolus (Oregon to south-east Alaska, including S. bairdi and S. pacificus); (iii) the semiaquatic species (S. bendirii and S. palustris); and (iv) S.sonomae. Additional subdivision was observed within the Continental clade corresponding to populations from the northern and southern Rocky Mountains. Average uncorrected sequence divergence between the Coastal and Continental clades was 5.3% (range 4.5-6.2%), which exceeds many interspecific comparisons within this species complex and within the genus Sorex. Lack of resolution of internal nodes within topologies suggests a deep history of rapid diversification within this group. Late Pleistocene/Holocene glacial perturbations are reflected in the shallow phylogeographic structure within these clades in western North America. Our results suggest also that S. monticolus is not monophyletic under current taxonomic nomenclature. This perspective on phylogeographic history was developed within a growing comparative framework for other organisms in western North America. PMID:11380879

  7. The identity of the enigmatic "Black Shrew" (Sorex niger Ord, 1815)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2013-01-01

    The scientific name Sorex niger Ord, 1815 (Mammalia, Soricidae) was originally applied to a North American species that George Ord called the “Black Shrew.” The origin of the name “Black Shrew,” however, was obscure, and Samuel Rhoads subsequently wrote that the species represented by this name could not be determined. The names Sorex niger Ord and Black Shrew have since been mostly forgotten. Two of Ord's contemporaries, however, noted that Ord's use of these names probably alluded to Benjamin Smith Barton's Black Shrew, whose discovery near Philadelphia was announced by Barton in 1806. Examination of two unpublished illustrations of the Black Shrew made by Barton indicates that the animal depicted is Blarina brevicauda (Say, 1822). Had the connection between Ord's and Barton's names been made more clearly, one of the most common mammals in eastern North America would bear a different scientific name today. This connection also would have affected the validity of Sorex niger Horsfield, 1851. While Sorex niger Ord remains a nomen nudum, the animal it referenced can now be identified.

  8. [First finding of the Centrorhynchus aluconis (Muller, 1780) (Giganthorhynchidae) and Moniliformis moniliformis bremser, 1811 (Moniliformidae) larvae in shrews (Insectivora: Soricidae) of the fauna of Russia].

    PubMed

    Kirillova, N Iu; Kirillov, A A

    2007-01-01

    The larvae of acanthocephalans Centrorhynchus aluconis (Muller, 1780) and Moniliformis moniliformis Bremser, 1811 are recorded for the first time from shrews in Russia (Samarskaya Luka National Park, Samara Region). Taxonomic descriptions and figures of the specimens examined are presented.

  9. First evidence of poisonous shrews with an envenomation apparatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Rofes, Juan

    2007-02-01

    Herein, we report evidence of an envenomation apparatus (EA) in two different species of extinct “giant” shrews, Beremendia and an indeterminate soricine (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Soricidae), documented by very well preserved fossil specimens recovered from two Early Pleistocene cave deposits of the Sierra de Atapuerca in Burgos, Spain. The two soricine taxa from Atapuerca have evolved specialized teeth as EAs, which differ from those of recently reported mammals of the Paleocene age, being more similar to the ones described in the modern Solenodon. This discovery reveals the first instance of shrews possessing what appears to be an EA, an evolutionary adaptation that, in these species, was probably related to an increase in body mass and hunting of a larger-sized prey. The Atapuerca specimens would have a highly specialized EA, one of the very few reported for an extinct or living mammal of any time. In addition to the presence of a gutter-like groove along the medial side of the crown of the lower incisors, these two species also present stout jaws and a modified mandibular symphysis with a conspicuous cavity, which in life would likely contain large amounts of connective tissue. The strong mandible architecture of these large shrews would be, in this way, reinforced by a more immovable symphysis, increasing the bite force exerted over a potential prey. This adaptation, together with the grooved incisors, would ensure a rapid and efficient transmission of the poisonous saliva to paralyze relatively large-sized prey.

  10. White-toothed shrews (Mammalia, Soricomorpha, Crocidura) of coastal islands of Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Abramov, Alexei V.; Bannikova, Anna A.; Rozhnov, Viatcheslav V.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract New findings of the white-toothed shrews (Crocidura spp.) from offshore islands of Vietnam are reported. The species identifications have been confirmed by the analysis of complete mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (1140 bp). Crocidura phuquocensis is the only species found in the Phu Quoc Island. Crocidura fuliginosa has been recorded from two islands of the Con Dao Archipelago (Con Son and Bai Canh). The occurrence of Crocidura fuliginosa in Vietnam has been genetically confirmed for the first time. Crocidura attenuata has been collected from the Cat Ba Island for the first time, and this finding corresponds well with the proposal that the species’ distribution is confined to the north and east of the Red River only. PMID:22855639

  11. Coccidian parasites (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from insectivores. III. Seven new species in shrews (Soricidae: Soricinae) from Canada, Japan, and the United States.

    PubMed

    Hertel, L A; Duszynski, D W

    1987-02-01

    Since May 1979, 458 shrews (Blarina sp. and Sorex spp.) representing 20 species collected in Canada, Japan, and the United States were examined for coccidia; 110 (24%) had oocysts in their feces, including 8 of 21 (38%) B. brevicauda from Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont; 2 of 7 (29%) S. caecutiens from Hokkaido and Honshu; 14 of 63 (22%) S. cinereus from Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Manitoba, and Ontario; 3 of 7 (43%) S. fontinalis from Pennsylvania; 11 of 16 (69%) S. fumeus from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Ontario; 1 of 4 (25%) S. haydeni from Minnesota; 6 of 8 (75%) S. longirostris from Florida and Virginia; 1 of 2 (50%) S. ornatus from California; 5 of 12 (42%) S. pacificus from California and Oregon; 13 of 41 (32%) S. palustris from California, Colorado, and New Mexico; 1 of 2 (50%) S. tenellus from California; 11 of 105 (10%) S. trowbridgii from California, Oregon, and Washington; 10 of 48 (21%) S. unguiculatus from Hokkaido; and 24 of 112 (21%) S. vagrans from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. The following coccidians were identified from infected shrews: Eimeria brevicauda n. sp. from B. brevicauda; Eimeria fumeus n. sp. from S. fumeus, S. pacificus, S. unguiculatus, and S. vagrans; Eimeria inyoni n. sp. from S. tenellus; Eimeria palustris n. sp. from S. cinereus, S. fontinalis, S. fumeus, S. haydeni, S. longirostris, S. ornatus, S. pacificus, S. palustris, S. tenellus, S. trowbridgii, and S. vagrans; Eimeria vagrantis n. sp. from S. fumeus, S. trowbridgii, and S. vagrans; Isospora brevicauda n. sp. from B. brevicauda; and Isospora palustris n. sp. from S. pacificus, S. palustris, S. trowbridgii, S. unguiculatus, and S. vagrans. The world literature on coccidian parasites of shrews (16 eimerians and 3 isosporans exclusive of the 7 new species described here) is reviewed. PMID:3572649

  12. Maximal enzyme activities, and myoglobin and glutathione concentrations in heart, liver and skeletal muscle of the Northern Short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda; Insectivora: Soricidae).

    PubMed

    Stewart, J M; Woods, A K; Blakely, J A

    2005-07-01

    We measured the enzymes of glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, beta-oxidation and electron transport in the heart, liver and skeletal muscle of the Northern Short-tailed Shrew, Blarina brevicauda. Additionally, we measured the amount of myoglobin in skeletal and heart muscle as well as the concentration of glutathione in heart. The picture that emerges is of an aerobically well-endowed animal with constrained anaerobic capacity as indicated by small activities of glycolytic enzymes and creatine kinase. Lipid metabolism and amino acid transamination, as well as gluconeogenesis, are predominant in processing carbon resources and probably reflect the large contribution lipid and protein make to the diet of this carnivore. The citrate synthase activity is the largest of any reported value for vertebrate heart (250 U/g). The additional, very active cytochrome c oxidase activity (220 U/g) and large myoglobin concentrations (8 mg/g) in heart are clearly the underpinnings of the rapid metabolic rates reported for small insectivores. The potential for generation of reactive oxygen species must be great since the total glutathione concentration (165 mumol/g) is 300-fold greater in shrew hearts than in hearts of rats. PMID:15914053

  13. Hand development and sequence of ossification in the forelimb of the European shrew Crocidura russula (Soricidae) and comparisons across therian mammals.

    PubMed

    Prochel, Jan; Vogel, Peter; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2004-08-01

    Hand development in the European shrew Crocidura russula is described, based on the examination of a cleared and double-stained ontogenetic series and histological sections of a c. 20-day-old embryo and a neonate. In the embryo all carpal elements are still mesenchymal condensations, and there are three more elements than in the adult stage: the 'lunatum', which fuses with the scaphoid around birth; a centrale, which either fuses with another carpal element or just disappears later in ontogeny; and the anlage of an element that later fuses with the radius. Carpal arrangement in the neonate and the adult is the same. In order to compare the relative timing of the onset of ossification in forelimb bones in C. russula with that of other therians, we built up two matrices of events based on two sets of data and used the event-pair method. In the first analysis, ossification of forelimb elements in general was examined, including that of the humerus, radius, ulna, the first carpal and metacarpal to ossify, and the phalanges of the third digit. The second analysis included each carpal, humerus, radius, ulna, the first metacarpal and the first phalanx to ossify. Some characters (= event-pairs) provide synapomorphies for some clades examined. There have been some shifts in the timing of ossification apparently not caused by ecological and/or environmental influences. In two species (Oryctolagus and Myotis), there is a tendency to start the ossification of the carpals relatively earlier than in all other species examined, the sauropsid outgroups included. PMID:15291793

  14. [Genetic Structure of the Common Shrew Sorex araneus L. 1758 (Mammalia, Lipotyphla) in Continuous and Fragmented Areas].

    PubMed

    Grigoryeva, O O; Borisova, Yu M; Stakheev, V V; Balakirev, A E; Krivonogov, D M; Orlov, V N

    2015-06-01

    In this work the genetic variability of the common shrew populations Sorex araneus L. in Eastern Europe was studied via sequencing of the mitochondrial gene cyt b. A total of 82 sequences of the mitochondrial gene cyt b with a length of 953 basepairs were analyzed, including five chromosome races in a continuous area of the species in forest zone and two races in fragmented area in the steppe zone. Phylogeographic subdivision of the common shrew was not expressed, and there was no significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances in continuous areas. We did not acquire convincing evidence of the influence of narrow hybrid zones between chromosome races on the flow of neutral alleles. A significant p-distance (0.69 ± 0.27%) of geographically close populations of the chromosome race Neroosa indicates the formation of the karyotype of this race in the Pliocene or Pleistocene. In our work, the phylogeographic structure was determined more by species area fragmentation than by its karyotypic features. PMID:26310034

  15. Phylogeny and Taxonomy of the Round-Eared Sengis or Elephant-Shrews, Genus Macroscelides (Mammalia, Afrotheria, Macroscelidea)

    PubMed Central

    Dumbacher, John P.; Rathbun, Galen B.; Smit, Hanneline A.; Eiseb, Seth J.

    2012-01-01

    The round-eared sengis or elephant-shrews (genus Macroscelides) exhibit striking pelage variation throughout their ranges. Over ten taxonomic names have been proposed to describe this variation, but currently only two taxa are recognized (M. proboscideus proboscideus and M. p. flavicaudatus). Here, we review the taxonomic history of Macroscelides, and we use data on the geographic distribution, morphology, and mitochondrial DNA sequence to evaluate the current taxonomy. Our data support only two taxa that correspond to the currently recognized subspecies M. p. proboscideus and M. p. flavicaudatus. Mitochondrial haplotypes of these two taxa are reciprocally monophyletic with over 13% uncorrected sequence divergence between them. PCA analysis of 14 morphological characters (mostly cranial) grouped the two taxa into non-overlapping clusters, and body mass alone is a relatively reliable distinguishing character throughout much of Macroscelides range. Although fieldworkers were unable to find sympatric populations, the two taxa were found within 50 km of each other, and genetic analysis showed no evidence of gene flow. Based upon corroborating genetic data, morphological data, near sympatry with no evidence of gene flow, and differences in habitat use, we elevate these two forms to full species. PMID:22479325

  16. Development and characterization of 21 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the barren-ground shrew, Sorex ugyunak (Mammalia: Sorcidae), through next-generation sequencing, and cross-species amplification in the masked shrew, S. cinereus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sonsthagen, S.A.; Sage, G.K.; Fowler, M.; Hope, A.G.; Cook, J.A.; Talbot, S.L.

    2013-01-01

    We used next generation shotgun sequencing to develop 21 novel microsatellite markers for the barren-ground shrew (Sorex ugyunak), which were polymorphic among individuals from northern Alaska. The loci displayed moderate allelic diversity (averaging 6.81 alleles per locus) and heterozygosity (averaging 70 %). Two loci deviated from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) due to heterozygote deficiency. While the population did not deviate from HWE overall, it showed significant linkage disequilibrium suggesting this population is not in mutation-drift equilibrium. Nineteen of 21 loci were polymorphic in masked shrews (S. cinereus) from interior Alaska and exhibited linkage equilibrium and HWE overall. All loci yielded sufficient variability for use in population studies.

  17. Detection of effects of a high trophic level predator, Sorex unguiculatus (Soricidae, Mammalia), on a soil microbial community in a cool temperate forest in Hokkaido, using the ARISA method.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Kana; Ohdachi, Satoshi D; Kasahara, Yasuhiro

    2010-01-01

    Soil bacteria play important roles as litter decomposers in most terrestrial ecosystems and microbial activity is affected by activities of soil invertebrates. In soil ecosystems of forests in Hokkaido, the long-clawed shrew is an important predator whose preying on soil invertebrates may indirectly affect soil bacterial communities. To estimate indirect top-down effects of shrews on the soil bacterial community, field experiments were conducted using enclosures in which shrews were introduced and removed, and changes in bacterial community composition, species richness, diversity, and evenness were observed using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). Abiotic environmental conditions (ambient temperature, soil temperature, soil moisture content and soil pH) were also considered. Bacterial community structure was significantly affected by soil moisture content and soil temperature. The significant causes of the change in bacterial species richness, diversity, and evenness varied among experimental treatments; however, soil moisture tended to have significantly negative effects on these indices in all cases. In the present study, effects of shrews on the bacterial community were not detected.

  18. Muscle Aging and Oxidative Stress in Wild-Caught Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Hindle, Allyson G.; Lawler, John M.; Campbell, Kevin L.; Horning, Markus

    2010-01-01

    Red-toothed shrews (Soricidae, subfamily Soricinae) are an intriguing model system to examine the free radical theory of aging in wild mammals, given their short (<18 month) lifespan and high mass-specific metabolic rates. As muscle performance underlies both foraging ability and predator avoidance, any age-related decline should be detrimental to fitness and survival. Muscle samples of water shrews (Sorex palustris) and sympatrically distributed short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) were therefore assessed for oxidative stress markers, protective antioxidant enzymes and apoptosis. Activity levels of catalase and glutathione peroxidase increased with age in both species. Similarly, Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase isoform content was elevated significantly in older animals of both species (increases of 60% in the water shrew, 25% in the short-tailed shrew). Only one oxidative stress marker (lipid peroxidation) was age-elevated; the others were stable or declined (4-hydroxynonenal adducts and dihydroethidium oxidation). Glutathione peroxidase activity was significantly higher in the short-tailed shrew, while catalase activity was 2× higher in water shrews. Oxidative stress indicators were on average higher in short-tailed shrews. Apoptosis occurred in <1% of myocytes examined, and did not increase with age. Within the constraints of the sample size we found evidence of protection against elevated oxidative stress in wild-caught shrews. PMID:20109576

  19. Muscle aging and oxidative stress in wild-caught shrews.

    PubMed

    Hindle, Allyson G; Lawler, John M; Campbell, Kevin L; Horning, Markus

    2010-04-01

    Red-toothed shrews (Soricidae, subfamily Soricinae) are an intriguing model system to examine the free-radical theory of aging in wild mammals, given their short (<18months) lifespan and high mass-specific metabolic rates. As muscle performance underlies both foraging ability and predator avoidance, any age-related decline should be detrimental to fitness and survival. Muscle samples of water shrews (Sorex palustris) and sympatrically distributed short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) were therefore assessed for oxidative stress markers, protective antioxidant enzymes and apoptosis. Activity levels of catalase and glutathione peroxidase increased with age in both species. Similarly, Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase isoform content was elevated significantly in older animals of both species (increases of 60% in the water shrew, 25% in the short-tailed shrew). Only one oxidative stress marker (lipid peroxidation) was age-elevated; the others were stable or declined (4-hydroxynonenal adducts and dihydroethidium oxidation). Glutathione peroxidase activity was significantly higher in the short-tailed shrew, while catalase activity was 2x higher in water shrews. Oxidative stress indicators were on average higher in short-tailed shrews. Apoptosis occurred in <1% of myocytes examined, and did not increase with age. Within the constraints of the sample size we found evidence of protection against elevated oxidative stress in wild-caught shrews. PMID:20109576

  20. Nomenclatural notes and identification of small-eared shrews (Mammalia: genus Cryptotis) from Cobán, Guatemala, in The Natural History Museum, London

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2011-01-01

    A small series of shrews collected in Guatemala and registered in the British Museum between 1843 and 1907 includes parts of type series for three species: Corsira tropicalis Gray (1843), Sorex micrurus Tomes (1862), and Blarina tropicalis Merriam (1895). These three names are now considered equivalent, but my recent review of the specimens comprising the series indicates that they include three distinct species: Cryptotis merriami Choate (1970), Cryptotis oreoryctes Woodman (2011), and Cryptotis tropicalis (Merriam 1895). I review the taxonomic history of these specimens, provide current identifications tied directly to museum register numbers, describe how to distinguish the three species, and provide revised synonymies for these species.

  1. Distribution and coexistence of shrews in patchy landscapes: A field test of multiple hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortelliti, Alessio; Boitani, Luigi

    2009-11-01

    Despite the important role of shrews (Soricomorpha: Soricidae) in the functioning of ecosystems, as predators and prey, the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on this guild of mammals are still unclear. We studied the distribution of 5 species (the greater white toothed shrew Crocidura leucodon; the lesser white toothed shrew Crocidura suaveolens; the pigmy shrew Sorex minutus; the Appennine shrew Sorex samniticus and the Etruscan shrew Suncus etruscus) in a fragmented landscape in central Italy. Shrews were trapped with pitfall traps made from plastic water bottles, the number of traps increased with patch size. A total of 170 individuals, of 5 species of shrews were captured. Shrews were widely distributed in our study area, however patch occupancy was determined mainly by vegetation and geometrical characteristics of the patches. Our data supports the hypotheses that patterns of habitat selection and the dynamics of seasonal abundance (habitat and temporal partitioning between similarly sized species) reduce competitive pressure, thus allowing coexistence of shrews in relatively species-rich assemblages, for such small amounts of habitat. The most important outcome of our results is the crucial role played by vegetation structure in determining distribution patterns. These results strongly suggest that measurements of the vegetation structure of habitat patches should always be included as explanatory variables when studying the distribution of shrews in fragmented landscapes.

  2. Life cycle of Renylaima capensis, a brachylaimid trematode of shrews and slugs in South Africa: two-host and three-host transmission modalities suggested by epizootiology and DNA sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The life cycle of the brachylaimid trematode species Renylaima capensis, infecting the urinary system of the shrew Myosorex varius (Mammalia: Soricidae: Crocidosoricinae) in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, South Africa, has been elucidated by a study of its larval stages, epizootiological data in local snails and mammals during a 34-year period, and its verification with mtDNA sequencing. Methods Parasites obtained from dissected animals were mounted in microscope slides for the parasitological study and measured according to standardized methods. The mitochondrial DNA cox1 gene was sequenced by the dideoxy chain-termination method. Results The slugs Ariostralis nebulosa and Ariopelta capensis (Gastropoda: Arionidae) act as specific first and second intermediate hosts, respectively. Branched sporocysts massively develop in A. nebulosa. Intrasporocystic mature cercariae show differentiated gonads, male terminal duct, ventral genital pore, and usually no tail, opposite to Brachylaimidae in which mature cercariae show a germinal primordium and small tail. Unencysted metacercariae, usually brevicaudate, infect the kidney of A. capensis and differ from mature cercariae by only a slightly greater size. The final microhabitats are the kidneys and ureters of the shrews, kidney pelvis and calyces in light infections and also kidney medulla and cortex in heavy infections. Sporocysts, cercariae, metacercariae and adults proved to belong to R. capensis by analysis of a 437-bp-long cox1 fragment, which was identical except for three mutations in metacercariae, of which only one silent. Epizootiological studies showed usual sporocyst infection in A. nebulosa and very rare metacercarial infection in A. capensis, which does not agree with high prevalences and intensities in the shrews. Conclusions The presence of monotesticular adult forms and larval prevalences and intensities observed suggest that R. capensis may use two transmission strategies, a two-host life

  3. Variation in the myosoricine hand skeleton and its implications for locomotory behavior (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal; Stabile, Frank A.

    2015-01-01

    Substrate use and locomotory behavior of mammals are typically reflected in external characteristics of the forefeet, such as the relative proportions of the digits and claws. Although skeletal anatomy of the forefeet can be more informative than external characters, skeletons remain rare in systematic collections. This is particularly true for the Myosoricinae (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae), a small clade of African shrews that includes both ambulatory forest shrews (Myosorex) and semifossorial mole shrews (Surdisorex). Most species in this subfamily have restricted distributions, and their behavior and ecology are mostly unstudied. To better understand the potential range of locomotory behavior among myosoricines, we used digital x-rays to image and facilitate measuring the forefoot skeletons of 9 species. As a gauge of potential variation, we compared them with the ambulatory talpid Uropsilus (Talpidae) and the semifossorial talpid Neurotrichus. The hand morphologies of myosoricines show a graded range of potential substrate use between ambulatory and semifossorial. Some of these shrews exhibit adaptations for increased burrowing efficiency that are similar to those seen in talpids and other mammals, such as longer, broader distal phalanges and claws and shorter, wider metacarpals and proximal and middle phalanges. They also, however, have characteristics that are distinct from talpids, such as maintenance of forefoot asymmetry and an increased emphasis of ray III.

  4. A synopsis of records of myxozoan parasites (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) from shrews, with additional data on Soricimyxum fegati from common shrew Sorex araneus in Hungary and pygmy shrew Sorex minutus in Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Szekely, Csaba; Atkinson, Stephen D; Molnar, Kalman; Egyed, Laszlo; Gubanyi, Andras; Cech, Gabor

    2016-01-01

    Myxozoans (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) are almost exclusively endoparasites of aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates, with the notable exception being two species of Soricimyxum Prunescu, Prunescu, Pucek et Lom, 2007 described from terrestrial shrews (Soricidae) in central Europe. Myxospores of the two parasites are morphologically indistinguishable, but have SSU rDNA sequences that differ by about 4%. Herein, we report additional molecular and histology data from Soricimyxum fegati Prunescu, Prunescu, Pucek et Lom, 2007 from common shrew (Sorex araneus Linnaeus) from Hungary, and add a new geographic record for S. fegati in pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus Linnaeus) from Slovakia. A limited survey of shrews from the northern United States, Blarina brevicauda Say and Sorex sp. from New York, and Sorex spp. from Oregon, did not discover any infections, which is in stark contrast to the relatively high infection rates (up to 66%) in European shrew populations. We also provide a summary and discussion of literature records of species of Soricimyxum and a host survey. Given the lack of distinguishing morphological or morphometric characters between Soricimyxum spp., and the overlap in vertebrate hosts and geographic ranges, unambiguous identification of these closely related shrew parasites can presently only be achieved through sequence comparison of one or more variable SSU rDNA regions. PMID:27312127

  5. Leptospira spp. in Rodents and Shrews in Germany

    PubMed Central

    Mayer-Scholl, Anne; Hammerl, Jens Andre; Schmidt, Sabrina; Ulrich, Rainer G.; Pfeffer, Martin; Woll, Dietlinde; Scholz, Holger C.; Thomas, Astrid; Nöckler, Karsten

    2014-01-01

    Leptospirosis is an acute, febrile disease occurring in humans and animals worldwide. Leptospira spp. are usually transmitted through direct or indirect contact with the urine of infected reservoir animals. Among wildlife species, rodents act as the most important reservoir for both human and animal infection. To gain a better understanding of the occurrence and distribution of pathogenic leptospires in rodent and shrew populations in Germany, kidney specimens of 2973 animals from 11 of the 16 federal states were examined by PCR. Rodent species captured included five murine species (family Muridae), six vole species (family Cricetidae) and six shrew species (family Soricidae). The most abundantly trapped animals were representatives of the rodent species Apodemus flavicollis, Clethrionomys glareolus and Microtus agrestis. Leptospiral DNA was amplified in 10% of all animals originating from eight of the 11 federal states. The highest carrier rate was found in Microtus spp. (13%), followed by Apodemus spp. (11%) and Clethrionomys spp. (6%). The most common Leptospira genomospecies determined by duplex PCR was L. kirschneri, followed by L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii; all identified by single locus sequence typing (SLST). Representatives of the shrew species were also carriers of Leptospira spp. In 20% of Crocidura spp. and 6% of the Sorex spp. leptospiral DNA was detected. Here, only the pathogenic genomospecies L. kirschneri was identified. PMID:25062275

  6. Dietary heavy metal uptake by the least shrew, Cryptotis parva

    SciTech Connect

    Brueske, C.C.; Barrett, G.W. )

    1991-12-01

    Heavy metals from sewage sludge have been reported to concentrate in producers, in primary consumers, and in detritivores. Little research, however, has focused on the uptake of heavy metals from sewage sludge by secondary consumers. The Family Soricidae represents an ideal mammalian taxonomic group to investigate rates of heavy metal transfer between primary and secondary consumers. The least shrew (Cryptotis parva) was used to evaluate the accumulation of heavy metals while maintained on a diet of earthworms collected from long-term sludge-treated old-field communities. This secondary consumer is distributed widely through the eastern United States and its natural diet includes earthworms which makes it a potentially good indicator of heavy metal transfer in areas treated with municipal sludge.

  7. Characterization of Imjin virus, a newly isolated hantavirus from the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura).

    PubMed

    Song, Jin-Won; Kang, Hae Ji; Gu, Se Hun; Moon, Sung Sil; Bennett, Shannon N; Song, Ki-Joon; Baek, Luck Ju; Kim, Heung-Chul; O'Guinn, Monica L; Chong, Sung-Tae; Klein, Terry A; Yanagihara, Richard

    2009-06-01

    Until recently, the single known exception to the rodent-hantavirus association was Thottapalayam virus (TPMV), a long-unclassified virus isolated from the Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus). Robust gene amplification techniques have now uncovered several genetically distinct hantaviruses from shrews in widely separated geographic regions. Here, we report the characterization of a newly identified hantavirus, designated Imjin virus (MJNV), isolated from the lung tissues of Ussuri white-toothed shrews of the species Crocidura lasiura (order Soricomorpha, family Soricidae, subfamily Crocidurinae) captured near the demilitarized zone in the Republic of Korea during 2004 and 2005. Seasonal trapping revealed the highest prevalence of MJNV infection during the autumn, with evidence of infected shrews' clustering in distinct foci. Also, marked male predominance among anti-MJNV immunoglobulin G antibody-positive Ussuri shrews was found, whereas the male-to-female ratio among seronegative Ussuri shrews was near 1. Plaque reduction neutralization tests showed no cross neutralization for MJNV and rodent-borne hantaviruses but one-way cross neutralization for MJNV and TPMV. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences for the different MJNV genomic segments revealed nearly the same calculated distances from hantaviruses harbored by rodents in the subfamilies Murinae, Arvicolinae, Neotominae, and Sigmodontinae. Phylogenetic analyses of full-length S, M, and L segment sequences demonstrated that MJNV shared a common ancestry with TPMV and remained in a distinct out-group, suggesting early evolutionary divergence. Studies are in progress to determine if MJNV is pathogenic for humans.

  8. Characterization of Imjin Virus, a Newly Isolated Hantavirus from the Ussuri White-Toothed Shrew (Crocidura lasiura)▿

    PubMed Central

    Song, Jin-Won; Kang, Hae Ji; Gu, Se Hun; Moon, Sung Sil; Bennett, Shannon N.; Song, Ki-Joon; Baek, Luck Ju; Kim, Heung-Chul; O'Guinn, Monica L.; Chong, Sung-Tae; Klein, Terry A.; Yanagihara, Richard

    2009-01-01

    Until recently, the single known exception to the rodent-hantavirus association was Thottapalayam virus (TPMV), a long-unclassified virus isolated from the Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus). Robust gene amplification techniques have now uncovered several genetically distinct hantaviruses from shrews in widely separated geographic regions. Here, we report the characterization of a newly identified hantavirus, designated Imjin virus (MJNV), isolated from the lung tissues of Ussuri white-toothed shrews of the species Crocidura lasiura (order Soricomorpha, family Soricidae, subfamily Crocidurinae) captured near the demilitarized zone in the Republic of Korea during 2004 and 2005. Seasonal trapping revealed the highest prevalence of MJNV infection during the autumn, with evidence of infected shrews' clustering in distinct foci. Also, marked male predominance among anti-MJNV immunoglobulin G antibody-positive Ussuri shrews was found, whereas the male-to-female ratio among seronegative Ussuri shrews was near 1. Plaque reduction neutralization tests showed no cross neutralization for MJNV and rodent-borne hantaviruses but one-way cross neutralization for MJNV and TPMV. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences for the different MJNV genomic segments revealed nearly the same calculated distances from hantaviruses harbored by rodents in the subfamilies Murinae, Arvicolinae, Neotominae, and Sigmodontinae. Phylogenetic analyses of full-length S, M, and L segment sequences demonstrated that MJNV shared a common ancestry with TPMV and remained in a distinct out-group, suggesting early evolutionary divergence. Studies are in progress to determine if MJNV is pathogenic for humans. PMID:19357167

  9. Evidence for gene flow in parasitic nematodes between two host species of shrews.

    PubMed

    Brant, Sara V; Ortí, Guillermo

    2003-10-01

    We describe the genetic structure of populations of the intestinal nematode Longistriata caudabullata (Trichostrongyloidea: Heligmosomidae), a common parasite of short-tailed shrews (genus Blarina, Insectivora: Soricidae). Parasites and hosts were collected from a transect across a contact zone between two species of hosts, Blarina brevicauda and B. hylophaga, in central North America. An 800-base pairs (bp) fragment of the ND4 mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene was sequenced for 28 worms and a 783-bp fragment of the mtDNA control region was analysed for 16 shrews. Phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA sequences revealed reciprocal monophyly for the shrew species, concordant with morphological diagnosis, and supported the idea that the transect cuts through a secondary contact zone between well-differentiated B. brevicauda and B. hylophaga. In contrast to this pattern, the parasitic nematode mtDNA phylogeny was not subdivided according to host affiliation. Genealogical discordance between parasite and host phylogenies suggests extensive gene flow among parasites across the host species boundary. PMID:12969487

  10. Chronic exposure to environmental stressors induces fluctuating asymmetry in shrews inhabiting protected Mediterranean sites.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Chardi, Alejandro; García-Pando, Marián; López-Fuster, María José

    2013-10-01

    Many ecotoxicological studies have addressed the effects of contaminant exposure at various levels of biological organization. However, little information exists on the effects of toxicants on wildlife populations. Here we examined exposure of populations of the greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula (Soricomorpha, Soricidae) occupying two protected Mediterranean sites (a polluted area, the Ebro Delta, and a control site, Garraf Massif). Bioaccumulation of selected elements (Pb, Hg, Cd, Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, Cr, Mo, Sr, Ba, and B), a body condition index (BCI) and fluctuating asymmetry (FA) were used to assess the chronic exposure to environmental pollution. BCI was correlated neither to metal concentrations nor to FA, suggesting that this fitness measure only reflects environmental disturbances at a local level. However, shrews from the polluted area showed higher concentrations of metals and metalloids (Pb, Hg, B, and Sr) and greater shape FA than specimens from the reference area. A correlation between FA was found for both first and second principal component vectors suggesting that developmental instability increases as a result of exposure to multiple pollutants. Our results corroborate the suitability of C. russula as a bioindicator of environmental quality and show that FA is an appropriate index to examine impact of developmental stressors in populations inhabiting disturbed areas.

  11. A Mitochondrial Phylogeny and Biogeographical Scenario for Asiatic Water Shrews of the Genus Chimarrogale: Implications for Taxonomy and Low-Latitude Migration Routes

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Shou-Li; Jiang, Xue-Long; Li, Zhen-Ji; He, Kai; Harada, Masashi; Oshida, Tatsuo; Lin, Liang-Kong

    2013-01-01

    The six species and three subspecies in the genus Chimarrogale (Soricomorpha: Soricidae) are commonly referred to as Asiatic water shrews. The Chimarrogale are the most widely distributed group of Nectogaline shrews, extending throughout the Oriental region and Japan. Because of the limited numbers of specimens available for study, the phylogenetic relationships and biogeographical history of this genus have not been comprehensively discussed. We used mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences to estimate phylogenetic relationships and divergence times among four Chimarrogale species, including all three subspecies of Chimarrogale himalayica. We also conducted a species delimitation analysis and tested two alternative migration scenarios in Asia through species distribution modeling and a reconstruction of the ancestral distribution. Here, we present the first proposed hypothesis regarding the Asiatic water shrew phylogeny and reveal ten putative species within the four recognized species. Distinct phylogenetic statuses of Chimarrogale phaeura, Chimarrogale platycephala, and Chimarrogale styani were confirmed. Chimarrogale himalayica was strongly supported as paraphyletic. We suggest that three subspecies of Chimarrogale himalayica should be reconsidered as distinct species. However, these suggestions must be considered with caution because only a single locus of a mtDNA gene was used. Four additional putative species, possibly distributed in central southwestern China and Taiwan, are currently undescribed; therefore, comprehensive morphological analyses are warranted to test their taxonomic statuses. The estimated molecular divergence times indicated that rapid speciation occurred during the early Pliocene, and current distribution patterns may have been affected by global cooling during the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary. Reconstruction of the ancestral distribution and species distribution modeling for Asiatic water shrews revealed a low-latitude migration route

  12. Comparative Morphology of the Papillae Linguales and their Connective Tissue Cores in the Tongue of the Greater Japanese Shrew-mole, Urotrichus talpoides

    PubMed Central

    Yoshimura, K; Shindo, J; Kageyama, I

    2013-01-01

    The external morphology of the papillae linguales (papillae filiformes, papillae fungiformes and papillae vallatae) and their connective tissue cores (CTCs) of the greater Japanese shrew-mole (Urotrichus talpoides) were analysed by optical and scanning electron microscopy. Papillae filiformes were distributed over the dorsal surface of the apex linguae, and on the rostral and caudal regions of the corpus linguae but were less numerous in the mid-region. They were absent from the radix linguae. A pair of oval papillae vallatae was situated at the border between the corpus linguae and the radix linguae. Papillae foliatae were absent. The epithelial surface of each papilla filiformis consisted of a circular concavity, a ring-like wall and either a single thumb-like process or 2–3 slender pointed processes, depending on their location. The morphology of the CTCs of the papillae filiformes also varied regionally. The papillae linguales of the Japanese shrew-mole were morphologically similar to those of other Talpidae and Soricidae, including the common shrew, particularly with respect to the papillae filiformes in the mid- and caudal regions of the corpus linguae. PMID:22571539

  13. Genomic Characterization of Yogue, Kasokero, Issyk-Kul, Keterah, Gossas, and Thiafora Viruses: Nairoviruses Naturally Infecting Bats, Shrews, and Ticks.

    PubMed

    Walker, Peter J; Widen, Steven G; Firth, Cadhla; Blasdell, Kim R; Wood, Thomas G; Travassos da Rosa, Amelia P A; Guzman, Hilda; Tesh, Robert B; Vasilakis, Nikos

    2015-11-01

    The genus Nairovirus of arthropod-borne bunyaviruses includes the important emerging human pathogen, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), as well as Nairobi sheep disease virus and many other poorly described viruses isolated from mammals, birds, and ticks. Here, we report genome sequence analysis of six nairoviruses: Thiafora virus (TFAV) that was isolated from a shrew in Senegal; Yogue (YOGV), Kasokero (KKOV), and Gossas (GOSV) viruses isolated from bats in Senegal and Uganda; Issyk-Kul virus (IKV) isolated from bats in Kyrgyzstan; and Keterah virus (KTRV) isolated from ticks infesting a bat in Malaysia. The S, M, and L genome segments of each virus were found to encode proteins corresponding to the nucleoprotein, polyglycoprotein, and polymerase protein of CCHFV. However, as observed in Leopards Hill virus (LPHV) and Erve virus (ERVV), polyglycoproteins encoded in the M segment lack sequences encoding the double-membrane-spanning CCHFV NSm protein. Amino acid sequence identities, complement-fixation tests, and phylogenetic analysis indicated that these viruses cluster into three groups comprising KKOV, YOGV, and LPHV from bats of the suborder Yingochiroptera; KTRV, IKV, and GOSV from bats of the suborder Yangochiroptera; and TFAV and ERVV from shrews (Soricomorpha: Soricidae). This reflects clade-specific host and vector associations that extend across the genus. PMID:26324724

  14. The Taming of the Shrew

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gad-El-Hak, M.

    1996-11-01

    Considering the extreme complexity of the turbulence problem in general and the unattainability of first-principles analytical solutions in particular, it is not surprising that controlling a turbulent flow remains a challenging task, mired in empiricism and unfulfilled promises and aspirations. Brute force suppression, or taming, of turbulence via active control strategies is always possible, but the penalty for doing so often exceeds any potential savings. The artifice is to achieve a desired effect with minimum energy expenditure. Spurred by the recent developments in chaos control, microfabrication and neural networks, efficient reactive control of turbulent flows, where the control input is optimally adjusted based on feedforward or feedback measurements, is now in the realm of the possible for future practical devices. But regardless of how the problem is approached, combating turbulence is always as arduous as the taming of the shrew. The former task will be emphasized during the oral presentation, but for this abstract we reflect on a short verse from the latter. From William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Curtis (Petruchio's servant, in charge of his country house): Is she so hot a shrew as she's reported? Grumio (Petruchio's personal lackey): She was, good Curtis, before this frost. But thou know'st winter tames man, woman, and beast; for it hath tamed my old master, and my new mistress, and myself, fellow Curtis.

  15. Phylogeography of the Northern short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda (Insectivora: Soricidae): past fragmentation and postglacial recolonization.

    PubMed

    Brant, Sara V; Ortí, Guillermo

    2003-06-01

    Blarina brevicauda is distributed across the northeastern region of North America, in areas previously covered by Pleistocene glaciers. Previous molecular systematic study of the species in the genus Blarina suggested the presence of two distinct eastern and western phylogroups within B. brevicauda, in agreement with traditionally recognized semi-species. To expand the previous work, a collection of 76 individuals from 14 localities collected throughout the range of B. brevicauda was used to assess the mitochondrial (mt) cytochrome b genealogy for this species. Minimum evolution, maximum parsimony, analysis of molecular variance and nested clade analysis each supported the same conclusions of two well-differentiated and monophyletic east-west groups, separated by the Mississippi River. Denser sampling in areas immediately East of the Mississippi basin revealed further subdivision within the eastern phylogroup into an East-Central and an Appalachian clade. The western phylogroup differed from the eastern phylogroup by 2.5% mean absolute DNA sequence difference. About 65% of the genetic variance among samples was explained by the east-west subdivision alone. High haplotype diversities, low nucleotide diversities and unimodal mismatch distributions within subclades suggest recent expansion or diversification within each group. No phylogeographic structure was found within the western phylogroup, but genetic structure because of restricted gene flow and isolation by distance was inferred for the eastern group. The present distribution of B. brevicauda is best explained by past fragmentation and range expansion events during and following the Pleistocene glacial cycles. PMID:12755873

  16. The neurobiology of Etruscan shrew active touch

    PubMed Central

    Brecht, Michael; Naumann, Robert; Anjum, Farzana; Wolfe, Jason; Munz, Martin; Mende, Carolin; Roth-Alpermann, Claudia

    2011-01-01

    The Etruscan shrew, Suncus etruscus, is not only the smallest terrestrial mammal, but also one of the fastest and most tactile hunters described to date. The shrew's skeletal muscle consists entirely of fast-twitch types and lacks slow fibres. Etruscan shrews detect, overwhelm, and kill insect prey in large numbers in darkness. The cricket prey is exquisitely mechanosensitive and fast-moving, and is as big as the shrew itself. Experiments with prey replica show that shape cues are both necessary and sufficient for evoking attacks. Shrew attacks are whisker guided by motion- and size-invariant Gestalt-like prey representations. Shrews often attack their prey prior to any signs of evasive manoeuvres. Shrews whisk at frequencies of approximately 14 Hz and can react with latencies as short as 25–30 ms to prey movement. The speed of attacks suggests that shrews identify and classify prey with a single touch. Large parts of the shrew's brain respond to vibrissal touch, which is represented in at least four cortical areas comprising collectively about a third of the cortical volume. Etruscan shrews can enter a torpid state and reduce their body temperature; we observed that cortical response latencies become two to three times longer when body temperature drops from 36°C to 24°C, suggesting that endothermy contributes to the animal's high-speed sensorimotor performance. We argue that small size, high-speed behaviour and extreme dependence on touch are not coincidental, but reflect an evolutionary strategy, in which the metabolic costs of small body size are outweighed by the advantages of being a short-range high-speed touch and kill predator. PMID:21969684

  17. Recombinogenic Telomeres in Diploid Sorex granarius (Soricidae, Eulipotyphla) Fibroblast Cells

    PubMed Central

    Draskovic, I.; Minina, J. M.; Karamysheva, T. V.; Novo, C. L.; Liu, W.-Y.; Porreca, R. M.; Gibaud, A.; Zvereva, M. E.; Skvortsov, D. A.; Rubtsov, N. B.

    2014-01-01

    The telomere structure in the Iberian shrew Sorex granarius is characterized by unique, striking features, with short arms of acrocentric chromosomes carrying extremely long telomeres (up to 300 kb) with interspersed ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeat blocks. In this work, we investigated the telomere physiology of S. granarius fibroblast cells and found that telomere repeats are transcribed on both strands and that there is no telomere-dependent senescence mechanism. Although telomerase activity is detectable throughout cell culture and appears to act on both short and long telomeres, we also discovered that signatures of a recombinogenic activity are omnipresent, including telomere-sister chromatid exchanges, formation of alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT)-associated PML-like bodies, production of telomere circles, and a high frequency of telomeres carrying marks of a DNA damage response. Our results suggest that recombination participates in the maintenance of the very long telomeres in normal S. granarius fibroblasts. We discuss the possible interplay between the interspersed telomere and rDNA repeats in the stabilization of the very long telomeres in this organism. PMID:24842907

  18. Detection of shrew-borne hantavirus in Eurasian pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus) in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Radosa, Lukáš; Schlegel, Mathias; Gebauer, Petra; Ansorge, Hermann; Heroldová, Marta; Jánová, Eva; Stanko, Michal; Mošanský, Ladislav; Fričová, Jana; Pejčoch, Milan; Suchomel, Josef; Purchart, Luboš; Groschup, Martin H; Krüger, Detlev H; Ulrich, Rainer G; Klempa, Boris

    2013-10-01

    Recently, it was found that not only rodents but also shrews are reservoir hosts of hantaviruses. In Central Europe, only Seewis virus, associated with the Eurasian common shrew (Sorex araneus), has been recognized until now. In the present report, tissue samples from shrews belonging to Crocidurinae and Soricinae subfamilies, trapped in Czech Republic, Germany, and Slovakia, were screened for the presence of novel hantaviruses. Three new hantavirus partial L-segment sequences were obtained from pygmy shrews (Sorex minutus) trapped in Czech Republic and Germany. Complete nucleocapsid protein- and glycoprotein precursor-coding S- and M-segment sequences were then determined for the newly recognized hantavirus strains, CZ/Beskydy/412/2010/Sm, CZ/Drahany/420/2010/Sm, and DE/Dürrbach/1912/2009/Sm. Phylogenetic analyses showed that they represent strains of Asikkala virus (ASIV), a novel hantavirus also found in pygmy shrews from Finland. Our study reveals a broad geographic distribution of ASIV across Europe and indicates pygmy shrew as the primary reservoir host. Future studies will have to determine the pathogenic relevance of ASIV.

  19. Tree shrew database (TreeshrewDB): a genomic knowledge base for the Chinese tree shrew.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yu; Yu, Dandan; Yao, Yong-Gang

    2014-11-21

    The tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) is a small mammal with a close relationship to primates and it has been proposed as an alternative experimental animal to primates in biomedical research. The recent release of a high-quality Chinese tree shrew genome enables more researchers to use this species as the model animal in their studies. With the aim to making the access to an extensively annotated genome database straightforward and easy, we have created the Tree shrew Database (TreeshrewDB). This is a web-based platform that integrates the currently available data from the tree shrew genome, including an updated gene set, with a systematic functional annotation and a mRNA expression pattern. In addition, to assist with automatic gene sequence analysis, we have integrated the common programs Blast, Muscle, GBrowse, GeneWise and codeml, into TreeshrewDB. We have also developed a pipeline for the analysis of positive selection. The user-friendly interface of TreeshrewDB, which is available at http://www.treeshrewdb.org, will undoubtedly help in many areas of biological research into the tree shrew.

  20. Lung parasites of shrews from Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Laakkonen, J; Haukisalmi, V; Merritt, J F

    1997-04-01

    We examined lung parasites of three species of soricids, Sorex cinereus (n = 58), Sorex fumeus (n = 23) and Blarina brevicauda (n = 45) collected from Pennsylvania (USA), from 1990 to 1995. Yeast-like cells of Hisfoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum were found in lung sections stained with Grocott's modification of Gomori's methenamine silver, periodic acid-Schiff, Giemsa, and hematoxylin-eosin in two (3%) S. cinereus, eight (35%) S. fumeus and two (4%) B. brevicauda. The number of spores of H. capsulatum in the lungs was low and no inflammatory reaction was evident. The infection was not disseminated to other organs. This is the first report of H. capsulatum infection in any species of shrews of the genus Sorex and the prevalence in S. fumeus was remarkably high compared to those reported for other wild mammals. A nematode, possibly Angiostrongylus michiganensis, was found in the lungs of one S. fumeus on necropsy and in a stained lung section of one S. cinereus. In both cases the host was also infected with the fungus. Pneumocystis carinii, which is the most common lung parasite in Sorex araneus (the numerically dominant Eurasian species of shrew), was not found in any of the North American species of shrew examined in this study. PMID:9131560

  1. Distinct Lineages of Bufavirus in Wild Shrews and Nonhuman Primates.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Michihito; Orba, Yasuko; Anindita, Paulina D; Ishii, Akihiro; Ueno, Keisuke; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Mweene, Aaron S; Ito, Kimihito; Sawa, Hirofumi

    2015-07-01

    Viral metagenomic analysis identified a new parvovirus genome in the intestinal contents of wild shrews in Zambia. Related viruses were detected in spleen tissues from wild shrews and nonhuman primates. Phylogenetic analyses showed that these viruses are related to human bufaviruses, highlighting the presence and genetic diversity of bufaviruses in wildlife. PMID:26079728

  2. Hantavirus in northern short-tailed shrew, United States.

    PubMed

    Arai, Satoru; Song, Jin-Won; Sumibcay, Laarni; Bennett, Shannon N; Nerurkar, Vivek R; Parmenter, Cheryl; Cook, Joseph A; Yates, Terry L; Yanagihara, Richard

    2007-09-01

    Phylogenetic analyses, based on partial medium- and large-segment sequences, support an ancient evolutionary origin of a genetically distinct hantavirus detected by reverse transcription-PCR in tissues of northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) captured in Minnesota in August 1998. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of hantaviruses harbored by shrews in the Americas. PMID:18252128

  3. Tactile experience shapes prey-capture behavior in Etruscan shrews.

    PubMed

    Anjum, Farzana; Brecht, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A crucial role of tactile experience for the maturation of neural response properties in the somatosensory system is well established, but little is known about the role of tactile experience in the development of tactile behaviors. Here we study how tactile experience affects prey capture behavior in Etruscan shrews, Suncus etruscus. Prey capture in adult shrews is a high-speed behavior that relies on precise attacks guided by tactile Gestalt cues. We studied the role of tactile experience by three different approaches. First, we analyzed the hunting skills of young shrews' right after weaning. We found that prey capture in young animals in most, but not all, aspects is similar to that of adults. Second, we performed whisker trimming for 3-4 weeks after birth. Such deprivation resulted in a lasting disruption of prey capture even after whisker re-growth: attacks lacked precise targeting and had a lower success rate. Third, we presented adult shrews with an entirely novel prey species, the giant cockroach. The shape of this roach is very different from the shrew's normal (cricket) prey and the thorax-the preferred point of attack in crickets-is protected by a heavy cuticle. Initially shrews attacked giant roaches the same way they attack crickets and targeted the thoracic region. With progressive experience, however, shrews adopted a new attack strategy targeting legs and underside of the roaches while avoiding other body parts. Speed and efficiency of attacks improved. These data suggest that tactile experience shapes prey capture behavior. PMID:22701408

  4. Molecular epidemiology of paramyxoviruses in Zambian wild rodents and shrews.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Michihito; Muleya, Walter; Ishii, Akihiro; Orba, Yasuko; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Mweene, Aaron S; Moonga, Ladslav; Thomas, Yuka; Kimura, Takashi; Sawa, Hirofumi

    2014-02-01

    Rodents and shrews are known to harbour various viruses. Paramyxoviruses have been isolated from Asian and Australian rodents, but little is known about them in African rodents. Recently, previously unknown paramyxovirus sequences were found in South African rodents. To date, there have been no reports related to the presence and prevalence of paramyxoviruses in shrews. We found a high prevalence of paramyxoviruses in wild rodents and shrews from Zambia. Semi-nested reverse transcription-PCR assays were used to detect paramyxovirus RNA in 21 % (96/462) of specimens analysed. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these viruses were novel paramyxoviruses and could be classified as morbillivirus- and henipavirus-related viruses, and previously identified rodent paramyxovirus-related viruses. Our findings suggest the circulation of previously unknown paramyxoviruses in African rodents and shrews, and provide new information regarding the geographical distribution and genetic diversity of paramyxoviruses. PMID:24189618

  5. Genetic variants of Cao Bang hantavirus in the Chinese mole shrew (Anourosorex squamipes) and Taiwanese mole shrew (Anourosorex yamashinai).

    PubMed

    Gu, Se Hun; Arai, Satoru; Yu, Hon-Tsen; Lim, Burton K; Kang, Hae Ji; Yanagihara, Richard

    2016-06-01

    To determine the genetic diversity and geographic distribution of Cao Bang virus (CBNV) and to ascertain the existence of CBNV-related hantaviruses, natural history collections of archival tissues from Chinese mole shrews (Anourosorex squamipes) and Taiwanese mole shrews (Anourosorex yamashinai), captured in Guizho Province, People's Republic of China, and in Nantou County, Taiwan, in 2006 and 1989, respectively, were analyzed for hantavirus RNA by RT-PCR. Pair-wise alignment and comparison of the S-, M- and L-segment sequences indicated CBNV in two of five Chinese mole shrews and a previously unrecognized hantavirus, named Xinyi virus (XYIV), in seven of 15 Taiwanese mole shrews. XYIV was closely related to CBNV in Vietnam and China, as well as to Lianghe virus (LHEV), recently reported as a distinct hantavirus species in Chinese mole shrews from Yunnan Province in China. Phylogenetic analyses, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that XYIV shared a common ancestry with CBNV and LHEV, in keeping with the evolutionary relationship between Anourosorex mole shrews. Until such time that tissue culture isolates of CBNV, LHEV and XYIV can be fully analyzed, XYIV and LHEV should be regarded as genetic variants, or genotypes, of CBNV. PMID:26921799

  6. The evolution of the thyroid hormone distributor protein transthyretin in the order insectivora, class mammalia.

    PubMed

    Prapunpoj, P; Richardson, S J; Fumagalli, L; Schreiber, G

    2000-08-01

    Thyroid hormones are involved in the regulation of growth and metabolism in all vertebrates. Transthyretin is one of the extracellular proteins with high affinity for thyroid hormones which determine the partitioning of these hormones between extracellular compartments and intracellular lipids. During vertebrate evolution, both the tissue pattern of expression and the structure of the gene for transthyretin underwent characteristic changes. The purpose of this study was to characterize the position of Insectivora in the evolution of transthyretin in eutherians, a subclass of Mammalia. Transthyretin was identified by thyroxine binding and Western analysis in the blood of adult shrews, hedgehogs, and moles. Transthyretin is synthesized in the liver and secreted into the bloodstream, similar to the situation for other adult eutherians, birds, and diprotodont marsupials, but different from that for adult fish, amphibians, reptiles, monotremes, and Australian polyprotodont marsupials. For the characterization of the structure of the gene and the processing of mRNA for transthyretin, cDNA libraries were prepared from RNA from hedgehog and shrew livers, and full-length cDNA clones were isolated and sequenced. Sections of genomic DNA in the regions coding for the splice sites between exons 1 and 2 were synthesized by polymerase chain reaction and sequenced. The location of splicing was deduced from comparison of genomic with cDNA nucleotide sequences. Changes in the nucleotide sequence of the transthyretin gene during evolution are most pronounced in the region coding for the N-terminal region of the protein. Both the derived overall amino sequences and the N-terminal regions of the transthyretins in Insectivora were found to be very similar to those in other eutherians but differed from those found in marsupials, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Also, the pattern of transthyretin precursor mRNA splicing in Insectivora was more similar to that in other eutherians

  7. Adoption of a nestling house mouse by a female short-tailed shrew

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, L.J.; Johnson, D.A.

    1969-01-01

    A nursing female short-tailed shrew adopted a nestling house mouse. The mouse was observed in the nest with the female and her litter of shrews three days after it was introduced into the aluminum box containing the shrews, but it was found dead in the nest four days later.

  8. Effects of late quaternary climate change on Palearctic shrews.

    PubMed

    Prost, Stefan; Klietmann, Johannes; van Kolfschoten, Thijs; Guralnick, Robert P; Waltari, Eric; Vrieling, Klaas; Stiller, Mathias; Nagel, Doris; Rabeder, Gernot; Hofreiter, Michael; Sommer, Robert S

    2013-06-01

    The Late Quaternary was a time of rapid climatic oscillations and drastic environmental changes. In general, species can respond to such changes by behavioral accommodation, distributional shifts, ecophenotypic modifications (nongenetic), evolution (genetic) or ultimately face local extinction. How those responses manifested in the past is essential for properly predicting future ones especially as the current warm phase is further intensified by rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Here, we use ancient DNA (aDNA) and morphological features in combination with ecological niche modeling (ENM) to investigate genetic and nongenetic responses of Central European Palearctic shrews to past climatic change. We show that a giant form of shrew, previously described as an extinct Pleistocene Sorex species, represents a large ecomorph of the common shrew (Sorex araneus), which was replaced by populations from a different gene-pool and with different morphology after the Pleistocene Holocene transition. We also report the presence of the cold-adapted tundra shrew (S. tundrensis) in Central Europe. This species is currently restricted to Siberia and was hitherto unknown as an element of the Pleistocene fauna of Europe. Finally, we show that there is no clear correlation between climatic oscillations within the last 50 000 years and body size in shrews and conclude that a special nonanalogous situation with regard to biodiversity and food supply in the Late Glacial may have caused the observed large body size. PMID:23505017

  9. The formation and extinction of fear memory in tree shrews

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Shujiang; Wang, Cong; Guo, Chengbing; Huang, Xu; Wang, Liecheng; Zhang, Chen

    2015-01-01

    Fear is an emotion that is well-studied due to its importance for animal survival. Experimental animals, such as rats and mice, have been widely used to model fear. However, higher animals such as nonhuman primates have rarely been used to study fear due to ethical issues and high costs. Tree shrews are small mammals that are closely related to primates; they have been used to model human-related psychosocial conditions such as stress and alcohol tolerance. Here, we describe an experimental paradigm to study the formation and extinction of fear memory in tree shrews. We designed an experimental apparatus of a light/dark box with a voltage foot shock. We found that tree shrews preferred staying in the dark box in the daytime without stimulation and showed avoidance to voltage shocks applied to the footplate in a voltage-dependent manner. Foot shocks applied to the dark box for 5 days (10 min per day) effectively reversed the light–dark preference of the tree shrews, and this memory lasted for more than 50 days without any sign of memory decay (extinction) in the absence of further stimulation. However, this fear memory was reversed with 4 days of reverse training by applying the same stimulus to the light box. When reducing the stimulus intensity during the training period, a memory extinction and subsequently reinstatement effects were observed. Thus, our results describe an efficient method of monitoring fear memory formation and extinction in tree shrews. PMID:26283941

  10. Circadian rhythms in the short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda.

    PubMed

    Antipas, A J; Madison, D M; Ferraro, J S

    1990-08-01

    Circadian rhythms of wheel running and feeding were measured in the short-tailed shrew. Shrews were strongly nocturnal, and their activity rhythms entrained to both long-day (LD 16:8) and short-day (LD 6:18) photocycles. Under conditions of continuous light (LL) or darkness (DD), the activity rhythms free-ran with average periodicities of 25.1 hours and 24.1 hours, respectively. In LL the level of activity was depressed, and in some cases wheel running was completely inhibited. No significant sex differences were observed in the period or amplitude of the monitored circadian rhythms. All shrews fed throughout the day and night; however, unlike in previous reports, ultradian periods of feeding behavior were not found. The results are related to Aschoff's four observations for the effect of light on activity rhythms in nocturnal rodents. PMID:2255728

  11. Discovery of Novel Alphacoronaviruses in European Rodents and Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Tsoleridis, Theocharis; Onianwa, Okechukwu; Horncastle, Emma; Dayman, Emma; Zhu, Miaoran; Danjittrong, Taechasit; Wachtl, Marta; Behnke, Jerzy M.; Chapman, Sarah; Strong, Victoria; Dobbs, Phillipa; Ball, Jonathan K.; Tarlinton, Rachael E.; McClure, C. Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Eight hundred and thirteen European rodents and shrews encompassing seven different species were screened for alphacoronaviruses using PCR detection. Novel alphacoronaviruses were detected in the species Rattus norvegicus, Microtus agrestis, Sorex araneus and Myodes glareolus. These, together with the recently described Lucheng virus found in China, form a distinct rodent/shrew-specific clade within the coronavirus phylogeny. Across a highly conserved region of the viral polymerase gene, the new members of this clade were up to 22% dissimilar at the nucleotide level to the previously described Lucheng virus. As such they might represent distinct species of alphacoronaviruses. These data greatly extend our knowledge of wildlife reservoirs of alphacoronaviruses. PMID:27102167

  12. Bioenergetics and thermal physiology of American water shrews (Sorex palustris).

    PubMed

    Gusztak, R W; Macarthur, R A; Campbell, K L

    2005-02-01

    Rates of O(2) consumption and CO(2) production, telemetered body temperature (T(b)) and activity level were recorded from adult and subadult water shrews (Sorex palustris) over an air temperature (T(a)) range of 3-32 degrees C. Digesta passage rate trials were conducted before metabolic testing to estimate the minimum fasting time required for water shrews to achieve a postabsorptive state. Of the 228 metabolic trials conducted on 15 water shrews, 146 (64%) were discarded because the criteria for inactivity were not met. Abdominal T(b) of S. palustris was independent of T(a) and averaged 38.64 +/- 0.07 degrees C. The thermoneutral zone extended from 21.2 degrees C to at least 32 degrees C. Our estimate of the basal metabolic rate for resting, postabsorptive water shrews (96.88 +/- 2.93 J g(-1) h(-1) or 4.84 +/- 0.14 ml O(2) g(-1) h(-1)) was three times the mass-predicted value, while their minimum thermal conductance in air (0.282 +/- 0.013 ml O(2) g(-1) h(-1)) concurred with allometric predictions. The mean digesta throughput time of water shrews fed mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) or ground meat was 50-55 min. The digestibility coefficients for metabolizable energy (ME) of water shrews fed stickleback minnows (Culaea inconstans) and dragonfly nymphs (Anax spp. and Libellula spp.) were 85.4 +/- 1.3% and 82.8 +/- 1.1%, respectively. The average metabolic rate (AMR) calculated from the gas exchange of six water shrews at 19-22 degrees C (208.0 +/- 17.0 J g(-1) h(-1)) was nearly identical to the estimate of energy intake (202.9 +/- 12.9 J g(-1) h(-1)) measured for these same animals during digestibility trials (20 degrees C). Based on 24-h activity trials and our derived ME coefficients, the minimum daily energy requirement of an adult (14.4 g) water shrew at T(a) = 20 degrees C is 54.0 kJ, or the energetic equivalent of 14.7 stickleback minnows.

  13. Bioenergetics and thermal physiology of American water shrews (Sorex palustris).

    PubMed

    Gusztak, R W; Macarthur, R A; Campbell, K L

    2005-02-01

    Rates of O(2) consumption and CO(2) production, telemetered body temperature (T(b)) and activity level were recorded from adult and subadult water shrews (Sorex palustris) over an air temperature (T(a)) range of 3-32 degrees C. Digesta passage rate trials were conducted before metabolic testing to estimate the minimum fasting time required for water shrews to achieve a postabsorptive state. Of the 228 metabolic trials conducted on 15 water shrews, 146 (64%) were discarded because the criteria for inactivity were not met. Abdominal T(b) of S. palustris was independent of T(a) and averaged 38.64 +/- 0.07 degrees C. The thermoneutral zone extended from 21.2 degrees C to at least 32 degrees C. Our estimate of the basal metabolic rate for resting, postabsorptive water shrews (96.88 +/- 2.93 J g(-1) h(-1) or 4.84 +/- 0.14 ml O(2) g(-1) h(-1)) was three times the mass-predicted value, while their minimum thermal conductance in air (0.282 +/- 0.013 ml O(2) g(-1) h(-1)) concurred with allometric predictions. The mean digesta throughput time of water shrews fed mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) or ground meat was 50-55 min. The digestibility coefficients for metabolizable energy (ME) of water shrews fed stickleback minnows (Culaea inconstans) and dragonfly nymphs (Anax spp. and Libellula spp.) were 85.4 +/- 1.3% and 82.8 +/- 1.1%, respectively. The average metabolic rate (AMR) calculated from the gas exchange of six water shrews at 19-22 degrees C (208.0 +/- 17.0 J g(-1) h(-1)) was nearly identical to the estimate of energy intake (202.9 +/- 12.9 J g(-1) h(-1)) measured for these same animals during digestibility trials (20 degrees C). Based on 24-h activity trials and our derived ME coefficients, the minimum daily energy requirement of an adult (14.4 g) water shrew at T(a) = 20 degrees C is 54.0 kJ, or the energetic equivalent of 14.7 stickleback minnows. PMID:15592850

  14. Boginia virus, a newfound hantavirus harbored by the Eurasian water shrew (Neomys fodiens) in Poland

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Guided by decades-old reports of hantaviral antigens in the Eurasian common shrew (Sorex araneus) and the Eurasian water shrew (Neomys fodiens) in European Russia, we employed RT-PCR to analyze lung tissues of soricine shrews, captured in Boginia, Huta Dłutowska and Kurowice in central Poland during September 2010, 2011 and 2012. Findings In addition to Seewis virus (SWSV), which had been previously found in Eurasian common shrews elsewhere in Europe, a genetically distinct hantavirus, designated Boginia virus (BOGV), was detected in Eurasian water shrews captured in each of the three villages. Phylogenetic analysis, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that BOGV formed a separate lineage distantly related to SWSV. Conclusions Although the pathogenic potential of BOGV and other recently identified shrew-borne hantaviruses is still unknown, clinicians should be vigilant for unusual febrile diseases and clinical syndromes occurring among individuals reporting exposures to shrews. PMID:23693084

  15. Experimental accumulation of lead from soil through earthworms to common shrews.

    PubMed

    Pankakoski, E; Koivisto, I; Hyvärinen, H; Terhivuo, J; Tähkä, K M

    1994-10-01

    Common shrews (Sorex araneus) were fed on earthworms containing high concentrations of lead. Both the earthworms and shrews originated from uncontaminated areas, but earthworms for the "lead" group of shrews were reared in the laboratory for 3 or 4 weeks in highly Pb-polluted soil from near an old lead smelter. The control group of shrews received the same amount of earthworms from the uncontaminated area. The acceptance of the experimental food by shrews was significantly lower in the lead group, indicating that the shrews were able to detect the lead in their food. After 2-31 days of feeding, the shrews in the lead group had significantly higher Pb concentrations in their liver, kidney, bone, and pelt than did the controls. Both the number of deaths during the experiment and the proportion of individuals with changes in kidney histology were significantly higher in the lead group. PMID:7804726

  16. Cortical organization in shrews: evidence from five species.

    PubMed

    Catania, K C; Lyon, D C; Mock, O B; Kaas, J H

    1999-07-19

    Cortical organization was examined in five shrew species. In three species, Blarina brevicauda, Cryptotis parva, and Sorex palustris, microelectrode recordings were made in cortex to determine the organization of sensory areas. Cortical recordings were then related to flattened sections of cortex processed for cytochrome oxidase or myelin to reveal architectural borders. An additional two species (Sorex cinereus and Sorex longirostris) with visible cortical subdivisions based on histology alone were analyzed without electrophysiological mapping. A single basic plan of cortical organization was found in shrews, consisting of a few clearly defined sensory areas located caudally in cortex. Two somatosensory areas contained complete representations of the contralateral body, corresponding to primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and secondary somatosensory cortex (S2). A small primary visual cortex (V1) was located closely adjacent to S1, whereas auditory cortex (A1) was located in extreme caudolateral cortex, partially encircled by S2. Areas did not overlap and had sharp, histochemically apparent and electrophysiologically defined borders. The adjacency of these areas suggests a complete absence of intervening higher level or association areas. Based on a previous study of corticospinal connections, a presumptive primary motor cortex (M1) was identified directly rostral to S1. Apparently, in shrews, the solution to having extremely little neocortex is to have only a few small cortical subdivisions. However, the small areas remain discrete, well organized, and functional. This cortical organization in shrews is likely a derived condition, because a wide range of extant mammals have a greater number of cortical subdivisions. PMID:10397395

  17. Microparasite assemblages of conspecific shrew populations in Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laakkonen, J.; Fisher, R.N.; Case, T.J.

    2003-01-01

    The microparasite component communities of 2 species of shrews, Notiosorex crawfordi and Sorex ornatus, were investigated for the first time in 2 isolated and 3 continuous landscapes in southern California. With microscopical examination, a total of 6 parasite species was found in N. crawfordi and 8 species in S. ornatus. The highest number (5) of parasite species was detected in the lungs. The corrected estimate of parasite species richness did not significantly correlate with the host abundance in either shrew species. Altitude, and also latitude in N. crawfordi, appeared to be significantly positively associated with the parasite species richness, but this could be due to a false association because of the rare occurrence of some of the parasites or the small altitude range (or both). No other landscape variable analyzed (location, size of the study site, disturbance) was significantly associated with the parasite species richness of the shrews. The parasite assemblages of the 2 shrew species were similar despite the fact that N. crawfordi has a lower metabolic rate than S. ornatus.

  18. The humerus of Cryptotis colombiana and its bearing on the species? phylogenetic relationships (Soricomorpha: Soricidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.; Cuartas-Calle, C.A.; Delgado-V., C.A.

    2003-01-01

    The Colombian small-eared shrew, Cryptotis colombiana Woodman and Timm, was described from the Colombian Andes in 1993. Its original allocation to the Cryptotis nigrescens-group recently was questioned based on several cranial characters the species appeared to share with some members of the Cryptotis thomasi-group. We review characteristics of the C. nigrescens- and C. thomasi-groups, and we describe the humerus of C. colombiana and the humerus and manus of Cryptotis medellinia. The morphology of the humerus joins the suite of characters that supports the hypotheses that C. colombiana is not a member of the C. thomasi-group and that all remaining South American species form a cohesive, definable set that is probably monophyletic.

  19. Short-tailed shrews as reservoirs of the agents of Lyme disease and human babesiosis.

    PubMed

    Telford, S R; Mather, T N; Adler, G H; Spielman, A

    1990-10-01

    To determine whether short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) serve as reservoir hosts for the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and the agent of human babesiosis (Babesia microti), we examined nymphal ticks that had fed as larvae on shrews collected from 3 enzootic sites in coastal Massachusetts for evidence of infection by either or both of these agents. Xenodiagnosis indicated that 11 of 14 shrews were infected by B. burgdorferi. One of 3 piroplasm-infected shrews also infected ticks with B. microti. In a site where the piroplasm is endemic, 11 of 17 shrews showed patent parasitemias by thin blood smears. Of these, 4 had parasitemias exceeding 40%. Few immature ticks infested shrews, however, suggesting that B. brevicauda, although abundant in some endemic sites and serving as a competent reservoir, would contribute minimally to the population of infected nymphs. PMID:2213411

  20. Short-tailed shrews: Toxicity and residue relationships of DDT, dieldrin, and endrin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, L.J.

    1978-01-01

    Experiments involving dietary toxicity and residue relationships of DDT, dieldrin, and endrin were conducted with short-tailed shrews. Dietary concentrations of DDT dissolved in vegetable oils were usually more toxic than diets containing comparable amounts of powdered DDT. Younger shrews, particularly females, were more tolerant of powdered DDT than older animals; yet, there were no conspicuous age differences in toxicity of DDT dissolved in oils. In comparison to other mammals, short-tailed shrews are not unusually sensitive to DDT, dieldrin, or endrin on the basis of two-week feeding tests. The influence of age and sex on toxicity of DDT, endrin, and dieldrin was sometimes more important than body weight. Of those shrews of the same age and sex that were fed the same dietary dosage, heavier shrews were more tolerant than lighter individuals; and, heavier shrews tended to lose a greater percentage of body weight before death. There was a range of 15 to 105 DDT equivalents in brains of shrews dying on dietary dosages of DDT. Six shrews fed a high level of DDT seemed to have unusual metabolite capabilities and died with apparent lethal levels of DDD in their brains. Levels of dieldrin in brains of shrews that died on a dietary dosage of dieldrin ranged from 3.7 to 12.6 ppm. In the rates of gain and loss experiments where shrews were given diets containing 400 ppm DDT or 50 ppm dieldrin up to 17 days, high residues were noted in tissues of shrews after two weeks on a contaminated diet and a few died at that time. After shrews were placed on clean food, it was determined that >50% of the dieldrin residues in carcass and brain were lost in 50% of residues of DDT and metabolites in brains after 2 weeks on clean food; males lost nearly 50% of residues in carcasses after two weeks on clean food compared with a loss of only 11% in females.

  1. Neurochemical Characterization of the Tree Shrew Dorsal Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Rice, Matthew W.; Roberts, Rosalinda C.; Melendez-Ferro, Miguel; Perez-Costas, Emma

    2011-01-01

    The striatum is a major component of the basal ganglia and is associated with motor and cognitive functions. Striatal pathologies have been linked to several disorders, including Huntington’s, Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive–compulsive disorders, and schizophrenia. For the study of these striatal pathologies different animal models have been used, including rodents and non-human primates. Rodents lack on morphological complexity (for example, the lack of well defined caudate and putamen nuclei), which makes it difficult to translate data to the human paradigm. Primates, and especially higher primates, are the closest model to humans, but there are ever-increasing restrictions to the use of these animals for research. In our search for a non-primate animal model with a striatum that anatomically (and perhaps functionally) can resemble that of humans, we turned our attention to the tree shrew. Evolutionary genetic studies have provided strong data supporting that the tree shrews (Scadentia) are one of the closest groups to primates, although their brain anatomy has only been studied in detail for specific brain areas. Morphologically, the tree shrew striatum resembles the primate striatum with the presence of an internal capsule separating the caudate and putamen, but little is known about its neurochemical composition. Here we analyzed the expression of calcium-binding proteins, the presence and distribution of the striosome and matrix compartments (by the use of calbindin, tyrosine hydroxylase, and acetylcholinesterase immunohistochemistry), and the GABAergic system by immunohistochemistry against glutamic acid decarboxylase and Golgi impregnation. In summary, our results show that when compared to primates, the tree shrew dorsal striatum presents striking similarities in the distribution of most of the markers studied, while presenting some marked divergences when compared to the rodent striatum. PMID:21887131

  2. Brain mass and cranial nerve size in shrews and moles.

    PubMed

    Leitch, Duncan B; Sarko, Diana K; Catania, Kenneth C

    2014-09-01

    We investigated the relationship between body size, brain size, and fibers in selected cranial nerves in shrews and moles. Species include tiny masked shrews (S. cinereus) weighing only a few grams and much larger mole species weighing up to 90 grams. It also includes closely related species with very different sensory specializations - such as the star-nosed mole and the common, eastern mole. We found that moles and shrews have tiny optic nerves with fiber counts not correlated with body or brain size. Auditory nerves were similarly small but increased in fiber number with increasing brain and body size. Trigeminal nerve number was by far the largest and also increased with increasing brain and body size. The star-nosed mole was an outlier, with more than twice the number of trigeminal nerve fibers than any other species. Despite this hypertrophied cranial nerve, star-nosed mole brains were not larger than predicted from body size, suggesting that magnification of their somatosensory systems does not result in greater overall CNS size.

  3. Brain Mass and Cranial Nerve Size in Shrews and Moles

    PubMed Central

    Leitch, Duncan B.; Sarko, Diana K.; Catania, Kenneth C.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between body size, brain size, and fibers in selected cranial nerves in shrews and moles. Species include tiny masked shrews (S. cinereus) weighing only a few grams and much larger mole species weighing up to 90 grams. It also includes closely related species with very different sensory specializations – such as the star-nosed mole and the common, eastern mole. We found that moles and shrews have tiny optic nerves with fiber counts not correlated with body or brain size. Auditory nerves were similarly small but increased in fiber number with increasing brain and body size. Trigeminal nerve number was by far the largest and also increased with increasing brain and body size. The star-nosed mole was an outlier, with more than twice the number of trigeminal nerve fibers than any other species. Despite this hypertrophied cranial nerve, star-nosed mole brains were not larger than predicted from body size, suggesting that magnification of their somatosensory systems does not result in greater overall CNS size. PMID:25174995

  4. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Shrew Gymnure, Neotetracus sinensis.

    PubMed

    Lu, Lu; Tu, Feiyun; Yan, Chaochao; Zhang, Xiuyue; Yue, Bisong; Zeng, Tao

    2013-06-01

    The Shrew Gymnure Neotetracus sinensis belongs to family Erinaceidae, and distributes in China, Myanmar, and northern Vietnam. In this study, the whole mitochondrial genome of N. sinensis was first sequenced and characterized. The genome is 16,982 bases in length. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods were used to construct phylogenetic trees based on 12 concatenated protein-coding genes on the heavy strand. Phylogenetic analyses further confirm the subfamily Galericinae diverged prior to the subfamily Erinaceinae, support the species N. sinensis was in distinct genus Neotetracus rather than Hylomys, and N. sinensis diverged later than Echinosorex gymnura.

  5. Positively selected genes of the Chinese tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) locomotion system

    PubMed Central

    Yu, FAN; Dan-Dan, YU; Yong-Gang, YAO

    2014-01-01

    While the recent release of the Chinese tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) genome has made the tree shrew an increasingly viable experimental animal model for biomedical research, further study of the genome may facilitate new insights into the applicability of this model. For example, though the tree shrew has a rapid rate of speed and strong jumping ability, there are limited studies on its locomotion ability. In this study we used the available Chinese tree shrew genome information and compared the evolutionary pattern of 407 locomotion system related orthologs among five mammals (human, rhesus monkey, mouse, rat and dog) and the Chinese tree shrew. Our analyses identified 29 genes with significantly high ω (Ka/Ks ratio) values and 48 amino acid sites in 14 genes showed significant evidence of positive selection in the Chinese tree shrew. Some of these positively selected genes, e.g. HOXA6 (homeobox A6) and AVP (arginine vasopressin), play important roles in muscle contraction or skeletal morphogenesis. These results provide important clues in understanding the genetic bases of locomotor adaptation in the Chinese tree shrew. PMID:24866495

  6. Water shrews detect movement, shape, and smell to find prey underwater.

    PubMed

    Catania, Kenneth C; Hare, James F; Campbell, Kevin L

    2008-01-15

    American water shrews (Sorex palustris) are aggressive predators that feed on a variety of terrestrial and aquatic prey. They often forage at night, diving into streams and ponds in search of food. We investigated how shrews locate submerged prey using high-speed videography, infrared lighting, and stimuli designed to mimic prey. Shrews attacked brief water movements, indicating motion is an important cue used to detect active or escaping prey. They also bit, retrieved, and attempted to eat model fish made of silicone in preference to other silicone objects showing that tactile cues are important in the absence of movement. In addition, water shrews preferentially sniffed model prey fish and crickets underwater by exhaling and reinhaling air through the nostrils, suggesting olfaction plays an important role in aquatic foraging. The possibility of echolocation, sonar, or electroreception was investigated by testing for ultrasonic and audible calls above and below water and by presenting electric fields to foraging shrews. We found no evidence for these abilities. We conclude that water shrews detect motion, shape, and smell to find prey underwater. The short latency of attacks to water movements suggests shrews may use a flush-pursuit strategy to capture some prey.

  7. The annular hematoma of the shrew yolk-sac placenta.

    PubMed

    King, B F; Enders, A C; Wimsatt, W A

    1978-05-01

    The annular hematoma of the shrew, Blarina brevicauda, is a specialized portion of the yolk-sac wall. In this study, we have examined the fine structure of the different cellular components of the anular hematoma. Small pieces of the gestation sacs from seven pregnant shrews were fixed in glutaraldehyde and osmium tetroxide and processed for transmission electron microscopy. In the area of the trophoblastic curtain, the maternal capillary endothelial cells were hypertrophied and syncytial trophoblast surrounded the capillaries. Cellular trophoblast covered part of the luminal surface of the curtain region, whereas masses of apparently degenerating syncytium were present on other areas of the surface. Maternal erythrocytes, released into the uterine lumen from the curtain region, were phagocytized and degraded by the columnar cells of the trophoblastic annulus. No evidence of iron or pigment accumulation was evident in the parietal endodermal cells underlying the annular trophoblast. Parietal endodermal cells were characterized by cuboidal shape, widely dilated intercellular spaces, and cytoplasm containing granular endoplasmic reticulum. Endodermal cells of the visceral yolk-sac accumulated large numbers of electron-dense granules as well as glycogen in their cytoplasm. Hemopoietic areas and vitelline capillaries were found subjacent to the visceral endoderm. The various portions of the yolk-sac wall of Blarina appear to perform complementary functions which are probably important in maternal-fetal iron transfer. PMID:677046

  8. Neuropeptide alterations in the tree shrew hypothalamus during volatile anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Fouillen, Laetitia; Petruzziello, Filomena; Veit, Julia; Bhattacharyya, Anwesha; Kretz, Robert; Rainer, Gregor; Zhang, Xiaozhe

    2013-03-27

    Neuropeptides are critical signaling molecules, involved in the regulation of diverse physiological processes including energy metabolism, pain perception and brain cognitive state. Prolonged general anesthesia has an impact on many of these processes, but the regulation of peptides by general anesthetics is poorly understood. In this study, we present an in-depth characterization of the hypothalamic neuropeptides of the tree shrew during volatile isoflurane/nitrous oxide anesthesia administered accompanying a neurosurgical procedure. Using a predicted-peptide database and hybrid spectral analysis, we first identified 85 peptides from the tree shrew hypothalamus. Differential analysis was then performed between control and experimental group animals. The levels of 12 hypothalamic peptides were up-regulated following prolonged general anesthesia. Our study revealed for the first time that several neuropeptides, including alpha-neoendorphin and somatostatin-14, were altered during general anesthesia. Our study broadens the scope for the involvement of neuropeptides in volatile anesthesia regulation, opening the possibility for investigating the associated regulatory mechanisms. PMID:23228960

  9. Microchip-Associated Sarcoma in a Shrew (Suncus murinus)

    PubMed Central

    Schutt, Leah K; Turner, Patricia V

    2010-01-01

    A 16-mo-old female house musk shrew (Suncus murinus) with a 1-wk history of a rapidly growing subcutaneous mass in the interscapsular region was euthanized and submitted for necropsy. Macroscopic examination identified an irregular, well-demarcated, solid, tan-white subcutaneous mass. A small cavity containing a microchip device was present at the center of the mass. In addition, massive splenomegaly was evident grossly. Histologically, the subcutaneous mass comprised spindle cells arranged in a storiform pattern of interweaving bundles, consistent with a high-grade soft tissue sarcoma with multifocal necrosis. Immunohistochemical investigation suggested that the neoplastic cells were positive for neuron-specific enolase and (rarely) α-smooth muscle actin and negative for cytokeratin, desmin, S100, and vimentin. In light of the mesenchymal histopathologic phenotype and the lack of specific immunoreactivity pattern, the mass was considered to be most consistent with a poorly differentiated sarcoma. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a microchip-associated soft tissue sarcoma in a shrew. PMID:20858367

  10. Host switch during evolution of a genetically distinct hantavirus in the American shrew mole (Neurotrichus gibbsii).

    PubMed

    Kang, Hae Ji; Bennett, Shannon N; Dizney, Laurie; Sumibcay, Laarni; Arai, Satoru; Ruedas, Luis A; Song, Jin-Won; Yanagihara, Richard

    2009-05-25

    A genetically distinct hantavirus, designated Oxbow virus (OXBV), was detected in tissues of an American shrew mole (Neurotrichus gibbsii), captured in Gresham, Oregon, in September 2003. Pairwise analysis of full-length S- and M- and partial L-segment nucleotide and amino acid sequences of OXBV indicated low sequence similarity with rodent-borne hantaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, and host-parasite evolutionary comparisons, showed that OXBV and Asama virus, a hantavirus recently identified from the Japanese shrew mole (Urotrichus talpoides), were related to soricine shrew-borne hantaviruses from North America and Eurasia, respectively, suggesting parallel evolution associated with cross-species transmission. PMID:19394994

  11. Ticks and fleas of shrews in Appalachian Georgia and North Carolina.

    PubMed

    McCay, T S; Durden, L A

    1996-08-01

    Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) and fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) were recovered from 8 smoky shrews, Sorex fumeus Miller, and 9 northern short-tailed shrews, Blarina brevicauda (Say), trapped at elevations of 720-1,310 m in Macon and Jackson counties in western North Carolina and Union County in northern Georgia from April 1994 to August 1995. The ticks Ixodes angustus Neumann and Ixodes woodi Bishopp, and the flea Corrodopsylla curvata (Rothschild), were recovered from smoky shrews. The same 2 tick species, in addition to the fleas, Ctenophthalmus pseudagyrtes Baker and Doratopsylla blarinae Fox, were recovered from northern short-tailed shrews. New state records for I. angustus from Georgia and I. woodi from North Carolina are established. PMID:8691385

  12. New infectious spirochete isolated from short-tailed shrews and white-footed mice.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J F; Johnson, R C; Magnarelli, L A; Hyde, F W; Andreadis, T G

    1987-08-01

    A spirochete with two periplasmic flagella was isolated from the blood or tissues of spleens and kidneys from short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) in Connecticut and Minnesota. After inoculation, the shrew-mouse spirochete infected Swiss mice and Syrian hamsters. This spirochete is morphologically and serologically distinct from the species of Treponema, Borrelia, Leptospira, and Spirochaeta examined. PMID:3305565

  13. Junction Protein Shrew-1 Influences Cell Invasion and Interacts with Invasion-promoting Protein CD147

    PubMed Central

    Schreiner, Alexander; Ruonala, Mika; Jakob, Viktor; Suthaus, Jan; Boles, Eckhard; Wouters, Fred

    2007-01-01

    Shrew-1 was previously isolated from an endometriotic cell line in our search for invasion-associated genes. It proved to be a membrane protein that targets to the basolateral membrane of polarized epithelial cells, interacting with E-cadherin–catenin complexes of adherens junctions. Paradoxically, the existence of adherens junctions is incompatible with invasion. To investigate whether shrew-1 can indeed influence cellular invasion, we overexpressed it in HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells. This resulted in enhanced invasiveness, accompanied by an increased matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-9 level in the supernatant, raising the question about the role of shrew-1 in this process. Logic suggested we looked for an interaction with CD147, a known promoter of invasiveness and MMP activity. Indeed, genetics-based, biochemical, and microscopy experiments revealed shrew-1– and CD147-containing complexes in invasive endometriotic cells and an interaction in epithelial cells, which was stronger in MCF7 tumor cells, but weaker in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. In contrast to the effect mediated by overexpression, small interfering RNA-mediated down-regulation of either shrew-1 or CD147 in HeLa cells decreased invasiveness without affecting the proliferation behavior of HeLa cells, but the knockdown cells displayed decreased motility. Altogether, our results imply that shrew-1 has a function in the regulation of cellular invasion, which may involve its interaction with CD147. PMID:17267690

  14. Biodiversity and evolution of Imjin virus and Thottapalayam virus in Crocidurinae shrews in Zhejiang Province, China.

    PubMed

    Lin, Xian-Dan; Zhou, Run-Hong; Fan, Fei-Neng; Ying, Xu-Hua; Sun, Xiao-Yu; Wang, Wen; Holmes, Edward C; Zhang, Yong-Zhen

    2014-08-30

    The recent discovery of numerous hantaviruses in insectivores has provided a new view of hantavirus biodiversity and evolution. To determine the presence and genetic diversity of Imjin virus (MJNV) and Thottapalayam virus (TPMV) in insectivores in Zhejiang Province, China, we captured and performed virus screening of 32 Ussuri white-toothed shrews (Crocidura lasiura) and 105 Asian house shrews (Suncus murinus) in different coastal regions. Hantavirus genome (S, M, and L segments) sequences were successfully recovered from one Ussuri white-toothed shrew and seven Asian house shrews. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the virus carried by the Ussuri white-toothed shrew was most closely related to MJNV, but with >15% nucleotide sequence difference, suggesting that it represents a new subtype. The hantaviruses carried by Asian house shrews were closely related to the TPMV variants found in the same geographic area, but more distantly related to those sampled in India and Nepal. Additionally, the TPMV sequences obtained in this study, as well as those found previously in this area, could be divided into three lineages reflecting their geographic origins, indicative of largely allopatric evolution. Overall, our data highlights the high genetic diversity of insectivore-borne hantaviruses in China, suggesting that more may be discovered in the future.

  15. Genetic Diversity of Artybash Virus in the Laxmann's Shrew (Sorex caecutiens).

    PubMed

    Arai, Satoru; Kang, Hae Ji; Gu, Se Hun; Ohdachi, Satoshi D; Cook, Joseph A; Yashina, Liudmila N; Tanaka-Taya, Keiko; Abramov, Sergey A; Morikawa, Shigeru; Okabe, Nobuhiko; Oishi, Kazunori; Yanagihara, Richard

    2016-07-01

    Although based on very limited M and L segment sequences, Artybash virus (ARTV) was proposed previously as a unique hantavirus harbored by the Laxmann's shrew (Sorex caecutiens). To verify this conjecture, lung tissues from 68 Laxmann's shrews, captured during 2006 to 2014 in eastern Siberia, Russia, and Hokkaido, Japan, were analyzed for ARTV RNA using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). ARTV RNA was detected in six Laxmann's shrews. Pairwise alignment and comparison of partial- and full-length S, M, and L segment sequences from these Laxmann's shrews, as well as phylogenetic analyses, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods indicated that ARTV was distinct from other soricine shrew-borne hantaviruses and representative hantaviruses harbored by rodents, moles, and bats. Taxonomic identity of the ARTV-infected Laxmann's shrews was confirmed by full-length cytochrome b mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis. Our data indicate that the hantavirus previously known as Amga virus (MGAV) represents genetic variants of ARTV. Thus, the previously proposed designation of ARTV/MGAV should be replaced by ARTV. PMID:27172519

  16. Structural and functional characterization of enamel pigmentation in shrews.

    PubMed

    Dumont, M; Tütken, T; Kostka, A; Duarte, M J; Borodin, S

    2014-04-01

    Pigmented tooth enamel occurs in several vertebrate clades, ranging from mammals to fish. Although an iron compound is associated with this orange to red colored pigmentation, its chemical and structural organization within the enamel is unknown. To determine the nature of the iron compound, we investigated heavily pigmented teeth of the northern short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda using combined characterization techniques such as scanning and transmission electron microscopy and synchrotron X-ray diffraction. We found that the pigmentation of the enamel with an iron content of around 8wt% results from a close to amorphous magnetite phase deposited around the nm-sized enamel crystals. Furthermore, the influence of the pigmentation on the enamel hardness was determined by nanoindentation measurements. Finally, the biomechanical function and biological context are discussed in light of the obtained results. PMID:24556576

  17. Thermoregulatory correlates of nausea in rats and musk shrews.

    PubMed

    Ngampramuan, Sukonthar; Cerri, Matteo; Del Vecchio, Flavia; Corrigan, Joshua J; Kamphee, Amornrat; Dragic, Alexander S; Rudd, John A; Romanovsky, Andrej A; Nalivaiko, Eugene

    2014-03-30

    Nausea is a prominent symptom and major cause of complaint for patients receiving anticancer chemo- or radiation therapy. The arsenal of anti-nausea drugs is limited, and their efficacy is questionable. Currently, the development of new compounds with anti-nausea activity is hampered by the lack of physiological correlates of nausea. Physiological correlates are needed because common laboratory rodents lack the vomiting reflex. Furthermore, nausea does not always lead to vomiting. Here, we report the results of studies conducted in four research centers to investigate whether nausea is associated with any specific thermoregulatory symptoms. Two species were studied: the laboratory rat, which has no vomiting reflex, and the house musk shrew (Suncus murinus), which does have a vomiting reflex. In rats, motion sickness was induced by rotating them in their individual cages in the horizontal plane (0.75 Hz, 40 min) and confirmed by reduced food consumption at the onset of dark (active) phase. In 100% of rats tested at three centers, post-rotational sickness was associated with marked (~1.5°C) hypothermia, which was associated with a short-lasting tail-skin vasodilation (skin temperature increased by ~4°C). Pretreatment with ondansetron, a serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, which is used to treat nausea in patients in chemo- or radiation therapy, attenuated hypothermia by ~30%. In shrews, motion sickness was induced by a cyclical back-and-forth motion (4 cm, 1 Hz, 15 min) and confirmed by the presence of retching and vomiting. In this model, sickness was also accompanied by marked hypothermia (~2°C). Like in rats, the hypothermic response was preceded by transient tail-skin vasodilation. In conclusion, motion sickness is accompanied by hypothermia that involves both autonomic and thermoeffector mechanisms: tail-skin vasodilation and possibly reduction of the interscapular brown adipose tissue activity. These thermoregulatory symptoms may serve as physiological

  18. Physical and Cognitive Performance of the Least Shrew (Cryptotis parva) on a Calcium-Restricted Diet.

    PubMed

    Czajka, Jessica L; McCay, Timothy S; Garneau, Danielle E

    2012-09-01

    Geological substrates and air pollution affect the availability of calcium to mammals in many habitats, including the Adirondack Mountain Region (Adirondacks) of the United States. Mammalian insectivores, such as shrews, may be particularly restricted in environments with low calcium. We examined the consequences of calcium restriction on the least shrew (Cryptotis parva) in the laboratory. We maintained one group of shrews (5 F, 5 M) on a mealworm diet with a calcium concentration comparable to beetle larvae collected in the Adirondacks (1.1 ± 0.3 mg/g) and another group (5 F, 3 M) on a mealworm diet with a calcium concentration almost 20 times higher (19.5 ± 5.1 mg/g). Animals were given no access to mineral sources of calcium, such as snail shell or bone. We measured running speed and performance in a complex maze over 10 weeks. Shrews on the high-calcium diet made fewer errors in the maze than shrews on the low-calcium diet (F1,14 = 12.8, p < 0.01). Females made fewer errors than males (F1,14 = 10.6, p < 0.01). Running speeds did not markedly vary between diet groups or sexes, though there was a trend toward faster running by shrews on the high calcium diet (p = 0.087). Shrews in calcium-poor habitats with low availability of mineral sources of calcium may have greater difficulty with cognitive tasks such as navigation and recovery of food hoards.

  19. Physical and Cognitive Performance of the Least Shrew (Cryptotis parva) on a Calcium-Restricted Diet

    PubMed Central

    Czajka, Jessica L.; McCay, Timothy S.; Garneau, Danielle E.

    2012-01-01

    Geological substrates and air pollution affect the availability of calcium to mammals in many habitats, including the Adirondack Mountain Region (Adirondacks) of the United States. Mammalian insectivores, such as shrews, may be particularly restricted in environments with low calcium. We examined the consequences of calcium restriction on the least shrew (Cryptotis parva) in the laboratory. We maintained one group of shrews (5 F, 5 M) on a mealworm diet with a calcium concentration comparable to beetle larvae collected in the Adirondacks (1.1 ± 0.3 mg/g) and another group (5 F, 3 M) on a mealworm diet with a calcium concentration almost 20 times higher (19.5 ± 5.1 mg/g). Animals were given no access to mineral sources of calcium, such as snail shell or bone. We measured running speed and performance in a complex maze over 10 weeks. Shrews on the high-calcium diet made fewer errors in the maze than shrews on the low-calcium diet (F1,14 = 12.8, p < 0.01). Females made fewer errors than males (F1,14 = 10.6, p < 0.01). Running speeds did not markedly vary between diet groups or sexes, though there was a trend toward faster running by shrews on the high calcium diet (p = 0.087). Shrews in calcium-poor habitats with low availability of mineral sources of calcium may have greater difficulty with cognitive tasks such as navigation and recovery of food hoards. PMID:25379219

  20. A comparative study of sex difference in calbindin neurons among mice, musk shrews, and Japanese quails.

    PubMed

    Moe, Yadanar; Tanaka, Tomoko; Morishita, Masahiro; Ohata, Ryoko; Nakahara, Chihiro; Kawashima, Takaharu; Maekawa, Fumihiko; Sakata, Ichiro; Sakai, Takafumi; Tsukahara, Shinji

    2016-09-19

    The medial preoptic nucleus (MPN) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) of mice contain sexually dimorphic nuclei (SDNs) that are larger and have more neurons expressing calbindin D-28K (CB), a calcium-binding protein, in males than females. However, it is largely unknown whether such SDNs exist in species other than rodents. In this study, we performed an immunohistochemical study of CB in the MPN and BNST of musk shrews and Japanese quails to examine the existence of homologs of SDNs in mice. Like mice, musk shrews had a SDN exhibiting male-biased sex differences in volume and CB-immunoreactive (ir) cell number in the MPN. The BNST of musk shrews also contained a male-biased SDN, but consisted of non-CB neurons. The paratenial thalamic nucleus of musk shrews, but not mice, had more CB-ir cells in males than females. In Japanese quails of both sexes, CB-ir cells in the MPN and BNST were extremely small in number and did not cluster. These results suggest that the distribution of CB neurons differs among these species. Musk shrews may have a homolog of the SDN composed of CB neurons in the MPN of mice. PMID:27531632

  1. Shedding of Infectious Borna Disease Virus-1 in Living Bicolored White-Toothed Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Nobach, Daniel; Bourg, Manon; Herzog, Sibylle; Lange-Herbst, Hildburg; Encarnação, Jorge A.; Eickmann, Markus; Herden, Christiane

    2015-01-01

    Background Many RNA viruses arise from animal reservoirs, namely bats, rodents and insectivores but mechanisms of virus maintenance and transmission still need to be addressed. The bicolored white-toothed shrew (Crocidura leucodon) has recently been identified as reservoir of the neurotropic Borna disease virus 1 (BoDV-1). Principal Findings Six out of eleven wild living bicoloured white-toothed shrews were trapped and revealed to be naturally infected with BoDV-1. All shrews were monitored in captivity in a long-term study over a time period up to 600 days that differed between the individual shrews. Interestingly, all six animals showed an asymptomatic course of infection despite virus shedding via various routes indicating a highly adapted host-pathogen interaction. Infectious virus and viral RNA were demonstrated in saliva, urine, skin swabs, lacrimal fluid and faeces, both during the first 8 weeks of the investigation period and for long time shedding after more than 250 days in captivity. Conclusions The various ways of shedding ensure successful virus maintenance in the reservoir population but also transmission to accidental hosts such as horses and sheep. Naturally BoDV-1-infected living shrews serve as excellent tool to unravel host and pathogen factors responsible for persistent viral co-existence in reservoir species while maintaining their physiological integrity despite high viral load in many organ systems. PMID:26313904

  2. Attempted isolation of Blastomyces dermatitidis from native shrews in northern Wisconsin, USA.

    PubMed

    Baumgardner, Dennis J; Summerbell, Richard; Krajden, Sigmund; Alexopoulou, Iakovina; Agrawal, Bobby; Bergeson, Mitch; Fuksa, Milan; Bemis, Christina; Baumgardner, Mark A

    2005-08-01

    The precise ecological niche of Blastomyces dermatitidis is unknown. The related dimorphic fungus, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, has been isolated from South American ground-dwelling insectivorous armadillos. We attempted to isolate Blastomyces from shrews, North American ground-dwelling insectivores that have been shown to harbor Histoplasma capsulatum in endemic areas. Forty-seven masked shrews (Sorex cinereus) and 13 northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) were collected in endemic areas of northern Wisconsin and Michigan using pitfall traps. Specimens were collected between 1998 and summer 2002, stored frozen, then necropsied. Cultures of nasopharynx, lungs, liver, spleen and large and small bowel were placed on yeast extract phosphate agar with one or two drops of ammonium hydroxide. Cultures for Blastomyces were negative from all 60 shrews and two deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and three southern red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi), which were trapped inadvertently. Histological examination of 36 of these specimens revealed no Blastomyces yeast forms. Northern Wisconsin shrews do not appear to be carriers of B. dermatitidis. PMID:16178369

  3. Early embryonic development and transplantation in tree shrews

    PubMed Central

    YAN, Lan-Zhen; SUN, Bin; LYU, Long-Bao; MA, Yu-Hua; CHEN, Jia-Qi; LIN, Qing; ZHENG, Ping; ZHAO, Xu-Dong

    2016-01-01

    As a novel experimental animal model, tree shrews have received increasing attention in recent years. Despite this, little is known in regards to the time phases of their embryonic development. In this study, surveillance systems were used to record the behavior and timing of copulations; embryos at different post-copulation stages were collected and cultured in vitro; and the developmental characteristics of both early-stage and in vitro cultured embryos were determined. A total of 163 females were collected following effective copulation, and 150 were used in either unilateral or bilateral oviduct embryo collections, with 307 embryos from 111 females obtained (conception rate=74%). Among them, 237 embryos were collected from 78 females, bilaterally, i.e., the average embryo number per female was 3.04; 172 fertilized eggs collected from 55 females, bilaterally, were cultured for 24-108 h in vitro for developmental observations; finally, 65 embryos from 23 bilateral cases and 70 embryos from 33 unilateral cases were used in embryo transplantation. PMID:27469257

  4. Molecular evidence and high genetic diversity of shrew-borne Seewis virus in Slovenia.

    PubMed

    Resman, Katarina; Korva, Miša; Fajs, Luka; Zidarič, Tanja; Trilar, Tomi; Zupanc, Tatjana Avšič

    2013-10-01

    Seewis virus, the shrew-borne hantavirus from Sorex araneus, has been molecularly detected in reservoir hosts in many different central European countries and Russia. Slovenia is a known endemic country for rodent-borne hantaviruses, therefore the aim of the study was to investigate the presence of shrew-borne hantaviruses in insectivores. Viral L, S and M segment have been recovered only from tissue samples of 7 S. araneus, despite several shrew species were tested. Phylogenetic analysis showed high genetic diversity of SWSV in Slovenia, ranging from 3 to 19.4% for different viral segments. The most divergent were M segment sequences, with 19.4% nucleotide divergence among Slovenian strains. Above that, different SWSV strains from Slovenia do not group into separate geographic clusters. While three separate genetic clades were determined, two of them were simultaneously present in one location at the same time.

  5. High shrew diversity on Alaska's Seward Peninsula: Community assembly and environmental change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hope, Andrew G.

    2012-01-01

    In September 2010, 6 species of shrews (genus: Sorex) were collected at a single locality on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska. Such high sympatric diversity within a single mammalian genus is seldom realized. This phenomenon at high latitudes highlights complex Arctic community dynamics that reflect significant turnover through time as a consequence of environmental change. Each of these shrew species occupies a broad geographic distribution collectively spanning the entire Holarctic, although the study site lies within Eastern Beringia, near the periphery of all individual ranges. A review of published genetic evidence reflects a depauperate shrew community within ice-free Beringia through the last glaciation, and recent assembly of current diversity during the Holocene.

  6. Muscle senescence in short-lived wild mammals, the soricine shrews Blarina brevicauda and Sorex palustris.

    PubMed

    Hindle, Allyson G; Lawler, John M; Campbell, Kevin L; Horning, Markus

    2009-06-01

    Red-toothed (soricine) shrews are consummate predators exhibiting the highest energy turnovers and shortest life spans (ca. 18 months) of any mammal, yet virtually nothing is known regarding their physiological aging. We assessed the emerging pattern of skeletal muscle senescence (contractile/connective tissue components) in sympatric species, the semi-aquatic water shrew (WS), Sorex palustris, and the terrestrial short-tailed shrew (STS), Blarina brevicauda, to determine if muscle aging occurs in wild, short-lived mammals (H(0): shrews do not survive to an age where senescence occurs), and if so, whether these alterations are species-specific. Gracilis muscles were collected from first-year (n=17) and second-year (n=17) field-caught shrews. Consistent with typical mammalian aging, collagen content (% area) increased with age in both species (S. palustris: approximately 50%; B. brevicauda: approximately 60%). Muscle was dominated by stiffer Type I collagen, and the ratio of collagen Type I:Type III more than doubled with age. The area ratio of muscle:collagen decreased with age in both species, but was considerably lower in adult STS, suggesting species-specificity of senescence. Extracellular space was age-elevated in B. brevicauda, but was preserved in S. palustris ( approximately 50 vs. 10% elevation). Though juvenile interspecific comparisons revealed no significance, adult WS myocytes had 68% larger cross-sectional area and occurred at 28% lower fibers/area than those of adult STS. We demonstrate that age-related muscle senescence does occur in wild-caught, short-lived mammals, and we therefore reject this classic aging theory tenet. Our findings moreover illustrate that differential age adjustments in contractile/connective tissue components of muscle occur in the two species of wild-caught shrews. PMID:19296507

  7. A new species of Pterygodermatites (Nematoda: Rictulariidae) from the Incan shrew opossum, Lestoros inca.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, F Agustín; Patterson, Bruce D

    2012-06-01

    Pterygodermatites ( Paucipectines ) hymanae n. sp. (Rictulariidae) collected from the Incan shrew opossum, Lestoros inca , from Peru is described herein. These nematodes show a subapical, slightly dorsal oral opening and a laterally compressed buccal capsule with 2 conspicuous lateral walls and a dorsal wall. Each lateroventral wall possesses 4 relatively large denticles, and the dorsal wall has 6 denticles. Females are characterized by a conspicuously large postvulvar 37th spine, which may reach 1 mm. This is the first record of endoparasites in the Incan shrew opossum and the fifth species of Pterygodermatites recorded in New World marsupials.

  8. New records of Merriam’s Shrew (Sorex merriami) from western North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    M. J.Shaughnessy Jr.,; Woodman, Neal

    2015-01-01

    Despite having a broad geographic distribution, Merriam's Shrew (Sorex merriami Dobson 1890) is known from a relatively few, widely-scattered localities. In North Dakota, the species was known from only a single poorly-preserved specimen collected in 1913 near Medora. We recently collected two new specimens of Merriam's Shrew from Billings and McKenzie counties in the western quarter of the state. These specimens confirm the presence of S. merriami in North Dakota and better define the northeastern edge of the species' distribution.

  9. Molecular evolution of Azagny virus, a newfound hantavirus harbored by the West African pygmy shrew (Crocidura obscurior) in Côte d'Ivoire

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Tanganya virus (TGNV), the only shrew-associated hantavirus reported to date from sub-Saharan Africa, is harbored by the Therese's shrew (Crocidura theresae), and is phylogenetically distinct from Thottapalayam virus (TPMV) in the Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus) and Imjin virus (MJNV) in the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura). The existence of myriad soricid-borne hantaviruses in Eurasia and North America would predict the presence of additional hantaviruses in sub-Saharan Africa, where multiple shrew lineages have evolved and diversified. Methods Lung tissues, collected in RNAlater®, from 39 Buettikofer's shrews (Crocidura buettikoferi), 5 Jouvenet's shrews (Crocidura jouvenetae), 9 West African pygmy shrews (Crocidura obscurior) and 21 African giant shrews (Crocidura olivieri) captured in Côte d'Ivoire during 2009, were systematically examined for hantavirus RNA by RT-PCR. Results A genetically distinct hantavirus, designated Azagny virus (AZGV), was detected in the West African pygmy shrew. Phylogenetic analysis of the S, M and L segments, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, under the GTR+I+Γ model of evolution, showed that AZGV shared a common ancestry with TGNV and was more closely related to hantaviruses harbored by soricine shrews than to TPMV and MJNV. That is, AZGV in the West African pygmy shrew, like TGNV in the Therese's shrew, did not form a monophyletic group with TPMV and MJNV, which were deeply divergent and basal to other rodent- and soricomorph-borne hantaviruses. Ancestral distributions of each hantavirus lineage, reconstructed using Mesquite 2.74, suggested that the common ancestor of all hantaviruses was most likely of Eurasian, not African, origin. Conclusions Genome-wide analysis of many more hantaviruses from sub-Saharan Africa are required to better understand how the biogeographic origin and radiation of African shrews might have contributed to, or have resulted from, the evolution of hantaviruses

  10. Short-lived mammals (shrew, mouse) have a less robust metal-responsive transcription factor than humans and bats.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Katharina; Steiner, Kurt; Petrov, Boyan; Georgiev, Oleg; Schaffner, Walter

    2016-06-01

    Non-essential "heavy" metals such as cadmium tend to accumulate in an organism and thus are a particular threat for long-lived animals. Here we show that two unrelated, short-lived groups of mammals (rodents and shrews, separated by 100 Mio years of evolution) each have independently acquired mutations in their metal-responsive transcription factor (MTF-1) in a domain relevant for robust transcriptional induction by zinc and cadmium. While key amino acids are mutated in rodents, in shrews an entire exon is skipped. Rodents and especially shrews are unique regarding the alterations of this region. To investigate the biological relevance of these alterations, MTF-1s from the common shrew (Sorex araneus), the mouse, humans and a bat (Myotis blythii), were tested by cotransfection with a reporter gene into cells lacking MTF-1. Whereas shrews only live for 1.5-2.5 years, bats, although living on a very similar insect diet, have a lifespan of several decades. We find that bat MTF-1 is similarly metal-responsive as its human counterpart, while shrew MTF-1 is less responsive, similar to mouse MTF-1. We propose that in comparison to most other mammals, the short-lived shrews and rodents can afford a "lower-quality" system for heavy metal homeostasis and detoxification. PMID:27067444

  11. Taste preferences for amino acids in the house musk shrew, Suncus murinus.

    PubMed

    Iwasaki, K; Sato, M A

    1982-05-01

    Taste preferences in house musk shrews for amino acids as well as NaCl, sucrose, quinine hydrochloride, HCl and saccharin Na were studied by employing the two-bottle preference technique. Shrews showed a preference for 0.2--05. M sucrose but a moderate rejection to NaCl and a strong rejection to quinine, HCl and saccharin. They exhibited a marked preference for many naturally occurring L-alpha-amino acids with aliphatic side chains at both 0.02 and 0.2 M. Increase in the aliphatic side chain length of DL-alpha-amino acids resulted in both lowering of the preference threshold and increase in the preference magnitude. Amino acids with side chains containing sulfur atoms, basic groups and Phe at 0.02 M were preferred to water, but Cys and Arg at 0.2 M was rejected. Shrews showed neither preference nor rejection to Trp, Asn, Gln and monosodium glutamate at 0.02 M, but rejected strongly Asp and Glu. D-Met from 0.001 to 0.1 M was preferred as well as L-Met, while D-Phe was more preferred than L-Phe. Such preferences for a wide variety of amino acids in shrews could be attributed to their food habit of predating on various kinds of insects and worms. PMID:7100283

  12. "The Taming of the Shrew." A Play Packet To Accompany "Elementary, My Dear Shakespeare."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engen, Barbara; Campbell, Joy

    Intended for use by elementary school teachers as a supplement to the book, "Elementary, My Dear Shakespeare," or for use by itself to produce one Shakespeare play, this play packet contains ready-to-reproduce materials for the production of "The Taming of the Shrew." Materials include: staging suggestions for scenery, props, lighting, and…

  13. Nerve growth factor promotes in vitro proliferation of neural stem cells from tree shrews

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Liu-lin; Chen, Zhi-wei; Wang, Ting-hua

    2016-01-01

    Neural stem cells promote neuronal regeneration and repair of brain tissue after injury, but have limited resources and proliferative ability in vivo. We hypothesized that nerve growth factor would promote in vitro proliferation of neural stem cells derived from the tree shrews, a primate-like mammal that has been proposed as an alternative to primates in biomedical translational research. We cultured neural stem cells from the hippocampus of tree shrews at embryonic day 38, and added nerve growth factor (100 μg/L) to the culture medium. Neural stem cells from the hippocampus of tree shrews cultured without nerve growth factor were used as controls. After 3 days, fluorescence microscopy after DAPI and nestin staining revealed that the number of neurospheres and DAPI/nestin-positive cells was markedly greater in the nerve growth factor-treated cells than in control cells. These findings demonstrate that nerve growth factor promotes the proliferation of neural stem cells derived from tree shrews. PMID:27212919

  14. Chronic clomipramine treatment reverses core symptom of depression in subordinate tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Chai, Anping; Zhou, Qixin; Lv, Longbao; Wang, Liping; Yang, Yuexiong; Xu, Lin

    2013-01-01

    Chronic stress is the major cause of clinical depression. The behavioral signs of depression, including anhedonia, learning and memory deficits, and sleep disruption, result from the damaging effects of stress hormones on specific neural pathways. The Chinese tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) is an aggressive non-human primate with a hierarchical social structure that has become a well-established model of the behavioral, endocrine, and neurobiological changes associated with stress-induced depression. The tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine treats many of the core symptoms of depression in humans. To further test the validity of the tree shrew model of depression, we examined the effects of clomipramine on depression-like behaviors and physiological stress responses induced by social defeat in subordinate tree shrews. Social defeat led to weight loss, anhedonia (as measured by sucrose preference), unstable fluctuations in locomotor activity, sustained urinary cortisol elevation, irregular cortisol rhythms, and deficient hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). Clomipramine ameliorated anhedonia and irregular locomotor activity, and partially rescued the irregular cortisol rhythm. In contrast, weight loss increased, cortisol levels were even higher, and in vitro LTP was still impaired in the clomipramine treatment group. These results demonstrate the unique advantage of the tree shrew social defeat model of depression.

  15. Multilocus phylogeography and systematic revision of North American water shrews (genus: Sorex)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hope, Andrew G.; Panter, Nicholas; Cook, Joseph A.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Nagorsen, David W.

    2014-01-01

    North American water shrews, which have traditionally included Sorex alaskanus, S. bendirii, and S. palustris, are widely distributed through Nearctic boreal forests and adapted for life in semiaquatic environments. Molecular mitochondrial signatures for these species have recorded an evolutionary history with variable levels of regional divergence, suggesting a strong role of Quaternary environmental change in speciation processes. We expanded molecular analyses, including more-comprehensive rangewide sampling of specimens representing North American water shrew taxa, except S. alaskanus, and sequencing of 4 independent loci from the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. We investigated relative divergence of insular populations along the North Pacific Coast, and newly recognized diversity from southwestern montane locations, potentially representing refugial isolates. Congruent independent genealogies, lack of definitive evidence for contemporary gene flow, and high support from coalescent species trees indicated differentiation of 4 major geographic lineages over multiple glacial cycles of the late Quaternary, similar to a growing number of boreal taxa. Limited divergence of insular populations suggested colonization following the last glacial. Characterization of southwestern montane diversity will require further sampling but divergence over multiple loci is indicative of a relictual sky-island fauna. We have reviewed and revised North American water shrew taxonomy including the recognition of 3 species within what was previously known as S. palustris. The possibility of gene flow between most distantly related North American water shrew lineages coupled with unresolved early diversification of this group and other sibling species reflects a complex but potentially productive system for investigating speciation processes.

  16. High activity of the stress promoter contributes to susceptibility to stress in the tree shrew

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Hui; Sun, Yun-Jun; Lv, Yan-Hong; Ni, Rong-Jun; Shu, Yu-Mian; Feng, Xiu-Yu; Wang, Yu; Shan, Qing-Hong; Zu, Ya-Nan; Zhou, Jiang-Ning

    2016-01-01

    Stress is increasingly present in everyday life in our fast-paced society and involved in the pathogenesis of many psychiatric diseases. Corticotrophin-releasing-hormone (CRH) plays a pivotal role in regulating the stress responses. The tree shrews are highly vulnerable to stress which makes them the promising animal models for studying stress responses. However, the mechanisms underlying their high stress-susceptibility remained unknown. Here we confirmed that cortisol was the dominate corticosteroid in tree shrew and was significantly increased after acute stress. Our study showed that the function of tree shrew CRH - hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis was nearly identical to human that contributed little to their hyper-responsiveness to stress. Using CRH transcriptional regulation analysis we discovered a peculiar active glucocorticoid receptor response element (aGRE) site within the tree shrew CRH promoter, which continued to recruit co-activators including SRC-1 (steroid receptor co-activator-1) to promote CRH transcription under basal or forskolin/dexamethasone treatment conditions. Basal CRH mRNA increased when the aGRE was knocked into the CRH promoter in human HeLa cells using CAS9/CRISPR. The aGRE functioned critically to form the “Stress promoter” that contributed to the higher CRH expression and susceptibility to stress. These findings implicated novel molecular bases of the stress-related diseases in specific populations. PMID:27125313

  17. Isolation and characterization of a novel arenavirus harbored by Rodents and Shrews in Zhejiang province, China

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Kun; Lin, Xian-Dan; Wang, Wen; Shi, Mang; Guo, Wen-Ping; Zhang, Xiao-He; Xing, Jian-Guang; and others

    2015-02-15

    To determine the biodiversity of arenaviruses in China, we captured and screened rodents and shrews in Wenzhou city, Zhejiang province, a locality where hemorrhagic fever diseases are endemic in humans. Accordingly, arenaviruses were detected in 42 of 351 rodents from eight species, and in 12 of 272 Asian house shrews (Suncus murinus), by RT-PCR targeting the L segment. From these, a single arenavirus was successfully isolated in cell culture. The virion particles exhibited a typical arenavirus morphology under transmission electron microscopy. Comparison of the S and L segment sequences revealed high levels of nucleotide (>32.2% and >39.6%) and amino acid (>28.8% and >43.8%) sequence differences from known arenaviruses, suggesting that it represents a novel arenavirus, which we designated Wenzhou virus (WENV). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that all WENV strains harbored by both rodents and Asian house shrews formed a distinct lineage most closely related to Old World arenaviruses. - Highlights: • A novel arenavirus (Wenzhou virus) was identified in Zhejiang province, China. • The virus is highly circulating in five species of rats and one species of shrews • More efforts are needed to infer whether it is pathogenic to humans or not.

  18. Ultrastructure of the stomach of the small short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda c.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, C J; Keith, J C

    1985-07-01

    The normal gastric ultrastructure has been characterized for the small short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda c., which is a primitive eutherian and one of the smallest living mammals with extraordinarily high metabolic rate. In general the cell types present and cytologic character of gastric mucosal, submucosal, and muscularis cells were similar to that reported for other more advanced small mammalian species. Chief cells, endocrine cells, and lamina proprial elements were morphologically identical to their counterpart in rats, ferrets and other small carnivores. Distinctive cytologic features in this species of shrew included the scanty monolayer or small number of mucous granules in the simple columnar surface epithelial cells of the mucosa, and the thin elongated shape of their microvilli. Dense bodies were absent in the parietal cell mitochondria of the shrew, though usually abundant in other mammalian parietal cells. Our data indicate few morphologic specializations in the shrew stomach which can be correlated with their high rate of food assimilation and metabolic demands, though future studies of mucosal biochemistry and lower gut morphology may reveal such adaptations. PMID:4020920

  19. Olfactory mucosa ultrastructure in the short-tailed shrews, Blarina brevicauda and Blarina carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Byrum, L J; Carson, K A; Rose, R K

    2001-12-01

    The olfactory mucosae of the northern short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda, and the southern short-tailed shrew, Blarina carolinensis, were examined by light and electron microscopy. A well-developed olfactory epithelium was observed that included all of the cells necessary to provide for a sensitive olfactory system, suggesting that olfaction plays a major role in the behavior of these animals. There were no significant differences between the olfactory mucosae of these two species. The general features of the olfactory epithelium in these shrews were similar to those reported for several other macrosmatic mammals. A new type of supporting cell, called the light supporting cell, was observed in these shrews. The light supporting cell cytoplasm exhibited very little staining by light microscopy and had low electron density by transmission electron microscopy compared to that of the more common dark supporting cell. The light supporting cell had a convex apical surface with microvilli and lacked the large amounts of smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) typical of the apical cytoplasm of the dark supporting cell. In the lamina propria of the mucosa, the Bowman's glands consisted of two cell types, one with electron-lucent, alcian blue-positive granules, and the other with electron-dense PAS-positive granules. The cell with electron-lucent granules contained large amounts of SER and small clumps of rough ER. The cells with electron-dense granules had large amounts of RER and little SER. PMID:12221510

  20. Phenotypic flexibility in the energetic strategy of the greater white-toothed shrew, Crocidura russula.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Flávio G; Tapisso, Joaquim T; Monarca, Rita I; Cerveira, Ana M; Mathias, Maria L

    2016-02-01

    The balance between energetic acquisition and expenditure depends on the amount of energy allocated to biological functions such as thermoregulation, growth, reproduction and behavior. Ambient temperature has a profound effect on this balance, with species inhabiting colder climates often needing to invest more energy in thermoregulation to maintain body temperature. This leads to local behavioral and physiological adaptations that increase energetic efficiency. In this study, we investigated the role of activity, behavior and thermogenic capacity in the ability of the greater white-toothed shrew, Crocidura russula, to cope with seasonal changes. Individuals were captured in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, a Mediterranean region, and separated into three experimental groups: a control group, acclimated to a 12L:12D photoperiod and temperature of 18-20°C; a winter group, acclimatized to natural winter fluctuations of light and temperature; and a summer group, acclimatized to natural summer fluctuations of light and temperature. No differences were found in resting metabolic rate and nonshivering thermogenesis between the three groups. However, winter shrews significantly reduced their activity, particularly at night, compared to the control and summer groups. Differences in torpor use were also found between groups, with winter shrews entering torpor more frequently and during shorter periods of time than summer and control shrews. Our results indicate C. russula from Sintra relies on the flexibility of energy saving mechanisms, namely daily activity level and torpor use, to cope with seasonal changes in a Mediterranean climate, rather than mechanisms involving body heat production. PMID:26857972

  1. The neurobiology and behavior of the American water shrew (Sorex palustris).

    PubMed

    Catania, Kenneth C

    2013-06-01

    American water shrews (Sorex palustris) are aggressive predators that dive into streams and ponds to find prey at night. They do not use eyesight for capturing fish or for discriminating shapes. Instead they make use of vibrissae to detect and attack water movements generated by active prey and to detect the form of stationary prey. Tactile investigations are supplemented with underwater sniffing. This remarkable behavior consists of exhalation of air bubbles that spread onto objects and are then re-inhaled. Recordings for ultrasound both above and below water provide no evidence for echolocation or sonar, and presentation of electric fields and anatomical investigations provide no evidence for electroreception. Counts of myelinated fibers show by far the largest volume of sensory information comes from the trigeminal nerve compared to optic and cochlear nerves. This is in turn reflected in the organization of the water shrew's neocortex, which contains two large somatosensory areas and much smaller visual and auditory areas. The shrew's small brain with few cortical areas may allow exceptional speed in processing sensory information and producing motor output. Water shrews can accurately attack the source of a water disturbance in only 50 ms, perhaps outpacing any other mammalian predator.

  2. [Preliminary investigation of viruses to the wild tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri Chinese)].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin-Xing; Li, Jing-Xiao; Wang, Wen-Guang; Sun, Xiao-Mei; He, Chun-Yan; Dai, Jie-Jie

    2011-02-01

    Virological testing and monitoring is a fundamental part of quality control of experimental animals. However, there are few papers regarding the spectrum and status of natural infection in wild tree shrews with human and animal pathogenic viruses. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent adsorption assay (ELISA), we tested sixty wild tree shrews captured from Qinglong, an outskirt region of Kunming, Yunnan Province, China for eleven viruses, including herpes simplex virus, coxsackie virus, influenza virus, HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV, dengue virus, hemorrhagic fever virus and measles virus. Our results showed that, in the serum samples, 22/60 (36.7%) and 1/60 (1.67%) were antibody positive for herpes simplex virus and coxsackie virus, respectively, and 4/60 (6.7%) were antigen positive for rotavirus in the feces. The remaining species of viruses were negative in these tree shrews. Based on these results, we propose that herpes simplex virus, coxsackie virus and cotavirus should be listed as top priority for routine virological monitoring of tree shrews.

  3. The neurobiology and behavior of the American water shrew (Sorex palustris).

    PubMed

    Catania, Kenneth C

    2013-06-01

    American water shrews (Sorex palustris) are aggressive predators that dive into streams and ponds to find prey at night. They do not use eyesight for capturing fish or for discriminating shapes. Instead they make use of vibrissae to detect and attack water movements generated by active prey and to detect the form of stationary prey. Tactile investigations are supplemented with underwater sniffing. This remarkable behavior consists of exhalation of air bubbles that spread onto objects and are then re-inhaled. Recordings for ultrasound both above and below water provide no evidence for echolocation or sonar, and presentation of electric fields and anatomical investigations provide no evidence for electroreception. Counts of myelinated fibers show by far the largest volume of sensory information comes from the trigeminal nerve compared to optic and cochlear nerves. This is in turn reflected in the organization of the water shrew's neocortex, which contains two large somatosensory areas and much smaller visual and auditory areas. The shrew's small brain with few cortical areas may allow exceptional speed in processing sensory information and producing motor output. Water shrews can accurately attack the source of a water disturbance in only 50 ms, perhaps outpacing any other mammalian predator. PMID:23397460

  4. Generation and characterization of a breast carcinoma model by PyMT overexpression in mammary epithelial cells of tree shrew, an animal close to primates in evolution.

    PubMed

    Ge, Guang-Zhe; Xia, Hou-Jun; He, Bao-Li; Zhang, Hai-Lin; Liu, Wen-Jing; Shao, Ming; Wang, Chun-Yan; Xiao, Ji; Ge, Fei; Li, Fu-Bing; Li, Yi; Chen, Ceshi

    2016-02-01

    The tree shrew is becoming an attractive experimental animal model for human breast cancer owing to a closer relationship to primates/humans than rodents. Tree shrews are superior to classical primates because tree shrew are easier to manipulate, maintain and propagate. It is required to establish a high-efficiency tree shrew breast cancer model for etiological research and drug assessment. Our previous studies suggest that 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) induce breast tumors in tree shrews with a low frequency (<50%) and long latency (∼ 7-month), making these methods less than ideal. We induced mammary tumors in tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) by injection of lentivirus expressing the PyMT oncogene into mammary ducts of 22 animals. Most tree shrews developed mammary tumors with a latency of about three weeks, and by 7 weeks all injected tree shrews had developed mammary tumors. Among these, papillary carcinoma is the predominant tumor type. One case showed lymph node and lung metastasis. Interestingly, the expression levels of phosphorylated AKT, ERK and STAT3 were elevated in 41-68% of PyMT-induced mammary tumors, but not all tumors. Finally, we observed that the growth of PyMT-induced tree shrew mammary tumors was significantly inhibited by Cisplatin and Epidoxorubicin. PyMT-induced tree shrew mammary tumor model may be suitable for further breast cancer research and drug development, due to its high efficiency and short latency.

  5. The crouching of the shrew: Mechanical consequences of limb posture in small mammals.

    PubMed

    Riskin, Daniel K; Kendall, Corinne J; Hermanson, John W

    2016-01-01

    An important trend in the early evolution of mammals was the shift from a sprawling stance, whereby the legs are held in a more abducted position, to a parasagittal one, in which the legs extend more downward. After that transition, many mammals shifted from a crouching stance to a more upright one. It is hypothesized that one consequence of these transitions was a decrease in the total mechanical power required for locomotion, because side-to-side accelerations of the body have become smaller, and thus less costly with changes in limb orientation. To test this hypothesis we compared the kinetics of locomotion in two mammals of body size close to those of early mammals (< 40 g), both with parasagittally oriented limbs: a crouching shrew (Blarina brevicauda; 5 animals, 17 trials) and a more upright vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus; 4 animals, 22 trials). As predicted, voles used less mechanical power per unit body mass to perform steady locomotion than shrews did (P = 0.03). However, while lateral forces were indeed smaller in voles (15.6 ± 2.0% body weight) than in shrews (26.4 ± 10.9%; P = 0.046), the power used to move the body from side-to-side was negligible, making up less than 5% of total power in both shrews and voles. The most power consumed for both species was that used to accelerate the body in the direction of travel, and this was much larger for shrews than for voles (P = 0.01). We conclude that side-to-side accelerations are negligible for small mammals-whether crouching or more upright-compared to their sprawling ancestors, and that a more upright posture further decreases the cost of locomotion compared to crouching by helping to maintain the body's momentum in the direction of travel. PMID:27413633

  6. The crouching of the shrew: Mechanical consequences of limb posture in small mammals

    PubMed Central

    Kendall, Corinne J.; Hermanson, John W.

    2016-01-01

    An important trend in the early evolution of mammals was the shift from a sprawling stance, whereby the legs are held in a more abducted position, to a parasagittal one, in which the legs extend more downward. After that transition, many mammals shifted from a crouching stance to a more upright one. It is hypothesized that one consequence of these transitions was a decrease in the total mechanical power required for locomotion, because side-to-side accelerations of the body have become smaller, and thus less costly with changes in limb orientation. To test this hypothesis we compared the kinetics of locomotion in two mammals of body size close to those of early mammals (< 40 g), both with parasagittally oriented limbs: a crouching shrew (Blarina brevicauda; 5 animals, 17 trials) and a more upright vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus; 4 animals, 22 trials). As predicted, voles used less mechanical power per unit body mass to perform steady locomotion than shrews did (P = 0.03). However, while lateral forces were indeed smaller in voles (15.6 ± 2.0% body weight) than in shrews (26.4 ± 10.9%; P = 0.046), the power used to move the body from side-to-side was negligible, making up less than 5% of total power in both shrews and voles. The most power consumed for both species was that used to accelerate the body in the direction of travel, and this was much larger for shrews than for voles (P = 0.01). We conclude that side-to-side accelerations are negligible for small mammals–whether crouching or more upright–compared to their sprawling ancestors, and that a more upright posture further decreases the cost of locomotion compared to crouching by helping to maintain the body’s momentum in the direction of travel. PMID:27413633

  7. Genetic Diversity of Thottapalayam Virus, a Hantavirus Harbored by the Asian House Shrew (Suncus murinus) in Nepal

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Hae Ji; Kosoy, Michael Y.; Shrestha, Sanjaya K.; Shrestha, Mrigendra P.; Pavlin, Julie A.; Gibbons, Robert V.; Yanagihara, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Despite the recent discovery of genetically divergent hantaviruses in shrews of multiple species in widely separated geographic regions, data are unavailable about the genetic diversity and phylogeography of Thottapalayam virus (TPMV), a hantavirus originally isolated from an Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus) captured in southern India more than four decades ago. To bridge this knowledge gap, the S, M, and L segments of hantavirus RNA were amplified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction from archival lung tissues of Asian house shrews captured in Nepal from January to September 1996. Pair-wise alignment and comparison revealed approximately 80% nucleotide and > 94% amino acid sequence similarity to prototype TPMV. Phylogenetic analyses, generated by maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed geographic-specific clustering of TPMV, similar to that observed for rodent- and soricid-borne hantaviruses. These findings confirm that the Asian house shrew is the natural reservoir of TPMV and suggest a long-standing virus–host relationship. PMID:21896819

  8. 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

  9. Varied behavioral responses induced by morphine in the tree shrew: a possible model for human opiate addiction.

    PubMed

    Shen, Fang; Duan, Ying; Jin, Shubo; Sui, Nan

    2014-01-01

    Tree shrews represent a suitable animal model to study the pathogenesis of human diseases as they are phylogenetically close to primates and have a well-developed central nervous system that possesses many homologies with primates. Therefore, in our study, we investigated whether tree shrews can be used to explore the addictive behaviors induced by morphine. Firstly, to investigate the psychoactive effect of morphine on tree shrews' behavior, the number of jumping and shuttling, which represent the vertical and horizontal locomotor activity respectively, was examined following the injection of different dosage of morphine. Our results showed intramuscular (IM) injection of morphine (5 or 10 mg/kg) significantly increased the locomotor activity of tree shrews 30-60 min post-injection. Then, using the conditioned place preference/aversion (CPP/CPA) paradigm, we found morphine-conditioned tree shrews exhibited place preference in the morphine-paired chamber on the test day. In addition, naloxone-precipitated withdrawal induced place aversion in the chronic morphine-dependent tree shrews. We evaluated the craving for morphine drinking by assessing the break point that reflects the maximum effort animals will expend to get the drug. Our data showed the break point was significantly increased when compared to the baseline on the 1st, 7th and 14th day after the abstinence. Moreover, in the intravenous morphine self-administration experiment, tree shrews conditioned with morphine responded on the active lever significantly more frequently than on the inactive lever after training. These results suggest that tree shrew may be a potential candidate for study the addictive behaviors and the underling neurological mechanisms.

  10. Vocal development during postnatal growth and ear morphology in a shrew that generates seismic vibrations, Diplomesodon pulchellum.

    PubMed

    Zaytseva, Alexandra S; Volodin, Ilya A; Mason, Matthew J; Frey, Roland; Fritsch, Guido; Ilchenko, Olga G; Volodina, Elena V

    2015-09-01

    The ability of adult and subadult piebald shrews (Diplomesodon pulchellum) to produce 160Hz seismic waves is potentially reflected in their vocal ontogeny and ear morphology. In this study, the ontogeny of call variables and body traits was examined in 11 litters of piebald shrews, in two-day intervals from birth to 22 days (subadult), and ear structure was investigated in two specimens using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). Across ages, the call fundamental frequency (f0) was stable in squeaks and clicks and increased steadily in screeches, representing an unusual, non-descending ontogenetic pathway of f0. The rate of the deep sinusoidal modulation (pulse rate) of screeches increased from 75Hz at 3-4 days to 138Hz at 21-22 days, probably relating to ontogenetic changes in contraction rates of the same muscles which are responsible for generating seismic vibrations. The ear reconstructions revealed that the morphologies of the middle and inner ears of the piebald shrew are very similar to those of the common shrew (Sorex araneus) and the lesser white-toothed shrew (Crocidura suaveolens), which are not known to produce seismic signals. These results suggest that piebald shrews use a mechanism other than hearing for perceiving seismic vibrations.

  11. Isolation and identification of symbiotic bacteria from the skin, mouth, and rectum of wild and captive tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Li, Gui; Lai, Ren; Duan, Gang; Lyu, Long-Bao; Zhang, Zhi-Ye; Liu, Huang; Xiang, Xun

    2014-11-18

    Endosymbionts influence many aspects of their hosts' health conditions, including physiology, development, immunity, metabolism, etc. Tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) have attracted increasing attention in modeling human diseases and therapeutic responses due to their close relationship with primates. To clarify the situation of symbiotic bacteria from their body surface, oral cavity, and anus, 12 wild and 12 the third generation of captive tree shrews were examined. Based on morphological and cultural characteristics, physiological and biochemical tests, as well as the 16S rDNA full sequence analysis, 12 bacteria strains were isolated and identified from the wild tree shrews: body surface: Bacillus subtilis (detection rate 42%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (25%), Staphlococcus aureus (33%), S. Epidermidis (75%), Micrococcus luteus (25%), Kurthia gibsonii (17%); oral cavity: Neisseria mucosa (58%), Streptococcus pneumonia (17%); anus: Enterococcus faecalis (17%), Lactococus lactis (33%), Escherichia coli (92%), Salmonella typhosa (17%); whereas, four were indentified from the third generation captive tree shrews: body surface: S. epidermidis (75%); oral cavity: N.mucosa (67%); anus: L. lactis (33%), E. coli (100%). These results indicate that S. epidermidis, N. mucosa, L. lactis and E. coli were major bacteria in tree shrews, whereas, S. aureus, M. luteus, K. gibsonii, E. faecalis and S. typhosa were species-specific flora. This study facilitates the future use of tree shrews as a standard experimental animal and improves our understanding of the relationship between endosymbionts and their hosts. PMID:25465085

  12. Vocal development during postnatal growth and ear morphology in a shrew that generates seismic vibrations, Diplomesodon pulchellum.

    PubMed

    Zaytseva, Alexandra S; Volodin, Ilya A; Mason, Matthew J; Frey, Roland; Fritsch, Guido; Ilchenko, Olga G; Volodina, Elena V

    2015-09-01

    The ability of adult and subadult piebald shrews (Diplomesodon pulchellum) to produce 160Hz seismic waves is potentially reflected in their vocal ontogeny and ear morphology. In this study, the ontogeny of call variables and body traits was examined in 11 litters of piebald shrews, in two-day intervals from birth to 22 days (subadult), and ear structure was investigated in two specimens using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). Across ages, the call fundamental frequency (f0) was stable in squeaks and clicks and increased steadily in screeches, representing an unusual, non-descending ontogenetic pathway of f0. The rate of the deep sinusoidal modulation (pulse rate) of screeches increased from 75Hz at 3-4 days to 138Hz at 21-22 days, probably relating to ontogenetic changes in contraction rates of the same muscles which are responsible for generating seismic vibrations. The ear reconstructions revealed that the morphologies of the middle and inner ears of the piebald shrew are very similar to those of the common shrew (Sorex araneus) and the lesser white-toothed shrew (Crocidura suaveolens), which are not known to produce seismic signals. These results suggest that piebald shrews use a mechanism other than hearing for perceiving seismic vibrations. PMID:26112702

  13. Isolation and identification of symbiotic bacteria from the skin, mouth, and rectum of wild and captive tree shrews

    PubMed Central

    LI, Gui; LAI, Ren; DUAN, Gang; LIU, Long-Bao; ZHANG, Zhi-Ye; LIU, Huang; XIANG, Xun

    2014-01-01

    Endosymbionts influence many aspects of their hosts’ health conditions, including physiology, development, immunity, metabolism, etc. Tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) have attracted increasing attention in modeling human diseases and therapeutic responses due to their close relationship with primates. To clarify the situation of symbiotic bacteria from their body surface, oral cavity, and anus, 12 wild and 12 the third generation of captive tree shrews were examined. Based on morphological and cultural characteristics, physiological and biochemical tests, as well as the 16S rDNA full sequence analysis, 12 bacteria strains were isolated and identified from the wild tree shrews: body surface: Bacillus subtilis (detection rate 42%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (25%), Staphlococcus aureus (33%), S. Epidermidis (75%), Micrococcus luteus (25%), Kurthia gibsonii (17%); oral cavity: Neisseria mucosa (58%), Streptococcus pneumonia (17%); anus: Enterococcus faecalis (17%), Lactococus lactis (33%), Escherichia coli (92%), Salmonella typhosa (17%); whereas, four were indentified from the third generation captive tree shrews: body surface: S. epidermidis (75%); oral cavity: N.mucosa (67%); anus: L. lactis (33%), E. coli (100%). These results indicate that S. epidermidis, N. mucosa, L. lactis and E. coli were major bacteria in tree shrews, whereas, S. aureus, M. luteus, K. gibsonii, E. faecalis and S. typhosa were species-specific flora. This study facilitates the future use of tree shrews as a standard experimental animal and improves our understanding of the relationship between endosymbionts and their hosts. PMID:25465085

  14. Isolation and identification of symbiotic bacteria from the skin, mouth, and rectum of wild and captive tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Li, Gui; Lai, Ren; Duan, Gang; Lyu, Long-Bao; Zhang, Zhi-Ye; Liu, Huang; Xiang, Xun

    2014-11-18

    Endosymbionts influence many aspects of their hosts' health conditions, including physiology, development, immunity, metabolism, etc. Tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) have attracted increasing attention in modeling human diseases and therapeutic responses due to their close relationship with primates. To clarify the situation of symbiotic bacteria from their body surface, oral cavity, and anus, 12 wild and 12 the third generation of captive tree shrews were examined. Based on morphological and cultural characteristics, physiological and biochemical tests, as well as the 16S rDNA full sequence analysis, 12 bacteria strains were isolated and identified from the wild tree shrews: body surface: Bacillus subtilis (detection rate 42%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (25%), Staphlococcus aureus (33%), S. Epidermidis (75%), Micrococcus luteus (25%), Kurthia gibsonii (17%); oral cavity: Neisseria mucosa (58%), Streptococcus pneumonia (17%); anus: Enterococcus faecalis (17%), Lactococus lactis (33%), Escherichia coli (92%), Salmonella typhosa (17%); whereas, four were indentified from the third generation captive tree shrews: body surface: S. epidermidis (75%); oral cavity: N.mucosa (67%); anus: L. lactis (33%), E. coli (100%). These results indicate that S. epidermidis, N. mucosa, L. lactis and E. coli were major bacteria in tree shrews, whereas, S. aureus, M. luteus, K. gibsonii, E. faecalis and S. typhosa were species-specific flora. This study facilitates the future use of tree shrews as a standard experimental animal and improves our understanding of the relationship between endosymbionts and their hosts.

  15. Gross anatomical study of the sympathetic cardiac nerves in the house musk shrew (Suncus murinus).

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Ai; Tanaka, Shigenori; Miyamoto, Kensaku; Yi, Shuang-Qin; Nakatani, Toshio

    2007-05-01

    The sympathetic cardiac nerves originating from the cervical and upper thoracic sympathetic ganglia in the house musk shrew (Suncus murinus) were examined using macroscopic and whole-mount immunohistochemical methods. Based on the results, the nerves were macroscopically classified into the following three groups: nerves innervating the cervical sympathetic ganglia mainly to the arterial porta of the heart; nerves supplying the stellate and thoracic sympathetic ganglia at the level of T2-T5 or T6 for both the arterial and venous portae of the heart; and nerves innervating the thoracic sympathetic ganglia at the level of T4-T9 to the esophagus and lung and then the heart via the blood vessels within the mediastinal pleura. These findings in the house musk shrew suggest a possible primitive morphological pattern of the cervical and thoracic sympathetic nervous system that may be related to those in other mammals, including humans. PMID:17393537

  16. Divergent ancestral lineages of newfound hantaviruses harbored by phylogenetically related crocidurine shrew species in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Arai, Satoru; Gu, Se Hun; Baek, Luck Ju; Tabara, Kenji; Bennett, Shannon; Oh, Hong-Shik; Takada, Nobuhiro; Kang, Hae Ji; Tanaka-Taya, Keiko; Morikawa, Shigeru; Okabe, Nobuhiko; Yanagihara, Richard; Song, Jin-Won

    2012-01-01

    Spurred by the recent isolation of a novel hantavirus, named Imjin virus (MJNV), from the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura), targeted trapping was conducted for the phylogenetically related Asian lesser white-toothed shrew (Crocidura shantungensis). Pair-wise alignment and comparison of the S, M and L segments of a newfound hantavirus, designated Jeju virus (JJUV), indicated remarkably low nucleotide and amino acid sequence similarity with MJNV. Phylogenetic analyses, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed divergent ancestral lineages for JJUV and MJNV, despite the close phylogenetic relationship of their reservoir soricid hosts. Also, no evidence of host switching was apparent in tanglegrams, generated by TreeMap 2.0β. PMID:22230701

  17. Sequencing and analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of tundra shrew (Sorex tundrensis) from China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chunzhu; Zhao, Shuai; Wu, Hualin; Wu, Shengyang; Zhang, Zhongwen; Wang, Bo; Dou, Huashan

    2016-07-01

    The complete mitogenome sequence of tundra shrew (Sorex tundrensis) was determined using long PCR. The genome was 17,444 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 23 transfer RNA genes, 1 origin of L strand replication and 1 control region. The overall base composition of the heavy strand is A (32.9%), C (24.8%), T (29.0%), and G (13.3%). The base compositions present clearly the A-T skew, which is most obviously in the control region and protein-coding genes. The extended termination-associated sequence domain, the central conserved domain and the conserved sequence block domain are defined in the mitochondrial genome control region of tundra shrew. Mitochondrial genome analyses based on MP, ML, NJ and Bayesian analyses yielded identical phylogenetic trees. The three Sorex species formed a monophyletic group with the high bootstrap value (100 %) in all examinations.

  18. Binding sites of atrial natriuretic peptide in tree shrew adrenal gland

    SciTech Connect

    Fuchs, E.; Shigematsu, K.; Saavedra, J.M.

    1986-09-01

    Adrenal gland binding sites for atrial natriuretic peptide-(99-126) (ANP) were quantitated in tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) by incubation of adrenal sections with (3-(/sup 125/I)-iodotyrosyl28) atrial natriuretic peptide-(99-126), followed by autoradiography with computerized microdensitometry. In the adrenal glands, there are three types of ANP binding sites. One is located in the zona glomerulosa (BMax 84 +/- 6 fmol/mg protein; Kd 122 +/- 9 pM); the second in the zona fasciculata and reticularis (BMax 29 +/- 2 fmol/mg protein; Kd 153 +/- 6 pM) and the third in the adrenal medulla (BMax 179 +/- 1 fmol/mg protein; Kd 70 +/- 2 pM). Besides the influence of ANP on the regulation of adrenocortical mineralcorticoid and glucocorticoid secretion our findings raise the possibility for a local site of action of atrial natriuretic peptide in the regulation of adrenomedullary catecholamines in the tree shrew, primates and man.

  19. High density lipoproteins and prevention of experimental atherosclerosis with special reference to tree shrews.

    PubMed

    She, M P; Xia, R Y; Ran, B F; Wong, Z L

    1990-01-01

    According to data obtained from epidemiological and experimental survey, serum HDL level is known to be correlated conversely with the incidence of atherosclerosis. Experimental data collected in this article explained part of its mechanism, which is described in four parts as follows: 1. The result of 3 successive experiments on experimental atherosclerosis in tree shrews (total of 96 animals available including 40 as the controls) showed that the serum HDL level had been kept persistantly to 69-88% of the total serum lipoproteins even after a high cholesterol intake for 32 weeks. The incidence of atheromatous lesions developed was only 0-9%, but the incidence of gall stone was very high, 48-84% by gross examination by the end of these experiments. 2. HDL are also capable of (1) promotion of monocyte migration activity; (2) enhancement of cholesterol clearance rate of aortic smooth muscle cells originally isolated from either rabbits or tree shrews; (3) inhibition of 20% of LDL degradation but with no inhibitory effect obtained on Ac-LDL degradation in the endothelial cells; (4) presence of specific binding sites for apo E free HDL on the surface of aortic smooth muscle cells from either rabbits or tree shrews which recognizes apo A1 as a ligand. 3. Data from 2 successive experiments in rabbits showed that HDL lipoproteins (mainly apo A1) possess an inhibitory effect on the development of atheromatous plaques, but not a very strong one. 4. The colesterol clearance effect of smooth muscle cells was markedly enhanced by apo A1/phospholipid liposomes (the apo A1 used was isolated from either rabbit's or tree shrew's serum) in vitro. PMID:2123379

  20. High density lipoproteins and prevention of experimental atherosclerosis with special reference to tree shrews.

    PubMed

    She, M P; Xia, R Y; Ran, B F; Wong, Z L

    1990-01-01

    According to data obtained from epidemiological and experimental survey, serum HDL level is known to be correlated conversely with the incidence of atherosclerosis. Experimental data collected in this article explained part of its mechanism, which is described in four parts as follows: 1. The result of 3 successive experiments on experimental atherosclerosis in tree shrews (total of 96 animals available including 40 as the controls) showed that the serum HDL level had been kept persistantly to 69-88% of the total serum lipoproteins even after a high cholesterol intake for 32 weeks. The incidence of atheromatous lesions developed was only 0-9%, but the incidence of gall stone was very high, 48-84% by gross examination by the end of these experiments. 2. HDL are also capable of (1) promotion of monocyte migration activity; (2) enhancement of cholesterol clearance rate of aortic smooth muscle cells originally isolated from either rabbits or tree shrews; (3) inhibition of 20% of LDL degradation but with no inhibitory effect obtained on Ac-LDL degradation in the endothelial cells; (4) presence of specific binding sites for apo E free HDL on the surface of aortic smooth muscle cells from either rabbits or tree shrews which recognizes apo A1 as a ligand. 3. Data from 2 successive experiments in rabbits showed that HDL lipoproteins (mainly apo A1) possess an inhibitory effect on the development of atheromatous plaques, but not a very strong one. 4. The colesterol clearance effect of smooth muscle cells was markedly enhanced by apo A1/phospholipid liposomes (the apo A1 used was isolated from either rabbit's or tree shrew's serum) in vitro.

  1. How did pygmy shrews colonize Ireland? Clues from a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences.

    PubMed Central

    Mascheretti, Silvia; Rogatcheva, Margarita B; Gündüz, Islam; Fredga, Karl; Searle, Jeremy B

    2003-01-01

    There is a long-standing debate as to how Ireland attained its present fauna; we help to inform this debate with a molecular study of one species. A 1110 base pair fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene was sequenced in 74 specimens of the pygmy shrew, Sorex minutus, collected from throughout its western Palaearctic range. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences revealed several well-supported lineages. Most of the 65 haplotypes belonged to a northern lineage, which ranged from Britain in the west to Lake Baikal in the east. The other lineages were largely limited to Iberia, Italy and the Balkans. One exception, however, was a lineage found in both Ireland and Andorra. This affinity, and the large difference between the mitochondrial sequences of Irish and British individuals, suggest that pygmy shrews did not colonize Ireland via a land connection from Britain, as has been previously supposed, but instead were introduced by boat from southwest continental Europe. All the Irish pygmy shrews analysed were identical or very similar in cytochrome b sequence, suggesting an extreme founding event. PMID:12908980

  2. Daily metabolic patterns of short-tailed shrews (Blarina) in three natural seasonal temperature regimes

    SciTech Connect

    Randolph, J.C.

    1980-01-01

    An automatic, continuous-flow gas analysis system was used to determine daily metabolic patterns of individual short-tailed shrews (Blarina) in three natural seasonal temperature regimes in eastern Tennessee. Average daily metabolic rates (ADMR) were lowest in the summer (0.426 kcal g/sup -1/day/sup -1/), approximately doubled under winter conditions (0.810 kcal g/sup -1/day/sup -1/) but were the highest under fall conditions (1.110 kcal g/sup -1/day/sup -1/) possibly due to incomplete acclimatization of the shrews. The shape of the daily metabolic pattern for Blarina does not change seasonally; however, summer metabolic rates are the least variable and are lower than most values previously reported in the literature. Polynomial multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the relative influence of body mass, ambient temperature, and time of day on metabolic rates; only ambient temperature was significant in predicting metabolic rates of this shrew. Average daily metabolic rates of Blarina observed under summer and winter conditions further substantiate the general predictive equations of metabolic rates formulated for small mammals by French et al. (1976). Comparisons of metabolic patterns of Blarina with those of Peromyscus leucopus observed under nearly identical conditions indicate similar rates with strong seasonal influences.

  3. Cardiac ultrastructure and electrocardiogram of the short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, C J; Keith, J C

    1993-10-01

    The smaller species of shrews have been of considerable interest to scientists because of their high rate of metabolism, structure-functional and behavioral adaptations to support their energy demands. The present data are the first detailed cardiac ultrastructural findings and electrocardiographic (ECG) data of adult and immature small short-tailed shrews, Blarina brevicauda. The heart is morphologically elongated and heart rates in excess of 900 b/min were observed, but ECG components and pattern are non-distinctive for this species. Ultrastructurally, the sarcomeres, tubular and sarcotubular systems and Purkinje cells resemble closely those observed in larger, less active mammals. Several distinctive features resembling those seen in some other shrews or hummingbirds exist, including reduced quantities of myocyte glycogen, irregularly shaped and tightly packed mitochondria, increased neural and vascular elements in the myocardium, and small size and unusual dispersion of atrial specific granules. These morphologic findings suggest that the remarkable physiologic performance of the heart of Blarina brevicauda is supported by a combination of macroscopic, histologic and cellular adaptations. PMID:8269404

  4. Pulmonary appendix of the short-tailed shrew (Blarina): a unique immunologic organ.

    PubMed

    Parke, Wesley Wilkin

    2002-03-01

    The right bronchus of the short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda, terminates in a nonrespiratory pulmonary appendix (PA) containing two bronchial extensions. The experimentally demonstrated ability of these structures to collect and peristaltically expel aspirated material was initially assumed to be a sufficient reason for their developmental persistence, but as bronchus associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) became a subject of immunologic interest in other species, a possible immunologic role for the concentrations of BALT observed in the shrew PA were investigated. As the BALT of the PA contained many well-differentiated plasma cells and numerous particle-containing macrophages, 6-mu paraffin sections were treated with an immunoperoxidase avidin-biotin preparation that chromogenically identified alpha chains of IgA in many of the PA plasma cells and their associated luminal secretions. Also, vascular injections revealed that the PA had a complex relationship with anastomotic sinusoids connecting the bronchial and pulmonary circulation systems, and scanning electron microscopy showed that the luminal epithelial surfaces of the PA were virtually identical to the scattered BALT aggregates in the bronchi of other animals. It thus appeared that these unique structures in the shrew are morphologically and topographically suited to receive aspirated antigens that induce secretory IgA production, while possibly providing other humoral and cellular immunologic products to the general circulation. PMID:11870601

  5. [Some physiological and biochemical indicators of underyearling Laxman's shrews (Sorex cecutiens Laxmann) and even-toothed shrews (Sorex isodon Turov) under conditions of different population densities].

    PubMed

    Kiselev, S V; Lazutkin, A N; Yamborko, A V

    2013-01-01

    Based on the results of a study conducted in 2006-2010 in the Buyunda River basin (a feeder of the Kolyma River), the influence of the population density of common shrews (Sorex) on some of the physiological and biochemical parameters (glycogen and lipids in the liver, the relative weight of the spleen, the white and brown adipose tissue cellularity of bone and brain tissue) was investigated. The content of energy reserve substances was correlated with the number of animals (fat deposits had a negative correlation; the glycogen content in the liver had a direct correlation). For the rest of the physiological-biochemical parameters, no significant correlation with the population density was detected, although for the content of brown fat and cellularity of bone marrow tissue in Sorex isodon, as well as the relative weight of the spleen in both species of shrews, a trend was observed. We suggest that the identified physiological changes indicate irregular feeding of animals in years with higher population densities. PMID:24459854

  6. Monochoroterpes, a replacement name for Monophyllus Kluge, 2012 (Insecta: Ephemeroptera), nec Monophyllus Leach, 1821 (Mammalia: Chiroptera).

    PubMed

    Kluge, Nikita J; Jacobus, Luke M

    2015-01-01

    The genus group name Monophyllus Kluge, 2012 was established to include a single species of the mayfly family Leptophlebiidae (Insecta: Ephemeroptera) from Hainan Island, China, Choroterpes (Monophyllus) monophyllus Kluge, 2012. Unfortunately, this name is preoccupied by Monophyllus Leach, 1821, a genus of Phyllostomidae bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from the Antilles (type species: M. redmani Leach, 1821: 76). Therefore, we propose a replacement name for the mayfly genus group as follows. PMID:25947682

  7. Complete genome sequence and molecular phylogeny of a newfound hantavirus harbored by the Doucet's musk shrew (Crocidura douceti) in Guinea.

    PubMed

    Gu, Se Hun; Nicolas, Violaine; Lalis, Aude; Sathirapongsasuti, Nuankanya; Yanagihara, Richard

    2013-12-01

    Elucidation of the molecular phylogeny of shrew-borne hantaviruses in sub-Saharan Africa has been hampered by the lack of full-length viral genomes. In this report, we present the complete genome analysis of a newfound hantavirus, designated Bowé virus, detected in ethanol-fixed intercostal muscle of a Doucet's musk shrew (Crocidura douceti), captured in southwestern Guinea in February 2012. Full-length amino acid sequence comparison of the S-, M- and L-segment gene products revealed that Bowé virus differed by 24.1-53.4%, 17.0-59.9% and 14.6-39.7%, respectively, from all other representative rodent-, shrew- and mole-borne hantaviruses. Phylogenetic analysis, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, under the GTR+I+Γ model of evolution, showed that Bowé virus shared a common ancestry with Tanganya virus, a hantavirus detected in the Therese's shrew (Crocidura theresae) in Guinea. Whole genome analysis of many more hantaviruses from sub-Saharan Africa are needed to better clarify how the radiation of African shrews might have contributed to the phylogeography of hantaviruses.

  8. Establishment of the tree shrew as an alcohol-induced Fatty liver model for the study of alcoholic liver diseases.

    PubMed

    Xing, Huijie; Jia, Kun; He, Jun; Shi, Changzheng; Fang, Meixia; Song, Linliang; Zhang, Pu; Zhao, Yue; Fu, Jiangnan; Li, Shoujun

    2015-01-01

    Currently, the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver diseases (ALDs) is not clear. As a result, there is no effective treatment for ALDs. One limitation is the lack of a suitable animal model for use in studying ALDs. The tree shrew is a lower primate animal, characterized by a high-alcohol diet. This work aimed to establish a fatty liver model using tree shrews and to assess the animals' suitability for the study of ALDs. Tree shrews were treated with alcohol solutions (10% and 20%) for two weeks. Hemophysiology, blood alcohol concentrations (BACs), oxidative stress factors, alcohol metabolic enzymes and hepatic pathology were checked and assayed with an automatic biochemical analyzer, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), western blot, hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and oil red O staining, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Compared with the normal group, the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and malondialdehyde (MDA) were significantly enhanced in alcohol-treated tree shrews. However, the activity of reduced glutathione hormone (GSH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) declined. Notable changes in alcohol dehydrogenase(ADH1), aldehyde dehydrogenase(ALDH2), CYP2E1, UDP-glucuronosyl transferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) and nuclear factor erythroid-related factor 2 (Nrf2) were observed. HE and oil red O staining showed that hepatocyte swelling, hydropic degeneration, and adipohepatic syndrome occurred in the tree shrews. Alcohol can induce fatty liver-like pathological changes and result in alterations in liver function, oxidative stress factors, alcohol metabolism enzymes and Nrf2. Therefore, the established fatty liver model of tree shrews induced by alcohol should be a promising tool for the study of ALDs. PMID:26030870

  9. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Infection of Tree Shrews Differs from That of Mice in the Severity of Acute Infection and Viral Transcription in the Peripheral Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Li, Lihong; Li, Zhuoran; Wang, Erlin; Yang, Rui; Xiao, Yu; Han, Hongbo; Lang, Fengchao; Li, Xin; Xia, Yujie; Gao, Feng; Li, Qihan; Fraser, Nigel W.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Studies of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections of humans are limited by the use of rodent models such as mice, rabbits, and guinea pigs. Tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) are small mammals indigenous to southwest Asia. At behavioral, anatomical, genomic, and evolutionary levels, tree shrews are much closer to primates than rodents are, and tree shrews are susceptible to HSV infection. Thus, we have studied herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection in the tree shrew trigeminal ganglion (TG) following ocular inoculation. In situ hybridization, PCR, and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) analyses confirm that HSV-1 latently infects neurons of the TG. When explant cocultivation of trigeminal ganglia was performed, the virus was recovered after 5 days of cocultivation with high efficiency. Swabbing the corneas of latently infected tree shrews revealed that tree shrews shed virus spontaneously at low frequencies. However, tree shrews differ significantly from mice in the expression of key HSV-1 genes, including ICP0, ICP4, and latency-associated transcript (LAT). In acutely infected tree shrew TGs, no level of ICP4 was observed, suggesting the absence of infection or a very weak, acute infection compared to that of the mouse. Immunofluorescence staining with ICP4 monoclonal antibody, and immunohistochemistry detection by HSV-1 polyclonal antibodies, showed a lack of viral proteins in tree shrew TGs during both acute and latent phases of infection. Cultivation of supernatant from homogenized, acutely infected TGs with RS1 cells also exhibited an absence of infectious HSV-1 from tree shrew TGs. We conclude that the tree shrew has an undetectable, or a much weaker, acute infection in the TGs. Interestingly, compared to mice, tree shrew TGs express high levels of ICP0 transcript in addition to LAT during latency. However, the ICP0 transcript remained nuclear, and no ICP0 protein could be seen during the course of mouse and tree shrew TG

  10. [Significance of the smell of a conspecific for the spatial distribution of the common shrew Sorex araneus L].

    PubMed

    Tumas'ian, F A; Shchipanova, N A

    2013-01-01

    The significance of smell marks of conspecifics for the spatial distribution of common shrews was studied. The existence of two groups of individuals, which differ in their reaction to the smell of a conspecific, was shown. Individuals with different reactions were shown to have reliable differences in the sizes of the areas visited by them, the mutual location of their plots, and the percent of activity combined with the activity of the neighbor. The significance of such differences in reactions for the formation of the social system of shrews is discussed.

  11. Demographic responses of shrews to removal of coarse woody debris in a managed pine forest.

    SciTech Connect

    McCay, Timothy, S.; Komoroski, Mark, J.

    2004-01-01

    McCay, T.S., and M.J. Komoroski. 2004. Demographic responses of shrews to removal of coarse woody debris in a managed pine forest. For. Ecol., and Mgt. 189:387-395. We trapped shrews at six 9.3 ha plots from which logs ý 10 cm diameter (coarse woody debris; CWD) had been manually removed and six control plots inmanaged loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forests of the southeastern coastal plain, USA. Trapping was conducted seasonally between autumn 1997 and summer 2001. Capture rates of Cryptotis parva were lower at plots from which CWD was removed than at control plots (P ¡ 0ý011) and declined at all plots over the study period (P ¡ 0ý001). Capture rates of Blarina carolinensis (P ¡ 0ý129) and Sorex longirostris (P ¡ 0ý432) did not differ between removal and control plots, but declined over the study period (P ¡ 0ý001). Age distributions of B. carolinensis differed between removal and control plots (P ¡ 0ý048) with a smaller proportion of individuals in young age categories at removal plots. Sensitivity of Cryptotis to the removal of CWD may have been due to its sociality or low population density at the study area. A reduction in the abundance of young B. carolinensis after removal of CWD may reflect reduced reproduction and immigration of older individuals from outside the plot. Effect of removal of CWD on populations of these shrews was relatively weak compared to strong seasonal and multi-year variation in abundance. However, weak treatment effects may have been partly due to low ambient levels of CWD at control plots.

  12. Effect of PAHs on MFO induction in common shrews (Crocidura russula)

    SciTech Connect

    Bosveld, A.T.C.; Bie, P. de; Weggemans, J.; Murk, A.

    1995-12-31

    PAHs are widespread environmental contaminants. Despite the relatively high turnover rates for enzymatic breakdown, PAHs have been detected in tissues from species at various trophic levels. As a consequence they have the potential to be passed on to the higher levels of the foodchain. As a model for the primary carnivores in the terrestrial foodchain the common shrew (Crocidura russula) is studied in the laboratories. The authors investigated the effect of exposure to benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) on cytochrome P450 isoenzymes in relation to the effect of a known strong inducer of the MFO system i.e. 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). The compounds were dissolved in oil and mixed with food. Shrews were exposed for a period of one week to BaP at concentrations equivalent to 10 or 100 mg/kg bodyweight per day (n = 3 for each dose group) and to TCDD at a concentration equivalent to 10 {micro}g/kg per day (n = 5). Controls received a diet with only the carier (oil) added. At termination of the experiment, hepatic CYP1A1 associated EROD activity was induced 20% in both the low and high dosed BaP group. In the TCDD exposed shrews EROD was induced up to 776% compared to the controls. Related MFO activities, including PROD, BROD, MROD and site specific testosterone hydroxylation are under investigation and the results will be presented. The relevance of MFO induction by PAHs and the use of these parameters as biomarkers for PAH exposure will be discussed.

  13. [Helminth fauna in insectivores (Mammalia: Insectivora) of canal banks in meliorated territories].

    PubMed

    Shimalov, V V

    2007-01-01

    Helminth fauna of Insectivora was investigated in canal banks situated in meliorated territories of Belorussian Polesie during 1996-1999. Thirty-three helminth species were found in the animals examined. Most of the parasites are usual in common shrew Sorex araneus L., which is a predominate insectivore species in canal banks.

  14. Body temperature and behavior of tree shrews and flying squirrels in a thermal gradient.

    PubMed

    Refinetti, R

    1998-02-15

    The daily rhythms of body temperature, temperature selection, and locomotor activity of tree shrews and flying squirrels were studied in a thermal gradient. In accordance with previous observations in other mammalian species, the rhythm of temperature selection was found to be 180 degrees out of phase with the body temperature rhythm in both species. Comparison of the amplitude of the body temperature rhythm in the presence and absence of the ambient temperature gradient indicated that behavioral temperature selection reduces the amplitude of the body temperature rhythm. This provides support for the hypothesis that the homeostatic control of body temperature opposes-rather than facilitates-the circadian oscillation in body temperature. PMID:9523893

  15. Resting-Associated Vocalization Emitted by Captive Asian House Shrews (Suncus murinus): Acoustic Structure and Variability in an Unusual Mammalian Vocalization

    PubMed Central

    Schneiderová, Irena; Zouhar, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Shrews have rich vocal repertoires that include vocalizations within the human audible frequency range and ultrasonic vocalizations. Here, we recorded and analyzed in detail the acoustic structure of a vocalization with unclear functional significance that was spontaneously produced by 15 adult, captive Asian house shrews (Suncus murinus) while they were lying motionless and resting in their nests. This vocalization was usually emitted repeatedly in a long series with regular intervals. It showed some structural variability; however, the shrews most frequently emitted a tonal, low-frequency vocalization with minimal frequency modulation and a low, non-vocal click that was clearly noticeable at its beginning. There was no effect of sex, but the acoustic structure of the analyzed vocalizations differed significantly between individual shrews. The encoded individuality was low, but it cannot be excluded that this individuality would allow discrimination of family members, i.e., a male and female with their young, collectively resting in a common nest. The question remains whether the Asian house shrews indeed perceive the presence of their mates, parents or young resting in a common nest via the resting-associated vocalization and whether they use it to discriminate among their family members. Additional studies are needed to explain the possible functional significance of resting-associated vocalizations emitted by captive Asian house shrews. Our study highlights that the acoustic communication of shrews is a relatively understudied topic, particularly considering that they are highly vocal mammals. PMID:25390304

  16. Ultrastructure of geniculocortical synaptic connections in the tree shrew striate cortex.

    PubMed

    Familtsev, Dmitry; Quiggins, Ranida; Masterson, Sean P; Dang, Wenhao; Slusarczyk, Arkadiusz S; Petry, Heywood M; Bickford, Martha E

    2016-04-15

    To determine whether thalamocortical synaptic circuits differ across cortical areas, we examined the ultrastructure of geniculocortical terminals in the tree shrew striate cortex to compare directly the characteristics of these terminals with those of pulvinocortical terminals (examined previously in the temporal cortex of the same species; Chomsung et al. [] Cereb Cortex 20:997-1011). Tree shrews are considered to represent a prototype of early prosimian primates but are unique in that sublaminae of striate cortex layer IV respond preferentially to light onset (IVa) or offset (IVb). We examined geniculocortical inputs to these two sublayers labeled by tracer or virus injections or an antibody against the type 2 vesicular glutamate antibody (vGLUT2). We found that layer IV geniculocortical terminals, as well as their postsynaptic targets, were significantly larger than pulvinocortical terminals and their postsynaptic targets. In addition, we found that 9-10% of geniculocortical terminals in each sublamina contacted GABAergic interneurons, whereas pulvinocortical terminals were not found to contact any interneurons. Moreover, we found that the majority of geniculocortical terminals in both IVa and IVb contained dendritic protrusions, whereas pulvinocortical terminals do not contain these structures. Finally, we found that synaptopodin, a protein uniquely associated with the spine apparatus, and telencephalin (TLCN, or intercellular adhesion molecule type 5), a protein associated with maturation of dendritic spines, are largely excluded from geniculocortical recipient layers of the striate cortex. Together our results suggest major differences in the synaptic organization of thalamocortical pathways in striate and extrastriate areas.

  17. Demography of short-tailed shrew populations living on polychlorinated biphenyl-contaminated sites.

    PubMed

    Boonstra, Rudy; Bowman, Lanna

    2003-06-01

    In ecological risk assessment, a key necessity is to understand how contaminants known to have negative impact on laboratory mammals affect the population demography of mammals living in their natural environment. We examined the demography of six local populations of the short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) living in eastern deciduous forest palustrine habitat along the Housatonic River (MA, USA) on soils contaminated with a range of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations (1.5-38.3 ppm). The objective of the study was to assess whether PCBs adversely affect the population demography of these small mammals living in their natural environment. Blarina were selected for study because they would be expected to readily bioaccumulate PCBs from the soil. Populations were intensively live trapped on 1-ha grids from spring to autumn 2001. There was no relationship between any demographic parameter and PCB soil concentrations. Densities were high (usually exceeding 20/ha, and on two grids exceeded 60/ha in summer); survival was good (typically 60-75% per 30 d); and sex ratio, reproduction rates, growth rates, and body mass were within the ranges reported in the literature. Thus, these shrew populations showed no detectable impact on their population demography from living on PCB-contaminated sites.

  18. Size evolution in Goodwin?s small-eared shrew, Cryptotis goodwini

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.; Merritt, J.F.; Churchfield, S.; Hutterer, R.; Sheftel, B.A.

    2005-01-01

    Fossils of Cryptotis goodwini from Honduras indicate that body sizes of modern individuals average at least 18% larger than among members of the late Pleistocene population of this species. Palynological and other paleoenvironmental studies provide evidence that the Neotropical montane environments that these shrews inhabit were cooler and drier in the late Pleistocene than at present and supported communities of plants without modern analog. Therefore, the most likely cause of this change in size ultimately was related to climatic change at the end of the Pleistocene?but to what specific factors did the species respond? I examined the possibilities that this species changed in size: to accommodate a change in temperature regime; to escape from predators; as a response to a change in intensity of interspecific competition; to take advantage of a newly abundant food resource. Based on evidence from studies of modern communities of shrews and niche partitioning, I hypothesized that size evolution in C. goodwini was directly related to changes in the community of soil and soil-surface invertebrates upon which the species depends, specifically an increase in the availability of earthworms (Annelida).

  19. Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Relieve Hindlimb Ischemia through Enhancing Angiogenesis in Tree Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Cunping; Liang, Yuan; Zhang, Jian; Li, Zian; Pang, Rongqing

    2016-01-01

    Hindlimb ischemia is still a clinical problem with high morbidity and mortality. Patients suffer from consequent rest pain, ulcers, cool limbs, and even amputation. Angiogenesis is a promising target for the treatment of ischemic limbs, providing extra blood for the ischemic region. In the present study, we investigated the role of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) in regulating angiogenesis and relieving hindlimb ischemia. UC-MSCs were isolated from the umbilical cord of tree shrews. Angiography results showed that UC-MSCs injection significantly promoted angiogenesis in tree shrews. Moreover, the ankle brachial index, transcutaneous oxygen pressure, blood perfusion, and capillary/muscle fiber ratio were all markedly increased by the application of UC-MSCs. In addition, the conditioned culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells using medium collected from UC-MSCs showed higher expression of angiogenic markers and improved migration ability. In short, the isolated UC-MSCs notably contributed to restoring blood supply and alleviating the symptoms of limb ischemia through enhancing angiogenesis. PMID:27651800

  20. Prevalence of zoonotic Bartonella species among rodents and shrews in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Pangjai, Decha; Maruyama, Soichi; Boonmar, Sumalee; Kabeya, Hidenori; Sato, Shingo; Nimsuphan, Burin; Petkanchanapong, Wimol; Wootta, Wattanapong; Wangroongsarb, Piyada; Boonyareth, Maskiet; Preedakoon, Poom; Saisongkorh, Watcharee; Sawanpanyalert, Pathom

    2014-03-01

    We investigated the prevalence of Bartonella species in 10 rodent and one shrew species in Thailand. From February 2008 to May 2010, a total of 375 small animals were captured in 9 provinces in Thailand. Bartonella strains were isolated from 57 rodents (54 from Rattus species and 3 from Bandicota indica) and one shrew (Suncus murinus) in 7 of the 9 provinces, and identified to the species level. Sequence analysis of the citrate synthase and RNA polymerase β subunit genes identified the 58 isolates from each Bartonella-positive animal as B. tribocorum in 27 (46.6%) animals, B. rattimassiliensis in 17 (29.3%) animals, B. elizabethae in 10 (17.2%) animals and B. queenslandensis in 4 (6.9%) animals. R. norvegicus, R. rattus, and Suncus murinus carried B. elizabethae, which causes endocarditis in humans. The prevalence of Bartonella bacteremic animals by province was 42.9% of the animals collected in Phang Nga, 26.8% in Chiang Rai, 20.4% in Sa Kaeo, 16.7% in Nakhon Si Thammarat, 12.0% in Surat Thani, 9.1% in Mae Hong Son and Loei Provinces. These results indicate that Bartonella organisms are widely distributed in small mammals in Thailand and some animal species may serve as important reservoirs of zoonotic Bartonella species in the country.

  1. Demography of short-tailed shrew populations living on polychlorinated biphenyl-contaminated sites.

    PubMed

    Boonstra, Rudy; Bowman, Lanna

    2003-06-01

    In ecological risk assessment, a key necessity is to understand how contaminants known to have negative impact on laboratory mammals affect the population demography of mammals living in their natural environment. We examined the demography of six local populations of the short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) living in eastern deciduous forest palustrine habitat along the Housatonic River (MA, USA) on soils contaminated with a range of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations (1.5-38.3 ppm). The objective of the study was to assess whether PCBs adversely affect the population demography of these small mammals living in their natural environment. Blarina were selected for study because they would be expected to readily bioaccumulate PCBs from the soil. Populations were intensively live trapped on 1-ha grids from spring to autumn 2001. There was no relationship between any demographic parameter and PCB soil concentrations. Densities were high (usually exceeding 20/ha, and on two grids exceeded 60/ha in summer); survival was good (typically 60-75% per 30 d); and sex ratio, reproduction rates, growth rates, and body mass were within the ranges reported in the literature. Thus, these shrew populations showed no detectable impact on their population demography from living on PCB-contaminated sites. PMID:12785599

  2. Vampire bat, shrew, and bear: comparative physiology and chronic renal failure.

    PubMed

    Singer, Michael A

    2002-06-01

    In the typical mammal, energy flux, protein metabolism, and renal excretory processes constitute a set of closely linked and quantitatively matched functions. However, this matching has limits, and these limits become apparent when animals adapt to unusual circumstances. The vampire bat and shrew have an extremely high protein intake, and the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is not commensurate with the large urea load to be excreted. The vampire bat is chronically azotemic (blood urea concentration 27-57 mmol/l); yet there is no information as to how this animal has adjusted to such an azotemic internal environment. A high protein intake should also lead to chronic glomerular hyperfiltration; yet neither animal appears to develop progressive renal failure. The American black bear, on the other hand, has adapted to a prolonged period without intake or urine output. Despite continued amino acid catabolism with urea production, this mammal is able to completely salvage and reutilize urea nitrogen for protein synthesis, although the signals that initiate this metabolic adaptation are not known. The vampire bat, shrew, and bear are natural models adapted to circumstances analogous to chronic renal failure. Unraveling these adaptations could lead to new interventions for the prevention/treatment of chronic renal failure. PMID:12010738

  3. Distinct innate immune responses in human macrophages and endothelial cells infected with shrew-borne hantaviruses.

    PubMed

    Shin, Ok Sarah; Yanagihara, Richard; Song, Jin-Won

    2012-12-01

    Although hantaviruses have been previously considered as rodent-borne pathogens, recent studies demonstrate genetically distinct hantaviruses in evolutionarily distant non-rodent reservoirs, including shrews, moles and bats. The immunological responses to these newfound hantaviruses in humans are unknown. We compared the innate immune responses to Imjin virus (MJNV) and Thottapalayam virus (TPMV), two shrew-borne hantaviruses, with that toward two rodent-borne hantaviruses, pathogenic Hantann virus (HTNV) and nonpathogenic Prospect Hill virus (PHV). Infection of human macrophages and endothelial cells with either HTNV or MJNV triggered productive viral replication and up-regulation of anti-viral responsive gene expression from day 1 to day 3 postinfection, compared with PHV and TPMV. Furthermore, HTNV, MJNV and TPMV infection led to prolonged increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines from days 3 to 7 postinfection. By contrast, PHV infection failed to induce pro-inflammatory responses. Distinct patterns of innate immune activation caused by MJNV suggest that it might be pathogenic to humans. PMID:22944108

  4. A Comparative Analysis of the Endocannabinoid System in the Retina of Mice, Tree Shrews, and Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Bouskila, Joseph; Javadi, Pasha; Elkrief, Laurent; Casanova, Christian; Bouchard, Jean-François; Ptito, Maurice

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is widely expressed in various parts of the central nervous system, including the retina. The localization of the key eCB receptors, particularly CB1R and CB2R, has been recently reported in rodent and primate retinas with striking interspecies differences. Little is known about the distribution of the enzymes involved in the synthesis and degradation of these eCBs. We therefore examined the expression and localization of the main components of the eCB system in the retina of mice, tree shrews, and monkeys. We found that CB1R and FAAH distributions are well-preserved among these species. However, expression of NAPE-PLD is circumscribed to the photoreceptor layer only in monkeys. In contrast, CB2R expression is variable across these species; in mice, CB2R is found in retinal neurons but not in glial cells; in tree shrews, CB2R is expressed in Müller cell processes of the outer retina and in retinal neurons of the inner retina; in monkeys, CB2R is restricted to Müller cells. Finally, the expression patterns of MAGL and DAGLα are differently expressed across species. Overall, these results provide evidence that the eCB system is differently expressed in the retina of these mammals and suggest a distinctive role of eCBs in visual processing. PMID:26977322

  5. Confirmation of pleisiomorphic daily torpor in mammals: the round-eared elephant shrew Macroscelides proboscideus (Macroscelidea).

    PubMed

    Lovegrove, B G; Lawes, M J; Roxburgh, L

    1999-10-01

    The characteristics of daily torpor were measured in the round-eared elephant shrew Macroscelides proboscideus (Macroscelidea) in response to ambient temperature and food deprivation. Elephant shrews are an ancient mammal order within a superordinal African clade including hyraxes, elephants, dugongs and the aardvark. M. proboscideus only employed torpor when deprived of food; torpor did not occur under an ad libitum diet at ambient temperatures of 10, 15 and 25 degrees C. Torpor bout duration ranged from < 1 h to ca. 18 h. The times of entry into torpor were restricted to the scotophase, despite normothermic body temperature patterns indicating a rest phase coincident with the photophase. Full arousal was always achieved within the first 3 h of the photophase. When food deprived, the onset of the rest phase, and hence torpor, advanced with respect to the experimental photoperiod. The lowest torpor body temperature measured was 9.41 degrees C. Daily torpor in M. proboscideus confirms a pleisiomorphic origin of daily heterothermy. Torpor facilitates risk-averse foraging behaviour in these small omnivores by overcoming long-term energy shortfalls generated by the inherent variability of food availability in their semiarid, El Niño-afflicted habitats.

  6. Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Relieve Hindlimb Ischemia through Enhancing Angiogenesis in Tree Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Cunping; Liang, Yuan; Zhang, Jian; Li, Zian; Pang, Rongqing

    2016-01-01

    Hindlimb ischemia is still a clinical problem with high morbidity and mortality. Patients suffer from consequent rest pain, ulcers, cool limbs, and even amputation. Angiogenesis is a promising target for the treatment of ischemic limbs, providing extra blood for the ischemic region. In the present study, we investigated the role of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) in regulating angiogenesis and relieving hindlimb ischemia. UC-MSCs were isolated from the umbilical cord of tree shrews. Angiography results showed that UC-MSCs injection significantly promoted angiogenesis in tree shrews. Moreover, the ankle brachial index, transcutaneous oxygen pressure, blood perfusion, and capillary/muscle fiber ratio were all markedly increased by the application of UC-MSCs. In addition, the conditioned culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells using medium collected from UC-MSCs showed higher expression of angiogenic markers and improved migration ability. In short, the isolated UC-MSCs notably contributed to restoring blood supply and alleviating the symptoms of limb ischemia through enhancing angiogenesis.

  7. Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Relieve Hindlimb Ischemia through Enhancing Angiogenesis in Tree Shrews.

    PubMed

    Yin, Cunping; Liang, Yuan; Zhang, Jian; Ruan, Guangping; Li, Zian; Pang, Rongqing; Pan, Xinghua

    2016-01-01

    Hindlimb ischemia is still a clinical problem with high morbidity and mortality. Patients suffer from consequent rest pain, ulcers, cool limbs, and even amputation. Angiogenesis is a promising target for the treatment of ischemic limbs, providing extra blood for the ischemic region. In the present study, we investigated the role of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) in regulating angiogenesis and relieving hindlimb ischemia. UC-MSCs were isolated from the umbilical cord of tree shrews. Angiography results showed that UC-MSCs injection significantly promoted angiogenesis in tree shrews. Moreover, the ankle brachial index, transcutaneous oxygen pressure, blood perfusion, and capillary/muscle fiber ratio were all markedly increased by the application of UC-MSCs. In addition, the conditioned culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells using medium collected from UC-MSCs showed higher expression of angiogenic markers and improved migration ability. In short, the isolated UC-MSCs notably contributed to restoring blood supply and alleviating the symptoms of limb ischemia through enhancing angiogenesis. PMID:27651800

  8. Inference Based on Transitive Relation in Tree Shrews ("Tupaia belangeri") and Rats ("Rattus norvegicus") on a Spatial Discrimination Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Takahashi, Makoto; Ushitani, Tomokazu; Fujita, Kazuo

    2008-01-01

    Six tree shrews and 8 rats were tested for their ability to infer transitively in a spatial discrimination task. The apparatus was a semicircular radial-arm maze with 8 arms labeled A through H. In Experiment 1, the animals were first trained in sequence on 4 discriminations to enter 1 of the paired adjacent arms, AB, BC, CD, and DE, with right…

  9. Tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis), a novel non-obese animal model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Linqiang; Wu, Xiaoyun; Liao, Shasha; Li, Yunhai; Zhang, Zhiguo; Chang, Qing; Xiao, Ruyue

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming a severe public health problem that is affecting a large proportion of the world population. Generally, NAFLD in patients is usually accompanied by obesity, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), for which numerous animal models have been generated in order to explore the pathogenesis and therapies of NAFLD. On the contrary, quite a number of NAFLD subjects, especially in Asian regions, are non-obese and non-diabetic; however, few animal models are available for the research of non-obese NAFLD. Here, four approaches (here called approach 1 to 4) corresponding to the variable compositions of diets were used to treat tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis), which have a closer evolutionary relationship to primates than rodents. Analysis of plasma biochemical parameters, hepatic histology, and the expression of hepatic lipid metabolic genes revealed that all four approaches led to hepatic lipid accumulation, liver injury and hypercholesterolemia, but had no effect on body weight and adipose tissue generation, or glycemia. Hepatic gene expression in tree shrews treated by approach 4 might suggest a different or non-canonical pathway leading to hepatic steatosis. In conclusion, the tree shrew displays hepatic steatosis and dyslipidemia, but remains non-obese and non-diabetic under high energy diets, which suggests that the tree shrew may be useful as a novel animal model for the research of human non-obese NAFLD. PMID:27659689

  10. Identification and characterization of toll-like receptors (TLRs) in the Chinese tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis).

    PubMed

    Yu, Dandan; Wu, Yong; Xu, Ling; Fan, Yu; Peng, Li; Xu, Min; Yao, Yong-Gang

    2016-07-01

    In mammals, the toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a major role in initiating innate immune responses against pathogens. Comparison of the TLRs in different mammals may help in understanding the TLR-mediated responses and developing of animal models and efficient therapeutic measures for infectious diseases. The Chinese tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis), a small mammal with a close relationship to primates, is a viable experimental animal for studying viral and bacterial infections. In this study, we characterized the TLRs genes (tTLRs) in the Chinese tree shrew and identified 13 putative TLRs, which are orthologs of mammalian TLR1-TLR9 and TLR11-TLR13, and TLR10 was a pseudogene in tree shrew. Positive selection analyses using the Maximum likelihood (ML) method showed that tTLR8 and tTLR9 were under positive selection, which might be associated with the adaptation to the pathogen challenge. The mRNA expression levels of tTLRs presented an overall low and tissue-specific pattern, and were significantly upregulated upon Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. tTLR4 and tTLR9 underwent alternative splicing, which leads to different transcripts. Phylogenetic analysis and TLR structure prediction indicated that tTLRs were evolutionarily conserved, which might reflect an ancient mechanism and structure in the innate immune response system. Taken together, TLRs had both conserved and unique features in the Chinese tree shrew. PMID:26923770

  11. Modelling and monitoring organochlorine and heavy metal accumulation in soils, earthworms, and shrews in Rhine-delta floodplains.

    PubMed

    Hendriks, A J; Ma, W C; Brouns, J J; de Ruiter-Dijkman, E M; Gast, R

    1995-07-01

    In the Rhine-delta, accumulation of microcontaminants in floodplain foodwebs has received little attention in comparison with aquatic communities. To investigate organochlorine and metal concentrations in a terrestrial foodchain, samples of soil, earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus), and shrew (Crocidura russula, Sorex araneus) livers and kidneys were taken from two moderately to heavily polluted floodplains. Chlorobiphenyl residues in earthworm fat were 0.10 to 3.5 times the concentrations in soil organic matter, whereas ratios for other organochlorines varied between 0.87 and 8.8. These ratios are one order of magnitude lower than expected from laboratory experiments with earthworms, and laboratory and field studies on aquatic invertebrates. Bioconcentration ratios for heavy metals are in accordance with literature values for other locations, confirming the high potential for cadmium accumulation in Lumbricidae. Concentrations of organochlorines in shrew liver lipids were 1.0 to 13 times the residues in earthworm fat. These values are higher than lipid-corrected biomagnification ratios for laboratory rodents, but equal to those measured for benthivorous birds in the Rhine-delta. On a dry weight basis, kidney-earthworm ratios for cadmium were about one order of magnitude lower than previously reported values for insectivores. Soil concentrations of many compounds in both floodplains did not meet Dutch quality standards. Yet, hexachlorobenzene, chlorobiphenyl 153 (PCB153), gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane, sigma DDT, and dieldrin residues in earthworms and shrews did not exceed diet levels expected to be safe for endothermic species. An exception was noted for cadmium in worms and shrew kidneys. Heavy metal pollution in soil was close to levels that are critical to earthworms in laboratory studies. Cadmium concentrations in shrew kidneys were below levels suggested to be safe for Sorex araneus, but above those that were critical to the rat.

  12. Cyclic voles and shrews and non-cyclic mice in a marginal grassland within European temperate forest.

    PubMed

    Zub, K; Jędrzejewska, B; Jędrzejewski, W; Bartoń, K A

    2012-07-01

    Cyclic population dynamics of small mammals are not restricted to the boreal and arctic zones of Eurasia and North America, but long-term data series from lower latitudes are still less common. We demonstrated here the presence of periodic oscillations in small mammal populations in eastern Poland using 22-year (1986-2007) trapping data from marginal meadow and river valley grasslands located in the extensive temperate woodland of Białowieża Primeval Forest. The two most common species inhabiting meadows and river valleys, root vole Microtus oeconomus and common shrew Sorex araneus, exhibited synchronous periodic changes, characterised by a 3-year time lag as indicated by an autocorrelation function. Moreover, the cycles of these two species were synchronous within both habitats. Population dynamics of the striped field mouse Apodemus agrarius was not cyclic. However, this species regularly reached maximum density 1 year before the synchronized peak of root voles and common shrews, which may suggest the existence of interspecific competition. Dynamics of all three species was dominated by direct density-dependent process, whereas delayed density dependent feedback was significant only in the root vole and common shrew. Climatic factors acting in winter and spring (affecting mainly survival and initial reproduction rates) were more important than those acting in summer and autumn and affected significantly only the common shrew. High temperatures in winter and spring had positive effects on autumn-to-autumn changes in abundance of this species, whereas deep snow in combination with high rainfall in spring negatively affected population increase rates in common shrew.

  13. Modelling and monitoring organochlorine and heavy metal accumulation in soils, earthworms, and shrews in Rhine-delta floodplains.

    PubMed

    Hendriks, A J; Ma, W C; Brouns, J J; de Ruiter-Dijkman, E M; Gast, R

    1995-07-01

    In the Rhine-delta, accumulation of microcontaminants in floodplain foodwebs has received little attention in comparison with aquatic communities. To investigate organochlorine and metal concentrations in a terrestrial foodchain, samples of soil, earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus), and shrew (Crocidura russula, Sorex araneus) livers and kidneys were taken from two moderately to heavily polluted floodplains. Chlorobiphenyl residues in earthworm fat were 0.10 to 3.5 times the concentrations in soil organic matter, whereas ratios for other organochlorines varied between 0.87 and 8.8. These ratios are one order of magnitude lower than expected from laboratory experiments with earthworms, and laboratory and field studies on aquatic invertebrates. Bioconcentration ratios for heavy metals are in accordance with literature values for other locations, confirming the high potential for cadmium accumulation in Lumbricidae. Concentrations of organochlorines in shrew liver lipids were 1.0 to 13 times the residues in earthworm fat. These values are higher than lipid-corrected biomagnification ratios for laboratory rodents, but equal to those measured for benthivorous birds in the Rhine-delta. On a dry weight basis, kidney-earthworm ratios for cadmium were about one order of magnitude lower than previously reported values for insectivores. Soil concentrations of many compounds in both floodplains did not meet Dutch quality standards. Yet, hexachlorobenzene, chlorobiphenyl 153 (PCB153), gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane, sigma DDT, and dieldrin residues in earthworms and shrews did not exceed diet levels expected to be safe for endothermic species. An exception was noted for cadmium in worms and shrew kidneys. Heavy metal pollution in soil was close to levels that are critical to earthworms in laboratory studies. Cadmium concentrations in shrew kidneys were below levels suggested to be safe for Sorex araneus, but above those that were critical to the rat. PMID:7794009

  14. Whole-brain mapping of afferent projections to the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Ni, Rong-Jun; Luo, Peng-Hao; Shu, Yu-Mian; Chen, Ju-Tao; Zhou, Jiang-Ning

    2016-10-01

    The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) plays an important role in integrating and relaying input information to other brain regions in response to stress. The cytoarchitecture of the BST in tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) has been comprehensively described in our previous publications. However, the inputs to the BST have not been described in previous reports. The aim of the present study was to investigate the sources of afferent projections to the BST throughout the brain of tree shrews using the retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold (FG). The present results provide the first detailed whole-brain mapping of BST-projecting neurons in the tree shrew brain. The BST was densely innervated by the prefrontal cortex, entorhinal cortex, ventral subiculum, amygdala, ventral tegmental area, and parabrachial nucleus. Moreover, moderate projections to the BST originated from the medial preoptic area, supramammillary nucleus, paraventricular thalamic nucleus, pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, dorsal raphe nucleus, locus coeruleus, and nucleus of the solitary tract. Afferent projections to the BST are identified in the ventral pallidum, nucleus of the diagonal band, ventral posteromedial thalamic nucleus, posterior complex of the thalamus, interfascicular nucleus, retrorubral field, rhabdoid nucleus, intermediate reticular nucleus, and parvicellular reticular nucleus. In addition, the different densities of BST-projecting neurons in various regions were analyzed in the tree shrew brains. In summary, whole-brain mapping of direct inputs to the BST is delineated in tree shrews. These brain circuits are implicated in the regulation of numerous physiological and behavioral processes including stress, reward, food intake, and arousal.

  15. Whole-brain mapping of afferent projections to the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Ni, Rong-Jun; Luo, Peng-Hao; Shu, Yu-Mian; Chen, Ju-Tao; Zhou, Jiang-Ning

    2016-10-01

    The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) plays an important role in integrating and relaying input information to other brain regions in response to stress. The cytoarchitecture of the BST in tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) has been comprehensively described in our previous publications. However, the inputs to the BST have not been described in previous reports. The aim of the present study was to investigate the sources of afferent projections to the BST throughout the brain of tree shrews using the retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold (FG). The present results provide the first detailed whole-brain mapping of BST-projecting neurons in the tree shrew brain. The BST was densely innervated by the prefrontal cortex, entorhinal cortex, ventral subiculum, amygdala, ventral tegmental area, and parabrachial nucleus. Moreover, moderate projections to the BST originated from the medial preoptic area, supramammillary nucleus, paraventricular thalamic nucleus, pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, dorsal raphe nucleus, locus coeruleus, and nucleus of the solitary tract. Afferent projections to the BST are identified in the ventral pallidum, nucleus of the diagonal band, ventral posteromedial thalamic nucleus, posterior complex of the thalamus, interfascicular nucleus, retrorubral field, rhabdoid nucleus, intermediate reticular nucleus, and parvicellular reticular nucleus. In addition, the different densities of BST-projecting neurons in various regions were analyzed in the tree shrew brains. In summary, whole-brain mapping of direct inputs to the BST is delineated in tree shrews. These brain circuits are implicated in the regulation of numerous physiological and behavioral processes including stress, reward, food intake, and arousal. PMID:27436534

  16. A fossil aardvark (Mammalia, Tubulidentata) from the lower Pliocene of Chad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehmann, Thomas; Vignaud, Patrick; Mackaye, Hassane Taïsso; Brunet, Michel

    2004-12-01

    The Mission Paléoanthropologique Franco-Tchadienne (MPFT) found a new species of Orycteropodidae (Mammalia, Tubulidentata) in the Kollé fossiliferous sector, northern Chad. After Orycteropus abundulafus [Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 20 (1) (2000) 205-209; Lehmann, T., Vignaud, P., Likius A., Brunet M., in press. A new Orycteropodidae (Mammalia, Tubulidentata) in the Mio-Pliocene of Northern Chad. Zool. J. Linnean Soc.], this specimen is the second complete skeleton of fossil aardvark found in the Djurab desert. It is the first complete representative of an Orycteropus species found in the Pliocene of Africa. In regard to the Miocene fossil aardvarks, this new taxon, Orycteropus djourabensis nov. sp., shows more affinities with the extant O. afer. The main differences are the larger teeth and the shorter hand in the fossil form. Kossom Bougoudi and Kollé represent a chronological series that gives a unique opportunity for studying the evolution of the African Tubulidentata around the Mio-Pliocene boundary (5.5-4 My). The new species is distinct from the older Chadian Orycteropodid from KB and it embodies the taxonomic turnover that took place within the order Tubulidentata around this boundary in Africa. Moreover, this new species is the oldest known Orycteropus species that clearly belongs to the modern forms including the extant aardvark.

  17. Mammals of South America, Volume 1, Marsupials, Xenarthrans, Shrews, and Bats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gardner, A.L.

    2007-01-01

    The vast terrain between Panama and Tierra del Fuego contains some of the world?s richest mammalian fauna, but until now it has lacked a comprehensive systematic reference to the identification, distribution, and taxonomy of its mammals. The first such book of its kind and the inaugural volume in a three-part series, Mammals of South America both summarizes existing information and encourages further research of the mammals indigenous to the region. Containing identification keys and brief descriptions of each order, family, and genus, the first volume of Mammals of South America covers marsupials, shrews, armadillos, sloths, anteaters, and bats. Species accounts include taxonomic descriptions, synonymies, keys to identification, distributions with maps and a gazetteer of marginal localities, lists of recognized subspecies, brief summaries of natural history information, and discussions of issues related to taxonomic interpretations. Highly anticipated and much needed, this book will be a landmark contribution to mammalogy, zoology, tropical biology, and conservation biology.

  18. Effect of land cover, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laakkonen, J.; Fisher, R.N.; Case, T.J.

    2001-01-01

    1. Because effects of habitat fragmentation and anthropogenic disturbance on native animals have been relatively little studied in arid areas and in insectivores, we investigated the roles of different land covers, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews, Notiosorex crawfordi and Sorex ornatus, in southern California. 2. Notiosorex crawfordi was the numerically dominant species (trap-success rate 0.52) occurring in 21 of the 22 study sites in 85% of the 286 pitfall arrays used in this study. Sorex ornatus was captured in 14 of the sites, in 52% of the arrays with a total trap-success rate of 0.2. Neither of the species was found in one of the sites. 3. The population dynamics of the two shrew species were relatively synchronous during the 4-5-year study; the peak densities usually occurred during the spring. Precipitation had a significant positive effect, and maximum temperature a significant negative effect on the trap-success rate of S. ornatus. 4. Occurrence and abundance of shrews varied significantly between sites and years but the size of the landscape or the study site had no effect on the abundance of shrews. The amount of urban edge had no significant effect on the captures of shrews but increased edge allows invasion of the Argentine ants, which had a highly significant negative impact on the abundance of N. crawfordi. 5. At the trap array level, the percentage of coastal sage scrub flora had a significant positive, and the percentage of other flora had a significant negative effect on the abundance of N. crawfordi. The mean canopy height and the abundance of N. crawfordi had a significant positive effect on the occurrence of S. ornatus. 6. Our study suggests that the loss of native coastal sage scrub flora and increasing presence of Argentine ant colonies may significantly effect the distribution and abundance of N. crawfordi. The very low overall population densities of both shrew species in most study sites

  19. Effect of land cover, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laakkonen, Juha; Fisher, Robert N.; Case, Ted J.

    2001-01-01

    Because effects of habitat fragmentation and anthropogenic disturbance on native animals have been relatively little studied in arid areas and in insectivores, we investigated the roles of different land covers, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews, Notiosorex crawfordi and Sorex ornatus, in southern California.Notiosorex crawfordi was the numerically dominant species (trap-success rate 0·52) occurring in 21 of the 22 study sites in 85% of the 286 pitfall arrays used in this study.Sorex ornatus was captured in 14 of the sites, in 52% of the arrays with a total trap-success rate of 0·2. Neither of the species was found in one of the sites.The population dynamics of the two shrew species were relatively synchronous during the 4–5-year study; the peak densities usually occurred during the spring. Precipitation had a significant positive effect, and maximum temperature a significant negative effect on the trap-success rate of S. ornatus.Occurrence and abundance of shrews varied significantly between sites and years but the size of the landscape or the study site had no effect on the abundance of shrews. The amount of urban edge had no significant effect on the captures of shrews but increased edge allows invasion of the Argentine ants, which had a highly significant negative impact on the abundance of N. crawfordi.At the trap array level, the percentage of coastal sage scrub flora had a significant positive, and the percentage of other flora had a significant negative effect on the abundance of N. crawfordi. The mean canopy height and the abundance of N. crawfordi had a significant positive effect on the occurrence of S. ornatus.Our study suggests that the loss of native coastal sage scrub flora and increasing presence of Argentine ant colonies may significantly effect the distribution and abundance of N. crawfordi. The very low overall population densities of both shrew species in most study sites make both species

  20. Solar Radiation during Rewarming from Torpor in Elephant Shrews: Supplementation or Substitution of Endogenous Heat Production?

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Michelle L.; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi; Bennett, Nigel C.; McKechnie, Andrew E.

    2015-01-01

    Many small mammals bask in the sun during rewarming from heterothermy, but the implications of this behaviour for their energy balance remain little understood. Specifically, it remains unclear whether solar radiation supplements endogenous metabolic thermogenesis (i.e., rewarming occurs through the additive effects of internally-produced and external heat), or whether solar radiation reduces the energy required to rewarm by substituting (i.e, replacing) metabolic heat production. To address this question, we examined patterns of torpor and rewarming rates in eastern rock elephant shrews (Elephantulus myurus) housed in outdoor cages with access to either natural levels of solar radiation or levels that were experimentally reduced by means of shade cloth. We also tested whether acclimation to solar radiation availability was manifested via phenotypic flexibility in basal metabolic rate (BMR), non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) capacity and/or summit metabolism (Msum). Rewarming rates varied significantly among treatments, with elephant shrews experiencing natural solar radiation levels rewarming faster than conspecifics experiencing solar radiation levels equivalent to approximately 20% or 40% of natural levels. BMR differed significantly between individuals experiencing natural levels of solar radiation and conspecifics experiencing approximately 20% of natural levels, but no between-treatment difference was evident for NST capacity or Msum. The positive relationship between solar radiation availability and rewarming rate, together with the absence of acclimation in maximum non-shivering and total heat production capacities, suggests that under the conditions of this study solar radiation supplemented rather than substituted metabolic thermogenesis as a source of heat during rewarming from heterothermy. PMID:25853244

  1. Species Interactions during Diversification and Community Assembly in an Island Radiation of Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Esselstyn, Jacob A.; Maher, Sean P.; Brown, Rafe M.

    2011-01-01

    Background Closely related, ecologically similar species often have adjacent distributions, suggesting competitive exclusion may contribute to the structure of some natural communities. In systems such as island archipelagos, where speciation is often tightly associated with dispersal over oceanic barriers, competitive exclusion may prevent population establishment following inter-island dispersal and subsequent cladogenesis. Methodology/Principal Findings Using a combination of tools, we test the hypothesis that the distributions of shrew (Crocidura) species in the Philippines are the result of competitive exclusion preventing secondary invasion of occupied islands. We first compare ecological niche models between two widespread, allopatric species and find statistical support for their ecological similarity, implying that competition for habitat between these species is possible. We then examine dispersion patterns among sympatric species and find some signal for overdispersion of body size, but not for phylogenetic branch length. Finally, we simulate the process of inter-island colonization under a stochastic model of dispersal lacking ecological forces. Results are dependent on the geographic scope and colonization probability employed. However, some combinations suggest that the number of inter-island dispersal events necessary to populate the archipelago may be much higher than the minimum number of colonization events necessary to explain current estimates of species richness and phylogenetic relationships. If our model is appropriate, these results imply that alternative factors, such as competitive exclusion, may have influenced the process of inter-island colonization and subsequent cladogenesis. Conclusions/Significance We interpret the combined results as providing tenuous evidence that similarity in body size may prevent co-occurrence in Philippine shrews and that competitive exclusion among ecologically similar species, rather than an inability to

  2. Solar radiation during rewarming from torpor in elephant shrews: supplementation or substitution of endogenous heat production?

    PubMed

    Thompson, Michelle L; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi; Bennett, Nigel C; McKechnie, Andrew E

    2015-01-01

    Many small mammals bask in the sun during rewarming from heterothermy, but the implications of this behaviour for their energy balance remain little understood. Specifically, it remains unclear whether solar radiation supplements endogenous metabolic thermogenesis (i.e., rewarming occurs through the additive effects of internally-produced and external heat), or whether solar radiation reduces the energy required to rewarm by substituting (i.e, replacing) metabolic heat production. To address this question, we examined patterns of torpor and rewarming rates in eastern rock elephant shrews (Elephantulus myurus) housed in outdoor cages with access to either natural levels of solar radiation or levels that were experimentally reduced by means of shade cloth. We also tested whether acclimation to solar radiation availability was manifested via phenotypic flexibility in basal metabolic rate (BMR), non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) capacity and/or summit metabolism (Msum). Rewarming rates varied significantly among treatments, with elephant shrews experiencing natural solar radiation levels rewarming faster than conspecifics experiencing solar radiation levels equivalent to approximately 20% or 40% of natural levels. BMR differed significantly between individuals experiencing natural levels of solar radiation and conspecifics experiencing approximately 20% of natural levels, but no between-treatment difference was evident for NST capacity or Msum. The positive relationship between solar radiation availability and rewarming rate, together with the absence of acclimation in maximum non-shivering and total heat production capacities, suggests that under the conditions of this study solar radiation supplemented rather than substituted metabolic thermogenesis as a source of heat during rewarming from heterothermy.

  3. Depression-like behaviors in tree shrews and comparison of the effects of treatment with fluoxetine and carbetocin.

    PubMed

    Meng, Xiaolu; Shen, Fang; Li, Chunlu; Li, Yonghui; Wang, Xuewei

    2016-06-01

    Tree shrews, a species phylogenetically close to primates, are regarded as a suitable and naturalistic animal model for depression studies. However, psychological symptoms that are essential for depression diagnosis and treatment, such as helplessness and social withdrawal, have not been studied in this model. Therefore, in this study, we first investigated learned helplessness, social interaction and sucrose preference induced by two chronic stress paradigms: uncontrollable foot shocks (1-week foot shocks) and multiple unpredictable stimuli (1-week foot shocks and 3-week unpredictable stressors) in tree shrews. Our results showed that uncontrollable foot shocks could only induce learned helplessness in animals; whereas animals treated with multiple unpredictable stimuli exhibited more depression-like behaviors including social withdrawal, anhedonia and learned helplessness. These findings suggested that multiple unpredictable stimuli could effectively induce various depression-like behaviors in tree shrews. More importantly, we compared the antidepressant effects of fluoxetine and carbetocin, a long-acting oxytocin analog, on specific depression-like behaviors. Our present data displayed that, compared with fluoxetine, carbetocin was also effective in reversing learned helplessness, elevating sucrose preference and improving social interaction behaviors in depression-like animals. Therefore, carbetocin might be a potential antidepressant with applications in humans. PMID:26987370

  4. Carving out turf in a biodiversity hotspot: multiple, previously unrecognized shrew species co-occur on Java Island, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Esselstyn, Jacob A; Maharadatunkamsi; Achmadi, Anang S; Siler, Cameron D; Evans, Ben J

    2013-10-01

    In theory, competition among species in a shared habitat results in niche separation. In the case of small recondite mammals such as shrews, little is known about their autecologies, leaving open questions regarding the degree to which closely related species co-occur and how or whether ecological niches are partitioned. The extent to which species are able to coexist may depend on the degree to which they exploit different features of their habitat, which may in turn influence our ability to recognize them as species. We explored these issues in a biodiversity hotspot, by surveying shrew (genus Crocidura) diversity on the Indonesian island of Java. We sequenced portions of nine unlinked genes in 100-117 specimens of Javan shrews and incorporated homologous data from most known Crocidura species from other parts of island South-East Asia. Current taxonomy recognizes four Crocidura species on Java, including two endemics. However, our phylogenetic, population genetic and species delimitation analyses identify five species on the island, and all are endemic to Java. While the individual ranges of these species may not overlap in their entirety, we found up to four species living syntopically and all five species co-occurring on one mountain. Differences in species' body size, use of above ground-level habitats by one species and habitat partitioning along ecological gradients may have facilitated species diversification and coexistence.

  5. Dental and Mandibular Morphologies of Arboroharamiya (Haramiyida, Mammalia): A Comparison with Other Haramiyidans and Megaconus and Implications for Mammalian Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Jin; Bi, Shundong; Wang, Yuanqing; Zheng, Xiaoting; Wang, Xiaoli

    2014-01-01

    Background Two recent studies published in the same issue of Nature reached conflicting conclusions regarding the phylogeny of early mammals: One places the clade containing haramiyidans and multituberculates within the Mammalia and the other separates haramiyidans from multituberculates and places the former outside of the Mammalia. These two contrasting results require that the minimally oldest divergence time of the Mammalia was within the Late Triassic or the Middle Jurassic, respectively. Morphological descriptions of the species named in the two papers were brief, and no comparisons between the newly named species were possible. Principal Findings Here we present a detailed description of the dentary bone, teeth, occlusal and wear patterns of the haramiyidan Arboroharamiya and compare it with other haramiyidans and Megaconus. Using this new information, we suggest that tooth identifications and orientations of several previously described haramiyidan species are incorrect, and that previous interpretations of haramiyidan occlusal pattern are problematic. We propose that the published upper tooth orientation of Megaconus was problematic and question the number of upper molars, the length of dentition and mandible, and presence of the mandibular middle ear in Megaconus. Conclusions The additional morphological descriptions and comparisons presented here further support the view that Arboroharamiya, as a derived haramiyidan, shows similarity to multituberculates in tooth and mandible morphologies. Our comparison also suggests that Megaconus lacks many diagnostic features for the family Eleutherodontidae and that its close affinity with multituberculates cannot be ruled out. The detailed morphological data demonstrate that haramiyidans are more similar to multituberculates than to any other mammaliaforms. PMID:25494181

  6. Complete genome sequence and molecular phylogeny of a newfound hantavirus harbored by the Doucet’s musk shrew (Crocidura douceti) in Guinea

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Se Hun; Nicolas, Violaine; Lalis, Aude; Sathirapongsasuti, Nuankanya; Yanagihara, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Elucidation of the molecular phylogeny of shrew-borne hantaviruses in sub-Saharan Africa has been hampered by the lack of full-length viral genomes. In this report, we present the complete genome analysis of a newfound hantavirus, designated Bowé virus, detected in ethanol-fixed intercostal muscle of a Doucet’s musk shrew (Crocidura douceti), captured in southwestern Guinea in February 2012. Full-length amino acid sequence comparison of the S-, M- and L-segment gene products revealed that Bowé virus differed by 24.1–53.4%, 17.0–59.9% and 14.6–39.7%, respectively, from all other representative rodent-, shrew- and mole-borne hantaviruses. Phylogenetic analysis, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, under the GTR+I+Γ model of evolution, showed that Bowé virus shared a common ancestry with Tanganya virus, a hantavirus detected in the Therese’s shrew (Crocidura theresae) in Guinea. Whole genome analysis of many more hantaviruses from sub-Saharan Africa are needed to better clarify how the radiation of African shrews might have contributed to the phylogeography of hantaviruses. PMID:23994121

  7. RADIATION ECOLOGY ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH MURINE RODENTS AND SHREWS IN THE CHERNOBYL EXCLUSION ZONE

    SciTech Connect

    Farfan, E.; Jannik, T.

    2011-10-01

    This article describes major studies performed by the Chernobyl Center's International Radioecology Laboratory (Slavutich, Ukraine) on radioecology of murine rodents and shrews inhabiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The article addresses the long-term (1986-2005) and seasonal dynamics of radioactive contamination of animals, and reviews interspecies differences in radionuclide accumulations and factors affecting the radionuclide accumulations. It is shown that bioavailability of radionuclides in the 'soil-to-plant' chain and a trophic specialization of animals play key roles in determining their actual contamination levels. The total absorbed dose rates in small mammals significantly reduced during the years following the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident. In 1986, the absorbed dose rate reached 1.3-6.0 Gy hr{sup -1} in the central areas of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (the 'Red Forest'). In 1988 and 1990, the total absorbed dose rates were 1.3 and 0.42 Gy hr{sup -1}, respectively. In 1995, 2000, and 2005, according to the present study, the total absorbed dose rates rarely exceeded 0.00023, 0.00018, and 0.00015 Gy hr{sup -1}, respectively. Contributions of individual radiation sources into the total absorbed dose are described.

  8. Bibliography of studies on hybrid zones of the common shrew chromosome races distributed in Russia

    PubMed Central

    Nadjafova, Rena S.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The common shrew, Sorex araneus Linnaeus, 1758, has become a model species for cytogenetic and evolutionary studies after discovery of extraordinary Robertsonian polymorphism at the within-species level. Development of differential staining techniques (Q-, R-and G-banding) made it possible to identify the chromosomal arms and their combination in racial karyotypes. Entering into contact with each other, the chromosomal races might form hybrid zones which represent a great interest for understanding of the process of speciation. Until recently all known hybrid zones of S. araneus were localized in Western Europe and only one was identified in Siberia (Russia) between Novosibirsk and Tomsk races (Aniskin and Lukianova 1989, Searle and Wójcik 1998, Polyakov et al. 2011). However, a rapidly growing number of reports on discovery of interracial hybrid zones of Sorex araneus in the European part of Russia and neighboring territories appeared lately. The aim of the present work is to compile the bibliography of all studies covering this topic regardless of the original language and the publishing source which hopefully could make research data more accessible to international scientists. It could also be a productive way to save current history of Sorex araneus researches in full context of the ISACC (International Sorex araneus Cytogenetics Committee) heritage (Searle et al. 2007, Zima 2008).

  9. Affinities of `hyopsodontids' to elephant shrews and a Holarctic origin of Afrotheria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zack, Shawn P.; Penkrot, Tonya A.; Bloch, Jonathan I.; Rose, Kenneth D.

    2005-03-01

    Macroscelideans (elephant shrews or sengis) are small-bodied (25-540g), cursorial (running) and saltatorial (jumping), insectivorous and omnivorous placental mammals represented by at least 15 extant African species classified in four genera. Macroscelidea is one of several morphologically diverse but predominantly African placental orders classified in the superorder Afrotheria by molecular phylogeneticists. The distribution of modern afrotheres, in combination with a basal position for Afrotheria within Placentalia and molecular divergence-time estimates, has been used to link placental diversification with the mid-Cretaceous separation of South America and Africa. Morphological phylogenetic analyses do not support Afrotheria and the fossil record favours a northern origin of Placentalia. Here we describe fossil postcrania that provide evidence for a close relationship between North American Palaeocene-Eocene apheliscine `hyopsodontid' `condylarths' (early ungulates or hoofed mammals) and extant Macroscelidea. Apheliscine postcranial morphology is consistent with a relationship to other ungulate-like afrotheres (Hyracoidea, Proboscidea) but does not provide support for a monophyletic Afrotheria. As the oldest record of an afrothere clade, identification of macroscelidean relatives in the North American Palaeocene argues against an African origin for Afrotheria, weakening support for linking placental diversification to the break-up of Gondwana.

  10. Disentangling reasons for low Y chromosome variation in the greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula).

    PubMed

    Handley, Lori J Lawson; Berset-Brändli, Laura; Perrin, Nicolas

    2006-06-01

    Y chromosome variation is determined by several confounding factors including mutation rate, effective population size, demography, and selection. Disentangling these factors is essential to better understand the evolutionary properties of the Y chromosome. We analyzed genetic variation on the Y chromosome, X chromosome, and mtDNA of the greater white-toothed shrew, a species with low variance in male reproductive success and limited sex-biased dispersal, which enables us to control to some extent for life-history effects. We also compared ancestral (Moroccan) to derived (European) populations to investigate the role of demographic history in determining Y variation. Recent colonization of Europe by a small number of founders (combined with low mutation rates) is largely responsible for low diversity observed on the European Y and X chromosomes compared to mtDNA. After accounting for mutation rate, copy number, and demography, the Y chromosome still displays a deficit in variation relative to the X in both populations. This is possibly influenced by directional selection, but the slightly higher variance in male reproductive success is also likely to play a role, even though the difference is small compared to that in highly polygynous species. This study illustrates that demography and life-history effects should be scrutinized before inferring strong selective pressure as a reason for low diversity on the Y chromosome.

  11. The Challenges of Resolving a Rapid, Recent Radiation: Empirical and Simulated Phylogenomics of Philippine Shrews.

    PubMed

    Giarla, Thomas C; Esselstyn, Jacob A

    2015-09-01

    Phylogenetic relationships in recent, rapid radiations can be difficult to resolve due to incomplete lineage sorting and reliance on genetic markers that evolve slowly relative to the rate of speciation. By incorporating hundreds to thousands of unlinked loci, phylogenomic analyses have the potential to mitigate these difficulties. Here, we attempt to resolve phylogenetic relationships among eight shrew species (genus Crocidura) from the Philippines, a phylogenetic problem that has proven intractable with small (< 10 loci) data sets. We sequenced hundreds of ultraconserved elements and whole mitochondrial genomes in these species and estimated phylogenies using concatenation, summary coalescent, and hierarchical coalescent methods. The concatenated approach recovered a maximally supported and fully resolved tree. In contrast, the coalescent-based approaches produced similar topologies, but each had several poorly supported nodes. Using simulations, we demonstrate that the concatenated tree could be positively misleading. Our simulations also show that the tree shape we tend to infer, which involves a series of short internal branches, is difficult to resolve, even if substitution models are known and multiple individuals per species are sampled. As such, the low support we obtained for backbone relationships in our coalescent-based inferences reflects a real and appropriate lack of certainty. Our results illuminate the challenges of estimating a bifurcating tree in a rapid and recent radiation, providing a rare empirical example of a nearly simultaneous series of speciation events in a terrestrial animal lineage as it spreads across an oceanic archipelago. PMID:25979143

  12. Radiation ecology issues associated with murine rodents and shrews in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

    PubMed

    Gaschak, Sergey P; Maklyuk, Yulia A; Maksimenko, Andrey M; Bondarkov, Mikhail D; Jannik, G Timothy; Farfán, Eduardo B

    2011-10-01

    This article describes major studies performed by the Chernobyl Center's International Radioecology Laboratory (Slavutich, Ukraine) on radioecology of murine rodents and shrews inhabiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The article addresses the long-term (1986-2005) and seasonal dynamics of radioactive contamination of animals and reviews interspecies differences in radionuclide accumulations and factors affecting the radionuclide accumulations. It is shown that bioavailability of radionuclides in the "soil-to-plant" chain and a trophic specialization of animals play key roles in determining their actual contamination levels. The total absorbed dose rates in small mammals significantly reduced during the years following the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident. In 1986, the absorbed dose rate reached 1.3-6.0 Gy h(-1) in the central areas of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (the "Red Forest"). In 1988 and 1990, the total absorbed dose rates were 1.3 and 0.42 Gy h(-1), respectively. In 1995, 2000, and 2005, according to the present study, the total absorbed dose rates rarely exceeded 0.00023, 0.00018, and 0.00015 Gy h(-1), respectively. Contributions of individual radiation sources into the total absorbed dose are described. PMID:21878767

  13. A climate for speciation: rapid spatial diversification within the Sorex cinereus complex of shrews

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hope, Andrew G.; Speer, Kelly A.; Demboski, John R.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.

    2012-01-01

    The cyclic climate regime of the late Quaternary caused dramatic environmental change at high latitudes. Although these events may have been brief in periodicity from an evolutionary standpoint, multiple episodes of allopatry and divergence have been implicated in rapid radiations of a number of organisms. Shrews of the Sorex cinereus complex have long challenged taxonomists due to similar morphology and parapatric geographic ranges. Here, multi-locus phylogenetic and demographic assessments using a coalescent framework were combined to investigate spatiotemporal evolution of 13 nominal species with a widespread distribution throughout North America and across Beringia into Siberia. For these species, we first test a hypothesis of recent differentiation in response to Pleistocene climate versus more ancient divergence that would coincide with pre-Pleistocene perturbations. We then investigate the processes driving diversification over multiple continents. Our genetic analyses highlight novel diversity within these morphologically conserved mammals and clarify relationships between geographic distribution and evolutionary history. Demography within and among species indicates both regional stability and rapid expansion. Ancestral ecological differentiation coincident with early cladogenesis within the complex enabled alternating and repeated episodes of allopatry and expansion where successive glacial and interglacial phases each promoted divergence. The Sorex cinereus complex constitutes a valuable model for future comparative assessments of evolution in response to cyclic environmental change.

  14. Convergent evolution of novel protein function in shrew and lizard venom.

    PubMed

    Aminetzach, Yael T; Srouji, John R; Kong, Chung Yin; Hoekstra, Hopi E

    2009-12-01

    How do proteins evolve novel functions? To address this question, we are studying the evolution of a mammalian toxin, the serine protease BLTX [1], from the salivary glands of the North American shrew Blarina brevicauda. Here, we examine the molecular changes responsible for promoting BLTX toxicity. First, we show that regulatory loops surrounding the BLTX active site have evolved adaptively via acquisition of small insertions and subsequent accelerated sequence evolution. Second, these mutations introduce a novel chemical environment into the catalytic cleft of BLTX. Third, molecular-dynamic simulations show that the observed changes create a novel chemical and physical topology consistent with increased enzyme catalysis. Finally, we show that a toxic serine protease from the Mexican beaded lizard (GTX) [2] has evolved convergently through almost identical functional changes. Together, these results suggest that the evolution of toxicity might be predictable-arising via adaptive structural modification of analogous labile regulatory loops of an ancestral serine protease-and thus might aid in the identification of other toxic proteins. PMID:19879144

  15. Affinities of 'hyopsodontids' to elephant shrews and a Holarctic origin of Afrotheria.

    PubMed

    Zack, Shawn P; Penkrot, Tonya A; Bloch, Jonathan I; Rose, Kenneth D

    2005-03-24

    Macroscelideans (elephant shrews or sengis) are small-bodied (25-540 g), cursorial (running) and saltatorial (jumping), insectivorous and omnivorous placental mammals represented by at least 15 extant African species classified in four genera. Macroscelidea is one of several morphologically diverse but predominantly African placental orders classified in the superorder Afrotheria by molecular phylogeneticists. The distribution of modern afrotheres, in combination with a basal position for Afrotheria within Placentalia and molecular divergence-time estimates, has been used to link placental diversification with the mid-Cretaceous separation of South America and Africa. Morphological phylogenetic analyses do not support Afrotheria and the fossil record favours a northern origin of Placentalia. Here we describe fossil postcrania that provide evidence for a close relationship between North American Palaeocene-Eocene apheliscine 'hyopsodontid' 'condylarths' (early ungulates or hoofed mammals) and extant Macroscelidea. Apheliscine postcranial morphology is consistent with a relationship to other ungulate-like afrotheres (Hyracoidea, Proboscidea) but does not provide support for a monophyletic Afrotheria. As the oldest record of an afrothere clade, identification of macroscelidean relatives in the North American Palaeocene argues against an African origin for Afrotheria, weakening support for linking placental diversification to the break-up of Gondwana.

  16. Psychosocial stress, glucocorticoids, and structural alterations in the tree shrew hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, E; Flügge, G; Ohl, F; Lucassen, P; Vollmann-Honsdorf, G K; Michaelis, T

    2001-06-01

    Animal models for chronic stress represent an indispensable preclinical approach to human pathology since clinical data point to a major role of psychological stress experiences, acute and/or chronic, to the development of behavioral and physiological disturbances. Chronic emotional arousal is a consequence of various types of social interactions, and one major neurohumoral accompaniment is the activation of the classic stress circuit, the limbic--hypothalamic--pituitary--adrenocortical (LHPA) axis. The adrenocortical glucocorticoid hormones cortisol and corticosterone are principal effectors within this circuit since they affect neurotransmission and neuroendocrine control, thus having profound effects on mood and behavior. Using the experimental paradigm of chronic psychosocial stress in tree shrews, we investigated the impact of aversive chronic social encounters on hippocampal structure and function. In chronically stressed animals, we observed dendritic atrophy of hippocampal pyramidal neurons and an impairment of neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. However, a stress-induced loss of hippocampal neurons was not observed in this animal model. This review summarizes our recent results on structural changes occurring during chronic stress in neurons of the hippocampus and their potential influence on learning and memory. We discuss whether these changes are reversible and to what extent glucocorticoids might be responsible for the stress-induced effects.

  17. Food restriction, refeeding, and gastric fill fail to affect emesis in musk shrews.

    PubMed

    Horn, Charles C; Still, Liz; Fitzgerald, Christiana; Friedman, Mark I

    2010-01-01

    Nausea and emesis are common side effects of gastrointestinal disease. Reports indicate that ghrelin and endocannabinoids, agents that stimulate appetite, also reduce emesis evoked by chemotherapy treatment, which suggests that stimulation of feeding inhibits the emetic system. In the following study we conducted a more direct test of this hypothesis by determining the impact of manipulating the motivation to eat on emesis, using food restriction and refeeding. Emesis was induced in musk shrews, a commonly used animal model for emesis research, using the cancer chemotherapy agent cisplatin (20 mg/kg ip), nicotine (2 mg/kg sc), or motion (1 Hz, horizontal, 4-cm displacement), because these treatments are known to target separate emetic pathways: gut vagal afferents, area postrema, and vestibular pathways, respectively. Twenty-four hours of food restriction was sufficient to stimulate food intake, and 1 h of refeeding filled the stomach. The results indicate that food restriction, refeeding, and gastric fill had no significant effects on the amount of emesis produced by any of the emetic treatments tested here. This suggests that, although activation of the emetic system might have prominent effects on food intake, neural controls for feeding behavior do not significantly affect the neural pathways for emesis. These results may have implications for how we treat patients who experience a constellation of side effects, including nausea and emesis, since stimulating appetite may not necessarily inhibit emetic pathways.

  18. Shrews, rats, and a polecat in "the pardoner’s tale": Chapter 3

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feinstein, Sandy; Woodman, Neal; Van Dyke, Carolynn

    2012-01-01

    While historically existing animals and literary animal characters inform allegorical and metaphorical characterization in The Canterbury Tales, figurative usage does not erase recognition of the material animal. "The Pardoner's Tale," for one, challenges the terms of conventional animal metaphors by refocusing attention on common animals as common animals and common human creatures as something worse than vermin. Most attention has been paid to the larger animals-goat, hare, and horse-that constitute the physical portrait of Chaucer's Pardoner in the "General Prologue" and in the prologue to his tale.! Like these animals, rats and a polecat, together with rhetorical shrews, appear in this tale as well as in other literature, including bestiaries and natural histories. Equally to the purpose, these animals could be physically observed as constituents of both urban and rural landscapes in fourteenth-century England.2 In the Middle Ages, animals were part of the environment as well as part of the culture: they lived inside as well as outside the city gates, priory walls, and even domestic spaces; a rat in the street or the garden might not be any less welcome or uncommon than encountering someone's horses and goats nibbling vegetation or blocking a passage. Not being out of the ordinary, though, such animals could (and can) be overlooked or dismissed as com­mon, too familiar to register. This chapter reveals why readers and listeners should pay close attention to the things they think they know and what they hear about what they think they know.

  19. Radiation ecology issues associated with murine rodents and shrews in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

    PubMed

    Gaschak, Sergey P; Maklyuk, Yulia A; Maksimenko, Andrey M; Bondarkov, Mikhail D; Jannik, G Timothy; Farfán, Eduardo B

    2011-10-01

    This article describes major studies performed by the Chernobyl Center's International Radioecology Laboratory (Slavutich, Ukraine) on radioecology of murine rodents and shrews inhabiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The article addresses the long-term (1986-2005) and seasonal dynamics of radioactive contamination of animals and reviews interspecies differences in radionuclide accumulations and factors affecting the radionuclide accumulations. It is shown that bioavailability of radionuclides in the "soil-to-plant" chain and a trophic specialization of animals play key roles in determining their actual contamination levels. The total absorbed dose rates in small mammals significantly reduced during the years following the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident. In 1986, the absorbed dose rate reached 1.3-6.0 Gy h(-1) in the central areas of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (the "Red Forest"). In 1988 and 1990, the total absorbed dose rates were 1.3 and 0.42 Gy h(-1), respectively. In 1995, 2000, and 2005, according to the present study, the total absorbed dose rates rarely exceeded 0.00023, 0.00018, and 0.00015 Gy h(-1), respectively. Contributions of individual radiation sources into the total absorbed dose are described.

  20. Blood supply to the retina in the laboratory shrew (Suncus murinus).

    PubMed

    Isomura, G; Ikeda, S; Ikezaki, K; Miyashita, Y

    1997-06-01

    The blood supply to both retinae was studied light microscopically and by scanning electron microscopy in 48 adult laboratory shrews (Suncus murinus) of both sexes. Thirty-eight of the animals were injected into the left ventricle with Neoprene latex (Du Pont. 601A) or with Mercox (Dai Nippon Ink Ltd., CL-2R) to elucidate the blood supply to the retina from the ophthalmic artery. The remaining animals were kept for histological study of the retina. The central retinal artery, originating from the ophthalmic artery in the muscular part of the orbit, enters the optic nerve, passes through the optic disk together with the central retinal vein and penetrates the vitreous space (cavity of the eye) between the lens and the inner limiting membrane of the retina, where it divides into the dorsal, ventral, and caudal branches. Each branch, moreover, bifurcates into nasal and temporal arterioles and is distributed throughout the retina on the inner limiting membrane as far as the ciliary body and the lens. On the way they obliquely send small vessels through the inner limiting membrane into the outer plexiform layer of the retina. Their vascularization appears to correspond to the membrana vasculosa retinae found in teleosts, amphibia and reptiles.

  1. Sticky snack for sengis: The Cape rock elephant-shrew, Elephantulus edwardii (Macroscelidea), as a pollinator of the Pagoda lily, Whiteheadia bifolia (Hyacinthaceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wester, Petra

    2010-12-01

    Following the recent discovery of rodent pollination in the Pagoda lily, Whiteheadia bifolia (Hyacinthaceae) in South Africa, now the Cape rock elephant-shrew, Elephantulus edwardii (Macroscelidea, Afrotheria) is reported as an additional pollinator. Elephant-shrews, live-trapped near W. bifolia plants, were released in two terraria, containing the plants. The animals licked nectar with their long and slender tongues while being dusted with pollen and touching the stigmas of the flowers with their long and flexible noses. The captured elephant-shrews had W. bifolia pollen in their faeces, likely as a result of grooming their fur as they visited the flowers without eating or destroying them. The animals mostly preferred nectar over other food. This is the first record of pollination and nectar consumption in the primarily insectivorous E. edwardii, contributing to the very sparse knowledge about the behaviour of this unique clade of African mammals, as well as pollination by small mammals.

  2. Species of coccidia (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) in shrews from Alaska, U.S.A., and northeastern Siberia, Russia, with description of two new species.

    PubMed

    Lynch, A J; Duszynski, D W

    2008-08-01

    Fecal samples (n = 636) from 10 species of shrews collected in Alaska (n = 540) and northeastern Siberia (n = 96) were examined for the presence of coccidia (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae). Five distinct oocyst morphotypes were observed. Three types were consistent with oocysts of previously recognized coccidia species from other shrew hosts. These were Eimeria inyoni, E. vagrantis, and Isospora brevicauda, originally described from the inyo shrew (Sorex tenellus), dusky shrew (S. monticolus), and northern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda), respectively. We found 5 new host records for E. inyoni, 3 for E. vagrantis, and 3 for I. brevicauda. The 2 additional oocyst morphotypes, both from the tundra shrew (Sorex tundrensis), are putative new species. Sporulated oocysts of Eimeria beringiacea n. sp. are subspheroidal, 17.7 x 15.6 microm (14-24 x 13-20 microm) with a length (L)/width (W) ratio of 1.1 (1.0-1.4); these lack a micropyle (M), an oocyst residuum (OR), and a polar granule (PG). Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, 10.3 x 6.1 microm (7-14 x 4-8 microm), with a L/W ratio of 1.7 (1.3-2.3) and have a Stieda body (SB), Substieda body (SSB), and sporocyst residuum (SR). Oocysts of Eimeria tundraensis n. sp. are spheroidal to subspheroidal, 24.8 x 23.5 microm (23-26 x 22-25 microm), with a L/W ratio of 1.1 (1.0-1.2); these lack a M and OR, but a single PG is present. Sporocysts are elongate ellipsoidal, 15.4 x 8.3 microm (13-17 x 7-9 microm), with a L/W ratio of 1.9 (1.4-2.1) and have a SB, SSB, and SR. PMID:18576829

  3. Rediscovery of Meristaspis lateralis (Kolenati) (Acari: Mesostigmata: Spinturnicidae) parasitizing the Egyptian fruit bat, Rousettus aegyptiacus (Geoffroy) (Mammalia: Chiroptera), with a key to mites of bats in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Negm, Mohamed W; Fakeer, Mahmoud M

    2014-04-01

    Faunistic information about bat mites in Egypt is scarce. Collection records of parasitic mites, Meristaspis lateralis (Kolenati, 1856) (Mesostigmata: Spinturnicidae), are reported from the Egyptian fruit bat, Rousettus aegyptiacus (Geoffroy, 1810) (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in Assiut Governorate, Egypt. Seven species of bat mites are recognized from Egypt to date. A host-parasite checklist and an identification key to these species are presented.

  4. Structure of the ovaries of the Nimba otter shrew, Micropotamogale lamottei, and the Madagascar hedgehog tenrec, Echinops telfairi.

    PubMed

    Enders, A C; Carter, A M; Künzle, H; Vogel, P

    2005-01-01

    The otter shrews are members of the subfamily Potamogalinae within the family Tenrecidae. No description of the ovaries of any member of this subfamily has been published previously. The lesser hedgehog tenrec, Echinops telfairi, is a member of the subfamily Tenrecinae of the same family and, although its ovaries have not been described, other members of this subfamily have been shown to have ovaries with non-antral follicles. Examination of these two species illustrated that non-antral follicles were characteristic of the ovaries of both species, as was clefting and lobulation of the ovaries. Juvenile otter shrews range from those with only small follicles in the cortex to those with 300- to 400-microm follicles similar to those seen in non-pregnant and pregnant adults. As in other species, most of the growth of the oocyte occurred when follicles had one to two layers of granulosa cells. When larger follicles became atretic in the Nimba otter shrew, hypertrophy of the theca interna produced nodules of glandular interstitial tissue. In the tenrec, the hypertrophying theca interna cells in most large follicles appeared to undergo degeneration. Both species had some follicular fluid in the intercellular spaces between the more peripheral granulosa cells. It is suggested that this fluid could aid in separation of the cumulus from the remaining granulosa at ovulation. The protruding follicles in lobules and absence of a tunica albuginea might also facilitate ovulation of non-antral follicles. Ovaries with a thin-absent tunica albuginea and follicles with small-absent antra are widespread within both the Eulipotyphla and in the Afrosoricida, suggesting that such features may represent a primitive condition in ovarian development. Lobulated and deeply crypted ovaries are found in both groups but are not as common in the Eulipotyphla making inclusion of this feature as primitive more speculative.

  5. Invading and Expanding: Range Dynamics and Ecological Consequences of the Greater White-Toothed Shrew (Crocidura russula) Invasion in Ireland

    PubMed Central

    McDevitt, Allan D.; Montgomery, W. Ian; Tosh, David G.; Lusby, John; Reid, Neil; White, Thomas A.; McDevitt, C. Damien; O'Halloran, John; Searle, Jeremy B.; Yearsley, Jon M.

    2014-01-01

    Establishing how invasive species impact upon pre-existing species is a fundamental question in ecology and conservation biology. The greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) is an invasive species in Ireland that was first recorded in 2007 and which, according to initial data, may be limiting the abundance/distribution of the pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus), previously Ireland's only shrew species. Because of these concerns, we undertook an intensive live-trapping survey (and used other data from live-trapping, sightings and bird of prey pellets/nest inspections collected between 2006 and 2013) to model the distribution and expansion of C. russula in Ireland and its impacts on Ireland's small mammal community. The main distribution range of C. russula was found to be approximately 7,600 km2 in 2013, with established outlier populations suggesting that the species is dispersing with human assistance within the island. The species is expanding rapidly for a small mammal, with a radial expansion rate of 5.5 km/yr overall (2008–2013), and independent estimates from live-trapping in 2012–2013 showing rates of 2.4–14.1 km/yr, 0.5–7.1 km/yr and 0–5.6 km/yr depending on the landscape features present. S. minutus is negatively associated with C. russula. S. minutus is completely absent at sites where C. russula is established and is only present at sites at the edge of and beyond the invasion range of C. russula. The speed of this invasion and the homogenous nature of the Irish landscape may mean that S. minutus has not had sufficient time to adapt to the sudden appearance of C. russula. This may mean the continued decline/disappearance of S. minutus as C. russula spreads throughout the island. PMID:24955824

  6. Analysis and Characterization of the Complete Genome of Tupaia (Tree Shrew) Herpesvirus

    PubMed Central

    Bahr, Udo; Darai, Gholamreza

    2001-01-01

    The tupaia herpesvirus (THV) was isolated from spontaneously degenerating tissue cultures of malignant lymphoma, lung, and spleen cell cultures of tree shrews (Tupaia spp.). The determination of the complete nucleotide sequence of the THV strain 2 genome resulted in a 195,857-bp-long, linear DNA molecule with a G+C content of 66.5%. The terminal regions of the THV genome and the loci of conserved viral genes were found to be G+C richer. Furthermore, no large repetitive DNA sequences could be identified. This is in agreement with the previous classification of THV as the prototype species of herpesvirus genome group F. The search for potential coding regions resulted in the identification of 158 open reading frames (ORFs) regularly distributed on both DNA strands. Seventy-six out of the 158 ORFs code for proteins that are significantly homologous to known herpesvirus proteins. The highest homologies found were to primate and rodent cytomegaloviruses. Biological properties, protein homologies, the arrangement of conserved viral genes, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that THV is a member of the subfamily Betaherpesvirinae. The evolutionary lineages of THV and the cytomegaloviruses seem to have branched off from a common ancestor. In addition, it was found that the arrangements of conserved genes of THV and murine cytomegalovirus strain Smith, both of which are not able to form genomic isomers, are colinear with two different human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) strain AD169 genomic isomers that differ from each other in the orientation of the long unique region. The biological properties and the high degree of relatedness of THV to the mammalian cytomegaloviruses allow the consideration of THV as a model system for investigation of HCMV pathogenicity. PMID:11312357

  7. Comparative morphology and morphometry of the nasal fossae of four species of North American shrews (Soricinae).

    PubMed

    Larochelle, R; Baron, G

    1989-11-01

    The present study compares the morphology of the nasal conchae and the relative development (i.e., surface area and neurosensory cell number) of the olfactory epithelium between four species of shrews occupying different ecotopes (Blarina brevicauda, Sorex cinereus, S. fumeus, S. palustris). The number of olfactory cells was corrected for split cell error. Data were analyzed by using size indices based on the allometric method. The convoluted shape of the maxilloturbinal in Blarina, with large respiratory epithelial surface area, could not be related with certainty to the subterranean ecotope. From the comparison between Soricinae and Crocidurinae, one major difference concerned the shape and attachment of ectoturbinal 3. Differences in the relative development of the olfactory organ are discussed with regard to differences in the use of chemical signals. The semi-fossorial B. brevicauda, with the more developed olfactory organ, is reported to possess more scent-glands and to manifest active scent-marking behaviors and fecal deposits associated with territoriality. The two terrestrial species, S. cinereus and S. fumeus, have olfactory epithelia showing an intermediate development. Published accounts of fewer scent-glands and a lack of active scent-marking behavior indicate a lesser use of olfactory communication in these two species where mutual avoidance seems the rule. Indication of an even more reduced use of olfactory signals in social interactions by the semiaquatic S. palustris is suggested by its least-developed olfactory epithelium. The comparison between Soricinae and Crocidurinae supports a relationship between the development of the olfactory organ and the relative use of olfactory communication known to occur in social interactions. PMID:2618929

  8. Phenotypic Variation across Chromosomal Hybrid Zones of the Common Shrew (Sorex araneus) Indicates Reduced Gene Flow

    PubMed Central

    Polly, P. David; Polyakov, Andrei V.; Ilyashenko, Vadim B.; Onischenko, Sergei S.; White, Thomas A.; Shchipanov, Nikolay A.; Bulatova, Nina S.; Pavlova, Svetlana V.; Borodin, Pavel M.; Searle, Jeremy B.

    2013-01-01

    Sorex araneus, the Common shrew, is a species with more than 70 karyotypic races, many of which form parapatric hybrid zones, making it a model for studying chromosomal speciation. Hybrids between races have reduced fitness, but microsatellite markers have demonstrated considerable gene flow between them, calling into question whether the chromosomal barriers actually do contribute to genetic divergence. We studied phenotypic clines across two hybrid zones with especially complex heterozygotes. Hybrids between the Novosibirsk and Tomsk races produce chains of nine and three chromosomes at meiosis, and hybrids between the Moscow and Seliger races produce chains of eleven. Our goal was to determine whether phenotypes show evidence of reduced gene flow at hybrid zones. We used maximum likelihood to fit tanh cline models to geometric shape data and found that phenotypic clines in skulls and mandibles across these zones had similar centers and widths as chromosomal clines. The amount of phenotypic differentiation across the zones is greater than expected if it were dissipating due to unrestricted gene flow given the amount of time since contact, but it is less than expected to have accumulated from drift during allopatric separation in glacial refugia. Only if heritability is very low, Ne very high, and the time spent in allopatry very short, will the differences we observe be large enough to match the expectation of drift. Our results therefore suggest that phenotypic differentiation has been lost through gene flow since post-glacial secondary contact, but not as quickly as would be expected if there was free gene flow across the hybrid zones. The chromosomal tension zones are confirmed to be partial barriers that prevent differentiated races from becoming phenotypically homogenous. PMID:23874420

  9. Redescription of Pterygodermatites (Mesopectines) nycticebi (Mönnig, 1920) (Nematoda: Rictulariidae), a parasite of slow loris Nycticebus coucang (Mammalia: Primates).

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Yatsukaho; Fujisaki, Akiko; Murata, Koichi; Hasegawa, Hideo

    2003-06-01

    Pterygodermaties (Mesopectines) nycticebi (Mönnig, 1920) (Nematoda: Spirurida: Rictulariidae) is redescribed based on immature and mature adults collected from the stomach and small intestine at autopsy of a slow loris, Nycticebus coucang (Boddaert, 1785) (Mammalia: Primates), in a zoological garden in Japan. It is first demonstrated that male possesses a minute telamon and a left lateral pore in the preanal part of body. The cause of death of the slow loris is strongly surmised to be related to the nematode infection, which was apparently acquired under captivity in the zoological garden.

  10. A multi-locus phylogeny of Nectogalini shrews and influences of the paleoclimate on speciation and evolution.

    PubMed

    He, Kai; Li, Ya-Jie; Brandley, Matthew C; Lin, Liang-Kong; Wang, Ying-Xiang; Zhang, Ya-Ping; Jiang, Xue-Long

    2010-08-01

    Nectogaline shrews are a major component of the small mammalian fauna of Europe and Asia, and are notable for their diverse ecology, including utilization of aquatic habitats. So far, molecular phylogenetic analyses including nectogaline species have been unable to infer a well-resolved, well-supported phylogeny, thus limiting the power of comparative evolutionary and ecological analyses of the group. Here, we employ Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of eight mitochondrial and three nuclear genes to infer the phylogenetic relationships of nectogaline shrews. We subsequently use this phylogeny to assess the genetic diversity within the genus Episoriculus, and determine whether adaptation to aquatic habitats evolved independently multiple times. Moreover, we both analyze the fossil record and employ Bayesian relaxed clock divergence dating analyses of DNA to assess the impact of historical global climate change on the biogeography of Nectogalini. We infer strong support for the polyphyly of the genus Episoriculus. We also find strong evidence that the ability to heavily utilize aquatic habitats evolved independently in both Neomys and Chimarrogale+Nectogale lineages. Our Bayesian molecular divergence analysis suggests that the early history of Nectogalini is characterized by a rapid radiation at the Miocene/Pliocene boundary, thus potentially explaining the lack of resolution at the base of the tree. Finally, we find evidence that nectogalines once inhabited northern latitudes, but the global cooling and desiccating events at the Miocene/Pliocene and Pliocene/Pleistocene boundaries and Pleistocene glaciation resulted in the migration of most Nectogalini lineages to their present day southern distribution. PMID:20363345

  11. Cholesterol induces lipoprotein lipase expression in a tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Linqiang; Zhang, Zhiguo; Li, Yunhai; Liao, Shasha; Wu, Xiaoyun; Chang, Qing; Liang, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Animal models are indispensible to investigate the pathogenesis and treatments of non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD). Altered cholesterol metabolism has been implicated into the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Here, using high fat, cholesterol and cholate diet (HFHC), we generated a novel tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) model of NAFLD, which displayed dyslipidemia with increased levels of plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c) and high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c), but decreased level of triglycerides (TG). Liver histopathology and genes expression indicated that HFHC diet successfully induced liver steatosis to inflammation and fibrosis progressively within 10 weeks. Moreover, HFHC induced the transcriptional expression of lipoprotein lipase (lpl) in the liver, but repressed the expression of LDL receptor, and the endogenous synthesis pathway and excretion of cholesterol. Notably, Poloxamer 407 (P-407) inhibition of LPL improved the severity of steatosis and reduced inflammation. These results illustrated that LPL plays an important role in cholesterol metabolism in NAFLD, and the tree shrew may be a valuable animal model for further research into NAFLD. PMID:26522240

  12. Loss of RIG-I leads to a functional replacement with MDA5 in the Chinese tree shrew.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ling; Yu, Dandan; Fan, Yu; Peng, Li; Wu, Yong; Yao, Yong-Gang

    2016-09-27

    The function of the RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs; including RIG-I, MDA5, and LGP2) as key cytoplasmic sensors of viral pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) has been subjected to numerous pathogenic challenges and has undergone a dynamic evolution. We found evolutionary evidence that RIG-I was lost in the Chinese tree shrew lineage. Along with the loss of RIG-I, both MDA5 (tMDA5) and LGP2 (tLGP2) have undergone strong positive selection in the tree shrew. tMDA5 or tMDA5/tLGP2 could sense Sendai virus (an RNA virus posed as a RIG-I agonist) for inducing type I IFN, although conventional RIG-I and MDA5 were thought to recognize distinct RNA structures and viruses. tMDA5 interacted with adaptor tMITA (STINGTMEM173/ERIS), which was reported to bind only with RIG-I. The positively selected sites in tMDA5 endowed the substitute function for the lost RIG-I. These findings provided insights into the adaptation and functional diversity of innate antiviral activity in vertebrates. PMID:27621475

  13. Prevalence of leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis: a study of rodents and shrews in cultivated and fallow land, Morogoro rural district, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Mgode, Georgies F; Katakweba, Abdul S; Mhamphi, Ginethon G; Fwalo, Frank; Bahari, Mohamed; Mdangi, Mashaka; Kilonzo, Bukheti S; Mulungu, Loth S

    2014-07-01

    Leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis are among understudied zoonotic diseases that are also not diagnosed routinely in Tanzania. Humans get leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis through contact with an environment contaminated with Leptospira bacteria and Toxoplasma protozoa from reservoir hosts, which are rodents and cats, respectively. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of Leptospira and Toxoplasma infections in rodents and shrews in Mikese area of Morogoro Rural District in eastern Tanzania. A total of 89 rodents and one shrew from cultivated and fallow land were tested for leptospirosis using six Leptospira serovars: Sokoine, Kenya, Canicola, Lora, Hebdomadis and Pomona. Toxoplasmosis was determined in 46 rodents brain smears. The prevalence of leptospirosis was 25.8%, and Leptospira serovar Sokoine was the most prevalent serovar (16.9%). Toxoplasma was detected in one rodent (2.17%) individual while three rodent individuals had Toxoplasma-like parasites hence were considered suspect positive. Findings suggest potential existence of human leptospirosis which needs to be further investigated. Public awareness of leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis should be promoted and their diagnosis considered in patients in health care facilities.

  14. Interglacial refugia preserved high genetic diversity of the Chinese mole shrew in the mountains of southwest China.

    PubMed

    He, K; Hu, N-Q; Chen, X; Li, J-T; Jiang, X-L

    2016-01-01

    The mountains of southwest China (MSC) harbor extremely high species diversity; however, the mechanism behind this diversity is unknown. We investigated to what degree the topography and climate change shaped the genetic diversity and diversification in these mountains, and we also sought to identify the locations of microrefugia areas in these mountains. For these purposes, we sampled extensively to estimate the intraspecific phylogenetic pattern of the Chinese mole shrew (Anourosorex squamipes) in southwest China throughout its range of distribution. Two mitochondrial genes, namely, cytochrome b (CYT B) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2), from 383 archived specimens from 43 localities were determined for phylogeographic and demographic analyses. We used the continuous-diffusion phylogeographic model, extensive Bayesian skyline plot species distribution modeling (SDM) and approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) to explore the changes in population size and distribution through time of the species. Two phylogenetic clades were identified, and significantly higher genetic diversity was preserved in the southern subregion of the mountains. The results of the SDM, continuous-diffusion phylogeographic model, extensive Bayesian skyline plot and ABC analyses were congruent and supported that the Last Interglacial Maximum (LIG) was an unfavorable period for the mole shrews because of a high degree of seasonality; A. squamipes survived in isolated interglacial refugia mainly located in the southern subregion during the LIG and rapidly expanded during the last glacial period. These results furnished the first evidence for major Pleistocene interglacial refugia and a latitudinal effect in southwest China, and the results shedding light on the higher level of species richness in the southern subregion. PMID:26286667

  15. A new hantavirus from the stripe-backed shrew (Sorex cylindricauda) in the People's Republic of China.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Shu-Qing; Gong, Zheng-Da; Fang, Li-Qun; Jiang, Jia-Fu; Zhang, Jiu-Song; Zhao, Qiu-Min; Cao, Wu-Chun

    2014-05-12

    Inspired by the recent discovery of genetically distinct hantaviruses from insectivore species worldwide, we performed a small-scale search for insectivore-borne hantaviruses. In this paper, we report the discovery of a new hantavirus, which was designated the Qian Hu Shan virus (QHSV). This virus was detected in the lung tissues of three stripe-backed shrews (Sorex cylindricauda), which were captured in the Yunnan Province, China. The full-length S genomic segment of the representative QHSV strain YN05-284 was 1661 nucleotides and is predicted to encode a nucleocapsid protein of 429 amino acids that starts at nucleotide position 48. It exhibited the highest similarity with other Sorex-related hantaviruses, with 68.1%-72.8% nucleotide and 71.9%-84.4% amino acid sequence identities. An analysis of a 1430-nucleotide region of the partial M segment exhibited approximately 54.4%-79.5% nucleotide and 43.2%-90.8% amino acid sequence identities to other hantaviruses. A comparison of a 432-nucleotide region of the L segment also showed similar degrees of identity, with 68.9%-78.4% nucleotide and 71.1%-93.8% amino acid sequence identities to other hantaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses using Bayesian methods indicated that QHSV shared the most recent common ancestor with other Sorex-related hantaviruses. The host was identified using a morphological assessment and verified using mitochondrial cytochrome b (mt-Cyt b) gene sequencing. A pair-wise comparison of the 1140-nucleotide mt-Cyt b gene sequence from the host demonstrated that the host was close to S. cylindricauda from Nepal with 94.3% identity. The virus-host association tanglegram, which was constructed using the Dendroscope software, indicated that the QHSV phylogeny and the host phylogeny were approximately matched, which suggests no evidence of host switching for QHSV. Our results contribute to a wider viewpoint regarding the heterogeneity of viruses that infect shrews.

  16. Agomelatine in the tree shrew model of depression: effects on stress-induced nocturnal hyperthermia and hormonal status.

    PubMed

    Schmelting, Barthel; Corbach-Söhle, Silke; Kohlhause, Susan; Schlumbohm, Christina; Flügge, Gabriele; Fuchs, Eberhard

    2014-03-01

    The antidepressive drug agomelatine combines the properties of an agonist of melatonergic receptors 1 and 2 with an antagonist of the 5-HT2C receptor. We analyzed the effects of agomelatine in psychosocially stressed male tree shrews, an established preclinical model of depression. Tree shrews experienced daily social stress for a period of 5 weeks and were concomitantly treated with different drugs daily for 4 weeks. The effects of agomelatine (40 mg/kg/day) were compared with those of the agonist melatonin (40 mg/kg/day), the inverse 5-HT2C antagonist S32006 (10mg/kg/day), and the SSRI fluoxetine (15 mg/kg/day). Nocturnal core body temperature (CBT) was recorded by telemetry, and urinary norepinephrine and cortisol concentrations were measured. Chronic social stress induced nocturnal hyperthermia. Agomelatine normalized the CBT in the fourth week of the treatment (T4), whereas the other drugs did not significantly counteract the stress-induced hyperthermia. Agomelatine also reversed the stress-induced reduction in locomotor activity. Norepinephrine concentration was elevated by the stress indicating sympathetic hyperactivity, and was normalized in the stressed animals treated with agomelatine or fluoxetine but not in those treated with melatonin or S32006. Cortisol concentration was elevated by stress but returned to basal levels by T4 in all animals, irrespective of the treatment. These observations show that agomelatine has positive effects to counteract stress-induced physiological processes and to restore the normal rhythm of nocturnal CBT. The data underpin the antidepressant properties of agomelatine and are consistent with a distinctive profile compared to its constituent pharmacological components and other conventional agents.

  17. Agomelatine in the tree shrew model of depression: effects on stress-induced nocturnal hyperthermia and hormonal status.

    PubMed

    Schmelting, Barthel; Corbach-Söhle, Silke; Kohlhause, Susan; Schlumbohm, Christina; Flügge, Gabriele; Fuchs, Eberhard

    2014-03-01

    The antidepressive drug agomelatine combines the properties of an agonist of melatonergic receptors 1 and 2 with an antagonist of the 5-HT2C receptor. We analyzed the effects of agomelatine in psychosocially stressed male tree shrews, an established preclinical model of depression. Tree shrews experienced daily social stress for a period of 5 weeks and were concomitantly treated with different drugs daily for 4 weeks. The effects of agomelatine (40 mg/kg/day) were compared with those of the agonist melatonin (40 mg/kg/day), the inverse 5-HT2C antagonist S32006 (10mg/kg/day), and the SSRI fluoxetine (15 mg/kg/day). Nocturnal core body temperature (CBT) was recorded by telemetry, and urinary norepinephrine and cortisol concentrations were measured. Chronic social stress induced nocturnal hyperthermia. Agomelatine normalized the CBT in the fourth week of the treatment (T4), whereas the other drugs did not significantly counteract the stress-induced hyperthermia. Agomelatine also reversed the stress-induced reduction in locomotor activity. Norepinephrine concentration was elevated by the stress indicating sympathetic hyperactivity, and was normalized in the stressed animals treated with agomelatine or fluoxetine but not in those treated with melatonin or S32006. Cortisol concentration was elevated by stress but returned to basal levels by T4 in all animals, irrespective of the treatment. These observations show that agomelatine has positive effects to counteract stress-induced physiological processes and to restore the normal rhythm of nocturnal CBT. The data underpin the antidepressant properties of agomelatine and are consistent with a distinctive profile compared to its constituent pharmacological components and other conventional agents. PMID:23978391

  18. The effect of intravitreal injection of vehicle solutions on form deprivation myopia in tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Ward, Alexander H; Siegwart, John T; Frost, Michael R; Norton, Thomas T

    2016-04-01

    lntravitreal injection of substances dissolved in a vehicle solution is a common tool used to assess retinal function. We examined the effect of injection procedures (three groups) and vehicle solutions (four groups) on the development of form deprivation myopia (FDM) in juvenile tree shrews, mammals closely related to primates, starting at 24 days of visual experience (about 45 days of age). In seven groups (n = 7 per group), the myopia produced by monocular form deprivation (FD) was measured daily for 12 days during an 11-day treatment period. The FD eye was randomly selected; the contralateral eye served as an untreated control. The refractive state of both eyes was measured daily, starting just before FD began (day 1); axial component dimensions were measured on day 1 and after eleven days of treatment (day 12). Procedure groups: the myopia (treated eye - control eye refraction) in the FD group was the reference. The sham group only underwent brief daily anesthesia and opening of the conjunctiva to expose the sclera. The puncture group, in addition, had a pipette inserted daily into the vitreous. In four vehicle groups, 5 μL of vehicle was injected daily. The NaCl group received 0.85% NaCl. In the NaCl + ascorbic acid group, 1 mg/mL of ascorbic acid was added. The water group received sterile water. The water + ascorbic acid group received water with ascorbic acid (1 mg/mL). We found that the procedures associated with intravitreal injections (anesthesia, opening of the conjunctiva, and puncture of the sclera) did not significantly affect the development of FDM. However, injecting 5 μL of any of the four vehicle solutions slowed the development of FDM. NaCl had a small effect; myopia development in the last 6 days (-0.15 ± 0.08 D/day) was significantly less than in the FD group (-0.55 ± 0.06 D/day). NaCl + Ascorbic acid further slowed the development of FDM on several treatment days. H2O (-0.09 ± 0.05 D/day) and H2O + ascorbic acid

  19. Identification of Specialists and Abundance-Occupancy Relationships among Intestinal Bacteria of Aves, Mammalia, and Actinopterygii

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Jenny C.; McLellan, Sandra L.; Sogin, Mitchell L.; Shanks, Orin C.

    2015-01-01

    The coalescence of next-generation DNA sequencing methods, ecological perspectives, and bioinformatics analysis tools is rapidly advancing our understanding of the evolution and function of vertebrate-associated bacterial communities. Delineation of host-microbe associations has applied benefits ranging from clinical treatments to protecting our natural waters. Microbial communities follow some broad-scale patterns observed for macroorganisms, but it remains unclear how the specialization of intestinal vertebrate-associated communities to a particular host environment influences broad-scale patterns in microbial abundance and distribution. We analyzed the V6 region of 16S rRNA genes amplified from 106 fecal samples spanning Aves, Mammalia, and Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish). We investigated the interspecific abundance-occupancy relationship, where widespread taxa tend to be more abundant than narrowly distributed taxa, among operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within and among host species. In a separate analysis, we identified specialist OTUs that were highly abundant in a single host and rare in all other hosts by using a multinomial model without excluding undersampled OTUs a priori. We show that intestinal microbes in humans and other vertebrates display abundance-occupancy relationships, but because intestinal host-associated communities have undergone intense specialization, this trend is violated by a disproportionately large number of specialist taxa. Although it is difficult to distinguish the effects of dispersal limitations, host selection, historical contingency, and stochastic processes on community assembly, results suggest that intestinal bacteria can be shared among diverse hosts in ways that resemble the distribution of “free-living” bacteria in the extraintestinal environment. PMID:26712546

  20. Mitochondrial cytochrome b of the Lyakhov mammoth (Proboscidea, Mammalia): new data and phylogenetic analyses of Elephantidae.

    PubMed

    Debruyne, Régis; Barriel, Véronique; Tassy, Pascal

    2003-03-01

    The phylogenetic relationships between recent Elephantidae (Proboscidea, Mammalia), that is to say extant elephants (Asian and African) and extinct woolly mammoth, have remained unclear to date. The prevailing morphological scheme (mammoth grouped with Asian elephant) is either supported or questioned by the molecular results. Recently, the monophyly of woolly mammoths on mitochondrial grounds has been demonstrated (Thomas, et al., 2000), but it conflicts with previous studies (Barriel et al., 1999; Derenko et al., 1997). Here, we report the partial sequencing of two mitochondrial genes: 128 bp of 12S rDNA and 561 bp of cytochrome b for the Lyakhov mammoth, a 49,000-year-old Siberian individual. We use the most comprehensive sample of mammoth (11 sequences) to determine whether the sequences achieved by former studies were congruent or not. The monophyly of a major subset of mammoths sequences (including ours) is recovered. Such a result is assumed to be a good criterion for ascertaining the origin of ancient DNA. Our sequence is incongruent with that of Yang et al. (1996), though obtained for the same individual. As far as the latter sequence is concerned, a contamination by non-identified exogenous DNA is suspected. The robustness and reliability of the sister group relation between Mammuthus primigenius and Loxodonta africana are examined: down-weighting saturated substitutions has no impact on the topology; analyzing data partitions proves that the support of this clade can be assigned to the most conservative phylogenetic signal; insufficient taxonomic and/or characters sampling contributed to former discordant conclusions. We therefore assume the monophyly of "real mammoth sequences" and the (Mammuthus, Loxodonta) clade.

  1. Feeding mechanics and dietary implications in the fossil sloth Neocnus (Mammalia: Xenarthra: Megalonychidae) from Haiti.

    PubMed

    McAfee, Robert K

    2011-10-01

    Haitian species of the extinct ground sloth genus Neocnus (Mammalia: Pilosa: Megalonychidae) have previously been hypothesized to have a much reduced jugal bone and a correspondingly reduced masseter musculature but a paucity of specimens has prevented further investigation of this hypothesis. Recent discovery of jugal bones belonging to Haitian specimens of Neocnus within the University of Florida Museum collections enables the element to be more accurately described. The discovery also makes it possible to explore mastication in these sloths. Osteological characters related to feeding were examined, along with comparative estimations of bite force with the extant tree sloths, Bradypus and Choloepus, and their known dietary habits as a means to infer aspects of the paleodiet of Neocnus. There is a significant difference in moment arm calculations for m. masseter between predicted and actual jugals, but the overall significance for bite force is lost and hampered by small sample size. Neocnus demonstrates a variety of characters that are similar to those of Bradypus and not to Choloepus, which is a close phylogenetic relative. The masticatory musculature of Neocnus enabled a chewing cycle emphasizing a grinding combination of mesiodistal and linguobuccal movements of the molariform dentition. The orientations of m. masseter and m. temporalis are estimated to produce relatively high bite force ratios that imply a masticatory system with stronger versus faster components. Because of the similarity of bite forces and jaw mechanics to those of Bradypus, in addition to a number of osteological adaptations indicative of herbivorous grazers (elevated mandibular condyle, large and complex masseter, and robust angular process), the Haitian forms of Neocnus are considered to have been selective feeders with a folivorous diet.

  2. Feeding mechanics and dietary implications in the fossil sloth Neocnus (Mammalia: Xenarthra: Megalonychidae) from Haiti.

    PubMed

    McAfee, Robert K

    2011-10-01

    Haitian species of the extinct ground sloth genus Neocnus (Mammalia: Pilosa: Megalonychidae) have previously been hypothesized to have a much reduced jugal bone and a correspondingly reduced masseter musculature but a paucity of specimens has prevented further investigation of this hypothesis. Recent discovery of jugal bones belonging to Haitian specimens of Neocnus within the University of Florida Museum collections enables the element to be more accurately described. The discovery also makes it possible to explore mastication in these sloths. Osteological characters related to feeding were examined, along with comparative estimations of bite force with the extant tree sloths, Bradypus and Choloepus, and their known dietary habits as a means to infer aspects of the paleodiet of Neocnus. There is a significant difference in moment arm calculations for m. masseter between predicted and actual jugals, but the overall significance for bite force is lost and hampered by small sample size. Neocnus demonstrates a variety of characters that are similar to those of Bradypus and not to Choloepus, which is a close phylogenetic relative. The masticatory musculature of Neocnus enabled a chewing cycle emphasizing a grinding combination of mesiodistal and linguobuccal movements of the molariform dentition. The orientations of m. masseter and m. temporalis are estimated to produce relatively high bite force ratios that imply a masticatory system with stronger versus faster components. Because of the similarity of bite forces and jaw mechanics to those of Bradypus, in addition to a number of osteological adaptations indicative of herbivorous grazers (elevated mandibular condyle, large and complex masseter, and robust angular process), the Haitian forms of Neocnus are considered to have been selective feeders with a folivorous diet. PMID:21638306

  3. Brevinema andersonii gen. nov., sp. nov., an infectious spirochete isolated from the short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) and the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Defosse, D L; Johnson, R C; Paster, B J; Dewhirst, F E; Fraser, G J

    1995-01-01

    A spirochete which infects short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) has been shown previously to be ultrastructurally and serologically distinct from other spirochetes. Two of the original isolates from Connecticut and Minnesota and 16 new isolates obtained from shrews captured in Minnesota were characterized phenotypically and genetically in this study. A comparative analysis of the 16S rRNA sequences of two shrew isolates and one mouse isolate and the 16S rRNA sequences of 16 other spirochetes and Escherichia coli revealed that these organisms exhibited low levels of similarity (range of similarity values, 73.9 to 77.8%; average level of similarity, 74.7%). The shrew and mouse isolates which we examined formed a deeply branching subgroup that was clearly distinct from the other genera of spirochetes examined. These and other results indicated that the new spirochetes represent a unique taxon in the order Spirochaetales. Accordingly, we propose that they should be classified as members of a new genus, Brevinema. The three strains of Brevinema which we examined had 16S rRNA sequences that were nearly identical. We also compared these isolates by using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, fatty acid and enzyme analyses, restriction endonuclease analysis, and Southern hybridization and found that the levels of genetic and phenotypic homogeneity among the strains were very high. We concluded that the isolates which we examined were members of a single species, for which we propose the name Brevinema andersonii. The type strain of Brevinema andersonii is CT11616 (= ATCC 43811).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7857811

  4. Is there an association of Pneumocystis infection with the presence of arena-, hanta-, and poxvirus antibodies in wild mice and shrews in Finland?

    PubMed

    Laakkonen, J; Kallio, E R; Kallio-Kokko, H; Vapalahti, O; Vaheri, A; Henttonen, H

    2006-04-01

    As part of studies on the nature of the endemic virus infections in natural rodent hosts, the possible association of cyst forms of Pneumocystis spp. with the presence of hanta-, cowpox-, and arenavirus antibodies in wild mice (Apodemus flavicollis, N=105; Apodemus agrarius, N=63; Micromys minutus, N=50) and the common shrew (Sorex araneus, N=101) was studied in south-central Finland. One hantavirus (Saaremaa virus, SAAV) seropositive A. agrarius, and 2 cowpoxvirus (CPXV) seropositive S. araneus were detected, and antibodies against an arenavirus (Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, LCMV) were found in all 3 mouse species but not in shrews. Cyst forms of Pneumocystis spp. were detected in all species except A. agrarius. There was no significant association between virus antibodies (LCMV in mice, and CPXV in shrews) and cyst forms of Pneumocystis in any of the species. Concurrent presence of virus antibodies (LCMV) and cyst forms of Pneumocystis were detected only in 1 M. minutus. In conclusion, we found no evidence of any association between Pneumocystis and antibodies to any of the viruses tested.

  5. Transcriptome Profiles Using Next-Generation Sequencing Reveal Liver Changes in the Early Stage of Diabetes in Tree Shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis)

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Haibo; Zhang, Zhiguo; Chang, Qing; Liao, Shasha; Zhang, Linqiang; Li, Yunhai; Wu, Dongdong

    2016-01-01

    Determining the liver changes during the early stages of diabetes is critical to understand the nature of the disease and development of novel treatments for it. Advances in the use of animal models and next-generation sequencing technologies offer a powerful tool in connection between liver changes and the diabetes. Here, we created a tree shrew diabetes model akin to type 1 diabetes by using streptozotocin to induce hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Using RNA-seq, we compiled liver transcriptome profiles to determine the differentially expressed genes and to explore the role of hyperglycemia in liver changes. Our results, respectively, identified 14,060 and 14,335 genes in healthy tree shrews and those with diabetes, with 70 genes differentially expressed between the two groups. Gene orthology and KEGG annotation revealed that several of the main biological processes of these genes were related to translational processes, steroid metabolic processes, oxidative stress, inflammation, and hypertension, all of which are highly associated with diabetes and its complications. These results collectively suggest that STZ induces hyperglycemia in tree shrew and that hyperglycemia induced oxidative stress led to high expression of aldose reductase, inflammation, and even cell death in liver tissues during the early stage of diabetes. PMID:27069931

  6. Further description of Aspidodera raillieti (Nematoda: Aspidoderidae) from Didelphis marsupialis (Mammalia: Didelphidae) by light and scanning electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Chagas-Moutinho, V A; Oliveira-Menezes, A; Cárdenas, M Q; Lanfredi, R M

    2007-10-01

    Nematodes of the family Aspidoderidae (Nematoda: Heterakoidea) Freitas 1956 are widely distributed from Americas. The species of the genus Aspidodera Railliet and Henry 1912 are parasites of mammals of the orders Edentata, Marsupialia, and Rodentia. In the present work, Aspidodera raillieti (L. Travassos, Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 5(3):271-318, 1913), collected from the large intestine of Didelphis marsupialis (Mammalia: Didelphidae) from Valle del Cauca, Colombia, is redescribed. The association of light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) allowed a detailed analysis of the morphology and ultrastructure of this nematode. Some taxonomic features, such as cephalic region, topography of the cuticle, sucker, spicules, posterior end of males, localization of vulva, the anus, and posterior end of females were observed. Important structures such as amphid, details of cephalic region, phasmid, and number and localization of caudal papillae are documented by SEM, for the first time adding characters to identify this species. Colombia is a new geographical record for A. raillieti.

  7. Bony labyrinth morphometry indicates locomotor adaptations in the squirrel-related clade (Rodentia, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Pfaff, Cathrin; Martin, Thomas; Ruf, Irina

    2015-06-22

    The semicircular canals (SCs) of the inner ear detect angular acceleration and are located in the bony labyrinth of the petrosal bone. Based on high-resolution computed tomography, we created a size-independent database of the bony labyrinth of 50 mammalian species especially rodents of the squirrel-related clade comprising taxa with fossorial, arboreal and gliding adaptations. Our sampling also includes gliding marsupials, actively flying bats, the arboreal tree shrew and subterranean species. The morphometric anatomy of the SCs was correlated to the locomotion mode. Even if the phylogenetic signal cannot entirely be excluded, the main significance for functional morphological studies has been found in the diameter of the SCs, whereas the radius of curvature is of minor interest. Additionally, we found clear differences in the bias angle of the canals between subterranean and gliding taxa, but also between sciurids and glirids. The sensitivity of the inner ear correlates with the locomotion mode, with a higher sensitivity of the SCs in fossorial species than in flying taxa. We conclude that the inner ear of flying and gliding mammals is less sensitive due to the large information flow into this sense organ during locomotion.

  8. Bony labyrinth morphometry indicates locomotor adaptations in the squirrel-related clade (Rodentia, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Pfaff, Cathrin; Martin, Thomas; Ruf, Irina

    2015-06-22

    The semicircular canals (SCs) of the inner ear detect angular acceleration and are located in the bony labyrinth of the petrosal bone. Based on high-resolution computed tomography, we created a size-independent database of the bony labyrinth of 50 mammalian species especially rodents of the squirrel-related clade comprising taxa with fossorial, arboreal and gliding adaptations. Our sampling also includes gliding marsupials, actively flying bats, the arboreal tree shrew and subterranean species. The morphometric anatomy of the SCs was correlated to the locomotion mode. Even if the phylogenetic signal cannot entirely be excluded, the main significance for functional morphological studies has been found in the diameter of the SCs, whereas the radius of curvature is of minor interest. Additionally, we found clear differences in the bias angle of the canals between subterranean and gliding taxa, but also between sciurids and glirids. The sensitivity of the inner ear correlates with the locomotion mode, with a higher sensitivity of the SCs in fossorial species than in flying taxa. We conclude that the inner ear of flying and gliding mammals is less sensitive due to the large information flow into this sense organ during locomotion. PMID:26019162

  9. Bony labyrinth morphometry indicates locomotor adaptations in the squirrel-related clade (Rodentia, Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    Pfaff, Cathrin; Martin, Thomas; Ruf, Irina

    2015-01-01

    The semicircular canals (SCs) of the inner ear detect angular acceleration and are located in the bony labyrinth of the petrosal bone. Based on high-resolution computed tomography, we created a size-independent database of the bony labyrinth of 50 mammalian species especially rodents of the squirrel-related clade comprising taxa with fossorial, arboreal and gliding adaptations. Our sampling also includes gliding marsupials, actively flying bats, the arboreal tree shrew and subterranean species. The morphometric anatomy of the SCs was correlated to the locomotion mode. Even if the phylogenetic signal cannot entirely be excluded, the main significance for functional morphological studies has been found in the diameter of the SCs, whereas the radius of curvature is of minor interest. Additionally, we found clear differences in the bias angle of the canals between subterranean and gliding taxa, but also between sciurids and glirids. The sensitivity of the inner ear correlates with the locomotion mode, with a higher sensitivity of the SCs in fossorial species than in flying taxa. We conclude that the inner ear of flying and gliding mammals is less sensitive due to the large information flow into this sense organ during locomotion. PMID:26019162

  10. Digital Cranial Endocast of Hyopsodus (Mammalia, “Condylarthra”): A Case of Paleogene Terrestrial Echolocation?

    PubMed Central

    Orliac, Maeva J.; Argot, Christine; Gilissen, Emmanuel

    2012-01-01

    We here describe the endocranial cast of the Eocene archaic ungulate Hyopsodus lepidus AMNH 143783 (Bridgerian, North America) reconstructed from X-ray computed microtomography data. This represents the first complete cranial endocast known for Hyopsodontinae. The Hyopsodus endocast is compared to other known “condylarthran” endocasts, i. e. those of Pleuraspidotherium (Pleuraspidotheriidae), Arctocyon (Arctocyonidae), Meniscotherium (Meniscotheriidae), Phenacodus (Phenacodontidae), as well as to basal perissodactyls (Hyracotherium) and artiodactyls (Cebochoerus, Homacodon). Hyopsodus presents one of the highest encephalization quotients of archaic ungulates and shows an “advanced version” of the basal ungulate brain pattern, with a mosaic of archaic characters such as large olfactory bulbs, weak ventral expansion of the neopallium, and absence of neopallium fissuration, as well as more specialized ones such as the relative reduction of the cerebellum compared to cerebrum or the enlargement of the inferior colliculus. As in other archaic ungulates, Hyopsodus midbrain exposure is important, but it exhibits a dorsally protruding largely developed inferior colliculus, a feature unique among “Condylarthra”. A potential correlation between the development of the inferior colliculus in Hyopsodus and the use of terrestrial echolocation as observed in extant tenrecs and shrews is discussed. The detailed analysis of the overall morphology of the postcranial skeleton of Hyopsodus indicates a nimble, fast moving animal that likely lived in burrows. This would be compatible with terrestrial echolocation used by the animal to investigate subterranean habitat and/or to minimize predation during nocturnal exploration of the environment. PMID:22347998

  11. Nocturnal hyperthermia induced by social stress in male tree shrews: relation to low testosterone and effects of age.

    PubMed

    Kohlhause, Susan; Hoffmann, Kerstin; Schlumbohm, Christina; Fuchs, Eberhard; Flügge, Gabriele

    2011-10-24

    Stress is known to elevate core body temperature (CBT). We recorded CBT in a diurnal animal, the male tree shrew, during a one-week control period and a one-week period of social stress using a telemetric system. During the stress period, when animals were confronted with a dominant male for about 1h daily, CBT was increased throughout the day. We analyzed CBT during the night when animals were left undisturbed and displayed no locomotor activity. To determine whether nocturnal hyperthermia may be related to stress-induced changes in hormonal status, we measured testosterone, noradrenalin and cortisol in the animals' morning urine. The daily social stress increased the mean nocturnal temperature by 0.37 °C. Urinary testosterone was reduced during the stress period, and there was a significant negative correlation between testosterone and the area under the curve (AUC) of the nocturnal CBT. This means that stress-induced hyperthermia was strongest in the animals with the lowest testosterone concentrations. As expected, urinary noradrenalin was elevated during the stress week but a positive correlation with the AUC data was only found for animals younger than 12 months. Cortisol was also increased during the stress week but there were no correlations with nocturnal hyperthermia. However, the stress-induced increases in noradrenalin and cortisol correlated with each other. Furthermore, there were no correlations between the stress-induced increase in nocturnal CBT and body weight reduction or locomotor activity during the light phase. Interestingly, the extent of nocturnal hyperthermia depended on the animals' ages: In animals younger than 12 months, stress increased the AUC by 48%, in animals aged between 12 and 24 months, stress increased the AUC by 36%, and older animals showed only a 7% increase. However, testosterone was not significantly reduced in the older animals. The present data reveal an interrelation between the extent of stress-induced nocturnal

  12. The shrew tamed by Wolff's law: do functional constraints shape the skull through muscle and bone covariation?

    PubMed

    Cornette, Raphaël; Tresset, Anne; Herrel, Anthony

    2015-03-01

    Bone is a highly plastic tissue that reflects the many potential sources of variation in shape. Here, we focus on the functional aspects of bone remodeling. We choose the skull for our analyses because it is a highly integrated system that plays a fundamental role in feeding and is thus, likely under strong natural selection. Its principal mechanical components are the bones and muscles that jointly produce bite force and jaw motion. Understanding the covariations among these three components is of interest to understand the processes driving the evolution of the feeding apparatus. In this study, we quantitatively and qualitatively compare interactions between these three components in shrews from populations known to differ in shape and bite force. Bite force was measured in the field using a force transducer and skull shape was quantified using surface geometric morphometric approaches based on µCT-scans of the skulls of same individuals. The masseter, temporalis, pterygoideus, and digastricus muscles of these individuals were dissected and their cross sectional areas determined. Our results show strong correlations between bite force and muscle cross sectional areas as well as between bite force and skull shape. Moreover, bite force explains an important amount of skull shape variation. We conclude that interactions between bone shape and muscle characteristics can produce different morpho-functional patterns that may differ between populations and may provide a suitable target for selection to act upon.

  13. Addiction: From Context-Induced Hedonia to Appetite, Based on Transition of Micro-behaviors in Morphine Abstinent Tree Shrews

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Ying; Shen, Fang; Gu, Tingting; Sui, Nan

    2016-01-01

    Drug addiction is viewed as a maladaptive memory induced by contextual cues even in the abstinent state. However, the variations of hedonia and appetite induced by the context during the abstinence have been neglected. To distinguish the representative behaviors between hedonia and appetite, micro-behaviors in abstinent animal such as psycho-activity and drug seeking behaviors were observed in morphine conditioned place preference (CPP). To confirm the different effects of reward between drug and natural reward, a palatable food CPP paradigm was compared in current work. After a 10-day training in CPP with morphine or food, the preference was tested on day 1, 14, 28, and the changes of micro-behaviors were analyzed further. Our data showed that tree shrews treated with morphine performed more jumps on day 1 and more visits to saline paired side on day 28, which indicated a featured behavioral transition from psycho-activity to seeking behavior during drug abstinence. Meanwhile, food-conditioned animals only displayed obvious seeking behaviors in the three tests. The results suggest that the variations of micro-behaviors could imply such a transition from hedonic response to appetitive behaviors during morphine abstinence, which provided a potential behavioral basis for further neural mechanism studies. PMID:27375516

  14. Lethal disease in infant and juvenile Syrian hamsters experimentally infected with Imjin virus, a newfound crocidurine shrew-borne hantavirus.

    PubMed

    Gu, Se Hun; Kim, Young-Sik; Baek, Luck Ju; Kurata, Takeshi; Yanagihara, Richard; Song, Jin-Won

    2015-12-01

    To gain insights into the pathogenicity of Imjin virus (MJNV), a newfound hantavirus isolated from the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura), groups of Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) of varying ages (<1, 5, 10, 14, 21, 35 and 56 days) were inoculated by the intraperitoneal route with 1000 pfu of MJNV strains 04-55 and 05-11. MJNV-infected Syrian hamsters, aged 21 days or less, exhibited reduced activity, weight loss, respiratory distress, hind-limb paralysis and seizures. Death ensued 1 to 6 days after onset of clinical disease. MJNV RNA was detected in brain and other major organs by RT-PCR and real time-PCR. Histopathological examination showed alveolar hemorrhage, interstitial pneumonia and severe pulmonary congestion; focal hepatic necrosis and portal inflammation; and acute meningoencephalitis. By immunohistochemistry, MJNV antigen was detected in pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells and glial cells. Older hamsters (35 and 56 days of age) developed subclinical infection without histopathological changes. Future studies are warranted to determine the pathophysiologic bases for the differential age susceptibility of Syrian hamsters to lethal MJNV disease.

  15. Blarina toxin, a mammalian lethal venom from the short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda: Isolation and characterization.

    PubMed

    Kita, Masaki; Nakamura, Yasuo; Okumura, Yuushi; Ohdachi, Satoshi D; Oba, Yuichi; Yoshikuni, Michiyasu; Kido, Hiroshi; Uemura, Daisuke

    2004-05-18

    Venomous mammals are rare, and their venoms have not been characterized. We have purified and characterized the blarina toxin (BLTX), a lethal mammalian venom with a tissue kallikrein-like activity from the submaxillary and sublingual glands of the short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda. Mice administered BLTX i.p. developed irregular respiration, paralysis, and convulsions before dying. Based on the amino acid sequence of purified protein, we cloned the BLTX cDNA. It consists of a prosequence and an active form of 253 aa with a typical catalytic triad of serine proteases, with a high identity with tissue kallikreins. BLTX is an N-linked microheterogeneous glycoprotein with a unique insertion of 10 residues, L(106)TFFYKTFLG(115). BLTX converted kininogens to kinins, which may be one of the toxic pathogens, and had dilatory effects on the blood vessel walls. The acute toxicity and proteolytic activity of BLTX were strongly inhibited by aprotinin, a kallikrein inhibitor, suggesting that its toxicity is due to a kallikrein-like activity of the venom. PMID:15136743

  16. Lethal disease in infant and juvenile Syrian hamsters experimentally infected with Imjin virus, a newfound crocidurine shrew-borne hantavirus.

    PubMed

    Gu, Se Hun; Kim, Young-Sik; Baek, Luck Ju; Kurata, Takeshi; Yanagihara, Richard; Song, Jin-Won

    2015-12-01

    To gain insights into the pathogenicity of Imjin virus (MJNV), a newfound hantavirus isolated from the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura), groups of Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) of varying ages (<1, 5, 10, 14, 21, 35 and 56 days) were inoculated by the intraperitoneal route with 1000 pfu of MJNV strains 04-55 and 05-11. MJNV-infected Syrian hamsters, aged 21 days or less, exhibited reduced activity, weight loss, respiratory distress, hind-limb paralysis and seizures. Death ensued 1 to 6 days after onset of clinical disease. MJNV RNA was detected in brain and other major organs by RT-PCR and real time-PCR. Histopathological examination showed alveolar hemorrhage, interstitial pneumonia and severe pulmonary congestion; focal hepatic necrosis and portal inflammation; and acute meningoencephalitis. By immunohistochemistry, MJNV antigen was detected in pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells and glial cells. Older hamsters (35 and 56 days of age) developed subclinical infection without histopathological changes. Future studies are warranted to determine the pathophysiologic bases for the differential age susceptibility of Syrian hamsters to lethal MJNV disease. PMID:26371066

  17. Molecular evidence for the monophyly of tenrecidae (mammalia) and the timing of the colonization of Madagascar by Malagasy Tenrecs.

    PubMed

    Douady, Christophe J; Catzeflis, Francois; Kao, Diana J; Springer, Mark S; Stanhope, Michael J

    2002-03-01

    Tenrecs are a diverse family of insectivores, with an Afro-Malagasian biogeographic distribution. Three subfamilies (Geogalinae, Oryzorictinae, Tenrecinae) are restricted to Madagascar and one subfamily, the otter shrews (Potamogalinae), occurs on the mainland. Morphological studies have generated conflicting hypotheses according to which both tenrecids and Malagassy tenrecs are either monophyletic or paraphyletic. Competing hypotheses have different implications for the biogeographic history of Tenrecidae. At present, there are no molecular studies that address these hypotheses. The present study provides sequences of a nuclear protein-coding gene (vWF) and the mitochondrial 12S rRNA, tRNA valine, and 16S rRNA genes from a potamogaline (Micropotamogale). New sequences of these genes are also reported for the tenrecine, Tenrec ecaudatus. The 12S sequences from these taxa were combined with data already available for this locus from two other tenrecids (Echinops telfairi, subfamily Tenrecinae and Oryzorictes talpoides, subfamily Oryzorictinae). Phylogenetic analyses provided strong bootstrap support for the monophyly of Tenrecidae and Malagasy tenrecs. The majority of statistical tests rejected morphological claims for both a Tenrecinae--Chrysochloridae clade and an Oryzorictinae--Potamogalinae clade. Molecular clock estimates suggest a split of otter shrews and Malagasy tenrecs at approximately 53 MYA. We estimate that the ancestor of Malagasy tenrecs dispersed to Madagascar subsequent to this split but prior to about 37 MYA.

  18. Dasypodidae Borner, 1919 (Insecta, Hymenoptera): Proposed emendation of spelling to Dasypodaidae, so removing the homonymy with Dasypodidae Gray, 1821 (Mammalia, Xenarthra)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alexander, B.A.; Michener, C.D.; Gardner, A.L.

    1998-01-01

    The family-group name DASYPODIDAE Borner, 1919 (Insecta, Hymenoptera) is a junior homonym Of DASYPODIDAE Gray, 1821 (Mammalia, Xenarthra). It is proposed that the homonymy between the two names, which relate to short-tongued bees and armadillos respectively, should be removed by emending the stem of the generic name Dasypoda Latreille, 1802, on which the insect familygroup name is based, to give DASYPODAIDAE, while leaving the mammalian name (based on Dasypus Linnaeus, 1758) unchanged. Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758, the type species of Dasypus, has a wide distribution in the southern United States, Central and South America. The genus Dasypoda ranges throughout most of the Palearctic region.

  19. Effect of daily linear acceleration training on the hypergravity-induced vomiting response in house musk shrew (Suncus murinus).

    PubMed

    Abe, Chikara; Iwata, Chihiro; Shiina, Takahiko; Shimizu, Yasutake; Morita, Hironobu

    2011-09-20

    The effects of repeated linear acceleration training and the antimotion sickness drug, promethazine, on hypergravity-induced motion sickness were examined in musk shrew (Suncus murinus), which is known to show a vomiting response to motion stimulation. Animals were assigned into five groups: vestibular intact, untreated animals (Sham), vestibular lesioned (VL) animals, vestibular intact animals with promethazine hydrochloride administered as daily drinking water (Prom), vestibular intact animals who underwent horizontal linear accelerator motion training (Train), and vestibular intact animals treated with both promethazine hydrochloride and linear acceleration training (Prom+Train). In Sham animals, the number of vomiting episodes was 14±2 during 2 G exposure for 10min, and was accompanied by intense Fos expression in the medial vestibular nucleus (MVe), the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), the area postrema (AP), and the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN). The vomiting response and Fos expression were completely abolished in VL animals, indicating that these responses are mediated via the vestibular system. Although Train and Prom animals experienced a significantly reduced number of hypergravity-induced vomiting episodes compared with Sham animals, the effect was significantly greater in Train animals than in Prom animals. Fos expression in the NTS, AP, and PVN were significantly more reduced in Train animals than in Prom animals. Higher dose of bolus injection of promethazine (50mg/kg, i.p.) completely abolished the vomiting episodes, although the animals were drowsy and sedated due to side effects. In conclusion, daily linear acceleration training and promethazine could prevent the hypergravity-induced vomiting episodes.

  20. Mechanism of Ghrelin-Induced Gastric Contractions in Suncus murinus (House Musk Shrew): Involvement of Intrinsic Primary Afferent Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Mondal, Anupom; Aizawa, Sayaka; Sakata, Ichiro; Goswami, Chayon; Oda, Sen-ichi; Sakai, Takafumi

    2013-01-01

    Here, we have reported that motilin can induce contractions in a dose-dependent manner in isolated Suncus murinus (house musk shrew) stomach. We have also shown that after pretreatment with a low dose of motilin (10−10 M), ghrelin also induces gastric contractions at levels of 10−10 M to 10−7 M. However, the neural mechanism of ghrelin action in the stomach has not been fully revealed. In the present study, we studied the mechanism of ghrelin-induced contraction in vitro using a pharmacological method. The responses to ghrelin in the stomach were almost completely abolished by hexamethonium and were significantly suppressed by the administration of phentolamine, prazosin, ondansetron, and naloxone. Additionally, N-nitro-l-arginine methylester significantly potentiated the contractions. Importantly, the mucosa is essential for ghrelin-induced, but not motilin-induced, gastric contractions. To evaluate the involvement of intrinsic primary afferent neurons (IPANs), which are multiaxonal neurons that pass signals from the mucosa to the myenteric plexus, we examined the effect of the IPAN-related pathway on ghrelin-induced contractions and found that pretreatment with adenosine and tachykinergic receptor 3 antagonists (SR142801) significantly eliminated the contractions and GR113808 (5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 4 antagonist) almost completely eliminated it. The results indicate that ghrelin stimulates and modulates suncus gastric contractions through cholinergic, adrenergic, serotonergic, opioidergic neurons and nitric oxide synthases in the myenteric plexus. The mucosa is also important for ghrelin-induced gastric contractions, and IPANs may be the important interneurons that pass the signal from the mucosa to the myenteric plexus. PMID:23565235

  1. Measuring airborne components of seismic body vibrations in a Middle-Asian sand-dwelling Insectivora species, the piebald shrew (Diplomesodon pulchellum).

    PubMed

    Volodin, Ilya A; Zaytseva, Alexandra S; Ilchenko, Olga G; Volodina, Elena V; Chebotareva, Anastasia L

    2012-08-15

    Self-produced seismic vibrations have been found for some subterranean rodents but have not been reported for any Insectivora species, although seismic sensitivity has been confirmed for blind sand-dwelling chrysochlorid golden moles. Studying the vocal behaviour of captive piebald shrews, Diplomesodon pulchellum, we documented vibrations, apparently generated by the whole-body wall muscles, from 11 (5 male, 6 female) of 19 animals, placed singly on a drum membrane. The airborne waves of the vibratory drumming were digitally recorded and then analysed spectrographically. The mean frequency of vibration was 160.5 Hz. This frequency matched the periodicity of the deep sinusoidal frequency modulation (159.4 Hz) found in loud screech calls of the same subjects. The body vibration was not related to thermoregulation, hunger-related depletion of energy resources or fear, as it was produced by well-fed, calm animals, at warm ambient temperatures. We hypothesize that in the solitary, nocturnal, digging desert piebald shrew, body vibrations may be used for seismic exploration of substrate density, to avoid energy-costly digging of packed sand for burrowing and foraging. At the same time, the piercing quality of screech calls due to the deep sinusoidal frequency modulation, matching the periodicity of body vibration, may be important for agonistic communication in this species. PMID:22837458

  2. Measuring airborne components of seismic body vibrations in a Middle-Asian sand-dwelling Insectivora species, the piebald shrew (Diplomesodon pulchellum).

    PubMed

    Volodin, Ilya A; Zaytseva, Alexandra S; Ilchenko, Olga G; Volodina, Elena V; Chebotareva, Anastasia L

    2012-08-15

    Self-produced seismic vibrations have been found for some subterranean rodents but have not been reported for any Insectivora species, although seismic sensitivity has been confirmed for blind sand-dwelling chrysochlorid golden moles. Studying the vocal behaviour of captive piebald shrews, Diplomesodon pulchellum, we documented vibrations, apparently generated by the whole-body wall muscles, from 11 (5 male, 6 female) of 19 animals, placed singly on a drum membrane. The airborne waves of the vibratory drumming were digitally recorded and then analysed spectrographically. The mean frequency of vibration was 160.5 Hz. This frequency matched the periodicity of the deep sinusoidal frequency modulation (159.4 Hz) found in loud screech calls of the same subjects. The body vibration was not related to thermoregulation, hunger-related depletion of energy resources or fear, as it was produced by well-fed, calm animals, at warm ambient temperatures. We hypothesize that in the solitary, nocturnal, digging desert piebald shrew, body vibrations may be used for seismic exploration of substrate density, to avoid energy-costly digging of packed sand for burrowing and foraging. At the same time, the piercing quality of screech calls due to the deep sinusoidal frequency modulation, matching the periodicity of body vibration, may be important for agonistic communication in this species.

  3. Ecological risk assessment for mink and short-tailed shrew exposed to PCBs, dioxins, and furans in the Housatonic River area.

    PubMed

    Moore, Dwayne R J; Breton, Roger L; DeLong, Tod R; Ferson, Scott; Lortie, John P; MacDonald, Drew B; McGrath, Richard; Pawlisz, Andrzej; Svirsky, Susan C; Teed, R Scott; Thompson, Ryan P; Whitfield Aslund, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    A probabilistic risk assessment was conducted to characterize risks to a representative piscivorous mammal (mink, Mustela vison) and a representative carnivorous mammal (short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda) exposed to PCBs, dioxins, and furans in the Housatonic River area downstream of the General Electric (GE) facility in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Contaminant exposure was estimated using a probabilistic total daily intake model and parameterized using life history information of each species and concentrations of PCBs, dioxins, and furans in prey collected in the Housatonic River study area. The effects assessment preferentially relied on dose-response curves but defaulted to benchmarks or other estimates of effect when there were insufficient toxicity data. The risk characterization used a weight of evidence approach. Up to 3 lines of evidence were used to estimate risks to the selected mammal species: 1) probabilistic exposure and effects modeling, 2) field surveys, and 3) species-specific feeding or field studies. The weight of evidence assessment indicated a high risk for mink and an intermediate risk for short-tailed shrew. PMID:25976918

  4. Receptor-Selective Agonists Induce Emesis and Fos Expression in the Brain and Enteric Nervous System of the Least Shrew (Cryptotis parva)

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Andrew P.; Chebolu, Seetha; Darmani, Nissar A.

    2009-01-01

    Research on the mechanisms of emesis has implicated multiple neurotransmitters via both central (dorsal vagal complex) and peripheral (enteric neurons and enterochromaffin cells) anatomical substrates. Taking advantage of advances in receptor-specific agonists, and utilizing Fos expression as a functional activity marker, this study demonstrates a strong, but incomplete, overlap in anatomical substrates for a variety of emetogens. We used cisplatin and specific agonists to 5-HT3 serotonergic, D2/D3 dopaminergic, and NK1 tachykininergic receptors to induce vomiting in the least shrew (Cryptotis parva), and quantified the resulting Fos expression. The least shrew is a small mammal whose responses to emetic challenges are very similar to its human counterparts. In all cases, the enteric nervous system, nucleus of the solitary tract, and dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus demonstrated significantly increased Fos immunoreactivity (Fos-IR). However, Fos-IR induction was notably absent from the area postrema following the dopaminergic and NK1 receptor-specific agents. Two brain nuclei not usually discussed regarding emesis, the dorsal raphe nucleus and paraventricular thalamic nucleus, also demonstrated increased emesis-related Fos-IR. Taken together, these data suggest the dorsal vagal complex is part of a common pathway for a variety of distinct emetogens, but there are central emetic substrates, both medullary and diencephalic, that can be accessed without directly stimulating the area postrema. PMID:19699757

  5. Purification and characterisation of blarinasin, a new tissue kallikrein-like protease from the short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda: comparative studies with blarina toxin.

    PubMed

    Kita, Masaki; Okumura, Yuushi; Ohdachi, Satoshi D; Oba, Yuichi; Yoshikuni, Michiyasu; Nakamura, Yasuo; Kido, Hiroshi; Uemura, Daisuke

    2005-02-01

    A new tissue kallikrein-like protease, blarinasin, has been purified from the salivary glands of the short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda. Blarinasin is a 32-kDa N-glycosylated protease with isoelectric values ranging between 5.3 and 5.7, and an optimum pH of 8.5 for enzyme activity. The cloned blarinasin cDNA coded for a pre-pro-sequence and a mature peptide of 252 amino acids with a catalytic triad typical for serine proteases and 43.7-54.0% identity to other mammalian tissue kallikreins. Blarinasin preferentially hydrolysed Pro-Phe-Arg-4-methylcoumaryl-7-amide (MCA) and N-tert-butyloxycarbonyl-Val-Leu-Lys-MCA, and preferentially converted human high-molecular-weight kininogen (HK) to bradykinin. The activity of blarinasin was prominently inhibited by aprotinin (K(i) =3.4 nM). A similar kallikrein-like protease, the lethal venom blarina toxin, has previously been purified from the salivary glands of the shrew Blarina and shows 67.9% identity to blarinasin. However, blarinasin was not toxic in mice. Blarinasin is a very abundant kallikrein-like protease and represents 70-75% of kallikrein-like enzymes in the salivary gland of B. brevicauda. PMID:15843162

  6. Genetic diversity of Imjin virus in the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura) in the Republic of Korea, 2004-2010

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Recently, Imjin virus (MJNV), a genetically distinct hantavirus, was isolated from lung tissues of the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura) captured near the demilitarized zone in the Republic of Korea. To clarify the genetic diversity of MJNV, partial M- and L-segment sequences were amplified from lung tissues of 12 of 37 (32.4%) anti-MJNV IgG antibody-positive Ussuri white-toothed shrews captured between 2004 and 2010. A 531-nucleotide region of the M segment (coordinates 2,255 to 2,785) revealed that the 12 MJNV strains differed by 0-12.2% and 0-2.3% at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively. A similar degree of nucleotide (0.2-11.9%) and amino acid (0-3.8%) difference was found in a 632-nucleotide length of the L segment (coordinates 962 to 1,593) of nine MJNV strains. Phylogenetic analyses, based on the partial M and L segments of MJNV strains generated by the neighbor-joining and maximum likelihood methods, showed geographic-specific clustering, akin to the phylogeography of rodent-borne hantaviruses. PMID:21303516

  7. Evolutionary history of the greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) inferred from analysis of mtDNA, Y, and X chromosome markers.

    PubMed

    Brändli, Laura; Handley, Lori-Jayne Lawson; Vogel, Peter; Perrin, Nicolas

    2005-12-01

    We investigate the evolutionary history of the greater white-toothed shrew across its distribution in northern Africa and mainland Europe using sex-specific (mtDNA and Y chromosome) and biparental (X chromosome) markers. All three loci confirm a large divergence between eastern (Tunisia and Sardinia) and western (Morocco and mainland Europe) lineages, and application of a molecular clock to mtDNA divergence estimates indicates a more ancient separation (2.25 M yr ago) than described by some previous studies, supporting claims for taxonomic revision. Moroccan ancestry for the mainland European population is inconclusive from phylogenetic trees, but is supported by greater nucleotide diversity and a more ancient population expansion in Morocco than in Europe. Signatures of rapid population expansion in mtDNA, combined with low X and Y chromosome diversity, suggest a single colonization of mainland Europe by a small number of Moroccan shrews >38 K yr ago. This study illustrates that multilocus genetic analyses can facilitate the interpretation of species' evolutionary history but that phylogeographic inference using X and Y chromosomes is restricted by low levels of observed polymorphism.

  8. A mongoose remain (Mammalia: Carnivora) from the Upper Irrawaddy sediments, Myanmar and its significance in evolutionary history of Asian herpestids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egi, Naoko; Thaung-Htike; Zin-Maung-Maung-Thein; Maung-Maung; Nishioka, Yuichiro; Tsubamoto, Takehisa; Ogino, Shintaro; Takai, Masanaru

    2011-11-01

    A tooth of a mongoose (Mammalia: Carnivora: Herpestidae) was discovered from the Upper Irrawaddy sediments in central Myanmar. The age of the fauna is not older than the mid-Pliocene. It is identified as a right first upper molar of a small species of Urva (formally included in the genus Herpestes) based on its size and shape. The present specimen is the first carnivoran from the Upper Irrawaddy sediments and is the first record of mongooses in the Pliocene and early Pleistocene of Asia. It confirms that mongooses had already dispersed into Southeast Asia by the late Pliocene, being consistent with the previous molecular phylogenetic analyses. The fossil may belong to one of the extant species, but an assignment to a specific species is difficult due to the fragmentary nature of the specimen and the small interspecific differences in dental shape among the Asian mongooses. The size of the tooth suggests that the Irrawaddy specimen is within or close to the clade of Urva auropunctata + javanica + edwardsii, and this taxonomic assignment agrees with the geographical distribution.

  9. Descriptive study of the diaphragm and lungs in the short-nosed echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus (Mammalia: monotremata).

    PubMed

    Perry, S F; Schmitz, A; Andersen, N A; Wallau, B R; Nicol, S

    2000-03-01

    In this descriptive study, we characterize the diaphragm and lungs of the short-nosed echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus, using a combination of gross anatomical, light-microscopic, electron microscopic, and morphometric techniques, including airway casting. The diaphragm is inclined from ventro-cranial to dorso-caudal and possesses a large central tendon (centrum tendineum). The crural and costal muscle groups and the associated trigoni are located in the same positions as in other mammals. The bronchial branching pattern reveals cranially broad, tapering stem bronchi and an unusually small number of first order bronchi. The asymmetrical primary branching pattern and possibly also the asymmetry of right and left lungs are plesiomorphic within the Mammalia. The histology and ultrastructure of the airways and lung parenchyma reveal no unusual features: alveolar type 1 and type 2 cells in the parenchyma; type 2 cells, exocrine bronchiolar cells (Clara cells), ciliated cells, and goblet cells in the terminal airways and the latter two cell types in the bronchi. Both a double and a single capillary net are found on the interalveolar septa. The high capillary loading of the double net may be of selective advantage because of long apneas and low metabolic rate in the echidna.

  10. Synergy between cannabidiol, cannabidiolic acid, and Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol in the regulation of emesis in the Suncus murinus (house musk shrew).

    PubMed

    Rock, Erin M; Parker, Linda A

    2015-06-01

    Smoked marijuana contains over 100 different cannabinoids, including the psychoactive compound Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC, CBD, and its acidic precursor, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), have all been shown to have antiemetic properties in the Suncus murinus (S. murinus; house musk shrew). Here we show that when subthreshold antiemetic doses of CBD (2.5 mg/kg ip) or CBDA (0.05 mg/kg ip) are combined with a subthreshold antiemetic dose of THC (1 mg/kg ip) in the S. murinus, both lithium-chloride-induced vomiting and abdominal retching are dramatically suppressed. These results suggest that combined effects of these compounds may lead to better control of vomiting with fewer side effects. PMID:26030435

  11. Diet is a major factor governing the fecal butyrate-producing community structure across Mammalia, Aves and Reptilia.

    PubMed

    Vital, Marius; Gao, Jiarong; Rizzo, Mike; Harrison, Tara; Tiedje, James M

    2015-03-17

    Butyrate-producing bacteria have an important role in maintaining host health. They are well studied in human and medically associated animal models; however, much less is known for other Vertebrata. We investigated the butyrate-producing community in hindgut-fermenting Mammalia (n = 38), Aves (n = 8) and Reptilia (n = 8) using a gene-targeted pyrosequencing approach of the terminal genes of the main butyrate-synthesis pathways, namely butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase (but) and butyrate kinase (buk). Most animals exhibit high gene abundances, and clear diet-specific signatures were detected with but genes significantly enriched in omnivores and herbivores compared with carnivores. But dominated the butyrate-producing community in these two groups, whereas buk was more abundant in many carnivorous animals. Clustering of protein sequences (5% cutoff) of the combined communities (but and buk) placed carnivores apart from other diet groups, except for noncarnivorous Carnivora, which clustered together with carnivores. The majority of clusters (but: 5141 and buk: 2924) did not show close relation to any reference sequences from public databases (identity <90%) demonstrating a large 'unknown diversity'. Each diet group had abundant signature taxa, where buk genes linked to Clostridium perfringens dominated in carnivores and but genes associated with Ruminococcaceae bacterium D16 were specific for herbivores and omnivores. Whereas 16S rRNA gene analysis showed similar overall patterns, it was unable to reveal communities at the same depth and resolution as the functional gene-targeted approach. This study demonstrates that butyrate producers are abundant across vertebrates exhibiting great functional redundancy and that diet is the primary determinant governing the composition of the butyrate-producing guild.

  12. Diet is a major factor governing the fecal butyrate-producing community structure across Mammalia, Aves and Reptilia.

    PubMed

    Vital, Marius; Gao, Jiarong; Rizzo, Mike; Harrison, Tara; Tiedje, James M

    2015-04-01

    Butyrate-producing bacteria have an important role in maintaining host health. They are well studied in human and medically associated animal models; however, much less is known for other Vertebrata. We investigated the butyrate-producing community in hindgut-fermenting Mammalia (n = 38), Aves (n = 8) and Reptilia (n = 8) using a gene-targeted pyrosequencing approach of the terminal genes of the main butyrate-synthesis pathways, namely butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase (but) and butyrate kinase (buk). Most animals exhibit high gene abundances, and clear diet-specific signatures were detected with but genes significantly enriched in omnivores and herbivores compared with carnivores. But dominated the butyrate-producing community in these two groups, whereas buk was more abundant in many carnivorous animals. Clustering of protein sequences (5% cutoff) of the combined communities (but and buk) placed carnivores apart from other diet groups, except for noncarnivorous Carnivora, which clustered together with carnivores. The majority of clusters (but: 5141 and buk: 2924) did not show close relation to any reference sequences from public databases (identity <90%) demonstrating a large 'unknown diversity'. Each diet group had abundant signature taxa, where buk genes linked to Clostridium perfringens dominated in carnivores and but genes associated with Ruminococcaceae bacterium D16 were specific for herbivores and omnivores. Whereas 16S rRNA gene analysis showed similar overall patterns, it was unable to reveal communities at the same depth and resolution as the functional gene-targeted approach. This study demonstrates that butyrate producers are abundant across vertebrates exhibiting great functional redundancy and that diet is the primary determinant governing the composition of the butyrate-producing guild. PMID:25343515

  13. Diet is a major factor governing the fecal butyrate-producing community structure across Mammalia, Aves and Reptilia

    PubMed Central

    Vital, Marius; Gao, Jiarong; Rizzo, Mike; Harrison, Tara; Tiedje, James M

    2015-01-01

    Butyrate-producing bacteria have an important role in maintaining host health. They are well studied in human and medically associated animal models; however, much less is known for other Vertebrata. We investigated the butyrate-producing community in hindgut-fermenting Mammalia (n=38), Aves (n=8) and Reptilia (n=8) using a gene-targeted pyrosequencing approach of the terminal genes of the main butyrate-synthesis pathways, namely butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase (but) and butyrate kinase (buk). Most animals exhibit high gene abundances, and clear diet-specific signatures were detected with but genes significantly enriched in omnivores and herbivores compared with carnivores. But dominated the butyrate-producing community in these two groups, whereas buk was more abundant in many carnivorous animals. Clustering of protein sequences (5% cutoff) of the combined communities (but and buk) placed carnivores apart from other diet groups, except for noncarnivorous Carnivora, which clustered together with carnivores. The majority of clusters (but: 5141 and buk: 2924) did not show close relation to any reference sequences from public databases (identity <90%) demonstrating a large ‘unknown diversity'. Each diet group had abundant signature taxa, where buk genes linked to Clostridium perfringens dominated in carnivores and but genes associated with Ruminococcaceae bacterium D16 were specific for herbivores and omnivores. Whereas 16S rRNA gene analysis showed similar overall patterns, it was unable to reveal communities at the same depth and resolution as the functional gene-targeted approach. This study demonstrates that butyrate producers are abundant across vertebrates exhibiting great functional redundancy and that diet is the primary determinant governing the composition of the butyrate-producing guild. PMID:25343515

  14. Brain Volume of the Newly-Discovered Species Rhynchocyon udzungwensis (Mammalia: Afrotheria: Macroscelidea): Implications for Encephalization in Sengis

    PubMed Central

    Kaufman, Jason A.; Turner, Gregory H.; Holroyd, Patricia A.; Rovero, Francesco; Grossman, Ari

    2013-01-01

    The Gray-faced Sengi (Rhynchocyon udzungwensis) is a newly-discovered species of sengi (elephant-shrew) and is the largest known extant representative of the order Macroscelidea. The discovery of R. udzungwensis provides an opportunity to investigate the scaling relationship between brain size and body size within Macroscelidea, and to compare this allometry among insectivorous species of Afrotheria and other eutherian insectivores. We performed a spin-echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan on a preserved adult specimen of R. udzungwensis using a 7-Tesla high-field MR imaging system. The brain was manually segmented and its volume was compiled into a dataset containing previously-published allometric data on 56 other species of insectivore-grade mammals including representatives of Afrotheria, Soricomorpha and Erinaceomorpha. Results of log-linear regression indicate that R. udzungwensis exhibits a brain size that is consistent with the allometric trend described by other members of its order. Inter-specific comparisons indicate that macroscelideans as a group have relatively large brains when compared with similarly-sized terrestrial mammals that also share a similar diet. This high degree of encephalization within sengis remains robust whether sengis are compared with closely-related insectivorous afrotheres, or with more-distantly-related insectivorous laurasiatheres. PMID:23516530

  15. Brain volume of the newly-discovered species Rhynchocyon udzungwensis (Mammalia: Afrotheria: Macroscelidea): implications for encephalization in sengis.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Jason A; Turner, Gregory H; Holroyd, Patricia A; Rovero, Francesco; Grossman, Ari

    2013-01-01

    The Gray-faced Sengi (Rhynchocyon udzungwensis) is a newly-discovered species of sengi (elephant-shrew) and is the largest known extant representative of the order Macroscelidea. The discovery of R. udzungwensis provides an opportunity to investigate the scaling relationship between brain size and body size within Macroscelidea, and to compare this allometry among insectivorous species of Afrotheria and other eutherian insectivores. We performed a spin-echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan on a preserved adult specimen of R. udzungwensis using a 7-Tesla high-field MR imaging system. The brain was manually segmented and its volume was compiled into a dataset containing previously-published allometric data on 56 other species of insectivore-grade mammals including representatives of Afrotheria, Soricomorpha and Erinaceomorpha. Results of log-linear regression indicate that R. udzungwensis exhibits a brain size that is consistent with the allometric trend described by other members of its order. Inter-specific comparisons indicate that macroscelideans as a group have relatively large brains when compared with similarly-sized terrestrial mammals that also share a similar diet. This high degree of encephalization within sengis remains robust whether sengis are compared with closely-related insectivorous afrotheres, or with more-distantly-related insectivorous laurasiatheres.

  16. Multiple Loci and Complete Taxonomic Sampling Resolve the Phylogeny and Biogeographic History of Tenrecs (Mammalia: Tenrecidae) and Reveal Higher Speciation Rates in Madagascar's Humid Forests.

    PubMed

    Everson, Kathryn M; Soarimalala, Voahangy; Goodman, Steven M; Olson, Link E

    2016-09-01

    The family Tenrecidae (tenrecs) is one of only four extant terrestrial mammal lineages to have colonized and diversified on Madagascar. Over the last 15 years, several studies have disagreed on relationships among major tenrec lineages, resulting in multiple reinterpretations of the number and timing of historical transoceanic dispersal events between Africa and Madagascar. We reconstructed the phylogeny of Tenrecidae using multiple loci from all recognized extant species and estimated divergence timing using six fossil calibrations within Afrotheria. All phylogenetic analyses strongly support monophyly of the Malagasy tenrecs, and our divergence timing analysis places their colonization of the island at 30-56 Ma. Our comprehensive phylogeny supports three important taxonomic revisions that reflect the evolutionary history of tenrecs: (1) we formally elevate the African otter shrews to their own family Potamogalidae, thereby rendering extant Tenrecidae entirely endemic to Madagascar; (2) we subsume the semiaquatic genus Limnogale within the shrew tenrec genus Microgale; and (3) we re-elevate the two largest-bodied shrew tenrecs, Microgale dobsoni and Microgale talazaci, to the genus Nesogale Thomas (1918) Finally, we use recently summarized habitat data to test the hypothesis that diversification rates differ between humid and arid habitats on Madagascar, and we compare three common methods for ancestral biogeographic reconstruction. These analyses suggest higher speciation rates in humid habitats and reveal a minimum of three and more likely five independent transitions to arid habitats. Our results resolve the relationships among previously recalcitrant taxa, illuminate the timing and mechanisms of major biogeographic patterns in an extraordinary example of an island radiation, and permit the first comprehensive, phylogenetically consistent taxonomy of Madagascar's tenrecs.

  17. These studies were conducted to assess the effects of lead toxicity on exploratory behavior and running. Effects of lead on exploratory behavior and running speed in the shrew, Blarina brevicauda (Insectivora).

    PubMed

    Punzo, F; Farmer, C

    2003-10-01

    These studies were conducted to assess the effects of lead toxicity on exploratory behavior and running speed in the short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda. Shrews from the experimental group received 25 mg/kg/day of lead acetate in their drinking water for a period of 90 days. Control subjects received sodium acetate. Exploratory behavior was determined using a computerized activity chamber where movements of test subjects broke infrared beams projected onto the floor of the apparatus. Time spent (sec) in exploration was recorded over eight 6-min intervals. Running speed (km/hr) was measured in a microprocessor-controlled rectangular racetrack fitted with photocell timers. With respect to time spent in exploration, there were significant differences between lead-exposed (20.5-23.9 sec per 6-min testing session) and control subjects (6.8-8.1 sec) after the sixth testing interval in the activity chamber. With respect to maximal running speed, control subjects ran significantly faster (mean: 14.8 km/hr) than their lead-exposed counterparts (5.83 km/hr). Lead-exposed animals exhibited hyperactivity and increased random locomotor movements. They would frequently bump into the walls and their movements were more random. Controls typically ran along the racetrack in a straight line. These results represent the first data for the effects of lead exposure on exploratory behavior and running speed for shrews. PMID:15248655

  18. Additive antiemetic efficacy of low-doses of the cannabinoid CB(1/2) receptor agonist Δ(9)-THC with ultralow-doses of the vanilloid TRPV1 receptor agonist resiniferatoxin in the least shrew (Cryptotis parva).

    PubMed

    Darmani, Nissar A; Chebolu, Seetha; Zhong, Weixia; Trinh, Chung; McClanahan, Bryan; Brar, Rajivinder S

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that cannabinoid CB1/2 and vanilloid TRPV1 agonists (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC) and resiniferatoxin (RTX), respectively) can attenuate the emetic effects of chemotherapeutic agents such as cisplatin. In this study we used the least shrew to demonstrate whether combinations of varying doses of Δ(9)-THC with resiniferatoxin can produce additive antiemetic efficacy against cisplatin-induced vomiting. RTX by itself caused vomiting in a bell-shaped dose-dependent manner with maximal vomiting at 18 μg/kg when administered subcutaneously (s.c.) but not intraperitoneally (i.p.). Δ(9)-THC up to 10 mg/kg provides only 80% protection of least shrews from cisplatin-induced emesis with an ID50 of 0.3-1.8 mg/kg. Combinations of 1 or 5 μg/kg RTX with varying doses of Δ(9)-THC completely suppressed both the frequency and the percentage of shrews vomiting with ID50 dose values 5-50 times lower than Δ(9)-THC doses tested alone against cisplatin. A less potent TRPV1 agonist, capsaicin, by itself did not cause emesis (i.p. or s.c.), but it did significantly reduce vomiting induced by cisplatin given after 30 min but not at 2 h. The TRPV1-receptor antagonist, ruthenium red, attenuated cisplatin-induced emesis at 5mg/kg; however, another TRPV1-receptor antagonist, capsazepine, did not. In summary, we present evidence that combination of CB1/2 and TRPV1 agonists have the capacity to completely abolish cisplatin-induced emesis at doses that are ineffective when used individually.

  19. Mossy cells and different subpopulations of pyramidal neurons are immunoreactive for cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide in the hippocampal formation of non-human primates and tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri).

    PubMed

    Abrahám, H; Czéh, B; Fuchs, E; Seress, L

    2005-01-01

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide mRNA was discovered in the rat striatum following cocaine and amphetamine administration. Since both psychostimulants elicit memory-related effects, localization of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide in the hippocampal formation may have functional importance. Previous studies demonstrated different cellular localizations of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide in humans and in rodents. Mossy cells were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-positive in the human dentate gyrus, whereas granule cells contained this peptide in the rat. In the present study, the localization of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide was examined using immunohistochemistry in the hippocampal formation of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta), the common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) and in the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri). In these species principal neurons of the hippocampal formation were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-immunoreactive. In both monkeys and tree shrews, mossy cells of the hilus were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-positive whereas granule cells of the dentate gyrus were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-negative. The dense cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-immunoreactive axonal plexus of the associational pathway outlined the inner one-third of the dentate molecular layer. In the hippocampus of the tree shrew and marmoset monkey, a subset of CA3 pyramidal cells were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-immunoreactive. In the marmoset monkey, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript labeling was found only in layer V pyramidal cells of the entorhinal cortex, while in the rhesus monkey, pyramidal cells of layers II and III were cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript-immunopositive. Our results show that cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript positive neurons in the dentate

  20. Neural coding of image structure and contrast polarity of Cartesian, hyperbolic, and polar gratings in the primary and secondary visual cortex of the tree shrew.

    PubMed

    Poirot, Jordan; De Luna, Paolo; Rainer, Gregor

    2016-04-01

    We comprehensively characterize spiking and visual evoked potential (VEP) activity in tree shrew V1 and V2 using Cartesian, hyperbolic, and polar gratings. Neural selectivity to structure of Cartesian gratings was higher than other grating classes in both visual areas. From V1 to V2, structure selectivity of spiking activity increased, whereas corresponding VEP values tended to decrease, suggesting that single-neuron coding of Cartesian grating attributes improved while the cortical columnar organization of these neurons became less precise from V1 to V2. We observed that neurons in V2 generally exhibited similar selectivity for polar and Cartesian gratings, suggesting that structure of polar-like stimuli might be encoded as early as in V2. This hypothesis is supported by the preference shift from V1 to V2 toward polar gratings of higher spatial frequency, consistent with the notion that V2 neurons encode visual scene borders and contours. Neural sensitivity to modulations of polarity of hyperbolic gratings was highest among all grating classes and closely related to the visual receptive field (RF) organization of ON- and OFF-dominated subregions. We show that spatial RF reconstructions depend strongly on grating class, suggesting that intracortical contributions to RF structure are strongest for Cartesian and polar gratings. Hyperbolic gratings tend to recruit least cortical elaboration such that the RF maps are similar to those generated by sparse noise, which most closely approximate feedforward inputs. Our findings complement previous literature in primates, rodents, and carnivores and highlight novel aspects of shape representation and coding occurring in mammalian early visual cortex. PMID:26843607

  1. High levels of antimicrobial resistance among escherichia coli isolates from livestock farms and synanthropic rats and shrews in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Nhung, N T; Cuong, N V; Campbell, J; Hoa, N T; Bryant, J E; Truc, V N T; Kiet, B T; Jombart, T; Trung, N V; Hien, V B; Thwaites, G; Baker, S; Carrique-Mas, J

    2015-02-01

    In Mekong Delta farms (Vietnam), antimicrobials are extensively used, but limited data are available on levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among Escherichia coli isolates. We performed a structured survey of AMR in E. coli isolates (n = 434) from 90 pig, chicken, and duck farms. The results were compared with AMR among E. coli isolates (n = 234) from 66 small wild animals (rats and shrews) trapped on farms and in forests and rice fields. The isolates were susceptibility tested against eight antimicrobials. E. coli isolates from farmed animals were resistant to a median of 4 (interquartile range [IQR], 3 to 6) antimicrobials versus 1 (IQR, 1 to 2) among wild mammal isolates (P < 0.001). The prevalences of AMR among farmed species isolates (versus wild animals) were as follows: tetracycline, 84.7% (versus 25.6%); ampicillin, 78.9% (versus 85.9%); trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 52.1% (versus 18.8%); chloramphenicol, 39.9% (versus 22.5%); amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, 36.6% (versus 34.5%); and ciprofloxacin, 24.9% (versus 7.3%). The prevalence of multidrug resistance (MDR) (resistance against three or more antimicrobial classes) among pig isolates was 86.7% compared to 66.9 to 72.7% among poultry isolates. After adjusting for host species, MDR was ∼8 times greater among isolates from wild mammals trapped on farms than among those trapped in forests/rice fields (P < 0.001). Isolates were assigned to unique profiles representing their combinations of susceptibility results. Multivariable analysis of variance indicated that AMR profiles from wild mammals trapped on farms and those from domestic animals were more alike (R(2) range, 0.14 to 0.30) than E. coli isolates from domestic animals and mammals trapped in the wild (R(2) range, 0.25 to 0.45). The results strongly suggest that AMR on farms is a key driver of environmental AMR in the Mekong Delta.

  2. Comparison of expression patterns of fibroblast growth factor 8, bone morphogenetic protein 4 and sonic hedgehog in jaw development of the house shrew, Suncus murinus.

    PubMed

    Ogi, Hidenao; Tabata, Makoto J; Yamanaka, Atsushi; Yasui, Kinya; Uemura, Masanori

    2002-01-01

    To elucidate the mechanism underlying jaw development in mammals, we used a new laboratory animal, Suncus murinus (house shrew, an insectivore) as the subject for the investigation, because Suncus has all types of teeth (incisor, canine, premolar and molar) in its upper and lower jaws and is thought to be a good model animal having a general mammalian tooth pattern. At the start, by use of degenerate primers we cloned Suncus homologues of fibroblast growth factor 8 (sFgf8), bone morphogenetic protein 4 (sBmp4) and sonic hedgehog (sShh) genes from cDNA library derived from whole Suncus embryos at day 12 (E12). Thereafter, we examined the expression patterns of these genes in the jaw development of Suncus E11-16 embryos (for mouse E9.5-12 embryos). sFgf8 and sBmp4 were expressed in E11 but not in E15 and onward during orofacial development. sShh was expressed from E11 onward, and its expression was increased in the orofacial area. The expression pattern of sFgf8 in the maxillary and mandibular arches of E14 coincided with the area of the presumptive tooth arch. However, sShh and sBmp4 were expressed only in the outer area (= buccal/labial side) of presumptive tooth arch. Thus, these 3 genes showed specific expression pattern in jaw development of Suncus, and their distributions did not overlap each other except in a few regions. These findings suggest that sFgf8, sBmp4 and sShh have a specific function respectively during jaw development in Suncus murinus.

  3. Biomic specialization and speciation rates in ruminants (Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia): a test of the resource-use hypothesis at the global scale.

    PubMed

    Cantalapiedra, Juan L; Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Morales, Jorge

    2011-01-01

    The resource-use hypothesis proposed by E.S. Vrba predicts that specialist species have higher speciation and extinction rates than generalists because they are more susceptible to environmental changes and vicariance. In this work, we test some of the predictions derived from this hypothesis on the 197 extant and recently extinct species of Ruminantia (Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia) using the biomic specialization index (BSI) of each species, which is based on its distribution within different biomes. We ran 10000 Monte Carlo simulations of our data in order to get a null distribution of BSI values against which to contrast the observed data. Additionally, we drew on a supertree of the ruminants and a phylogenetic likelihood-based method (QuaSSE) for testing whether the degree of biomic specialization affects speciation rates in ruminant lineages. Our results are consistent with the predictions of the resource-use hypothesis, which foretells a higher speciation rate of lineages restricted to a single biome (BSI = 1) and higher frequency of specialist species in biomes that underwent high degree of contraction and fragmentation during climatic cycles. Bovids and deer present differential specialization across biomes; cervids show higher specialization in biomes with a marked hydric seasonality (tropical deciduous woodlands and schlerophyllous woodlands), while bovids present higher specialization in a greater variety of biomes. This might be the result of divergent physiological constraints as well as a different biogeographic and evolutionary history.

  4. Biomic Specialization and Speciation Rates in Ruminants (Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia): A Test of the Resource-Use Hypothesis at the Global Scale

    PubMed Central

    Cantalapiedra, Juan L.; Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Morales, Jorge

    2011-01-01

    The resource-use hypothesis proposed by E.S. Vrba predicts that specialist species have higher speciation and extinction rates than generalists because they are more susceptible to environmental changes and vicariance. In this work, we test some of the predictions derived from this hypothesis on the 197 extant and recently extinct species of Ruminantia (Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia) using the biomic specialization index (BSI) of each species, which is based on its distribution within different biomes. We ran 10000 Monte Carlo simulations of our data in order to get a null distribution of BSI values against which to contrast the observed data. Additionally, we drew on a supertree of the ruminants and a phylogenetic likelihood-based method (QuaSSE) for testing whether the degree of biomic specialization affects speciation rates in ruminant lineages. Our results are consistent with the predictions of the resource-use hypothesis, which foretells a higher speciation rate of lineages restricted to a single biome (BSI = 1) and higher frequency of specialist species in biomes that underwent high degree of contraction and fragmentation during climatic cycles. Bovids and deer present differential specialization across biomes; cervids show higher specialization in biomes with a marked hydric seasonality (tropical deciduous woodlands and schlerophyllous woodlands), while bovids present higher specialization in a greater variety of biomes. This might be the result of divergent physiological constraints as well as a different biogeographic and evolutionary history. PMID:22174888

  5. Cross-species chromosome painting unveils cytogenetic signatures for the Eulipotyphla and evidence for the polyphyly of Insectivora.

    PubMed

    Ye, Jianping; Biltueva, Larisa; Huang, Ling; Nie, Wenhui; Wang, Jinhuan; Jing, Meidong; Su, Weiting; Vorobieva, Nadezhda V; Jiang, Xuelong; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Yang, Fengtang

    2006-01-01

    Insectivore-like animals are traditionally believed among the first eutherian mammals that have appeared on the earth. The modern insectivores are thus crucial for understanding the systematics and phylogeny of eutherian mammals as a whole. Here cross-species chromosome painting, with probes derived from flow-sorted chromosomes of human, was used to delimit the homologous chromosomal segments in two Soricidae species, the common shrew (Sorex araneus, 2n = 20/21), and Asiatic short-tailed shrew (Blarinella griselda, 2n = 44), and one Erinaceidae species, the shrew-hedgehog (Neotetracus sinensis, 2n = 32), and human. We report herewith the first comparative maps for the Asiatic short-tailed shrew and the shrew-hedgehog, in addition to a refined comparative map for the common shrew. In total, the 22 human autosomal paints detected 40, 51 and 58 evolutionarily conserved segments in the genomes of common shrew, Asiatic short-tailed shrew, and shrew-hedgehog, respectively, demonstrating that the common shrew has retained a conserved genome organization while the Asiatic short-tailed shrew and shrew-hedgehog have relatively rearranged genomes. In addition to confirming the existence of such ancestral human segmental combinations as HSA 3/21, 12/22, 14/15 and 7/16 that are shared by most eutherian mammals, our study reveals a shared human segmental combination, HSA 4/20, that could phylogenetically unite the Eulipotyphlan (i.e., the core insectivores) species. Our results provide cytogenetic evidence for the polyphyly of the order Insectivora and additional data for the eventual reconstruction of the ancestral eutherian karyotype.

  6. Taxonomic uncertainty and the loss of biodiversity on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, Mark D B; Meek, Paul D; Johnson, Rebecca N

    2014-04-01

    The taxonomic uniqueness of island populations is often uncertain which hinders effective prioritization for conservation. The Christmas Island shrew (Crocidura attenuata trichura) is the only member of the highly speciose eutherian family Soricidae recorded from Australia. It is currently classified as a subspecies of the Asian gray or long-tailed shrew (C. attenuata), although it was originally described as a subspecies of the southeast Asian white-toothed shrew (C. fuliginosa). The Christmas Island shrew is currently listed as endangered and has not been recorded in the wild since 1984-1985, when 2 specimens were collected after an 80-year absence. We aimed to obtain DNA sequence data for cytochrome b (cytb) from Christmas Island shrew museum specimens to determine their taxonomic affinities and to confirm the identity of the 1980s specimens. The Cytb sequences from 5, 1898 specimens and a 1985 specimen were identical. In addition, the Christmas Island shrew cytb sequence was divergent at the species level from all available Crocidura cytb sequences. Rather than a population of a widespread species, current evidence suggests the Christmas Island shrew is a critically endangered endemic species, C. trichura, and a high priority for conservation. As the decisions typically required to save declining species can be delayed or deferred if the taxonomic status of the population in question is uncertain, it is hoped that the history of the Christmas Island shrew will encourage the clarification of taxonomy to be seen as an important first step in initiating informed and effective conservation action.

  7. To what extent are the retinal capillaries ensheathed by Müller cells? A stereological study in the tree shrew Tupaia belangeri

    PubMed Central

    OCHS, MATTHIAS; MAYHEW, TERRY M.; KNABE, WOLFGANG

    2000-01-01

    The cellular ensheathment of capillaries in the 3 outer capillary layers of the central retina of the adult tree shrew Tupaia belangeri was studied quantitatively by transmission electron microscopy. Using a stereological approach, the relative surface of capillary basal lamina ensheathed by Müller cells and by nonmacroglial cells (collectively termed non-Müller cells) was estimated in 5 animals. The participation of Müller cells was distinctly different in the 3 capillary layers studied. In the outermost capillary layer 1, the mean (standard deviation) percentage surface coverage by non-Müller cell processes was 46.8 (15.3)%. Much less of the capillary basal lamina was ensheathed by non-Müller cells in capillary layers 2 and 3 (3.0 (2.1)% and 0.3 (0.3)% respectively). The observed total variation of the stereological estimates for the surface fraction of Müller cells (expressed as the between-subject coefficient of variation) was significantly higher in capillary layer 1 (28.8%) compared with capillary layers 2 (2.2%) and 3 (0.3%). In capillary layer 1, the high observed total variation was due to a high biological variation among animals for the fractions of both Müller cell and non-Müller cell ensheathment. The rare occurrence of direct contacts between the capillary basal lamina and the perikarya of either microglial cells (capillary layer 3) or amacrine cells (capillary layer 2) corresponded well to the low stereological values obtained for the relative capillary surface ensheathed by non-Müller cells in these capillary layers. Previously, extensive and frequent contacts between the basal lamina of capillaries belonging to capillary layer 1 and horizontal cells had been observed in single sections. The present study quantitatively demonstrates a marked paucity of macroglial investment of capillaries located in capillary layer 1 of Tupaia. It can be concluded that horizontal cells ensheath most of the capillary surface not invested by Müller cells

  8. High Levels of Antimicrobial Resistance among Escherichia coli Isolates from Livestock Farms and Synanthropic Rats and Shrews in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Nhung, N. T.; Cuong, N. V.; Campbell, J.; Hoa, N. T.; Bryant, J. E.; Truc, V. N. T.; Kiet, B. T.; Jombart, T.; Trung, N. V.; Hien, V. B.; Thwaites, G.; Baker, S.

    2014-01-01

    In Mekong Delta farms (Vietnam), antimicrobials are extensively used, but limited data are available on levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among Escherichia coli isolates. We performed a structured survey of AMR in E. coli isolates (n = 434) from 90 pig, chicken, and duck farms. The results were compared with AMR among E. coli isolates (n = 234) from 66 small wild animals (rats and shrews) trapped on farms and in forests and rice fields. The isolates were susceptibility tested against eight antimicrobials. E. coli isolates from farmed animals were resistant to a median of 4 (interquartile range [IQR], 3 to 6) antimicrobials versus 1 (IQR, 1 to 2) among wild mammal isolates (P < 0.001). The prevalences of AMR among farmed species isolates (versus wild animals) were as follows: tetracycline, 84.7% (versus 25.6%); ampicillin, 78.9% (versus 85.9%); trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 52.1% (versus 18.8%); chloramphenicol, 39.9% (versus 22.5%); amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, 36.6% (versus 34.5%); and ciprofloxacin, 24.9% (versus 7.3%). The prevalence of multidrug resistance (MDR) (resistance against three or more antimicrobial classes) among pig isolates was 86.7% compared to 66.9 to 72.7% among poultry isolates. After adjusting for host species, MDR was ∼8 times greater among isolates from wild mammals trapped on farms than among those trapped in forests/rice fields (P < 0.001). Isolates were assigned to unique profiles representing their combinations of susceptibility results. Multivariable analysis of variance indicated that AMR profiles from wild mammals trapped on farms and those from domestic animals were more alike (R2 range, 0.14 to 0.30) than E. coli isolates from domestic animals and mammals trapped in the wild (R2 range, 0.25 to 0.45). The results strongly suggest that AMR on farms is a key driver of environmental AMR in the Mekong Delta. PMID:25398864

  9. A new species of Neosclerocalyptus Paula Couto (Mammalia: Xenarthra: Cingulata): the oldest record of the genus and morphological and phylogenetic aspects.

    PubMed

    Zurita, Alfredo E; Taglioretti, Matias; Zamorano, Martin; Scillato-Yané, Gustavo J; Luna, Carlos; Boh, Daniel; Saffer, Mariano Magnussen

    2013-01-01

    Among South American Quaternary Glyptodontidae (Mammalia, Cingulata), Neosclerocalyptus Paula Couto represents one of the best known genera. Prior to this contribution, four species were recognized. N. pseudornatus (Ameghino) and N. ornatus (Owen) (Ensenadan Age/Stage, early-middle Pleistocene); N. gouldi Zurita (Bonaerian Age/Stage, middle Pleistocene-late Pleistocene), and N. paskoensis (Zurita) (Lujanian Age/Stage, late Pleistocene-early Holocene). One of the most notable characters of the species of the genus is a modified area located in the distal part of the nasals, recently interpreted as a neomorphic structure derived from the ossification of the nasal cartilages. In this contribution, a new species of Neosclerocalyptus (N. castellanosi sp. nov.), which in turn represents the oldest record of the genus, is presented and described. In addition, a cladistic analysis is carried out to test the monophyly of Neosclerocalyptus and the phylogenetic position of this new species. The material comes from Vorohuean (late Pliocene) levels in the surroundings of Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Among other morphological characters, this new species has ossified nasal cartilages restricted to the latero-dorsal area of the nasals, whereas in the remaining species these structures are more expanded and both sides contact in the midline of the skull. In turn, the phylogenetic analysis confirmed the monophyly of Neosclerocalyptus, whereas N. castellanosi sp. nov. appears closely related to N. pseudornatus, being N. ornatus the sister taxa of this clade. On the other hand, N. gouldi + N. paskoensis constitute the other clade. The clade constituted by Hoplophorus euphractus Lund + Panochthus intermedius Lydekker constitutes the sister taxa of Neosclerocalyptus.

  10. Profile of Antiemetic Activity of Netupitant Alone or in Combination with Palonosetron and Dexamethasone in Ferrets and Suncus murinus (House Musk Shrew)

    PubMed Central

    Rudd, John A.; Ngan, Man P.; Lu, Zengbing; Higgins, Guy A.; Giuliano, Claudio; Lovati, Emanuela; Pietra, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims: Chemotherapy-induced acute and delayed emesis involves the activation of multiple pathways, with 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) playing a major role in the initial response. Substance P tachykinin NK1 receptor antagonists can reduce emesis induced by disparate emetic challenges and therefore have a clinical utility as broad inhibitory anti-emetic drugs. In the present studies, we investigate the broad inhibitory anti-emetic profile of a relatively new NK1 receptor antagonist, netupitant, alone or in combination with the long acting 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, palonosetron, for a potential to reduce emesis in ferrets and shrews. Materials and Methods: Ferrets were pretreated with netupitant and/or palonosetron, and then administered apomorphine (0.125 mg/kg, s.c.), morphine (0.5 mg/kg, s.c.), ipecacuanha (1.2 mg/kg, p.o.), copper sulfate (100 mg/kg, intragastric), or cisplatin (5–10 mg/kg, i.p.); in other studies netupitant was administered to Suncus murinus before motion (4 cm horizontal displacement, 2 Hz for 10 min). Results: Netupitant (3 mg/kg, p.o.) abolished apomorphine-, morphine-, ipecacuanha- and copper sulfate-induced emesis. Lower doses of netupitant (0.03–0.3 mg/kg, p.o.) dose-dependently reduced cisplatin (10 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced emesis in an acute (8 h) model, and motion-induced emesis in S. murinus. In a ferret cisplatin (5 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced acute and delayed emesis model, netupitant administered once at 3 mg/kg, p.o., abolished the first 24 h response and reduced the 24–72 h response by 94.6%; the reduction was markedly superior to the effect of a three times per day administration of ondansetron (1 mg/kg, i.p.). A single administration of netupitant (1 mg/kg, p.o.) plus palonosetron (0.1 mg/kg, p.o.) combined with dexamethasone (1 mg/kg, i.p., once per day), also significantly antagonized cisplatin-induced acute and delayed emesis and was comparable with a once-daily regimen of ondansetron (1 mg/kg, p.o.) plus

  11. Profile of Antiemetic Activity of Netupitant Alone or in Combination with Palonosetron and Dexamethasone in Ferrets and Suncus murinus (House Musk Shrew)

    PubMed Central

    Rudd, John A.; Ngan, Man P.; Lu, Zengbing; Higgins, Guy A.; Giuliano, Claudio; Lovati, Emanuela; Pietra, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims: Chemotherapy-induced acute and delayed emesis involves the activation of multiple pathways, with 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) playing a major role in the initial response. Substance P tachykinin NK1 receptor antagonists can reduce emesis induced by disparate emetic challenges and therefore have a clinical utility as broad inhibitory anti-emetic drugs. In the present studies, we investigate the broad inhibitory anti-emetic profile of a relatively new NK1 receptor antagonist, netupitant, alone or in combination with the long acting 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, palonosetron, for a potential to reduce emesis in ferrets and shrews. Materials and Methods: Ferrets were pretreated with netupitant and/or palonosetron, and then administered apomorphine (0.125 mg/kg, s.c.), morphine (0.5 mg/kg, s.c.), ipecacuanha (1.2 mg/kg, p.o.), copper sulfate (100 mg/kg, intragastric), or cisplatin (5–10 mg/kg, i.p.); in other studies netupitant was administered to Suncus murinus before motion (4 cm horizontal displacement, 2 Hz for 10 min). Results: Netupitant (3 mg/kg, p.o.) abolished apomorphine-, morphine-, ipecacuanha- and copper sulfate-induced emesis. Lower doses of netupitant (0.03–0.3 mg/kg, p.o.) dose-dependently reduced cisplatin (10 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced emesis in an acute (8 h) model, and motion-induced emesis in S. murinus. In a ferret cisplatin (5 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced acute and delayed emesis model, netupitant administered once at 3 mg/kg, p.o., abolished the first 24 h response and reduced the 24–72 h response by 94.6%; the reduction was markedly superior to the effect of a three times per day administration of ondansetron (1 mg/kg, i.p.). A single administration of netupitant (1 mg/kg, p.o.) plus palonosetron (0.1 mg/kg, p.o.) combined with dexamethasone (1 mg/kg, i.p., once per day), also significantly antagonized cisplatin-induced acute and delayed emesis and was comparable with a once-daily regimen of ondansetron (1 mg/kg, p.o.) plus

  12. Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor-Mediated Vomiting Occurs via the Activation of Ca2+/CaMKII-Dependent ERK1/2 Signaling in the Least Shrew (Cryptotis parva)

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Weixia; Hutchinson, Tarun E.; Chebolu, Seetha; Darmani, Nissar A.

    2014-01-01

    Stimulation of 5-HT3 receptors (5-HT3Rs) by 2-methylserotonin (2-Me-5-HT), a selective 5-HT3 receptor agonist, can induce vomiting. However, downstream signaling pathways for the induced emesis remain unknown. The 5-HT3R channel has high permeability to extracellular calcium (Ca2+) and upon stimulation allows increased Ca2+ influx. We examined the contribution of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (Ca2+/CaMKIIα), interaction of 5-HT3R with calmodulin, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling to 2-Me-5-HT-induced emesis in the least shrew. Using fluo-4 AM dye, we found that 2-Me-5-HT augments intracellular Ca2+ levels in brainstem slices and that the selective 5-HT3R antagonist palonosetron, can abolish the induced Ca2+ signaling. Pre-treatment of shrews with either: i) amlodipine, an antagonist of L-type Ca2+ channels present on the cell membrane; ii) dantrolene, an inhibitor of ryanodine receptors (RyRs) Ca2+-release channels located on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER); iii) a combination of their less-effective doses; or iv) inhibitors of CaMKII (KN93) and ERK1/2 (PD98059); dose-dependently suppressed emesis caused by 2-Me-5-HT. Administration of 2-Me-5-HT also significantly: i) enhanced the interaction of 5-HT3R with calmodulin in the brainstem as revealed by immunoprecipitation, as well as their colocalization in the area postrema (brainstem) and small intestine by immunohistochemistry; and ii) activated CaMKIIα in brainstem and in isolated enterochromaffin cells of the small intestine as shown by Western blot and immunocytochemistry. These effects were suppressed by palonosetron. 2-Me-5-HT also activated ERK1/2 in brainstem, which was abrogated by palonosetron, KN93, PD98059, amlodipine, dantrolene, or a combination of amlodipine plus dantrolene. However, blockade of ER inositol-1, 4, 5-triphosphate receptors by 2-APB, had no significant effect on the discussed behavioral and biochemical parameters. This study demonstrates

  13. Lipotyphla limb myology comparison.

    PubMed

    Neveu, Pauline; Gasc, Jean-Pierre

    2002-05-01

    Fore- and hindlimb muscles were dissected in four species of Lipotyphla: the western European hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus (Erinaceidae, Erinaceinae); the moonrat Echinosorex gymnura (Erinaceidae, Hylomyinae or Galericinae); the tailless tenrec Tenrec ecaudatus (Tenrecidae, Tenrecinae); and the common European white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula (Soricidae, Soricinae). This work completely reviews the limb musculature of these walking mammals. Twelve myological characters were evaluated in order to disclose phylogenetic relationships. The cladogram obtained supported previous ones based on cranial and dental characters. This study shows that myological characters are valuable in phylogenetic analyses.

  14. The historical biogeography of Mammalia

    PubMed Central

    Springer, Mark S.; Meredith, Robert W.; Janecka, Jan E.; Murphy, William J.

    2011-01-01

    Palaeobiogeographic reconstructions are underpinned by phylogenies, divergence times and ancestral area reconstructions, which together yield ancestral area chronograms that provide a basis for proposing and testing hypotheses of dispersal and vicariance. Methods for area coding include multi-state coding with a single character, binary coding with multiple characters and string coding. Ancestral reconstruction methods are divided into parsimony versus Bayesian/likelihood approaches. We compared nine methods for reconstructing ancestral areas for placental mammals. Ambiguous reconstructions were a problem for all methods. Important differences resulted from coding areas based on the geographical ranges of extant species versus the geographical provenance of the oldest fossil for each lineage. Africa and South America were reconstructed as the ancestral areas for Afrotheria and Xenarthra, respectively. Most methods reconstructed Eurasia as the ancestral area for Boreoeutheria, Euarchontoglires and Laurasiatheria. The coincidence of molecular dates for the separation of Afrotheria and Xenarthra at approximately 100 Ma with the plate tectonic sundering of Africa and South America hints at the importance of vicariance in the early history of Placentalia. Dispersal has also been important including the origins of Madagascar's endemic mammal fauna. Further studies will benefit from increased taxon sampling and the application of new ancestral area reconstruction methods. PMID:21807730

  15. Blood parasites of shrews from Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Laakkonen, J; Haukisalmi, V; Merritt, J F

    1998-12-01

    We examined 30 Sorex cinereus, 5 Sorex fumeus, and 21 Blarina brevicauda collected from Pennsylvania in 1995 for blood parasites. Trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma sp. were visible in 13% of the S. cinereus. Ten percent of S. cinereus, 20% of S. fumeus, and 14% of B. brevicauda were infected with Bartonella sp. (or spp.). In S. cinereus, we detected no concurrent Trypanosoma and Bartonella infections. PMID:9920338

  16. Photoreceptor types and distributions in the retinae of insectivores.

    PubMed

    Peichl, L; Künzle, H; Vogel, P

    2000-01-01

    The retinae of insectivores have been rarely studied, and their photoreceptor arrangements and expression patterns of visual pigments are largely unknown. We have determined the presence and distribution of cones in three species of shrews (common shrew Sorex araneus, greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula, dark forest shrew Crocidura poensis; Soricidae) and in the lesser hedgehog tenrec Echinops telfairi (Tenrecidae). Special cone types were identified and quantified in flattened whole retinae by antisera/antibodies recognizing the middle-to-long-wavelength-sensitive (M/L-)cone opsin and the short-wavelength-sensitive (S-)cone opsin, respectively. A combination of immunocytochemistry with conventional histology was used to assess rod densities and cone/rod ratios. In all four species the rods dominate at densities of about 230,000-260,000/mm2. M/L- and S-cones are present, comprising between 2% of the photoreceptors in the nocturnal Echinops telfairi and 13% in Sorex araneus that has equal diurnal and nocturnal activity phases. This suggests dichromatic color vision like in many other mammals. A striking feature in all four species are dramatically higher S-cone proportions in ventral than in dorsal retina (0.5% vs. 2.5-12% in Sorex, 5-15% vs. 30-45% in Crocidura poensis, 3-12% vs. 20-50% in Crocidura russula, 10-30% vs. 40-70% in Echinops). The functional and comparative aspects of these structural findings are discussed.

  17. Nuclear organisation of some immunohistochemically identifiable neural systems in five species of insectivore-Crocidura cyanea, Crocidura olivieri, Sylvisorex ollula, Paraechinus aethiopicus and Atelerix frontalis.

    PubMed

    Calvey, Tanya; Patzke, Nina; Bennett, Nigel C; Consolate, Kaswera-Kyamakya; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Alagaili, Abdulaziz N; Mohammed, Osama B; Pettigrew, John D; Manger, Paul R

    2016-03-01

    The organization of the cholinergic, catecholaminergic, and serotonergic neurons in the brains of five species of insectivores and the orexinergic (hypocretinergic) system in four insectivore species is presented. We aimed to investigate the nuclear complement of these neural systems in comparison to those of other mammalian species. Brains of insectivores were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, serotonin and orexin-A. The majority of nuclei were similar among the species investigated and to mammals in general, but certain differences in the nuclear complement highlighted potential phylogenetic interrelationships. In the cholinergic system, the three shrew species lacked parabigeminal and Edinger-Westphal nuclei. In addition, the appearance of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus in all insectivores revealed a mediodorsal arch. All three of these features are the same as those present in microchiropterans. The catecholaminergic system of the three shrew species lacked the A4 and A15d nuclei, as well as having an incipient A9v nucleus, again features found in microchiropteran brains. The serotonergic and orexinergic systems of the insectivores are similar to those seen across most eutherian mammals. The analysis of similarities and differences across mammalian species indicates a potential phylogenetic relationship between the Soricidae (shrews) and the microchiropterans. PMID:26724499

  18. Nuclear organisation of some immunohistochemically identifiable neural systems in five species of insectivore-Crocidura cyanea, Crocidura olivieri, Sylvisorex ollula, Paraechinus aethiopicus and Atelerix frontalis.

    PubMed

    Calvey, Tanya; Patzke, Nina; Bennett, Nigel C; Consolate, Kaswera-Kyamakya; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Alagaili, Abdulaziz N; Mohammed, Osama B; Pettigrew, John D; Manger, Paul R

    2016-03-01

    The organization of the cholinergic, catecholaminergic, and serotonergic neurons in the brains of five species of insectivores and the orexinergic (hypocretinergic) system in four insectivore species is presented. We aimed to investigate the nuclear complement of these neural systems in comparison to those of other mammalian species. Brains of insectivores were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, serotonin and orexin-A. The majority of nuclei were similar among the species investigated and to mammals in general, but certain differences in the nuclear complement highlighted potential phylogenetic interrelationships. In the cholinergic system, the three shrew species lacked parabigeminal and Edinger-Westphal nuclei. In addition, the appearance of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus in all insectivores revealed a mediodorsal arch. All three of these features are the same as those present in microchiropterans. The catecholaminergic system of the three shrew species lacked the A4 and A15d nuclei, as well as having an incipient A9v nucleus, again features found in microchiropteran brains. The serotonergic and orexinergic systems of the insectivores are similar to those seen across most eutherian mammals. The analysis of similarities and differences across mammalian species indicates a potential phylogenetic relationship between the Soricidae (shrews) and the microchiropterans.

  19. Mammalian genome projects reveal new growth hormone (GH) sequences. Characterization of the GH-encoding genes of armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), bat (Myotis lucifugus), hyrax (Procavia capensis), shrew (Sorex araneus), ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), elephant (Loxodonta africana), cat (Felis catus) and opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Wallis, Michael

    2008-01-15

    Mammalian growth hormone (GH) sequences have been shown previously to display episodic evolution: the sequence is generally strongly conserved but on at least two occasions during mammalian evolution (on lineages leading to higher primates and ruminants) bursts of rapid evolution occurred. However, the number of mammalian orders studied previously has been relatively limited, and the availability of sequence data via mammalian genome projects provides the potential for extending the range of GH gene sequences examined. Complete or nearly complete GH gene sequences for six mammalian species for which no data were previously available have been extracted from the genome databases-Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillo), Erinaceus europaeus (western European hedgehog), Myotis lucifugus (little brown bat), Procavia capensis (cape rock hyrax), Sorex araneus (European shrew), Spermophilus tridecemlineatus (13-lined ground squirrel). In addition incomplete data for several other species have been extended. Examination of the data in detail and comparison with previously available sequences has allowed assessment of the reliability of deduced sequences. Several of the new sequences differ substantially from the consensus sequence previously determined for eutherian GHs, indicating greater variability than previously recognised, and confirming the episodic pattern of evolution. The episodic pattern is not seen for signal sequences, 5' upstream sequence or synonymous substitutions-it is specific to the mature protein sequence, suggesting that it relates to the hormonal function. The substitutions accumulated during the course of GH evolution have occurred mainly on the side of the hormone facing away from the receptor, in a non-random fashion, and it is suggested that this may reflect interaction of the receptor-bound hormone with other proteins or small ligands.

  20. SHORT REPORT

    PubMed Central

    Gu, S. H.; Dormion, J.; Hugot, J.-P.; Yanagihara, R.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Recent discovery of genetically distinct hantaviruses in shrews and moles (order Soricomorpha, family Soricidae and Talpidae) has challenged the conventional view that rodents serve as the principal reservoir hosts. Nova virus (NVAV), previously identified in archival liver tissue of a single European mole (Talpa europaea) from Hungary, represents one of the most highly divergent hantaviruses identified to date. To ascertain the spatial distribution and genetic diversity of NVAV, we employed RT–PCR to analyse lungs from 94 moles, captured in two locations in France, during October 2012 to March 2013. NVAV was detected in more than 60% of moles at each location, suggesting efficient enzootic virus transmission and confirming that this mole species serves as the reservoir host. Although the pathogenic potential of NVAV is unknown, the widespread geographical distribution of the European mole might pose a hantavirus exposure risk for humans. PMID:24044372

  1. Helminth fauna of Talpa spp. in the Palaearctic Realm.

    PubMed

    Ribas, A; Casanova, J C

    2006-03-01

    The helminth fauna of the genus Talpa in the Palaearctic Realm is reviewed. Several helminth species reported in Talpa spp. by a number of authors are discussed, with reference to host specificity, parasite biology, and host ethology, ecology and phylogeny. Twelve species of cestodes were found, two of which exhibit stenoxenous specificity (Staphylocystis bacillaris and Multitesticulata filamentosa). Only three species of trematodes, Ityogonimus lorum, Ityogonimus ocreatus and Combesia macrobursata, are exclusive parasites of Talpa spp. The largest group are nematodes, with 37 species. Species of Tricholinstowia are parasites of holarctic talpids and several species of distinct genera, such as Capillaria, Soboliphyme and Trichuris, are found only in Talpa spp. Only acanthocephalans of the genus Moniliformis have been reported in moles of the genus Talpa. On the basis of these helminthological findings, the close phylogenetic relationship between moles (Talpidae) and shrews (Soricidae) supports the separation of the ordinal levels Soricomorpha and Erinaceomorpha.

  2. Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Nectogale elegans.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ting; Yan, Chaochao; Tan, Zheng; Tu, Feiyun; Yue, Bisong; Zhang, Xiuyue

    2014-08-01

    The elegant water shrew (Nectogale elegans) belongs to the family Soricidae, and distributes in northern South Asia, central and southern China and northern Southeast Asia. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of N. elegans was sequenced. It was determined to be 17,460 bases, and included 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 tRNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and one non-coding region, which is similar to other mammalian mitochondrial genomes. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods were used to construct phylogenetic trees based on 12 heavy-strand concatenated PCGs. Phylogenetic analyses further confirmed that Crocidurinae diverged prior to Soricinae, and Sorex unguiculatus differentiated earlier than N. elegans.

  3. Arthritis in a glyptodont (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Cingulata).

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Fernando Henrique de Souza; Porpino, Kleberson de Oliveira; Fragoso, Ana Bernadete Lima; Oliveira, Edison Vicente

    2014-01-01

    Arthritic lesions have been frequently diagnosed in the fossil record, with spondyloarthropathy (a type of erosive and pan-mammalian arthritis) being one of the most common types described to date for mammals, though not restricted to this group. Here, we identify spondyloarthropathy in fossil bones from the late Pleistocene in Brazil assignable to a large glyptodont individual. Bone erosions in the peripheral joints (viz., the ulna, radius, left femur and tibiae-fibulae) associated with osteosclerosis allow the diagnosis of spondyloarthropathy. The presence of osteophytes in seven bones of the forelimbs (viz., the ulna and radius) and hind limbs (viz., the tibiae-fibulae, left femur and patellae) and a subchondral cyst in one element (viz., the left femur) indicate secondary osteoarthritis. A calcified deposition on the articular surface of the left patella indicates the presence of calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease, which, like the observed osteoarthritic alterations, likely represents a complication of spondyloarthropathy. This is the first report of spondyloarthropathy for xenarthrans. PMID:24551126

  4. The lamina cribrosa of Ornithorhynchus (Monotremata, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Zeller, U

    1988-01-01

    A vestigial and transitory lamina cribrosa was found in nestling platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). The heads of two nest-young (180 and 333 mm length), one subadult and one adult Ornithorhynchus were serially sectioned and studied with special reference to the development of the nasal region. In nest-young Ornithorhynchus an irregularly shaped bar of cartilage develops at the foramen olfactorium advehens. In the subadult it is largely resorbed, and in the osseous skull of the adult it is completely lacking. Ontogeny and topographical relationships of this bar of cartilage indicate that it is part of a lamina cribrosa. It embraces the ramus medialis of the nervus ethmoidalis and the arteria ethmoidalis, as do the corresponding parts of the lamina cribrosa of Tachyglossus. Compared to other parts of the chondrocranium this bar develops late in ontogeny, as does the lamina cribrosa of other mammals. Therefore, it can be concluded that part of the lamina cribrosa is present for a short period during the ontogeny of Ornithorhynchus, contrary to earlier reports. As in many other water-adapted mammals, the olfactory system of Ornithorhynchus is reduced. This suggests that the rest of the lamina cribrosa of Ornithorhynchus is secondarily reduced. The common ancestor of Ornithorhynchus and Tachyglossidae most probably possessed a lamina cribrosa which can be traced back to the common mammalian stock. The lamina cribrosa developed only once in the phylogeny of mammals. Its lack in the adult Ornithorhynchus is not a "reptilian" character.

  5. Arthritis in a glyptodont (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Cingulata).

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Fernando Henrique de Souza; Porpino, Kleberson de Oliveira; Fragoso, Ana Bernadete Lima; Oliveira, Edison Vicente

    2014-01-01

    Arthritic lesions have been frequently diagnosed in the fossil record, with spondyloarthropathy (a type of erosive and pan-mammalian arthritis) being one of the most common types described to date for mammals, though not restricted to this group. Here, we identify spondyloarthropathy in fossil bones from the late Pleistocene in Brazil assignable to a large glyptodont individual. Bone erosions in the peripheral joints (viz., the ulna, radius, left femur and tibiae-fibulae) associated with osteosclerosis allow the diagnosis of spondyloarthropathy. The presence of osteophytes in seven bones of the forelimbs (viz., the ulna and radius) and hind limbs (viz., the tibiae-fibulae, left femur and patellae) and a subchondral cyst in one element (viz., the left femur) indicate secondary osteoarthritis. A calcified deposition on the articular surface of the left patella indicates the presence of calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease, which, like the observed osteoarthritic alterations, likely represents a complication of spondyloarthropathy. This is the first report of spondyloarthropathy for xenarthrans.

  6. Phylogeny and life histories of the 'Insectivora': controversies and consequences.

    PubMed

    Symonds, Matthew R E

    2005-02-01

    The evolutionary relationships of the eutherian order Insectivora (Lipotyphla sensu stricto) are the subject of considerable debate. The difficulties in establishing insectivore phylogeny stem from their lack of many shared derived characteristics. The grouping is therefore something of a 'wastebasket' taxon. Most of the older estimates of phylogeny, based on morphological evidence, assumed insectivore monophyly. More recently, molecular phylogenies argue strongly against monophyly, although they differ in the extent of polyphyly inferred for the order. I review the history of insectivore phylogenetics and systematics, focussing on the relationships between the six extant families (Erinaceidae--hedgehogs and moonrats, Talpidae - moles and desmans, Soricidae - shrews, Solenodontidae--solenodons, Tenrecidae--tenrecs and otter-shrews and Chrysochloridae--golden moles). I then examine how these various phylogenetic hypotheses influence the results of comparative analyses and our interpretation of insectivore life-history evolution. I assess which particular controversies have the greatest effect on results, and discuss the implications for comparative analyses where the phylogeny is controversial. I also explore and suggest explanations for certain insectivore life-history trends: increased gestation length and litter size in tenrecs, increased encephalization in moles, and the mixed fast and slow life-history strategies in solenodons. Finally, I consider the implications for comparative analyses of the recent strongly supported phylogenetic hypothesis of an endemic African clade of mammals that includes the insectivore families of tenrecs and golden moles.

  7. Molecular evidence for multiple origins of Insectivora and for a new order of endemic African insectivore mammals

    PubMed Central

    Stanhope, Michael J.; Waddell, Victor G.; Madsen, Ole; de Jong, Wilfried; Hedges, S. Blair; Cleven, Gregory C.; Kao, Diana; Springer, Mark S.

    1998-01-01

    The traditional views regarding the mammalian order Insectivora are that the group descended from a single common ancestor and that it is comprised of the following families: Soricidae (shrews), Tenrecidae (tenrecs), Solenodontidae (solenodons), Talpidae (moles), Erinaceidae (hedgehogs and gymnures), and Chrysochloridae (golden moles). Here we present a molecular analysis that includes representatives of all six families of insectivores, as well as 37 other taxa representing marsupials, monotremes, and all but two orders of placental mammals. These data come from complete sequences of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA, tRNA-Valine, and 16S rRNA genes (2.6 kb). A wide range of different methods of phylogenetic analysis groups the tenrecs and golden moles (both endemic to Africa) in an all-African superordinal clade comprised of elephants, sirenians, hyracoids, aardvark, and elephant shrews, to the exclusion of the other four remaining families of insectivores. Statistical analyses reject the idea of a monophyletic Insectivora as well as traditional concepts of the insectivore suborder Soricomorpha. These findings are supported by sequence analyses of several nuclear genes presented here: vWF, A2AB, and α-β hemoglobin. These results require that the order Insectivora be partitioned and that the two African families (golden moles and tenrecs) be placed in a new order. The African superordinal clade now includes six orders of placental mammals. PMID:9707584

  8. Short interspersed elements (SINEs) from insectivores. Two classes of mammalian SINEs distinguished by A-rich tail structure.

    PubMed

    Borodulina, O R; Kramerov, D A

    2001-10-01

    Four tRNA-related SINE families were isolated from the genome of the shrew Sorex araneus (SOR element), mole Mogera robusta (TAL element), and hedgehog Mesechinus dauuricus (ERI-1 and ERI-2 elements). Each of these SINEs families is specific for a single Insectivora family: SOR, for Soricidae (shrews); TAL, for Talpidae (moles and desmans); ERI-1 and ERI-2, for Erinaceidae (hedgehogs). There is a long polypyrimidine region (TC-motif) in TAL, ERI-1, and ERI-2 elements located immediately upstream of an A-rich tail with polyadenylation signals (AATAAA) and an RNA polymerase III terminator (T(4-6)) or TCT(3-4)). Ten out of 14 analyzed mammalian tRNA-related SINE families have an A-rich tail similar to that of TAL, ERI-1, and ERI-2 elements. These elements were assigned to class T+. The other four SINEs including SOR element have no polyadenylation signal and transcription terminator in their A-rich tail and were assigned to class T-. Class T+ SINEs occur only in mammals, and most of them have a long polypyrimidine region. Possible models of retroposition of class T+ and T- SINEs are discussed.

  9. Molecular evidence for multiple origins of Insectivora and for a new order of endemic African insectivore mammals.

    PubMed

    Stanhope, M J; Waddell, V G; Madsen, O; de Jong, W; Hedges, S B; Cleven, G C; Kao, D; Springer, M S

    1998-08-18

    The traditional views regarding the mammalian order Insectivora are that the group descended from a single common ancestor and that it is comprised of the following families: Soricidae (shrews), Tenrecidae (tenrecs), Solenodontidae (solenodons), Talpidae (moles), Erinaceidae (hedgehogs and gymnures), and Chrysochloridae (golden moles). Here we present a molecular analysis that includes representatives of all six families of insectivores, as well as 37 other taxa representing marsupials, monotremes, and all but two orders of placental mammals. These data come from complete sequences of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA, tRNA-Valine, and 16S rRNA genes (2.6 kb). A wide range of different methods of phylogenetic analysis groups the tenrecs and golden moles (both endemic to Africa) in an all-African superordinal clade comprised of elephants, sirenians, hyracoids, aardvark, and elephant shrews, to the exclusion of the other four remaining families of insectivores. Statistical analyses reject the idea of a monophyletic Insectivora as well as traditional concepts of the insectivore suborder Soricomorpha. These findings are supported by sequence analyses of several nuclear genes presented here: vWF, A2AB, and alpha-beta hemoglobin. These results require that the order Insectivora be partitioned and that the two African families (golden moles and tenrecs) be placed in a new order. The African superordinal clade now includes six orders of placental mammals.

  10. Breaking constraint: axial patterning in Trichechus (Mammalia: Sirenia).

    PubMed

    Buchholtz, Emily A; Wayrynen, Kaisa L; Lin, Iris W

    2014-01-01

    Meristic variation is often limited in serially homologous systems with high internal differentiation and high developmental modularity. The mammalian neck, an extreme example, has a fixed (at seven) count of diversely specialized segments. Imposition of the mammalian cervical constraint has been tentatively linked to the origin of the diaphragm, which is muscularized by cells that migrate from cervical somites during development. With six cervical vertebrae, the genus Trichechus (manatee) has apparently broken this constraint, although the mechanism of constraint escape is unknown. Hypotheses for the developmental origin of Trichechus cervical morphology include cervical rib 7 repatterning, a primaxial/abaxial patterning shift, and local homeosis at the cervical/thoracic boundary. We tested predictions of these hypotheses by documenting vertebral morphology, axial ossification patterns, regionalization of the postcranial skeleton, and the relationship of thoracic ribs to sternal subunits in a large data set of fetal and adult Trichechus and Dugong specimens. These observations forced rejection of all three hypotheses. We propose alternatively that a global slowing of the rate of somitogenesis reduced somite count and disrupted alignment of Hox-generated anatomical markers relative to somite (and vertebral) boundaries throughout the Trichechus column. This hypothesis is consistent with observations of the full range of traditional cervical morphologies in the six cervical vertebrae, conserved postcranial proportions, and column-wide reduction in count relative to its sister taxon, Dugong. It also suggests that the origin of the mammalian cervical constraint lies in patterning, not in count, and that Trichechus and the tree sloths have broken the constraint using different developmental mechanisms.

  11. Ticks infesting bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, Sebastián; Eriksson, Alan; Santos, Carolina Ferreira; Fischer, Erich; de Almeida, Juliana Cardoso; Luz, Hermes R; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2016-05-01

    Ticks associated with bats have been poorly documented in the Neotropical Zoogeographical Region. In this study, a total of 1028 bats were sampled for tick infestations in the southern portion of the Brazilian Pantanal. A total of 368 ticks, morphologically identified as Ornithodoros hasei (n = 364) and O. mimon (n = 4), were collected from the following bat species: Artibeus planirostris, Platyrrhinus lineatus, Phyllostomus hastatus, Mimon crenulatum and Noctilio albiventris. Morphological identification of O. hasei was confirmed by molecular analysis. Regarding the most abundant bat species, only 40 (6.2%) out of 650 A. planirostris were infested by O. hasei, with a mean intensity of 7.2 ticks per infested bat, or a mean abundance of 0.44 ticks per sampled bat. Noteworthy, one single P. hastatus was infested by 55 O. hasei larvae, in contrast to the 2.5-7.2 range of mean intensity values for the whole study. As a complement to the present study, a total of 8 museum bat specimens (6 Noctilio albiventris and 2 N. leporinus), collected in the northern region of Pantanal, were examined for tick infestations. These bats contained 176 ticks, which were all morphologically identified as O. hasei larvae. Mean intensity of infestation was 22, with a range of 1-46 ticks per infested bat. Our results suggest that A. planirostris might play an important role in the natural life cycle of O. hasei in the Pantanal.

  12. Helminths of three species of opossums (Mammalia, Didelphidae) from Mexico.

    PubMed

    Acosta-Virgen, Karla; López-Caballero, Jorge; García-Prieto, Luis; Mata-López, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    From August 2011 to November 2013, 68 opossums (8 Didelphis sp., 40 Didelphisvirginiana, 15 Didelphismarsupialis, and 5 Philanderopossum) were collected in 18 localities from 12 Mexican states. A total of 12,188 helminths representing 21 taxa were identified (6 trematodes, 2 cestodes, 3 acanthocephalans and 10 nematodes). Sixty-six new locality records, 9 new host records, and one species, the trematode Brachylaimadidelphus, is added to the composition of the helminth fauna of the opossums in Mexico. These data, in conjunction with previous records, bring the number of taxa parasitizing the Mexican terrestrial marsupials to 41. Among these species, we recognized a group of helminths typical of didelphids in other parts of the Americas. This group is constituted by the trematode Rhopaliascoronatus, the acanthocephalan Oligacanthorhynchusmicrocephalus and the nematodes Cruziatentaculata, Gnathostomaturgidum, and Turgidaturgida. In general, the helminth fauna of each didelphid species showed a stable taxonomic composition with respect to previously sampled sites. This situation suggests that the rate of accumulation of helminth species in the inventory of these 3 species of terrestrial marsupials in the Neotropical portion of Mexico is decreasing; however, new samplings in the Nearctic portion of this country will probably increase the richness of the helminthological inventory of this group of mammals. PMID:26257556

  13. Systematics and evolution of the subfamily Gerbillinae (Mammalia, Rodentia, Muridae).

    PubMed

    Chevret, Pascale; Dobigny, Gauthier

    2005-06-01

    Although they represent a quarter of the mammalian species, the evolutionary relationships among as well as within, the main murid lineages are still controversial. The subfamily Gerbillinae is no exception as previous studies based on morphological, karyotypical, and allozyme characters are highly incongruent. Here, we present the first molecular phylogeny for gerbils based on cytochrome b and 12S rRNA mitochondrial genes. Results are largely congruent between the two genes as well as with the concatenated data set with most of the nodes being well-supported. Based on the topologies retrieved here, we (1) propose the identification of three main clades, (2) support the split of Tatera genus into an Asian and an African group, the latter including Gerbillurus species, and (3) provide some evidence towards the inaccuracy of subgeneric divisions within both Gerbillus and Meriones. In addition, the sharp contrast between the genetic characters and morphological data sets suggest high levels of convergence, probably as a result of strong environmental constraints imposed on these rodents adapted to arid and semi-arid regions. Finally, molecular datings for the various cladogenetic events are in good agreement with the known gerbilline fossil record and support an African origin with subsequent migrations to Asia.

  14. Comparison of mitochondrial genome sequences of pangolins (Mammalia, Pholidota).

    PubMed

    Hassanin, Alexandre; Hugot, Jean-Pierre; van Vuuren, Bettine Jansen

    2015-04-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome was sequenced for three species of pangolins, Manis javanica, Phataginus tricuspis, and Smutsia temminckii, and comparisons were made with two other species, Manis pentadactyla and Phataginus tetradactyla. The genome of Manidae contains the 37 genes found in a typical mammalian genome, and the structure of the control region is highly conserved among species. In Manis, the overall base composition differs from that found in African genera. Phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of the genera Manis, Phataginus, and Smutsia, as well as the basal division between Maninae and Smutsiinae. Comparisons with GenBank sequences reveal that the reference genomes of M. pentadactyla and P. tetradactyla (accession numbers NC_016008 and NC_004027) were sequenced from misidentified taxa, and that a new species of tree pangolin should be described in Gabon. PMID:25746396

  15. Convergence vs. Specialization in the ear region of moles (Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Crumpton, Nick; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Asher, Robert J

    2015-08-01

    We investigated if and how the inner ear region undergoes similar adaptations in small, fossorial, insectivoran-grade mammals, and found a variety of inner ear phenotypes. In our sample, afrotherian moles (Chrysochloridae) and the marsupial Notoryctes differ from most other burrowing mammals in their relatively short radii of semicircular canal curvature; chrysochlorids and fossorial talpids share a relatively long interampullar width. Chrysochlorids are unique in showing a highly coiled cochlea with nearly four turns. Extensive cochlear coiling may reflect their greater ecological dependence on low frequency auditory cues compared to talpids, tenrecids, and the marsupial Notoryctes. Correspondingly, the lack of such extensive coiling in the inner ear of other fossorial species may indicate a greater reliance on other senses to enable their fossorial lifestyle, such as tactile sensation from vibrissae and Eimer's organs. The reliance of chrysochlorids on sound is evident in the high degree of coiling and in the diversity of its mallear types, and may help explain the lack of any semiaquatic members of that group. The simplest mallear types among chrysochlorids are not present in the basal-most members of that clade, but all extant chrysochlorids investigated to date exhibit extensive cochlear coiling. The chrysochlorid ear region thus exhibits mosaic evolution; our data suggest that extensive coiling evolved in chrysochlorids prior to and independently of diversification in middle ear ossicle size and shape.

  16. Trends of karyotypic evolution in the genus Hipposideros (Chiroptera: Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Sreepada, K S; Naidu, K N; Gururaj, M E

    1993-01-01

    The karyotypes of Hipposideros speroris, H. pomona, H. lankadiva, H. ceneraceus, H. ater and H. fulvus were analysed using conventional and banding technqiues. All six species exhibited the same 2n (32) and FN (60). The genus is remarkable for its apparent karyotypic stability. These species have only biarmed autosomes, one of which is a submetacentric marker chromosome with an achromatic gap. G-banded autosomes showed that most have remained conservative in the course of evolution of the species. Structural changes seemed to have occurred more frequently in the sex elements of the karyotypes rather than in the autosomes, and non-Robertsonian changes had an appreciable role to play in karyotypic evolution. This trend is probably dictated by the maximization of the biarmed condition which reflects the formation of stabilised linkage groups from the inception of the genus. It is proposed that the ancestral lineage of the genus Hipposideros was derived from a Rhinolophoid ancester whose karyotype was akin to Rhinolophus luctus.

  17. A Reexamination of the Carnivora Malleus (Mammalia, Placentalia)

    PubMed Central

    Wible, John R.; Spaulding, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    Authoritative anatomical references depict domestic dogs and cats as having a malleus with a short rostral (anterior) process that is connected via a ligament to the ectotympanic of the auditory bulla. Similar mallei have been reported for representatives of each of the 15 extant families of Carnivora, the placental order containing dogs and cats. This morphology is in contrast to a malleus with a long rostral process anchored to the ectotympanic that is considered to be primitive for mammals. Our reexamination of extant carnivorans found representatives from 12 families that possess an elongate rostral process anchored to the ectotympanic. Consequently, the malleus also is a component of the bulla. In a subset of our carnivoran sample, we confirmed that the elongate rostral process on the ectotympanic is continuous with the rest of the malleus through a thin osseous lamina. This morphology is reconstructed as primitive for Carnivora. Prior inaccurate descriptions of the taxa in our sample having mallei continuous with the bulla were based on damaged mallei. In addition to coupling to the ectotympanic, the rostral process of the malleus was found to have a hook-like process that fits in a facet on the skull base in representatives from seven families (felids, nandiniids, viverrids, canids, ursids, procyonids, and mustelids); its occurrence in the remaining families could not be ascertained. This feature is named herein the mallear hook and is likewise reconstructed to be primitive for Carnivora. We also investigated mallei in one additional placental order reported to have mallei not connected to the ectotympanic, Pholidota (pangolins), the extant sister group of Carnivora. We found pholidotans to also have anchored mallei with long rostral processes, but lacking mallear hooks. In light of our results, other mammals previously reported to have short rostral processes should be reexamined. PMID:23209753

  18. Ecological correlates to cranial morphology in Leporids (Mammalia, Lagomorpha)

    PubMed Central

    Sherratt, Emma; Bumacod, Nicholas; Wedel, Mathew J.

    2015-01-01

    The mammalian order Lagomorpha has been the subject of many morphometric studies aimed at understanding the relationship between form and function as it relates to locomotion, primarily in postcranial morphology. The leporid cranial skeleton, however, may also reveal information about their ecology, particularly locomotion and vision. Here we investigate the relationship between cranial shape and the degree of facial tilt with locomotion (cursoriality, saltation, and burrowing) within crown leporids. Our results suggest that facial tilt is more pronounced in cursors and saltators compared to generalists, and that increasing facial tilt may be driven by a need for expanded visual fields. Our phylogenetically informed analyses indicate that burrowing behavior, facial tilt, and locomotor behavior do not predict cranial shape. However, we find that variables such as bullae size, size of the splenius capitus fossa, and overall rostral dimensions are important components for understanding the cranial variation in leporids. PMID:25802812

  19. Sensory Hairs in the Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus (Cetacea, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Drake, Summer E; Crish, Samuel D; George, John C; Stimmelmayr, Raphaella; Thewissen, J G M

    2015-07-01

    We studied the histology and morphometrics of the hairs of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus). These whales are hairless except for two patches of more than 300 hairs on the rostral tip of the lower lip and chin, the rostral tip of the upper lip, and a bilateral row of approximately ten hairs caudal to the blowhole. Histological data indicate that hairs in all three of these areas are vibrissae: they show an outermost connective tissue capsule, a circumferential blood sinus system surrounding the hair shaft, and dense innervation to the follicle. Morphometric data were collected on hair diameters, epidermal recess diameters, hair follicle length, and external hair lengths. The main difference between the hairs in the different regions is that blowhole hairs have larger diameters than the hairs in the chin and rostrum regions. We speculate that the hair shaft thickness patterns in bowheads reflect functional specializations.

  20. Comparison of mitochondrial genome sequences of pangolins (Mammalia, Pholidota).

    PubMed

    Hassanin, Alexandre; Hugot, Jean-Pierre; van Vuuren, Bettine Jansen

    2015-04-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome was sequenced for three species of pangolins, Manis javanica, Phataginus tricuspis, and Smutsia temminckii, and comparisons were made with two other species, Manis pentadactyla and Phataginus tetradactyla. The genome of Manidae contains the 37 genes found in a typical mammalian genome, and the structure of the control region is highly conserved among species. In Manis, the overall base composition differs from that found in African genera. Phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of the genera Manis, Phataginus, and Smutsia, as well as the basal division between Maninae and Smutsiinae. Comparisons with GenBank sequences reveal that the reference genomes of M. pentadactyla and P. tetradactyla (accession numbers NC_016008 and NC_004027) were sequenced from misidentified taxa, and that a new species of tree pangolin should be described in Gabon.

  1. A reexamination of the Carnivora malleus (Mammalia, Placentalia).

    PubMed

    Wible, John R; Spaulding, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    Authoritative anatomical references depict domestic dogs and cats as having a malleus with a short rostral (anterior) process that is connected via a ligament to the ectotympanic of the auditory bulla. Similar mallei have been reported for representatives of each of the 15 extant families of Carnivora, the placental order containing dogs and cats. This morphology is in contrast to a malleus with a long rostral process anchored to the ectotympanic that is considered to be primitive for mammals. Our reexamination of extant carnivorans found representatives from 12 families that possess an elongate rostral process anchored to the ectotympanic. Consequently, the malleus also is a component of the bulla. In a subset of our carnivoran sample, we confirmed that the elongate rostral process on the ectotympanic is continuous with the rest of the malleus through a thin osseous lamina. This morphology is reconstructed as primitive for Carnivora. Prior inaccurate descriptions of the taxa in our sample having mallei continuous with the bulla were based on damaged mallei. In addition to coupling to the ectotympanic, the rostral process of the malleus was found to have a hook-like process that fits in a facet on the skull base in representatives from seven families (felids, nandiniids, viverrids, canids, ursids, procyonids, and mustelids); its occurrence in the remaining families could not be ascertained. This feature is named herein the mallear hook and is likewise reconstructed to be primitive for Carnivora. We also investigated mallei in one additional placental order reported to have mallei not connected to the ectotympanic, Pholidota (pangolins), the extant sister group of Carnivora. We found pholidotans to also have anchored mallei with long rostral processes, but lacking mallear hooks. In light of our results, other mammals previously reported to have short rostral processes should be reexamined. PMID:23209753

  2. Generic names of northern and southern fur seals (Mammalia: Otariidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gardner, A.L.; Robbins, C.B.

    1998-01-01

    We have resolved a nomenclatural problem discovered during research on the northern fur seal that concerns the correct generic name for this taxon and for fur seals of the Southern Hemisphere. The unfortunate practice by some 19th century authors to use names in their Latinized form, but to date them from their first appearance as French common names led to the use of Arctocephalus for southern fur seals when the name correctly applies to the northern fur seal, known today as Callorhinus ursinus. However, Arctocephalus and Callorhinus are antedated by Otoes G. Fischer, 1817, which is the earliest available generic for the fur seal of the northern Pacific. The earliest available generic name for southern fur seals is Halarctus Gill, 1866. To avoid the confusion that would result from replacing the currently used generic names with those required by strict adherence to the Principle of Priority, we have petitioned the International Commission on Zoological nomenclature to preserve Arctocephalus and Callorhinus for the southern and northern fur seals, respectively.

  3. Helminths of three species of opossums (Mammalia, Didelphidae) from Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Acosta-Virgen, Karla; López-Caballero, Jorge; García-Prieto, Luis; Mata-López, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    Abstract From August 2011 to November 2013, 68 opossums (8 Didelphis sp., 40 Didelphis virginiana, 15 Didelphis marsupialis, and 5 Philander opossum) were collected in 18 localities from 12 Mexican states. A total of 12,188 helminths representing 21 taxa were identified (6 trematodes, 2 cestodes, 3 acanthocephalans and 10 nematodes). Sixty-six new locality records, 9 new host records, and one species, the trematode Brachylaima didelphus, is added to the composition of the helminth fauna of the opossums in Mexico. These data, in conjunction with previous records, bring the number of taxa parasitizing the Mexican terrestrial marsupials to 41. Among these species, we recognized a group of helminths typical of didelphids in other parts of the Americas. This group is constituted by the trematode Rhopalias coronatus, the acanthocephalan Oligacanthorhynchus microcephalus and the nematodes Cruzia tentaculata, Gnathostoma turgidum, and Turgida turgida. In general, the helminth fauna of each didelphid species showed a stable taxonomic composition with respect to previously sampled sites. This situation suggests that the rate of accumulation of helminth species in the inventory of these 3 species of terrestrial marsupials in the Neotropical portion of Mexico is decreasing; however, new samplings in the Nearctic portion of this country will probably increase the richness of the helminthological inventory of this group of mammals. PMID:26257556

  4. Convergence vs. Specialization in the ear region of moles (Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Crumpton, Nick; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Asher, Robert J

    2015-08-01

    We investigated if and how the inner ear region undergoes similar adaptations in small, fossorial, insectivoran-grade mammals, and found a variety of inner ear phenotypes. In our sample, afrotherian moles (Chrysochloridae) and the marsupial Notoryctes differ from most other burrowing mammals in their relatively short radii of semicircular canal curvature; chrysochlorids and fossorial talpids share a relatively long interampullar width. Chrysochlorids are unique in showing a highly coiled cochlea with nearly four turns. Extensive cochlear coiling may reflect their greater ecological dependence on low frequency auditory cues compared to talpids, tenrecids, and the marsupial Notoryctes. Correspondingly, the lack of such extensive coiling in the inner ear of other fossorial species may indicate a greater reliance on other senses to enable their fossorial lifestyle, such as tactile sensation from vibrissae and Eimer's organs. The reliance of chrysochlorids on sound is evident in the high degree of coiling and in the diversity of its mallear types, and may help explain the lack of any semiaquatic members of that group. The simplest mallear types among chrysochlorids are not present in the basal-most members of that clade, but all extant chrysochlorids investigated to date exhibit extensive cochlear coiling. The chrysochlorid ear region thus exhibits mosaic evolution; our data suggest that extensive coiling evolved in chrysochlorids prior to and independently of diversification in middle ear ossicle size and shape. PMID:25858660

  5. A reexamination of the Carnivora malleus (Mammalia, Placentalia).

    PubMed

    Wible, John R; Spaulding, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    Authoritative anatomical references depict domestic dogs and cats as having a malleus with a short rostral (anterior) process that is connected via a ligament to the ectotympanic of the auditory bulla. Similar mallei have been reported for representatives of each of the 15 extant families of Carnivora, the placental order containing dogs and cats. This morphology is in contrast to a malleus with a long rostral process anchored to the ectotympanic that is considered to be primitive for mammals. Our reexamination of extant carnivorans found representatives from 12 families that possess an elongate rostral process anchored to the ectotympanic. Consequently, the malleus also is a component of the bulla. In a subset of our carnivoran sample, we confirmed that the elongate rostral process on the ectotympanic is continuous with the rest of the malleus through a thin osseous lamina. This morphology is reconstructed as primitive for Carnivora. Prior inaccurate descriptions of the taxa in our sample having mallei continuous with the bulla were based on damaged mallei. In addition to coupling to the ectotympanic, the rostral process of the malleus was found to have a hook-like process that fits in a facet on the skull base in representatives from seven families (felids, nandiniids, viverrids, canids, ursids, procyonids, and mustelids); its occurrence in the remaining families could not be ascertained. This feature is named herein the mallear hook and is likewise reconstructed to be primitive for Carnivora. We also investigated mallei in one additional placental order reported to have mallei not connected to the ectotympanic, Pholidota (pangolins), the extant sister group of Carnivora. We found pholidotans to also have anchored mallei with long rostral processes, but lacking mallear hooks. In light of our results, other mammals previously reported to have short rostral processes should be reexamined.

  6. Breaking constraint: axial patterning in Trichechus (Mammalia: Sirenia).

    PubMed

    Buchholtz, Emily A; Wayrynen, Kaisa L; Lin, Iris W

    2014-01-01

    Meristic variation is often limited in serially homologous systems with high internal differentiation and high developmental modularity. The mammalian neck, an extreme example, has a fixed (at seven) count of diversely specialized segments. Imposition of the mammalian cervical constraint has been tentatively linked to the origin of the diaphragm, which is muscularized by cells that migrate from cervical somites during development. With six cervical vertebrae, the genus Trichechus (manatee) has apparently broken this constraint, although the mechanism of constraint escape is unknown. Hypotheses for the developmental origin of Trichechus cervical morphology include cervical rib 7 repatterning, a primaxial/abaxial patterning shift, and local homeosis at the cervical/thoracic boundary. We tested predictions of these hypotheses by documenting vertebral morphology, axial ossification patterns, regionalization of the postcranial skeleton, and the relationship of thoracic ribs to sternal subunits in a large data set of fetal and adult Trichechus and Dugong specimens. These observations forced rejection of all three hypotheses. We propose alternatively that a global slowing of the rate of somitogenesis reduced somite count and disrupted alignment of Hox-generated anatomical markers relative to somite (and vertebral) boundaries throughout the Trichechus column. This hypothesis is consistent with observations of the full range of traditional cervical morphologies in the six cervical vertebrae, conserved postcranial proportions, and column-wide reduction in count relative to its sister taxon, Dugong. It also suggests that the origin of the mammalian cervical constraint lies in patterning, not in count, and that Trichechus and the tree sloths have broken the constraint using different developmental mechanisms. PMID:25339599

  7. The Fleas of Endemic and Introduced Small Mammals in Central Highland Forests of Madagascar: Faunistics, Species Diversity, and Absence of Host Specificity.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Steven M; Randrenjarison Andriniaina, H Rico; Soarimalala, Voahangy; Beaucournu, Jean-Claude

    2015-09-01

    Data are presented on the flea species of the genera Paractenopsyllus (Ceratophyllidae, Leptopsyllinae) and Synopsyllus (Pulicidae, Xenopsyllinae) obtained from small mammals during two 2014 seasonal surveys at a montane humid forest site (Ambohitantely) in the Central Highlands of Madagascar. The mammal groups included the endemic family Tenrecidae (tenrecs) and subfamily Nesomyinae (rodents) and two introduced families Muridae (rodents) and Soricidae (shrews); no fleas were recovered from the latter family. The surveys were conducted at the end of the wet and dry seasons with 288 individual small mammals captured, including 12 endemic and four introduced species. These animals yielded 344 fleas, representing nine species endemic to Madagascar; no introduced species was collected. Some seasonal variation was found in the number of trapped small mammals, but no marked difference was found in species richness. For flea species represented by sufficient samples, no parasite-host specificity was found, and there is evidence for considerable lateral exchange in the local flea fauna between species of tenrecs and the two rodent families (endemic and introduced). The implications of these results are discussed with regards to small mammal species richness and community structure, as well as a possible mechanism for the maintenance of sylvatic cycles of bubonic plague in the montane forests of Madagascar.

  8. Identification of Ebola virus sequences present as RNA or DNA in organs of terrestrial small mammals of the Central African Republic.

    PubMed

    Morvan, J M; Deubel, V; Gounon, P; Nakouné, E; Barrière, P; Murri, S; Perpète, O; Selekon, B; Coudrier, D; Gautier-Hion, A; Colyn, M; Volehkov, V

    1999-12-01

    The life cycle of the Ebola (EBO) virus remains enigmatic. We tested for EBO virus in the organs of 242 small mammals captured during ecological studies in the Central African Republic. EBO virus glycoprotein or polymerase gene sequences were detected by reverse transcription PCR in RNA extracts of the organs of seven animals and by PCR in DNA extract of one animal. Neither live virus nor virus antigen was detected in any organ sample. Direct sequencing of amplicons identified the virus as being of the Zaire/Gabon subtype. Virus-like nucleocapsids were observed by electron microscopy in the cytoplasm of the spleen cells of one animal. The animals belonged to two genera of rodents (Muridae; Mus setulosus, Praomys sp1 and P. sp2) and one species of shrew (Soricidae; Sylvisorex ollula). These preliminary results provide evidence that common terrestrial small mammals living in peripheral forest areas have been in contact with the EBO virus and demonstrate the persistence of EBO virus RNA and DNA in the organs of the animals. Our findings should lead to better targeting of research into the life cycle of the EBO virus. PMID:10580275

  9. Shared ancestry between a newfound mole-borne hantavirus and hantaviruses harbored by cricetid rodents.

    PubMed

    Kang, Hae Ji; Bennett, Shannon N; Hope, Andrew G; Cook, Joseph A; Yanagihara, Richard

    2011-08-01

    Discovery of genetically distinct hantaviruses in multiple species of shrews (order Soricomorpha, family Soricidae) and moles (family Talpidae) contests the conventional view that rodents (order Rodentia, families Muridae and Cricetidae) are the principal reservoir hosts and suggests that the evolutionary history of hantaviruses is far more complex than previously hypothesized. We now report on Rockport virus (RKPV), a hantavirus identified in archival tissues of the eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus) collected in Rockport, TX, in 1986. Pairwise comparison of the full-length S, M, and L genomic segments indicated moderately low sequence similarity between RKPV and other soricomorph-borne hantaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that RKPV shared a most recent common ancestor with cricetid-rodent-borne hantaviruses. Distributed widely across the eastern United States, the fossorial eastern mole is sympatric and syntopic with cricetid rodents known to harbor hantaviruses, raising the possibility of host-switching events in the distant past. Our findings warrant more-detailed investigations on the dynamics of spillover and cross-species transmission of present-day hantaviruses within communities of rodents and moles.

  10. Shared Ancestry between a Newfound Mole-Borne Hantavirus and Hantaviruses Harbored by Cricetid Rodents ▿†

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Hae Ji; Bennett, Shannon N.; Hope, Andrew G.; Cook, Joseph A.; Yanagihara, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Discovery of genetically distinct hantaviruses in multiple species of shrews (order Soricomorpha, family Soricidae) and moles (family Talpidae) contests the conventional view that rodents (order Rodentia, families Muridae and Cricetidae) are the principal reservoir hosts and suggests that the evolutionary history of hantaviruses is far more complex than previously hypothesized. We now report on Rockport virus (RKPV), a hantavirus identified in archival tissues of the eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus) collected in Rockport, TX, in 1986. Pairwise comparison of the full-length S, M, and L genomic segments indicated moderately low sequence similarity between RKPV and other soricomorph-borne hantaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that RKPV shared a most recent common ancestor with cricetid-rodent-borne hantaviruses. Distributed widely across the eastern United States, the fossorial eastern mole is sympatric and syntopic with cricetid rodents known to harbor hantaviruses, raising the possibility of host-switching events in the distant past. Our findings warrant more-detailed investigations on the dynamics of spillover and cross-species transmission of present-day hantaviruses within communities of rodents and moles. PMID:21632770

  11. Long-term effects of precommercial thinning on small mammals in northern Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Homyack, J.A.; Harrison, D.J.; Krohn, W.B.

    2005-01-01

    Precommercial thinning (PCT) is being practiced increasingly throughout the Acadian forest of eastern North America to meet silvicultural objectives; however, effects of this practice on wildlife, both immediately and several years post-treatment are not well understood. Forest dependent small mammals have ecological roles as prey for numerous avian and mammalian predators, dispersers of seeds, fruit, and spores, and contribute to nutrient cycling. Researchers in the northwestern USA have suggested that thinning of young, regenerating clearcuts may increase the abundance and diversity of some forest-dependent small mammals by increasing rates of forest development and enhancing the ecological representation of mid-successional stands across managed landscapes. We examined the effects of PCT within conifer-dominated forest stands 1-, 6-, 11-, and 16-years post-treatment, on abundances of mice, voles, and shrews, and on within-stand structure in the commercially managed, Acadian forests of northern Maine. We live-trapped small mammals on 24 herbicide-treated clearcuts treated with PCT and on 13 similar, unthinned stands during summers of 2000 and 2001. Thinning of mid-successional conifer stands resulted in increased abundances, (red-backed voles, Clethrionomys gapperi, P = 0.008; masked shrews, Sorex cinereus, P < 0.001) or had no detectable effect on (deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, P = 0.544; short-tailed shrews, Blarina brevicauda, P = 0.517) the 4 most common species of Muridae and Soricidae in northern Maine. In general, abundance of deer mice responded more positively to increasing development class and to the number of years since thinning than other species of small mammals. Several within-stand habitat characteristics associated with stand maturity, such as larger stem diameters and a partially open canopy, occurred in thinned stands. Thus, PCT may accelerate the development of habitat attributes typical of mid-successional conifer stands in intensively

  12. Fine structure of the parotid gland in tree shrew (Tupaia glis).

    PubMed

    Suzuki, S; Mifune, H; Nishida, T; Obara, T; Kamimura, R; Sakamoto, H; Mohammad Abdul, A; Nishinakagawa, H

    1995-10-01

    The parotid glands of Tupaia glis were examined by light and transmission electron microscopy. The acinar cells were seromucous in nature, and contained many acidophilic granules with strong affinity for periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) and weak affinity for alcian blue (AB). These granules consisted of a fine granular matrix of moderate density in which a denser corpuscles or semilunar materials were present. Intercalated duct cells had a few fine vesicles, vacuoles and very few dense granules in the apical region. In occasional epithelial cells, acidophilic, PAS-positive and AB-negative bodies with moderate density were observed in the supranuclear region. The striated ducts consisted of columnar light and dark cells containing round or small ovoid granules of moderate density and did not show the granular duct as seen in the parotid glands of kobe mole and tenrec which are placed in the order insectivora.

  13. The Taming of the Shrew--Controlling the Morphology of Filamentous Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Walisko, Robert; Moench-Tegeder, Judith; Blotenberg, Jana; Wucherpfennig, Thomas; Krull, Rainer

    2015-01-01

    One of the most sensitive process characteristics in the cultivation of filamentous biological systems is their complex morphology. In submerged cultures, the observed macroscopic morphology of filamentous microorganisms varies from freely dispersed mycelium to dense spherical pellets consisting of a more or less dense, branched and partially intertwined network of hyphae. Recently, the freely dispersed mycelium form has been in high demand for submerged cultivation because this morphology enhances the growth and production of several valuable products. A distinct filamentous morphology and productivity are influenced by the environment and can be controlled by inoculum concentration, spore viability, pH value, cultivation temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration, medium composition, mechanical stress or process mode as well as through the addition of inorganic salts or microparticles, which provides the opportunity to tailor a filamentous morphology. The suitable morphology for a given bioprocess varies depending on the desired product. Therefore, the advantages and disadvantages of each morphological type should be carefully evaluated for every biological system. Because of the high industrial relevance of filamentous microorganisms, research in previous years has aimed at the development of tools and techniques to characterise their growth and obtain quantitative estimates of their morphological properties. The focus of this review is on current advances in the characterisation and control of filamentous morphology with a separation of eukaryotic and prokaryotic systems. Furthermore, recent strategies to tailor the morphology through classical biochemical process parameters, morphology and genetic engineering to optimise the productivity of these filamentous systems are discussed. PMID:25796624

  14. TOXICITY EVALUATION OF 1,3,5-TRINITROBENZENE (TNB) IN SHREWS (CRYPTOTIS PARVA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    TNB has been detected as an environmental contaminant of soil and water at certain Army installations and production waste disposal sites. At present there are no toxicity data on TNB in small wild mammals that might be used for ecological risk assessment. Therefore, a 14-day to...

  15. The use of albendazole for the treatment of trematodiasis in two tree shrews (Tupala glis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beehler, B.A.; Tuggle, B.N.

    1983-01-01

    Albendazole is a broad-spectrum anthelmintic of the benzimidazole group which has been tested in several rodents and domestic animals. Albendazole has been used effectively to treat trematodes in sheep, cattle, dogs, and cats. The use of this anthelmintic in exotic small mammals has not been reported to the authors' knowledge.

  16. The Insect Eaters.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Presents information about insectivores, including definitions and characteristics of shrews, moles, hedgehogs, and tenrecs. Contains descriptions of the teaching activities "Little Starnose" and "You and a Shrew." A reproducible worksheet is provided for use in "You and a Shrew." (TW)

  17. Identification of Bacterial Specialists in Hosts belonging to Aves, Mammalia, and Pisces

    EPA Science Inventory

    Only a portion of bacteria found in animal guts are able to establish specific associations within animal hosts. Taxa that have formed these specialized relationships may have played a prominent role in host evolution and may also contribute significantly to current host physiolo...

  18. Population structure of the gomphothere Stegomastodon waringi (Mammalia: Proboscidea: Gomphotheriidae) from the Pleistocene of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Mothé, Dimila; Avilla, Leonardo S; Winck, Gisele R

    2010-12-01

    The Quaternary fossil record of Águas de Araxá (Q AA) is represented mainly by an accumulation of skeletal elements of several sizes, which are assigned to a population of Stegomastodon waringi. We analyzed 97 molars according to the ear stages of Simpson and Paula-Couto (1957), and developed a morphometric ear index. The population structure (proportion of immature, subadult, adult, mature adult and senile adult individuals) was identified, and these five age classes were compared to those of extant elephant populations and defined with social implications. The analysis made possible to establish that the population is largely composed of adults: 14.89% are immature individuals, 23.04% subadults, 27.65% adults, 17.21% mature adults and another 17.21% senile adults. Based on population structure, we do not discard the possibility that the fossil population was stable or in recovery, and/or was experiencing a high-predation period on younger individuals. The number of individuals composing the past population studied here could suggest that the occupied environment was open due to comparisons to populations of extant elephants. We consider this population as an aggregation of family units, which suggests a time of low environmental humidity. Based on literature and our findings, their extinction appears to be regional and probably related to a catastrophic event.

  19. Evidence of dietary differentiation among late Paleocene-early Eocene plesiadapids (Mammalia, primates).

    PubMed

    Boyer, Doug M; Evans, Alistair R; Jernvall, Jukka

    2010-06-01

    Plesiadapis cookei is an extinct relative of extant euarchontans (primates, dermopterans; scandentians), which lived in North America during the late Paleocene. P. cookei body mass has been estimated to be approximately 2.2 kg, making it large compared with other species of its genus from North America, but similar to some from Europe. In particular, size as well as dental form similarities to P. russelli have been noted. However, it is thought that P. russelli evolved from P. tricuspidens, and into Platychoerops daubrei. Dental similarities among P. cookei, P. russelli, and P. daubrei have been hypothesized to reflect a more folivorous diet than utilized by P. tricuspidens. Here we test the hypothesis that P. cookei is more dietarily specialized than P. tricuspidens by quantifying functionally significant aspects of molar, premolar, and incisor forms. Casts of M(2)s and P(4)s of P. tricuspidens, P. cookei, and P. daubrei were microCT-scanned. We measured the relief index and/or the complexity from surface reconstructions of scans. Results show that P. cookei has higher M(2) relief and complexity than P. tricuspidens; P. daubrei exhibits the highest relief and complexity. Similarly, P. cookei has a more complex P(4) than P. tricuspidens, whereas that of P. daubrei exhibits the highest complexity. Finally, the I(1) of P. cookei resembles more the incisor of P. daubrei than that of P. tricuspidens. Because high relief and complexity of dentitions are related to fibrous plant diets in living mammals, these findings support the hypothesis that previously identified similarities among P. cookei, P. russelli and P. daubrei reflect a folivorous diet.

  20. Functional implications of variation in tooth spacing and crown size in pinnipedimorpha (mammalia: carnivora).

    PubMed

    Churchill, Morgan; Clementz, Mark T

    2015-05-01

    Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) show variation in tooth morphology that relates to ecology. However, crown size and spacing are two aspects of morphology that have not been quantified in prior studies. We measured these characters for nearly all extant pinnipeds and three fossil taxa and then determined the principal sources of variation in tooth size and spacing using principal components (PCAs) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA). PCA and HCA showed that species sorted into three groups: taxa with small crowns and large diastemata, taxa with large crowns and small diastemata, and taxa that fell between these two extremes. We then performed discriminant function analysis (DFA) to determine if tooth morphology correlated with foraging strategy or diet. DFA results indicated weak correlation with diet, and stronger correlation with prey capture strategies. Tooth size and spacing were most strongly correlated with the importance of teeth in prey acquisition, with tooth size decreasing and tooth spacing increasing as teeth become less necessary in capturing food items. Taxa which relied on teeth for filtering prey from the water column or processing larger or tougher food items generally had larger crowns and smaller tooth spacing then taxa which swallowed prey whole. We found the fossil taxa Desmatophoca and Enaliarctos were most similar in tooth morphology to extant otariids, suggesting that both taxa were generalist feeders. This study established the relationship between tooth size and feeding behavior, and provides a new tool to explore the paleoecology of fossil pinnipeds and other aquatic tetrapods. PMID:25367223

  1. Cope's rule and the evolution of body size in Pinnipedimorpha (Mammalia: Carnivora).

    PubMed

    Churchill, Morgan; Clementz, Mark T; Kohno, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    Cope's rule describes the evolutionary trend for animal lineages to increase in body size over time. In this study, we tested the validity of Cope's rule for a marine mammal clade, the Pinnipedimorpha, which includes the extinct Desmatophocidae, and extant Phocidae (earless seals), Otariidae (fur seals and sea lions), and Odobenidae (walruses). We tested for the presence of Cope's rule by compiling a large dataset of body size data for extant and fossil pinnipeds and then examined how body size evolved through time. We found that there was a positive relationship between geologic age and body size. However, this trend is the result of differences between early assemblages of small-bodied pinnipeds (Oligocene to early Miocene) and later assemblages (middle Miocene to Pliocene) for which species exhibited greater size diversity. No significant differences were found between the number of increases or decreases in body size within Pinnipedimorpha or within specific pinniped clades. This suggests that the pinniped body size increase was driven by passive diversification into vacant niche space, with the common ancestor of Pinnipedimorpha occurring near the minimum adult body size possible for a marine mammal. Based upon the above results, the evolutionary history of pinnipeds does not follow Cope's rule. PMID:25355195

  2. Predicting the potential distribution of Vexillata (Nematoda: Ornithostrongylidae) and its hosts (Mammalia: Rodentia) within America.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Salazar, E A; Escalante, T; Linaje, M; Falcón-Ordaz, J

    2013-12-01

    Species distribution modelling has been a powerful tool to explore the potential distribution of parasites in wildlife, being the basis of studies on biogeography. Vexillata spp. are intestinal nematodes found in several species of mammalian hosts, such as rodents (Geomyoidea) and hares (Leporidae) in the Nearctic and northern Neotropical regions. In the present study, we modelled the potential distribution of Vexillata spp. and their hosts, using exclusively species from the Geomyidae and Heteromyidae families, in order to identify their distributional patterns. Bioclimatic and topographic variables were used to identify and predict suitable habitats for Vexillata and its hosts. Using these models, we identified that temperature seasonality is a significant environmental factor that influences the distribution of the parasite genus and its host. In particular, the geographical distribution is estimated to be larger than that predicted for its hosts. This suggests that the nematode has the potential to extend its geographical range and also its spectrum of host species. Increasing sample size and geographical coverage will contribute to recommendations for conservation of this host-parasite system.

  3. Molecular evolution of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA in Ungulata (mammalia).

    PubMed

    Douzery, E; Catzeflis, F M

    1995-11-01

    The complete 12S rRNA gene has been sequenced in 4 Ungulata (hoofed eutherians) and 1 marsupial and compared to 38 available mammalian sequences in order to investigate the molecular evolution of the mitochondrial small-subunit ribosomal RNA molecule. Ungulata were represented by one artiodactyl (the collared peccary, Tayassu tajacu, suborder Suiformes), two perissodactyls (the Grevy's zebra, Equus grevyi, suborder Hippomorpha; the white rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum, suborder Ceratomorpha), and one hyracoid (the tree hyrax, Dendrohyrax dorsalis). The fifth species was a marsupial, the eastern gray kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). Several transition/transversion biases characterized the pattern of changes between mammalian 12S rRNA molecules. A bias toward transitions was found among 12S rRNA sequences of Ungulata, illustrating the general bias exhibited by ribosomal and protein-encoding genes of the mitochondrial genome. The derivation of a mammalian 12S rRNA secondary structure model from the comparison of 43 eutherian and marsupial sequences evidenced a pronounced bias against transversions in stems. Moreover, transversional compensatory changes were rare events within double-stranded regions of the ribosomal RNA. Evolutionary characteristics of the 12S rRNA were compared with those of the nuclear 18S and 28S rRNAs. From a phylogenetic point of view, transitions, transversions and indels in stems as well as transversional and indels events in loops gave congruent results for comparisons within orders. Some compensatory changes in double-stranded regions and some indels in single-stranded regions also constituted diagnostic events. The 12S rRNA molecule confirmed the monophyly of infraorder Pecora and order Cetacea and demonstrated the monophyly of the suborder Ruminantia was not supported and the branching pattern between Cetacea and the artiodacytyl suborders Ruminantia and Suiformes was not established. The monophyly of the order Perissodactyla was evidenced, but the relationships between Artiodactyla, Cetacea, and Perissodactyla remained unresolved. Nevertheless, we found no support for a Perissodactyla + Hyracoidea clade, neither with distance approach, nor with parsimony reconstruction. The 12S rRNA was useful to solve intraordinal relationships among Ungulata, but it seemed to harbor too few informative positions to decipher the bushlike radiation of some Ungulata orders, an event which has most probably occurred in a short span of time between 55 and 70 MYA.

  4. Volatile components in dorsal gland secretions of the collared peccary,Tayassu tajacu (Tayassuidae, mammalia).

    PubMed

    Waterhouse, J S; Ke, J; Pickett, J A; Weldon, P J

    1996-07-01

    Secretions of the dorsal gland of free-ranging adult male and female collared peccaries (Tayassu tajacu) were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Both sexes contain (2E,6E,10E)-geranylgeraniol; squalene (allE isomer); and the following isomers of springene, a diterpene homolog of β-farnesene: (3E,6E,10E)-α-springene, (3Z,6E,10E)-α-springene, and (6E,10E)-β-springene. A diterpene alcohol and an additional isomer each of squalene and springene also were observed. Straight- and branched-chain esters abound in the secretions of females, but they were not detected in males.

  5. Filling phylogenetic gaps and the biogeographic relationships of the Octodontidae (Mammalia: Hystricognathi).

    PubMed

    Suárez-Villota, Elkin Y; González-Wevar, Claudio A; Gallardo, Milton H; Vásquez, Rodrigo A; Poulin, Elie

    2016-12-01

    Endemic to South America, octodontid rodents are remarkable by being the only mammal taxa where allotetraploidy has been documented. The taxon's extensive morpho-physiological radiation associated to niche shifts has allowed testing phylogeographic hypotheses. Using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses, applied to all nominal species of octodontids, phylogenetic reconstructions based on sequences of 12S rRNA and growth hormone receptor gene are presented. Species boundaries were determined by coalescent analyses and divergence times among taxa were estimated based on mutation rates. Two main clades associated to the Andean orogenesis were recognized. The essentially western clade comprises genera Aconaemys, Octodon, Spalacopus, and Octodontomys whereas the eastern one included genera Octomys, Pipanacoctomys, Salinoctomys, and Tympanoctomys. Genetic relationships, coalescent analyses, and genetic distance supported the specific status given to Octodon pacificus and that given to Pipanacoctomys aureus as a species of Tympanoctomys. However, these analyses failed to recognize Salinoctomys loschalchalerosorum as a valid taxon considering its position within the diversity of Tympanoctomys barrerae. Although the origin of genome duplication remains contentious, the coincidence of the basal clade split with distinctive modes of karyotypic evolution across the Andes emphasizes the role of physiographic barriers and westerlies in shaping different edaphological conditions, selective grounds, and concomitantly distinct adaptations within the octodontids.

  6. Histological patterns of the intestinal attachment of Corynosoma australe (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) in Arctocephalus australis (Mammalia: Pinnipedia).

    PubMed

    Silva, Renato Z; Pereira, Joaber; Cousin, João Carlos B

    2014-12-01

    The mucosal attachment pattern of Corynosoma australe in the intestines of Arctocephalus australis is described. Normal and abnormal tissue were sampled from 32 hosts to be submitted to histological routine protocol to embedding in paraffin and permanent mounting in balsam. Corynosoma australe shows three different degrees of body depth intestinal attachment (BDINA-1-3). BDINA-1: it is exclusive of the small intestine and the parasite attaches on the villi; BDINA-2: parasite affects the Lieberkühn crypts in several depth levels and, BDINA-3: the parasite reaches the submucosa. These attachment patterns alter the mucosa by degeneration and dysfunction due to necrosis of mucosal structure, great quantities of cellular debris and significant reduction of the mucosal thickness. Other aspects are crater-like concave holes (CLCHs) as sites where C. australe could be attached-detached several times according to adult migratory processes within luminal intestine space. The submucosa shows edema probably due to the local mucosal alterations resulting in homeostatic break. There is no severe inflammatory response by host but BDINA-1 to BDINA-3 and CLCH could represent foci to secondary opportunistic infections and significant areas of malabsorption in severally infected hosts contributing to increase clinical signs of preexistent pathologies.

  7. Mandible shape and dwarfism in squirrels (Mammalia, Rodentia): interaction of allometry and adaptation.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Lionel; Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Michaux, Jacques

    2009-06-01

    Squirrels include several independent lineages of dwarf forms distributed into two ecological groups: the dwarf tree and flying squirrels. The mandible of dwarf tree squirrels share a highly reduced coronoid process and a condylar process drawn backwards. Dwarf flying squirrels on the other hand, have an elongated coronoid process and a well-differentiated condylar process. To interpret such a difference, Elliptic Fourier Transform was used to evaluate how mandible shape varies with dwarfism in sciurids. The results obtained show that this clear-cut difference cannot be explained by a simple allometric relationship in relation with size decrease. We concluded that the retention of anteriorly positioned eye sockets, in relation with distance estimation, allowed the conservation of a well-differentiated coronoid process in all flying species, despite the trend towards its reduction observed among sciurids as their size decreases. PMID:19288073

  8. Biology and impacts of Pacific island invasive species 9. Capra hircus, the feral goat, (Mammalia: Bovidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chynoweth, Mark W.; Litton, Creighton M.; Lepczyk, Christopher A.; Hess, Steve A.; Cordell, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Domestic goats, Capra hircus, were intentionally introduced to numerous oceanic islands beginning in the sixteenth century. The remarkable ability of C. hircus to survive in a variety of conditions has enabled this animal to become feral and impact native ecosystems on islands throughout the world. Direct ecological impacts include consumption and trampling of native plants, leading to plant community modification and transformation of ecosystem structure. While the negative impacts of feral goats are well-known and effective management strategies have been developed to control this invasive species, large populations persist on many islands. This review summarizes the impacts of feral goats on Pacific island ecosystems, and the management strategies available to control this invasive species.

  9. Phylogeography, population history and conservation genetics of jaguars (Panthera onca, Mammalia, Felidae).

    PubMed

    Eizirik, E; Kim, J H; Menotti-Raymond, M; Crawshaw, P G; O'Brien, S J; Johnson, W E

    2001-01-01

    The jaguar (Panthera onca), the largest felid in the American Continent, is currently threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation and human persecution. We have investigated the genetic diversity, population structure and demographic history of jaguars across their geographical range by analysing 715 base pairs of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region and 29 microsatellite loci in approximately 40 individuals sampled from Mexico to southern Brazil. Jaguars display low to moderate levels of mtDNA diversity and medium to high levels of microsatellite size variation, and show evidence of a recent demographic expansion. We estimate that extant jaguar mtDNA lineages arose 280 000-510 000 years ago (95% CI 137 000-830 000 years ago), a younger date than suggested by available fossil data. No strong geographical structure was observed, in contrast to previously proposed subspecific partitions. However, major geographical barriers such as the Amazon river and the Darien straits between northern South America and Central America appear to have restricted historical gene flow in this species, producing measurable genetic differentiation. Jaguars could be divided into four incompletely isolated phylogeographic groups, and further sampling may reveal a finer pattern of subdivision or isolation by distance on a regional level. Operational conservation units for this species can be defined on a biome or ecosystem scale, but should take into account the historical barriers to dispersal identified here. Conservation strategies for jaguars should aim to maintain high levels of gene flow over broad geographical areas, possibly through active management of disconnected populations on a regional scale.

  10. A new species of Murina (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from peninsular Thailand.

    PubMed

    Soisook, Pipat; Karapan, Sunate; Satasook, Chutamas; Bates, Paul J J

    2013-01-01

    A new species of Murina belonging to 'suilla-group' is described based on two specimens collected with harp traps in lowland evergreen forest in the southernmost part of peninsular Thailand. Morphology and molecular (mitochondrial COI) data suggest that the new species is most closely related to M. eleryi, which is currently known from Indochina. The new species, however, can be distinguished by the size and shape of the upper canine, the shape of the upper and lower premolars, and the colour of the ventral pelage. Additional data on bacular morphology, echolocation, ecology, and distribution are included.

  11. Comparative study of notoungulate (Placentalia, Mammalia) bony labyrinths and new phylogenetically informative inner ear characters

    PubMed Central

    Macrini, Thomas E; Flynn, John J; Ni, Xijun; Croft, Darin A; Wyss, André R

    2013-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of notoungulates, an extinct group of predominantly South American herbivores, remain poorly resolved with respect to both other placental mammals and among one another. Most previous phylogenetic analyses of notoungulates have not included characters of the internal cranium, not least because few such features, including the bony labyrinth, have been described for members of the group. Here we describe the inner ears of the notoungulates Altitypotherium chucalensis (Mesotheriidae), Pachyrukhos moyani (Hegetotheriidae) and Cochilius sp. (Interatheriidae) based on reconstructions of bony labyrinths obtained from computed tomography imagery. Comparisons of the bony labyrinths of these taxa with the basally diverging notoungulate Notostylops murinus (Notostylopidae), an isolated petrosal from Itaboraí, Brazil, referred to Notoungulata, and six therian outgroups, yielded an inner ear character matrix of 25 potentially phylogenetically informative characters, 14 of them novel to this study. Two equivocally optimized character states potentially support a pairing of Mesotheriidae and Hegetotheriidae, whereas four others may be diagnostic of Notoungulata. Three additional characters are potentially informative for diagnosing more inclusive clades: one for crown Placentalia; another for a clade containing Kulbeckia, Zalambdalestes, and Placentalia; and a third for Eutheria (crown Placentalia plus stem taxa). Several other characters are apomorphic for at least one notoungulate in our study and are of potential interest for broader taxonomic sampling within Notoungulata to clarify currently enigmatic interrelationships. Measures of the semicircular canals were used to infer agility (e.g. capable of quick movements vs. lethargic movements) of these taxa. Agility scores calculated from these data generally corroborate interpretations based on postcranial remains of these or closely related species. We provide estimates of the low-frequency hearing limits in notoungulates based on the ratio of radii of the apical and basal turns of the cochlea. These limits range from 15 Hz in Notostylops to 149 Hz in Pachyrukhos, values comparable to the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) when hearing in air, respectively. PMID:24102069

  12. Ectoparasites of bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in Atlantic forest fragments in north-eastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Bezerra, Rayanna Hellem Santos; de Vasconcelos, Pedro Fonseca; Bocchiglieri, Adriana

    2016-10-01

    In Brazil, most studies involving parasites of bats (bat flies) treat the mid-west, south-east, and south of the country. This work aimed to characterize the ectoparasites community associated with bats in the Atlantic forest in the state of Sergipe, north-eastern Brazil. Sampling was conducted between January and June 2013 in the Serra de Itabaiana National Park (PNSI) and between November 2013 and June 2015 in the Wildlife Refuge Mata do Junco (RVSMJ). Parasitological indexes were determined, and the influence of host sex and the seasonality in prevalence rates and mean intensity for the most abundant parasites was evaluated. Some 129 parasites were collected in PNSI and 296 in RVSMJ, and 100 and 70.6 %, respectively, belong to the family Streblidae. The differences in parasitological rates in Sergipe in relation to other studies may be associated with the environmental characteristics and the composition of the host community. The influence of sex and the seasonal prevalence of Speiseria ambigua and Trichobius joblingi, associated with Carollia perspicillata, may be associated with a lower rate of female captures and low sampling in the dry season. This is a pioneer study in Sergipe that reveals the occurrence of 16 species of streblids and representatives of Acari and Basilia spp., highlighting the need for more studies to increase the wealth and understanding of host-parasite associations in the state.

  13. Molecular evidence for a recent demographic expansion in the puma (Puma concolor) (Mammalia, Felidae).

    PubMed

    Matte, Eunice M; Castilho, Camila S; Miotto, Renata A; Sana, Denis A; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; de Freitas, Thales R O; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2013-12-01

    The puma is an iconic predator that ranges throughout the Americas, occupying diverse habitats. Previous phylogeographic analyses have revealed that it exhibits moderate levels of genetic structure across its range, with few of the classically recognized subspecies being supported as distinct demographic units. Moreover, most of the species' molecular diversity was found to be in South America. To further investigate the phylogeographic structure and demographic history of pumas we analyzed mtDNA sequences from 186 individuals sampled throughout their range, with emphasis on South America. Our objectives were to refine the phylogeographic assessment within South America and to investigate the demographic history of pumas using a coalescent approach. Our results extend previous phylogeographic findings, reassessing the delimitation of historical population units in South America and demonstrating that this species experienced a considerable demographic expansion in the Holocene, ca. 8,000 years ago. Our analyses indicate that this expansion occurred in South America, prior to the hypothesized re-colonization of North America, which was therefore inferred to be even more recent. The estimated demographic history supports the interpretation that pumas suffered a severe demographic decline in the Late Pleistocene throughout their distribution, followed by population expansion and re-colonization of the range, initiating from South America.

  14. Phylogeography and population genetics of the endangered Amazonian manatee, Trichechus inunguis Natterer, 1883 (Mammalia, Sirenia).

    PubMed

    Cantanhede, Andréa Martins; Da Silva, Vera Maria Ferreira; Farias, Izeni Pires; Hrbek, Tomas; Lazzarini, Stella Maris; Alves-Gomes, José

    2005-02-01

    We used mitochondrial DNA control region sequences to examine phylogeography and population differentiation of the endangered Amazonian manatee Trichechus inunguis. We observe lack of molecular differentiation among localities and we find weak association between geographical and genetic distances. However, nested clade analysis supports restricted gene flow and/or dispersal with some long-distance dispersal. Although this species has a history of extensive hunting, genetic diversity and effective population sizes are relatively high when compared to the West Indian manatee Trichechus manatus. Patterns of mtDNA haplotype diversity in T. inunguis suggest a genetic disequilibrium most likely explained by demographic expansion resulting from secession of hunting and enforcement of conservation and protective measures. Phylogenetic analysis of T. manatus and T. inunguis haplotypes suggests that T. inunguis is nested within T. manatus, effectively making T. manatus a paraphyletic entity. Paraphyly of T. manatus and recent divergence times of T. inunguis and the three main T. manatus lineages suggest a possible need for a taxonomic re-evaluation of the western Atlantic Trichechus.

  15. Revision of the Wind River faunas, early Eocene of central Wyoming. X - Bunophorus (Mammalia, Artiodactyla)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stucky, Richard K.; Krishtalka, Leonard

    1990-01-01

    Research on the holotypes and large collections of the species of Wasatchia and Bunophorus is reviewed. It is concluded that Bunophorus is a senior synonym of Wasatchia and includes six valid species, namely, B. etsagicus, B. grangeri, B. pattersoni, B. macropternus, B. sinclairi, and B. robustus. B. sinclairi includes two penecontemporaneous geographic variants: B.s. sinclairi from the Wind River, Piceance and Green River basins, and B.s. robinsoni, n. ssp., from the Huerfano Basin.

  16. On the relationship between enamel band complexity and occlusal surface area in Equids (Mammalia, Perissodactyla).

    PubMed

    Famoso, Nicholas A; Davis, Edward Byrd

    2016-01-01

    Enamel patterns on the occlusal surfaces of equid teeth are asserted to have tribal-level differences. The most notable example compares the Equini and Hipparionini, where Equini have higher crowned teeth with less enamel-band complexity and less total occlusal enamel than Hipparionini. Whereas previous work has successfully quantified differences in enamel band shape by dividing the length of enamel band by the square root of the occlusal surface area (Occlusal Enamel Index, OEI), it was clear that OEI only partially removes the effect of body size. Because enamel band length scales allometrically, body size still has an influence on OEI, with larger individuals having relatively longer enamel bands than smaller individuals. Fractal dimensionality (D) can be scaled to any level, so we have used it to quantify occlusal enamel complexity in a way that allows us to get at an accurate representation of the relationship between complexity and body size. To test the hypothesis of tribal-level complexity differences between Equini and Hipparionini, we digitally traced a sample of 98 teeth, one tooth per individual; 31 Hipparionini and 67 Equini. We restricted our sampling to the P3-M2 to reduce the effect of tooth position. After calculating the D of these teeth with the fractal box method which uses the number of boxes of various sizes to calculate the D of a line, we performed a t-test on the individual values of D for each specimen, comparing the means between the two tribes, and a phylogenetically informed generalized least squares regression (PGLS) for each tribe with occlusal surface area as the independent variable and D as the dependent variable. The slopes of both PGLS analyses were compared using a t-test to determine if the same linear relationship existed between the two tribes. The t-test between tribes was significant (p < 0.0001), suggesting different D populations for each lineage. The PGLS for Hipparionini was a positive but not significant (p = 0.4912) relationship between D and occlusal surface area, but the relationship for Equini was significantly negative (p = 0.0177). λ was 0 for both tests, indicating no important phylogenetic signal is present in the relationship between these two characters, thus the PGLS collapses down to a non-phylogenetic generalized least squares (GLS) model. The t-test comparing the slopes of the regressions was not significant, indicating that the two lineages could have the same relationship between D and occlusal surface area. Our results suggest that the two tribes have the same negative relationship between D and occlusal surface area but the Hipparionini are offset to higher values than the Equini. This offset reflects the divergence between the two lineages since their last common ancestor and may have constrained their ability to respond to environmental change over the Neogene, leading to the differential survival of the Equini. PMID:27441119

  17. The Endemic Insular and Peninsular Species Chaetodipus spinatus (Mammalia, Heteromyidae) Breaks Patterns for Baja California

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Castañeda, Sergio Ticul; Murphy, Robert W.

    2014-01-01

    The Baja California peninsula is the second longest, most geographically isolated peninsula on Earth. Its physiography and the presence of many surrounding islands has facilitated studies of the underlying patterns and drivers of genetic structuring for a wide spectrum of organisms. Chaetodipus spinatus is endemic to the region and occurs on 12 associated islands, including 10 in the Gulf of California and two in the Pacific Ocean. This distribution makes it a model species for evaluating natural historical barriers. We test hypotheses associated with the relationship between the range of the species, patterns in other species, and its relationship to Pleistocene-Holocene climatic changes. We analyzed sequence data from mtDNA genes encoding cytochrome b (Cytb) and cytochrome c oxidase subunits I (COI) and III (COIII) in 26 populations including all 12 islands. The matrilineal genealogy, statistical parsimony network and Bayesian skyline plot indicated an origin of C. spinatus in the southern part of the peninsula. Our analyses detected several differences from the common pattern of peninsular animals: no mid-peninsula break exists, Isla Carmen hosts the most divergent population, the population on an ancient southern Midriff island does not differ from peninsular populations, and a mtDNA peninsular discordance occurs near Loreto. PMID:25542029

  18. Morphological variation in the ear region of pleistocene elephantimorpha (Mammalia, Proboscidea) from central Texas.

    PubMed

    Ekdale, Eric G

    2011-04-01

    A large sample of isolated elephantimorph petrosal bones was recovered from Pleistocene deposits in Friesenhahn Cave, Bexar County, Texas. Morphology of the middle and inner ear of the elephantimorphs is described and variation within the sample is identified. Observed variations occur in the stapedial ratio, morphology of the aquaeductus Fallopii, and connection of the crista interfenestralis to the tympanohyal on the posterior portion of the petrosal to form a foramen for passage of the stapedius muscle. The morphology of the aquaeductus Fallopii supports an ontogenetic explanation for some variation, and a sequence of ossification surrounding the aquaeductus Fallopii, from the anterior end of the canal to the posterior, is hypothesized. The stapedial ratio varies to a high degree across the sample, and such variation should be considered when the ratio is used in phylogenetic analyses. Within the inner ear, the absence of the secondary lamina suggests evolution of low-frequency hearing in extinct proboscideans, which is known for extant elephants. The morphology of the petrosals from Friesenhahn Cave is compared to published descriptions of the ear regions of other extinct proboscideans, and the distribution and evolution of morphologic characters are discussed. J. Morphol., 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Chromosome painting among Proboscidea, Hyracoidea and Sirenia: support for Paenungulata (Afrotheria, Mammalia) but not Tethytheria.

    PubMed

    Pardini, A T; O'Brien, P C M; Fu, B; Bonde, R K; Elder, F F B; Ferguson-Smith, M A; Yang, F; Robinson, T J

    2007-05-22

    Despite marked improvements in the interpretation of systematic relationships within Eutheria, particular nodes, including Paenungulata (Hyracoidea, Sirenia and Proboscidea), remain ambiguous. The combination of a rapid radiation, a deep divergence and an extensive morphological diversification has resulted in a limited phylogenetic signal confounding resolution within this clade both at the morphological and nucleotide levels. Cross-species chromosome painting was used to delineate regions of homology between Loxodonta africana (2n=56), Procavia capensis (2n=54), Trichechus manatus latirostris (2n=48) and an outgroup taxon, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer, 2n=20). Changes specific to each lineage were identified and although the presence of a minimum of 11 synapomorphies confirmed the monophyly of Paenungulata, no change characterizing intrapaenungulate relationships was evident. The reconstruction of an ancestral paenungulate karyotype and the estimation of rates of chromosomal evolution indicate a reduced rate of genomic repatterning following the paenungulate radiation. In comparison to data available for other mammalian taxa, the paenungulate rate of chromosomal evolution is slow to moderate. As a consequence, the absence of a chromosomal character uniting two paenungulates (at the level of resolution characterized in this study) may be due to a reduced rate of chromosomal change relative to the length of time separating successive divergence events.

  20. Population structure of the gomphothere Stegomastodon waringi (Mammalia: Proboscidea: Gomphotheriidae) from the Pleistocene of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Mothé, Dimila; Avilla, Leonardo S; Winck, Gisele R

    2010-11-26

    The Quaternary fossil record of Águas de Araxá (QAA) is represented mainly by an accumulation of skeletal elements of several sizes, which are assigned to a population of Stegomastodon waringi. We analyzed 97 molars according to the wear stages of Simpson and Paula-Couto (1957), and developed a morphometric wear index. The population structure (proportion of immature, subadult, adult, mature adult and senile adult individuals) was identified, and these five age classes were compared to those of extant elephant populations and defined with social implications. The analysis made possible to establish that the population is largely composed of adults: 14.89% are immature individuals, 23.04% subadults, 27.65% adults, 17.21% mature adults and another 17.21% senile adults. Based on population structure, we do not discard the possibility that the fossil population was stable or in recovery, and/or was experiencing a high-predation period on younger individuals. The number of individuals composing the past population studied here could suggest that the occupied environment was open due to comparisons to populations of extant elephants. We consider this population as an aggregation of family units, which suggests a time of low environmental humidity. Based on literature and our findings, their extinction appears to be regional and probably related to a catastrophic event.

  1. The first record of Deinotherium (Proboscidea, Mammalia) in the Miocene of Adygea.

    PubMed

    Tarasenko, K K; Lopatin, A V; Maschenko, E N

    2015-01-01

    The data on an isolated upper tooth (P4) of Deinotherium sp. from the Late Miocene beds of the Maikop 1 locality (Maikop, Republic of Adygea) are reported. This is the first record of Deinotherium from the Upper Miocene of Russia. The tooth crown of P4 is similar in size to D. proavum Eichwald, 1831 (= D. gigantissimum Stefanescu, 1892).

  2. A new Mammutidae (Proboscidea, Mammalia) from the Late Miocene of Gansu Province, China.

    PubMed

    Mothé, Dimila; Avilla, Leonardo S; Zhao, Desi; Xie, Guangpu; Sun, Boyang

    2016-03-01

    The "Yanghecun specimen", a proboscidean specimen represented by a mandible from Miocene of China and previously described as Gomphotheriidae, is here reviewed and described as a new genus and species of Mammutidae: Sinomammut tobieni. This taxon is a longirostrine mastodon, lacking lower tusks, and bearing a wide last molar with oblique and non-inflated lophids, broad transverse interlophids, and yoke-like wear figures. Phylogenetic analysis of Mammutidae based on dental and mandibular features recovered S. tobieni as sister group of the mastodon Mammut. The longirostrine condition and the well-developed lower incisors seem to be primitive for Mammutidae, while the brevirostry is the derived condition, probably emerged during the middle Miocene (12-11 Mya). However, two derived conditions are recognized to the lower tusks: the absence of lower tusks (S. tobieni) and the occasional presence of vestigial lower tusks (Mammut).

  3. Urinary parameters of Trichechus inunguis (Mammalia, Sirenia): reference values for the Amazonian Manatee.

    PubMed

    Pantoja, T M A; Da Rosas, F C W; Dos Silva, V M F; Santos, A M F

    2010-08-01

    The Amazonian manatee, Trichechus inunguis (Natterer 1883) is endemic to the Amazon Basin and is currently considered a vulnerable species. In order to establish normality ranges of urinary parameters to help monitor the health of this species in captivity, chemical urinalyses were performed on twelve males and nine females of various age groups. Urine was collected once a month for twelve months in the tanks just after being drained, by placing stainless steel containers under the genital slit of females and applying abdominal massages to males in order to stimulate urination. Quantitative data of glucose, urea, creatinine, uric acid and amylase levels were obtained using colorimetric spectrophotometry. Dip strips were also useful for routine analyses, despite only providing qualitative results. Normal range to glucose levels, regardless of sex or age class, was 3.0 to 3.6 mgxdL-1, coinciding with qualitative values of glucose measured by dip strips. Statistical differences observed in some parameter levels suggest that some urine parameters analysed must take into consideration the sex and the age class of the animal studied, being these differences less remarkable in creatinine and amylase levels. To this last one, statistical difference was detected only in the calve's urine (7.0 to 11.5 mgxdL-1) compared to other age classes samples (4.1 to 5.3 mgxdL-1). The results presented here may be used as comparative data in future research on urinalysis in related species.

  4. The mammary glands of the Amazonian manatee, Trichechus inunguis (Mammalia: Sirenia): morphological characteristics and microscopic anatomy.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Fernanda Rosa; da Silva, Vera Maria Ferreira; Barcellos, José Fernando Marques

    2014-08-01

    The mammaries from carcasses of two female Amazonian manatees were examined. Trichechus inunguis possesses two axillary mammaries beneath the pectoral fins, one on each side of the body. Each papilla mammae has a small hole on its apex--the ostium papillare. The mammaries are covered by a stratified squamous keratinized epithelium. The epithelium of the mammary ducts became thinner more deeply in the tissue and varied from stratified to simple cuboidal. There was no evidence of glandular activity or secretion into the ducts of the mammary glands.

  5. Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in native and reforested areas in Rancho Alegre, Paraná, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Gallo, Patricia Helena; dos Reis, Nelio Roberto; Andrade, Fabio Rodrigo; de Almeida, Inaê Guion

    2010-12-01

    Abstract: Generally, natural environments have been transformed into small forest remnants, with the consequent habitat loss and species extinction. The North Paraná State is not an exception, since only 2 to 4% of the original ecosystem occurs in small fragments of Stational Semidecidual Forest. We studied the species richness and abundance of bats in two forest fragments from the Fazenda Congonhas, in Rancho Alegre city, Parana State, Brazil. Four samplings were undertaken in a legally protected native area (107.8 ha) and in a reforested area (11.8 ha) between April 2007 and March 2008. Samplings began at nightfall and lasted six hours,during two consecutive nights in each location. The individuals were captured using eight mist nets, with the same capture effort in both environments. A total of 397 individuals, 14 species and 10 genera were captured in the native area; while in the reforested area, 105 individuals, six species and four genera. Artibeus lituratus was the most common species in both fragments (n = 328, 65.3%), followed by Artibeus fimbriatus (n = 44, 8.8%) and Artibeus jamaicensis (n = 30, 6.0%). Other species including Platyrrhinus lineatus, Carollia perspicillata, Sturnira lilium, Chrotopterus aurintus, Desmodus rotundus, Michronycteris megalotis, Phyllostomus hastatus, Phyllostomus discolor, Myoti levis, Myotis nigricans and Lasiurus blossevillii, accounted for 19.9% of the captures. The native area presented higher values of species richness (S = 14) and diversity (H' = 1.4802) in comparison to the reforested area (S = 6, H '= 0.57015). The t-test evidenced a significant difference between diversity among the sites (t = 7.1075). Chao 1 index indicated that the sampling effort recorded approximately 78% from the total species richness for the native area and 75% for the reforested area. Therefore, the preservation of the forest fragment is essential since it provides habitat for a diverse community of bats. Forest management and reforestation actions may prevent drastic changes in the microclimate of neighboring areas within the forest fragment, and could allow the occupation of available niches in the area, by opportunistic and generalist species.

  6. First isolation and genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii from bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera).

    PubMed

    Cabral, A D; Gama, A R; Sodré, M M; Savani, E S M M; Galvão-Dias, M A; Jordão, L R; Maeda, M M; Yai, L E O; Gennari, S M; Pena, H F J

    2013-03-31

    There are currently no reports on the isolation and molecular examination of Toxoplasma gondii from bats. Here, we report the isolation and genotypic characterisation of two T. gondii isolates from bats. A total of 369 bats from different municipalities in São Paulo state, southeastern Brazil, were captured and euthanised, and collected tissues (heart and pectoral muscle) were processed for each bat or in pools of two or three bats and bioassayed in mice (a total of 283 bioassays). Eleven PCR-RFLP (polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism) markers were used to genotype positive samples: SAG1, SAG2 (5'-3'SAG2 and alt. SAG2), SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, L358, c22-8, c29-2, PK1, CS3 and Apico. The parasite was isolated from two bats from São Paulo city: an insectivorous bat, the velvety free-tailed bat Molossus molossus, and a hematophagous bat, the common vampire bat Desmodus rotundus. Isolates were designated TgBatBr1 and TgBatBr2, respectively. The genotype of the isolate from M. molossus (TgBatBr1) has been previously described in an isolate from a capybara from São Paulo state, and the genotype from the D. rotundus isolate (TgBatBr2) has already been identified in isolates from cats, chickens, capybaras, sheep, a rodent and a common rabbit from different Brazilian states, suggesting that this may be a common T. gondii lineage circulating in some Brazilian regions. Isolation of T. gondii from a hematophagous species is striking. This study reveals that bats can share the same isolates that are found in domesticated and wild terrestrial animals. This is the first report of the isolation and genotyping of T. gondii in chiropterans.

  7. [Bats (Chiroptera: Mammalia) from Yurubí National Park, Venezuela: taxonomic list and community study].

    PubMed

    Delgado-Jaramillo, Mariana; Machado, Marjorie; García, Franger J; Ochoa, José

    2011-12-01

    Bats represent a key component in the dynamics of many terrestrial ecosystems, and one of the groups of mammals with the highest levels of diversification in the Neotropics. Here we describe the results of a study of the bat fauna from Yurubí National Park (mountain area in Northern Venezuela), that includes a taxonomic list and the characterization of some community attributes in forested areas. Data was collected from zoological collections and diversified sampling methods from February to July of 2009 in an altitudinal gradient (100-1 500m), with three principal ecological units: semideciduous, evergreen and cloud forests. We recorded 64 species grouped in five families (63% of the bats known from La Cordillera de la Costa), of which Phyllostomidae was the dominant taxa (42 species; 66% of total), followed by Vespertilionidae, Molossidae, Emballonuridae and Mormoopidae. The community with the highest taxonomic diversification was found in the lowest elevation range, while the lowest number of species was found at the highest range. Eleven trophic guilds were identified; the insectivorous guild was the richest, whereas the frugivorous was the most abundant. Our results allow us to indicate these forest ecosystems have an appropriate conservation status, taking into account the presence of a relatively high proportion of species from the subfamily Phyllostominae, as well as the presence of other species with conservation priorities. All these aspects, and the fact that this represents a reservoir of the biological diversity of the forest ecosystems of La Cordillera de la Costa, make this protected area of an essential conservation value, in a highly endangered bioregion by neighboring socio-economic growth.

  8. Methods and insights from the characterization of osteoprogenitor cells of bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera).

    PubMed

    Ball, H C; Moussa, F M; Mbimba, T; Orman, R; Safadi, F F; Cooper, L N

    2016-07-01

    Osteoprogenitor cells contribute to the development and maintenance of skeletal tissues. Bats are unique model taxa whose cellular processes are poorly understood, especially in regards to skeletal biology. Forelimb bones of bats, unlike those of terrestrial mammals, bend during flight and function in controlled deformation. As a first step towards understanding the molecular processes governing deposition of this flexible bone matrix, we provide the first method for isolation and differentiation of cell populations derived from the bone marrow and cortical bone of bats, and compare results with those harvested from C57BL/6J mice. Osteogenic capacity of these cells was assessed via absolute quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and through quantification of in vitro mineral deposition. Results indicate the differentiated bone cells of bats display significantly lower gene expression of known osteogenic markers (Runt-related transcription factor (RUNX2), osteocalcin (BGLAP) and osterix (SP7)), and deposit a less-mineralized matrix compared with murine controls. By characterizing the in vitro performance of osteoprogenitor cells throughout differentiation and matrix production, this study lays the ground work for in vitro manipulations of bat stem and osteoprogenitor cells and extends our understanding of the cellular diversity across mammals that occupy different habitats.

  9. Nucleolar behavior during meiosis in four species of phyllostomid bats (Chiroptera, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Beguelini, M R; Marchesin, S R C; Azeredo-Oliveira, M T V; Morielle-Versute, E

    2011-04-05

    We analyzed the behavior of the nucleolus, nucleolar structures and nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) during meiotic division in four species of phyllostomid bats that have different numbers and locations of NORs. Nucleoli began disassembly at leptotene, and the subcomponents released from the nucleolus were dispersed in the nucleoplasm, associated with perichromosomal regions, or they remained associated with NORs throughout division. In Phyllostomus discolor, a delay in nucleolus disassembly was observed; it disassembled by the end of pachytene. The RNA complexes identified by acridine orange staining were observed dispersed in the nucleoplasm and associated with perichromosomal regions. FISH with rDNA probe revealed the number of NORs of the species: one NOR in Carollia perspicillata, one pair in Platyrrhinus lineatus and P. discolor, and three pairs in Artibeus lituratus. During pachytene, there was a temporary dissociation of the homologous NORs, which returned to pairing at diplotene. The variation in the number (from one to three pairs) and location of NORs (in sex or autosomal chromosomes, at terminal or interstitial regions) did not seem to interfere with the nucleolar behavior of the different species because no variation in nucleolar behavior that could be correlated with the variation in the number and chromosomal location of NORs was detected.

  10. Evolution of nectarivory in phyllostomid bats (Phyllostomidae Gray, 1825, Chiroptera: Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Bats of the family Phyllostomidae show a unique diversity in feeding specializations. This taxon includes species that are highly specialized on insects, blood, small vertebrates, fruits or nectar, and pollen. Feeding specialization is accompanied by morphological, physiological and behavioural adaptations. Several attempts were made to resolve the phylogenetic relationships within this family in order to reconstruct the evolutionary transitions accompanied by nutritional specialization. Nevertheless, the evolution of nectarivory remained equivocal. Results Phylogenetic reconstructions, based on a concatenated nuclear-and mitochondrial data set, revealed a paraphyletic relationship of nectarivorous phyllostomid bats. Our phylogenetic reconstructions indicate that the nectarivorous genera Lonchophylla and Lionycteris are closer related to mainly frugivorous phyllostomids of the subfamilies Rhinophyllinae, Stenodermatinae, Carolliinae, and the insectivorous Glyphonycterinae rather than to nectarivorous bats of the Glossophaginae. This suggests an independent origin of morphological adaptations to a nectarivorous lifestyle within Lonchophyllinae and Glossophaginae. Molecular clock analysis revealed a relatively short time frame of about ten million years for the divergence of subfamilies. Conclusions Our study provides strong support for diphyly of nectarivorous phyllostomids. This is remarkable, since their morphological adaptations to nutrition, like elongated rostrums and tongues, reduced teeth and the ability to use hovering flight while ingestion, closely resemble each other. However, more precise examinations of their tongues (e.g. type and structure of papillae and muscular innervation) revealed levels of difference in line with an independent evolution of nectarivory in these bats. PMID:20525339

  11. Spermatogenesis is seasonal in the large hairy armadillo, Chaetophractus villosus (Dasypodidae, Xenarthra, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Luaces, Juan P; Rossi, Luis F; Merico, Valeria; Zuccotti, Maurizio; Redi, Carlo A; Solari, Alberto J; Merani, Maria S; Garagna, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    Very little is known about the distinct reproductive biology of armadillos. Very few studies have investigated armadillo spermatogenesis, with data available only for Euphractus sexcinctus and Dasypus novemcinctus. In the present study, we analysed male germ cell differentiation in the large hairy armadillo Chaetophractus villosus throughout the year, describing a cycle of the seminiferous epithelium made of eight different stages. Evaluation of the testis/body mass ratio, analysis of the architecture of the seminiferous epithelium and the frequency of defective seminiferous tubules allowed identification of a temporal interruption of spermatogenesis during the period between mid-May to July (mid-end autumn) in correlation with very low testosterone levels. Overall, these results suggest that spermatogenesis is seasonal in C. villosus. PMID:22951275

  12. Pelvic peritoneum in male armadillo and anteater (Xenarthra, Mammalia): a comparative survey.

    PubMed

    Rezende, Lorenna Cardoso; Ferreira, Jussara Rocha

    2013-01-01

    The literature supports the hypothesis that the pelvic excavation is the bottom of the abdominal cavity, which is covered by the peritoneal serous membrane in order to promote visceral dynamics. We studied the peritoneum in eight specimens of Xenarthra (Euphractus sexcinctus, Myrmecophaga tridactyla and Tamandua tetradactyla). The animals were fixed in formaldehyde (10%). For description and analyzes of the pelvic peritoneum, dissection and photo documentation were performed. We saw that the parietal serous membrane reflected, involving the pelvic viscera. The urorectal septum is the floor of the higher pelvis as a serosa reflection between the bladder and the rectum. The bladder and gonads are completely peritonized in adult armadillo. In anteaters and young armadillos, the testicles are in a position analogous to the uterus, joined by the conjunctive septum at the midline and along with the bladder, they partially project to the higher and lower pelvis. In Myrmecophagidae, vesicogenital, rectogenital and sacrorectal recesses were observed. In Dasypodidae, the recesses are similar to those of other recent vertebrates. PMID:23317367

  13. Presence of antibodies against Leptospira serovars in Chaetophractus villosus (Mammalia, Dasypodidae), La Pampa province, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Kin, Marta S; Brihuega, Bibiana; Fort, Marcelo; Delgado, Fernando; Bedotti, Daniel; Casanave, Emma B

    2015-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonosis of worldwide distribution. The aim of this study was to examine the presence of antibodies against 21 Leptospira reactive serovars in Chaetophractus villosus in La Pampa province, Argentina, using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Pathologic changes compatible with leptospirosis and in situ detection of the agent by immunohistochemistry were studied in 24 and 3 individuals respectively. Only 35/150 (23.3%) serum samples had antibodies against Leptospira sp. Six percent of the samples reacted with serovar Canicola, 4.7% with serovar Castellonis, 1.3% with serovar Icterohemorrhagieae and 0.7% with serovar Hardjo. Sixteen (10.6%) serum samples agglutinated with Castellonis-Icterohemorrhagiae and Canicola-Castellonis serovars, both with 4.7%, and Canicola-Hardjo and Castellonis-Canicola-Icterohemorrhagiae both with 0.6%. Fourteen animals had variable degrees of lesions, which were more severe in animals with higher serological titers (3200), and Leptospira sp. was detected in 3 animals by immunohistochemistry. These results represent the first record of the presence of Leptospira in C. villosus in La Pampa. PMID:25754485

  14. On the Indian crested porcupine, Hystrix indica (Kerr, 1792) in Turkey (Mammalia: Rodentia).

    PubMed

    Arslan, Atilla

    2008-01-15

    This study presents some data about ecological, biological and taxonomical characteristics of Hystrix indica (Kerr, 1792) from Turkey. For this purpose characteristics of burrow, skull, tooth and measurements of external and cranial characters of two female H. indica from Turkey were investigated. It was concluded that our specimens are between the Middle East and Indian sub-region specimens in terms of morphometrical. It was also determined that there were roots in stomach contents of specimens. PMID:18817213

  15. On the relationship between enamel band complexity and occlusal surface area in Equids (Mammalia, Perissodactyla)

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Edward Byrd

    2016-01-01

    Enamel patterns on the occlusal surfaces of equid teeth are asserted to have tribal-level differences. The most notable example compares the Equini and Hipparionini, where Equini have higher crowned teeth with less enamel-band complexity and less total occlusal enamel than Hipparionini. Whereas previous work has successfully quantified differences in enamel band shape by dividing the length of enamel band by the square root of the occlusal surface area (Occlusal Enamel Index, OEI), it was clear that OEI only partially removes the effect of body size. Because enamel band length scales allometrically, body size still has an influence on OEI, with larger individuals having relatively longer enamel bands than smaller individuals. Fractal dimensionality (D) can be scaled to any level, so we have used it to quantify occlusal enamel complexity in a way that allows us to get at an accurate representation of the relationship between complexity and body size. To test the hypothesis of tribal-level complexity differences between Equini and Hipparionini, we digitally traced a sample of 98 teeth, one tooth per individual; 31 Hipparionini and 67 Equini. We restricted our sampling to the P3-M2 to reduce the effect of tooth position. After calculating the D of these teeth with the fractal box method which uses the number of boxes of various sizes to calculate the D of a line, we performed a t-test on the individual values of D for each specimen, comparing the means between the two tribes, and a phylogenetically informed generalized least squares regression (PGLS) for each tribe with occlusal surface area as the independent variable and D as the dependent variable. The slopes of both PGLS analyses were compared using a t-test to determine if the same linear relationship existed between the two tribes. The t-test between tribes was significant (p < 0.0001), suggesting different D populations for each lineage. The PGLS for Hipparionini was a positive but not significant (p = 0.4912) relationship between D and occlusal surface area, but the relationship for Equini was significantly negative (p = 0.0177). λ was 0 for both tests, indicating no important phylogenetic signal is present in the relationship between these two characters, thus the PGLS collapses down to a non-phylogenetic generalized least squares (GLS) model. The t-test comparing the slopes of the regressions was not significant, indicating that the two lineages could have the same relationship between D and occlusal surface area. Our results suggest that the two tribes have the same negative relationship between D and occlusal surface area but the Hipparionini are offset to higher values than the Equini. This offset reflects the divergence between the two lineages since their last common ancestor and may have constrained their ability to respond to environmental change over the Neogene, leading to the differential survival of the Equini. PMID:27441119

  16. The Hand of Cercopithecoides williamsi (Mammalia, Primates): Earliest Evidence for Thumb Reduction among Colobine Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Frost, Stephen R.; Gilbert, Christopher C.; Pugh, Kelsey D.; Guthrie, Emily H.; Delson, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Thumb reduction is among the most important features distinguishing the African and Asian colobines from each other and from other Old World monkeys. In this study we demonstrate that the partial skeleton KNM-ER 4420 from Koobi Fora, Kenya, dated to 1.9 Ma and assigned to the Plio-Pleistocene colobine species Cercopithecoides williamsi, shows marked reduction of its first metacarpal relative to the medial metacarpals. Thus, KNM-ER 4420 is the first documented occurrence of cercopithecid pollical reduction in the fossil record. In the size of its first metacarpal relative to the medial metacarpals, C. williamsi is similar to extant African colobines, but different from cercopithecines, extant Asian colobines and the Late Miocene colobines Microcolobus and Mesopithecus. This feature clearly links the genus Cercopithecoides with the extant African colobine clade and makes it the first definitive African colobine in the fossil record. The postcranial adaptations to terrestriality in Cercopithecoides are most likely secondary, while ancestral colobinans (and colobines) were arboreal. Finally, the absence of any evidence for pollical reduction in Mesopithecus implies either independent thumb reduction in African and Asian colobines or multiple colobine dispersal events out of Africa. Based on the available evidence, we consider the first scenario more likely. PMID:25993410

  17. Dental microwear patterns of extant and extinct Muridae (Rodentia, Mammalia): ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Helder Gomes; Merceron, Gildas; Viriot, Laurent

    2009-04-01

    Extant species of Muridae occupy a wide array of habitats and have diverse dietary habits. Consequently, their dental microwear patterns represent a potential clue to better understand the paleoecology of their extinct relatives, which are abundant in many Old World Neogene localities. In this study, dental microwear is investigated for specimens of 17 extant species of murine and deomyine rodents in order to test the reliability of this method and infer dietary preferences on the fossil species Saïdomys afarensis. This extinct form comes from a mid-Pliocene site (AL 327) located at the Hadar Formation (Ethiopia) known to have delivered many hominid specimens of Australopithecus afarensis. A significant correlation between microwear patterns and diet is detected. Thus, grass, fruit, and insect eaters display, respectively, high amounts of fine scratches, wide scratches, and large pits. Moreover, some aspects of the paleoecology of S. afarensis, including feeding habits, could be assessed in regard to its dental microwear pattern. Indeed, it probably had feeding habits similar to that of living grass eaters. These results concur with the presence of open to woodland areas covered by an herbaceous vegetal layer, including monocotyledons, in the vicinity of this mid-Pliocene locality.

  18. Digital dissection of the masticatory muscles of the naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber (Mammalia, Rodentia)

    PubMed Central

    Faulkes, Chris G.

    2014-01-01

    The naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber, of the family Bathyergidae is a subterranean rodent that feeds on underground roots and tubers and digs extensive tunnel systems with its incisors. It is a highly unusual mammal with regard to its social structure, longevity, pain insensitivity and cancer resistance, all of which have made it the subject of a great deal of research in recent years. Yet, much of the basic anatomy of this species remains undocumented. In this paper, we describe the morphology of the jaw-closing musculature of the naked mole-rat, as revealed by contrast-enhanced micro-computed tomography. This technique uses an iodine stain to enable the imaging of soft tissues with microCT. The iodine-enhanced scans were used to create 3D reconstructions of the naked mole-rat masticatory muscles from which muscle masses were calculated. The jaw-closing musculature of Heterocephalus glaber is relatively very large compared to other rodents and is dominated by the superficial masseter, the deep masseter and the temporalis. The temporalis in particular is large for a rodent, covering the entirety of the braincase and much of the rear part of the orbit. The morphology of the masseter complex described here differs from two other published descriptions of bathyergid masticatory muscles, but is more similar to the arrangement seen in other rodent families. The zygomaticomandibularis (ZM) muscle does not protrude through the infraorbital foramen on to the rostrum and thus the naked mole-rat should be considered protrogomorphous rather than hystricomorphous, and the morphology is consistent with secondarily lost hystricomorphy as has been previously suggested for Bathyergidae. Overall, the morphology of the masticatory musculature indicates a species with a high bite force and a wide gape–both important adaptations for a life dominated by digging with the incisors. PMID:25024917

  19. New Mesotheriidae (Mammalia, Notoungulata, Typotheria), geochronology and tectonics of the Caragua area, northernmost Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flynn, John J.; Croft, Darin A.; Charrier, Reynaldo; Wyss, André R.; Hérail, Gérard; García, Marcelo

    2005-05-01

    Few mammal fossils were known from the Altiplano or adjoining parts of northern Chile until recently. We report a partial mesotheriid palate from the vicinity of Caragua (Huaylas Formation) in northernmost Chile. The new material helps resolve contradictory taxonomic assignments (and age implications) of the two mesotheriid specimens previously reported from the area. Herein we refer all three mesotheriid specimens to a new taxon, Caraguatypotherium munozi, which is closely related to Plesiotypotherium, Typotheriopsis, Pseudotypotherium, and Mesotherium. This phylogenetic placement permits a revised biochronologic estimate of a post-Friasian/pre-Huayquerian (˜15-9 Ma) age for the Huaylas Formation, consistent with new radioisotopic dates from the upper Huaylas Formation and its bracketing stratigraphic units. Improved geochronologic control for the Huaylas Formation has important implications for the timing of tectonic events in the Precordillera/Altiplano of northern Chile. Structural, stratigraphic, and temporal data suggest the onset of rapid, progressive deformation shortly after the deposition of the older Zapahuira Formation, continuing at least partly through deposition of the Huaylas Formation. Deposition of the Huaylas Formation was short lived (between ˜10-12 Ma), possibly stemming from activity on the Copaquilla-Tignámar Fault in the eastern Precordillera. This deformation is associated with the development of the Oxaya Anticline and activity of the Ausipar Fault west of the study region on the frontal limb of the anticline in the westernmost Precordillera. Faulting and folding occurred rapidly, beginning at ˜11.4 Ma (shortly after deposition of the youngest extrusives of the Zapahuira Formation) and before ˜10.7 Ma (the age of the gently dipping horizons within the upper Huaylas Formation that overlie the mammal fossils and an intraformational unconformity). Mesotheriids are the only Tertiary fossil mammals known from the Precordillera of northernmost Chile thus far; the group is common and diverse in faunas from the Altiplano of Bolivia (and a fauna recently recovered from the Chilean Altiplano), in contrast to most higher-latitude and tropical assemblages. This distinctiveness indicates that intermediate latitudes may have been biogeographically distinct and served as a center of diversification for mesotheriids and other groups of indigenous South American mammals.

  20. Cranial functional morphology of fossil dogs and adaptation for durophagy in Borophagus and Epicyon (Carnivora, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Tseng, Zhijie Jack; Wang, Xiaoming

    2010-11-01

    Morphological specialization is a complex interplay of adaptation and constraint, as similarly specialized features often evolve convergently in unrelated species, indicating that there are universally adaptive aspects to these morphologies. The evolutionary history of carnivores offers outstanding examples of convergent specialization. Among larger predators, borophagine canids were highly abundant during the tertiary of North America and are regarded as the ecological vicars of Afro-Eurasian hyenas. Borophaginae is an extinct group of 60+ species, the largest forms evolving robust skulls with prominently domed foreheads, short snouts, and hypertrophied fourth premolars. These specializations have been speculated to enhance bone cracking. To test the extent that the skulls of derived borophagines were adapted for producing large bite forces and withstanding the mechanical stresses associated with bone cracking relative to their nonrobust sister clades, we manipulated muscle forces in models of six canid skulls and analyzed their mechanical response using 3D finite element analysis. Performance measures of bite force production efficiency and deformation minimization showed that skulls of derived borophagines Borophagus secundus and Epicyon haydeni are particularly strong in the frontal region; maximum stresses are lower and more evenly distributed over the skull than in other canids. Frontal strength is potentially coupled with a temporalis-driven bite to minimize cranial stress during biting in the two derived genera, as tensile stress incurred by contracting temporalis muscles is dissipated rostro-ventrally across the forehead and face. Comparison of estimated masticatory muscle cross section areas suggests that the temporalis-masseter ratio is not strongly associated with morphological adaptations for bone cracking in Borophagus and Epicyon; larger body size may explain relatively larger temporalis muscles in the latter. When compared with previous studies, the overall cranial mechanics of the derived borophagines is more similar to bone-cracking hyaenids and percrocutids than to their canid relatives, indicating convergence in both morphological form and functional capability. PMID:20799339

  1. Behavioral responses of three armadillo species (Mammalia: Xenarthra) to an environmental enrichment program in Villavicencio, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Cortés Duarte, Alexandra; Trujillo, Fernando; Superina, Mariella

    2016-07-01

    Enrichment is a powerful tool to improve the welfare of animals under human care. Stress-related health and behavioral problems, as well as reproductive failure, are frequent in armadillos (Xenarthra, Cingulata, Dasypodidae) under human care, which hinders the development of successful ex situ conservation programs. Nevertheless, scientific studies on the effect of enrichment programs on armadillos are virtually non-existent. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of an enrichment program on the behavior of armadillos under human care. The behavior of 12 individuals of three species (Dasypus novemcinctus, D. sabanicola, and Cabassous unicinctus) maintained at Finca El Turpial, Villavicencio, Colombia, was recorded using scan sampling during three daily time blocks of 2 hr each before (4 weeks) and after (4 weeks) implementing an enrichment program. Enrichment did not stimulate the armadillos to change or extend their activity period. In general, activity levels were low during the entire study, and virtually no activity was recorded in the morning in any species, neither without nor with enrichment. The latter did, however, improve welfare by reducing abnormal and increasing natural foraging behaviors. All species were attracted by artificial termite mounds. Dasypus spp. showed special interest in cardboard boxes with food, while Cabassous was mainly attracted to hollow plastic balls filled with food. Our results suggest that separate enrichment programs need to be developed for different armadillo species, and that they should be applied during the time of day at which they are most active. Zoo Biol. 35:304-312, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27272640

  2. Insulin-like growth factor-1 is associated with life-history variation across Mammalia

    PubMed Central

    Swanson, Eli M.; Dantzer, Ben

    2014-01-01

    Despite the diversity of mammalian life histories, persistent patterns of covariation have been identified, such as the ‘fast–slow’ axis of life-history covariation. Smaller species generally exhibit ‘faster’ life histories, developing and reproducing rapidly, but dying young. Hormonal mechanisms with pleiotropic effects may mediate such broad patterns of life-history variation. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is one such mechanism because heightened IGF-1 activity is related to traits associated with faster life histories, such as increased growth and reproduction, but decreased lifespan. Using comparative methods, we show that among 41 mammalian species, increased plasma IGF-1 concentrations are associated with fast life histories and altricial reproductive patterns. Interspecific path analyses show that the effects of IGF-1 on these broad patterns of life-history variation are through its direct effects on some individual life-history traits (adult body size, growth rate, basal metabolic rate) and through its indirect effects on the remaining life-history traits. Our results suggest that the role of IGF-1 as a mechanism mediating life-history variation is conserved over the evolutionary time period defining mammalian diversification, that hormone–trait linkages can evolve as a unit, and that suites of life-history traits could be adjusted in response to selection through changes in plasma IGF-1. PMID:24619435

  3. A late-surviving apatemyid (Mammalia: Apatotheria) from the latest Oligocene of Florida, USA

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Gary S.

    2015-01-01

    A new species of Apatemyidae, Sinclairella simplicidens, is based on four isolated teeth that were screenwashed from fissure fillings at the late Oligocene Buda locality, Alachua County, Florida. Compared to its only congener Sinclairella dakotensis, the new species is characterized by upper molars with more simplified crowns, with the near absence of labial shelves and stylar cusps except for a strong parastyle on M1, loss of paracrista and paraconule on M2 (paraconule retained but weak on M1), lack of anterior cingulum on M1–M3, straighter centrocristae, smaller hypocone on M1 and M2, larger hypocone on M3, distal edge of M2 continuous from hypocone to postmetacrista supporting a large posterior basin, and with different tooth proportions in which M2 is the smallest rather than the largest molar in the toothrow. The relatively rare and poorly-known family Apatemyidae has a long temporal range in North America from the late Paleocene (early Tiffanian) to early Oligocene (early Arikareean). The new species from Florida significantly extends this temporal range by roughly 5 Ma to the end of the Paleogene near the Oligocene-Miocene boundary (from early Arikareean, Ar1, to late Arikareean, Ar3), and greatly extends the geographic range of the family into eastern North America some 10° of latitude farther south and 20° of longitude farther east (about 2,200 km farther southeast) than previously known. This late occurrence probably represents a retreat of this subtropically adapted family into the Gulf Coastal Plain subtropical province at the end of the Paleogene and perhaps the end of the apatemyid lineage in North America. PMID:26713254

  4. A time-calibrated species-level phylogeny of bats (Chiroptera, Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    Agnarsson, Ingi; Zambrana-Torrelio, Carlos M.; Flores-Saldana, Nadia Paola; May-Collado, Laura J.

    2011-01-01

    Despite their obvious utility, detailed species-level phylogenies are lacking for many groups, including several major mammalian lineages such as bats. Here we provide a cytochrome b genealogy of over 50% of bat species (648 terminal taxa). Based on prior analyzes of related mammal groups, cytb emerges as a particularly reliable phylogenetic marker, and given that our results are broadly congruent with prior knowledge, the phylogeny should be a useful tool for comparative analyzes. Nevertheless, we stress that a single-gene analysis of such a large and old group cannot be interpreted as more than a crude estimate of the bat species tree. Analysis of the full dataset supports the traditional division of bats into macro- and microchiroptera, but not the recently proposed division into Yinpterochiroptera and Yangochiroptera. However, our results only weakly reject the former and strongly support the latter group, and furthermore, a time calibrated analysis of a pruned dataset where most included taxa have the entire 1140bp cytb sequence finds monophyletic Yinpterochiroptera. Most bat families and many higher level groups are supported, however, relationships among families are in general weakly supported, as are many of the deeper nodes of the tree. The exceptions are in most cases apparently due to the misplacement of species with little available data, while in a few cases the results suggest putative problems with current classification, such as the non-monophyly of Mormoopidae. We provide this phylogenetic hypothesis, and an analysis of divergence times, as tools for evolutionary and ecological studies that will be useful until more inclusive studies using multiple loci become available. PMID:21327164

  5. Observations on fur development in echidna (Monotremata, Mammalia) indicate that spines precede hairs in ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Alibardi, Lorenzo; Rogers, George

    2015-04-01

    In the primitive mammal echidna, the initial 2-3 generations of skin appendages produced from birth forms spines and only later true hairs appear. Microscopy on preserved museum specimens reveals that the morphogenesis of spines and hairs is similar but that a larger dermal papilla is formed in spines. The growing shaft comprises a medulla surrounded by a cortex and by an external cuticle. A thick inner root sheath made of cornified cells surrounds the growing shaft inside the spine canal that eventually exits with a pointed tip. Hairs develop later with the same modality of spines but have a smaller papilla and give rise to a fur coat among spines. Therefore the integument of developing echidnas initially produces spines from large dermal papillae but the reduction in size of the papillae later determines the formation of hairs. Although the morphogenesis of spines and hairs can represent a case of specialization in this species, the primitive mammalian characteristics of echidnas has also inspired new speculations on the evolution of the mammalian hair from mammalian-like reptiles with a spiny coat. The resemblance in the morphogenesis between spines and hairs has suggested some hypothesis on hair evolution, in particular that hairs might be derived from the reduction of protective large spines present in ancient mammalian-like reptiles possibly derived from the reduction of pre-existing pointed scales. The hypothesis suggests that spines became reduced and internalized in the skin forming hairs.

  6. Chromosome painting among Proboscidea, Hyracoidea and Sirenia: support for Paenungulata (Afrotheria, Mammalia) but not Tethytheria.

    PubMed

    Pardini, A T; O'Brien, P C M; Fu, B; Bonde, R K; Elder, F F B; Ferguson-Smith, M A; Yang, F; Robinson, T J

    2007-05-22

    Despite marked improvements in the interpretation of systematic relationships within Eutheria, particular nodes, including Paenungulata (Hyracoidea, Sirenia and Proboscidea), remain ambiguous. The combination of a rapid radiation, a deep divergence and an extensive morphological diversification has resulted in a limited phylogenetic signal confounding resolution within this clade both at the morphological and nucleotide levels. Cross-species chromosome painting was used to delineate regions of homology between Loxodonta africana (2n=56), Procavia capensis (2n=54), Trichechus manatus latirostris (2n=48) and an outgroup taxon, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer, 2n=20). Changes specific to each lineage were identified and although the presence of a minimum of 11 synapomorphies confirmed the monophyly of Paenungulata, no change characterizing intrapaenungulate relationships was evident. The reconstruction of an ancestral paenungulate karyotype and the estimation of rates of chromosomal evolution indicate a reduced rate of genomic repatterning following the paenungulate radiation. In comparison to data available for other mammalian taxa, the paenungulate rate of chromosomal evolution is slow to moderate. As a consequence, the absence of a chromosomal character uniting two paenungulates (at the level of resolution characterized in this study) may be due to a reduced rate of chromosomal change relative to the length of time separating successive divergence events. PMID:17374594

  7. Morphometric study of phylogenetic and ecologic signals in procyonid (mammalia: carnivora) endocasts.

    PubMed

    Ahrens, Heather E

    2014-12-01

    Endocasts provide a proxy for brain morphology but are rarely incorporated in phylogenetic analyses despite the potential for new suites of characters. The phylogeny of Procyonidae, a carnivoran family with relatively limited taxonomic diversity, is not well resolved because morphological and molecular data yield conflicting topologies. The presence of phylogenetic and ecologic signals in the endocasts of procyonids will be determined using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics. Endocasts of seven ingroup species and four outgroup species were digitally rendered and 21 landmarks were collected from the endocast surface. Two phylogenetic hypotheses of Procyonidae will be examined using methods testing for phylogenetic signal in morphometric data. In analyses of all taxa, there is significant phylogenetic signal in brain shape for both the morphological and molecular topologies. However, the analyses of ingroup taxa recover a significant phylogenetic signal for the morphological topology only. These results indicate support for the molecular outgroup topology, but not the ingroup topology given the brain shape data. Further examination of brain shape using principal components analysis and wireframe comparisons suggests procyonids possess more developed areas of the brain associated with motor control, spatial perception, and balance relative to the basal musteloid condition. Within Procyonidae, similar patterns of variation are present, and may be associated with increased arboreality in certain taxa. Thus, brain shape derived from endocasts may be used to test for phylogenetic signal and preliminary analyses suggest an association with behavior and ecology.

  8. A new middle eocene whale (Mammalia: Cetacea: Archaeoceti) and associated biota from Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hulbert, R.C.; Petkewich, R.M.; Bishop, G.A.; Bukry, D.; Aleshire, D.P.

    1998-01-01

    A shallow-marine fossil biota was recovered from the Blue Bluff unit (formerly part of the McBean Formation) in the Upper Coastal Plain of eastern Georgia. Biochronologically significant mollusks (e.g., Turritella nasuta, Cubitostrea sellaeformis, Pteropsella lapidosa) and calcareous nannoplankton (e.g., Chiasmolithus solitus, Reticulofenestra umbilica, Cribocentrum reticulatum) indicate a latest Lutetian-earliest Bartonian age, or about 40 to 41 Ma. Georgiacetus vogtlensis new genus and species is described from a well-preserved, partial skeleton. Georgiacetus is the oldest known whale with a true pterygoid sinus fossa in its basicranium and a pelvis that did not articulate directly with the sacral vertebrae, two features whose acquisitions were important steps toward adaptation to a fully marine existence. The posterior four cheek teeth of G. vogtlensis form a series of carnassial-like shearing blades. These teeth also bear small, blunt accessory cusps, which are regarded as being homologous with the larger, sharper accessory cusps of basilosaurid cheek teeth.

  9. The vomeronasal organ of the South American armadillo Chaetophractus villosus (Xenarthra, Mammalia): anatomy, histology and ultrastructure

    PubMed Central

    CARMANCHAHI, P. D.; ALDANA MARCOS, H. J.; FERRARI, C. C.; AFFANNI, J. M.

    1999-01-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is a chemoreceptive structure that has not been extensively studied in the Xenarthran order. Tissue samples from the VNO of the armadillo Chaetophractus villosus were prepared for light and electron microscopy. The VNO is located in the anterior part of the base of the nasal septum. It is tubular in shape, ∼ 18 mm in length and opens in the rostral region of the nasal cavity and with a blind caudal end. Its lumen is lined by sensory (SE) and nonsensory (NSE) epithelium. The SE shows sensory, supporting and basal cells whereas the NSE contains ciliated and nonciliated secretory cells and basal cells. At the ultrastructural level, the sensory cells appear as bipolar neurons with conspicuous microvilli on their free surface. The supporting cells of the SE contain numerous membrane-bound vesicles in their apical regions. A peculiar feature not found in other mammals, is the presence of concentric whorls of RER cisterns frequently observed in their basal expansions. Infiltrating plasma cells can be detected in the SE basal region close to the dorsal junctional area. This region also exhibits an unusual type of basal cell, probably responsible for the generation of new vomeronasal receptor neurons. The ciliated NSE cells exhibit numerous ovoids or irregularly shaped membranous protrusions projecting from the plasma membrane of the cilia. As far as we know, this is the first study reporting the presence of this feature in ciliated NSE cells. The nonciliated cells are characterised by scarce large secretory granules and apical microvilli. The vomeronasal glands are compound-branched tubuloacinar glands with serous acinar cells. Four types of secretory granules are present. The ducts of these glands reach the lumen in the dorsolateral region between the NSE and SE. Hypolemmal nerve terminals were observed contacting secretory cells. Fenestrated and nonfenestrated capillaries constitute the vascular supply to these glands. Plasma cells, intimately associated with acinar cells, were frequently observed. PMID:10634697

  10. Functional implications of variation in tooth spacing and crown size in pinnipedimorpha (mammalia: carnivora).

    PubMed

    Churchill, Morgan; Clementz, Mark T

    2015-05-01

    Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) show variation in tooth morphology that relates to ecology. However, crown size and spacing are two aspects of morphology that have not been quantified in prior studies. We measured these characters for nearly all extant pinnipeds and three fossil taxa and then determined the principal sources of variation in tooth size and spacing using principal components (PCAs) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA). PCA and HCA showed that species sorted into three groups: taxa with small crowns and large diastemata, taxa with large crowns and small diastemata, and taxa that fell between these two extremes. We then performed discriminant function analysis (DFA) to determine if tooth morphology correlated with foraging strategy or diet. DFA results indicated weak correlation with diet, and stronger correlation with prey capture strategies. Tooth size and spacing were most strongly correlated with the importance of teeth in prey acquisition, with tooth size decreasing and tooth spacing increasing as teeth become less necessary in capturing food items. Taxa which relied on teeth for filtering prey from the water column or processing larger or tougher food items generally had larger crowns and smaller tooth spacing then taxa which swallowed prey whole. We found the fossil taxa Desmatophoca and Enaliarctos were most similar in tooth morphology to extant otariids, suggesting that both taxa were generalist feeders. This study established the relationship between tooth size and feeding behavior, and provides a new tool to explore the paleoecology of fossil pinnipeds and other aquatic tetrapods.

  11. Mandible shape and dwarfism in squirrels (Mammalia, Rodentia): interaction of allometry and adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hautier, Lionel; Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Michaux, Jacques

    2009-06-01

    Squirrels include several independent lineages of dwarf forms distributed into two ecological groups: the dwarf tree and flying squirrels. The mandible of dwarf tree squirrels share a highly reduced coronoid process and a condylar process drawn backwards. Dwarf flying squirrels on the other hand, have an elongated coronoid process and a well-differentiated condylar process. To interpret such a difference, Elliptic Fourier Transform was used to evaluate how mandible shape varies with dwarfism in sciurids. The results obtained show that this clear-cut difference cannot be explained by a simple allometric relationship in relation with size decrease. We concluded that the retention of anteriorly positioned eye sockets, in relation with distance estimation, allowed the conservation of a well-differentiated coronoid process in all flying species, despite the trend towards its reduction observed among sciurids as their size decreases.

  12. Brazilian distribution of Amblyomma varium Koch, 1844 (Acari: Ixodidae), a common parasite of sloths (Mammalia: Xenarthra).

    PubMed

    Marques, Sandro; Barros-Battesti, Darci Moraes; Faccini, João Luiz Horacio; Onofrio, Valeria Castilho

    2002-12-01

    Amblyomma varium, commonly known in Brazil as the "carrapato-gigante-da-pregui a" (sloth's giant tick) is found from southern Central America to Argentina. The present study adds information on the geographical distribution of A. varium, as well as on their hosts, based on material deposited in the main Brazilian collections and on the available literature. Eighty-two vials, containing 191 adult specimens, deposited in five Acari collections between 1930 and 2001, were examined. These vials included data on the host and collection localities. The biology of A. varium is unknown. However it is known that, during the adult stage, the tick presents a high host specificity and is found almost exclusively on the sloths Bradypus tridactylus, B. variegatus, B.torquatus (Bradypodidae), Choloepus hoffmanni and C. didactylus (Megalonychidae). Based on the material examined, the states of Rond nia, Amazonas, Bahia and Alagoas are newly assigned to geographic distribution of A. varium in Brazil.

  13. [Genetic diversity of Chionomys genus (Mammalia, Arvicolinae) and comparative phylogeography of snow voles].

    PubMed

    Bannikova, A A; Sizhazheva, A M; Malikova, V G; Golenishchev, F N; Dzuev, R I

    2013-05-01

    In the present study, the genetic polymorphism of the Chionomys genus was examined based on the sequencing of the mitochondrial cytb gene and two nuclear exons, including CHR exon 10 and BRCA1 exon 11. The distinct subdivision of the genus of snow voles into five lineages, including Ch. nivalis, Ch. gud, Ch. roberti, and Ch. aff. nivalis from Turkey, as well as Ch. aff. gud from Turkey, was demonstrated. The branching order in the trees constructed based on the data for different genes was ambiguous, which was probably the consequence of recent and rapid radiation of the major lineages from a common ancestor. However, the data of the mitochondrial and nuclear gene analyses definitely indicated that the genetic and taxonomic diversity of the Chionomys genus was higher than it was expected before. The genetic divergence of some populations was so deep that they probably deserved the statuses of independent species. Despite that the range of the European snow vole Ch. nivalis is larger and more fragmented than the Gudaur vole Ch, gud, the latter species with its relatively small range, which is limited to the Caucasian and Pontic Mountains, was characterized by a similarly expressed phylogenetic structure. At the same time, Robert's vole Ch. roberti was less structured genetically than the first two species. The data obtained supported the Near Eastern, rather than the European origin of the Chionomys genus.

  14. A late-surviving apatemyid (Mammalia: Apatotheria) from the latest Oligocene of Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Czaplewski, Nicholas J; Morgan, Gary S

    2015-01-01

    A new species of Apatemyidae, Sinclairella simplicidens, is based on four isolated teeth that were screenwashed from fissure fillings at the late Oligocene Buda locality, Alachua County, Florida. Compared to its only congener Sinclairella dakotensis, the new species is characterized by upper molars with more simplified crowns, with the near absence of labial shelves and stylar cusps except for a strong parastyle on M1, loss of paracrista and paraconule on M2 (paraconule retained but weak on M1), lack of anterior cingulum on M1-M3, straighter centrocristae, smaller hypocone on M1 and M2, larger hypocone on M3, distal edge of M2 continuous from hypocone to postmetacrista supporting a large posterior basin, and with different tooth proportions in which M2 is the smallest rather than the largest molar in the toothrow. The relatively rare and poorly-known family Apatemyidae has a long temporal range in North America from the late Paleocene (early Tiffanian) to early Oligocene (early Arikareean). The new species from Florida significantly extends this temporal range by roughly 5 Ma to the end of the Paleogene near the Oligocene-Miocene boundary (from early Arikareean, Ar1, to late Arikareean, Ar3), and greatly extends the geographic range of the family into eastern North America some 10° of latitude farther south and 20° of longitude farther east (about 2,200 km farther southeast) than previously known. This late occurrence probably represents a retreat of this subtropically adapted family into the Gulf Coastal Plain subtropical province at the end of the Paleogene and perhaps the end of the apatemyid lineage in North America. PMID:26713254

  15. Morphometric study of phylogenetic and ecologic signals in procyonid (mammalia: carnivora) endocasts.

    PubMed

    Ahrens, Heather E

    2014-12-01

    Endocasts provide a proxy for brain morphology but are rarely incorporated in phylogenetic analyses despite the potential for new suites of characters. The phylogeny of Procyonidae, a carnivoran family with relatively limited taxonomic diversity, is not well resolved because morphological and molecular data yield conflicting topologies. The presence of phylogenetic and ecologic signals in the endocasts of procyonids will be determined using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics. Endocasts of seven ingroup species and four outgroup species were digitally rendered and 21 landmarks were collected from the endocast surface. Two phylogenetic hypotheses of Procyonidae will be examined using methods testing for phylogenetic signal in morphometric data. In analyses of all taxa, there is significant phylogenetic signal in brain shape for both the morphological and molecular topologies. However, the analyses of ingroup taxa recover a significant phylogenetic signal for the morphological topology only. These results indicate support for the molecular outgroup topology, but not the ingroup topology given the brain shape data. Further examination of brain shape using principal components analysis and wireframe comparisons suggests procyonids possess more developed areas of the brain associated with motor control, spatial perception, and balance relative to the basal musteloid condition. Within Procyonidae, similar patterns of variation are present, and may be associated with increased arboreality in certain taxa. Thus, brain shape derived from endocasts may be used to test for phylogenetic signal and preliminary analyses suggest an association with behavior and ecology. PMID:25066912

  16. Phylogeny and divergence of the pinnipeds (Carnivora: Mammalia) assessed using a multigene dataset

    PubMed Central

    Higdon, Jeff W; Bininda-Emonds, Olaf RP; Beck, Robin MD; Ferguson, Steven H

    2007-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic comparative methods are often improved by complete phylogenies with meaningful branch lengths (e.g., divergence dates). This study presents a dated molecular supertree for all 34 world pinniped species derived from a weighted matrix representation with parsimony (MRP) supertree analysis of 50 gene trees, each determined under a maximum likelihood (ML) framework. Divergence times were determined by mapping the same sequence data (plus two additional genes) on to the supertree topology and calibrating the ML branch lengths against a range of fossil calibrations. We assessed the sensitivity of our supertree topology in two ways: 1) a second supertree with all mtDNA genes combined into a single source tree, and 2) likelihood-based supermatrix analyses. Divergence dates were also calculated using a Bayesian relaxed molecular clock with rate autocorrelation to test the sensitivity of our supertree results further. Results The resulting phylogenies all agreed broadly with recent molecular studies, in particular supporting the monophyly of Phocidae, Otariidae, and the two phocid subfamilies, as well as an Odobenidae + Otariidae sister relationship; areas of disagreement were limited to four more poorly supported regions. Neither the supertree nor supermatrix analyses supported the monophyly of the two traditional otariid subfamilies, supporting suggestions for the need for taxonomic revision in this group. Phocid relationships were similar to other recent studies and deeper branches were generally well-resolved. Halichoerus grypus was nested within a paraphyletic Pusa, although relationships within Phocina tend to be poorly supported. Divergence date estimates for the supertree were in good agreement with other studies and the available fossil record; however, the Bayesian relaxed molecular clock divergence date estimates were significantly older. Conclusion Our results join other recent studies and highlight the need for a re-evaluation of pinniped taxonomy, especially as regards the subfamilial classification of otariids and the generic nomenclature of Phocina. Even with the recent publication of new sequence data, the available genetic sequence information for several species, particularly those in Arctocephalus, remains very limited, especially for nuclear markers. However, resolution of parts of the tree will probably remain difficult, even with additional data, due to apparent rapid radiations. Our study addresses the lack of a recent pinniped phylogeny that includes all species and robust divergence dates for all nodes, and will therefore prove indispensable to comparative and macroevolutionary studies of this group of carnivores. PMID:17996107

  17. Desmodus rotundus (Mammalia: Chiroptera) on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Costa, L M; Esbérard, C E L

    2011-08-01

    Since the 1990s, attacks by hematophagous bats on humans and domestic animals have been reported both on the continent and on the islands on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro state. The density of vampire bats was investigated based on percentage of captures during control of Desmodus rotundus samplings and during bat diversity research. In the present work, 203 individuals of D. rotundus were captured from 1993 to 2009, which corresponds to 11.88% of all bat captures carried out for species control in local villages and 1.58% of all captures in faunistic inventories. The density of D. rotundus is high even on the recently occupied islands where domestic animals have been introduced. It is probable that this species dispersed from the continent to the islands due to the introduction of domestic animals.

  18. Bone Inner Structure Suggests Increasing Aquatic Adaptations in Desmostylia (Mammalia, Afrotheria)

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Shoji; Houssaye, Alexandra; Nakajima, Yasuhisa; Chiba, Kentaro; Ando, Tatsuro; Sawamura, Hiroshi; Inuzuka, Norihisa; Kaneko, Naotomo; Osaki, Tomohiro

    2013-01-01

    Background The paleoecology of desmostylians has been discussed controversially with a general consensus that desmostylians were aquatic or semi-aquatic to some extent. Bone microanatomy can be used as a powerful tool to infer habitat preference of extinct animals. However, bone microanatomical studies of desmostylians are extremely scarce. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed the histology and microanatomy of several desmostylians using thin-sections and CT scans of ribs, humeri, femora and vertebrae. Comparisons with extant mammals allowed us to better understand the mode of life and evolutionary history of these taxa. Desmostylian ribs and long bones generally lack a medullary cavity. This trait has been interpreted as an aquatic adaptation among amniotes. Behemotops and Paleoparadoxia show osteosclerosis (i.e. increase in bone compactness), and Ashoroa pachyosteosclerosis (i.e. combined increase in bone volume and compactness). Conversely, Desmostylus differs from these desmostylians in displaying an osteoporotic-like pattern. Conclusions/Significance In living taxa, bone mass increase provides hydrostatic buoyancy and body trim control suitable for poorly efficient swimmers, while wholly spongy bones are associated with hydrodynamic buoyancy control in active swimmers. Our study suggests that all desmostylians had achieved an essentially, if not exclusively, aquatic lifestyle. Behemotops, Paleoparadoxia and Ashoroa are interpreted as shallow water swimmers, either hovering slowly at a preferred depth, or walking on the bottom, and Desmostylus as a more active swimmer with a peculiar habitat and feeding strategy within Desmostylia. Therefore, desmostylians are, with cetaceans, the second mammal group showing a shift from bone mass increase to a spongy inner organization of bones in their evolutionary history. PMID:23565143

  19. The mammary glands of the Amazonian manatee, Trichechus inunguis (Mammalia: Sirenia): morphological characteristics and microscopic anatomy.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Fernanda Rosa; da Silva, Vera Maria Ferreira; Barcellos, José Fernando Marques

    2014-08-01

    The mammaries from carcasses of two female Amazonian manatees were examined. Trichechus inunguis possesses two axillary mammaries beneath the pectoral fins, one on each side of the body. Each papilla mammae has a small hole on its apex--the ostium papillare. The mammaries are covered by a stratified squamous keratinized epithelium. The epithelium of the mammary ducts became thinner more deeply in the tissue and varied from stratified to simple cuboidal. There was no evidence of glandular activity or secretion into the ducts of the mammary glands. PMID:24920139

  20. Urinary parameters of Trichechus inunguis (Mammalia, Sirenia): reference values for the Amazonian Manatee.

    PubMed

    Pantoja, T M A; Da Rosas, F C W; Dos Silva, V M F; Santos, A M F

    2010-08-01

    The Amazonian manatee, Trichechus inunguis (Natterer 1883) is endemic to the Amazon Basin and is currently considered a vulnerable species. In order to establish normality ranges of urinary parameters to help monitor the health of this species in captivity, chemical urinalyses were performed on twelve males and nine females of various age groups. Urine was collected once a month for twelve months in the tanks just after being drained, by placing stainless steel containers under the genital slit of females and applying abdominal massages to males in order to stimulate urination. Quantitative data of glucose, urea, creatinine, uric acid and amylase levels were obtained using colorimetric spectrophotometry. Dip strips were also useful for routine analyses, despite only providing qualitative results. Normal range to glucose levels, regardless of sex or age class, was 3.0 to 3.6 mgxdL-1, coinciding with qualitative values of glucose measured by dip strips. Statistical differences observed in some parameter levels suggest that some urine parameters analysed must take into consideration the sex and the age class of the animal studied, being these differences less remarkable in creatinine and amylase levels. To this last one, statistical difference was detected only in the calve's urine (7.0 to 11.5 mgxdL-1) compared to other age classes samples (4.1 to 5.3 mgxdL-1). The results presented here may be used as comparative data in future research on urinalysis in related species. PMID:20730348

  1. New fauna of archaeocete whales (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Bartonian middle Eocene of southern Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gingerich, Philip D.; Zouhri, Samir

    2015-11-01

    Six genera and species of archaic whales are present in a new fauna from the Aridal Formation at Gueran in the Sahara Desert of southwestern Morocco. Three of the archaeocete species represent semiaquatic Protocetidae and three species are fully aquatic Basilosauridae. Protocetids are characteristic of Lutetian lower middle Eocene strata, and basilosaurids are characteristic of Priabonian late Eocene beds. Similar representation of both families is restricted to intervening Bartonian strata and indicative of a late middle Eocene age. Archaeocetes from Gueran include (1) a small protocetid represented by a partial humerus, teeth, and vertebrae; (2) a middle-sized protocetid represented by a partial innominate and proximal femur; (3) the very large protocetid Pappocetus lugardi represented by teeth, a partial innominate, and two partial femora; (4) a new species of the small basilosaurid Chrysocetus represented by a dentary, teeth, humeri, and many vertebrae; (5) a new species of the larger basilosaurid Platyosphys (resurrected as a distinct genus) represented by a partial braincase, tympanic bulla, and many vertebrae; and (6) the large basilosaurid Eocetus schweinfurthi represented by teeth, a tympanic bulla, and lumbar vertebrae. The Gueran locality is important geologically because it constrains the age of a part of the Aridal Formation, and biologically because it includes a diversity of archaic whales represented by partial skeletons with vertebrae in sequence and by forelimb and hind limb remains. With further collecting, Gueran archaeocete skeletons promise to clarify the important evolutionary transition from foot-powered swimming in Protocetidae to the tail-powered swimming of Basilosauridae and all later Cetacea.

  2. Pliocene Carnivora (Mammalia) from the Hadar Formation at Dikika, Lower Awash Valley, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geraads, Denis; Alemseged, Zeresenay; Bobe, René; Reed, Denné

    2015-07-01

    We report here on further study of the Carnivora collected by the Dikika Research Project at Dikika, in the Hadar Formation south of the type locality since 2000. The Canidae and the otter Enhydriodon have been described elsewhere, so we focus here on the other Mustelidae and on the Felidae and Hyaenidae. All Hyaenidae are referred to Crocuta, but differences in size and tooth proportions suggest two species that might belong to distinct lineages. An associated set of upper and lower teeth is made the type of a new species of Lutra that must be close to the divergence of Lutra palaeindica, Lutra lutra, and Hydrictis maculicollis. Sample size is still small, but the Dikika assemblage differs from others of similar age in the abundance of hyenas relative to felids.

  3. The evolution of orbit orientation and encephalization in the Carnivora (Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Finarelli, John A; Goswami, Anjali

    2009-05-01

    Evolutionary change in encephalization within and across mammalian clades is well-studied, yet relatively few comparative analyses attempt to quantify the impact of evolutionary change in relative brain size on cranial morphology. Because of the proximity of the braincase to the orbits, and the inter-relationships among ecology, sensory systems and neuroanatomy, a relationship has been hypothesized between orbit orientation and encephalization for mammals. Here, we tested this hypothesis in 68 fossil and living species of the mammalian order Carnivora, comparing orbit orientation angles (convergence and frontation) to skull length and encephalization. No significant correlations were observed between skull length and orbit orientation when all taxa were analysed. Significant correlations were observed between encephalization and orbit orientation; however, these were restricted to the families Felidae and Canidae. Encephalization is positively correlated with frontation in both families and negatively correlated with convergence in canids. These results indicate that no universal relationship exists between encephalization and orbit orientation for Carnivora. Braincase expansion impacts orbit orientation in specific carnivoran clades, the nature of which is idiosyncratic to the clade itself.

  4. Behavioral responses of three armadillo species (Mammalia: Xenarthra) to an environmental enrichment program in Villavicencio, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Cortés Duarte, Alexandra; Trujillo, Fernando; Superina, Mariella

    2016-07-01

    Enrichment is a powerful tool to improve the welfare of animals under human care. Stress-related health and behavioral problems, as well as reproductive failure, are frequent in armadillos (Xenarthra, Cingulata, Dasypodidae) under human care, which hinders the development of successful ex situ conservation programs. Nevertheless, scientific studies on the effect of enrichment programs on armadillos are virtually non-existent. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of an enrichment program on the behavior of armadillos under human care. The behavior of 12 individuals of three species (Dasypus novemcinctus, D. sabanicola, and Cabassous unicinctus) maintained at Finca El Turpial, Villavicencio, Colombia, was recorded using scan sampling during three daily time blocks of 2 hr each before (4 weeks) and after (4 weeks) implementing an enrichment program. Enrichment did not stimulate the armadillos to change or extend their activity period. In general, activity levels were low during the entire study, and virtually no activity was recorded in the morning in any species, neither without nor with enrichment. The latter did, however, improve welfare by reducing abnormal and increasing natural foraging behaviors. All species were attracted by artificial termite mounds. Dasypus spp. showed special interest in cardboard boxes with food, while Cabassous was mainly attracted to hollow plastic balls filled with food. Our results suggest that separate enrichment programs need to be developed for different armadillo species, and that they should be applied during the time of day at which they are most active. Zoo Biol. 35:304-312, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Nucleolus organizer regions and B-chromosomes of wood mice (mammalia, rodentia, Apodemus)

    SciTech Connect

    Boeskorov, G.G.; Kartavtseva, I.V.; Zagorodnyuk, I.V.; Belyanin, A.N.; Lyapunova, E.A.

    1995-02-01

    Distribution of nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) in karyotypes was studied in 10 species of wood mice, including Apodemus flavicollis, A. sylvaticus, A. uralensis (=A. microps), A. fulvipectus (=A. falzfeini), A. ponticus, A. hyrcanicus, A. mystacinus, A. agrarius, A. peninsulae, and A. speciosus. Peculiarities of NOR location in karyotypes can be used in interspecific diagnostics of wood mice. Intraspecific polymorphism of A. sylvaticus, A. agrarius, and A. peninsulae in terms of the number of NORs and their localization in chromosomes can serve as evidence for karyological differentiation in certain populations of these species. The minimum number of active NORs in mice of the genus Apodemus is two to four. Two A. flavicollis wood mice with karyotypes containing one small acrocentric B-chromosome (2n = 49) were identified among animals captured in Estonia. In A. peninsulae, B-chromosomes were found among animals captured in the following regions: the vicinity of Kyzyl (one mouse with 17 microchromosomes, 2n = 65); the vicinity of Birakan (two mice with one metacentric chromosome each, 2n = 49); and in the Ussuri Nature Reserve (one mouse with five B-chromosomes, including three metacentric and two dotlike chromosomes; 2n = 53). In the latter animal, the presence of NORs on two metacentric B-chromosomes was revealed; this is the first case of identification of active NORs on extra chromosomes of mammals. 29 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  6. The evolution and maintenance of delayed implantation in the mustelidae (mammalia: carnivora).

    PubMed

    Thom, Michael D; Johnson, Dominic D P; MacDonald, David W

    2004-01-01

    Diapause, the temporary cessation of development at an early life-history stage, is widespread among animals and plants. The range of taxa exhibiting various forms of diapause indicates its enormous ecological significance and highlights its value as a model for examining life-history trait evolution. However, despite the impact of diapause on species ecology, there is little understanding of its adaptive value in many groups. Furthermore, the relative roles of phylogeny and ecology in determining the contemporary expression of the trait remain unresolved. Delayed implantation (DI) is a type of diapause found in several orders of mammals. It is particularly prevalent in the Mustelidae, with mustelids making up more than half of all mammals known to exhibit DI. This taxon is thus ideal for examining life-history predictors of DI and investigating the mode of evolution. Both maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony methods of ancestral state reconstruction indicated DI to be plesiomorphic in the mustelids, although multiple state changes are required to explain its contemporary distribution. After controlling for phylogeny, species with and without DI could be discriminated using just three variables: longevity, maximum latitude of the geographical distribution, and a term describing maternal investment. Our analyses supported the hypothesis that DI is more prevalent in seasonal climates. We also showed that longer-lived species are more likely to exhibit DI, suggesting a time cost to the trait. We found no correlate for the highly variable duration of DI, which remains unexplained. Although ecological factors can predict the distribution of DI in modern mustelids, phylogenetic constraint is likely to play an important role. PMID:15058730

  7. Histological patterns of the intestinal attachment of Corynosoma australe (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) in Arctocephalus australis (Mammalia: Pinnipedia).

    PubMed

    Silva, Renato Z; Pereira, Joaber; Cousin, João Carlos B

    2014-12-01

    The mucosal attachment pattern of Corynosoma australe in the intestines of Arctocephalus australis is described. Normal and abnormal tissue were sampled from 32 hosts to be submitted to histological routine protocol to embedding in paraffin and permanent mounting in balsam. Corynosoma australe shows three different degrees of body depth intestinal attachment (BDINA-1-3). BDINA-1: it is exclusive of the small intestine and the parasite attaches on the villi; BDINA-2: parasite affects the Lieberkühn crypts in several depth levels and, BDINA-3: the parasite reaches the submucosa. These attachment patterns alter the mucosa by degeneration and dysfunction due to necrosis of mucosal structure, great quantities of cellular debris and significant reduction of the mucosal thickness. Other aspects are crater-like concave holes (CLCHs) as sites where C. australe could be attached-detached several times according to adult migratory processes within luminal intestine space. The submucosa shows edema probably due to the local mucosal alterations resulting in homeostatic break. There is no severe inflammatory response by host but BDINA-1 to BDINA-3 and CLCH could represent foci to secondary opportunistic infections and significant areas of malabsorption in severally infected hosts contributing to increase clinical signs of preexistent pathologies. PMID:25320494

  8. Rodents and lagomorphs (Mammalia) from the Hemphillian (late Miocene) of Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Korth, W.W.; De Blieux, D. D.

    2010-01-01

    Four species of rodents (two heteromyids and two cricetids) and one lagomorph are identified from the late Tertiary Sevier River Formation of Utah. The heteromyids include a new genus and species of heteromyine, Metaliomys sevierensis, which is intermediate in morphology between the Clarendonian and early Hemphillian Diprionomys Kellogg and the extant genera Liomys and Heteromys. A single specimen is referred to Diprionomys sp., cf. D. minimus (Kellogg). The cricetid Paronychomys lemredfieldi Jacobs is known from the Hemphillian of Arizona. The second cricetid is referred to a new genus Basirepomys. Peromyscus pliocenicus Wilson from the Hemphillian of California is designated as the type species of the new genus, to which the new species B. robertsi from Utah is referred. Basirepomys is viewed as intermediate between Peromyscus and the basal neotomyine Repomys May from the late Hemphillian and Blancan. The only lagomorph in the fauna is Hypolagus vetus (Kellogg). Four of the taxa recognized from the Sevier River Formation (Diprionomys, Paronychomys lemredfieldi, Basirepomys, and Hypolagus vetus) are elsewhere known from the Hemphillian of North America. However, it is not possible at this time to determine whether the fauna is early or late Hemphillian. ?? 2010 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

  9. Opossums (Mammalia: Didelphidae) in the diets of Neotropical pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae): evidence for alternative coevolutionary outcomes?

    PubMed

    Voss, Robert S

    2013-05-01

    Opossums and pitvipers are sympatric throughout most of the New World, but trophic relationships between these speciose clades have only recently attracted the attention of researchers. Although it is now known that some venom-resistant opossums prey on pitvipers, a review of the literature on diets shows that some Neotropical pitvipers prey on opossums. Interestingly, some pitviper species prey on opossums known or suspected to be venom resistant. If venom resistance and venom potency are coevolved traits, then these observations suggest that alternative outcomes may result in role-switching between victims and exploiters. Because molecular antagonists (e.g., venom toxins and toxin-neutralizing serum proteins) that could mediate such outcomes have been plausibly identified, this system is a potentially fruitful field for evolutionary research.

  10. Identification of specialists and abundance-occupancy relationships among intestinal bacteria of Aves, Mammalia, and Actinopterygii

    EPA Science Inventory

    The coalescence of next generation DNA sequencing methods, ecological perspectives, and bioinformatics analysis tools is rapidly advancing our understanding of the evolution and function of vertebrate-associated bacterial communities. Delineating host-microbial associations has a...

  11. Systematics and Evolution of the Miocene Three-Horned Palaeomerycid Ruminants (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla).

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Israel M; Cantalapiedra, Juan L; Ríos, María; Quiralte, Victoria; Morales, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    Palaeomerycids were strange three-horned Eurasian Miocene ruminants known through fossils from Spain to China. We here study their systematics, offering the first cladistic phylogeny of the best-known species of the group, and also reassess their phylogenetic position among ruminants, which is currently disputed. The beautifully preserved remains of a new palaeomerycid from middle Miocene deposits of Spain, Xenokeryx amidalae gen. et sp. nov., helps us to better understand palaeomerycid anatomy, especially that of the nuchal region in the skull, significantly improving our current knowledge on these enigmatic ruminants. Our results show two main lineages of palaeomerycids, one containing the genus Ampelomeryx diagnosed by a characteristic type of cranium / cranial appendages and some dental derived traits, and another one that clusters those forms more closely related to Triceromeryx than to Ampelomeryx, characterized by a more derived dentition and a set of apomorphic cranial features. Xenokeryx branches as a basal offshoot of this clade. Also, we find that Eurasian palaeomerycids are not closely related to North American dromomerycids, thus rejecting the currently more accepted view of palaeomerycids as the Eurasian part of the dromomerycid lineage. Instead of this, palaeomerycids are nested with the African Miocene pecoran Propalaeoryx and with giraffoids. On the other hand, dromomerycids are closely related to cervids. We define a clade Giraffomorpha that includes palaeomerycids and giraffids, and propose an emended diagnosis of the Palaeomerycidae based on cranial and postcranial characters, including several features of the cranium not described so far. We also define the Palaeomerycidae as the least inclusive clade of pecorans containing Triceromeryx and Ampelomeryx. Finally, we reassess the taxonomy of several palaeomerycid taxa.

  12. Desmodus rotundus (Mammalia: Chiroptera) on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Costa, L M; Esbérard, C E L

    2011-08-01

    Since the 1990s, attacks by hematophagous bats on humans and domestic animals have been reported both on the continent and on the islands on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro state. The density of vampire bats was investigated based on percentage of captures during control of Desmodus rotundus samplings and during bat diversity research. In the present work, 203 individuals of D. rotundus were captured from 1993 to 2009, which corresponds to 11.88% of all bat captures carried out for species control in local villages and 1.58% of all captures in faunistic inventories. The density of D. rotundus is high even on the recently occupied islands where domestic animals have been introduced. It is probable that this species dispersed from the continent to the islands due to the introduction of domestic animals. PMID:21881799

  13. First isolation and genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii from bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera).

    PubMed

    Cabral, A D; Gama, A R; Sodré, M M; Savani, E S M M; Galvão-Dias, M A; Jordão, L R; Maeda, M M; Yai, L E O; Gennari, S M; Pena, H F J

    2013-03-31

    There are currently no reports on the isolation and molecular examination of Toxoplasma gondii from bats. Here, we report the isolation and genotypic characterisation of two T. gondii isolates from bats. A total of 369 bats from different municipalities in São Paulo state, southeastern Brazil, were captured and euthanised, and collected tissues (heart and pectoral muscle) were processed for each bat or in pools of two or three bats and bioassayed in mice (a total of 283 bioassays). Eleven PCR-RFLP (polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism) markers were used to genotype positive samples: SAG1, SAG2 (5'-3'SAG2 and alt. SAG2), SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, L358, c22-8, c29-2, PK1, CS3 and Apico. The parasite was isolated from two bats from São Paulo city: an insectivorous bat, the velvety free-tailed bat Molossus molossus, and a hematophagous bat, the common vampire bat Desmodus rotundus. Isolates were designated TgBatBr1 and TgBatBr2, respectively. The genotype of the isolate from M. molossus (TgBatBr1) has been previously described in an isolate from a capybara from São Paulo state, and the genotype from the D. rotundus isolate (TgBatBr2) has already been identified in isolates from cats, chickens, capybaras, sheep, a rodent and a common rabbit from different Brazilian states, suggesting that this may be a common T. gondii lineage circulating in some Brazilian regions. Isolation of T. gondii from a hematophagous species is striking. This study reveals that bats can share the same isolates that are found in domesticated and wild terrestrial animals. This is the first report of the isolation and genotyping of T. gondii in chiropterans. PMID:23200751

  14. Late Pleistocene carnivores (Carnivora: Mammalia) from a cave sedimentary deposit in northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Shirlley; Avilla, Leonardo S; Soibelzon, Leopoldo H; Bernardes, Camila

    2014-12-01

    The Brazilian Quaternary terrestrial Carnivora are represented by the following families: Canidae, Felidae, Ursidae, Procyonidae Mephitidae and Mustelidae. Their recent evolutionary history in South America is associated with the uplift of the Panamanian Isthmus, and which enabled the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). Here we present new fossil records of Carnivora found in a cave in Aurora do Tocantins, Tocantins, northern Brazil. A stratigraphical controlled collection in the sedimentary deposit of the studied cave revealed a fossiliferous level where the following Carnivora taxa were present: Panthera onca, Leopardus sp., Galictis cuja, Procyon cancrivorus, Nasua nasua and Arctotherium wingei. Dating by Electron Spinning Resonance indicates that this assemblage was deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), at least, 22.000 YBP. The weasel, G. cuja, is currently reported much further south than the record presented here. This may suggest that the environment around the cave was relatively drier during the LGM, with more open vegetation, and more moderate temperatures than the current Brazilian Cerrado. PMID:25590705

  15. Late Pleistocene carnivores (Carnivora: Mammalia) from a cave sedimentary deposit in northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Shirlley; Avilla, Leonardo S; Soibelzon, Leopoldo H; Bernardes, Camila

    2014-11-28

    The Brazilian Quaternary terrestrial Carnivora are represented by the following families: Canidae, Felidae, Ursidae, Procyonidae Mephitidae and Mustelidae. Their recent evolutionary history in South America is associated with the uplift of the Panamanian Isthmus, and which enabled the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). Here we present new fossil records of Carnivora found in a cave in Aurora do Tocantins, Tocantins, northern Brazil. A stratigraphical controlled collection in the sedimentary deposit of the studied cave revealed a fossiliferous level where the following Carnivora taxa were present: Panthera onca, Leopardus sp., Galictis cuja, Procyon cancrivorus, Nasua nasua and Arctotherium wingei. Dating by Electron Spinning Resonance indicates that this assemblage was deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), at least, 22.000 YBP. The weasel, G. cuja, is currently reported much further south than the record presented here. This may suggest that the environment around the cave was relatively drier during the LGM, with more open vegetation, and more moderate temperatures than the current Brazilian Cerrado. PMID:25424041

  16. Late cenozoic history of the genus Micromys (mammalia, rodentia) in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Horáček, Ivan; Knitlová, Markéta; Wagner, Jan; Kordos, László; Nadachowski, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Molecular phylogeography suggests that Micromys minutus, the sole extant species of the genus, colonized its extensive range quite recently, during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene period. Rich Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil records both from Europe and China suggest rather continuous and gradual in situ phenotype rearrangements from the Pliocene to the Recent periods. To elucidate the discrepancy we reexamined a considerable part of the European fossil record of the genus (14 sites from MN15 to Q3, 0.4-4.2 Ma, including the type series of M. preaminutus from MN15 Csarnóta 2), analyzed them with the aid of detailed morphometric comparisons, and concluded that: (a) The European Pliocene form, M. praeminutus, differs significantly from the extant species; (b) it exhibits a broad phenotypic variation covering the presumptive diagnostic characters of MN16 M. caesaris; (c) despite having smaller dimensions, the Early and Middle Pleistocene forms (MN17-Q3, 2.6-0.4 Ma) seem to be closer to M. praeminutus than to the extant species; (d) the extinction of M. praeminutus during Q3 and the re-occupation of its niche by the recent expansion of M. minutus from E-European-C Asiatic sources (suggested by phylogeographic hypotheses) cannot be excluded. Discussing interpretations of the phylogenetic past of the genus we emphasize the distinct history of the West Palearctic clade (Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene) terminating with M. praeminutus and the East Asiatic clade (chalceus, tedfordi, minutus), and the possible identity of the Western clade with the Late Miocene genus Parapodemus.

  17. A reassessment of the taxonomic status of Paraglyptodon Castellanos, 1932 (Mammalia, Cingulata, Glyptodontia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, Laura E.; Fernicola, Juan C.; Taglioretti, Matias; Toledo, Nestor

    2016-03-01

    Castellanos described and published about new genera of glyptodonts, according to a phylogenetic scheme mainly based on the evolution of the external surface of the dorsal carapace. Among these new genera, Castellanos proposed Paraglyptodon as the predecessor of Glyptodon, and included within Paraglyptodon all known species of Glyptodontinae recovered from "horizontes pre-Ensenadenses", and within Glyptodon all known species from "Horizontes pampeanos", restricting the latter to the Quaternary. All the species that belong to Paraglyptodon, that is Paraglyptodon chapalmalensis, Paraglyptodon uquiensis, Paraglyptodon dubius, and Paraglyptodon paranensis were established based on one, two or few osteoderms, mostly from the dorsal carapace. Regarding P. paranensis and P. dubius, Oliva and collaborators consider the first as a nomen vanum, representing an indeterminate Glyptodontinae, and the second as a synonym of P. chapalmalensis. Upon re-examination of the holotypes of P. chapalmalensis and P. uquiensis together with their comparison with other well-known specimens of glyptodonts, mainly with Glyptodon (of both juvenile and adult stages), we found the same ornamentation in different sections of the dorsal carapaces, particularly in P. chapalmalensis and in juvenile stages of Glyptodon spp. We could not identify features that would allow us to make a distinction between the holotype of P. uquiensis and Glyptodon spp. Therefore, we consider that a new taxon guide for naming the Upper Chapadmalalan biozone is necessary. The biostratigraphic range of Glyptodon could possibly be extended to the late Pliocene. However, new records and studies are needed to verify the existence of this taxon in the Chapadmalalan Stage/Age in its type locality.

  18. Building large trees by combining phylogenetic information: a complete phylogeny of the extant Carnivora (Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Bininda-Emonds, O R; Gittleman, J L; Purvis, A

    1999-05-01

    One way to build larger, more comprehensive phylogenies is to combine the vast amount of phylogenetic information already available. We review the two main strategies for accomplishing this (combining raw data versus combining trees), but employ a relatively new variant of the latter: supertree construction. The utility of one supertree technique, matrix representation using parsimony analysis (MRP), is demonstrated by deriving a complete phylogeny for all 271 extant species of the Carnivora from 177 literature sources. Beyond providing a 'consensus' estimate of carnivore phylogeny, the tree also indicates taxa for which the relationships remain controversial (e.g. the red panda; within canids, felids, and hyaenids) or have not been studied in any great detail (e.g. herpestids, viverrids, and intrageneric relationships in the procyonids). Times of divergence throughout the tree were also estimated from 74 literature sources based on both fossil and molecular data. We use the phylogeny to show that some lineages within the Mustelinae and Canidae contain significantly more species than expected for their age, illustrating the tree's utility for studies of macroevolution. It will also provide a useful foundation for comparative and conservational studies involving the carnivores.

  19. Phylogeny of the Carnivora (Mammalia): congruence vs incompatibility among multiple data sets.

    PubMed

    Flynn, J J; Nedbal, M A

    1998-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the higher-level phylogenetic relationships among Carnivora, using a conditional data combination (CDC) approach to analyzing multiple data sets. New nucleotide sequences (851 base pairs from intron I of the transthyretin gene) among 22 representatives of the 11 families of Carnivora were generated and analyzed in concert with, and comparison to, other mitochondrial and morphological character data. Conditional data combination analyses of the four independent data sets (transthyretin intron I, cytochrome b, partial 12S rRNA, and morphology) indicate that the phylogenetic results derived from each generally agree, with two exceptions. The first exception, signal heterogeneity in comparisons involving transthyretin and morphology, provides an example where phylogenetic conclusions drawn from total evidence analyses may differ from conclusions drawn from CDC analyses. The second exception demonstrates that while a CDC method may reject the null hypothesis of homogeneity for a particular partition, including that partition in combined analyses, may nevertheless provide an overall increase in phylogenetic signal, in terms of nodal support for most associations, without altering the topology derived from the combined homogeneous data partitions. Phylogenetic reconstruction among the feliform families supports a sister-group relationship between the hyaenas (Hyaenidae) and mongooses (Herpestidae) and places the African palm civet (Nandinia) as basal to all other living Feliformia. Among the caniform families, CDC analyses strongly support the previously enigmatic red panda (Ailurus) as a monotypic lineage that is sister to Musteloidea sensu stricto (mustelids plus procyonids), in addition to pinniped monophyly and a sister-group relationship between the walrus and sea lions.

  20. Virtual endocranial cast of earliest Eocene Diacodexis (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) and morphological diversity of early artiodactyl brains.

    PubMed

    Orliac, M J; Gilissen, E

    2012-09-22

    The study of brain evolution, particularly that of the neocortex, is of primary interest because it directly relates to how behavioural variations arose both between and within mammalian groups. Artiodactyla is one of the most diverse mammalian clades. However, the first 10 Myr of their brain evolution has remained undocumented so far. Here, we used high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to investigate the endocranial cast of Diacodexis ilicis of earliest Eocene age. Its virtual reconstruction provides unprecedented access to both metric parameters and fine anatomy of the most complete endocast of the earliest artiodactyl. This picture is assessed in a broad comparative context by reconstructing endocasts of 14 other Early and Middle Eocene representatives of basal artiodactyls, allowing the tracking of the neocortical structure of artiodactyls back to its simplest pattern. We show that the earliest artiodactyls share a simple neocortical pattern, so far never observed in other ungulates, with an almond-shaped gyrus instead of parallel sulci as previously hypothesized. Our results demonstrate that artiodactyls experienced a tardy pulse of encephalization during the Late Neogene, well after the onset of cortical complexity increase. Comparisons with Eocene perissodactyls show that the latter reached a high level of cortical complexity earlier than the artiodactyls. PMID:22764165

  1. A new Eocene archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from India and the time of origin of whales.

    PubMed

    Bajpai, S; Gingerich, P D

    1998-12-22

    Himalayacetus subathuensis is a new pakicetid archaeocete from the Subathu Formation of northern India. The type dentary has a small mandibular canal indicating a lack of auditory specializations seen in more advanced cetaceans, and it has Pakicetus-like molar teeth suggesting that it fed on fish. Himalayacetus is significant because it is the oldest archaeocete known and because it was found in marine strata associated with a marine fauna. Himalayacetus extends the fossil record of whales about 3.5 million years back in geological time, to the middle part of the early Eocene [ approximately 53.5 million years ago (Ma)]. Oxygen in the tooth-enamel phosphate has an isotopic composition intermediate between values reported for freshwater and marine archaeocetes, indicating that Himalayacetus probably spent some time in both environments. When the temporal range of Archaeoceti is calibrated radiometrically, comparison of likelihoods constrains the time of origin of Archaeoceti and hence Cetacea to about 54-55 Ma (beginning of the Eocene), whereas their divergence from extant Artiodactyla may have been as early as 64-65 Ma (beginning of the Cenozoic).

  2. Molecular systematics and phylogeography of the tribe Myonycterini (Mammalia, Pteropodidae) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear markers.

    PubMed

    Nesi, Nicolas; Kadjo, Blaise; Pourrut, Xavier; Leroy, Eric; Pongombo Shongo, Célestin; Cruaud, Corinne; Hassanin, Alexandre

    2013-01-01

    The tribe Myonycterini comprises five fruit bat species of the family Pteropodidae, which are endemic to tropical Africa. Previous studies have produced conflicting results about their interspecific relationships. Here, we performed a comparative phylogeographic analysis based on 148 complete cytochrome b gene sequences from the three species distributed in West Africa and Central Africa (Myonycteris torquata, Lissonycteris angolensis and Megaloglossus woermanni). In addition, we investigated phylogenetic relationships within the tribe Myonycterini, using a matrix including 29 terminal taxa and 7235 nucleotide characters, corresponding to an alignment of two mitochondrial genes and seven nuclear introns. Our phylogenetic analyses confirmed that the genus Megaloglossus belongs to the tribe Myonycterini. Further, the genus Rousettus is paraphyletic, with R. lanosus, sometimes placed in the genus Stenonycteris, being the sister-group of the tribes Myonycterini and Epomophorini. Our phylogeographic results showed that populations of Myonycteris torquata and Megaloglossus woermanni from the Upper Guinea Forest are highly divergent from those of the Congo Basin Forest. Based on our molecular data, we recommended several taxonomic changes. First, Stenonycteris should be recognized as a separate genus from Rousettus and composed of S. lanosus. This genus should be elevated to a new tribe, Stenonycterini, within the subfamily Epomophorinae. This result shows that the evolution of lingual echolocation was more complicated than previously accepted. Second, the genus Lissonycteris is synonymised with Myonycteris. Third, the populations from West Africa formerly included in Myonycteris torquata and Megaloglossus woermanni are now placed in two distinct species, respectively, Myonycteris leptodon and Megaloglossus azagnyi sp. nov. Our molecular dating estimates show that the three phases of taxonomic diversification detected within the tribe Myonycterini can be related to three distinct decreases in tree cover vegetation, at 6.5-6, 2.7-2.5, and 1.8-1.6Ma. Our results suggest that the high nucleotide distance between Ebolavirus Côte d'Ivoire and Ebolavirus Zaire can be correlated with the Plio/Pleistocene divergence between their putative reservoir host species, i.e., Myonycteris leptodon and Myonycteris torquata, respectively. PMID:23063885

  3. Systematics and Evolution of the Miocene Three-Horned Palaeomerycid Ruminants (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla)

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Israel M.; Cantalapiedra, Juan L.; Ríos, María; Quiralte, Victoria; Morales, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    Palaeomerycids were strange three-horned Eurasian Miocene ruminants known through fossils from Spain to China. We here study their systematics, offering the first cladistic phylogeny of the best-known species of the group, and also reassess their phylogenetic position among ruminants, which is currently disputed. The beautifully preserved remains of a new palaeomerycid from middle Miocene deposits of Spain, Xenokeryx amidalae gen. et sp. nov., helps us to better understand palaeomerycid anatomy, especially that of the nuchal region in the skull, significantly improving our current knowledge on these enigmatic ruminants. Our results show two main lineages of palaeomerycids, one containing the genus Ampelomeryx diagnosed by a characteristic type of cranium / cranial appendages and some dental derived traits, and another one that clusters those forms more closely related to Triceromeryx than to Ampelomeryx, characterized by a more derived dentition and a set of apomorphic cranial features. Xenokeryx branches as a basal offshoot of this clade. Also, we find that Eurasian palaeomerycids are not closely related to North American dromomerycids, thus rejecting the currently more accepted view of palaeomerycids as the Eurasian part of the dromomerycid lineage. Instead of this, palaeomerycids are nested with the African Miocene pecoran Propalaeoryx and with giraffoids. On the other hand, dromomerycids are closely related to cervids. We define a clade Giraffomorpha that includes palaeomerycids and giraffids, and propose an emended diagnosis of the Palaeomerycidae based on cranial and postcranial characters, including several features of the cranium not described so far. We also define the Palaeomerycidae as the least inclusive clade of pecorans containing Triceromeryx and Ampelomeryx. Finally, we reassess the taxonomy of several palaeomerycid taxa. PMID:26630174

  4. Comparative study of notoungulate (Placentalia, Mammalia) bony labyrinths and new phylogenetically informative inner ear characters.

    PubMed

    Macrini, Thomas E; Flynn, John J; Ni, Xijun; Croft, Darin A; Wyss, André R

    2013-11-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of notoungulates, an extinct group of predominantly South American herbivores, remain poorly resolved with respect to both other placental mammals and among one another. Most previous phylogenetic analyses of notoungulates have not included characters of the internal cranium, not least because few such features, including the bony labyrinth, have been described for members of the group. Here we describe the inner ears of the notoungulates Altitypotherium chucalensis (Mesotheriidae), Pachyrukhos moyani (Hegetotheriidae) and Cochilius sp. (Interatheriidae) based on reconstructions of bony labyrinths obtained from computed tomography imagery. Comparisons of the bony labyrinths of these taxa with the basally diverging notoungulate Notostylops murinus (Notostylopidae), an isolated petrosal from Itaboraí, Brazil, referred to Notoungulata, and six therian outgroups, yielded an inner ear character matrix of 25 potentially phylogenetically informative characters, 14 of them novel to this study. Two equivocally optimized character states potentially support a pairing of Mesotheriidae and Hegetotheriidae, whereas four others may be diagnostic of Notoungulata. Three additional characters are potentially informative for diagnosing more inclusive clades: one for crown Placentalia; another for a clade containing Kulbeckia, Zalambdalestes, and Placentalia; and a third for Eutheria (crown Placentalia plus stem taxa). Several other characters are apomorphic for at least one notoungulate in our study and are of potential interest for broader taxonomic sampling within Notoungulata to clarify currently enigmatic interrelationships. Measures of the semicircular canals were used to infer agility (e.g. capable of quick movements vs. lethargic movements) of these taxa. Agility scores calculated from these data generally corroborate interpretations based on postcranial remains of these or closely related species. We provide estimates of the low-frequency hearing limits in notoungulates based on the ratio of radii of the apical and basal turns of the cochlea. These limits range from 15 Hz in Notostylops to 149 Hz in Pachyrukhos, values comparable to the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) when hearing in air, respectively. PMID:24102069

  5. Sexual dimorphism of the internal mandibular chamber in Fayum Pliohyracidae (Mammalia)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    de Blieux, D.D.; Baumrind, M.R.; Simons, E.L.; Chatrath, P.S.; Meyer, G.E.; Attia, Y.S.

    2006-01-01

    An internal mandibular fenestra and chamber are found in many fossil hyracoids. The internal mandibular fenestra is located on the lingual surface of the mandibular corpus and opens into a chamber within the mandible. The mandibular chamber is maximally developed in late Eocene Thyrohyrax meyeri and early Oligocene Thyrohyrax domorictus from the Fayum Province of Egypt. The function of this chamber is unknown as it is not found in extant hyraxes, nor is it known to occur in any other mammal. In Thyrohyrax, this feature appears to be sexually dimorphic because it is confined to roughly one half of the specimens that otherwise cannot be separated by dental characteristics or measurements. It has been suggested that the chamber is found in females based on the presumed distribution of this character in other fossil hyracoids. Fossils from Fayum Quarry L-41, preserving the sexually dimorphic anterior dentition, show that, in Thyrohyrax meyeri and Thyrohyrax domorictus, the internal mandibular chamber is found in males. In Thyrohyrax litholagus, an internal mandibular fenestra and inflated mandibular chamber occurs in males whereas females show the variable presence of an internal mandibular fossa or fenestra but lack an expanded chamber. Other genera show differing patterns of sexual variation in which some Fayum hyracoids have an internal mandibular fenestra in both sexes but with the greatest development of the mandibular chamber occurring in males. We review functions proposed for the internal mandibular chamber and suggest that it housed a laryngeal air sac that may have had a vocal function by acting as a resonating chamber. ?? 2006 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

  6. Molecular phylogeny of the carnivora (mammalia): assessing the impact of increased sampling on resolving enigmatic relationships.

    PubMed

    Flynn, John J; Finarelli, John A; Zehr, Sarah; Hsu, Johnny; Nedbal, Michael A

    2005-04-01

    This study analyzed 76 species of Carnivora using a concatenated sequence of 6243 bp from six genes (nuclear TR-i-I, TBG, and IRBP; mitochondrial ND2, CYTB, and 12S rRNA), representing the most comprehensive sampling yet undertaken for reconstructing the phylogeny of this clade. Maximum parsimony and Bayesian methods were remarkably congruent in topologies observed and in nodal support measures. We recovered all of the higher level carnivoran clades that had been robustly supported in previous analyses (by analyses of morphological and molecular data), including the monophyly of Caniformia, Feliformia, Arctoidea, Pinnipedia, Musteloidea, Procyonidae + Mustelidae sensu stricto, and a clade of (Hyaenidae + (Herpestidae + Malagasy carnivorans)). All of the traditional "families," with the exception of Viverridae and Mustelidae, were robustly supported as monophyletic groups. We further have determined the relative positions of the major lineages within the Caniformia, which previous studies could not resolve, including the first robust support for the phylogenetic position of marine carnivorans (Pinnipedia) within the Arctoidea (as the sister-group to musteloids [sensu lato], with ursids as their sister group). Within the pinnipeds, Odobenidae (walrus) was more closely allied with otariids (sea lions/fur seals) than with phocids ("true" seals). In addition, we recovered a monophyletic clade of skunks and stink badgers (Mephitidae) and resolved the topology of musteloid interrelationships as: Ailurus (Mephitidae (Procyonidae, Mustelidae [sensu stricto])). This pattern of interrelationships of living caniforms suggests a novel inference that large body size may have been the primitive condition for Arctoidea, with secondary size reduction evolving later in some musteloids. Within Mustelidae, Bayesian analyses are unambiguous in supporting otter monophyly (Lutrinae), and in both MP and Bayesian analyses Martes is paraphyletic with respect to Gulo and Eira, as has been observed in some previous molecular studies. Within Feliformia, we have confirmed that Nandinia is the outgroup to all other extant feliforms, and that the Malagasy Carnivora are a monophyletic clade closely allied with the mongooses (Herpestidae [sensu stricto]). Although the monophyly of each of the three major feliform clades (Viverridae sensu stricto, Felidae, and the clade of Hyaenidae + (Herpestidae + Malagasy carnivorans)) is robust in all of our analyses, the relative phylogenetic positions of these three lineages is not resolvable at present. Our analyses document the monophyly of the "social mongooses," strengthening evidence for a single origin of eusociality within the Herpestidae. For a single caniform node, the position of pinnipeds relative to Ursidae and Musteloidea, parsimony analyses of data for the entire Carnivora did not replicate the robust support observed for both parsimony and Bayesian analyses of the caniform ingroup alone. More detailed analyses and these results demonstrate that outgroup choice can have a considerable effect on the strength of support for a particular topology. Therefore, the use of exemplar taxa as proxies for entire clades with diverse evolutionary histories should be approached with caution. The Bayesian analysis likelihood functions generally were better able to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships (increased resolution and more robust support for various nodes) than parsimony analyses when incompletely sampled taxa were included. Bayesian analyses were not immune, however, to the effects of missing data; lower resolution and support in those analyses likely arise from non-overlap of gene sequence data among less well-sampled taxa. These issues are a concern for similar studies, in which different gene sequences are concatenated in an effort to increase resolving power. PMID:16012099

  7. Observations on fur development in echidna (Monotremata, Mammalia) indicate that spines precede hairs in ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Alibardi, Lorenzo; Rogers, George

    2015-04-01

    In the primitive mammal echidna, the initial 2-3 generations of skin appendages produced from birth forms spines and only later true hairs appear. Microscopy on preserved museum specimens reveals that the morphogenesis of spines and hairs is similar but that a larger dermal papilla is formed in spines. The growing shaft comprises a medulla surrounded by a cortex and by an external cuticle. A thick inner root sheath made of cornified cells surrounds the growing shaft inside the spine canal that eventually exits with a pointed tip. Hairs develop later with the same modality of spines but have a smaller papilla and give rise to a fur coat among spines. Therefore the integument of developing echidnas initially produces spines from large dermal papillae but the reduction in size of the papillae later determines the formation of hairs. Although the morphogenesis of spines and hairs can represent a case of specialization in this species, the primitive mammalian characteristics of echidnas has also inspired new speculations on the evolution of the mammalian hair from mammalian-like reptiles with a spiny coat. The resemblance in the morphogenesis between spines and hairs has suggested some hypothesis on hair evolution, in particular that hairs might be derived from the reduction of protective large spines present in ancient mammalian-like reptiles possibly derived from the reduction of pre-existing pointed scales. The hypothesis suggests that spines became reduced and internalized in the skin forming hairs. PMID:25367156

  8. A new species of sucking louse (Insecta, Anoplura) parasitic on Auliscomys (Mammalia, Rodentia) in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Castro, D D; Gonzalez, A; Dreon, M

    2001-04-01

    Hoplopleura auliscomydis n. sp. is described based on specimens collected from Auliscomys micropus (Waterhouse 1837), from Collń Curá, Neuquén Province, Argentina. Descriptions are provided for the holotype male, female, first nymphal instar, external architecture of eggs (by scanning electron microscopy), and sites of oviposition, providing differences from its close relative Hoplopleura neotomydis Castro, González, and Cicchino, 1995. The geographical ranges of these 2 species are restricted to the Neuquén Province in Argentina. A key to the 9 species of the Hoplopleura travassosi species-group recorded in Argentina is also given.

  9. Late Pleistocene carnivores (Carnivora: Mammalia) from a cave sedimentary deposit in northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Shirlley; Avilla, Leonardo S; Soibelzon, Leopoldo H; Bernardes, Camila

    2014-11-28

    The Brazilian Quaternary terrestrial Carnivora are represented by the following families: Canidae, Felidae, Ursidae, Procyonidae Mephitidae and Mustelidae. Their recent evolutionary history in South America is associated with the uplift of the Panamanian Isthmus, and which enabled the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). Here we present new fossil records of Carnivora found in a cave in Aurora do Tocantins, Tocantins, northern Brazil. A stratigraphical controlled collection in the sedimentary deposit of the studied cave revealed a fossiliferous level where the following Carnivora taxa were present: Panthera onca, Leopardus sp., Galictis cuja, Procyon cancrivorus, Nasua nasua and Arctotherium wingei. Dating by Electron Spinning Resonance indicates that this assemblage was deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), at least, 22.000 YBP. The weasel, G. cuja, is currently reported much further south than the record presented here. This may suggest that the environment around the cave was relatively drier during the LGM, with more open vegetation, and more moderate temperatures than the current Brazilian Cerrado.

  10. Late Pleistocene carnivores (Carnivora: Mammalia) from a cave sedimentary deposit in northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Shirlley; Avilla, Leonardo S; Soibelzon, Leopoldo H; Bernardes, Camila

    2014-12-01

    The Brazilian Quaternary terrestrial Carnivora are represented by the following families: Canidae, Felidae, Ursidae, Procyonidae Mephitidae and Mustelidae. Their recent evolutionary history in South America is associated with the uplift of the Panamanian Isthmus, and which enabled the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). Here we present new fossil records of Carnivora found in a cave in Aurora do Tocantins, Tocantins, northern Brazil. A stratigraphical controlled collection in the sedimentary deposit of the studied cave revealed a fossiliferous level where the following Carnivora taxa were present: Panthera onca, Leopardus sp., Galictis cuja, Procyon cancrivorus, Nasua nasua and Arctotherium wingei. Dating by Electron Spinning Resonance indicates that this assemblage was deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), at least, 22.000 YBP. The weasel, G. cuja, is currently reported much further south than the record presented here. This may suggest that the environment around the cave was relatively drier during the LGM, with more open vegetation, and more moderate temperatures than the current Brazilian Cerrado.

  11. Molecular evidence for a recent demographic expansion in the puma (Puma concolor) (Mammalia, Felidae)

    PubMed Central

    Matte, Eunice M.; Castilho, Camila S.; Miotto, Renata A.; Sana, Denis A.; Johnson, Warren E.; O’Brien, Stephen J.; de Freitas, Thales R. O.; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2013-01-01

    The puma is an iconic predator that ranges throughout the Americas, occupying diverse habitats. Previous phylogeographic analyses have revealed that it exhibits moderate levels of genetic structure across its range, with few of the classically recognized subspecies being supported as distinct demographic units. Moreover, most of the species’ molecular diversity was found to be in South America. To further investigate the phylogeographic structure and demographic history of pumas we analyzed mtDNA sequences from 186 individuals sampled throughout their range, with emphasis on South America. Our objectives were to refine the phylogeographic assessment within South America and to investigate the demographic history of pumas using a coalescent approach. Our results extend previous phylogeographic findings, reassessing the delimitation of historical population units in South America and demonstrating that this species experienced a considerable demographic expansion in the Holocene, ca. 8,000 years ago. Our analyses indicate that this expansion occurred in South America, prior to the hypothesized re-colonization of North America, which was therefore inferred to be even more recent. The estimated demographic history supports the interpretation that pumas suffered a severe demographic decline in the Late Pleistocene throughout their distribution, followed by population expansion and re-colonization of the range, initiating from South America. PMID:24385863

  12. Presence of antibodies against Leptospira serovars in Chaetophractus villosus (Mammalia, Dasypodidae), La Pampa province, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Kin, Marta S; Brihuega, Bibiana; Fort, Marcelo; Delgado, Fernando; Bedotti, Daniel; Casanave, Emma B

    2015-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonosis of worldwide distribution. The aim of this study was to examine the presence of antibodies against 21 Leptospira reactive serovars in Chaetophractus villosus in La Pampa province, Argentina, using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Pathologic changes compatible with leptospirosis and in situ detection of the agent by immunohistochemistry were studied in 24 and 3 individuals respectively. Only 35/150 (23.3%) serum samples had antibodies against Leptospira sp. Six percent of the samples reacted with serovar Canicola, 4.7% with serovar Castellonis, 1.3% with serovar Icterohemorrhagieae and 0.7% with serovar Hardjo. Sixteen (10.6%) serum samples agglutinated with Castellonis-Icterohemorrhagiae and Canicola-Castellonis serovars, both with 4.7%, and Canicola-Hardjo and Castellonis-Canicola-Icterohemorrhagiae both with 0.6%. Fourteen animals had variable degrees of lesions, which were more severe in animals with higher serological titers (3200), and Leptospira sp. was detected in 3 animals by immunohistochemistry. These results represent the first record of the presence of Leptospira in C. villosus in La Pampa.

  13. The taxonomic status of the Yucatan brown brocket, Mazama pandora (Mammalia: Cervidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Medellin, R.A.; Gardner, A.L.; Aranda, J.M.

    1998-01-01

    The Yucatan brown brocket deer, described as Mazama pandora, is now treated as a subspecies of either the common brown brocket, Mazama gouazoubira, or of the red brocket, M. americana. Analysis of brocket deer from Mexico and Central and South America, reveals that the Yucatan brown brocket is sympatric with the red brocket in Mexico and, while similar to M. gouazoubira, warrents recognition as a separate species.

  14. Two monotreme cell lines, derived from female platypuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus; Monotremata, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Wrigley, J M; Graves, J A

    1984-04-01

    Two diploid platypus cell lines, designated Oa-1F and Oa-2F, have been derived from the toe webs of two females. The development and growth characteristics of the lines are described and G-banded karyotypes presented (the first reported for the platypus). The availability of these lines will greatly facilitate chromosome and gene mapping studies of the platypus and permit the extension of comparative studies of mammalian chromosome and genome evolution to the monotremes.

  15. Taxonomic and systematic revisions to the North American Nimravidae (Mammalia, Carnivora)

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The Nimravidae is a family of extinct carnivores commonly referred to as “false saber-tooth cats.” Since their initial discovery, they have prompted difficulty in taxonomic assignments and number of valid species. Past revisions have only examined a handful of genera, while recent advances in cladistic and morphometric analyses have granted us additional avenues to answering questions regarding our understanding of valid nimravid taxa and their phylogenetic relationships. To resolve issues of specific validity, the phylogenetic species concept (PSC) was utilized to maintain consistency in diagnosing valid species, while simultaneously employing character and linear morphometric analyses for confirming the validity of taxa. Determined valid species and taxonomically informative characters were then employed in two differential cladistic analyses to create competing hypotheses of interspecific relationships. The results suggest the validity of twelve species and six monophyletic genera. The first in depth reviews of Pogonodon and Dinictis returned two valid species (P. platycopis, P. davisi) for the former, while only one for the latter (D. felina). The taxonomic validity of Nanosmilus is upheld. Two main clades with substantial support were returned for all cladistic analyses, the Hoplophoneini and Nimravini, with ambiguous positions relative to these main clades for the European taxa: Eofelis, Dinailurictis bonali, and Quercylurus major; and the North American taxa Dinictis and Pogonodon. Eusmilus is determined to represent a non-valid genus for North American taxa, suggesting non-validity for Old World nimravid species as well. Finally, Hoplophoneus mentalis is found to be a junior synonym of Hoplophoneus primaevus, while the validity of Hoplophoneus oharrai is reinstated. PMID:26893959

  16. Late Cenozoic History of the Genus Micromys (Mammalia, Rodentia) in Central Europe

    PubMed Central

    Horáček, Ivan; Knitlová, Markéta; Wagner, Jan; Kordos, László; Nadachowski, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Molecular phylogeography suggests that Micromys minutus, the sole extant species of the genus, colonized its extensive range quite recently, during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene period. Rich Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil records both from Europe and China suggest rather continuous and gradual in situ phenotype rearrangements from the Pliocene to the Recent periods. To elucidate the discrepancy we reexamined a considerable part of the European fossil record of the genus (14 sites from MN15 to Q3, 0.4–4.2 Ma, including the type series of M. preaminutus from MN15 Csarnóta 2), analyzed them with the aid of detailed morphometric comparisons, and concluded that: (a) The European Pliocene form, M. praeminutus, differs significantly from the extant species; (b) it exhibits a broad phenotypic variation covering the presumptive diagnostic characters of MN16 M. caesaris; (c) despite having smaller dimensions, the Early and Middle Pleistocene forms (MN17-Q3, 2.6–0.4 Ma) seem to be closer to M. praeminutus than to the extant species; (d) the extinction of M. praeminutus during Q3 and the re-occupation of its niche by the recent expansion of M. minutus from E-European – C Asiatic sources (suggested by phylogeographic hypotheses) cannot be excluded. Discussing interpretations of the phylogenetic past of the genus we emphasize the distinct history of the West Palearctic clade (Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene) terminating with M. praeminutus and the East Asiatic clade (chalceus, tedfordi, minutus), and the possible identity of the Western clade with the Late Miocene genus Parapodemus. PMID:23671605

  17. Philodryas chamissonis (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) preys on the arboreal marsupial Dromiciops gliroides (Mammalia: Microbiotheria: Microbiotheriidae).

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, S; Ardiles, K; Figueroa, R A; González-Acuña, D

    2013-02-01

    Philodryas chamissonis, the Chilean long-tailed snake, is a diurnal predator mainly of Liolaemus lizards, but also of amphibians, birds, rodents and juvenile rabbits. Dromiciops gliroides (Colocolo opossum) is an arboreal marsupial endemic of temperate rainforest of southern South America. Little information is available about this marsupial's biology and ecology. Here we report the predation of one Colocolo opossum by an adult female P. chamissonis in a mixed Nothofagus forest, composed mainly by N. dombeyi, N. glauca and N. alpina trees, in the "Huemules de Niblinto" National Reserve, Nevados de Chillán, Chile. Since these two species have different activity and habitat use patterns, we discuss how this encounter may have occurred. Although it could just have been an opportunistic event, this finding provides insights into the different components of food chains in forest ecosystems of Chile.

  18. Eliminative behavior of captive numbats, Myrmecobius fasciatus (Mammalia; Marsupialia): pattern and identification of fecal deposits.

    PubMed

    Hogan, Lindsay A; Lisle, Allan T; Johnston, Stephen D

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the spatial defecation patterns of numbats within captivity and tested the efficacy of a food colorant as a fecal marker in this species. Rather than randomly distributing scats throughout their environment, the numbats aggregated their feces at specific sites forming latrines. It is unclear whether the strong inclination for latrine formation was due to this species' inherent behavior or is a direct result of captivity. Males were found to have a higher daily defecation rate, different defecation time, larger number of latrines, and greater number of scats per quadrant, as compared to females. In this study, the majority of scats were deposited along enclosure boundaries and for both sexes there was a higher probability of latrines being placed along enclosure fencing shared with a female neighbor. The high concentration of latrines along boundaries suggests that they may play a role in territorial defense. The results also indicated that captive numbats tend to choose defecation points away from food and refuge sites. Transit and total retention time of the marker through the GIT was ≤3 hr and between 24 and 27 hr, respectively. A marker dose of 3 gtts feed(-1)  × 2 feeds day(-1) was required to reach a steady and detectable state of marker output, which enabled accurate identification of individual samples during the breeding season. Reliable labeling was obtained using blue and red colored food dye, and there was no evidence that incorporation of the marker into the diet had any negative effects on food intake.

  19. A new Early Oligocene peradectine marsupial (Mammalia)from the Burqin region of Xinjiang, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Xijun; Meng, Jin; Wu, Wenyu; Ye, Jie

    2007-03-01

    Tertiary marsupial records are very scarce in Asia. A new peradectine marsupial, Junggaroperadectes burqinensis gen. et sp. nov., is reported from the Early Oligocene Keziletuogayi Formation in the Burqin region, Xinjiang, China. This new species is based on a single right upper M2. The tooth possesses a straight centrocrista, a characteristic of peradectines. Its main cusps lean buccally, with the paracone being smaller and lower than the metacone. The conules and stylar cusps are weakly developed. These characters distinguish J. burqinensis from Euro-American Tertiary peradectines, but they also imply a close phylogenetic relationship to Siamoperadectes and Sinoperadectes, two Asian Early Miocene peradectines.

  20. Pakicetus inachus and the origin of whales and dolphins (Mammalia: Cetacea).

    PubMed

    Oelschläger, H A

    1987-01-01

    The present paper is concerned with the comparative morphology of the archeocete and odontocete skull. Among the archeocetes, the recently described lower Eocene Pakicetus inachus obviously represents an early stage of adaptation to aquatic life. The morphology of the incomplete cranial remains, however, gives no evidence that Pakicetus was an amphibious intermediate stage. The evolution of advanced archeocetes and odontocetes is characterized by the successive acquirement of new morphological devices related to the emission and perception of ultrasound under water. The formation of a sonar system in odontocetes obviously not only helped to compensate for the loss of the peripheral olfactory system but moreover was a substantial factor in the evolution of the exceptional dolphin brain.

  1. Chromosome painting among Proboscidea, Hyracoidea and Sirenia: Support for Paenungulata (Afrotheria, Mammalia) but not Tethytheria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pardini, A.T.; O'Brien, P. C. M.; Fu, B.; Bonde, R.K.; Elder, F.F.B.; Ferguson-Smith, M. A.; Yang, F.; Robinson, T.J.

    2007-01-01

    Despite marked improvements in the interpretation of systematic relationships within Eutheria, particular nodes, including Paenungulata (Hyracoidea, Sirenia and Proboscidea), remain ambiguous. The combination of a rapid radiation, a deep divergence and an extensive morphological diversification has resulted in a limited phylogenetic signal confounding resolution within this clade both at the morphological and nucleotide levels. Cross-species chromosome painting was used to delineate regions of homology between Loxodonta africana (2n = 56), Procavia capensis (2n=54), Trichechus manatus latirostris (2n = 48) and an outgroup taxon, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer, 2n = 20). Changes specific to each lineage were identified and although the presence of a minimum of 11 synapomorphies confirmed the monophyly of Paenungulata, no change characterizing intrapaenungulate relationships was evident. The reconstruction of an ancestral paenungulate karyotype and the estimation of rates of chromosomal evolution indicate a reduced rate of genomic repatterning following the paenungulate radiation. In comparison to data available for other mammalian taxa, the paenungulate rate of chromosomal evolution is slow to moderate. As a consequence, the absence of a chromosomal character uniting two paenungulates (at the level of resolution characterized in this study) may be due to a reduced rate of chromosomal change relative to the length of time separating successive divergence events. ?? 2007 The Royal Society.

  2. Osteoderm histology of the Pampatheriidae (Cingulata, Xenarthra, Mammalia): Implications for systematics, osteoderm growth, and biomechanical adaptation.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Dominik; Kalthoff, Daniela C; Sander, P Martin

    2012-04-01

    Pampatheres are extinct, large-bodied cingulates, which share morphological characters with both armadillos and glyptodonts but are considered to be more closely related to the latter. The osteoderm histology of six pampathere taxa was examined and compared to the histology of other cingulate osteoderms. This study investigates the development and functional adaptation of pampathere osteoderms as well as the phylogenetic relationships of the Pampatheriidae within the Cingulata. We found that pampathere osteoderms share a uniform histological organization based on a basic diploe-like structure. After initial stages of intramembranous growth, metaplastic ossification, that is, the direct incorporation and mineralization of pre-existing protein fibers, plays an important role in osteoderm development and provides information on various kinds of soft tissue otherwise not preserved. The latest stages of osteoderm growth are dominated by periosteal bone formation especially in the superficial cortex. Movable band osteoderms show regular arrangements of incorporated fibers that may increase the resistance of particularly weak areas against strain. The histological composition of pampathere osteoderms is plesiomorphic in its basic structure but shows a number of derived features. A unique array of Sharpey's fibers that are incorporated into the bone matrix at sutured osteoderm margins is interpreted as a synapomorphy of pampatheres. The arrangement of dermal fibers in the deep and superficial cortexes supports the close relationship between pampatheres and glyptodonts.

  3. Pelvic peritoneum in male armadillo and anteater (Xenarthra, Mammalia): a comparative survey.

    PubMed

    Rezende, Lorenna Cardoso; Ferreira, Jussara Rocha

    2013-01-01

    The literature supports the hypothesis that the pelvic excavation is the bottom of the abdominal cavity, which is covered by the peritoneal serous membrane in order to promote visceral dynamics. We studied the peritoneum in eight specimens of Xenarthra (Euphractus sexcinctus, Myrmecophaga tridactyla and Tamandua tetradactyla). The animals were fixed in formaldehyde (10%). For description and analyzes of the pelvic peritoneum, dissection and photo documentation were performed. We saw that the parietal serous membrane reflected, involving the pelvic viscera. The urorectal septum is the floor of the higher pelvis as a serosa reflection between the bladder and the rectum. The bladder and gonads are completely peritonized in adult armadillo. In anteaters and young armadillos, the testicles are in a position analogous to the uterus, joined by the conjunctive septum at the midline and along with the bladder, they partially project to the higher and lower pelvis. In Myrmecophagidae, vesicogenital, rectogenital and sacrorectal recesses were observed. In Dasypodidae, the recesses are similar to those of other recent vertebrates.

  4. Spermatogenesis is seasonal in the large hairy armadillo, Chaetophractus villosus (Dasypodidae, Xenarthra, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Luaces, Juan P; Rossi, Luis F; Merico, Valeria; Zuccotti, Maurizio; Redi, Carlo A; Solari, Alberto J; Merani, Maria S; Garagna, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    Very little is known about the distinct reproductive biology of armadillos. Very few studies have investigated armadillo spermatogenesis, with data available only for Euphractus sexcinctus and Dasypus novemcinctus. In the present study, we analysed male germ cell differentiation in the large hairy armadillo Chaetophractus villosus throughout the year, describing a cycle of the seminiferous epithelium made of eight different stages. Evaluation of the testis/body mass ratio, analysis of the architecture of the seminiferous epithelium and the frequency of defective seminiferous tubules allowed identification of a temporal interruption of spermatogenesis during the period between mid-May to July (mid-end autumn) in correlation with very low testosterone levels. Overall, these results suggest that spermatogenesis is seasonal in C. villosus.

  5. DNA Profiling of B Chromosomes from the Yellow-necked Mouse Apodemus flavicollis (Rodentia, Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    Tanić, Nikola; Dedović, Nasta; Vujos̆ević, Mladen; Dimitrijević, Bogomir

    2000-01-01

    Using AP-PCR-based DNA profiling we examined some structural features of B chromosomes from yellow-necked mice Apodemus flavicollis. Mice harboring one, two, or three or lacking B chromosomes were examined. Chromosomal structure was scanned for variant bands by using a series of arbitrary primers and from these, informative bands were selected. The selection criteria used were the ability to differentiate between individuals of the species, to detect markers common for both A and B chromosomes, and, importantly, to differentiate between A- and B-chromosome sets. In addition to primers, profiling conditions were found to be critical for meeting the selection criteria. Primers and analysis conditions that demonstrated structural characteristics unique to the B-chromosome set are described. These characteristics included variant bands as qualitative parameters and altered electrophoretic band intensities as quantitative distinctions estimated by integration of densitometric profiles of electrophoretograms. B chromosome-specific molecular markers are easy to detect by AP-PCR-based DNA profiling in the presence of a full set of A chromosomes. Models for the origin of yellow-necked mouse B chromosomes are discussed in the context of presented data. PMID:10645950

  6. Comparative molecular phylogeny and evolution of sex chromosome DNA sequences in the family Canidae (Mammalia: Carnivora).

    PubMed

    Tsubouchi, Ayako; Fukui, Daisuke; Ueda, Miya; Tada, Kazumi; Toyoshima, Shouji; Takami, Kazutoshi; Tsujimoto, Tsunenori; Uraguchi, Kohji; Raichev, Evgeniy; Kaneko, Yayoi; Tsunoda, Hiroshi; Masuda, Ryuichi

    2012-03-01

    To investigate the molecular phylogeny and evolution of the family Canidae, nucleotide sequences of the zinc-finger-protein gene on the Y chromosome (ZFY, 924-1146 bp) and its homologous gene on the X chromosome (ZFX, 834-839 bp) for twelve canid species were determined. The phylogenetic relationships among species reconstructed by the paternal ZFY sequences closely agreed with those by mtDNA and autosomal DNA trees in previous reports, and strongly supported the phylogenetic affinity between the wolf-like canids clade and the South American canids clade. However, the branching order of some species differed between phylogenies of ZFY and ZFX genes: Cuon alpinus and Canis mesomelas were included in the wolf-like canid clades in the ZFY tree, whereas both species were clustered in a group of Chrysocyon brachyurus and Speothos venaticus in the ZFX tree. The topology difference between ZFY and ZFX trees may have resulted from the two-times higher substitution rate of the former than the latter, which was clarified in the present study. In addition, two types of transposable element sequence (SINE-I and SINE-II) were found to occur in the ZFY final intron of the twelve canid species examined. Because the SINE-I sequences were shared by all the species, they may have been inserted into the ZFY of the common ancestor before species radiation in Canidae. By contract, SINE-II found in only Canis aureus could have been inserted into ZFY independently after the speciation. The molecular diversity of SINE sequences of Canidae reflects evolutionary history of the species radiation. PMID:22379982

  7. Population structure of the gomphothere Stegomastodon waringi (Mammalia: Proboscidea: Gomphotheriidae) from the Pleistocene of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Mothé, Dimila; Avilla, Leonardo S; Winck, Gisele R

    2010-11-26

    The Quaternary fossil record of Águas de Araxá (QAA) is represented mainly by an accumulation of skeletal elements of several sizes, which are assigned to a population of Stegomastodon waringi. We analyzed 97 molars according to the wear stages of Simpson and Paula-Couto (1957), and developed a morphometric wear index. The population structure (proportion of immature, subadult, adult, mature adult and senile adult individuals) was identified, and these five age classes were compared to those of extant elephant populations and defined with social implications. The analysis made possible to establish that the population is largely composed of adults: 14.89% are immature individuals, 23.04% subadults, 27.65% adults, 17.21% mature adults and another 17.21% senile adults. Based on population structure, we do not discard the possibility that the fossil population was stable or in recovery, and/or was experiencing a high-predation period on younger individuals. The number of individuals composing the past population studied here could suggest that the occupied environment was open due to comparisons to populations of extant elephants. We consider this population as an aggregation of family units, which suggests a time of low environmental humidity. Based on literature and our findings, their extinction appears to be regional and probably related to a catastrophic event. PMID:21120273

  8. Population structure of the gomphothere Stegomastodon waringi (Mammalia: Proboscidea: Gomphotheriidae) from the Pleistocene of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Mothé, Dimila; Avilla, Leonardo S; Winck, Gisele R

    2010-12-01

    The Quaternary fossil record of Águas de Araxá (Q AA) is represented mainly by an accumulation of skeletal elements of several sizes, which are assigned to a population of Stegomastodon waringi. We analyzed 97 molars according to the ear stages of Simpson and Paula-Couto (1957), and developed a morphometric ear index. The population structure (proportion of immature, subadult, adult, mature adult and senile adult individuals) was identified, and these five age classes were compared to those of extant elephant populations and defined with social implications. The analysis made possible to establish that the population is largely composed of adults: 14.89% are immature individuals, 23.04% subadults, 27.65% adults, 17.21% mature adults and another 17.21% senile adults. Based on population structure, we do not discard the possibility that the fossil population was stable or in recovery, and/or was experiencing a high-predation period on younger individuals. The number of individuals composing the past population studied here could suggest that the occupied environment was open due to comparisons to populations of extant elephants. We consider this population as an aggregation of family units, which suggests a time of low environmental humidity. Based on literature and our findings, their extinction appears to be regional and probably related to a catastrophic event. PMID:21152772

  9. Description of males of Parabronema pecariae Ivaschkin, 1960 (Nematoda, Habronematoidea) parasitizing peccaries (Mammalia, Tayassuidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vicente, J J; Muniz-Pereira, L C; Noronha, D; Pinto, R M

    2000-01-01

    Nematodes studied herein and identified as Parabronema pecariae were collected in 1936 in the States of Rio de Janeiro and Pará and in 1940 in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. This species was proposed, with basis on female specimens that had been described earlier as Parabronema sp. Although the presence of males of P. pecariae was previously reported in Brazil, their description was not provided. The present paper deals with the first complete morphometric data on male specimens of P. pecariae recovered from peccaries (Pecari tajacu and Tayassu pecari).

  10. On the relationship between enamel band complexity and occlusal surface area in Equids (Mammalia, Perissodactyla).

    PubMed

    Famoso, Nicholas A; Davis, Edward Byrd

    2016-01-01

    Enamel patterns on the occlusal surfaces of equid teeth are asserted to have tribal-level differences. The most notable example compares the Equini and Hipparionini, where Equini have higher crowned teeth with less enamel-band complexity and less total occlusal enamel than Hipparionini. Whereas previous work has successfully quantified differences in enamel band shape by dividing the length of enamel band by the square root of the occlusal surface area (Occlusal Enamel Index, OEI), it was clear that OEI only partially removes the effect of body size. Because enamel band length scales allometrically, body size still has an influence on OEI, with larger individuals having relatively longer enamel bands than smaller individuals. Fractal dimensionality (D) can be scaled to any level, so we have used it to quantify occlusal enamel complexity in a way that allows us to get at an accurate representation of the relationship between complexity and body size. To test the hypothesis of tribal-level complexity differences between Equini and Hipparionini, we digitally traced a sample of 98 teeth, one tooth per individual; 31 Hipparionini and 67 Equini. We restricted our sampling to the P3-M2 to reduce the effect of tooth position. After calculating the D of these teeth with the fractal box method which uses the number of boxes of various sizes to calculate the D of a line, we performed a t-test on the individual values of D for each specimen, comparing the means between the two tribes, and a phylogenetically informed generalized least squares regression (PGLS) for each tribe with occlusal surface area as the independent variable and D as the dependent variable. The slopes of both PGLS analyses were compared using a t-test to determine if the same linear relationship existed between the two tribes. The t-test between tribes was significant (p < 0.0001), suggesting different D populations for each lineage. The PGLS for Hipparionini was a positive but not significant (p = 0.4912) relationship between D and occlusal surface area, but the relationship for Equini was significantly negative (p = 0.0177). λ was 0 for both tests, indicating no important phylogenetic signal is present in the relationship between these two characters, thus the PGLS collapses down to a non-phylogenetic generalized least squares (GLS) model. The t-test comparing the slopes of the regressions was not significant, indicating that the two lineages could have the same relationship between D and occlusal surface area. Our results suggest that the two tribes have the same negative relationship between D and occlusal surface area but the Hipparionini are offset to higher values than the Equini. This offset reflects the divergence between the two lineages since their last common ancestor and may have constrained their ability to respond to environmental change over the Neogene, leading to the differential survival of the Equini.

  11. [Geographic variation of the fox Lycalopex culpaeus (Mammalia, Canidae) in Chile: taxonomic implications].

    PubMed

    Guzmán, Jonathan A; D'Elía, Guillermo; Ortiz, Juan Carlos

    2009-01-01

    We studied the geographic variation of skulls of Lycalopex culpaeus using qualitative and quantative analyses. The sampling area covered Chile, from its northern portion, to Tierra del Fuego and the neighbouring Hoste Island, as well as part of Argentina. Five subespecies are currently recognized from this large area. We found two morphotypes that are segregated geographically. Both groups mostly differ by morphometric attributes, followed by qualitative features. Specimens from northern Chile (Tarapacá and Antofagasta) have small skulls, short rostrum, a liriform sagital zone, and lack the interparietal crest. The second group is formed by specimens from north-western and central Argentina, central-south Chile, Patagonia, and the austral islands of Tierra del Fuego and Hoste. This group presents a strong sagital crest, large rostrum, and a large skull. Our results agree with observed patterns of mitochondrial DNA variation. We propose to retain the name L. c. andinus for the populations of northern Chile and to synonymize L. c. magellanicus, L. c. lycoides, and L. c. smithersi under L. c. culpaeus.

  12. Morphology and function of the hyoid apparatus of fossil xenarthrans (mammalia).

    PubMed

    Pérez, Leandro M; Toledo, Néstor; De Iuliis, Gerardo; Bargo, M Susana; Vizcaíno, Sergio F

    2010-09-01

    The analysis of the hyoid apparatus of fossil xenarthrans provides insight on the form of the tongue and its function in food intake and intraoral processing. The hyoid apparatus of xenarthrans is notable for fusion among its elements. The presence of a V-bone, a complex consisting of fused basihyal and thyrohyal bones, is a consistent and probably synapomorphic feature of xenarthrans. Fusion of other elements is variable in fossil xenarthrans. Most fossil sloths retain independent elements, as in living dasypodids and mammals generally. Among nothrotheriids, the elements are slender and their articular surfaces indicate considerable mobility, and the relatively long and horizontal orientation of the geniohyoid muscle suggests considerable tongue protrusion. Among mylodontines, such as Paramylodon and Glossotherium, the elements indicate relatively mobile articulations, except between the stylo- and epihyals. The relatively posterior placement of the apparatus and the length and alignment of the geniohyoid muscle indicate considerable capacity for tongue protrusion. Scelidotherium, however, had rigidly articulated stylohyal and epihyal, and the apparatus lies farther anteriorly, which together with the elongated, steeply inclined mandibular symphysis, indicates a relatively shorter geniohyoid muscle and thus more limited capacity for tongue protrusion. A similar situation is indicated for Megatherium, casting doubt on the classical reconstruction of this sloth as having a long prehensile tongue. Among cingulates Prozaedyus resembles living dasypodids, indicating considerable tongue protrusion important in food acquisition and intake. More extensive fusion of hyoid elements occurs in the cingulates Glyptodon and Proeutatus, in which the stylohyal and epihyal at least, are fused into a single element termed the sigmohyal. The presence of this element supports recent proposals of a sister-group relationship between glyptodonts and eutatines. The rigidity of the apparatus suggests limited tongue protrusion, but the tongue, in glyptodonts at least, was a powerful structure important for intraoral manipulation of food. PMID:20730924

  13. Microstructure of dental hard tissues in fossil and recent xenarthrans (Mammalia: Folivora and Cingulata).

    PubMed

    Kalthoff, Daniela C

    2011-06-01

    A striking difference between xenarthrans and other mammals is the complete loss of tooth enamel in all members but the earliest armadillos. However, sloth and armadillo teeth show structured wear facets, which in all other mammals are formed by tooth enamel. How is that possible? Here, I report about an analysis of fossil and recent xenarthran dental hard tissue microstructure. It shows that osteodentine is not exclusive to fossil Cingulata, but also occurs in some recent taxa. Furthermore, I found profound modifications of orthodentine architecture in comparison to other mammals. Remarkable features are (a) a larger proportion of the highly mineralized, collagen-free peritubular dentine, and (b) a modified architecture of the odontoblastic process with frequent interconnections between the extensions and unusually intensive branching of the extensions forming a complex meshwork, penetrating the intertubular dentine matrix. The orthodentine microstructural build-up is unique in Folivora and Cingulata. PMID:21456028

  14. Red pandas (Mammalia, Carnivora: Parailurus) in the biomes of North Eurasia and North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matishov, G. G.; Kalmykov, N. P.

    2011-05-01

    The discovery of the Pliocene red panda ( Parailurus) in the West Transbaikal area, as well as Asian raccoons in North Eurasia and North America, indicates that forested areas with bamboo bushes were wide-spread in the Holarctic during the Neogene. During the Late Pliocene, due to a gradual cooling of the climate, altiplanation, and other factors, their habitat started disintegrating, and red pandas began dying out, surviving only in China.

  15. Frugivory by phyllostomid bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in a restored area in Southeast Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silveira, Maurício; Trevelin, Leonardo; Port-Carvalho, Marcio; Godoi, Simone; Mandetta, Elizabeth Neuenhaus; Cruz-Neto, Ariovaldo P.

    2011-01-01

    We studied the potential contribution of frugivorous bats to the reestablishment of vegetational diversity in a restored area. We analysed the diets of the bat species and the differences between them in the consumption of fruits of autochtonous and allochthonous species. Planted (autochtonous) species were the basis of diets, especially Solanum mauritianum and Cecropia pachystachya, whereas for allochthonous species we found that Piperaceae to be of particular importance. Carollia perspicillata was the main seed disperser for allochthonous species, and potentially the most important bat in the promotion of vegetation diversity in the study area. Our results suggest that frugivorous bats are especially important in the reestablishment of vegetation in disturbed areas, and that restorarion efforts should focus on the planting of different zoochorous species that would guarantee a high year-round fruit production, thereby facilitating natural plant reestablishment by frugivorous bats in regenerating areas.

  16. The endemic insular and peninsular species Chaetodipus spinatus (Mammalia, Heteromyidae) breaks patterns for Baja California.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Castañeda, Sergio Ticul; Murphy, Robert W

    2014-01-01

    The Baja California peninsula is the second longest, most geographically isolated peninsula on Earth. Its physiography and the presence of many surrounding islands has facilitated studies of the underlying patterns and drivers of genetic structuring for a wide spectrum of organisms. Chaetodipus spinatus is endemic to the region and occurs on 12 associated islands, including 10 in the Gulf of California and two in the Pacific Ocean. This distribution makes it a model species for evaluating natural historical barriers. We test hypotheses associated with the relationship between the range of the species, patterns in other species, and its relationship to Pleistocene-Holocene climatic changes. We analyzed sequence data from mtDNA genes encoding cytochrome b (Cytb) and cytochrome c oxidase subunits I (COI) and III (COIII) in 26 populations including all 12 islands. The matrilineal genealogy, statistical parsimony network and Bayesian skyline plot indicated an origin of C. spinatus in the southern part of the peninsula. Our analyses detected several differences from the common pattern of peninsular animals: no mid-peninsula break exists, Isla Carmen hosts the most divergent population, the population on an ancient southern Midriff island does not differ from peninsular populations, and a mtDNA peninsular discordance occurs near Loreto. PMID:25542029

  17. Evolution and taxonomy of the wild species of the genus Ovis (Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Bovidae).

    PubMed

    Rezaei, Hamid Reza; Naderi, Saeid; Chintauan-Marquier, Ioana Cristina; Taberlet, Pierre; Virk, Amjad Tahir; Naghash, Hamid Reza; Rioux, Delphine; Kaboli, Mohammad; Pompanon, François

    2010-02-01

    New insights for the systematic and evolution of the wild sheep are provided by molecular phylogenies inferred from Maximum parsimony, Bayesian, Maximum likelihood, and Neighbor-Joining methods. The phylogeny of the wild sheep was based on cytochrome b sequences of 290 samples representative of most of the sub-species described in the genus Ovis. The result was confirmed by a combined tree based on cytochrome b and nuclear sequences for 79 Ovis samples representative of the robust clades established with mitochondrial data. Urial and mouflon, which are either considered as a single or two separate species, form two monophyletic groups (O. orientalis and O. vignei). Their hybrids appear in one or the other group, independently from their geographic origin. The European mouflon O. musimon is clearly in the O. orientalis clade. The others species, O. dalli, O. canadensis, O. nivicola, and O. ammon are monophyletic. The results support an Asiatic origin of the genus Ovis, followed by a migration to North America through North-Eastern Asia and the Bering Strait and a diversification of the genus in Eurasia less than 3 million years ago. Our results show that the evolution of the genus Ovis is a striking example of successive speciation events occurring along the migration routes propagating from the ancestral area. PMID:19897045

  18. Phenotypic Convergence in Genetically Distinct Lineages of a Rhinolophus Species Complex (Mammalia, Chiroptera)

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, David S.; Babiker, Hassan; Bastian, Anna; Kearney, Teresa; van Eeden, Rowen; Bishop, Jacqueline M.

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypes of distantly related species may converge through adaptation to similar habitats and/or because they share biological constraints that limit the phenotypic variants produced. A common theme in bats is the sympatric occurrence of cryptic species that are convergent in morphology but divergent in echolocation frequency, suggesting that echolocation may facilitate niche partitioning, reducing competition. If so, allopatric populations freed from competition, could converge in both morphology and echolocation provided they occupy similar niches or share biological constraints. We investigated the evolutionary history of a widely distributed African horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus darlingi, in the context of phenotypic convergence. We used phylogenetic inference to identify and date lineage divergence together with phenotypic comparisons and ecological niche modelling to identify morphological and geographical correlates of those lineages. Our results indicate that R. darlingi is paraphyletic, the eastern and western parts of its distribution forming two distinct non-sister lineages that diverged ~9.7 Mya. We retain R. darlingi for the eastern lineage and argue that the western lineage, currently the sub-species R. d. damarensis, should be elevated to full species status. R. damarensis comprises two lineages that diverged ~5 Mya. Our findings concur with patterns of divergence of other co-distributed taxa which are associated with increased regional aridification between 7-5 Mya suggesting possible vicariant evolution. The morphology and echolocation calls of R. darlingi and R. damarensis are convergent despite occupying different biomes. This suggests that adaptation to similar habitats is not responsible for the convergence. Furthermore, R. darlingi forms part of a clade comprising species that are bigger and echolocate at lower frequencies than R. darlingi, suggesting that biological constraints are unlikely to have influenced the convergence. Instead, the striking similarity in morphology and sensory biology are probably the result of neutral evolutionary processes, resulting in the independent evolution of similar phenotypes. PMID:24312666

  19. Cope's rule and the evolution of body size in Pinnipedimorpha (Mammalia: Carnivora).

    PubMed

    Churchill, Morgan; Clementz, Mark T; Kohno, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    Cope's rule describes the evolutionary trend for animal lineages to increase in body size over time. In this study, we tested the validity of Cope's rule for a marine mammal clade, the Pinnipedimorpha, which includes the extinct Desmatophocidae, and extant Phocidae (earless seals), Otariidae (fur seals and sea lions), and Odobenidae (walruses). We tested for the presence of Cope's rule by compiling a large dataset of body size data for extant and fossil pinnipeds and then examined how body size evolved through time. We found that there was a positive relationship between geologic age and body size. However, this trend is the result of differences between early assemblages of small-bodied pinnipeds (Oligocene to early Miocene) and later assemblages (middle Miocene to Pliocene) for which species exhibited greater size diversity. No significant differences were found between the number of increases or decreases in body size within Pinnipedimorpha or within specific pinniped clades. This suggests that the pinniped body size increase was driven by passive diversification into vacant niche space, with the common ancestor of Pinnipedimorpha occurring near the minimum adult body size possible for a marine mammal. Based upon the above results, the evolutionary history of pinnipeds does not follow Cope's rule.

  20. Flying lemurs – The 'flying tree shrews'? Molecular cytogenetic evidence for a Scandentia-Dermoptera sister clade

    PubMed Central

    Nie, Wenhui; Fu, Beiyuan; O'Brien, Patricia CM; Wang, Jinhuan; Su, Weiting; Tanomtong, Alongkoad; Volobouev, Vitaly; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Yang, Fengtang

    2008-01-01

    Background Flying lemurs or Colugos (order Dermoptera) represent an ancient mammalian lineage that contains only two extant species. Although molecular evidence strongly supports that the orders Dermoptera, Scandentia, Lagomorpha, Rodentia and Primates form a superordinal clade called Supraprimates (or Euarchontoglires), the phylogenetic placement of Dermoptera within Supraprimates remains ambiguous. Results To search for cytogenetic signatures that could help to clarify the evolutionary affinities within this superordinal group, we have established a genome-wide comparative map between human and the Malayan flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus) by reciprocal chromosome painting using both human and G. variegatus chromosome-specific probes. The 22 human autosomal paints and the X chromosome paint defined 44 homologous segments in the G. variegatus genome. A putative inversion on GVA 11 was revealed by the hybridization patterns of human chromosome probes 16 and 19. Fifteen associations of human chromosome segments (HSA) were detected in the G. variegatus genome: HSA1/3, 1/10, 2/21, 3/21, 4/8, 4/18, 7/15, 7/16, 7/19, 10/16, 12/22 (twice), 14/15, 16/19 (twice). Reverse painting of G. variegatus chromosome-specific paints onto human chromosomes confirmed the above results, and defined the origin of the homologous human chromosomal segments in these associations. In total, G. variegatus paints revealed 49 homologous chromosomal segments in the HSA genome. Conclusion Comparative analysis of our map with published maps from representative species of other placental orders, including Scandentia, Primates, Lagomorpha and Rodentia, suggests a signature rearrangement (HSA2q/21 association) that links Scandentia and Dermoptera to one sister clade. Our results thus provide new evidence for the hypothesis that Scandentia and Dermoptera have a closer phylogenetic relationship to each other than either of them has to Primates. PMID:18452598

  1. Differential activity of drugs to induce emesis and pica behavior in Suncus murinus (house musk shrew) and rats.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Kouichi; Ngan, Man P; Takeda, Noriaki; Yamatodani, Atsushi; Rudd, John A

    2004-10-30

    We have previously reported that emetic stimuli induce kaolin ingestion behavior (pica behavior) in rats and mice (i.e., species that do not have the emetic reflex) and that the behavior may be analogous to gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea and emesis. We hypothesized that pica behavior may also occur in species capable of vomiting and that it may serve as an additional index of discomfort relevant to antiemetic drug development. The present experiments were conduced using Suncus murinus and rats and kaolin consumption was measured at 24 h after the administration of nicotine (1.25-5 mg/kg, s.c.), copper sulfate (10-120 mg/kg, p.o.), lithium chloride (50-200 mg/kg, i.p.) and cisplatin (1-30 mg/kg, i.p.). In S. murinus, all treatments, excepting lithium chloride, were emetic but none induce kaolin consumption. Conversely, all treatments induced kaolin consumption in rats without inducing emesis. The results indicate that pica behavior is not likely to be useful to assess gastrointestinal discomfort in S. murinus. PMID:15501502

  2. New data on the distribution and taxonomy of fossil Soergel's ox (Soergelia sp., Bovidae, Artiodactyla, Mammalia) in Yakutia.

    PubMed

    Boeskorov, G G

    2016-07-01

    Novel findings of fossil remains of the extinct artiodactyl Soergel's ox, as well as some findings that were not analyzed previously, are presented in the article. Soergelia remains are extremely rare; therefore, the species range of these animals remains uncharacterized by now and the taxonomic positions of some findings are not clear. Analysis of the new material extends the knowledge on the species range and the limits of morphological variation of the Soergel's ox and allowed a more precise assessment of the taxonomic position of the findings from Yakutia. PMID:27595828

  3. Chewing through the Miocene: an examination of the feeding musculature in the ground sloth Hapalops from South America (Mammalia: Pilosa)

    PubMed Central

    Naples, Virginia L.; McAfee, Robert K.

    2014-01-01

    Hapalops, a smaller-sized and early sloth of the Megatheroidea, appeared in the middle Miocene Santa Cruz formation of Argentina. This genus is part of the group from which later, larger megatheroids arose, i.e., Nothrotheriops and Megatherium. Many cranial characters support this idea; however Hapalops is not merely a smaller antecedent of the later forms. Specifically, Hapalops retains short anterior caniniform teeth, and a temporomandibular joint elevated above the cheek tooth row; a combination distinct among sloths. An elevated temporomandibular joint occurs in Bradypus, a tree sloth with anterior chisel-shaped teeth instead of caniniforms, and the tree sloth Choloepus, which is aligned with the megalonychids, has anterior caniniforms. Hapalops has an elongated zygomatic ascending process that is reminiscent of that in Bradypus; however, the Bradypus skull is extremely foreshortened while that of Hapalops is elongated, as in nothrotheres, but not deepened as in megatheres. Previous work identified many sloth cranial character complexes, and functional limitations on skull feature combinations. The unique Hapalops character patterns indicate a selective feeder with a mediolaterally oriented grinding stroke during mastication. PMID:25075299

  4. Molecular assessment of the phylogeny and biogeography of a recently diversified endemic group of South American canids (Mammalia: Carnivora: Canidae)

    PubMed Central

    Tchaicka, Ligia; de Freitas, Thales Renato Ochotorena; Bager, Alex; Vidal, Stela Luengos; Lucherini, Mauro; Iriarte, Agustín; Novaro, Andres; Geffen, Eli; Garcez, Fabricio Silva; Johnson, Warren E.; Wayne, Robert K.; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    Abstract To investigate the evolution and biogeography of an endemic group of South American foxes, we examined mitochondrial DNA control region sequences for 118 individuals belonging to all six extant species of the genus Lycalopex. Phylogenetic and molecular dating analyses supported the inference that this genus has undergone a very recent and rapid radiation, stemming from a common ancestor that lived ca. 1 million years ago. The Brazilian endemic L. vetulus was supported as the most basal species in this genus, whereas the most internal group is comprised by the recently diverged (ca. 350,000 years ago) Andean/Patagonian species L. griseus and L. culpaeus. We discuss the inferred phylogenetic relationships and divergence times in the context of the current geographic distributions of these species, and the likely effects of Pleistocene climatic changes on the biogeography of this group. Furthermore, a remarkable finding was the identification of multiple individuals classified as L. gymnocercus bearing mtDNA haplotypes clearly belonging to L. griseus, sampled in regions where the latter is not known to occur. At a minimum, this result implies the need to clarify the present-day geographic distribution of each of these fox species, while it may also indicate an ongoing hybridization process between them. Future testing of this hypothesis with in-depth analyses of these populations is thus a priority for understanding the history, evolutionary dynamics and present-day composition of this endemic Neotropical genus. PMID:27560989

  5. A New Late Miocene Odobenid (Mammalia: Carnivora) from Hokkaido, Japan Suggests Rapid Diversification of Basal Miocene Odobenids.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Yoshihiro; Kohno, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    The modern walrus, Odobenus rosmarus, is specialized and only extant member of the family Odobenidae. They were much more diversified in the past, and at least 16 genera and 20 species of fossil walruses have been known. Although their diversity increased in the late Miocene and Pliocene (around 8-2 Million years ago), older records are poorly known. A new genus and species of archaic odobenid, Archaeodobenus akamatsui, gen. et sp. nov. from the late Miocene (ca. 10.0-9.5 Ma) top of the Ichibangawa Formation, Hokkaido, northern Japan, suggests rapid diversification of basal Miocene walruses. Archaeodobenus akamatsui is the contemporaneous Pseudotaria muramotoi from the same formation, but they are distinguishable from each other in size and shape of the occipital condyle, foramen magnum and mastoid process of the cranium, and other postcranial features. Based on our phylogenetic analysis, A. akamatsui might have split from P. muramotoi at the late Miocene in the western North Pacific. This rapid diversification of the archaic odobenids occurred with a combination of marine regression and transgression, which provided geological isolation among the common ancestors of extinct odobenids. PMID:26244784

  6. Germ cell differentiation and proliferation in the developing testis of the South American plains viscacha, Lagostomus maximus (Mammalia, Rodentia).

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, C R; Muscarsel Isla, M L; Fraunhoffer, N A; Leopardo, N P; Vitullo, A D

    2012-08-01

    Cell proliferation and cell death are essential processes in the physiology of the developing testis that strongly influence the normal adult spermatogenesis. We analysed in this study the morphometry, the expression of the proliferation cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), cell pluripotency marker OCT-4, germ cell marker VASA and apoptosis in the developing testes of Lagostomus maximus, a rodent in which female germ line develops through abolished apoptosis and unrestricted proliferation. Morphometry revealed an increment in the size of the seminiferous cords with increasing developmental age, arising from a significant increase of PCNA-positive germ cells and a stable proportion of PCNA-positive Sertoli cells. VASA showed a widespread cytoplasmic distribution in a great proportion of proliferating gonocytes that increased significantly at late development. In the somatic compartment, Leydig cells increased at mid-development, whereas peritubular cells showed a stable rate of proliferation. In contrast to other mammals, OCT-4 positive gonocytes increased throughout development reaching 90% of germ cells in late-developing testis, associated with a conspicuous increase in circulating FSH from mid- to late-gestation. TUNEL analysis was remarkable negative, and only a few positive cells were detected in the somatic compartment. These results show that the South American plains viscacha displays a distinctive pattern of testis development characterized by a sustained proliferation of germ cells throughout development, with no signs of apoptosis cell demise, in a peculiar endocrine in utero ambiance that seems to promote the increase of spermatogonial number as a primary direct effect of FSH.

  7. Evolutionary and biological implications of dental mesial drift in rodents: the case of the Ctenodactylidae (Rodentia, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Solé, Floréal; Charles, Cyril; Tafforeau, Paul; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Viriot, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    Dental characters are importantly used for reconstructing the evolutionary history of mammals, because teeth represent the most abundant material available for the fossil species. However, the characteristics of dental renewal are presently poorly used, probably because dental formulae are frequently not properly established, whereas they could be of high interest for evolutionary and developmental issues. One of the oldest rodent families, the Ctenodactylidae, is intriguing in having longstanding disputed dental formulae. Here, we investigated 70 skulls among all extant ctenodactylid genera (Ctenodactylus, Felovia, Massoutiera and Pectinator) by using X-ray conventional and synchrotron microtomography in order to solve and discuss these dental issues. Our study clearly indicates that Massoutiera, Felovia and Ctenodactylus differ from Pectinator not only by a more derived dentition, but also by a more derived eruptive sequence. In addition to molars, their dentition only includes the fourth deciduous premolars, and no longer bears permanent premolars, conversely to Pectinator. Moreover, we found that these premolars are lost during adulthood, because of mesial drift of molars. Mesial drift is a striking mechanism involving migration of teeth allowed by both bone remodeling and dental resorption. This dental innovation is to date poorly known in rodents, since it is only the second report described. Interestingly, we noted that dental drift in rodents is always associated with high-crowned teeth favoring molar size enlargement. It can thus represent another adaptation to withstand high wear, inasmuch as these rodents inhabit desert environments where dust is abundant. A more accurate study of mesial drift in rodents would be very promising from evolutionary, biological and orthodontic points of view.

  8. A new genus of aplodontid rodent (Mammalia, Rodentia) from the late Oligocene of northern Junggar Basin, China.

    PubMed

    Bi, Shundong; Meng, Jin; McLean, Sarah; Wu, Wenyu; Ni, Xijun; Ye, Jie

    2013-01-01

    A new genus and species of aplodontid rodent, Proansomys dureensis, from the late Oligocene of the northern Junggar Basin of China is described. The new genus is referred to as Ansomyinae because the ectoloph on the upper cheek teeth, although not fully crested, has attained the same characteristic bucket-handle-shaped configuration as other members of the subfamily. It represents the earliest record of the subfamily yet discovered in Asia and is more plesiomorphic than species of the genus Ansomys in having a partly crested ectoloph, a lower degree of lophodonty, and less complex tooth basins (lacking accessory lophules). Proansomys has transitional features between Prosciurus and Ansomys, suggesting that the Ansomyinae derived from a group of aplodontids related to Prosciurus, as did other advanced aplodontid rodents. This provides new light on the paleobiogeography of the Ansomyinae.

  9. First record of Mylagaulid rodents (Rodentia, Mammalia) from the Miocene of Eastern Siberia (Olkhon Island, Baikal Lake, Irkutsk Region, Russia).

    PubMed

    Tesakov, A S; Lopatin, A V

    2015-01-01

    A new genus and species of rodent, Lamugaulus olkhonensis, belonging to the subfamily Promylagaulinae of the family Mylagaulidae, is described on the basis of isolated teeth from the Khalagay Formation of the Lower Miocene Tagay locality (Olkhon island, Lake Baikal, Irkutsk Region). This is the first record of mylagaulids in Eastern Siberia, significantly expanding the data on the distribution of this mainly North American group of rodents in Asia and showing its presence outside the Central Asian arid zone.

  10. Trypanosoma cruzi Infection in Neotropical Wild Carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora): At the Top of the T. cruzi Transmission Chain

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Fabiana Lopes; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; de Lima, Juliane Saab; Cheida, Carolina Carvalho; Lemos, Frederico Gemesio; de Azevedo, Fernanda Cavalcanti; Arrais, Ricardo Corassa; Bilac, Daniele; Herrera, Heitor Miraglia; Mourão, Guilherme; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2013-01-01

    Little is known on the role played by Neotropical wild carnivores in the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles. We investigated T. cruzi infection in wild carnivores from three sites in Brazil through parasitological and serological tests. The seven carnivore species examined were infected by T. cruzi, but high parasitemias detectable by hemoculture were found only in two Procyonidae species. Genotyping by Mini-exon gene, PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I) and kDNA genomic targets revealed that the raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus) harbored TcI and the coatis (Nasua nasua) harbored TcI, TcII, TcIII-IV and Trypanosoma rangeli, in single and mixed infections, besides four T. cruzi isolates that displayed odd band patterns in the Mini-exon assay. These findings corroborate the coati can be a bioaccumulator of T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTU) and may act as a transmission hub, a connection point joining sylvatic transmission cycles within terrestrial and arboreal mammals and vectors. Also, the odd band patterns observed in coatis’ isolates reinforce that T. cruzi diversity might be much higher than currently acknowledged. Additionally, we assembled our data with T. cruzi infection on Neotropical carnivores’ literature records to provide a comprehensive analysis of the infection patterns among distinct carnivore species, especially considering their ecological traits and phylogeny. Altogether, fifteen Neotropical carnivore species were found naturally infected by T. cruzi. Species diet was associated with T. cruzi infection rates, supporting the hypothesis that predator-prey links are important mechanisms for T. cruzi maintenance and dispersion in the wild. Distinct T. cruzi infection patterns across carnivore species and study sites were notable. Musteloidea species consistently exhibit high parasitemias in different studies which indicate their high infectivity potential. Mesocarnivores that feed on both invertebrates and mammals, including the coati, a host that can be bioaccumulator of T. cruzi DTU’s, seem to take place at the top of the T. cruzi transmission chain. PMID:23861767

  11. Nuclear DNA phylogeny of the squirrels (Mammalia: Rodentia) and the evolution of arboreality from c-myc and RAG1.

    PubMed

    Steppan, Scott J; Storz, Brian L; Hoffmann, Robert S

    2004-03-01

    Although the family Sciuridae is large and well known, phylogenetic analyses are scarce. We report on a comprehensive molecular phylogeny for the family. Two nuclear genes (c-myc and RAG1) comprising approximately 4500 bp of data (most in exons) are applied for the first time to rodent phylogenetics. Parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesian analyses of the separate gene regions and combined data reveal five major lineages and refute the conventional elevation of the flying squirrels (Pteromyinae) to subfamily status. Instead, flying squirrels are derived from one of the tree squirrel lineages. C-myc indels corroborate the sequence-based topologies. The common ancestor of extant squirrels appears to have been arboreal, confirming the fossil evidence. The results also reveal an unexpected clade of mostly terrestrial squirrels with African and Holarctic centers of diversity. We present a revised classification of squirrels. Our results demonstrate the phylogenetic utility of relatively slowly evolving nuclear exonic data even for relatively recent clades. PMID:15012949

  12. Rediscovery of Biswamoyopterus (Mammalia: Rodentia: Sciuridae: Pteromyini) in Asia, with the description of a new species from Lao PDR.

    PubMed

    Sanamxay, Daosavanh; Douangboubpha, Bounsavane; Bumrungsri, Sara; Xayavong, Sysouphanh; Xayaphet, Vilakhan; Satasook, Chutamas; Bates, Paul J J

    2013-01-01

    A new species of the flying squirrel genus Biswamoyopterus is described from Lao PDR. It is based on a single specimen collected from a local food market at Ban Thongnami, Pak Kading District, Bolikhamxai Province. The new taxon shows close affinities to Biswamoyopterus biswasi, which is only known from the holotype collected in 1981, 1250 km from the current locality, in Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India. However, it differs substantially in pelage colour, most particularly on the ventral surfaces of the body, patagia, tail membrane, and tail. The single specimen was found in an area of central Lao PDR, which is characterised by its extensive limestone karst formations and which is home to other rare endemic rodents, including the Khanyou (Laonastes aenigmamus) nd the Lao limestone rat (Saxatilomyspaulinae). PMID:26473234

  13. First Asian record of Panthera (Leo) fossilis (Mammalia, Carnivora, Felidae) in the Early Pleistocene of Western Siberia, Russia.

    PubMed

    Sotnikova, Marina V; Foronova, Irina V

    2014-08-01

    A lion-like pantherine felid is described as Panthera (Leo) fossilis from the late Early Pleistocene sediments of the Kuznetsk Basin (Western Siberia, Russia). The find of P. fossilis first recorded in Asia considerably extends the current notion of the eastward expansion of the most ancient lions. The Siberian lion is geologically the oldest form and is dimensionally among the largest members of the group of fossil lions on the Eurasian continent. Although known by mandibular remains only, it is readily distinguished from Panthera (Leo) spelaea by a heavy built mandibular corpus with rectangular profile in the cheek teeth area, a deep, well-outlined and narrow anterior section of the masseteric fossa, and a large p4 supported by a big unreduced anterior root. The Siberian lion shares these features with the European Middle Pleistocene P. fossilis and the American Late Pleistocene P. (Leo) atrox, which suggests their close relationship. P. atrox originated from P. fossilis and was isolated in North America south of the Late Pleistocene ice sheets. This explains why the American lion has retained more primitive features than the coeval Eurasian cave lion P. (L.) spelaea.

  14. A Systematic Study on Tooth Enamel Microstructures of Lambdopsalis bulla (Multituberculate, Mammalia)--Implications for Multituberculate Biology and Phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Mao, Fangyuan; Wang, Yuanqing; Meng, Jin

    2015-01-01

    Tooth enamel microstructure is a reliable and widely used indicator of dietary interpretations and data for phylogenetic reconstruction, if all levels of variability are investigated. It is usually difficult to have a thorough examination at all levels of enamel structures for any mammals, especially for the early mammals, which are commonly represented by sparse specimens. Because of the random preservation of specimens, enamel microstructures from different teeth in various species are often compared. There are few examples that convincingly show intraspecific variation of tooth enamel microstructure in full dentition of a species, including multituberculates. Here we present a systematic survey of tooth enamel microstructures of Lambdopsalis bulla, a taeniolabidoid multituberculate from the Late Paleocene Nomogen Formation, Inner Mongolia. We examined enamel structures at all hierarchical levels. The samples are treated differently in section orientations and acid preparation and examined using different imaging methods. The results show that, except for preparation artifacts, the crystallites, enamel types, Schmelzmuster and dentition types of Lambdopsalis are relatively consistent in all permanent teeth, but the prism type, including the prism shape, size and density, may vary in different portions of a single tooth or among different teeth of an individual animal. The most common Schmelzmuster of the permanent teeth in Lambdopsalis is a combination of radial enamel in the inner and middle layers, aprismatic enamel in the outer layer, and irregular decussations in tooth crown area with great curvature. The prism seam is another comparably stable characteristic that may be a useful feature for multituberculate taxonomy. The systematic documentation of enamel structures in Lambdopsalis may be generalized for the enamel microstructure study, and thus for taxonomy and phylogenetic reconstruction, of multituberculates and even informative for the enamel study of other early mammals.

  15. New records of mites (Acari: Spinturnicidae) associated with bats (Mammalia, Chiroptera) in two Brazilian biomes: Pantanal and Caatinga.

    PubMed

    de Almeida, Juliana Cardoso; Martins, Mayara Almeida; Guedes, Patrícia Gonçalves; Peracchi, Adriano Lucio; Serra-Freire, Nicolau Maues

    2016-01-01

    A first survey of mite species that ectoparasitize bats in the states of Ceará and Mato Grosso was conducted. The specimens of bats and their mites were collected in areas of the Caatinga and Pantanal biomes. A total of 450 spinturnicids representing two genera and ten species was collected from 15 bat species in the Private Reserve of the Natural Patrimony Serra das Almas, Ceará State, Northeast Brazil and 138 spinturnicids represented by two genera and four species were found in seven bats species collected in Private Reserve of the Natural Patrimony Sesc Pantanal, Mato Grosso State, Central-Western Brazil. The occurrence of Cameronieta genus and the species Mesoperiglischrus natali as well as four new associations (Periglischrus iheringi - Chiroderma vizottoi; P. micronycteridis - Micronycteris sanborni; P. paracutisternus - Trachops cirrhosus; Spinturnix americanus - Myotis riparius) are registered for the first time in Brazil.

  16. Island history affects faunal composition: the treeshrews (Mammalia: Scandentia: Tupaiidae) from the Mentawai and Batu Islands, Indonesia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargis, Eric J.; Woodman, Neal; Morningstar, Natalie C.; Reese, Aspen T.; Olson, Link E.

    2014-01-01

    The Mentawai and Batu Island groups off the west coast of Sumatra have a complicated geological and biogeographical history. The Batu Islands have shared a connection with the Sumatran ‘mainland’ during periods of lowered sea level, whereas the Mentawai Islands, despite being a similar distance from Sumatra, have remained isolated from Sumatra, and probably from the Batu Islands as well. These contrasting historical relationships to Sumatra have influenced the compositions of the respective mammalian faunas of these island groups. Treeshrews (Scandentia, Tupaiidae) from these islands have, at various times in their history, been recognized as geographically circumscribed populations of a broadly distributed Tupaia glis, subspecies, or distinct species. We used multivariate analyses of measurements from the skull and hands to compare the island populations from Siberut (Mentawai Islands) and Tanahbala (Batu Islands) with the geographically adjacent species from the southern Mentawai Islands (T. chrysogaster) and Sumatra (T. ferruginea). Results from both the skull and manus of the Siberut population show that it is most similar to T. chrysogaster, whereas the Tanahbala population is more similar to T. ferruginea, confirming predictions based on island history. These results are further corroborated by mammae counts. Based on these lines of evidence, we include the Siberut population in T. chrysogaster and the Tanahbala population in T. ferruginea. Our conclusions expand the known distributions of both the Mentawai and Sumatran species. The larger geographical range of the endangered T. chrysogaster has conservation implications for this Mentawai endemic, so populations and habitat should be re-evaluated on each of the islands it inhabits. However, until such a re-evaluation is conducted, we recommend that the IUCN Red List status of this species be changed from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Data Deficient’.

  17. A new species of nectar-feeding bat, genus Lonchophylla, from western Colombia and western Ecuador (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, N.

    2007-01-01

    The twelve recognized species of nectar-feeding bats of the genus Lonchophylla occur in low- and middle-elevation, humid, Neotropical forests. Morphological and morphometrical analyses of specimens formerly lumped with Lonchophylla mordax O. Thomas (1903) support recognition of Lonchophylla concava Goldman (1914) as a separate species and reveal a third species from the western Pacific lowlands of Colombia and Ecuador that I describe herein as Lonchophylla jornicata. This new species is morphologically similar to Lonchophylla concava but is distinctively larger than that species. Tests for sexual dimorphism within these and other species of Lonchophyllini suggest a tendency for females to have slightly longer, narrower skulls, higher coronoid processes of the mandible, and longer forearms than males.

  18. Revision of the Wind River faunas, early Eocene of central Wyoming. IX - The oldest known hystricomorphous rodent (Mammalia: Rodentia)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dawson, Mary R.; Krishtalka, Leonard; Stucky, Richard K.

    1990-01-01

    The rostral portion of the skull of a new genus and species of rodent, Armintomys tullbergi, from the earliest middle Eocene of the Wind River Basin (Wyoming) provides the geologically oldest known record of the hystricomorphous zygomasseteric structure. Armintomys also preserves the oldest known occurrence of incisor enamel that is transitional from pauciserial to uniserial. Other dental characters include: anteriorly grooved incisor, small premolars, and relatively primitive sciuravidlike molars. Analysis of this unique combination of characters implies that Armintomys is the oldest known myomorph rodent and the only known representative of a new family. Armintomyidae, which is referred, with question, to the myomorph superfamily Dipodoidea. Armintomys is more primitive, especially in premolar retention and structure, than the Bridgerian zapodid Elymys from Nevada, but adds to evidence from the latter for an early origin and radiation of dipodoid rodents.

  19. The Role of Grunt Calls in the Social Dominance Hierarchy of the White-Lipped Peccary (Mammalia, Tayassuidae)

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira, Selene S. C.; Caselli, Christini B.; Costa, Thaise S. O.; Moura, Leiliany N.; Nogueira-Filho, Sérgio L. G.

    2016-01-01

    Grunt-like calls are present in the vocal repertoire of many group-living mammals and seem to facilitate social interactions between lower and higher-ranking members. The white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) lives in stable hierarchical mixed-sex groups and like non-human primates, usually emits grunt-like calls following aggressive interactions, mainly during feeding contexts. We investigated the possible functions of peccaries’ grunt-like calls and their relationship to the individuals’ social rank, identity, and sexual dimorphism. We observed that low-ranking individuals emitted grunt-like calls more often than high-ranking ones, and that the alpha male never emitted this vocalization. Moreover, the mean minimum frequency of grunt-like calls decreased as the peccary’s rank increased. The findings revealed differences among individual grunts, but the low accuracy of cross-validation (16%) suggests that individual recognition in peccaries may be less important than an honest signal of individual social status. In addition, the absence of differences in the acoustic parameters of grunt-like calls between males and females points to the lack of sexual dimorphism in this species. We verified that after hearing grunt calls, dominant opponents were more likely to cease attacking a victim, or at least delay the continuation of conflict, probably decreasing the severity of agonistic interactions. Our findings are particularly important to improve the current understanding of the role of grunt-like calls in herd-living mammals with linear dominant hierarchies, and strongly suggest that they are involved in the maintenance of herd social stability and cohesion. PMID:27409797

  20. Comparison of climate space and phylogeny of Marmota (Mammalia: Rodentia) indicates a connection between evolutionary history and climate preference.

    PubMed

    Davis, Edward Byrd

    2005-03-01

    Palaeobiologists have investigated the evolutionary responses to extinct organisms to climate change, and have also used extinct organisms to reconstruct palaeoclimates. There is evidence of a disconnection between climate change and evolution that suggest that organism may not be accurate paleoclimate indicators. Here, marmots (Marmota sp.) are used as a case study to examine whether similarity of climate preferences is correlated with evolutionary relatedness of species. This study tests for a relationship between phylogenetic distance and 'climate distance' of species with a clade. There should be a significant congruence between maximus likelihood distance and standardized Euclidian distance between climates if daughter species tend to say in environments similar to parent species. Marmots make a good test case because there are many extant species, their phylogenetics are well established and individual survival is linked to climatic factors. A Mantel test indicates a significant correlation between climate and phylogenetic distance matrices, but this relationship explains only a small fraction of the variance (regression R(2) = 0.114). These results that (i) closely related species of marmots tend to stay in similar environments; (ii) marmots may be more susceptible than may mammals to global climate change; and (iii) because of the considerable noise in this system, the correlation cannot be used for detailed palaeoclimate reconstruction.

  1. Sensitivity of populations of bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in relation to human development in northern Paraná, southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Reis, N R; Gallo, P H; Peracchi, A L; Lima, L P; Fregonezi, M N

    2012-08-01

    Most natural forests have been converted for human use, restricting biological life to small forest fragments. Many animals, including some species of bats are disappearing and the list of these species grows every day. It seems that the destruction of the habitat is one of its major causes. This study aimed to analyze how this community of bats was made up in environments with different sizes and quality of habitat. Data from studies conducted in the region of Londrina, Parana, Brazil, from 1982 to 2000 were used. Originally, this area was covered by a semi deciduous forest, especially Aspidosperma polyneuron (Apocynaceae), Ficus insipida (Moraceae), Euterpe edulis (Arecaceae), Croton floribundus (Euforbiaceae), and currently, only small remnants of the original vegetation still exist. The results showed a decline in the number of species caught in smaller areas compared to the largest remnant. In about 18 years of sampling, 42 species of bats were found in the region, representing 67% of the species that occur in Paraná and 24.4% in Brazil. There were two species of Noctilionidae; 21 of Phyllostoma; 11 Vespertilionidae and eight Molossidae. Eight of these were captured only in the largest fragment, Mata dos Godoy State Park (680 ha). Ten species had a low capture rate in the smaller areas with less than three individuals. Of the total sampled, 14 species were found in human buildings, and were able to tolerate modified environments, foraging and even using them as shelter. As the size of the forest area increases, there is a greater variety of ecological opportunities and their physical conditions become more stable, i.e., conditions favorable for growth and survival of a greater number of species. Forest fragmentation limits and creates subpopulations, preserving only long-lived K-strategist animals for some time, where the supporting capacity of the environment is a limiting factor. The reduction of habitats, species and genetic diversity resulting from human activities are endangering the future adaptability in natural ecosystems, which promotes the disappearance of low adaptive potential species.

  2. Case 3018. Cervus gouazoubira Fischer, 1814 (currently Mazama gouazoubira; Mammalia, Artiodactyla): proposed conservation as the correct original spelling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gardner, A.L.

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of this application is to conserve the spelling of the specific name of Cervus gouazoubira Fischer, 1814 for the brown brocket deer of South America (family Cervidae). This spelling, rather than the original gouazoubira, has been in virtually universal usage for almost 50 years.

  3. Comparison of climate space and phylogeny of Marmota (Mammalia: Rodentia) indicates a connection between evolutionary history and climate preference

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Edward Byrd

    2005-01-01

    Palaeobiologists have investigated the evolutionary responses of extinct organisms to climate change, and have also used extinct organisms to reconstruct palaeoclimates. There is evidence of a disconnection between climate change and evolution that suggests that organisms may not be accurate palaeoclimate indicators. Here, marmots (Marmota sp.) are used as a case study to examine whether similarity of climate preferences is correlated with evolutionary relatedness of species. This study tests for a relationship between phylogenetic distance and `climate distance' of species within a clade. There should be a significant congruence between maximum likelihood distance and standardized Euclidian distance between climates if daughter species tend to stay in environments similar to parent species. Marmots make a good test case because there are many extant species, their phylogenies are well established and individual survival is linked to climatic factors. A Mantel test indicates a significant correlation between climate and phylogenetic distance matrices, but this relationship explains only a small fraction of the variance (regression R2=0.114). These results suggest that (i) closely related species of marmots tend to stay in similar environments; (ii) marmots may be more susceptible than many mammals to global climate change; and (iii) because of the considerable noise in this system, the correlation cannot be used for detailed palaeoclimate reconstruction. PMID:15799948

  4. Mammals from ‘down under’: a multi-gene species-level phylogeny of marsupial mammals (Mammalia, Metatheria)

    PubMed Central

    Kilpatrick, C. William; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2015-01-01

    Marsupials or metatherians are a group of mammals that are distinct in giving birth to young at early stages of development and in having a prolonged investment in lactation. The group consists of nearly 350 extant species, including kangaroos, koala, possums, and their relatives. Marsupials are an old lineage thought to have diverged from early therian mammals some 160 million years ago in the Jurassic, and have a remarkable evolutionary and biogeographical history, with extant species restricted to the Americas, mostly South America, and to Australasia. Although the group has been the subject of decades of phylogenetic research, the marsupial tree of life remains controversial, with most studies focusing on only a fraction of the species diversity within the infraclass. Here we present the first Methaterian species-level phylogeny to include 80% of the extant marsupial species and five nuclear and five mitochondrial markers obtained from Genbank and a recently published retroposon matrix. Our primary goal is to provide a summary phylogeny that will serve as a tool for comparative research. We evaluate the extent to which the phylogeny recovers current phylogenetic knowledge based on the recovery of “benchmark clades” from prior studies—unambiguously supported key clades and undisputed traditional taxonomic groups. The Bayesian phylogenetic analyses recovered nearly all benchmark clades but failed to find support for the suborder Phalagiformes. The most significant difference with previous published topologies is the support for Australidelphia as a group containing Microbiotheriidae, nested within American marsupials. However, a likelihood ratio test shows that alternative topologies with monophyletic Australidelphia and Ameridelphia are not significantly different than the preferred tree. Although further data are needed to solidify understanding of Methateria phylogeny, the new phylogenetic hypothesis provided here offers a well resolved and detailed tool for comparative analyses, covering the majority of the known species richness of the group. PMID:25755933

  5. A new creodont Metapterodon stromeri nov. sp. (Hyaenodontidae, Mammalia) from the Early Miocene of Langental (Sperrgebiet, Namibia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales, Jorge; Pickford, Martin; Soria, Dolores

    1998-11-01

    The recovery of a new species of small creodont from the Early Miocene of coastal Namibia including associated upper and lower dental elements reveals that the group is in need of revision. Previously, East African samples assigned to Metapterodon consisted only of maxillae while Isohyaenodon was only represented by lower jaws. It is now clear that the East African Metapterodon specimens represent the upper jaws of Isohyaenodon, while the Namibian material belongs to a separate genus Metapterodon which seems to be absent from East Africa.

  6. Arktocara yakataga, a new fossil odontocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Oligocene of Alaska and the antiquity of Platanistoidea

    PubMed Central

    Pyenson, Nicholas D.

    2016-01-01

    The diversification of crown cetacean lineages (i.e., crown Odontoceti and crown Mysticeti) occurred throughout the Oligocene, but it remains an ongoing challenge to resolve the phylogenetic pattern of their origins, especially with respect to stem lineages. One extant monotypic lineage, Platanista gangetica (the Ganges and Indus river dolphin), is the sole surviving member of the broader group Platanistoidea, with many fossil relatives that range from Oligocene to Miocene in age. Curiously, the highly threatened Platanista is restricted today to freshwater river systems of South Asia, yet nearly all fossil platanistoids are known globally from marine rocks, suggesting a marine ancestry for this group. In recent years, studies on the phylogenetic relationships in Platanistoidea have reached a general consensus about the membership of different sub-clades and putative extinct groups, although the position of some platanistoid groups (e.g., Waipatiidae) has been contested. Here we describe a new genus and species of fossil platanistoid, Arktocara yakataga, gen. et sp. nov. from the Oligocene of Alaska, USA. The type and only known specimen was collected from the marine Poul Creek Formation, a unit known to include Oligocene strata, exposed in the Yakutat City and Borough of Southeast Alaska. In our phylogenetic analysis of stem and node-based Platanistoidea, Arktocara falls within the node-based sub-clade Allodelphinidae as the sister taxon to Allodelphis pratti. With a geochronologic age between ∼29–24 million years old, Arktocara is among the oldest crown Odontoceti, reinforcing the long-standing view that the diversification for crown lineages must have occurred no later than the early Oligocene. PMID:27602287

  7. A New Late Miocene Odobenid (Mammalia: Carnivora) from Hokkaido, Japan Suggests Rapid Diversification of Basal Miocene Odobenids

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Yoshihiro; Kohno, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    The modern walrus, Odobenus rosmarus, is specialized and only extant member of the family Odobenidae. They were much more diversified in the past, and at least 16 genera and 20 species of fossil walruses have been known. Although their diversity increased in the late Miocene and Pliocene (around 8–2 Million years ago), older records are poorly known. A new genus and species of archaic odobenid, Archaeodobenus akamatsui, gen. et sp. nov. from the late Miocene (ca. 10.0–9.5 Ma) top of the Ichibangawa Formation, Hokkaido, northern Japan, suggests rapid diversification of basal Miocene walruses. Archaeodobenus akamatsui is the contemporaneous Pseudotaria muramotoi from the same formation, but they are distinguishable from each other in size and shape of the occipital condyle, foramen magnum and mastoid process of the cranium, and other postcranial features. Based on our phylogenetic analysis, A. akamatsui might have split from P. muramotoi at the late Miocene in the western North Pacific. This rapid diversification of the archaic odobenids occurred with a combination of marine regression and transgression, which provided geological isolation among the common ancestors of extinct odobenids. PMID:26244784

  8. A New Late Miocene Odobenid (Mammalia: Carnivora) from Hokkaido, Japan Suggests Rapid Diversification of Basal Miocene Odobenids.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Yoshihiro; Kohno, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    The modern walrus, Odobenus rosmarus, is specialized and only extant member of the family Odobenidae. They were much more diversified in the past, and at least 16 genera and 20 species of fossil walruses have been known. Although their diversity increased in the late Miocene and Pliocene (around 8-2 Million years ago), older records are poorly known. A new genus and species of archaic odobenid, Archaeodobenus akamatsui, gen. et sp. nov. from the late Miocene (ca. 10.0-9.5 Ma) top of the Ichibangawa Formation, Hokkaido, northern Japan, suggests rapid diversification of basal Miocene walruses. Archaeodobenus akamatsui is the contemporaneous Pseudotaria muramotoi from the same formation, but they are distinguishable from each other in size and shape of the occipital condyle, foramen magnum and mastoid process of the cranium, and other postcranial features. Based on our phylogenetic analysis, A. akamatsui might have split from P. muramotoi at the late Miocene in the western North Pacific. This rapid diversification of the archaic odobenids occurred with a combination of marine regression and transgression, which provided geological isolation among the common ancestors of extinct odobenids.

  9. [Decorative forms of hamsters Phodopus (Mammalia, Cricetinae): an analysis of genetic lines distribution and peculiarities of hair changes].

    PubMed

    Feoktistova, N Iu; Chernova, O F; Meshcherskiĭ, I G

    2012-01-01

    Three species of dwarf hamsters (genus Phodopus, family Cricetidae) inhabit some regions of Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China, each having quite extensive range. In recent decades, the dwarf hamsters became widely spread all over the world, initially as laboratory animals and later as popular pets. By now, there is lot of decorative breed lines and colored forms of these animals. Comparison of mtDNA nucleotide sequences of dwarf hamsters acquired in pet shops of some countries in Europe, South-East Asia and North America with distribution of mtDNA haplotypes within natural ranges showed the limitation of decorative line founders' points of origin by one region for each of the species. All haplotypes found in decorative Dzungarian hamsters (Ph. sungorus) purchased ounside Russia coincide with or are significantly close to haplotypes spread in the southern part of West Siberia (Russia) and adjacent regions of Kazakhstan; haplotypes of decorative Campbell's hamster (Ph. campbelli) belong to haplogroup of this species natural populations inhabiting South Tyva (Russia); and all studied decorative Desert hamsters (Ph. roborovskii) had one hapotype specific for South-Eastern Kazakhstan. The review of the history of researches on dwarf hamsters biology allows to determine delivery of hamsters from mentioned regions to scientific laboratories and zoos by certain expeditions and/or researchers. Unlike hamsters with natural hair color, the colored hamsters have no normal hair. Their hair is dull and straggly. The hair differentiation (presence of different hair types and their size characteristics) gets broken and results in deformation, bending, and splitting of the shaft, cracks in cuticle, change of configuration and location of medulla, uneven development of cortex. It is assumed that these destructive changes are associated with genetic characteristics of these hamsters' colored forms.

  10. Molecular assessment of the phylogeny and biogeography of a recently diversified endemic group of South American canids (Mammalia: Carnivora: Canidae).

    PubMed

    Tchaicka, Ligia; Freitas, Thales Renato Ochotorena de; Bager, Alex; Vidal, Stela Luengos; Lucherini, Mauro; Iriarte, Agustín; Novaro, Andres; Geffen, Eli; Garcez, Fabricio Silva; Johnson, Warren E; Wayne, Robert K; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the evolution and biogeography of an endemic group of South American foxes, we examined mitochondrial DNA control region sequences for 118 individuals belonging to all six extant species of the genus Lycalopex. Phylogenetic and molecular dating analyses supported the inference that this genus has undergone a very recent and rapid radiation, stemming from a common ancestor that lived ca. 1 million years ago. The Brazilian endemic L. vetulus was supported as the most basal species in this genus, whereas the most internal group is comprised by the recently diverged (ca. 350,000 years ago) Andean/Patagonian species L. griseus and L. culpaeus. We discuss the inferred phylogenetic relationships and divergence times in the context of the current geographic distributions of these species, and the likely effects of Pleistocene climatic changes on the biogeography of this group. Furthermore, a remarkable finding was the identification of multiple individuals classified as L. gymnocercus bearing mtDNA haplotypes clearly belonging to L. griseus, sampled in regions where the latter is not known to occur. At a minimum, this result implies the need to clarify the present-day geographic distribution of each of these fox species, while it may also indicate an ongoing hybridization process between them. Future testing of this hypothesis with in-depth analyses of these populations is thus a priority for understanding the history, evolutionary dynamics and present-day composition of this endemic Neotropical genus. PMID:27560989

  11. The adaptive significance of enamel loss in the mandibular incisors of cercopithecine primates (Mammalia: Cercopithecidae): a finite element modelling study.

    PubMed

    Kupczik, Kornelius; Lev-Tov Chattah, Netta

    2014-01-01

    In several primate groups enamel is reduced or absent from the lingual (tongue) side of the mandibular incisor crowns akin to other placental and marsupial mammalian groups such as rodents, lagomorphs and wombats. Here we investigate the presumed adaptation of crowns with unilateral enamel to the incision of tough foods in cercopithecines, an Old World monkey subfamily, using a simulation approach. We developed and validated a finite element model of the lower central incisor of the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) with labial enamel only to compute three-dimensional displacements and maximum principal stresses on the crown subjected to compressive loads varying in orientation. Moreover, we developed a model of a macaque incisor with enamel present on both labial and lingual aspects, thus resembling the ancestral condition found in the sister taxon, the leaf-eating colobines. The results showed that, concomitant with experimental results, the cercopithecine crown with unilateral enamel bends predominantly towards the inside of the mouth, while displacements decreased when both labial and lingual enamel are present. Importantly, the cercopithecine incisor crown experienced lower maximum principal stress on the lingual side compared to the incisor with enamel on the lingual and labial aspects under non-axial loads directed either towards the inside or outside of the mouth. These findings suggest that cercopithecine mandibular incisors are adapted to a wide range of ingestive behaviours compared to colobines. We conclude that the evolutionary loss of lingual enamel in cercopithecines has conferred a safeguard against crown failure under a loading regime assumed for the ingestion (peeling, scraping) of tough-skinned fruits. PMID:24831704

  12. A new African fossil caprin and a combined molecular and morphological Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of caprini (Mammalia: Bovidae).

    PubMed

    Bibi, F; Vrba, E; Fack, F

    2012-09-01

    Given that most species that have ever existed on Earth are extinct, no evolutionary history can ever be complete without the inclusion of fossil taxa. Bovids (antelopes and relatives) are one of the most diverse clades of large mammals alive today, with over a hundred living species and hundreds of documented fossil species. With the advent of molecular phylogenetics, major advances have been made in the phylogeny of this clade; however, there has been little attempt to integrate the fossil record into the developing phylogenetic picture. We here describe a new large fossil caprin species from ca. 1.9-Ma deposits from the Middle Awash, Ethiopia. To place the new species phylogenetically, we perform a Bayesian analysis of a combined molecular (cytochrome b) and morphological (osteological) character supermatrix. We include all living species of Caprini, the new fossil species, a fossil takin from the Pliocene of Ethiopia (Budorcas churcheri), and the insular subfossil Myotragus balearicus. The combined analysis demonstrates successful incorporation of both living and fossil species within a single phylogeny based on both molecular and morphological evidence. Analysis of the combined supermatrix produces superior resolution than with either the molecular or morphological data sets considered alone. Parsimony and Bayesian analyses of the data set are also compared and shown to produce similar results. The combined phylogenetic analysis indicates that the new fossil species is nested within Capra, making it one of the earliest representatives of this clade, with implications for molecular clock calibration. Geographical optimization indicates no less than four independent dispersals into Africa by caprins since the Pliocene.

  13. Cranial remain from Tunisia provides new clues for the origin and evolution of Sirenia (Mammalia, Afrotheria) in Africa.

    PubMed

    Benoit, Julien; Adnet, Sylvain; El Mabrouk, Essid; Khayati, Hayet; Ben Haj Ali, Mustapha; Marivaux, Laurent; Merzeraud, Gilles; Merigeaud, Samuel; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Tabuce, Rodolphe

    2013-01-01

    Sea cows (manatees, dugongs) are the only living marine mammals to feed solely on aquatic plants. Unlike whales or dolphins (Cetacea), the earliest evolutionary history of sirenians is poorly documented, and limited to a few fossils including skulls and skeletons of two genera composing the stem family of Prorastomidae (Prorastomus and Pezosiren). Surprisingly, these fossils come from the Eocene of Jamaica, while stem Hyracoidea and Proboscidea--the putative sister-groups to Sirenia--are recorded in Africa as early as the Late Paleocene. So far, the historical biogeography of early Sirenia has remained obscure given this paradox between phylogeny and fossil record. Here we use X-ray microtomography to investigate a newly discovered sirenian petrosal from the Eocene of Tunisia. This fossil represents the oldest occurrence of sirenians in Africa. The morphology of this petrosal is more primitive than the Jamaican prorastomids' one, which emphasizes the basal position of this new African taxon within the Sirenia clade. This discovery testifies to the great antiquity of Sirenia in Africa, and therefore supports their African origin. While isotopic analyses previously suggested sirenians had adapted directly to the marine environment, new paleoenvironmental evidence suggests that basal-most sea cows were likely restricted to fresh waters. PMID:23342128

  14. Reconsidering the taxonomy of the Black-Faced Uacaris, Cacajao melanocephalus group (Mammalia: Pitheciidae), from the northern Amazon Basin.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Stephen F; Guedes, Patrícia G; Figueiredo-Ready, Wilsea M B; Barnett, Adrian A

    2014-09-24

    The black-faced uacaris are a poorly known group of platyrrhine monkeys from the Rio Negro basin in northwestern Amazonia. Originally described as two distinct species-Cacajao melanocephalus (Humboldt 1812) and Cacajao ouakary (Spix 1823)-from opposite banks of the Negro, they were treated as a single species until the end of the twentieth century, when molecular studies reconfirmed their status as true species. One of these studies not only nominated a third (northern) species, Cacajao ayresi Boubli et al. 2008, but also identified C. ouakary as a junior synonym of C. melanocephalus, resulting in the introduction of a new nomen, Cacajao hosomi Boubli et al. 2008. In the present study, additional evidence on morphological and zoogeographic variables is analyzed, which indicates that C. ouakary should be reinstated, and supports the nomination of a neotype of C. melanocephalus. The molecular and zoogeographic data on the species status of the ayresi form are also re-assessed, leading to the conclusion that, on the basis of the evidence available at the present time, this form should be considered a subspecies of C. melanocephalus. A new taxonomic arrangement is proposed, which recognizes two species, C. ouakary and C. melanocephalus, the latter with two subspecies, C. m. melanocephalus and C. m. ayresi.

  15. The taxonomic status of badgers (Mammalia, Mustelidae) from Southwest Asia based on cranial morphometrics, with the redescription of Meles canescens.

    PubMed

    Abramov, Alexei V; Puzachenko, Andrey Yu

    2013-01-01

    The Eurasian badgers (Meles spp.) are widespread in the Palaearctic Region, occurring from the British Islands in the west to the Japanese Islands in the east, including the Scandinavia, Southwest Asia and southern China. The morphometric variation in 30 cranial characters of 692 skulls of Meles from across the Palaearctic was here analyzed. This craniometric analysis revealed a significant difference between the European and Asian badger phylogenetic lineages, which can be further split in two pairs of taxa: meles - canescens and leucurus - anakuma. Overall, European badger populations are very similar morphologically, particularly with regards to the skull shape, but differ notably from those from Asia Minor, the Middle East and Transcaucasia. Based on the current survey of badger specimens available in main world museums, we have recognized four distinctive, parapatric species: Meles meles, found in most of Europe; Meles leucurus from continental Asia; M. anakuma from Japan; and M. canescens from Southwest Asia and the mountains of Middle Asia. These results are in agreement with those based on recent molecular data analyses. The morphological peculiarities and distribution range of M. canescens are discussed. The origin and evolution of Meles species, which is yet poorly understood, is also briefly discussed. PMID:25232583

  16. The petrosal bone and bony labyrinth of early to middle Miocene European deer (Mammalia, Cervidae) reveal their phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Mennecart, Bastien; Rössner, Gertrud E; Métais, Grégoire; DeMiguel, Daniel; Schulz, Georg; Müller, Bert; Costeur, Loïc

    2016-10-01

    Deer (Cervidae) have a long evolutionary history dating back to the Early Miocene, around 19 million years ago. The best known fossils to document this history belong to European taxa, which all bear cranial appendages more or less similar to today's deer antlers. Despite the good fossil record, relationships of the earliest stem deer and earliest crown deer are much debated. This hampers precise calibration against the independent evidence of the fossil record in molecular clock analyses. While much has been written on the Early and Middle Miocene deer, only two phylogenetic analyses have been performed on these taxa to date mostly based on cranial appendage characters. Because the petrosal bone and bony labyrinth have been shown to be relevant for phylogeny in ruminants, we describe for the first time these elements for four iconic early cervids from Europe (Procervulus dichotomus, Heteroprox larteti, Dicrocerus elegans and Euprox furcatus) and include them in a phylogenetic analysis based on the ear region exclusively. The analysis recovered E. furcatus in a sister position to the living red deer (Cervus elaphus). Further, it placed D. elegans in a sister position to Euprox + Cervus and a clade Procervulinae that includes P. dichotomus and H. larteti, in sister position to all other deer. The inclusion of E. furcatus in crown Cervidae, which was previously suggested based on antler morphology, cannot be ruled out here but needs a more comprehensive comparison to other crown deer to be confirmed. J. Morphol. 277:1329-1338, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27460747

  17. Homeotic Evolution in the Mammalia: Diversification of Therian Axial Seriation and the Morphogenetic Basis of Human Origins

    PubMed Central

    Filler, Aaron G.

    2007-01-01

    Background Despite the rising interest in homeotic genes, little has been known about the course and pattern of evolution of homeotic traits across the mammalian radiation. An array of emerging and diversifying homeotic gradients revealed by this study appear to generate new body plans and drive evolution at a large scale. Methodology/Principal Findings This study identifies and evaluates a set of homeotic gradients across 250 extant and fossil mammalian species and their antecedents over a period of 220 million years. These traits are generally expressed as co-linear gradients along the body axis rather than as distinct segmental identities. Relative position or occurrence sequence vary independently and are subject to polarity reversal and mirroring. Five major gradient modification sets are identified: (1)–quantitative changes of primary segmental identity pattern that appeared at the origin of the tetrapods ; (2)–frame shift relation of costal and vertebral identity which diversifies from the time of amniote origins; (3)–duplication, mirroring, splitting and diversification of the neomorphic laminar process first commencing at the dawn of mammals; (4)–emergence of homologically variable lumbar lateral processes upon commencement of the radiation of therian mammals and ; (5)–inflexions and transpositions of the relative position of the horizontal septum of the body and the neuraxis at the emergence of various orders of therian mammals. Convergent functional changes under homeotic control include laminar articular engagement with septo-neural transposition and ventrally arrayed lumbar transverse process support systems. Conclusion/Significance Clusters of homeotic transformations mark the emergence point of mammals in the Triassic and the radiation of therians in the Cretaceous. A cluster of homeotic changes in the Miocene hominoid Morotopithecus that are still seen in humans supports establishment of a new “hominiform” clade and suggests a homeotic origin for the human upright body plan. PMID:17925867

  18. A Systematic Study on Tooth Enamel Microstructures of Lambdopsalis bulla (Multituberculate, Mammalia) - Implications for Multituberculate Biology and Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Fangyuan; Wang, Yuanqing; Meng, Jin

    2015-01-01

    Tooth enamel microstructure is a reliable and widely used indicator of dietary interpretations and data for phylogenetic reconstruction, if all levels of variability are investigated. It is usually difficult to have a thorough examination at all levels of enamel structures for any mammals, especially for the early mammals, which are commonly represented by sparse specimens. Because of the random preservation of specimens, enamel microstructures from different teeth in various species are often compared. There are few examples that convincingly show intraspecific variation of tooth enamel microstructure in full dentition of a species, including multituberculates. Here we present a systematic survey of tooth enamel microstructures of Lambdopsalis bulla, a taeniolabidoid multituberculate from the Late Paleocene Nomogen Formation, Inner Mongolia. We examined enamel structures at all hierarchical levels. The samples are treated differently in section orientations and acid preparation and examined using different imaging methods. The results show that, except for preparation artifacts, the crystallites, enamel types, Schmelzmuster and dentition types of Lambdopsalis are relatively consistent in all permanent teeth, but the prism type, including the prism shape, size and density, may vary in different portions of a single tooth or among different teeth of an individual animal. The most common Schmelzmuster of the permanent teeth in Lambdopsalis is a combination of radial enamel in the inner and middle layers, aprismatic enamel in the outer layer, and irregular decussations in tooth crown area with great curvature. The prism seam is another comparably stable characteristic that may be a useful feature for multituberculate taxonomy. The systematic documentation of enamel structures in Lambdopsalis may be generalized for the enamel microstructure study, and thus for taxonomy and phylogenetic reconstruction, of multituberculates and even informative for the enamel study of other early mammals. PMID:26020958

  19. Postnatal ontogenetic size and shape changes in the craniums of plateau pika and woolly hare (Mammalia: Lagomorpha)

    PubMed Central

    Zhi-Gui, ZHANG; De-Yan, GE

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, postnatal ontogenetic size and shape changes in the cranium of two lagomorph species, the plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) and woolly hare (Lepus oiostolus), were investigated by geometric morphometrics. The ontogenetic size and shape changes of their cranium exhibited different growth patterns in response to similar environmental pressures on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The overall size change in the cranium of the plateau pika was slower than that of the woolly hare. The percentage of ontogenetic shape variance explained by size in the woolly hare was greater than that in the plateau pika. The overall shape of the cranium was narrowed in both species, and morphological components in relation to neural maturity showed negative allometry, while those responsible for muscular development showed isometric or positive allometry. The most remarkable shape variations in the plateau pika were associated with food acquisition (temporalis development), though other remarkable shape variations in the incisive and palatal foramen in the ventral view were also observed. The most important shape change in the woolly hare was demonstrated by the elongation of the nasal bones, expansion of the supra-orbital process and shape variation of the neurocranium. PMID:25017747

  20. Updating the evolutionary history of Carnivora (Mammalia): a new species-level supertree complete with divergence time estimates

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Although it has proven to be an important foundation for investigations of carnivoran ecology, biology and evolution, the complete species-level supertree for Carnivora of Bininda-Emonds et al. is showing its age. Additional, largely molecular sequence data are now available for many species and the advancement of computer technology means that many of the limitations of the original analysis can now be avoided. We therefore sought to provide an updated estimate of the phylogenetic relationships within all extant Carnivora, again using supertree analysis to be able to analyze as much of the global phylogenetic database for the group as possible. Results In total, 188 source trees were combined, representing 114 trees from the literature together with 74 newly constructed gene trees derived from nearly 45,000 bp of sequence data from GenBank. The greater availability of sequence data means that the new supertree is almost completely resolved and also better reflects current phylogenetic opinion (for example, supporting a monophyletic Mephitidae, Eupleridae and Prionodontidae; placing Nandinia binotata as sister to the remaining Feliformia). Following an initial rapid radiation, diversification rate analyses indicate a downturn in the net speciation rate within the past three million years as well as a possible increase some 18.0 million years ago; numerous diversification rate shifts within the order were also identified. Conclusions Together, the two carnivore supertrees remain the only complete phylogenetic estimates for all extant species and the new supertree, like the old one, will form a key tool in helping us to further understand the biology of this charismatic group of carnivores. PMID:22369503

  1. The second known specimen of Monodelphis unistriata (Wagner) (Mammalia: Didelphimorphia), with redescription of the species and phylogenetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Pine, Ronald H; Flores, David A; Bauer, Kurt

    2013-01-01

    Very little information exists relevant to the species grouping and phylogenetic relationships of the opossum genus Monodelphis Burnett. Of the clearly distinct named species, the least information is available for M. unistriata (Wagner), one of the world's most poorly known species of mammals. Extant specimens consist of the Brazilian holotype of a skin now without a skull and dating from almost 200 years ago, and a second specimen with skin and incomplete skull dating from over a hundred years ago and from Argentina. The most recent published notes on the holotype date from well over half a century ago and, all told, such notes, the earliest dating from 1842, add up to a highly fragmentary and contradictory picture. No observations whatsoever have ever been published for the second and more complete specimen. Also, no hypotheses have ever been made concerning the intrageneric affinities of M. unistriata and such affinities have also been obscure throughout the genus. Herein, we provide a detailed redescription of M. unistriata, the first published images of specimens, and the first account, beyond the previous few most vague and incomplete remarks, of the morphology of the skull. In an effort to ascertain the phylogenetic affinities of M. unistriata, we performed a combined molecular (cytochrome b) and nonmolecular (postcranial, cranial, integument, and karyotypic characters) parsimony analysis incorporating 27 species of didelphids, including 11 of Monodelphis. Our results strongly support the monophyly of Monodelphis, and place M. unistriata as sister group to M. iheringi, among the included species. PMID:26000426

  2. Relaxed clocks and inferences of heterogeneous patterns of nucleotide substitution and divergence time estimates across whales and dolphins (Mammalia: Cetacea).

    PubMed

    Dornburg, Alex; Brandley, Matthew C; McGowen, Michael R; Near, Thomas J

    2012-02-01

    Various nucleotide substitution models have been developed to accommodate among lineage rate heterogeneity, thereby relaxing the assumptions of the strict molecular clock. Recently developed "uncorrelated relaxed clock" and "random local clock" (RLC) models allow decoupling of nucleotide substitution rates between descendant lineages and are thus predicted to perform better in the presence of lineage-specific rate heterogeneity. However, it is uncertain how these models perform in the presence of punctuated shifts in substitution rate, especially between closely related clades. Using cetaceans (whales and dolphins) as a case study, we test the performance of these two substitution models in estimating both molecular rates and divergence times in the presence of substantial lineage-specific rate heterogeneity. Our RLC analyses of whole mitochondrial genome alignments find evidence for up to ten clade-specific nucleotide substitution rate shifts in cetaceans. We provide evidence that in the uncorrelated relaxed clock framework, a punctuated shift in the rate of molecular evolution within a subclade results in posterior rate estimates that are either misled or intermediate between the disparate rate classes present in baleen and toothed whales. Using simulations, we demonstrate abrupt changes in rate isolated to one or a few lineages in the phylogeny can mislead rate and age estimation, even when the node of interest is calibrated. We further demonstrate how increasing prior age uncertainty can bias rate and age estimates, even while the 95% highest posterior density around age estimates decreases; in other words, increased precision for an inaccurate estimate. We interpret the use of external calibrations in divergence time studies in light of these results, suggesting that rate shifts at deep time scales may mislead inferences of absolute molecular rates and ages.

  3. The sweet spot of a biological hammer: the centre of percussion of glyptodont (Mammalia: Xenarthra) tail clubs

    PubMed Central

    Blanco, R. Ernesto; Jones, Washington W.; Rinderknecht, Andrés

    2009-01-01

    The importance of the centre of percussion (CP) of some hand-held sporting equipment (such as tennis rackets and baseball bats) for athletic performance is well known. In order to avoid injuries it is important that powerful blows are located close to the CP. Several species of glyptodont (giant armoured mammals) had tail clubs that can be modelled as rigid beams (like baseball bats) and it is generally assumed that these were useful for agonistic behaviour. However, the variation in tail club morphology among known genera suggests that a biomechanical and functional analysis of these structures could be useful. Here, we outline a novel method to determine the CP of the glyptodont tail clubs. We find that the largest species had the CP very close to the possible location of horny spikes. This is consistent with the inference that they were adapted to delivering powerful blows at that point. Our new analysis reinforces the case for agonistic use of tail clubs in several glyptodont species. PMID:19710060

  4. New data on recently described rodent species Paulina's Limestone Rat Saxatilomys paulinae Musser, Smith, Robinson & Lunde, 2005 (Mammalia: Rodentia)

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Nghia Xuan; Ngo, Tuong Xuan; Nguyen, Duy Dinh

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Paulina's Limestone Rat Saxatilomys paulinae Musser et al., 2005 was first discovered by Musser et al. (2005) based on specimens from the Khammouane Limestone National Biodiversity Conservation Area (NBCA) in Khammouane Province in central Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR). This tower karst landscape is part of the Central Indochina Limestone massif, which extends eastward into north-central Vietnam in Quang Binh and Quang Tri Provinces. New information In April 2014, we conducted a rodent survey and collected four (4) whole specimens of Saxatilomys paulinae in Quang Binh province. This is the first record of Saxatilomys paulinae in Vietnam. External and craniodental characteristics of all specimens clearly exhibit the characters of Saxatilomys paulinae as described in Musser et al. (2005)​. The rats are of medium size (HB: 160.3 ± 2.03 mm, T: 192.3 ± 6.69 mm) with some specific morpological characteristics. The external and craniodental measurement of the specimens from Vietnam tend to be larger than those of specimens from Lao. However, this needs to be verified by more studies in future. The habitat of Saxatilomys paulinae in Vietnam is characterized by complicated terrain comprising low karst towers (around 400 m) with steep slopes covered under limestone humid evergreen forest. The forest has been affected by selected timber logging in the past, but still has a complex 4-layer structure. The population of Saxatilomys paulinae in Vietnam is threatened by rodent trapping/snaring and habitat disturbance. More status surveys should be conducted to assess the species distributional range and its population status for undertaking relevant conservation measures. PMID:26023285

  5. Regarding the real diversity of Glyptodontidae (Mammalia, Xenarthra) in the late Pliocene (Chapadmalalan Age/Stage) of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Zurita, Alfredo E; Taglioretti, Matías; DE Los Reyes, Martín; Cuadrelli, Francisco; Poire, Daniel

    2016-06-01

    A large diversity of Glyptodontidae has been proposed as characterizing the Chapadmalalan Age (Pliocene). Most of these taxa were recognized on the basis of partial dorsal carapaces and/or caudal tubes, whereas the main diagnostic characteristic is a particular morphology of the exposed surface of the osteoderms. From a biostratigraphic point of view some species are biostratigraphically important. The Upper Chapadmalalan is based on the Paraglyptodon chapadmalensis biozone. Both the re-evaluation of the type and referred materials and new significant findings from the Chapadmalal and El Polvorín Formations indicate that the diversity of Pliocene Glyptodontidae is more limited than previously supposed. The particular morphology of the exposed surface of the osteoderms that characterizes some of the species actually corresponds to a taphonomic alteration, which results in a non-real ornamentation pattern. Thus, the Glyptodontinae P. chapadmalensis must be replaced as a fossil guide because