Now showing items 1-20 of 752

    • Macroevolutionary dynamics and historical biogeography of primate diversification inferred from a species supermatrix

      Springer, Mark S.; Meredith, Robert W.; Gatesy, John; Emerling, Christopher A.; Park, Jong; Rabosky, Daniel L.; Stadler, Tanja; Steiner, Cynthia C.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Janečka, Jan E.; et al. (2012)
      Phylogenetic relationships, divergence times, and patterns of biogeographic descent among primate species are both complex and contentious. Here, we generate a robust molecular phylogeny for 70 primate genera and 367 primate species based on a concatenation of 69 nuclear gene segments and ten mitochondrial gene sequences, most of which were extracted from GenBank. Relaxed clock analyses of divergence times with 14 fossil-calibrated nodes suggest that living Primates last shared a common ancestor 71–63 Ma, and that divergences within both Strepsirrhini and Haplorhini are entirely post-Cretaceous. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction of non-avian dinosaurs played an important role in the diversification of placental mammals. Previous queries into primate historical biogeography have suggested Africa, Asia, Europe, or North America as the ancestral area of crown primates, but were based on methods that were coopted from phylogeny reconstruction. By contrast, we analyzed our molecular phylogeny with two methods that were developed explicitly for ancestral area reconstruction, and find support for the hypothesis that the most recent common ancestor of living Primates resided in Asia. Analyses of primate macroevolutionary dynamics provide support for a diversification rate increase in the late Miocene, possibly in response to elevated global mean temperatures, and are consistent with the fossil record. By contrast, diversification analyses failed to detect evidence for rate-shift changes near the Eocene-Oligocene boundary even though the fossil record provides clear evidence for a major turnover event (“Grande Coupure”) at this time. Our results highlight the power and limitations of inferring diversification dynamics from molecular phylogenies, as well as the sensitivity of diversification analyses to different species concepts.
    • Initial sequence characterization of the rhabdoviruses of squamate reptiles including a novel rhabdovirus from a caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis)

      Wellehan, J.F.X.; Pessier, Allan P.; Archer, L.; Childress, A.; Jacobson, E.R.; Tesh, R.B. (2012)
      Rhabdoviruses infect a variety of hosts, including non-avian reptiles. Consensus PCR techniques were used to obtain partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene sequence from five rhabdoviruses of South American lizards; Marco, Chaco, Timbo, Sena Madureira, and a rhabdovirus from a caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis….
    • Long-term lemur research at Centre Valbio, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

      Wright, P.C.; Erhart, E.M.; Tecot, S.; Baden, A.L.; Arrigo-Nelson, S.J.; Herrera, J.; Morelli, T.L.; Blanco, M.B.; Deppe, A.; Atsalis, Sylvia; et al. (Springer-VerlagBerlin, Heidelberg, 2012)
      We present findings from 25 years of studying 13 species of sympatric primates at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Long-term studies have revealed that lemur demography at Ranomafana is impacted by climate change, predation from raptors, carnivores, and snakes, as well as habitat disturbance....
    • Activation of southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) estrogen receptors by phytoestrogens: Potential role in the reproductive failure of captive-born females?

      Tubbs, Christopher W.; Hartig, P.; Cardon, M.; Varga, Nicole; Milnes, Matthew R. (2012)
      The captive southern white rhinoceros (SWR; Ceratotherium simum simum) population serves as an important genetic reservoir critical to the conservation of this vulnerable species. Unfortunately, captive populations are declining due to the poor reproductive success of captive-born females....
    • Reproductive competition and fecal testosterone in wild male giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

      Nie, Yonggang; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Zhang, Zejun; Liu, Xiaobin; Wei, Fuwen (2012)
      ...Using global positioning system/very high frequency radiocollars to locate mating aggregations, we used behavioral observations and fecal testosterone assays to gain insight into male panda reproductive effort and strategies, and test theories relating to reproductive competition. Male pandas initially competed fiercely for access to females that were about to be fertile, but once male competitive status was determined, aggression rates declined....
    • Chromosome painting of the pygmy tree shrew shows that no derived cytogenetic traits link primates and Scandentia

      Dumas, F.; Houck, Marlys L.; Bigoni, F.; Perelman, P.; Romanenko, S. A.; Stanyon, R. (2012)
      We hybridized human chromosome paints on metaphases of the pygmy tree shrew (Tupaia minor, Scandentia). The lack of the ancestral mammalian 4/8 association in both Primates and Scandentia was long considered a cytogenetic landmark that phylogenetically linked these mammalian orders....
    • Validating methods to determine walking rates of elephants within a zoological institution

      Miller, Lance J.; Andrews, J; Anderson, Matthew J. (2012)
      ...The purpose of the current research was to validate methods for examining the walking rates of elephants in a zoological facility. This included testing GPS units, examining walking rates of eight elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park using collars and conducting trials on a subset of elephants wearing both a collar and anklet outfitted with GPS devices to determine reliability....
    • Tissue sampling methods and standards for vertebrate genomics

      Wong, P.B.Y.; Wiley, E.O.; Johnson, W.E.; Ryder, Oliver A.; O'Brien, S.J.; Haussler, C.; Koepfli, K.-P.; Houck, Marlys L.; Perelman, P.; Mastromonaco, G.; et al. (2012)
      The recent rise in speed and efficiency of new sequencing technologies have facilitated high-throughput sequencing, assembly and analyses of genomes, advancing ongoing efforts to analyze genetic sequences across major vertebrate groups. Standardized procedures in acquiring high quality DNA and RNA and establishing cell lines from target species will facilitate these initiatives. We provide a legal and methodological guide according to four standards of acquiring and storing tissue for the Genome 10K Project and similar initiatives as follows: four-star (banked tissue/cell cultures, RNA from multiple types of tissue for transcriptomes, and sufficient flash-frozen tissue for 1 mg of DNA, all from a single individual); three-star (RNA as above and frozen tissue for 1 mg of DNA); two-star (frozen tissue for at least 700 ?g of DNA); and one-star (ethanol-preserved tissue for 700 ?g of DNA or less of mixed quality). At a minimum, all tissues collected for the Genome 10K and other genomic projects should consider each species’ natural history and follow institutional and legal requirements. Associated documentation should detail as much information as possible about provenance to ensure representative sampling and subsequent sequencing. Hopefully, the procedures outlined here will not only encourage success in the Genome 10K Project but also inspire the adaptation of standards by other genomic projects, including those involving other biota.
    • Giant panda scent-marking strategies in the wild: role of season, sex and marking surface

      Nie, Yonggang; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Zhang, Zejun; Hu, Yibo; Ma, Yisheng; Wei, Fuwen (2012)
      ...We studied scent-marking patterns in wild giant pandas in the Foping Nature Reserve by surveying areas containing a high density of scent posts. Pandas did not deploy scent marks randomly in this environment, but targeted trees with specific characteristics that promoted signal persistence, range and/or likelihood of detection....
    • Giant pandas attend to androgen-related variation in male bleats

      Charlton, Benjamin D.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Zhihe, Zhang; Snyder, Rebecca J. (2012)
      Although androgen-dependant traits are predicted to signal overall male quality, no study has examined the response of a nonhuman animal to variation in a known acoustic cue to male androgen levels (steroid hormones that are key drivers of male sexual behaviour). Here, we use a single-speaker approach to present male and female giant pandas with re-synthesised male bleats representing callers with high and low androgen levels. Our results revealed that male and female giant pandas had significantly greater-looking responses, spent more time pacing, and were faster to respond to playbacks of bleats simulating high androgen males. When we analysed the sexes separately, a slightly different response pattern was revealed: whereas males and females still had significantly greater-looking responses and were faster to respond to bleats simulating high androgen males, only male giant pandas tended to spend more time pacing. These findings suggest that vocal cues to male androgen levels are functionally relevant to male and female giant pandas during the breeding season, and constitute the first demonstration that a nonhuman animal could be using a vocal signal to assess male hormonal state. We go on to discuss the ecological relevance of signalling androgen levels in this species’ sexual communication and the possible application of our results to conservation breeding.
    • Green iguanas (Iguana iguana) in the Dominican Republic

      Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Carreras De León, Rosanna; Reynoso, Víctor; Rupp, Ernst; León, Yolanda; Incháustegui, Sixto (2012)
      Iguana iguana has a natural distribution from México (Sinaloa and Veracruz) southward through Central America and into northeastern South America to the Tropic of Capricorn in Paraguay and southeastern Brazil. The species also occurs on numerous islands, including Cozumel, Utila, Roatán, Guanaja, the Corn Islands, Providencia, San Andrés, Aruba, Trinidad, Tobago, and others in the Lesser Antilles (Henderson and Powell 2009). It has been introduced to Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Guadeloupe, Grand Cayman, Les Îles de Saintes, Marie Galante, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten, St. Barthélemy, St. Croix, Turks and Caicos, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States (Florida, Hawaii) (Henderson and Powell 2009, Kraus 2009, Lindsay and Mussington 2009, Harlow and Thomas 2010, Powell et al. 2011)....
    • Visitor reaction to pacing behavior: influence on the perception of animal care and interest in supporting zoological institutions

      Miller, Lance J. (2012)
      Many publications within the field of zoo animal welfare have stated the importance of decreasing stereotypic behavior (e.g., pacing) to help ensure a positive visitor experience. The idea behind these statements is that visitors want to see animals engaged in natural behavior...
    • Information sharing for gorilla conservation: a workshop in Ruhija.

      Imong, I.; Abwe, Ekwoge E.; Ikfuingei, R.; Onononga, J.R.; Makaga, L. (2012)
      Gorilla conservationists and researchers working on the ground at different sites often face the challenge of accessing valuable yet unpublished information about ongoing projects outside their immediate locality, and sharing experiences on their respective projects. Poor information sharing among field workers means that those planning or carrying out projects at one site may not be able to learn from the experiences of others who might have implemented similar projects at other sites.
    • A high density snp array for the domestic horse and extant Perissodactyla: Utility for association mapping, genetic diversity, and phylogeny studies

      McCue, Molly E.; Bannasch, Danika L.; Petersen, Jessica L.; Gurr, Jessica; Bailey, Ernie; Binns, Matthew M.; Distl, Ottmar; Guérin, Gérard; Hasegawa, Telhisa; Hill, Emmeline W.; et al. (2012)
      An equine SNP genotyping array was developed and evaluated on a panel of samples representing 14 domestic horse breeds and 18 evolutionarily related species. More than 54,000 polymorphic SNPs provided an average inter-SNP spacing of ?43 kb. The mean minor allele frequency across domestic horse breeds was 0.23, and the number of polymorphic SNPs within breeds ranged from 43,287 to 52,085. Genome-wide linkage disequilibrium (LD) in most breeds declined rapidly over the first 50–100 kb and reached background levels within 1–2 Mb. The extent of LD and the level of inbreeding were highest in the Thoroughbred and lowest in the Mongolian and Quarter Horse. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) analyses demonstrated the tight grouping of individuals within most breeds, close proximity of related breeds, and less tight grouping in admixed breeds. The close relationship between the Przewalski's Horse and the domestic horse was demonstrated by pair-wise genetic distance and MDS. Genotyping of other Perissodactyla (zebras, asses, tapirs, and rhinoceros) was variably successful, with call rates and the number of polymorphic loci varying across taxa. Parsimony analysis placed the modern horse as sister taxa to Equus przewalski. The utility of the SNP array in genome-wide association was confirmed by mapping the known recessive chestnut coat color locus (MC1R) and defining a conserved haplotype of -750 kb across all breeds. These results demonstrate the high quality of this SNP genotyping resource, its usefulness in diverse genome analyses of the horse, and potential use in related species.
    • Body size, demography, and body condition in Utila spiny-tailed iguanas, Ctenosaura bakeri

      Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Montgomery, Chad E; Martinez, Andrea; Belal, Nardiah; Clayson, Steve; Faulkner, Shane (2012)
      Utila Spiny-tailed Iguanas, Ctenosaura bakeri, are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Redlist Assessment and are listed under Appendix II of CITES. This species occupies a portion of Utila, a small continental island located off the northern coast of Honduras, in the Bay Islands chain. Habitat destruction and overharvesting for consumption and the pet trade are among the top threats facing this species. Though first described in 1901 (Stejneger) and currently the focus of a local conservation program, little is known concerning that basic biology of this species. Combining data from six years we examined body size, sexual size dimorphism, and changes in demography and body condition over the study period. Our results indicate that males are larger and heavier than females on average, and have a longer tail for a given snout-vent length, as is the case with most iguanas. Over the study period we found an increase in the ratio of males to females, suggesting that female biased hunting pressure is increasing. This is consistent with an increase in the human population size and a preference for consuming gravid females. The body condition of both males and females declined over the duration of the study, which is suggestive of a decrease in habitat quality. These results indicate that the situation for this endangered species is becoming increasingly threatening. Conservation measures should focus on alleviating these threats through increased law enforcement, outreach, and education.
    • Effects of combination birth control on estrous behavior in captive western lowland gorillas, Gorilla gorilla gorilla

      Sarfaty, A.; Margulis, S.W.; Atsalis, Sylvia (2012)
      Combination birth control pills (CBC) are one of the most common birth control methods used for western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) housed in zoos. Since zoos are interested in maintaining as many natural behaviors as possible, it is important to know how contraception may affect social and sexual interactions among group members....
    • The Frozen Zoo

      Ryder, Oliver A. (2012)
      Wildlife gene banks provide a tool for studying species and monitoring conservation efforts
    • Approaches to management and care of the neonatal nondomestic ruminant

      Wolfe, B.A.; Lamberski, Nadine (2012)
      ...These differences become apparent quickly when the nondomestic neonate requires treatment, and an understanding of the special needs and risks involved can prevent unnecessary problems and losses. The aim of this article is to discuss the unique challenges presented by nondomestic ruminants and approaches to management of neonatal and pediatric cases.
    • Beyond masking: Endangered Stephen's kangaroo rats respond to traffic noise with footdrumming

      Shier, Debra M.; Lea, Amanda J.; Owen, Megan A. (2012)
      ... Roads and road margins on and off reserves serve as dispersal corridors and refugia for SKR and other semifossorial taxa; these areas may therefore function as ecological traps if anthropogenic roadway noise negatively affects population persistence.
    • Advances and constraints in somatic embryogenesis of Araucaria angustifolia, Acca sellowiana, and Bactris gasipaes

      Stefenon, Valdir Marcos; Ree, Joseph Francis; Pinheiro, Marcos Vinicius Marques; Goeten, Daniela; Steiner, Neusa; Guerra, Miguel Pedro (2020)
      Somatic embryogenesis (SE) is a useful biotechnological tool to promote the conservation of plant genetic resources. Araucaria angustifolia, Acca sellowiana, and Bactris gasipaes are forest species with recognized ecological, cultural, and economic importance in the subtropical Atlantic Forest and the tropical Amazon Forest…. Here we reviewed and discussed the advancements and continuing constraints in the SE of these species, pointing out the more successful procedures….