• Climate change and the koala Phascolarctos cinereus: water and energy

      Ellis, William A.H.; Melzer, A.; Clifton, I.; Carrick, F.; (2010)
      We studied two groups of koalas during a drought in central Queensland to investigate potential impacts of climatic variability on the physiology and behaviour of this species. The tree use, water turnover, field metabolic rate and diet of koalas during autumn and spring were compared to a similar study of koalas in summer and winter, also in central Queensland, to generate a seasonal picture of the response of koalas to climatic variation....
    • Dietary specialization and Eucalyptus species preferences in Queensland koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)

      Higgins, Alexis L.; Bercovitch, Fred B.; Tobey, Jennifer R.; Andrus, Chris Hamlin (2011)
      Koalas specialize on�Eucalyptus�leaves, but also feed selectively. Food choice is not random, but depends on various factors that are not well understood, although most research has focused on the role of secondary plant compounds. We studied the feeding choices of four adult male koalas housed at the San Diego Zoo....
    • Estrogenicity of captive southern white rhinoceros diets and their association with fertility

      Tubbs, Christopher W.; Moley, Laura A.; Ivy, Jamie A.; Metrione, Lara C.; LaClaire, Sydney; Felton, Rachel G.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Milnes, Matthew R. (2016)
      …In this study, we investigate the role of dietary phytoestrogens in this reproductive phenomenon by characterizing activation of southern white rhinoceros (SWR) estrogen receptors (ESRs) 1 and 2 by diet items from nine North American institutions and comparing female SWR fertility to total diet estrogenicity. Of the diet items tested, alfalfa hay and soy and alfalfa-based commercial pellets were found to be the most potent activators of SWR ESRs.…
    • Fat-soluble vitamin and mineral comparisons between zoo-based and free-ranging koalas (phascolarctos cinereus)

      Schmidt, Debra A.; Pye, Geoffrey W.; Hamlin-Andrus, Chris C.; Ellis, William A.; Ellersieck, Mark R.; Chen, Tai C.; Holick, Michael F. (2013)
      As part of a health investigation on koalas at San Diego Zoo, serum samples were analyzed from 18 free-ranging and 22 zoo-based koalas, Phascolarctos cinereus. Serum concentrations of calcium, chloride, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, and vitamins A, E, and 25(OH)D3 were quantified....
    • Identification of differences in human and great ape phytanic acid metabolism that could influence gene expression profiles and physiological functions

      Watkins, Paul A.; Moser, Ann B.; Toomer, Cicely B.; Steinberg, Steven J.; Moser, Hugo W.; Karaman, Mazen W.; Ramaswamy, Krishna; Siegmund, Kimberly D.; Lee, D. Rick; Ely, John J.; et al. (2010)
      It has been proposed that anatomical differences in human and great ape guts arose in response to species-specific diets and energy demands. To investigate functional genomic consequences of these differences, we compared their physiological levels of phytanic acid, a branched chain fatty acid that can be derived from the microbial degradation of chlorophyll in ruminant guts. Humans who accumulate large stores of phytanic acid commonly develop cerebellar ataxia, peripheral polyneuropathy, and retinitis pigmentosa in addition to other medical conditions. Furthermore, phytanic acid is an activator of the PPAR-alpha transcription factor that influences the expression of genes relevant to lipid metabolism.
    • Intergenerational effects of nutrition on immunity: a systematic review and meta-analysis

      Grueber, Catherine E.; Gray Lindsey J.; Morris Katrina M.; Simpson Stephen J.; Senior Alistair M. (2017)
      ...Using the geometric framework for nutrition (a method for analysing diet compositions wherein food nutrient components are expressed as axes in a Cartesian coordinate space) to define dietary manipulations in terms of their energy and macronutrient compositions, we compiled the results of 226 experiments from 38 published papers on the intergenerational effects of diet on immunity, across a range of study species and immunological responses. We observed intergenerational impacts of parental nutrition on a number of offspring immunological processes, including expression of pro‐inflammatory biomarkers as well as decreases in anti‐inflammatory markers in response to certain parental diets....
    • Wildlife-microbiome interactions and disease: Exploring opportunities for disease mitigation across ecological scales

      Williams, Candace L.; Caraballo-Rodríguez, Andrés Mauricio; Allaband, Celeste; Zarrinpar, Amir; Knight, Rob; Gauglitz, Julia M. (2018)
      … we will examine how the microbiome influences gastrointestinal disorders, metabolic dysregulation, reproduction, and disease susceptibility in captive wildlife. Investigation of wildlife, and specifically captive wildlife, affords a unique opportunity to gain understanding of the broad diversity of the associated microbiota and learn from nature’s molecular and microbial responses to disease. Studies like these could lead to the discovery of new interventions, ranging from dietary changes to the use of microbes or their natural products as treatment…
    • Xantusia riversiana (island night lizard). Captive diet

      Baldwin, Brett; Fontaine, Jeremy; Lovich, Kim (2016)
      Xantusia riversiana has seldom been kept in zoological institutions, and very little is known about its diet in captivity. In the wild, X. riversiana has the broadest diet of all Xantusia species (Brattstrom 1952. Copeia 1952:168–172).…