A. Ibañez-Escribano, J.J. Nogal-Ruiz, M. Delclaux, E. Martinez-Nevado, F. Ponce-Gordo, Morphological and molecular identification of Tetratrichomonas flagellates from the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), Research in Veterinary Science, Available online 7 March 2013, ISSN 0034-5288, 10.1016/j.rvsc.2013.01.022.
A tetratrichomonad flagellate found in the diarrhoeic faeces of a 5 years-old male giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) was characterised by morphological and genetic analysis. This protozoan presents four anterior flagella of unequal length and a recurrent flagellum attached to the undulating membrane without a free end portion, and a broad axostyle projection. Numerous vacuoles of different sizes containing bacteria and digestion products were found. The complete sequence of the DNA coding for the 16S rRNA-ITS1-5.8S rRNA-ITS2 region was also obtained in order to compare this isolate with other tetratrichomonad species. The sequence obtained was identical to others previously obtained by other researchers from bovines and turtles (Geochelone sp.). It is not easily explainable how the same organism could be found in such different hosts and locations; however these results indicate that some tetratrichomonad species could have a wide host range and could survive in a wide range of environmental conditions.
STEWART, F. A. and PRUETZ, J. D. (2013), Do Chimpanzee Nests Serve an Anti-Predatory Function?. Am. J. Primatol.. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22138
Sleep is a vulnerable state for animals as it compromises the ability to detect predators. The evolution of shelter construction in the great apes may have been a solution to the trade-off between restorative sleep and predation-risk, which allowed a large bodied ape to sleep recumbent in a safe, comfortable spot. In this article we review the evidence of predator pressure on great apes and specifically investigate the potential influence of predation-risk on chimpanzee nesting behavior by comparing nests between chimpanzees living in a habitat of several potential predators (Issa, Ugalla, Tanzania) and a habitat relatively devoid of predators (Fongoli, Senegal). Chimpanzees in Issa did not nest more frequently in forest vegetation than chimpanzees in Fongoli although forest vegetation is expected to provide greater opportunity for escape from terrestrial predators. Nor do chimpanzees in Issa nest in larger groups or aggregate together more than Fongoli chimpanzees, as would be expected if larger groups provide protection from or greater detection of predators. Nests in Issa also did not appear to provide greater opportunities for escape than nests in Fongoli. Chimpanzees in Issa nested more frequently within the same tree as other community members, which may indicate that these chimpanzees nest in greater proximity than chimpanzees in Fongoli. Finally, Issa chimpanzees built their nests proportionately higher and more peripherally within trees. The selection of high and peripheral nesting locations within trees may make Issa chimpanzees inaccessible to potential predators. Many factors influence nest site selection in chimpanzees, of which danger from terrestrial predators is likely to be one.
Martínez-Freiría, F. and Brito, J. C. (2013), Integrating classical and spatial multivariate analyses for assessing morphological variability in the endemic Iberian viper Vipera seoanei. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. doi: 10.1111/jzs.12015
Historical and ecological processes have deeply affected biogeographic patterns of animals. Studying morphological variability of species, using classical and spatial analyses, can elucidate these patterns and give insights on both processes. Morphological variability of the endemic Iberian viper Vipera seoanei is examined to identify morphological coherent groups, biogeographic patterns and the putative role of abiotic pressures in the geographic variation of morphological variation. Results from classic and spatial multivariate analyses over 27 morphometric traits for 468 specimens from the global range of the species were integrated. Classic analyses reported large morphological variability and confirmed the differentiation of two coherent groups, which are representatives of current subspecies. Spatial analyses reported a geographic gradient pattern from western Cantabrian Mountains to the rest of the study area. Areas of high morphological variability were found, and two spatial coherent groups with an integration zone were recognized. Significant spatial correlations and trends suggest that some traits could be under selection and may display adaptations to local environments. Although observed patterns can be attributed to Pleistocene climatic cycles, an adaptive diversification of the species is supported. The combination of classical and spatial multivariate analyses is a useful methodology to identify morphological patterns and infer underlying factors.
East, Mitchell B., Riedle, J. Daren, and Ligon, Day B. (2013) Temporal changes in an alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) population. Wildlife Research
Context: Monitoring populations of long-lived species requires continuous long-term efforts. This is especially applicable for species that have experienced declines range-wide.
Aims: Our study assessed the current status of a population of wild Macrochelys temminckii and compared the present results to those from a survey conducted nearly a decade ago.
Methods: Trapping in 2010–2011 was conducted on two creeks within the refuge, during the months of May–July. Capture data were compared with data collected by similar methods in 1997–2001.
Key results: The population structure of M. temminckii was dominated by juveniles, with few large adults or small juveniles detected and a missing size class was evident. Retrospective analysis of 1997–2001 data revealed that the population was likely to be in decline even then, despite high capture rates.
Conclusions: The M. temminckii population showed significant declines that indicated that the population had experienced stressors of unknown origin. The status of M. temminckii at the refuge is concerning, given the protection afforded this remnant population.
Implications: Short-term data from 1997–2001 indicated a healthy M. temminckii population, whereas longer-term data showed that the population has declined, resulting in significant demographic changes. Continued monitoring will be necessary to develop management recommendations and track the impact of implemented management practices. Longer-term monitoring of long-lived vertebrates is required to identify population trends.
Peter W. Scott, Veterinary Work in the Field with Fish and Other Aquatic Species, Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 46-50, ISSN 1557-5063, 10.1053/j.jepm.2012.12.007.
Veterinarians who work with fish and other aquatic species often must perform examinations, diagnostic investigations, and treatments away from the clinic or laboratory. Careful planning is important, and attention to biosecurity is essential. Various items of equipment form part of the field kit for such work and range from measuring scales to surgical instruments and anesthetic agents. Excellent recordkeeping at the site is essential.
Gidona Goodman, Joanna Hedley, Anna Meredith, Field Techniques in Zoo and Wildlife Conservation Work, Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 58-64, ISSN 1557-5063, 10.1053/j.jepm.2012.12.009.
Wildlife conservation fieldwork and field-like situations in zoo settings can be challenging to veterinarians and include restraining, sedating/anesthetizing, examining, and sampling wild animals. The lack of amenities and utilities such as running water or electricity, climatic conditions, biting insects, and even the general public can all be a hindrance when working with animals in this environment. Zoonotic diseases and local conflicts, as well as the work itself, can all be hazards. On the basis of our combined experience, with field examples set in Scotland, working practices and suggestions for fieldwork equipment and the processing of samples are outlined. Equipment, references for obtaining additional information, and considerations for capture and anesthesia in the field are also covered. The importance of good communications, within the animal care team, with stakeholders, and with the general public, is emphasized. Potential health and environmental hazards are discussed, with recommendations on protective clothing and resources to identify these hazards.
Jörg Mayer, Patrick Hensel, Johanna Mejia-Fava, João Brandão, Stephen Divers, The Use of Lufenuron to Treat Fish Lice (Argulus sp) in Koi (Cyprinus carpio), Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 65-69, ISSN 1557-5063, 10.1053/j.jepm.2012.12.010.
Abstract: Fish lice can cause significant morbidity and death in heavily infested fish. In addition to being a mechanical irritant when sucking blood, Argulus sp have been shown to be the vector for other fish diseases. Koi carp from a pond environment were presented with multiple raised dark spots on their dorsa and sides. The primary differential disease diagnosis was an Argulus sp. Parasites removed from the affected fish were examined under a dissection microscope, and the definitive diagnosis was determined to be Argulus sp infestation. Treatment with lufenuron (Program; Novartis, Greensboro, NC USA) was initiated with one 409.8-mg tablet per 1,000 US gallons (3,785 L) of water for a concentration of approximately 0.1 mg/L. This treatment was repeated once per week for 5 weeks. The fish have been monitored for 13 months after the initial treatment, and thus far, there has been no reappearance of Argulus sp within the aquatic environment.
Christophe Bulliot, Véronique Mentré, Original Rhinostomy Technique for the Treatment of Pseudo-odontoma in a Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus), Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 76-81, ISSN 1557-5063, 10.1053/j.jepm.2012.12.012.
A 3-year-old, female black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) was presented for complications related to an earlier rhinostomy procedure and placement of a breathing tube for treatment of a pseudo-odontoma. The complaint by the owner was that the prairie dog would constantly remove the breathing tube. The breathing tube was replaced with a human earlobe retractor positioned (partially) under the nasal bones. The patient tolerated the procedure and location of the human earlobe retractor. This is the first reported case using a human earlobe retractor to function as a permanent rhinostomy device in a prairie dog.
Kim M. van Schaik-Gerritsen, Nico J. Schoemaker, Marja J.L. Kik, Niek J. Beijerink, Atrial Septal Defect in a Ferret (Mustela putorius furo), Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 70-75, ISSN 1557-5063, 10.1053/j.jepm.2012.12.011.
A 2-year-old, male castrated ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was presented with progressive abdominal distention and loss of muscle mass despite normal appetite. Physical examination findings included pale mucous membranes, a prolonged capillary refill time, a pulse rate greater than 300 beats/min, and severe abdominal distention. Abdominal ultrasound showed free abdominal fluid and an enlarged liver with distended hepatic veins and caudal vena cava. During the echocardiographic examination, abnormalities observed included a 2-mm-diameter left-to-right shunting atrial septal defect (ASD) with concurrent severe dilatation of the right atrium and eccentric hypertrophy of the right ventricle with mild pulmonary hypertension. All other echocardiographic measurements were within normal limits. The owner declined treatment, and the ferret was euthanized. Postmortem examination confirmed the ultrasonographic findings. The free abdominal fluid (200 mL) was a non-septic fibropurulent exudate. Decompensated right-sided heart failure due to ASD and exudative peritonitis of undetermined origin were the final diagnoses. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an ASD in a ferret.
Jian-li Xiong, Ping Sun, Ji-liang Zhang, Xiu-ying Liu, A comparative study of the hyobranchial apparatus in Hynobiidae (Amphibia: Urodela), Zoology, Available online 6 March 2013, ISSN 0944-2006, 10.1016/j.zool.2012.10.004.
The morphology of the adult hyobranchial apparatus has played an important role in understanding the systematics and evolution of urodeles, but the hyobranchial apparatus of hynobiid salamanders has received little attention so far. In this study, the hyobranchial apparatus of eight hynobiid salamanders (Hynobius leechii, Onychodactylus zhangyapingi, Ranodon sibiricus, Batrachuperus pinchonii, Salamandrella keyserlingii, Liua shihi, Pachyhynobius shangchengensis and Pseudohynobius flavomaculatus) is described and compared based on the clearing and double-staining method. The basic elements of the hyobranchial apparatus of the eight species are similar, including one basibranchial, cornua, one pair of radial loops, one pair of ceratohyals, one pair of hypobranchials II, one pair of ceratobranchials II, one urohyal (absent in O. zhangyapingi), one pair of the complex of hypobranchial I and ceratobranchial I (separated in certain species). Although the hyobranchial apparatus is similar among hynobiid salamanders and shows a unique morphological pattern, there are also certain species-specific distinctions that may be used for specific or generic diagnosis. The results of an ancestral state reconstruction of five traits showed that the ossified basibranchial, the presence of a separated hypobranchial I and ceratobranchial I, the absence of a urohyal, the ossified hypobranchial I and the partially ossified ceratohyal are derived traits. The state shown by the traits of each species is consistent with the phylogenetic position of each species. Compared with other Urodela, the hyobranchial apparatus of this group shows certain distinctive features that may represent the diagnostic characters of the family Hynobiidae. The partially ossified ceratohyal is correlated with the habitat and represents an ecological adaptation.