David Legg (2013) Multi-Segmented Arthropods from the Middle Cambrian of British Columbia (Canada). Journal of Paleontology: May 2013, Vol. 87, No. 3, pp. 493-501
A new arthropod, Kootenichela deppi n. gen. n. sp., is described from the Stanley Glacier exposure of the middle Cambrian (Series 3, Stage 5) Stephen Formation in Kootenay National Park (British Columbia, Canada). This taxon possesses a number of primitive arthropod features such as an elongate, homonomous trunk (consisting of at least 29 segments), poorly sclerotised trunk appendages, and large pedunculate eyes associated with an anterior (ocular) sclerite. The cephalon encompasses a possible antenna-like appendage and enlarged raptorial appendages with a bipartite peduncle and three spinose distal podomeres, indicative of megacheiran (“great-appendage” arthropod) affinities. The relationships of megacheirans are controversial, with them generally considered as either stem-euarthropods or a paraphyletic stem-lineage of chelicerates. An extensive cladistic analysis resolved Kootenichela as sister-taxon to the enigmatic Worthenella cambria from the middle Cambrian (Series 3, Stage 5), Burgess Shale Formation in Yoho National Park (British Columbia), which is herein reinterpreted as a megacheiran arthropod. Based on their sister-group relationship, both taxa were placed in the new family Kootenichelidae, to which Pseudoiulia from the Chengjiang biota is also tentatively assigned. All of these taxa possess an elongate, multi-segmented body and subtriangular exopods. This family occupies a basal position within a paraphyletic Megacheira, the immediate outgroup of Euarthropoda (crown-group arthropods). The resultant topology indicates that analyses that have resolved megacheirans as stem-chelicerates have done so because they have rooted on inappropriate taxa, e.g., trilobitomorphs and marrellomorphs.
Gunther Nogge, Elefantenhaltung in Europa und Indien – ein Vergleich, Der Zoologische Garten, Volume 81, Issues 5–6, 2012, Pages 231-238, ISSN 0044-5169, 10.1016/j.zoolgart.2012.11.008.
In none of the countries of origin Asian elephants are taken any more from the wild. Instead breeding stations arise. In India the methods of keeping elephants have become subject of scientific investigations. As a result elephants in the long run will be allowed to be held only in forest camps. The concepts of elephant husbandry are discussed and developed also outside the countries of origin. Under consideration of their biological, ecological and social requirements elephants have to be managed in groups. It is the author’s opinion that protected contact will be the method of the future.
Benjamin Ibler, Rüdiger Pankow, Daten zur Schlafdauer in der Herde Asiatischer Elefanten (Elephas maximus) im Zoologischen Garten Berlin, Der Zoologische Garten, Volume 81, Issues 5–6, 2012, Pages 239-245, ISSN 0044-5169, 10.1016/j.zoolgart.2012.11.010.
Due to the night observations during the gravidity of the Asian Elephant “Pang Pha” in 2005 it was possible to receive data on the sleeping behavior of 1.3 Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at Berlin Zoological Garden. These elephants were the breeding bull “Victor” (born 22.10.1993 at Zoological Center Ramat Gan), “Pang Pha” (born 1987 in Thailand), “Drumbo” (born 1970) and “Iyoti” (born 1974 in India). Elephant “Pang Pha” slept only one and a half hour, whereas the two older cows lay nearly four hours. The bull lay longest.
Fabian Krause, Udo Gansloßer, Ute Magiera, Chronobiologische Untersuchungen zur Raum-Zeit-Nutzung bei einem Orang-Utan-Paar im Zoo Osnabrück, Der Zoologische Garten, Volume 81, Issues 5–6, 2012, Pages 267-274, ISSN 0044-5169, 10.1016/j.zoolgart.2012.11.002.
Research about influences of natural and artificial environmental influences to animal behaviour is essential for the improvement of animal welfare in zoos and can be of importance for the conservation of free living animal populations. In literature on Orang-Utans (Pongo spec.), the biggest and heaviest of arboreal mammals, a connection between solar altitude and circadian rhythm was found. Activity during the waking hours was additionally influenced by weather, food supply, intra- and interspecific influences. Sunset marked the end of daily activity and the animals showed their anticipation among other things in the daily construction of tree nests.
An examination of artificial influences, Orang-Utans in everyday zoo life are exposed to, is starting point for the present study. Further intentions were to record the activity patterns of two adult Zoo-Orang-Utans from evening to morning and gather information about nest building and the dominance situation between the two animals. During six weeks the Orang-Utan couple Buschi and Astrid (1.1) in the Zoo of Osnabrück was observed in the indoor enclosures every day from evening to morning via a video surveillance system (hours of observation: 623.5 h (Buschi, male); 236.5 h (Astrid, female).
The activity profiles of Buschi and Astrid fit into the results of field studies concerning chronobiological organisation and activity pattern. In the afternoon both animals were quite active and fed, afterwards they constructed their nests and laid down on them. The present observation leads to the conclusion that both, sunlight as well as the artificial lights, are able to influence their behaviour as so-called zeitgebers. Every night Buschi’s sleep was interrupted several times by short active phases, in which he scratched himself extensively and adjusted his nest. Until this observation no comparable data concerning comfort activity by night in field and zoo situations was available.
Nest building behaviour similar to free living Orang-Utans has been shown by Buschi and Astrid as well, changes being dependant on available material and the lack of necessity for safety and stability. The behaviour of Buschi taking nest parts from Astrid, suggests dominance between the mates and the nest as a reason for competition.
Jochen Krüger, Wolfgang W. Gettmann, Versorgung von Zahnfrakturen beim Kurzkrallenotter Aonyx cinerea (Illiger, 1815) – ein Beitrag zur Zahnhygiene bei Marderartigen (Mustelidae) in menschlicher Obhut, Der Zoologische Garten, Volume 81, Issues 5–6, 2012, Pages 275-296, ISSN 0044-5169, 10.1016/j.zoolgart.2012.12.001.
The oral examination of a five and half years old Asian Small-Clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea) showed the accumulation of tartar and two complicated tooth fractures. The tartar has been removed with an ultrasonic device. The fractured molar of the mandibula has been extracted and the damaged canine tooth of the maxilla has been treated by an endodontic procedure. Half a year later the x-ray control of the canine tooth indicated a stop of the periapical reactions.
Langos, D., Kulik, L., Mundry, R. and Widdig, A. (2013), The impact of paternity on male–infant association in a primate with low paternity certainty. Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/mec.12328
In multimale groups where females mate promiscuously, male–infant associations have rarely been studied. However, recent studies have shown that males selectively support their offspring during agonistic conflicts with other juveniles and that father’s presence accelerates offspring maturation. Furthermore, it was shown that males invest in unrelated infants to enhance future mating success with the infant’s mother. Hence, infant care might provide fitness gain for males. Here, we investigate male–infant associations in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), a primate with low paternity certainty as females mate with multiple partners and males ensure paternity less efficiently through mate-guarding. We combined behavioural data with genetic paternity analyses of one cohort of the semi-free-ranging population of Cayo Santiago (Puerto Rico) and recorded affiliative and aggressive interactions between focal subjects and adult males from birth to sexual maturation (0–4 years) of focal subjects. Our results revealed that 9.6% of all interactions of focal subjects involved an adult male and 94% of all male–infant interactions were affiliative, indicating the rareness of male–infant aggression. Second and most interestingly, sires were more likely to affiliate with their offspring than nonsires with unrelated infants. This preference was independent of mother’s proximity and emphasized during early infancy. Male–infant affiliation rose with infant age and was pronounced between adult males and male rather than female focal subjects. Overall, our results suggest that male–infant affiliation is also an important component in structuring primate societies and affiliation directed towards own offspring presumably represent low-cost paternal care.
Megumi Fukuzawa, Naomi Hayashi, Comparison of 3 different reinforcements of learning in dogs (Canis familiaris), Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Available online 17 May 2013, ISSN 1558-7878, 10.1016/j.jveb.2013.04.067.
Effective dog training involves reinforcement of the dog’s correct actions in response to specific cues given by the trainer. Food is usually selected as the primary reinforcer (reward), although this selection does not necessarily account for the learning preferences of individual dogs. We evaluated the relationship between reward and learning efficiency. Fifteen dogs were allocated to 3 different reward groups (food, stroking, and praise) and trained by an identical process. The food reward was the only one that shortened the time taken for the response to the command to be completed. However, this difference occurred only in the early training stages and not later in the training process.
Daniel J. Buckley, Mathieu Lundy
The current distribution and potential for future range expansion of feral ferret Mustela putorius furo in Ireland
European Journal of Wildlife Research, June 2013, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 323-330
Predicting the potential invaded range of a non-native species is an important tool for conservation biology. The ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is a known invasive species outside its native range and has recently been confirmed as a feral species in Ireland. To determine the current distribution of feral populations, an all-island survey was conducted during 2006–2008. Using the results of this survey, a landscape modelling approach, using presence-only data was applied to predict the potential future range of this species in Ireland, given the availability of suitable habitat. The results suggest that Ireland appears to be potentially highly suitable for ferrets and, therefore, the possible ecological impacts of this species in Ireland are discussed.
Heidi Lyn, Jamie L. Russell, David A. Leavens, Kim A. Bard, Sarah T. Boysen, Jennifer A. Schaeffer, William D. Hopkins
Apes communicate about absent and displaced objects: methodology matters
Animal Cognition, May 2013
Displaced reference is the ability to refer to an item that has been moved (displaced) in space and/or time, and has been called one of the true hallmarks of referential communication. Several studies suggest that nonhuman primates have this capability, but a recent experiment concluded that in a specific situation (absent entities), human infants display displaced reference but chimpanzees do not. Here, we show that chimpanzees and bonobos of diverse rearing histories are capable of displaced reference to absent and displaced objects. It is likely that some of the conflicting findings from animal cognition studies are due to relatively minor methodological differences, but are compounded by interpretation errors. Comparative studies are of great importance in elucidating the evolution of human cognition; however, greater care must be taken with methodology and interpretation for these studies to accurately reflect species differences.
Dereje Tesfaye, Peter J. Fashing, Afework Bekele, Addisu Mekonnen, Anagaw AtickemInternational
Ecological Flexibility in Boutourlini’s Blue Monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis boutourlinii) in Jibat Forest, Ethiopia: A Comparison of Habitat Use, Ranging Behavior, and Diet in Intact and Fragmented Forest
Journal of Primatology, May 2013
Comparisons of the behavior and ecology of primates living in intact and fragmented forest are critical to the development of conservation strategies for the many primate taxa threatened by habitat loss. From July 2009 to April 2010, we investigated the habitat use, ranging behavior, and diet of two groups of Boutourlini’s blue monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis boutourlinii), a subspecies endemic to western Ethiopia, whose habitats had experienced different levels of disturbance at Jibat Forest. Forest Group occupied primarily continuous tree-dominated forest with little human disturbance whereas Fragment Group inhabited a heavily degraded 2- to 3-km2 forest fragment nearly surrounded by farmland and connected tenuously to the continuous forest by a narrow corridor of riverine forest. Mean daily path lengths for both groups were nearly identical (Forest Group: 799 m; Fragment Group: 783 m) and exhibited little seasonal variability. The mean home range areas of Forest Group and Fragment Group were 72.0 and 61.2 ha, respectively. Forest Group (N = 2232 feeding records) fed mostly on fruits (52.5 %), though they also ate animal prey (14.7 %), young leaves (11.1 %), shoots (8.7 %), and flowers (7.3 %). In contrast, fruits accounted for only 17.0 % of Fragment Group’s diet (N = 2903 feeding records), with shoots (29.8 %), young leaves (17.1 %), animal prey (13.1 %), seeds (9.6 %), and flowers (6.8 %) also making substantial contributions to their diet. Only Fragment Group engaged in crop raiding, consuming seeds from barley and wheat extensively (33–41 % of diet) during 2 mo. Fragment Group (N = 33) ate more plant species than Forest Group (N = 24), though both groups exploited a small number of plant species relative to other subspecies of blue monkeys. Our study revealed that, like most other blue monkey subspecies, Boutourlini’s blue monkeys are quite flexible in the habitats they occupy as well as in their foraging habits. Despite this ecological flexibility, the long-term conservation of Boutourlini’s blue monkey is far from assured given its limited distribution, the rapidly growing human population, and the high rates of forest clearance in western Ethiopia.
Torre J. Hovick, James R. Miller,
Broad-scale heterogeneity influences nest selection by Brown-headed Cowbirds
Landscape Ecology, May 2013
Increasing habitat heterogeneity is widely considered to improve conditions for biodiversity. Yet benefits for native species depend on scale and the effect of heterogeneity on key processes influencing survival and reproduction. We examined the relationship between habitat heterogeneity and brood parasitism at multiple scales in a region characterized by (1) relatively high cowbird abundance, (2) high abundance of our focal species, the grassland obligate Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), (3) variation in the structure and composition of grassland habitats, and (4) a gradient of woodland cover in the landscape matrix. Tree cover at broad scales was found to have the greatest impact on parasitism while factors at finer scales were relatively unimportant. We found that for every 1 % increase in tree cover within 1 km of Grasshopper Sparrow nests, the probability of parasitism decreases by 3 %. Parasitism reduced clutch sizes and the number of Grasshopper Sparrows fledged, but survival rates were similar between non-parasitized and parasitized nests. Furthermore, simple population projection models indicated that parasitism has the greatest impact at moderate survival levels and can inhibit the resiliency of this population. Our results support the hypothesis that cowbirds prefer forest hosts, which may reduce parasitism rates on grassland birds in heterogeneous landscapes. Collectively, our findings suggest that the effect of cowbird parasitism may be greater for Grasshopper Sparrows than was previously thought.
Ori Pomerantz, Shai Meiri, Joseph Terkel, Socio-ecological factors correlate with levels of stereotypic behaviour in zoo-housed primates., Behavioural Processes, Available online 18 May 2013, ISSN 0376-6357, 10.1016/j.beproc.2013.05.005.
Stereotypic behaviour often indicates poor welfare. It may develop when the animal’s ability to carry out appropriate behavioural responses is limited, despite a high motivation to express them. Behavioural motivations vary across species. Consequently, under similar captive conditions, the sustained inability of animals to express certain behaviours is likely to affect some species more than others. We used a phylogenetic comparative approach to evaluate the socio-ecological factors affecting the manifestation of stereotypic behaviour in 24 species of zoo-housed primates. We examined the relationship between two stereotypic behaviours: hair-pulling and pacing, and the species’ natural socio-ecological factors and captivity conditions. The degree of stereotypic behaviours was unaffected by phylogenetic relatedness between species. Stereotypic hair-pulling behaviour levels were positively correlated with natural group size. Stereotypic pacing levels were positively correlated with the animals’ natural day journey length. These findings suggest large-group and wide-ranging primate species are more prone to suffer in captivity. Our findings facilitate the detection of species that are more susceptible to behaving stereotypically in captivity. We suggest that providing appropriate social stimuli, and increasing the complexity of the captive environment rather than enlarging it, are both attainable and expected to improve the animals’ welfare.
Zootaxa 3652 (4): 475–484 (20 May 2013)
Redescription of Astyanax guaporensis Eigenmann, 1911 (Characiformes: Characidae), a small characid from the rio Madeira basin
MANOELA M. F. MARINHO & WILLIAN M. OHARA
During recent expeditions to several localities in the rio Madeira basin, a poorly known species of Characidae described more than a century ago, Astyanax guaporensis Eigenmann, was collected. The species is herein redescribed based on the type material and many recently collected specimens. The species seems to occur only in the rio Madeira basin, rio Amazonas drainage. The species is mainly recognized among its congeners by having five to nine maxillary teeth, a series of V-shaped marks on the midlateral line of body, and the absence of a black mark on the caudal peduncle.
Safi K, Armour-Marshall K, Baillie JEM, Isaac NJB (2013) Global Patterns of Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered Amphibians and Mammals. PLoS ONE 8(5): e63582. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063582
Conservation of phylogenetic diversity allows maximising evolutionary information preserved within fauna and flora. The “EDGE of Existence” programme is the first institutional conservation initiative that prioritises species based on phylogenetic information. Species are ranked in two ways: one according to their evolutionary distinctiveness (ED) and second, by including IUCN extinction status, their evolutionary distinctiveness and global endangerment (EDGE). Here, we describe the global patterns in the spatial distribution of priority ED and EDGE species, in order to identify conservation areas for mammalian and amphibian communities. In addition, we investigate whether environmental conditions can predict the observed spatial pattern in ED and EDGE globally.
Methods and Principal Findings
Priority zones with high concentrations of ED and EDGE scores were defined using two different methods. The overlap between mammal and amphibian zones was very small, reflecting the different phylo-biogeographic histories. Mammal ED zones were predominantly found on the African continent and the neotropical forests, whereas in amphibians, ED zones were concentrated in North America. Mammal EDGE zones were mainly in South-East Asia, southern Africa and Madagascar; for amphibians they were in central and south America. The spatial pattern of ED and EDGE was poorly described by a suite of environmental variables.
Mapping the spatial distribution of ED and EDGE provides an important step towards identifying priority areas for the conservation of mammalian and amphibian phylogenetic diversity in the EDGE of existence programme.
Carroll, Thomas R. Gillespie Thomas R. Gillespie, Gregory A. Dasch Gregory A. Dasch
Simple method for locating a suitable venipuncture site on the tail of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana)
Amanda Jo Williams-Newkirk Amanda Jo Williams-Newkirk, Johanna S. Salzer Johanna S. Salzer, Darin S. Carroll Darin S.
European Journal of Wildlife Research, June 2013, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 455-457
We identified a site suitable for venipuncture on the tail of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) that is reliably and easily located. The prominent hemal arch associated with the ventral surface of caudal vertebra 5 serves as an easily palpated anatomical landmark for locating the ventral caudal vein for blood collection. Because this venipuncture site is only thinly covered by fur and visualization of the vein is not necessary for its location, site preparation and total animal handling time for routine venipuncture are minimal. Blood may be collected from immature and adult male and female animals, and the technique is easily taught to new technicians with minimal danger of injury to the animal.
Juste, J., Benda, P., Garcia-Mudarra, J.L. & Ibáñez, C.. Phylogeny and systematics of Old World serotine bats (genus Eptesicus, Vespertilionidae, Chiroptera): an integrative approach. —Zoologica Scripta, 00, 000–000.
Integrative taxonomy aims to document biodiversity by incorporating all useful characters to increase confidence in hypotheses about phylogenetic relationships. In this study, we combine data obtained independently from morphology, two maternally inherited mtDNA genes and two biparentally inherited nuDNA genes to make phylogenetic and taxonomic hypotheses about the Palaearctic members of the bat genus Eptesicus (Vespertilionidae). This genus is distributed worldwide (except for Antarctica) and is highly diversified, presenting one of the most entangled taxonomic puzzles among all mammals. Our results support restoring the genus Rhyneptesicus and separating E. isabellinus and E. pachyomus from E. serotinus and E. ognevi and E. anatolicus from E. bottae. Differences in the phylogenetic hypotheses from mtDNA and nuDNA data suggest the occurrence within E. serotinus of evolutionary processes such as mtDNA capture and secondary contacts between partially differentiated ecomorphs. These two evolutionary processes deserve more in-depth studies within the group.