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Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS

Noah R Bressman, Alice C Gibb, Stacy C Farina
Tidepool sculpins (Oligocottus maculosus) have been observed moving overland in the rocky intertidal, and we documented the terrestrial walking behavior that they use to accomplish this. We quantified the terrestrial movements of O. maculosus and compared them to (1) their aquatic locomotion, (2) terrestrial locomotion of closely-related subtidal species (Leptocottus armatus and Icelinus borealis), and (3) terrestrial movements of walking catfishes (Clarias spp.). We recorded sculpin movements (210 fps) on a terrestrial platform and in a water tank and tracked body landmarks for kinematic analysis...
December 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Arup Mistri, Usha Kumari, Swati Mittal, Ajay Kumar Mittal
The present study describes keratinization and mucogenesis in the epidermis of an angler catfish Chaca chaca, using a series of immunochemical, fluorescence and histochemical methods. The epidermis is primarily mucogenic and shows characteristic specialised structures at irregular intervals. These structures are identified keratinized in nature. The superficial layer epithelial cells in the keratinized structures often detach from the underlying epithelial cells and exfoliate either singly or in the form of sheet...
December 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Lorenzo Alibardi
Tail regeneration in lizard is stimulated from the apical epidermis and spinal cord, the principal sources of growth factors and signaling proteins that sustain regeneration. Immunolabeling shows that serpins (serine protease inhibitors), which genes are among those most up-regulated during tail regeneration, are prevalently immunolocalized in the regenerating epidermis and ependyma. Western blot detects main protein bands extracted from regenerating tail at 25-27 and 48-52 kDa. The former band may correspond to p27 serpin, a degraded immunogenic fragment of serpin detected in psoriasis and cancer...
December 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Jan Michels, Mario Vargas-Ramírez
Podocnemis erythrocephala, the Red-headed Amazon River Turtle, is distributed in the Amazon and Orinoco basins where it predominantly inhabits blackwater and has never been found in whitewater. The only permanent river connection between the habitats in the different river basins features considerable whitewater proportions and, therefore, is hypothesised to be a dispersal barrier for this turtle species. By using variable neutral nuclear and mitochondrial markers (microsatellite loci and control region sequences), the present study assessed the genetic structure, genetic diversity, gene flow and historical biogeography of P...
October 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Blandine Mbanga, Cobus van Dyk, John N Maina
The respiratory organs of the African sharptooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus, were studied to broaden existing understanding of the adaptive stratagems that have evolved for air-breathing in fish. The gills were well-developed and the air-breathing organs (ABOs) comprised labyrinthine organs (LOs), suprabranchial chamber membranes (SBCMs) and gill fans (GFns). Respectively, the gills and the LOs had the highest mass-specific respiratory surface areas of 133.7 and 141.9 mm2 per gram and among the ABOs, with a harmonic mean thickness of the blood-barrier (BGB) of 0...
October 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Carolina Tropea, Sabrina María Luisa Lavarías, Laura Susana López Greco
The present study was aimed at evaluating the effect of male presence on ovarian maturation in juvenile females and the role of potential chemical, visual and tactile cues emitted by males in that physiological process. A highly gregarious caridean shrimp with sexual dimorphism, Neocaridina davidi, was used as experimental model. We tested the hypothesis that male presence accelerates ovarian maturation, mainly through chemical cues. Two experiments were performed. In Experiment 1, juvenile females were reared with adult males, adult females or alone, allowing full contact among shrimps...
October 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Luiza O Saad, Thomas Schwaha, Stephan Handschuh, Andreas Wanninger, José E A R Marian
Males from numerous animal taxa have evolved strategies for obstructing the female genitalia with copulatory plugs, reducing the risk of sperm competition and thus resulting in an advantage in sexual selection. Several lines of evidence suggest that sperm competition is a common feature in the complex squid mating systems, which include the evolution of alternative mating tactics (consort vs. sneaker). However, mating plugs have hitherto not been reported for the group. Investigating the female sperm-storage organ (i...
October 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Michael A Bar-Ziv, Aziz Subach, Armin Hirsch-Ionescu, Jonathan Belmaker, Adi Zweifler, Inon Scharf
Wormlions are fly larvae that construct pit-traps in loose soil and ambush prey that fall into their pits. They occur in high numbers in cities, below any man-made shelter providing protection from direct sunlight, such as a concrete roof with a thin layer of sand at the ground. Their natural habitat is either caves or any natural structure that provides full shade. We characterized a large urban habitat and compared it to two natural habitats, where wormlions occur in caves. Wormlions were abundant in all studied habitats...
October 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Marko D Prokić, Tamara G Petrović, Jelena P Gavrić, Svetlana G Despotović, Branka R Gavrilović, Tijana B Radovanović, Caterina Faggio, Zorica S Saičić
During their complex life cycle, anurans are faced with various physiological and biochemical demands that can result in increased free radical production. The antioxidative system (AOS), assumes a central role in protection from oxidative stress, and increased knowledge of its response would allow us to identify and quantify underlying costs of free radical production. In this study, we compared the patterns and levels of integration of the AOS during two life stages of Bufotes viridis toads from natural populations: young, fully developed, reproductively inactive subadults and reproductively active adults...
October 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
C H Fox, A C Gibb, A P Summers, W E Bemis
Video-based observations of voluntary movements reveal that six species of pleuronectid flatfishes use sequential portions of long-based dorsal and anal fins as "feet" (hereafter, fin-feet) to move on the substrate. All six species used a gait that we term "walking," which produced constant forward movement, and several of these species also used a second gait that we call "bounding" for intermittent movements over the substrate. We selected Pacific Sand Sole, Psettichthys melanostictus, and English Sole, Parophrys vetulus, for kinematic analyses of these two gaits...
October 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Taketeru Tomita, Minoru Toda, Kiyomi Murakumo
For benthic fishes, breathing motion (e.g., oral, pharyngeal, and branchial movements) can result in detection by both prey and predators. Here we investigate the respiratory behavior of the angelshark Squatina japonica (Pisces: Squatiniformes: Squatinidae) to reveal how benthic elasmobranchs minimize this risk of detection. Sonographic analyses showed that the angelshark does not utilize water-pumping in the oropharyngeal cavity during respiration. This behavior is in contrast with most benthic fishes, which use the rhythmical expansion/contraction of the oropharyngeal cavity as the main pump to generate the respiratory water current...
October 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Luiz Silva, Paulo Lana
In this paper, we have experimentally assessed tube-building strategies of Owenia caissaraSilva & Lana, 2017, including the particle size preferences. After acclimation, individual tubes were broken by their mid-region, and placed in experimental aquaria with four types of homogeneous substrates (from silt-clay to coarse sand) and four types of mixed substrates. Animals completely removed from their tubes were unable to build new tubes. Adults in broken tubes were able to use a wide range of particles, from fine to coarse sand, but not silt-clay...
August 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
María V Fernandez Blanco, Guillermo H Cassini, Paula Bona
Ontogenetic variation of cranial characters used in crocodylian phylogenetic systematics has never been studied. Furthermore, the relationship between diet and skull morphological transformation during ontogeny has not been properly explored yet. We quantify the inter- and intraspecific skull morphological variation in extant caiman species focusing on those areas relevant to systematics and, also investigate the relation between diet and morphological changes during ontogeny. We applied a three-dimensional approach of geometric morphometrics on post-hatching ontogenetic cranial series of Caiman latirostris and C...
August 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Stephen D Atkinson, Jerri L Bartholomew, Tamar Lotan
Myxozoans are endoparasites with complex life cycles that alternate between invertebrate and vertebrate hosts. Though considered protozoans for over 150 years, they are now recognized as metazoans, given their multicellularity and ultrastructural features. In recognition of synapomorphies and cnidarian-specific genes, myxozoans were placed recently within the phylum Cnidaria. Although they have lost genetic and structural complexity on the path to parasitism, myxozoans have retained characteristic cnidarian cnidocysts, but use them for initiating host infection...
August 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Alexus S Roberts, Stacy C Farina, Reuben R Goforth, Nicholas J Gidmark
Vertebrate lever mechanics are defined by the morphology of skeletal elements and the properties of their muscular actuators; these metrics characterize functional diversity. The components of lever systems work in coordination ("functional integration") and may show strong covariation across evolutionary history ("evolutionary integration"), both of which have been hypothesized to constrain phenotypic diversity. We quantified evolutionary integration in a functionally integrated system - the lower jaw of sculpins and relatives (Actinopterygii: Cottoidei)...
August 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Amanda M Herbert, Philip J Motta
Durophagy in chondrichthyan fishes is thought to entail a set of morphological characteristics, such as hypertrophied adductor muscles, molariform teeth, and high bite forces. However, these characteristics are not common to all durophagous chondrichthyans. In some durophagous chondrichthyans, the jaws are better suited biomechanically to resist bending in the area where prey is processed. Resistance to bending is in part, quantified by second moment of area (I), which uses the neutral axis of an object to analyze the arrangement of material...
August 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Ken S Toyama, Karina Junes, Jorge Ruiz, Alejandro Mendoza, Jose M Pérez
Ontogenetic shifts from an insectivorous diet towards an herbivorous one are well known in lizards. Energetic, behavioral and morphological factors have been linked to this pattern, but the latter have received less attention, especially with respect to head morphology. It is known that robust heads are related to stronger bite forces, consequently facilitating the consumption of harder or tougher, more fibrous items such as plants. In this study the ontogeny of diet and head morphology of the omnivorous tropidurid lizard Microlophus thoracicus are described...
August 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Falk Mielke, Vivian Schunke, Jan Wölfer, John A Nyakatura
In in-vivo motion analyses, data from a limited number of subjects and trials is used as proxy for locomotion properties of entire populations, yet the inherent hierarchy of the individual and population level is usually not accounted for. Despite the increasing availability of hierarchical model frameworks for statistical analyses, they have not been applied extensively to comparative motion analysis. As a case study for the use of hierarchical models, we analyzed locomotor parameters of four Swinhoe's striped squirrels...
August 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Davide Tamagnini, Jamie Stephenson, Richard P Brown, Carlo Meloro
The non-venomous grass snake (Natrix helvetica) and the venomous adder (Vipera berus) are two native species that are often found in sympatry in Great Britain and Europe. They occupy partially overlapping ecological niches and prey on small vertebrates, but use different feeding strategies. Here, we investigated the morphologies of grass snakes and adders from Dorset (UK) using two-dimensional geometric morphometrics to assess the degree of sexual dimorphism in size and shape together with the relative impact of allometry and general body dimensions on head shape...
August 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Welton Dionisio-da-Silva, André Felipe de Araujo Lira, Cleide Maria Ribeiro de Albuquerque
Edge effects have drastically affected species living in tropical forests. However, understanding how species respond to edge effects remains a challenge, owing to the many factors involved and different responses of each species thereto. Here, we analyzed how the abundance of two sympatric scorpion species (Tityus pusillus and Ananteris mauryi) and their potential prey varied as a function of microhabitat changes (litter depth, dry mass, and leaf shape) from edge to interior forest habitats. We further analyzed the contribution of potential prey to scorpion abundance and reproductive periods...
August 2018: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
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