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Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS

Céline Neutens, Bart de Dobbelaer, Peter Claes, Dominique Adriaens
All syngnathid fishes are characterized by a tail with a vertebral column that is surrounded by dermal Plates - four per vertebra. Seahorses and pipehorses have prehensile tails, a unique characteristic among teleosts that allows them to grasp and hold onto substrates. Pipefishes, in contrast, possess a more rigid tail. Previous research (Neutens et al., 2014) showed a wide range of variation within the skeletal morphology of different members in the syngnathid family. The goal of this study is to explore whether the diversity in the three-dimensional (3D) shape of different tail types reflects grasping performance, and to what degree grasping tails occupy a different and more constrained diversity...
November 18, 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Magdalena Kowalska, Mateusz Hermyt, Weronika Rupik
The aim of this study was to evaluate two research hypotheses: H0-the embryonic pancreas in grass snakes develops in the same manner as in all previously investigated amniotes (from three buds) and its topographical localization within the adult body has no relation to its development; H1-the pancreas develops in a different manner and is related to the different topography of internal organs in snakes. For the evaluation of these hypotheses we used histological methods and three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of the position of the pancreatic buds and surrounding organs at particular developmental stages and of the final position and shape of the pancreatic gland...
November 11, 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Miguel Lorenzale, Miguel A López-Unzu, M Carmen Fernández, Ana C Durán, Borja Fernández, M Teresa Soto-Navarrete, Valentín Sans-Coma
The cardiac outflow tract of chondrichthyans and actinopterygians is composed of a myocardial conus arteriosus and a non-myocardial bulbus arteriosus. In teleosts, the conus has been subjected to a reduction in size over the evolution in conjunction with the further development of the bulbus. Most studies on the outflow tract of the teleost heart refer to species of modern groups and are mainly devoted to the bulbus. Knowledge on the outflow tract of species belonging to early teleost groups is scarce. The aim here was to characterise the structure of the cardiac outflow tract of the silver arowana, a representative of the ancient teleost clade of the Osteoglossomorpha...
September 28, 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Marina Meireles Dos Santos, Fernanda Magalhães da Silva, Erika Hingst-Zaher, Fabio Andrade Machado, Hussam El Dine Zaher, Ana Lúcia da Costa Prudente
Neotropical "goo-eating" dipsadine snakes display a set of morphological and histo-chemical adaptations linked to the capture of their soft-bodied, viscous invertebrate prey. Within this group, species from the genus Sibynomorphus feed chiefly on snails and slugs. Here, we analyzed a series of skull and mandible characters in S. mikanii, S. neuwiedi and S. turgidus using geometric morphometrics, with the aim of assessing morphological adaptations related to slug- and snail-feeding in that genus. We further compared the results with Leptodeira annulata, a species that feeds on vertebrates...
September 28, 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Ilya A Volodin, Kseniya O Efremova, Roland Frey, Natalia V Soldatova, Elena V Volodina
The pronouncedly enlarged and descended larynx in male goitred gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa), Mongolian gazelles (Procapra gutturosa) and fallow deer (Dama dama) represents an interesting parallel to the 'Adam's apple' of human males. Goitred gazelles, as humans, are not born with a descended larynx. Therefore the sexual dimorphism of larynx size and position develops during ontogeny. In this study, the vocal ontogeny of male and female goitred gazelles was investigated across five age classes from neonates to adults...
September 12, 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Joshua D Stewart, Edgar Mauricio Hoyos-Padilla, Katherine R Kumli, Robert D Rubin
Foraging drives many fundamental aspects of ecology, and an understanding of foraging behavior aids in the conservation of threatened species by identifying critical habitats and spatial patterns relevant to management. The world's largest ray, the oceanic manta (Manta birostris) is poorly studied and threatened globally by targeted fisheries and incidental capture. Very little information is available on the natural history, ecology and behavior of the species, complicating management efforts. This study provides the first data on the diving behavior of the species based on data returned from six tagged individuals, and an opportunistic observation from a submersible of a manta foraging at depth...
October 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Michael Beckert, Brooke E Flammang, Erik J Anderson, Jason H Nadler
Remora fishes have a unique dorsal suction pad that allows them to form robust, reliable, and reversible attachment to a wide variety of host organisms and marine vessels. Although investigations of the suction pad have been performed, the primary force that remoras must resist, namely fluid drag, has received little attention. This work provides a theoretical estimate of the drag experienced by an attached remora using computational fluid dynamics informed by geometry obtained from micro-computed tomography...
October 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Ana Isabel Fagundes, Jaime A Ramos, Urtelinda Ramos, Renata Medeiros, Vitor H Paiva
The breeding success of burrow-nesting seabirds may be influenced by both nest site characteristics and oceanographic conditions influencing food availability at sea. In this study we describe the breeding biology of the winter-breeding Macaronesian shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri baroli), including nest site characteristics and interspecific competition. We also evaluate the possible effects of changing oceanographic conditions on breeding phenology and breeding success. The study was carried out over two breeding seasons on two islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, Cima Islet and Selvagem Grande...
October 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Brooke E Flammang, George V Lauder
Most teleost fishes, like the bluegill sunfish Lepomis macrochirus, have multiple flexible fins that are used as modifiable control surfaces. This helps to make fish highly maneuverable, permitting behaviors like reversing direction of motion and swimming backwards without having to rotate body position. To answer the question of how fish swim backwards we used high-speed videography and electromyography to determine the kinematics and muscle activity necessary to produce reverse-direction propulsion in four bluegill sunfish...
October 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Emily M Standen, Trina Y Du, Philippe Laroche, Hans C E Larsson
Amphibious fishes show wide variation in form and function. Examination of terrestrial locomotion in fishes has largely focused on highly specialized taxa. From an evolutionary perspective we are interested in how relatively unspecialized fishes locomote when exposed to different terrestrial environments. In this study, we explore the locomotory repertoire of the basal actinopterygian Polypterus senegalus. We describe its terrestrial locomotory strategies on different surfaces and compare them with steady aquatic locomotion...
October 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Aleksandar Urošević, Maja D Slijepčević, Jan W Arntzen, Ana Ivanović
Body elongation in vertebrates is often related to a lengthening of the vertebrae and an increase in their number. Changes in the number and shape of vertebrae are not necessarily linked. In tailed amphibians, a change in body shape is mostly associated with an increase in the number of trunk and tail vertebrae. Body elongation without a numerical change of vertebrae is rare. In Triturus aquatic salamanders body elongation is achieved by trunk elongation through an increase in the number of trunk vertebrae...
October 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Sarah Hayer, Stephanie Köhnk, Susann Boretius, Dirk Brandis
In this study a new organization of the female reproductive organs of Eubrachyura is presented after using both histology and MRI and μCT analyses to investigate the morphology and function of the female reproductive organs of Dorippe sinica Chen, 1980. The reproductive organ is composed of two parts: an ectodermal sperm site and a mesodermal ovary. The ectodermal sperm storage site incorporates a concave vagina and a seminal receptacle, which is completely lined by cuticle and is not connected to the ovary...
October 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Eva Líznarová, Stano Pekár
Trophic specialists are expected to possess adaptations that increase the efficiency of handling preferred prey. Such adaptations may constrain the ability to utilise alternative prey. Here we tested whether the ant-eating spider Euryopis episinoides possesses metabolic specialisations with increased efficiency in utilising preferred prey and decreased efficiency in utilising alternative prey. In addition, we investigated the contribution of genetic variation via maternal effects. We reared E. episinoides spiders from the first instar on two different diets, either ants (preferred prey) or fruit flies (alternative prey)...
October 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Glenn J Tattersall
Extant endotherms have high rates of metabolism, elevated body temperatures, usually tight control over body temperature, and a reasonable scope for further increases in metabolism through locomotor activity. Vertebrate ectotherms, on the other hand, rely on behavioural thermoregulation and cardiovascular adjustments to facilitate warming, and generally lack specific biochemical and cellular mechanisms for sustained, elevated metabolism. Nevertheless, the ancestral condition to endothermy is thought to resemble that of many extant reptiles, which raises the question of the origins and selection pressures relevant to the transitional state...
October 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Alison L Deary, Eric J Hilton
Drums (family Sciaenidae) are common in tropical to temperate coastal and estuarine habitats worldwide and present a broad spectrum of morphological diversity. The anatomical variation in this family is particularly evident in their feeding apparatus, which may reflect the partitioning of adult foraging habitats. Adult and early life history stage sciaenids may display ecomorphological patterns in oral and pharyngeal jaw elements but because sciaenids are hierarchically related, the morphological variation of the feeding apparatus cannot be analyzed as independent data...
August 25, 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Jayne M Gardiner, Jelle Atema, Robert E Hueter, Philip J Motta
The ability of predators to modulate prey capture in response to the size, location, and behavior of prey is critical to successful feeding on a variety of prey types. Modulating in response to changes in sensory information may be critical to successful foraging in a variety of environments. Three shark species with different feeding morphologies and behaviors were filmed using high-speed videography while capturing live prey: the ram-feeding blacktip shark, the ram-biting bonnethead, and the suction-feeding nurse shark...
August 25, 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
André Luis da Cruz, Marisa Narciso Fernandes
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the morphometric respiratory potential of gills compared to the stomach in obtaining oxygen for aerobic metabolism in Pterygoplichthys anisitsi, a facultative air-breathing fish. The measurements were done using stereological methods. The gills showed greater total volume, volume-to-body mass ratio, potential surface area, and surface-to-volume ratio than the stomach. The water-blood diffusion barrier of the gills is thicker than the air-blood diffusion barrier of the stomach...
August 23, 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Janek von Byern, Norbert Cyran, Waltraud Klepal, Marie Therese Nödl, Lisa Klinger
Bio-adhesion is a common and crucial process in nature and is used by several different species for camouflage, prey capture, hatching or to avoid drifting. Four genera of cephalopods belonging to four different families (Euprymna, Sepiolidae; Idiosepius, Idiosepiidae; Nautilus, Nautilidae; and Sepia, Sepiidae) produce glue for temporary attachment. Euprymna species live in near-shore benthic habitats of the Indo-Pacific Ocean, are nocturnal and bury into the seafloor during the day. The animals secrete adhesives through their epithelial glands to completely coat themselves with sand...
August 22, 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Yoko Matsumura, Jan Michels, Esther Appel, Stanislav N Gorb
The peculiar phenomenon of hyper-elongation of intromittent organs is well known in a number of insect groups. However, the unresolved questions of how and why such a phenomenon originated independently many times continue to attract biologists' attention. To be able to detect the evolutionary driving mechanisms that enabled insects to repeatedly acquire such a peculiarity, first of all the structural key features and the mechanics of these organs have to be determined. In the present study, the morphology of the reproductive organs of two species of the beetle genus Cassida, with a special focus on the male structures, was scrutinised in detail during copulation and at rest using different microscopy techniques...
August 8, 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Anne Beemelmanns, Olivia Roth
The transfer of immunity from parents to offspring (trans-generational immune priming (TGIP)) boosts offspring immune defence and parasite resistance. TGIP is usually a maternal trait. However, if fathers have a physical connection to their offspring, and if offspring are born in the paternal parasitic environment, evolution of paternal TGIP can become adaptive. In Syngnathus typhle, a sex-role reversed pipefish with male pregnancy, both parents invest into offspring immune defence. To connect TGIP with parental investment, we need to know how parents share the task of TGIP, whether TGIP is asymmetrically distributed between the parents, and how the maternal and paternal effects interact in case of biparental TGIP...
August 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
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