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Patricio D Carrera-Játiva, Eric R Morgan, Michelle Barrows, Torsten Wronski
Gastrointestinal parasites are commonly reported in wild birds, but transmission amongst avifauna in zoological settings, and between these captive birds and wild birds in surrounding areas, remains poorly understood. A survey was undertaken to investigate the occurrence of gastrointestinal parasites in captive and free-ranging birds at Bristol Zoo Gardens between May and July 2016. A total of 348 fecal samples from 32 avian species were examined using the Mini-FLOTAC flotation method. Parasites were detected in 31% (45/145) of samples from captive birds and in 65...
March 2018: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Mario B Pesendorfer, T Scott Sillett, Scott A Morrison
Scatter hoarding by corvids (crows, jays, magpies, and nutcrackers) provides seed dispersal for many large-seeded plants, including oaks and pines. When hoarding seeds, corvids often choose nonrandom locations throughout the landscape, resulting in differential survival of seeds. In the context of habitat restoration, such disproportional storing of seeds in areas suitable for germination and establishment can accelerate expansion and recovery of large-seeded tree populations and their associated ecosystems...
August 2017: Current Zoology
Peter Shurulinkov, Lachezar Spasov, Georgi Stoyanov, Nayden Chakarov
BACKGROUND: Blood parasites have been studied intensely in many families of avian hosts, but corvids, a particularly cosmopolitan family, remain underexplored. Haemosporidian parasites of the common raven (Corvus corax) have not been studied, although it is the largest, most adaptable, and widespread corvid. Genetic sequence data from parasites of ravens can enhance the understanding of speciation patterns and specificity of haemosporidian parasites in corvids, and shed light how these hosts cope with parasite pressure...
January 16, 2018: Malaria Journal
Oliver Padget, Sarah L Bond, Marwa M Kavelaars, Emiel van Loon, Mark Bolton, Annette L Fayet, Martyna Syposz, Stephen Roberts, Tim Guilford
Compass orientation is central to the control of animal movement from the scale of local food-caching movements around a familiar area in parids [1] and corvids [2, 3] to the first autumn vector navigation of songbirds embarking on long-distance migration [4-6]. In the study of diurnal birds, where the homing pigeon, Columba livia, has been the main model, a time-compensated sun compass [7] is central to the two-step map-and-compass process of navigation from unfamiliar places, as well as guiding movement via a representation of familiar area landmarks [8-12]...
January 5, 2018: Current Biology: CB
Lorraine Subias, Andrea S Griffin, David Guez
Inference by exclusion is the ability to select a given option by excluding the others. When designed appropriately, tests of this ability can reveal choices that cannot be explained by associative processes. Over the past decade, exclusion reasoning has been explored in several non-human taxonomic groups including birds, mainly in Corvids and Parrots. To increase our understanding of the taxonomic distribution of exclusion reasoning and therefore its evolution, we investigated exclusion performances in Red-tailed Black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus banksii), an Australian relative of the Goffin cockatoo (Cacatua goffinia), using a food-finding task...
January 9, 2018: Integrative Zoology
Kimberly M Dohms, Brendan A Graham, Theresa M Burg
An increasing body of studies of widely distributed, high latitude species shows a variety of refugial locations and population genetic patterns. We examined the effects of glaciations and dispersal barriers on the population genetic patterns of a widely distributed, high latitude, resident corvid, the gray jay (Perisoreus canadensis), using the highly variable mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region and microsatellite markers combined with species distribution modeling. We sequenced 914 bp of mtDNA control region for 375 individuals from 37 populations and screened seven loci for 402 individuals from 27 populations across the gray jay range...
December 2017: Ecology and Evolution
S K Tahajjul Taufique, Abhilash Prabhat, Vinod Kumar
Periodic day-night environment shapes the temporal pattern in the behaviour and physiology (e.g. 24-h activity-rest and sleep-wake cycles) and the advanced brain function, such as learning, memory and decision making. In a previous study, we showed the abolition of 24-h rhythm in the activity-rest pattern, and an attenuated cognitive performance in diurnal Indian house crows (Corvus splendens) under constant light (no-night; LL) environment. Present study extended this, and investigated LL-induced effects on the neurogenesis (birth, maturation and neurite complexity of new born neurons) in the hippocampus and caudal nidopallium, the brain regions directly associated with learning and cognition in birds...
January 2018: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Soumya Banerjee, Alan S Perelson, Melanie Moses
Understanding how quickly pathogens replicate and how quickly the immune system responds is important for predicting the epidemic spread of emerging pathogens. Host body size, through its correlation with metabolic rates, is theoretically predicted to impact pathogen replication rates and immune system response rates. Here, we use mathematical models of viral time courses from multiple species of birds infected by a generalist pathogen (West Nile Virus; WNV) to test more thoroughly how disease progression and immune response depend on mass and host phylogeny...
November 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Konstantin Hartmann, Lena Veit, Andreas Nieder
Adaptive sequential behaviors rely on the bridging and integration of temporally separate information for the realization of prospective goals. Corvids' remarkable behavioral flexibility is thought to depend on the workings of the nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL), a high-level avian associative forebrain area. We trained carrion crows to remember visual items for three alternating delay durations in a delayed match-to-sample task and recorded single-unit activity from the NCL. Sample-selective delay activity, a correlate of visual working memory, was maintained throughout different working memory durations...
November 11, 2017: Experimental Brain Research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation Cérébrale
Lauren Stanton, Emily Davis, Shylo Johnson, Amy Gilbert, Sarah Benson-Amram
To gain a better understanding of the evolution of animal cognition, it is necessary to test and compare the cognitive abilities of a broad array of taxa. Meaningful inter-species comparisons are best achieved by employing universal paradigms that standardize testing among species. Many cognitive paradigms, however, have been tested in only a few taxa, mostly birds and primates. One such example, known as the Aesop's Fable paradigm, is designed to assess causal understanding in animals using water displacement...
November 2017: Animal Cognition
Can Kabadayi, Anastasia Krasheninnikova, Laurie O'Neill, Joost van de Weijer, Mathias Osvath, Auguste M P von Bayern
The ability to inhibit unproductive motor responses triggered by salient stimuli is a fundamental inhibitory skill. Such motor self-regulation is thought to underlie more complex cognitive mechanisms, like self-control. Recently, a large-scale study, comparing 36 species, found that absolute brain size best predicted competence in motor inhibition, with great apes as the best performers. This was challenged when three Corvus species (corvids) were found to parallel great apes despite having much smaller absolute brain sizes...
November 2017: Animal Cognition
Sandrine Schmid, Katrin Fachet, Anke Dinkel, Ute Mackenstedt, Friederike Woog
BACKGROUND: Avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) and other Haemosporida (Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon spp.) form a diverse group of vector-transmitted blood parasites that are abundant in many bird families. Recent studies have suggested that corvids may be an important host for Plasmodium spp. and Leucocytozoon spp. METHODS: To investigate the diversity of Haemosporida of resident carrion crows (Corvus corone) and Eurasian Magpies (Pica pica) in southwest Germany, 100 liver samples of corvids were examined using a nested PCR method to amplify a 1063 bp fragment of the haemosporidian mitochondrial cytochrome b gene...
September 12, 2017: Malaria Journal
I B Laumer, T Bugnyar, S A Reber, A M I Auersperg
The spontaneous crafting of hook-tools from bendable material to lift a basket out of a vertical tube in corvids has widely been used as one of the prime examples of animal tool innovation. However, it was recently suggested that the animals' solution was hardly innovative but strongly influenced by predispositions from habitual tool use and nest building. We tested Goffin's cockatoo, which is neither a specialized tool user nor a nest builder, on a similar task set-up. Three birds individually learned to bend hook tools from straight wire to retrieve food from vertical tubes and four subjects unbent wire to retrieve food from horizontal tubes...
September 13, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Raoul Schwing, Stefan Weber, Thomas Bugnyar
The ability to forego an immediate reward in favor of a bigger or better one at a later point has been linked with advanced cognitive skills, such as impulse control and forward-planning, and can be assessed by the classic food exchange paradigm. While the ability to perform in such tasks has long been regarded as an exclusive trait of humans and some mammals, that is, primates and dogs, in recent years some bird species have been found to perform similarly as primates. Here we test 10 captive kea (Nestor notabilis), using a food exchange paradigm standardized in earlier experiments, but adding the use of a container to hold the initial item...
August 31, 2017: Journal of Comparative Psychology
Can Kabadayi, Mathias Osvath
The ability to flexibly plan for events outside of the current sensory scope is at the core of being human and is crucial to our everyday lives and society. Studies on apes have shaped a belief that this ability evolved within the hominid lineage. Corvids, however, have shown evidence of planning their food hoarding, although this has been suggested to reflect a specific caching adaptation rather than domain-general planning. Here, we show that ravens plan for events unrelated to caching-tool-use and bartering-with delays of up to 17 hours, exert self-control, and consider temporal distance to future events...
July 14, 2017: Science
Mark O'Hara, Berenika Mioduszewska, Auguste von Bayern, Alice Auersperg, Thomas Bugnyar, Anna Wilkinson, Ludwig Huber, Gyula Koppany Gajdon
Exploration (interacting with objects to gain information) and neophobia (avoiding novelty) are considered independent traits shaped by the socio-ecology of a given species. However, in the literature it is often assumed that neophobia inhibits exploration. Here, we investigate how different approaches to novelty (fast or slow) determine the time at which exploration is likely to occur across a number of species. We presented four corvid and five parrot species with a touchscreen discrimination task in which novel stimuli were occasionally interspersed within the familiar training stimuli...
July 6, 2017: Scientific Reports
Ewan D Wakefield, Ellie Owen, Julia Baer, Matthew J Carroll, Francis Daunt, Stephen G Dodd, Jonathan A Green, Tim Guilford, Roddy A Mavor, Peter I Miller, Mark A Newell, Stephen F Newton, Gail S Robertson, Akiko Shoji, Louise M Soanes, Stephen C Votier, Sarah Wanless, Mark Bolton
Population-level estimates of species' distributions can reveal fundamental ecological processes and facilitate conservation. However, these may be difficult to obtain for mobile species, especially colonial central-place foragers (CCPFs; e.g., bats, corvids, social insects), because it is often impractical to determine the provenance of individuals observed beyond breeding sites. Moreover, some CCPFs, especially in the marine realm (e.g., pinnipeds, turtles, and seabirds) are difficult to observe because they range tens to ten thousands of kilometers from their colonies...
October 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Gjermund Gomo, Jenny Mattisson, Bjørn Roar Hagen, Pål Fossland Moa, Tomas Willebrand
BACKGROUND: Human food subsidies can provide predictable food sources in large quantities for wildlife species worldwide. In the boreal forest of Fennoscandia, gut piles from moose (Alces alces) harvest provide a potentially important food source for a range of opportunistically scavenging predators. Increased populations of predators can negatively affect threatened or important game species. As a response to this, restrictions on field dressing of moose are under consideration in parts of Norway...
June 15, 2017: BMC Ecology
Xinwen Chen, Tao Wen, Junjie Hu, Tingting Liu, Gerald W Esch, Yu Liang, Hongliang Li, Si Huang
Water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is the intermediate host for at least four species of Sarcocystis: S. fusiformis, S. buffalonis, S. levinei, and S. sinensis/S. dubeyi. Here, a new species, Sarcocystis dehongensis, is reported in 51 of 756 (6.7%) water buffaloes in China. By light microscopy, the cysts of S. dehongensis were macroscopic, up to 18.5 mm long and 95 μm in diameter; 4.9-11.9 μm villous protrusions extended beyond the sarcocyst wall. Using transmission electron microscopy, the sarcocyst wall had lancet- or leaf-like protrusions in longitudinal section, but the cross section showed that the protrusions appeared as mushroom-like in shape with a core of tightly packed microtubules, similar to "type 24...
August 2017: Parasitology Research
Lena Veit, Galyna Pidpruzhnykova, Andreas Nieder
Crows quickly learn arbitrary associations. As a neuronal correlate of this behavior, single neurons in the corvid endbrain area nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL) change their response properties during association learning. In crows performing a delayed association task that required them to map both familiar and novel sample pictures to the same two choice pictures, NCL neurons established a common, prospective code for associations. Here, we report that neuronal tuning changes during learning were not distributed equally in the recorded population of NCL neurons...
October 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
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