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David Omondi, Daniel K Masiga, Burtram C Fielding, Edward Kariuki, Yvonne Ukamaka Ajamma, Micky M Mwamuye, Daniel O Ouso, Jandouwe Villinger
Although diverse tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) are endemic to East Africa, with recognized impact on human and livestock health, their diversity and specific interactions with tick and vertebrate host species remain poorly understood in the region. In particular, the role of reptiles in TBP epidemiology remains unknown, despite having been implicated with TBPs of livestock among exported tortoises and lizards. Understanding TBP ecologies, and the potential role of common reptiles, is critical for the development of targeted transmission control strategies for these neglected tropical disease agents...
2017: Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Agustín Estrada-Peña, José de la Fuente, Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz
Ticks are vectors of pathogens affecting human and animal health worldwide. Nevertheless, the ecological and evolutionary interactions between ticks, hosts, and pathogens are largely unknown. Here, we integrated a framework to evaluate the associations of the tick Ixodes ricinus with its hosts and environmental niches that impact pathogen circulation. The analysis of tick-hosts association suggested that mammals and lizards were the ancestral hosts of this tick species, and that a leap to Aves occurred around 120 M years ago...
2017: Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Thomas Botterill-James, Ben Halliwell, Simon McKeown, Jacinta Sillince, Tobias Uller, Erik Wapstra, Geoffrey M While
The evolution of family living is underpinned by conflict and cooperation between family members. While family groups can be maintained by reducing conflict between parents and offspring, interactions between siblings may play an equally important role. Here, we compared the level of aggressive interactions between siblings to that between parents and their offspring in the family living skink Liopholis whitii. Aggressive interactions occurred much more frequently between siblings and between fathers and offspring than between mothers and their offspring...
June 14, 2017: Scientific Reports
Buddhi Dayananda, Brad R Murray, Jonathan K Webb
In many regions, the frequency and duration of summer heatwaves is predicted to increase in future. Hotter summers could result in higher temperatures inside lizard nests, potentially exposing embryos to thermally stressful conditions during development. Potentially, developmentally plastic shifts in thermal tolerance could allow lizards to adapt to climate warming. To determine how higher nest temperatures affect the thermal tolerance of hatchling geckos, we incubated eggs of the rock-dwelling velvet gecko, Amalosia lesueurii, at two fluctuating temperature regimes to mimic current nest temperatures (mean 23...
June 15, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
Lorenzo Alibardi
Tissue regeneration in lizards represents a unique model of regeneration and scarring in amniotes. The tail and limb contain putative stem cells but also dedifferentiating cells contribute to regeneration. Following tail amputation, inflammation is low and cell proliferation high, leading to regeneration while the intense inflammation in the limb leads to low proliferation and scarring. FGFs stimulate tail and limb regeneration and are present in the wound epidermis and blastema while they disappear in the limb wound epidermis 2-3 weeks postamputation in the scarring outgrowth...
June 14, 2017: Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Eric N Rittmeyer, Christopher C Austin
We describe two new species of the scincid lizard genus Tribolonotus from the islands of Buka and Choiseul in the Solomon Archipelago, closely related to, and previously included within, T. pseudoponceleti. One species, T. parkeri sp. nov., is endemic to Buka Island and was revealed in our previous study via taxonomically focused analyses of both next-generation sequencing data and morphology. Here, we also further support the validity of this species by more taxonomically comprehensive Bayesian species delimitation of three Sanger sequenced nuclear loci...
May 15, 2017: Zootaxa
Marco A Ribeiro-Júnior, Silvana Amaral
We present distribution data of all Alopoglossidae and Gymnophthalmidae lizards known from the Brazilian Amazonia, totaling 54 species-level taxa, belonging to 17 genera and two families. This represents 22 more species-level taxa than previously reported. Data were based on 17,431 specimens deposited in three North American and eight Brazilian museums, including the main collections harboring Amazonian material. Most species (~80%) are endemic to Amazonia; non-endemic species are mainly associated with open vegetation (savanna) enclaves or open dry (semideciduous) forest in Amazonia, with a few exceptions...
May 22, 2017: Zootaxa
Andrei Barabanov, Konstantin Milto
A complete catalogue is provided for the type specimens of anguid, dibamid, scincid and varanid lizards in the herpetological collection of the Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia (ZISP), as of January 2017. The collection contains a total of 170 type specimens, representing 50 taxa in the four lizard families under consideration. Thirty-one of these taxa are regarded currently as valid. The types of four taxa (one holotype, one lectotype and two paralectotypes) could not be located in the ZISP collections in January 2017...
March 17, 2017: Zootaxa
Kazuki Kurita, Hidetoshi Ota, Tsutomu Hikida
A new scincid lizard, Plestiodon takarai sp. nov., is described from the Senkaku Group, Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan. The Plestiodon lizards in this island group have previously been identified as P. elegans because they all exhibit a patch of enlarged and irregularly arranged scales on the posterior surface of their femurs. However, detailed molecular analyses revealed that the Senkaku population, although closely related to P. elegans and other species in the P. latiscutatus species group, is substantially diverged from all other recognized species...
April 20, 2017: Zootaxa
Roman Svitin
Two new species, Oswaldocruzia lisnykiensis sp. n. and Oswaldocruzia lacertica sp. n., are described from Anguis fragilis L. (Reptilia: Anquidae) and Lacerta agilis L. (Reptilia: Lacertidae) respectively. Both species belong to the Palaearctic group of species which have spicules divided in three main branches (blade, fork and shoe) with fork division above its distal third. The new species differs from all previously known Palaearctic species by several morphological characters: type of caudal bursa (type III in O...
May 9, 2017: Zootaxa
Chris Broeckhoven, Anton du Plessis, Cang Hui
The presence of dermal armor is often unambiguously considered the result of an evolutionary predator-prey arms-race. Recent studies focusing predominantly on osteoderms - mineralized elements embedded in the dermis layer of various extant and extinct vertebrates - have instead proposed that dermal armor might exhibit additional functionalities besides protection. Multiple divergent functionalities could impose conflicting demands on a phenotype, yet, functional trade-offs in dermal armor have rarely been investigated...
June 7, 2017: Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Jian Gao, Qiye Li, Zongji Wang, Yang Zhou, Paolo Martelli, Fang Li, Zijun Xiong, Jian Wang, Huanming Yang, Guojie Zhang
The Chinese crocodile lizard, Shinisaurus crocodilurus, is the only living representative of the monotypic family Shinisauridae under the order Squamata. It is an obligate semi-aquatic, viviparous, diurnal species restricted to specific portions of mountainous locations in southwestern China and northeastern Vietnam. However, in the past several decades, this species has undergone a rapid decrease in population size due to illegal poaching and habitat disruption, making this unique reptile species endangered and listed in CITES Appendix II since 1990...
June 8, 2017: GigaScience
Kristen D Anderson, Neal E Cantin, Scott F Heron, Chiara Pisapia, Morgan S Pratchett
Coral growth is an important component of reef health and resilience. However, few studies have investigated temporal and/or spatial variation in growth of branching corals, which are important contributors to the structure and function of reef habitats. This study assessed growth (linear extension, density, and calcification) of three branching coral species (Acropora muricata, Pocillopora damicornis and Isopora palifera) at three distinct locations (Lizard Island, Davies/Trunk Reef, and Heron Island) along Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR)...
June 7, 2017: Scientific Reports
Patricia Lucio Alves, Fernando Mauricio Francis Abdalla, Rafaela Fadoni Alponti, Paulo Flavio Silveira
INTRODUCTION: Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor (R) agonists are a class of incretin mimetic drugs that have been used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus and also considered strong candidates for the treatment of obesity. The original prototypical drug in this class is the exenatide, a synthetic peptide with the same structure as the native molecule, exendin-4, found in the saliva of the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum suspectum lizard). OBJECTIVES: To identify and compare the anti-obesogenic, antidyslipidemic and antidiabetogenic effects of agonism in GLP-1R by exenatide on two distinct models of obesity: induced by hypothalamic injury (MSG) or high-calorie diet (DIO)...
June 1, 2017: Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology
Fonti Kar, Martin J Whiting, Daniel W A Noble
There is mounting evidence that social learning is not just restricted to group-living animals, but also occurs in species with a wide range of social systems. However, we still have a poor understanding of the factors driving individual differences in social information use. We investigated the effects of relative dominance on social information use in the eastern water skink (Eulamprus quoyii), a species with age-dependent social learning. We used staged contests to establish dominant-subordinate relationships in pairs of lizards and tested whether observers use social information to more quickly solve both an association and reversal learning task in situations where the demonstrator was either dominant or subordinate...
June 2, 2017: Animal Cognition
Oleksandr Yaryhin, Ingmar Werneburg
The neurocranium of vertebrates is mainly derived from early cartilaginous anlagen, the so-called chondrocranium, the base of the future skull. Two initial bar-shaped and paired chondrifications flank the notochord, the rostral trabecles and the caudal parachordals. In most reptiles, there is an additional component, the transverse acrochordal, which is placed between trabecles and parachordals. All these elements compose the base of the future chondrocranium. There are several drastically different hypotheses concerning the development and interrelationship of these elements...
June 1, 2017: Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Jose A Ramos, Richard A Peters
Signaling species occurring in sympatry are often exposed to similar environmental constraints, so similar adaptations to enhance signal efficacy are expected. However, potentially opposing selective pressures might be present to ensure species recognition. Here, we analyzed the movement-based signals of two pairs of sympatric lizard species to consider how reliable communication is maintained while avoiding misidentification. Our novel approach allows us to quantify signal contrast with plant motion noise at any site we measure, including those utilized by other species...
June 1, 2017: Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Julia L Riley, Daniel W A Noble, Richard W Byrne, Martin J Whiting
Early social environment can play a significant role in shaping behavioural development. For instance, in many social mammals and birds, isolation rearing results in individuals that are less exploratory, shyer, less social and more aggressive than individuals raised in groups. Moreover, dynamic aspects of social environments, such as the nature of relationships between individuals, can also impact the trajectory of development. We tested if being raised alone or socially affects behavioural development in the family-living tree skink, Egernia striolata...
May 2017: Royal Society Open Science
Omar Torres-Carvajal, Claudia Koch, Pablo J Venegas, Steve Poe
Neotropical monkey lizards (Polychrus) are arboreal lizards with compressed bodies, partially fused eyelids and strikingly long, whip-like tails. The eight currently recognized species occur in the lowlands of South and Central America. Based on the largest taxon and character sampling to date, we analyze three mitochondrial and one nuclear gene using Bayesian methods to (1) infer the phylogeny of Polychrus under both concatenated-tree and species-tree methods; (2) identify lineages that could represent putative undescribed species; and (3) estimate divergence times...
2017: PloS One
Sonal Singhal, Ke Bi
Contact zones provide an excellent arena in which to address questions about how genomic divergence evolves during lineage divergence. They allow us to both infer patterns of genomic divergence in allopatric populations isolated from introgression and to characterize patterns of introgression after lineages meet. Thusly motivated, we analyze genome-wide introgression data from four contact zones in three genera of lizards endemic to the Australian Wet Tropics. These contact zones all formed between morphologically cryptic lineage-pairs within morphologically defined species, and the lineage-pairs meeting in the contact zones diverged anywhere from 3...
May 31, 2017: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
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